May 2002 posts

Previous May 2002  

More May 2002

CMotW *should* be posted tomorrow night about this time. -- OnM, 20:11:41 05/24/02 Fri

Sorry for the delay, but had a ludicrously long and miserable workweek this week (and 'taint over yet, yecch...) so I had no time to even get started on it.

Please stay tuned, it's a good'n, and it will arrive eventually!



Another request for "Teacher's Pet" annotations -- Rob, 20:37:07 05/24/02 Fri

"The Witch" page took me longer than I thought it would, so I'm just now starting the "Teacher's Pet" annotations, but so far I have only received one contribution, from Rahael. It's a very significant one, and will give me a lot to work with, but I would like to get some from some more people, as well.

So, please add any annotations you may have on "Teacher's Pet" as responses to this thread, or e-mail them to me at, and I would be so appreciative!

Otherwise I'll have to make up all the annotations myself, and I might miss something!

If you want to see what my other annotations look like, you can check them out by clicking on one of the episode names on this page.

If you would like to refresh your memory on "Teacher's Pet" before making an annotation, there's a transcript of it



[> Re: Another request for "Teacher's Pet" annotations -- Cactus Watcher, 20:46:11 05/24/02 Fri

You've got e-mail. I hope. ;o)

[> [> Yes, I got it...THANK YOU!!! :o) :o) :o) -- Rob, 20:47:49 05/24/02 Fri

[> [> Yes, I got it...THANK YOU!!! :o) :o) :o) -- Rob, 20:49:31 05/24/02 Fri

[> Keeping the thread alive! -- Rob, 08:07:50 05/25/02 Sat

[> [> And again! -- Rob, 17:18:10 05/25/02 Sat

[> [> [> :o) -- Rob, 20:08:51 05/25/02 Sat

[> [> [> [> ;o) -- Rob, 11:12:28 05/26/02 Sun

[> Jenoff's reviews are up, and Rob's thread is alive for a little while longer -- Rattletrap, 06:52:19 05/27/02 Mon

Go here for Jenoff's reviews of the Buffy and Angel finales--some interesting reading in there this week.


[> [> LOL...Thanks! ;o) -- Rob, 10:04:39 05/27/02 Mon

Willow Theory- Spoilers! -- Wizardman, 03:07:44 05/25/02 Sat

Two to Go/ Grave was, IMHO, a great ending to a necessary season of Buffy. By necessary, I mean that some of these issues- growing up complexes- have been needing to be dealt with for quite a while- I just wish that it wasn't so depressing.

But of all the characters and scenarios that Grave sets up, I am obviously going to deal with the "Willow Problem." And it is a problem. Even though S7 is supposed to be more positive in tone- thank God!- I think that we all expect some major WillowAngst on the horizon. And, knowing Joss and ME, we will get it in spades.

What I would like to discuss is not her lovelife- although I hope to see Amber and maybe even Seth at some point- but the whole magical dilemna. I put the question out to you: will Willow permanently lose/forsake her powers, or be forced to control them?

I hope- and expect- to see the latter, and here are my reasons:

1) Willow tried to turn her back on magic once before. It didn't work, but I will say right now that it is to her credit that it took a profound psychological blow to get her off the wagon. With this being the case, the only safe way to prevent a return of Darth Rosenberg is for Willow to lose or control her magic.

2) Willow is potentially the magical equivalent of a nuclear warhead- or maybe even more powerful. I don't believe that that kind of power can be removed from a person without harming said person, although there is a rumor that some of the BtVS scenes will be shot in England. If this is so, then it certain that the Scoobies will be in England for Willow to be 'neutered.' But even if this is so, I don't believe that it will work, for the reason stated above.

3) The loss of Willow's magic is a copout on the part of ME. True, Willow will have enough to deal with next season, what with the loss of Tara not to mention her own actions. However, Willow abused powerful forces, and came to within an inch of destroying the world. If she had lost her powers shortly after Xander reached her, due to some sort of burnout, I would accept it, but after a summer-long wait... no, I don't see it happening. It's not ME's style to do something that major offscreen.

4) Darth Rosenberg was the end result of some of Willow's issues- how she views magic, how she views the world as something that she should control as much as she can, etc. The power may be taken away, but the issues remain. If she can deal with them, and overcome them, then she could be a powerful force for good just as she used to be before this Season.

5) Finally, Willow will probably WANT her powers gone now. Not to sound like a sadist, but that is too easy. She must deal with what she done, not just fix it so that it can't happen again. No. She must somehow atone for what she has done. In this, there is a parallel to Angel. The ep IWRY showed us how much good Angel is fighting evil without his vampiric strength, etc. Willow has her computer skills to contribute, very true, but little else except a lot of heart, courage, brains, and luck (as if those aren't enough)! My point is that with Giles and Tara gone, the gang needs someone on the magic detail. The finale has shown us that Anya is no slouch now that she has her powers back, but whom among us thinks that she will be allowed to keep them for very long if she doesn't start to actually do her job? If she is forced to choose between her powers and the Scoobies, either way said Scoobies will be out their mage, which brings us back to Willow.

(I also have a fondness for this because Willow being forced to learn to use her power responsibly will be cause to bring Tara back as a spirit-guide- I hope!)

Well, thise are just my opinions. What do you think? Any support/denial/critique/response-at-all is very welcome!

[> I think Willow should keep her powers... -- The Last Jack, 07:06:56 05/25/02 Sat

but she should develop into a witch more like Tara, out of respect for her lost love, or just as a way from protecter herself from becoming Dark Willow. After becoming "tainted" with good magic from Giles, maybe she will realize that she is using it all wrong and develop into a more stable, power respecting wicca.

[> [> I agree. -- yuri, 12:42:52 05/25/02 Sat

I think Willow needs to learn Tara's kind of magic so that she may honor her lost love in the fullest way. I'm not saying "willow must honor tara!" as if I felt it was her moral responsibility, necessarily, but rather I think that it may the only way that Willow can live with herself and her loss, and also the only way ensure that she never becomes the villian again.

[> I wanna she her keep her powers and try to control them. -- VampRiley, 07:39:15 05/25/02 Sat

Sounds more interesting to me than just "Okay, they're gone. I'm back where I was at the begining of the show." Seems kind of going backwards than forward.


[> Re: Willow Theory- Spoilers! -- Dochawk, 08:43:12 05/25/02 Sat

At the end Willow was left only with the earth magic of the coven, which she couldn't harness to destroy the world. In time she probably would have been able to, but that was why the bolts coming from her were less powerful. Even these may have burned out. I think we are going to see at least once where Willow not having her magic ability is going to hurt someone (Xander would be the most obvious choice here).

Also remember that Willow is not the only "evil" character we see who has grown and learned something about their own capacities. And he also has the ability to harness magic, Jonathan. He also has alot to atone for and as we have already seen he is aware of it. I don't think we've seen the end of him, though this time I think he will be on the side of Buffy.

[> Don't agree here... -- Dariel, 13:33:22 05/25/02 Sat

I have to say I'm firmly in the camp of "no more magic for Will." Willow has serious psychological issues, mostly in the self-loathing department. Hiding behind magics has only made it worse, as evidenced by her actions and statements in the finale. Those kind of issues cannot be dealt with over a few months, or even a few years.

Having her take up "good" magics will not help, because it would feed right into her old "I just want to do good" mantra. We're still talking about power over other people and the world, and Willow has shown that she cannot handle this responsibly.

[> [> I think your missing our point -- The Last Jack, 16:52:55 05/25/02 Sat

We know that Willow and magic our a dangerous mix, but we think it would be a cop out if some witches or whatever simply removed her powers. First of all, its too easy in making Willow harmless again, and secondly it an artifical solution which doesn't solve the problem. It would be more positive for her to work towards her own personal redemption than to have it handed to her on a silver platter.

[> [> Re: Do agree here.. -- leslie, 16:54:11 05/25/02 Sat

Willow has "self-esteem issues," yes, but because she thinks she has nothing to contribute to the world. Then she discovers that she has a talent for magic. She *is* a powerful witch. That is part of her, wherever it came from, and it *is* a contribution, and a talent is something to be proud of. But what she has been doing is misusing her innate talent, not abusing an external power. This is why the "magic 12-step recovery program" metaphor never worked for me; you can, say, get yourself off of heroin with a lot of work, but you can't stop your body from producing endorphins when you're happy. Or, for another metaphor, Willow as been like someone with an enormous talent for poetry who spends her life writing greeting cards because it's easy and it pays well and who reads poetry these days anyway? I would say that part of her self-esteem problem is precisely the error we all are falling into here--regarding the magic as something external to her, something that is not really "her" and therefore a crutch that she uses to bolster the less-than-perfect "real Willow." She has to learn that part of having a talent is using it responsibly and effectively, and that isn't always easy, and sometimes you have to make sacrifices in terms of a comfortably, easy life in order to be true to it. But when you do, there's where the self- esteem kicks in, and that's when you are true to the real you.

[> [> [> I get it, and I still don't agree -- Dariel, 19:57:44 05/25/02 Sat

First, the Last Jack's comment below:

We know that Willow and magic are a dangerous mix, but we think it would be a cop out if some witches or whatever simply removed her powers...It would be more positive for her to work towards her own personal redemption than to have it handed to her on a silver platter.

I wasn't talking about someone "removing" Willow's powers; just her not using them. However, say her powers were "removed"--how exactly does that qualify as handing her redemption? It doesn't erase what she has done, or how she feels about the world, in any sense. Redemption is about acknowledging your own evil, and about the intent to remedy this and do good. It's a process, not a prize.

And Leslie's:

Willow has "self-esteem issues," yes, but because she thinks she has nothing to contribute to the world. Then she discovers that she has a talent for magic. She *is* a powerful witch. That is part of her, wherever it came from, and it *is* a contribution, and a talent is something to be proud of. But what she has been doing is misusing her innate talent, not abusing an external power.

I think you're making my point for me. For all of her power, her incredible talent, Willow still hates herself, still feels like the geek. Willow is good with computers and generally brilliant, but she doesn't value herself for those things either. And those are innate talents. It doesn't matter whether the magic comes from within or without, or whether it's light or dark; it won't make her feel any better inside.

The important point here is that Willow has more than just a "self-esteem" problem. Self-loathing is more like it. Having her delve into pretty magics isn't going to address that; in fact, it's just avoiding the point. And that point is that Willow doesn't have to be special to be a valuable person, to deserve love. Which is what Xander was trying to tell her when he said that he loved geeky Willow and scary veins Willow both.

Another problem that magic can't help with is her anger, even rage at a world she cannot control. Willow has wanted so badly to be "good" that she has pushed aside these feelings. And used magic to exert control. In "Seeing Red," when her magic fails to bring Tara back to life, she goes after Warren. If she cannot control life, then she will control death.

What I've noticed in this thread is that no one likes the idea of a magic-less Willow. After all, the world needs her power to fight for the forces of good. It would be such a waste to lose it, right? Well, yes it would. However, this year's theme is about growing up. And one of the hard things about growing up is that sometimes the right choice still kind of sucks.

[> [> [> [> Hmm, your right, redemption wasn't the right word to use. Too used to using it I guess -- The Last Jack, 20:37:48 05/25/02 Sat

[> [> [> [> A Magickless Willow -- Dochawk, 21:23:24 05/25/02 Sat

I want her to be magickless. How else will she heal? When you have cancer you need to remove the cancer before healing begins.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: A Magickless Willow -- Wizardman, 01:13:24 05/26/02 Sun

I understand what you are saying, and to a point I agree. I just think that Willow's problem isn't the magic, but her psyche. The magic abuse was just a symptom, not the true problem. I don't know if I would go so far as to say that Willow is self-loathing, but I admit that she does come close. My point is that even if the magic goes away from her, her problems won't leave along with her powers. We have already seen this! I think that she should stay away from the magic until she can resolve her issues, because they are the source of Darth Rosenberg, but I don't see why she should stay away when- if- she resolves her problems, because without them, she should theoretically not misuse her gifts.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: A Magickless Willow -- Dochawk, 01:41:20 05/26/02 Sun

I agree, once she is healed magicks shouldn't pose a threat. But she must be psychologically and emotionally healed first and the temptation should be removed while she goes through the process.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: A Magickless Willow -- O'Cailleagh, 01:59:11 05/26/02 Sun

The only way Willow can heal is to learn to use magic responsibly. Going 'cold turkey' will not help. Incidentally, removing cancerous tissue is thought to be extremely traumatic to the body and increases the chances of developing cancer again.

[> [> [> [> Re: I get it, and I still don't agree -- Wizardman, 02:05:55 05/26/02 Sun

First off, I do agree with most of your point. One thing that we all seem to agree on is that Willow has serious issues to work through. All I'm saying is that when- if- Willow ever resolves her issues, I can find no reason why she cannot return to the magic. It wasn't the magic itself that was addictive, but the power. If she can reach a point in her life where she doesn't have the control and the low self-esteem issues- I don't know if I'd go quite as far as to say that she is self-loathing, but she does come close- well, if the source of the abuse is gone, then the abuse should logically not occur. Also, the proper use of her powers- her "delving into petty magics"- should help her atone for her actions. It will not, can not, and should not erase her actions, and she will need to deal with them, but there is a point to which she will only be able to progress in her redemption- which for Willow is the dealing with her issues- by atoning for her abuses, and using her gifts the way she is supposed to- saving people from monsters- is the best way I can think of for her to do that.

Is Buffy a Didactic? -- Majin Gojira, 09:52:35 05/25/02 Sat

A didactic - A story with a lesson to teach us. Like Dr. Faustus, Frankenstien, and others.

I'm inclined to believe that it is a Didactic - and I pray to every God I know (which is quite a few, mind you) that i've spelled that right.

What do you people think? Is Buffy Didactic? Does it have lessons to teach us?

[> Re: Is Buffy a Didactic? -- Humanitas, 15:16:19 05/25/02 Sat

I certainly think so. As for what the lessons are, well, let's see...

- Everything I Ever Needed to Know I Learned from Buffy the Vampire Slayer -

Anyone else want to add?

You did spell it right, by the way, at least according to American Heritage Dictionary Online. ;)

[> [> Maybe, it's never too late to try to be a better person? -- Ixchel, 15:36:52 05/25/02 Sat

[> [> Never, never feed the Mogwai after midnight. No wait, that was "Gremlins." Nevermind.:-) -- A8, 15:42:40 05/25/02 Sat

[> [> Life is painful and tough for most people and everyone has problems, which makes you feel alone. -- VR, 17:17:43 05/25/02 Sat

[> [> [> Dreams don't always come true and everyone has a little bit of every type of person inside them. -- VR, 17:19:21 05/25/02 Sat

[> [> [> [> Adults are people too. Given a chance, they can be a great asset and ally. -- VR, 17:20:51 05/25/02 Sat

[> [> [> [> [> Sorry to say so many. But thought of some more. -- VampRiley, 17:50:09 05/25/02 Sat

Independence is very good, but too much leads to disaster for yourself and possible for those you care about.

Mistakes happen. And one wrong mistake shouldn't cost you the possibility to do good for the world.

Many times, the secrets we have become know to others.

True friendship can survive huge hurdles.

You can't make everything better with a quick fix.

When you try to reach out to someone, sometimes you get hurt.

Doing good is mostly a thankless job.

We never know how we're gonna react to death of those we know.

Family is more than just genetics.

Sometimes, life is too much to take on alone.

Evil comes in all shapes and sizes and sometimes from the unexpected.

There are consequences to what we do and how we are.

You can feel tremdous guilt after decisions are made in the heat of passion.

If you keep everything inside, you can blow up with disasterous consequences.

You can be so blind to what is right in front of you.

Being focused on getting to one goal as soon as you can can lead to disaster.

Strength can be found in pain.

Relationships are more than just one person.

We all lose our innocence eventually and become the dreaded adults.

We all have flaws.

Communication in any realtionship is key.

How you get somewhere is sometimes more important than where you end up.

Life is always changing.

Now I can't think.


[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Sorry to say so many. But thought of some more. -- shygirl, 18:48:12 05/25/02 Sat

Ya done good though while you were.... all good points and relevant to the evolution of all of the characters in Sunnydale.

[> [> I learned to analyse the themes of a story -- Etrangere, 17:45:51 05/25/02 Sat

No, sorry
no great life lessons
the only life lessons i've found in Buffy were those I already knew
How could i found them if not ?

[> [> [> Spontaneous realization? -- VR, 17:51:27 05/25/02 Sat

[> [> Love hurts, baby -- Dead Soul, 23:41:02 05/25/02 Sat

[> Being a grown-up isn't about 'kids' or 'family'. It's about perspective. -- SingedCat, 20:44:17 05/25/02 Sat

How will this work with Spike? (spoiler if you saw finale) -- hazel, 18:29:11 05/25/02 Sat

I don't know if you guys have already talked about this. I apologize if you have....

Just wondering what your thoughts are on how Spike will be able to operate now that he has a soul. Will it be like Angel? Or is this all together different because the PTB did not give him his soul? Can he have sex with Buffy without reverting back? Lots of questions here...

[> is spike still spike? -- tam, 20:43:12 05/25/02 Sat

does a soul make spike william? or is he spike with a soul? someone please answer

[> [> Re: is spike still spike? (Spoilers TTG/G) -- Sophie, 08:17:26 05/26/02 Sun

Just a personal theory. Whenever someone or something changes radically from the state of "good" to the state of being "evil" or vice versa, a name change seems in order. Liam - Angelus - Angel - Angelus - Angel. William - Spike. Anyanka - Anya.

Rack calls Willow, "Strawberry" while she is trying to revenge Tara's death. And later in the ep when someone calls to Willow by her name, she says, "That's not my name".

So, whether Spike is still Spike or back to William or gets a new name is not yet known. Will he be evil despite his soul? I don't see him returning to being William if he is still a vampire, not human.



[> [> [> Darth Rosenberg -- Direwolf, 10:12:22 05/26/02 Sun

it's more than that: every charachter who has a violent underside always gets a new name to distingish her "nice" personality from her "not-so-nice" one.
Giles had Ripper, Anya, as you said, had Anyanka and Oz had Oz-Wolf.

I therefore humbly suggest we call Willow's evil side (counting her vampire appearances, it certainly has shown its face more than enough times to merit a name):

Darth Rosenberg, to commemorate Andrew's almost sole amusing joke.

[> [> [> [> Re: Darth Rosenberg - I'll second that! -- Sophie, 10:19:10 05/26/02 Sun

[> Re: How will this work with Spike? (spoiler if you saw finale) -- Hoping, 21:20:41 05/25/02 Sat

No curse. They can have sex. But, why would Buffy?

[> [> Re: How will this work with Spike? (spoiler if you saw finale) -- SugarTherapy, 22:43:55 05/25/02 Sat

She had sex with Angel after he lost his soul and tried to kill her for a few months (she doesn't remember it, but she did it). She probably won't hold Spike to the same rules she did Angel (he didn't have a soul, so it wasn't really him and all is forgiven), but by her own standards, she ought to take him back, or at least be friendly to him, and I sure hope someone has the balls to point that out to her.


[> [> [> Re: How will this work with Spike? (spoiler if you saw finale) -- Dochawk, 00:30:45 05/26/02 Sun

Although Mal has pointed out below that she has a poor memory, there is nothing to compare Attempted Rape with. She didn't love spike before and he tried to rape her. Again, why would she take him back?

[> [> [> Spike isn't Angel (spoilers) -- Scroll, 11:05:56 05/26/02 Sun

I don't think any of Buffy's friends would tell her that she *should* take back Spike after what he did to her. Granted, Buffy might take him back anyway just because she does care for him somewhat, but I really doubt Dawn or Xander or Anya will tell her that it would only be fair to Spike to keep to the same standards she set with Angel. And I think they would be right.

Whether or not Buffy forgives Spike (and I think she will or already has, since she was willing to leave Dawn with him), what Spike did to her was a severe breech of trust. He tried to rape her. As a woman and as a Slayer, she has to evaluate whether it is safe or right to trust him again. Spike has to earn that trust again, and he might not be able to do it.

Angel is held to a different standard because he had no control of his body during S2. Buffy forgave him and she trusted him because she felt that he was trustworthy. If or when Spike becomes trustworthy, Buffy might or might not accept him again. Either way, it's her prerogative. At least, that's MHO. :)

[> [> [> [> Very nicely Put -- Hoping, 15:46:58 05/26/02 Sun

[> [> [> [> Re: Spike isn't Angel (spoilers) -- SugarTherapy, 17:28:04 05/26/02 Sun

"Angel is held to a different standard because he had no control of his body during S2"

Spike didn't have control of his body either. Both of them were evil and soulless. Buffy accepts that there is Angel and Angelus and that they aren't one in the same. She doesn't hold Angel accountable for what he does without a soul. So by her own standards, Spike should be absolved just as simply as Angel was. Hell, it's not like he tried to kill her - his was actually a lesser crime than what Angelus did. And she did kinda set herself up for his "attempted rape". But I won't get into that...

I'm not saying she'll forgive him like she did Angel. I'm just saying she *should*.


[> [> [> [> There are two ways to look at this. (spoilers finale) -- Traveler, 17:00:48 05/27/02 Mon

We must hold Spike accountable for all of his actions or none. If he is accountable, then we have to give him credit for the good things he may do in the future, not his new shiny soul. On the other hand, if we say that he is only good now because he has a soul (assuming he IS good), then we can't penalize him for the things he did as a vampire, since we would be saying that he was a totally different person then.

The same applies to Angel. If we absolve him from the sins he comitted as Angelus, then we must give most of the credit for the good deeds he now does to his soul, not his personality.

[> Just out of curiosity, why are we all assuming that having a soul will make Spike good? -- DaveW, 14:17:24 05/26/02 Sun

It occurs to me that this past season demonstrated to us repeatedly that normal, souled people can do evil things. We see it in Willow, Warren, Andrew (sort of), Rack (sort of), maybe some others I'm forgetting. Who's to say that souled-Spike will be a white hat? It strikes me that he could just as easily throw his new state in the faces of the folks that scorned him when he did good without a soul by doing evil things with one. Just a thought...

