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A Question on Home (spoilers for Angel up to present) -- Alison, 16:00:38 05/09/03 Fri

(If this has been covered in earlier posts--I haven't been able to keep up bc of school-- just laugh at me, and refer me to them)
Now that the AI gang has no memory of Connor, what exactly caused the rift between them and Wes in S3? How did Wes and Lilah get involved? When you think about it, so much of the character developement for Wes, Fred, Gunn and Lilah was a direct result of Wes' "betrayl"...this change alters relationships far more than Dawn's apperance in S5, as none of the S5 relationships HAPPENED as a result of her creation. So what is the status of their relationships now? theories, anyone?

[> Well...(Potential Spoilers A:TS S5) -- Rook, 16:24:29 05/09/03 Fri

According to what I've read, ME is going to try to make Angel more accessible to new viewers in S5, and the 2 ways they've stated they plan to do this are 1) mores stand-alone episodes and 2) Simplify the characters relationships so new viewers don't have all the backstory to catch up on.

At least that's my interpretation of the article at:

[> [> However, thankfully... -- Rob, 16:28:14 05/09/03 Fri

...there will still be story arcs.


[> Re: A Question on Home (spoilers for Angel up to present) -- Wizard, 16:27:14 05/09/03 Fri

These questions have been asked, but no one will laugh at you, because the answer is- we don't know. If there is an S5, and I hope there is, then we will get our answers there. There are two main theories- either everything will be rewritten so that they have reasons for their actions that don't involve Connor, or that they will be right back where they were, relationshipwise, before Darla re-entered their lives.

[> [> Re: A Question on Home (spoilers for Angel up to present) -- Invisible Green, 18:33:53 05/09/03 Fri

Hi! I'm an occasional lurker, and this is my first post on this board....

But what I expect is that everything will remain the same, but the characters may remember different reasons for events. Otherwise, it would get much too confusing. : )

[> [> [> Re: A Question on Home (spoilers for Angel up to present) -- Alison, 20:40:03 05/09/03 Fri THATS ever stopped ME before.

Angel season finale -- Julie, 18:29:41 05/09/03 Fri

How did they change the memory of Connor, I had a friend tape the episode because I was on a plane and they missed some of it, I was wondering if I missed some of it, or if they really didn't explain that whole deal... and if Angel is going to be in charge of W&H wouldn't he know everything that is going to be happening there?

Chosen -- Jenny, 20:00:23 05/09/03 Fri

Anyone know if the final btvs will be 2 hours or just one? I can't imagine one hour being enough to finish things. Maybe I'm being hopeful because I don't want it to end. Sigh

[> One -- Tchaikovsky, 01:46:14 05/10/03 Sat

Don't doubt the Joss.


[> There is suppose to be only one -- luvthistle1, 01:48:39 05/10/03 Sat

....the highlander....uh...hour finale. But I believe we will actually get two. For the last seven years, Joss has always wrote the "finale", and we have always recieve "TWO HOURS". so, this is the "final finale", why wouldn't he go out with a bang. I think we will recieve two hours as always, because there is still the matter of "Andrew's video tape", and I believe that will some how tie into the finale.

[> [> Doubt 2 hours for CA because they already announced some "Model reality show" follows. Bleech! -- Briar Rose (hating "reality" tv w/ passion.), 02:01:18 05/10/03 Sat

Masq, your site is mentioned in "Bite Me!" -- Scroll, who's grinning like mad, 20:04:36 05/09/03 Fri

Went shopping yesterday and bought the new "Bite Me!", revised to include up to Season 6 and the first three seasons of Angel. There's a section listing all the Buffy and Angel web sites worth visiting on the net, and under Slaying Academia, there we are! Well, there Masq is, but y'know, I wanna bask in her reflected glory :)

p. 145

Slaying Academia [blah, blah, blah]

All Things Philosophical on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel: The Series
Calling itself "Your complete compendium to all things mystical, good, and evil in the Buffyverse," this is an excellent site in the same vein as "Slayage," but with more discussion of the individual episodes and fewer academic theses. If you click on "Philosophies Represented," you'll get a season-by-season rundown of the occurrences of such philosophies as existentialism, feminism, dualism, relativism, and a bunch of other "isms." I love this site.

"Bite Me!" is an unofficial guide to Buffy, by Nikki Stafford.

[> Well, hey, and we like people named Nikki, now don't we? ... :-) -- OnM, who certainly does., 21:02:31 05/09/03 Fri

[> Nikki scratches my back, I scratch hers -- Masq, 23:02:35 05/09/03 Fri

There's a big honkin' ad for her book on my homepage:

[> [> Huh, I never even noticed! -- Scroll, 23:53:56 05/09/03 Fri

Or rather, I see the ad every time I enter through the main page, but it never registered with me when I saw the book in the store. Maybe it registered subconsciously and led to me picking the book up in the first place. Back-scratching aside, this is another feather in your cap, Masq. Two in a week, you're on a roll!

[> That's how I heard about it -- Ray, 04:37:56 05/10/03 Sat

I got this book in Demember and decided to check out this site (excellent btw).
It's a pretty good book.

[> [> Thanks! -- Masq, 09:44:03 05/10/03 Sat

Midnight Blue: The Five Sexiest Moments in Buffy History -- cjl (your late-night call-in host), 00:13:57 05/10/03 Sat

OK, took a nap after work so I could stay up and catch the penultimate episode of The Prisoner (airs 1:00 a.m. here in NYC)--and now I'm wide awake. I thought I could use the time to work on my latest pseudo-scholarly essay, or maybe even the play I'm supposedly writing for a friend of mine....

Nah. I'd rather talk about sex.

Even since HonorH's essay on couples in "Touched" yesterday, I've been thinking about what I find "sexy" on BtVS. To my amazement, the more gratuitous, steamy clinches between couples--same sex, opposite sex, opposite species, whatever--don't do it for me. The moments I find "electric" are moments of connection--where personality and sensuality combine to set off sparks of pure soulfire. Sometimes, all it takes is a touch. (Sometimes the two parties don't even have to be in the same room!) In the list below, you'll find my five "sexiest" moments in the history of Buffy, and not one of them involves nakedness.

[OK, there IS one. But you have to remember who's writing this essay....]

5. THE BASEMENT TAPES. When Faith goes down to the basement in "Dirty Girls," she reconnects with Spike for the first time since "Who Are You," and immediately recommences with the dirty talk. This time, though, Spike knows who he's talking to--and that makes all the difference. Both Faith and Spike are at ease with their bodies and their sexuality, and the brief, two-minute conversation steams up the screen. Why oh why did Buffy have to come home from work? (Runner-up: the aforementioned scene from "Who Are You." Shows SMG can turn up the steam when she wants to.)

4. A COKE AND A SMILE. When shy Wiccan Tara MacClay races through her campus dormitory to escape the hideous Gentlemen in "Hush," she unexpectedly finds a kindred spirit in Willow. The scene where they clasp hands and propel the soda machine to block the door is one of the most powerfully sensual moments in BtVS history. Joss and Co. would try to duplicate it at various points during the next two years, but for me, nothing quite stands up to the original: fear, power and passion together in a single touch.

3. YOUR MOTHER SHOULD KNOW. Nothing brings a smile to my face faster than watching Anthony Stewart Head and Kristine Sutherland stroll through Sunnydale in "Band Candy." For the most of the series, Joyce and Giles are stuck in their stuffy, responsible adult roles, and their bewitchment here is something of a liberation. Watching their inner teenagers and their libidos run wild is very appealing for somebody who left his teenage years behind him a long time ago. That Ripper and Teen Joyce resemble Spike and Buffy is just icing on the cake. (Runner-up: Xander and Joyce in "Restless." The silk nightgown. You know what I'm talking about.)

2. SEDUCTION OF THE NOT-SO-INNOCENT. I can't say I completely understand why I'm so crazy about Anya's seduction of Xander in "Harsh Light of Day." On the surface it seems such a blatant geek boy fantasy (gorgeous babe corners geek boy in his parents' basement, disrobes and demands sex) that I'm almost ashamed to admit I like it this much. But Xander and Anya never lose their specificity as characters in this scene, and their mutual vulnerability as well as their mutual attraction give a potential cliche touches of humor and humanity. Nic and Emma do funny/sexy better than anybody else on the show, and their first sexual encounter sets the tone for the Xanya relationship to this day.

1. CRYPT KEEPER. Got to admit, this one surprises even me. After resisting the B/S vibe in Something Blue, OMWF, Tabula Rasa, and Smashed, ME gets me into the groove with a scene in which Buffy and Spike don't even touch. Everything in the "crypt door" scene works: the music, the lighting, direction, and especially the acting--Spike and Buffy irresistably drawn to the door, separated by their natures, but bonded in a way that's beyond thought, beyond words. A pure gothic romance moment, worthy of a Bronte.

In other categories:

The Marti Noxon "That's Not Sexy, That's Just Sick!" Award goes to...

Marti Noxon (duh) for the VampWillow/Angel "playing with the puppy" scene in "The Wish." Deeply disturbing, and yet (like VampXander) I couldn't look away.

Sexiest moments in AtS?

1-5. Wes and Lilah. (JMO, of course.)

What's your opinion? Which moments on BtVS stir up your inner fantasies?

The lines are open.

[> I can't argue with any of these -- tomfool, 00:37:45 05/10/03 Sat

Great list. All good choices made stronger by their subtlety. But I have to add two favorites that are a bit more blatant.

The end of Smashed totally floored me and is still the most erotic thing I've ever seen on film. Maybe it was so affecting because I hadn't been watching the show for very long when I saw it so it surprised me. Don't know. It just worked.

The other seduction in Harsh Light of Day was also very well done. When Parker charmed his way into Buffy's . . . life, I totally bought it and thought they were going to give her a happy (I should have known better). Everything about this sequence is perfect - writing, acting, music (Biff Naked - Lucky), direction, editing. Also a bonus: when Parker asks Buffy if she ever dated Spike, she laughs violently. I think it's Buffy's (SMGs) Best Laugh Ever in the series.

[> Re: Midnight Blue: The Five Sexiest Moments in Buffy History -- Sophist, 08:55:46 05/10/03 Sat

Sex is much more interesting than re-hashing Buffy's generalship or LMPTM. Here are my top 4:

1. Smashed. I agree with tomfool on this scene. IMHO, you have go back to Hollywood under the Code to find anything comparable. The fact that both actors are overdressed enough to enter the Vatican in winter makes the scene even more remarkable.

2. GD2: "Drink. Me."

3. NMR: "I'm going to make it up to you. Right now."

4. OMWF: The look on AH's face, the visual and musical puns. I loved it.

I can't remember a fifth which stands out like these do.

[> [> Re: Midnight Blue: The Five Sexiest Moments in Buffy History -- Kate, 10:14:37 05/10/03 Sat

Ditto-ing all of cjl's choices. So good!! I'm likin' this topic.

1. Have to put the end scene of "Smashed" on my list too. Normally I'm against graituitous, over the top sex scenes in movies or television as well, but this one was just stunning. First off, not being spoiled, never saw it coming. I think my mouth hung open for like an hour after the episode aired. Plus, just the way the whole moment was shot - fully clothed, the expression on Buffy and Spike's faces, the music. The whole thing was one of the most erotic moments I'd ever seen on tv or in the movies.

2. Xander in "The Pack." - Two words: The Walk!! ;)

3. Willow at the end of "Halloween" when she decides to shuck the ghost costume and strut her stuff. She looked fabulous in the cute crop top and black mini-skirt. Plus, the reaction Oz gives her when she walks past his van is super sexy.

4. The "stones" arguement between Spike and Buffy in "Something Blue." During S4 those two were at their sexiest when arguing and that is my absolute favorite one. Runner up would be the bathtub scene earlier in the ep when Buffy was teasing Spike with her neck. Humor is always sexy.

5. Cliches or not, this scene is d*mn sexy and fun - Buffy and Faith at the Bronze in "Bad Girls." I loved how they had a plethora of boys flocking around them and they didn't even give them the time of day. It was a great sexual empowerment moment before things went downhill.

[> Re: Midnight Blue: The Five Sexiest Moments in Buffy History -- s'kat, 09:15:20 05/10/03 Sat

Agree with Sophist's comment below - far more interesting topic.

My top 5? Tend to agree with cjl and Sophist - it's a combo of theirs:

5. Spike/Faith scene in Dirty Girls with Who Are You scene between SMG(playing Faith) and Spike.

4. The Coke Machine moment between Willow and Tara

3. Xander's speech to Anya in Into The Woods - yes I'm a sap, I admit it. With a close runner up being when Angelus is sitting next Buffy on her bed in Passion, creepy yes, but sexy too.

2. the Spike/Buffy scene in Smashed where they are fully clothed in the abandoned house. That made my jaw drop and caused me to go obessively on line. Without that scene, not sure I would have.

1. Crypt Door scene. Although it does lose a little heat on the tenth viewing.

[> Re: Midnight Blue: The Five Sexiest Moments in Buffy History -- LadyStarlight, 09:26:20 05/10/03 Sat

I agree with most of those -- but want to add in the last scene from OMWF -- not the kissing, but the looking. We know something's going to happen, they know something's going to happen -- I melt everytime.

[> [> LS, sophist, s'kat--good ones! Nos. 6-10 ahead.... -- cjl, 09:47:32 05/10/03 Sat

Can't believe I left these out:

6. B/A "burning" kiss at the end of "Angel" (BtVS S1).
7. Faith's "nekkid slaying" story in "Faith, Hope and Trick."
8. Buffy tortures Angel and Xander with her sexy dancing (WSWB).
9. Emma in red lingerie (OMWF).
10. Spike and Buffy in "Smashed."

The Tracey Forbes Memorial "Intercourse Doesn't Necessarily Equal Sexy" Award goes to...

Buffy and Riley in "Where the Wild Things Are." Yep--like wathcing gorillas mate on the Discovery Channel. (Runner up: Willow/Kennedy in "Touched.")

