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My thoughts on casting spoilers for AtS S5 -- Scroll, 23:58:33 05/13/03 Tue

I haven't gone looking for casting spoilers just yet, but I'd have to be living under a rock not to have noticed that James Marsters is being considered as a new regular cast member for Angel Season 5.

Okay. Here's the thing. I don't want this to turn into a Spike-hate vs. Spike-love debate. Because this isn't about whether I hate or love the character. For the record, I'm pretty neutral about him -- on Buffy.

I think - I think... I would really hate him over on Angel. Because Angel simply doesn't need Spike. It's fine with the cast it's already got. More than fine. The characters are incredible the way they are, the way they relate. The chemistry between DB and VK is beyond anything I've ever seen, even beyond Wes/Lilah or Buffy/Faith (which are the two I often use as standards for love/hate relationships).

Yes, ME could make a place for Spike on Angel. But it would be like hacking out a hole in the wall to make something fit. Angel already has a son to have father issues over. Spike would be a poor substitute for Connor, whether or not VK returned next season. Watching "Home" tonight really clarified how much Angel doesn't need Spike.

Lilah is likely to play a larger role next season. And having added Andy Hallett to the credits, it would be nice if, y'know, the writers actually gave him a story-line. I have to be honest, I would much rather watch a Lorne mini-arc than a Spike one. Hell, Gunn has been a regular since S2, and he's still underdeveloped. Angel simply does not need another character.

So yeah, besides my fear of a cast bloat, I'm also worried about the new Buffy writers that are rumoured to be crossing over as well. Aside from Drew Goddard, who seems incapable of bad writing, I'm not sure I trust that the Buffy writers will truly understand (aka grok) how Angel works. It's a totally different style, a different feel. Much more morally ambiguous, a hell of a lot darker, more worldly and more expansive. Angel is global whereas Buffy is universal. (Er, that made sense in my head, but don't ask me to explain!)

One exception: Steven DeKnight was perfect for crossing over to Angel. Heck, most of us noted that his style was much too dark for Buffy, but that it works wonderfully for Angel.

Maybe I should trust the writers more. I should trust that they'll do their homework and that Jeffrey Bell and Tim Minear will keep the new writers on a short leash.

Maybe Spike could work out as a mini-arc. He'd actually be great as a shadow-self for Connor and/or Angel.

But I worry. I haven't been able to really connect with Buffy most of this season. I've mourned the lost potential I saw at the beginning of this season. While some of the later eps managed to really move me (i.e. Potential, Storyteller), most of the time I would cringe through an ep, before getting excited again because Angel would be on in two minutes. Sadly, I haven't even seen a Buffy ep since "Dirty Girls". What does it say about me or about my once-favourite show that even my worship of Faith can't get me to watch?

(Though I promised I'd watch my Buffy tapes tomorrow. I'm getting quizzed, apparently :)

Hopefully I'm not stepping on anyone's toes by saying I hope Spike stays the hell away from my show. While I might be open to a short mini-arc with Spike guest-starring, I definitely do not want him becoming a regular. Not even a regular the way Lorne was in S2, or the way Tara and Joyce were. If Spike does have to show up, I want him in and out, no fuss, no muss.

Unfortunately, I'm not Joss. So I'm just hoping he makes a decision that won't end up being detrimental to my favourite show.

[> Agreed. Willow would be a better addition. -- lost_bracelet, 00:02:11 05/14/03 Wed

They could use another female cast member.

[> [> Yes, I actually wouldn't mind Willow -- Scroll, 00:18:22 05/14/03 Wed

Though it would still take a bit of retooling to work Willow in as well. But at least she has a little more recent history, recent good history with Team Angel. She has the magic background that would help her be useful, and an established rapport with Fred, Wesley, and Angel.

Not to mention it would probably be nice for Alexis and Aly to have compatible work schedules!

But honestly? If Angel needs another female, I would rather have Lilah. Lilah and Willow would be okay, though...

[> [> [> Here's another possibility... -- lost_bracelet, 00:28:03 05/14/03 Wed

Remember when Willow and Fred got along so well because they're both so nerdy? And then Willow awkwardly said, "I'm seeing someone" at the end.

That could be an interesting possibility. At the very least, an interesting friendship.

[> [> [> BTW, I like Lilah, too. She has a great voice. And nice eyebrows. -- lost_bracelet, 00:29:44 05/14/03 Wed

[> Re: My thoughts on casting spoilers for AtS S5 -- yabyumpan, 00:28:12 05/14/03 Wed

Agreed but sadly it's already cut in stone, Spike will be regular next season,11116,114399||,00.html

[> [> WHAT?!?! Oh God, just kill me now... -- Scroll, 01:09:32 05/14/03 Wed

Thanks for the link, yab.

Oh, my God. I can't believe they did this. And I can't believe they put James Marsters above Alexis Denisof, J. August Richards, Amy Acker, and Andy Hallett. I'm sorry, but I believe you earn your place in the credits according to a combo of actor billing and importance to the show. Please don't tell me that Spike or James Marsters has done either. But somehow Spike/JM is second only to Angel/DB?

Crap. Man, this is seriously NOT of the good. I can't believe they did this...

[> [> [> Re: WHAT?!?! Oh God, just kill me now... -- Valheru, 01:51:06 05/14/03 Wed

Well, if it's any consolation, James was on the show before any of the others ("In the Dark"). And tenure doesn't seem to have anything to do with it--Andy Hallett has been on the show almost a year longer than Amy Acker, yet his credit is after hers.

Credits are funny things with ME. Look at BtVS this year. James Marsters is last, yet he has been the second most important character for the last two years. Nicky Brendon is second billed, but he's hardly on the show anymore (as is Charisma on AtS, although for real-life reasons). And when ME finally gets a set system for what to do with guest credits, hell will probably have frozen over. So just because James is listed first for public relations the day his addition is announced, I wouldn't automatically translate from that his role on the show.

[> [> [> [> Also, don't assume that Spike will be working with Angel.. -- Rhys, 02:44:27 05/14/03 Wed

Remember, Spike doesn't seem to like Angel that much. The list of insults he has fired at Angel over the years might well top--well, not Mt. Everest, but maybe Mt. McKinley. He's called Angel a fool, a ninny, "The Great Poof," "Hairboy"---the list just goes on and on. Think of Spike's first speech in "In the Dark":

SPIKE (in high voice): "How can I thank you, you mysterious, black-clad hunk of a night thing? (low voice) No need, little lady, your tears of gratitude are enough for me. You see, I was once a badass vampire, but love and a pesky curse defanged me. Now I'm just a big, fluffy puppy with bad teeth. (Rachel steps closer to Angel, and Angel steps back warding her off with his hands) No, not the hair! Never the hair! (high voice) But there must be someway I can show my appreciation. (low voice) No, helping those in need's my job, - and working up a load of sexual tension, and prancing away like a magnificent poof is truly thanks enough! (high voice) I understand. I have a nephew who is gay, so... (low voice) Say no more. Evil's still afoot! And I'm almost out of that Nancy-boy hair-gel that I like so much. Quickly, to the Angel-mobile, away!"

Angel doesn't seem to like Spike very much, either. As Angelus, he seemed to focus on competing with Spike for Dru's attention, and making nasty little slurs about Spike's lack of mobility and masculinity. The times that SouledAngel and Spike have been in the same room, Angel's contempt has been palpable.

So what does this add up to?

Well, let's see. Angel and the Ministers of Grace-- (Television Without Pity term for Angel's crew; it's from Hamlet, I, iv, 20: "Angels and ministers of grace defend us!")--anyway, Angel and the MoG have accepted a payoff from Wolfram & Hart, ostensibly because they ended world peace. This can't possibly work out well; after all, Wolfram & Hart is a multidimensional law firm whose Senior Partners are creatures of Hell. My guess is that the Senior Partners have decided that killing Angel and the MoG wouldn't be nearly as much fun as corrupting them, step by patient step, until Angel and his crew are bound to Wolfram & Hart with strings as tight as steel hawsers. After all, killing a Champion is one thing, but persuading a Champion to trust his enemies and to do voluntarily things that he'd killed foes for doing, leading him down the garden path to that is a feast for a gourmet.

And this is roughly where Angel and the MoG are--in an altered reality in which their deepest wish has been granted. To quote Stephen King's "Needful Things," "[they] have what [they] want mixed up with what [they] need." Toss Lilah into the mix (probably with visions, so that Angel and the MoG will be forced to trust a completely untrustworthy agent of Hell) and you have an extremely spiritually perilous situation.

Enter Spike.

Spike is stubborn. He's proud. He doesn't like authority. He's told the Master, Angelus, the Initiative, Glorificus and the First Evil where to get off and how to get there. And he is a past master of snark. He knows just where and how to hit to puncture balloons of illusion. Which is a damned good thing, since Tactless Cordelia hasn't been around for some time.

I can see Spike opposing Angel AND Wolfram & Hart. I don't think he'd trust W & H as far as he could throw them, and Angel--well, as I said, Spike doesn't like him. And don't tell me that Spike has a soul; I know he does. Souls have never kept anyone from hating other people.

So Spike could be a useful thorn in the side of W & H AND Angel and the MoG, manipulating, one-upping, playing one against the other, and ultimately, for ultra-pragmatic reasons and most reluctantly, siding with Angel.

I think that could work. That's how I'd write it, anyway.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Also, don't assume that Spike will be working with Angel.. -- DEN, 03:44:24 05/14/03 Wed

Spike has been at his best on the borderline, as a quasi-outsider--a position trshed by the Spuffy arcc. I agree that the transfer offers a real opportunity to return the character to his roots and bury Brad once for all.IF ME's writers can pick it up!

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Also, don't assume that Spike will be working with Angel.. -- Miss Edith, 13:52:53 05/14/03 Wed

Spike is still an outsider on Buffy, I don't see how the spuffy arc trashed that. He only ever has scenes with Buffy, Giles conspired to kill him just recently! I would prefer for Spike on Angel to finally find love and acceptance as IMO he has always been the outsider on Buffy, and kept away from the core group. He was a family with Angelus for twenty years, I think there are interesting story possibilities there. Making him the idiot who constantly gets kicked to the kerb and protrayed as a joke I saw enough off on Buffy. JMHO.

[> [> [> [> [> [> His role (and the reason for it) seem quite obvious -- Finn Mac Cool, 14:00:27 05/14/03 Wed

Here's how the show began: Angel, a vampire with a soul seeking to make amends for his past, comes to LA and sets up a detective agency, which brings him into opposition with an evil law firm.

But, in "Home", ME changed all that. Now that Angel's running Wolfram & Hart, the law firm from hell has become one of the quasi-good guys. So, in carrying irony to the extreme, what would be better than to make the antagonist for Season 5 another souled vampire running a detective agency? Yes, I'm suggesting Spike will become the New Angel, or, rather, he'll become the new version of the Old Angel. This will provide plenty moments of ironic humor for long term viewers, and will also give ME a way to parralell where Angel is now and where he was for the past four years.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: His role (and the reason for it) seem quite obvious -- Wizard, 03:25:18 05/15/03 Thu

I agree. Spike will be doing double-duty next year. He will be a counterpoint to Angel, and with Lilah (who was always a counterpoint to Cordelia), fill in the Cordy slot, with Spike as blunt and tactless, and Lilah as the connection to the higher powers. As somebody- I'm sorry, I can't remember whom- stated earlier, Evil!Cordy essentially negated the need for Lilah, hence the neck slice. With Cordy out of the picture for the time being, Lilah is the natural for the oracular spot. Only, I don't think it will be to the PTB- lady sold her soul to W&H, remember. I think she'll be giving orders from the Senior Partners, phrased in such a way as to get AI to do what they want.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: His role (and the reason for it) seem quite obvious -- leslie, 09:26:41 05/15/03 Thu

Wasn't Wolfram & Hart's agenda all along to get Angel working for their ends, whether he realized it or not? Wasn't that the explanation for why they never just killed him when they had the chance, and also why they were never interested in re-unsouling him? They needed him, as souled Angel, to achieve whatever it is they are after. Indeed, I recall Lilah or Lindsey saying as much to Angel's face; has he forgotten?

Angel and Spike aside, I am rather looking forward to seeing how Spike and Wes deal with each other. Spike and Giles redux? Or will Spike reinforce Wes's dark side? I cannot imagine what Fred's reaction will be--run in terror or will she be drawn to him as she was to Gunn? Gunn himself I think will be threatened by another tough guy, but they might well end up in a kind of brothers-in-arms mutual respect. And Spike and Lorne--well, I see some Clemmish bonding possibilities there--finally someone else who will sit down and watch soaps with him!

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> I Doubt It (Spoilers for End of Days) -- Wizard, 16:03:06 05/15/03 Thu

No, I doubt Angel has forgotten. How could he? My only explanation for it is he was pushed take the deal by a desperate situation, and that he genuinely believes that he can avoid their W&H 'traps'... which only goes to show that they've got him. I'm not saying good won't come out of it- his appearance in Sunnydale is proof that some will (if he's working for W&H anyway, why not bring the medallion and the research?- if it proves false, Angel will leave, and everybody knows it)- but the good won't come in the form that Angel, and the rest of AI, expect. I'm betting Spike will play a big part in the unintended good- whether deliberately or not. To paraphrase the Mayor, Spike brings chaos in his wake. That, combined with his natural disdain for any authority that puts itself above him (it's a different story when he chooses to fall in line- just look at Buffy), make for far too much chaos for W&H to like- as Mesketet said last season, they only like limited amounts of chaos.

[> [> [> Re: Billing -- verdantheart, 06:19:04 05/14/03 Wed

Billing isn't about who's been around the longest. It's about your credits and what your agent can get for you, how badly the producers want you, and so on. The better your billing in the past, the better it's going to be (typically) for the next project. Note that ASH got the prestigious "and" billing at the end when he was a Buffy regular and that this spot was taken over by Ms Hannigan when he left the cast. Michelle Trachtenburg, perhaps because of her film credits, moved in ahead of Mr Marsters when she joined the cast.

When negotiations went on for Mr Marsters to join the cast of AtS, I'm certain that his agent had a great deal of leverage given the rumors that the series would not be renewed without a cross-over character from Btvs. Plus, Mr Marsters might be in a position to know which actors might be interested in crossing over or not. They might not have had a broad selection.

So, there you have it. Billing is not necessarily logical or fair, but it reflects the agent/power system in Hollywood. To some extent it does reflect the perceived stature of an actor, but that's far from all that goes into it.

Frankly, I have an open mind and am interested in seeing how they fit Spike into the mix. I've wanted to see some interaction between Spike and Angel ever since Spike got his own soul, anyway.

[> [> [> Re: WHAT?!?! Oh God, just kill me now... -- Miss Edith, 13:45:04 05/14/03 Wed

James has wroked for ME for years. Alexis still gets second billing still as he gets the "and" bit. Alyson Hannigans's people fought for her getting that position on Buffy, it definately means he is in second billing to the star. James is listed third that's all. I would say that's fair as he has worked for ME a lot longer than Lorne, Fred, and Gunn.

I wouldn't worry though a large community of B/A fans are already compaigning for James Marsters not to be employed on Angel. I believe their campaign involves sending in articles talking of him unfavourably as the Fonz and saying he will automatically take over any show he's in. So you are not the only one who is uncomfortable with the idea of Spike on Angel.

