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Reposting about Tabula Rasa --Speculation and Spoilers -- Spike Lover, 08:55:22 05/23/02 Thu

Please forgive me for reposting this. I really wanted some feedback. This final ep makes me think more and more of Tabula Rasa. I know those writers & Joss are unpredictable, but I still can't resist speculating...


Anya was so good w/ Giles and the actors had so much chemistry, I just wonder if they will get involved. Look at the similarities: In TR, w/ no memory of who they really are, Giles & Anya believe that they are together. They are searching for a spell that will reverse the loss of memory or whatever and Anya chooses the wrong book and does incorrect spell after incorrect spell. In the finale, she has the correct book and she figures out how to use the correct spell to good ends. Xander in the finale says that A & Spike were 'varnishing' the table. In TR, after kissing Giles (and whatever else) Anya is seen scrubbing the table.

I am not certain if Anya will be able to keep her job as vengence demon as I have not seen her reek vengence yet. But she does have her powers back and she has not abused them. SHe has actually used them for good. She has really grown as a being- when the world was doomed, she did not flee but remained with Giles is a very loving/compassionate way. I like the character of Anya specifically because she has never apologized for what she did as a vengence demon. She does not apologize now for returning to it. Has she finally earned some happiness and can she find it w/ Giles? (She may have to tel-a-port) back and forth to Britian, but oh well. Maybe she will just go w/ him. Her shop is pretty much ruined. (Hope she paid her insurance premiums.)

The scene between Xander and Willow was really moving. Xander's whole-hearted love of Willow. These are the words that he has failed to say to Anya. Could this be a start of a repairing of these characters? Re-pairing. I mean, they initially broke up when their significant others found them out w/o ever exploring whether they had a real future together. In TR, W & X initially think that they are together. Xander has a new identity: Alex. Willow only finds that she is attracted to Tara. Does this mean that now that Tara is out of the picture, Willow will go back to X?

Finally Joan & Randy. Joan, perhaps an allusion to the ultimate female warrior-martyr Joan of Arc? Spike who suddenly realizes he is a vamp who has no desire to kill Joan. He stands up and thinks 'I must be a vampire w/ a soul, trying to right wrongs, etc.' Of course, Joan thinks that is a crazy idea, and she runs away. So, it would seem that Spike did get his soul back last night (but is he human or a resouled vamp that can have sex?) Will Buffy accept him? Joan runs away, after all-

Or perhaps it is as another poster noted, perhaps Spike, now that he is re-souled (for better or worse) will have a completely new identity. "The Randy Identity"

I don't know what the writers are planning for poor Spike; I guess we will find out in October, but I think more pain is in store for him. I keep coming back to the same question: No matter how Spike changes, whether his behavior, his soul, his hair style, or into a human, will Buffy ever love him? Can she truly love anyone? No matter how the writers decide to handle this, I just HOPE that 1)Spike doesn't mope, guilt- ridden, like Angel did and that 2)SPIKE IS FINISHED BEING HER WHIPPING BOY. I will post more on this issue in future.

By the way, speaking of loose ends that remain untied- what ever happened with the social worker or the loan shark? Why bother to ask? Amy the rat remained unseen for a few seasons, and we never found out what happened to that kitten...

Thank you Joss and Co for another great ride!

I appreciate everyone's comments.

[> Xander and Willow -- Tillow, 09:23:41 05/23/02 Thu

As the events of Tabula Rasa unfolded, it became clear to Willow that she was "kinda gay." And I believe DeKnight said in an interview with the succubus club that Willow is... let me see if I can find the quote... Here it is...

"Willow is still gay at some point I assume she may want to, I don't know, go out with another girl. I mean, you know, obviously, I don't want to offend anyone that thinks she should mourn Tara forever but it's not like you're going to turn back in and oh my god, she's gone back to being straight."

So... there's my contribution.... I think perhaps... could it be... that the Scoobs are meant to stand alone? Each on their own, I mean?

Sad. :( But I could see them ending the series that way.

I do like the chemistry between Anya and Giles. And she can just teleport to Bath!

[> Re: Reposting about Tabula Rasa --Speculation and Spoilers -- T- Rex, 13:38:07 05/23/02 Thu

I don't think this could be just coincidence. However, I don't think that Willow/Xander and Anya/Giles' gravitation to each other in TR means that they are meant for each other romantically. It is possible to be "soul mates" without sex or romance ever entering the picture.

Of course, I could be wrong about this. And I could think of far worse things than Anya and Giles getting together. She *does* get on his nerves from time to time, though. So perhaps living on separate continents isn't such a bad idea!

Good observation, BTW.

[> Re: Reposting about Tabula Rasa --Speculation and Spoilers -- tam, 15:25:05 05/23/02 Thu

what about spike and giles? father and son? teacher and student? will giles be able to help spike? also a question about re-souling a vampire -- was spike re-souled with william's essence? or does he receive his own soul as spike?

The summer's big question: What *should* the Scoobies do about Willow? -- skeeve, 10:09:40 05/23/02 Thu

[> Re: The summer's big question: What *should* the Scoobies do about Willow? -- cjc36, 10:33:59 05/23/02 Thu

This answer depends on the answer to another question: Does she have 'magick' in her anymore? Was it (it being ability or desire to ever use it again) burned out of her when she collapsed into Xander's arms?

If she does, the Scoobies would be wise to keep an eye on her. Trust, but verify.

If she can't as much as light a mach without closing the cover, then it becomes, to me at least, what does Willow think about this herself. The Scoobies will be forgiving-- they loved Tara, too. But Willow - the old Willow - couldn't hurt a fly, and guilt was the first emotion she'd reach for when she would go against expectations or cause collateral damage with misuse of magick.

I think she'd be on a redemption track. But I hope it isn't as long and drawn out as past ME examples. Show it, make it effective, but get on with the season.

But no amount of chocolate-chip cookies will make this go away for her totally.

She may help others like her. But again, don't dwell.

[> [> Re: The summer's big question: What *should* the Scoobies do about Willow? -- yez, 12:00:33 05/23/02 Thu

I don't think it's as simple as "If she can't do magick any more, there's no problem." I think her behavior has shown that she harbors some really scary tendencies -- whether or not she has the strength/power doesn't change the fact that they're there.


[> [> [> Re: The summer's big question: What *should* the Scoobies do about Willow? -- Xaverri, 14:21:07 05/23/02 Thu

I think everyone has those tendencies in them; it's about whether or not you go with them. Willow was under a serious mind bending set of spellage, and I don't believe she was in control. Would Willow off of power spell high do that? Not a chance. My hope is that after having finally experienced positive energy magick she will start using magick derived from that source. Up until touching Giles her learning had been all about power, and her major ability leaps occurred researching in anger over Tara getting hurt/killed. I would love to see her keep her abilities, but pull her energy from nature and peace, not from anger and agression. I know, I sound like Yoda.

[> [> [> [> Responsibility -- Traveler, 15:55:30 05/23/02 Thu

Is a person who is drunk or on drugs not responsible for their actions? Of course they are. So we can say that Willow is definitely responsible for her past actions, regardless of outside influences. Is Willow capable of doing bad things when she isn't on a magic induced high? Um... yes. Too many examples to count. For example, her decision to wipe Tara memories was a cold blooded decision, not one induced while she was "high" on magic. And all those times said really hurtful things to the various members of the scooby gang... you think she never thought those things before she started dabbling in magic? The magic didn't force her to do any of the things she did, it only gave her a means to do them and an outlet for her emotions. So, even if the magic is gone now, all the emotional problems are still there. Hopefully Xander has started the healing process.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Responsibility -- maddog, 16:40:40 05/23/02 Thu

Two comments...while I agree with just about everything you said I can't justify Willow's actions by wiping Tara's memory as "cold blooded"...that would imply malice. She simply wanted not to fight with Tara. Misguided yes....wrong yes...but not cold blooded.

I do think Xander started the healing. Willow's power issues are what lead to this. His mantra at the end of the episode is "I love any Willow, whether she's geeky or powerful". This is something Willow really needs to hear...and a lot. She needs to know that she doesn't have to be the powerful Wicca to be appreciated and loved. So I'd say the healing has started...but it's a long way from being done.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Small explanation -- Traveler, 16:55:53 05/23/02 Thu

"I can't justify Willow's actions by wiping Tara's memory as "cold blooded"...that would imply malice."

I meant cold blooded, as in rational, not "high." And I agree that Willow wasn't malicious in what she did to Tara, simply thoughtless and selfish.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Small explanation -- maddog, 19:57:44 05/23/02 Thu

Not quite sure what you mean by "rational, not high" but I've always viewed the phrase cold blooded with a negative connotation. But yes, very thoughtless, very selfish.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> in cold blood -- skeeve, 08:27:58 05/24/02 Fri

Doing something "in cold blood" implies doing it while one is able to think, not in the heat of the moment. It's usually applied to bad things e.g. murder and deleting someone's memory.

[> [> Re: The summer's big question: What *should* the Scoobies do about Willow? -- maddog, 14:49:04 05/23/02 Thu

While I agree with most of that I think her redemption does have to be drawn out like previous ME storylines. Because the fact of the matter is, if it's too easy it's not believable. If they forgive and forget too quickly then people will be wondering why so fast. For something as serious as what she's done in the past few episodes it's going to take a good while before she feels exonerated, let alone before her friends will be over it.

[> [> [> Re: The summer's big question: What *should* the Scoobies do about Willow? -- cjc36, 01:43:15 05/24/02 Fri

But if usual convention holds, the summer will pass for them as it does for us. We won't be a day after events in Grave, but three or more months.

But I admit, I'm selfish. I want old Willow back, and fast!

[> Put her down for the good of the herd... -- Morte, 17:39:49 05/23/02 Thu

The way I see it, they should probably do her in. This is an unpopular view, I'm sure, and something that will never happen, but if she could destroy the world with so little effort because she was upset this time, what's to stop her from doing it again the next time someone she really likes is slain?

Giles killed Ben to keep the world safe, and he was far more innocent then Willow is.

[> [> Re: Put her down for the good of the herd... -- maddog, 20:01:09 05/23/02 Thu

Do you really think Willow's going to hit this type of low again? After what she did this time do you really think she'd do a repeat performance? Besides, I wouldn't call this "little effort". It's been building for months.

[> [> [> I'd like to see her spend the summer... -- Marie, 04:17:24 05/24/02 Fri

...back in the UK, with Giles taking care of her. Therapy, cups of tea, historical sites to visit in the rain-they-tell- me-is-good-for-my-complexion, away from the places the memories of which can only give pain, the time to recover and start to heal, at least a little, with someone who also lost the one he loved at the hands of an evil-doer, and who can be trusted to get her the help she needs to control her use of magic. After all, he has a coven to go to, now!


[> [> [> [> Re: I'd like to see her spend the summer... -- yez, 07:45:28 05/24/02 Fri

I agree. And dealing with that coven might actually be a way to imbue Willow with the proper respect for magick so she can "use her powers for good," as they say. I would really like to see Willow keep her powers in some form -- she has a talent, and it would be a shame to have to give it up completely, as they've really been put to good use in the past. But if they're following the whole addiction metaphor to the logical conclusion, then she's going to have to stay off the wagon.


[> [> [> [> [> Hey! Was I right?! -- Marie, 07:56:15 05/24/02 Fri

I just read the Jane Espenson interview trancript above (ta, Rufus), and she says that Willow is somewhere interesting at the beginning of the season with someone we know...hmmm. England, anyone? Giles, anyone?

And, dammit, they foxed me over the Spike-becoming-human issue, so can I be right now, please?


[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Hey! Was I right?! -- dream of the consortium, 10:33:24 05/24/02 Fri

That's certainly what I guessed from the interview. I am willing to bet you'll be able to say "I told you so" come September. I must say, if I had just lost a lover and nearly killed my friends and tried to end the world, my first choice of how to recoup would definitely be with Giles in Bath. Or in the bath. Or both.

Oh, I didn't just write that - the shame!

So what about Anya? (Spoilery Speculation) -- Exegy, 12:31:09 05/23/02 Thu

This new Anya clearly differs from her former VD self. The Anyanka of old existed to punish. She reveled in the torture of others, and she never considered the RL consequences of her actions. She never thought of assuaging the victims' pain; she never paused before instigating chaotic cycles of vengeance that often rebounded upon the victim. Cordy dies in the Wishverse and VD Anyanka doesn't care. She's pleased with the "Brave New World" she has created. Yes, she takes great enjoyment in her job; she's not just following orders. VD Anyanka has a real talent for torture, and she doesn't have to deal with the bloody mess that is left afterwards. She has no connection to her own humanity.

But then something funny happens. VD Anyanka loses her powers, and she becomes Anya again. She must readjust to humanity after some 1100 years as a demon. It's a difficult transition, and Anya wants to return to her former uncaring state, but she has to struggle along with the rest of us. She gradually opens herself up to the risks of loving Xander, and for the first time she feels as if she knows what love truly is. This love is what she has been missing all along, the emptiness in her heart that caused her to become a VD in the first place.

And then Xander seems to betray that love. Anya doesn't know the reasons behind his actions (his fear of becoming his father and hurting the woman he loves). All she knows is that he has left her on her wedding day. He saw his future with her and he left her. Anya's VD past has come back to haunt her, both literally and figuratively. And for once she cares.

Rejected and hurting, she returns to her demonic state, but she doesn't act like her former self. Too much has happened since then. Anya cannot divorce herself from her humanity. She acts out of human rage and grief. She intends to harm Xander for mistreating her, but she forgets that she cannot make the wish herself. Anya has forgotten a lot about her VD past since she became a human. One might imagine that being a VD relates more to a figurative attitude towards people than a literal stint of 1100 years torturing people. Hmmm. Anyway, Anya's attitude and MO are clearly different this time around.

When she finally succeeds in exacting "vengeance" on Xander, it's not at all the way she would have desired. Maybe Anya realizes that two wrongs (or one wrong followed by an endless string of wrongs) do not make a right. Now instead of one party at fault for the X/A breakup, two parties share blame. And the worst part of it all is that Anya's sleeping with Spike was not about vengeance; it was, as she says later, about solace. Anya was hurting in a very human way, and she sought to ease the hurt in a very human way (alcohol and rebound sex). Those methods may have helped a little, but they were not enough. Anya can't seek validation of her worth with Spike; he never wronged her. She needs validation from Xander, the one who left her and still doesn't want to marry her.

I think Anya has come to understand the importance of human compassion. She carries this understanding with her as a demon. Look how she behaves in the final episodes of Season 6. She wants to stop Willow from destroying Warren because she is concerned for Willow. She relates to the grieving witch as one human to another, not as a VD to a lowly mortal. The old Anyanka would have encouraged Willow's rampage. She would have rejoiced in Warren's torture. The new Anyanka is horrified by Willow's actions. She knows that Willow is destroying herself as surely as she is destroying Warren. And Anya cares enough to put herself on the line.

She takes risks for humans, something the old Anyanka would not even have considered. She teleports herself into a jail cell in order to prevent the murder of Jonathan and Andrew (the line that Willow must not cross). She works alongside Xander on decoding the protection spell, and she admits that she cares whether he lives or dies. Anya just isn't sure which one she wants. All human emotions, human caring. Anya reveals more of her capacity to care with Giles. She shows strong emotions when she hugs him and says, "I'm blond." This is exactly how the human Anya would react.

Anya may retain the powers of a VD, but she acts as only her human self would. She stays with Giles when he proclaims his imminent death. She displays visible grief at the thought. And when Giles survives, Anya is overjoyed. When she realizes that it was Xander, no less, who saved them all, she can hardly suppress the love she still seems to feel for him.

I don't think that we can call Anya a VD any longer. Vengeance doesn't drive her. Human compassion does. I think a more appropriate title would be Justice Demon (sorry, Hallie, you were all about the vengeance). Justice in the sense of upholding what is right and good about humanity. Acting out of a desire to see others happy instead of in pain.

I see Anya acting in this capacity. I don't see her reverting to her VD attitude; she has experienced too much of human love. So either she retains her powers and acts a Justice Demon or she renounces her powers and returns to human status. I want to see Anya keep her powers for a time, if only for the cool factor (teleportation, yeah!). I think it may be interesting to see Xander relate to Anya as a demon. He would still be able to see the goodness in her, and this might get him to address some of his own issues. Interesting stuff. If Anya and Xander can work their problems out together, and if they decide to actually get married, then might be a good time for Anya to return wholeheartedly to humanity and all that it means to be a human.

Comments? Questions?

[> Scary-veiny demon (Spoilers for DMP, Grave) -- Scroll, 13:40:45 05/23/02 Thu

I hope eventually Anya will return to human form, at least by the end of the series, just because I want to see Xander and Anya finally tie the knot and I don't think Xander could legally marry a demon. On the other hand, I think Anya staying a vengeance demon for a while would be good for Xander. Like you said, it'd give him a chance to understand that his attitude to most demons, especially Angel & Spike, is a kind of bigotry. This bigotry is something he has to confront and eliminate in order to grow up.

One parallel that struck me when Xander was confronting Willow on the hill: he said he loved her, even with the scary-veiny face. In 'DoubleMeat Palace', Xander totally freaked over seeing Halfrek's demon face and wanted to know if Anya had looked like that when she was a demon. He still hasn't seen Anya's demon face. In 'The Wish', Cordelia called Anya her "scary-veiny good fairy". So if Xander can see Anya's demon face and still love her, then maybe he'll finally show Anya that she's loveable. And she'll forgive him. Plus, then Xander might be able to understand Buffy's taste in manpires a little better.

[> [> Re: Scary-veiny demon (Spoilers for DMP, Grave) -- Exegy, 17:11:38 05/23/02 Thu

Thanks for replying, Scroll. Good points. I agree that it would be nice to see Xander confront Anya in her demon guise. He has never fully addressed the issues of her demonhood, and that's a huge part of who she is. If Xander wants to reunite with Anya, then he must overcome the attitude of his parents (gosh, I remember what a bigot his father was in HB, attacking the demons solely on the basis of appearance). Xander must find his own heart, his own set of principles. He can be a really accepting guy when he just follows his natural impulses. When he doesn't think about outside value judgments, he has a great comraderie with Spike. They seem to have gotten along well enough over the summer. But when Xander thinks of Spike as a vampire and not as Spike, that's when the overbearing attitude comes in. Yeah, Xander may have valid reasons to dislike Spike now, but that's because of Spike's behavior. Xander can't pull the trump card of "evil, soulless thing" after working all summer with Spike, entrusting the vampire with Dawn. That attitude just makes X really unpleasant, because it's the same attitude his father has.

Xander needs to trust his heart, because that's where all his power lies. It's what makes him different from his parents, his own person. He trusts his heart with Willow, and his power averts the apocalypse. Not supernatural, but natural. Within him all along.

Xander sees beyond appearances with Willow. She may look like a monster, but she is still the same girl who broke the yellow crayon and was scared. Xander shows Willow that she is not the monster she has made herself to be. She's still loveable. I think Xander can use his heart and see beyond appearances with Anya as well. She may be a demon now, but she is also still the same woman that he fell in love with. If Xander realizes this, then maybe he will realize that he is not his parents. He is stronger than his parents, and marriage with Anya does not have to be a disaster. It can be a miracle, a testament to the power of the heart.

*Sigh* I sure hope this happens.

[> [> [> You made me cry... -- lele, 17:20:24 05/23/02 Thu

Loved your post. I think it would show enormous growth on xander's part to accept anya as she is now. I still cross my fingers for them. I've rooted for them ever since his 'You make me feel like a man' speech from Into The Woods

[> [> The more I think about that crayon line in Xander's speech -- dream of the consortium, 10:26:00 05/24/02 Fri

the more impressed I am by it. I wasn't crazy about it at first - I liked that Xander saved the world, but, though I appreciated the Wrinkle in Time reference, was still a little too cynical to like the "I love you, I love you" repetition. (My interior voice sounded just like Willow's - "That's your big plan? You're going to tell me you love me?") But as it's sat in me, I have to say I love the crayon- breaky Willow line. Because Willow is the sort of person who can still probably feels that pit-of-the-stomach horror when she remembers her childhood. She made a mistake, and she was terrifed about being found out. She didn't want everyone to know what she did. And she hated herself for having done it, and the crayon for not being able to be put together again. And Xander, her pal Xander, loved her anyway. And now, the stakes are higher, the broken crayon is much much more than that, but she still hates herself, still hates the fact that she can't fix things, still is terrified of what people will think of her. And Xander is still there, loving her.

In the same way (veering further away from the immediate topic), I hated the final scene between Buffy and Dawn. I'm not a Dawn fan, and I thought the whole epiphany was heavy handed. I still think it was heavy-handed, but I kept thinking later about how accurate the final diagnosis of the problem turned out to be. It's the problem that most parents and children have, particularly when a child is on the edge of becoming an adult. They can't see each other, have each other trapped into a role - "child to be protected." And it is painful not to be seen. I know many people who have very bad relationships with their parents as adults, and that seems to be at the root of the problem in many cases, an inability to see the person as a person, separate from their relationship to one's self. That's pretty sophisticated compared to most tv fare, in which the problem tends to be summed up as simply "I'm been overprotective" or "You're all grown up, and I didn't even notice." So, I have to appreciate the sentiment, if not the rather leaden presentation.

[> Excellent post, Exegy. I couldn't agree more. -- Ixchel, 13:52:40 05/23/02 Thu

I was so impressed with Anya in the last three episodes. She has really grown and learned so much. I believe she actually loves and cares about Willow (that her helping was in fact about Willow as she stated). This connection between the two of them (who started off enemies) may have begun in Triangle and was surely formed by TL (Anya's "you can sleep with me" to Willow). I loved the "I'm blond" remark as well. Anya wanted affection and reassurance too. It made me think of a child seeing another child get the attention of a loved parent and wanting to be included (not in a jealous way, it was very sweet). And that she is attached to Giles and didn't want him to die alone was very moving. Like you, I believe she still loves Xander very much (and he her), if he can explain fully to her (and she listens), maybe there's a chance (I hope so, I love them together).

Again, great post!