[> [> [> Re: LS, sophist, s'kat--good ones! Nos. 6-10 ahead.... -- Sophist, 11:49:56 05/10/03 Sat

Duh! Can't believe I forgot the kiss at the end of Angel. That's definitely no. 5 on my list.

If I have to have more than 5, I'd add the moving soda machine in Hush, the floating rose spell in WAY, and both B/S and W/K in Touched. My tastes are nothing if not catholic. Heh heh.

[> [> [> [> Gaaack. Not floating rose, floating O. -- Sophist, 08:02:48 05/11/03 Sun

[> Re: Midnight Blue: The Five Sexiest Moments in Buffy History -- Celebaelin, 10:31:14 05/10/03 Sat

There is usually a let down prior to the exchange of bodily fluids in my choices, I wonder if that says anything about me other than that it is better to travel than to arrive (obvious pun omitted). I mainly agree with Botitas, and the Band Candy moment definitely makes my list, with so many sexy moments to choose from (including vamp. tension and eroticism) it's difficult to narrow things down but these were certainly the first to occur to me.

1 "Who are you" where Buffy/Faith tells Spike; "I could ride you at a gallop till your legs buckled and your eyes rolled up; I've got muscles you've never even dreamed of, I could squeeze you till you popped like warm champange and you'd beg me to hurt you just a little bit more, and you know why I don't?...Because it's wrong.

Define wrong.

2 "When She Was Bad" Buffy's dance with Xander when she returns from L.A.

Let's all just take a moment.

3 "Consequences" where Faith throws Xander on the bed and tells him that she can do whatever she wants to him and that he probably wishes she would. Of course, she chooses to strangle him.

Was it something I said or are you just a big fan of anoxic reaction.

4 "Band Candy" where the flirting and posturing between Ripper and teen Joyce is so full of suppressed energy, and Ripper even turns out to be way cooler than you'd imagine, not just a deranged dork playing with the occult. How surprised was I the he and Joyce shared a perpendicular moment? Not at all.

Yeah, I've been around.

and one of my own

5 "The Harsh Light of Day" Man of stone Xander, the Anya-Xander conversation when she says "Okay. How?" For me any doubts about demon origins and any element of resolve would have packed their bags and left for a monastery. The line should have been something like "Well, I can show you how it starts." rather than "I don't know. It just - happens." I'm thinking 'for chrissakes man, kiss the girl'. The next X/A scene still works if you want the fantasy, in fact if anything it's a lot more likely.

Now this I could get used to.

[> [> Riley anyone? -- Celebaelin, 17:57:32 05/10/03 Sat

"Where the Wild Things Are" Not only is there the B/R (at last Riley warrants a mention, and what a mention) consumed by passion poltergeist event there's also the A/X conversation in the ice cream truck, especially

ANYA: (sighs. Accusingly) You don't find me attractive any more.
XANDER: What are you talking about? I think you're gorgeous.
ANYA: Oh, really? Well then, why didn't we have sex last night?
XANDER: (looks up) Is that what this is about? We've gone other nights without sex.
ANYA: (angry) I know. Twice! I can't believe we're breaking up.


[> Where's Bad Girls and When she was Bad -- lunasea, 10:53:37 05/10/03 Sat

Bad Girls

Just the editing alone was hot. From the moment Faith drew that heart on the door to the moment Buffy dragged Faith off the dance floor with Faith mouthing "Call Me" it was pure energy. Faith and dancing. It doesn't get any sexier than that.

Faith convinces Buffy to take a walk on the wild side with such homoerotic imagery the vamps should have just burst into flames from being near them. The way Buffy and Faith burst into that nest *I* wanted to jump them both. Then they cut with pounding music to them dancing.

The first time we saw Faith she was dancing. The eroticism of dancing is very important to her character, and for good reason. Eliza makes video vixens look like choir girls. When else do we get to see Buffy dance like that? Faith and Buffy. Again with the wanting to jump them. The way they interacted both with the guys and each other. Nothing on the show has been such raw sexuality.

Then Buffy jumps Angel. That was great. As the shooting script reads "And WHOMP! Buffy comes flying into frame, jumping on Angel and wrapping herself around him." We've (at least I had) been wanting them to get a bit more physical, without crossing the line. It contrasted so wonderfully with how the episode began. Buffy as the siren. I loved every minute of it.

Then Buffy has to drag Faith off the dance floor. It made me hope that they were going to find somewhere semi-private where they could explore each other.

When She Was Bad

Poor Xander. To be used like that. First we get the sexual tension between Angel who has upset Buffy and "that bothers me more than I'd like." Buffy'll show him how much he'd like. Xander has been puppy-dogging after Buffy, so why not give the two men in her life something to see. The almost kiss was almost hotter than any kiss actually shown.

We have a very energetic Buffy (and Faith) and a very sultry Buffy. Both are hot and deserve to be on the list.

For my Champion and Hero, the winner would have go to the often denigrated and always underrated episode
Bad Eggs

Go Marti! The flow was amazing. First the set up. Willow: And Angel's helping you, right? Buffy: He does what he can. Cut to another Buffy and Angel make-out session, in the graveyard, as usual. Make-out sessions are sexier when they are in a graveyard (I am as twisted as Marti, if you didn't know). Angel offers to hunt so Buffy can go home. Nothing is sexier than a guy like that (well Faith dancing, but that is a different kind of sexy). Nice talk about the future revealing some depth and sensitivity. Angel is getting hotter by the episode. Then we get what makes me melt every times:

Buffy: Angel, when I look into the future, a-a... all I see is you! All I want is you.

Angel: I know the feeling.

Instead of the lust that was being displayed earlier (which is great too), their kiss is now one of those Buffy/Angel ones that can only be described and a Buffy/Angel kiss.

This is wonderfully redone and reversed when Angel comes back in


How twisted am I that one of my sexiest moments is in a show about a funeral, but hey Marti wrote it.

The tenderness that he shows her hasn't been matched in any scene, IMNSHO. He is comforting in word and the way he holds her. One of the top 5 Buffy pep talks. When he says, "I can stay in town. As long as you want me." I wanted him to so badly. I really became Buffy in that scene. The feeling of longing and neediness was that intense. No wonder they had to kiss.

"Raw and vulnerable, Buffy looks at him - wanting to believe it. Wanting him closer still. She leans forward and kisses him. He responds gently - meaning to comfort, but the intensity builds quickly, the desire bubbling just under the surface. Buffy would like nothing better to forget herself with him - and he feels it powerfully. They break away from each other, breathing hard." (shooting script)

They end with cuddling together under that tree. Buffy burrowing into Angel and "Angel closes his arms even tighter around her. They are both pained and comforted by the powerful bond between them."

This time I do cry, a lot. Ben was a good edit. Gave me a chance to recover myself. This also ranks as one of my top 5 sad moments.

[> [> When She Was Bad! A truly great moment in the show... -- Random, 18:14:56 05/10/03 Sat

Not particularly interested in naming sexiest moments, but I do want to come out in support of this one. Buffy's dance with Xander...that music...the visceral tension...the palpable eroticism....Buffy's dance with Xander stands as one of the most vivid, powerful moments of any episode. Everything came together in this was brilliant. The emotional resonances strummed through it. Xander caught in a surreal moment, Willow and Angel and Cordelia looking on, and then that final emotional gutwrench that Buffy delivers -- this was one of the reasons I truly fell in love with the show. The first season, yeah, great, wanna keep watching. But WSWB ensured that I would still be here 5 years later. Where I found Smashed and WTWTA and such moments to be distasteful and lacking in artistry or any definable sexual virtues beyond the rather heavy-handed metaphors, this early episode was an example of the charge that ME could deliver with its scripts. These moments do not exist in a void...they are part of a larger confluence of emotions and events and themes. That's what makes this scene...the events swirling around and through it. The same goes for what would likely be my other choices (the Willow/Tara scene at the end of NMR, perhaps, or the moment when Xander grabs Anya in relief in Hush after realizing Spike hadn't harmed her...which, of course, led to one of the funniest moments in the series: the transition of Giles' and Olivia's expressions from bemused happiness at Xander and Anya's heartfelt reconciliation to disgust as Anya does her little finger motion and the two rush off.)

[> [> Elsewhere in Bad Eggs -- Cleanthes, 18:23:25 05/10/03 Sat

I wouldn't put it in my top five, but I thought Buffy crawling out of Momma Egg's pit and chasing off the cowboy vamp had lots of potent sex appeal. Buffy should have looked vulnerable, what with the slow crawl out of the pit, covered in black slime, but SMG absolutely had the puissant, pissed teenage look that said "don't mess with me, even though I'm beautiful when slimy"...

[> Also from Harsh Light of Day... -- Plin, 11:45:59 05/10/03 Sat Spike's "panther crawl" scene with Harmony. He goes from bored and irritated to full-on seduction mode in a fraction of a second. Rowr.

Most of the others on my top sexy moments have already been listed, as well--the end of Smashed, the Crypt Door, OMWF (both the Tara/Willow scene and the Spike/Buffy kiss at the end), Buffy's dance with Xander in WSWB, Willow's post-ghost strut past Oz in Halloween.

This is a great, fun topic, although it's sad to think that there probably won't be time for any more sexy moments at this point in the game.

[> [> Are you kidding (WKCS 7.21) and don't leave out IWRY -- lunaea, 13:37:12 05/10/03 Sat

although it's sad to think that there probably won't be time for any more sexy moments at this point in the game.

ANGEL IS COMING BACK!!!!! Do you remotely think something incredible won't result? It should be one of those kisses that even puts IWRY to shame.

And speaking of IWRY, why did THAT get left off?!?!

We have Buffy falling on top of Angel with the resultant sexual tension, since they both REALLY want to, but can't. There is THE most amazing kiss ever, Angel in the sun. Then there is the scene:

Buffy and Angel trying to figure things out over tea. They decide to take things slowly and Buffy gets ready to "remove the temptation." Their hands touch and all that longing is released into each other. The fridge, wrapping her legs around him (SMG does this rather well), Angel clearing the table, the sounds, everything.

Then cut to a naked Angel getting yummies. Nice talking that shows what sort of sex this really is, the good kind, the best kind. Buffy licks ice cream off of Angel and he laughs. Angel actually laughs. It is a good laugh. I like that laugh. I want to hear it more.

We get Buffy listening to Angel's heartbeat. I love the sound of a heart beat. It is one of my favorite sounds. I like to lay on my husband and just listen to it. They have a wonderful conversation and Buffy says the most wonderful thing that she possibly could to anyone, "Just like I've always wanted to. Like a normal girl, falling asleep in the arms of her normal boyfriend. It's perfect." Angel kisses the top of her head and Buffy drifts off to sleep.

Then Doyle comes in. He tells him the demon is still alive and asks if he wants to wake up Buffy. Angel's response "Not for the world."

That would be the number one most sexy moment in the entire Buffyverse. The entire show was amazing, but that one line. Buffy sleeping and Angel just looking at her lovingly, not wanting to disturb her. I may be twisted as Marti, but I my heart and soul will belong to moments like this.

[> [> Re: Also from Harsh Light of Day... -- LadyStarlight (slapping head in disgust at herself), 14:46:39 05/10/03 Sat

How could I forget the 'panther crawl'!?!?!

Does this mean I have to give up my membership in the "I heart Spike" club? ;)

[> Re: Midnight Blue: The Five Sexiest Moments in Buffy History -- Isabel, 12:05:01 05/10/03 Sat

I agree with most of the ones already mentioned. (Smashed, Crypt door, Faith-in-Buffy in Bronze, Bad Girls, When She Was Bad's Buffy's sexy revenge dance with Xander)

But I do have a couple of others that I'm surprised no one has mentioned.

Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered- Buffy in the tiny raincoat and black stilettos cornering Xander in the library and asking him to unwrap his present. (Yes, it is subtle, like hunting mosquitos with a bazooka.)

And also from Harsh Light of Day- Spike and Harmony's bedroom scene with shirtless Spike panther-crawling up the bed. (That was a busy episode wasn't it?)

[> [> As God is my witness, I did not copy you Plin! -- Isabel, 12:20:45 05/10/03 Sat

I checked the thread before I posted. I wrote my post. I sent my post. I checked back to find not only did you beat me by a few minutes, I ended up using almost the exact same words as you! Hive mind or what?

That HLoD scene was followed by my favorite relationship defining exchange.

Harmony: You love that tunnel more than me!

Spike: I love syphillis more than you.

[> [> [> Hee! But uh-oh, does this mean we're Bringers? -- Plin, 12:33:43 05/10/03 Sat

[> These won't be used on a psycological evalutation, will they? -- Finn Mac Cool, 12:51:35 05/10/03 Sat

These are the sexiest moments on the show (IMO), in no particular order:

The scene when Buffy almost has sex with R.J. is fantastic, especially at the moment when Xander interrupts them. When their clothes are slightly disheveled but not removed, and Buffy is sitting on top of R.J. with her hair gone a little wild, is just an absolutely hot moment.

This episode has three of the sexiest scenes in the entire Buffyverse. Buffy creates incredible steam with just the one simple line, "Play your cards right." Then there's her trying to seduce Xander while wearing nothing but a raincoat. Yes, it's far from subtle, but that can be good; it can be VERY good. Then there's the less obvious choice, the Willow/Xander moment. Forget "Dopplegangland" or "Halloween", Willow's appearance in Xander's bed and come ons are Willow Rosenberg at her sexiest. I'm very glad this was the first episode of Buffy I ever watched.

Xander's dream of Joyce. While costuming usually kept Joyce very asexual, Xander's vision of her in a red nightie and standing by a door opening onto a bedroom was the pinnacle of hot for her. Frankly, in "Band Candy", she didn't project nearly the same vibe.

Xander having sex with Faith. More specifically, that one shot of Faith's head and shoulders as she crouches on top of Xander. In your head it is just SO easy to imagine the shot panning down enough, just enough, to get the full monty.