[> [> [> [> That's really pathetic... -- Dariel, 19:16:50 05/14/03 Wed

A fictional character will "take over" a show? If those B/A fans are sending in the Salon article, I don't think they'll get very far. The whole thing is absurd. The writers write the show; characters don't "take over."

[> [> [> [> If interested? Tim Minear and David Fury's thoughts -- s'kat, 22:32:12 05/14/03 Wed

Just found these tidbits on another board. Apparently they are at the Succubus Club tonight. So listen if you want.
Don't have the link to the Succubus Club, unfortunately. But you can find in archives.

"David Fury and Tim Minear both said James was always pegged to go to whatever spin-off was planned, and that the WB picked up Angel because James was part of the package.

They are also making fun of the article someone wrote about Spike ruining BtVS.

Fury said that they adore James Marsters because he is so good at what he does, and he's a great guy."

There are spoilers though so be careful.

Anyways I thought I'd share it to let you know how ME thinks.

Also tonight on the Tvography on A & E, Joss Whedon stated and I quote: "I got the idea for the musical at our Shakespeare gatherings, James Marsters took out his guitare one day and we began to sing..." Marsters also gave Whedon the idea to do the Shakespear gatherings back during Fool For Love.

It's great to work with professional actors who work to publicize your show. Marsters sold Firefly at Cons. He was the only actor to do so.

Love him or hate him - James Marsters is one of the major reasons we have an Angel Season 5. And he is the reason I came online and wrote my essays. I wouldn't have written on single essay if it weren't for that character.

[> [> [> [> [> Oh...and...more on Succubus Club (Includes other S5 casting spoilers) -- s'kat, 22:45:29 05/14/03 Wed

According to what I read, they explain that last scene in LMPTM and the flashbacks. But I won't post it since it could be spoilers.

Here's specifically the quotes on both that article and on WB's decision:

-James was originally going to be the lead in a Faith spinoff, but once that was scratched, they started making plans for him to be on AtS for a handful of episodes.

--James was not originally planned as an AtS regular, but the network (and I QUOTE) pushed for it and it was the "clincher" for the show's renewal.

--Minear mentioned reading hatemail about "Spike ruining Buffy" but him and Fury seemed to pretty much laugh it off, and are very optimistic about next year.

--Minear and Fury both were firm in saying that they'd heard online rumors about James forcing other cast members off the show, and they both said it was COMPLETELY UNTRUE. Connor's story just tied up that way and Charisma is leaving on her own terms.

--Spike will be coming back as SPIKE Spike, not another character or anything.

--Gwen could easily make a comeback (YIPEE!!!!) and Lilah and Knox/Holden are absolutely positively coming back as recurring characters.

mocking the hatemail) "Can you trace it back to the episode where Spike ruined the show?"
"Must have been School Hard." *Fury and Minear laughter*

"Angel is gone now. Angel has his own show."

Fury also discussed the Fonzie article and dismissed it as total ludicrous. Says that the person obviously doesn't get the character.

Read what you want into it. I found it on a spike board -, which is very reliable and surprise surprise loves Angel too.. But you can go to Succubus Club if you want to check.

[> [> [> [> Let me say this once -- KdS, 04:01:02 05/15/03 Thu

Most of the people who are upset about Spike being on AtS do not give a toss about Buffy's love life. Most of them are not even great BtVS fans. Their fear, rather, is that Spike's popularity will lead to established AtS characters being sidelined in his favour to attract the BtVS-only audience.

[> [> [> [> [> Understand this fear but me on this -- sk, 07:17:32 05/15/03 Thu

I've been doing a lot of looking into this..because well, I have too much time on my hands, and from what I've read of David Greenwalt, David Boreanze, Tim Minear, and Joss Whedon's comments on next year? Worrying about this is akin to people's worries this time last year regarding Dawn taking over BTVS.

Remember? Last year when spoilers came out on LEssons, everyone was terrified it would be all about Dawn and the scrappy gang. It wasn't. Same thing here. If they wanted to do a show all about Spike - they would have created one.
According to DB's interview on LA Comics Con, David Greenwalt's on and even Tim Minear's posts -their format next year isn't the same as Btvs. They aren't doing the arcs as much as a more stand-alone format. They are moving towards ensemble --and the show is described by Greenwalt as being LA Law meets West Wing meets Devil's Advocate. It's basically a dark version of the work-place ensemble drama. Gunn will be a huge part of it. Lilah and Gwen are coming back. Fred is going to be major, Knox will be there - possibly for Fred.

Here's my prediction: we'll have episodes focusing on one character and their outside lives, with sub-plots in the background - much like Supersymmetry and Ground State and some of the earlier Angel episodes.

Greenwalt says they plan on other Sunnydale people visiting.
ASH - Giles - has already agreed to make guest appearances as has Alyson Hannigan and SMG.

Worrying about Spike taking over or putting the others on back-burner at this stage in the game, although understandable is very similar to the worries people, including myself, had last year about Dawn overtaking Btvs.
Yes - they do focus on popular characters. But the story is still Angel's. And they are cognizant of the story and the arcs.

Nothing I've read suggests that Spike will take over the show or sideline the other characters. If anything it suggests the opposite - since he'd originally been slated to just appear in a few episodes and not get reg status.
I also know a little about negotiations...reg status means better money, and profile - sort of like getting a promotion for an actor when you've been with a group for a long time. It does not necessarily mean you'll be a huge focus. In Btvs S4 - Spike sometimes only appeared on screen for two minutes. In S5 - he wasn't in two episodes.
Emma Caulfield who has regular status - hasn't appeared in three this year.

So don't worry. I really can't imagine being wrong on this one. Particularly after reading Greenwalt's (I think it was Greenwalt - read so many lost track) take on what they plan on Gunn - which has me excited.

[> [> [> [> [> [> S'kat, what did DG say about Gunn? -- yabyumpan, 10:16:16 05/15/03 Thu

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: S'kat, what did DG say about Gunn? -- sk, 05:40:53 05/16/03 Fri

Although W&H has sworn that the gift comes without strings, Greenwalt is not so sure.
"Obviously, they wish to corrupt all our people," Greenwalt says, "and all of our people wish not to be corrupted. Some of them will be corrupted, some of them won't be."
"Gunn is going to become the coolest. You'll be seeing him in beautiful suits. And you know, Fred has never had money and a car and a place of her own before, so she's going to be living a little wilder than ever. Lorne is in heaven, because he gets to talk to Michael Jackson and all the entertainment people."
"Angel has got eyes open, always looking for the screwing, but meanwhile, they can use the full faith of Wolfram & Hart to help the people they need to help."
And, it seems, there's also a new metaphor. "'Buffy' had a huge metaphor," Greenwalt says, "high school and the little girl, 'I want to go to the prom, but I have to fight big evil.' We sold 'Angel' as exactly the same thing in your 20s, but as you go on, there is no big, iconic metaphor in your 20s. But at about 29, you either decide to join the world or you go live on a commune."
"So this is, how do I integrate into the real world? It's really where you make the big decisions -- do you sell out or not sell out? Things start to have a consequence again in your life."


[> [> [> [> [> [> Heh heh (contains snark, but couldn't resist posting it) -- KdS, 10:25:45 05/15/03 Thu

Remember? Last year when spoilers came out on LEssons, everyone was terrified it would be all about Dawn and the scrappy gang. It wasn't. Same thing here.

So, if the pattern holds, Spike will get one episode largely devoted to his angst, about four or five lines every other ep as comic relief, and will suddenly be revealed to have developed the ability to program in C++. ;-)

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Y'know? I could live with that! -- Scroll, 10:30:14 05/15/03 Thu

Spike doing some kind of computer work, relegated mainly to the background, sometimes saying or doing something that makes me realise he's not a complete brat, and being supportive of Angel in his times of need? Yeah, I can get behind that.

What? You think I'm kidding?

: P

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> What I don't want to see... (season 5 spoilers) -- Masq, 11:02:58 05/15/03 Thu

and what more than one person on this board has predicted, is that Spike will be the outsider, doing the Emporer's-new-clothes thing.

Basically, season 5 Angel and co have put themselves into a position to be seriously corrupted. Greenwalt has said as much in the few interviews I've allowed myself to read--that the temptations of working for a huge firm like the ex-W&H will begin to corrupt at least some of the characters.

So big ol' Spike fans want him to hold back and say to the gang, "You're all being corrupted! Look at you wankers!"

Basically, they want Spike to swoop in and have the moral high ground. Then these same fans can write lots of long posts about how morally superior Spike is to everyone around him.

That would take away from the original cast's character growth in a big way, and be a major ret-conning of Spike, who should be the last one to throw stones in glass office buildings.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> God, yes! My biggest fear... -- Scroll, 11:44:15 05/15/03 Thu

So big ol' Spike fans want him to hold back and say to the gang, "You're all being corrupted! Look at you wankers!"

Basically, they want Spike to swoop in and have the moral high ground. Then these same fans can write lots of long posts about how morally superior Spike is to everyone around him.

That would take away from the original cast's character growth in a big way, and be a major ret-conning of Spike, who should be the last one to throw stones in glass office buildings.

Not saying all Spike fans want this, but honestly? If this happened, I really think I would... well, not turn off Angel, cuz that would never happen... But I'd probably throw up a lot, roll my eyes at the writers, and wonder exactly when Joss had decided to commit artistic suicide.

The key to Angel, IMHO, is that nobody has the moral high ground. In fact, I'd say the closest anyone is to being superior in some way is actually Lilah, cuz you know, she knows she's evil. She makes no bones about it and she's never hypocritical about it.

But okay, since I don't believe Joss is insane enough to make Spike the good guy outsider with the moral high ground, I'm probably worrying for nothing...

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: God, yes! My biggest fear... -- Dariel, 14:01:06 05/15/03 Thu

Sigh. "Big ol' Spike fan" here, and I can't imagine anything like this will happen, nor would I want it to. Some of us Spike fans, at least, have caught the ME angst bug. What fun would it be if he weren't subject to temptation and pain like the other charcters?

Actually, part of your scenario could happen. Spike might come in fired up about doing good and all, believing that he's staked out the high moral ground, and then get sucked in with the rest. Sounds more like the way it'd go.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Let me say this once -- Miss Edith, 07:28:38 05/15/03 Thu

Oh I agree. I understand the concern with Spike is not necessarily related to Buffy's love life. Forums like TWoP are full of rabid Spike haters who originated the comparision of Spike and the Fonz and see Spike as sucking all the life from the show, so I am aware it is not just B/A fans. Just saying that a certain community of B/A shippers are organising a campaign since hearing James is being employed on another ME show. There is a lot of Spike hatred out there at the moment, Angel fans are worried about James overshadowing the star. Ironically David Borenez is thrilled at James being added to the show.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Oh right... -- KdS, 10:20:26 05/15/03 Thu

Must be a function of the places on the Web we frequent. All the anti-Spike/anti-JM sentiment I've been seeing has been down to AtS/non-BtVS fans worried about plot focus. I wasn't aware of B/A shippers being upset.

And its not so much Spike overshadowing Angel as Spike overshadowing Wes, Gunn, Fred, and any reappearance of Connor.

[> Do Not Assume You Know Best -- Rina, 08:18:34 05/14/03 Wed

Don't assume that you know what's best for ANGEL, as far as casting is concerned. I heard that Whedon practically begged James Marsters to sign on for ANGEL - at least for several episodes. I believe that he has some major story arc already in plan for both Angel and Spike. So, I wouldn't make assumptions, if I were you.

[> [> Well, I was only stating my opinion -- Scroll, 12:39:18 05/14/03 Wed

What you call my "assumptions" are simply my opinion. I'm not saying I know better than Joss what Joss wants. I'm not saying I'm Joss at all; in fact, I distinctly stated as much at the end of my post.

I only know what I think is best for Angel, which I do believe is Spike not as a series regular, but perhaps as a guest star for a mini-arc of some sort.

While I do admire Joss' work in general, I trust him more with Buffy than I do with Angel. Tim Minear, Jeff Bell, Mere Smith, hell even Steven DeKnight (who's only been on Angel since this season) are better writers for Angel than Joss himself. This isn't to say Joss doesn't have a firm grasp of the mythology of the show, or that he doesn't understand how the actors work together -- I'm just saying that IMHO I trust Jeff Bell and Tim Minear more.

That being said, Spike has always been a prickly subject, one that stirs up people's emotions. So I'm choosing not to be offended by what sounds like an accusation that I have no business making "assumptions" about my favourite show.

Scroll, who's really quite a nice girl once you get to know her :)

[> [> [> You're a sweetheart, Scroll. Most of us understood what you were saying. -- Random, 12:49:53 05/14/03 Wed

[> [> [> [> Oops, replied under the wrong post! Also, re Buffy -- Scroll ;o), 12:58:39 05/14/03 Wed

I haven't watched my Buffy tapes yet. Don't know if I'll get time tonight. But I do my best to watch before the weekend! We get Buffy again on Saturday, so I'll try to watch all the eps I've got taped in one run right before I have to tape Buffy again.

Yes, sadly I don't watch the show, but I'll make multiple copies of it...

[> [> [> [> [> Heh, okay, but that quiz is still pending -- Random, 15:07:19 05/14/03 Wed

[> [> [> Hee! Thanks, Random, you're a sweetheart too! -- Scroll, 12:53:58 05/14/03 Wed

[> [> [> Judgement -- Rina, 14:27:57 05/14/03 Wed

Instead of passing judgement on how Spike's stint as a regular on ANGEL will pan out, why don't we wait and see what happens?

[> [> [> [> I really should just let this go but... -- Scroll, 18:05:19 05/14/03 Wed

I don't recall actually passing any kind of judgement on "how Spike's stint as a regular on ANGEL will pan out." The most I said is that Spike would be a poor substitute for Connor as Angel's "son". (Though to be fair, I think the writers are smart enough to know they can't just plop JM into VK's spot and have Spike become Connor.)

My main point (before I knew JM had already been contracted to be a regular) was that IMHO the character of Spike was unnecessary to Angel, and would take screen time away from characters I'd much rather see, namely Lilah, Gunn, and Lorne. Not to mention I would rather see Angel deal with his actual son, Connor, than his vampire "son", Spike.

I have not denigrated Spike as a character, or complained about James Marsters as an actor. The most I've said is that I don't think Spike has a place on Angel, and that I trust Tim Minear and Jeff Bell more than I trust Joss to understand some of the nuances of Angel.

And yes, I will wait and see what happens. Spike or no Spike, I will be watching Angel when it returns in the fall. But please don't say I'm passing judgement just because I'm crossing my fingers that my favourite show doesn't turn out badly in Season 5. Maybe I should have more faith in Joss to make it all work out; in the end, I'm going to worry anyway.

[> [> [> [> [> A little reassurance - they've dropped the family drama -- s'kat, 08:03:26 05/15/03 Thu

Hopefully a little reassurance?

I've read lots of information on this...and no Spike isn't taking Connor's place on the show. Connor's story was pre-planned way way before they started the negotiations with JM. In fact they didn't even know if JM would come on board until the final hour.