[> Re: So what about Anya? (Spoilery Speculation) -- T-Rex, 14:13:08 05/23/02 Thu

I'm thinking she's going to get fired from her job as vengeance demon any day now. :-)

[> Re: So what about Anya? (Spoilery Speculation) -- skeeve, 14:24:01 05/23/02 Thu

Supposing Xander has decided that he wants to marry Anyanka, how is this for the proposal: I know that you haven't decided whether you want me to live or die. If you marry me, you get to be really close when you make up your mind.

BTW I don't think Xander has to learn to love her demon face. That said, discussing it with her might be a problem unless his communication skills have improved since the last time they discussed marriage.

[> By the way, thanks to everyone who responds to this! -- Exegy, 18:00:52 05/23/02 Thu

I might not be able to get back to everyone. There are way too many threads to deal with!

Thanks again to all who respond to my post.

For Transcripts and MP3 info on the Jane Espenson interview.... -- Rufus, 13:12:41 05/23/02 Thu

The MP3 of Jane Espenson's interview at the Succubus Club will be up sometime later today, I'm not sure about the transcripts.

The Buffyverse

I will put all the information I can get my hands on up at my group as I get it....

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You will have to join but you have the option of going no e- mail or digest.
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[> Partial Transcript for The Succubus Club with Jane Espenson -- Rufus, 13:46:32 05/23/02 Thu

I got it from FanForum

Jane Espenson was on the Succubus Club radio show tonight!
These summarized quotes From Jane Espenson's Succubus Club chat were transcribed by Rally from The Kitten board. Here is the rough summary of quotes:
"These are live, off the cuff, not meant to be 100% accurate:
C=Candy K=Kitty J=Jane
K: Right next to me in the hotseat, Jane Espenson.
C: You didn't right a lot at this season.
J: I wrote a lot of episodes early in the season. I was just sitting there twiddling my thumbs. I did the four part Buffy comic Haunted, that took some of my time. We are hoping we all get more this year with Buffy, Angel and Firefly.
C: Isn't like a Western.
J: It's very much a western, there are horses in the pilot.

C: What entailed the co writing process, you seem to be the only one involved in co-writing.
J: Cause I am the one always volunteering, if you need help.

J: I wrote Mummy Hand and Kitten Poker part of Life Serial. I like writing the comedies.
C: Your first episode this season, Afterlife was serious.
J: Normally I would be thrid in the rotation, Marti, Fury and then me. Joss said I could wait for a comedy, but you probably want to take this one. So I though ok, we'll give it a try. I had a wonderful time writing it. It turned out very well, I was pleased with it.
C: Best one liner - Spike's where he says "every night I save you."
J: Thank you, normally Joss gets all those good lines. Marti really liked that scene and I was very fortunate it stayed the way I wrote it. Joss wrote the Anya cutting herself scene.
C: Questions about DMP and AF. Jane can only stay until 7, but we will be on until 8.
J: And you guys need to talk about me. I dyed my hair blonde, it's quite shocking.
C: She went blue once. Ok, about Afterlife. When Buffy went to Spike's crypt in Afterlife, why do you think she is there. What is going through Buffy's mind?
J: She went there and sat with him there, right. Um, I think she didn't know why she was there, except she wanted to be with someone who wasn't demanding anything of her.
J: Buffy doesn't open up to people. She doesn't like to show what she is thinking. She tends to be very closed off. I think the most brilliant thing we did this season was her insane delusion. It makes so much sense when you think about it.
J: I think it makes so much sense because Buffy is always in her own head. It didn't really not work out, the fact that she can't love him has so much more to do with her than him.
J: And of course anytime we talk about B/S relationship, that it's a very bad thing. I like Spike and I was very worried about the attempted rape, that is not something you play around with. It's very hard to come back from. You have to be very careful with it. We are not saying anything about humans, when you see that Spike looked into himself and saw that he wanted to go get a soul. We knew the whole time he was going to get a soul, the chip was an intentional mislead.

J: When we are vague, we are vague for a reason.
C: If you make that he went to go get a soul for her, it makes it romatic.
J: Yes that makes it very dicey. A human guy that says I saw the badness in myself, might not be the same thing. We have to be careful not to say that. He is a vampire with a soul, not a human.
C: That is the most interesting question, would it be fair to say that Buffy / Spike and Angel / Cordy are becoming a lot alike.
J: You can make that argument. We are certainly fighting that. Suppose we don't change Cordy, because it's too Buffized. Then we screw Cordy out of being a strong female. About souling Spike, it's only like Angel if we let it be. They have a much different relationship than Buffy / Angel had. What keeps Buffy and Spike from being together is their natures. They are thwarted by who they are. To me it feels very different. We don't report a formula. I think we suceeded in making it different.
J: He's loves bitch.
C: Scene in Seeing Red, in his crypt talking with Clem.
J: We love Clem.
C: Who doesn't love Clem. People want Sophie and Clem together.
J: We should put him with Dawn.
J: There were a number of Clem scenes we added in late, because the episodes ran short.
C: Doublemeat Palace, was the Demon deliberate?
J: It was an enormous penis, but we did not realize that at the time. We thought it was going to look eel like. It wasn't intentional. Would we have a lesbian cut off a giant penis? No, that's icky. But once it happened we felt free to comment on it. We had the W/T conversation about it, that I thought went really well. It's called hanging a lantern on it. You have the characters point it out.

J: We don't want to mock the show or its characters, but we will do, that's a funny thing. You can think it's a cheat, to point something out. So I was very pleased with whoever wrote that exchange. Might have been Drew.
J: We did not intend that to look like a penis.
C: Who decided on a fast food restraunt. Did someone have specific experience in fast food.
J: Everyone did but me. Marti had done a lot, worked at McDonalds. We almost backed off it when Joss pointed out she had waitressed.
J: Food is funny. I love food. No coincidence that Bandcandy and Gingerbread are also mine.
C: Lets talk about W/T. The whole Tara death and Willow what happened to her. Obviously people are upset.
J: As we intended, we we're upset ourselves. I didn't think Joss was going to be able to do it. We really struggled.
K: How do you feel about the backlash?
J: I wasn't aware of it, but we talked about it. What happens is one is introduced to be killed. She had been on the show, she was not brought in to be cannon fodder. She was not gay bashed, she was shot accidently. We did talk about, we're doing that thing, we're killing the lesbian. But it didn't feel that way to us, because she wasn't that lesbian character.
C: But Willow went evil.
J: She went evil out of deep loving grief.
J: I think we are shirking ourselves if Willow goes out and hooks up with a boy.
C: People want to know, the backlash, they are going to be tuning out.
J: People always say they are not going to watch anymore and our numbers stay the same.
C: But the numbers are down this year.
J: Yeah but our boy numbers are up. We certainly feel we did a really bang up season. We really like this season, we feel we did a really good job. Even if you take the musical out I think it's a really good season.
C: What about next season?
J: More funny, more standalones.
J: I am distressed to hear people are going to tune out. Tara was not our only gay character. Willow is still around and is a good role model. There is no reason to say we won't be seeing a little or more of um Tara or something resembling Tara.
C: She is picking her words very carefully.
J: If people are saying they are tuning out because they miss Amber Benson well...mumble mumble mumble.
K: Is Willow going to go to jail?
J: Um no she doesn't go to jail. She is somewhere interesting when we open the season. She is up somewhere doing something with someone we know.
C: Does Spike's chip still work?
J: Yes he has a soul, but his chip still works.
C: I have never been a big fan of Dawn. One of my favorite moments in last night's show was Willow being mean to her. What does last night mean for Dawn (fighting with Buffy)?
J: Dawn doesn't have strength. She can be a Scooby, she can do what Willow does, but she has certainly been dumped into the gang. I love the line I have been protecting you from the world, what I really want to do is show you the world.
J: You may noticed that Dawn is at the right age to start high school. She is at a good age to start participating in more things. She is going to be a little bit different next year and she is going to be in the thick of things. And she is not going to always be the damsel.
J: At the beginning we had a lot of people that didn't have powers and one that did. We had a lot of damsels. Now we have a lot of people with powers and not enough that don't. So Xander and Dawn were our only damsels. Now what do you do when the Xander saves the world and Dawn has a sword, your run out of damsels.
C: Joss involvement this season. You did mention about the first episode for next season.
J: Yes it is my understanding that Joss will be writing that episode himself. He will also be more involved with Angel.
C: Her digging out of the hole, had to be intentional.
J: Absolutely, crawling about out of the grave.
K: Did you dye her hair?
J: No it was a wig. She was really uncomfortable. Plus she had those enormous contact lens. Painful to put in. She was out on the bluff and they had scattered charred earth around and it was blowing all this dirt in her eyes. You can see she her eyes are almost closed.

K: Has Sunnydale always been on the coast?
J: We figure it's near Santa Barbara, and of course that is why the Shumash tribe would be the local tribe.
C: How do you feel when the fans transfer their anger to you on the boards etc.
J: It does get tiring because you bond with the show so much and even if the descision isn't yours. You have to take responsiblity for it and defend it. Where maybe if you were a fan you would not be happy about it. Also the fans know the episodes better than we do. We always have a blast at the PBP. This Tara thing is probably going to be really hard on us, because you do find yourself getting defense and feeling misunderstood.
C: We asked David Fury about defending things last week. We asked him how difficult that is, how about you.
J: Less difficult for me. Fury has very independant ideas. He is the most extreme and I am the most likely to hop on board. I tend to pretty much love everything we've done. Here's one, a think cut from sleeping with Parker. Harsh Light Of Day. All the fans were very upset, that Buffy got so hung up on this guy. A bit got cut where she said look at me, I am doing something that doesn't have to do with Angel. I was upset that got cut.
J: I had to defend Buffy being with Parker and that cut. There have been some where I have been skeptical, the attempted rape. But then I saw it and I was like I can groove with that.
Talk about Giles
J: We thought about having him come back for the wedding, but we felt the impact to wait was better. Cut scene about how Giles sent the flowers for the wedding.
K: I thought it was so great, that Giles showed up, but then there was this fear that he might die.
J: Yeah that was very plausible, we thought you all might fall for it.
C: What is the situation with Ripper.
J: I think we will have some Giles next season on Buffy. Ripper I have no idea, I think Joss was working on a treatment, but then Firefly got all hot and hairy. I haven't heard about it lately.

C: No glasses.
J: Yes Joss specifically said no glasses for Giles in this episode.

J: Ok, who thinks Giles and Anya should get together?
J: I think it would be interesting, I think it's better to have relationships with obstacles in them.
C: Otherwise it's Buffy and Riley.
C: So cast for next season is exactly the same for next season?
J: Well Tara won't be back next season. There are going to be new recurring characters but I don't think any new regulars. Possibly a new high school principal.
K: New Sunnydale High?
J: They are rebuilding it right now.
C: Anya has not shown any remorse, everyone seems to have forgotten her past.
J: I believe Anya does have a soul.
C: As a vengenance demon?
J: Yes. Would you say have Lorne has a soul?
C: Clem, Clem.
J: Vengenace is not random evil. Remember what Hallie said, we prefer Justice Demons. I don't think that Anya just happens to be a demon, means she is soulless.
J: It is very sad that Tara is gone. It discredits her to say she not more than just a lesbian. She is not just a label. Even as we debate the politics of killing her...
J: It is a tricky situation and I don't want to make light of it. We make our characters very fully faceted. We make them with so much texture and reality, I like to think they are so much more than if they write demon on their college application."

[> [> BTW Masq....the writers don't seem to be on the same page about demons and souls.. -- Rufus, 13:52:55 05/23/02 Thu

The transcript above is pretty correct..edited to remove all the umm's and pauses because Jane was being very, very careful in choosing her words. When the MP3 comes out you will get an idea of what I mean.

[> [> [> Not surprising... -- Masq, 13:56:42 05/23/02 Thu

I doubt the writers have given as much thought to the shows as we have! : )

Nor have they bent themselves into pretzel twists as much as I have to explain everything in with one coherent mythology.

Was it Marti Noxon or Jane Epenson who once said the fans are great because they fill in all all the plot holes the writers didn't notice (or left in because they couldn't figure out how to fix it)

[> [> [> [> T'was Jane -- Doriander, 17:06:43 05/23/02 Thu

[> [> [> [> Re: Not surprising... -- Rufus, 19:07:48 05/23/02 Thu

The writers admit to forgetting what they have written, I guess they just move on to the next story...;)

[> [> [> [> On that thought maybe the Fans are the Records girl at Wolfram and Hart.....;) -- Rufus, 19:09:09 05/23/02 Thu

We are the ones that remember the dialogue and what the writers have said.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: On that thought maybe the Fans are the Records girl at Wolfram and Hart.....;) -- shadowkat, 20:28:42 05/23/02 Thu

Yep, I realized how obvious this was - when I noticed that
the writers were repeating past lines. I doubt they even
know it.

As a writer myself - I know that once something is done,
I don't tend to ever look at it again. Most writers are
the same way. James Joyce once wrote that he really didn't
mean half the stuff people intepreted in Ulysses. Burgess
said the same thing about Clockwork Orange. Once the story
gets out there and interacts with the audiences' collective
minds, it takes on a life all it's own.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: On that thought maybe the Fans are the Records girl at Wolfram and Hart.....;) -- Rufus, 20:58:48 05/23/02 Thu

It's like any symbol, writers words can mean different things to different people owing to cultural and general knowledge. Some things we all see as the same thing like someone who is smiling is happy, with words it can be more tricky than that.

[> [> [> [> [> Hey, my eyes whirl as I'm going through my internal Buffyverse files, too -- Masq, 11:09:10 05/24/02 Fri

[> [> Thank you, Rufus. -- Ixchel, 17:39:13 05/23/02 Thu

Season Finale - Unanswered Questions -- rachel, 14:18:57 05/23/02 Thu

I am hoping some people here might have an analysis or answers for some of the things I feel were unexplained in the season finale. (I know lots of stuff in Buffy is often unexplained, and it turns out it was foreshadowing for things to come, but the stuff I'm talking about, I don't think is that.) Anyhow, if anyone has some answers on the following questions, I'd love to hear some ideas.

1) Why didn't Giles die? He says to Anya that he is dying. Presumably from having the magic sucked out of him by Willow. But in the end he gets up. Did Willow having the magic drained out of her at the end somehow give Giles his life back?

2) How did Xander know where to find Willow? Wasn't he supposed to be looking for a rope for Buffy and Dawn? Was he truly looking to be with Willow til the end no matter what? Or did he somehow know that he could save her by making her feel her humanity?

3) Anya is now a vengance demon again, but somehow she is still "good" when previously as a vengance demon she was all bad. What's the deal with Anya?

[> Good questions. -- Sophist, 14:33:59 05/23/02 Thu

I think these are some of the reasons why a number of posters were so conspicuously silent in the frenzy of praise about the finale.

[> Re: Season Finale - Unanswered Questions -- maddog, 14:37:53 05/23/02 Thu

Ok, people need to start reading the other threads. The answer to question 2...when Anya showed up he was leaning over the top of the hole. That's why they expected him to answer when Buffy yelled up...and he didn't respond so they were confused. As for his motivation, you're too cynical. I think Xander wasn't expecting to save everyone. He wanted his last moments if they were going to be that, to be with his best friend...there's no way he could have known he could ge through to her.

I was a little surprised that Giles didn't die after his comment. I can only assume he meant he knew what Willow had planned to do so he knew he'd die along with everyone else.

Anya's a reluctant vengance demon who only switched back because of Xander. Notice she's not going after people like before, making them wish things.

[> Can't answer them all... -- Scroll, 14:44:34 05/23/02 Thu

Xander overheard Anya tell Buffy & Dawn about where Willow was when Anya teleported into the cave. As for Giles dying, I think it had to do with the fact that he and Willow were connected--emotionally and magickally. The more she drained him, the weaker he got, but then Xander managed to get her to stop. And I don't think Xander knew he could stop her. That's mostly what's so amazing about what he did. He had every reason to believe that she would kill him and the world, but he still had *hope* that his friend Willow would pull through.

Anya has grown so much that just being a vengeance demon isn't the same as it once was. She's changed and I think S7 will give her credit for it.

[> [> I agree with Scroll's points -- Exegy, 17:54:44 05/23/02 Thu

[> Re: Season Finale - Unanswered Questions -- pr10n, 15:44:08 05/23/02 Thu

>Did Willow having the magic drained out of her at the end
>somehow give Giles his life back?

I'm curious about this part myself. What drained Willow's magic -- what was the wind that blew up the hillside and washed that evil right out of her hair?

Some hitherto unnamed benevolent force? Some deus ex machina script device (heaven forfend!)? CORDY? That's what saved Giles, and made the earthy monsters go poof, but what was it?

[Great, answer questions with more questions, that's real helpful, pr10n.]

[> [> ACK! Spoilers in above ^ -- pr10n, 15:46:47 05/23/02 Thu

[> [> Re: Season Finale - Unanswered Questions -- maddog, 15:53:54 05/23/02 Thu

I'm not so sure the energy was drained...I think it just stopped. I think between Giles's opposing magic and Xander using that opening to reach the human side of Willow that her will to shoot out the powers is what disappeared...not that magic itself.

[> [> [> The Coven's good magicks -- Dochawk, 16:14:31 05/23/02 Thu

i thought Giles was pretty clear in his explanation of this, maybe my head was foggy so I got a different read. Giles was given the white magicks of a powerful Wiccan coven in Dover. they knew of tara's death and knew of the black magic power that had arisen in Sunnydale - though they knew it was fueled by grief, not by malice. So Giles was filled with a tara-like magic and so when willow sucked it, it filled her tank, but its power was not destructive. She ran out of the black magic charge, so all that was left was the white. initially, by diverting her attention Xander drained some of the black off the top, then by reminding her of her humanity, Xander allowed the white magic to take over. Willow had used up her blakc magic power and therefore lost the black hair etc. What I don't know is, does she still have the white magic? Does is she now filled wth a power that must be channeled for good?

Boy that was alot longer than Giles explanation, but thats what I got out of it.

[> [> [> [> Re: The Coven's good magicks -- maddog, 16:30:50 05/23/02 Thu

I think you said what I said, but longer. :)

i.e. she's still got the magic capability, but Xander was able to calm her down enough to not even use the good magic.

Whoever said Spike's... -- Goji3, 14:58:41 05/23/02 Thu

Subject: Whoever said Spike's Re-souling would be a "GOOD" thing...

...or that it means B/S is Destined to work out the way B/Sers hope.

Let us pause for a moment and think...about...the past.

When has ME or Joss EVER given the people what they want, and not have some negative aspect to it?

I appol

If you can think of an example, let me know.

I'm waiting...

Anyway, now with Re-souled, Chipped Spike, I see a very good paralell with Nny (For those that don't know, he is the title character of the small comicbook series "Johnny: the Homicidal Maniac").

Spike, now re-souled, would be a lot like Nny. Nny is in no WAY a good person, he's a freakin' homicidal maniac for cryin' out loud!

Spike's duality of Big-Bad demon and Artistic-Sensitive William brings about a good paralell towards Nny. Like William, Nny was an artist at one point. Also like William, he was constantly looked down upon and tormented (emotionally, as a human at least, and later as a demon by Buffy) repeatidly, over and over again.

What Got Nny to begin Killing people (and drawing 'Happy Noodle Boy', an evil act in itself :p ) is unknown, even to him. It's not one of those, as his creator, Jhonen Vasquez puts it, "Argh! I've been pantsed! I kill like the Damned now!" deals. It's much more interesting not knowing.

Well, Just for fun, I'm going to run down a list of there similarities, because there are just SO many of them:

Both characters are not 'well adjusted' in any way, shape or form.

Both, can be sensitive at times, and Violent within seconds of being nice.

Both Were weighed upon heavily by society (by jerks, pompous SOB's and dicks) before they began to kill anyone.

Both fit outside societal norms stylistically (ignoring their psycho/demonic nature).

Both have been known to be suicidal.

Both have been manipulated by Big Evil Things (Adam vs. 'The Wall Thing')

Both know what they are, and don't really care (most of the time)

Both have been in relationships with people who beat the crap out of them.

Both did something horrible to said people and felt bad for it afterwards (Spike Rapping Buffy, Nny's attempt on Devi's life -- neither Buffy nor Debbie found either of these acts very attractive)

Both tend to view some people as 'Lesser' than themselves (Spike and...just about everyone, Nny and the Jerks and mean people in life...which is just about everyone.)

Both...don't take loss very well. (See: Buffy being rapped and this little quote from Nny : "You Hole!! That's just a minor lump in a Sea of Sh**!! and I'm Sick of this! Let's go!")

Now that Spike has a soul, speculatively, he might feel bad for at least SOME of the things he did, like Nny did after going on a rampage at a Coffee shope for no real reason-- that's not his style).

Anyway, before I forget what the hell I was talking about...

Damn, too late.

Ok then, what was I trying to say...

Oh yeah, like many before me, I'm stateing that a souled Spike won't 'Be all he can be' or all that B/Sers wants him to be, He's going to be, as Chef puts it "One Fudged up little cracker"

And, in closing, Here's my little speculation about what Buffy will say when she finds out, or encounteres the dreaded 'B/S' shipper Spike -- home I hope never to see in this lifetime. it's from Devi, as she tells off Nny when he goes to appologise to her:

"...And now you think your little apology is going to make me as happy as a DROOLY LITTLE BABY?!! Sh**! I'm the person who's gonna make me happy! I AM! No more hiding away. If you want to kill my JUEST TRY IT!! I'll lose my boot down your throat!"

to which Nny replies (after she hungup-- it was a phone conversation): "That could have gone better."

And, for added enjoyment, another thing to mull over. Jhonen's note about the character Tess -- who also has some similarities to Buffy (Tess is a little worse off):

"Tess's family moved around a lot, making it dificult to make freinds with people. even now, that she's fairly stable, as far as living somewhere she goes, she still has that feeling of having to have freinds around and quickly, which usually results in keeping not the best company. the idea of having someone around was far more appealing than being alone. Tess is a little lost when not seeing herself in the context of others, but knows this is a problem. She's been working on it, and can now go two full days without needing to call one of her Sh**ty freinds"
"Tess is an amalgam of several girls I've known unfourtunate enough to be jerk magnents. I couldn't stand seeing these people being terrorized by the lowest forms of the male race and not DOING anything about it. It was the "BUT I LOVE HIM" syndrome, I suppose. I wanted to write about a nice girl just waking up from being a little wretch."