Once again, Xander/Faith lights up the screen in a phenomanal way, though this one is more disturbing. Faith's almost slithering motions on top of Xander are very drool worthy. Plus, she gets two very disturbing lines that somehow increased the sexuality of the scene. "I could make you scream; I could make you die" "I see, I want, I take"

Cordelia's outift when she marches into Sunnydale High is, bar none, the scariest/sexiest piece of clothing ever seen on Buffy. Plus, it was on the body of Charisma Carpenter, which ups its greatness ten fold.

Well, that's my list of sexiest moments. Odd. Each and every one involves Xander in some way, whether it's him being taunted with his ex-girlfriend's sexuality, walking in on Buffy and R.J. having sex, or being seduced, Xander's part of each one. Hmm, either I greatly identify with Xander, and so picture myself easily in his place, or I'm harboring a deep, homosexual crush on the fella and am displacing it onto the women around him.

Um, yeah, I'll be leaving now. Gotta go confirm my sexual preference.

[> [> Finn, go re-watch Dawn's sexy dance in "Him". -- HonorH, 13:02:40 05/10/03 Sat

I'm sure that'll clear things right up for you.

[> [> [> Ahhhhhhhhhhhh, that's the stuff :) -- Finn Mac Cool, 14:15:28 05/11/03 Sun

[> [> What about linoleum? -- Random, 19:29:23 05/10/03 Sat

[> Re: Midnight Blue: The Five Sexiest Moments in Buffy History -- Alison, 12:52:58 05/10/03 Sat

I agree on most of the moments that have been mentioned (Smashed..whoa. Gets me EVERY time)..but a few big ones have been left out:
- The flashback scene in Innocence..there's real passion there, yet at the same time, overwhelming tenderness
- The B/A dream in Amends..thats a big one for me. The repressed desires...
- Jenny and Giles "anyone ever tell you you're kind of a sexy fuddy duddy?"
- The lighter scene in Gone
And the scenes with Spike and Buffy holding each other..they may make my list too. Though the sex scenes they were intercut with..nah. The more twisted part of me like the Caleb/First as Buffy interaction that really wrong?

[> [> Oh, how could I have forgotten the lighter scene? Guh. -- Plin, 14:32:07 05/10/03 Sat

[> Mine? -- HonorH, 12:55:44 05/10/03 Sat

In no particular order:

--Willow and Tara's "Spellgasm" in WAY. A "yow" and a "za"!

--The Orgasmic Feeding Scene in GDII. Gorgeously done, and possibly the hottest scene ever.

--Buffy and Spike at the end of "Smashed". Incredibly erotic--these two antagonists having intense, angry sex while the house crashes down around them.

--The door scene in DT. Non-touching doesn't get any sexier. Buffy and Spike can project the eroticism even when there's a door separating them.

--For sheer slash appeal, Buffy and Faith's sexy dance in "Bad Girls". It was like all those boys didn't even exist.

[> [> Re: Mine? -- shambleau, 18:47:44 05/10/03 Sat

My top five have all been mentioned, but there are a few lower on my list that no one's brought up.

Cave!Buffy. I know, I know. Even for me, it hovers on the ridiculous, but Buffy was just so Shakira-like in her room with Giles and Xander! I'd be in my bunk now, but I've still got a few more to type out.

Veruca and Oz in the cage kissing. I love him and Willow together, but that were-sex? Beats even the wild monkey kind.

Spike and Anya at the Magic Shop. Those two went through about five emotional transitions in four minutes and a couple of them were muy sexy.

Aud and Olaf. "All this talk of breeding makes me want to breed!" Okay, not all that sexy, but funny.

Xander and the Inca Mummy Girl. That kiss they were about to share at the party smoked like Krakatoa just before it blew.

[> Squeezing in a few more! -- ponygirl, 21:25:41 05/10/03 Sat

So many good ones already! Thanks for starting this thread, cjl, it's like a breath of sultry air!

Flashback sex in Innocence. So dreamy, so tender, and such great lighting! All the elements for truly great romantic sex (though ever since I heard Joss say that he provided the male breath sounds for this scene I have a tough time watching it without some weird mental imagery).

And then there are times where it's to hell with romance let's get down and dirty, for me that's Faith and Xander in the Zeppo. I read that at some point in s3 someone had to tell Eliza Dushku that she didn't actually have to use tongue for onscreen kissing, obviously she hadn't yet received the memo.

The Angel/Buffy feeding scene is very hot, but I also like Willow and Oz in Graduation Day. Not the actual, exceedingly tasteful sex scenes, but that moment in the library when Oz touches Willow's hair and she closes her eyes with one of the most sensual expressions Willow has yet had in a non-Wishverse reality. That smile on her face speaks volumes.

Willow and Tara in WAY - not the rose petal spell, though that was nice but the second spell with all the suggestive hand circling and super-sexy astral projecting. Definitely an out of body experience.

Any scene with Giles and Ethan Rayne. Those two have a history and it so shows.

Legolas and Aragorn -- when Aragorn gives Elf-boy that shoulder squeeze, ooh mama-oh wait wrong show.

The eyes have it - in Smashed nothing for me beats that moment when Buffy and Spike meet each others eyes. All the punching, house-wrecking and zipper pulling are just incidental.

Weird love is better than no love - Spike and Dru in School Hard. Their entrance scene in the warehouse perfectly captured their unique blend of true romance and twisted sexuality. There's something very appealing about the way those two could easily be alone with each other in a room full of people.

My oddball choice, but one that no one else has taken yet - Superstar. No, not a Jonathon fantasy, though when that boy gets into the eyeliner as he seems to in this episode, he's pretty sexy - but the Buffy/Spike scene in the graveyard. Spike's line about wanting to take on the Slayer alone should be menacing but he delivers it so softly and moves his hand over her face sooo slowly that it packs a stunning amount of heat. And most shockingly/sexily of all Buffy responds, leaning her face into the caress. I always regret Jonathon's interruption.

[> [> Re: Squeezing in a few more! -- Alison, 21:33:38 05/10/03 Sat

with you on superstar..I meant to mention that, but forgot...I love the slowly building up of the formerly subtle sexual tension between Buffy and Spike in S4.

[> Spike's fantasy fight w/ Buffy in "Family". -- x, 06:29:35 05/11/03 Sun


SPIKE: You want me, Slayer, come and get me.

BUFFY: Oh, I'm coming. I'm coming right- (lunges up toward him)

Cut to Spike and Harmony in bed.

HARMONY: -now!

Spike is on top of Harmony, covered by a blanket, both of them naked and panting. Harmony caresses Spike's face.

HARMONY: What are you thinking?

SPIKE: All about you, baby.

HARMONY: Aww. (Pulls Spike's head down to her shoulder) You're my little lamb.

[> Re: Midnight Blue: The Five Sexiest Moments in Buffy History -- shambleau, 11:06:26 05/11/03 Sun

Wow, not one vote for Vamp!Willow in Dopplegangland. I thought her vamping of Sandy and her bored reaction to Cordy's rant about boyfriend stealing were just one of many electric moments in that ep, and not one of them made anybody's top five. Hmmm.

[> [> My Hubby did, but he doesn't post -- lunasea, 14:50:32 05/11/03 Sun

Actually, he liked Willow playing Vamp Willow the best. Does Willow get any cuter when she is dressed like that and waves to Oz to let him know it is her? He was surprised that no one answered either of these when I told him about the list.

[> Forgot my favorite Number One with a stake favorite moment: IOHEFY -- lunasea, 16:03:11 05/11/03 Sun

Not the crap with Buffy/Angel. Yeah whatever.

Angel and Dru. I love Angel and Buffy, but for raw sexuality, nothing beats Angel with his little girl. One of the most disappointing moments in all of Buffyverse history was in "Darla" when we find out Dru and Angelus don't have that sort of history :-( Darla, Dru and Angelus. THAT would have been quite a threesome. Her vamping is also one of those incredibly sick hot scenes. That should make the top five over on Ats.

The entire episode for "I Only have Eyes for You" Angelus has been flirting with Drusillla, mainly to drive Spike nuts, but also because he finds her to be so much fun and he is trying to bury his feelings for Buffy. Just the tension there sets up the scene so well makes it yummy. This part of the scene was so hot that it was a separate page and not in the original shooting script.

Spike is in his wheel chair trying to taunt Angelus about Buffy. Angelus will show him just how not interested in Buffy he is. Spike and Angelus do their usual verbal sparing, but Angelus decides to kick it up a few notches. Since "Special Needs Boy" can't do certain things, being the gentleman that he is, Angelus is going to pitch in where he is needed.

Angelus goes below the frame and Dru's head rolls back. She begins to make wonderful sounds and they cut to Spike having to watch this. The pure sadism of it rivals Dru's in "What's My Line" or Willow playing with puppy in "The Wish." Dru always had the best wardrobe.

What can I say? Marti and I are twisted.

Another incredibly twisted sexual scene is Faith in "Five by Five" torturing Wesley. Faith can't do anything that doesn't look sexual. The way she straddles him and abuses him makes Vamp Willow look like, well Willow. "I think I want to hear you scream." " Admit it, Wesley. (clicking the lighter) Didn't you always kinda have the hots for me?"

[> [> Slayers, Watchers & Erotic Tension -- Matlack73, 17:51:40 05/12/03 Mon


I had thought about Faith torturing Wesley also. I'm glad I'm not the only one who thought about that scene:) I agree that Faith makes everything look sexual. If Wes wasn't in so much pain and wasn't in so much danger, he might have only had trouble keeping a stiff upper lip. Everything else would have been easy. I hope Eliza will keep an open mind about starring in a series about Faith.

After watching that scene years ago, I thought about the relationships between Watchers and Slayers. Most of the time, it involves mature men "watching" teenage girls. It makes you wonder about how many of these relationships had some degree of sexual tension in them. Maybe a relationship that lacked sexual tension was less common than one that did. In the past, it was more acceptable for older men to marry teenage girls than it is today and that might have influenced the way Watchers thought of their charges.

Sorry if this has been touched on in the past. Just wanted to share my thoughts.

[> Moments deserving of wider recognition -- Valheru, 00:39:27 05/12/03 Mon

Everyone pretty much nailed down all the great sexy moments (I would have had a hard time picking a top ten, much less five). But I just wanted to throw in a few other sexy scenes that would otherwise feel left out--hell hath no fury like a sexy moment scorned =)

Drusilla's birthday dance ("Surprise") - Dru's twisted sexuality was often overshadowed by Angel's more sadistic pleasures and Spike's bad-boy smoldering, but hers was the sex-drive that fueled their blood. Her dance in "Surprise" always reminds me why. One minute, she's atop the stairs, happy as any normal girl at her birthday party, nodding greetings to her vampire friends. Then, as the haunting cellos and mad-hatter lyrics of "Transylvanian Concubine" dominate her ears, Dru's sanity slowly slips away. She writhes down the stairway, a lithe goddess in red, then loses herself to the swaying rhythms in her body and mind. At once the child and the monster, innocent and wicked. Is it any wonder then that Spike shows up with a wooden head?

Giles tending to Buffy's wounds ("Helpless") - Not really a "sexy" moment given the context, but Tony Head's performance here simultaneously makes both Buffy and Giles sexier. The sad, quasi-longing gaze. The gentle "O" of his mouth. His ever-so-tender dabs with the rag. Had he been a few years younger and she a few older, the scene might have come across as a level of implied foreplay to make the pre-Spuffy B/S pale by comparision. As it is, the scene perfectly captures the sexy-but-not-sexual nature of the Buffy/Giles relationship.

Buffy kisses vamped Angel ("What's My Line, Part 1") - In a rare standout performance from David Boreanaz's early period, the depths of Buffy and Angel's love are explored beyond appearance. It's a textbook "Beauty and the Beast" moment: he's wounded, so the caring Beauty rushes to his care. He shies away, afraid to allow her close to his ugliness. Yet she only cares about the man inside, completely oblivious to the way he looks. What makes the scene stand out, however, is Angel's eyes; even through the yellowed contacts and heavy vampire prosthetics, Boreanaz is able to convey Angel's deep desire for Buffy. Really the only time a male "game-faced" vampire ever comes across as sexy. As for the female vampires...

VampWillow offers Sandy eternity ("Doppelgangland") - Yeah, VampWillow is always sexy, but to me, the height of her sexuality is best seen when she vamps out in the Bronze. Aly's vampire face in "The Wish" was great, but they did a better job with the one here. She needs a line on her resume: "I am sexy both in and out of facial prosthetics." Or she could use it as a pick-up line. Hmm. Anyone know the exact moment when Alexis fell in love with her?

Giles fences with Wesley ("Graduation Day, Part 1") - He fences. While talking to Buffy. And ignoring Wesley's prattle. And reading the paper. Many a star has been made in Hollywood by an actor's sexiness in a swordfight, but few come close to the refined ruggedness of a man who can fence and solve a murder at the same time. And read a newspaper. If only Tony and Nigel Havers would do something like that on Manchild, they'd be set up with all the twentysomething supermodels they want. (Yet whenever I try it, I always end up looking like Wesley. Grr.)

Every single word ever spoken by Oz - What guy doesn't envy him? What girl doesn't want him? When Oz speaks, he's irresistable. Now that's sexy.

[> [> One tidbit on Giles/Buffy from OMWF commentary -- Tchaikovsky, 13:32:20 05/12/03 Mon

Good choices. You reminded me of something on Giles/Buffy.

OK, to give everybody a little bit of a taster for my DVD transcription coming later this week- Joss Whedon describes Buffy as 'wooing' Giles at one point in 'Once More, With Feeling'. And he's being kinda serious...


[> [> [> Re: One tidbit on Giles/Buffy from OMWF commentary -- s'kat, 17:55:00 05/12/03 Mon

Not surprising, considering rumor has it Joss came up with the Dead Things Bronze Beta scene when he was filming Welcome to The Hellmouth and deliberately put in the 6 inch from your face rule between Giles and Buffy, b/c he was afraid fans would go there. (And some did. There are quite a few Giles/Buffy shippers out there.)

