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Poll: Greatest Xander Moments -- Wolfhowl3, 19:23:48 05/27/02 Mon

In honor of how Xander saved the World from Dark Willow, I thought I would ask you, What do you think is the Greatest Xander Moments from the past Six years of Buffy?

It could be for His Funniest One Liner, his bravest speech, his Dumbest move. What is the first thing you think of when hear the name Xander?

My vote would go to Xander Facing down Jack at the end of "The Zeppo"

"I like the quiet." That line always made me feel proud of the Xandman.

Let's hear you!


[> Amends! -- Scroll, 19:32:26 05/27/02 Mon

When Angel starts getting all weird because the First Evil is haunting him, and Buffy and Giles are trying to research, Xander comes in and lends a hand. He even admits to Buffy that he's never been the bestest of friends to her about Angel (admitting he has prejudice), but he's willing to set differences aside.

I think his moment with Willow on the hilltop in Grave was best, and facing down Jack was second best, but this little scene in Amends ranks a close third!

[> [> Into the Woods -- Dochawk, 19:39:02 05/27/02 Mon

Xander and his two treatises on love in Into the Woods. it is interesting that no matter how screwed up he gets, he almost always gets it right when it comes to thinking about love. (not his actions, but when he talks about it)

[> [> [> Re: Into the Woods -- Rattletrap, 13:37:04 05/28/02 Tue

- I tried to post this earlier, so if it doubles, I apologize -

Another great scene that shows Xander's insight into romance is his conversation with Willow in "Wild at Heart," where he encourages her to talk to Oz and discuss the problems in their 'ship. For my money, this is one of the great W/X friendship scenes in the history of the series.

[> His funniest line was cut. -- Maroon Lagoon, 20:08:50 05/27/02 Mon

Grad. Day 2:

"We blew up the school! It's the best day ever!"

I hope they restore this on the S3 DVD.

[> [> "Rhymes with blinvisible"-- -- julia, 20:15:54 05/27/02 Mon

Not necessarily his finest but perhaps the most milk-from-nose- spewing for me.

[> [> And his whole scene with Sid the dummy -- Maroon Lagoon, 21:21:50 05/27/02 Mon

He's... not... real!
[High-pitched voice] Bye-bye, now. I'm completely inanimate.
Redrum! Redruuum!

And sometimes, NB's delivery can be better than the line itself. The way he yells, "well, first you say it's cat!"
is funny because poor Xander sounds so distressed when he says it.
"*That's* your problem with this scenario? You getting seconds?"

[> "Killed by Death" -- Darby, 20:15:31 05/27/02 Mon

The scene where Xander stands up to Angelus when he comes to the hospital for a "visit." The real hero, and no one ever knew, except Angel, who didn't talk down to him the same after he "returned."

[> [> I agree, one of my favorite standoffs in the history of the show -- JBone, 20:30:54 05/27/02 Mon

Buffy's white knight. You still love her. It must just eat you up that I got there first

[> [> [> Xander-Harmony -- Non-Hostile Seventeen, 20:38:33 05/27/02 Mon

Xander's slap fight with Harmony makes me laugh out loud every time I see it.

[> [> [> [> That one's great! -- Earl Allison, 02:16:24 05/28/02 Tue

[> One of mine is Xander from season four...The Freshman -- Rufus, 20:40:47 05/27/02 Mon

Xander: Buffy, this is all about fear. It's understandable, but you can't let it control you. 'Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to anger.' No wait, hold on. 'Fear leads to hate. Hate leads to the dark side.' Hold on, no, umm, 'First you get the women, then you get the money, then you...' okay, can we forget that?

Buffy: Thanks for the Dadaist pep talk, I feel much more abstract now.

Xander: The point is, you're Buffy.

Buffy: Yeah, maybe in high school I was Buffy.

Xander: And now in college you're Betty Louise?

Buffy: Yeah, I'm Betty Louise Plotnick of East Cupcake, Illinois. Or I might as well be.

Xander gets up and crouches down in front of her.

Xander: Buffy, I've gone through some fairly dark times in my life, faced some scary things, among them the kitchen at 'The Fabulous Ladies Night Club.' Let me tell you something, when it's dark and I'm all alone and I'm scared or freaked out or whatever, I always think, 'What would Buffy do?' You're my hero. Ok, sometimes when it's dark and I'm all alone I think, 'What is Buffy wearing?'

Buffy: Can that be one of those things you never, ever, tell me about?

And in season six Xander and Willow get to see just how dark fear can turn someone.

[> [> That is my favorite Xander to Buffy pep talk scene -- JBone, 20:58:58 05/27/02 Mon

I like it better than the Into The Woods or the I Was Made to Love You pep talks that he gives her, I think. That one at the end of IWMtLY one was pretty good.

Well, I'll say this -- she's a pretty cool person to be alone with.

Naw, I'll stick with yours, The Freshman is better. I think.

[> The Compleat Xander -- cjl, 21:33:23 05/27/02 Mon

The Compleat Xander:

Funniest Line: "I'm a 17 year-old boy. Thinking about LINOLEUM makes me want to have sex."

Noble Xander: Tie between "Killed By Death" and "Grave"

Not-so-Noble Xander: Hyena Xander in "The Pack" and axe-wielding Xander in "Entropy"

Best Pep Talk: "You're my hero" speech in "The Freshman"

Most Embarrassing/Humiliating Moment: The Speedo scene in "Go Fish" and the Spike/Anya video feed in "Entropy"

Stupidest Move: Admittedly, a huge selection here--but it's a tie between OMWF and the love spell in "BB&B"

Butt Monkey Xander: Dracula "Renfields" Xander in "B v. D" (Runner-up: a mouth full of soylent green burgers all through "Doublemeat Palace")

Romantic Xander: His speech to Anya at the end of "Into the Woods"

Horny Xander: Fantasizes about Joyce, Tara and Willow in "Restless" (but then again, who wouldn't?)

Trek Geek Xander on the rampage: "You'll have to kill us both, Spock!" from "The Replacement" and identifying the Nerds' "mystery language" as Klingon in "Seeing Red"

[Unanswered (and generally, unasked) Xander question: is that military knowledge from "Halloween" still in there or not? SuaveXander seems to have it during "The Replacement" but Xander's slapfight with Harmony suggests otherwise. Is he blocking it subconsciously for some reason?]

[> [> Xander's military knowledge -- Maroon Lagoon, 22:30:04 05/27/02 Mon

The slapfight takes place in The Initiative, the same episode where Giles knows how to operate the pistol better than he does and he says, "Might as well face it. Right now, I don't have the technical skills to join the Swiss army."

Then in Goodbye Iowa, Buffy takes Xander with her into the Initiative because "he's the only one with military experience." To which Anya correctly point out that he wasn't in Nam, he was GI Joe for one night.

Then in This Year's Girl, Buffy expects him to repair the blaster and he can't. Though to be fair, his costume was regular army guy, not high-tech Initiative guy.

So I'd say no, he hasn't shown any real military knowledge since obtaining the rocket launcher. Even when they helped rescue Oz, all he did was wave his rifle around. The commandos would have shot him if Buffy hadn't been holding the Colonel at stake- point.

Also, he tells Synder that he's not a soldier but a comfortador.

Are you referring to Suave Xander twirling Anya's gun around to remove the bullets? I would guess that that's something regular Xander saw in a movie or something and it's the suave confidence that brought it out of him rather than his Halloween experience.

[> [> In the¨Petrie's commentary of The Initiative... -- Ete, 04:54:43 05/28/02 Tue

He said the military knowledge just faded with the time and that this ep was the moment when we realised he hadn't it anymore. :)

[> Re: Poll: Greatest Xander Moments -- Wizardman, 01:20:43 05/28/02 Tue

All of these are great, but for best line I would like to add "And the 'glorified bricklayer' picks up the spare!" in The Gift when he hits Glory with the wrecking ball. Weren't we all just waiting for someone to do that to her?

[> Chiming in on the Xander love -- Doriander, 04:45:33 05/28/02 Tue

Too many to recall, so off the top of my head:

Here, here on White Knight Xander in "Killed By Death"

Xander telling people to get over themselves:

Prophecy Girl: took it upon himself to recruit Angel in search of Buffy
WSwB: to Buffy: "If they hurt Willow, I'll kill you."
Shadow: admonishes Riley's reckless behavior

Xander coming up with ingenious, far-out ideas to defeat the enemy:

Rocket launcher in Innocence
Doomed (he's the one that realized the demons were the sacrifice, not exactly far out, still)
Joining spell in Primeval
Buffybot as decoy (rewatch the Gift, actually he and Anya probably share credit for this one)

Xander saying just the right thing: Awww moments

The Freshman: WWBD?
AYW: "Our wedding is not our marriage." (totally undermined the next ep, DANG IT!)
GRAVE: "If the world is gonna end, where would I rather be?... Just want to hang." or something to that effect.

Xander transcending the need to take credit:

The Zeppo
The Prom (Cordy's dress)

As for the funniest Xander moment? Not a very popular choice (wonder why), somehow I can't get over that moment of mutually getting caught in "Earshot": Lunchlady catches Xander stealing jello, Xander catches the lunchlady pouring rat poison on lunch. Classic.

[> Let me add... -- Cactus Watcher, 06:04:28 05/28/02 Tue

another moment when it's Xander who saves the day. It's a ridiculous point in Earshot. Buffy's off accidentally saving Jonathan from killing himself, because she thought he was going to start shooting up ths school. Xander gets sidetracked in the cafeteria kitchen when he sees some jello lying around 'unattended.' He's just about to stuff a big square in his mouth when he notices the lunch lady pouring rat poison into the next batch. Of course, Xander gets to save everyone by tearing up the eating area. But Nick's expression is priceless, when Xander spots the lunch lady.

[> [> And then she chases him around with the meat cleaver! -- Direwolf, 09:56:58 05/28/02 Tue

I thought I was going to burst a lung!

[> Re: Poll: Greatest Xander Moments -- mundusmundi, 07:15:01 05/28/02 Tue

For me, his defining line is in "Becoming." No, not the (gasp!) lie to Buffy, but right before: "Cavalry's here. Cavalry's a scared guy with a rock, but he's here."

Anybody remember his great quote in "The Gift," when he first spies the tower? It's classic, but escaping me at the moment.

[> [> "Shpadoinkle!" -- cjl, 07:18:54 05/28/02 Tue

[> [> [> That's it! Thank you. -- mm, 07:26:41 05/28/02 Tue

[> [> [> [> Re: That's it! Thank you. -- clg0107, 11:22:26 05/28/02 Tue

That word kinda makes you wonder if the script direction was "Nick says something funny here"....I've written scripts before, and sometimes that happens!!


[> [> [> [> [> It's actually a reference (not sure if it's intended or not) to "Cannibal: the Musical"... -- Rob, 12:08:05 05/28/02 Tue

...which is a rarely-seen cult film by the creators of "South Park." The opening song is a parody of Oklahoma's "Oh What A Beautiful Morning..." and it's called, "It's a Shpadoinkle Day!"

So when I first laughed at that joke, I instantly thought of "Cannibal: the Musical."

So I guess it's a case of art imitating art...possibly. ;o)


[> [> [> [> [> [> Oh my Gods! Someone else who's seen that film! I thought I was the only one! -- O'Cailleagh, 13:16:43 05/28/02 Tue

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Seen it?!? I've got the DVD! :oD -- Rob, 13:25:03 05/28/02 Tue

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: It's actually a reference (not sure if it's intended or not) to "Cannibal: the Musical"... -- clg0107, 14:01:33 05/28/02 Tue

Well, it was kinda fun thinking of it my way, but I love BtVS' persistent incorporation of other pop (and not so 'pop') culture references!

Some kind of self-awareness something-something...

Thanks for the tip!!


[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: It's actually a reference (not sure if it's intended or not) to "Cannibal: the Musical"... -- Rob, 18:48:30 05/28/02 Tue

Honestly, that reference is so obscure I'm not sure if it's just a coincidence or not!


[> Re: Poll: Greatest Xander Moments -- ponygirl, 07:21:47 05/28/02 Tue

The episode escapes me but I always liked his defence of Angel in season 3: "Angel's our friend! I just don't like him."

[> From BBB, oddly enough, -- SingedCat, 08:14:38 05/28/02 Tue

...the whole scene where Buffy and he are alone in the library, she in a black leather coat, is the moment I decided I loved Xander, when he tells her why he can't...just can't.

"...I mean, if I thought you had one idea what it would mean to me...but you don't. So I can't."

The rest of the seasons? Um, his conversation with Anya I truly loved, when she wants to go to the prom with him.

ANYA: "Look, I know you find me attractive, I've seen you looking at my breasts."

XANDER: "Um, no offense, but when a guy does that, it just means his eyes are open."

Beyond that-- far too many moments to mention.:)

[> [> Don't forget his slow motion "got the love" stroll -- Maroon Lagoon, 18:32:39 05/28/02 Tue

Everybody's facial expressions were hysterical.
The girls: love. The boys: hate.
Xander: complete terror.

[> Passion part 2 -- grifter, 08:20:31 05/28/02 Tue

When he doomed Angel by not telling Buffy about his re-souling. You could see his honest concern and love for Willow and Buffy there, but also how selfish and petty he can be.
And, I think, two very popular and (normally) sympathetic characters like Angel and Xander just absolutely not standing each other´s guts for such a long time is something rarely seen on television. Love it.

[> [> Interesting point: do Xander and Angel/Spike HAVE to get along? -- cjl, 09:19:19 05/28/02 Tue

I agree with your last point, and I've often wondered if the social/ideological rift between Xander and our other resident male vampires is too large to ever be breached. Xander's resentment and distrust of Angel was legendary, and after the events of "Entropy," it doesn't look like any of those swell, Xander/Spike moments of Season 5 are going to be coming back either.

Xander hated Angel for four distinct, but occasionally intertwined reasons, mostly related to his feelings of inferiority and his screwed-up family:

1) Vampire = evil. (Duh.)
2) Pure sexual jealousy. He got Buffy, and Xander didn't.
3) Angel was emblematic of the cool, brooding outsider, who made Xander feel even "nerd-ier" than he already was.
4) Xander resented Angel's second chance. Admittedly, this isn't usually on the scoreboard, but I think it's real. Xander probably thought that if he had done the horrible things Angelus had done, the gods would have squashed him like a bug.

Of course, even though Angel was jealous of Xander's 24/7 involvement in Buffy's life, he was too much of a hero to ever take it out on Xander...

Except for flattening Xander during "Enemies." Or using Xander as Spike-bait in "School Hard." Or sniping with him during "Graduation Day."

(OK, let's not put Xander and Angel in the same room anytime soon.)

All those reasons are still up on the board for Spike, as well. Especially #4. When Spike eventually returns from Africa, newly ensouled, part of Xander is going to wonder why these vamps keep getting a break, while HIS mistakes always seem to screw up his life beyond repair. Angel's reasons for resenting Xander apply to Spike as well. Add Spike's naturally sardonic personality (since he can't hit Xander, baiting him is almost as good), and the Anya "thing," and the love-fest will definitely NOT be on.

Xander will probably explore his dark side further in Season and there are rumors that Jesse could be his guide. This would be the natural next step in Xander's character, de-fanging (so to speak) the initial trauma (Jesse's turning) that formed Xander's rigid mind-set regarding the supernatural. Taking reason #1 off the board might help Xander and Spike hang out in the same general area without an axe being pulled off the wall. But it's never going to be a buddy/buddy relationship. They may fight together against the forces of evil, but they will never like each other.

And I don't see any reason why they should.

[> [> [> Season 7 spoiler spec in above post -- Masq, 09:54:50 05/28/02 Tue

[> [> [> Re: I just realized something... -- Wisewoman, 12:56:23 05/28/02 Tue

The character of Xander is a real "guy." The writers have made him three dimensional and I didn't even notice it consciously until now.

Xander's prejudice against vampires and demons has always annoyed me in the way that a real person's prejudice annoys me, but in a television character something like that is usually part of a package of personalty traits that are assigned to a "redneck" or a "skinhead" type character. I can easily dismiss those characters. They're the "bad guys." In the real world it's not that simple. Human beings are multi-faceted and some of the people I've admired and have least expected harbour less-than-exemplary traits, just as Xander does.