Wait, I think that last quote sums up my beef with B/S to begin with...whoopsies.

Anyway: to the point (at long last): Souled-Spike will hopefully noy be 'B/Ser Souled Spike (pattend pending)', for it would make Spike a far more intersting character -- and ME likes to make the audience suffer -- create the "what'll happen next!?" feeling we so love. They hurt us because they care :D.
And Spike will be a better character to watch for it -- Again, just because you have a soul doesn't mean you WILL do good. Spike will ilustrate this point and it will be fun to watch (hopefully)

Besides, if Spike becomes like Nny, then he'll get to soliloqui! Haven't seen one of them on TV for a while.

Before ending this, I'll appologise for 'editing the content' of the J:tHM quotes...didn't want to risk gettin yelled at for havin a dirty mouth :p -- I gotta stop with the smileys...

I shut up now

Goji3 -- soon to metamorphose into Majin Gojira

[> Re: Whoever said Spike's... -- maddog, 15:04:16 05/23/02 Thu

You're right about Joss...but the fact of the matter is this is Spike's best shot at a normal relationship with Buffy. Nothing's fool proof. And it may take all year for Buffy to accept Spike. But it's still possible. I doubt Buffy will accept it at first...but things take time...a genuine friendship needs to be built back up. I don't think anyone's 100% positive...well, cause they can't be. But they're hoping...and that's all they have this summer. So let them do that instead of being a downer. :)

[> [> Re: Whoever said Spike's... -- Dochawk, 15:13:37 05/23/02 Thu

I will repeat again what a horrible message this sends if this happens. it tells women that the bad boy they lust after will change if only the guy loves them enough. We know in real life that just doesn't happen.

And I think Buffy is looking for a differnt kind of love in any case and that Spike made himself what he thinks she deserves, which is Angel redux, which is not what Buffy wants. unlike Spike she has matured and is lookign for a more mature relationship. (I hope)

[> [> [> Re: Whoever said Spike's... -- pr10n, 15:26:34 05/23/02 Thu

I wonder if ME isn't after an even more rare occurrence with Spike, one we could parallel with Xander, and even with Oz: REAL MEN (in one sense) are those that see the evil in themselves, and change to the lasting benefit of everyone around them.

There's a cave worth exploring, a world worth saving, a mountain worth climbing.

In fact, Giles may be a great example of what happens when a man walks away from his youthful "bad choices" and protects himself from becoming involved with them again. When his ability to choose is taken away in _Band Candy_, Giles reverts to his Ripper-ness. But he firmly stomps on the Ripper whenever he can. Like a recovering addict, he knows any exposure to the substance of his addiction is dangerous.

[> [> [> [> Re: Whoever said Spike's... -- Dochawk, 15:32:27 05/23/02 Thu

That would be an interesting story, but though I don't quite know how a soul is gonna change him, cause as Warren etc have proved, soul's don't induce goodness. But, I'm willing to watch that struggle, just as long as it doesn't entail being Buffy's boyfriend.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Whoever said Spike's... -- maddog, 15:42:15 05/23/02 Thu

Agreed, which is why if he's still a vamp then he probably won't be an Angel knockoff. But, what can change him, would be his love for Buffy. That might make the soul change.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Whoever said Spike's... -- Rufus, 16:51:59 05/23/02 Thu

That would be an interesting story, but though I don't quite know how a soul is gonna change him, cause as Warren etc have proved, soul's don't induce goodness.

I actually agree with that statement, but as Darla said "what we once were informs all that be have become", if Spike with the aid of a chip can actively seek a soul, even to get the love of Buffy in return, then we can't assume that Spike will be evil with a soul. We don't know enough about William other than he was an introverted poet, hardly Warren material, but you never know..;) We have to wait it out til next season to see how the story plays out. I'm not a rabid shipper, so if Spike and Buffy ride off into the sunset I don't mind, and if they don't end up together that's okay too.

[> [> [> Re: Whoever said Spike's... -- maddog, 15:40:09 05/23/02 Thu

And I believe I replied in the post that that's your assumption. As is proved by this board people don't interrpet everything the same fact, they tend to have many different ideas. I still say this story is more about Spike and his "growing up" period than it has to do with Buffy.

Buffy is looking for a more adult love, that I can agree with. Angel's dark and broody...Spike may very well be human. Not the same. Even if Spike's not human, he may not be exactly like Angel. These are things we won't know til next season.

[> [> [> Re: Whoever said Spike's... -- LeeAnn, 16:39:35 05/23/02 Thu

I will repeat again what a horrible message this sends if this happens. it tells women that the bad boy they lust after will change if only the guy loves them enough. We know in real life that just doesn't happen.

I does happen. I've seen it happen. Not every time but often enough that it's not unreasonable hope.

[> [> [> [> Thank you. -- Traveler, 19:49:21 05/23/02 Thu

"I does happen. I've seen it happen. Not every time but often enough that it's not unreasonable hope."

This is something that I need to believe, and I have always had a gut instinct that it is true, but I didn't have any personal experience to back it up. Thanks for sharing :)

[> [> [> Re: Whoever said Spike's... -- dream of the consortium, 07:16:18 05/24/02 Fri


One of the basic themes of the series is the power of love - its redemptive power included. Generally, the strongest loves have been of family and friends, but it does seem to be a little narrow-minded to rule out any possibilty of redemptive power for romantic/sexual love just because it could play into certain very unfortunate and even dangerous cultural myths. I understand your concern, but I don't think the message is that simple - mostly because the real problem in society is the belief that a "bad boy" will turn good if the *woman* loves him enough. It's not the boy's love; it's the woman's. The implied responsibility (and failure) is hers. And Buffy hasn't loved him at all. She's slept with him, but was so ashamed she wouldn't tell her friends. He was even surprised that she had a conversation with him. There was no love and little respect coming from Buffy. That someone can turn from bad to good as a result of his own love is not, I think, a dangerous message. Particularly not if, as I believe will be the case, he never receives love in return, but remains good. The good is therefore inspired by the love, but not dependent on it. Buffy choose to end the relationship with Spike, and I think it was clearly shown to be a good decision. The "message" there is clear - relationships should make both people better people; if a relationship is not doing that, or is making you a person you don't like any more, get out. I wouldn't worry too much about the message until we see how the story progresses - ME respects the intelligence of its viewers, and is not likely to give us a Beauty and the Beast without showing us all of the dangers and complexities of that myth.

[> [> [> [> Re: Whoever said Spike's... -- Dochawk, 10:54:38 05/24/02 Fri

I agree with you, so far we are ok, even better than that. I want Spike to learn from his mistakes and grow and become a better demon. And I totally agree with your assessment of how Buffy sees the relationship. But, I will be very diasppointed if Buffy allows Spike (the demon who tried to rape her) to return to her bed, that is where the message will come from. Most viewers of the show don't read these boards and aren't involved to the depth that some of us are. Look at some of the interpetations that longtime viewers made about Tara's death and what it implied about lesbianism. Joss and co have had to defend themselves mightily that that wasn't their message. I don't think it was, it was truly a move necessary to get Willow where tehy wanted her, no other measure would have done it (otherwise she wouldn't be our willow). Doesn't change the fact that many viewers made that cliched interpetation. We may see it as a step in Spike's evolution but many others will not (just look at the ariance of interpetations about Spike prior to seeing Red, the writers in that case repeatedly told us that Spike was still dark, but occaisionally did good things out of his obsession with Buffy, but many members of this board saw it totally differetnly). JE did recognize it was dangerous territory in her interview. I am hopeful, that like Willow they won't cross this line.

[> [> I will stop... -- Spike Lover, 19:21:36 05/24/02 Fri

"...but the fact of the matter is this is Spike's best shot at a normal relationship with Buffy. Nothing's fool proof. And it may take all year for Buffy to accept Spike."

I am going to stop reacting to these posts, I promise and let everyone have a summer in peace. I am going to stop pointing my finger at Buffy and reminding everyone that in order for Spike and Buffy to have a good, healthy relationship, Spike is NOT the only one who has to change.

You forget, (perhaps?), that Buffy was ONLY able to own up to her sex w/ Spike because "it is over now." Does she have the guts yet to face them again and say, "hey, he is different. He has a soul. Yes, he might have been responsible for killing half of Europe or trying to rape me in the bathroom, but he couldn't help it and he feels bad now -and I forgive him and think he learned his lesson. And yes, he is utterly safe- much safer than Angel ever was. Nothing unstable about him."

This is of course provided that however the "new" Spike turns out, that he will be something that Buffy is attracted to. (Sorry, guys, for many women, it IS about personality.)

Buffy is not whole herself. There are still questions about whether she loves and accepts herself. And I continue to ask whether Buffy can love anyone at all. (I will keep asking too.)

[> [> To clarify -- Majin Gojira, 09:47:02 05/25/02 Sat

Hey, It's me, Goji3, under a much more pompus screen name :p

Anyway, I thought that I needed to clarify something about what might happen in Buffy next season between her and Spike.

True, "...this is Spike's best shot at a normal relationship with Buffy." but, I doubt there relationship will EVER be sexual again, Period. They might be freinds again at best, but never again sexual. no 'Boyfreind' material ever again. a Freind who is a boy, yes, but never again...wait, he never was a BF to begin with...

It's not goinging to be like "Oh, he has a soul now, I can forgive him for doing horrible things now!" Please, I'd lose all respect I have for her if she did that. I'd also Vomit continuoulsy for hours after seeing it, but that's another story.

I think Buffy needs to be alone/single for a bit again, as Devi puts it "I'm gonna be the one who makes me Happy, Me!" Buffy needs that for at least a while.

Majin Gojira -- A cookie goes to whoever can gues what my name means ;p

[> Re: Whoever said Spike's... -- lele, 16:30:15 05/23/02 Thu

Who said just b/c spike gets a soul that B/S will happen?

Even if he does try to go evil- he's still got the chip in his head so he can't directly hurt humans.

Besides, did you watch Tabula Rasa? Spike aka Randy Giles without his memories or a soul thought he was a superhero.

Yes souled spike could and may do evil things, but according to Jane Espenson in a succubusclub interview ME was yanking our chains about the trip to africa for a chipectomy and suggested that he actually went there to get a soul. If he went there to get a soul whether it was for buffy or not I doubt he'll actively pursue being evil again or at least for long.

[> [> Where's that interview? -- maddog, 16:32:44 05/23/02 Thu

Is that Epperson interview up yet? Where did you read it? Makes me glad I knew that the chipectomy was "red herring" and that the soul was the main objective, even if he didn't sound like it.

[> [> [> Part of the interview is just a few threads below this one -- Rufus, 16:47:48 05/23/02 Thu

The MP3 will be available either today or tomorrow

[> [> [> Re: Where's that interview? -- lele, 16:50:35 05/23/02 Thu

Sorry don't have the exact link but look under

I think the fanforum site has some of the transcript up also, look in the buffy cross and stake spoiler board (either main board or archives)

I think some threads here may have some of the transcript too. Warning: I have to admit writers can be misleading or even outright lie, but as the finale has already occurred I don't see the point in lying about this. It still doesn't mean things will turn out hunky-dory for spike and the SG, but we can hope.

[> [> [> [> That's where I got the transcript from it's already on this board -- Rufus, 16:53:36 05/23/02 Thu

Late Response to Exegy's non-crossover theory (archived?) thread (FINALE spoilers & S7 spec) -- Doriander, 16:53:41 05/23/02 Thu

Exegy, you really got me thinking on Joss' spectacular non-crossover. I'm sorry if I'm just reiterating things. I started out cursing the Jossgod upon learning this revelation by Jane that Spike is indeed a souled vamp. Anyway, overnight musings can change one's mind, and now I'm very much enthused with it's consequences on the Shanshu prophecy. I now say your theory is brilliant.

A look at the two contenders.

Our latest is Spike. Kalima, an author put it succintly in one of her fics, Spike's curse is irony. He mocked Angel's soul, his love for Buffy, now he sought out to get his soul in order to give Buffy, the woman he's madly in love with, what she deserves (whatever that means). From what Spike said, and what we saw in FFL, I say it's a fact that Spike hated being human. Becoming a vampire is the best thing that happened to him:

So you traded up on the food chain. Then what?

No, please. Don't make it sound like something you'd flip past on the Discovery Channel. Becoming a vampire is a profound and powerful experience. I could feel this new strength coursing through me. Getting killed made me feel alive for the very first time.

So I suppose it makes sense that he only wanted his soul, not full restoration to the weak human that he was.

Then we have the original, Angel. The vamp cursed with a soul, Buffy's one true love. In IWRY, we saw his delight at his human state. Its further reiterated in Judgement:

Angel: "I-I saw the light at the end of the tunnel - that some day I might become human. - - That light was so bright, I thought I was already out."

Cordy sits down beside him with a sigh: "Yeah. We all got a little cocky, didn't we? - It's gonna be a long while - until you work your way out - but I know you well enough to know you *will*. - And I'll be with you until you do."

Although in "Epiphany" he realized it's not about the reward, I'm pretty sure his desire to be human again hasn't waned, especially now that he has son, with whom he wants to spend time with outside, in daylight.

Throughout the series, we saw that Angel got what Spike could only wish for, namely Buffy's love (and Dru's) as well as being treated like a man not just by Buffy but the SG as well, but Spike got to do what Angel couldn't (sexual relationship). They desire what the other has.

I agree that it would just be cruelly Whedonesque to take this up a notch. For the vamp that looks forward to this Shanshu, whose intent in doing good deeds is comparably more noble, whom for all of his hard work to attaining it, is eventually denied it. While the vamp that has no knowledge of the prophecy and has no desire of becoming human, whose intent all along is selfishly motivated (getting the girl) gets the cruel reward he didn't ask for. It's like Angel's curse, come full circle (since when you think about it, Spike is accountable for Darla's failure in having the curse lifted).

Gah! You realize none of this would have happened if Buffy died as prophesied in the first season? Her revival lead to a chain of events. Angel wouldn't have lost his soul and raise Acathla, he would've fulfilled what the PtB's intended in the first place, stop Acathla instead of bringing him forth. There wouldn't have been the dysfunction that was the Spike/Dru/Angelus triangle that led to Spike's truce with Buffy, which ignited Dru's jealousy, paving the way to Spike falling for the slayer, that ultimately made him do such a thing as to get his soul back, which now complicates the Shanshu. Phew!

Indeed, prophecies are tricky things.

[> Question for Doriander -- Scroll, 17:08:34 05/23/02 Thu

You wrote: "It's like Angel's curse, come full circle (since when you think about it, Spike is accountable for Darla's failure in having the curse lifted)."

I'm just wondering what you mean by this. If you're referring to Reprise where Darla and Angel sleep together, I'm not sure how Spike would be responsible for that. Can you clarify?

I get everything else you said, though I can't really agree with you and Exegy on this one. I'm sure Spike's journey will be a bumpy one, but I don't think he's the one prophesised to Shanshu. I just don't see ME throwing away 3- 4 years of build-up regarding Angel's destiny, even to be ironic. A few months, maybe--not 4 years. It would be nice to see Angel and Spike compare notes on being souled, however.

[> [> Re: Question for Doriander -- Doriander, 17:23:00 05/23/02 Thu

In the ep "Darla", she almost sealed the trade with the Gypsy patriarch, she'll spare his family if he removes Angel's soul. Spike, unmindful of the negotiaton, ate them.

[> Wow, thanks for the high praise, Doriander! (Spoilers) -- Exegy, 17:41:33 05/23/02 Thu

My first response to the last scene was one of horror. Not another vamp with a soul! But then I started to think of the implications, and a huge evil grin spread across my face. I remembered all the talk of this "spectacular non-crossover." Well, if that non-crossover was the B/A meeting, then ME should rethink the use of the word "spectacular." Come on, that meeting had no significant repercussions. But this ... this last scene set up something truly "spectacular," if ME is going where I hope they are.

I mean, the irony alone! Yeah, this may be too hard to pull off, but the next season is supposed to be totally twisted for both shows, and what could be more twisted than this? Well, I acually have another theory, but I don't have time to write it out yet, and it's even more incredible.

By the way, I agree with you on pretty much all your points. And I think Joss set some seeds for this development in Epiphany (sorry if I get this wrong, I'm hardly ever at leisure to watch AtS due to work). Doesn't Angel realize he must do good for good's sake and not for a reward? Hmmm. I know you see where I am going with this.

And Spike, who doesn't want redemption in the same way as Angel (as in forgiveness for his past), gets Angel's reward. And he has to face what he has been denying by his very existence all these years.

Cue evil laughter.

[> [> Your welcome. Love your posts. -- Doriander, 17:51:01 05/23/02 Thu

[> Re: Late Response to Exegy's non-crossover theory (archived?) thread (FINALE spoilers & S7 spec) -- Rufus, 17:50:57 05/23/02 Thu

Our latest is Spike. Kalima, an author put it succintly in one of her fics, Spike's curse is irony. He mocked Angel's soul, his love for Buffy, now he sought out to get his soul in order to give Buffy, the woman he's madly in love with, what she deserves (whatever that means). From what Spike said, and what we saw in FFL, I say it's a fact that Spike hated being human. Becoming a vampire is the best thing that happened to him:

So you traded up on the food chain. Then what?

No, please. Don't make it sound like something you'd flip past on the Discovery Channel. Becoming a vampire is a profound and powerful experience. I could feel this new strength coursing through me. Getting killed made me feel alive for the very first time.

Just the quote I thought of when I saw the show. It also proves just how chaos is never quite as chaotic as it appears. The PTB's just throw in a few things here and there to help a desirable pattern emerge.

[> Great post! -- ponygirl, 08:21:53 05/24/02 Fri

EW and Salon Season Finale Reviews up, links... -- DaveW, 17:07:11 05/23/02 Thu

Both contain spoilers... le/commentary/0,6115,241606~3~0~whatdoesbuffysfinale,00.html ffy/index.html

[> Re: EW and Salon Season Finale Reviews up, links... -- maddog, 17:52:13 05/23/02 Thu

Reviews like those are why I like reading reviews. Others can articulate so much more than myself just how good not only the story arcs have been, but the finale in itself.

[> Another review -- maddog, 17:53:36 05/23/02 Thu

It inspired me to find others.


[> [> For those who don't want to chase these down...... -- Rufus, 19:06:16 05/23/02 Thu

I have them posted at my board, just look through the message list

Con verseBuffyverse

I post all the reviews for Buffy and Angel I can find as well as spoilers and of course the Wildfeeds.

[> [> [> Re: For those who don't want to chase these down...... -- maddog, 19:22:51 05/23/02 Thu

Sorry, but they aren't that easy to find unless I'm not seeing what you're talking about...they seemed scattered on your board. Here's one from a site called Entertainment Geekly"

[> [> [> [> I've got that one already -- Rufus, 20:00:15 05/23/02 Thu

You have to go patiently through the archives, but you have a point I may start putting something in the headers to signify it's an article like I do the Wildfeeds.

If you find somthing you think I don't have, feel free to post it..Sarah Kuhn is one review I look for each time. But sometimes I miss stuff.

[> [> [> [> [> Just go to -- cjc36, 06:42:52 05/24/02 Fri

Just go to News, reviews, articles, where are the nows.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Just go to -- Rufus, 15:34:47 05/24/02 Fri

I don't just go to, I compile stuff from everywhere I can including message boards. is only one of my stops, I frequently have articles before gets them.

[> Re: Thanks, I enjoyed them. -- Dedalus, 14:37:35 05/24/02 Fri

For those of you who spoke out against Blue Buffy... -- Rob, 18:47:17 05/23/02 Thu

I fixed the image on the front page of my "Annotated Buffy" website. Buffy is now no longer blue...She seems happier already. ;o)

I also made the image even smaller...Please give me feedback. Do you like Buffy better now? Is the image size manageable?

Oh, btw, it's here.


[> Re: For those of you who spoke out against Blue Buffy... -- O'Cailleagh, 19:45:03 05/23/02 Thu

Yay Rob! The image size is now perfect...on *my* computer at least. Just wondering...are you planning to annotate AtS too?

[> [> Re: For those of you who spoke out against Blue Buffy... -- Rob, 07:38:31 05/24/02 Fri

Yes, I am planning to do AtS, too, but it may take a while to get there, since I'm going to start on them when I'm done with the third season of BtVS. Doing the annotations, it helps me to see the stories in order, because I notice the links between the episodes and storylines better, so I'll probably be alternating between "Angel" and "Buffy" eps once I get to the start of "Angel."


[> Buffy's a SMURF??? Dear Lord, now *that* is EVIL !! -- OnM, 19:45:24 05/23/02 Thu

Rob, an idea to play around with:

Why don't you take the original color photos and render then as a gray scale, i.e. black & white? (The show is about light and shadow after all.)

Do like the normal color better than Blue Buffy though.

You might consider bracketing the array with a normal color Dawn on the right. I like the Tara shot as is, BTW, kinda las if the color level is just reduced. Interesting effect.

Just thoughts, one or two of too many as usual.


[> [> Now Spike's a smurf and Dawn is an umpalumpa (sp?). -- VR, 20:53:11 05/23/02 Thu

The light blue hair on Spike kicks ass!


[> [> [> Re: Oompa Loompa (I think) -- Dead Soul, 13:04:18 05/24/02 Fri

[> Small HTML-related rant -- d'Herblay, 21:04:44 05/23/02 Thu

Rob, as one of the people whose screens were too small to handle that image, I have to thank you for the resizing. Much appreciated! One small thing though: that image is so large and so slow loading that it takes me twenty seconds before I can see where the links are (and forty before I can see where the links go). Would it be any trouble to put some text-based links below the picture?

In cases like this, I'm supposed to coyly play on your better nature by reminding you that there are a number of people who still use text-based browsers, and would not be able to get anything out of your front page. I'm supposed to be really cloying by reminding you that some people surf in Braille, and that the blind should have as much access to your site as the sighted. However, the only special interest group I'm actually interested in sticking up for is those who surf at 46.6 Kbps.

Now, the issue that reading white text on dark backgrounds for long periods of time makes my eyes water is one I will leave for a future rant.