[> A few more worthies -- -- Dyna, 14:04:04 05/12/03 Mon

First, big happy word! to ponygirl's suggestion of the Buffy/Spike cemetary scene from "Superstar". That was going to be on my list if it hadn't already been mentioned!

Spike: Someday, sweet slayer, I would love to take you on. See you fight the evil alone for once...

Dyna: Guh!! *falls off couch*

Most of my other favorites have been mentioned--the final scene of "Smashed" still gives me goosebumps--but here are a few others:

- Spike comforting Buffy in bed, in her dream in "Dead Things". For me, that one moment captured something quite poignant about what Buffy was longing for in that relationship but couldn't or wouldn't allow. Also, JM's arms. Those are good arms to have.

- Pillow talk with Spike and the Buffybot, in "Intervention". Again, a scene that shows something unexpected about a character--in this case, Spike's real yearning for love and tenderness, that there is more to what he wants from Buffy than just lust and an equal fight. Then there's the gentle biting on the neck and that bedroom voice...

SPIKE: (seriously) Are you afraid of me?
BUFFYBOT: (big smile) Yes.
SPIKE: (quietly) You know I can't bite you.
BUFFYBOT: I think you can. I think you can if I let you, and I want to let you. I want you to bite me and devour me until there's no more.
SPIKE: (smiles) Like this?

He bites her neck lightly.

BUFFYBOT: (smiling) Oh, Spike, devour me!
SPIKE: All right.

- The alley scene in FFL, especially the end, from the point where Spike is on his knees before Buffy through his attempt to kiss her and her rebuff. I was new to the show when I caught this episode and this scene blew me away.

- Come to think of it, all scenes with Spike on his knees are sexy: In OMWF, Spike going down onto his knees before Buffy while singing about being her willing slave. Later, the moment when he grabs her as she's about to dance herself to death.

I had no idea when I started this that all my favorite sexy moments would feature Spike! Um, but maybe I should have. Let me think of a few others...

- Oh, how could I forget! Vamp Willow and Vamp Xander biting into Cordelia at the same time in "The Wish". That's just--wrong, and--guh.

- The shot in WTWTA when the camera pans up from Buffy and Riley in bed, up through the ceiling of the room and away. A lot of people find the sex in that episode gratuitous, but that particular shot was quite erotic.

- Giles to Willow: "Do you want to be punished?" If it involves ASH speaking to me in that tone of voice, um, yes please.

- Faith drawing the heart on the classroom window to lure Buffy out. I know it's already been mentioned, but really--so much sexiness in such a small gesture.

- Buffy and Spike's morning-after fight in "Wrecked". Even in the moments where there's more fighting than seducing going on, the twisty tension and emotional rawness of that scene make it sexy. "Vampires get you hot." "So, what, now? You go back to treating me like dirt until the next time you've got an itch you can't scratch?" "You're bent!" "And it made you scream, didn't it?" "If you tell anyone about last night, I will kill you."

Thanks for coming up with this topic--it's much more fun to think about scenes we love than to look ahead to the days when we won't have new Buffy any more. Oops, trying not to think about that...

:) Dyna

[> [> Re: A few more worthies -- -- Sarand, 16:05:56 05/12/03 Mon

Oh, yeah. As I was reading through this thread, I kept thinking about the beginning of the dream in "Dead Things." That always gets me. That and the door scene in the same episode.

[> btw..cjl..GREAT topic -- Alison, 15:37:29 05/12/03 Mon

[> [> Hear Hear! -- Wizard, 19:53:10 05/12/03 Mon

[> [> [> Aw shucks. T'weren't nothin'. -- cjl (kicks dirt and shyly turns away), 20:52:01 05/12/03 Mon

Empty Places shooting script way better than aired ep. (Spoilers for E. P.) -- David Morris, 00:55:06 05/10/03 Sat

For one thing two punch lines were lost, one at the end of the Anya breifing, and one by Faith. The potentials and Dawn gained the confidence to confront Buffy after facing down a cop by themselves. Dawn kisses Buffy in a reference to Judas and Christ. The ending returns to the evacuation theme, much better ending.

I have heard that the script was too long but there were added bits in the aired ep that were worse than everything that was cut.

The scene with Buffy proposing a return to the vinyard was especially mangled.

[> So it's not ME's best cut. Oh well. -- Invisible Green, 07:56:25 05/10/03 Sat

Let's hope the last two eps were well cut.

[> Re: Empty Places shooting script way better than aired ep. (Spoilers for E. P.) -- lunasea, 08:38:22 05/10/03 Sat

Dawn kisses Buffy in a reference to Judas and Christ.

Maybe that would be too much foreshadowing IF Dawn dies at the end.

[> Completely disagree. -- Rob, 09:15:34 05/10/03 Sat

The original shooting script made both Buffy and the Scoobies too unlikable. And the most crucial element in the episode--Buffy acknowledging to Faith outside on the porch that she doesn't blame her for what happened, and telling her to "Lead them," a scene which is an incredibly important humanizing moment for Buffy--is not there.


Sex,Faith,Xander and Death -- botitas, 00:56:28 05/10/03 Sat

If you're looking for a sexy scene how about these two plus one:
In "Consequences" where Faith throws Xander on the bed and tells him that she can do whatever she wants to him and that he probably wishes she would. Of course, she chooses to strangle him. Or # 2 in "Who are you" where Buffy/Faith tells Spike; "I could ride you at a gallop till your legs buckled and your eyes rolled up; I've got muscles you've never even dreamed of, I could squeeze you till you popped like warm champange and you'd beg me to hurt you just a little bit more, and you know why I don't?...Because it's wrong. And just one more... Buffy's dance with Xander when she returns from L.A. in "When She Was Bad".

[> Re:Supposed to be a reply to Buffy's 5 sexiest moments -- botitas, 01:03:33 05/10/03 Sat

This is why 2:00am and Irish Whiskey do not lead to good posts.

Okay, this is weird -- Darby, 05:52:12 05/10/03 Sat

The shooting script for Home is up at Psyche's -

but this is the first Season 4 script to go up!

Now if I can get a chance to read it...

[> I am glad they posted it (spoiler home) -- lunasea, 10:11:59 05/10/03 Sat

I was bummed when I found out 11 minutes had been cut. First shooting script to get out all season (think Tim himself released it). I look forward to more of them coming out now that the season is over.

The episode did bring up one question. If Angel could tell whether it was Lilah, why is Spike such an idiot? Couldn't his "preternatural senses" figure out that it wasn't Buffy? It might be one thing for the humans to be tricked, but shouldn't Spike know that something is up?

[> [> Spike's no idiot... with the FE it's completely different..... it's all in your head..... -- Lijdrec, 14:37:11 05/10/03 Sat

The FE isn't external, it is internal. When it appears to someone it most often appears only to that person. Since there is nothing corporeal to sense, when Spike (or anyone) sees the FE it is his (their) own mind that is being worked upon.

That is the insidiousness of the FE... it is not without, but ever within each person. It knows all because it dwells in our hatred born of fears. In short, I have always given it other names, such as bigotry, simple-mindedness, hate and fear, and delusionment. It is the represention to each person of his those emotions. Thus to Caleb it is simply the evil that he himself espouses.

All of which makes me wonder if the final battle will be a one over the mind and will of the Scoobies on a metaphysical plain.

[> [> [> Every sense but touch? I doubt it -- lunasea, 18:02:37 05/10/03 Sat

[> [> [> [> Evidently Spike was in such a state at times..... -- Lijdrec, 00:00:11 05/11/03 Sun

................that all his senses were fooled.

When a sentient entity is in your mind, and has control of you the way the FE controlled Spike, then I imagine that it could fool any sense. Spike thought he was with Buffy at one point and was stroking her hair. That is the level of control that the FE had over Spike... and may still be able to exert!?

[> Hehe... (spoilers for Tim's comments in the Home script) -- pellenaka, 10:59:44 05/10/03 Sat

I like Tim's comments.

"Angel looks from coma-coma-coma-coma-coma Cordel-ia to Connor, to the frightened hostages."

"DING! (Can this be a oner? Don't answer yet.) An elevator indicator light lights up. TILT DOWN to Angel in close up, he's looking into a large space that WE DON'T YET SEE.

He starts out of the elevator, the gang following. CAMERA STEADICAMS back with him for a few steps, then swings around BECOMING HIS POV... moving into a BUSTLING GLEAMING LOBBY. MANY MANY bright and attractive lawyers and worker bees bustle past with:

Morning, Mister Angel.
Morning, Mister Angel.
Mister Angel, Good Morning.
How are you this morning, Mister Angel?
Mister Angel.

Oh, the friendly and congenial smiles and nods. STEADICAM swings back around on our folks, though mostly close on Angel. They're more or less in the middle of the big, impressive space as LAWYERS buzz around them.

No way this is gonna go well.

Now we're pulling back because our STEADICAM OPERATOR just stepped back onto a crane and we're RISING UP, our little group caught in the middle of all this energy. Up and up. And up? Okay, maybe just two ups, but at any rate we go off a tableau, and if the "Wolfram And Hart" logo appeared somewhere in this shot that wouldn't be a terrible thing."

"Lilah moves to the gang through teaming extras, er, lawyers."

"They follow her. Up ahead, a group of four folks: A BEAUTIFUL SUPER-MODEL looking WOMAN, an older SEAN CONNERY-ESQUE ENGLISHMAN, a CUTE SCIENCE GEEK GUY and a SLICK TALENT AGENT FELLA."

And much more like it.

There's also a man getting a triple bypass while talking on the phone.

[> [> Which is even better if you have read the shooting script for Bad Girls -- lunasea, 18:08:14 05/10/03 Sat


Wesley is introduced as "The reason for his attitude is speaking to him. Incessantly. He is WESLEY WYNDAM-PRYCE, watcher. Young, not bad looking but a bit full of himself. Thinks he's Sean Connery when he's pretty much George Lazenby."

Tim will be missed. I hope Wonderfalls is great and worth his absence from Angel. Too many cheifs over at ME. They are leaving home :-(

[> They really had to cut out some great stuff. -- lunasea, 12:00:24 05/10/03 Sat

That is why I am so glad that they do release the shooting scripts. Most of it is just for time, but some of it is content. I would have liked to see Fred's dilema explored like it did in the script. Fred got the most of the editing. :-( I really like where Fred is going. There were some great transtions that had to end up on the floor. I am a sucker for great transitions.

There are some great lines that lead more to their possibly being a balance struck and not just corruption. "What? No. All the morally ambiguous departments are above the ninth floor. We're science. We're morally neutral." "Secrets of the universe! Like: Siegfried, evil. Roy, not so much. Balance, very important."

[> More terminology problems -- mamcu, 17:59:20 05/11/03 Sun

Now we have had some really excellent posts on the symbolism of the Black Panther and Gunn, right? So now the script calls it a jaguar?

[> [> Re: More terminology problems -- CW, 19:14:46 05/11/03 Sun

Out of curiousity, I looked up 'panther' right after I saw the ep. One of the valid dictionary definitions of the word is 'jaguar.' The leopard specific symbolism looks like it's moot though. ;o)

[> [> [> Re: More terminology problems -- Rufus, 22:42:20 05/11/03 Sun

The Panther and Jaguar are basically types of leopards. At, Tim Minear said that it was a leopard, which technically is correct. The difference symbolically is to do with cultures/geography, the jaguar associated with Central South American culture and the leopard with Egyptian mythology surrounding Set.

[> [> Re: More terminology problems -- Darby, 05:40:26 05/12/03 Mon

First, there is no such thing as a black panther as a species - it's either a black leopard (which it was in this case), a black jaguar, or (rarely) a black cougar.

The script did call for a jaguar, but that's a preliminary draft. The important question is, when was it decided to go with a black panther? If Joss decided, it's significant. If the guy that supplies the cats and whoever it is who arranges such things decided it ("Ahh, sorry, no jaguars this week. Wanna leopard, they're pretty much the same? How about a black panther, it'll show up better on a white set?"), not so much. Minear saying it was a leopard (true but incomplete) may have been to avoid discussing the implications, 'cause that's how writers get in trouble.

Power Notes:Buffy (Spoilerish through 7.20), Angel Season 3, Spec on the End of Buffy -- heywhynot, 09:26:51 05/10/03 Sat

Watching the season finale of Angel, I couldn't help by note that what is considered the epitome of evil on Angel (Wolfram & Heart) willingly help Angel fight the First. The organization is really about keeping the game going & twisting it such that they wield power in whatever way possible.

Political/economic power is a manipulation of fear. WrH is very talented at such manipulation. Both the First and Jasmine threatened their power. In Jasmine's world no one would have the fears WrH manipulates & without it they have no power. The only fear was failing Jasmine; she was the only one wielding power. The first seeks to end the whole game, no one left to be afraid, and no one to have power over.

AI saved the world from Jasmine's world, kept the game going. WrH stays in power. Their LA operations left in ruin why not turn the keys over to AI? WrH stays in power and AI no longer is a thorn in their sides. Let AI do as they please. Let them wield power. The thing is such power is a construct, a concept you can't really wield. Excalibur doesn't exist it is a myth, but in order to "wield" power you have to give into the deceit that Excalibur is real. Once one starts walking down that path, one begins to make compromises. The ends start to justify the means. You begin to loose grip on why you took the power in the first place. Wielding power corrupts. AI now has power. Do they wield it or do they use it?

Buffy this season has been stressing the means do matter. It is part of who she is, why she is a hero. The only problem is that for a good chunk of the season, Buffy has been trying to wield power as the general believing that is the way to be a leader. Using war terms, talking about dangers to the potentials has only reinforced the fear in them. Her "inspirational" speeches ring hollow because of this. Buffy has power but it is not in her nature to wield power but to use her power to inspire. She lost her way this season because she has failed to use her power.