Connor is still Angel's son and according to spoilers I've read - is reputed to show up again next year. The writers don't see Spike as Angel's son and have implied this in interviews. David Greenwalt and Tim Minear were very much involved in the pitch for next year.

The Connor plot-line has 0 to do with Spike coming on to Angel. This is a separate plot line. So no, he's not a replacement.

I think people are over-reacting. Trust the information that the writers promote. As I said to KdS - this reminds me a lot of the fan worries regarding Dawn and back to high school theme last year - where fans were screaming they were going to stop watching and how dare they. It didn't happen.

They've restructured the show from turgid family supernatural soap opera to work-place supernatural drama. The family element of the show according to all the writers and cast interviews was dropped. The show is no longer about Angel and his family. My understanding is it has gone back to it's Season 1-2 roots as a work-place 30 something drama. The theme - now we know who we are - do we sell out or follow our heart? So Spike is joining more as a member of the work-place team, not as a surrogate son.

I understand your fears. I've had a few myself regarding the ending of Btvs. Been restraining myself from ranting about them and not always succeeding ;-)

sigh. Being a fan is a tough and painful thing.


[> [> [> [> [> [> Actually doesn't reassure me, sorry! -- Scroll, 10:09:02 05/15/03 Thu

While I'm not afraid of the show moving to a more corporate, work-place feel, I think it would be a mistake to drop the "family" concept altogether. The "family" metaphor has been an essential element ever since "To Shanshu in L.A." -- in fact, I'd say it goes as far back as "Expecting" when Cordelia realises she has two people she'd trust with her life, and that was something new.

To take away the element of the Angel Investigations team as a family would be like making the demons the Scoobies fight to no longer be metaphors for real life demons. That being said, I am positive Joss won't drop the family metaphor altogether. He's smarter than that.

So yes, I'm a little reassured that Spike isn't going to be a stand-in for Connor, as Angel's "son", though I think Spike as a shadow-self of Connor would've been interesting. Of course Spike as a shadow-self of Angel could also work (if that's where they're going).

Now all this still doesn't doesn't allay my fears about JM joining the cast. Not because I don't like Spike as a character, but because I'm not sure I trust the writers to use him wisely in Angel. I still don't think Spike has a place in the show. He's not necessary. In fact, the whole moving away from a family drama? Makes him even more of an unnecessary insertion. It would've made sense for Spike to come in as Angel's last not-evil, surviving family. It would make narrative sense that losing Connor would make Angel more receptive to Spike. But how the hell is Spike going to enter Angel's sphere if their relationship (and I know I'm making assumptions here) is going to be "work-related"? Angel doesn't need Spike's muscle -- he's got a few thousand trained black ops squads at his disposal now.

Yeah, yeah, I should trust in Joss. Well, you know what? I still haven't watched the last three episodes of Buffy. Sadly I don't trust Joss anymore.

Heh, sorry s'kat! Now that was a rant. I do appreciate you trying to cheer me up. And I probably am over-reacting. In four months or so, I'm probably going to be eating every single of my words here today. Doesn't mean I'm going to stop worrying now! Yeah, being a fan is a painful thing...

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Actually doesn't reassure me, sorry! -- Rob, 11:15:08 05/15/03 Thu

Yeah, yeah, I should trust in Joss. Well, you know what? I still haven't watched the last three episodes of Buffy. Sadly I don't trust Joss anymore.

JMHO, after watching the events of Touched and End of Days, you really should. I don't know if you haven't seen them yet b/c you didn't want to or b/c of airing schedules, but I would highly recommend it. Characterwise, they pleased me immensely and did a great deal to rectify a lot of the complaints people were having. Personally, I've never trusted him more, because even I was worried by the end of EP. No longer.


[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Why Spike is in Angel and is important to Angel's story (&some personal stuff) -- s'kat, 18:54:00 05/15/03 Thu

I think people have forgotten something very very important about Angel's journey that has never been resolved. Something that came up in School Hard, Lie to Me, Surprise and most importantly Becoming Part I and Darla...and later hit Angel in the face in The Trial.

What is Angelus's greatest sin? Ever? What one thing has he not atoned for and is still replaying over and over again?
And replayed recently this year with Cordelia and Connor?

School Hard:

Giles discusses Spike to the group. Angel walks in says something omnious than leaves. Later in the school, Angel uses Xander as bait to trick Spike, exposing his neck for Spike and him both to eat. The conversation between Angel and Spike is a defining moment in the series and was written by the two co-creators of both shows:

Spike to Angel: "You thought you could fool me! Me! You were my sire! You were my Yoda! You uncle Tom."

Angel: "Well people change."

Spike: "Not us! Not demons."

Who do you think taught Spike everything he knows about killing and raping? Drusilla? Or ANGELUS?

In Lie to Me, Angel tells Drusilla to take Spike and leave Sunnydale - note he does not kill her nor does he attempt to kill Spike. He says get out before things get bad.
Then when Buffy confronts him on Dru, he tells her that Drusilla was his worst and greatest sin.

Later in In The Dark - we have Daddy issues big time, revisted from Lover's Walk. Spike doesn't kill Angel nor does he torture him - he hires someone else to do most of it and leaves.

Then in Dear Boy on Ats - we have Angel remember his greatest crime - driving the pure chase innocent Dru insane, raping her and turning her into a vampire.

In Darla - Angel and Darla spur Dru on - directing her to go after and turn her own human into a vampire so she too can have someone. William pushes past them and they smile as she goes and turns him into Spike. And next thing we know Spike is hanging with Angel and Darla for 20 years.
And when Spike kills the slayer - its important to him and Dru to tell Angel and Darla.

Angel is in a way responsible for Spike and Drusilla. He has played out these feelings with Cordy and Connor. But they are still there. Now we have Spike accomplishing something Angel couldn't - getting a soul - why? These are questions that Angel needs to answer...he doesn't know who he is.

Personally I can't wait to see the story Whedon has to tell. As a fan, you have to make a decision - is the story the creator is telling more interesting than the one you are telling in your head? If so - you are enraptured. If not, you aren't and start writing fanfic. I became a writer and have written novels - (not fanfic) - because I couldn't find the story in my head outside it. It may never get published - but at least I have it. When watching Ats and Btvs - you have to remember that we are watching the stories inside Joss Whedon and his teams heads unfold in front of us, not unlike Andrew's stories in Storyteller,
whether we decide to sit back and watch or turn of the set? Is up to us. But the story is theirs to tell never ours.
They know their characters far better than you or I ever will.

I doubt that reassured anyone. I hope it didn't offend.
I do however understand the fears. I remember really hating the baby story in ats S3 until well Loyalty - then I began to tape. Prior to that? I thought this is just dumb.
And there were episodes of S4 Btvs and S3 Btvs that I just skipped entirely when they first aired. I also only half-watched S1 Btvs. Now I'm obsessed. Because the story they are telling is echoing a story in me...or one I want to connects to me. But I can understand why it doesn't connect to you. We are different people, different ages, different backgrounds, different countries, different environments...the mere fact that we communed as long as we did on the show is amazing enough.

Heck tonight my mother told me I was giving the writers too much credit and reading way too much into what she termed a simple tv show. And the friend I was with today? Looked at me funny whenever I slipped into a discussion of it, by mistake. So...I just amazed I could find people who feel as strongly about it as I do.

Spike speaks more to me as a character than any other character on television at the moment. To get a little more of him gives me some happiness particularly during a time in my life in which things seem very bleak at times and confusing. So I won't apologize for the fact that I'm doing a happy snoopy dance over the prospect he is joining Angel and that I want to see as much as I can of him. If that makes me pathetic in some people's eyes so be it. ;-)

[> [> [> [> [> Tim Minear's opinion: -- Miss Edith, 08:08:07 05/15/03 Thu

"Not saying we always served each and every character as well as we might have, but I do think we have pretty much earned each of these characters a place on the show and not "ruined" things...*I'm* a little "ticked-off" at not even being given the benefit of the doubt before even a single new episode has been written!"

Don't know if that reaassures your fears? Anyway the writers are well aware of fan concerns about Spike taking over Angel, sounds like they will definately be concentrating on having an ensemble show.

[> [> [> [> [> [> See my reply to s'kat, Miss Edith. But thanks for trying! -- Scroll, 10:16:11 05/15/03 Thu

Terribly upset and wanting to vent; please excuse my hysteria. -- Ixchel, 01:02:19 05/14/03 Wed

AtS S5 Show Direction and Casting
I was so thrilled when I read the news about AtS's renewal, but then I read all this talk about a new direction for the show. I don't understand; the story so far is excellent. These vague hints of more "stand-alone" episodes make me extremely nervous. And DG going on about being tired of the gloom, why? I _like_ the gloom; it suits the series. Are they going to water-down the show to make it more palatable to casual viewers? Please, _no_.

Also, while I'm very happy about Spike moving to AtS, I'm devastated by the fact that Cordelia and Connor don't seem to be returning. As much as I love Cordelia, I'm especially despondent about Connor. Why was this necessary? Connor is a fascinating character with so much to explore. I realize that many fans are anti-Connor (or it seems that way from other sites), but surely there are others who feel as I do. And Home seems (IMHO) a very unsatisfying ending to Angel and Connor's relationship. Angel alters Connor's memory (and everyone else's) and puts him away in the ideal family for his own good? It's just another lie and if it doesn't end up back-firing in S5, I will be greatly disappointed.


[> God, I'm really hoping it's a trick -- Scroll, 01:15:28 05/14/03 Wed

Seriously, I am seriously hoping it's just a ploy to keep spoiler-whores off balance or something. That in reality VK will be back and Connor will somehow regain his memories. Because any other way is just a cop-out.

Has anyone heard anything about why VK isn't in the cast for S5? Does he want to leave Angel for greener pastures? Cuz that's the only thing that'll make any sense to me. (Relatively speaking; I still think he has much more to do as Connor.) Because if this is all because of some ME decision to get rid of Connor, then I have to ask what the f*ck is Joss snorting? And can someone please rush him to detox, asap?!

Er. Sorry Ixchel. I'm not usually so crude. Ranting over now, I promise!

[> Right there with you, Ix (personally rant/venting within) -- Masq, 07:03:12 05/14/03 Wed

Angel alters Connor's memory (and everyone else's) and puts him away in the ideal family for his own good? It's just another lie and if it doesn't end up back-firing in S5, I will be greatly disappointed.

I almost didn't respond to this thread because I'm still too emotional on this subject. But I thought I'd better add my support to your worries.

I haven't been able to work on my episodes analyses of "Peace Out" or "Home" yet because I'm so upset about this and in total agreement with you.

Connor is integral to the events of seasons 3-4. You don't just take him out of people's memories with out undoing the character growth and changes of all the characters, most especially Angel, Cordelia, and most significantly, Wesley. I mean, why does he think he started down the path of flirting with darkness in the first place?

As for Angel's supposed "sacrifice" giving Connor up, well, I think it was a huge cop-out, and I hope it will come back to bite him on the ass. He told Faith she had to live and fight her demons, face them and deal with them. With Connor, he just hands him a band-aid and wipes his hands of his son so he can go play champion in a big glass tower.

I've threatened to write fan fic in order to rectify the situation that I fear ME will not rectify. And when Masq feels she needs to write fan-fic, things are dire. : )

[> [> What do you have in mind? -- Vash the Stampede, 07:46:20 05/14/03 Wed

You sort of talked about this in one of my earlier posts, but I was wondering what direction you would take. I think he, and the rest of Team Angel, need to remember him, but I think he should also regard his surrogate family as real, to help balance out his self-destructive tendancies.

[> [> But aren't you happy for Connors happiness, now? -- WickedBuffy, 09:18:07 05/14/03 Wed

[> [> [> Mixed feelings... -- Masq, 09:57:47 05/14/03 Wed

Of course I'm happy that he's happy. But it's happiness based on a lie, on either false memories or a false (re-written) history.

I'm unhappy that he won't grace my television screen every week. Incomprehensibly unhappy about that.

I'm ambivalent about Angel's alleged "sacrifice" in giving this to Connor. I mean, he couldn't have knocked Connor out in that sporting good store, taken him some place safe and helped him, with a lot of counseling and love and time to learn to deal with his past and his emotions? Oh no, I guess that would take *work*. Easier just to write the kid off into happy-land.

I have real issues here, and I'm working them out with a lot of therapy. Not going to post much else on this topic, it's too sensitive for me. : )

[> [> [> [> Re: Mixed feelings... -- memememe, 10:15:19 05/14/03 Wed

Connors whole story pretty much reached its appropriate climax I think, he was never going to be redeemed Faith-style it would have just been a tedious continuation of what we had already seen. Connor could never really trust anyone because Connor never had a real family and Angel couldn't have provided that for him any other way, I really liked the way this turned out because its the first time in a while that I can remember Angel making a decicion that wasn't at leat partially ego-based, reinforcing his role as leader/father/champion/whatever, he accepted that he couldn't give Connor what he needed. I do agree, however, this makes the seasons plot kind of swiss-cheesy,he doesn't just lift right out the way Dawn fit right in.

[> [> [> [> ahhh ... I understand. :> good luck! -- WickedBuffy, 10:19:03 05/14/03 Wed

[> [> [> [> Re: Mixed feelings... -- yabyumpan, 11:03:54 05/14/03 Wed

I'm ambivalent about Angel's alleged "sacrifice" in giving this to Connor. I mean, he couldn't have knocked Connor out in that sporting good store, taken him some place safe and helped him, with a lot of counseling and love and time to learn to deal with his past and his emotions? Oh no, I guess that would take *work*. Easier just to write the kid off into happy-land.

Agree. One of my major problems with all this is that it means Angel NO character development this season. He starts off the season with 'everything I touch turn to ashes' and has that confirmed. One of his big character traits is that when things get emotionally tough he walks away, which is pretty much what he's done with Connor. He can carry on in the self indulgent comfort of having to 'suffer' and feeling guilty because he screwed up. There's been no change, no growth. Looking at it from the perspective of Angel's character growth, with the scenario Masq proposed above, he would have a chance to really learn what love and intimacy is. That it's about patience and hard work and being willing to risk the pain. Love=Sacrifice doesn't IMO, mean that you let someone go, it means sacrificing your fears, being willing to be vunerable, really taking on board and helping to work through the other person's pain. Not shipping them off with a quick fix. That's not real sacrifice that's a cop-out.
Angel has just moved from point A to point A this season and I find that very dissapointing.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Mixed feelings... -- Arethusa, 12:20:33 05/14/03 Wed

A young relative of mine with dreadful parents had to go live with an aunt because there was too much failure on the side of the parents and hatred on the side of the kid to work through. He needed stability, time to grow separate. A chance to deal with his problems without dealing with his parents' problems. He was eventually able to go back home, but he really needed that time away from the angst and his powerful negative feelings.

I hope we'll see Connor again. I don't know yet if it was a cop-out for Angel or a necessary step for Connor, but I have a feeling that ME won't give us the easy way out next year, any more than they have in the past.

[> [> [> [> [> [> It's only an equivalent situation if Connor comes to remember again -- Masq, 12:25:03 05/14/03 Wed

Give him a chance to know what love feels like, then bring him back to his old life.