[> [> Re: Small HTML-related rant -- Rob, 07:36:45 05/24/02 Fri

I'll try to figure something out...I'll probably put text links under the image...Do the other pages on the site load quickly enough? I would hate to upset your special special interest group. ;o)

Re: the white on black. I like how it looks, but I don't want to put people's eyes in pain! I'll post a question about what other people think about it, since, if I can, I would like to keep it the way it is.

Hope this all helps! I'll work on the index tonight...


[> The image fits perfectly on my screen and looks good. :) -- Ixchel, 21:14:47 05/23/02 Thu

[> Looks great! Now... about purple Dawn...Just kidding! -- Marie, 04:23:41 05/24/02 Fri

I actually quite like the idea of a purple dawn - shame you can't get her all the colours of a real daybreak! I like all the colours, actually - it was just the blue lipstick.


[> [> Re: Looks great! Now... about purple Dawn...Just kidding! -- Rob, 07:31:44 05/24/02 Fri

Actually, I experimented with having Dawn be a normal color, too...I e-mailed it to Liq, so when that's up, I'll put the link here, to see which people like better...Purple Dawn or Normal-Color Dawn.


[> [> [> Re: Looks great! Now... about purple Dawn...Just kidding! -- Dead Soul, 13:07:35 05/24/02 Fri

I think Amber's almost black & white with only a blush of color is the best. Very subtle.

[> [> [> [> Re: Looks great! Now... about purple Dawn...Just kidding! -- Rob, 15:15:25 05/24/02 Fri

Thanks...I thought that subtle, understated look worked best for Amber.

Rob :o)

[> I think it all looks great now. And it fits. -- Tillow, 07:23:02 05/24/02 Fri

[> [> Yay! -- Rob, 07:39:42 05/24/02 Fri

[> So now Spike is the smurf? -- LeeAnn, 07:43:26 05/24/02 Fri

Size and resolution is perfect.
Don't really care for fully saturated colorshifting.
If you're married to that I suggest you desaturate the images some before you do it.

[> [> I like Spike blue! He is dead-man, after all. Very apt. -- Marie, 07:48:03 05/24/02 Fri

[> [> [> I agree! And maybe he'll be blue in mood next year too! -- Tillow, 09:24:24 05/24/02 Fri

[> Re: For those of you who spoke out against Blue Buffy... -- Lilac, 13:52:44 05/24/02 Fri

That is so much better -- now can Dawn lose her blue lips?
Looks great Rob.

[> Re: I really like the site. Nifty idea and so far execution. -- Dedalus, 14:31:01 05/24/02 Fri

[> [> Thanks. :o) -- Rob, 08:13:35 05/25/02 Sat

Willow and … (TTG/G Spoilers) -- Sophie, 19:19:23 05/23/02 Thu

Maybe I am reading too much into this one, but when Willow takes the power from Giles, she inserts her hand into his body, steals the magic, and has an orgasmic reaction to the magic power. Watching the scene, reminded me of rape, or at least a sexual event. I wonder how this will play out in changes to Willow and Giles’ relationship next seasons. Can they still be friends? Can Giles forgive her?


[> Re: Willow and … (TTG/G Spoilers) -- Rob, 19:43:24 05/23/02 Thu

I think it goes without saying that he will forgive her. After all, he knew she was going to steal the magic, which is why he brought it to her in the first place. The question is whether she can ever forgive herself.


[> [> Re: Willow and … (TTG/G Spoilers) -- DEN, 22:13:54 05/23/02 Thu

I can't decide if Willow stealing the magic was the main plan all along, or a last-ditch backup. Based on the earlier scenes it seems Giles hoped to stop Willow before it came to ending the world. Ideas welcome; thanks.

[> Re: Willow and … (TTG/G Spoilers) -- maddog, 19:43:45 05/23/02 Thu

Forgive her? Weren't you listening to Giles? He counted on her doing that. He's not upset. He's happy she did it.

[> This brings up a question ... -- Wolfhowl3, 19:51:57 05/23/02 Thu

Will Giles be staying next season!

I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope (cough) I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope

In case you can't tell, I really like Giles!


[> [> Giles will be in some eps......spoilers -- Rufus, 20:02:23 05/23/02 Thu

And there has been some talk about some eps filmed in England next year, I don't have anything definate on that yet. Oh, and Joss is writing the first ep in season seven.

[> [> [> Too...Much...Great...Information...At...Once...!!! (spoilers) -- Rob, 20:08:53 05/23/02 Thu

If you tell me that Amber will definitely be back, I will be the happiest boy in the entire world. :o)


[> [> [> [> How about a firm maybe on that one.......:):):) -- Rufus, 20:17:31 05/23/02 Thu

From the Succubus Club interview with Jane Espenson....

J: No, I'm distressed to hear that people are saying they won't keep watching because what does that say... I mean Tara wasn't our only gay character. Willow is still going to be around being a really good role model, dealing... dealing with grief and moving on. I'm sure
eventually she will date and we didn't kill lesbianosity, we killed one, one lonely girl who we feel... who we miss too. Who happened to be gay and we miss her terribly. And uh, there is... no reason to not think, that we won't being seeing a little or more of Tara or something that looks like Tara...

Now don't get too excited.....:):)

[> [> [> [> [> Re: How about a firm maybe on that one.......:):):) -- Rob, 20:24:34 05/23/02 Thu

I'll try really hard not to get excited. I'd hate to be disappointed, but...ooh! ooh!!


[> [> [> [> [> Re: How about a firm maybe on that one.......:):):) -- maddog, 21:14:19 05/23/02 Thu

As long as it's not some long lost twin sister I'll be happy...that would be way to soap opera ish.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: How about a firm maybe on that one.......:):):) -- KM, 06:10:31 05/24/02 Fri

This is the problem. Most people want old Willow back but if it happens too soon it won't ring true.

I would like the Tara death issue addressed next season and not brushed over as it was in the finale. I know that what Willow was doing was initially to avenge her murder, but from the rest of the SG I didn't see the devastation I expected.

Tara was a very good friend to Buffy. She and Willow raised Dawn when Buffy died, and it was implied that they would continue doing so for however long necessary. Dawn has therefore lost another mother figure, although most kids her age would be a wreck from this kind of trauma, Dawn has seemed to forge strength from it. Although both Tara and Anya were given little screentime, it was clear Tara treated Anya with more understanding and compassion than the rest of the SG. Scenes from Hell's Bells and Tabula Rasa come to mind.

BTVS usually treats it's character deaths with appropriate reactions, and I didn't feel there was one for Tara. Due to ME's comments after the finale, I expect some sort of closure episode in S7. I really REALLY hope this isn't a ghost or spirit Tara telling Willow she forgives her and to move on. IMO that would seem cheap and cheesy. But it would be a good way to speed up the recovery arc. I just hope they don't go there.

And if she did come back somehow, well - people never come back the same do they?

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: How about a firm maybe on that one.......:):):) -- Rob, 07:29:36 05/24/02 Fri

Actually, I don't think that would be cheesy at all...and that is exactly what I'm hoping they do.


[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> I'm thinking ghost doesn't have to be cheesy if... -- belle, 11:31:22 05/24/02 Fri

...rather than having Tara give Willow her ghostly blessing and pass into the light (right away), they *earn* that closure. Maybe Tara's trapped between dimensions by Willow's (still) unresolved grief. Maybe (one of) Willow's paths to redemption is figuring out a way to let her go...literally. Extra challenge (and more incentive to keep AB going for those 13 episodes her contract supposedly has her down for) if, say, Tara doesn't actually recognize Willow.

I guess I'm channeling that awful Robin Williams movie, based on a decent Robert Bloch book. Awful movie, good New Age-ish idea: that the afterworld is only a continuation of your mental/spiritual state in life. A man dies and goes to the afterworld, a happy place, reflecting his consciousness. Wife kills herself in grief and it doesn't resolve anything; she's stuck in a literal representation of her despair and nihilism until husband comes along to rescue her...proving that the journey doesn't end at death. In this case, Willow's influence via her emotional state is so strong (as usual) that Tara would be trapped by it: the ultimate codependence.

Also, as I said in an earlier post, I think Willow should have more than one ghost. Warren, anyone? It makes occult sense as well as story sense: by putting that much energy into him--even, or especially, by killing him--she established a strong karmic link. Maybe she'd have to grit her teeth and forgive him, too, in order to get rid of him (and help Tara).

Angsty, but I could live with it, particularly if the rest of the gang is meanwhile going about their lives in a much less angsty way. And Willow could still be dating, casually, during all this; having Tara's ghost pop up mid attempted snog with another, nice live girl could be a great obvious metaphor for the shadow of the ex hanging over...

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: I'm thinking ghost doesn't have to be cheesy if... -- Arethusa, 11:49:03 05/24/02 Fri

"What Dream May Come" by Richard Matheson. Misguided movie that missed the point. Wonderful book that saved my life.
Willow doesn't need Tara any more. She finally has found herself (I'm hoping).
I read someplace that "Ripper" is going to be an "adult ghost story." Perfect place for Tara, if she doesn't become Buffy's spirit guide a la "Restless."

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> The Unquiet Grave -- leslie, 16:18:29 05/24/02 Fri

I offer up a traditional ballad plot for possible use with Tara: There are two lovers, and one of them suffers an untimely death. The remaining lover spends all of his/her time at the dead lover's grave, mourning. Finally, the spirit of the dead lover shows up and tells the suriviving lover that his/her mourning prevents the spirit from resting in peace... [usually ends here, but sometimes goes on:] and if he/she doesn't shut up, dead lover will come and take the living lover into the grave so they can be together forever, bwa-ha-ha-haaaaaa!

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: How about a firm maybe on that one.......:):):) -- Lonesome Sundown, 11:32:49 05/24/02 Fri

I guess there are two issues re. Tara/WIllow that need to be addressed. One, of course, is how Willow deals with her grief and her actions. The other, more scary one, is how she pays for using dark magicks. Given all the lines she crossed I can't imagine that she'll get away scot-free unlike in the past. And spirit-Tara will fit in very well with both storylines, helping WIllow deal and maybe working on the other side of the veil to prevent mystical forces (Osiris and friends maybe?) from using Willow's debt to cause other calamities.....

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: How about a firm maybe on that one.......:):):) -- Sophie, 14:29:41 05/24/02 Fri

I totally agree - Willow and how she deals with her grief and actions, and how Willow deals with her relationships - with all the Scoobies??? Tara, Giles, et. al. I just hope that the show doesn't skip over or make Willow go back to who she was before. I really see this as a major change in her and (hopefully) growth. I would hate to see her just return to her former self.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> theory on what they can do with Tara.... -- Mystery, 13:16:59 05/24/02 Fri

In "Family" Tara's father, brother and cousin show up claiming she's part demon, that they know how to keep the demon under control. But Spike disproved the demon theory by punching her in the nose and triggering the feed-back from his chip, which we all believe wouldn't happen if she was part-demon.

But what if we went to the other end of the spectrum. In many places, FAERIES have been mistaken for demons. Perhaps Tara is a descendant of a fae/human union, and that is the nature of her powers. Her witchy-ness always did remind me of Marion Zimmer Bradley's Mists of Avalon Priestesses. You can kill her human self, but she can return as an Otherworldly being.

From Restless, curtesy (I can't spell now...sorry!) of Psyche:
TARA: You don't know everything about me.
WILLOW: Have you told me your real name?

BUFFY: Faith and I just made that bed.
(Shot of the bed, still rumpled but now without Buffy in it.)
TARA: (offscreen) For who?
(Buffy frowns, looks to her left.)
BUFFY: I thought you were here to tell me.

(Shot of Buffy and Tara standing about thirty feet apart, facing each other
with miles of desert stretching out behind them.)
BUFFY VOICEOVER: You're not in my dream.
TARA VOICEOVER: I was borrowed.
(Shot of Tara standing with big rocks behind her. She wears a gold necklace.)
TARA: Someone has to speak for her.

It seems that she is something slightly more than human. Why else would the First Slayer choose her?

Just thoughts...
(Tara smiles.)
TARA: Oh, you know that.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: theory on what they can do with Tara.... -- O'Cailleagh, 14:26:17 05/24/02 Fri

Oooh! That would be great! I've always wondered if there was more to Tara than meets the eye, and that is a lovely theory. And it'd be nice if ME would show some Faerie folk.

[> [> [> [> [> First Slayer (spoilers, speculations) -- Scroll, 07:22:12 05/24/02 Fri

Since next season will most likely be the last, I really think they should address the First Slayer and the source of Buffy's powers once again. In that capacity, Tara would appear as a spirit guide; she wouldn't be Tara exactly, just 'borrowed' a la Restless. That would fit Jane Espenson's comments, wouldn't it? And we could have more of those lovely dream sequences Joss is so good at writing!

Any other speculations?

[> Re: Willow and … (TTG/G Spoilers) -- Sophie, 07:24:47 05/24/02 Fri

I’m inclined to agree that Giles hoped to stop Willow as Plan A, if you will. I think that he knew that she could steal the magic from him, but hoped she would not do that to him. Maybe that was Plan B or Plan C or something. Even if you expect someone might do something to you that you don’t like, you still may feel disappointment or disgust despite your understanding. Yes, Giles as an adult, has a huge capacity to forgive and forget, certainly much greater than Willow. But when Willow stole the magic from him, she clearly violated Giles’ body and mind, which can not (and should not) be glossed over. Their relationship will change. From Giles’ comments at the end, I felt that Giles “hoped” that the magic she stole from him could help her love the world and her friends – didn’t sound guaranteed to work.

[> Re: Willow and … (TTG/G Spoilers) -- cjc36, 07:27:12 05/24/02 Fri

I wasn't thinking sexual release as much as the best [insert drug name here] hit one has ever had. It was a junkie thing to me. And Giles did know she was going to do what she did, and therefore wasn't traumatized by it.

I think Giles obviously knew the path Willow could be headed down, and was ready for it. He was the authority/mentor figure for not just Buffy, but all the Scoobies. He did this for love and a feeling of responsibility.

Ficlet: Hangin' With The Powers -- Jody E. (friend of Rufus), 21:48:04 05/23/02 Thu

Hangin’ With The Powers

By Jody E.

These characters don’t belong to me, yadda yadda yadda. This is what happens when I am supposed to be working.

Setting: A large pink cloud hovering over Los Angeles, AKA the Official Headquarters of The Powers That Be

The Powers are lounging on their cloud, eating chocolate truffles, and drinking Margaritas while viewing the affairs of the world through their handy telescopes.

PTB1: Well, this really sucks, I must say!

PTB2: What sucks?

PTB1: Weren’t you watching? Our vampire with a soul has just been dumped into the ocean in a sealed box.

PTB2: What? (Focuses telescope) Wow. I totally didn’t see that coming! Are you sure that’s not David Blaine?

PTB1: Positive. Anyway...he’s in New York. Nope...this is Angel, all right.

PTB2: Well, there goes our Shanshu! For heaven’s sake how could this have happened?

PTB1: Apparently, somebody forgot to tell Connor that his Father is just as important to the prophecy as he is.

PTB2: (innocently) Connor? Don’t you mean Steven?

PTB1: (scowling) Very funny!

PTB2: Hee hee. Sorry. I know that bugs you. So what are we going to do?

PTB1: I have no idea. The problem is that nobody knows where he is to save him. Even if Connor and Justine had a change of heart, they wouldn’t be able to find him very easily. He could drift for miles.

PTB2: Well, just give Cordelia a vision….Oh.

PTB1: Oh, indeed!

PTB2: So, tell me again, oh wise one...why the hell did we pull Cordelia out of there?

PTB1: You’re asking me? SKIP!

(Skip appears)

Skip: You rang?

PTB1: Remind us. Why did we pull Cordelia out of her plane of existence? I seem to recall it being your idea.

Skip: Uh, well, she was getting very powerful, and we kind of, uh, thought we needed her in the Flarq dimension.

PTB2: Thought?

Skip: Well, uh, the, uh, threat there wasn’t quite as massive as we had first estimated.

PTB1: I see. So what exactly is our warrior Princess doing right now?

Skip: Right now?

PTB1: Right now.

Skip: (looking sheepish) Doing her nails and watching Gilmore Girls. It’s the season finale.

PTB2: We ascended her for that? Do you realize that we have lost our Shanshu? Our vampire with a soul is in a box at the bottom of the ocean!

Skip: Angel? Wow. Bummer.

PTB1: And now we have no way to get him back. Can you send Cordelia back?

Skip: Well, sure. But, uh, not right away.

PTB2: Why not right away? We can tell her what happens to Lorelei, for goodness sake.

Skip: It’s just that it’s kind of…embarrassing.

PTB1: What do you mean?

Skip: Look. I stopped traffic on the Los Angeles Freeway! I brought her up on a shaft of light with uplifting music, and loads of special effects. How can I go to her the very next day, and say, Oops we made a mistake?

PTB2: (nods) I hate it when that happens. People think we are infallible. It’s such a burden.

Skip: Can I at least wait a couple of months?

PTB2: Sure. But what are we supposed to do in the meantime?

PTB1: Do we need a vampire with a soul right now?

PTB2: No. But who knows what shape Angel will be in when he’s finally rescued. If it was me…(shudders)

PTB1: (to Skip) Claustrophobic. It’s a thing.

Skip: Ah. Oh….excuse me a minute. My computer’s beeping. I’ve got E-mail. (He disappears)

PTB2: He is such a slave to that thing.

(Skip reappears)

Skip: Well, this is interesting. Do you know my ex-brother- in law, Lurkonis?

PTB1: The one in Africa? (Skip nods)

PTB2: Africa! What is he doing there?

Skip: It was as far away from my sister as he could get. You’ve met Sally.

PTB1: (shudders) Yes indeed. You certainly got the looks of the family, Skip.

PTB2: And the personality.

Skip: Well, Lurky and I stayed close even after the split. Anyway, he E-mailed me that he just finished restoring the soul of a vampire.

PTB1: What?! Without consulting us? Why?

Skip: Apparently the guy asked for it.

PTB2: Weird! Give me that telescope.. What are the settings for Africa, anyway?

PTB1: Here, I’ve got it. Hey, look who it is...William the Bloody!

PTB2: Are you serious? Damn! And Angelus is his sire, right?

PTB1: (sighs) No. His grandsire. You always get that wrong.

PTB2: Close enough. A souled vampire from the order of Aurelious! We may not be screwed on Shanshu after all.

Skip: But can he father a son?

PTB2: Of course, he can. With a little help from us. That’s why they call us The Powers! We’ll get him back with Drusilla…that should do it.

Skip: Oh yeah, that’ll work. She has always been so cooperative, and I’m sure Darla’s fate won’t discourage her in the slightest.

PTB1: Are you being sarcastic?

Skip: Duh. Does the mother have to be a vampire?

PTB1: Not as such, but who else would be willing to bear a vampire’s child, or strong enough?

Skip: Gee…I don’t know…how about….The Slayer?

PTB2: The Slayer? Buffy Summers? Right. She’s going to have sex with another vampire? I don’t think so.

Skip: Jeez, don’t you two ever even glance at Sunnydale anymore? Just because Angel left, you forgot all about The Hellmouth?

PTB1: Angel is our interest.

Skip: Angel, as you have pointed out, sleeps with the fishes.

PTB2: (focusing the telescope on Sunnydale) We may be a bit out of touch. Hmmm. Looks like all hell is breaking loose over there. Maybe it’s time we started getting involved with Sunnydale again. Remember the time we made it snow?

PTB1: That was cool. And Spike is a lot more fun than Angel.

PTB2: So, suddenly it’s "Spike" now. You are so fickle.

PTB1: Have you seen him? (Focusing the telescope back on Africa) Look at those abs, and those cheekbones.

PTB2: You are totally gay.

PTB1: I am not! (To Skip) Just for the record, I am not gay. We don’t even have any sex.

PTB2: Hey! Speak for yourself.

PTB1: I mean, we are androgynous. Couldn’t be gay if we tried.

Skip: Listen you two. I couldn’t care less what you two do up here. It’s none of my business. Let’s get back to the point okay?

PTB1: So, we’ll keep an eye on the Sunnydale situation.

PTB2: You mean you’ll keep an eye on Spike.

PTB1: Could you be less mature?

Skip: (sighing) Just let me know if you need me, to make an appearance or anything.

PTB1: Will do.

Skip: Well, then I’m off. I want to catch Enterprise, and you know how quickly time passes up here.

PTB2: Thanks for the help. Bye. (Skip disappears)

PTB1: So, what’s happening?

PTB2: Angel’s still sunk.

PTB1: And Spike?

PTB2: Heading back to Sunnydale, looks like.

PTB1: Hee…things are finally getting interesting!

PTB2: Idiot.

The end

[> Very Funny -- LeeAnn, 22:33:25 05/23/02 Thu

[> Makes me think of the writers.......with a telescope? Hmmmm -- Rufus, friend of Jody, 22:40:48 05/23/02 Thu

I laugh everytime I read that....loved the end Idiot! And the one PTB sounded suspiciously like Andrew....:):):):)

[> Oh, wonderful! I'm printing it out to show some friends... -- Marie, 06:13:32 05/24/02 Fri

...after they've watched the AtS finale - it's a few weeks off, here in the UK. It'll cheer them up!

Thank you!


[> Well, THAT would explain a lot... Very entertaining -- thanks. -- yez, 07:38:47 05/24/02 Fri

[> You have to wonder about the PTB. Very amusing! :) -- Ixchel, 10:20:33 05/24/02 Fri

[> Nicely done! -- julia, 13:50:42 05/24/02 Fri

[> Re: Ficlet: Hangin' With The Powers -- O'Cailleagh, 17:11:38 05/24/02 Fri

Wonderful stuff.....don't suppose there's any chance of you doing this every week....just to see us through to the new seasons you understand....

[> [> Well, if I do come up with a sequel.. -- Jody, 19:40:36 05/24/02 Fri

I will be happy to post it here. I'm glad you liked it.

Post-finale glow -- JM, 22:11:37 05/23/02 Thu

Well, I feel a little self-conscious starting a new thread, but couldn't find any to tack it on to. More Angel verbiage. Do with it as you will.