[> [> Don't put spoilers in subject lines. -- Traveler, 16:24:02 05/26/02 Sun

Read the spoilers policy listed for this board if you're confused as to what constitutes a spoiler.

[> [> [> No confusion, just stupidity on my part. (NM) -- DaveW, 21:17:16 05/26/02 Sun


[> [> Re: Just out of curiosity, why are we all assuming that having a soul will make Spike good? -- Alice, 02:07:50 05/27/02 Mon

I'd be disappointed if souled Spike turned out to be more evil than non-souled Spike, because it would feel like backwards motion to me.

Having not seen the finale yet (4 days to go!) I may be missing something in his motivation, but perhaps Spike had gone as far towards becoming good as he could without a soul. That is, the desire to be good was there, but he was contanstly fighting with the demon in him. This is clearly seen in Seeing Red after the bathroom scene where he moves between, 'what have I done?' and 'why didn't I finish it?'

Getting a soul for Spike is less about getting a soul and more about overcoming the demon/evilness in him, and I don't think he's really thought through the effects that getting a soul is going to have on him. He's seen Angel with a soul being good - what he's missing is the 100 or so years Angel spent moping around in horror at what he'd done.

All that said, I am disappointed with the writers choice to give Spike a soul; like many others it feels like a cop-out. I'd much rather they explore the direction his character was taking, and whether the desire to be good could overcome any innate evilness.

[> Is Spike Dead? -- LeeAnn, 14:35:14 05/26/02 Sun

We've always been told that a vampire is a demon walking around in the body of the person it killed. The soul is gone and the human is no more. We've been shown that Angel and Angelus were two separate individuals with little in common but a physical shell. Doesn't that mean that Spike is not just changed but gone?

Was Spike murdered by the demon in the cave? Was he surprised with a monkey's paw wish that killed him? Or did he know exactly what he was getting but he wanted it so Buffy could get what she deserves. Did he know he would be extinguished? Did he know and go ahead with what would surely have to be suicide for a vampire?

When Angel had his soul restored in Becoming Part 2 he didn't even remember what Angelus had done for a while. What about Spike? Who is the new creature that was created in that cave? He cannot be Spike, who is now dead, or William who was not a vampire. This souled creature must be someone different than either of them.

I'm totally in mourning for Spike and don't consider what happened to him to be redemption. It was murder or suicide because it killed Spike thus ending any chance Spike had to be redeemed, any chance to change as a result of his love, or doing good or remorse. It's true all those things drove him to the demon's cave, but according to Buffyverse canon, what happened to him there ended his existence.

[> [> Re: Is Spike Dead? -- SugarTherapy, 17:34:00 05/26/02 Sun

I don't think Spike's dead, just sharing his space. Same with Angelus. He's still very much there every moment of Angel's existence. People like to separate them, but you really can't. A souled vampire is just a vampire on a moral leash. How long that leash is depends on the person. Angel is perfectly capapble of letting the Angelus aspect of him out to play - which he has done on numerous occasions (especially with W&H). *He* knows the demon is always there. Our Spike is still in that body, he just has a conscience now.


[> [> He's not dead... -- Doug the Bloody, 17:39:52 05/26/02 Sun

...Unless he was made human. If he was simply given a soul then Spike has been imprisoned. Since a Vampire body needs thedemon to animate it and keep it from falling to dust Spike will be imprisoned by William's soul inside their shared body until either they get dusted, or any form of soul lossage (that's not a word, but I'm using it anyway) occurs. Until that time Spike will be suppressed by William's soul, just like Angelus is suppressed by the soul of Liam.

Jane Espenson said in an interview that Spike really did want the soul. In this case it was not so much suicide as willfully imprisoning himself. Spike sentenced himself to the equivalent of a life-sentence (if you're immortal) and the demon executed the sentence.

And then there were two **Finale Spoilers and S7 spec** (long, rambly) -- Doriander, 20:18:39 05/25/02 Sat

"I knew this 'I'm the only one, I'm the only one' thing was just an attention-getter." Xander (WML2)

Time was, there can only be one (now where have I heard that that before?). The Chosen One and “the” vampire with a soul; slayer-comma-the and, well, Angel. Then came the current slayer who broke protocol, had friends that show up in the nick of time to revive her from death, and the government special ops who defied natural order and implanted one unfortunate vamp with a chip that drastically altered his unlife. Wackiness ensued, hence, we presently have the Chosen Two (Buffy and Faith) and two vampires with souls (Angel and Spike).

Recall Buffy didn't choose to be a slayer, she tried to reject her calling, tried to be a normal girl again, that didn't work out. Similarly Angel never chose to be souled, he initially tried to be a proper vampire again, that didn't work out either. Contrast this to Faith, whom prior to being called officially has a roster of outrageous stories about her slaying. Spike too prior to Africa, has had practice fighting for the side of good.

Faith was the eager slayer. That doesn't necessarily mean she'd carry it well. Faith's story, say the writers, is about taking the wrong path. Through her they explore the darker aspects of being a slayer that prior to S5 they were hesitant to explore in Buffy. Faith is Buffy's shadow. Faith is the rogue slayer. From the outset she felt entitled, Sunnydale was supposed to be her town were it not for Buffy, and surely this played into her decision to side with the opposite team.

Like Faith, Spike is eager to get a soul. The writers promise that souled Spike will be different from Angel. So far they've done a good job of Spike as foil to Angelus. From his recent mantra "I'll give her what she deserves, she'll get what's coming to her," it seems that like Faith, Spike fancies himself entitled to something when he gets back. I expect he'll be disappointed. Will souled Spike be the “rogue” version (if there is one)? Or is Angel the rogue one, and we've yet to see what the proper souled vamp should be. Futile ponderance at this point.

So meanwhile, I'll play with the parallels again with our second strings Faith and Spike, and their twisted connection to Buffy and Angel/Angelus.

A. Rebels

FAITH: Gee, if doing violence to vampires upsets you, I think you're in the wrong line of work!

SPIKE: Oh, I'm sorry. Did I sully our good name? We're vampires.

Faith and Spike were unwelcome additions to the SG and the Fanged Trio, at least from Buffy and Angelus’ perspectives. They could care less about ranks. New watcher? Screw that! Annoying one? Introduce him to sunlight. They were wild, reckless, unruly and rash (Spike to Angel: "I had a plan. Smart, carefully laid out. But I got bored." Faith to Buffy: "Who said I had a plan? I don't know how many's down there, but I wanna find out. And I'll know when I land. If you don't come in after me, (shrugs and smiles) I might die!"). Were they rebels really? Let's face it, more like upstarts. They really had nothing worthwhile before then. Faith we could assume, had poor upbringing, she was neglected (abused?), she had trust issues. Spike had been pathetic William. This newfound power delivered them from that, it's best thing that ever happened to them, and they loved being a slayer/vamp just a little too much. True, Buffy flirted with Faith's "want, take, have" philosophy but she was quick to come back from it. Unfortunately, not enough flashbacks to see whether Angelus did the same with Spike, though I doubt it. Anyway, Faith and Spike's worldviews very much contradicts their rival slayer/male vamp. It comes to a head when the upstarts recklessly put their respective gangs in danger; for Faith it’s with the accidental killing of a human, making her and Buffy chief suspects to the crime, for Spike it’s when the fanged four were forced to flee from London from a mob:

Faith: (grins evilly) Scares you, doesn't it?
Buffy: Yeah, it scares me. Faith, you're hurting people. You're hurting yourself.
Faith: (approaches Buffy) But that's not it. That's not what bothers you so much. What bugs you is you know I'm right. You know in your gut we don't need the law. We *are* the law.
Buffy: No.
(She turns her back and walks away. Faith follows right behind)
Faith: Yes. You know exactly what I'm about 'cause you have it in you, too.
Buffy: No, Faith, you're sick.
Faith: I've seen it, B. You've got the lust. And I'm not just talking about screwing vampires.
(Buffy stops in her tracks)
Buffy: Don't you *dare* bring him into this.
Faith: (taunting her) It was good, wasn't it? The sex? The danger? Bet a part of you even dug him when he went psycho.
Buffy: No! (continues walking)
Faith: (follows) See, you need me to toe the line because you're afraid you'll go over it, aren't you, B? You can't handle watching me living my own way, having a blast, because it tempts you! You know it could be you!
(Buffy has had enough. She stops, faces her and backhand punches her in the jaw. Faith comes up smiling wickedly)
Faith: There's my girl.
Buffy: (tries to get away) No. I'm not gonna do this.

Strikingly similar to Angelus and Spike’s spat in a flashback to 1880.

ANGELUS You've got me and my women hiding in the luxury of a mine shaft, all because William the Bloody likes the attention. This is not a reputation we need.
SPIKE Oh, I'm sorry. Did I sully our good name? We're vampires.
ANGELUS All the more reason to use a certain amount of finesse.
SPIKE Bollocks! That stuff's for the frilly cuffs-and- collars crowd. I'll take a good brawl any day. (Angelus approaches Spike menacingly).
ANGELUS And every time you do, we become the hunted.
SPIKE (to Angelus) Yeah, you know what I prefer to being hunted? Getting caught.
ANGELUS That's a brilliant strategy really... pure cunning.
SPIKE Sod off! (laughs) Come on. When was the last time you unleashed it? All out fight in a mob, back against the wall, nothing but fists and fangs? Don't you ever get tired of fights you know you're going to win?
ANGELUS No. A real kill. A good kill. It takes pure artistry. Without that, we're just animals.
SPIKE Poofter!
(Angelus shoves Spike and the fight is on. Angelus snaps a metal rod in half, lifts Spike up and slams him down on his back, raising the makeshift stake. Spike stops it inches from his heart and smiles up at Angelus)
SPIKE Now you're gettin' it!
(Angelus drops the rod and backs off)

Funny to see the upstarts take pleasure in getting the pros riled up (our pros have come a long way from the time when S1 Buffy broke the conventions of being a slayer, and Angelus mocked the bat-faced Master). Faith and Spike are intoxicated with their power. Screw the rules and artistry. But our pros see it differently. To Buffy, being a slayer doesn’t make you god, limitations must be recognized otherwise a slayer is just a killer. To Angelus vampires must separate themselves from animals. They are superior; they should be more sophisticated in their kills. Faith and Spike refuse to conform, instead they urge Buffy and Angelus to revel in power the same way, embrace the animal. I’m sure they feel very much overshadowed by the pros, so does that account for the extreme rebelliousness? Are they overcompensating because they want a separate identity from the official slayer/patriarch? Perhaps they thought, I know I could never amount to a Buffy/Angelus so I should just drag her/him down, make him/her like me.

These two seek is validation. Faith is different from Buffy and she thinks people regard her as wrong somehow for being so. It angers her. Spike is regarded as foolish, inviting death by angry mob or the slayer. Instead of being tamed, he sought the slayer out. Alas, whouda thunk it?! Their defiance was rewarded and thus began the best period of their existence. No wonder they try to hold on to it so badly (Faith: "I'm evil!" Spike:"I'm evil!"). For Faith it's when she chose to ally herself with the Mayor, Spike when he killed his first slayer after Angelus got cursed. Finally, Faith has a father figure that tells her she’s amazing, she doesn’t need to change, and Spike earns Darla’s respect and secured Dru’s love. They’re happy...though not for long. Buffy thwarts the mayor’s plans, puts Faith in a coma, robs her of a father. Angel reverts to Angelus, returns to the fold, robs Spike of his authority and his girlfriend. Commence revenge-a-brewing. Comatose Faith dreams of evil Buffy, wakes up, inflicts poetic revenge on the girl that robbed her of everything by taking over her body. Rollerboy Spike in perhaps the most impressive display of level- headedness we've seen from him (even Angelus takes notice), manages to bide his time and secretly makes a truce with Buffy, sneaks behind the unknowing Angelus, lets it all out as inflicts multiple blows with a crowbar.

For all her taunting of Buffy, we find what Faith really wants deep down is Buffy's life. She wants the mom, the friends, the watcher, the boyfriend, Sunnydale, she wants recognition as the slayer. Spike similarly mocks Angel/Angelus, but really he wants to be him. He wants to be as legendary as the Scourge of Europe/noble vampire, he wants to be as evil/good as Angelus/Angel for Dru/Buffy.

So far, covered the Faith:Buffy as Spike:Angel/Angelus. This being Jossverse, relationships reach soap-level complication. B/A is the ship most romanticized in canon. And I’m certain Faith and Spike resent this, seeing as they never hesitate to sling barbs at the two when they get the chance (Lovers’ Walk, Enemies, HloD, In the Dark, This Year’s Girl). So, onto the tangled web that is Faith:Angel as Spike:Buffy.

B. Exclusive connection

Angel: I know what's going on with you.
Faith: Join the club. Everybody seems to have a theory.
Angel: Hmm. (faces Faith) But I know what it's like to take a life. To feel a future, a world of possibilities, snuffed out by your own hand. I know the power in it. The exhilaration. It was like a drug for me.
Angel: Faith, you have a choice. You've tasted something few ever do. (stands up, paces) I mean, to kill without remorse is to feel like a god.
Angel: (crouches) But you're not a god. You're not much more than a child. Going down this path will ruin you. You can't imagine the price for true evil.
Angel: (smiles) You and me, Faith, (straightens up) we're a lot alike. Time was, I thought humans existed just to hurt each other. (sits next to her) But then I came here. And I found out that there are other types of people. People who genuinely wanted to do right. (looks at her) And they make mistakes. And they fall down. You know, but they keep caring. Keep trying. If you can trust us, Faith, this can all change. You don't have to disappear into the darkness. (Edited)

BUFFY You think we're dancing?
SPIKE That's all we've ever done.
SPIKE And the thing about the dance is, you never get to stop. Every day you wake up, it's the same bloody question that haunts you: is today the day I die? Death is on your heels, baby, and sooner or later it's gonna catch you. And part of you wants it... not only to stop the fear and uncertainty, but because you're just a little bit in love with it. Death is your art. You make it with your hands, day after day. That final gasp. That look of peace. Part of you is desperate to know: What's it like? Where does it lead you? And now you see, that's the secret. Not the punch you didn't throw or the kicks you didn't land. Every Slayer... has a death wish. Even you. The only reason you've lasted as long as you have is you've got ties to the world... your mum, your brat kid sister, the Scoobies. They all tie you here but you're just putting off the inevitable. Sooner or later, you're gonna want it. And the second- the second- that happens...You know I'll be there. I'll slip in... have myself a real good day.Here endeth the lesson. I just wonder if you'll like it as much as she did. (Edited)

What does Faith do? Rebuffs Angel. What does Buffy do? Rebuffs Spike. Then again, we know with whom they’d eventually seek solace. It is obvious Angel and Spike’s words had profound resonance, touched something deep in them.

(Who Are You?)
ANGEL And you can't possibly know what she's going through.
BUFFY And of course, you do? - I'm sorry. I can't be in your club. I never murdered anybody.

ANGELUS You can't keep this up forever. If I can't teach you, maybe someday an angry crowd will. That...or the Slayer.
(Spike sits up, suddenly interested.)
SPIKE What's a Slayer?

Angel connected to Faith in a way Buffy can’t understand, because she's never felt it. It's killer to killer/murderer to murderer. She can't be in their club. Spike connected to Buffy in a way Angelus/Angel probably couldn’t, because Angelus appears to be someone who refuses to engage in such “dance.” As for Angel, paraphrasing Lindsey, he's too noble. This “dance” is Spike and Buffy’s club. Warrior to warrior/slayer of slayers to vampire slayer. Hmmm. Come to think of it, Faith and Spike can be in both clubs.

C. Falling for the target

How many times has Faith tried to assassinate Angel? How many times has Spike tried to assassinate Buffy? When the two first appeared, they're immediately intrigued by Angel/Buffy. Faith was fed the Angel-was-involved-with-Buffy- then-he-turned-evil story, Spike for the mere fact that the slayer resides in town and she needs a good being killed. They preety much saw Angel/Buffy as playing the opposite team. So horror of horrors, they felt very betrayed by their sister slayer/yoda upon learning she/he is on a more than friendly relationship with the enemy. What could she/he possibly be thinking? It's perversion! Spoken too early dont'ya think? Fastforward, Faith and Spike themselves become turncoats. Then worse, they fall for their former targets (moreso in Spike's case). In “Enemies” we saw Faith very much attracted to Angel. She wants Angel for herself. She tries to turn him back into Angelus. In “School Hard” Spike begins a dance with Buffy. Chip happens. Attraction later develops to love. He wants Buffy for himself. Persuades her with we're-both-creatures-of-the -darkness, you-belong-in-the-shadows-with-me talk. We know they tried this tact before: Faith with her "want, take, have" philosophy seducing Buffy, and Spike with his "fist-and- fangs" bullying Angelus. Just like then, Faith and Spike know that the other two are a level above them. So they drag them down, as Faith can only have Angel if he's Angelus, Spike can only have Buffy if she's removed from her friends. They both fail in their attempts to change Angel/Buffy. They're the ones forced to change instead.

Faith has resisted Angel. In her last attempt to assassinate him, she puts up a seductive front, invites him to "get in the game". Climaxes to a drag out fight, where along the way she cracks, implores him to kill her, then she breaks down. It's when the posturing ends, she chose to finally let him in, let him reach into her. Angel was the only one who could empathize, who didn't judge, who didn't give up on her, no matter how many assasination attempts, no matter the damage she inflicted on Buffy, no matter her torture of Wesley and incapaciation of Cordy, no matter how offensive he came off to the three people closest to him. Faith chose to turn herself in to the authorities, which is really when her redemption begins. And Angel continues to support her.

Spike too tried to resist Buffy. His last attempt to kill her was preceded by posturing similar to Faith. He invites her to "dance" with him. Climaxes to him marching into her yard with a shotgun, grimly determined to off her once and for all, where upon the sight of her crying and vulnerable, he melts. Posturing ends, thence he chooses love over hate, reaches out to her, decides to pursue her. As for Buffy, I say she had been very forgiving. She spared his unlife numerous times despite Spike's repeated betrayals. Despite protests from the SG she recruited him, trusted him. Though gotta say B/S is comparatively touchy for what could have been a good friendship degenerated into a mutually abusive relationship. I do think Buffy holds out some trust in Spike even after SR, seeing as she believes he wouldn't (as opposed to just couldn't) hurt Dawn. Anyway, Spike chose to get his soul back, is this a start? Will Buffy choose to support him when he gets back? If he is to be Angel's shadow, how will ME pull it off since we've seen possibly the full spectrum of Angel: Beige, Dorky, Broody, Daddy etc. Sigh. Looong summer.

[> Re: Beautiful post...I loved it! -- Dead Soul, 22:09:29 05/25/02 Sat

[> Amazing post ! -- Etrangere, 05:41:33 05/26/02 Sun

[> Great thoughts! We're on the same page! -- Exegy, 10:21:04 05/26/02 Sun

[> Terrific analysis! Some speculations (spoilers for finale) -- Scroll, 10:42:11 05/26/02 Sun

That was a wonderful analysis, Doriander. I especially loved the point about how Faith/Spike know that they are somehow inferior and feel the need to pull Buffy/Angel down to their level. Faith/Spike will always want what their counterparts have: Faith wants the love Buffy has from her friends, family, boyfriend, Spike wants the love Angel has from Dru/Buffy. But if we follow this parallel into S7, then it's clear that Spike won't get what he wants in the end. (When does ME ever give *anybody* what they want? only what we need!) Faith never got the love of the Scoobies or acceptance from Buffy, never got to continue guilt free. Instead she submits herself to justice, and has one true friend in Angel.

So when Spike returns to Buffy all souled, I doubt he will get the happy ending he thinks should naturally follow now that he's all souled and not an evil dead thing. I don't think he'll get what he thinks he deserves. But if he lowers his defences and exposes his vulnerability and does what is right the way Faith did, he might get one true friend.

[> Great post! Well thought out and you made alot of really good points. -- Alice, 14:57:36 05/26/02 Sun

[> Wonderful post (is the summer over yet?) -- ponygirl, 06:36:45 05/27/02 Mon

Sigh... -- Drizzt, 20:29:49 05/25/02 Sat

I was standing TWO feet away from her, I looked into her eyes. She did look familiar, but I considered it unlikely she would be at my job(plus three other reasons that I did not recognize her). She said nothing; I said nothing...

Wistfull sigh...
If I had recognized her, I would have said something;(

[> Who? Sara? Charisma? Alyson? -- The Last Jack, 20:33:13 05/25/02 Sat

[> [> Re: Who? Sara? Charisma? Alyson? -- Drizzt, 20:57:20 05/25/02 Sat


She was with Freddie.

Due to a bit of context I am pretty sure they came to my job specifically to see me. I will not explain the context. Unknown what their specific motives were aside from that I am one her strangest fans.

One thing that has an amusing irony is that she was checking me out vs. normally it is the fan who checks out the celebrity. Paraphrase; Sarah was surrepticiously(sp?) checking out one of her most obsessed fans and I did not realize it for allmost an hour...

PS. I would not post this at all, but because I get the silent treatment here it will disapear into the archives fairly quickly; thus it will not get noticed much. I wanted to post it somewhere though; grrr!...I am adicted to the internet;(

[> Re: Sigh... -- SingedCat, 20:41:39 05/25/02 Sat

Look on the bright side-- she probably thought you were being terribly discreet and considerate, and remembers you with gratitude. :D

[> Re: Sigh... -- Drizzt, 20:44:57 05/25/02 Sat

For the record I NEVER ever lied about anything on this site. I was deceptive and I admit to a metaphorical lie; when I changed my name I deliberately did not mention that I am FanMan. Rejected as FanMan, then I was accepted as Drizzt. I felt guilty because it felt like a lie, it felt wrong.

I miss haveing you actually reply to me.
I could change my name again; that is not acceptible to me. I have only posted here as FanMan & Drizzt, and I will NOT post with any other names on this site...

Boy I made an ass of myself multiple times here;(

Let the silent treatment continue for the FanMan Troll;(

PS. The only other thing I EVER lied about on the internet is I exagerated by 75 hours how much I have practiced telekinesis; that exageration was not on this site though. I did it from shame and embarrassment at how little I had actually worked on my goal considering how much I have talked about it. I must have sounded like a bunch of hot air;(

[> [> I didn't think you were that bad as FanMan, as far as I remember. -- VampRiley, 20:54:11 05/25/02 Sat

But it has been awhile since I saw the name FanMan and a lot has happened since then. I actually tried to look for that article you said was at that one site, but I think I couldn't find it. Oh well. Glad you stuck around.