Thanks for the epiphany guys. Gettin' on with the Xander- love...

dubdub ;o)

[> [> [> [> What some people miss -- Rufus, 15:39:34 05/28/02 Tue

Xander is a young man who comes from a family that judges first and doesn't change their mind. His father was a lout at the wedding. The fact that Xander has been on a journey of his own can be missed by the more powerful stories of Buffy, Spike, and Willow this year. But Xander has had a transformation of consciousness. Xander had to go through all his fears and emerge either a copy of his father, or someone more. Xander has had moment where he has gotten along with Spike even if only momentarily. In Spiral they had a bit of a chat that was only ruined when Spike wanted to make a run for it and Xander thought he was only thinking of himself. Then in Weight of the World, Spike and Xander were able to work together when they went to Doc's place. The scene in the hospital was priceless.

We see Spike sauntering towards them, looking way out of place in his long black coat in the sterile hospital environment. He easily slips a packet of fresh blood off a passing intern's cart into his pocket, walks up.

Checked out Glory's flat - looks
like the Great One has scampered.

Gone to perform her ritual with Dawn.
And leaving us entirely clueless.

Not entirely.

Giles and Xander stop. Spike nods knowingly.

SPIKE (cont'd)
I know this bloke. Well, not so much
a "bloke" so much as demon, but still -
Bookish. All tuned in to the nastier
corners of this, our magic world.
Bit of a last resort, really, but still...
(lighting a cigarette)
... Might persuade him to suss out
Glory's game plan. Sound worthy?

Giles and Xander don't have to respond. They're in. Spike exhales a plume of smoke just beneath a "No Smoking" sign.

SPIKE (cont'd)
Off we go, then.
(to Giles)
Meet back at the shop.

He turns, heads down the hall. Xander follows. As they go:

SPIKE (cont'd)
Found Ben's room at Glory's.
Didn't learn much.

Wait - Ben? At Glory's? So you're
saying that all this time he was
sub-letting from her?

This - is gonna be worth it.

Spike smacks Xander in the head.


They both rub their heads as they exit the hospital.

Xander has a thing for vampires, they killed his friend and they killed many other people over the years that he cared for. It has to be hard to do an about face in all your preconceptions of a "demon" and relate to them in a way that you will risk caring about them. Xander closed himself off against that possibility with vampires but has slowly learned to be more tolerant in regards to Anya. In Hells Bells, Xander didn't leave Anya the ex- demon, he rejected himself as unfit to be with anyone. From the Shooting Script of Hells Bells.

Now we see Xander (still in the tux, still the same age) and Anya, 60s. They are in the midst of a terrible argument.

Yeah, you should have. Maybe then
I could have gotten some touch in
the oughts.

I wasn't the one who stopped

Oh ho! Maybe, but you weren't
touching me-

What did you expect? You never
came near me after Buffy-

Don't bring her into this-

Fine. Forget her. Maybe you were
just born to be a bitter, angry
old man.

(eyes narrowing with rage)
Shut up.

No! I want my life back! If I
hadn't married you I could have
been happy. I wouldn't have had
to hate myself for the LAST THIRTY


This, as he grabs a frying pan off the stove and SWINGS IT TOWARDS HER FACE! Before it can make contact--

A FLASH OF WHITE LIGHT and we're back in the:


Xander stands, holding the orb as before. The orb stops projecting light onto his forehead. He opens his eyes, GASPING, as though waking from a nightmare.

He looks at the Old Man, his future self. The Old Man touches his shoulder. Xander pulls away; he's traumatized.

I'm sorry. I didn't want to show

What happened? What was that?

A glimpse of your future.
Harnessed by magic. I'm so sorry--

Is she okay? Is she okay? What
did I do--

Listen. I don't have long here.
The spell that brought me back, it
won't last.
You can change things. It doesn't
have to go like this. But you
can't marry Anya.


You'll hurt her less today then
you will later. Believe me.
Sometimes, two people - all they
bring each other is pain.

Xander takes this in, shattered. He does believe.

Xander has a chip on his shoulder regarding demons, even the ones with chips in their heads. In the end it appears that Xander becomes less afriad of demons and more afraid of the human monster he feels he is destined to become.


Xander and Anya stand alone. They face each other, holding hands.

You know, it's bad luck for you to
see me in my dress.

She smiles at him. He smiles weakly. She touches his cheek.

ANYA (cont'd)
Hey, it's okay. It's all over.
He's dead. And it was just smoke
and mirrors.

I know.

So, we're ready now. Let's go get

I... I'm not.

She looks at him: 'what?'

I'm not ready. I can't. Ahn, I'm

But it wasn't real. What he
showed you, it wasn't--

I know it wasn't. But - it could

What was it? Was it about me? He
wants you to hate me, Xander-

It wasn't you. It wasn't you I
was hating-
I've had thoughts, fears before
this. Maybe we went too fast-

Everyone has 'thoughts' Xander.
It's natural- it doesn't mean
getting married is wrong-

I know, I know- but-

You're just shaken up, okay? Just
calm down and then we'll start
over. Okay?

He looks over at the main room His gaze falls on:

XANDER'S PARENTS. Mr. Harris has a bloody scratch on his cheek. Although we can't hear them, Mr. Harris yells bitterly at Mrs. Harris as she cries.

ANGLE ON Xander and Anya, as Xander looks back.

But we can't start over. If this
is a mistake. It's forever. And
I don't want to hurt you...

She drops his hands. Shaking her head slightly, stunned.

XANDER (cont'd)
Not that way.
I'm sorry. I'm so sorry.

Slowly, she walks away from him. Like a sleepwalker. Leaving Xander alone.

After a moment, he exits too. In the opposite direction.

Xander has undergone a change in Grave, he made the first step in healing from a family life that could have left him a cruel, bitter man. He takes that chance to think beyond his own fears and become something more, someone who finally can see beyond the basement of his feared destiny and make a new one of his own. To have compassion for others Xander first had to overcome his fears of becoming his father, I think he has come a long way in going to Willow to reach her humanity by forgiving her and accepting her no matter what she did or looked like. Xander is a wonderful character that gets overlooked because of the stories of other characters, but he has a purpose, and there is a reason that he was the character with the heart. Xander has heart, he just needed to trust it.

[> [> [> Re: Interesting point: do Xander and Angel/Spike HAVE to get along? -- Rob, 13:31:37 05/28/02 Tue

That Jesse rumor would be a GREAT idea. I would love to see that happen, if they could get Eric Balfour back. Especially if next season ends up being the last, there would be a nice full- circleness about that that I would love. It would really help tie in all the threads together, especially since Jesse, although he has not been mentioned since "The Harvest," is such an important factor of Xander's character.


[> [> [> [> Season 7 spoiler spec in response to cjl's message in above post -- Rob, 13:42:03 05/28/02 Tue

[> [> [> The problem is... -- Doug the Bloody, 14:01:40 05/28/02 Tue

...the chip.

With the chip in Spike can't dafend himselfif Xander decides togetrid of this particular thorn in his side. Angel could have trounced Xander easily in any fight, so Xander never tried to off the object of his loathing. We have already seen that Xander has no moral qualms about turning to violence if one of Spike's remarks falls too close to home (Normal Again). Spike is going to need the chip out if their dynamic is going to be even remotely similar to the oneXander had with Angel.

[> [> [> [> True, but I think ME will "shift the ground" a little before they meet again...(Season 7 spec.) -- cjl, 14:25:44 05/28/02 Tue

Xander is still royally pissed at Spike for all the reasons I stated before, AND his attempted rape of Buffy in "Seeing Red." (Geez, how could I have forgotten that one?) I agree, if they meet again in Season 7 as they are now, Xander could conceivably grab for the stake again, no matter how hard Buffy and Anya try to stop him. But I get the feeling Xander will go through a few changes himself before Spike makes himself known in Sunnydale at the start of Season 7. Xander might be too busy dealing with his own dark side to worry about Spike's.

[> [> [> [> [> I don't see how. -- Doug the Bloody, 14:51:44 05/28/02 Tue

You say "Xander might be too busy dealing with his own dark side to worry about Spike's", but if Xander is struggling ajnd frustrated he is MORE likely to seek to take out his frustration on a helpless target. I've tried a few permutations, but the only way Spike will ever return to Sunnydale and survive is to:

A) Find some way to seek forgiveness for "the scene".

B) Control himself.

C) Be able to defend himself if need be.

Maybe if you explained what you meat by "Xander might be too busy dealing with his own dark side to worry about Spike's" I might understand what you mean.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Dealing with the Inner Monster (spoiler spec. for season 7) -- cjl, 16:13:13 05/28/02 Tue

ME's modus operandus is to externalize their characters' inner conflicts. If the rumors about Jesse are true, his return would be the ideal way to lead Xander down the dark path. Hypothetical scenario: Imagine Jesse coming back and telling Xander he needs help to rescue his soul from perdition in the next life. Xander, always traumatized by Jesse's death in the pilot ep, naturally commits himself to the effort. But in helping out his old childhood buddy, Xander ignores the signs that Jesse might not have been all that Xander thought he was. Jesse (like Ford in "Lie to Me") eventually betrays Xander, and either:

a) takes over Xander's body, acting as a double agent inside the Scoobs, while Xander is reduced to a ghost-like state;
b) demonizes Xander, flipping him over to the dark side; or
c) does some mind-control hoodoo, effectively achieving the same results as (a).

It would be a typical ME maneuver to work the trauma that created Xander's Manichean view of the supernatural (Jesse's turning) into the scheme that would take Xander over the line into evil.

And THAT'S what I mean about Xander dealing with his own dark side.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Spike isn't helpless -- Layla, 23:45:47 05/28/02 Tue

Excuse the buttinsky, but I disagree that Spike is a "helpless target" just because he has the chip. Spike is still much stronger and faster than Xander, and could easily defend himself if Xander ever attacked him again. I don't believe he was ever in any real danger of being staked during Entropy.

After all, we're talking about Xander - the same guy who couldn't win a slap fight against Harmony. Spike chose not to push Xander away because he was so depressed, part of him wanted to die. ("You should have let him stake me.")

[> In "The Body" -- sanjerine, 11:27:34 05/28/02 Tue

"We help Buffy. That's what we do. We help Buffy."

I may not have the quote exactly right, but that whole scene in Willow & Tara's room was just *brilliant* (why I started liking Anya, among other things) -- and Xander's simple, urgent reiteration of the Scoobies' mission statement sent me bawling.

Oh, and pretty much anything he and Anya did "OMWF" ("That's still funny, sweetie") was fabulous. And I agree with everybody's stuff here, too.

Actually pretty high on Xander after "Grave" -- I'm so proud for him, like he's a close friend who made good. (Similarly, I kept apologizing for them all during S6, like they were friends who really weren't like that once you got to know them. I need a life [g]).

[> My favorite Xander line of all-time... -- Rob, 12:41:31 05/28/02 Tue

"How come you never told me your girlfriend's Tinkerbell?"

I'm not sure what it is about it, but that one gets me every time!

I'm so glad that there's a postive Xander post up now...Xander hasn't been receiving as much love as he deserves as of late. Glad to chime in to support the guy. :o)


[> [> "How come you never told me your girlfriend's Tinkerbell?" -- cjl, 12:48:48 05/28/02 Tue

It's from "Bargaining, Part 2."

Willow and Xander are lost in the woods after the demon bikers attack, and Tara sends out a locator "lite-brite" that flutters around Willow like Tinkerbell.

[> From the shooting script of WTTH -- JBone, 18:20:01 05/28/02 Tue


Weaving along the road. On it is XANDER, dressed with the shaggy indifference common to skateboarders. He is bright, funny, and will one day be suave and handsome. Till that day arrives he'll do the best he can with bright and funny.

I just love this initial stage direction of the character of Xander. It seems to capsulize him, at least early on, very well.

Spike: Depression and Suicide -- LeeAnn, 21:03:12 05/27/02 Mon

I consider Spike dead. He died in that cave. Murdered if he didn't know what he was getting. Suicide if he did.

No wonder Spike was so bitter about Buffy during his conversations with the demon. He was literally giving up his existence to punish himself for the attempted rape as well as trying to give Buffy what she wanted, to sacrifice himself for her, once again, the only way he could. ( I couldn't live, her bein' in that much pain. Let Glory kill me first. Nearly bloody did.) Buffy's pain is a stronger goad to Spike than his own. He couldn't live with the pain he caused her and sought out death to try to end the pain for them both. Death for Spike and a prize for Buffy.

Like most suicides Spike was severly depressed. He had been more and more unhappy since Buffy broke up with him. He had sex with Anya because they were both drunk and depressed. His suicidal impulse was obvious when he didn't even try to defend himself when Xander tried to kill him. He was even more depressed afterward and was staying drunk. When Dawn asks him how he could do something like that he says, " Must still be a bit of the evil left in me after all." Dawn tells him, " If you wanted to really hurt Buffy -- congratulations. It worked." So in addition to everything else he has to deal with having hurt Buffy, hurt her because of the evil still in him

In Entropy he told Buffy, "I don't hurt you," and even Buffy said "I know." She recognized there was a line there for Spike, recognized he loved her and had drawn that line because he did. But Spanya hurt her so Spike is compelled, compelled, by his love to go and say "I'm sorry," knowing it will not ease his pain but trying to ease hers a little. When he does say it, when he tries to explain how Spanya happened, tells her about going to the Magic Box for a spell, all Buffy hears is that he must have been trying to put a spell on her. She's oblivious to his pain even when he tells her, "You should have let him kill me." When she admits having feelings for him he tries, one last time, to reach her. He crosses the final line he had set for himself, that "I don't hurt you" boundary, and he does hurt her and does try to force himself on her, tries to force her to feel for him again, and in hurting her he betrays his love and obliterates any chance that Buffy might ever return it. The evil left in him has betrayed them both. Then there was nothing left for him but to kill the evil. The only way he could do that was by his own death. So he goes to the demon to find his death, he fights and suffers to get it but get it he does. The end of Spike.

It's not like it wasn't foreshadowed. As far back as the dream in Out of My Mind he tells Buffy to kill him, "End ... my ... torment. Seeing you, every day, everywhere I go, every time I turn around. Take me ... out of a world ... that has you in it! Just kill me!" Instead Dream!Buffy, while initially shocked by his kiss, accepts his love and his embrace and at least returns it with desire. He tried to replay that dream in the bathroom. If she didn't want him dead, that was the signal that she wanted him period, that she might even love him. In his dream Spike sees only two choices for himself: Buffy or death. So when he hurt Buffy, was rejected by her one final time, when he couldn't be a monster or a man, then only death was left for him. So he seeks it out. So Buffy can get what she deserves.

[> Re: Spike: Depression and Suicide -- Carol B., 21:52:11 05/27/02 Mon

Good theroy.

For the moment, I chose to belive what Jane E. said in re: to Spike going off to get the soul . . . and I agree that, in regards to the ensouling, the Spike as we've known him is dead. He comitted suicide. Killing off what he was compleatly so Buffy could be happy and "get what she deserved."

The sacrifical suicide on his part could even be said to have been forshadowed in "Resless." Remember Spike striking the crucifixion pose in Giles' dream? It was the final pose he give before the next scene in the sequence. Before that, he's striking many "menacing" poses. He's "posing" as a Big Bad, trying to keep up a persona he's known for.

However, the final crucifixtion pose isn't menacing. He couldn't keep up the "menacing" posing. So, the fianl pose.

Spike, in essence, "scarificed" himself, who he was for over 120 years, for the woman he loved, so she could be happy which maybe another incarnation of him that wouldn't hurt her the way he saw he had in "Seeing Red." (Seeing that, without a soul, there *was* still something evil in him.)

Carol B. -- perpetual lurker

[> [> Re: Spike: Depression and Suicide -- Corwin of Amber, 22:20:43 05/27/02 Mon

Can something thats already dead commit suicide? The body that 'Spike' the vampire, has occupied for 120 years wasn't his. That's William's body. And he finally got it back. Of course, for everything to get back to the 'way it should be', William should immedately commit suicide, since he's been dead for 120 years....

[> [> [> Thoughts on Spike/William -- Corwin of Amber, 22:41:33 05/27/02 Mon

On reflection, I do have to agree with LeeAnn. In effect, Spike committed suicide by getting resouled, unless ME pulls a fast one on us. And there are a lot of similarities between what happened to Buffy in the beginning of season 6 (getting pulled out of 'heaven' by magic and resurrected) and what has now happened to William at the end of season 7 (getting pulled out of 'heaven' by magic and resurrected.) Except that William is being resurected in the body of a notorious villian with a behavior modification chip in his head.