Post-finale glow, or perhaps fall-out. Well, I’m still sussing out how I feel about all this. Breaking my own code, I haven’t yet finished the perquisite re-watch so I’m feeling a little cautious about my own opinions. However, I’m not feeling the tumultuous catharsis that last years eps gave me. I’m not sure if that good or bad or just due to the absence of the hot tub. (I was on business travel, and let me tell you, you have not watched TV until you’ve watched it from a hot tub. I’m thinking of replacing the sofa.)

I’m not terribly thrilled about the idea of weighing the two shows against one another, because they have become so very different. But comparisons do you get you thinking. One of the messages of BtVS seemed to be the primacy of love. Not love channeled through anger and grief and expressed through pain and revenge, but pure, self-less true love. The love that Xander and Giles expressed in their willingness to die if that’s what it took to redeem Willow. The love that Anya still felt that led her to use her demon powers to thwart vengeance and to comfort Giles in his last moments, even to extend a measure of comfort to Xander in his self- recrimination: “I was talking about us.” Even the love for the world that put Willow on the path to genocide. It resulted in her being where she would have to confront the one unconditional love she could actually believe and let finally cut through to her.

It’s a stark contrast to the events of Angel. I’m not sure that we can even carry away any message from that ep, but it is certainly not the triumph of love. Angel’s attraction to Cordelia and unconditional love for his son led him to a moment of unprecedented vulnerability. There can be little good from this. At the very least Angel must realize that the creature he has loved the most is capable of enormous deception and cruelty. (I am sure that he wonders what Connor would have done, might have done, to get Cordelia out of the way.) At the worst, he is right and Connor will someday know the truth and hate himself for what he has done.

Cordy’s love for the world, all the sufferers whose pain she has shared, has led her to complete abandonment of Angel in his darkest time of need. (Actually foreshadowed by her love of Groo contributing to her absence during the kidnapping crisis.) And arguably her growing love for Angel has led to her hurting Groo (although unintentionally) and abandoning Wesley. I don’t think that it was accidental that the writers slipped in the same picture Wes used last year in Pylea to prove that he knew the Princess. He was one of the two people whom Cordelia acknowledged in season one’s “Expecting” she could trust absolutely. I wonder what she thinks about him now. I feel a hint was given in “Benediction.” “Oh, kill him, he stole Connor’s childhood.” That can be said almost as accurately for Wesley as for Holtz.

Holtz love for his family and his longing to hold onto to Stephen led him ultimately, as he acknowledged to Justine, into Hell. Justine’s truly unconditional love for Holtz led her away from the redemption she was leaning towards in “Forgiveness.” Stephen’s love and loyalty to Holtz led him into ignoble deception, manipulation, mercilessness, and symbolic patricide.

Thus far Gunn and Fred’s love seems only beneficent, but it was part of the trigger for Wes’s downward slide. Gunn’s love for Fred triggered Jenoff’s soul reclamation, and his desire to protect her led to some distinctive cruelty. It will be interesting to see if their love can bear them up in their seeming isolation. They are all that is left of AI.

Lorne has left because he loved Connor the baby and can’t be around the hateful young man he has become. Groo left because he truly loves his princess and can’t bear to keep her from her heart’s desire.

Wes’s current predicament can be traced to his love for his team. He was desperately trying to protect Connor from Angel, Angel from himself, and AI and Holtz’s minions from the vampire hunter’s fanaticism. If he hadn’t loved so much he wouldn’t currently be hurting so bad, and so vulnerable to whatever the hell Lilah’s got planned.

So all I can conclude as a message is to misquote the Princess Bride: “Love is pain.”

So now on to the non-comparison portion of the evening. I’m still uncertain how I feel about Cordy’s ascension. There are some scary religious parallels for that scene. Both the annunciation and the assumption are invoked. This season there have been hints that Cordy has experienced a genuine religious conversion, the agony of her visions subtly alludes to the ecstasy of St. Theresa. And now she is being beatified. On the one hand, I come from a religious tradition that demands death to self as the ultimate act of devotion – “You shall have no other gods, before me.” And she fulfilled that by renouncing Angel, the reason that she accepted the burden of her visions last test. On the other hand, her ascendance is ironically mirrored by her beloved’s decent. And for another, the vision that led her to that moment was actually a omnision of her words to Skip. As one board has debated in depth, doesn’t Cordy usually receive visions of people in trouble? Jury’s still out on this development, and consequently on Skip and the Powers. Oh and one last wonder. Does elevation leave one’s soul intact? Or will Cordy lose that one last connection with her original humanity?

Continuing to enjoy Vincent Kurtheiser’s (?) masterful performance. What a casting triumph! Despite a deep urge to do good, he has managed to combined the vengefulness of his foster parents with the diabolical cleverness of his genitor and the callousness of his genetrix. Justine continues to drop devastating hints of humanity and then act completely contrary to them. And Fred is just adorable. Loved her hair, her enthusiasm, her high kicking, and her presence of mind to think about the implications of perfect happiness.

Which is a natural lead in to worrying about whether Wesley is indeed losing his soul. Though we needn’t fear it is the result of perfect happiness. The burning question is how far has he gone and what has led him there. We know from his conversation at the bar with Lilah that for all his alienation he is still worried about the fate of his erstwhile companions. Lilah is much better at her job than her frequent bouts of overreaching at the office would suggest. She’s already achieved the most important part, making Wesley listen to her. Whether through clever calculation or genuine honesty, she’s the first person in a long while to address his concerns about what Connor’s appearance really means, for the world as well as his friends. Despite Wesley abhorrence of her I think that she is managing to breach something that was a source of his loneliness long before his break with AI. And what an interesting development.

If I had loathed the entire ep (as some seem to) these few rockin’ minutes would have made it all worth it. Lines, lighting, pacing, acting, the whole package, deliver a vignette as juicy as a well-prepared steak. From the mature decision to cut in right after the moment of climax to the searing refusal to romanticize the encounter in the slightest, this was in some ways ME’s most risqué sex scene yet. For one thing, there is eerie fulfillment of the promise of “Billy,” where Lilah is a victim of violence and Wesley the perpetrator. Although Billy’s abuse through Gavin led her to a murderous vengeance, and although she loathes the men she works with, this is still a point of vulnerability. (Remember that Cordy could tell she had been crying, her helpless jealousy of Lindsey’s preferment, and whatever encounter led her to seek solace in alcohol in “Sleep Tight.”) All the same, that hint of nastiness is what gets her motor running. There were intimations of attraction to Lindsey and therefore jealousy of Darla. And despite the number of times Angel had directly threatened her, she was ripping his clothes off in “Carpe Noctem.” And it was the results of that encounter that, however irrationally, have fueled her almost reckless vendetta against Angel.

[At this point I’d like to speculate that Lilah’s characterization is an exploration of the negative potential of another one-time long-haired brunette. As Cordy once said, she and Lilah have a lot in common. If Cordy’s potential for good had never been actualized by her involvement with the Scoobies I wonder how different she would have turned out. Lilah has the same materialism and complete lack of empathy that we once saw in Queen C. Cordy also showed signs of attraction to roughness in men, whether her growing interest in Xander as he grew more callously dismissive or her acquiescence to the vamped Jesse. Lilah’s ability to be sneakily cunning is coupled with her frequent tendency to overreach and misjudge a situation. Cordy from her earliest moments could couple piercing acuity with profound cluelessness.]

We know, even from Lilah’s own words, what got her, literally, into Wes’s bed. Even though it may have been a different night and a different caustic encounter, we the viewers are meant to draw a direct line from Wes’s hand around her throat and his body on top of hers. Multiple postings have noted Lilah’s perhaps penchant for masochism, none so far I’ve seen have carried the implications to Wes’s predilections.

Their roll in the sheets has been described as a act of despair on his part (shadows of Angel and Darla). Perhaps it was, he was certainly not in a hopeful place. But was also an act of aggression. I’ve seen a number of allusions to the relationship between Buffy and Spike. But unlike that one, where mutual damage spirals into passion, this is much more one-sided. Lilah trips a trigger with her mention of Fred, Wes warns her, she incautiously presses, he grabs her, he threatens her. It seems clear in the bar from his grimness and her fear, he was seconds away from actual violence. We know that him hurting her it was a turn on for Lilah; apparently it was one for Wes as well.

It’s a reminder that whatever his feelings for Fred, the only time we’ve seen an overtly sexual expression of those feelings was under Billy’s influence. At all other times he has idealized his attraction to the point of a Provencal troubadour’s epic ballad. The emotions are all the more intense for his failure to actualize them. (I wonder if some of this same over-romanticizing didn’t contribute to that awkward kiss with Cordy. For all his inexpertness then, there have been hints that he is not a celibate, and rolling off of Lilah, he seemed to be familiar with the dynamics of a one-night stand.) There seems to be in Wes a dichotomy between romance and sex, between chivalry and his potential for aggressiveness. It is notable that none of Billy’s other victims seemed to become attempted rapists. Perhaps Wes was right to be so horrified by what the event had revealed of him to himself.

And the allusions to Billy continue with his verbal volleys. It’s very calculated abuse that begins immediately, while they are still coupled. No better way to prove the point of how disposable she is to him. And it’s clearly deliberate, for all his studied indifference we can see that he’s still struggling to get his breath back from what was apparently a very vigorous and mutually satisfying encounter. And they’re very effective comments that he makes. He seems to have taken Lilah’s number as fully as she has figured his. Until his devastating parting shot, that has a definite impact, she was attempting the politeness of veiled compliments, transparently seeking some herself. At that moment she again takes up the standard of targeted tormentor, and I wonder if her allusion to him losing his soul was not as much about his post-coital treatment of his partner as who she was in the first place.

Like I said, not sure of my ultimate assessment but still can’t wait for next season. It can only get more desperate from here as we watch the health of our heroes’ souls.

[> Wes & Lilah rock (hehe) (Spoilers for Tomorrow) -- Scroll, 22:58:52 05/23/02 Thu

Wonderful analysis, JM. Especially everything you said about Wesley, the poor bastard. Gotta say, as much as I love heroic noble Wesley, this dark Ripper-like Wes is just gripping. I think you're right about Wes actually being quite familiar with one-night-stands; of all the males on AtS, he's the only one you ever see *picking up chicks*. Strange, huh? I only recently realised that.

I have to admit, the Wesley/Lilah scene actually caused my mouth to drop open in total shock, but later I realised that it's been building for a while now. It makes perfect sense on Lilah's side, as a seducer of a good man to an evil law firm, she's just taking it one step further. But Wes, he's definitely hitting that low point Angel was at last season. But you know, I don't want Wes to pull out of his funk just yet. I'm having too much fun revelling in his brooding coolness!

[> Terrific post -- Arethusa, 07:36:37 05/24/02 Fri

It's becoming unhappily evident that "Billy" is to Wes what "Dopplegangland" was to Willow-a hint of unpleasant truths, buried deeply within a good person. Fred was wrong-Wesley is both the gentle intellectual and the misogynist killer. Like all the other Buffyverse characters, the light and dark aspects of people's natures are present in everyone, and burying the more unpleasant aspects just makes them stronger.
How ironic that a show steeped in the fantastic would have some of the most complex, well-rounded and authentic characterizations of human behavior on any tv show.

[> [> Argh! (Wes & Willow, spoilers for finales) -- Scroll, 08:11:20 05/24/02 Fri

I'd written this really long post in reply but somehow it got lost! Grr!

Anyway, I'll post my strangest observation for comment:

In Villains, Willow tracks Warrenbot and gets him off the bus. She grabs him by the throat with the intent to kill. In Tomorrow, Lilah pushes all of Wesley's buttons, he grabs her by the throat... with the intent to kill? Willow later captures Warren, tortures him, and strips him of clothes and skin (many posters have noted the sexuality of this act as well as the eww). Wesley later has sex with Lilah and starts demeaning her mere seconds after climax. Is this supposed to be a parallel between Willow & Wesley, and their sadistic/aggressive sexuality?

[> [> [> Re: Argh! (Wes & Willow, spoilers for finales) -- JM, 08:50:09 05/24/02 Fri

Oh, no, lost post! I hate those. If you ever find it I would love to hear what you had to say.

Arethusa and Scroll, wow, never really worked this stuff out. A parallel briefly flitted through my head, in that the actors are an item and I wondered if they ever went home and compared notes on their darkening characters. But now you're pointing out, I'm seeing it in much more detail.

[> [> [> [> Well, considering they're dating... -- SingedCat, 09:37:24 05/24/02 Fri

...I have to say the paralells may not be only coincidence. I would just love to hear their pillow-talk some time:D I'd love to hear her giving him pointers on being the Big Bad-- you know, before he came to Angel, AD played quite a few psychos, and claimed to rather enjoy it. Though I suspect, like Hannigan, he's come to feel rather protective of Wesley. I wonder, as we all do, which way he's going to go.

Trying not to dwell-- it'll drive me carzy before September!:D

[> Excellent -- Wesleyus & Black Willow -- SingedCat, 10:46:04 05/24/02 Fri

Excellent, JM. As usual, I can rely on you to speak my heart about Wesley. We are indeed getting a good look at his dark side, and while I find AD's performance riveting, another, overly involved part of me wants his suffering to pay off in growth, already! Though I suspect, after the bedroom scene, he's got a long road ahead.

The big paralell I have commented on since before 'Billy' is how much Wes' storyline mirrors Angel's; from wandering loner trying to atone for a past he wants to forget; growing from the humanizing influence of AI's familial atmosphere; to the respective episodes where they are turned forcibly inside-out, presenting frightening, murderous parodies the persons we know; the taking charge of AI (of course), and the subsequent fall from that position marked by alienation, betrayal and seperation. Wesley, however, has always seemed to take a slightly different route from Angel, usually opting for growth & improvement over centuries of brooding-- probably a byproduct of being a living human and a tad more connected to his own darkness.

But there is a certain parallel here with Willow-- both characters are seen as exemplary examples of humanity and compassion, but both were caught cataclysmically broadside by their own disconnectedness to their own darkness, precisely because they never dipped into it much.

Here's my question: Does that mean that people who flirt with their darkness *more* are less prone to that kind of corruption, being more acquainted to the urges of the animal? Thoughts & comments, please.

One last note: I just happen to notice my best friend was as upset and concerned over Willow as I was about Wesley. Could that have something to do with him being a boy and me not so much?? :)

Come back, Wes! (But loving the pain- you know, in that good way.. :))

[> [> The Huggables -- cjl, 11:06:29 05/24/02 Fri

When Willow first came on the scene in Season 1, ignored by Xander, overshadowed by Buffy and regularly pounced upon by Cordelia, my heart went out to the poor girl. I desperately tried to get Xander to ditch the blonde and pay attention to the adorable redhead, but for some reason, he paid no attention when I yelled at the TV set.

When Wes came on A:tS after Doyle died, there was a similar heart-wrenching vulnerability. He was uncoordinated, self- conscious, bumbling and needy, and Angel and Cordy really didn't want to have anything to do with him, treating him more like a stray cat who wandered in to the office.

Our two adorable strays grew up quickly, then unexpectedly mutated into loud, snarling alley cats. JM, I can understand why you and your friend were so upset by the changes...

[> [> [> Re: The Huggables -- Scroll, 15:21:01 05/24/02 Fri

I know what you mean about Wesley (and to a lesser extent Willow). He's just so clueless, a well-mannered foreigner lost in L.A.--you want to mother him. I've always rooted for the underdog, the ones not accepted by the Scooby gang, like Faith. Remember Tara & Dawn in "Real Me" in S5? They were the outsiders, you really felt for them. (I don't consider Spike an underdog, he's got too many admirers IRL for that to be true.) Wesley is getting darker and darker, but he still has flashes of vulnerability that lets us know he's really hurting inside.

[> [> Re: Excellent -- Wesleyus & Black Willow -spoilers for S6 & Fray -- Arethusa, 11:37:05 05/24/02 Fri

>>Here's my question: Does that mean that people who flirt with their darkness *more* are less prone to that kind of corruption, being more acquainted to the urges of the animal? Thoughts & comments, please.

It's all about the balance-from the PTB v. Chaos to the dark sides of human nature. Our stregnths often become our weaknesses, because we have not learned to keep them in balance.
Buffy needs her demon aspect-it's the source of her extraordinary stregnth, and she's weaker when she denies its existance. Her fear of being less (or more) than human, and thereby never having the chance of living like a normal human girl, propels her into treating Spike in a cruel, callous manner.
Willow's stregnths, intelligence and sensitivity, led to her social rejection, which led to her self-loathing, nearly destroying the world when Tara's death tipped her off balance. Willow only saw herself through others' eyes, and hated the reflection from everyone but Tara.
Xander gains stregnth and purpose from his hatred of The Other-in his case vampires-but the stregnth and depth of his hatred comes from the bigotry taught by his father. He won't distinguish between good demons and bad, and he ends up hurting the once and future demon who loves him. When he can look at scary, veiny Anyanka and still love her, he will finally deserve her.
So my answer is yes. And no. "Flirting" with darkness can mean playing with it, probably irresponsibly, thereby leading to evil behavior. But knowing and accepting the darkness can lead to greater stregnth, if one can slog through the bitter truth that there is the potential for evil behavior in us all.

[> [> [> Morality: Firting with darkness vs. 'staying pure'- -- SingedCat, 13:50:49 05/24/02 Fri

"Flirting" with darkness can mean playing with it, probably irresponsibly, thereby leading to evil behavior. But knowing and accepting the darkness can lead to greater stregnth, if one can slog through the bitter truth that there is the potential for evil behavior in us all.

OK, here's the thing. I read this response, and I started thinking in terms of the sexual parallel of flirting, and the more I thought about it, the more the parallel made sense, and then it started saying more than I meant. Shall I continue? :)(I love when this happens)

The way I used this expression invokes two similar expressions-- the metaphor of regular sexual flirtation, and that of 'flirting with disaster'. Originally I thought I used it more in the latter sense, but the more I think about it, 'flirtations' with darkness can be better represented in the former, more complex sense.

See, most everybody flirts. Miss Manners has defined flirtation, *when done properly*, as an action which afterwards you're not sure was flirtatious or not. The idea is that you play with an action, or maybe an idea, without actually committing yourself. When you commit, it ceases to be flirtation.

Now, overlooking a powerful temptation to view Wes & Lilah's bar scene in that light, let's stick to the metaphor. My question was whether people who completely discount their own amoral yearnings are more vulerable in some ways than people who consciously flirt with their own ideas of 'doing bad'. You can draw a parallel here to a teenage girl thinking about sexual things for the first time, who flirts with boys to explore her own desires, versus, um, a Catholic girl. (now don't flame me-- I'm a recovering Catholic myself. :p) Now I know in doing this I'm equating 'sex' with 'evil' (in typical Catholic fashion, I know...), but we can turn this around. If we think of the teenage girl's explorations and experiments with her own sexuality, **up to a point**, as a healthy means of becoming comfortable with herself and her body, then can we draw a similar parallel with our own animalistic tendancies? I mean, isn't it through these explorations that we come to know the animal in the dark, who it is, and what it has that others don't?

Everyone's animal is different. I know that through this flirtation-- and we all do it-- I've discovered that I can be oversensitive to criticism, but that romantic jealousy touches me lightly or not at all. I know that abandonment panicks me, but that infidelity is not a big temptation. These are all things that are good-- I might even say-- essential-- to kknow about oursaelves, and how else will we know about them if we don't occasionally look across the crowded dance floor of our emotions, and catch the eye of the dark stranger? Cast the eye down shyly at their approach, trade carefully veiled compliments, maybe even let him get us a drink. And we know, he's attractive, maybe even a good dancer-- but that the best idea is to leave him at the dance.

[> [> [> [> Re: Morality: Firting with darkness vs. 'staying pure'- -- Arethusa, 14:55:59 05/24/02 Fri

I have taken a very careful look at some of my own worst tendencies. I had to do it so I could live with the flawed, sometimes weak creature that I am. I needed to know why I was weak and where my flaws came from so I could fight them. So in that sense I explored my baser tendencies, getting to know them and why they're there.

But some say that the thought is father to the action. That if you never even contemplate doing something bad, it is a given that you'll never do it. A counterargument is that that might not keep you from getting sucker-punched by a handsome face across a crouded dance floor. You know fornication is wrong, but you are so overwhelmed by an unfamiliar emotion that you fall anyway. Like Anya said to Buffy;
"Responsible people try so hard to be good all the time - when they get a taste of being bad, they can't get enough.It's like - kablooey!"
But that statement seems to imply that being bad is an addiction which overtakes reason, instead of a series of poor or wrong decisions. That our actions are Pavlovian responses to stimuli, not a result of the choices we make. And I don't agree with that.
Maybe making the right choice doesn't depend on our familiarity with sin. Maybe it all depends on whether we accept responsibility for our choices and actions. (One of Willow's problems.) If you know right from wrong, legally and/or morally, you have a choice of how to behave and the obligation to not give in to your emotions. If we know an act is bad, we must decide not to do it, for our own good if no other reason, for our poor choices usually do have a way of coming back to us and biting us in the posterior.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Morality: Firting with darkness vs. 'staying pure'- -- yuri, 13:13:30 05/25/02 Sat

Huh, I have been unexpectadly challenged by this last post. Until then, I was getting ready to write a post describing how I though yes, indeed, the key to not giving in to "the bad" (however you want to define that) is to understand it and recognize it as a part of yourself. I believe this because of my own experiences: among my drug-using and sexually active friends, the least abusive of both aare those who have been educated about the negatives and positives of drug use and sex for the longest time. Also, I have long believed that the key to undoing all prejudices is to recognize them in yourself. And one of the best ways not to act upon thoughts of wrongdoing is to acknowledge them and evaluate them, rather than repressing or ignoring them so that they may flare up at some inopportune moment.

I have always thought that it was just familiarity that mattered, the acknowledgment of the bad, and that has long been my argument, but I realize - big duh - it does depend on more than that. This argument only seems to work if you come from an environment that already emphasizes (often overly emphasizes) the possibility of "bad" in all these areas. If you come from a community that endorses and respects avid drug use, you will not necessarily benefit from becoming familiar with drugs. I have actually had arguments about this with friends of mine who come from communities or families with drug or alcohol abuse problems, and when I look down upon their black and white view in which drugs=evil, (because I think that modest use can be a positive sometimes) and when I object to their proclamations about how they have never and will never try anything, they stare at me and tell me that I don't understand. And I didn't. But this analogy is confusing me in what I want to say, so I shall move on.