[> [> Re: Sigh... -- mundusmundi, 20:55:58 05/25/02 Sat

We've all made asses of ourselves, Drzzt. And not just here. As I've commented elsewhere (with a line I've stolen from elsewhere, only now I can't remember where), on any given day I'm capable of doing ten stupid things before breakfast. Don't be so hard on yourself, Drzzt. Just be yourself. OK?

[> [> [> Thanks... -- Drizzt, 21:02:32 05/25/02 Sat

Hey guys thanks for the pep talks:)

RE me and info about me.

Do a websearch on
Search for the name "SmorgasBorQ"

Classic Movie of the Week - May 24th 2002 -- OnM, 22:05:58 05/25/02 Sat


What’s wrong?

............ Anonymous (one of the simplest of all simple questions, usually without any simple answer)


You are a true believer. Blessings of the state, blessings of the masses. Thou art a subject of the divine.
Created in the image of man, by the masses, for the masses. Let us be thankful we have an occupation to
fill. Work hard; increase production; prevent accidents, and... be happy.



Yeah, right. Just gimme shelter, now.

............ Evil Clone (undoubably plagiarizing someone somewhere)


Last year at this time after the airing of the Buffy season finale, I offered up a recommendation for one of
my all-time favorite films, Until the End of the World, by the great German director Wim Wenders.
This choice, while undoubtably a masterwork, really was only tenuously linked to the subject matter or
theme of The Gift. I mean, sure, there was the ‘end of the world’ thing, and there was the concept
of a ‘gift’ that had some parallels in ‘bringing vision to the blind’, rather literally in the case of Wender’s
film. And, one of the major characters in UtEotW was a woman (played by actor Solveig Dommartin) of
unusual demeanor and abilities. Plus, there was broody William Hurt, for a little Angel-like flavoring as a
small nod to A:tS.

Other than that, I just kinda stretched it to fit, just a mite. I’m going to do that again, I’m afraid.

Frankly, a lot of the fault for this is ME’s, since they manage to trip me up year after year and (very
pleasantly) confound my expectations. This year was no exception, and since to the best of my knowledge,
no one has yet made a movie out of Madeleine L'Engle's novel A Wrinkle in Time *, I’ll just have
to go with my original plan, and do the mite-y expanding- upon riff again.

But it matters little, ‘cause I’ve been wanting to find an excuse to recommend this movie since I first
started the column last year, and this last week’s ep (and the season overall) offers as good a connection as
I am ever likely to find between it and the Buffyverse. This is a film that deals with addiction (but not the
way you think) and loneliness (also with a twist) and sorrow and the need to escape from pain, to cast off
numbness and apathy. Like Buffy, it falls within the genre of science fiction and fantasy, and adds a touch
of horror (but also not in the typical way). There are even robots!

This is a film that started when the director was very young, in fact still a film student. Much shorter and
less polished than the eventual finished, feature length version, it nevertheless won an award at the 1967
National Student Film Festival. It also caught the attention of Francis Ford Coppola, who subsequently
signed on to serve as it’s executive producer. The director has since moved on to become not only one of
the United States’ most admired contemporary filmmakers, he is an individual who like only a small
number of others, has changed the nature of the cinematic arts irrevocably. It is therefore my great pleasure
to recommend that you seek out and view the creative maiden voyage of director George Lucas, in his
1970/71 release, THX-1138.

One of the first things that you notice about George’s films is that he is a master of the visual. The man
somehow gets these entire worlds to live and breathe in his mind and then, even more astoundingly, can
take the way that they look down to the smallest, most trivial detail, and make it happen up there on the
screen. You can compare the technical advances that took place in realizing the first Star Wars
(now ‘Episode IV’) and then in the last or current one (‘Phantom Menace’ or ‘Attack of the Clones’) and
clearly see the improvements, but the mind-vision itself is always there as the wellspring. Lucas always
knows exactly what he wants to see, and only the mechanical, technical limits of the current day
restrict him from bringing about his new realities.

THX-1138 is an incredible film visually. There is little dialog, and frankly we don’t really need that
much, since virtually every single frame is rife with visual metaphor. Star Wars seemed to come as
a bit of a surprise for both film critics and the general public, who mostly knew Lucas from American
and it’s tale of cars and the philosophies of cruising as pertains to adolescents on the cusp of
adulthood. Graffiti seemed deceptively ‘simple’, but it really wasn’t. Just as with
THX-1138, Lucas took the familiar aspects of his world and made it special.

Rumor (and maybe fact) has it that George likes fast cars-- really fast cars. This led him to multiple
run-ins with the local authorities, and in one nearly tragic accident, a near-miss with the ultimate authority,
the reaper himself. Whether these altercations caused him to postulate the dystopian environment of his
first theatrical creation, or whether he just thought it would be cool to do another extemporization on the
1984 oeuvre, it matters not-- the result clearly foreshadows his genius.

The world of THX-1138 is an underground one, literally. It is a future society where failure to
regularly use mind-altering drugs is a punishable offense, and sex is considered an unacceptable distraction
from efficiency and is equally criminalized. People are all dressed the same, in simple, bland, white clothing,
heads are kept shaved (both men and women, and again apparently to ‘maximize efficiency’) and life on the
surface of the Earth is supposedly impossible.

The title character, ‘Thex’ (Robert Duvall), as his mate calls him, is unhappy but doesn’t really understand
why, there is just this vague sense of disquiet that will not leave him. His mate, LUH 3417 (Maggie
McOmie) is in the same boat. Despite counseling from OOM, a Jesus-visaged ‘spiritual leader’ who is
actually a computer-generated provider of directionless ‘spoken’ banalities, and attempting to maintain his
required dosages of sedatives in order to do his dangerous job, THX cannot find peace and contentment.
He decides to stop taking the drugs, and LUH does the same. This leads them to commit another ‘crime’,
which is the act of lovemaking. LUH ends up pregnant-- not a good idea in this world of unseen leaders
(quite literally, we never see them, only hear their voices, which are humanly normal and very un-drugged
sounding, but always visually disembodied) who don’t take kindly to ‘disruptive’ elements from the

THX and LUH are arrested, and THX is sent to a detention center. Lucas cleverly twists around the
concept so that instead of a close, confining space such as a jail cell, the detainees live in a vast, empty
open expanse of white, with no walls-- or horizon, for that matter-- in sight. Another prisoner, SEN 5241
(Donald Pleasence, doing his usual quirky thing) is there with THX, because THX turned him in for
illegally manipulating the computer system to try to get THX to leave LUH and move in with him. He
bears no ill will towards THX, and in fact talks incessantly about escaping the underground world. They
meet up with a third man, SRT, who refers to himself as being ‘just a hologram’ and who is also the only
dark-skinned character in the entire universe, as far as we can tell. SRT helps THX and SEN to escape, but
things don’t go as planned.

This movie was made in color, but a curious thing is that it behaves as if it were shot in black & white. The
first several times that I saw it, I still owned only a B&W television, and the pervasive whites, pale greys,
and occasional jarring dead blacks that were everywhere seemed to be intended to look exactly the way
they did. I was stunned some years later to see the film again, and discover it was shot in color. This leads
to a somewhat odd request on my part..

I would suggest that the first time you watch THX- 1138 you attempt to turn the color control
all the way off on your TV set, if it will allow you to do so. (You may need to decativate the
‘auto-color’ feature of your set if you currently have it engaged-- check the set’s video menu. Also, if your
set has a ‘color temperature’ setting, try placing it on ‘medium’ or ‘warm’.) Be aware that if your TV is
not properly color-calibrated, you will not be able to achieve a true B&W image on the screen,
which is what you are trying to do. If not, of course you can just restore the normal color settings and go
with them. If you can get a good black & white picture, watch it that way first, then watch it again
later on in the normal color format. I’d be very interested to hear if your impression parallels with mine.

I won’t spoil the ending, but you will certainly see a parallel with our Buffster in terms of the return of the
hero to the world of ‘normality’. The fates of other characters have their own resonances with the
Buffyverse tricksters, addicts, and ordinary people of all stripes. Like Joss, George takes what should be an
overdone motif and breathes new life and depth into it, making a deeply thought-provoking work that
stands the test of time. This is one of my top ten all-time best-of’s, and I expect it to stay there. Despite
Lucas’ later and greater complexities of technical regalia, there is much to be said for the virtue of

And, the deceptiveness of apparent simplicity is an even greater virtue, for in the words printed on
the face of the hobo-bard-philosopher’s acoustic guitar-- ‘This machine kills hatred'.

Strange musics to my ears...

E. Pluribus Cinema, Unum,



Technically way before Tomlinson Holman’s Experiment:

THX-1138 is not available on DVD, according to the IMDb and several other sources that I
checked with-- bummer. I understand that there is a petition of sorts going on to get it released in the new
format. Anyway, the review copy was on laserdisc, and the film is available on VHS, in (amazingly) both
widescreen and pan’n’scan (cropped for standard TV’s) versions. Please get the widescreen version
if it is available-- the film was shot in 2.35:1 aspect ratio, and Lucas uses every bit of the frame to provide
one stunning image after another, so don’t cheat yourself.

The film was released in either 1970 or 1971, depending on the source you go to, and runtime is a
relatively short 1 hour and 35 minutes. The screenplay was written by George Lucas and Walter Murch,
with some (uncredited) contributions of some kind by well- known SF writer Ben Bova. Cinematography
was by Albert Kihn and David Myers, with film editing by George Lucas. Art Direction was by Michael D.
Haller and costume design was by Donald Longhurst.

As to the sound department, Jim Manson and Louis Yates provided the ‘location sound’, Walter Murch
provided ‘sound montage’ and Dan Wallin was the scoring mixer. For someone now known to have
greatly raised the bar in movie sound quality and effects, Lucas mastered THX-1138 in plain ol’ monaural,
an interesting choice. Done deliberately for a minimalist effect? To meet a tight budget? Only the Jedi
master knows... Original music was by Lalo Schifrin Non- original music was by Johann Sebastian Bach
(from ‘St. Matthew Passion, BWV 244’), and Karl Hajos, Heinz Roemheld and Franz Waxman (from
‘Buck Rogers (1940)’)


Robert Duvall .... THX 1138
Donald Pleasence .... SEN 5241
Don Pedro Colley .... SRT
Maggie McOmie .... LUH 3417
Ian Wolfe .... PTO
Marshall Efron .... TWA
Sid Haig .... NCH
John Pearce .... DWY
Irene Forrest .... IMM
Gary Alan Marsh .... CAM, the radical
John Seaton .... OUE
Eugene I. Stillman .... JOT
Raymond Walsh .... TRG
Mark Lawhead .... Shell Dweller in Prison
Robert Feero .... Chrome Robot
Johnny Weissmuller Jr. .... Chrome Robot
Claudette Bessing .... ELC
Susan Baldwin .... Police Control Officer
James Wheaton .... OMM
Henry Jacobs .... Mark 8 Student
William Love .... Mark 8 Instructor
Doc Scortt .... Monk
Gary Austin .... Man in Yellow
Scott L. Menges .... Child
Toby L. Stearns .... Child
Paul K. Haje .... Trial Prosecutor
Ralph Chesse .... Trial Proctor
Dion M. Chesse .... Trial Defender
Bruce Chesse .... Trial Pontifex
Mello Alexandria .... Hologram Dancer
Barbara J. Artis .... Hologram Dancer
Morris D. Erby .... Hologram Newscaster
Willie C. Barnes .... Hologram Comedian
Richard Quinnell .... Hologram Straight-Man
Jean M. Durand .... Listener
Scott Beach .... Announcer
Neva Beach .... Announcer
Terence McGovern .... Announcer
Julie Payne .... Announcer
James Cranna .... Announcer
Ruth Silveira .... Announcer
Bruce Mackey .... Announcer
David Ogden Stiers .... Announcer
Bart Patton .... Announcer
John Rigg .... Computer Operator (uncredited)



Trivia item da 1st:

Lucas shot the car chase scenes in San Francisco's BART subway system, which at the time was still under

Trivia item the 2nd:

In his film American Graffiti, the license plate of Paul Le Mat's roadster is THX 138.

Wanna see an early script for THX-1138? Well, sure ya do! Go here, and follow the links:

Wanna know more about THX, that is the movie theater sound and vision-y technical kinda THX? Go
here, and likewise follow the links to suitably soundiferous enlightenment:

RrrrrrrrrrrrrrruuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuummmmmmmmMMMMMMMMMMM!!! !!!!!

*Re: M. L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in TIme, the film. Apparently they are working on it, or a TV
mini-series, or somesuch. This site gives some info:


Question of the Week:

Summer’s here, movies there and everywhere. So whatcha watchin’?

Post ‘em if you... well, you know.

Take care, and see ya next week!


[> Re: About a Boy -- mundusmundi, 23:29:02 05/25/02 Sat

The book, by Nick Hornby, was fun until it went off the rails in the final fifty pages or so, but the Hugh Grant movie is even better. A real winner, I hope it doesn't get lost in the blockbuster shuffle.

[> Le Petit Soldat (Dir: Jean-Luc Godard) -- Sophie, 07:54:29 05/26/02 Sun

Could apply to the growin' up theme this past (already!) season. Bruno struggles with knowin' what he believes in - left or right (politically) or himself.

The movie has a really intense torture scene - Willow might wanna take notes. (During the torture scene, Bruno is tied up in the tub - gave me flashbacks of Spike tied up in Giles' tub back in Season 4. What is it with tying folks up in the tub, anyway? Well, Bruno's torturers made good use of the location.)


[> A Wrinkle in Time -- fan-boy, 11:17:38 05/26/02 Sun

Actually, someone is working on a TV movie version of Ms. Le Engel's classic, due out for the fall season if my sources are correct

[> [> Re: Wantabe claim to fame -- Brian, 16:23:30 05/26/02 Sun

I went to film school with George Lucas back in the 60's, and had the pleasure of seeing Thx1138 when it was a short, b/w, student film. That film got him his contract with Universal and he went on to make the full length version. I always thought the b/w made it a better film than the full length version. The underground sequences for the short film were done at a navy station on Catalina Island.

I'm sure this has been brought up before, but: Xander as Christ-figure foreshadowing? -- belle, 22:38:07 05/25/02 Sat

Okay, I thought about it, and they've just been planting hints right and left, almost as consistently as they did Big Bad Willow, for several seasons now. Starting with "Restless" (if not earlier) and heavy in the last finale. It's not just that he's a carpenter (they make a point of him referring to himself as such) who saves the world with love; there's a bit where Anya accuses him of "playing the martyr."

Oh, yes, and in one of the shooting scripts of season five, there's a cut bit of dialogue where Xander is telling Giles how unexpectedly great carpentry is, and (some pop culture star) used to be a carpenter, after all. Giles says, "Also Jesus" (or words to that effect). (Xander replies something like "Oh, yeah. But--(pop star)! Cool, huh?"

Odds on that the series ends with Xander dying a spectacular martyr's death?

[> Re: I'm sure this has been brought up before, but: Xander as Christ-figure foreshadowing? -- shygirl, 06:54:54 05/26/02 Sun

I think they'd have to make some major changes... Xander lacks humility and only loves conditionally... he accepts the "flaws" in Willow because she is human... bet if Anya pulled something major evil like this he'd wash his hands of her. She is after all, only a demon.

[> [> Re: I'm sure this has been brought up before, but: Xander as Christ-figure foreshadowing? -- Jane's Addiction, 07:43:32 05/26/02 Sun

Yes, Xander has been "conditional love boy" and, in my view, has really become quite annoyingly judgmental over the past couple of seasons. But I think we saw a major change, or awakening, in him in the finale.

We saw his concern for Anya in the finale when he tried to get her to leave the Magic shop and I think he had to begin redefining his terms after seeing her sacrifice and hearing her tell him to "go do something right."

As far as Willow goes, it looked like Xander was at a point in "Two to Go" where he could've easily abandoned her, deciding that she had crossed a line and could never truly be forgiven. But he did forgive her, and I don't think it was just to save the world. To me, it looked like Xander grew up a lot in the last few minutes of "Grave", but I thought it was quite believable and powerful.

As to the whole "Christ-figure" issue ... in "Restless", when everyone falls asleep in the living room, wasn't Xander lying in a sort of crucifixion pose, with arms outstretched? I recall wondering at the time if that was supposed to mean something. Of course, I remember thinking that about almost everything in "Restless". Still one of my all time favorite episodes.

[> [> [> Xander and Ben -- Maroon Lagoon, 13:43:03 05/26/02 Sun

I don't know if everyone knows this. I didn't until recently. But Xander was originally supposed to be the human prison for Glory, instead of Ben.

"You're a whipping boy. Raised by mongrels and set on a sacrificial stone."

That's a clear a Christ parallel as you could ask for. Xander was supposed to die to save the world in S5.

Dictionary says: whipping boy = scapegoat = goat upon whose head are symbolically placed the sins of the people after which he is sent into the wilderness

[> [> [> [> Where'd you hear that? -- The Last Jack, 13:55:14 05/26/02 Sun

[> [> [> [> [> Can't remember -- Maroon Lagoon, 14:29:58 05/26/02 Sun

It was a couple months ago on the web. I'm typing in keywords like "xander, ben, human prison, glory" into google, but I can't find the page. I think it might have been one of the many annotated episode guides.

I can't guarantee it was reliable information, but it had several 'could have been' tidbits like the Oz/Veruca arc being played out over more of the season and Gwen Post being a recurring character.

When I read it, I thought it explained Snyder's comment in Restless, but I wasn't sure how they would explain Glory never manifesting before in Xander's life. Ben says he'd been cleaning up Glory's messes his "whole damn life."

[> [> [> [> [> [> I think that would have been an interesting storyline actually! (NT) -- Alice, 14:46:32 05/26/02 Sun

[> [> [> [> Re: Xander and Ben -- Ronia, 15:54:56 05/26/02 Sun

that phrase in restless had me a bit concerned for Xander's wellfare also...I was beginning to wonder if ME had forgotten about it....but how has he been sacrificed? Okay, he was scratched a few times trying to save Willow, but come on...Will they ever pick up that storyline?

[> [> [> [> Actually, not as clear as it would seem. -- A8, 19:50:09 05/26/02 Sun

What happened to Ben and what happened to Jesus were not parallel at all. The contrast is cool though. In the Ben/Glory scenario, killing the human killed the god. On the other hand, in the Jesus/God scenario, killing the man actually releases the god, making it stronger (in terms, at least of the numbers of followers--yeah I know, an omnipotent being cannot technically become any more powerful). In the first case mankind is saved from physical destruction only (which is quite enough, IMHO), while in the second case, whether mankind is saved at all in any respect is yet to be seen.

Also, Giles' killing of Ben has the effect of putting him out of his misery rather quickly and efficiently, whereas in the Christ myth, a great deal of importance is placed on the lengthy suffering of the man before his death. Historically, the Romans placed a great deal of importance on the suffering of those condemned to die hence their use of the method of crucifixion. Crucifixion was such a cruel means of putting someone to death that it was deemed by the Romans to be a great deterrent to challenging their authority.

Wiccan Prejudice -- Dochawk, 01:39:31 05/26/02 Sun

As I was watching the tape of soemthing I saw the preview for 2TG/Grave and remembered the tag line "Hell Hath No Fury Like a Wiccan Scorned" and anotehr that was in a similar vein. I thought they were very insulting to Wiccans. Am I just being too PC?

[> Re: Wiccan Prejudice -- O'Cailleagh, 01:52:17 05/26/02 Sun

Well, as a Witch, I do find that kind of offensive, especially as Willow is technically neither a Wiccan, nor a Witch (Please be aware that this is in no way bashy...I love the character), unlike Tara, who seemed to have a spiritual basis to her practice (and definately more respect for it).
Connecting Witches/Wiccans to the Christian concept of Hell is rather irresponsible for a show that generally does a good job of representing 'alternative lifestyle choices'

[> [> Re: Wiccan Prejudice -- Wizardman, 02:21:21 05/26/02 Sun

I am not a Wiccan, but I don't need to be to agree with you. From what I know of Wicca- and granted it is not much and from the perspective of an outsider- it has nothing to do with Hell at all. In fact, it has a code and a law which prevents such abuses of power as Willow has performed: the Wiccan Rede, which I believe goes something like "An it harm none, do as ye will," and the Threefold Law of Return, which states that anything magical that you send out will return to you three times over. Please forgive me if got either or both wrong. All matters of accuracy aside, making that kind of blanket statement about Wiccans is every bit as wrong as saying it about Christians, or Jews, or Gays/Lesbians, or any group of people.

[> [> [> Re: Wiccan Prejudice -- aliera, 06:25:00 05/26/02 Sun

I think the line was a network blurb.

Willow's portrayal has been has been odd; but, her experiences with magic have been unusual from the beginning (at least to this viewer). Already in season 2, we have her studying the black arts "for fun" and her first major spell (the soul restoration) was completed when she was possessed? by someone else.

I have never seen her with teacher/mentor or a real group while she was learning which I found unlikely. Given her apparently strong powers in the last couple of seasons, I would have thought she would have drawn the attention of other practioners or Giles would have had some concerns before now (especially Giles, given his own past experiences).

[> [> [> [> Re: Wiccan Prejudice -- Mike J, 09:27:33 05/26/02 Sun

I agree with the fact I think the network was behind the blurb, most likely because they didn't bother to really study out the episode [or background on Willow & Tara], and made assumptions they shouldn't have.

[> [> Re: Wiccan Prejudice -- AgnosticSorcerer, 05:00:07 05/27/02 Mon

It couldn't have been a network "blurb" because ME has been using the phrase "Wicca" to describe Willow for the longest time.

"When it comes right down to it, I'm a Wiccan in RL, and Willow is a Wicca in the Buffyverse, where there are also vampires and demons. Not the same thing at all, so therefore it doesn't offend me. The blurb was kinda "Smack Down" lingo, if you ask me...just deliberately over done."