[> [> [> [> Re: Thoughts on Spike/William -- CW, 06:38:58 05/28/02 Tue

Also, at some point in season 4, I think in Doomed, Spike did try to stake himself in Xander's basement. So, the suicide idea is reasonable.

[> [> [> [> [> Yes, he did. (nim) -- Carol B., 08:19:26 05/28/02 Tue


[> [> Spike: a new man? -- Kitt, 07:42:06 05/28/02 Tue

Ok, our much beloved Spike is gone, tho the cheekbones remain. So who is he now? Liam was turned and became Angelus, who became Angel when he got a soul. So if William turned is Spike, then who is this new creature with William's soul in the body of Spike? Anybody care to suggest a name? Personally, I'm stumped.

[> [> [> Re: Spike: a new man? -- skeeve, 07:59:11 05/28/02 Tue

Assuming the cave demon to be competent and more or less honest, the William-shaped being in the cave has William's body and metabolism. He has neither a chip nor a demon soul. In other words, he is William. He probably has Spike's memories.

[> [> [> [> Per Fury, Spike is a chipped, souled vamp... nothing else -- Source, 08:56:39 05/28/02 Tue

[> [> [> [> [> then the question still exists... -- Kitt, 09:25:16 05/28/02 Tue

if Liam turned into vampire = Angelus, and
Angelus + soul = Angel
then William turned into vampire = Spike, and
Spike + soul = ??

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: then the question still exists... -- maddog, 15:15:27 05/28/02 Tue

I think everyone's too worried about labeling Spike. Forget about what to call him. It's not all that important. What he'll be like is the real question.

[> [> [> [> [> the Writers "seem" to have a difference of opinion here -- Dochawk, 10:49:09 05/28/02 Tue

JE says at the Succubus Club that Spike is a vamp with a soul and a chip. tough combo there.

Hereis what Joss says at the Bronzebeta:

"A lot of people were confused at the end when Spike wanted his fish order changed. SOLE, people. Jeez. We HAVE a vampire with a SOUL, you think we're doing that again?"

Seems to me he is dripping with sarcasm here, but they do have a history of misinformation when they are interviewed about future plots. So I think we have a debate all summer.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: the Writers "seem" to have a difference of opinion here -- Dariel, 11:00:14 05/28/02 Tue

Have they lied about something this big before? Cause, that would just be, well, evil!

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Have they lied -- Dochawk, 11:17:02 05/28/02 Tue

Bigger actually "Tara will be dead over ny dead body" (by Fury, but Joss, MN and JE had quotes just as strong) is just one example of the misdirection over Tara's death. I am sure others will remember more examples.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: As Galsworthy said: -- Brian, 12:15:17 05/28/02 Tue

Don't ask me what it means; I only wrote it.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> I don't think the writers are obligated to give up major plot points -- Rufus, 15:04:19 05/28/02 Tue

before the episode have said that Tara dies would be a very major one. They could also have always intended to keep the actress on in a different character meaning they never lied at all and Amber wasn't going anywhere.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Have they lied -- maddog, 15:29:16 05/28/02 Tue

Well, in all fairness to them, spoilers are something that need to be denied as much as possible(from their point of view). So it almost gives them a liscense to lie to you. Cause otherwise you're talking about big story arcs months in advance in very public interviews. That's not right. So not only do I just expect it, I don't mind it.

[> [> [> [> Re: Spike: a new man? -- maddog, 15:08:52 05/28/02 Tue

The return of a soul doesn't mean the chip is gone. There's no proof of that quite yet.

[> [> [> Randy -- Malandanza, 08:26:26 05/28/02 Tue

[> [> [> Randy -- Dochawk, 08:29:14 05/28/02 Tue

ME already gave him a name. Though that is if Spike still had his vamp powers. IF he is given a soul, he still has vamp powers, if he is human, he has lost them. (Case in point, I Will Remember You, when Angel became human)William, with Spike's memories, but no power, just his poor poetry skills will truly be a pathetic man (which is why I am finally coming around to the Blues Brothers Spike)And where did you get the idea the chip was deactivated? Didn't hear Lurky say anything about it. (though the scarab beetle up the nose might have been the way).

[> [> [> [> Re: Randy -- abt, 08:44:14 05/28/02 Tue

Drusilla reckoned William's/Spike's strength lay in his heart and head, spirit and imagination.

[> [> [> [> Re: Randy -- Kitt, 10:17:55 05/28/02 Tue

While I wouldn't rule that out, do you remember his reaction?
"'Made with care for Randy.' (looks at Giles angrily) Randy Giles? Why not just call me 'Horny Giles,' or 'Desperate for a Shag Giles'? I knew there was a reason I hated you!"
Somehow, I just don't think our favorite set of cheekbones will ever be known as Randy... well, maybe randy ;)

[> [> [> [> But what about Darla's example? -- Dariel, 10:57:45 05/28/02 Tue

Darla was brought back as a human, with a soul. But she was still pretty much evil Darla and wanted to be a vamp again. It was only after Angel was willing to give his life for hers that her humanity began to kick in.

I'd bet that the soul doesn't change Spike that much, but just enough. Like Angel, he won't be totally free of the attraction to evil. The soul will just add a counterweight to these tendencies.

In fact, I could seem him being rather disappointed with his new acquisition when he finds out it doesn't make him all Sir Galahad (sp).

What is Blues Brothers Spike, anyway?

[> [> [> [> [> Blues Brothers -- Dochawk, 11:14:04 05/28/02 Tue

the blues brothers are famous for their remake of a James brown hit, "I'm a Soul Man"

[> [> [> [> Re: Randy -- maddog, 14:59:18 05/28/02 Tue

Somehow I doubt that, if he's human, he'd be the same pathetic William from before. He's gone through too much.

[> [> [> Re: Spike: a new man? -- maddog, 15:07:03 05/28/02 Tue

I'm not sure they'd want to change his name. I know it would make more sense theorywise. But I'm not sure Buffy will be too quick to know him as anything but Spike.

[> [> [> Re: Spike: a new name... -- SpikeMom, 15:24:46 05/28/02 Tue

If the naming progression is:


then how about:

William=Spike=Liam or perhaps Spoke!

My daughter says I need a life...

Does Fred have an Eating Disorder? -- Duo, 06:07:48 05/28/02 Tue

I was thinking about Fred's eating habits, and wondered if maybe Fred could have an eating disorder, or maybe a Pylean tapeworm or something.

[> Re: Does Fred have an Eating Disorder? -- Ronia, 06:38:58 05/28/02 Tue

I think they mentioned a) her metabolism and b) the fact that she's been starving in a cave for five years. As for the actress...who knows, some people are naturally thin, others very athletic, some do drugs, and still others have eating disorders. Why do you ask?

[> [> Anyway, she wouldn't have a NORMAL tapeworm... -- FriarTed, 09:43:16 05/28/02 Tue

... but one that is actually a vortex into some ungodly Hell dimension.

[> I would suspect... -- Darby, 07:07:04 05/28/02 Tue

...That it's probably the writers having fun with something that's true of Amy Acker, that she has a prodigious appetite and never gains a gram.

..Or maybe she eats very little and they're having fun forcing her to eat on camera...

[> [> Probably the high metabolism -- Majin Gojira, 10:08:20 05/28/02 Tue

It's probably her having a highr-than normal metabolic rate. I should know, I got one too, among other things, and I'm just as thin as she is. I'm like 'Cave-Spider-Man', with long spindly limbs and an elongated body. I kid you not.

why are you laughing?


[> [> [> Come to think of it... -- Majin Gojira, 10:14:10 05/28/02 Tue

The character of Fred might, infact, be ADHD (Attention Deficite Hyperactivity Disorder).

Why do I say this?

1) She talks at a high rate of speed
2) High metabolic rate
3) High intelegence that tends to be focused in mostly one area (Physics)
4) Highly Observant (so much energy, mind moving at a mile a minute, she picks stuff up quickly)

Haven't seen her jittery/bouncy at all though, so I don't know. Hell, I'm no psychologist, just the son of one. plus, I got ADHD myself, so, maybe I'm projecting. Who knows.

Consequence re: mythology (spoilers s6 Buffy finale) -- Abby, 12:05:22 05/28/02 Tue

Having yet to see Grave, I can only post on the facts I find here: that Spike has been granted a soul.

The main question (besides what on earth were the writers thinking) is - what are the consequences for the mythology of Angel?
From my recollection, the prophesies and legend all refer to Angel as *the* vampire with a soul. Singular. How can Spike's new development reconcile with this? Surely it undermines all of the works that they interpreted as relevant to Angel?

And does anyone else wish for a crossover in which Angel finds out, about Spuffy, soul and all? Ditto Darla, Connor and all!

[> Re: Consequence to the Buffyverse (spoilers for past Buffy) -- Dochawk, 12:41:31 05/28/02 Tue

I (and others) have been wondering the same thing. David Greenwaldt couldn't have been very happy with Joss when he was told there would be a 2nd vampire with a soul. this really does great damage, if not destroy Angel's cause (though making Spike human again might have been worse cause Angel suffered much worse trials in The trial for Darla then Spike did for a hope at Buffy).

But more than this deconstruction of the Buffyverse mythology has been happening this year. Mostly brought about by Spike. In setting up BtVS Joss has told us a few absolutes, one that Buffy has been chosen to fight evil, mostly in the form of vampires (its very clear that not all demons are evil, Giles uses vampires, not demons, though its not until Whistler that we see a demon on the side of good). Buffy's job is to help rid the earth of these evil beings. But now spike is presented as conflicted and capable of feeling guilt, even while unsouled. Even this season, in the Angel episode "Loyalty" we are told that vampires can't change. That the love they had as a human isn't reflected in the vamp demonsoul like other aspects of their prevamp personality. (this is why if Aubry let her son in, he would kill her, just as Gunn's sister wants to turn him, if not kill him). this does not deny that vamps can love, only that they have to start over i the love department. These things present a great challenge to the basic premise of the show and Buffy comes dangerously close to being a mass murderer of vampires. if they can be "redeemed" then Buffy shouldn't be so quick to kill them. The fact that the writers didn't want to cross this line is reflected by the corner they had painted themselves into. I guess they decided they would rather give greenwaldt a headache (well now he's gone anyway) then break the last remaining rule of the Buffyverse.

[> Check the archives. Lots of discussion on this issue -- Exegy *also hoping for a real crossover*, 13:28:32 05/28/02 Tue

[> Re: Consequence re: mythology (spoilers s6 Buffy finale) -- maddog, 13:58:47 05/28/02 Tue

Makes me wonder though...if there can be false prophecy on Angel...why can't the same be true for Buffy? Maybe there can be more than one.

to Masq: spell gods -- skeeve, 15:19:01 05/28/02 Tue

Osiris is the first Buffyverse god named in a spell to show up in person or to otherwise demonstrate actual existence.
Supposing other gods named in spells also exist, a spell might fail just because the relevant god doesn't like the spellcaster.

Of course we still don't know the difference between a demon, a god, and an angel. What definition of a god was the WC using? Were Glory's ugly minions angels? Did Lorne come from a demon dimension, a heaven dimension, a hell dimension, or just another dimension?

[> It's not clear... -- Masq, 16:14:22 05/28/02 Tue

that what showed up in Willow's bedroom was Osiris. In the shooting script of the episode, all it says is "a big demon"

[> [> what is clear... -- skeeve, 14:10:23 05/30/02 Thu

is that whether the demon was Osiris or just his spokesdemon, Osiris exists. At least one being invoked in a spell actually exists in the Buffyverse.

Perhaps the reason it took so long to un-rat Amy was that Hecate was unhappy with Amy or Willow. Maybe Hecate was just taking a long nap.

[> Re: Gods, Demons and Dimensions. -- O'Cailleagh, 16:55:08 05/28/02 Tue

As Masq said, according to the shooting script, the apparition in Willow's bedroom is, in fact, a demon, presumably one of Osiris' minions.

We don't really know that much about the way metaphysical laws work in the Buffyverse, but I feel its probably safe to say that they work in a similar way to the metaphysical laws of our reality.
Therefore, all the Gods/Goddesses petitioned in the various spells and rituals we have witnessed should be considered as being 'real'. They exist or there would be no rituals to petition them with. With that in mind, when a spell (invoking a God) is unsuccessful, it may well be that the God (dess) in question doesn't wish to grant the request, other possibilities may be that not enough energy was put into the spell, or the spell or ritual was incorrectly done.

We have seen no evidence of anything calling itself an angel (certain broody vampires aside!), so at this point it seems that such a thing does not exist. Demons appear to be the Otherworld equivalents of people/animals (dependant on their degree of conciousness), Gods and Goddesses, higher lifeforms who control certain aspects of reality/life/the universe, or, rule over a particular dimension or realm.
All dimensions outside of the Buffyverse appear to be demon dimensions, regardless of the practices of the inhabitants (eg good/evil).

[> [> Re: Gods, Demons and Dimensions. -- aliera, 18:54:42 05/28/02 Tue

The phrasing of both Willow's lines and the demon's support that it is in fact not Osiris. Hansel on the BC&S (posted Friday- Monday) a series of posts that were compelling regarding this and the possible implications of the Osiris/Isis/Set myths as they have been alluded to this season. It's possible that the original deal was never struck with Osiris but someone else who answered her original plea.

A few other notes:
there are possibly heaven dimensions. Buffy and Tara refer to heaven. And neither Willow nor Anya seem to have any problem with it. Anya seems to speak fairly often on this issue.

I am not sure on the angel question but (as I know I have posted before) the spell in bargaining that she uses to call the deer is only a spell to call an angel...and she in fact calls the angel by name later in that scene.

Now there's a decent amount of spells this season but they tend to be along the lines of "Reveal" or "Open" and I have to believe this was intended as written. Depending on the myth system you could also substitute demigod, spirit of nature/life etc here.

Generally speaking there's a mish mash of references this season clouding interpretation or foreshadowing in any real way; but, with the final scene in Africa it should be very interesting to see how they follow up next season. It's also entirely possible that something more could come from the temple that so much energy was poured into in Grave.

[> [> [> Re: Gods, Demons and Dimensions. -- O'Cailleagh, 19:51:38 05/28/02 Tue

"...the spell in bargaining...a spell to call an angel...calls the angel by name later in that scene"

I'm sorry, I'm obviously being a little obtuse did you figure that the spell was an invocation to an angel? After checking it out, all I can say for sure is that it was an invocation, presumably to the DeerSpirit, in order to call a physical deer to her. The names used in the spell seemed to be Judaic in origin (I only knew for sure about Adonai-Lord, which isn't strictly Judaic anyway, its also related to Adonis, the Greek God) but I don't think they were Angelic names. Unless, of course, by angel you mean deva, in which case you would be right as deva is easily equatable (?) to animal spirit or totem.

Interestingly, however, Adonis/Adonai is related to the Osiris/Isis/Set thing...I think he is identified with Horus...

[> [> [> [> Re: Gods, Demons and Dimensions. -- Etrangere, 10:35:06 05/29/02 Wed

>Interestingly, however, Adonis/Adonai is related to the Osiris/Isis/Set thing...I think he is identified with Horus...

Just to add Adonis is also related to Tammuz, so to the Inanna myth

[> [> [> [> Re: Gods, Demons and Dimensions. -- aliera, 16:19:29 05/29/02 Wed

I'm sorry I wasn't trying to be obscure.

Lesser Key of Solomon: Ars Amandel...summoning spell for an angel to grant a boon... rather not repeat everything online but a search engine will pull it up for you if you're interested by searching for either the text title or in quotes "adonai helomi pine".

It's the only reference to all three words together. It doesn't mean it couldn't be a deva, or pick your mythology *word* though. And, of course, it's not Wiccan.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Gods, Demons and Dimensions. -- O'Cailleagh, 17:08:37 05/29/02 Wed

I tried the search, but the page is unaccessable at present. After checking the shooting script, as opposed to the transcript (which I originally used)I discovered an extra name-Elomina-which wasn't mentioned in the transcript for some reason. The search I did on that name led me to the appropriate info! So, yeah, I guess it is Angelic! (blushes) My bad!