The last episode though Buffy thanks to Spike came to realize she doesn't need to wield power but use her power/talent, to be inspired, to be empowered. Her confidence returns. Her instincts were right, something was in the vineyard. In wielding power though she was not able to lead but rather dictate. Like fighting the UperVamp, Buffy can beat Caleb as long as she is empowered, using her power. Now she has the Scythe. She has more power, which she will use. The glimmer in her eyes as she beheld the weapon, was amazing. Buffy is fully back, inspired, empowered. Where do I hope this goes? Buffy returns to what is left of the extended Scooby Gang, not to wield power but rather to inspire them with her power, to empower them, to truly lead.

The question for AI, do they use the power given to them to inspire or will they wield the power given to them?

[> Spoilers Season 4 Angel I meant above, sorry. NT -- heywhynot, 09:29:20 05/10/03 Sat

[> Re: Power Notes:Buffy (Spoilerish through 7.20), Angel Season 3, Spec on the End of Buffy -- Wizard, 16:25:16 05/10/03 Sat

Well, coming from the "AI are idiots for taking the deal" camp, I believe that we will see the power of W&H being wielded, not used. In fact, it has already begun- look at the change in Gunn. It remains to be seen whether his empowerment comes at the price of his soul. I bet yes, and hope that he can find a way to get his soul back while keeping the genuine empowerment he has received. Also look at what happened to Connor. I believe that that will backfire colossally next season (and there will be a next season- maybe if I say that enough times, it will come true). Connor had his power taken away- AGAIN!- even though he was put into a loving family. If any good comes out of this, it will be that the family still accepts him even after the truth is out, because if they don't, he will be right back where he was in "Home." But that's just my opinion- I could be wrong.

Was the end of 'Home' a copout? -- Dru, 11:14:04 05/10/03 Sat

Although the characters include demons and vampires, ATS has always addressed real human issues and ethical quandries. But the ending of 'Home' where Angel essentially gives up on his son and magically gives him an alternate but happy life, is totally opposed to everything we have seen and learnt from ATS. As Buffy said to Dawn in The Gift the hardest thing in life is to live in it, and this is what Buffy must do once back from Heaven. Angel again chose to carry on living and helping the helpless inspite of centuries of cruelty and death he offered others. But in the last episode of the series ( and heres hoping we have a fifth)the message is if you cant deal with life, thats ok, we can re-write it making everything in Conners world pre and after home one big lie. Was this a fitting end of the series?

[> I would say, no, but remember, this is hopefully not the end of the story. -- Rob, 11:17:54 05/10/03 Sat

It's hard to judge anything on BtVS or AtS until we see the effects and consequences of the actions in later episodes.


[> [> Re: Not only that....(SPOILERS for "Home") -- mundus, 11:57:55 05/10/03 Sat

I'm sure somebody has mentioned this already, but the final scene of the season circles back to the very first scene, in "Deep Down," which featured Angel at a dinner party with his "family." That sequence was an illusion, of course. And Connor's is a more tangible yet still tenuous reality. It leaves the door open for more, as Rob said, while completing the arc that the season started. I liked it.

[> [> [> Re: Not only that....(SPOILERS for "Home") -- aliera, 19:24:05 05/10/03 Sat

I agree. The season opener was on my mind through most of the episode. I don't actually remember feeling it so strongly during a finale before. Thinking about it after, yes. But not actually during. There were Bargaining and and the TTG/Grave parallels last year though that struck several posters. A trip to the archives now for me to see if I wrote anything. And we did look quite intently at the first episode with the end in mind this year. And I did review DD quite a few times during the season so I suppose it is entirely possible I created that experience for myself through expectation and action! How funny to think of it! ;-)

[> i thought the ending was in keeping with the love is sacrifice vibe that has run through this season -- 110v3w1110w, 09:11:39 05/11/03 Sun

The First Evil Has Flipped. -- WickedBuffy (spoilers Touched), 13:44:55 05/10/03 Sat

One of the first things we hear the First Evil state is wanting "to be done with this mortal coil."

One of the last things we hear the First Evil say is about "wanting what they have" in response to the sex going on at the Summers Brothel'n'Breakfast. Then, going on further, wishing it could "feel", especially regarding the snapping someones neck.

FE sounds like its done a 180 degree turn. From wanting nothing to do with humans, to being like one.

The periodic boasting at the beginning of Season 7 seems to have been replaced with envy. Is that what really set off this whole apocalypse? The First Evil being inside every single person, but unable to feel them? So close, and yet so far. Driving it to want to eradicate all, the very beings who were a constant reminder of what it could never have? (In destroying them, the FE will wipe out all its mortal nesting places. That's a lot less space. How wise is that move?)

If there is some FE in everyone, is it possible the FE has some mortal in it? And so it is able to feel envy? Or is it because it is the very source of envy and easily becomes the incorporeal embodiment of that evil.

When FE said it wanted to "feel", did it mean just physically? Or did it mean more... emotionally, also?

That might not be it - but still - there's been a change in the FE from its grand entrance in Season 6 to the last time we saw it in the winery as BuffyMorph.

I didn't even realize it "could" change.

[> Re: The First Evil Has Flipped. -- Wizard, 14:53:40 05/10/03 Sat

While your point isn't what I thought it would be, given the title of the post, you make a lot of sense. I wondered about that, too. Could it be that the reason the First wants the old mortal coil to be shuffled off is because it's jealous of we horny, debauched mortals? I'm thinking the answer is yes. And if it is yes, what does that say about the First? Isn't it just an impotent thing that only has as much power as we mortals allow it?

[> [> "The First Evil is a Top" ? (spoiler/spec "Touched") -- WickedB ::wondering if that's what you thought at first::, 20:23:05 05/10/03 Sat

"Isn't it just an impotent thing that only has as much power as we mortals allow it?"

It seems to be shaping up that way!

Just now, luvthistle1s post had an idea in it that takes it along a step further:

"Has this been its plan all along? To assume a corporeal form? If so, whose? Buffy's? "

[> Scary thought -- luvthistle1, 20:48:43 05/10/03 Sat

In "first Date", the first evil told Andrew, that you only hear what I want you to hear, and only know what I want you to know. which could mean, that when he told Willow that he was sick of the mortal coil, he wanted her to think that. I believe he want to be a part of the mortal coil. he told the ubervamp (In Showtime) to kill everyone but "Her". yet, he told Andrew, he wanted him to only kill off all the girls. But not Willow ,Buffy,or Dawn. I believe that her, could mean Buffy. the problem in the slayer could be that since Buffy had died, and willow brought her back, something in that , might allow the first evil to take human form. that would be why he would not wwant to kill,Dawn, or Willow. Buffy would never had jump, if it hadn't be for Dawn. her death might bring about a reveasl. Willow spell is what brought her back, killing her could some how break the spell. I think that consideringthat the "Urn" broke, that something went wrong with the spell. (remember, because of the URN, Willow thought the spell didn't work) it might have only worked half way, allowing buffy to only exist (either in two dimension) or or she not fully back, like when she sleep the first can take over. Caleb, could have killed her (in EP) but he didn't . why not? he only wanted to knock her out. Just a thought.

[> Re: The First Evil Has Flipped. -- Morgan Ross Brooks, 20:17:45 05/11/03 Sun

I think it is also worth mentioning here that in one episode of angle, he was going to kill the sorce of all evil, but when he got to the sorce, it was US.. I think that we were the first real evil, a vampire for example is no more evil than a lion killing a buffalo, they are both following their nature. can somthing without a soul, or conciouse trully be evil? If the first evil came from humans than it can change. If it is the embodyment of the evil in us all,Mayby it has a little of the good. Enouph to allow it to Question what it is doing.

Just a thought

Touched" by suspicion (spoiler for Btvs "touched") -- luvthistle1, 19:56:38 05/10/03 Sat

As I was watching "touched", there were some thing in the episode that made me very suspicious. I think it was a very telling episode. Lets take a look at what it could be telling us.

1. The choppy camera work at the beginning, as Faith, Giles and all. sat around and argued, and then again in the kitchen when Faith told Kennedy to shut up.

It seemed like someone was watching them -
it also seemed to be suggesting that *someone* was actively listening. Who? Someone invisible? Or the "sleeper"? Andrew was with Spike , so he wasn't video taping it Later on FE/Buffy knows everyone is having sex *at that moment* - how? Is it all-knowing? Or is it the sleeper lending its ears? Is there more than one sleeper?

The first did tell Andrew, you only see what I want you to see, and only know what I want you to know- which implies that there are more than one sleeper.

2. When Kennedy acts as bait to capture the Bringer, it's mentioned that she "played the part as a disgruntled minion" and then she happily says "To the captain!" like she is acknowledging with no problem that Faith is the leader. Yet she just fought with Faith about "being shut down"!

Was she "really" referring to Faith as her captain, or could there be someone else she was working for.

3. When Andrew was channeling the Bringer, Giles kills him

why does Giles very abruptly kill the Bringer just as Andrew says "We watch your efforts and are not scared, we will laugh at you as you die" - then - Giles cuts its throat.
Giles has been acting strange all season long, did he really cut the bringer throat to spare the scoobies from his threat, or was the bringer about to reveal something that Giles didn't want them to Know?

In "Empty Places", Caleb said she would lead, and they would follow her (like they followed Buffy. we all assume he might have been talking about the first evil Buffy, or Faith. But he could have been referring to Kennedy. It was Kennedy who lead Faith to the bomb. if you notice Kennedy is missing after Faith find the bomb.

The first evil can take form of anyone who has died, yet it seem keep Buffy's form. why?The First admits it wants to feel, it wants to warp its hands around an innocent's throat and crack the neck. and It exhibits longing when it tells Caleb everyone at Casa Summers is having sex. which is similar to the way Buffy felt upon her return from heaven ( or wherever) and what she sung about in "OMWF.

'OMWF's Buffy -- with her strange estrangement, going through the motions, faking it somehow -- longs for something very similar, just wanting to be alive, real.

Suppose the "weakness in the slayer line is what allows the first evil to take corporeal form, in the form of Buffy. after all he did say to the ubervamp in "showtime". kill everyone but her. her meaning Buffy.

Has this been its plan all along? To assume a corporeal form? If so, whose? Buffy's? or someone else. the demon that was in Willow (in bring on the night) did look like the first.

So, do you think there could be another sleeper, and if so who?

When the first said kill everyone but "HER", who do you think he was referring to?

When Caleb said they one more push, and they will follower her, (he wasn't talking about Buffy) who was he talking about? Kennedy,Faith or the first evil.

Do you think something is up with Giles? or is he the same old Giles?

I would also like to add, that the title, "touched", is another hint that Buffy might be Crazy and we might wind up with the " Normal again ending after all.

[> That one section really snagged me. -- WickedBuffy, 20:16:14 05/10/03 Sat

"Has this been its plan all along? To assume a corporeal form? If so, whose? Buffy's? "

Didn't think of that...

My post a few messages down, "The First Has Flipped" would support your idea, also.

Interesting. :>

Request for feedback from Spike fans on article. -- Gwyn, 21:13:41 05/10/03 Sat

I'm interested in feedback from Spike fans on something I wrote for the online journal of Media Entertainment at the department of Cinema Studies at the University of Melbourne in Australia. For those of you who are interested, it is on Spike fans and audience reception and discusses the gap that has progressivley widened between how the writers perceive Spike's journey (particularly in interviews given in season 6) and the way many Spike fans were viewing the story. I think that difference of interpretation which the writers were trying to address in their interviews, some of Marti Noxon's interviews in particular, is one of the most fascinating things to come out of the season 6 story line and the wonky canon of the Buffyverse which says you can't be redeemed without a soul.

As a Spike fan myself, I was on one side of the divide, but I tried to stay objective when I not too successfully.:-) Anyway, you can link to my email from the article and I would love to hear from Spike fans who wish to comment.


[> Re: Request for feedback from Spike fans on article. -- ECH, 22:52:35 05/10/03 Sat

I love your article, the annoying thing is that IMHO the main reason Spike was stuck with a soul at the end of season 6 was that the writers wanted to preserve Angel's specialness because they planned on having Angel loose his this season, and they thought it would look bad if people compaired the pure evil of soulless Angel to the good that soulless Spike was proforming at the same time they might think less of Angel and his specialness.

But, this is a bit off topic.

[> [> Re: Request for feedback from Spike fans on article. (spoilers to Touched) -- Kitkat, 02:27:28 05/11/03 Sun

I really enjoyed your article. These are a few of the thoughts I had whilst reading it:

I really like Spike, I'll be the first to admit that, and I want him to be redeemed and happy, but it strikes me that some fans don't pay careful attention to what is going on onscreen, allow their personal attraction to the character to get in the way of seeing what is going on. Sometimes its hard to read fanfic where Spike is loving and gentle and kind and Buffy is portrayed as a bitch, or to read people posting their opinion that Buffy is some sort of abuser, and then watch the show and not let all of that colour your viewing.

The thing is, when you watch season 6, as much as you like Spike and secretly want him and Buffy to get together, their relationship was destructive for both of them. For Buffy it was about expressing her self-loathing, a form of self-harm in a way. And for Spike it was desperation to be accepted and to be close to someone he loves. Right from their first kisses at the end of the musical and Tabula Rasa there was something desperate and needy and off about what they were doing. So many of their scenes together before 'Seeing Red' made me cringe, in particular the sex in the Bronze. I fully understand Spike's motivations - that he was terrified Buffy would leave him unless he pulled her down to his level (and this scene signalled the attempted rape) - but really, how could he think that in her current mental state Buffy needed to hear that she belonged in the dark with him, that she needed to do something she found degrading? In contrast to their friendship at the beginning of the series, when Buffy was able to confide in Spike, or the way they worked together at the end of season five, their sexual relationship was awful. Ideally Spike should have encouraged Buffy to talk to her friends earlier about being in heaven, to get help for her depression, and Buffy should have thanked Spike for his help, validated his attempts to be good and encouraged them without embarking on a sexual relationship.
And whether we like it or not, the fact that his actions were destructive was not clear to Spike until he got his soul, as proved by his season 7 behaviour. He hasn't tried to push Buffy into a relationship, but has regained a close friendship with her. She told him she believed in him, in his ability to do good, which evidently meant a great deal to him (if only she'd said something like that in Season 5). And the recent scene in 'Touched' where he tells her that he loves her but doesn't want anything from her, whereas in Season 5/6 he wanted immediate reciprocation of that love, shows how far they have come. For me the scene where they held each other, when contrasted to their sex scenes in Series 6, only served to highlight how destructive that relationship was for both of them, despite its ultimately constructive result - Spike leaving to quest for a soul.