-- THANKYOU! I mean, honestly, it's a *fantasy* show. I might as well sue Charmed for their liberal and artistic use of the word "warlock".

"You're not being too PC. It was offensive. Willow's not even Wiccan, not in the real sense of the religion."

-- If Willow is not even Wiccan in the sense of the real religion, then why is it offensive?

"Well, as a Witch, I do find that kind of offensive, especially as Willow is technically neither a Wiccan, nor a Witch (Please be aware that this is in no way bashy...I love the character), unlike Tara, who seemed to have a spiritual basis to her practice (and definately more respect for it)."

-- Why is Willow not a witch (other than the fact that she's a television show character)? Granted, she is not Wiccan, but witch and wiccan are not completely synonymous. One can be a witch and not subscribe to any belief remotely Wiccan. I can certainly be classified as a witch, but hardly a Wiccan as I do not believe in any of the Wiccan principles. A witch is someone who practices witchcraft/magick/sorcery. No religious implications involved there.

This last paragraph is not a flaming. They're just honest questions with a hint of rantiness as this issue does tend to pull on the wrong strings with me.

[> [> [> Re: Wiccan Prejudice -- O'Cailleagh, 05:30:33 05/27/02 Mon

True, Wicca and Witchcraft are not synonymous, Witchcraft is the word for a group of Pagan religions that involve the regular use of magic, of which, Wicca is a Tradition or denomination.

I also quite like Charmed, although I don't watch it often. I don't see the problem with their use of the word 'warlock' as it means 'oathbreaker' and so is appropriate for someone using Witchcraft for 'evil' (since Witches and Wiccans take oaths to harm no-one).

To answer your non-flamy question with a non-flamy answer...I would not consider Willow a Witch or similar as she does not practice within a Pagan religious framework. She does not work with the tenets of the Craft (which have been stated elsewhere in this thread). Willow only practices magick, so is technically a Magickian and nothing more. Tara, I would consider to be a Witch (not necessarily a Wiccan as I do not know enough about the particulars of her day-to-day practice, nor indeed her workings before she met Willow) as she seems to work within a Pagan framework, and holds the tenets as sacred.

[> [> [> [> Re: Wiccan Prejudice -- AgnosticSorcerer, 06:14:43 05/27/02 Mon

"True, Wicca and Witchcraft are not synonymous, Witchcraft is the word for a group of Pagan religions that involve the regular use of magic, of which, Wicca is a Tradition or denomination."

-- Again, I have to disagree. I do not believe that "witch" has any religious connotations and the only way that the word "pagan" could be used to describe a witch is in the sense that it's not of abrahamic origin. A witch is someone who practices witchcraft, magick, or sorcery, of which all three are synonymous. But I think the argument is futile as we both seem to hold two different definitions of the words "witch" and "witchcraft".

"I also quite like Charmed, although I don't watch it often. I don't see the problem with their use of the word 'warlock' as it means 'oathbreaker' and so is appropriate for someone using Witchcraft for 'evil' (since Witches and Wiccans take oaths to harm no-one)."

-- Although this is the predominant theory amongst the pagan community (and even in many dictionaries), I find that the word "warlock" can be quite ambiguous.

Many people hold the word "warlock" to be derived from the Old English term for "oath breaker", but as history will tell, the British Isles was invaded by the Norse and there was quite an integration, both in language and in culture. I find it more likely that the word "warlock" is derived from Norse rather than Old English and in Norse the word translates as "conjurer" (in fact this definition is quite common as Webster's Ninth Collegiate Dictionary says nothing of oath-breaking). There are plenty of websites available on this information, but for a read here is one website I was able to find:

"To answer your non-flamy question with a non-flamy answer...I would not consider Willow a Witch or similar as she does not practice within a Pagan religious framework. She does not work with the tenets of the Craft (which have been stated elsewhere in this thread). Willow only practices magick, so is technically a Magickian and nothing more. Tara, I would consider to be a Witch (not necessarily a Wiccan as I do not know enough about the particulars of her day-to-day practice, nor indeed her workings before she met Willow) as she seems to work within a Pagan framework, and holds the tenets as sacred."

-- Again, I do not feel that the word "witch" carries any religious connotations at all. It is quite possible for an atheist to be a witch just as it is possible for an eclectic pagan to be so.

[> Don't be silly. -- Cry me a river, 02:45:37 05/26/02 Sun

See, this is why people despise PCists -- they're so hypersensitive to every little thing. It's nothing but a harmless play on words. Get over yourself. But you probably think the original version is offensive to women.

Seems to me like some people enjoy the sensation of righteous indignation so much that they deliberately seek out examples of "prejudice" even when none are present. It's a weird mix of insecurity and megalomania to take everything that happens on a tv show personally. Were you also offended by the scene in Hush that portrayed wiccans as ineffectual buffoons? That is no more intended to insult all wiccans than it is to insult women in general, or even college students in general. Not everything that happens is a personal jab at you. (Not that I have anything against insulting people. Anyone who's as humorless as you deserves it.)

I'm a computer geek. The Trio are computer geeks. Therefore, Joss thinks I'm a criminal and a complicit murderer. How dare he make a blanket statement about all geeks? This is very offensive to my community. I think I'll sue. Then my fellow Trekkies and I will have a solidarity rally and a candlelight vigil outside the Paramount studios.

"Help! Help! I'm being repressed! Did you see him repressing me? You saw it, didn't you?"

[> [> Re: Don't be silly. -- Dochawk, 09:02:40 05/26/02 Sun

Sorry, I am neither Wiccan nor Witch nor anything else. I should have said that I posteed this for a friend. And it was 2 in the morning. But you need toget over your more righteous than though attitude. People have a right to feel what they feel, no matter what. Hea;thy people validate them and move on, but they still had the feeling. Its the actions related to them that matter.

[> [> [> Re: Don't be silly. -- CMAR, 13:26:41 05/26/02 Sun

The fact that people have a right to feel what they feel doesn't mean that some feelings aren't absurd. If wiccans should be offended by that promo, then geeks should be offended by the Trio. How many times were they characterized as "pathetic"? In either case, the offense is entirely in the viewer's mind, not in the intention of the writers.

Healthy people validate their own feelings? Great! I'd certainly hope people's feelings of confidence and self- worth come from inside themselves rather than depend on what happens to fictional characters on a tv show.

[> [> [> [> Re: Don't be silly. -- Forsaken, 17:58:17 05/26/02 Sun

CMAR, if you find all this so silly why are you bothering to respond to it? Do I smell self-righteousness and melodrama? If you disagree that's fine, there is no need to be so rude in your response. Not that I don't enjoy making fun of or offending certain people on occasion, especially people who take themselves to seriously (which mos PCs seem to). It's just that in this case they are right. Willow is in no way a Wiccan, nor is she even remotely similar to one. And Wicca has ideals that clearly forbid doing harm. You could say "Hell hath no fury like a newborn kitten scorned." and it would make more sense than the actual line... if the person were a real Wiccan that is.

[> [> Re: Don't be silly. -- O'Cailleagh, 13:30:08 05/26/02 Sun this seems to have been blown out of all proportion....first off, I was wrong to blame the show itself, obviously it was a network thing...I had however just popped into the board after a long night of chat and was too tired to make that connection. Secondly, I am far from being PC, I merely feel that after hundreds of years of persecution, we Witches have a right and duty to correct such negative PR. I did not take the tagline, nor indeed the inaccurate depictions of Witches, as a personal insult. Since JW and gang do not know me, it would be rather a stretch to feel that they were out to get me. Its a wyrd mix of insecurity and megalomania that brings people to jump in and start flaming a person, apparently to alleviate boredom (and, in a most clever and original plan, using an alternate pseudonym). Now I would appreciate it, greatly, if you were to take yourself back off to your little troll dimension before I am forced to send you there! (Being a Bad Ass Wicca and all)

[> [> [> And a point I forgot to make here is... -- O'Cailleagh, 14:31:38 05/26/02 Sun

If, for some reason, Joss et al had decided to have Willow convert to Islam instead of Wicca (and taken her down a similar path)....well, can you imagine the reaction a blurb like 'Willow goes Bin Laden' would have generated? I think you can. The show would probably have been pulled for fear of offending. I'm not saying that they shouldn't have taken the storyline the way they did, in fact I consider it a valuable lesson for impressionable young Witches and Magickians. The message seemed to be, not 'Witches are evil', but 'with power comes responsibility', which is an extremely good lesson for everyone, Witch or computer geek.

[> [> [> [> Hey, O'Cailleagh, you need some help sending that troll back to whatever board it came from? -- redcat, 17:53:22 05/26/02 Sun

I've never joined energies with other witches to do magick over the 'net, but hey, you and yours decide to raise a cone of light power to take care of the jerk - I'm in....IPLIPTBB

[> [> [> [> [> Feel free -- CMAR, 22:59:30 05/26/02 Sun

I hereby give permission to any and all witches, warlocks, gremlins, ewoks, unicorns, and giant talking bunnies to cast any spell on me that they wish. I could use a good laugh.

This is the saddest thing I've heard in a while. Grown adults who actually take magic seriously? Go ahead, get your coven together, rub your sacred crystals, pray to a tree, raise your cone of power to shield your delicate minds from my negative vibes, maaaaaan.

Then we can all scamper up our magic beanstalk to the crystal palace in the clouds and have tea and crumpets with the leprechaun princess. La, la, la.

Personally, I'd rather be a jerk than be completely delusional.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Feel free -- Ruth, 02:22:31 05/27/02 Mon

If your only purpose in visiting this board was to insult the regulars than maybe you should just leave. People are entitled to their opinions and all you seem interested in is insulting and belittling others.
And just for the record I am not a wica and know little about it. However I do know it is a religion and Willow is Jewish, not wican. And I agree the promo was offensive and uncalled for. It wasn't even particularly catchy as how was Willow scorned exactly? It made little sense and was just dumb. Turning Willow into a sterotypical wicked witch is probably not going to thrill a lot of wicans.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Feel Free -- O'Cailleagh, 05:06:17 05/27/02 Mon

OK, I was being, you know, sarcastic or something! Look, Cryme, I wouldn't waste my energy on such a thing, and furthermore, I'm not going to waste any more by paying you any more attention.

[> [> Re: Don't be silly. -- Audrey, 17:17:43 05/26/02 Sun

"Were you also offended by the scene in Hush that portrayed wiccans as ineffectual buffoons? That is no more intended to insult all wiccans than it is to insult women in general, or even college students in general."

Actually, most of us that I know just nodded, laughed and muttered something to the effect of knowing quite a few "Wiccans" like that.


[> Yeah. They got the concepts right. -- bookworm, 07:52:36 05/26/02 Sun

Magic used to hurt people is bad; Magic used to help people is good. Willow's use of dark magic is abuse of power; Giles's comes from a place of love. Getting upset over the show's misuse of a word is a little silly. The characters use the word "wicca" because they think it sounds more cool than witch and not because they know much about the religion. I'm not always thrilled by the disrespect for Catholics in TV shows. The X-Files often stretched disbelief in their portrayal of Scully's Catholicism. But you can't get offended at every little thing.

[> That'd be the network, I'd guess -- Solitude1056, 07:55:14 05/26/02 Sun

Since Joss & crew always uses the phrase "she's a Wicca" or, in the most recent episode, "she's the most powerful Wicca" etc, etc. Which always strikes my ear as somewhat odd, since Wicca is the religion, and Wiccan would be the adjective form. Kind of like saying someone is the most generous Christianity, or the most friendly Judiasm. Although I suppose they could be going by the example of Hindu, which is both the religion (noun) and a description of a practictioner (adjective), but ME's style is the only time I've ever heard Wicca used that way.

[> [> Actually, that's what let's me accept ME's portrayal -- Wisewoman, 09:37:51 05/26/02 Sun

When it comes right down to it, I'm a Wiccan in RL, and Willow is a Wicca in the Buffyverse, where there are also vampires and demons. Not the same thing at all, so therefore it doesn't offend me. The blurb was kinda "Smack Down" lingo, if you ask me...just deliberately over done.

I don't take any form of bigotry lightly, but I've come to accept the witches in BtVS as metaphores rather than accurate portrayals.


[> [> [> Yup, same here - just not sure if ME does it specifically for that reason. -- Solitude1056, 13:25:09 05/26/02 Sun

[> [> [> Re: Actually, that's what let's me accept ME's portrayal -- O'Cailleagh, 13:45:10 05/26/02 Sun

I always took Willow's referring to herself as a Wicca as a sign that she isn't especially clued up on the Wiccan thing...can't remember if Tara ever used Wicca in that sense though...and I also view them as metaphors, as I do the entire show!

[> Re: Wiccan Prejudice -- Audrey, 17:11:42 05/26/02 Sun

You're not being too PC. It was offensive. Willow's not even Wiccan, not in the real sense of the religion. And if she is, I missed something, cuz I'm Wiccan too and I seem to have lost that whole "how to skin someone alive" bit somewhere in my stack of color and herb association lists and Yule rituals. :)


[> [> Re: Wiccan Prejudice -- O'Cailleagh, 05:44:42 05/27/02 Mon

Audrey, I agree, that college group were the funniest, I think we all know a few like those!

Redcat, forming the circle of Kayless!

Seriously though, I don't think we need to waste our time on this individual, I think s/he's already got his/her wish on the jerk thing ( although obviously delusional too, I mean, a Grown person who *doesn't* believe in magick? What is the world coming to?).

It would be nice though, to do some cybermagick, I've not done it before either...could be an interesting experience.

[> It was just a cool play on words, that's all -- The Last Jack, 17:29:45 05/26/02 Sun

Fascinating Season 6 review from BAPS -- highly recommend -- Anne, 10:56:48 05/26/02 Sun

I found the below review of Season 6 at BAPS, posted by someone named Barb. I am reposting it here with her permission. It's an incredibly incisive, articulate critique of pretty much every single character arc as well as the season arc as a whole. The stuff on Spike and Buffy towards the second half is especially good.

This is my end-of-season review-cum-letter to ME.

OK--first off, not gonna talk about Tara. I'm sure Amber's a wonderful
person, but Tara bores me, always has, and I knew she was dead meat the
minute she grew a personality. ME always does that right before they kill
someone off or write them out. So let me reassure Steve DeKnight that
there's one lesbian in the world not out for his blood. I've been waiting
for Evil Willow for three damn years and if it takes killing Tara to get
her, ice the chick.

So, on to the stuff I am gonna talk about. Season 6 of BtVS was touted as
the season of "Oh, grow up!" but the emotional development of the core
Scoobies actually regressed. The Scoobs fought their inner demons this
year, and unfortunately most of them lost. I really hope the consequences
of those losses aren't going to be swept under the rug. Don't get me
wrong, I will be overjoyed to see a lighter tone next season. I think this
season was too unrelievedly dark, especially coming after the gloomfest of
Season 5. BUT. Having taken the characters to dark places, the writers
owe it to us to deal with that.

There were many good things about this season. "Bargaining" through
"Smashed" were fantastic; even the filler was good filler. Even in the
latter part of the season, there were many good and a few brilliant
episodes. "Dead Things" in particular rivals "Once More, With Feeling" and
"Hush" for BtVS's finest hour. The problems with the season lay not so
much in individual episodes, but in the way those episodes hung
together--or didn't. Unfortunately, with "Wrecked," the seasonal arc
became more of a seasonal meander, and never quite recovered. I don't
think that this was an inevitable result of the decision to focus on the
characters' internal struggles. The problem was that in a character-
driven arc, consistent characterization was sacrificed to the needs of a
plot that all too often wasn't worth the sacrifice.

This was particularly egregious in the case of the Evil Willow arc. Willow
has never, before this season, been portrayed as an addictive
personality. Willow's flaws have lain in her insecurity, which drives her
to try to control the world and the people around her so as to eliminate
pain from her life, and in her desire to pursue knowledge regardless of
consequences. We've watched Willow's use of magic grow more and more
careless and unethical over the last several years. This year, with the
resurrection spell, clearly black magic and the wrong thing to do on many
levels, we seemed primed for that deadliest of villains--a hero consumed
with hubris who believes that she's in the right. Willow's wiping Tara's
memory not once but twice was deliciously wrong and creepy and perfectly in
character. Her actions were logical extensions of the 'Willow knows best,
just make the pain go away' attitude manifested in the de- lusting spell and
the will-be-done spells of seasons past.

But in "Wrecked," the plotline which had been building since Willow rashly
decided to re-soul Angel jumped the shark. All of a sudden it's not what
Willow does with magic that's wrong, it's that magic itself is heroin. Not
only does this make no sense with the way magic's been portrayed previously
in the show, it makes no sense in terms of Willow's character. Willow's
drug is power and control, and Rack's magic crack, which caused her to lose
control, would hardly be an attractive experience for her. Unless it was
physically addictive, in which case Willow should have been jonesing for
that particular kind of magic, not magic in general.

Willow has never assimilated the fact that wiping Tara's mind was wrong,
nor displayed any remorse for doing it. Right up to the season finale, in
which Willow, insane with grief over her lover's death, tortures Tara's
killer to death and then attempts to destroy the entire world to make the
pain stop, Willow blames the magic. It's Willow that's the problem, not
the magic, and not only does Willow fail to realize it, neither do the
other characters, nor, apparently, the writers.

I can only assume that somewhere, someone got cold feet about making Willow
really villainous, and introduced the addiction angle in an attempt to give
the character an out for her actions. Unfortunately, this leeched most of
the power from the storyline, leaving us with a limp, After School Special
'drugs are bad, kiddies!' story which completely bypasses the ethical
issues of Willow's violation of Tara's mind, her resurrection of Buffy, and
her torture of Warren and subsequent attempt to destroy the entire
world. If next season continues the blame-the-magic trend, without
addressing the fact that Willow is an insecure control freak who could just
as well be trying to destroy the world with her hacking skills if she
wasn't a powerful witch, I'll be extremely disappointed.

Xander's story was in many ways the most tragic. He so feared turning into
his bigoted, abusive, alcoholic father that he allowed his fear to turn him
into the very thing he loathes. Unlike all the other characters on the
show, Xander has no excuses, no outs. He's not a soulless demon, he's not
'addicted' to magic, he's not been ripped out of heaven. Xander purely and
simply messed up. Though he redeemed himself somewhat in the final
episodes by risking his life talking Willow out of her grief- induced
insanity, and making an overture towards patching up his rift with Buffy,
he hasn't really faced the fears which made him abandon his bride at the
altar, much less taken any steps towards conquering them.

Anya, on the other hand, is one of the few characters who made some
positive progress this year. Always ahead of the Scooby pack when it came
to supporting herself, this year Anya has begun to question Xander's
condescending attitude towards her and stand up for herself emotionally.
After the wedding debacle, Anya reclaims her powers as a vengeance demon,
but it's obvious her heart isn't in it any longer. Indeed, when Spike
finally gives her the chance to cast the vengeful wish against Xander she's
been angling for, Anya, in a remarkable demonstration of maturity in the
face of hurt and anger, stops him from voicing it. Despite her return to
demon status and her personal feelings about Xander, Anya helps the gang
stop Willow. This is a far cry from the Anya who, in Season 3, was willing
to skip out on the Apocalypse. Three snaps in triangle formation for the
vengeance demon!

Spike's struggle against his inner demon has been the most literal, and the
most compelling, of the story arcs this season. Unfortunately it also
suffers from some characterization woes, though not of the sort which
marred Willow's arc. James Marsters as Spike is, if anything, too
sympathetic; the writers' attempts to show Spike as still fundamentally
evil were constantly undercut by Marsters' performance, which has scads of
otherwise upright and moral people rooting for a near-rapist serial killer
over the supposed heroes of the piece.

Spike's good actions this season were consistently dismissed as meaningless
by both the other characters and the writers because they were 'selfishly
motivated,' i.e. spurred by love for Buffy rather than by a commitment to
good for good's sake. While there are legitimate points to this view--the
most obvious being that if Spike only does good for love of Buffy, what
happens if he stops loving Buffy?--whether Spike refrains from eating
someone out of love or principle, I doubt the potential Happy Meal gives a
damn. And in many cases one has to split the ethical hairs pretty fine to
make all of Spike's actions out to be selfish, particularly his actions
over the summer when Buffy was dead, so far as he knew, for good.

But this question raises a far more serious one, not about Spike, but about
the rest of the Scooby gang. The Scoobs insist Spike is a monster, and
fundamentally untrustworthy. Yet they are willing to exploit his love for
Buffy and Dawn, and no less his unadmitted but deep-seated desire for
companionship in general, in order to use him for muscle and (in Buffy's
case) for sex. They then cut him off when they no longer need him. It
never seems to occur to them that this is less than admirable behavior on
their part, and furthermore, is calculated to produce ever- worse behavior
on Spike's part.

The highest measure of a hero is not in how she treats her friends, but in
how she treats her fallen enemies. Buffy has an extremely poor track
record in this regard. The greatest of heroes are those who have the
vision to try and make a fallen enemy into an ally. Failing that, granting
them a quick clean death, or keeping an eye on them and refraining from
poking them with a stick is good. In Spike's case, the Scoobs have been
all with the stick-poking, and they are just damned lucky that even as a
monster, Spike's proven to be a better man than they are.

The hypocrisy in their stance might be more palatable if it were a
conscious thing--Spike is evil, therefore we will use him ruthlessly
and see no wrong in it--but I doubt it. The Scoobs are mainly running
on selfish motivations these days themselves (Glory's other
victims? Katrina's family? Who cares? They're not us) and it's difficult
to justify holding Spike to a higher standard than I hold them
to. Indeed, shouldn't the characters with souls automatically be held to
a higher standard than those without? One of the things this season was
supposed to accomplish was to demonstrate that without a soul, Spike was
doomed to fall back into evil ways. Unfortunately, that didn't come off
very well. It's the same problem which plagued "Disharmony," which was
supposed to demonstrate the same thing: it's impossible to say for
certain, in either case, whether the experiment failed because the subject
was an eeeeevil vampire, or because of their human personality flaws.