The kid living with his aunt and uncle never had his memory erased.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: It's only an equivalent situation if Connor comes to remember again -- yabyumpan, 12:57:38 05/14/03 Wed

The only problem with that is that once again, Angel will have let him go. Ok, not to a vengeful psychopath (hopefully), but he still let him go. How could Connor ever come to believe that Angel truely loves him when, from Connor's possible perspective, Angel didn't want him around. Part of Connor's problem is that, as Holtz told him "the bastard son of two demons". Part of him believes that he's 'bad'. If he learns that Angel sent him away, part of may believe it's because he's 'bad'.
Although I don't like the way it's been handled, I wouldn't actually want Connor to be yanked from the happy family he's now in. I just don't think I could bare to see him suffer any more. We're only up to 'Player' in the UK but I almost feel like I've been watching a season about an abused child. I've found it really hard to tune in every week to see him get beaten up again or manipulated or other wise destroyed in some way. Now he's found some peace I'd rather he stayed there. Yes, I would have prefered if he'd been able to find that with Angel but we didn't get that so I'd rather just close the book on him than have to see him suffer any more. Maybe I'm just to sensitive, but when I think that out of 18 years of his life, the only times he was really happy were the first few months of his life and his one night with Cordelia. I find that really difficlut to take.
Maybe that's what Angel felt. Still don't agree with it but maybe I understand a bit better.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> It's possible. Possible casting spoiler for next year. -- Arethusa, 04:04:36 05/15/03 Thu

(I haven't read any spoilers except for the very little about casting here.) Maybe not probable, but it is possible. Assuming VK returns next year:

1.Connor never regains his memory. We see him rarely when Angel checks up on him. Or someone/thing discovers who he is and Angel must protect him from danger without telling Connor who he is.

2. Connor regains his old memories as well as keeps his old ones and interacts with Angel again. (A little too confusing; how could he remember two parallel lives?) Or Connor's memory wipe disappears and his issues reappear. (Too much like last year.)

[> [> The way I see it (spoilers Home) -- Shiraz, 12:06:59 05/14/03 Wed

Is that the character of Connor was effectively written into a corner this entire season. In order to advance the story the writers had him sink lower and lower into moral ambiguity with each episode. Until, by the final episodes, Connor could easily be considered out and out evil.

Lets face it, thanks to a combination of Holts', Evil Cordy's, and Jasmine's manipulations Connor wound up a thoroughly insane super-being, and the only people capable of helping him were the very people he had been trained and tricked to despise. I don't there was anything anyone could do for Connor without putting a lot of other people in danger.

No, I think the choice Angel made was the best of a bunch of bad options, and I for one wouldn't mind seeing a more or less stable Connor next season.

And aren't you at least a little curious as to how Connor dealt with growing up three sisters, two of whom are taller than he is?

Nevertheless, this plot development does look a bit like a gargantuan RESET button for the entire cast.

After all, If Connor's been growing up in a log cabin in Northern California all this time, what caused Wes to split from the group?

If Wes never split from the group, why did he go all dark'n broody and have that affair with Lilah?

If Wes never went dark and broody, how'd he put the moves on Fred, driving a wedge between her and Gunn?

If Fred.....

Well, you get the idea. The question is now, what of season four actually happened in this altered timeline, and where to the characters stand in relation to each other?


* * *

""Magic can be a sort of door, and there are unpleasant Things on the other side. Do you understand?"

The smith nodded. He didn't really understand, but he correctly surmised that if he revealed this fact Granny would start going into horrible details."

Terry Pratchett - Equal Rites

* * *

[> [> [> The best way round it (pure speculation) -- KdS, 04:11:42 05/15/03 Thu

The best way to get rid of Connor without doing to much damage to the Wes/Lilah/Gunn/Fred development would be if Wes had killed the pregnant Darla under the influence of a forged prophecy that her and Angel's child would be the antichrist-equivalent. Connor still doesn't exist, but we don't do a plot reset on Wes.

[> [> [> [> But would Connor... -- Masq, 12:16:28 05/15/03 Thu

get dusted with Darla, since he didn't in "Lullaby"? Chances are, if Wesley staked Darla, Connor would plop to the ground, a semi-premature baby, but one that could certainly survive if taken to the hospital. When Wesley saw that he looked completely human, don't you think he would have taken him to the hospital?

[> [> [> [> [> OK, he took that honking great flamethrower from "Dad" to her... -- KdS, 16:02:07 05/15/03 Thu

[> [> In defense of Ats Season 5 (spoilers for Home) -- amber, 12:15:20 05/14/03 Wed

>Connor is integral to the events of seasons 3-4. You don't just take him out of people's memories with out undoing the character growth and changes of all the characters, most especially Angel, Cordelia, and most significantly, Wesley. I mean, why does he think he started down the path of flirting with darkness in the first place?

Keep in mind ME are the same people who created Dawn, and look how S5 of Buffy dealt with that one. What they've done to Conner is almost the reversal of that. You can bet Angel's decision will have ramifications, including the characters exploring their new false memories.

Also, all year Conner kept bringing up the fact that "magic always goes wrong". I'm betting that will happen again here, and by mid-season poor college-bound Conner will start having flashbacks to his former life or something, and then possibly seek out W&H (now run by Angel) to find out what's wrong with him. It's exactly the kind of investigation that the crew of Angel Inc. would be interested in, and won't that pose a problem for Angel? Also what has happened to Conner physically? Is he still part-demon and super strong? If so, the first time he punches someone he's going to throw them through a wall...(yes, I'm having funny visions of Connor thinking he's Clark Kent.)

Anyway, I'm reserving my judgement on the new direction until I see some more episodes, because personally I think the finale set up a lot of possibility for next season. Plus there's the fact that Angel will be the only show Joss has on, so maybe he'll even pen a few more episodes than he has been lately.

And as a final note, as to VK and CC not being listed in the cast, perhaps that's just because their only "supporting" cast members now. The way ATH has been on Buffy for the last couple years. To be listed in the cast you have to appear in every episode, supporting cast members only appear randomly. I'm betting that Cordy will remain offscreen in her coma, until Charisma is ready to return from maternity leave and I'm sure VK won't be back until Connor starts having "memory lapses".

[> [> Masq, there is ( of course ) a fanfic about that subject -- lakrids, 12:16:31 05/14/03 Wed

And it's beautiful and heartbracking. It's built around the 5 thing challanges and shows five possible futures for Connor after Angel erases him from this storyline.

[> [> Don't Worry- Brood-Boy's Ass Will Be Bitten -- Wizard, 20:44:40 05/14/03 Wed

Angel has set himself up for a karmic spanking. As others have pointed out, he forgot his own advice to Faith. He took the easy route. He's done this before, and it has always backfired, much like some of Buffy's methods of dealing, ie. freezing people out, taken to an extreme in the past two seasons, always backfire.

There are many questions which shall need answering. For instance- who, besides Angel and the people of W&H, remember the existence of Connor? Is it only limited to the people in the L.A. area? That's where the centre of Jasmine's activity was. Was Sunnydale affected? Was Faith? The answers aren't clear, and unless Eliza guests next year, I don't think we'll find out. I'm willing to bet any amount of cash that Cordy remembers, and oh, but I'm looking forward to her kicking Angel's undead ass for what he did!

Without Connor, everything that occurred since Darla came to the Hyperion has almost zero meaning. How will this be rewritten? Will it? Without Connor, there is no reason to take the deal from W&H (which they have been tricked into taking, I think we all agree).

And what about Sahjian? That deserves some explanation. Was he but one more tool for Jasmine to come about, or did the Power-That-Was simply co-opt the Miracle Child's destiny, meaning that Connor will have to deal with Sahjian with Jasmine out of the picture. Sahjian is a time-traveller. Remember when he said "Have a nice summer" to Angel? To me, that's a clue that he knew exactly what was to come. How unlikely is it that Sahjian planned this all? If he knew about Jasmine and that one way or another she was doomed to fail, is it possible he set Connor up for the emotional damage that would cause Angel to join with W&H to set the boy up in another life, thus leaving him free to slaughter Connor when he gets out of the jar? Remember, we are dealing with ME. The same ME that uses and reuses actors and characters long after we think it's impossible. The same ME that can take little plot points and characters and turn them into major events and characters in later seasons. Look at characters like, oh- Jonathan, Amy, Larry, Clem, Halfrek, Skip, Chanterelle/Lily/Anne... minor recurring characters who were very enjoyable and even had character arcs? Who expected to see the First again... ever? It was a villain from a third season BtVS ep that was more into Angel than Buffy. The episode- whose name eludes me- which first hinted at Angel's calling as a Champion. If the First was to appear ever again, which I didn't think likely, it should have been on AtS, not BtVS. We haven't seen the last of Cordelia or of Connor- their stories will be connected. Her return will lead to Connor somehow- of that I'm certain. It just remains to be seen how that will happen.

[> Calm down. (spoilers) -- HonorH, 07:43:33 05/14/03 Wed

If I may remind everyone, we don't even know what they're going to do next season. We have Angel & Co. at W&H. We have Spike coming in in some capacity or another. Cordy and Connor aren't listed as regulars, but are perhaps recurring. In other words, some big changes. Change, however, is not necessarily a bad thing. There was hysteria when news that Buffy was going to come up with a younger sister reached the fandom, remember? People hated Dawn, sight unseen. Was that sensible? And if I may remind you, Ixchel, many, many people hated even the idea of Connor, again sight unseen.

What I'm saying is: quit with the pre-judging. It may be that the W&H connection takes the show in an entirely cool new direction. Personally, I can't wait to see how they handle the Senior Partners. We don't have any idea what part in things Spike will play. I can't see them not handling the Connor and Cordy storylines in some way, so I'm going to assume both characters will appear next season to at least wrap things up. Next season around this time, we could be saying, "Wow, what a season!" and discussing what might happen during season 6, Joss willing.

[> Wanting to have faith, but... (little AtS spoiler rant) -- Katrina, 10:02:11 05/14/03 Wed

I've been off-line for a bit and now that there's finally news about AtS, I'm at a bit of a crossroads. If AtS had been canceled, I was going to cancel my cable tv service. I don't watch much tv at all, and right now I'm paying about $650 a year almost solely to watch AtS in first run. I do watch BtVS, too, of course, but the last few seasons, I'd have been willing to give it up. So it's hard for me to continue to invest just based upon faith. I love Spike as a character, and I understand why they wanted to keep the character and JM on the show, and why that necessitated changes to make it plausible. That said, I hated everything having to do with the chip, I really hated him falling for Buffy, and I really, really hated the idea of making him another vampire with a soul. So they've been three for three in his major plot developments, and I no longer have much faith in where they're taking him, so I have no enthusiasm for his moving to AtS. Also, Cordelia used to be my favorite character. They de-fanged her, turned her into a boring earth mother, then threw her into a coma and have removed her from the cast with no official explanation. I stuck with The X-Files longer than it deserved based on faith in Chris Carter. That was a mistake, and the show was free! I'm sure I'll keep watching AtS, probably past the point where it jumps the shark, but right now what should have been great news (that it's coming back) is dampened for me.

[> IWRY never really backfired, why should home? -- lunasea, 13:45:14 05/14/03 Wed

[> [> Depends on whether time got folded or not -- Scroll, 18:46:14 05/14/03 Wed

If what Lilah and Angel did was fold time the way the Oracles did in IWRY, or create a kind of alternate timeline, then it's very likely Connor and the others will never find out. Angel's pretty good at keeping secrets about big stuff like that.

But -- if the spell Lilah did was like the Dawn-spell, in which the memories of everybody have been rewritten, there is a small chance that somebody will stumble on a way to "pull back the curtain" so that the truth is revealed. Also, even before Buffy considered doing her curtain-pulling trance in "No Place Like Home", you could tell she was having difficulty adjusting to the sudden insertion of a pesky 14-year-old sister. Hopefully we'll see some indication that Wes, Gunn, Fred, and Lorne feel a lingering discomfort at Connor's absence, even if it's entirely on a unconscious level.

However, I'll admit that isn't likely since three months will have gone by, which is probably enough time for them to adjust and get over any qualms they have with their new memories.

Granted, this all hinges on VK returning as Connor! [crosses fingers]

Next Week's TVGUIDE COVER- sadness -- neaux, 05:31:49 05/14/03 Wed

Ok. I went to TVGUIDE's website and they show what looks like Buffy/Angel on the cover of the magazine.

So I was excited to get my TVGUIDE yesterday until AMERICAN IDOL was on the front?!! SIMON, PAULA AND THAT OTHER GUY!!
then in the top right corner there was a blurb about the buffy story (see inside)!

What?? Did they do two different covers for the TVguide and I just happen to get the crappy one?

[> I got that too. Are you in the South as well? -- Vash the Stampede, 06:27:26 05/14/03 Wed

TV guide, as well as other magazines, often have an alternative cover they use for different parts of the country. For example, something popular up North may not have as many fans down in the South (or East or West), so they will use a different cover that they think people in their area will buy. Being in the bible belt, I assumed that they did this because Buffy and Angel may be considered too risque or something.

[> [> yes I live in Clay-ville. everyone around me has Clay-itis. -- neaux, 06:32:16 05/14/03 Wed

I dont even watch american idol but I know who Clay is. He performed the National Anthem at the local baseball stadium in Durham last thursday and the news covered it like Michael Jackson was in town.

Curse that show!

[> Re: Next Week's TVGUIDE COVER- sadness -- maddog, 10:35:27 05/14/03 Wed

They do that all the time. They have 3 or 4 different covers. I think it's random. The only way around this is to go get the one you want certain weeks. I know it's extra money, but I'd pay it to have the cover that I wanted.

Random thoughts on last night - thread to discuss everything BUT last 5 min -- dream (spoilery to last night, but no further), 06:34:35 05/14/03 Wed

Sorry to all the people who were offended, but much as I LOVE my kitties, I loved Miss Kitty Fantastico's implied ending.

Wasn't it nice to see Giles and Willow working together again? Research at the heart of the solution, just as it should be. Beginning to seem that there's not much hope that Giles is anything but Giles. Except that line about remembering something, which made me think of Band Candy.

How much did I love the big feminist Guardian scene! It was just wonderful - and having Caleb crack her neck was particularly disturbing. (What is it about cracking necks that is so upsetting? Maybe because it it so quick and makes us seem so vulnerable? Anyway, that death shocked me as much as Jenny's did.)

So, what do we think Dawn will do now? Do you think there's still choosing to do - I do.

The scenes with Faith and Buffy were great. There weren't supposed to be two, indeed. "It feels like it's mine." Yeah, that's the stuff.

How many girls were lost in the raid? More survived than I expected.

I loved how the issue of punishment was brought up, and how Buffy herself answered it. But like all things we feel illogically, that didn't make it go away.

Anya! Bless her sweet heart, she has really found herself. She and Andrew make such an interesting pair, because they both took in their ideas about humanity from secondary sources. Now they're learning about the complex truths. I liked Andrew in this episode more than I ever did before - and the wheelchair fight was fabulous.

Did anyone else think that Faith's drowning was going to result in another Potential being called, just as Kendra was?

Wasn't a Wood-free episode a little refreshing?

Xander was wonderful, and the banter between him and our new, refeshed Buffy was just like old times.

Okay, I'm break down and add one comment from the last five minutes - why did Angel's hair look so icky?