Personally I enjoyed series 6, and I think that many people disliked the darkness of it, or the way that all the characters struggled with depression and their own inner darkness because they couldn't relate to it. For me, the character arcs were very interesting, very real, because at the time I was just coming out of a period of deep depression. The characters' actions, particularly Buffy's, resonated for me. There was one particular scene in 'Gone' where Buffy and Willow are sitting together on the pavement after defeating Warren's latest ploy and they have the following dialogue:
WILLOW: So I guess we both made good first steps.
BUFFY: I guess.
WILLOW: Yay for us.
which encapsulated exactly how I felt when I first started making 'steps' to stop hating myself. For me that was a point when I knew I would enjoy the season. Buffy's treatment of Spike, in that he was a representational mirror of herself, made perfect sense in light of her depression, and the scene in the alley in 'Dead Things' was tremendously powerful for someone who at that point was self-harming. I suppose in a way that season 6 was cathartic for me to watch.

I am aware that this was a tremendously subjective view of the Buffy-Spike relationship, but then, I think that the different subjective responses to the show/text was part of the point of your article, part of the point of watching the show in the first place.


[> [> [> Re: Request for feedback from Spike fans on article. (spoilers to Touched) -- Gwyn, 06:33:07 05/11/03 Sun

Thank you for your thoughtful response. I think the subjectivity of your response is in line with what I argued in the article that audience reception can never be monolithic and that, however clear the "message" is to the writers, viewers will respond through a range of filters if they are moved by the story.

Having explored this topic I would say that responses such as your own are not distortions of the story but an expansion of it. I suppose it is a bit like standing on a mountain looking at the view. That view is going to vary depending on which direction you face. The landscape is the same, it is the viewer's perception that changes as he or she surveys the horizon while turning. I think the problem the ME writers had, revealed in their interviews, was that they wanted to control where the audience gazed. Personally, I think they should have been happy that they had created a story in which they gave us a view in the round of the whole horizon.:-)

[> [> [> [> In defense of the writers from a non-Spike fan -- lunasea, 08:27:11 05/11/03 Sun

The essay was well written and gave me a lot to think about. Thanks for sharing that. Congrats to those mentioned.

I think the problem the ME writers had, revealed in their interviews, was that they wanted to control where the audience gazed. Personally, I think they should have been happy that they had created a story in which they gave us a view in the round of the whole horizon.:-)

I didn't get that impression at all. I see them as wanting people to expand on the story they are writing, not to change it or if they are changing it to realize that is what they are doing (the Wish is great and it changes the Buffyverse, so they aren't totally adverse to exploring this) Subtext is great, as Joss says. It is fun to see things that the writers either didn't know they put there or didn't put there at all. I'm convinced they read half the stuff we write and think, "I'm not that deep," but every now and then we show them something about themselves or their story.

To keep this from being Spike bashing, I will use Angel season 1 as an example. Angel got less screen time than even Spike did later. There were juicy tidbits there that they could have expanded on, which they did much later. Steven DeKnight calls this "creatively using the backstory." Those few minutes of screen time, even from "Welcome to the Hellmouth" started my fantasies. Angel was this gorgeous demon hunter who didn't know how to relate to people and was a loner falling in love with the beautiful slayer who would change him. I was right about the second part, not the first. I am not going to hold tight to my image of Angel as a demon hunter. That Angel is a vampire is very important to the story.

I think that is what the writers object to so vehemently. When they haven't given the direction to look in, great. Look where ever you want. When they have, if someone is still looking elsewhere, it isn't the story they are telling any more. People complain that something is out of character. The character is whatever the writers say it is, once they actually say something.

I will use Spike as an example now. I was convinced that Spike went to Africa to get his chip out. Even when he got his soul, I figured in his heart of hearts that is what he wanted, he just wasn't aware of it. The demon gave Spike what he *really* wanted, not what he *thought* he wanted. Joss came out and said I was wrong. This season rests on Spike going to actually get his soul. I have no problems discarding my idea for the story that Joss wants to tell.

I will compare Joss' story to the parables. One that everyone knows is the Prodigal Son. What if someone interpreted that story to say that the father was a fool for taking back the son? That was a thought that crossed my mind when I was much younger. It completely misses what Jesus is trying to convey. I can see him getting upset if I took his story about God's love for us and turned it into a story about God being a fool.

I am lucky though. All those things I thought I saw in Angel's character are precisely where they have taken his character. The only major diff is Cordelia and that even makes sense to me on some level. It isn't so much she isn't Buffy or what Cordy has become. It steps on the history of Season 2, when Cordy is dogging after Angel trying to get in between Buffy and him. Xander line in Halloween was great. Anyone for Angel BUT Cordelia.

I'm not sure how I would be if they took Angel places that I thought he shouldn't go. Maybe I would vehemently cling to my idea of what he should be rather than what he had become. That would get more and more out of wack with the show as time went on. A 5 degree change in course is a major deviation when you travel across the ocean.

I think the writers are just trying to correct the course so that people can end up in France and not Africa.

[> [> [> Had a similar view. Good post. -- s'kat, 10:12:23 05/11/03 Sun

You basically said many of the same things I felt while watching Season 6 and why I felt them. Thanks for that post.

[> [> [> Re: Request for feedback from Spike fans on article. (spoilers to Touched) -- Rina, 08:42:56 05/12/03 Mon

There was nothing destructive about the idea of Buffy and Spike having a relationship. I hate to say it, but in the end, it was Buffy who perverted the relationship by using it to express her own self-hatred. I believe that deep down, she had feelings for Spike. But she could not get over her rigid black-and-white morality, along with Spike's souless state, and saw her attraction toward him as another reason for loathing herself. So yes, that relationship had to end. But fortunately, both were given a second chance to begin a more healthy relationship, whether it will end in friendship or something more romantic.

[> Ducking out slightly -- Tchaikovsky, 03:23:57 05/11/03 Sun

I don't think I'd exactly call myself a Spike fan- I think that my viewing of the show is still very much oriented around Buffy as a character, although I enjoy Spike's character just as I enjoy all the others. But I just wanted to say that I enjoyed reading your essay, which I thought was a balanced, careful discussion of the idea of text interpretation and audience reaction, and the mediation of the future show that grows as a result of some reactions.

For me, a viewing of the show that focusses obsessively on one character who is not the main character is valid, but does have the tendency to restrict enjoyment, and cut perspectives of events down. As you mention, the 'Spike fans' reactions to 'STSP' and 'Help' were generally rather more negative than the non-specific fan, both towards the episode and Buffy's actions in it. In two episodes that were concretely focussed on Buffy's journey as compared to Willow's, and Buffy's journey as combined with Cassie's (and, to a lesser extent, Dawn's), it seems that appreciating the episode or otherwise merely for the content of Spike is to have a different view of a show than is intended. This can lead to a more imperfect enjoyment, but is perhaps more fulfilling in other ways. In any case, I believe your article was nicely balanced on both sides of 'the divide'.


[> [> Re: Ducking out slightly -- Gwyn, 06:38:45 05/11/03 Sun

I like your use of the word "fulfillment" as something that comes from viewing the show with a particular fan interest in one character but I'm not sure if I can agree that the enjoyment is then "imperfect". If I might continue the analogy of the mountain view in my reply to another post in this thread, I think individual viewers are climbing up that story mountain from different sides but we all get to the top in the end.:-)

[> Excellent article -- KdS, 03:44:29 05/11/03 Sun

A very clear and well-argued piece. However, I think you should at least acknowledge the key moral problem that the full redemption of an unsouled Spike would create for the series. For the five years prior to S6, the moral position of BtVS had been that it was appropriate to kill demonic entities because they were essentially evil and could never be redeemed. By contrast, human villains, however evil, should not be killed because they were potentially redeemable. In particular, see the debate on whther Buffy should kill Faith in Graduation Day, Buffy's anguish when she (falsely) believes she has killed a human in Ted, and the debate over Willow's desire for vengeance on Warren Meers in Villains. If Spike were to be morally redeemed without a soul, however unusual the circumstances, it would suggest that for the past five years the heroic characters had been blithely murdering potentially redeemable creatures, a shift which I don't believe the series could have survived.

[> [> Re: Excellent article -- Gwyn, 06:22:40 05/11/03 Sun

I think you are right in saying that there is no way the writers were going to redeem Spike without a soul. However, the fact that they portrayed him so sympathetically, and morally attractive, in stark contrast to any other unsouled vampire, suggests that he was unique and broke the vampire mould. They confirmed this when they showed him expressing remorse after his actions in Seeing Red and doing the unheard of in the Buffyverse by going to get a soul. I think this did give the writers the leeway to say that he was the exception that proved the rule about "demonic entities". If he was not, then how could they make sense of his going to get the soul in the first place?

Of course, if they had redeemed him without the soul we would have had a much more complex story about moral relativism, specism, and human motivation than we got. I think there was enough in the text prior to the ensouling to explain the anticipation of Spike fans that, indeed, it was the story they were getting.

[> [> [> Re: Excellent article -- Rufus, 07:11:19 05/11/03 Sun

I think you are right in saying that there is no way the writers were going to redeem Spike without a soul. However, the fact that they portrayed him so sympathetically, and morally attractive, in stark contrast to any other unsouled vampire, suggests that he was unique and broke the vampire mould. They confirmed this when they showed him expressing remorse after his actions in Seeing Red and doing the unheard of in the Buffyverse by going to get a soul. I think this did give the writers the leeway to say that he was the exception that proved the rule about "demonic entities". If he was not, then how could they make sense of his going to get the soul in the first place?

I have to agree with KDS that the writers were stuck when it comes to the redemption capabilities of an unsouled vampire. Enter the chip....which basically did the Clockwork Orange on Spike. But there was still the problem of Angel, if they had managed to "fix" Spikes nature without a soul then the series Angel would have suffered.

For the show the soul is the thing that starts someone towards the right star...without it, and for Spike without the incentive of Buffy, tragedy can occur. I have no problem with the AR because of Spikes reaction to what he had done. It's easy to blame Buffy for all the suffering that Spike went through from getting that chip in, but the thing is you had a complex relationship where these two people should have been killing each other, but they changed each other instead. Spike didn't go to the house with the intent to rape, he lost control when he thought Buffy no longer wanted him. His reaction to what he had done was so obvious that it was easy to see that he had come to his limit. He couldn't be a man or a monster....and for the first time he could understand why Buffy could never trust him. The scene in the alley in Smashed was something that was proof that to people Spike didn't know, he was a danger. In Seeing Red, we could see in an extreme situation, Spike was capable of hurting the one he claimed to love so much. This is what sent him for a soul, he wanted to give Buffy what she deserved and that was the confidence to believe in Spike.

This exception to the rule situation needed a double catalyst...first the chip which gave Spike a long cool down period when it came to killing people, and switched his preference from killing people to other demons. But the chip didn't change that urge to kill people. That's where his love for Buffy finished what the chip started. One without the other may not have had the same conclusion.

[> [> [> [> I agree with Rufus and KdS here -- s'kat, 09:05:34 05/11/03 Sun

As much as I would have liked to have seen the whole let's redeem Spike without a soul storyline - (partly because I couldn't see how in the world they could pull it off without alienating a good portion of the fan base and killing audience suspension of disbelief) - to do so does shift the focus from the central character/heroine Buffy to a supporting character, Spike.

This is a problem fans of the show face - we are watching a show built around a lead character - but most fans find themselves relating more to the supporting characters. More interested in their paths and less in the leads. While this is fun and all, it does set up a bit of a conflict between the viewer and the text being presented. What happens if the supporting character you are invested in is a)killed off (like Tara or even Angel at the end of Season 2), b)relegated to mostly background (like Anya in S7 and Xander in most of S5-7), c) leaves the show like Oz/Riley and to some extent Giles in S6 or c) turned evil to enhance the heros journey (like Willow in S6)? Do you stop watching? Whether the fans like it or not, the story does revolve around Buffy - she is the central focus. In S1-3 - fans had the same problem with Angel, there were many fans out there that wanted more Angel than Buffy. ME rewarded them and created the show Angel. I believe in some ways Ats is a response to the fan obsession with the character. Just as the possibility of Marsters moving over to Angel in Season 5, should it get picked up by WB and get enough money, would be a reaction to that.

(Now I say all this fully cognizant of the fact that Spike is my favorite television character and the major reason I've been so obsessed with Btvs lately.)

If the writers had given a portion of the fans what they wanted and redeemed Spike sans soul this would have caused another problem with the story. One Kds and Rufus both briefly touch on.

When writing fantasy and sci-fi - it is very important to establish rules to your universe in order to sustain a sense of disbelief. You may break some of these rules but when you do it - you have to be aware of the effect it has on the entire universe, the universe's continuity, the characters journeys and stay consistent within all of that. Writing sci-fi and fantasy is a juggling act - you have to keep all the balls in the air simulataneously - drop one? Whammo!