I guess the answer, as it so often does, lays (lies?) in balance. You must balance your flirtations and acknowledgment of "the bad" with support from the world around you, and with education of what is bad, what the consequences are, etc.

So yes, this was pretty much just a big "duh" post written mostly for myself. Thanks to Arethusa and SingedCat for the mind chow.

[> [> [> I just hope Wesley is practicing 'safe evil'...:D - - Cold-blooded jelly doughnut, 13:52:18 05/24/02 Fri

[> [> Love & Darkness (spoilers for finales) -- Scroll, 13:10:40 05/24/02 Fri

Your question: "Does that mean that people who flirt with their darkness *more* are less prone to that kind of corruption, being more acquainted to the urges of the animal?"

I don't think people who flirt with darkness are more intune with animal urges, necessarily. I know Shadowcat has done some excellent analyses about how Buffy tries to hide or suppress her darkness, yet she's all animal with Spike. Despite the parallels I drew between Wes and Willow in my above post, I think dark!Wes most similar to Ripper/Giles.

Willow, although she definitely embraces her dark magicks, really doesn't accept the fact that she has a dark side, at least not until "Wrecked". And even then she blames the magick. Willow sees herself as the geek, hapless and 'very seldom naughty'. Using magick was her way out of geekdom, but the darker side brought out by her magick she still considered separate from normal loveable Willow (until "Villains", of course).

OTOH, Giles clearly has a dark side that he utilises for the Good Fight. He kills Ben and battles Willow--but these acts are acts of love, not hatred (unlike Willow's vengeance spree). Like Giles, Wes did something horrible (kidnapped his friend's son) in order to do something good (save Connor and Angel). Giles acknowledges and accepts his dark side, he hides Ripper in the closet but dusts off the bastard whenever he needs him. After "Billy", Wesley knew without a doubt that there was something dark and misogynistic within him. He hides it from his friends, takes it out when dealing with Holtz, Justine, and Lilah, uses it to attack Lorne. Whereas Willow always brushed off her abuse of magick with "I'm in control, I'm helping people, I'm doing good," Wesley knows full well that what he's doing is wrong.

But unlike Giles who is a veteran at knowing himself, Wesley is only in the initial stages of self-discovery. He is slowly losing his humanity, spiraling down to the ninth level of hell. He knows it. He can see himself falling. Unlike Willow, whose turn to evil would seem (to herself at least) a sudden change, Wesley is watching himself sink.

What I love about Angel versus Buffy is that I don't know what Wesley is thinking. In BtVS we always have a pretty good clue about what the Scoobies are thinking, feeling. We know Willow's in raging, grieving, Xander's feeling helpless, Zeppo-like. The Scoobies emote like crazy. But we have no idea what is going on in Wesley's mind except that he's angry and alone. We don't know if he has more hatred for himself or for Holtz, if he wants Justine dead or alive, if he wants forgiveness or for Angel to just stay away, if he's even remotely attracted to Lilah. I can't wait to find out, that's the thrill of watching Angel. Whereas we can see personal revelations coming a mile away on BtVS, the Angel characters are always two steps ahead of the audience.

And what's up with Cordelia? I'm not talking her upward mobility spiritual-wise, but how can she look at the photo of Angel, her, and Wesley, and not feel anything for poor Wes?! (Of course she might feel lots for him, we just don't know about it!) But where's the justice?! Willow tortures and kills a guy, hunts down two others and nearly kills Xander and Dawn, sucks the magick and life out of Giles, and nearly destroys the world... and Xander loves her. She's got the big love. Okay, I can live with that, it was an amazing finale. But what about poor Wesley! He tries to save an innocent child from a very real danger, is tricked by Justine and gets his throat slashed, nearly dies alone in a park--and what does he get from his friends? Smothered with a pillow (which I can get, if not agree with) and total rejection from a woman who is supposed to be all enlightened and empathetic!

Where's the love?

Wow, that's a longer post than I'd planned for. Please let me know what you think, especially about Cordelia's treatment of Wesley...

[> [> [> Cordy and Wesley and more Cordy -- Masq, 13:25:55 05/24/02 Fri

"Please let me know what you think, especially about Cordelia's treatment of Wesley..."

Well, aside from the poor writing/"we just forgot that angle" thing, which I nevernevernever accept unless I'm forced to, I think Cordelia is focused on her own self- importance. She is the PTB's chosen seer, she has enormous powers from the PTB's, she she she. The only other person she focuses on is Angel, not because she's in love with him necessarily, but because her various powers were given to her from the PTB's for helping Angel.

So now she sees the world as, "Angel's the chosen champion, and I'm chosen to help him" and the old, vain Cordelia who never cared about anyone other than herself (re: Invisible Girl ep, btvs season 1) that's been lurking under the surface has re-emerged.

So she neglects Groo, she forgets all about Wesley, and she stops thinking of herself as a mother-figure to Connor (except when her powers inadvertantly manifest themselves to help him once). And finally, in the end, after Skip praises and flatters her for acts done while under the influence of powers she can't control, she forgets all about Angel, too.

I think Cordelia was raised to the high heavens to experience a long fall.

[> [> [> [> Excellent post, Masq. Might it also be insecurity as well as vanity? -- Ixchel, 14:12:21 05/24/02 Fri

She knows how she was before (highschool) and maybe some part of her (like Willow) thinks that's all she'll ever _really_ be? If visions and powers are the only things that make her a worthy person, she _must_ cling to them and accept Skip's message as true.


[> [> [> [> [> Insecurity's never been Cordelia's problem, though... -- Masq, 14:17:42 05/24/02 Fri

In "Birthday", Skip notes that people's astral bodies are typically an idealized version of themselves--youthful, no blemishes, well-dressed, etc. He notes that Cordy looks exactly like her everyday dressed-down self lying on the bed unconscious. He says, "Pretty confident, aren't you?"

Cordelia's always been that.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Insecurity's never been Cordelia's problem, though... -- matching mole, 14:47:17 05/24/02 Fri

Well yes and no. I'd say the high school Cordelia was almost completely secure. But her family's financial difficulties and the lack of success in her acting career I think gave her a certain amount of insecurity (not about her appearance though). I think that the importance of the visions to her indicates a need to be worthwhile, to do good work, as much in her own eyes as anyone else's. This can be seen as far back as the end of season 2 when she briefly admits a little bit of shame at having fled the library during Drusilla's attack.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Great posts, matching mole (here and below). -- Ixchel, 18:00:19 05/24/02 Fri

I think an element of insecurity is quite possible. Cordelia has changed so much, her perception of what is valuable in this world has shifted. She must judge herself far differently than before. So (I would think) that when she has visions that help Angel help others, that means (to her) she is a valuable person and _not_ the shallow, uncaring girl of SD. Then when Skip tells her she is _needed_, this is even further proof. Perhaps in her zeal to find purpose and validation for her existence, she has lost touch with her pragmatism and natural skepticism (the blunt Cordelia logic)?


[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Just some quotes to clarify... -- Scroll, 21:36:44 05/24/02 Fri

I'm too tired to write anymore, so I picked out some quotes that might explain why Cordy's so hung up on her visions and her role for the PTB.

"I'm not ready to give them (visions) up either. They're a part of who I am now. They're an honor." (There's No Place Like Pltz Glrb)

(That Vision Thing)

"The Powers That Be have seen fit to choose me - who am I to refuse?" - Cordy

"Has - has anyone ever told you you're exactly like Lassie? Yeah. You're like Angel's Lassie. Sure, he does most of the saving but it's your visions that tell him that Timmy is trapped in the well, or the robbers are hiding in the barn. He really needs and depends on you." - Fred to Cordy

"This must be a mistake. The Powers wouldn't do this to me on purpose, I mean, I'm a part of their team. Why would anybody do this on purpose?" - Cordy

Cordy: "Yes! No. Well, no. Sure I hate looking and feeling like this, but - if I lose the visions, I wouldn't be able to help you anymore. You wouldn't need me."
Angel: "That's not why I need you. *You're* important. And the visions are just after market extras like Hurst shift or Krager wheels."


Skip: "We made a deal. You gave up the visions, not to mention the certain death that goes with them, and you get to live out your dream. Call me crazy, but I thought that was a pretty fair trade."

Cordy: "Sure it's fair. But it wasn't me."

Skip: "We've been over this. I respect what you're trying to do. It's noble and heroic, and all that other Russle Crowe 'Gladiator' crap."

Cordy: "You've seen..."

Skip: "Didn't love it. The fact remains that humans are not strong enough to harbor the visions! Period. Even the Powers That Be can't change that."

Cordy steps closer: "Then find a loop hole, Skip. I know my purpose in this world and it includes the visions. And if the Powers That Be aren't complete dumb-asses, they know it, too."

Skip: "There maybe a - tiny - loophole."

Cordy: "I'll take it."

Skip: "You may wanna think about that. The only way *you* get to keep the visions is by becoming - part demon. (Cordy looks down) The process isn't easy. It'll make your vision pain feel like a stroll through candyland. And even after the pain subsides the effects of the transition will be numerous and unpredictable. You may never be able to lead a human life again."

Cordy looks over at Angel (who appears to be frozen in time), then back at Skip.

Cordy: "So - demonize me already."

So safe to say, Cordy wants the visions for 3 reasons:
1) They help save people
2) Angel will always need her
3) The PTB have a purpose for her

All three reasons give her confidence, they show that she is needed and accepted. From "Invisible Girl" where she tells the Scoobies how lonely it is on top, to "Disharmony" where Cordy's biggest complaint with Angel was that he hurt her feelings by dumping her, to "Birthday" where she gets demonised so that she can stay with her friends--this all shows how much she wants love and acceptance, specifically Angel's. (And as for the whole Saint Cordelia thing, I guess she figures she has some tough competition. After all, his one true love is a champion vampire slayer who has already died three freakin' times!

[> [> [> [> Hubris? I don't know... -- Scroll, 14:59:35 05/24/02 Fri

You wrote: 'So now she sees the world as, "Angel's the chosen champion, and I'm chosen to help him" and the old, vain Cordelia who never cared about anyone other than herself (re: Invisible Girl ep, btvs season 1) that's been lurking under the surface has re-emerged.'

Good point, and since ME is all about setting characters up to take a long, hard fall, this is a viable storyline. But I have my doubts nonetheless because they've really built it up that Cordelia's changed, that she's not shallow and self- centred anymore; she has felt the world's pain, was willing to suffer visions and imminent death from said visions, and became demonised to keep them. Maybe it's just me, but I don't see any hint of self-centredness that would be a necessary ingredient for hubris and a resulting fall from heaven. (There's a reason why we've been calling her Saint Cordelia, she really does seem too perfect). She really does care about Connor/Stephen, and about Gunn & Fred ("Double or Nothing"). The only ones she doesn't pay any attention to, and the ones she really should have been paying attention to, were Groo and Wesley.

OTOH, Skip's reasons why Cordelia was being beatified just didn't hold water for me. He tells her she passed the test because she never used her powers for personal gain. Well, yeah! I mean, Cordelia was never tempted the way Willow was for the simple reason she didn't ever know how to do anything with them! Her powers cut in and out like bad electrical wiring, always a surprise when they manifested. That said, I'm going to trust there's a reason why Skip uses this as validation of Cordelia's worthiness. Joss will provide.

SingeCat wrote below: "In a big, overgeneralization way, I think everybody's trying to forget about Wes, the way everyone wanted to forget about Faith way back when, remember? And I think very bad things are going to happen because of it."

I really really hope so. Wesley's reconciliation is much more interesting to me than what will happen to Cordelia or how they'll get Angel out of the ocean. Of course, they'll probably have to resolve the latter two stories before they get to Wesley... unless Fred revolts against Angel in his absence and reaches out to Wes!

[> [> [> [> [> Helping the helpless -- matching mole, 15:15:52 05/24/02 Fri

Helping others can be a very self-centered thing. If Cordelia sacrifices her health and possibly her life with her visions that allows her to feel really good about herself. She is helping the helpless. Certainly she cares about Gunn and Fred - they aren't doing anything to challenge her world view. But her world view and her sense of herself as a worthy being depends on her seeing Angel as a champion. Therefore she can't allow herself to feel sympathy for Wesley. It also means that she can't really have deep feelings for Groo, because they would interfere with her dedication to Angel's mission.

Cordelia, originally a figure of extreme selfishness, has evolved to become highly selfless, which is revealed to be its own kind of selfishness. Cordelia has lost the core of her strength - the self awareness and confidence in her own desires that her selfishness gave her. Although the post Birthday Cordy is not nearly as entertaining as her earlier incarnations I would have to say that the relative subtlety of her character evolution stands in great contrast to many of the characters on BtVS in recent years.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Good point... -- Scroll, 15:36:52 05/24/02 Fri

Never thought of it quite like that but you have a good point. In some ways, she's the martyr Spike talks about in "Normal Again". She's so caught up in suffering and doing good that she doesn't realise how much she's hurting others around her (Dawn/Wesley).

Eh, I didn't explain that well, bet I get what you mean.

[> [> [> [> [> Plus the one time they show her trying to use her powers... -- Masq, 15:47:02 05/24/02 Fri

To close the fissure to Quortoth, it's a big build-up and she can't do it. They went out of their way to show she doesn't have power over her powers.

I'm betting that little "night light" incident was her getting scared after a bad dream and inadvertantly lighting up and being relieved her powers kicked in to help her, but having nothing to do with her own will.

[> [> [> Re: Love & Darkness (spoilers for finales) -- SingedCat, 14:00:33 05/24/02 Fri

"Please let me know what you think, especially about Cordelia's treatment of Wesley..."

I think it sucks. She could have contributed so much to the situation; her straightforward personality, plus her detachment, plus her unique knowledge of Wes' recent problems, plus the fact that she was the only other one who knew Angelus first hand-- it was a big let down to see her turn away like that.

In a big, overgeneralization way, I think everybody's trying to forget about Wes, the way everyone wanted to forget about Faith way back when, remember? And I think very bad things are going to happen because of it.

And I agree with Masq on her Cordy/Wes thoughts all the way. all the way. Thanks!

Spike's Odyssey: The Lurker Demon, Mirror of Spike's Intentions (Long,Spoil) -- Lijdrec, 00:12:03 05/24/02 Fri

My apologies for the length, you should have seen it before the edit!

Jane Espenson's words at TheSuccubusClub seemed to be somewhat contradictory to me when she said they tried to fool us as to Spike's intentions from the start. They may have written it with that intention, but *wow* I think they wrote something even more interesting, much richer. If it wasn't their intention, the accident was certainly fortunate to my way of thinking (which may be a bit more twisted than most!). I tend to look at the characters from a less human- metaphorical standpoint, thinking instead more of the mythological fantasy (or even SciFi) that is evident in BtVS. This, then, is my take on:

Spike's Odyssey: The Lurker Demon, Mirror of Spike's Intentions.

I'm not going to be very rigorous in this post and I'll paraphrase or just point out a bit of dialogue. This is more my feelings and interpretations from the action and the dialogue. So if I'm off on the dialogue feel free to correct me (you're doing part of my work!).

The Chip

The chip has indeed helped the Humanity resident in Spike's brain to come to the forefront. The chip has done two things to/for the Vampire, Spike. First, it has stopped him from drinking human blood (except for Drusilla's offering) and stopped him from engaging in the hunt. This may have lessened the Blood-lust of the Vampire, weakening the Demonic life force and decreasing its desire for the kill. Secondly, the chip has re-oriented and decreased those aggressive tendencies, though not completely.

Spike's Conflicted Mind: His Humanity

But the chip has become secondary to Spike's Humanity which is beginning to excert some control of his Mind. It is the remnant Humanity that was 'hard-wired' into his brain whilst William was living. The Demon is rebelling against the Humanity and in seeking to re-exert control over Spike's Mind, believes that the chip is to blame. Yes, Spike's behaviour has been under the influence of two major personalities, the Demon and the Human. Most times these personalities integrate into one, but at other times one becomes dominant. Spike, like Buffy in Normal Again, is somewhat schizoid. Buffy would seem to bring out his Humanity in their most intimate moments, but she could likewise be the touchstone for his Demon.

The Demon in the Bathroom

Spike's Odyssey began much earlier but the impetus for action was realized in Buffy's bathroom. I believe that Spike went there as the Human out of concern for the harm he had done to her psyche. But Buffy in her rejection of Spike (was it love denied for the third time?) triggered the Demon to come out. While the Demon was in control it sought to excert its dominance through aggression over what it considered its territory, Buffy. Buffy appeared to know this full well, her rebuke of Spike spoke to the Demon which she could not trust. Buffy had long before in AYW broken off the relationship with the Human, William.

The Crypt and the Departure

Spike left the Summer's home his Humanity reeling in horror at what his Demon had done. Now to the crypt where a visit by Clem appears to have some influence upon Spike. Spike appears to integrate the Human and the Demon and then in questioning the wisdom of removing the chip, 'I can't be a man and it won't let me be the demon', Spike appears to take on more of the persona of the Demon. He describes the chip as squirming in his head, once again expressing the desire to remove it, to be what he was. His retort upon leaving Sunnydale was not a threat directed at Buffy, but at what she represents as the Slayer, the 'Good', the 'Human' for which the Slayer fights and that part of himself with which the Demon now battles. His retort also may have represented a desire of the Demon to be the 'Big Bad' again, for it was as the 'Big Bad' that Buffy first came to have any respect for the him. It is also a challenge to Buffy from his integrated Self to accept him and all of the faults that the Demon represents but are now suppressed to the world outside of Buffy by the chip.

The Demon Within Us All

The integrated Spike, his Human side, and perhaps even the Demon have a 'love' for Buffy; but each of those 'loves' mean something different to each personality. I leave it to your imagination to determine the meanings of those loves. Though I am of the opinion that only in integrating all aspects of himself (the Human and the Demon) and those aspects of his love/desire for Buffy can Spike find peace. Why? Because the Demon (yes, the Vampire, and now I am getting a bit metaphorical) is actually a part of every Human, it resides in the oldest, deepest part of our brain which emulates the brain of the reptile. That brain is at the very heart of our instinctual behaviors, and those of ritualism, aggression, territoriality, sexuality, and dominance. It is the Demon within us all; that which haunts the racial memories of our dreams and the basic emotions of the later early-mammalian part of the Triune Human brain. Those are the racial memories of the Demons of our world's past from which the Buffyverse is drawn.

The Odyssey in Africa

And now Spike arrives in Africa. Yeah, rather quickly, and the villager tells him: "You can't go in there. It's very dangerous.....Stop! You'll die! Stop!" But Spike is resolute, his answer: "Not asking permission, mate." Spike arrives in the cave of the Lurker Demon, 'admiring' the artwork that would appear to foreshadow events to come. He meets the Lurker who voices Spike's intent and Spike reiterates the feelings that he had upon leaving Sunnydale. Spike's Demon appears to be in control, asking to be returned to what he was - meaning the removal of the chip, unleashing the Vampire. "Bitch is going to see a change." The Lurker 'mirrors' that intent by speaking of Spike as the 'legendary Dark Warrior', alluding to Spike's defeat of two previous Slayers. But the Lurker also mirrors the truth of the matter back at Spike; that the love of the Slayer, born of Spike's remnant Humanity, has 'castrated the Demon.'

Let the Trials Begin...

The Trials consist first of fighting certain Demons. The first fight is against a Demon whose hands burn with fire, the second fight is with a pair of Demons which Spike dispatches by beheading. The Trials are apparently unimportant except that they have an affect upon the Vampire. Spike is drawing upon the strength of his Demon during these battles and that strength is waning. Even so Spike's Demon appears to be in control after these first tests. He speaks of giving the Slayer what she deserves. Apparently, Spike is still fixated upon what the Slayer represents to the Vampire.

He is then 'attacked' by the beetles; oddly, these appear to be rhinoceros beetles. This beetle is a member of the group of scarab beetles, but they are not the scarab of Egyptian religious practice. Rhinoceros beetles are associated in some cultures with fertility and often used in fighting, where two males are pitted against each other in the presence of a female (OK - that's foreshadowing!?). Scarab beetles, in general, are often important in ancient cultures because the beetle could fly and was important as food. In shamanistic societies, the shaman, like the beetle, could fly in the sky (in dreams and trances) and descend into the earth (as the beetle burrows into the ground) to mediate between mortals and the 'infernal powers'. So what does it mean that one rhinoceros beetle penetrates Spike's nose (besides the ewww factor)? It could be that the beetle represents a messenger; but in which direction is the message flowing? Into Spike, or from Spike to another, the Lurker? We do not see the beetle exit Spike if it does, what does happen is that Spike growls in pain. It could represent a message to Spike's Humanity or is it to his Demon? The beetle's message may be in the form of an extraction of the chip with that horn (ouch!); although Jane Espenson says Spike still has a fully functioning chip. The fertility imagery might be relevant, ending Spike's castration by the chip. (I guess I can get metaphorical, in a pinch!).

The Desired Affect

Whatever is meant by the rhinoceros beetles, Spike's Demon, the Vampire, is left in a most weakened state. The Demon is no longer in control of Spike, the Trials have had their desired effect upon the Vampire. The Truth that the Lurker had earlier seen, yet was rejected by the Vampire, is now operant. Upon his awakening we are in the presence of Spike's integrated Self with his Humanity firmly in control. He demands of the Lurker, "Give me what I want.....make me what I was... so Buffy can get what she deserves." But these words have a most different meaning when spoken by the persona of Spike's Humanity. And the Lurker complies with that Truth, mirroring Spike's true intent, "Very well, we will restore your soul."

An Epilogue: And the Beat Goes On....

No, not human, Spike is now a Vampire with a Soul - and possibly a chip? What does that mean to his personality? Spike's Humanity, his Human Persona, has been waging a war with the Demonic life force of the Vampire for the control of Spike's Mind. Spike's Humanity is resident in the Rational brain of higher primates and humans, primarily what is known as the neo-cortex. His Demon would likely take up residence in the Reptilian brain (the structures of the brain stem), supported there by the inherent behaviors of ritualism, aggression, territoriality, sexuality, and dominance. The Mind is the work of the brain, but which brain is dominant. In any Vampire, it would appear that the Reptilian brain is brought into dominance. But in Spike, his Rational brain must be well developed, perhaps the product of exceptional nurturing by a most-caring mother (yes ladies, you may appreciate Spike for his brain as well as his body! And yes, I think that William was a momma's boy.). The chip further weakened the dominance of the Demon, leading to the conflict for the Mind of Spike.