Three main incidents were used this season to point up Spike's
essentially evil nature: his attack on Alley Woman after Buffy's rebuff in
"Smashed;" the demon egg incident in "As You Were," and his attempted rape
of Buffy in "Seeing Red." Of the three, only the attack on Alley Woman
was completely successful in conveying the conflict between his human and
demonic sides. His very human hurt, anger and wounded pride, and
his chilling demonic willingness to kill an innocent bystander in order
to salve that pride, were mitigated by the astonishing revelation that he
had to talk himself up to the killing--something the Spike of Season Two
would have been able to do without a qualm. The scene demonstrated
perfectly how far Spike had come from being an ordinary vampire, and how
much farther he had to go to be a man.

The demon egg incident, on the other hand, failed in its purpose due to the
many plot flaws in "As You Were." It was completely impossible to take the
idea of Spike as an international arms dealer seriously, and therefore the
incident (indeed, the entire episode) ends up being brushed off. Had the
writers taken a more believable tack--for example, having Spike harboring
the eggs as a one-shot deal for cash--it would have been a far more
effective demonstration that Spike was still capable of casual, indirect
evil. The matter is further complicated by the fact that Spike never
admits to being 'The Doctor,' so despite the circumstantial evidence, it's
all too easy to construct scenarios absolving him of some or all of the
blame for the eggs.

The final and most serious incident, the attempted rape, was intended to be
the catalyst for Spike's quest to win his soul back. Spike finally does
something so terrible that it shocks and horrifies even him; he hurts the
woman he loves. The incident itself grows fairly believably out of
existing circumstances: Spike has been drinking steadily for at least the
last day, is devastated over Dawn's reaming him out for having hurt her
sister by sleeping with Anya, and suffering emotional whiplash from Buffy's
season-long hot-cold reactions to him. He attempts to apologize to Buffy,
who finally admits to having feelings of some sort for him, but continues
to deny that they're love. Spike presses, Buffy stonewalls, and Spike
finally snaps, certain that if he can get her to respond to him physically
again, she'll respond to him emotionally. What makes the scene especially
scary is that having utterly lost control of himself, Spike is less angry
than eerily determined in his pleas to Buffy to let herself love
him. Spike's lights are on, but no one's home, and he comes off as less
evil than broken. When Buffy finally kicks him off and he comes to his
senses, Spike is horrified by what he's done. Consumed with guilt that
it's supposedly impossible for him to feel, he returns to his crypt for a
session of anguished non-soul searching, culminating in his decision to go
on a soul-quest.

The problems with this scene lie not so much in the scene itself, but
in the plot contrivances surrounding it. Buffy is injured, and so
has trouble fighting Spike off--except that in the very next scene,
Buffy fights Warren without so much as a twinge. (It's been postulated
that the real reason Buffy fails to fight Spike off effectively is that
she's hoping he will stop on his own--this is perfectly believable, but the
problem with the disappearing injury still stands.) The scene is supposed
to demonstrate the uncontrollable evil of Spike's demon nature--but Spike
is in human face throughout. Spike does not try to bite Buffy and drink
her blood. When Angelus killed Jenny Calendar in Season Two, the
writers deliberately had him do so in vamp face to emphasize that this was
the work of Angelus, not Angel. That the writers deliberately chose to
have Spike attempt to rape Buffy while still in human shape argues
strongly that the responsibility for the crime is, at best, shared by both
the demon and human components of Spike's nature.

This scene encapsulates the problems with Spike's arc in
general. This season Spike was subjected to emotional stress that would
have caused many an ordinary human to snap and take an Uzi to the nearest
McDonalds. He was used by the Scoobs, and used, abused, and discarded by
Buffy. Spike's supposed to be torn by his inability to be either a monster
or a man, but given the way things have played out this season, the writers
failed to convince me that Spike can't be a man without a soul--only that
he wasn't allowed to be. Instead of "It's impossible to be good without a
soul," the lesson comes off more like "If you're trying to be good without
a soul, and no one around you helps you and the woman you're madly in love
with insists you're an evil worthless thing, then you will probably break
like a twig."

Had the writers truly wished to demonstrate the inevitability of a soulless
creature's descent into evil, they could have done so decisively by having
Buffy and the others treat Spike well--and having Spike fall to his worst
nature anyway. But this would have made Spike a far less sympathetic
character overall. Unwilling to have Spike prove capable of staying good
without a soul, but still forced by their plans to rehabilitate him later
on to keep the character sympathetic, the writers were in a bind, and
forced to limp along making Spike sorta kinda evil, maybe, if you look at
him sideways, except when he's not.

Despite this fairly serious problem of internal consistency, Spike's arc is
far more successful in the end than Willow's. Earlier in the season, when
I looked at the writers' claim of last year that they intended to grey up
the Buffyverse, and then at the introduction of good or neutral demons like
Lorne, Clem, and Skip, I hoped that Spike's story was going to be about how
everyone, even an evil soulless vampire, has the free will to get up every
morning (or evening, as the case may be) and choose to do good or evil that
day. And how that choice is more important than whether or not one has the
Soul-Having Seal of Approval stamped on one's forehead.

So I was rather disappointed that save for the brilliant "Dead
Things," there was no attempt to get to the meat of Buffy and Spike's
differing ethical worldviews, or to see to what degree Spike was capable
of understanding and applying Buffy's worldview intellectually, if not on
a gut level. I will always be left wondering what would have happened
if, when Spike asked Buffy to explain to him why her guilt over Katrina
was killing her, she'd actually tried to do so. "As You Were" may have
been intended to examine the issue as well, but that episode had so many
gaping plot holes and absurdities that it's difficult to discuss it
without frothing at the mouth. (And I LIKE Riley. Just not when he's
blocking my view of Spike.)
It's not as if the potential wasn't there. The writers admitted in
interviews that had Spike managed to kill Alley Woman, he'd mostly likely
have felt guilty about it after. In the interview that was blown off as
nothing: Hey, look, Spike would have killed her, still evil! But the
implications are staggering: a soulless vampire feels guilty? About
killing a random non-Buffy person?? OK, not great from Alley Woman's
perspective, but if Spike's world was rocked by the fact that he felt guilt
over attacking Buffy, the fact that he felt guilt over Alley Woman would
have made the poor guy's head explode, and I would have loved to have seen

In the end, the writers resort to re-souling as a method of
redeeming Spike, probably in order to avoid all those really icky moral
quagmires that an unchipped soulless vampire with a commitment to do good
even if he couldn't be good would produce. However, the fact that Spike
chooses his soul instead of having it thrust on him--indeed, risks his
life to win it back--saves the arc from a redemptionist point of
view. It's not the fact that he now has a soul which redeems Spike; it's
that he willingly chose to get one. While there are some legitimate
worries about duplicating Angel's storyline here, that it was Spike's own
choice makes a tremendous difference.

There are still problems. Spike's ordeal is tossed off in a few scenes of
him fighting monsters. We know Spike's a good fighter; it would have been
more revealing of character to see him faced with other types of
trials. However, that would likely have tipped the writers' hands
early. The writers were, in my opinion, needlessly coy in making Spike's
motives in leaving Sunnydale ambiguous--I haven't bought for a minute that
Spike would ever go evil again in a big permanent way, and it was obvious
to me that Spike was going to come out of his experience a better
man...pire. But the number of professional reviewers who are convinced
that he was out to get the chip removed and kill the Scoobs, and was only
tricked into the soul by Lurky at the last minute, is staggering. I
confess I only became hopeful that Spike knew what he was asking for all
along after seeing the episode. There was no need to keep the dialogue as
vague as it was if Spike had merely been requesting de- chipping. Before
that, I was pretty certain that Lurky would be responding to an unconscious
wish on Spike's part in ensouling or turning him human.

ME has since confirmed that yes, Spike intended to get a soul all along.
The soul option was the last thing I'd expected the writers to do due to
the Angel issues, but I'd far rather see Spike a souled vampire than an
ordinary human. The main reason that Spike getting a soul may annoy me
next season has nothing to do with Spike; it's got to do with the fact that
the people who scorn him for lacking one haven't done diddly- squat this
season to demonstrate that having one matters. Xander's killed more people
this year than Spike has in the last three, and demonstrated less emotional
turmoil over the fact than Spike did over his one abortive attempt to bite

Last but not least, we come to Buffy. Buffy's arc this year has been
in many ways the least satisfying, because so much of it has consisted
of Buffy being expressionless. Her continuing depression is a
realistic reaction to everything that's happened to her over the last
several years, but it is, alas, quite boring to watch. After being
returned unwillingly to life, Buffy isolates herself from her friends,
ignores her sister, and in an attempt to jump-start her feelings,
initiates a torrid affair with Spike. She is so ashamed of herself for
doing so that she keeps it a secret, and projects her own self-loathing
onto Spike, using him as an object upon which to vent her rage at being
alive, and her anger at her friends. Spike, who still loves her
throughout all this, is reduced over the course of the season to a
desperate, broken man.

We're obviously supposed to sympathize with Buffy's slow, dull crawl
back to life. Unfortunately the primary emotion it's raised in me is a
desire to slap her. All too often over the course of the season we're
presented with what appears to be an improvement in Buffy's emotional
state: she discovers she doesn't want to die, she re- connects with Dawn,
she breaks off her affair with Spike because she's using him. But
invariably, these mini-epiphanies prove false. Buffy has no greater zest
for life after "Gone." Buffy is still avoiding Dawn after "Older and Far
Away." And Buffy is still treating Spike like a thing long after "Dead
Things" and "As You Were." All Buffy learns over the course of the season
is how to fake being normal more efficiently.

Finally, in the season finale, Willow confronts Buffy with her own
hypocrisy: Buffy's speech about life being worth living is hollow coming
from someone who'd still rather be dead. Yay, Evil Willow, kick every inch
of her ass! By the end of the finale, Buffy's had yet another epiphany,
but despite the fact that this one is accompanied by some tears and an
incredibly stiff and clunky speech to Dawn about showing her the world, it
isn't particularly convincing. The final scene with Buffy and Dawn
crawling out of the 'grave' they were stuck in and wandering off into the
L.A. Arboretum (which has mysteriously relocated to Sunnydale)
is embarrassingly corny. Buffy's cried wolf so many times this season
that in order to convince me she's really changed, I'm going to have to
see evidence in her actions.

Apparently the ME writers were surprised at how unsympathetic many
viewers found Buffy this season, but it was inevitable: by making Buffy
so completely isolated emotionally, they wrote themselves into a corner
where even those viewers who remained sympathetic had to guess at what was
going on inside Buffy's black box of a head and heart. In some ways,
Spike's attempted rape of Buffy came off as a ploy to make Buffy more
sympathetic by making her a victim, and to punish those foolish fans who
persisted in believing Spike really had changed--see! Evil! We told
ya! Eeeeevil! In light of it, were we supposed to consider that her
abominable treatment of him all year is retroactively justified? Sorry; I
don't. Buffy didn't deserve to be raped; no one does. Spike was bad and
wrong to do it, and deserves every bit of misery his shiny new conscience
visits upon him.

But neither did Spike deserve to be beaten nearly to death and left to
fry in the sun. Buffy's continued refusal to take any responsibility for
the fact that she initiated the relationship with Spike, and continued it
of her own free will, several times over his protests, and on at least one
occasion did something at least as bad to him as the rape without showing a
flicker of remorse for it, is hardly calculated to win my respect. It
originally appeared that Buffy's breakdown at the end of Dead Things meant
that she understood that she had done Spike wrong. In light of the fact
that she continued to treat Spike like an object afterwards, it seems more
likely that the breakdown was all about Buffy's shame at having
lowered herself to sleep with a thing, rather than guilt over having
beaten someone who loved her within an inch of his unlife. Just as her
eventual breakup with Spike was more about her shame at being the sort of
person who'd use a thing to get her rocks off, rather than any concern
that Spike was being harmed by the relationship.

According to Jane Espenson's recent interview, Buffy does live with
her own recriminations--but if those recriminations never make it to
the screen in any recognizable form, how the heck are we supposed to
know they're there? If Buffy, who has a soul and ought to know better, is
not to be held accountable for her actions, then how can we hold
Spike accountable for his? The wrong actions of one character don't
cancel out or negate the wrong actions of another. Two wrongs remain two
wrongs. Both characters did evil things; both characters are responsible
for the evil they did.

The writers should not have to explain the characters' motives;
the characters' motives should speak for themselves. I started out
this season with the assumption that, like Spike, I knew what kind of
girl Buffy was, that for all her flaws, and they are many, she was
essentially a caring person. By the middle of the season I was
reluctantly convinced that I was completely wrong, and that the only thing
Buffy felt for Spike was lust, loathing, and some kind of possessiveness
which demanded he remain her devoted worshiper but denied him even the
most basic respect in return. I'm willing to take the word of the writers
that this was not what they intended, but the sad fact is, this is how it
came off to a large portion of the audience--even those who are not Spike
fans in particular. And that is not good.

This season Mutant Enemy made me hate a character I'd previously liked
a lot. Even after she acknowledged that she was using Spike, Buffy kept
on doing it, and by her silence encouraged her friends to do
likewise. Because it was easy for her. Because she was afraid of what
they'd say. This season Buffy became the worst kind of moral
coward. Buffy and Willow are in much the same boat: until they realize
how and why they've behaved badly, there's no point in my forgiving them;
they'll continue to make the same mistakes. And I can't let myself
believe that they have realized anything until I see concrete evidence of
it in their actions.

I mentioned being a big ol' lesbo above because A) I'm tired of
everyone assuming that all ravening Spike fans are so ravening because
James Marsters is so hot (not that he isn't; I'm gay, not blind) and B)
it segues cleverly into my next point. One of the biggest problems I've
had with this season is that I was obviously watching a different show
than the one Mutant Enemy was writing--or at least, a different one than
Mutant Enemy was giving interviews about. I now know exactly what it was
like for my spiritual forebearers, trying to extract some sort of
positive message from books and movies designed to reinforce the
prejudices of the straight majority, scrabbling through the subtext for
something to validate us. I speak, of course, of the trials of supporting
BtVS's real queer relationship: Buffy and Spike.

I don't believe for a minute that ME was so incompetent as not to realize
that they were writing Buffy and Spike as Big Time Romance in the first
part of the season. Yet in all the interviews they were all "Tsk tsk, bad
choices, it's all about the sex, Spike's untrustworthy, blah blah
evilsoullessthingcakes." Isn't it a little disingenuous to scold the fans
for buying what you were selling? The most I can believe is that the
Big Romance hints were supposed to be buried a lot deeper than they were,
and the red-hot Marsters/Gellar chemistry unearthed 'em to too great a
degree too soon. While it soon became obvious that Marti Noxon, et. al.
were correct in calling Buffy and Spike's relationship an unhealthy one,
the reasons why it was unhealthy were patently not the reasons that ME
would have us think it was.

We were endlessly told that Spike was bad for Buffy, that their being
together was immoral and a perversion of nature. And no matter how many
times we heard this, what we saw on the screen contradicted it. For every
oooh-look-he's-eeevil moment we got, there were always extenuating
circumstances or counterbalancing oooh-isn't-he-sweet moments--if the
original moments were really evidence of eeeevil to begin with. Example:
In "Doublemeat Palace," Spike tries to convince Buffy to leave her
job. Evil, right? Well, except that Spike rightly points out that the
job is killing her by inches and she could do way better. And a couple
of episodes later Buffy walks out mid-shift in a hot second when Riley
wants her to.

His lack of moral compass, his raging inferiority complex, and the
desperate desire to get Buffy to, just once, choose him over her friends,
led Spike to make the huge tactical error of trying to convince Buffy she
was a creature of darkness like him. Not bright, Spikey. Despite this,
ultimately it was not Spike who was bad for Buffy. It was Buffy who was
bad for Buffy, and Buffy who was bad for Spike. Yeah, Spike's evil (or
was), and that's not something Buffy should have ignored or glossed
over--but Buffy's self-loathing and fear of what people would think of her
for having sex with Spike hurt her, and hurt the relationship, and most of
all hurt Spike, far, far more than Spike's evil nature. Would it have
killed Mutant Enemy to admit some of this in mid-season interviews, instead
of trying to convince us Spike hadn't changed at all and any badness was
All His Fault?

That was what fueled half my ire at the show this season-- not what was
happening on-screen, but the insistence in interviews that I wasn't seeing
what I was sure I saw, and anyone who thought they saw any good in Spike or
in Spike and Buffy together was merely deluded by the glory of James
Marsters's cheekbones. Mutant Enemy can insist it was all supposed to be
about Buffy's bad choices till they're blue in the face, and I'll happily
agree that Buffy's choice to keep the relationship secret and treat Spike
like a thing was an incredibly bad one that almost led to their
mutual destruction. I've been in the closet, kiddies; I know whereof I
speak. Living in the closet kills.

In this case, it's killed my desire to see the two of them together again,
unless Buffy makes some changes. (Spike, bless his--still can't believe
I'm saying this--soul, is already in the process of making his.) And I've
wanted them together so bad I could taste it, ever since Spike told Buffy
he could be good too in "Crush." (Yes, Mr. Fury, it was your episode that
enrolled me firmly in the ranks of Serial Killer Lovers Anonymous and
sold me on Buffy N Spike 4 Eva! So Spike's a little bit evil- -he wanted
to talk about the relationship! Snap him up, chica!) At this point I
hope they don't get back together until the Buffster can admit she hurt
Spike as much as he's hurt her--and do something about it, just as Spike
did. Forget love; at this point I just want to see Buffy give Spike some
respect. Preferably before she finds out about the whole soul thing.

Getting the characters back together in any sense will be dicey. In
Spike's case, the writers have thoroughly smudged the line between man and
demon. Unless they choose to completely change Spike's personality next
year, the writers simply will not be able to use the easy out they used
with Angel/Angelus, claiming that the re-souled Spike is not responsible
for what the unsouled Spike did. Personally I don't believe the
two-separate-people dodge for a minute, and would love to see Buffy
confronted head-on with the fact that having a soul doesn't change Spike
all that much. He loves her with or without a soul, when Angel
couldn't. When confronted by a magical barrier to their relationship,
Angel bailed; Spike smashed it.

It's never been my burning desire to see Buffy land an ordinary significant
other and settle down to a thrilling life of watching TV and going to the
mall. If I wanted to watch that, I've got a front row seat for my own
life. I have to wonder if Mutant Enemy realizes how silly it sounds to
say in interviews that Spike's no good for Buffy because he can't go to
the mall and watch TV with her. Since when? Spike is so effing
domesticated it's pathetic--he watches the Great Pumpkin, for crying out
loud. Unless Buffy's somehow stripped of her Slayer
abilities permanently, she will never have a normal life-- and possibly
that's the way the show will ultimately end, with Buffy retiring as a
Slayer and Spike shanshu'ing. But someday I kinda hope Buffy'll realize
that a normal life is not the be-all and end-all of existence, and weird
love is sometimes the best love of all.

Joss is always talking about giving people what they need, not what
they want. But that (and I mean this in the nicest way) is bull. A
writer who gives the audience only what they think the audience wants is a
hack. A writer who gives the audience only what they think the audience
needs is a preacher. A writer who writes what they need and hopes it
strikes a chord in the audience is an artist. To succeed in a commercial
medium, you've got to be a little bit of all three. If you don't give us
a little of what we want, the show tanks and you lose your jobs. If you
don't give yourselves a little of what you need, you'll hate yourselves in
the morning. And if we don't get a little of what we need out of what
you write, we won't be obsessing over the show the way we do. Balance,
guys. It's all in the balance.

[> Re: very interesting and recommend -- shygirl, 11:01:18 05/26/02 Sun

I'm so glad you posted it here. I read it and I too thought the second half was very insightful. I especially am intrigued about the part where Angel can only love because he DOES have a soul and Spike can love with or without one. Without may be sick and abusive... but we really don't know how this soul is going to affect Spike's love or behavior or interaction with anyone yet.

[> [> The reviewer's anti-Tara slant is NOT recommended. -- Rob, 11:11:22 05/26/02 Sun

[> [> [> I'm sure that was sarcastic. She was not bashing Tara. -- Sophist, 11:34:07 05/26/02 Sun

[> [> [> [> Dense as a brick here: Where was this sarcasm? -- SiWangMu, 23:33:27 05/27/02 Mon

Plus, where is the additional discussion of Tara's death that would have convinced the slower members of the reviewer's audience (me) that the writer did not, in fact, wholeheartedly endorse the icing of the chick? I'd love to see it as you do, Sophist, because then I wouldn't have to, you know, think very ill of a complete stranger for bashing a character I love.

[> [> [> [> [> Trouble is, sarcasm often doesn't work well in print. -- Sophist, 08:34:05 05/28/02 Tue

As I've learned.

I read the reviewer's opening paragraph as a sarcastic dig at ME. I read the Kitten Board, and the reaction there included many comments similar to that paragraph. The reviewer identified herself as gay, so I interpreted her comments in the same vein.

It is hard to be sure; if she really was bashing Tara, then I'm disappointed.

[> [> Re: Spike love w/o soul -- clg0107, 12:31:09 05/28/02 Tue

Without may be sick and abusive...

Now, this may be another example of James Marsters' acting bringing much more subtext to what the writers are giving him, but don't all y'all get the sense that if Buffy would have permitted him to relate to her on a sweet, tender boyfriend level, he would have? Like sticking around in Gone, after the social worker left, to see if she wanted to talk. And a million other little moments.

The Spike that we've seen doesn't have to give/get sick, dark, twisted love. Buffy wrote the rules all along, and she'd only permit clandestine lust, not nurturing love.

Just an observation ~


[> Second the recommendation. Great stuff, even if I don't agree on every point. -- Sophist, 11:32:46 05/26/02 Sun

[> Hear hear! -- Direwolf, 11:47:55 05/26/02 Sun

I've been waiting for someone to say what needed to be said. Season 6 had lots of good moments, but I wasn't happy with it. I just couldn't articulate why. This reviewer could, and she's right on the money. Thanks, Barb, if you're reading this, and thank you Anne, for bringing it to our attention.

And Rob, I have to agree with Barb. Tara, although sweet as hell and one of my favorite charachters (I really grieved over her death) was far from being the most complex one on the show. If sacrificing one of these charachters in order to make other charachters more complex, I'm all for it. And if said charachter happens to be a popular one, and hence her demise would have a greater emotional effect on the audience (I know it did over me) then it's even better.