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Gods, Demons and Dimensions. -- aliera, 18:37:49 05/29/02 Wed

It's ok. It's nice to have a place to post it and people that are interested. Izzy on the other board mentioned that he/she thought that references were coming from Joss and that he studied in the enochian tradition; but I haven't been able to confirm that.

[> [> [> [> [> Aliera - Great catch, Thanks! -- redcat, 18:03:38 05/29/02 Wed

[> Re: to Masq: spell gods -- Exegy, 18:33:42 05/28/02 Tue

I think that the demon Willow summons operates like the "porter at the gate," a reduced manifestation of Osiris himself (but not the god in his highest aspect, if that makes sense). The demon performs a testing function; he deems whether Willow's request is worthy of the true Osiris' aid. He rejects her plea because Tara was taken by natural order. Osiris does not grant desires such as Willow's; one assumes that this is the god's determination. An enraged Willow destroys the demon, the testing aspect, but she cannot overturn Osiris' judgment.

Still, it is a testament to Willow's powers that she is able to destroy the representative of Osiris (who reflects upon the god's own might). She may not be a god herself, but she wields strength comparable to a god's (although the sheer energy she channels takes its toll on her mortal body, nearly dehumanizing her entirely).

I assume that Glory, too, was limited by the mortal body she shared with Ben. She apparently dies along with Ben, her existence tied to his. This was the judgment meted upon her by the two other hellgods, so I think that her eventual demise is more a result of their actions (limiting her to a human body in the first place) than the Scoobs' efforts.

As for the multiplicity of hell/heaven/demon dimensions, who knows? Oh, and strength must be relative among the gods, otherwise Glory could not have been defeated by the others. So a god doesn't seem to have absolute power. Maybe the gods are like the Greek gods, subject to a guiding force beyond even their demesne (Moira/TPTB?). I don't even pretend to know.

[> Gods, Angels, Spirits, Humans, Demons... ect -- AgnosticSorcerer, 20:30:21 05/28/02 Tue

Most people consider the order of beings to be in decreasing order as above:
"gods, higher-beings, humans, demons."

But I think the true order would be a reflexive one as opposed to a decreasing one such as:
"gods, higher-beings, humans, demons, gods."

The reflexive system of order above, I believe, is the most sensible in the Buffyverse considering what we know. This system is not based upon the power of the being as the first decreasing- order system, but rather the being's classification for the forces of "good" and the forces of "evil".

Let us consider Cordelia, who started at the "apex" of the order as a human. Cordelia for her virtue and whatever reasons that the Powers That Be might have received what were called "demonic powers" and she was transformed into a "demon"-human hybrid of sorts. Now, another poster suggested that the "demon" powers Cordelia received were not derived from the powers that most evil creatures get theirs; that perhaps "demonic powers" (of Cordelia's sort) are neutral and depending on *how Cordelia used them* would decide if she was a "demon" or a "higher-being". So this is the first example showing that the state of the being is irrelevant as only the use of the being's self is paramount.

Then, we have Glory. A goddess. A hellgoddess, to be more precise. Glorificus, certainly as a goddess, would be considered the highest of beings and she definately was in one respect. She was a powerful and immense being in only the way that a deity could be, but she said it best herself, "[...] in torture, death, and chaos does my power lie." Glory could be placed at the bottom of the system as she had, in her true form, the greatest propensity to do evil than any other form of being--yet she was less than humanity because of that propensity.

We could also consider Spike. A vampire, a form of demon, who (before Buffy) had a natural propensity for evil. But he has been redeemed (or will be) and for the most part could be considered a warrior for the forces of light (even if only for the time being) because of how he used himself.

So uhh yeah. What I would like to know is if Glory was creating such havok in our realm and if she was such a threat to the Universe, then where in sam hill were the gods of our realm?! Sitting on their hands?! *dodges the cosmic 4x4*

"Did Lorne come from a demon dimension, a heaven dimension, a hell dimension, or just another dimension?"

I think the difference between a "demon dimension", a "heaven dimension", and a "hell dimension" is as such that a demon dimension is a another realm in which beings exist in a mix of good and evil. So both Pylia (Lorne's home-dimension) and Earth could be considered a demon dimension or perhaps a more appropriate term would be simply "another realm". A heaven and a hell dimension require the death of a being to be able to cross the "lines" of the dimensions, but the basis of the definition depends on the existence of the "souls". If the existence is a horrible one compared to our mortal existence, then it is a "hell dimension"; but if the existence is rather pleasant compared to our human existence than it could be considered a "heaven dimension".

Just a few musings of my own. Speculation mostly and musings.

I completely agree that the creature that manifested itself upon Willow's ceiling was a demon and certainly not Wesir [Osiris]. Both the Closed Captioning and the shooting script had identified the being as a "demon".

[> [> Re: Gods, Angels, Spirits, Humans, Demons... ect -- O'Cailleagh, 21:08:00 05/28/02 Tue

Good points AS, plus you made more sense than I did!
I always wondered about Glory, and what our Gods were doing about it...hmmmm! On the subject of Glory..Back when she was terrorising Sunnydale, did anyone here look into any Kabbalistic connections? At the time, I had this theory-ette
that Glory and the other two Hell-Gods were possibly 'personifications' of three of the sephiroth. Now, the Kabbala is not one of my strong points, in fact I know next to nothing about the finer details of it, but I remembered that the Lord's Prayer had a lot of Kabbalistic stuff in it. Particularly important here is the ending "...For thine is the Kingdom, the Power, and the Glory, Forever and ever, Amen." (the Kingdom, Power, and Glory parts representing three of the Sephiroth-can't remember which). So, was this discussed? If so, can someone point out where in the Archives I am likely to find it please? (I'm forever getting lost in there!) If not...thoughts, comments (ideally from someone who, unlike me, knows the Kabbala!)

[> [> [> I don't know anything about the Kabbala but... -- VampRiley, 08:52:06 05/29/02 Wed

I though it was spelled with a "Q". Go figure. As for where the other gods were, how's this?

Long ago, the gods, Olympian, Roman, whatever, frequently visited the earth. Only, because of the short amount of time the lower beings, lower in relation to them (humans, human/demon hyrids, demons, etc.), the gods interfered with their lives quite often. The lower beings eventually grew tired of the gods' meddling. Some time pasts and the gods left. Some to show them how much they needed the gods, some because they thought it was time that they stood on their own two feet and make decisions for themselves without the gods. As time went on, more and more warriors appeared for all sides. Some gods cheering on the bad, while others cheered on the side of the good guys with others doing nothing but watching. So when Glory shows up, they remain with their non- involved stance. But because of the conflict between the sides, they leave themselves open to entreates. They have taken the role of "parents" as it were. When you leave home, they want you to be able to support yourself, but they will be there every once in a while to give you a hand. But there is no guarentee that they will help.


[> [> [> [> Can be spelled with K, C or Q- anyway... -- FriarTed, 10:08:34 05/29/02 Wed

the Ten Sephirot are Kether (Crown), Hokmah (Wisdom), Binah
(Understanding), Hesed (Love), Geburah (Power), Tiphereth (Beauty), Netsah (Endurance), Hod (Majesty), Yesod (Foundation), and Malkuth (Kingdom)... they are seen as spheres of existence, internal qualities, dimensions, etc
developed as God withdrew Himself to make room to Creation
& which Creation must go through to reconcile with God.
Each has certain Divine Names & Aspects, Angelic & Demonic
forces, Virtues & Temptations that the Magickal Seeker must learn & endure to climb "the Tree of Life" (the Human/Tree configuration of the Ten- in which we start at the Malkuth
Kingdom level at the foot & conclude with the Kether Crown level at the head- which is the highest Creation can arise- just short of God).

[> [> [> Re: Gods, Angels, Spirits, Humans, Demons... ect -- O'Cailleagh, 06:42:33 05/30/02 Thu

I checked this with a Kabbalistic non-Buffy friend. I asked her if there was a Sephiroth called Glory or anything similar. She said " Chesed, the middle of the pillar relates to love and glory, also initiations of water(emotions/west), air(intellect/east) and fire(passion/south), higher beings or pure beings. Other correspondances are: Tarot-4s; Instrument/Weapon- wand and sceptre; outer body-left shoulder; inner body-left adrenal; colour- blue; planet-Jupiter; herb-Borage; oil-Cedarwood; tree-Birch; flower-Tulip; and the Sphinx." How this can be related to Glorificus, I don't know...yet. Is Chesed part of a triad?

[> [> [> [> Re: Gods, Angels, Spirits, Humans, Demons... ect -- alcibiades, 12:14:38 05/30/02 Thu

Chesed (loving kindness) has nothing to do with the character of Glory. In fact, the opposite, she's its antithesis.

I think you are looking at a much earlier template for your Power, Glory, Kingship triad -- it's not Kabbalistic, its part of the pre- kabbalistic mystical speculation running around in the beginning of the Christian era.

Don't know when the Lord's Prayer was written, but the Power, Glory, Kingship modes of referring to God are considered as having hypostatic elements in some traditions, elements of divinity singled out and themselves divinized to varying degrees (a little, a lot) independently of God.

There are references to them notably in some texts from Qumran -- there are articles written about that -- particularly Power I believe.

Within the early Jewish mystical tradition -- merkavah mysticism - - they are also considered flashpoints for elements of God's persona, but not independent of God. They are terms that appear in Hekhalot hymns for example.

But all my gut reactions tell me that this has nothing to do with Glory who surely is the antithesis of all this.

Isn't the point with Glory her tremendous narcissism. But MEprobably didn't want to underline it to that extent by calling her Narcissa.

Random thoughts on season finale -- ramses 2, 15:22:53 05/28/02 Tue

First thought, nothing was wrapped up, it was all a cliffhanger. Or if not a cliffhanger it was part two of a three part episode. We have no idea what will happen to Willow. Giles warns Buffy that she might not be the same. We realize the rage and hatred Willow has been toting around for these six years. Maybe it was amplified by dark magic, but they were there none the less. Just saying sorry is not likely to cut it. She really is the 'best' friend you had that ends up telling you how much she hates your guts. Willow has so much more to do than kick magic.
Anya's story is wide open too, what kind of Vengeance Demon is she exactly? We've seen she's not quite up to speed with the wish granted bit, but wow, is she comfortable with the supernatural part. How was she able to read that protection spell? And she didn't tell Xander the truth, (is this Anya's first lie?) when she said that she couldn't hurt him. She had an opportunity for vengeance but she stopped Spike from wishing.
And it's pretty obvious that Xander and Anya are far from over. Both of them are completely unaware of the heroic potential in the other. He sees a vengeance demon even when she's bravely staying behind to help and she fails to see that he is doing 'something right'. Maybe this is what TR was about, when they didn't notice one another. It wasn't that they weren't drawn to one another it was they didn't see who the other person really was. How can you recognize someone you don't know?
Xander still needs to recognize his strengths and weaknesses. I have to believe saving Willow didn't give him an epiphany. He will not start next season assured of his strengths. Confident in his bravery. I'm guessing we'll be back to Xander, hating himself for not being able to 'protect' his friends. Not realizing his love is a powerful weapon.
Buffy and Dawn. I believe that Dawn represented Buffy's emotions. Buffy tells Giles that she felt she left something behind when she came back. This whole season she has kept Dawn far away from her. In the hole she realizes that she can't protect Dawn. Just as she can't protect herself(emotions) by denying she has them. By acknowledging Dawn, and letting her fight alongside her, she accepts herself. When she climbs out of the hole it is into a golden light. Not the harsh light of AYW. This time the epiphany sticks.
Which brings us to Spike. But for a moment lets look at Buffy's behavior since SR. And Dawn's reactions to Buffy. Buffy brings Dawn to Spike. She misses him. She tells Giles she's been sleeping with Spike. She kinda curls up her face and dismisses talking about the scene with both Xander and Dawn. Not, I can't talk about it, but a petulant, I won't talk about it.
In the hole, Dawn presses the issue. Buffy gets annoyed and the subject is changed to Buffy not being able to protect her sister from life. The issue of Spike goes away. But does it? Maybe this exchange and Buffy's epiphany have a lot to do with Spike. Buffy pushing him away because she's scared of loving. Scared of herself. But by accepting her emotions,by letting Dawn fight with the Slayer, we see a Buffy accepting all of herself.
Buffy tells Dark Willow that she'll see what a slayer can do. Buffy offered love and forgiveness along with her strength. It's what the first Slayer told her to do. Buffy the Vampire Slayer is stronger than ever. And now needs to find out why she's back.
Spikes story is far from over. I'm still not convinced that Spike keeps his soul. I'm guessing that his real test will come next season when he has to chose to keep his newly won soul or give it up to accomplish something noble. We've seen the value of souls this season. Giving Spike a soul just seems to easy, and easy is not what ME does.
He still needs to redeem himself, even if Buffy decides that the bathroom scene was not what we all thought, it wouldn't matter. Spike looked into himself and saw the ugly possibility. He needs redeemption for himself.
He thinks a soul will fix him, but we know better. Souls do violent acts all the time. Funny thing, he and Xander are alike in thinking that if they only possessed something they don't have(soul, superstrength)they would be so much better off. I think ME was teasing us with the soul and Xander getting blasted with Willow's magic. Their lessons have to be acceptance of self. It was Buffy's and it's going to be Willow's. Come to think of it, Anya's pretty cool now that she's acknowledged her demon side.

[> Agree with Dawn reflecting Buffy's emotions. -- Exegy *wanting season 7 now*, 15:38:24 05/28/02 Tue

[> Anya's Lie... -- O'Cailleagh, 16:28:08 05/28/02 Tue

I don't think it was...true, she may be a Vengeance Demon now, but she stopped Spike from making a wish that may have harmed Xander. I think that is what she meant when she said that she couldn't hurt him...that although she has the power to hurt him (providing someone else makes the wish of course), she could never bring herself to do it.

[> [> Re: Anya's Lie...oh no, I agree with you -- ramses 2, 16:39:14 05/28/02 Tue

I was trying to say(sorry for the misunderstanding) that she wouldn't hurt Xander. That the normally straight talking Anya would have just blurted out what she could have done. But she didn't, Anya has shown remarkable growth. She might be a poor vengeance demon but she is coming in to her own as a caring, empathetic character.

[> [> [> I completely agree! -- O'Cailleagh, 16:56:57 05/28/02 Tue

[> Re: Random thoughts on season finale -- shygirl, 18:21:19 05/28/02 Tue

Spikes story is far from over. I'm still not convinced that Spike keeps his soul. I'm guessing that his real test will come next season when he has to chose to keep his newly won soul or give it up to accomplish something noble.

Omigosh you read my mind. I think he gives up his soul too. For love, the greatest power of all. And who does Spike love? Buffy and Dawn. I have looked around and this may be a silly point and one that is already established, but…. Does Dawn have a soul? She is the STILL the KEY right? That hasn’t changed has it? Spike has always responded to saving Dawn… surely if she is still the key, there are forces that seek that power… if she were completely human…with a soul… she would be safe… in the episode of forgetting Spike saw himself as a “noble” vampire…. Could this somehow be a possible plot line?

[> [> Re: Random thoughts on season finale -- Lyonors, 19:29:12 05/28/02 Tue

>>>Spikes story is far from over. I'm still not convinced that Spike keeps his soul. I'm guessing that his real test will come next season when he has to chose to keep his newly won soul or give it up to accomplish something noble.<<<

>>Omigosh you read my mind. I think he gives up his soul too. For love, the greatest power of all. And who does Spike love? Buffy and Dawn. I have looked around and this may be a silly point and one that is already established, but…. Does Dawn have a soul? She is the STILL the KEY right? That hasn’t changed has it? Spike has always responded to saving Dawn… surely if she is still the key, there are forces that seek that power… if she were completely human…with a soul… she would be safe… in the episode of forgetting Spike saw himself as a “noble” vapire…. Could this somehow be a possible plot line?<<

Okay, so that's three of us thinking the same thing! WHOO HOO!
So here are my thoughts on the whole shebang: The PTB seem to be rewarding of those that come far in the fight for good, dont they? I mean, look at Cordy--from snotty-uber-bitch, to world-saving- partially-demon-by-choice-to-help-the-PTB-save-people-white- hat....and look what they did for her...and then there is always Angel...