Now with a Soul the major battle of that war would appear to be over. His Soul would activate a most important aspect of Spike's Humanity that has heretofore been unavailable in that fight, his conscience. But is the war for Spike's Mind truly over? If Angel is a model, then no, the war is ongoing. Spike must still integrate his Demon and his Humanity into one. But it is now a cold war, the battle only surfacing in moments of extreme stress. I have a feeling that stress is exactly what Joss Whedon has in store for Spike. The angst is ever with us.

An Adendum

As for Buffy, she recognized the ambiguity of Spike's Mind and found in it an understanding of herself. That has been part of her draw to him this season. Even so she has not wanted to acknowledge her own ambiguous nature, the animal or demon within. When Spike tells her 'I've never been with such an animal', she resists; but she does so only because it is Spike, the animal. From any Human (animal) it would have been a compliment, but from Spike it cut too close to the truth. It is why she knows that she is using Spike, to seek the wild, instinctive animal (read Demon if you must) that is inside of us all. She is in this similarly conflicted as Spike but to a much lesser degree and from the point of view of the evolved Human, instead of Spike's Reptile (read Vampire if you must).

[> First Welcome to the Board -- Rufus, 00:15:32 05/24/02 Fri

And I'll get back to you with a reply...all excited here...:):)

[> [> Re: First Welcome to the Board - Actually been here before.... -- Lijdrec, 00:28:35 05/24/02 Fri

But it has been a long time... Difficult to spread your time among so many BuffyBoards!

Really, excited! I voiced my opinion to you about the SciFi aspects of Vampirism and remnant Humanity before, didn't I? Sometime last Fall?

Or are you excited about something else? ;-)

[> [> [> Re: First Welcome to the Board - Actually been here before.... -- Rufus, 04:39:32 05/24/02 Fri

I remembered us talking about knobby boots or something, til Gadget told us we were being rude in Australian...don't even get her started on Root Beer.

Loved your post. I always wondered how they would get Spike from Vampire with no future to Vampire with a purpose in life. I wonder what the addition of a soul will do to him...will he be overwhelmed like Angel for so many years. Or, will Spike with his almost two years head start on domestication, have an edge that Angel didn't. We know that William said that he was a good man. There is every indication that you are right about him being a momma's boy. Having a background where he had known nurturing. What difference will that make to Spike with a soul. He will have to experience what has been missing for so long a he seemed to be struggling with his nature before he went to Africa. I think that his situation got down to a demon, one with no conscience, he was like a bomb that could blow at any time. We got that hint in Smashe when he went after that woman in the alley. He may have been hesitant, but he would have killed her.

I noticed that you corrected us on the scarab, and loved the cultural background you gave us. I like the idea of the beetle as a messenger of that cave demon, we just don't know what message it gave Spike. It did look like Spike reached the end of his ability to change, he would forever be a question mark that Buffy just couldn't chance. The writers said as much and said it again through Xander. Spike is a bad dog that is behaving for treats, the treats over the dog may be bad again. So, how does that explain the choice he made to get a soul? Love is the only thing left. In the year of growing up, we got to see that even monsters are capable of learning new tricks.

[> Great as usual Lijdrec. -- LeeAnn, 03:54:11 05/24/02 Fri

[> Loved Your Post! -- Liana, 06:24:47 05/24/02 Fri

[> Excellent post! On the chip ... (Please read, Spoilers) -- Exegy, 07:14:51 05/24/02 Fri

The chip wouldn't seem necessary now that Spike has gained his soul. Not for its original purpose, anyway. The chip was a device that allowed Spike interaction time with the Scoobies. Such interaction surely awakened the remnants of Spike's humanity. The vampire must have gradually come to regard the Scoobies as people and not as lower beings on the food chain (although he'd occasionally refer to them as the latter). Once Spike got to know Buffy as Buffy and not as just the Slayer, he discovered that he loved her. All because the chip allowed him to relate to her on a different level.

Spike's love for Buffy convinced him he needed to change. He couldn't be worthy of Buffy's trust as he was. This was made clear in As You Were (the title is probably the best thing about that episode) when Buffy discovered the eggs in Spike's crypt. She was sleeping with an amoral and opportunistic creature. He couldn't kill humans any longer due to the chip, an external device; he had no internal moral code. And for a woman who likes to consider herself righteous, this was inexcusable. Buffy needed to return to her former sense of right and wrong, and she couldn't do that in her current relationship with Spike. She saw him as a demon restrained by a chip, and that's what he was.

Yet I think Buffy placed more trust in Spike's love for her than she'd care to admit. And that love was allowed to surface because of the chip, but it wasn't directly caused by the chip. It issued from within, not without. And Buffy entrusted both herself and Dawn to Spike's love on many occasions.

And then Spike betrayed that trust as well (scene in SR). Buffy could no longer trust herself with him. He could physically and emotionally hurt her; the chip couldn't stop him. Buffy could still bring Dawn to Spike's because the chip wouldn't allow him to hurt any human other than Buffy (and because she can't believe that he would hurt Dawn, she still has that much trust in him).

But Spike knows that he needs to change. Buffy deserves better. The vampire is still somewhat self-serving in his goals (impress the girl), but in the realization that he needs to change, both for another's benefit and for his own, he has already broken out of the arrested development signified by soulless vampiredom. He has already experienced some type of internal change, and so it's not surprising that he gets a soul to signify that. The figurative is made literal.

So why does Spike still need the chip? A soul allows him internal governance of his behavior. Spike can interact with the Scoobies now without the chip. Whether he acts like the BB or like a caring individual is his choice. But the chip limits his options. There is no danger of him becoming the total BB as long as the chip operates; there is a limitation of conflict. Spike's still somewhat forced to the good side of the moral spectrum; he doesn't have a complete range of action because the chip still controls his behavior. The soul should now control his behavior, and then all the choices are Spike's, from within and not from without.

IMO, the chip remains because the storyline needs the chip. Imagine that Spike returns to Sunnydale. The Scoobies will probably tolerate him because of the chip. But then maybe the vampire loses his chip in some spectacular fashion. And somehow the Scoobies realize that Spike has a soul (it becomes apparent, or Spike continues to do good although the external device has been taken away). I can't be any more specific in my reasoning here because there are too many variables to consider. I only know that the chip must serve the story beyond its oringinal purpose.

Comments? Anyone have some different ideas for the chip?

Thanks in advance!

[> [> My TRUE! Opinion on the Chip and Spike/William's Soul - ME/JW's Cop-Out (Spoilers?) -- Lijdrec - posting from the library..., 09:33:38 05/24/02 Fri

Let me throw out more of my Opinion than what I did above which was a SciFi Ananlysis.

I despise the fact that ME gave Spike a Soul, it was a Cop- Out! Ok, fine, but that said I will accept it. It was a Cop-Out because they should have chosen to follow a more scientific storyline with Spike. A storyline that would have animated his human animal and delved into what really makes someone Human and where that Humanity lies. Don't get me wrong in what I am going to say here, I am a religious person and I believe in the human soul. But our Humanity is not found in Souls (a Soul is just that mystical connection with our God), our Humanity lies in our brain.

ME had a chance to really delve into that, to show Spike possibly choosing to follow a Human path as a soul-less Vampire whose Humanity is winning out. His Humanity could have been aided perhaps by animating his undead body and sending living blood to his brain, energizing his Rational brain in the fight against the Demon that has taken up residence in the Reptilian brain. Imagine developing a conscience without a Soul! That would absolutely freak some people out!

But I guess that ME considers BtVS to be a show that delves more in the realms of Mystical Fantasy than Science Fiction, not in the Canon - Hell make the Canon what you want to make it! I wonder if this option was even allowed to be given thought? If so, I think there may also be a bias in Television against such a option, perhaps it is just too radical an idea. Certainly, there was a backlash against Buffy's relationship with Spike in S6 and to have a the possibility of a Soul-less being perhaps acting even more soulful than some of the humans on the show.... Well, I imagine that the outcry from some segments of American society would almost be deafening against BtVS.

BTW - in my analysis, I am only trying to explain not excuse Spike's actions. Though if an animal like Angel is to be excused on the show then I don't see why an enSouled Spike should have any different treatment. Well yes I do, because the act was against the star of the show! Ok, let's see him do some 'good works' before we judge him. Let his actions speak louder than words....

Well, a Soul doesn't mean your going to do any good at all. Spike could still choose to follow his Demon. Did even Angel feed on humans after he was enSouled? We disagree on this ---- whether or not the Soul is the Internal Governer on Behavior. I say - The SOUL is NOT the Internal Governer. It is your HUMANITY hard-wired into your BRAIN - WetWare!! That is the Story-line that ME/JW should have chosen to follow. But like I said that is perhaps too Radical an idea for American Television.

Personally, I am hoping JE doesn't know what she is talking about with Spike's Chip. I hope that beetle ripped it out! On the other hand I am glad to see that someone - JE - thinks that Anyanka still has her soul intact. It only makes sense that because she chose the path of the VD/JD that her Soul would be a willing participant in her 'Evil Acts'.

Spike still has a long way to go to integrate his personalities, so perhaps the chip is needed? Naahhhh.... the chip makes Spike a wimp now, if he has a Soul then he has the right and privilege that goes with it, to defend himself from those that would harm him. I'm thinking just about anyone in the SG right now.

[> [> [> Re: -- aliera, 10:47:34 05/24/02 Fri

This is already archived at C&S. Really enjoyed it and also your further notes here...have you considered doing any thing similar for Buffy and where's she at now that she's had several epiphanies? 4th time really must be the charm...

[> [> [> [> Been thinking about it aleria - touched upon Buffy in the Addendum -- Lijdrec, 15:02:41 05/24/02 Fri

[> [> [> The Chip.....spoiler from JE interview -- Rufus, 13:57:34 05/24/02 Fri

Well, a Soul doesn't mean your going to do any good at all. Spike could still choose to follow his Demon. Did even Angel feed on humans after he was enSouled? We disagree on this ---- whether or not the Soul is the Internal Governer on Behavior. I say - The SOUL is NOT the Internal Governer. It is your HUMANITY hard-wired into your BRAIN - WetWare!! That is the Story-line that ME/JW should have chosen to follow. But like I said that is perhaps too Radical an idea for American Television.

Personally, I am hoping JE doesn't know what she is talking about with Spike's Chip. I hope that beetle ripped it out! On the other hand I am glad to see that someone - JE - thinks that Anyanka still has her soul intact. It only makes sense that because she chose the path of the VD/JD that her Soul would be a willing participant in her 'Evil Acts'.

I believe that a few things may change before we see the new season. First, why have a chip if the soul is the only thing required to do good? We know how evil people can be, and that's with a soul in the mix. So, why leave the chip in there...maybe the beetles don't like silicon....maybe they want to work with the idea of Spike not being able to hurt people for awhile longer.

Jane did say that the soul Spike got wouldn't be limited by any Gypsy curse. So it would seem that they had to give Spike something to limit him. So leaving the chip in may be that one thing. If "what we once were informs all we have become" then as a formerly good man, what would the point be of leaving the chip in? We know that Angel continued to kill for a time, picking and choosing from the criminals in his path. So, maybe Spike may have a little period of adjustment.

My biggest beef is what you have said...the soul isn't what governs your actions but your humanity, learned and hardwired. But we do have to go with Joss in the end cause it's his party his rules and they seem to say that the soul makes the big difference in a soulled persons actions, of course still not explaing why people can be so evil, even with a soul.

[> [> [> [> Re: The Chip.....spoiler from JE interview ....well, on Souls/your Beef...... -- Lijdrec, 15:38:27 05/24/02 Fri

My biggest beef is what you have said...the soul isn't what governs your actions but your humanity, learned and hardwired. But we do have to go with Joss in the end cause it's his party his rules and they seem to say that the soul makes the big difference in a soulled persons actions, of course still not explaining why people can be so evil, even with a soul.

When you write: "they seem to say that the soul makes the big difference in a soulled persons actions" - well, you're making a judgement on what the show is saying. Your judgement is probably right, but I find that there is a way around that 'canon'. In my original piece I wrote the following:

His Soul would activate a most important aspect of Spike's Humanity that has heretofore been unavailable in that fight, his conscience.

Meaning that a Soul activates something of the physical being - something in the Human Rational Brain - that triggers a conscience in the Human Mind. Note: I am saying that the Soul is NOT the conscience. Why would a Soul do that, trigger part of the physical being? For me the Soul has two components (purposes) and one of those purposes is to actually be the original spark of life....

Well gotta get Mystical (w/cap 'M' here), might as well explain what a Soul is to me. To me a Soul is that original life force, the 'elan vital'. The original spark of life that God endowed upon the group of first single cell organisms that can be called life on our earth. And since that 'elan vital' was endowed by God, the Soul is mostly a mystical connection with God, an immortal component of all earthly life that at our death is imprinted with our personality, our essence, our Mind and is returned to He who created it.

In this I have a crazy idea (for a Roman Catholic, it sounds more like Native American or Bhuddist) that Souls permeate all 'mortal' life on earth. I do not however believe in Re- incarnation; consider what I have said here and you will find that it is not a logical construct (in the context of my beliefs).

Then what separates Humans from other life on this planet is not the Soul (they're all alike!) but what may be implanted/imprinted upon that Soul at our death from our physical being. And that means what is important is in our physical brain (personality, experiences, knowledge, etc...) and what we do with that, ie. our Mind.

Do I have a problem killing another being with a Soul. No - it hasn't made me a vegetarian and I don't subscribe to PETA's thinking either (why should I, plants have souls too!). Neither did Willow with the deer, but she did offer a prayer at its death for its Soul. All life has a purpose upon this earth. That one life draws sustenance from other life in its death, it is just the way our world. What this 'attitude' has given me is a respect for the physical being from which I draw my sustenance (sometimes I show too much respect - need to lose some weight!).

[> [> [> [> [> Re: The Chip.....spoiler from JE interview ....well, on Souls/your Beef...... -- Rufus, 20:22:16 05/24/02 Fri

When you write: "they seem to say that the soul makes the big difference in a soulled persons actions" - well, you're making a judgement on what the show is saying. Your judgement is probably right, but I find that there is a way around that 'canon'.

When I first started posting about Spike, it seemed possible that they were going the way you describe, the chip allowing his humanity to surface, and Spike choosing humanity over his demon impulses. But there was the "canon" the show had established in season one. Plus, while some writers are into metaphor and mythology, some seem to have their noses in a copy of "Helter Skelter" and feel that there were rules they had to stick to. I base what I say about what the show is doing with Spike upon what the writers say the soul is in the matter how I feel about it personally. Add in the fact that we can only guess what a soul is, as no one knows exactly. I think that there was a compromise struck between the writers that meant that Spike could only go so far and needed a soul to take that last step into being someone that Buffy could "trust".

What question I have in this whole matter is how could Spike come to the conclusion he did in seeking the restoration of his soul? That is a giant leap for a demon to make, even to get the girl. If this soul of his is going to change

a Soul activates something of the physical being - something in the Human Rational Brain - that triggers a conscience in the Human Mind.

I think Spike had already shown some aspects of having a conscience just not a human one, and that was the conflict that he had to fight all the time. Being around Buffy and the Scoobies wasn't the natural thing for him to do, and the more time he was with them the more he began to identify with them. But even with that he still went after that woman in Smashed. When he finally found that he was capable of going after Buffy, that seemed to be the deciding factor for Spike. If he could attack Buffy, the one he loves, then what happens when the chip is no longer working? So how will this choice make Spike different as a soulled vampire than Angel who was cursed with a soul and needed decades to start to redeem himself? As a human with no demon in him he would have been redeemed as the demon would be gone....but as a demon, he is only starting a new journey.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: The Chip.....spoiler from JE interview ....well, on Souls/your Beef...... -- Lijdrec, 22:22:06 05/24/02 Fri

Think of the Soul as catalizing his conscience. Pushing his Humanity over the top, giving it the win....

Well, the whole point of my post was that the Demon/Human conflict was about the choice that would be made after the trials. If the Demon were there, it would get its desire, the removal of the chip. I think that was the Demon's interpretation of the resolution of the problem, to be returned to unadulterated Power, given a Free Will? Is that one interpretation of getting a Soul? Then perhaps I was wrong and the Demon actually got what it desired? Otherwise, the Demon would then have the free reign to do as it pleased, to choose its path. What would it then choose? Certainly, not a Soul, or would it?

Actually, I guess I was rooting for the Demon in Africa, because I knew that in the end it would surely loose over to the Humanity. You could see it coming, I just did not think it would loose that soon. Ahhh... I should have known it would, afterall it was the last ep of the season! A fitting end to an arc about growing up.

I think that you are to something about Spiike's path. Spike will certainly follow a different path than Angel. Angel was sans Humanity when he was enSouled. It took him nearly 100 years of fear and self-loathing before he turned his life around, and then only with Whistler's help. Spike on the other hand chose his fate. I think Spike will have an easier time at coming to terms with his past. Hmmm... is the Demon now a collaborator with the Human in Spike? Just as the Souled Human of Anya is was a willing collaborator in becoming the Demon, Anyanka?

Difficult to see the inner angst in that scenario, though.

Confused much, now. Off to bed I am.....

[> [> [> [> Re: a wild idea about the chip -- Dead Soul, 23:30:34 05/25/02 Sat

I have the vaguest notion of a wild idea about why they left Spike chipped and I expect to be roundly shouted down (if not, indeed, completely ignored).

The "what ifs"...

What if the chip operates by recognizing the souls in humans and that's the trigger to the pain if Spike tries to hurt one, and

What if Spike really didn't want a soul - he really did want that %$#^# chip out.

After the initial rage (which could be quite amusing) follows despondency. We've seen, I can think of 4 or 5 times off the top of my head, instances when he's genuinely wanted either to kill himself or have someone else kill him (Lovers Walk, Doomed, Out of My Mind and Entropy/Seeing Red). What if the chip has been left to keep him from killing himself?

I'm still not convinced he consciously wanted the %$#^# soul.

Dead (no pun intended) Soul

[> [> [> [> [> That's a good point -- Malandanza, 07:11:48 05/26/02 Sun

"What if Spike really didn't want a soul - he really did want that %$#^# chip out.

After the initial rage (which could be quite amusing) follows despondency. We've seen, I can think of 4 or 5 times off the top of my head, instances when he's genuinely wanted either to kill himself or have someone else kill him (Lovers Walk, Doomed, Out of My Mind and Entropy/Seeing Red). What if the chip has been left to keep him from killing himself?"

While I think the potential for comedy and poetic justice is sufficient reason to keep Spike chipped and souled or chipped and human, I think you're right about his post soul reaction. If Angel was as depressed as he was, how will a hypersensitive vampire react to a century evil finally oppressing his his conscience? The chip may be more important to him than we thought. Plus, it would be very funny to see Spike try to kill himself and fail repeatedly (can't even kill himself properly).

[> [> [> [> [> Interesting theory. -- VR, 07:12:04 05/26/02 Sun

Now, if we can just get one of those Initiative dcientists who know how the chip works, we could settle this once and for all.


[> [> [> I take a figurative rather than a literal approach to BtVS (Long, Spoilers) -- Exegy, 20:26:33 05/24/02 Fri

I respect your opinion, Lijdrec. Your points are valid within your line of reasoning. I guess I disagree with you because I view the show on a more figurative level. (I'm an English Major, this stuff has become hard-wired in my brain!) I see BtVS as based on metaphor, with vampires being more metaphorical than reality-based creatures. So the fact that vampires are not described in realistic terms does not upset me or betray my beliefs in the show. Not at all. I consider the emotional intent that drives the metaphor to be paramount.

The following statements are all MY honest opinion of the show. You might disagree with a lot of it, but I just want you to know where I come from.

I think vampires represent a state of arrested development. A state of unlife, without change. Casting no reflection upon reality (vampires kill and affect their environment in various ways, but your run-of-the-mill vamp exists mostly to provide conflict for Buffy, to represent the obstacles in her struggle to become a fully realized human being). Some vampires (Angelus, Spike, Darla, Drusilla) serve as characters in their own right. They're on journeys of their own, just like the human characters of the Buffyverse, but in their vampire state they are frozen. For example, Drusilla is as crazed as the girl Angelus tormented all those years ago. Angelus remains an unloving monster who exists for the passionate, artful kill. Oh, he has goals, but they all stem from the same motivation: to make something of himself in reaction to his father. Arrested development, indeed.

But then Angelus is cursed with a soul. Argue the metaphysics or the logistics all you want, the event represents an awakening of the character to his horrible past deeds. It's like an alcoholic who finally realizes what he has done in his stupor. Angel spends almost a hundred years as a bum, wallowing in guilt and misery (okay, allow for expansion of timeline for dramatic effect). Then he is inspired by love of a girl to good actions. Finally he learns to do good for good's sake and not for any reward. He's on a journey to realize himself through his actions. To realize himself as a human being, just like Buffy.

The soul signifies Angel's willingness to change himself. I don't think that it is his humanity; I think it reflects his humanity. As a soulless creature, he still is informed by very human memories and personality, but he is not really developing. He is a fairly static character. But the soul reflects his openness to development. Sure it's a curse; who wouldn't feel cursed after being brutally awakened to the horrors committed while inebriated (uh, possessed by a demon)? Angel still has to struggle with the demon. If he doesn't Shanshu, then that means he never got over or accepted or was forgiven (by himself?) for his past.

Spike is a little more difficult to deal with due to the chip. It's basically a device that allows him interaction time with the Scoobs. It gives him a chance to reconnect to his humanity. Spike starts to change. He may be the first vampire to really change while still soulless. He blames the chip for mechanically altering him, but the changes are really internal, based on his latent humanity. The chip gives him the chance to develop he could not otherwise have had, but the actual changes come from within, based upon his memories and his personality, and not from without.