[> Re: Random thoughts on last night - thread to discuss everything BUT last 5 min -- Rob, 07:31:12 05/14/03 Wed

This episode just felt like an old episode, and I loved that.

Sorry to all the people who were offended, but much as I LOVE my kitties, I loved Miss Kitty Fantastico's implied ending.

Me, too. And I'm assuming it's Jane's twisted, beautiful little mind that came up with that one!

Wasn't it nice to see Giles and Willow working together again? Research at the heart of the solution, just as it should be. Beginning to seem that there's not much hope that Giles is anything but Giles. Except that line about remembering something, which made me think of Band Candy.

I loved the Giles/Willow scene. In fact, the thing I loved most about this episode is that every character had a satisfying scene, even those who had less screen time than others. I'm not sure though about Giles. His slashing the Bringer's throat last week coupled with his pushing Willow to use powerful magic this week makes me feel a bit uneasy about him still.

How much did I love the big feminist Guardian scene! It was just wonderful - and having Caleb crack her neck was particularly disturbing. (What is it about cracking necks that is so upsetting? Maybe because it it so quick and makes us seem so vulnerable? Anyway, that death shocked me as much as Jenny's did.)

I loved it too. It was very important I think to restore the feminist message of the show for those who felt that the Shadowmen having forced the First Slayer into her gig took away some of that female power. I personally thought from the start that the origin of the power didn't make the power itself any less important, because yay moral ambiguity, and the fact that the power given in a negative fashion was subverted by being used for great good...but it is nice to see that all this time, a higher, older female power was a guiding force, to protect the Slayer better than the male-dominant Watchers could.

So, what do we think Dawn will do now? Do you think there's still choosing to do - I do.

I think so!

The scenes with Faith and Buffy were great. There weren't supposed to be two, indeed. "It feels like it's mine." Yeah, that's the stuff.

Yup, wonderful scene. I'm so glad these two finally made their peace.

How many girls were lost in the raid? More survived than I expected.

It's hard to tell since we don't really know how many went in, but I think they implied that a significant amount less left than entered.

I loved how the issue of punishment was brought up, and how Buffy herself answered it. But like all things we feel illogically, that didn't make it go away.


Anya! Bless her sweet heart, she has really found herself. She and Andrew make such an interesting pair, because they both took in their ideas about humanity from secondary sources. Now they're learning about the complex truths. I liked Andrew in this episode more than I ever did before - and the wheelchair fight was fabulous.

I adored this scene, that we have another great Anya-says-something-very-insightful-about-humanity speech, that we have another Andrew slash possibility, and that it ended in such a goofy, adorable way. This was the perfect mix of the epic and the mundane, exactly what "Buffy" does best. And how incredible was it that even this slower scene did not upset the pacing of this episode, nor make me want them to move on with the plot. This episode for me worked perfectly, because not only was their action and plot but more time was spent on character moments and interaction than has happened in a long while.

Did anyone else think that Faith's drowning was going to result in another Potential being called, just as Kendra was?

YES! But maybe she never reached "legal-deadness." I was actually picturing an awesome parallel to "Prophecy Girl," except instead of Xander reviving Faith, it would be Buffy. Which would have been marvelously slashy, and greatly symbolic: one Slayer passing on her power to the other, yadda yadda yadda. Sigh. Guess it wasn't time yet for another slayer.

Wasn't a Wood-free episode a little refreshing?

Oh my God, yes, and I also greatly appreciated Kennedy only having 3 lines.

Xander was wonderful, and the banter between him and our new, refeshed Buffy was just like old times.

This is the scene where it really hit me that our Buffy is really back, and in a way she hasn't been since the fifth season. Another moment I loved was Buffy giving Willow that little smile, at her Scythe joke. It was a small moment, but a greatly important one. A lesser show wouldn't realize the importance of Buffy affirming for Willow that her joke was funny, but here it spoke volumes about Buffy's state of mind, and the repairing of Willow's and her relationship.

Okay, I'm break down and add one comment from the last five minutes - why did Angel's hair look so icky?

Did it? I don't know hair that well. But why don't you wanna discuss the last five minutes?


[> [> Oh, I don't mind really... -- dream, 07:45:31 05/14/03 Wed

discussing the last five minutes, that is. It's just that there's so little to be said until we know where things go. It's completely up in the air, and people's speculations will have an awful lot to do with their shipp-y tendencies, or lack thereof. Personally, my shippiness is Buffy/Buffy - I'm a little irked that so much emphasis is being placed on the Buffy/Angel/Spike thing, and I hope it will be cleared up as quickly next week as Spike's de-chipping was.

I've never understood being annoyed with the show for the reaction of the fans. I always assume the show is the show, and fans' reactions are their own problem. But, my first reaction last night was that I didn't want to spend the next week listening to more talk about Buffy's love life, and couldn't they have ended the show right at the neck-cracking? Then done the Angel thing if they needed to next week?

***A lesser show wouldn't realize the importance of Buffy affirming for Willow that her joke was funny**


[> [> [> first 55/last 5 (spoilers for both) -- matching mole, 09:13:05 05/14/03 Wed

I enjoyed this episode more than any since 'Conversations with Dead People' with the possible exception of 'Storyteller'. I'm going to wait until the season is over to comment on this in detail but it has seemed to me that there has been a real plot-character imbalance in the latter part of the season with character development coming up short. To a certain extent this is natural at the end of a narrative but I was really missing Xander, Willow, Anya, Dawn, etc. They seemed to be making token appearances. This episode really tipped the balance back toward character. I loved just about everything mentioned above. The Anya/Andrew scene was especially wonderful as Anya is a favourite of mine and she seems to be among the most neglected characters.

Given the nostalgic (and I mean that only in the most positive sense) nature of the episode the reappearance of Angel seems appropriate. However the scene seemed awkward to me. DB's performance was unconvincing. And Spike's presence at the Buffy-Angel reunion seemed very predictable. I'm expecting that something unexpected will come out of all this next week which will precipitate all kinds of wonderful events in S5 of AtS. But in and of itself that last scene didn't really measure up to the rest of the episode. The first 55 minutes were quietly surprising with events that I didn't predict but made perfect sense after they happened (and I can think of no higher praise for well crafted fiction and fine acting). But that wasn't as true at the end.

[> [> [> [> Hair and Bellies (spoilers for whole 60 min) -- WickedBuffy, 09:34:49 05/14/03 Wed

thats so interesting - when Angel appeared on the scene, I gasped! I had never seen him so handsome and practically glowing! I even made a mental note:

"Angels hair looked the best I'd ever seen - mention to Masq. " :>

Didn't know if it was the different lighting crew or the BtVS hairstylist that made the difference, but I was floored.

One thing that I did like was that Caleb got the same kind of stomach slice he'd been giving to all those poor girls. Seemed a perfect way to "end" him. (or appear to end him.)

[> [> [> [> [> LOL! -- dream, 09:54:17 05/14/03 Wed

[> [> [> [> [> Ancient Cheekbones and Willows Hair (spoilers EoD and promo)) -- WickedBuffy, 10:43:55 05/14/03 Wed

....the makeup on the last Guardian? was she supposed to look a perky old or slightly moldy around the cheekbones?

and in the promo for next week - was that WIllow with white hair or another guardian? I thought it was WIllow!

[> [> [> [> [> Mythic Greek overtones -- Fred the obvious pseudonym, 10:53:46 05/14/03 Wed

The following is from the Olympian Foundation website. "In Hesiod's cosmology Uranus and Gaea (heaven and earth) together created the first race of beings - the Titans, the Cyclops and the Hundred Handed. However, Uranus realised how massively powerful were his children and, anticipating a coup, he placed them in a deep dark cavern and there kept them in chains.

Gaea distressed at this fate of her offspring conspired to remove Uranus from power. Son Cronos accepted the task. He armed himself with a scythe provided by Gaea; and attacked Uranus by slicing off his genitals and throwing them into the sea.
As consequence Uranus chose to retire in favour of Cronos ruling the heavens. But before he left, Uranus warned him that the same thing would eventually happen to him..."

Any parallels between Buffy, Caleb, the Scythe, and the "belly" cut?

Gotta wonder.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Mythic Greek overtones: (spoilers {minor} in this one and in above for EoD) -- Fred the obvious pseudonym, 10:57:20 05/14/03 Wed

As long as we're thinking about it--

Cyclops? {Xander}

The chains in the basement? (obvious)

The possible future overthrow of the Scythe-wielder? Foreshadowing? Faith taking over from Buffy -- or a SIT becoming S? Dawn perhaps?

[> [> [> [> Of characters and plots -- Sophist, 09:52:02 05/14/03 Wed

it has seemed to me that there has been a real plot-character imbalance in the latter part of the season with character development coming up short.

Thank you so much for saying this. mundus made a similar point in a thread near the bottom of the page. I agreed in response to him, but I've been thinking about this and want to bring it back for discussion.

LB and I were discussing just yesterday that the posts on the Board have changed from last year to this. In particular, the emphasis this year has been on character -- Buffy and Spike mostly (see the LMPTM threads for example), but Willow and others as well. If S7 is plot driven, as I and most others would agree, why is this the case?

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Of characters and plots: how board critiques -- s'kat, 11:21:14 05/14/03 Wed

LB and I were discussing just yesterday that the posts on the Board have changed from last year to this. In particular, the emphasis this year has been on character -- Buffy and Spike mostly (see the LMPTM threads for example), but Willow and others as well. If S7 is plot driven, as I and most others would agree, why is this the case?

Interesting, that hadn't occurred to me. But you are right. Last year all the critical posts were about plot holes.
People kept complaining about the gaps in plotting last season - how AYW, Villains, Wrecked, and other episodes fell apart plot wise but worked well character wise. There was some consenseus, as much as we can ever come to, that character was well developed, but not much consensus on the strength of plot. Lots and lots of debates on plot. Although we did have some posts around SR and Villains on out of character moments - often lead by, well, you, Sophist. ;-)

This year not as many complaints on plot. Most on character.
Like LMPTM debate is big time about character, no one seems to have any problems with its plot. The complaint seems to be the season is too heavily plotted, too much from here to there and not enough character development.

Interesting. I guess we just notice what is missing and whine about it. We're such perfectionists. ;-)

[> [> [> [> [> [> Aside - plot critique of LMPTM -- dream, 11:45:27 05/14/03 Wed

There's something that's been bothering me that I finally got around to checking. When Buffy comes back from the dead, Spike understands the implications of her bloodied hands. He knows she has dug her way our of her grave because "I did it myself once." I loved that touch. But in LMPTM, he's been missing for days and his mother didn't know he was dead. How would a nice middle-class boy get buried without his mother knowing? Why would Dru bury him? Can someone fanwank an answer for me?

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> The answer's on AtS -- KdS, 11:48:33 05/14/03 Wed

In the AtS eps The Trial/Reunion, Dru sires someone and buries them in private until they wake up. She wants to protect the people she feels affection for, but she's also into the vamp equivalent of natural childbirth.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Thanks! That's been bugging me! -- dream, 11:53:37 05/14/03 Wed

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Of characters and plots: how board critiques -- Valheru, 12:07:18 05/14/03 Wed

We could interpret this several ways.

1. People are waiting for the plot resolution. Most of the plot comments I've seen run along the lines of, "This feels off, but hopefully Joss is going somewhere with it." AtS could be influencing things, as well; it was impossible (and in some ways, still is) to critique the S4 plotline because it was changing so quickly and because it was obvious that any resolutions would come in the final episodes. Maybe people think the same thing is going on on BtVS?

2. People (especially those of us here) like to talk about what's below the surface. "Let the kids on AOL harumph about the obvious stuff," we might say. "We want to discuss the things that don't hit you in the face." Season 6 was nearly devoid of plot (at least, compared to more linear events of S3, 4, and 5), being more concerned on character development than anything else. So while ME commented on the character stuff in the text, we wanted to focus more on what ME wasn't directly commenting on. With Season 7 being so plot-heavy, it's much more interesting to talk about the scraps of character thrown our way.

3. People have given up on trying to make sense of the plot. Frankly, both S4 AtS and S7 BtVS have been horrendous in this respect. Where in the past when ME would make a plotting mistake, it was usually fanwankable. But now, there are dozens of plot holes per episode; is fanwank even possible anymore? Maybe people have resigned to the fact that the plot won't ever make sense, so they'll just go with the flow and see where it ends up?

[> [> [> [> [> [> Why we do what we do -- mamcu, 12:47:22 05/14/03 Wed

In particular, the emphasis this year [in posts on the board] has been on character....If S7 is plot driven...why is this the case?

I suspect it's because the people on this board were drawn to the series in the first place because of character (and the ideas embodied in them). Now that the writers have let that aspect drop, we are still supplying it, since it's what we really want to think about. How much can you say about plot, after all?

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Of characters and plots: how board critiques -- leslie, 15:54:40 05/14/03 Wed

There is an aspect of this season that I keep meaning to bring up, but there's never enough of it to hold together. This season seems to be unusally folk-tale-ish in its motifs:

The kiss that breaks the spell
The tears that break the spell
The secret name that breaks the spell (on Angel)

I think the closest we've been to this before is the scream that breaks the spell in Hush. I keep waiting for something to come of it and it never really does. However, there are a few other motifs and tale types that seem to be lurking in the background, most especially the tale type Six Go Through the Whole World, in which there is a hero who accumulates a set of companions each of whom have a specific power--sharp sight, keen hearing, seven-league boots, and so on--all of which are needed together to defeat the villain. It seems as though that's where we should be heading.

The [Weapon] in the Stone motif is self-evident, but I wonder whether Buffy will have to give it back, a la Arthur having to return Excalibur to the Lady in the Lake, when she is done with it.

The secret name motif with Jasmine seems to beg for an echo on BtVS, given the First's lack of a real name.

But the one that seems most present by its absence is the motif of the Partible Soul, where the villain keeps his soul in a box that's inside something else that's inside something else that's guarded by something that's on the top of a tree that's in the most remote corner of the world, yadda yadda yadda, and the hero has to go there and capture the soul to defeat the villain. This whole business of souls that can be magically popped in and out seems to BEG for some Partible Soul action, but I don't see where it would go. But the whole thing is like an itch I can't scratch and it's driving me nuts.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Angel season 4 plots & themes (no spoilers for season) -- Brian, 16:06:07 05/14/03 Wed

Having just done an Angelathon this last weekend, I am amazed on re-viewing just how tight the plots and themes were woven together. Kudos to Joss and company for a hell of a season.
May Season 5 be as twisty and shocking.

[> [> [> [> [> I've got a theory -- matching mole, 14:21:05 05/14/03 Wed

I'm sorry to have missed mundus' comment. He and I seem to think alike much of the time or at least we did last year when we were posting regularly.

I was going to wait until after the finale to post about this but seeing as you asked I thought I would attempt an answer.

First of all I will confess to being 'shallow' in that the thematic richness of a work is not all that interesting to me unless it is presented in an appealing package. Mr. Whedon may have wonderful insights into growing up, organized religion, feminism, the dark side of love, and the kitchen sink. He is also a skilled creator of multi-dimensional, unforgettable characters, marvelous dialogue, and surprising, unconventional plots. This may seem heretical to say in a forum entitled 'All Things Philosophical on..." but, for me, both elements are equally important. Otherwise he might as well just sit in a comfy chair and give us an inspirational lecture every week (I'm speaking just about my own personal feelings here not a general statement that would apply to everyone).