[> I disagree I don't think she gets it at all - all she wants is Spike to be happy -- Hoping, 11:48:06 05/26/02 Sun

[> [> Spike is not the innocent party in this -- Hoping, 12:05:13 05/26/02 Sun

This reviewer like so many others misses the point. Spike was horrible for Buffy emotionally. From his betraying Buffy in Becoming II, through his "all slayers have a death wish" in Fool for Love to his actions in Crush through "what sort of demon are you" and trying to seperate her from her friends in the balcony scene Spike has lied and manipulated his way into Buffy's dormant heart. This is nothing close to what real love is about, real love is accepting the other person for who they are (at least Buffy isn't hypocritical enough to claim that her feelings are love, she knows they aren't). What Spike feels for Buffy through most of the season isn't love its obsession. An obsession that started when Angel first told Spike about Slayers. He thought he couldn't kill her, so he needed to get her another way. Buffy even recognizes this, but is too dead emotionally to do anything about it. ME could have done a better job of making Buffy a little less emotionally distant and Spike a little less sympathetic, but her conclusions miss the point.

[> [> [> Re: Spike is not the innocent and other fun things -- Rendyl, 12:53:15 05/26/02 Sun

***ME could have done a better job of making Buffy a little less emotionally distant and Spike a little less sympathetic, but her conclusions miss the point.***

Wasn't -that- exactly her point? We do not write the storylines. If the writers want us to feel a certain way or view a character in a particular manner then they have to WRITE the lines and scenes that convey those things.

The writers had many opportunities to fine tune how we were supposed to see the characters. In almost every instance they went for ambiguous. This by itself is not bad. It can be said to illustrate just how complicated life can get.

I think the problem arises when the writers begin chastizing the viewers for not getting the points and seeing things in characters that are not supposed to exist. That is just rude. If it is not supposed to be there then the writers should convey that. They should stop pretending it is the fans and accept that for whatever reasons they just did not get their vision across.

I also think the writers used the 'oh, they just want to drool over Spike' argument to sidestep any accountability for how they wrote him. Yes Spike has great cheekbones but the point of watching him was to see what he did, not how he looked. It was an easy out and it was actually kind of insulting.

As to Season 6 as a whole -

I happen to be one who feels like if you remove 'AS You Were' (aghh..even typing it makes me shudder) and ignore everything the writers have said then the season is pretty good. I like Buffy. There were aspects of her struggle this year that I could identify with. I was able to keep my dislike of what the writers did with her in some episodes separate from my feelings for the char and that helped.


[> [> [> My own speculation on Spike/Buffy (longish and kinda ramblely) -- Alice, 14:02:53 05/26/02 Sun

This reviewer like so many others misses the point. Spike was horrible for Buffy emotionally.

I think it is more complicated than that. Both Buffy and Spike have treated the other badly. Sure, Spike's manipulated Buffy on many occasions, but he's also shown a great desire to act good, even if it is only to please her. He truely doesn't want to hurt her: he has said as much, and proven it by not only protecting Buffy but protecting, and even comforting those she loves (Such as Dawn. Well, mostly Dawn. The others wouldn't accept his help anyway.) This is all inspite of his demonic nature, his innate evilness.

What Spike feels for Buffy through most of the season isn't love its obsession. An obsession that started when Angel first told Spike about Slayers.

I agree that Spike's 'love' for Buffy is more of an obsession, but what's more important is that he believes it is love, and that he acts as if it, (albeit an extremely screwed up twisted kind of love.) But his obssession with Buffy goes beyond what he had for the other Slayers; when he learns that he could kill Buffy, he not only doesn't kill her, he continues trying to help her.

To pick up on a point the original reviewer made, Spike is used mainly as muscle by the SG, but the help he offers Buffy is alos mainly in terms of his fighting skill, even after she continually rejects his help. I think this is because it is the only way he knows how to show her what he feels: if you like, his human intent of displaying affection is marred by his demonic nature and expressed in violence. Violence is in his nature, and he can't escape it, though he is trying.

It's the fact that Spike is trying that I think has put so may people on his side. He is inherently evil, but tryin to be good. As yes he's slipping up. He's making mistakes. He's torn between doing evil (as a good vampire should) and doing good. But all of the SG have made mistakes too, Buffy in Bad Girls, Giles in his Ripper days, and hey, Willow's been in ethically muddy ground from the end of Season 5 onwards, even before the ugly addiction metaphor raised it's head.

To talk of Buffy then, who, despite being souled, refuses to see the world beyond black and white. Spike is evil, and a large problem I have with her this Season is that she never moves beyond that point. People talk about Xander starting to overcome that problem within himself, I think Buffy needs to get it to. It's easy to see why she doesn't; if one vampire can be essentially good without a soul, it makes her job a hell of alot harder.

I think the problem wih Buffy's treatment of Spike, as with much of this relationship is how it was executed. It was fine up until the point where Buffy broke it up because she was using Spike: like the reviewer I was hoping that this would be the begining of Buffy's gowing acceptance of Spike as someone who is *trying* to do the right thing, even if he's not always succeeding. Yeet, he continues treating him like dirt, but is still not above taking Dawn to him for babysitting services when she needs to go find Willow in 'Two To Go.' The point where Buffy tells Spike she is using him (sorry, can't remember the episode) needed to be the point where she either cut him out of her life entirely, or began seeing him as something more than an evil thing who is unable to be good. Instead she clung on to this middle ground, which I believe lessened the impact of her breaking things off with him, and by extension the entire Spike/Buffy storyline.

Finally, I agree with the reviewer on just about all the points made. Having not seen the season finale yet, I have no opinion on issues raised in it. :)

[> [> [> Re: Spike is not the innocent party in this -- maddog, 18:49:47 05/27/02 Mon

Agreed except for the Spike needing to be less sympathetic...I thought they did a good job of killing most of his sympathy when he attempted the rape. Even with the conclusion known it still ruins his credibility to try that on Buffy.

[> Problems -- shadowkat, 12:43:43 05/26/02 Sun

Been thinking a lot about this lately and have been holding
back on posting, due to the emotional and viceral comments
I've seen on the board regarding the characters' futures
and personalities.

I think we have stopped looking at the show objectively and have imbued these characters with traits from people in our own lives.

The show operates partly as a morality play - all good science fiction and fantasy does. Star Next Generation,
The Prisoner, the excellent Foundation series by Asimov,
Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, and of course Philip K. Dick's
stories - are all examples of this. We may not like the moral messages being shown, but they are the writers' message not ours. We don't write the show. The show is written and acted by others who wish to share a little bit of their world and their thoughts with us. It's the gift of communication and the gift of seeing inside someone else's head for forty-three minutes a week. You may not like what you see - but
you can't quite turn away. And if you hate it- you do have a choice not to look. BTvs is Joss Whedon and his writers and actors view of the world and how we should live in it. They aren't making us watch or analyze it. They are just sharing it with us. It's a bit like the movie "Illuminata" - the film is about a theatre group and it's director, who instead of showing popular overplayed hits, wishes to show something
else something more experimental, darker, from his soul to his audience. Joss Whedon loves that film. I appreciate it too - it's why we write.

I see Season 6 differently than BAPS reviewer or the others.
I see it as an exploration of the inner struggle we all have
with our own monsters. Every character except Tara struggled
with their monsters this year. Tara struggled with her's
the year before. Her death was sad, but necessary. Nor was
she boring - if you thought that, you missed a great deal of the show. Also Spike's trials were incredibly important to the theme and final tapestry and to say that Spike is
a rapist or just an evil demon - means that you also don't
see all the levels and missed a lot. It's not just the actor, it was how it was written. But we are human and everything we see is tainted by our experience and our beliefs and our views, often causing blinders to appear. It is hard to view things without them. What I like is works of art(tv, movie, etc) that make me question these views maybe look at life from another angle. The AR scene was disturbing but fascinating in that the human in Spike was horrified at what he almost did. For the first time I saw it from the attackers point of view and it made me rethink some things. Question how I looked at stuff.

It amazes me that so many people on this board just see
an AR scene, black and white: rapist/victim. Kill the one attempting horrible act. And it's visceral. (When Angel torturing Giles or Linwood or killing Jenny didn't really bother anyone. Or Xander attacking Buffy in the Pack?) It's - almost as if they were watching General Hospital or Seventh Heaven or NYPD Blue and not a dark fantasy with a vampire. I could understand this visceral reaction if the show was set in any of the above three shows, it's not. Spike is a vampire. The reason we are obsessed with him - is he is ambiguous and we have no clue
where they are going. But we have to remember we aren't steering his or any of the other characters journeys - we are just along for the ride, and unlike the characters, writers and directors - we can jump ship at any time. How hard is it to turn off a tv set? Personally I'm curious
to see what happens next. This past season was the best
in my humble opinion, far better than the ones before it
because it took so many risks and made me think. If I didn't
like it - I would have watched something else. If I don't
like what they do next year - I'll watch something else.
It's a risk all writers take, but one I'm happy that they do. Because if they wrote for fans - what would be the point
of watching? We wouldn't see what was in their heads or
share their vision of the world for just an instant. Instead
we would just see a reflection of the rosey dreams of the majority reflected back at us on big screens like in the sci- fi novels Farenheit 451 and Brave New World - two visions that I pray never ever occur. I would fight against that occurrence.

I applaud Whedon and company for an great year and will watch as long as they continue to take risks and write
interesting and compelling stories.

Meanwhile I'll work on conveying my own stories to paper
so I can also share my view of the world, with a little
luck maybe others will see them and analyze them in ways I never ever intended as well.

[> [> Re: Problems -- Dochawk, 15:04:33 05/26/02 Sun

There is no question that how we view a story is colored by our own life experiences. Once a piece of art is put before the public its the viewere who interpets it, not the artist. Last night in chat, we were discussing this issue. Vandalia described Spiek as the Bad Boy with a sweet gooey center. I see him as typical of the men many of my women friends date, the bad boy who they think they can reform. So watching Spuffy frustrates me as much as it does when I deal with them. And Buffy was realizing this, that he was bad for her. But in real life, women keep going back to their bad boy until something happens, they finally get it as Buffy does. So I think the story was much better than the author f this article did. What happens in Angel is rare, rarely do humans in real life get epiphanies, they take two steps forward one step back etc.

In addition, some people seem to forget that what we are watching is Buffy's story, her journey. If Willow and Xander and Anya and Spike move along with Buffy that's wonderful, but its about Buffy's journey. Thats why it called Buffy the Vampire Slayer, not Hellmouth or some other all encomapassing name. Spike is ambigious and the actor makes him interesting to watch. I want to see his struggles. But, they are subordinate to Buffy's struggles. And so if you look hard (or not so hard) there are plotholes especially regarding Spike's journey. But if they fit what ME wants to say about Buffy they (and therefore I) will live with them.

[> [> [> I Second That -- maddog, 19:13:57 05/27/02 Mon

[> [> Hear hear! -- Traveler, 16:20:14 05/26/02 Sun

[> [> Because rape is real -- LeeAnn, 17:04:29 05/26/02 Sun

On the grand scale of things attempted rape, or attempted necking, or whatever it was, is not much compared to Willow torturing one person to death, murdering another, trying to kill several more and then trying to destroy the world for dessert. If Willow can be forgiven surely Spike can be.

Buffy used Spike as a sex toy, beat and abused him, and then hurt and humiliated him in front of Riley. All this despite her knowing he loved her. She also tried to kill her friends and sister. If she gets forgiven, surely Spike can be too.

Xander did a spell that got several people burned alive. He left Anya at the altar causing her pain and humiliation. As a result she returned to being a vengeance demon which will probably mean more people tortured and killed so that can be laid at Xander's door too, at least in part. But Xander gets forgiven.

Everyone gets forgiven but Spike. That doesn't seem fair. I think the reason it is harder for people to forgive him is that rape is real. Many women have been raped or almost raped and most people know a rape victim. None of us have been murdered and no one is ever murdered using magic so it's easy to recognize Willow's crimes as fantasy. When ME went for the rape they left the world of make-believe, the realm of metaphor and magic, and entered the world of the real. The attemped rape in Seeing Red is more unforgivable because it is more real and it is more real because it is more common, because it really happens to many, many people. Spike became our surrogate rapist and to forgive him would be to forgive real rapists and we're not ready to do that.

ME made a big mistake doing that rape scene. They may have destroyed Spike as a character people can like and identify with. They need to give us an explanation that allows us to let Spike off the hook, like Warren was controlling his chip or something. Like they gave us the "It wasn't Willow, it was the dark magic" excuse.

Everyone gets an excuse but Spike when he, being a vampire, had less control of his behavior than any of the other characters.

Isn't it enough that he commited suicide in that cave, went and fought for something that would destroy him and leave something different in his place? Isn't it enough that he died to wipe out his crime?

[> [> [> Please Remember Spike is not the Story, Buffy Is -- Dochawk, 17:45:02 05/26/02 Sun

[> [> [> [> Re: Please Remember Spike is not the Story, Buffy Is -- Arya_Stark, 20:35:57 05/26/02 Sun

Well, that is the way it started, but I think that ME opened up a can of worms when they brought Spike in as a full-time cast member. Now Spike DOES have his own story and it is mostly seperate from Buffy's story.

I remember reading somewhere recently (perhaps in The Watcher's Guide Volume 2) that ME brought Spike in to replace Cordelia as the character who spoke the unadorned truth. But it ended up being Anya who replaced Cordy in that role. That left ME to find something to do with Spike.

Along the way, ME (and JM) created an amazing and complex character with his own story. Is Spike evil? Can he be redeemed? Does he want to be redeemed? Can he be trusted? What would happen if he got the chip out? Can he be good without a soul? Is there something between good and evil? And these are just a few of the questions that Spike has raised. And I want to see them answered. If the answers relate to Buffy and their relationship-- great. If they don't, I still want to see them answered.

I honestly feel that if for some bizarre reason ME decided to kill off Xander, Willow, or Dawn (and even Tara), there would not be too many unanswered questions or stories. Because, as you say, the story is about Buffy. But, if they were to dust Spike right now, I'd feel that an entire story was left undone.

I sometimes wonder if the writers regret painting themselves into a corner like this. It would probably be much easier for them, if everything was all about Buffy.

I, for one, find the Spike storyline facinating and I can't wait to find out how it ends. I like Spike. I like Spike and Buffy, but I don't have any preconceived notions about how it should end. I'm simply concerned about Spike being in character (and I do think that everything that happened towards the end of the season was in character). I just want to be along for the journey.

PS Please be kind. Although, I have posted a couple of times, this is my first long-ish (for me anyway) post.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Please Remember Spike is not the Story, Buffy Is -- Rufus, 01:41:32 05/27/02 Mon

Now why would you feel that a story was left undone? Is that because now Spike has been granted a soul? That one thing does raise a few questions? How easy is it to get a soul, and if the option is easy why haven't more vampires gone to win theirs back? Does that make them careful or just more evil?

I feel that anytime someone dies in an unexpected way that there is a story left untold, unlived. I think next year will be one of choosing what you want to be. Anya is a demon, but she still thinks of herself in retail. Then with Spike he had been slowly becoming more human so there will be less of an adjustment that the more violent Angelus. Then there is the question of what will become of Willow, can she forgive herself for becoming evil? Or will her experience lead to a stronger person like with Giles after his experiences with dark magic?

We will try to be kind there any particular torture you favor over all others.....;):):):):)you do know I'm kidding.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Please Remember Spike is not the Story, Buffy Is -- Abby, 07:01:37 05/27/02 Mon

The problem with being reminded now that Buffy is supposed to be the centre of the Buffyverse, is that ever since s5, I have cared less and less about her. Many of my friends agree, that to alienate viewers from the main protagonist is a dangerous game- we get to a point where I care far more about Spike's journey than Buffy's. In fact, removing Dawn, I care more about every other character than her.

If the writers are surprised by this sentiment, that many others have expressed here, then maybe they need to look at the plotlines that took Buffy herself too far into the negative. James' cheekbones not a factor, his acting and character have been riveting this season. Buffy? predictable, dull, whining. It's fine to explore her lows, but they crossed the line and I don't think I can see her being redeemed as someone who I care about.

One gripe, I have yet to see 'grave', but the idea that he got a soul is very disappointing. Once again they stuck to the 'to be a worthy character you need the soul' storyline, abandoning the intersting grey area they had created.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Please Remember Spike is not the Story, Buffy Is -- Dochawk, 09:06:39 05/27/02 Mon

ME was forced into a corner with Spike, they could keep him asa grey vampire, but that would have been boring (and they couldn't have Buffy grow staying in a relationship that was bad for her). And many of us felt (and obviously ME did too) that Spike couldn't be "redeemed" as a vampire because that implies Buffy is a mass murderer. So they had to do something. And I am no longer convinced that JE was so honest in her statement that Spike is now a vampire with a soul (MN blatantly lied about Tara dying and Willow going black). In a less renowned statement, Joss himself said at the Bronze Beta (paraphrasing) "Now we wouldn't just give him a soul, we already have one of those" (now this appeared to be dripping with sarcasm, but just rewatching the episodes, Spike is unambigious in his desire to get back at Buffy. Did this change? Did Lurky see deeper into Spike than Spike did himself? Did Lurky see Spike think that because Buffy fell for Angel,a vamp with a soul, thats what she wants? And how is a vampire with soul "hwat I was before". Anyway, this is way off my subject.

I think that Buffy will be much more sympathetic next year and you'll care about her much more. But you will never care about her as much as some of the ancillary characters, because the fun stuff usually happens to htem. Its just the way tv shows are constructed.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Please Remember Spike is not the Story, Buffy Is -- VampRiley, 07:21:48 05/28/02 Tue

Lets say, for the sake of argument, that he did go to get a soul. His "make me what I was" could mean that he wanted to be a creature who had a soul, not necessarily human or a soulless, chipless vampire.


[> [> [> [> Re: Please Remember Spike is not the Story, Buffy Is -- shygirl, 17:47:57 05/28/02 Tue

No, Buffy isn't the story. She is the point of view, the persepctive, the catalyst, the point from which we begin to examine the struggles and choices we all face... good vs bad, dark vs light, yin vs yang.... its never about just one person...we're all connected, we all have role to play in the dance of life. She is the one that makes all the side stories so interesting because of how she reacts to them. She is us, the first person perspective and each of us reacts to her depending on our own personal point of view. To me and just in my opinion, Joss has managed to bring to the small screen a discussion about life the universe and everything.... about the balance we must all strike between the monster and the man/woman within each of us. Spike has become so intersting because he is at a fulcrum and we all wait with baited breath to see how the pendelum will swing... and each of us has our own preference and perspective on how we expect/want that to happen. I'm really curious to see what his options really are and what his choices will be.

[> [> [> Re: Because rape is real -- maddog, 19:22:14 05/27/02 Mon

I think much of the problem is that many people are like Xander...they have no belief vampires can be treated like others.

[> [> [> "I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy..." -- Scroll, 20:04:53 05/27/02 Mon

LeeAnn, I just wanted to point out that, yes, everyone but Spike seems to be getting forgiven for bad things they've done. You said: "Everyone gets forgiven but Spike. That doesn't seem fair." IMHO, being forgiven isn't really about fairness. People don't get forgiven for trying to end the world because it's *fair*. People don't get forgiven for attempted rape or for calling up a dancing demon because it's *fair*. Giles says to Buffy in "I Only Have Eyes For You", that forgiveness is given because a person needs it. It's a healing process. But forgiveness also can't be forced. No one *has* to forgive Willow for trying to destroy the world. I don't know how ME will handle this because clearly, magic or no magic, *Willow* was the one who wanted to destroy the world. It's only because the Scoobies love her that they might end up forgiving her. (You might ask why none of the Scoobies don't love Spike, but I think Dawn does and Buffy at least cares... Nonetheless forgiving Spike is their choice.)

Also, we don't actually *see* Buffy et al. reacting to Willow after the fact, we haven't seen how they're going to handle this atrocity she nearly committed. Same with Spike. We have no idea if Buffy will or will not forgive him because, well, he left town before she could confront him. And from my perspective, Spike going into that cave to either get a soul (or to get the chip out so he could prove he was still good) doesn't wipe out his crime. The whole point of S6 is that you have to take responsibility and grow up, and that means facing the consequences of your actions. Spike did something wrong, he may or may not pay for it, he clearly feels bad about it, he now has a soul, I don't know what's going to happen yet, we'll find out if Buffy will forgive him. But not until Season 7, unfortunately!

[> [> [> So are all the other crimes -- shadowkat, 07:51:14 05/28/02 Tue

"On the grand scale of things attempted rape, or attempted necking, or whatever it was, is not much compared to Willow torturing one person to death, murdering another, trying to kill several more and then trying to destroy the world for dessert. If Willow can be forgiven surely Spike can be.

Buffy used Spike as a sex toy, beat and abused him, and then hurt and humiliated him in front of Riley. All this despite her knowing he loved her. She also tried to kill her friends and sister. If she gets forgiven, surely Spike can be too.

Xander did a spell that got several people burned alive. He left Anya at the altar causing her pain and humiliation."

But you state that only "rape" is real??? I wish this
were true, because all the other crimes horrify me just as
much if not more so than that...

People have been beaten and abused by people they've loved.
Often being hospitalized or killed.
Actually the statistics on Domestic Violence are higher
than rape or attempted rape. And it happens to men and
women. I used to counsel some of them. Also people die
every year from the batterings. So I'm sorry this is real.

People are tortured every year in other countries. Horribly.
And in ways no all together unsimilar to what Willow was
doing to Warren (obviously not with magic but then most
women aren't superheroes in a relationship with a vampire
either). Or what Angel did to Giles. Yes - I'm sorry to
report this too is real.

People leave their fiancees at the altar all the time.
And the fiancee tries to seek vengence against them sometimes with a gun. They also sleep with people they shouldn't - this too is real.

People strip others of their memories through drugs and
shock treatments and torture all the time. So this type of
rape is also real. People mentally and emotionally abuse
spouses and lovers - to the degree the person hates themselves and can't function.

So, I'm sorry to report rape wasn't the only act that was real.