Spike exists in a grey area. This makes him a wonderfully interesting character. You want to see how far he can come while soulless. But then the metaphor intrudes. Spike is a vampire. He is limited. Look at all the light imagery. Spike is stuck in the shadows, the grey area, and he can only came so far into the illumination. He travels as far as he does because of Buffy (see the end of Afterlife, the beginning of Wrecked, his speech in NA). But he cannot join her in the light. He eventually betrays her because he cannot change enough. He is not far enough removed from the wannabe BB of the earlier seasons.

Spike realizes the need to change. He operates out of his own initiative. He makes a choice, an internal choice arising out of his latent humanity. And the gain of a soul reflects that choice.

Well, this is where I come from. Thanks if you read this far. I appreciate it.


[> [> [> [> Yes! You're the other side of the coin..... -- Lijdrec, 22:50:22 05/24/02 Fri

Yep! Said that in my first paragraph, that the viewpoint that I was expressing was not the norm for Buffy - too SciFi, too logical. It is a viewpoint that grows out of my background as a scientist. The present post was born out of an idea that ME might take a radical path with Spike and seek to redeem one of its Soul-less creatures only through the power of its Rational Human brain. They didn't, they chose their easy way out! My post was actually more a comprimise to one I had hoped to prepare.

I look upon BtVS from the figural viewpoint also, that viewpoint is the one that I allow myself to experience when I watch BtVS. It is the one that gives me my emotional reaction to the show, my tears, my fright, my joy, my hate and my love. It is in the cold of my own reality that I come up with these insane SciFi scenarios concerning the mythology and fantastical that the show also represents. It is one aspect of the show that brings me joy even after the TV is cold....

[> [> [> [> [> Cool! I knew there were some points of intersection ... (Spoilers) -- Exegy, 07:38:55 05/25/02 Sat

I saw where you were coming from with the sci-fi analysis, and I can go there too--it's just that I prefer examining the show on the basis of metaphor. That's the stance I take on all art: what emotional intent is the artist trying to communicate to me? And so on.

I read the show as fantasy, but I do understand the annoyance of those who want to read it as sci-fi. There's nothing wrong with trying to incorporate the fantastic elements of BtVS into a realistic framework. It's just frustrating, LOL!

I'm glad that you appreciate the show in terms of its metaphor, though. So many people don't, and I think they're missing out on a lot of the enjoyment of BtVS. The ME writers use fantastic elements to good effect, but they don't live up to the expectations of logic. I don't think that they try too hard, either. They're more concerned with conveying emotional qualities through metaphor.

ME's approach does not satisfy the sci-fi perspective. So what they're doing with Spike may seem like a cop-out. But I see it as just the writers telling the story that they want to tell. I don't think they ever intended to include a scientific analysis. (After years of fantasy, the intrusion of hardcore science might be a bit jarring. Some people would be happy with an explanation, but that's not the concern of ME.) The writers have another intent in mind, and I don't believe that they have betrayed this intent. ME's story might not satisfy you (the writers haven't satisfied me all the time either--sometimes the emotional intent is not translated onto the screen very well). That's okay. But I don't think the failure of ME to satisfy is the same as a cop-out, because for me a cop-out means that the writers have betrayed a vision or intent that they had all along. I don't think they were ever going the hardcore sci-fi route with Spike. They have something else in store for him.

[> [> [> [> [> Cool! I knew there were some points of intersection ... (Spoilers) -- Exegy, 07:42:50 05/25/02 Sat

I saw where you were coming from with the sci-fi analysis, and I can go there too--it's just that I prefer examining the show on the basis of metaphor. That's the stance I take on all art: what emotional intent is the artist trying to communicate to me? And so on.

I read the show as fantasy, but I do understand the annoyance of those who want to read it as sci-fi. There's nothing wrong with trying to incorporate the fantastic elements of BtVS into a realistic framework. It's just frustrating, LOL!

I'm glad that you appreciate the show in terms of its metaphor, though. So many people don't, and I think they're missing out on a lot of the enjoyment of BtVS. The ME writers use fantastic elements to good effect, but they don't live up to the expectations of logic. I don't think that they try too hard, either. They're more concerned with conveying emotional qualities through metaphor.

ME's approach does not satisfy the sci-fi perspective. So what they're doing with Spike may seem like a cop-out. But I see it as just the writers telling the story that they want to tell. I don't think they ever intended to include a scientific analysis. (After years of fantasy, the intrusion of hardcore science might be a bit jarring. Some people would be happy with an explanation, but that's not the concern of ME.) The writers have another intent in mind, and I don't believe that they have betrayed this intent. ME's story might not satisfy you (the writers haven't satisfied me all the time either--sometimes the emotional intent is not translated onto the screen very well). That's okay. But I don't think the failure of ME to satisfy is the same as a cop-out, because for me a cop-out means that the writers have betrayed a vision or intent that they had all along. I don't think they were ever going the hardcore sci-fi route with Spike. They have something else in store for him.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Sorry about the double post! Feel free to delete one! -- Exegy, 07:46:18 05/25/02 Sat

[> [> [> [> Re: I take a figurative rather than a literal approach to BtVS (Long, Spoilers) -- Rufus, 23:57:47 05/24/02 Fri

Spike exists in a grey area. This makes him a wonderfully interesting character. You want to see how far he can come while soulless. But then the metaphor intrudes. Spike is a vampire. He is limited. Look at all the light imagery. Spike is stuck in the shadows, the grey area, and he can only came so far into the illumination. He travels as far as he does because of Buffy (see the end of Afterlife, the beginning of Wrecked, his speech in NA). But he cannot join her in the light. He eventually betrays her because he cannot change enough. He is not far enough removed from the wannabe BB of the earlier seasons.

Spike realizes the need to change. He operates out of his own initiative. He makes a choice, an internal choice arising out of his latent humanity. And the gain of a soul reflects that choice.

Jane Espenson made it clear that they had made us think that Spikes motives for going to Africa were to get the chip out, when all he wanted was a soul to be the type of "lover Buffy deserved". I never once thought he was going for anything but a soul, mainly because it was always thrown in his face that he was an "evil, soulless, thing". When he attacked Buffy in the bathroom he finally saw their point. Spike could only be a "good dog" when around those he had an emotional investment in, but his demon won for an instant in Buffys bathroom. The chip wasn't the problem, it didn't make him think any differently, it gave him a very long cooling off period that forced him to think differently, so the "serial killer in jail" does mean something in that some people do well in jail and reoffend fairly quickly after they no longer are confined in a structured environment. I believe that's the point of the scene in Smashed. Spike though he was out of prison, and cause he was so pissed off at Buffy he chose to try to be what he was before. Spike fought the chip when what he really was fighting all along was his inner demon, the one that kept making him feel bad for doing anything that was good. That conflict could have led to a very different season finale, but as Spike had a background where his experience did contain goodness, he was able to reference that, though it was translated a bit differently through a soulless mind.

Buffy: I can't believe this is happening. One minute we were kissing, and the next minute... (to Giles) Can a vampire ever be a good person? Couldn't it happen?

Giles: A vampire isn't a person at all. (clears his throat) It may have the movements, the, the memories, even the personality of the person that it took over, but i- it's still a demon at the core, there is no halfway.

I think this season was trying to get back to that canon, where vampires are still demons at the core. The chip that created the anomoly that is Spike has created an exception to the rule that I don't see happening again. I think that Spike finally understood that no matter what he did, without a soul, Buffy and the others would never forget (rightly so) what he really was.

What we once were informs all that we have become. The same love will infect our hearts - even if they no longer beat. Simple death won’t change that. Darla from Angel: The Prodigal.

There was a lot of light symbolism this year, and I remember when Buffy walked away from Spike in "After Life" Spike couldn't enter the light, because he couldn't exist in it. In Grave, Spike got a soul, it may not allow him to exist in daylight, but what will be the consequences of the restoration of a soul to a vampire who sought it because he loved someone? No curse, no perfect happiness clause, just a soul, in someone who will be able to feel for the first time in many years the burden of what he has done to become the Big Bad he was. All science aside, love won this year as in last, the gift wasn't death but appreciation of life.

[> [> [> [> [> Wonderful post, Rufus. I do wonder though if the reason ME... -- Ixchel, 16:22:05 05/25/02 Sat

Went the soul route is because of the seeming conflict within the story that would be created if Spike had been able to be "good" without a soul, but rather through his own will? The conflict I refer to could be the perception that if Spike could change (with the aid of a chip), then maybe other vampires are capable of change? And if so, then maybe it's not morally right for Buffy to kill them? I've stated previously (I believe in a discussion with you, that was very enjoyable BTW) that I think Spike is a special case (his fairly positive response to the chip), just as Angel is a special case (his eventually positive response to a soul). Because of this, I wouldn't perceive a conflict with Spike changing through will and the chip (without a soul) and Buffy's moral grounds as a vampire Slayer. But, maybe ME did? Or maybe they thought it would be too fine a moral edge to tread? Just a random musing on my part. Regardless, (IMHO) that Spike _chose_ to obtain a soul is both proof of the real changes in him and proof of a sense of free will (what proper "evil" demon would ever want a soul for _whatever_ reason?). I do hope that the soul doesn't crush Spike completely, especially if S7 is the last, because I'm looking forward to a lighter season (obviously not without some trauma, it's still BtVS).

Once again, excellent post!


[> [> [> [> [> [> Maybe they did it to show a different perspective. -- VampRiley, 17:05:54 05/25/02 Sat

Liam was a drunk and a layabout. He was a slacker and would start fights in bars. But he never seem like the kind of person that would enjoy pain and suffering. When Angelus got a soul, Liam returned, sort of. The good part of him, that is and he became balanced between the two worlds that Adam said vampires were caught between. Only he felt guilt for turning pain and misery into an art form when he didn't have a soul.

William was someone who wore his heart on his sleeve. He did his best to create good things, though he didn't seem very good at poetry. When he was turned, he became someone who wasn't really interested in the pre-show, but with the main event, but kept the heart-on-his-sleeve part. While Angelus worked the more emotional part of killing, Spike was more savage and liked killing for killing's sake and not worried about "art".

Souled Spike makes me think of the kid that was picked on growing up. The same kid who grows up and becomes something much more than those he grew up with. They meet up again and he tells them that they aren't worth his time. And when they turn their backs, he has no qualms at taking all his frustration that been building for years and brutally attacks them. And when it's done, they're in intensive care, klinging to life with help from machines, and he initially feels absolutily no guilt over what he's done. And as time passes, he still isn't bothered by what he's done. He's indifferent to the the harm he has done. He's suffered so much pain, that his capacity to feel guilt is much lower than most other people. Emotional scars from our younger years are hard, if not impossible, to get over.

Maybe they just want to show that not every vamp who gets his soul back will act like Angelus did.


[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Interesting point, VampRiley. It would seem that they will make it different. -- Ixchel, 18:53:35 05/25/02 Sat

I'm not sure I agree with you about Spike's potential diminished capacity to feel guilt (even with a soul), but, perhaps, he'll have a more practical outlook on it (rather than be overwhelmed and "paralyzed" by it)? Also, as Rufus insightfully pointed out, he wanted the soul and was already somewhat more prepared for a souled existence. One possibly relevant point would be Spike's attitude in Pangs (his speech about how guilt about the Chumash was meaningless as nothing can ever be done that would make up for what had been done to them). If he's more (personality-wise) able to accept that guilt, in and of itself, isn't helpful unless you do something positive because of it, then he may have a better transition to being a functional souled vampire. Good point about a different perspective, though. And I do agree that childhood traumas tend to be branded on the psyche.


[> Nice post! -- Traveler, 10:13:34 05/24/02 Fri

[> Re: Spike's Odyssey: The Lurker Demon, Mirror of Spike's Intentions (Long,Spoil) -- leslie, 13:51:23 05/24/02 Fri

A couple of thoughts:

1) On the beetle--you mention the flying beetle in shamanic traditions--in this type of tradition, flying bugs are quite literally souls. Also lots of folk tales and legends in which a person falls asleep and a bug or a mouse crawls out of their mouth and takes off, then returns, and the person wakes up and says "Let me tell you about this dream I had" which is exactly the journey that the "soul-bug" had taken. So this makes me think about what those trials are: one with fire, which usually symbolizes thought/spirit; one with heads, which is where thought/spirit resides--cutting off demon heads, let's note; and one with a "spirit-bug" crawling into the head. But then the demon restores his soul by placing his hand on Spike's chest/heart. Spike needs to cut off his head to reach his heart? (Metaphorically, of course.) And decapitation is one way to dust a vampire.

2) Now I think about the fact that it is Clem who is there when Spike decides to leave Sunnydale and deal with his problem one way or another, and the fact that it is Clem who replaces Spike in the crypt, both as resident demon (even though he's just house-sitting) and as Dawn's babysitter-- her "watcher." Clem is the one demon we can pretty reliably believe to be a good guy who just happens to have funny skin. It's also interesting that he seems to be Spike's one real friend--not a minion, not a lover, not a comrade-in- (reluctant)-arms, not a charge (although of all the characters, his relationship with Clem actually seems closest in tone to his relationships with Dawn and Joyce). Clem has become more and more evident as Spike has become more and more human. So, does Clem taking Spike's place--his home, his role--foreshadow what Spike will become?

[> [> Beetles and Souls....the faithful inspired one really crazy idea here...FuturaSpoil -- Lijdrec, 16:25:43 05/24/02 Fri

I should have thought of that, that the message that the beetle brought was actually Spike/William's Soul. That what the Lurker did was only remind Spike that he actually had it - the power of the spoken word, eh!! Or did he do more - start his heart? Vampire in the sun?? We'll have to see.....

While reading your post I flashed on this wierd thought, and I am beginning to really like it. It is that all of those beetles represented or actually were all of the souls of those who had been turned to Vampires. As much as I'd rather see Spike Soul-lessly trying to exert his Humanity, I am beginning to see a thread here that is dealing with the basic mythology behind JW's Slayer and Vampires....

We have learned from JW's writings that all of this, the First Slayer, Vampires, the Shadowmen/Shamans cum CoW, originated in Africa. In other words, JW is tying his mythology into the actual real development of humans. Many have speculated that where Spike went certainly has something to do with the First Slayer's genesis by the Shamans of surrounding villages. Could it be that the Shamans of those villages also created in that cave a 'Holy Place', a Well of Souls (flashing on Philip Jose Farmer's writings now) in which all the Souls of those who have been turned into Vampires are drawn. Angel's Soul would have been there, in the Ether of that Well.

In Spike's case, the beetle the symbolic bearer of Souls, was actually imbued with his Soul. And other Souls were drawn into other beetles by the hope and desire to be re- incarnated into a willing Vampire. But how could it be that Spike would receive William the Bloody's Soul out of all of those thousands (millions?) of candidates in the beetles that 'attacked' him?? My answer - it is a metaphor for the moment of conception! Surely, you have seen the microphotography of an ovum surrounded by spermatazoa, which are all trying to penetrate the ovum. But only one penetrates, usually it is one that - if I remember right - matches up the correct protien markers that unlocks the defenses of the cell wall. Likewise, only one beetle, the one with William the Bloody's Soul, could unlock the defenses of Spike and penetrate his body.

I haven't read much that is on the boards, have you read of any other similar thoughts?? I really like that, twisted; perhaps this was among the input of the Mind of Joss into Grave??? What a metaphor!!! What Mythology!!!

[> Oh, also: The Demon in the Bathroom is the best subhead I've seen in a long while! -- leslie, 13:56:39 05/24/02 Fri

[> "What are you going to do? Walk behind me to death?" -- Malandanza, 20:53:49 05/24/02 Fri

Spike's journey hasn't concerned me primarily because I find it hard to believe he's on one. Until recently, he was quite content to be where he was -- Buffy and her friends made it too comfy for Spike and he has nested. We've seen Spike strolling home from the store with paper bags filled with blood and cigarettes, he has a TV and electricity and has fixed up the crypt. This is not a restless person on an odyssey of discovery. This is Spike as Comfortador.

In Spike's interactions with Buffy, we often see him trailing behind her or standing in her path. Metaphorically, what minimal movement Spike has made on his journey has been by following in Buffy's wake. Like Pliable from Pilgrim's Progress, Buffy's journey is not Spike's and he is easily turned back when faced with even modest obstacles.

Then there's Spike as the impediment to Buffy's spiritual journey. Always standing in her way until she forces him out of her path. Buffy has been lost in the underworld since her resurrection. She finally escaped in the season finale, crawling back into the light and life. It is no accident that Spike was nowhere to be found. For a season Buffy has struggled against the darkness, yet it isn't until Spike leaves that she escapes its grasp. Spike was far more effective at keeping Buffy in darkness with him than even he realized.

He travels to Africa -- for what? A spiritual journey of his own? No -- he wants things to be like they were. The trip to Africa was designed to prevent a spiritual journey. The chip and the continued association with Buffy and the Scoobies has changed Spike -- he has changed enough that now he is capable of wanting to make the journey, but his first action is to seek refuge back in his safe, comfortable crypt.

Will Spike finally be on his own journey after whatever the Cave Demon did to him? Maybe. But it won't be Spike any more. Someone else -- William or Randy -- will be making the journey. And somehow, I can't seem to care.

I think the writers missed an opportunity to create a dark journey for Spike -- a quest not for redemption, but for damnation. The trial I was expecting to see was one where Spike had to face off against a human warrior. Dru's commented

I can see it. Little bit of plastic spiderwebbing out nasty blue shocks - and every one, is a lie. Electricity lies, Spike. It tells you you're not a bad dog. But you are.

in The Crush. Spike has struck people in spite of the pain and told Xander that he's "More'n happy to beat you right through the pain." An interesting journey for me would have been to see Spike overcome the chip himself. Through sheer force of will, defy the pain, welcome it and triumph over it to become the Big Bad he's always wanted to be. Instead we get him begging for favors from the dark powers he abandoned so the slayer can "get what she deserves".

1. Something Blue

2. Like the vampires from Crush

3. The I in Team and, more recently, in Normal Again

4. Normal Again

[> [> I am the shepard, and you are my flock. (spoilers through season 6) -- Traveler, 23:16:33 05/24/02 Fri

"Spike's journey hasn't concerned me primarily because I find it hard to believe he's on one. Until recently, he was quite content to be where he was -- "

Yes, it was enough for him just to be near the woman he loved.

"In Spike's interactions with Buffy, we often see him trailing behind her or standing in her path. Metaphorically, what minimal movement Spike has made on his journey has been by following in Buffy's wake."

Did Jesus not lead his followers? Does that make their path to redemption less fruitful? In contrast to Jesus, Buffy never even tried to help Spike on his road to redemption. Rather, she told him that he would always be an evil thing. Yes, Spike also stands in front of her sometimes, often acting as a truth she can't escape.

"The trip to Africa was designed to prevent a spiritual journey."

That's only true if you believe he only wanted the chip out, not a soul. Even if you're right, so what? Even Buffy has wavered more than once on her journey.

"Will Spike finally be on his own journey after whatever the Cave Demon did to him? Maybe. But it won't be Spike any more. Someone else -- William or Randy -- will be making the journey. And somehow, I can't seem to care."

What we were informs all that we become. Spike will gain a new dimension because of the soul, but he will still be Spike, with all the memories and personality quirks that he had before. And yes you do care about Spike journey, otherwise you wouldn't comment on it so much.

"I think the writers missed an opportunity to create a dark journey for Spike -- a quest not for redemption, but for damnation. The trial I was expecting to see was one where Spike had to face off against a human warrior. Dru's commented."

This is still a possibility; remember, a soul doesn't guarantee goodness. However, I think that it would be far less interesting to have Spike become the "Big Bad" again. Also, it would be inconsistant with his character development so far.

[> [> [> "Aagh. Made me lose count." -- Malandanza, 13:42:15 05/25/02 Sat

"What we were informs all that we become. Spike will gain a new dimension because of the soul, but he will still be Spike, with all the memories and personality quirks that he had before."

I don't believe that Liam, Angelus and Angel are the same person. Did they influence each other? Undoubtedly. But Liam is dead and Angel and Angelus are distinct entities that share the same memories. To suggest that Angel is just Angelus with a new dimension is to follow the Xander and Holtz line of reasoning -- that Angel is still Angelus. Even Angel (who suffers and atones for Angelus' crimes) does not believe that he is Angelus. He keeps Angelus chained up in the basement of his mind. Sometimes Angelus breaks free (we've seen two examples of this, one on BtVS and the other on AtS) and other times he is so close to breaking free that he is capable of influencing Angel but even when Angelus ran rampant, we have never had any indication that Angel has had an effect on him. One hundred years of suffering left Angelus no less demonic than when he was first vamped. Three years with Buffy and time in L.A. with Cordelia, Doyle and Wesley made no impact on Angelus -- he was still Angelus when Rebecca drugged him in Eternity.

Likewise, Spike with a soul is no longer Spike. (I think this is the first time LeeAnn and I have agreed about Spike) If he's still a vampire, he isn't William either -- I'll refer to the creature-that-used-to-be-Spike as Randy. Randy will not be Spike in the same way that Angel is not Angelus. Yes, Randy will have Spike's memories, but it will be Randy who is in control. Randy is the one who will suffer, Randy is the one who will change, Randy is the one who will seek to expiate Spike's guilt. Randy will be on the journey that Spike never cared to make.

"And yes you do care about Spike's journey, otherwise you wouldn't comment on it so much."

I don't know that I've commented on Spike's "journey" before now, other than to deny that he's been on one. Now, I have commented on Spike: he's an interesting character played by an excellent actor. His betrayals and botched schemes are amusing. But he's not good and he's not on a spirtual journey. Spike is interesting not because he's a "noble vampire on a mission of redemption" but for exactly the opposite reasons. Spike is all about self-absorption where Buffy is about self-sacrifice. He simply can't see beyond his own desires and frustrations. I don't think we've ever seen a creature less interested in redemption than Spike.

Thinking about your affliction -- as well as your newly discovered ability to fight only demons. It occurs to me - and I realize it's against your nature - but have you considered there may be a higher purpose--

SPIKE: Aagh. Made me lose count. What are you still doing here?

The I in Team

[> [> [> [> Re: "Aagh. Made me lose count." -- Dead Soul, 23:39:18 05/25/02 Sat

Love that line. If souled Spike is a third distinct personality - as I feel Liam/Angelus/Angel is(are?), I only hope he doesn't lose his edge. Or keep the name Randy.

Dead Soul

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