So when an element of one these two aspects of the show is weak it is noted and commented upon. S6 seemed a bold experiment in looking into character development but it did so at the expense of plot. S7 seems (with the important caveat that the season is not yet over) to be an epic, a big story that is, self-consciously, the summation of Buffy's narrative. The characters are established and they are playing out their roles. So we don't see much character development. But the characters are doing important things and we don't have all the information. So we speculate and we complain.

A number of posters have commented on End of Days as reverting to an early BtVS style - making a clear distinction between S1-S3 and S4-6. Speaking purely from the viewpoint of narrative structure the break to me, if one can be assigned at all, to be between S4 and S5. S4 shares with S2 and S3 a rather loose season level plot with plenty of space to explore things outside of the main story.

S5 seems to be both a logical conclusion to the early seasons and a sharp break from them. 'Restless' clearly points to a new direction in which things deeper within the characters may drive the action. And that's what S5 gives us - a Buffy who no longer struggles to reconcile her 'slayerness' with a role in the conventional world but rather to reconcile different elements within herself. S5 presents us with a comprehensive season level plot which ties the vast majority of the events in the season into a whole. Personally I didn't enjoy S5 as much as the earlier seasons. It seemed lacking in humour and I missed the detail of the external world. But the plot was compelling and was integrated well with the characters and the themes of the season.

S6 and S7 seem to be expanding themes that were introduced in S5 or in 'Restless'. Taking these ideas and going further with them. S6 explores the characters in, as many of the fervent supporters of the season have noted, strikingly original, complex and realistic. Buffy struggles to accept herself and the world as do, in their various ways, the other characters. S7 places Buffy's struggle in a more external framework - her journey is placed not in the context of personal growth but of effective action. In S6 Buffy has to live and in S7 Buffy has to do something.

An ambitious project and one that I greatly admire ME for undertaking. However I do not think that it has been entirely successful. My hypothesis for this at the moment is that the fairly rigid seasonal structure of BtVS that served it so well in the early seasons was too constraining for the changing focus of the show. I look to AtS to support my statement. The plotting of that series has been much more fluid than BtVS and I think that AtS has been at its most successful when its long term narrative has been unstable and unpredictable. When we are never sure which elements of the story are nearing resolution.

In S6 the plot often seemed to be contrived to bring the characters to certain states of mind. Of course this is always true in fiction but in successful fiction it doesn't seem contrived, it seems inevitable. In S7 the characters often seemed to be doing things to move the plot along. I think that this was, at least partially, an outcome of ME's needs to accomplish their goals within the framework of season level plots.

This seems very incomplete to me. Hopefully I will write more later.

[> [> [> [> [> [> I'm so vain? -- matching mole, 14:38:28 05/14/03 Wed

When I said 'Hopefully I will write more later' I intended it as mildly self deprecating awareness that I might never get around to following up on my intention. Not to imply that the board would suffer in any way from a lack of my posts. Of course now I've responded to my own post and have sealed my own coffin with nails of narcissism. I'd better just shut now.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Ohmygod! You raise my hopes, then dash them?!? I wanna read more, I need to read more ;-) -- Random, 15:19:40 05/14/03 Wed

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Ditto. The croud calls for more! -- Arethusa, 03:43:24 05/15/03 Thu

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> You're the coolest mm! -- ponygirl, 16:20:56 05/14/03 Wed

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Now that's what I call constructive and excellent criticism -- s'kat, 16:44:23 05/14/03 Wed

I may not agree on a personal level with all your points, as I preferred S5 to some of the earlier seasons. But - your critique is well thought out, doesn't laspe into character bashing and/or writer bashing and makes some excellent points.

I do agree with you on how the series fell apart in places. They tried something very ambitious but not sure the structure and the confines of the narrative supported it. Ats did do this successfully. But Btvs...I think they struggled with it more. I would very much like to see you expand on this matching mole. This was very interesting and instructive. Perhaps we can engage in a long series of constructive criticisms of the seasons after the finale? It would be an interesting summer topic.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Well gosh! -- matching mole, 08:08:59 05/15/03 Thu

Thanks everyone, you've reminded me how much I've missed participating on the board. I would like discuss BtVS in more detail over the summer. My plan was to write something about AtS but somehow I got sidetracked into this. Will continue in the near future when I have a chance.

[> [> [> [> [> [> I've missed your posts, mole. -- Sophist, 16:29:24 05/14/03 Wed

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> And I've missed... -- matching mole, 08:02:27 05/15/03 Thu

Sophist reading absolutely enormous books on evolutionary biology and summarizing them for us.

Thanks for the kind words.

[> Re: Random thoughts on last night - thread to discuss everything BUT last 5 min -- fresne, 10:51:28 05/14/03 Wed

Yes, the 5 last minutes, cool, but the first 55...fresne wipes a small bit of drool from the sewing project that I wasn't actually working on during the episode.

Some immediate reactions:

· Yeah, Anya having a point. And if I may say, intriguingly still seeing humans as other. That which she is not. Incomprehensible. And yet, and yet. Chosen to be.
· Every character, every scene filled with purpose. Everyone snapped from their funks, perhaps because Buffy has finally recovered from hers.
· Giles, huggable, Watcher Giles. I'll presume a night of thinking about the missing Buffy, the missing Faith had an effect and move on to Rupert not in the least pod-person Giles. Sigh. Ahem...
· Xander with his wonderful shift from joking to steely purpose. Dawn from reading to saying no with electricity. She won't be relegated to the sidelines.
· As to the Miss Kitty Fantastico reference, it's like and unlike Anya's reference to her running away from an apocalypse. In one we know what happened. We were there. Nothing more is necessary than to say she ran once. In the other, we imagine the worst, because we didn't see what happened. Life is full of references like that. Conversations where a common history builds a short hand of event. Darmok and Gilaad at Tinagra, their hands open. Buffy on the tower, her heart open. BtVS really is a hermetic text at this point.
· When Buffy told Spike that she doesn't need (fill in the blank snarky paraphrase) from him, she has Faith for that, it felt like a validation of the whole shadow selves concept. Buffy in one episode moving towards rapprochement of both selves and pushing those Others in different directions. Like a reconciliation with the internal forces masculine and feminine before going to meet the Guardian, the watchers watcher, she of the white hair.
· Speaking of which, in the preview for next weeks episode
for those
Willow's hair going freaking white. Not black. Not veiny. A grasping of the entire spectrum, all color, all possibility. So, rich and meaty in its implications, my feet tap with anticipation.

And thus I say in the most poetic and philosophical way possible, Squee!

Anticipation, they name is BtVS.

[> [> Great little TNG reference there, fresne! I love how your mind works. -- Rob, 11:55:22 05/14/03 Wed

[> Sidetracked by details -- Vesica, 11:51:22 05/14/03 Wed

Overall I was very pleased with last night's epi...though I kept getting sidetracked by details.

First, uberweapon kills three ways, right? I could only come up with slicing and staking...what did I miss while being hypnotized by its shiny surface?

Second, FINALLY Buffy's hair looked really really good! Oddly enough, as soon as the show was over I called a friend in another state and the first thing we both said was 'Wasn't her hair great?'. I also found myself liking the lighting job...especially when Buffy and Spike are talking in her kitchen...very nice in my opinion.

Anya and Andrew...thank god for them! Their interaction this episode was priceless and it is so nice to see someone in Sunnydale able to live up the night before the end of the world (again!!) - Wheelchair fighting LOL!!!

[> [> It's double-edged with a pointy end... 1,2,3 -- Jay, 19:11:42 05/14/03 Wed

[> "Faith go boom"...couple of questions from EoD (Spoilers) -- Kate, 15:30:59 05/14/03 Wed

* Did Buffy see FEBuffy when it was talking to Caleb? I mean I assumed she did because that's how she knew about the SITs and Faith being in trouble. The only thing is, if I saw the FE as me I'd be a little more wigged. Or is it a sort of "Ben is Glory" thing and people forget who they've seen the FE as? lol

* How did Spike and Caleb enter the temple of the Guardian? From where I thought Buffy and the woman were standing there is no way Caleb could have come in from the main entrance where Buffy did. And how did Spike sneak past Buffy and Angel? The only reason I don't question Angel's entrance is because Buffy and Caleb were fighting at the time so I can see how his entrance would go unnoticed.

* Did Spike realize FEBuffy was there?

Have to comment on the two best lines of the episode:

"Thank god were hot chicks with super powers."
"Does take the edge off."


"...I'm sorry. What's your name?"
"No really?"

I know I paraphrased a bit, especially the second quote, which was still hysterical. What a great thumbing of ME's collective nose at all the people who make fun of the show merely because of its name.

[> [> Re: "Faith go boom"...couple of questions from EoD (Spoilers) -- Cactus Watcher, 16:22:04 05/14/03 Wed

How did Spike and Caleb enter the temple of the Guardian? From where I thought Buffy and the woman were standing there is no way Caleb could have come in from the main entrance where Buffy did.

Good questions. I wondered how after all these years there was a crypt within walking distance of Sunnydale that Buffy didn't know like the back of her hand. Actually the gate Buffy passed through was a little puzzling, too. It was overgrown with vines, but none of the vines ahd grown between the two halves nor did any of it effect the swing of the gate. Okay, hollywood plant arrangement. But, if the guardian was cleaning out the gate occaionally to keep in open why couldn't she wander into town and find the slayer herself. Cryptic for the sake of being cyptic I guess, and more of Rufus' idea about Indiana Jones the Last Crusade. The guardian can live more or less forever if she doesn't pass beyond the gate?

[> [> [> Yeah...that too Catctus Watcher!! I wondered the same thing about the crypt. lol -- Kate, 16:45:06 05/14/03 Wed

[> [> [> It all seemed natural to me! EoD (Spoilers) -- WickedBuffy, 20:35:09 05/14/03 Wed

I just figured that until the time came for Buffy to find it, it was invisible/not available/in another dimension.

Somewhat similar to the Slayer Bag or the red naugahyde-trimmed weapon.

As for how Spike got in - there was probably more than one way in. Even the winery had more ways in than just those cascading steps.

[> [> [> Time to rewatch old shows (Spoilers) -- Darby, 06:57:05 05/15/03 Thu

Maybe it's just me, but back in S2 when ME built their backlot cemetery, one of the set pieces was a pyramid - they are now a staple of "all" Sunnydale cemeteries (I'm always looking for it in the background ofr those shots, and it's usually there). To have these Guardians in a place with such a rich history on the show (even though they had to construct a pyramid that could, you know, actually hold something) seemed a nifty in-joke to me.

The Guardians I find another troubling example of female empowerment that really isn't. They predate the Watchers, and have been observing forever, but apparently have never seen fit to interfere and pretty much nobody knows about them (which interference should lead to). Then, in a single night, Spike finds them (it was obvious he knew where they were when Buffy gave him the clue), Buffy finds them, Caleb finds them, and they're on the itinerary of Angel's limo driver.

Speaking of Angel, wouldn't it seems reasonable for him to mention, in respect to sliced-and-diced Caleb, "When we finally put down an unstoppable demon working for the Bad Guys, it seemed a good idea to chop him up before something resurrected him..." And he could tell "No, really!" Buffy that the demon's name was Skip!

[> [> [> [> I saw things differently with less questions (Spoilers ) -- WickedBuffy, 14:51:11 05/15/03 Thu

I found the Guardian abit troubling, but don't know if it was simply that distracting make-up job or something else. About them interfering - what could they have done? We don't even know if they have any big powers beyond living a long time in an invisible temple.

They knew the prophecy and bided their time until the Slayer finding the weapon appeared. (Unfortunately, the prophecy neglected to name the slayer, hence the "really, it's Buffy" surprise. Then again, maybe Faith was supposed to show up with it, and thus the surprise.) It was pretty funny, anyway. I was once in a real life scene with the exact same dialogue.

In a way, it was the opposite of what the Shadowmen/Watchers chose to do. They influenced things.

The Guardians seemed to have remained unaffected by society or culture (or hair conditioner). She was living in a stone temple, still wearing the clothing of hundreds of years ago.

The Watchers had big offices, top of the line equipment and all kinds of modern conveniences. And were impeccably dressed, if you are into tweedy styles.

Buffy found the temple first (I still believe it only became visible when that part of the prophecy was happening), then (who knows what order) Angel and Spike found Buffy. We've already seen that Spike can just use his nose to find her - Angel probably could too. Or else the packet Lilah gave him had a map in it.

[> Some issues on End of Days -- skyMatrix, 19:53:19 05/14/03 Wed

Wasn't entirely thrilled with this episode. I did have a few questions though.

- Why is Willow so reticent about using her powers at all in this episode? When I saw "Orpheus" it seemed like she'd taken Buffy's "advice" from "Get It Done" to heart but now she's backtracking. I'd be happy for a reasonable explanation, as I don't seem to be able to fanwank this one quite yet. ;)

- Who do you think is more right in that little Willow & Giles argument? It seemed very ambiguous.

- How did you feel about all the violence between Xander and Dawn? Excessive? Fascinating? Shocking? Realistic?

I thought I had more questions but this'll do right now. Oh, and btw please have mercy on me and don't place unmarked preview spoilers in responses to this response! Thanks!

[> [> I'll give you an answer to question 1 (Spoilers I guess through ED) -- Sophist, 20:17:53 05/14/03 Wed

When I saw "Orpheus" it seemed like she'd taken Buffy's "advice" from "Get It Done" to heart but now she's backtracking.

Actually, I'll give you 2 alternative answers:

1. It was Orpheus where her character was "off". Her behavior in ED was consistent with her behavior this entire season.

2. AtS and BtVS occupy different universes. Actions and beliefs appropriate to one do not necessarily transfer over to the other. Willow can be one character on AtS, an entirely different one on BtVS.

I have the feeling not many will share my satisfaction with either answer.

[> [> [> Re: I'll give you an answer to question 1 (Spoilers I guess through ED) -- skyMatrix, 20:46:05 05/14/03 Wed

Yeah, I've always tried to believe in the sanctity of the Buffyverse, but in reality I don't think the two writing staffs try that hard to correllate stuff. Well, IMO it's still preferable to Angel Season 1, where eps like "In the Dark" and "I Will Remember You" made AtS look like it was still joined at the hip to BtVS.

And I agree that Willow was off overall "Orpheus," especially on general characterization, which has kinda made that ep one of my least favorites of Angel S4. I still wouldn't mind fanwanking it though, because I'm really loathe to say that "Angel Willow" and "Buffy Willow" are different people. Isn't that what DC Comics ended up doing?

[> [> Fanwankery on Willow (Orpheus/EOD spoilers) -- Rob, 21:55:06 05/14/03 Wed

The only thing I could come up with was that she is afraid to use her powers in Sunnydale because it's so close to the First, whereas she feels far removed in LA and so is willing to try it out.


[> [> [> Plus... -- Kate, 22:46:42 05/14/03 Wed

Willow probably felt a lot more comfortable doing the re-ensouling spell since she had done it before and this time had more magic experience under her belt. I saw the difference in her behavior and attitude about magic on Ats simply being about her getting a bit of a break while outside of Sunnydale. In LA, she got to be a bit of the old Willow without last year's baggage and so she had more confidence in herself and her magic. And yeah, no FE around either. Too busy back in SunnyD to bother with her.