[> [> I disagree absolutely that great literature can be seen as morality plays -- Anne, 17:58:19 05/26/02 Sun

Great literature by and large does not start out with some kind of "message" that the story is then told with the purpose of conveying. Great literature tells a story about people and how they behave, and hopefully in doing so it raises some difficult, troubling, maybe in some cases insoluble puzzles, and then challenges the audience or reader to make up their own minds. It makes us think, ponder, search ourselves. It does not or should not try to shove the writers' opinions on morality down our throat. Art shows, it does not assert. And in all showing there is necessarily some ambiguity, a place for all the uncertainties that actually adhere in the living of real life to slip in.

For example: why do you think there are is so much discussion on these boards, and so much disagreement, on what forgiveness is, and when and whether it should be given? Is it because the writers have stupidly failed to convey their real opinions on the matter, or because they are deliberately letting the notion remain as difficult, as agonizing, as insoluble, as it is in real life? Maybe there is no answer; each individual confronted with the issue of forgiving will have to take their own stand, in their own circumstances, without any guarantee of getting it right.

I suppose this relates to a question asked in another thread on this board as to whether Buffy is a "didactic". God I hope not. And that's one reason I love it, and why it is so totally and completely and radically different from shows like "Touched by an Angel".

How all this relates to Barb's review I'm not exactly sure. Right now I lack the mental power to make all the connections -- sorry.

[> [> [> Re: I disagree absolutely that great literature can be seen as morality plays -- maddog, 19:48:42 05/27/02 Mon

Yeah, but by having discussions, making up our own minds we still don't need to be upset because they shows writers didn't handle situations the way we would have. If they listened to a bunch of fans then there'd be no suprise, no twists, cause we'd already know what was to come.

[> [> [> Re: I disagree absolutely that great literature can be seen as morality plays -- shadowkat, 08:09:14 05/28/02 Tue

Morality plays - the good ones aren't didactic. They
don't tell you what to think. Examples Aseops fables,
the Greek Tragedies, Shakespeare.

What they do is tell the story. Show how people behave
in horrible situations and you take what morales you find.
The best make us think.

[> [> [> [> Moral lessons from literature -- Sophist, 08:55:29 05/28/02 Tue

I think that most of the Classics of Western literature have an intended moral. In some cases (Dante) it's pretty obvious. Other cases may be less obvious, but we can still draw a strong inference. For example, while we can never know the intent of the Iliad (because we don't know if there was a single author and know nothing about his intent if there was), there is no doubt that the poem was used didactically by conservatives in the Greek cities to uphold aristocratic dominance of the culture. The Homeric poems glorified aristocratic values and thereby reinforced them.

In fact, I'd be hard put to name a "great" work that didn't have a moral message. We are able to make broader use of these works today for a couple of reasons. First, we may no longer share the cultural assumptions and values that originally motivated them (who today wants to grow up to be Achilles?). Second, because we have a broader perspective, we can often see dilemmas or moral nuances that the author didn't see or might even have rejected. As discussed often here, interpretation of a work is not limited to that of the author.

Yes, great works make us think. But sometimes our thoughts about them are what make them great.

[> [> [> [> [> Good post, Sophist. -- Exegy, 15:28:33 05/28/02 Tue

[> [> [> Re: I disagree absolutely that great literature can be seen as morality plays -- clg0107, 13:58:19 05/28/02 Tue

For example: why do you think there are is so much discussion on these boards, and so much disagreement, on what forgiveness is, and when and whether it should be given? Is it because the writers have stupidly failed to convey their real opinions on the matter, or because they are deliberately letting the notion remain as difficult, as agonizing, as insoluble, as it is in real life?

I tend to agree with Anne, but the trouble comes when the writers give interviews explaining that we're not supposed react X to stimulus Y...perhaps in cases like that they are being coy; stirring the pot. But it at least suggests that their view of a given character is the only legitimate one. I assert that if people are drawing other conclusions from the writing/directing/acting, then there must be something more there than they expected or intended.

Then again, I am the first to agree that these characters aren't ours...they are the playthings of the writers. It is JW's story to tell first and foremost, and while we are not supposed to be dumb and mute sponges in the matter, neither are we in a position to tell him (or his hand-picked staff) that they are telling the story "wrong"....

All about balance, I guess!


[> [> Exactly.... -- maddog, 19:09:35 05/27/02 Mon

Too many people think the show should go the way they think it should be...or if it doesn't make sense to them it's bad. The simple fact is that this is someone else's thoughts...their feelings....and we're to interpret them only...not judge. I'm not saying people's opinions aren't valid. I just think they take it too far sometimes.

[> Disagree on some points -- Kerri, 12:47:58 05/26/02 Sun

I have always been a huge fan of Buffy as a character. I enjoy her journey, and have found this season an important part in that journey. Unlike most people I continued to like Buffy and find her a sympathetic character. While her slow crawl back to life was painful to watch, I found it necessay. If Buffy had just had one epiphany and realized that wow, she wanted to live, it would have been forced and ceesy. But showing Buffy gradually becoming involved in life, with small steps forward, as well as the steps backward, made her final crawl out of the grave more natural and meaningful.

IMO (and I may get yelled at for this) but some Spike fans tend to demonize Buffy completely, calling her the monster of the B/S relationship and not looking at the other side. Yes Buffy caused many of the problems in the relationship by rejecting and dehumanizing Spike, but he did more than his share, and I'm not entirely sure that Buffy (when not so full of self-loathing) could ever be with a vampire who showed no remorse for killing thousands. Now that doesn't mean I don't love the character of Spike-I do-but the reason I like his character so much is because he's not "good."

[> [> And also... -- Kerri, 12:49:32 05/26/02 Sun

I love Tara. While I realize that she may have had to go for Willow's journey to continue, I found her development fascinating, and she was one of my favorite characters.

[> [> Stopping to agree with Kerri -- Rufus, 15:10:39 05/26/02 Sun

IMO (and I may get yelled at for this) but some Spike fans tend to demonize Buffy completely, calling her the monster of the B/S relationship and not looking at the other side.

No yelling here I agree with you on what you say about some fans only seeing the good in Spike and conveniently forgetting all the bad he has done in the past. Buffy may have beaten Spike in Dead Things, but imagine the untold hundreds of people he tortured and murdered. I find it hard to say bad things about Buffy when this guy has such a bloody past. I like the character of Spike but some people have decided that he can do no wrong and any problems with a ship with Buffy is all her fault. When they aren't treating Buffy like a War Criminal, they are bashing Xander in an attempt to make Spike look better.

Spike is on a very complicated journey, he has been a monster, one that has slowly changed from needing the limelight by killing to going to Africa to get a soul. If people only see him as a helpless, blameless, victim, that cheapens his journey. Like it or not Spike is on his current path because of his interactions with the Scoobies, without them he would have not progressed to where he ended up in Grave.

[> [> [> What Spike deserves? -- Elz, 17:49:20 05/26/02 Sun

But my problem with Buffy and Xander's treatment of Spike isn't so much Spike - that he's a poor, innocent victim who doesn't deserve it. That's moot to me, although I do tend to sympathize with him. The point is rather what their behavior says about Buffy and Xander. *Buffy* shouldn't use someone who loves her for sex and then violently abuse him - that's wrong no matter who he is. *Xander* shouldn't try to kill someone for sleeping with his ex-girlfriend, and he shouldn't hit a person who can't defend himself. I expect better from Buffy and Xander, and acting like that - objectifying and abusing - sets a behavioral precedent that's as bad for them as it is for Spike.

And when you start in on the justification that it's okay to do anything at all to someone because they deserve it? That's dangerous ground, IMHO.

Barb's point was - if they think he's an evil, irredeemable menace, that's fine. They should treat him like that, or stake him. But to use him when he's useful, ignore him when he's not, and beat him up on their whims? That makes them look a heck of a lot less heroic and sympathetic. Fans are reacting accordingly. And when huge segments of the audience start to react in ways you haven't intended, that's a problem with the writing.

[> [> [> [> Re: What Spike deserves? -- Kerri, 18:52:00 05/26/02 Sun

That makes them look a heck of a lot less heroic and sympathetic. Fans are reacting accordingly. And when huge segments of the audience start to react in ways you haven't intended, that's a problem with the writing.

Perhaps the writers were expecting this, and maybe this is what they wanted to show us. The heroes aren't always heroic. But I have trouble really blaming the SG for their view of Spike-their entire lives they have been told that vampires are bad and evil-and if they admit than what they have been doing for the past 6 years was murder. And honestly I am not sure I can blame Buffy for mistreating someone who is a murderer with no remorse.

I do find Buffy a very sympathetic character, and even in the alley scene in DT (which everyone uses as an example of how terrible Buffy is) my heart still went out to her.

Xander I do have a bit more of a problem with. I have always found him judgemental, and it really got me in SR when he put Buffy down for sleeping with Spike and not telling him about it.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: What Spike deserves? -- maddog, 16:07:15 05/28/02 Tue

Yeah, but Spike's not your average vampire. If they started liking normal vampires that always did bad things and bit people then it would be odd. But Spike's different. The chip has conditioned him a certain way. His love for Buffy has done the same. So he's the equivalent of Angel...a vampire with lots of gray area.

Sometimes I think Xander's just judgemental of vampires as a whole(the whole demons are demons concept). But the more I think about it I'm pretty sure it's just anyone who's ever been after Buffy he takes an immediate disliking too(Riley being the only one around long enough to change his mind).

[> [> [> [> Buffy the Slayer -- Dochawk, 20:04:46 05/26/02 Sun

There is one additional factor that no one seems to be adding with Buffy and Spike. Buffy is the slayer and she has been wired in some way to hate vampires. When she says that Spike is everything she hates, she means it in an elemental, chemical way. The fact that she is able to overcome this and not stake Spike says much for her growth. She is able to get away with more in how she treats him. Xander of course doesn't have this excuse, but he doesn't think of Spike as anything more than he says he does.

And this slayer sense, may, in fact, be how Buffy is able to sense the soul on Spike that noone else does. perhaps her slayer sense senses the lack of soul?

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Buffy the Slayer -- Elz, 20:35:59 05/26/02 Sun

I really have to disagree. Wired to sense vampires, yes. Wired to hate them? I really don't think we've ever seen evidence of that. She wasn't overcoming some constant urge towards hatred every time she was with Angel, after all.

Buffy made her own choices about how to treat Spike. She alone is responsible for her actions. The same is true of Spike - and Xander, Willow, Anya, Dawn, and Giles. If that isn't spelled out next year, I'll be very disappointed.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Buffy the Slayer -- maddog, 16:11:14 05/28/02 Tue

I'd say the wired for hatred concept is a knee jerk reaction. But it doesn't always last. She was repulsed by Angel at first glance that he was a vamp...but she learned to get past it.

[> [> [> [> [> She has a unique way of expressing that hatred. -- Tar, 21:36:27 05/26/02 Sun

Buffy has had three serious relationships, two of them were with vampires. That suggests something more than just hard- wired hatred is at work. It seems more likely Slayers are hard-wired to feel connected to vampires on some level. Buffy admitted she's attracted to Spike and has feelings for him. Their relationship can't be written off as mere hatred. There is more to it than that.

Plus, when Angel lost his soul in Innocence, Buffy didn't realize it. She knew he was different, but she didn't know why.

[> [> [> [> What does Spike deserve? -- Rufus, 20:25:01 05/26/02 Sun

And when you start in on the justification that it's okay to do anything at all to someone because they deserve it? That's dangerous ground, IMHO.

I don't remember saying I agreed with what Buffy did in that instance. I don't think I remember saying that Xander did well to go and try to stake Spike. There is more going on in these situations than the obvious objectification of Spike. These people are interacting in ways that can either end in tragedy depending on how you see it. If you compare what Spike has done all the "decades" he has been alive and what Buffy and Xander are doing as they are trying to grow into the second decades of their life, who deserves what? You expect more out of people who are barely out of their teens and have admittedly acted badly on occasion, the biggest thing is what is the result at the end of the season. Buffy found that she could no longer use Spike, even though she did want him, it was killing her to do the things she did to him. Xander was acting in a moment of rage after seeing live coverage of his ex and Spike having sex. If he really had intended to only kill Spike, nothing, nothing would have stopped him. How does one learn or grow up if they are always perfect? I see that there is the double standard of Spike can do things wrong because of his nature but Buffy and the Scoobies have to everything right all the time. That would make for one boring show. At the end of the season they used the St Francis Prayer and I think some people who only want absolution for Spike should remember that For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned. Spike has gone in a quest for a soul because in his interactions with Buffy and the rest of the gang he has realized that they are right to fear his soulless state. This is why he is where he is in that cave he was able to forgive, able to pardon and, most important able to love and he was rewarded with a soul. The trials in the cave were only formalities, the actual trials started the moment he knocked on Giles door in the Season four episode of Pangs. I will be interested in what a soulled Spike's take on vampirism will be when he has adjusted to his soul.

I spoke much earlier in the season on the fact that I thought that Buffy and Spike were in a transformational relationship. The one we saw this year had nothing to do with a romantic ideal as much as it was how these two characters Buffy and Spike were transformed by their experiences together. People can only remember the beating Buffy gave Spike, but they forget that she did admit to being wrong in using Spike in As you Were

BUFFY: And I'm not here to bust your chops about your stupid scheme, either. That's just you. I should have remembered.

SPIKE: So this is worse then, is it, this is you telling me-

BUFFY: It's over.

SPIKE: (smiles, moves closer to her) I've memorized this tune, luv. Think I have the sheet music. Doesn't change what you want.

BUFFY: I know that. (pauses) I do want you. (Spike looking surprised) Being with you ... makes things ... simpler. For a little while.

SPIKE: I don't call five hours straight a little while.

BUFFY: I'm using you.

He stares at her.

BUFFY: I can't love you. I'm just ... being weak, and selfish...

SPIKE: (moves even closer) Really not complaining here.

BUFFY: ...and it's killing me.

Spike frowns.

BUFFY: I have to be strong about this.

He continues staring at her.

BUFFY: I'm sorry ... William.

Buffy does have feelings for Spike, and feelings that have been so confusing to her that there are times she thought it would be much easier to just kill him, but her feelings wouldn't allow for that. Buffy keeps saving Spike and in their relationship it becomes clear that in ways they save each other. The only thing stopping Buffy from getting closer to Spike is that he is soulless. She can't risk what may happen should he act out. The dividing line between them is the soul.....who would have guessed that Spike could ever care enough to go get a soul, not just for himself but because he feels that Buffy deserves a lover with a soul. Buffy's relationship with Spike as a vampire are over, what kind of relationship will she have with this second vampire who sought a soul because he was in love with a woman?

[> [> [> [> [> Re: What does Spike deserve? -- Dochawk, 23:03:51 05/26/02 Sun


this is where you and I totally disagree. you say " The only thing stopping Buffy from getting closer to Spike is that he is soulless". There is a hell of a lot more seperating the two of them. Spike wants a different kind of love with Buffy. he wants the adolescent, blood boiling love. he wants what he had with Dru. And Spike manipulates Buffy and he lies to her. Buffy has grown past the darkness that Spike represents. She tells him so before the AR. if she is truly going to embrace life next season, she is going to have to accept her darkness and move past it. That means movign past Spike, for gaining a soul won't make him that different (at least not from what we have seen about soul's this year). As usual I know I am in a minority of 3 in this position, but I truly think the story is about Buffy's growth and if so, Spike as sex partner will be falling by the wayside.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: What does Spike deserve? -- Rufus, 02:02:55 05/27/02 Mon

Even though Spike is far from the perfect package, Buffy still wanted him. It was his nature as a vampire that prevents Buffy from taking the relationship seriously. Spike as a sex partner was already a thing of the past. If they ever got into another relationship, if, it would take time. And that goes into how much do you blame an ensoulled Spike for the actions of Spike without a soul? I'm glad we have this love/you think I'm crazy relationship going on here...;)

[> [> [> [> [> Re: What does Spike deserve? (spoilers through season 6) -- Traveler, 00:50:40 05/27/02 Mon

"If you compare what Spike has done all the "decades" he has been alive and what Buffy and Xander are doing as they are trying to grow into the second decades of their life, who deserves what?"

First of all, I never beat the crap out of someone who loved me, even when I was a teen, and I would expect more than that from any creature that pretends to be human, including Spike. The reviewer wasn't suggesting that Spike can do no wrong, but rather objecting to the idea that he was simply "getting what he deserves." Elz wasn't even doing that; she was merely suggesting that this behavior tells us bad things about Buffy, regardless of how we feel about Spike.

"If he really had intended to only kill Spike, nothing, nothing would have stopped him."

He hestitated when Anya told him to stop and Buffy physically pushed him out of the way. I think he really wanted to kill Spike, but obviously he wasn't going to do it in front of Anya and Buffy, and presumably afterwards he calmed down enough not to continue his vendetta.

"Spike has gone in a quest for a soul because in his interactions with Buffy and the rest of the gang he has realized that they are right to fear his soulless state."

And that is why the reviewer was saying the whole situation seems contrived. She (and I) remain unconvinced that Spike was acting out his demonic impulses, rather than snapping the way any mortal man might snap. In our opinion, the writers have left open the question, could Spike have become "good" without a soul?

"I will be interested in what a soulled Spike's take on vampirism will be when he has adjusted to his soul."

Me too.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: What does Spike deserve? (spoilers through season 6) -- Rufus, 01:56:23 05/27/02 Mon

And that is why the reviewer was saying the whole situation seems contrived. She (and I) remain unconvinced that Spike was acting out his demonic impulses, rather than snapping the way any mortal man might snap. In our opinion, the writers have left open the question, could Spike have become "good" without a soul?

The writers were rather clear in their intent to show that no matter how many good things Spike did he could always end up in a situation where he would do something evil enough to warrant being staked. With a soul there is less of a chance of that happening.....less not a certainty, but less. I base my opinion on what three writers said in interviews and the shooting scripts. I have a feeling that the issue of a soul was a very contentious one that they had to find a mid point where everyone could be somewhat happy. Even though Fury didn't seem to be clear about the facts on souls and demons, he has been very clear that to him the soulless can't be redeemed. Of course they have to find some way to explain how Spike as a soulless demon could come to the conclusions he did, but I fear they will lean on the chip for that one. Until Spike got a soul he was just Quasimoto (the Fury version) and with no moral compass he could never be fully trusted.

First of all, I never beat the crap out of someone who loved me, even when I was a teen, and I would expect more than that from any creature that pretends to be human, including Spike. The reviewer wasn't suggesting that Spike can do no wrong, but rather objecting to the idea that he was simply "getting what he deserves."

I reference the Drew Greenberg interview when I say that the physical beatings that Spike and Buffy gave each other were a way of showing their inner turmoil. I'm glas you didn't beat the crap out of anyone in your teens, but it's clear that Spike made a practice of beating and killing the helpless and laid a few beatings on Buffy as well. I wasn't thrilled with what Buffy did, but I can understand the circumstances surrounding them. My reply was to Kerri not to the writer of the specific review. My words were about Spike fans that can only see the wrong in what Buffy or the other Scoobies do while excusing a hundred years of death and chaos Spike has done. To appreciate the change that Spike has gone through since the chip, he has to be looked at as a whole and he spent more time destroying life than he has helping to save it. I hope the soul he has been restored will give him more incentive to help than to just win Buffys heart.

At least we agree with Spikes take on vampires....we both want to know what he will say, even though I could see a hint of what his opinon may be from the episode All the Way when he called the younger vamp an idiot.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Quick response -- Traveler, 16:36:08 05/27/02 Mon

"I base my opinion on what three writers said in interviews and the shooting scripts."

I base my opinions mainly on the shows themselves, with a nod to the shooting scripts. I don't give a flying leap what the writers say in interviews. If they send a message they didn't intend to, that's their problem, not mine. I have to judge them by what they do, not what they say. Besides which, the writers lie.

"My words were about Spike fans that can only see the wrong in what Buffy or the other Scoobies do while excusing a hundred years of death and chaos Spike has done."

Please try to be more specific then. If you weren't speaking to the people who's posts you were currently responding to, then you should have said so.

"I could see a hint of what his opinon may be from the episode All the Way when he called the younger vamp an idiot."

Very interesting! Do you think this reinforces the idea that Spike will "grow up" to be more like Giles?

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Quick response -- Rufus, 17:47:08 05/27/02 Mon

If you read my subject in my original post you could tell clearly who I was replying to and why I was replying to her.

I don't know why you are continually treating me like I dislike the character when I have been posting about his potential for many months. To get an idea of writers intent I do go on the script and the interviews to back up what I feel about the show. I also rely heavily on a comment on souls by Joss at the Paley festival. I take an interest in what the writers say because it is their story not ours. To ignore what they have to say is your choice to make. I see all the characters on the show as having flaws and as doing things I may not like. If I'm to be fair to Spike and what Spike may become I have to look at all his behavior not just what he has done since getting the chip.

Very interesting! Do you think this reinforces the idea that Spike will "grow up" to be more like Giles?

I've been saying that for a very long time, so why would that surpise you now?

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Oops, sorry... (spoilers for finale) -- Traveler, 12:36:31 05/28/02 Tue

"If you read my subject in my original post you could tell clearly who I was replying to and why I was replying to her."

I just went back a re-read the thread, trying to figure out who said what to who when and I realized that you are right. You never directly accused any of the people in this thread of "only seeing the good" in Spike. Rather, Kerri implied that the reviewer was one of those people, and for some reason I chose to get on your case for agreeing with her. If you WERE including the reviewer in that description, then I stand by my previous statements. Otherwise, sorry, I should have read the thread more carefully.

"The trials in the cave were only formalities, the actual trials started the moment he knocked on Giles door in the Season four episode of Pangs."

I realize that you are generally "pro-redemptionist," but I have been taking issue (not just with you) with the idea that Spike had no possibility of being "good" without a soul. You agree here that his journey towards a possible redemption began long before he had a soul. I would take it one step further and suggest that maybe he could have become "good" without having a soul at all. Personally, I would have found that more satisfying to see. Regardless, that is the main point I have been trying to address with you.

"To ignore what [the writers] have to say is your choice to make."