If they redeemed Spike without a soul - they would have to explain a number of things to their audience and do so without appearing to retcon the universe or altering it completely. Remember the show has been on at least 6 years by this point. It has spun off another show which exists within the same universe with characters that occassionally interact within the same time lines, which has lasted 3 years by this point. Also on top of that, writing for TV is not the same as writing for books or comics or even movies.
Television is a quick form. You have a short amount of time to write, produce, edit, and film a 42 minute segment. You also aren't doing it by yourself - you are doing it with 50 other people - including writers, crew, cast, producers, and network people who approve it. And you have to worry about advertisers - will they buy ad space during your show?
This does effect the story telling. So while you may want to tell a really incredible story - you are to some degree hindered by the above variables. Hence the reason lots of novelists hate the concept of writing for television.

Now Gwyn argues and very well - that aren't these items, which I'll list below and are partially listed by Kds and Rufus, still brought into question by the fact that Spike actually sought a soul? Not exactly. Fans have been able to get around that one - since they can sucessfully argue Spike did it out of love for Buffy and had no clue what he was really getting into. Also several fans have become convinced that the soul Spike got is tainted since it came from an unreliable source and while it is his soul and provides him with free will - it also provides him with the ability to choose evil.
The fact he sought one also appeases the fans who wanted him redeemed without one to some extent - because they can argue that he got one in SR and the soul he sought/won was just smoke and mirrors. Then of course the fans who need Spike not to be redeemed or seeking a soul in order to buy Angel and Buffy's role as vampire slayer - can argue that Spike was not redeemed by seeking a soul, it was merely the act of an obsessed vampire who stupidly thought okay, get soul - get Buffy. He gets the soul - now he changes and maybe he can be redeemed. So you see? Spike seeking a soul doesn't disrupt the universe too much, it doesn't cause the fans to jump up and down exclaiming Buffy is a killer or Angel is doomed because he couldn't be good without a soul.
It leaves those two questions still unresolved and open for debate.

Now if they redeemed him without the soul as a lot of Spike centric fanfic attempts to do - we'd end up with the following questions:

1. So, uhm, why isn't Buffy redeeming vamps instead of killing them? (cjl wrote a fantastic parody of this way back in August. See archives. Called, I think Buffy the Redeemer of Vampires.)

2. Does this make Buffy a killer?

3. What does this say about Angel? If Angel has to be cursed to be good - what's the point in investing in his redemption? Or his story? When Spike can be good without a soul or a curse?
(Now you can still question all things w/Spike seeking a soul - but a valid argument can be made both ways. If Spike was redeemed without a soul? It's not as debatable. Writers like to keep things ambiguous).

4. What does this say about our lead characters: Xander, Willow, Giles? And everything they've said all along?

5. What does it say about Buffy sparing humans who seem more despicable than demons? Warren Mears? Prof Walsh?
Faith? etc.

While the writers do bring up these questions - they aren't questions that start disrupting people's sense of disbelief or take them out of the show. If they redeemed Spike without a soul - I think several fans would find themselves questioning the entire framework and logic behind the show they've been watching for six years. Actually the logic and framework of both shows they've been watching. By having him just seek and win the soul - they don't have this problem. The logical framework is maintained. We can have a vampire who is uniquely cursed with one because of past deeds and a vampire who got one because of his experiences and needs - without saying anything too negative about the heroine's choices or the condition of the vampire cursed with a soul.

Ambiguity is maintained as well as suspension of disbelief.

Not sure that made sense. Hope so.


PS: Working my way through your article, Gwyn - will hopefully get back to you with impressions.

[> [> [> [> [> I always felt that your issues 1-5 -- Sophist, 13:56:34 05/11/03 Sun

were already inherent in the show because of Angel: why not simply use the gypsy curse on all vamps and then redeem them? I think asking this question leads directly to all the issues you identified regarding Spike.

JMHO, but Spike's storyline in S5-6 created issues regarding canon that I never felt were resolved. Not everyone agrees that Spike was, unlike other vamps, actually doing good deeds, of course (and I don't mean to start that debate again, I'm just reporting my view). For people like me, re-souling him didn't solve those issues, it just swept them under the rug. Neither here nor there now, I suppose, since I'm willing to suspend disbelief either way.

I liked the idea of redemption without the soul because it provided a way for the slayer to give up her power by realizing it wasn't necessary. I thought that would make a great ending to the series. But it's ME's story, not mine.

[> [> [> [> [> What if the Show Hadn't Been Called "Buffy the Vampire Slayer"? -- Ann Nichols, 21:43:42 05/11/03 Sun

Once there was a supernatural soap opera about an orphan governess named Victoria Winters. "Dark Shadows" introduced a temporary vampire villain. Barnabas Collins proved so popular that he took over the show. We never did find out who VW's parents were and if she was related to the Collins. The actress left the show and it did fine without her. If there hadn't been a title character, might Spike have been given an even bigger part?

[> [> [> [> [> [> Like "Sunnydale 90217: The Hellmouth Years"? -- WickedToriSpelling, 09:24:25 05/12/03 Mon

[> [> I would add -- lunasea, 08:33:00 05/11/03 Sun

That Spike explored some interesting areas about human interaction without having to go into the area of redemption. As Jane told the BBC

"It would be very hard to redeem Spike, he doesn't have a soul. There is a line that I wrote that I really love where Buffy realises that Dawn has a crush on Spike and says, "You cannot hang out with a vampire" and Dawn says "You did with Angel." Buffy says, "Angel had a soul" and Dawn says, "Spike has a chip, same diff."

I love the idea that the soul and the chip are very much the same but they are very different because of the heart behind them. As long as Spike hasn't a soul, he cannot be redeemed.

However, there's a lot that Spike can do without redemption. He can explore all kinds of human interactions without redemption and that's even more interesting."

Spike fans seem to hold tightly to the idea of redemption often without seeing these more interesting human interactions. Spike can have a wonderful subtext without redemption. I would be curious why Spike fans see this as so integral to their favorite character?

And redemption was addressed, Dru tried to redeem him to evil in "Crush."

[> Spike, the audience, and courtly love -- mamcu, 17:16:32 05/11/03 Sun

Very nice essay. I really like your examination of the interaction between the show and the fans. I think that interaction moves the whole experience of art into a new category, in our time. This goes far beyond what audiences of earlier drama could do, and makes the audience a co-creator, whether the artist wants us to be or not.

I also like your analysis of the specifics of this fan/show interaction. I was intrigued by one minor comment, that gave me a whole new way of seeing Spike: he is indeed in the tradition of the courtly lover, from the earliest and most serious to Don Quixote. Has anyone written about that, to your knowledge?

[> [> Re: Spike, the audience, and courtly love -- Indri, 20:02:12 05/11/03 Sun

was intrigued by one minor comment, that gave me a whole new way of seeing Spike: he is indeed in the tradition of the courtly lover, from the earliest and most serious to Don Quixote. Has anyone written about that, to your knowledge?

I know of one such essay, in Slayage: The On-line International Journal of Buffy Studies.

Ain't Love Grand?

[> [> Re: Spike, the audience, and courtly love -- Gwyn, 06:23:10 05/12/03 Mon

If you scroll down to the bibliography in the article you will see the reference to an essay on line by V. Spah which I referred on Spike as the courtly lover. It is a great read.

[> Interesting essay. Giving audience what they need not want -- s'kat, 19:14:18 05/11/03 Sun

I enjoyed your essay and am a Spike fan. He is my favorite character in the series. And it is often difficult, I'll admit, to stay objective regarding his journey.

I wait in hungry anticipation and fear of what they plan on doing with him at the end of this year - there are only two episodes left in US. And I've resigned myself to the worste case scenerio to protect myself. Never in the history of TV has there been a finale that I loved. I think STNG came the closest. Most? Rude disappointments. So I fully expect Whedon and Company to hurt me by having Spike turn evil at the last possible moment and have Buffy kill him. Her empowerment? Killing him with a kiss, a la Becoming. sigh. Love hurts. Again.

That said...I am unspoiled. I've been unspoiled since First Date. Hard as heck but I've done it. I reacted in the opposite fashion of many spike fans who saw SR, I was spoiled for it and I wonder if I would have reacted differently if I hadn't been. Same on Grave. So this year I'm doing myself a favor and staying unspoiled.

Spike to me is fascinating because I can't predict him, because he is the underdog, oh for all the reasons you quote in your essay so well. I care about the character on a visceral level, which I work very hard to suppress when posting criticism or analysis. Sometimes I succeed, sometimes I don't.

But enough on my tastes - what I wanted to talk about is the interaction between writers and viewers which you touch on in your essay. And thought I'd repost a portion of what I posted far below in response to a thread on Buttons and David Fury.


On numerous occassions Marti Noxon or David Fury has pushed all my buttons. David Fury did in some of his "humorous" posts on Spike. Making fun of fans. (The infamous joke - that Spike fans were like women who wrote to and married serial killers is the best one and I think beneath him.) While I agreed with some of the things that he said, ie - that you shouldn't redeem someone through the love of a good woman. I found his tone and jokes like the one above insulting for someone who makes his living off of entertainment. Just as I found Marti's at times. (EX: Some people just never get past their high school romance and the B/A shippers are like that. They probably still have their highschool boyfriends picture hanging on the mirror. - Wanda Interview) They often make sharp, defensive comments to deal with criticism they aren't certain how to handle. MN didn't know how to handle the criticism she was receiving regarding the way Spike was portrayed on the show. Fans screamed at her: If Spike is inherently evil - then show us don't confuse us. 'But I'm not confusing you, we are showing you' - she kept saying. 'In Smashed he would have bitten that girl'. YEah...screamed fans...but why didn't he just bite her then? Why give him a five -ten minute speech where he has to talk himself into it? After Buffy, your hero, beats him up and tells him that's all he's good for? Marsters, in numerous interviews, blames himself for how that scene worked - but it wasn't Marsters fault, it was Marti's and the directors and the writers for not making it clear - they gave him the speech and they directed him on how to pause and say the lines or let him do it without telling him not to. (According to A.S. HEad - Whedon directed his actors not to do anything he didn't tell them to do or he'd shoot the back of their head and forgoe closeups. And he did - when ASH tried to play with a prop in one scene.) Also Whedon deliberatly lightened up the snark in Hell's Bells between Spike and Buffy. They deliberately made the character ambiguous. Just as they deliberately made things ambiguous in LMPTM. When you introduce ambiguity - it's a wonderful thing - but don't be surprised if someone interprets it differently than you intended.

I remember a Creative Writing Teacher teaching me this one once. I had written a story from the pov of my artistic younger brother. The story was ambiguous in nature. Everyone who read it - interpreted what was going on within it a different way. One person interpreted it as a boy in art school who feels alienated. One as a boy dying of cancer. Another as boy who is the sole survior of the apocalypse. All three interpretations were possible from the text. The first one was the intended one. My professor took the middle view, dying of cancer, and blasted me for not giving the reader a road map or making my intention clear. He said you have to give the reader some direction in the story. Otherwise you have NO right to get upset if they interpret it 180 degrees differently than you expected. You introduce too much ambiguity? You pay the price! He also told me that if I couldn't take criticism and rejection I had no business being a writer. Writers as someone aptly said on this very board, must have the sensitivity of toilet seats. Because no matter what you write, someone out there will despise it and they will tell you so, fairly harshly. And unlike the Atpo board - you don't always have the luxuary of ignoring or not reading the criticism.

In Writing Btvs, Joss Whedon has decided for good or ill to create art not commercial entertainment. And art by its very nature can piss people off. The best art often does. What do I mean by Commericial Entertainment and Art? Commercial entertainment under film scholar Gene Youngblood's definition is a medium that gives the audience exactly what it expects and wants. Commercial entertainment is well Murder She Wrote - where we know when the murder is committed , Jessica Fletcher will show up and solve it and everything will end hunky dory. Art does not give us what we respect - and more often than not can hurt us. But it's a good type of hurt.

As Whedon states in an interview (taken from John Longworth's book, quoted by David Lavery in his essay on Whedon in Slayage 7, cited later):" Ultimately stories come from violence, they come from sex. They come from death. They come from the dark places that everybody has to go to...if you raise a kid to think everything is sunshine and flowers, they're going to get into the real world and die...That's the reason fairy tales are so creepy, because we need to encapsulate these things, to inoculate ourselves against them, so that when we're confronted by the geniune horror that is day-to-day life we don't go insane."

Here's another Joss Whedon quote from David Lavery's Slayage Article on Whedon in Slayage 7. I include in this some of Mr. Lavery's own comments. This quote addresses the differences between Commerical Entertainment and ART:

"We know that in concurrence with the Gene Youngblood axiom that entertainment gives the audience what it wants while art contributes what it never dreamed it needed, [Whedon] does not want his narrative religion to be merely entertainment. "Don't give them what they want, he tells The ONION, give them what they need. What they want is for Sam and Diane [Cheers] to get together. Don't give it to them. Trust me...People want the easy path, a happy resolution, but in the end, they're more interest in...No one's going to see the story of Othello going to get a peaceful divorce. People want the tragedy. They need things to go wrong, they need the tension. In my characters there's a core of trust and love that I'm very committed to. These guys would die for each other, and it's very beautiful. But at the same time, you can't keep that safety. Things have to go wrong, bad things have to happen."

"One of the things TV is about, Whedon tells The Onion, "is comfort, is knowing exactly where you are. I know they're going to invite Jessica Fletcher over, one of them is going to get killed, she very politely is going to solve it. I know what's going to happen when I tune in to a particular show.....With Buffy we'll do French farce one week and Medea the next week. We try very hard structurally not to fall into a pattern either, so there's not a shoot-out in a warehouse every episode. I'm very committed to keeping the audience off their feet. It's sort of antithetical to what TV is devised to do." (See John Longworth's TV Creators: Conversations with Americas Top Producers of Television Drama.)

I think Whedon as you state towards the end of your essay has decided to creat a show that encourages his audience to interact with it - that's what good art does. But by doing so, he must handle the not so wonderful reprecussions.
Art - tends to be more criticised than "commercial entertainment", the fans have higher expectations, they care more. Partly because they don't know what lies ahead, they have to trust the writer to show them. If the writer or writers drop the ball...they stop trusting the writer, and without the audience or the audience's trust? The Writer is nothing. He is creating his art in a vaccume. Because the audience can turn off the TV set or not buy the book. It's a tough thing art - sharing it with others is dependent on whether or not they wish to see it. You lose their trust, their desire to see your art? You end up creating alone...the art may still exist, but the purpose, sharing it, you are cut off from. The double-edged sword indeed - you want to give the audience thrills, but at the same time you don't want to alienate or thrill them too death.