*note* to Rob - the genuine Sunnydale PomPoms are currently going for $350 on ebay. -- WickedBuffy ::musing on what yours would get::, 08:39:11 05/14/03 Wed

The highest bid so far is $3,550.00 for

BUFFY- Buffy Black Tank, White Top, Jeans

[> The Board should stage a raid and get them for Rob -- mamcu the expropriator, 09:37:13 05/14/03 Wed

We could all go( under the leadership of Honorificus, I presume) like a bunch of potential slayers and capture the pom-poms. Maybe that's the magic talisman we need to keep the show after all...

[> [> If you want to stay within the law -- Vickie, 11:51:31 05/14/03 Wed

I'd contribute a few $$ to actually buying them.

[> OMG!!! :o) :o) -- Rob, 11:22:00 05/14/03 Wed

Do you think ME will reproduce the scythe? -- Vash the Stampede, 08:56:20 05/14/03 Wed

Because that thing would look cool on my wall :)

[> I could do something with a key chain... -- Sofdog, 09:04:54 05/14/03 Wed

[> or make one yourself out of a fancy axe, a stake & some shiny red naugahyde -- WickedMartha, 10:34:51 05/14/03 Wed

[> Mom? It's pr10n. Come get me? In the principal's office. Because I had a pole arm in my locker! -- pr10n <-- so busted for cool weapons, 13:01:56 05/14/03 Wed

Old School (spoilers for BtVS 7.21, "End of Days") -- cjl, 09:17:05 05/14/03 Wed

1. OLD SCHOOL (n.) - Alma mater; place of childhood education.

2. OLD SCHOOL (n.) - in hip hop terminology, the original, less technically complex [but more fun] style of rap, associated with such artists as Grandmaster Flash, Kurtis Blow and Run-DMC.

"End of Days" was unquestionably "old school" BtVS. All the Scoobs reconnected in their original S1-3 patterns: Xander and Buffy rebonding, with Buffy calling Xander "her strength," and Xander joking that even if she dies in the apocalypse, he can always bring her back ("Prophecy Girl"); Willow and Giles putting their big, squishy frontal lobes together in a research party; Buffy and Faith good-naturedly exchanging verbal parries a la season 3; Anya recollecting her previous pre-apocalyptic bug-out ("Graduation Day"); and, of course, the big B/A.

Angel's snarky "you are SO gonna lose" brought a big smile to my face, not because it was Angel saying it, but because his comment spoke to a common pleasure among all Buffy fans, the biggest old school thrill of them all: watching our heroine kick a male villain's sorry ass. (And nobody richly deserved an ass-kicking more than Caleb.)

But more than that, there's was a reconnection to the old style of BUFFY writing as well. Espenson and Petrie reproduced what seemed to have been lost during the past two seasons: the series' uncanny ability to convey comedy with dramatic undertones, and to lighten overly heavy moments of drama with biting comedy. Prime example: Buffy and Faith's discussion about the Loneliness of the Long Distance Slayer could have been self-pitying in the extreme, but Faith undercut all that nonsense with a well-timed "Good thing we're hot chicks with superpowers, huh?" To which Buffy shot back with a perfect "Kind of takes the edge off."

The old school paradigm breaks down with Spike, of course, and that sets up the ending. That final B/A/S moment is a metanarrative comment on old school vs. new school, S1-3 vs. 4-7, the high school days vs. college and beyond. It had to end that way, because Joss is going to close up shop after next week, and the sharp break between the two eras has to be addressed and resolved before the curtain comes down.

Still, I had to laugh when I saw Spike glowering in the shadows, egged on by the First Evil. It was such an obvious plot development that I didn't expect it. I was also amused by how "high school" the whole thing was: "Uh oh, Buffy's old boyfriend is back! Aw, but Spikey just gave her his class pin. Who's she gonna take to the prom?" But on the other hand, the juvenility of this plot twist wasn't very satisfying in terms of drama. With the world about to end (and we mean it this time!), is Buffy's love life a priority--even for the participants? Does anybody think Spike is going to go over to the dark side because he's love's bitch and Buffy broke his heart (again)?

SPIKE: Big, greasy poof. What does he got that I haven't got?
FE/BUFFY: A good job. Great clothes. A cool car. And mastery of hair care products beyond your understanding.
SPIKE: Nooooo! I can't take this anymore! Why did he have to come back now? He's got his own bloody series! Isn't that enough?
FE/BUFFY: You'll never be good enough for her. You're beneath her. She'll never love you the way you deserve to be loved.
SPIKE: That's not true....
FE/BUFFY: There's only one way you can find peace...
SPIKE: Shut up! I'm not listening to you! You don't have anything I want!

[FE/BUFFY thinks for a minute.]

FE/BUFFY: Those peroxide treatments have got to hurt.
SPIKE: Yeah. So?
FE/BUFFY (runs fingers through her hair): Wouldn't you like to know how SHE stays this color?
SPIKE (suddenly interested): Keep talking.

If Spikey does succumb to bitterness and temporarily flips, I'd be very disappointed. I have no doubt, though, that everybody will be appropriately heroic in the end. Modern day myths don't end with the heroes caving in to evil....

[> God, I hope you're right. -- yez, 10:20:24 05/14/03 Wed

About Whedon resolving the "break between the two eras" in the finale.

I agree that the dialogue was decidely "old school" -- but was I the only one who sadly felt like the timing was slightly weird? Or maybe the cuts between characters was too pronounced somehow?

I don't know... it didn't seem quite natural. Seemed a little forced. :(


[> [> I hear ya, yez -- ponygirl, 10:54:37 05/14/03 Wed

Something about the direction and writing felt off for me. I can't figure out why we keep seeing cuts to wide shots during emotional scenes. If we find out that someone unseen is observing, then cool, but right now it's seriously undercutting the drama for me. I'm really looking forward to Joss' ability to clearly define a character within a scene because right now everyone's feeling a bit murky to me.

I think cjl is right that we are supposed to feel the gap between old school and new school (as we did in a lot of episodes early in the season). How this is going to be resolved should be interesting to say the least...

[> [> [> Yeah -- I kept thinking, "Maybe this was done on a really tight turnaround..." -- yez, 11:29:40 05/14/03 Wed

[> [> [> And about those shadows -- mamcu, 12:29:53 05/14/03 Wed

In the Andrew-Anya scene in the hospital there were interesting but distracting shadows of the rack across the face of whichever one was speaking, and since those were pretty important speeches, I wondered about the purpose there, too.

[> [> [> [> I think they were on purpose -- lunasea, 13:47:27 05/14/03 Wed

Similar to the ones in "Orpheus" that look like prison bars (when Faith appears in the alley). It was showing how kept behind bars these characters are. That sort of lighting isn't a mistake. It is really easy to fix and actually harder to make.

[> [> [> [> The light and the dark -- PartlyCloudy, 15:21:27 05/14/03 Wed

I noticed that too; I attributed it to a subtle reinforcement of the characters speaking the lines and the lines themselves. They are half in shadow, half in the light. These are two people who had at some point made the choice(s) to do bad things in the past (either as a demon or not) who were now choosing to do good things, despite their backs being up against the wall and the odds being against them. Each day they choose to continue down their current path; we know that they could have chosen, could still choose, to turn back, to recede into old habits and modes of behavior, by leaving, by helping the First, by cowering in a corner somewhere and letting someone else do the hard work. But they don't. They might slip or falter from time to time, but in a '3 steps forward, 1 step back' kind of way, each chooses to continue down their own personal road of good. This process is part atonement, part growing up, part self-awareness, all echoing themes that have shown up regularly in other story arcs & characters all along.

The light and the dark in this scene can symbolize (among many other things) the inner struggle between wanting to follow our best intentions and our tendency to give in to weaknesses. The best and the worst of human beings. Precisely the territory Anya traversed when she was discussing how she feels about humans in general, and by extension, how she feels about herself as a human. The day to day striving to reconcile the light and the dark within herself, within each of us, and to make the right choices when it really counts.

Certainly not the most important element of the ep, but a nice small attention to detail that reinforces the journeys these particular characters are on, I think.

[> [> [> [> [> It was just dang distracting to me! -- WickedBuffy, 18:36:56 05/14/03 Wed

[> [> [> [> And about that wheelchair fight -- Archilochian, 19:31:06 05/14/03 Wed

I found the wheelchair fight fraught with symbolism.

Two misfits, socially handicapped by their "differentness" from everyone else. Bonding with each other in a hospital, a healing place, and coming together in acceptance - emphasizing their so-called differences and making the most of them - mocking the societal mores and finding great joy and amusement in each other.

The two most castigated by the rest of the group - risking their lives to retrieve medical supplies for the very ones who have emotionally hurt them, time and time again. Irony.


Andrew and Anya's discourse was one of the most metaphor-ridden scenes of the entire past 4 years.

[> ROFL...another good post(spoilers for BtVS 7.21, "End of Days") -- s'kat, 10:50:10 05/14/03 Wed

And thank you for the humor!!

Love this:

SPIKE: Big, greasy poof. What does he got that I haven't got?
FE/BUFFY: A good job. Great clothes. A cool car. And mastery of hair care products beyond your understanding.
SPIKE: Nooooo! I can't take this anymore! Why did he have to come back now? He's got his own bloody series! Isn't that enough?
FE/BUFFY: You'll never be good enough for her. You're beneath her. She'll never love you the way you deserve to be loved.
SPIKE: That's not true....
FE/BUFFY: There's only one way you can find peace...
SPIKE: Shut up! I'm not listening to you! You don't have anything I want!

[FE/BUFFY thinks for a minute.]

FE/BUFFY: Those peroxide treatments have got to hurt.
SPIKE: Yeah. So?
FE/BUFFY (runs fingers through her hair): Wouldn't you like to know how SHE stays this color?
SPIKE (suddenly interested): Keep talking.


Okay, I like this analysis and it works. It also does a very good job of fanwanking or possibly just explaining some points in the narrative that felt off to me. Like the quick re-acceptance of Buffy back into the house, no recriminations, no uncertainity. Or Angel's odd tone which seemed so counter to how he's acted all season in his own series. Question is - is this fanwanking? No I don't think so, too many deliberate touches and misleads. The Buffy vs. Big Evil final S1 battle and then the reassuring kiss with Angel at the end as Nerf HErder's theme music rises in the background. Then the scene of Spike of glowering in the shadows, which was straight out of Season 2 IOHEFY and BBB and Becoming - a clear metanarration on S2 Spike or S3 Spike in Lover's Walk. But so obvious and cliched that it was not only predictable but also I believe a huge mislead.
And oh yes, in case we forget, how about Buffy's time old suggestion that we get the old Damsel - Dawn out of the line of fire. Another metanarration - when Buffy told Joyce to leave town in Graduation Day, or attempted to take Dawn to Spike in Villains, or take Dawn out of town in Spiral.
This time we have a twist - Dawn defies her and comes back.

The twist. All year long they've been metanarrating on S1-3
of Btvs, on those pretty high school years of angst. And all year long they've been subverting the vision a little.

Its almost as if they are setting up the old school cliches in order to comment on them and subvert them. Making us look back at those high school years through another lense.

Wood - the friend and mortal enemy - a metanarration in a way on Principal Snyder and Professor Walsh - but not all that important in the scheme of things.

And of course...the greek chorus of potential slayers. Were we punished? They keep asking. Reminding me of all the times Buffy has asked the same things. Or Faith has. Buffy answers their question: No. Of course not. It wasn't her fault or yours, it just happened. The line Giles or Joyce often had in the past.

I think the important moment in the episode happens before the B/A/S one. Before Caleb enters. The ending is a mislead.
What we should be paying attention to is what happened before that. What happened between the guardian and Buffy, and between Buffy and Spike, and Giles and Willow, Xander and Dawn, Anya and Andrew...and buffy and Faith. Not what was said so much as the fact they said it. In some ways, cjl is right, it's old school, but like the rest of this season, it's old school with an interesting twist.

Sort of like the progression of old school jazz into rythm and blues and hip hop and rock and roll....old school, but see through new eyes.

[> [> Great posts cjl and s'kat. -- Caroline, 11:46:56 05/14/03 Wed

Loose Strings *spoilers for safety* -- Corwin of Amber, 10:36:12 05/14/03 Wed

Since I'm not sure what constitutes a spoiler anymore, I'll label anything I post a spoiler.

You were warned. :)

Ok...I'm concerned that theres going to be a big knot of loose strings at the end of this season, and not little ones either. There seem to be a few major plot developments this season that have just been completely dropped by the writers...

1. Beljoxa's Eye. Have Anya and Giles told Buffy what the big eyeball told them about the First? If so, we haven't seen any evidence of it. If they have, why not even a mention in passing?

2. Anya's Assassins: Has Anya's demon-master-guy (*dammit* I forgot his name) *stopped* sending demons after her? If so, why? And why did he start sending them in the first place?

3. Giles Noggin: Whats up with that? This is NOT the Giles we knew for six seasons...he's indecisive, illogically violent, devious...need I go on? WTH?

4. The First Evil: What's it's plan? I assumed, after CWDP, that The First merely wanted an end to it's own existence...but since the FE is in every one of us, it has to destroy every one of us. This makes sense, up until the introduction of Caleb. While Caleb makes an acceptable henchmen, some of the conversations between him and the FE suggest that it wants to control the world, not destroy it.

5. What really happened to Miss Kitty Fantastico? :)

Well, those are the ones I can think of just off the top of my head. I'm sure there are more. It just seems like the writers are pulling stuff out of their arses in the last half of the season, and then forgetting about it. And I don't think they can tie this stuff up, and have a slam-bang, armageddonish finale *in about 45 minutes* of screen time left.

And I must say - in my opinion, the potentials were a waste of time. In the sense that the time spent on the potentials could have been spent on the more important characters, and in tying some of this up. I understand what ME was trying to do - ratchet up the sense of urgency - but that could have been done by wiping out all of the potentials, offscreen.

At the very least, ME could have killed the whiney ingrates off with that bomb.

SMG on Location in Vancouver -- dub ;o), 12:22:29 05/14/03 Wed

Okay, David insists that I post this information because he can't believe how "ironic" it is [his term].

You all know that we live in Vancouver, and that SMG and Freddie are in Vancouver to shoot Scooby Two? Well, David works with one of the set carpenters in another capacity, and he is currently (the carpenter) busy building Scooby sets at the PNE site [Pacific National Exhibition grounds].

Okay, the PNE is like 5 blocks from our house...just down the street really. When there are big concerts there we can hear the music at night, even with the windows closed.

The sets will be finished in a few days, and shooting will begin at the site. David is trying desperately to be allowed on set so that he can get an autograph for me (what a sweetie, especially since I don't really covet one), but he is absolutely blown away by the fact that the real "Buffy" will be within shouting distance next Tuesday when the final episode of the show I've been devoted to for seven years is on the air.

Plus, she'll still be here for the Board Meet in June.

Okay, I's a strange twist of fate. So there you go!

dub ;o)

[> Lady Starlight, I think we have a new board meet activity! -- cjl, 12:44:49 05/14/03 Wed

If dubdub can give us an idea of when and where SMG, Seth Green, FPJ, and the rest of the gang will be filming while we're there....