We are going to have to agree to disagree here. I still stand by what I said before. The writers lie and prevaricate in interviews, and I don't trust them. Also, they having opposing view points. For example, Fury hated the idea of Spuffy, but he eventually accepted it because of what Buffy was feeling at the time. The AR scene in SR was Marti's idea, and not all the writers were happy about it. Besides which, even when the writers know the truth AND tell it, it is still easy to draw incorrect conclusions from them. How many people were convinced that Spike would become human in the finale? What this means is that you will never convince me of a particular point by saying, "the writers said so." Sorry, but you'll have to use examples from the show itself. Then of course, I am free to address those examples and so on.

"Very interesting! Do you think this reinforces the idea that Spike will "grow up" to be more like Giles?"

"I've been saying that for a very long time, so why would that surpise you now?"

No need to be so prickly; I was giving you a compliment. Sorry I didn't remember it was you who orginally came up with this theory, but I was merely saying that this was a good example supporting it.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Oops, sorry... (spoilers for finale) -- Rufus, 15:15:22 05/28/02 Tue

I realize that you are generally "pro-redemptionist," but I have been taking issue (not just with you) with the idea that Spike had no possibility of being "good" without a soul. You agree here that his journey towards a possible redemption began long before he had a soul. I would take it one step further and suggest that maybe he could have become "good" without having a soul at all.

Spike clearly proved he can do good things without a soul, but the writers have made it clear that without a soul or a chip to regulate him, Spike had the change of doing something he couldn't come back from in a moment of anger and or desperation like the "attempted rape". It was when Spike realized that he was capable of hurting Buffy he went in search of his soul. He was capable of doing that without a soul. I think the writers threw a bone out to the redemptionists and anti-redemptionists when they made Spike capable of making that choice to transform himself in such a way. It also keeps in touch with their original soul canon that says that the soulless are more likely to be evil. I was hoping that they would have gone the other way, but I can undersand (read Fury and Espenson transcripts) that the writers were sharply divided on that one. I can live with the compromise because Spike was able to desire a soul when we know that other vampires are repelled by the idea.

No need to be so prickly; I was giving you a compliment. Sorry I didn't remember it was you who orginally came up with this theory, but I was merely saying that this was a good example supporting it.

Wasn't being prickly just forgot my usual ;) emoticon at the end. Sorry.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Wow. All that just to find out that we totally agree. -- Traveler, 19:45:51 05/28/02 Tue

I can't find a single point that you've made that I can argue with. It's a miracle! :P

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Jane Espenson regarding Spikes intent when he went to Africa -- Rufus, 20:36:06 05/27/02 Mon

I don't give a flying leap what the writers say in interviews. If they send a message they didn't intend to, that's their problem, not mine. I have to judge them by what they do, not what they say. Besides which, the writers lie.

I have listened to five interviews with different writers and have sourced some of what Joss has said. This is what they did regarding Spike at the season end episodes..

J: Yes, in my mind, that's ... we did a big ole' mislead on you all where we wanted you to think he was gonna go get dechipped. We knew, the whole time, from the very beginning, that he was going to go get a soul.

Q: Oh!

J: And when he says "I want Buffy to have what she deserves -- give the Slayer what she deserves -- he means a lover with a soul."

K: I knew that it could go any way, because I know you guys - you are mischievous.

C: And you guys did it that way, because he goes like, "I want to be like I was before," and you know, he didn't use his ??? the exact words, because what does that mean?

K: Vague.

J: It was very vague, and if we're vague, we're vague for a reason.

K: I knew that, see! I knew that!

J: And a lot of the people on the Internet guessed it; a lot of the people guessed either that he wanted a soul or
that he wanted to be human again.

The writers have a right to be vague about a storyline, but sometimes it's what they say in interviews that tip people like me off to their I do value what they have to say about how they feel about characters.

[> [> [> [> [> And who should ’scape whipping? -- LeeAnn, 08:14:23 05/27/02 Mon

Use every man after his desert, and who should ’scape whipping? Use them after your own honour and dignity: the less they deserve, the more merit is in your bounty.
Hamlet, Act II, Scene II

Even deciding what any person deserves is not something to be taken lightly but Buffy and the Scoobies are always judgemental if nothing else, especially when it comes to Spike.

Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven.
Luke 6:37

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: And who should ’scape whipping? -- MaeveRigan, 11:27:23 05/27/02 Mon

Yes and no (of course!)

Buffy et al. may be judgmental (occupational hazard), but they've never actually staked Spike, even when he was really much more Eeevil than he's been lately and the temptation was much stronger. Giving him a break, missed chances, or just possibly allowing him the benefit of doubt?

Spike's not a fluffy bunny, and we wouldn't like him nearly as much if he were. (Anya, in fact, would run screaming from the room.)

Season 6 turns out to be all about "forgive and ye shall be forgiven," or at least, that's how Xander saves Willow and the world. So if the Scoobies--including Spike--are going to demonstrate that they've grown up in season 7, they'll have to show that they've mastered that art first. Ready for fall?

[> [> [> [> Re: What Spike deserves? -- maddog, 16:01:37 05/28/02 Tue

While Xander may be gradually maturing(and regressing in other parts), one thing he always sees no gray with is vampires. He hated Angel and Angelus...didn't matter which he was. And unless he grows up overnight I doubt he'll accept a souled Spike right away either. So no, Spike doesn't always get what he deserves....I guess what I'm saying is...are you really surprised?

[> Finally! Someone managed to put into words all teh problems I had with the story this year -- vampire hunter D, 13:39:50 05/26/02 Sun

[> I think she's right on target with Spike and Willow -- darrenK, 14:13:31 05/26/02 Sun

[> Lovely, agreed with it all. -- LeeAnn, 15:00:09 05/26/02 Sun

[> Re: Fresh, clear view of Season 6 by Barb - Excellent Post! -- Brian, 16:08:22 05/26/02 Sun

[> My guess concerning Spike in S7. -- A8, 16:17:51 05/26/02 Sun

I think the writers might play a cruel joke on Spike--the souled spike will be no different than soul-less Spike because his evil, like Willow's flows from the negative aspects of his human nature rather than his demon nature.

[> [> Re: Spike in S7, who will it matter to? -- darrenK, 08:17:58 05/27/02 Mon

You know, I was thinking something like that myself. Spike already does a lot of good. How does he prove to Buffy and the others that he even has a soul?

Maybe there's some sort of spell they could use, but they've certainly never had a Soul detector.

They always took Angel at his word. No proof needed.

And to Xander, Angel's soul didn't make any difference. He still treated him like a vampire.

For Buffy, Angel's soul never meant that she could ignore his vampire nature or the problems that resulted from it.

So, I'm wondering if maybe the only person Spike's soul will really matter to is Spike?


[> [> [> Re: Spike in S7, who will it matter to? -- SpikeMom, 17:33:40 05/28/02 Tue

I predict that Spike will return to Sunnydale with his shiny new soul. Newly mature Buffy (per her confessions to Giles) will tell him (before he can reveal the new soul)that she has a new point of view and that she can love him/have a relationship with him, no soul required. Poor Spike - I can hear the "bloody hell"s already.

[> Re: Fascinating Season 6 review - fabulous! -- Valhalla, 17:03:13 05/26/02 Sun

That was a great articulation of some of the season 6 flaws. I particularly like that she pointed out that of all of them, Spike's the one without a soul, yet is the most judged and punished for not being good.

Also, while I find the writer's comments on the show interesting, I try to avoid incorporating them into my understanding of the show, especially the comments accompanied by the 'fans have forgotten X, or fans have misunderstood Y' comments. (ok, that sounds a little oxymoronic, but I do try). Someone on this board quoted Joss a couple of months ago as saying you should pay attention to the 'text', and not what the writers say about it. The reviewer put that very clearly - it doesn't matter what they say they meant, it matters what they showed us.

Writers' comments criticizing fans' understanding are actually pretty ironic. After all, they have all the control when it comes to showing us what the mean, but fans don't have reciprocal power, at least not in the same way. And Buffy fans, in my experience (limited, but it's all I have) are pretty smart and observant, so if lots of them see X in a show, then X is probably reasonable to read into the show. (that's not to say that Y and Z and all the other letters in the alphabet aren't there too).

[> [> Re: Fascinating Season 6 review - fabulous! -- Tar, 18:00:31 05/26/02 Sun

you should pay attention to the 'text', and not what the writers say about it

Exactly. Demons lie. So does ME. This comment carries a great deal of weight this year since almost everything the writers said they were showing on the screen was in direct conflict with what I saw.

Writers' comments criticizing fans' understanding are actually pretty ironic. After all, they have all the control when it comes to showing us what the mean

Despite the constant chatter about souls from the writers this season, they've consistently shown possessing a soul doesn't seem to matter if one is determined to do evil. They have to see the contradiction between what they preach and what they put out for consumption.

I'm finding it increasing difficult to believe they are unaware of how the characters are being perceived by the audience. The writers aren't stupid. It feels deliberate. My question is why?

[> [> [> Walled off dynamic in play. New writers arriving; old leaving 4 season 7 -- solo-spinout, 18:38:36 05/26/02 Sun

[> [> [> Writer Interviews? -- JaCor, 08:27:14 05/27/02 Mon

I too have been frustrated by the interviews I've read with the writers this year. I can't recall which writer said something to the effect that Tara would die over "my dead body" but that comment struck me as so strange -- I mean why did they phrase it like that? A lot of the comments in that interview sounded to me like something Willow would say (likewise the MN interview (about Spike being evil) sounded like Buffy and the recent DF interview sounded like Xander) -- to me at least. So I'm not convinced I should take anything said in those interviews too seriously. As others have mentioned the writers comments have been very polarized and confusing this season and I have decided to try to ignore them.

p.s. I've never posted here before but am always impressed with the discussion.

[> Re: Fascinating Season 6 review from BAPS -- highly recommend -- leslie, 20:22:31 05/26/02 Sun

I think what this really comes down to is, don't pay any attention to what writers say about what they've written, and especially don't listen to what ME say about what they have written, at least until after the season is over. Retrospects might be slightly more reliable. Except, oh no, I've just remembered Marti Noxon saying that the reason Spike and Buffy won't work is because "he's not the kind of guy you take home to Mom" when not only has Buffy taken him home to Mom, she's taken Mom home to him, and Spike actually got along better with her Mom than he gets along with her....

In an odd way, what ME seem to be doing is proving the postmodernist dictum that that writers' interpretations of their works are no more reliable than readers' interpretations, and should be no more privileged than any reader's interpretation. As interview subjects, they have proven themselves unusually, exceptionally unreliable narrators, so they should be read as such.

[> I agree, but only slightly... My thoughts on Season 6 -- VampRiley, 21:12:32 05/26/02 Sun

The whole point of this season was Oh, grow up! and that they were the cause of their own problem (I think I heard that somewhere). It was supposed to be dark and real and I enjoyed it. I think they did a great job at doing just that. Now, I have stated on more than one occasion that I have enjoyed this season, but that doesn't mean that I haven't come across problems with it.


I though Tara was one of the greater parts of this season. To me, she represents the realist person when one is hurt in a relationship. She expresses concern for her love, but is emotionally hurt and raped. And yes I do mean rape with that whole double memory wipe thing. She may not have had much self-esteem when we first met her, but she seems like the most stable out of the remaining scoobies. I'm not counting Giles cause he left. After she gets abused by Willow, she confronts her. Because of her feelings, she does give Willow another chance only to get hurt even more. But she is still human. She's feeling lonelyness and I'm guessing that she was gonna work with Willow to overcome their problems (unlike Oz and Angel) since Willow had come as far as she did without Tara there. I view her as a guide to what you should do in a relationship.


She's definitily insecure. No matter how far she has progressed, she still views herself in the terms she had to live with when she was in grade school. She even says this in the finale when she's talking to Buffy. As she has gotten older, she has retained the part of herself we have always seen her to have -- that of wanting to get rid of the pain of others. As her experience with magick increased, the farther she was able to go to show the world that she wasn't like she was in high school, even if it is not her true inner self. This is the face she wants to show the world. She continues to be irresponsible: finding pleasure in the pain and anger of others, stealing, thinking her will is what others should follow without thinking if it is what other want, etc. Willow is caught with the memory wiping, she says she's sorry for what she's done. But it seems more like she's sorry she didn't do a good enough job since she she tries another spell to wipe memories again, only she really screws it up. As she continues in life and the more harsh life treats her, she goes further and further in reaction. One of the best parts of the real SuperWillow, the part that is the comfortador, appears when she feels all of the pain of the world. Only at this point, she's a little nuts since she doesn't even try to find another way and goes the apocalypse-y route. She ends up hurting Dawn and cases Buffy tremendous physical pain and betrayal. All without her thinking beyond herself.


He is one that I feel didn't really make much in the way of progression. His father has been present since season 3 before he made his on screen appearance. When he and Anya got together, he's trying to domesticate her and unfortuneately, she is only more than willing to let him change her. He's continuously condescending to her and about her quirks. He's finally feeling the control he never really had. Realizing what he has become, though only partly, he breaks off the wedding. Only he continues to screw up in not telling her just what his problem is. In season 4, he tells Will that everyone has pain and Buffy later on that he's getting tired of hearing her whine and complain. And what has he been doing? Whining and complaining. Poor little Xander. The best he can do is run away. He's very good at that. I can't help but feel he's gotten kind of pathetic. If you say everyone has pain and you shouldn't bother your friends with your pain, then don't keep saying it your friends. He's finally feeling something like what Willow went through and he just keep looking to everyone for sympathy. He understands about wallowing now. Well, everyone except Spike.

He's more than willing to get help when his life is on the line or when innocent life is in danger, but he'll be damned if he's gonna socialize with someone like Spike. Someone said that his comment about working with Spike but never forgetting what he was as being prejudicial, is accurate. I just can't remember who said it. He doesn't mind if he's getting help with the fighting, but he can't see himself actually being nice to a soulless vamp. Spike is nothing more than someone he should look his nose down to, thinking he's so a much better being than a vamp.


She isn't out of being counted amongst the wrong ones. I understand where she's coming from. She gets forcefully removed from bliss by those she cares about and she's having a tough time. She' trying to deal and cope with living again. She's neglecting her responsibilities as Dawn's gaurdian. So, Giles leaves. She's struggling with child services, bills, full copper re-pipes, demons and a trio that's annoying.

She doesn't feel right so she ends up going to spend time at Spike's. She feels there's something wrong with her so she can spend time with him, even sleep with him. But since she thinks she's different, she doesn't have to be like her old self and starts abusing him. That's not to say Spike doesn't share in some of the blame as well. It's just that she started it. He even tried to stick up for himself, but she kept pushing like he did. One of the few things I didn't like about this season was Riley's whole "it doesn't change you" speech. Don't get me wrong. I like Riley. I do. But what the hell was he smoking, cause I want some of that. He talks about how life has it's high and low points. But...and I'm stressing but... it doesn change how you are. Could they ever write Riley as being anymore stupid? How the bloody hell does it not change who you are? AAARRRGGGHHH!!!!!!!! As one of the people who have been changed by life. I just wanna smack the s*** out of him. I know he may have just been trying to cheer her up or thought life wouldn't change Buffy, but if he actually believes that, my respect for him is failing fast. But I have hope that he will change. As a catalyst for her breaking things off with Spike, I think it could have been handled better. The strength she gained to do it is based on stupidity. Later on, she did the right thing. She broke off and leaves smiling, like everything is going to be better. I saw the scene as she was thinking she was a good person. She may feel some guilt, but she doesn't want to deal and just move on and forget about it. he whole I wanna live in the world and show it too you didn't feel completely non-rushed. We don't get to see the scenes after "Gone" which bites. We need to see those scenes following these new events.


He may be love's bitch, but does that mean he should let himself be abused by someone he loves. His perception of himself is so low and his desire to be loved by someone is driving him nuts. He'd have better luck with a dustbuster than Buffy. Even after he gets his rocks back he quickly goes back to pathetic. He still wants to be loved by the woman who has been treating like he doesn't really exist. How screwed up does he have to be to actually let this go on? Apparently, all it take is having a chip put in his head and falling in love with a slayer. Maybe it goes beyond that. He tried to make it work after Dru cheated and dumped him more than once. She kept hurting him and he just couldn't get it through his thick skull. And as I'm writing this, I'm starting to lose respect for him as well in leaps and bounds. The respect will return if he starts having some self-respect like he did when he first learned that the chip wouldn't work on Buffy. He had a chance there and he wasted it. And if the spoilers for season 7 are true and it ends up where I'm thinking it might, I'm actually gonna come across the first Buffy/Angel character that I don't like.

All of the characters, at least the main ones, really screwed up and caused a lot of their own problems. Whatever my personal opinion about the characters, I thought they did a bang up job showing it.

I would write more, but I'm getting tired. But I think I hit the main points I wanted to hit.

All in all, it seemed like a good season, though this is the first one where there was actually things I didn't like in it. But still a great one!!!!


[> [> Very Nice, though I disagree only once -- Dochawk, 22:53:13 05/26/02 Sun

I like your take alot more than the one that started this thread (in which I thought the author was just trying to justify why ME screwed up Spuffy). I disagree with you about Xander. I have hated him since I first started watching the show, but the last four episodes he does take some strides. He is no where there yet, but I can certainly stand watching him now. You didn't mention Anya, but she may have made the most growth of the entire season.

And the good news of course, is that ME has had a couple of meetings, but unless the writers themselves are spoiling, nothing you heard has any factual basis. And in fact, the one thing we have heard, from JE that Spike is a vamp with a soul I am starting to doubt (how unusual would that be, for a writer to lie?)

[> Re: Fascinating Season 6 review from BAPS -- highly recommend -- Dead Soul, 23:41:45 05/26/02 Sun

Terrific Post! One thing I particulary argeed with is the pointlessness of Buffy's delusional yearning for "normality". What dictionary did she read that used "normal" as a synonym for "happy?"

Granted, Buffy herself has never been my favorite character on the show (she's the object that all the action happens around - much like Andie McDowell in any movie she's ever been in, but that's a whole separate rant) and one of the most annoying things for me is her insistence that normal = good or = happy.

Okay, all this says more about me than about Buffy or the show or S6 or the writers - it's the prism through which I view the world. To me, normal=ordinary=boring and, worshipper at the shrine of individuality that I am, to see someone striving to be "normal" to live a "normal" life gives me the wiggins.

Dead Soul

[> Well, someone's a bit of a crankypants! -- ponygirl, 09:37:40 05/27/02 Mon

Barb's review made some excellent points and was well- written, but I wish people would stop taking midseason interviews with ME staff as actual indications of directions of plots. Misdirection! Suspense! That's what those interviews are all about. Marti Noxon and everyone else may tell us one thing but I have no doubt that the story we saw in season 6 was the one they intended to tell, complete with sympathetic Spike, messed up Buffy, and even Willow using addiction as an excuse (though the last not handled well). I admire the writers for daring to make their lead character depressed for the entire season, for making every single one of the characters flirt with being unsympathetic, but then in the end bringing it all back and offering us the big ME love, in the form of hope, comfort, and the possibility of change. For everyone.

[> [> Yep. Trust the tale, not the one who tells it. -- Exegy, 15:41:15 05/27/02 Mon

I enjoy reading the writers' comments on the season, if only for the occasional insight into characters. But I never take their word for the Gospel truth. I always look to the story first for direction, and then I check to see what the writers have to say. If there are any discrepancies, I trust what the story tells me. (As you say, the writers admit to spreading misinformation. They're not going to spoil all the surprises of the season.)

There are also bound to be differences among the writers on the show; BtVS is a collaborative effort, the result of a variety of different minds approaching the same story from a variety of different angles. I can't rely on any one writer for the absolute truth (not even Joss). I can only place my faith in the story, the end product. And I've found that the whole is always better than the sum of its parts.

Sometimes art takes on a meaning that the artist doesn't intend. This doesn't detract from the art; if anything, it makes the final product even more beautiful to behold. The work then speaks to our own experience of life. When I watch BtVS, I don't place my belief in what the writers (outside of the show) have to say; I place my belief in the experience of the show itself. I trust the tale, and by extension I trust myself. My appreciation of the show becomes my truth, just as your appreciation of the show becomes your truth.

And if I can communicate even a bit of my experience of the show on this board, then I consider my time well spent.

[> Re: Fascinating Season 6 review from BAPS -- highly recommend -- maddog, 18:39:00 05/27/02 Mon

Am I the only one here with the opinion that this person decided early on that they weren't going to like anything this season and decided to interpret things to back up their statements? I'm not saying Baps's completely wrong, but there was a lot more right about this season than wrong. The overly critical people tend to be digging for issues and ignoring some of the better aspects to make it sound worse than it really is. I mean, couldn't it be that things had to look THAT bad this season so that the final few episodes would be that much more powerful? Could it also be that Willow's power issues led to a form of addiction and that both problems were plagueing her? Why does it have to be one or the other? Why does one particularly detract from the other?

I just don't understand all the complaining.

[> [> Not the only one - I agree with you entirely -- shadowkat, 08:01:56 05/28/02 Tue

[> [> [> Re: Not the only one - I agree with you entirely, as do I -- Dochawk, 11:25:05 05/28/02 Tue

She also misses the overall point (which OnM makes so brilliantly above), this is Buffy's story. And having Buffy miss how power hungry Willow is would be much harder to show than having her miss her addiction. So both stories had to be forwarded for this to make sense.

[> [> [> [> Exactamundo... the addiction/power-hunger thing is classic forest-for-the-trees obfuscation. -- OnM, 19:18:11 05/28/02 Tue

It's easy to look at overt behavior, and not ask what the motivations are that lurk behind the behavior. Making things even more difficult, the individual who is personally involved-- in this case Willow-- probably doesn't see it herself. So is she going to go to Buffy or Xander or even Tara and say, 'hey, do you think by chance that this is a power-hunger-driven-by-insecurity-fueled magic addiction?'

Nahhh, kinda doubt that. And Buffy has her own troubles, plenty of them. Buffy clearly understands what happened with Willow now. Does Willow? We won't know until next season.

[> Re: And the congregation chorused "Amen"s from the loft... -- clg0107, 11:59:03 05/28/02 Tue

Forget love; at this point I just want to see Buffy give Spike some respect. Preferably before she finds out about the whole soul thing.

Yes! Thank you! yes....

That's all!


Current board | More May 2002