Enjoyed the essay, thanks for sharing.

[> Re: Request for feedback from Spike fans on article. -- Dandy, 21:40:04 05/11/03 Sun

Lovely article. It brought a few questions to mind.

How do you compare Warren (souled) and Spike (unsouled) and come out with Warren as a superior moral being for having a soul?

I have never really accepted Spike as not having a 'soul.' He always was more empathic than anyone else. He lacked a conscience, an inner moral compass, hence the attraction to Buffy.

Secondly, I think another factor in the perhaps, miscommunication between writers and audience has to do with JM's self-direction. He said recently that he thought he redeemed Spike too quickly. I tend to agree with that. He is a brilliant actor whose subtext was lovable, loyal and emotionally available. Of course that is in the words also. It is just an interesting question to me. How much did this actor's interpretation of the text change the intent? Did ME really intend to redeem Spike or send him over the edge to greater villany? Did they feel forced to redeem Spike because of JM's popularity? He adds so many emotional twists to his lines. At some point it would be interesting to look at the question here of actor as director, interpreter of text.

[> [> Re: Request for feedback from Spike fans on article. -- Rufus, 22:38:05 05/11/03 Sun

Secondly, I think another factor in the perhaps, miscommunication between writers and audience has to do with JM's self-direction. He said recently that he thought he redeemed Spike too quickly. I tend to agree with that. He is a brilliant actor whose subtext was lovable, loyal and emotionally available.

Want to post me a link to the source of that statement from JM?

[> [> [> Reply to Rufus -- Dandy, 03:59:16 05/12/03 Mon

I think it must have been a transcript from a q&a at a recent convention, but not Vulkon. I probably linked to it through Fan Forum or Cross and Stake. Did not save it.

I will keep looking and post it if I find it.

For now the real world calls.

[> [> [> [> Thanks.....:):) -- Rufus, 04:39:42 05/12/03 Mon

[> [> Re: Request for feedback from Spike fans on article. -- Gwyn, 06:43:22 05/12/03 Mon

I think, even if we accept that sympathy for Spike had a lot to do with JM's superb acting, and I for one do accept that, there still remains the fact that the story and dialogue contains those sympathetic elements as well. My general feeling is that the divide between the writers and the redemptionist fans, with the latter feeling Spike was further along the path of redemption before he got a soul than the writers did, was the result of the writers not realising the full impact of what they were writing. Perhaps, they underestimated the audience passion for seeing a story that was saying "it doesn't matter how you start out", you can be better than you are. It's one of the large stories that, redemption. While the writer's thought Buffy's story was about how we become the hero of our own story, a large part of the audience was watching the parallel story in Spike's journey of how we become the hero when everybody says it is hopeless! Buffy was the acknowledged hero, Spike was the guy the canon said was never going to make it, "the evil soulless thing"...who wouldn't find themselves cheering on the underdog who stands up and says " I can change"...stuff what everyone else thinks says! It was Buffyverse canon versus individual human aspiration. Spike's aspiration up against all expectations. I think the writers simply underestimated the power of that parallel story to move and inspire the audience to care.

[> Re: Request for feedback from Spike fans on article. -- Arethusa, 05:06:37 05/12/03 Mon

Interesting, enjoyable article.

One of the things that fascinates me about ardent Spike fans, especially during Season 6, was how many of them identified with the demon villians or semi-villians like Spike and Anya instead of the Scoobies. Buffy and the others have always been presented as outside the mainstream society, especially in high schoool. They gain our sympathy by being rejected by their peers for being different-Buffy's behavior as slayer, Willow's geekiness and religion, Xander's geekiness and unhappy home life. But many fans see the Scoobies as the in-croud; beautiful, gifted people who exclude the real outsiders-the demons.

I've seen enormous sympathy for the demons on the boards, especially Spike and Anya. Some people identified greatly with the ones whose love was rejected cruelly. They became annoyed or even angry with the Scoobies for rejecting the love they were offered. I doubt it even occurred to the writers that they would hit such a strong nerve that sympathy for the demons would surpass identification with the heroes of the story.

Thanks for posting your article.

Arethusa, basking in the warm glow of quotage.

[> [> The beautiful people -- KdS, 09:35:26 05/12/03 Mon

I think on one level the difficulty in believing in the SG as outsiders is a conflict between the BtVS concept and the elementary fact that very few TV series have suceeded when the regular cast members are not all, or mainly, representatives of the most attractive 10% of the population. Maybe things would have been different if a non-pretty actress had been cast as Willow, as initially intended, or if Danny Strong had got the role of Xander when he reputedly auditioned for it. Of course, the deeply crude remarks that were made at various times over the figures of Amber Benson, Nicholas Brendon and David Boreanaz sadly suggest that the TV channel owners are right about their audience's prejudices. (Even the relatively, but not outstandingly, handsome Adam Busch was denounced as hideous by one poster here, who will remain anonymous because he/she apologised when called on it).

On another level there's the fact that from S5 on, for all their problems in their private lives, both the successfully capitalist Xander and Anya, and the apprently subsidised student Willow, were far from socially oppressed or deprived (although Buffy ended up as the 21st century version of the lumpen proletariat).

[> [> [> Re: The beautiful people -- Arethusa, 11:21:01 05/12/03 Mon

Yes, true. But JM and EC are insanely beautiful too, and I've seen people get downright angry at how they were treated by their lovers. And I never saw anyone get indignant over Johnathan's lack of success with women. So it's not because of looks. Maybe it's just that some people will always relate to the underdog.

[> [> [> Don't think you should mention the Adam Busch thing -- Finn Mac Cool, 13:53:19 05/12/03 Mon

As I recall, the comment was made more because the poster detested Warren so much and identified his character with Busch's face; it didn't seem to have anything to do with looks.

The letter (spoiler for Touched and the end) -- Deacon, 09:35:39 05/11/03 Sun

I had just watched Touched because it does not air until saturday night in Kingston Ontario, it was an excelant eposide that I have been waiting for. The past few episode were not all that great until the last 10 minutes of empty places. This season has been a little messed up with the writers setting up storylines that do not go anywhere(while still better than 99% of the rest of T.V out there).
First it sets up Dawn in high shool, with buffy as a conseleur and introduces dawn's friends who we never see again, it seemed as though they were going to set up the show as a high school drama again before they knew that the show was going to end this year. Then they rehash a big bad from one eposide in season three. I think this was originally a way to bring Tara back like they did with Jenny Mcarthy. Then there is the army of the Ubervamps but then andrew cries on the seal and that storyline is gone. Then they bring Caleb who has inexlicalbly god like strenght, they don't set up or explain this character. They wouldn't be able to invent a big bad that was a interesting and as fun as Glory any way.
The personal relationships do not really go anywhere. We can tell that deep down Buffy loves Spike evan if she can't admit it to herself, but nothing happens with that. Nothing dramatic happens with Xander and anya. Willow and Kenedy are set up in a fantastic episode "the Killer in Me" but nothing really happens after that. Personally I was a little disallusioned by the show and I noticed that most of the posts on this sight were about Angel not BTVS.
I think that this was intentional to have this season be all over the place and not making much sence so it can all be pulled to gether in a fantastic final three episodes. I think it is the type of thing Joss whedon would do.

As for "touched" I though it was the best eposide of the season where things finally start to come together. The part that got me the most was that letter. That scene, I thought, was the most touching scene between buffy and spike, and as from what I can remember was the only time spike told buffy that he loved her this season. The most important part there was that they did not have sex, it showed true love instead. That part showed every type of sex.

There was the casual sex between Faith and Wood which was just casual convinient at the time sex and then faith disregards him just like Xander. Afterward when Wood asks faith where she wants him to be she says, at home by the phone.

Willow and Kenedy showed the new passinate sex. It was the first time there relationship really went anywhere since TKIM, and definitaly showed alot more than they did with Willow and Tara (beloved Tara).

Xander and Anya Showed the reconcilliation or closeur sex.

But with Buufy and Spike there was no sex, there was intamicy which they never really had before. The have had plenty of violant degrading sex but this showed true love. The most telling part of this is the point where buffy wakes up realizes what she is doing and then leans back in towards spike, the position they are in is significant, it is like buffy is the one who is holding spike not the other way around.

I am desprate to know what was in that letter for spike. But there is a good chance that they will not tell us, this show has a tendancy to leave out important part like this and leave it for interpation and discussion, a good example of this is when Willow goes to Tara's grave.

Perhaps buffy thought she might be killed when she went to fight Caleb alone. Maybe Buffy feels bad that the only time she turns to spike is when she has no one else to turn to and that she is using him.

The letter is a means for buffy to tell spike what she could never tell him face to face. I am hoping that she did finally tell him that she loves him but that might be to predictable.
It is very diffucult to say because the first thing buffy says to spike after she has lost everything except for him is to tell him to leave.
I am vey intersted in what other theories people have.

[> Re: The letter (spoiler for Touched and the end) -- Invisible Green, 14:22:16 05/11/03 Sun

Wow. Long Post! I agree with most of your points, though. I, also, would like to know what the letter says. Maybe it was a thank you note, y'know, like, "Thank you for staying with me last night..."

[> Re: The letter (spoiler for Touched and the end) -- Dandy, 14:50:51 05/11/03 Sun

Jane Epsenson said recently on the Succubus Club that the note would not be explained and it was just 'what you think it would be.' Basically I understood this as meaning somrething like , 'Gone to beat up Caleb, great night, Tab in fridge. See ya later, Buffy'

[> [> I thought Tab was extinct. Is it just geographical now? -- Wickedbuffy ::wondering if Tab holds deep symbolism::, 17:15:49 05/11/03 Sun

[> [> [> Re: I thought Tab was extinct. Is it just geographical now? -- purplegrrl, 14:02:23 05/12/03 Mon

I thought it was extinct, too. But the other day (before the Buffy episode that mentioned it) I saw a woman drinking from that familiar hot-pink can. ((The Buffyverse and reality align!!)) Maybe it's regional (I live in Austin) or maybe somebody dug up a time capsule. But that comment by Buffy struck me as inconguous -- she should be too young to remember Tab. Maybe she was channelling her mother for a brief moment.

[> [> [> Re: I thought Tab was extinct. Is it just geographical now? -- leslie, 15:03:36 05/12/03 Mon

Tab is still around but rare and it's developed a kind of retro chic in certain circles. Tangentially, there is a whole section of the American Folklore Society devoted to regional soft drinks--people bring along their finds to the annual meeting and share them around.

As for the note, I'm pretty sure it said "Gone to the vineyard, don't follow me" and of course he will because what's the point of leaving someone a note saying "don't follow me" unless they're going to follow you anyway?

[> [> [> [> Or, the note just said: "Out of Tab, gone to the store. Don't come looking for me there, though." -- WickedBuffy ::munching a chocolate Space Food Stick::, 17:05:42 05/12/03 Mon

[> [> Re: The letter (spoiler for Touched and the end) -- Invisible Green, 18:25:30 05/11/03 Sun

That's actually pretty cool. Hmm...What do I think it said?

[> Re: The letter (spoiler for Touched and the end) -- Morgan Ross Brooks, 19:58:07 05/11/03 Sun

I agree with most of what you said, But buffy has to tell spike to his face that she loves him.
The blond girl that buffy couldn't save from the heart attack told spike, she would tell him. I can't see it being done in somthing as impersonal as a note.

[> [> She could tell him in the note and reaffirm it outloud later. -- WickedBuffy, 09:36:09 05/12/03 Mon

[> Re: The letter (spoiler for Touched and the end) -- rowena, 13:28:32 05/12/03 Mon

I bet it says something like: "Gone to kill Caleb. If I don't come back, take care of Dawnie for me."
Might even have a "love ya" on the end.

[> Don't Agree With Your Assessment of Season 7 -- Rina, 14:35:53 05/12/03 Mon

I don't agree with your assessment of Season 7. I'm enjoying it very much, and understand the story arc, completely. Were you all anticipating a return of the show focusing upon Sunnydale High, again? A return to the old days?

Ancient (Buffy) HIstory Question -- Sophie, 12:29:25 05/11/03 Sun

I just re-watched "Angel" from Season 1 and somehow, I never noticed before -

At the very end, after Buffy and Angel kiss, Buffy walks away and the camera shows Angel and there is a cross burned into his neck. Why? Who did it?

Thx, Sophie

[> Buffy is wearing it -- Random, 12:36:53 05/11/03 Sun

[> [> omg! omg! I can't believe I missed that! omg! omg! -- Sophie, 13:41:20 05/11/03 Sun

Was I drooling over Angel so intensely that I missed a HUGE cross around Buffy's neck???

[> [> [> its the cross that Angel gave Buffy in WttH -- Dochawk, 14:08:37 05/11/03 Sun

And didn't it help save her life from Luke in The Harvest?

[> [> [> The smoke and sizzling didn't give it away? That's some drooling!! -- O'Cailleagh, 15:20:00 05/11/03 Sun

[> [> [> [> There was smoke??? -- Sophie. totally ashamed now, 15:29:41 05/11/03 Sun

[> [> [> [> [> and the fresh, raw sear mark was painful to see. -- contumelious, 17:13:02 05/11/03 Sun

[> [> [> [> [> It was one of the best endings ever... -- Sofdog, 21:07:01 05/11/03 Sun

What with that song, "I'll Remember You," by Sophie Zelmani playing, and the dialogue and the way Angel withstood the pain of her cross to kiss her...

[> [> [> [> [> [> yes, yes, awesome ending... -- Sophie, who's just gonna have to watch it again, 05:38:37 05/12/03 Mon

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