Wesley: "Ah, the vampire with a soul, once he fulfills his destiny, will Shanshu. Become human. - It's his reward."
(From TSILA - Quote courtesy of Psyche)

Sooooo, what I am saying is, and I will not even begin to guess what ME has in mind, that if what you are supposing is true, what might 'ol Spikey's reward be?

hmmm.....with semi-deep thoughts encouraged by alcohol before bedtime,


What is "canon" in BtVs and AtS? Are writer's interviews of use? -- Earl Allison, 16:23:47 05/28/02 Tue

I wanted to ask this after seeing an exchage between, I think, Rufus and Traveler (who I hope forgives my earlier posts) in regards to writer interviews.

Are they of any use to us? I ask that because, well, to put it bluntly -- the writers lie to the fans.

Sure, it's "for our own good," but the end result is, they tell us things that turn out not to be true.

Now, the episodes, on the other hand, are pretty cut-and-dried (except for something like "Restless," of course). They're out there, they don't change over time (except for the cuts for syndication), and they can be examined to death.

The most telling example involves the statement by JE about Spike, that he was deliberately seeking a soul from the demon -- maybe I'm a Grade A Moron, but that's NOT what I got from Spike's comments, his body language -- nothing. Yes, he did (IMHO) want the chip out, and there's going to be one hell of an explanation coming to convince me otherwise, despite the "claim" that the writers were deliberately trying to trick us.

We also have two totally different views coming from writers, one that says Spike is now a chipped, souled vampire, and another that pretty much says "been there, done that with Angel, we're not retreading this."

They seem to be pretty contradictory, which makes it hard to take any writer's statement about something that has yet to come as legitimate fact (IMHO).

The episode, however, once aired, is pretty hard to contradict. Sure, sometimes fans take an event a certain way, but most of the items cannot simply be overwritten later (except for Dawn's inclusion), wheras a statement like "Tara dies over my dead body," well, we see where that ended up.

I guess, in a really long-winded and roundabout way, what do you accept as legitimate parts of the Buffyverse/Angelverse -- only what we see in episodes, or are writer's interviews and novels (like "Tales of the Slayers") also part of the mythos?

Take it and run.

[> Re: What is "canon" in BtVs and AtS? Are writer's interviews of use? -- Sophist, 16:36:43 05/28/02 Tue

I once would have said we should pay careful heed to the writers. Having been burned too often, I now think Traveler (?) is right -- forget the writers and believe what your own eyes and ears tell you. Just remember that predicting the future (especially on a show known for reversing expectations) is dangerous.

[> [> The absurdity of absolute certainty in the "canon" (Spoilers for "Grave") -- cjl, 16:54:53 05/28/02 Tue

When the demon gave Spike his soul back at the end of the episode, I was certain Joss and the writers were telling us once and for all that you've got to have a soul to be redeemed.

Then, I thought about it some more. What about the perfectly nice, soul-less demons in the Buffy-verse? What about Clem, Lorne and maybe even Anyanka? Are they, like the virtuous heathens in Dante's Inferno, doomed to occupy the first ring of Hell for eternity? I can't believe Joss would introduce these characters without a larger, more beneficent purpose.

So, to make a long story short--I dunno. I saw the end of the episode with my own eyes and I STILL don't know what to believe.

[> [> [> Not sure this is really how it works (spoilers through S6) -- Vickie, 17:51:38 05/28/02 Tue

I don't think there's any reason to think that nice demons don't have souls. IIRC, Giles says that the creation of the first vampire was when the demon soul infected a human, creating a hybrid.

What has been said repeatedly is that the human soul leaves.

Then, of course, the short-hand kicks in and all the characters refer to Angel as the only vampire with a soul, meaning he has his human soul while still a vampire. This is apparently what has happened to Spike. (Though I'm waiting for autumn to decide what that really means.)

One of the writers, in some interview (which I agree, is useless when determining "canon") said that Anya has her soul. Presumably her human soul--which she has had throughout her life: human- >demon->human->demon.

So, Clem has a floppy-skinned-demon soul, and Lorne has a Pylean soul of some sort.


[> [> [> [> Re: Not sure this is really how it works (spoilers through S6) -- Traveler, 18:38:15 05/28/02 Tue

"What has been said repeatedly is that the human soul leaves. "

Yes, and it is replaced by a demon soul. Thus, vampires are actually demons infecting humans and using their bodies. Thus, all demons have demon souls. Apparantly, vampires always get the really evil souls while other demons can have "nice" demon souls. Yes, it gets confusing. If anybody can add to or correct my explanation, please feel free. Also, if I remember correctly, Fury said in a recent interview that Anya doesn't have a [human] soul, although he didn't sound quite certain.

[> [> [> [> [> Fury said she didn't; Espenson said she did -- Dochawk, 18:50:29 05/28/02 Tue

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Not sure this is really how it works (spoilers through S6) -- O'Cailleagh, 19:04:46 05/28/02 Tue

My own personal theory on the vampire/demon soul thing is as follows. The human is vampirised, driving out the human soul, which is replaced by the demon soul. This demon soul is either a) a part of the soul of the original VampDemon, or b) a new (or reincarnated!) soul (of the same type of demon). If a), the original demon soul is stretched so thinly between all the vampires, it has become a group soul, animalistic and without conciousness, with no sense of Self, or morality of any kind. If b), then the original VampDemon must have been a 'lower' form of demon life, equivalent perhaps to a dog, cat, or other predatory beast (and, therefore, already being part of a group soul). This, of course doesn't explain how or why the VampDemon did the first siring, so most of the time, I go with a)!

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Not sure this is really how it works (spoilers through S6) -- Rufus, 01:19:15 05/29/02 Wed

Back to season one, The Harvest

Giles: This world is older than any of you know. Contrary to popular mythology, it did not begin as a paradise. For untold eons demons walked the Earth. They made it their home, their... their Hell. But in time they lost their purchase on this reality. The way was made for mortal animals, for, for man. All that remains of the old ones are vestiges, certain magicks, certain creatures...

Giles: The books tell the last demon to leave this reality fed off a human, mixed their blood. He was a human form possessed, infected by the demon's soul. He bit another, and another, and so they walk the Earth, feeding... Killing some, mixing their blood with others to make more of their kind. Waiting for the animals to die out, and the old ones to return.

That's the basics and you can translate it out a few ways. The human is infected, possessed by that one demons soul, or you could try to say the human gets a whole new soul depending what you think a soul is.

The first vampire was a primative type if you take into consideration the look of the first slayer and the time frame that the vampire was created. Man came first, the vampire shortly after the demons got their metaphysical eviction notice. The vampire was created as a curse on man, something to remember the demon by, somthing to create chaos til the Old Ones could return and retake what was theirs.

Joss has this to say about the soul.......

The Paley Festival, March 30, 2001

Audience Member: "I'd like to know what your definition of a soul is? And what distinguishes Angel from the other vampires, because it becomes clear from both Buffy and Angel that vampires have human emotions and human attachments. So is that a conscience? And then what separates vampires from humans if it is a conscience?"

JW: "Um, very little. (laugh) Essentially, souls are by their nature amorphous but to me it's really about what star you are guided by. Most people, we hope, are guided by, 'you should be good, you're good, you feel good.' And most demons are guided simply by the opposite star. They believe in evil, they believe in causing it, they like it. They believe it in the way that people believe in good. So they can love someone, they can attach to someone, they can actually want to do things that will make that person happy in the way they know they would. The way Spike has sort of become, an example is Spike obviously on Buffy, is getting more and more completely conflicted. But basically his natural bent is towards doing the wrong thing. His court's creating chaos where as in most humans, most humans, is the opposite, and that's really how I see it. I believe it's kind of like a spectrum, but they are setting their course by opposite directions. But they're all sort of somewhere in the middle."

I liked the spectrum of behavior bit because it explains deviations in a vampires actions based upon what it once was as a human. Imagine the constant conflict in Spike doing all those things for Buffy, just for Buffy, mainly because he wanted her, then he slowly started to act like it was almost natural, untill the bit in Smashed in the alley, and in Seeing Red the "attempted rape". In Tabula Rasa, with no memories to back his emotions up, Spike knew he didn't want to bite Buffy (well at least not in a killy way). So we see that Spike can act in ways that are on another side of the natural spectrum of behavior, but we also know that without the chip it would be easy to slowly revert to what his nature dictates. I see the soulless state of Spike as him lacking a human soul, only having the infecting demons nature as a guide to what is right or feels right, and wrong. Spike went a remarkable way along to other side of the spectrum, but in the end he knew that to live in or near Buffy's world the soul would be what makes the difference.

[> [> Re: What is "canon" in BtVs and AtS? Are writer's interviews of use? -- Rufus, 17:18:06 05/28/02 Tue

I find that the writers can give us insight to where they are going with a character, and specially post season can give us insight into motivations. They have to duty to give away any plot points before the show airs, sometimes they will be vague and misleading but there is a reason for that, as we can see with the Spike goes to Africa story.

[> [> Re: What is "canon" in BtVs and AtS? Are writer's interviews of use? (spoilers season 6) -- Traveler, 17:57:44 05/28/02 Tue

"I now think Traveler (?) is right -- forget the writers and believe what your own eyes and ears tell you. "

Yes, it was me, and I still believe that. Rufus makes the point that perhaps we can trust the writers more post season about previous events, but I'm not sure I'd even go that far. This is especially true of the JE interview, because her interview discussed something that should have been a cliffhanger until next season, i.e. why Spike was given a soul instead of having the chip removed. Maybe JE was telling the truth, or maybe it was just another attempt at misdirection. In general, even if the writers do tell the truth, it is often just their personal opinion, and won't necessarily dictate the course of future events. For example, Fury strongly implied that Buffy would never sleep with Spike, because it would destroy her character. Well, she did sleep with him and still gets to be the hero. Personally, I think that one episode of BtVS (FFL) gave us more insight into Spike's personality than all of the comments that the writers have made about him combined.

Don't get me wrong; I read the interviews and I enjoy hearing the writers speak. That's because I want to learn more about the writers and their personal take on things, not because I expect, or even want them to give me the gosphel on who these characters are and what they're about. One of the things that makes this show great is that it is possible to see the same events from different perspectives. If I think that Buffy is a saint and Spike is an evil demon, I can site scene's from the show to support my argument. If I want to argue that Buffy is a bitch and Spike is a romantic anti-hero, I can support that argument using some of the same scenes! I like the ambiguity and it irritates me when the writers pretend to remove that ambiguity outside of the confines of the show itself. Like any good writer, don't tell me what you mean, show me what you mean!

PS: Earl Allison - you're already forgiven, man. I never meant to make such a big deal over so little; I was just tired and cranky.

[> [> [> Re: What is "canon" in BtVs and AtS? Are writer's interviews of use? (spoilers season 6) -- Dochawk, 18:20:00 05/28/02 Tue

Like I said below, I agree with you. Especially about Jane's interview because it was the real cliffhanger of the episode, it got the pentultimate space on the episode (which I don't agree with, but hey its their choice).

I do think there is canon outside of what we see in the screen. If something is in the shooting script but gets cut? Possibly, but why did it get cut?

I do think though that the published works which have been reviewed by Joss and oked by him probably do make it to the canon. I am thinking specifically of the Tales of the Slayers graphic novel (where Joss wrote 3 of the stories himself) and Fray, which Joss is writing. So far they have illuminated the history of the slayer without contradicting anything. If I were to ask Joss one question regarding the Buffyverse it would be that. Even though Joss supposedly reviewed all the stories in the Ta;es of the Slayers short story book, there are inconsistancies with what we know of the slayer (one example sometimes the slayer is chosen at 12, somtimes older and my understanding was that she was consistently 15 or 16 etc). There are some intersting insights if we were to believe these stories were within canon.

I also think that Joss reflections about the stories are accurate. Specifically when the MoTaR interviews were done. I think what he had to say there would carry more weight, especially since they aren't spoilers.

[> [> [> [> Yeah, Joss is just that cool (spoilers season 6) -- Traveler, 19:05:26 05/28/02 Tue

I'm also more inclined to believe Joss. From what I've read of his interviews, he never reveals spoilers, lies (other than in jest), or demeans his audience. I really respect him for that, and it's always a pleasure to read his interviews.

[> [> [> [> "Canon", writers, and characters -- parakeet, 21:30:10 05/28/02 Tue

Sorry, I'm not familiar with the Tales of the Slayer, so maybe this isn't the best place to post this, but here it goes.
I enjoy hearing from the writers, but obviously you have to take what they say with a grain (or more) of salt. I would argue that the same goes for the characters.
For example, much of the SG's views on demons/souls/goodness ultimately comes from the Watcher's Council. The Council has a vested interest in seeing such things in black and white terms. While Giles and Buffy have rejected the Council, they were both educated by them (and through Giles and Buffy, Willow and Xander were, as well). Of course, one would expect (and I think the writing bears this out) a more nuanced view from Anya and Spike. Angel is an extreme person, and, perhaps, sympathizes with the SG view because it fits into his own rather grandiose thinking (this is someone who can only conceive of himself as a champion or villain).
I don't mean to say that this is the proper "canon", but I do mean to suggest that the show is too well-written to assume that the characters' position is "canon". Thankfully, this is not a soapbox show, and that is why I will always forgive the contradictory statements of its writers. (Also, because I like to be surprised.)
The characters only know what they know, and since the Buffyverse is the creation of several, even the individual writers only know what they know. Reality (and the best of fiction) is complicated.

[> [> [> [> [> Well said -- tost, 10:09:31 05/29/02 Wed

[> [> [> [> [> information from the Watcher's council -- Dochawk, 11:26:39 05/29/02 Wed

Not all the info comes from the WC. They have huge libraries which have proven to be remarkably accurate. In addition, Angel knows little of the WC, yet he corroborates much of what they know. Especailly early in teh show, he didn't think of himself as a champion at all, he was a barely alive mutt until Whistler found him and sent him to Buffy. And Whistler also had little info from the WC. Even Dracula does. Members of the EC have written PhD theses. I don't thinkyou can discount what they say. They are canon as much as possible.

[> Re: What is "canon" in BtVs and AtS? Are writer's interviews of use? -- maddog, 17:18:28 05/28/02 Tue

I think you have to take what the writers say with a grain of salt and just believe what you see.

I hate to warn ya, but a lot of us actually heard what he said and still believe that deep down, he wanted a soul. Sure he acted all macho...makes you think he wants the chip out...but reading between the lines is a skill needed to watch this show...and it was no more apparent then in this case.

Tell me exactly where you said, "yup, he's asking for his chip out". Cause I never saw proof positive. It was a lot of ambiguity, a lot of interpreation. And if you've been following Spike's growth over this season(and last's), I found that he was looking for a way to be with Buffy...not a way to kill her.

[> TV over Books and Comics -- cjc36, 05:23:19 05/29/02 Wed

The novels are secondary to the mythos. They are not cannon in that if a novel writer defines or introduces a story element (and, according to Christopher Golden, everything they submit goes through review by Fox and ME), the show does not have to follow along, and usually doesn’t. The TV show is the 'prime' form of the Buffyverse. It leads other media interpretations. Now if Buffy started out as a Marvel comic, then it would be the other way around.

Writers do lie to screw up the spolier types. I think of it as a game of hiding holiday surprises and don't take it personally. Wanna know what they really think, just read up on things, arcs, that have already played out.

As far as mythology goes, the writers have said, including Joss, that Buffyverse isn't as nut-and-bolt, dotted "I's" and crossed "T's" as other fantasy mythologies. They fudge. Commentary track in WTTHM/TH DVD Joss basically says the Hellmouth was a ready-made fount of badness. Need a monster, just blame it on the Hellmouth. Same with computers and hacking as a move-along-device.

It's an emotional response/truth they are after. Last summer I would've never suspected Willow would actually raise Buffy. Too easy. Too predictable. I thought the emotional thought line would be Buffy being sent back by some PTB types, and the Scoobies, having grieved and started moving on, would be tentative having her back, afraid of losing her again.

I was, obviously, way wrong. The Scoobies aren't the star of the show, Buffy is. She needed to have the emotional reaction of being 'back', and they found it with the pulled-from-heaven angle. And for that, Willow raising her worked fine, and set the stage for Dark Willow/Junkie Willow.

[> [> Re: TV over Books and Comics (beware Lucasfilms OT-ness) -- pr10n, 11:03:11 05/29/02 Wed

The Star Wars community has always considered the original trilogy as untouchable canon, and then books, comics, the Christmas special :), and so on are included as they make sense ("The Truce at Bakura," anyone?). The release of the second trilogy made the fan base say, "Huh?"... One word: midichlorians. Luke certainly didn't learn about those on Dagobah. The more stuff Lucasfilms tries to sell, the farther from Luke/Han/Leia purity the stories seem.