[> [> Oh, no, now I'm not only missing out on the meet...but on stalking "Buffy" actors! -- Rob, 13:12:56 05/14/03 Wed

[> [> Okay, you guys go stalk celebrities, but I wanna see otters! They're...bendy. ;) -- LadyStarlight, 15:51:21 05/14/03 Wed

hehe, now that you know my true feelings -- I think a field trip would be a neat thing to do, even if me myself isn't competely jazzed about it.

Otters rule, baby!

[> [> [> SMG seems pretty bendy to me! -- WickedBuffy, 20:42:12 05/14/03 Wed

[> [> [> [> But she's not posable like Dawnie -- cougar, 22:56:19 05/14/03 Wed

[> [> [> [> [> LOL! ... yet SMG won't possibly throw up on you. -- WickedBuffy, 11:46:10 05/15/03 Thu

[> [> How come everything happpens here in Vancouver? -- Not so much, 20:52:22 05/14/03 Wed

[> [> [> It's beautiful and a cheap place for filming. -- WickedBuffy, 21:05:38 05/14/03 Wed

An Open Letter to the Board On This Final Week of Buffy -- Random, 14:33:54 05/14/03 Wed

This board has been, to speak in the official language of Cliche-dom, a second home to me for two years now, both as a lurker and a poster. I have gotten to know many of you very well, and have grown to respect even more. On this board, I discovered that my love of BtVS (and, to a lesser degree, AtS) was not only something I had in common with other very intelligent people, but something to be proud of. You people make me think, make me re-consider, make me understand. I can't count the number of times I've read a great post and thought, 'Wow. Dammit, I wish I'd thought of that.' I remember the Campbell era quite well. I also remember how annoyed I would get with it, heh, especially the ATLtC aspect. But I also know for a fact that I learned to re-examine the show in a light that I hadn't previously considered. This site, and this board, have been an essential part of my viewing experience, and I have a hard time imagining the point in time when I watched Buffy without being able to come to this board and read other perspectives, other insights. I respect ya'll, and I know some of you respect me, and that's one of the reasons I come here to post and read. I've had enormous fun working with LadyS. and Bit on our BehindtheATPo LJ cause I am quite fond of ya'll, and, well, fondness leads to teasing.

Lately, there's been a certain amount of rancor and animosity here. That's not new: after 2 years, I've seen my fair share, though I am assured by many friends who don't even come here that my descriptions of the conflicts on this board are quite tame in comparison to other sites. And I admit, I've contributed some to that atmosphere lately myself. I think I'm a little stressed by the impending end of the only TV show that has ever made me a true fan, the only one I've watched without fail week after week, year after year. After all this time, it seems, I've become emotionally invested in the show, the characters. I am an avid reader, and the only comparison I can make is the feeling I get when I read a great book -- the Lord of the Rings trilogy springs to mind, as do James Joyces' Portrait of the Artist and Ulysses -- the moments when you have been a part of a truly special, magnificent journey. And I've been glad to have shared this one with ya'll. It's just a TV show...but King Lear is just a play, and Moby Dick is just a novel. It is art and narrative, too, and art and narrative are what makes our lives far richer, far better than they might have been.

I'm writing this open letter, I guess, to let ya'll know how much I appreciate every one of you. I suppose that the apparent rise in conflict and snarkiness lately spurs my need to reach out here on this, the final week (at least for us here in the States.) I'm not even gonna start trying to list the names of all those I appreciate...heh, I made that mistake once before...I think it took me four posts to take care of all the omissions, and even then, I only stopped cause I was starting to feel silly. I do want to thank Masq, of course, for everything. And I just want ya'll to know that ya'll are some of the greatest people I've ever had the privilege of corresponding with. All this snarkiness (and even I got snarky as hell today, uh-huh, better believe it), all the shipper conflicts, all the emotions -- it comes, I think, in a large part, from the tension and stress we're all feeling. I promise not to get snarky again this's like that final moment of reverence for me, the calm before the storm. I just want to share it with all of you. And, come next Tuesday, and next Wednesday, I want to mourn with you, to celebrate with you. I've been a little depressed by all the animosity I've percieved lately, but I know, in the end, we've all gained something special from knowing each other.

[> Thank You, Ran. This board has been a pleasure for me as well. Please read, everyone. -- LittleBit [who even posts, now and then], 14:40:53 05/14/03 Wed

[> Thanks, Random -- Masq, 15:08:21 05/14/03 Wed

This discussion board has become something beyond my wildest dreams, and it is all due to posters like you and so many others.

I hope everyone will chose to stay on after BtVS has left our screens and talk about BtVS, AtS or whatever else moves you. This is such a great community and needless to say, my my home away from home.

Thanks to everyone!

[> [> then, masq... -- anom, 20:57:40 05/14/03 Wed

"This is such a great community and needless to say, my home away from home."

...thanks for inviting us all into your home! (Good thing we're not virtual vampires!)

[> [> [> You're welcome -- Masq, 09:35:50 05/15/03 Thu

You know, I knew I was going to have problems with that "Hey, I got a discussion board, every one's invited" thing. We've had our share of "virtual vampires" over the years, of the blood-sucking variety and otherwise, but all in all, most folks have survived with their necks unscathed. : )

[> Hear, hear! -- dub, aka Chief Snark ;o), 15:13:00 05/14/03 Wed

[> Re: Thank you, Random. -- aliera, as usual, echoing., 15:17:05 05/14/03 Wed

[> [> Re: Thank you, Random. -- jane, 16:53:37 05/14/03 Wed

I second that thank you and lift my glass in a toast to all you wonderful posters! Long live ATPoBtVS.

[> Thank you Random! Thank you Masq! -- Sara, hanging out at her favorite virtual place, 15:28:41 05/14/03 Wed

[> [> You're all very welcome! -- Masq, 15:38:24 05/14/03 Wed

[> So beautifully said Random. -- Kate <from her newbie corner> :), 15:37:41 05/14/03 Wed

[> Beautiful Ran. And at least if Buffy has to go, we all have people to share our pain with here -- Alison (feeling like crying, and promising to be nice), 15:46:43 05/14/03 Wed

[> Well said, Random -- sums it up nicely. -- LadyS -staying until Masq kicks me out and the lights go off, 15:57:25 05/14/03 Wed

[> Thank you. -- Sophist, 16:13:36 05/14/03 Wed

[> Well said Random -- s'kat, 16:31:50 05/14/03 Wed

Regarding the snark? I know the beast in me comes out when my buttons get pushed and they are extreemly pushable right now due to stress related and not related to Buffy. Let's just say I'm drowning in stress at the moment and the board has served as a bit of an oasis from it on most occassions.

So what I do when one of my buttons is threatened? I avoid the posts and posters who I know will push them. Nothing against those posters - they have a right to their take just as I do mine. But it helps to not read sometimes. Just a little. Or if I do read, I try to turn off the computer and the net and think real hard before responding. If it was worth responding to or arguing over? Someone far more eloquent than I often will do it for me. This board has a delightful way of turning what started out as a snarky battle into a very interesting discourse. Now I don't always succeed in this. But I do find it helps to keep my own sanity and personal balance when I do.

Hoping to see you all this summer and into the fall.


[> Stop the train, I wanna get off! -- Tyreseus, 17:39:48 05/14/03 Wed

Somewhere in my head there is a little clock ticking, making me painfully aware that the hours and minutes until the series finale march on no matter what I do.

I just wanted to join Random in thanking everyone from the board. I've written in before about how I have no friends in the real world who share my deep fascination with this little show about a cute blonde who saves teh world, a lot. Well, in the final week I've discovered at least one other live human being who, like me, plans to cry next Tuesday. She's probably lurking right now trying to figure out which poster is me after I told her about this wonderful community.

So thank you to this board for so many things...
for sharing an obsession...
for forcing me to think and rethink things, symbols, myths and philosophies I've taken for granted...
for introducing me to Neal Gaiman's Sandman comic books...
for arguing with me...
for never making me feel stupid (or at least stupider than usual)...
for making me aware of memes...
and for still being here in four or ten years or more when the Jossverse has become nothing but closed cannon but we still find messages that resonate, symbols that have ever deeper meaning, and characters that we continue to discover as our own lives keep unfolding.

There are no goodbyes to be said, we all know that, but thanks Random, for inspiring me to remember that there's more to this board than just new episodes of BtVS.

[> Thank you so much, Random -- Scroll, 17:51:13 05/14/03 Wed

I admit, I haven't been posting much lately. And it isn't just because I've been afraid of being spoiled for Angel. While my enjoyment of Spike as a character is fairly neutral, perhaps my reactions regarding Spike's (and James Marsters') position within the Buffyverse, Mutant Enemy, and the fandom haven't been as level-headed as I'd like. I do apologise for any toes I've tread on.

But this board has really helped me to grow as a person. Meeting all of you, having discussions about so many different topics, learning the various perspectives out there, has been quite a learning experience, one I greatly treasure.

I've learned how to better communicate, how to walk away from an argument, how to let offensive words go. And I've also got to meet all of you, which makes every bad moment worthwhile. Because for every bad moment, there have been hundreds of funny, touching, intelligent, connecting moments. This board has been my home on the internet as well. I don't know who I'd be if I had never run across Masq's site and found this board. I probably wouldn't be as open-minded or curious or confident as I've become since I came here.

So thank you, Random, for your words, and Masq for opening your site to be my internet home :)

[> [> It's been a real eye opener -- cougar, 19:22:19 05/14/03 Wed

"I don't know who I'd be if I had never run across Masq's site and found this board. I probably wouldn't be as open-minded or curious
or confident as I've become since I came here."

I thought I was just being dramatic, but this board has changed me too! So much curiosity aroused by a TV show fan board? Surprise,
I'm more aware of how alike and yet different we all are.

On the one hand I find others who respond as I do, so I'm not alone. Yet there are so many points of view expressed here, and there
are facets I can see now for the first time. I'm actually noticing things in other human situations that echo what I've learned here. I've
also branched out in new intellectual directions from stuff I learned here. So yeah, I'm changed.

*** I am grateful for the hundred different stories poured into each episode here***

philosophical kisses, Jungian smiles and archetypal hugs to all

[> Raising a glass -- ponygirl, 19:32:44 05/14/03 Wed

A toast! First of all to Random for such a lovely post and reminding us all why we're here.

To the lurkers and the absent friends: Post! Come back! I miss you.

To the people on the board whose words have delighted, impressed, mystified, irritated, appalled, tickled and amazed me - often within the same post! Thank you. You have enriched my world tremendously. I know I am a better viewer, critic, writer and thinker because of you.

And finally to Masq, for running the best website and board on the internet with passion, grace and infinite patience. May your internet connection never fail!

I hope the finale brings everyone what they need to see... and lots to talk about! L'chaim.

Erin aka ponygirl

[> [> What ponygirl said - Can't say it any better than that! But we ain't done yet, oh no... -- OnM, 20:32:57 05/14/03 Wed


We Sing the Buffy Electric

~ ~ ~

A lot

[> [> [> I love that, OnM. Thanks, Random and ponygirl. -- Arethusa, 20:53:12 05/14/03 Wed

Whitman, Ray Bradbury and OnM. A great progression.

[> [> [> we aint done yet--of course! -- Vickie, 22:09:00 05/14/03 Wed

Thank you, Masq, for the board and the opportunity.

Thank you, all you others, for your wisdom, insight, snarkiness and wit.

The daily volume may drop a little, but we aren't going anywhere. Besides, we all debated the end of S5 until (well, actully, haven't stopped yet).

[> [> [> [> Thanks, Vickie -- Masq, 06:01:42 05/15/03 Thu

That's reassuring. I felt like the captain of the Titatanic with all my passengers jumping overboard...

[> [> Thank you so much, ponygirl! -- Masq, 05:58:19 05/15/03 Thu

Although some of these messages have a finality about them that is depressing. BtVS won't die on this board. Our analyses, dissections, and generally yapping about 7 years in Sunnydale has yet to begin!

[> [> Cheers! -- dream, 08:55:50 05/15/03 Thu

[> Thanks Ran. Been that way for me too. -- fidhle, 21:30:57 05/14/03 Wed

[> Ran without the snark is like Thanksgiving without turkey! ;o) -- Rob, 21:42:09 05/14/03 Wed

But seriously, that was a really beautiful post, buddy. It's been really great getting to know you here at the board and especially at chat over the past few months.

And I also have to express to the entire board how special ATPo is to me. This is also for me the only place where I can discuss "Buffy" on a deep, intelligent level...and I have loved meeting some of you in person at group meets (I can't say how upset I am that I'm missing Vancouver). Thank you to everybody. I'm not gonna name more names either, because the list would just be too long.

I also can't remember "Buffy" before ATPo, although I know I must have been watching it before that since I've only been here since right after "The Body" aired, and I've been a "Buffy" fan since mid-second season. Thanks to everybody for enriching the amazing experience that is Buffy viewage. I never would've considered taking a philosophy class if it wasn't for this board. Amazing how much "Buffy" has affected my life.

And might I make a suggestion that we ban all B/S/A shipper talk until the final outcome next week? ;o)


[> Nameste' Random... I honor your spirit with my spirit. And Thank you to Masq most of all! -- Briar Rose, 01:08:19 05/15/03 Thu

[> [> Thanks, BR! -- Masq, 05:55:49 05/15/03 Thu

[> I've felt priviledged to be present -- MsGiles, 02:42:48 05/15/03 Thu

even if only in a small, hit and run sort of way. It's contributed loads to my reading, it's wakened me up to what I'm watching, it's always been entertaining. I know I haven't quite got the communication thing down, but you're all so patient!

Apart from Masq, obviously, I'd especially like to thank Rob for the annotation project: the notes are really interesting and informative to read, doing annotations has been great for slowly re-activating my brain, it's been a fantastic excuse to go back over episodes I haven't seen in years, and it's a way of being involved without being spoiled.

And it's such a buzz to get my name in the notes! I don't *think* my work has noticed how little gets done on some days! You must do loads of work, Rob, to keep it spinning along so fast.

I hope of course this project will carry on - and by the time the notes get to S7, maybe I'll have seen it too!

[> Damn straight Random- agree with every last word -- Tchaikovsky, 08:28:31 05/15/03 Thu

The 'Lord of the Rings' and Joyce comparisons? Dead on.

The worry and irritation with the animosity on this hitherrto most civilised of boards? Dead on.

Mourning for Buffy's passing? Dead on- although I've only reached 'Potential' so I have a little farther to go.

And thanks to pretty much everyone, with only one (long departed) exception, who's posted here. And as always God save the Masquerade, (particularly as she saves so many of my Odyssey threads from Voynak! 'Soulless' review coming tomorrow!)


[> [> Always worth saving, TCH... -- Masq, 09:52:35 05/15/03 Thu

[> You spoke for me, Random--a toast to all of you!! -- mamcu-luna, 09:30:39 05/15/03 Thu

(But we like you even when you snark!)

I hope we'll all find a way to stay with the board, but knowing that might not happen, here are my thanks to the whole Board and all the thoughts you've given me.

Here's wishing all our paths will cross again in some other rebirth.

Current board | More May 2003