So far the Jossverse isn't cursed with ponderous ancillary creations and full-on marketing weasel wisdoms, whew. I think there may be a critical mass thing that occurs when characters and elements are licensed too many times and too far away from the original ideas. See also Anne Rice, Goosebumps and Animorphs, and Scooby Doo.

Powers preserve Buffy and Harry Potter, sez I.

Let's do Giles now! -- Dead Soul, 17:24:13 05/28/02 Tue

We've been sharing out favorites Xander moments and it's been a great thread, I've enjoyed it thoroughly, but I was watching Superstar this morning and about fell out of bed laughing when Giles said "Don't speak Latin in front of the books" (quote might not be exact, I'm at work) to Xander after he had caused one to catch on fire.

Another favorite - Buffy: "Giles, sarcasm accomplishes nothing" Giles: "No, it's rather an end in itself." Again, quotes might not be exactly right.

Anyone else got any? Don't have to be funny, just favorite.

Dead (but not humorless) Soul

[> "'See my mask? Isn't it pretty? It raises the dead!' Americans!" -- cjl, 17:42:43 05/28/02 Tue

-- from Dead Man's Party

[> "I believe you're both profoundly stupid!" -- Cactus Watcher, 17:52:27 05/28/02 Tue

To Buffy and Xander sitting in the magic shop and at a loss for what to get Tara for her birthday.

Also, from Something Blue "It's all right. I have more Scotch!"

[> The Earth is Doomed -- Vickie, 17:53:31 05/28/02 Tue

at the end of The Harvest.

Or, "It's all right, I have more scotch!"

[> [> Halloween -- O'Cailleagh, 17:57:50 05/28/02 Tue

His reaction on seeing GhostWillow was wonderful, as were the first glimpses of the Ripper and his unusual method of persuasion!

[> Fear Itself? -- Vickie, 18:06:44 05/28/02 Tue

Chainsaw Giles!

[> [> Re: Fear Itself? -- parakeet, 20:45:06 05/28/02 Tue

I know I haven't got this quite right, but hopefully I've got the gist of it:

In Fear Itself:

Giles: Don't taunt the fear demon, Xander.
Xander: Why, can it hurt me?
Giles: No, it's just tacky.

[> Re: Let's do Giles now! -- rattletrap, 18:42:58 05/28/02 Tue

Virtually every scene with Giles and Wesley in "Bad Girls" was priceless, but the ones in Balthazar's warehouse were some of the best:

W: What is that?
G: Your demon. You know, the dead one?
W: There's no need to get snippy

. . .

W: We must be strong, Mr. Giles; we cannot despair.
G: Thank God you're here, I was planning to panic.

[> [> ROTFL -- JBone, 19:10:39 05/28/02 Tue

[> Bloody hell! -- JBone, 19:16:30 05/28/02 Tue

This is drunk Giles offscreen, but audible reaction, to Xander's bewildered re-statement that Tara is Willow's girlfriend in The Yoko Factor. I have to rewatch the episode just for these 2 words.

[> Re: Let's do Giles now! -- Lonesome Sundown, 19:40:46 05/28/02 Tue

Here's my list, in no particular order:

1) All his singing scenes, in particular the snippet of Free Bird from "Wild Things." What a voice! I wonder if he sang the whole song and it exists on some outtakes....

2) Favorite visual: the opening of the Magic Box in Season 5(don't remember the episode) when Buffy walks in to find Giles dressed in full sorcerer's regalia

3) Practising with an empty chair to ask Jenny Calendar out and completely losing it

[> "it's so shiny" in NPLH -- tost, 19:45:08 05/28/02 Tue

[> Re: Let's do Giles now! -- AgnosticSorcerer, 19:51:03 05/28/02 Tue

Season Six - "Bargaining"

Giles and Anya girl-slapping each other over an effigy.

[> "Go on! Put your back into it. A Watcher scoffs at gravity!"-- Restless -- julia, 19:59:23 05/28/02 Tue

[> [> The Yoko Factor -- Jane's Addiction, 20:51:21 05/28/02 Tue

A very drunken Giles amusing himself a little too much as Willow works at decrypting the Initiative files:

Okay. So how long before you…
uncrypt it?

Hours. Days, maybe. Anyone
suggesting months would not be
accused of crazy talk.


Whatever happened to Latin? At
least when that made no sense, the
church approved.

[> Re: Let's do Giles now! -- agent156, 20:46:01 05/28/02 Tue

1) In A New Man when Giles as a demon jumps out of the car and scares Professor Walsh.

2) In Yoko Factor, everything when he is drunk. "You never train with me anymore. He's gonna kick your ass". "Fort dicks". "Bloody hell".

3) In Dopplegangland, when everyone thinks Willow is a vampire and Xander says that Willow was much better than he is and Giles responds along the lines of "yes, much much better".

4) In The Replacement when the two Xanders say "Kill us both Spock" and Giles says "he's obviously a bad influence on himself".

Giles is such a great character.

[> Gile's finest moment -- JBone, 21:31:03 05/28/02 Tue

It's the end of a very long couple of days in the episode Innocence. Giles is dropping Buffy off at her house, and she is blaming herself for Angel turning evil.

Buffy looks at him. She is close to crying.

GILES: Do you want me to wag my finger at you and tell you, you acted rashly? You did, and I can. But I know you loved him, and he has proven more than once that he loved you. You couldn't have known what would happen. The coming months are going to be very hard - I suspect on all of us. But if you're looking for guilt, Buffy, I'm not your man. All you will have from me is my support... and my respect.

She says nothing, spilling eloquent tears.

I would have thrown this up here earlier, but I really expected someone else to mention it. Anyway, Giles rocked here. His unconditional support caught me off guard when I first watched it. It was like the fifteenth time in less than a year, and the third in two weeks, that I said to myself, "this isn't like other shows on tv." A father figure finding out that his daughter has had sex that causes a previous ally to go evil, and all he does is back her up. Fucking beautiful.

[> [> somewhere, Joss said -- Vickie, 21:57:58 05/28/02 Tue

Oh my god, she has the perfect father.

and, in the next scene,

Oh my god, she has the perfect mother.

[> [> Re: Gile's finest moment -- Rattletrap, 09:27:50 05/29/02 Wed

I adore that scene, so touching and sympathetic. Another one along the same lines comes to mind, the final scene in "Lie to Me":

Buffy: Does it ever get easy?
Giles: You mean life?
Buffy: Yeah. Does it get easy?
Giles: What do you want me to say?
Buffy: (looks up at him) Lie to me.
Giles: (considers a moment) Yes, it's terribly simple.
Giles: The good guys are always stalwart and true, the bad guys are
easily distinguished by their pointy horns or black hats, and, uh, we
always defeat them and save the day. No one ever dies, and everybody
lives happily ever after.
Buffy: Liar.

[> Something Blue & Bargaining Pt.1 -- Deeva, 22:27:19 05/28/02 Tue

I especially like two scenes from Something Blue:

1. The one where Buffy asks Giles to walk her down the aisle. He almost gets sentimental until he remembers who she is marrying.

2. When Buffy and Spike are starting to mack on each other while Giles is on the couch with a cloth over eyes. "Stop it! Whatever you are doing! I may be blind but I can very well hear whatever it is you two are doing!" or something to that effect.

Bargaining Pt.1:

The scene inside the Magic Box, the little girly slapping fight between him and Anya over a Ramadan(?) fetish. It even astounded Xander.

[> [> He says, "Stop that right now. I can hear the smacking!" -- Maroon Lagoon, 23:20:43 05/28/02 Tue

[> [> "... you smell like fruit roll ups." that really got me for some reason! -- yuri, 00:02:32 05/29/02 Wed

[> Re: Let's do Giles now! -- Drew W, 01:08:59 05/29/02 Wed

For some reason the line, "I had plenty of time to examine the body while the police were taking witness arias" to be one of the his all time best.

[> Re: Let's do Giles now! -- beekeepr, 01:52:56 05/29/02 Wed

"..Xander, help Willow, and try not to bleed on the couch, I've just had it ste-e-e-eam cle-e-eaned..."

[> [> About that line... -- Darby, 08:23:19 05/29/02 Wed

...It doesn't match what's in the shooting script -

It's strange. It's not like anything
we've faced before, yet it seems
familiar somehow. Of course!
The spell we cast with Buffy must
have released some primal evil,
that's come back seeking… I'm not
sure what. Willow, look through the
Chronicles. Some reference to a
warrior beast… Xander, help Willow
and try not to bleed on my couch.
We've got to warn Buffy. I tried her
this morning but I only got her
machine. Oh, wait…

I wonder who changed it, Joss or ASH? Or both?

[> The slide show from Hush -- ponygirl, 06:47:15 05/29/02 Wed

And also his line to Anya "yes, that's exactly the most appalling thing you could have said".

Cactus Watcher already mentioned my fave Giles line, "It's alright, I have more Scotch"

Season 4 seems to be the ultimate for great Giles lines, what with midlife crisis!Giles, drunken!Giles, and wacky roommate Spike!Giles.

[> his reaction to the Cheese Man -- tim, 07:02:23 05/29/02 Wed Restless:

"Honestly, I meet the most appalling sort of people."

I think I fell off the couch I was laughing so hard.


[> Re: Let's do Giles now! -- Sophie, 07:38:04 05/29/02 Wed

I adored drunk Giles in S4.

I loved his line when Anya and Xander have started having sexual relations. Anya and Xander come over to Giles' pad for the SG meeting and Anya tells Giles that she and Xander were having sex, and Giles says, "that was more than I needed to know."

Giles is my fav character on the show.

[> [> Re: Let's do Giles now! -- tam, 15:40:06 05/29/02 Wed

please, please, please -- can't he come back?

[> The balcony scene in "Welcome to the Hellmouth." -- Darby, 08:28:56 05/29/02 Wed

It established so much of what Giles was to be, and could have been played completely differently. Try inserting other actors (Donald Sutherland, or her first watcher from the TV version, or Tim Curry, who I read somewhere was under consideration, even Alexis Denisof) and you can imagine we might have gotten a very different Giles - but maybe Joss wouldn't have let that happen.

Or watch the movie and imagine ASH playing the Watcher...

[> My favorite Giles moment was in "Grave"... -- Rob, 20:50:51 05/29/02 Wed

...his wonderful, hilarious reaction to Buffy regaling him with all of the events of the past year. It was quintissential Giles, and was without a doubt, my favorite Giles moment.

In fact, I think I'd say that "Grave" was perhaps Giles' best episode of all time. From kicking Willow's butt (temporarily!) to that hug with Buffy and Anya to his wonderful Xander-praisy talk with Anya, it was the best kind of character reunion--the exact opposite of Riley in "As You Were." "Grave" made me remember what I loved so much about Giles, and made me wish he was still on the show. I had the exact opposite reaction with Riley. In fact, I think I dislike the guy more now than when he was a regular, but that's neither here nor there... :o)


[> [> Re: My favorite Giles moment was in "Grave"... -- redcat, 21:05:28 05/29/02 Wed

you do know that you've just pratically guaranteed that someone will now start a "Riley's Best Moments" thread, don't you????....... grrrr arrgghhh

[> [> [> maybe a "Riley's Worst Moments" ;) -- ponygirl, 07:41:11 05/30/02 Thu

[> Re: Let's do Giles now! -- Valhalla, 21:43:48 05/29/02 Wed

Two (besides the end of Lie to Me):

Giles and Jenny:
J: I know you feel betrayed.
G: Well, that's one of the unpleasant side effects of ... betrayal.

Giles and Buffy:
G: Just don't be late.
B: Have I ever let you down?
G: Do you want me to answer that, or should I just glare?

I've actually been hoping for an opportunity to work the 'glare' comment in at work!

Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain (S6 spoilage/S7 spec) -- O'Cailleagh, 17:24:55 05/28/02 Tue

First let me apologise for starting a new thread on Spike and his soul, there were so many others that I couldn't decide which one to put this in!

I have not yet seen 'Grave', so I only have what I have read here to go on, but it occurs to me that the ensouling of Spike may be a red herring of sorts.
Since he was captured by the Initiative and chipped, we have watched Spike's efforts to 'better himself', joining with the Scoobies to fight the good fight etc. Even before his chipping, we saw evidence that he was not your usual vampire, he was "love's bitch", continuously hanging on to shreds of his former humanity (smoking, drinking, eating, supporting football,etc). What's to say his experience with Lurky (I love that name!)-ie ensouling- will be the catalyst for his conversion to the White Hats?
It all reminds me (as do so many other things within the show) of the Wizard of Oz (so that's where I was going with the Subject line!).
The Scarecrow wanted a brain, the Tinman, a heart, and the Cowardly Lion, some courage. These they were given, in a rather token form, by the Wizard. The implications were that it was something they had deep within already, it just took the Wizard's gifts for the friends to recognize this...
So anyway, before I confuse myself, and tie myself in knots, I'll get to my point. The soul is irrelevant ( we have been shown this a lot lately), the capacity for doing good (or evil) is something that comes from deep within, and apart from occasional lapses, Spike, on the whole has shown that he has a great capacity for good. His nice shiny soul, therefore is a token gift to help him realise this.

[> Re: Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain (S6 spoilage/S7 spec) -- Dochawk, 18:27:35 05/28/02 Tue

Well since I disagree with your basic premise, that Spike has shown the capacity to do good. he has shown that he can selfishly do things that he thinks Buffy wants, which oftentimes are good things. But he really hasn't done much that has not been selfishly motivated. But this topic has been discussed ad naseum.

[> [> Re: are you Xander's twin? -- shygirl, 07:58:28 05/29/02 Wed

Itis interesting how you belive that Spike cannot change that he is doomed forever to be an evil being, selfish and insensitive to others unless it is to his benefit to be otherwise... It sounds like Xander's reaction to Spike. I can't ask Xander what it is that elicits such a strong negative immovable reaction, so I want to ask you. Why do you believe it is impossible for Spike to change or be changed. I'm just curious here attempting to understand a point of view that is very different from my own. I tend to be more of a relativist rather than a determinist.

[> [> [> Re: are you Xander's twin? -- Dochawk, 12:40:43 05/29/02 Wed

Actually I think that Spike the vampire can't change. I think that the actors exceptional ability to evoke sympathy with his part (I am not talking about his cheekbones, I'm talking about his acting ability) and fans reactions to Spike put the writers in a quandry (I think the AR was a direct response to the fact that no matter what else they did, alot of fans were more empathetic to Spike than to Buffy and this is Buffy's show, not Spike's). I think its very clear that vampires are "evil" from the human perspective. I also think that the writers have also made it very clear that vamps can't change (I will point once again to Angel's speech in Loyalty and Giles in the harvest) And I think the consequence involved if vamps could change is that Buffy becomes a mass murderer, not a vampire slayer. I do not believe that this is true for all demons. The writers make it clear that vamps are a special case. This is why the writers felt cornered with Spike, they needed some external way to allow him to change internally. make him human, give him a soul, change him to a different kind of demon, something had to change.

Now that Spike has a soul or has in some way been externally altered, he can grow and change internally. Since I don't trust the writers when it comes to spoilers I don't know whether he is a vamp with a soul or a human (what Lurky did looked like shocking the heart to get a heartbeat to me, but I've done that to humans myself so it comes from my perspective>. for my part I will miss evil Spike and his unpredictablity. As long as he wasn't with Buffy I liked him (but I think that is long over which will be Spike's great disappointment when he returns and it won't be over because of the AR but because Buffy truly has grown in what she looks for in a relationship)

[> [> [> [> Thank you! -- shygirl, 05:20:08 05/30/02 Thu

I think I understand your point of view better. Not sure I agree with all of it, but it is interesting and food for thought. I didn't see the Harvest... I'm kinda new to the Buffy world, but I think it is difficult to compare Angel and Spike. They were different kinds of humans and so were different kinds of vampires. Angel couldn't love Buffy without a soul because he was a pretty sorry human that probably was not a loving soul. Spike as William was a tenderhearted soul somewhat wimpy and he has tried very hard to distance himself from that. Now Buffy has destroyed the vampire and one wonders what he has left. I find it interesting that you don't like Spike with Buffy. Did you feel the same way about Angel? or is it that you identified better with Angel than with Spike. I don't see William/Spike as a man that other men would admire, but Angel/Angelus might be. Sorry it took long to answer this, but my computer at home often will not let me open these posts.
p.s. It did look like he started his heart now that you mention it... I go both ways on the issue, he could be a human again or an ensouled vampire with a chip... I can hardly wait to find out.

[> [> [> [> [> Who Buffy deserves -- Dochawk, 08:47:38 05/30/02 Thu

Angel was Buffy's great high school, passionate love. Not the adult love she is looking for. I think she needs a man who lets her be Buffy, doesn't try to change her. And I don't think he needs to be a fighter. I know alot of people say that because she is powerful she needs a man who won't fold during intimate moments. But, I don't think thats true. How Spike fits into Buffy's journey now I don;'t know, but I do think he will be sorely disappointed

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Who Buffy deserves -- shygirl, 10:36:28 05/30/02 Thu

How can he possibly be any more disappointed than he has already been? Just because he may now have a soul, or be human or whatever, that was one despondent, beaten vampire who visited Lurkey... maybe he just wants to end it. I've gone back and read some of the essays that cover his responses and he really doesn't expect or think that he has any chance with Buffy at all... not really. But like an alcoholic who cannot resist the booze, he reaches anyway. I don't how much more beaten down he can get...he on the bottom now... dust under her feet. If he comes back human, the vamps my kill him because he really betrayed the "side" so to speak. If he comes back as a chiped ensouled vampire or a variation of the above and doesn't tell anyone about the soul, he's still "at risk" for being dusted by the scoobies or the vamps.. he's really in no man's land now... Disowned by all, hated by most... What an awful place for anyone to be... perhaps if he comes back as human we will see the man suicide to match the vamp suicide.

I do believe however, that the whole show is about redemption with each character moving through their individual struggle to achieve that redemption.

[> Re: Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain (S6 spoilage/S7 spec) -- Dead Soul, 20:38:39 05/28/02 Tue

O'Cailleagh, I have been thinking exactly the same thing about the gift of the "soul" and the tokens/symbols in the Wizard of Oz, although not nearly as coherently. Thanks for putting it together for me.

Dead Soul

Exegy, a response regarding our human/monster discussion. -- Ixchel, 18:02:32 05/28/02 Tue

I didn't get to the board in time to respond to your last post, but I did want to so here it is:

Wonderful post. I believe we agree on a lot of points. I suppose where we may differ is that I perceive becoming a vampire and losing a soul (and perhaps other forms of demonization) as freeing and amplifying the negative aspect of an individual (and supressing or twisting the positive aspect). The Pylea episodes on AtS seem (to me) to support this idea. IMHO, it showed that the demon portion of a vampire is nonsentient, therefore the sentient (and personality) portion is from the human the vampire was (Darla's Law?).

So when Angelus killed Jenny he wasn't just a mindless monster, he had a plan and executed it. He was acting out of his own negative human emotions (anger at an attempt to resoul him, control him, a need to have power over Buffy and doing so by hurting her emotionally). When Angel leaves the lawyers to Darla and Drusilla, he is despairing, vengeful and angry (there is the control issue also, W&H manipulates him constantly), so he (presumably) ignores his soul. The action only seemed worse to me because I expected better of him (because he has a soul), though (I have to say) their constant harrassment would make _me_ crazy. So, to me, both actions are from the negative aspect of Angel (and not so different).

Excellent point regarding the soul as Spike's commitment to change. Also, I agree that the SR scene flows more logically from the previous events than a biting scene would have.

Again great post! I've very much enjoyed this discussion.


[> Thank you so much! This has been a great ongoing thread! -- Exegy, 20:03:15 05/28/02 Tue

I am so glad I came to this board! Where else can you get such educated discussion on a television show?

You know, I agree with a lot of your points, Ixchel. I think that both of our interpretations are valid; one can examine the issue from either angle. I love discussing this with you, because you have made me question what I really think of this show, and I have gained a greater appreciation of the show as a result. :)

Okay, so here's how I view things:

When I see Angelus killing Jenny, I see the demonic aspect in control. Yes, Angelus has a plan and he's executing it; his human knowledge is at work. The most negative aspects of his former life are coming to the front. But I don't see Angelus operating as a human. I think of him as a true monster, because he is totally denying his humanity (although drawing on his knowledge). He's acting as a true monster should, reacting against whatever humanity remains in him (and there must be precious little of it, for the Judge deems Angelus "pure").

When I see Spike, I see a vampire far more connected to his own humanity. The Judge says that Spike and Drusilla reek of humanity. They feel jealousy and affection in spades.

Angelus refuses to feel such emotions. After being infected with love for Buffy (the possession of IOHEFY), he nearly scrapes off his skin in an effort to cleanse himself of the memory of caring (the same way he tries to torture and destroy Buffy because she reminds him of the love he had for her as Angel). He's denying his humanity, becoming a monster in reaction to his father (as you say, a human motivation perverted). I don't think his actions resemble what a human would do. His demon is in control (if one wants to consider the parallel to alcoholism, he's totally inebriated and acting out of his mind, his worst impulses having taken control).

Spike acts far more out of his humanity. Maybe this is because of whom he's based on (William vs. Liam). And I'd say that idea has real merit. Maybe whatever remains of William allows the more human aspects to come forward. Either way, the end result is the same. Spike acts more like a man than Angelus (or Angel, in many ways--eating, smoking, human interests). And so I really see the human part acting in the bathroom scene. This is not what a demon does (biting, trying to destroy the world for fun). This is the most human part of Spike acting. His behavior in SR is springing from the same exact source as his behavior in The Gift and After Life. It's that same "human" Spike. And this is what makes the scene terrible for me. Because Spike isn't trying to act out of evil; he's acting out of his love for Buffy. And because of what he is (what he became as a vampire, the type of unlife he embraced), you get the scene in SR.

Spike gains a soul due to his desire to transform himself. He wants to break out of his rut; he wants to turn into someone whom Buffy can trust. This doesn't mean that the demon goes away. The demon is still with him. Spike still has to struggle with his vampire nature. But he has resolved to change for Buffy. We'll see how well he succeeds.

Souled!Angel certainly has had a lot of setbacks. His demon has emerged on more than one occasion (like falling off the wagon). One senses that Angel struggles with the demon (alcoholism) quite a bit, but he is not governed by it as Angel. When Angelus emerges, you know it.

But I think (and forgive me, I have missed a lot of AtS) that when he sacrifices the lawyers, he's acting as a more "sober" individual. He's a pissed off man here, more like Liam than Angelus. Not a nice guy (and maybe why Angelus was such a pure monster). But the demon is not in control; the man, the individual who was cursed with the sober knowledge of what he has done, is condemning humans to death--and he doesn't seem to care. Chilling. And the event reflects poorly on all the progress Angel has supposedly undergone. Maybe he really is no different than Liam (Angel says that it's the man in him that needs killing in Amends). And this is what horrifies me. That Angel has not grown since his Liam days. Angelus really could pop up any time, because in some ways Angel hasn't changed that much. Because in the beginning he didn't choose to have a soul; it was thrust upon him. And he spent 90+ years as a bum. Only the sight of Buffy (ah love, that ennobling factor) convinces him to do good. And then he wants to be a human, and he wants to be forgiven of his past. He does good for the reward. In Epiphany, he realizes that he wants to do good for good's sake (but this represents growth after the lawyer sccene, I believe). So I think that the soul gives Angel the sober clarity he needs in order to affect change in his life. His decisions as Angel are all his own; although he must struggle against the demon, it does not control him. The W&H deal is all his fault (not really ignoring his soul, because his soul--the sobriety--still affects him, IMO).

Spike's situation is different, because he's a different vampire based on a different human being. As I have said many times, he's acting as a human in SR, not like the monster Angelus. Yes, he's lost control--but he's lost control to human emotions. If he had lost control to the demon, he would have attempted to bite Buffy. Because that's what the unthinking demon would have done (Angelus thinks enough to torture, but all his human efforts are directed into monstrous channels; he's always acting as a vamp should, while Spike is acting like an out-of-control human).

Sorry if my reasoning has gotten kind of convoluted. I agree with you on many things, so it's rather hard for me to make distinctions here. I think we mostly disagree on what we believe to be "the worst thing." Some people think literal monsters are worse than figurative monsters (just a generalization). Our opinions may differ, but I think that we can both be right. BtVS leaves room for various interpretations (I do so love this show!)

Anyway, thanks for responding, and thanks for reading!

[> [> Spoilers for above. Sorry. -- Exegy, 20:04:44 05/28/02 Tue

[> [> Once again a great post, Exegy. It's been a pleasure. -- Ixchel, 00:53:12 05/29/02 Wed

This board _is_ wonderful, isn't it? There is just so much brilliant thought and insight contained here.

I believe that our disagreement is over a very fine distinction and I agree with many of your points as well.

You have some very good points regarding Angel. I suppose I see his actions (as Angelus) as based in his humanity, because humans are quite capable of doing the sorts of things he did. That the Judge declared him "pure" could be that he had (through will?) thoroughly supressed any positive emotions (called "humanity" by the Judge?) and was full of only negative emotions (perceived as "demonic"?). That he had some sort of emotions is clear (IMHO), as he seemed to want revenge on Buffy.

I very much agree that it makes it more terrible that the Spike of TG and AL is also the Spike of SR. There isn't some radical break between the two, though I do think that he was more unstable, emotionally, in SR than in, say, the relative calm of TG (where he knew his "place").

You make a very compelling argument and I really don't think our opinions are separated by much (I agree with a great deal of your post). And I definitely agree that BtVS and AtS leave room for different interpretations and that is what makes both shows so fascinating.


[> [> [> Fine distinctions. More on Angel/Angelus (Spoilers) -- Exegy, 13:23:36 05/29/02 Wed

I concur that Angelus acts out of the worst human impulses. The deliberate torture of his victims and the need to prove himself all spring from his background as Liam. As you say, it is his humanity perverted. The same goes for Spike (although we see that what is most human about Spike has been touched, whereas Angelus tries to become the true monster, tries to cleanse himself of all humanity).

I think that Angelus' attempt to destroy the world represents his final effort to divorce himself from humanity and become the ultimate monster. He doesn't want to live in the world, because he has no love for the world. He denies his love (he suppresses any positive human aspects). We see a similar process happening with Willow; she turns all her rage and grief outward, and as she draws upon the worst aspects of herself, she becomes increasingly dehumanized, more and more of a monster. Yet she's still Willow under all the black magick (more than Angelus is still Liam, for Liam doesn't know what's going on, just as Angel doesn't know at first what he does as Angelus). Willow knows what she's doing. She allows herself to be possessed by the black magicks. Only the love offered to her by Xander (and the countervailing influence of Giles' good magick) allows her to return to her true humanity.

So are Willow and Black Magick Willow one and the same? Yes and no. Willow chooses to be possessed by dark powers, and her own negative emotions drive her efforts as Darth Rosenberg. But she has lost control; the magick has transformed and dehumanized her. Even when the good magick touches her, she tries to deny the pain (the human emotions). She tries to end the world (like Angelus), a truly monstrous action. She's still driven by the most negative aspects of herself. Then Xander intervenes and reminds her of who she really is (the same Willow who broke a crayon and felt bad, the same great friend he has had all these years). And Willow shows that she is more human than monster by accepting the love Xander offers her (what Angelus, a real monster, could never do). She finally accepts the pain, and the black magick leaks out of her. She becomes fully human once more.

Angelus is more of a monster than Black Magick Willow because he cannot be touched by love. In his transformation as a vampire, he has frozen himself into an uncaring state. Only the soul gives Angel the ability (the necessary awareness) to change himself; he can feel love now, and that love can ennoble him and allow him to come to the realization that one should do good for good's sake.

With Spike the vampire, we see a being capable of love. He retains more of his humanity than Angelus does. He does not suppress his human feelings (although he denies some of his human weakness). And so I see more man than monster. And I think that a being who commits a crime out of love is worse than a monster who commits a crime in denial of love. Put another way, I think that the vampire Spike (even in his most frozen state) has more potential for caring than Angelus does; this means that he can attain greater heights of nobility (late Season 5, early Season 6) and greater depths (in SR he sinks to absolute nothing, having totally betrayed all his ideals). Angelus' goal is to become the perfect monster, and he remains firm to that ideal. The viewer can't be disappointed in him; he hasn't betrayed his professed nature.

But Spike's betrayed the very same love he's proclaimed all his years as a vampire. And for once he understands the limitations of his worldview, his notions of grand romance and consuming passion. He feels remorse for his actions; he cares. And he has the necessary awareness to desire change for himself, something only the souled Angel could experience. Spike's soul reflects his internal resolve to become a being Buffy can trust. Angel's soul reflects the clarity (the sobriety) his actions (okay, the Gypsies) have cursed him with. Angel feels remorse and undergoes change as a souled being, and he becomes more human as a result. Spike has this potential within him all along, but it takes a terrible event to get him to realize the need for transformation.

Oh, I agree with you that Spike is much more unstable in SR. He's definitely experiencing a violent mental breakdown. His driving vision of romance won't let Buffy go. He needs to possess her, to seek the end of sexual solace. And so he does something he doesn't believe he's capable of. He hurts the one he has promised to never harm. He betrays his pledge of love to her.

I think that the most horrible scenes are those in which beings with the deepest capacity for love (Spike, Angel, Willow) commit terrible crimes, crimes that you know they will regret one way or another, crimes that degrade their character. I feel so sorry for these characters. I am horrified for them as well as at them. I don't feel the same way about Angelus. Angelus doesn't feel regret or horror for his actions; Angel does. I feel sorry for Angel, not Angelus (even if I sometimes view Angelus and Angel as extensions of the same being).

As I have said, this does not detract from the horror of the actual crime. Angelus killing Jenny--still a terrible thing. But Angelus doesn't care. Only Angel cares about Angelus' actions (as from the POV of actually committing them). And while Angel professes not to care when he sacrifices the lawyers--you know that he will, in one form or other. The same with Willow's actions in the last few episodes. She hardens her heart and turns her negative energies outward and then inward, but then she opens herself to pain and caring again--and you just know this will be terrible for her as well as for everyone else.

I don't know, I guess I just feel that self-destruction is one of the most horrible things, because I see beings with great potential for noble actions committing the worst crimes, betraying their high ideals.

I just don't see Angelus as Angelus capable of noble deeds. Angel is the flip side of that particular coin. Angel is the one who can care and suffer, who can degrade himself by what he does (sacrificing the lawyers).

Thanks for reading again. Now I have to go check out that essay by Age (and avoid work once more,whee!)

[> [> [> [> Re: Fine distinctions. More on Angel/Angelus (Spoilers) - - Ixchel, 22:30:29 05/29/02 Wed

Wonderful post, I really agree with almost everything you say here. I suppose my only difference of opinion is that I believe that Angel and Angelus are the same person (Liam also, the difference is time and circumstance). Angelus is within Angel even now (and we have had flashes of "him") and Angel was within Angelus (if even more vigorously suppressed). To me the name Angelus is more of a convenience of reference than an acknowledgment of a separate entity. In this same way Willow and DarkWillow are the same person (and VampWillow too).

Again, great post.


[> [> [> [> [> Different aspects of the same being (Spoilers) -- Exegy, 09:48:44 05/30/02 Thu

I agree that Liam/Angel/Angelus are not entirely discrete entities (same with William/Spike and Willow/Evil!Willow). There is simply more of a contrast between Angel and Angelus, and I sometimes refer to them as separate creatures in order to avoid confusion (also, I want to acknowledge the more literal interpretation of events, e.g. Liam is now dead, the Angel-soul is floating in the ether). But, working in a little figurative interpretation, I see Angel and Angelus as transformations of the same being (with Liam as the root source). And this being has his own journey, with no one element completely divorced from the others.

I have compared Angel and Angelus to two sides of the same coin. When you look at Angel, you see the souled one aware and caring for his crimes (cursed with remorse for what he's done). You also see him struggling with the other side, the demon within. Angelus' behavior often seeps into Angel's actions (the torture of Linwood, certain other sadistic tendencies). But Angel has been forced into caring for what he's done, and if he sometimes operates like Angelus, he'll eventually come to regret it. It is the nature of his curse (his sobriety in light of his crimes). Now this doesn't mean that Angel can't cure himself of the curse and put aside his caring (he tries to do that in Season 2 of AtS), but he's still touched by human compassion. He eventually discovers that he wants to do good of his own volition (good is worth doing in and of itself, not just for any preordained reward).

Angelus doesn't want to do good. He cannot be touched by human compassion. In fact, his entire existence is a reaction against the human tendencies of the other side (the memories of Angel's love for Buffy, the weakness Liam's father makes him feel). He focuses on becoming the ultimate monster (by destroying the world). He fails in that instance, but he'll always be within Angel, waiting for his chance to prove himself.

Unless Angel can somehow come to terms with that other side. I think he'll have to, for otherwise there will always be the danger that Angelus can take over and wreak havoc. Maybe when Angel finally brings together both sides of himself, he'll become a human (reintegrating both of those aspects influenced by the human Liam into another human, this one having grown up quite a bit from the former individual). It's all the journey of the same being.

So yes, I do feel sorry for Angelus' actions because they affect the entire being. But I don't feel sorry for the part that doesn't care. I feel sorry for Angel, the part that does care, the side of the coin that has to take responsibility for his actions (like a sober individual having to take responsibility for what he does while drunk, and always having to struggle with his alcoholic tendencies).

William/Spike is a more complicated issue; the transformation of William into Spike differs from the transformation of Liam into Angelus (and Angelus into Angel). Spike clearly retains most of humanity; the sensitive and lovelorn William surfaces all the time under the Big Bad exterior. It's not as easy as saying here's one side of the coin and here's another. There really is more ambiguity involved (which is why I so love the Spike character). And so I think that Spike's choosing to get a soul will not change him as much as Angelus' being cursed with a soul. We see that Spike has the potential to care and desire to change within him all along (I just don't see that potential in Angelus, because Angelus denies all the positive aspects of the other side, Angel).

Once again, fascinating discussion. Thank you, Ixchel.

Does anyone else want to join in? We don't bite ;-)

[> [> [> [> [> [> Enjoying the discussion and butting in. -- Sophist, 10:46:04 05/30/02 Thu

I have compared Angel and Angelus to two sides of the same coin. When you look at Angel, you see the souled one aware and caring for his crimes (cursed with remorse for what he's done). You also see him struggling with the other side, the demon within. Angelus' behavior often seeps into Angel's actions (the torture of Linwood, certain other sadistic tendencies).

I'm inclined to make more of a distinction between Angelus/Angel. Partly that's a residual effect of S2/3; we were told to forgive Angel for the behavior of Angelus. I find that hard to do under your theory.

How, then, to account for actions which were clearly Angel's, such as the lawyer buffet? To me, that is Liam, not Angelus. I see Angel as brooding for 95 years in part because of Angelus, but in part because of Liam. Sometimes Liam comes out and Angel feels guilty.

Having said all this, I clearly want TVFKAS to be "Spike" in some meaningful sense, which is only possible if you are right. But if you are right, how do we forgive Angel so easily?

We're dealing with metaphor here. The vampiric side of Angel operates both as a demon possession (within the literal rules of the Buffyverse) and as a metaphor for the dark side we all presumably have. If we see the vampire as possessing the human, then we can forgive the human. If the human loses control and acts on his/her darker impulses, forgiveness may come, but so would condemnation and punishment. Which POV are we to adopt? Can we switch arbitrarily between them?

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> More butting in-defining a soul -- Arethusa, 12:42:52 05/30/02 Thu

I, too draw a sharp line of distinction between Angel and Angelus; they are different souls, one human and one demon, sharing the same memories and predelictions. (Giles said "He [the first vampire]was a human form possessed -- infected -- by the Demon's soul." (The Harvest) Angel *is* Liam, but there are two great influences on him that make him more than Liam was: he is much older and has had far more life experiences, and the demon remains inside of him, separate and subordinate. The demon isn't Angel; it just sublets from him. But Angel feels guilty for the demon's acts because he shares memories and emotions with the demon, and knows that the demon's acts were based on Liam's hatreds and fears. The demon has also infected Liam with such emotions as blood-lust and violent tendencies. Angel can't easily dismiss his feelings of guilt because he still feels what the vampire feels; he can't dismiss his actions as being totally committed by the demon because they are motivated by Liam's personality.

So demon's "soul" is not a soul at all; it's more like a parasite or infection than possession. (Think "Spiderman,"* where the spider's DNA replaced/grafted onto Peter Parker's DNA.) In "I've Got You Under My Skin" the boy is possessed by a demon with a distinct personality, which is submerged under the boy's personality. They are two totally separate entities. That's not what happens to vampires, as we know. Instead, the human developes new physical characteristics and the human soul leaves the body, while the demon remains. If personality and memories remain with the body even when the soul leaves, that would explain why the new vampire doesn't act like a separate demon-it acts like an evil version of the human.
This, of course, contradicts the Christian idea of one's soul, with personality and memories attached, ascending and living forever in heaven (or not). Therefore, in the Wedonverse when the body dies the memories and personality of the person would die with it. There would be no heaven or hell dimensions, because the "essence" of a person doesn't leave the body when the body dies and the soul leaves. (The "soul" would be an instinctual desire to do good, and little else.) And I've just argued myself into a corner!
Please give me feedback, ya'll, so I can identify the flaws in my logic. Brain's a bit rusty.

*I accidently typed "Spikederman" at first!

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Great post, Exegy. And excellent question, Sophist. -- Ixchel, 20:45:17 05/30/02 Thu

I'm not sure I have a good answer, though. By forgiving do you mean liking and caring about the character again after he/she has lost control to his/her negative aspect (or stumbled onto it, or even embraced it)?

IMHO, Liam/Angelus/Angel are the same entity. An entity in which being a vampire amplifies the negative, Angelus, aspect, having a soul enables the expression and dominance of the positive, Angel, aspect, and the raw material of personality was supplied by the Liam aspect. The fact that Angel wants and tries to be better (and mostly succeeds) is enough for me. He can't ever make full reparations for what he's done, that's impossible. Even if he saves more people than he ever killed, it doesn't repay the dead ones for their lost lives. However, that he cares and makes the effort to help others is worthwhile and important. It makes him a character that I have hope for and feel for when he falters (which, when he does, makes me cringe, but I do expect it to a certain extent). Regarding forgiving him after BtVS S2, it could be argued that, through his suffering in the hell dimension, he was punished for Jenny (though punishment, as an end to itself, doesn't really serve a purpose, IMHO). I believe the "lawyer buffet" (amusing description, BTW) was Angel at a weak point succumbing to his negative aspect (Angelus). When Drusilla tentatively calls him "daddy" she must have seen something of the Angelus she knew.

In a similar way, I believe DarkWillow is the negative aspect of Willow. She knew that the magic brings out this aspect, but she chose (in her grief and rage) to use it anyway. And, it seemed to me, she made a further choice right before she flayed Warren (she turned toward Buffy and then decided). But I still have hope for Willow. I don't believe that her actions (as horrible as they were) negate all the positive things she has done. Of course, any past or future "good" actions don't erase what she did as DarkWillow, either. I suppose I'm invested in the character and I can accept her even though I don't believe in a true divide between Willow and DarkWillow.

Perhaps, my opinions regarding these two (and Spike) are a reflection of the fact that I still like and care about Faith. She chose to free her negative aspect and didn't have the "excuse" of a soul-absence or magic-overload (though she did have severe emotional problems). So there is no confusion about her and possession. But we were shown the result of her choice, the self- loathing and despair. And that she, later, accepted prison and human law, means a great deal. Not because she is "paying" (how can a life really be "paid" for?), but because each day she _chooses_ to remain in prison (I doubt even maximum security prison could hold a Slayer for very long if she didn't want to be held). She _wants_ to be better and believes this is the path to being so.

Maybe the audience isn't meant to forgive the characters easily when they surrender to their negative aspects? Maybe it should be difficult?

So, no answers, only vague opinions to be found here. I definitely agree that this idea (that these negative aspects come from within and are only enhanced or enabled from without) presents a problem for the audience in accepting the characters.

Again, wonderful posts.


[> [> [> [> [> [> More thoughts -- Sophist, 12:41:09 05/30/02 Thu

Two quick points to add:

1. Obviously, no being could live for 122 years and behave like Spike did without having some impact on the personality of William. There will be Spike; the question is, how much?

2. The writers are clearly trying to have it both ways. Angel hardly needed to brood for 95 years about Liam (who had only lived 20 or so). In that case, he must have been brooding about Angelus. But if he felt that guilty about Angelus's crimes, why did he (and Buffy) expect anyone to treat him differently? Then again, maybe Liam was that bad (Amends). Talking myself into a circle now.............

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: More thoughts (Spoilers) -- LittleBit, 13:34:14 05/30/02 Thu

I think Angel did brood for 95 years about Angelus, and his guilt from Angelus' crimes. He was supposed to. One of the key differences for Angel is that his soul cam with a 'gift with purchase' of a curse to assure he woulld never stop feeling the guilt and torture. Then again, I think Liam might have turned out to be a world-class brooder himself if he'd had the time, so Angel may have been predisposed to it.

I also believe that initially Angel didn't expect anyone to treat him differently. Which was why he was 'cryptic guy' and just gave information to help Buffy. It wasn't until he helped her escape the Three that we, and she, began to learn more about him. Buffy, by then, was at least inclined to accept that he had helped her, and of course, saved her from Darla. Giles was intrigued by the possibility of a vampire with a soul and the potential for doing good. Xander never accepted Angel except as a vampire.

It seems to me that one of the differences between William/Spike and Liam/Angelus is that the basic character of William was not so very similar to the vampire while Liam wasn't so far off. So Angelus was far less tempered by what Liam had been than Spike is by William.
It will be quite intriguing to see what the addition of a souls sans curse is like in Spike's cased compared to the restoration of Angel's soul by the gypsy curse.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> And speaking of culpability... -- redcat, 15:29:36 05/30/02 Thu

Of course Liam was guilty. So was William. They both consented to become vampires. Unless I'm reading the canon wrong, a person becomes a vampire if and
only if two minimal conditions occur: a vampire drinks their blood and they drink the vampire's blood. (I posted a bit about this in a different thread on the
notion of possession, above). With the important exception of Drusilla*1, we are either shown or told about that moment of consent for every major vampire
character in the Buffyverse. I think that makes the notion of consent pretty much a central issue, at least at the structural- myth level of the story. In some
fundamental way, humans *agree* to be vamped. Many may read this as sitting at right angles to Giles’ comment from The Harvest that a demon “infected” a
human to make the first vampire, with the implication that it was done against the human’s will and that vampirism in something that is done TO humans, not
with them. However, what the show has actually SHOWN us, in every major case, is clear and direct evidence of the moment of consent. This is not the first
time inconsistency has disrupted the canon, nor will it be the last, but I think that ambiguity is part of the power of the vampire symbol. Because of this, I
hesitate to rely too much on a single speech, even one from a usually reliable source (Giles), when we have so many examples contradicting the assumption of
human innocence. It seems to me that in drawing a structural chain running from Liam through Angelus to Angel, the moment of Liam’s consent is the first
critical link. Similarly, regardless of how little he may have understood about what would happen to him in that alley in 1880, even our dear, sweet, poetic
William consented to being "saved... from mediocrity." He chose what was shining and effulgent over what was mortal and painful, just as Liam chose to escape
his world of failure by exchanging it for one of adventure and power. The crimes of Spike and Angelus began with the consent of William and Liam.

*1: For the sake of argument, I will agree that it is possible that a human, drained almost to death, might be tricked or forced into drinking the blood of the
vampire who is draining her/him, but we have no evidence of that for any major vampire character except Drusilla. I believe that she may be the single exception
to the Rule of Consent in the Buffyverse, because one may perhaps argue that she had no choice in the matter of her turning. Obviously, she was resistant to the
idea of serving evil and had decided to dedicate her life to God. Instead of allowing her to take her vows as a nun, Angelus drove her insane and then vamped
her. In the strictest legal sense, Drusilla was not able to make a rational decision and therefore cannot be held responsible for the consequences of that decision.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Informed consent -- LittleBit, 15:47:22 05/30/02 Thu

But doesn't consent require that the one who is consenting be informed regarding that to which they are giving consent? In both Liam's and William's cases I don't think either had any clue what the consequences of their actions would be.

Liam was told he would be shown places and things he'd only dreamed of seeing. He didn't even see Darla's vamp-face before she bit him and then pressed him to the cut she made at her bosom. Given his history with, ah, ladies of the night, he may have just thought this an interesting new perversion.

William was approached by Drusilla who 'saw' in him the creativity, heart and imagination he so desperately wanterd someone to see. Drusilla's ability to entrance her victims should also be taken into account. When she offers him the life and understanding he craves, certainly he says he wants it. He is confused by her vamp-face but it dsoesn't cause him to flee; again I believe he was under Drusilla's influence. We do see him allowing Drusilla to bite him [Ow! Ow!! OW!!], but don't actually see the moment when he drinks from her.

So while I would agree that both Liam and William consent to what they perceive as being offered to them, I don't think either made an informed choiced to become vampires.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: And speaking of culpability... -- yabyumpan, 16:09:01 05/30/02 Thu

"I think that makes the notion of consent pretty much a central issue, at least at the structural-myth level of the story. In some fundamental way, humans *agree* to be vamped."

From Reunion AtS when Darla got re-vamped by Dru
Angel: "I should have stopped them. They made her drink."
Wesley: "Angel?"
Angel: "She didn't want to. You think - that you can resist, but then it's-it's-it's too late."

I think they "agree" to drink blood and be vamped in the same way that a person dying of thirst will "agree" to drink water. I see it more as a primal survival need. They have been drained of blood there for blood is what they need to "stay alive".

As for the question of whether the re-souled vamp is responsable for their previous actions, I would say yes. I don't see Angel and Angelus as 2 seperate entities. I think the soul restains the demon but I believe that the demon is still fully present.
I see Angel as a reformed killer (they're out there, I've met a few). The people I have met (I used to work in probation) I felt were deserving of my respect. Not for what they were or did but because they were willing to take responsability for their actions and were trying their hardest to change and in some way make up for their past. I never met any who thought they could or should be forgiven, but they were trying to make their future a good one and to help others heading along the same path. I think this was Angel's "epiphany", no longer seeking redemption but just trying to do good and help others. "Saving Souls". Darla also reached this point in "lullaby" although never got into the saving souls bit due to staking herself.

Darla: "No? It's really not, is it? We did so many terrible things together. So much destruction, so much - pain. - We can't make up for any of it. You know that, don't you."

Angel after a beat: "Yeah."

For me it's not about forgivness but about accepting the person/vampire that they are now and acknowledging the struggle it's taken them to get to that point.
One of the reasons I find the character of Angel so compelling is precisely because he is still Angelus but with a soul and the constant struggle he has to keep his demon side in check.

quotes care of psyche's site

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> It's sometimes hard to reconcile the figurative and literal POVs -- Exegy, 14:35:03 05/30/02 Thu

You usually end up talking yourself into a circle!

Thanks for the comments, Sophist. You always bring up good points.

Hmmm, I think that the various aspects (Liam, Angel, Angelus) affect each other. Even if one follows a totally literal interpretation, one must admit that Liam's memories and personality inform the vampire Angelus, just as the memories of Liam and Angelus haunt Angel (who has to deal with the fact that the man in him is not that nice of a guy, plus all the horrendous crimes he committed in a "possessed" state). If one takes a more figurative approach (as I am inclined to do, I admit), one may see Liam/Angel/Angelus as transformations of the same being (Liam the no-good reprobate embraces the unlife of a vampire in a parallel to alcoholism, until the ramifications of his actions strike home in the form of a "curse" that grants him sober awareness of his crimes).

Either way, Angel mopes about in misery for 90+ years (exaggeration of the timeline for the figurative approach). I like what LittleBit has to say about Angel's cryptic and often cowardly behavior. It's not until Buffy accepts Angel that he starts up with the heroics (love ennobles him, makes him want to be a better creature). This doesn't negate all the terrible crimes he's committed. That's the whole point of the curse, that Angel will always suffer for his past deeds; they can't just be swept under the rug, no matter how much good he does. He has to live with the consequences of his actions (and sometimes what he's done comes back to bite him, as with Holtz).

Aaarggh!! This post will have to be left truncated. I need to go to work. If I have time when I get back, I will formulate a more complete response. Thanks Sophist, Arethusa, and LittleBit!

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