May 2003 posts

Previous May 2003  

More May 2003

Caleb, Giles & Faith's return: Thoughts on "Dirty Girls"(spoilers up to Dirty Girls) -- JCC, 16:46:50 05/15/03 Thu

"Dirty Girls" is the first episode of Buffy this season that I really enjoyed. Not only did it re-unite the group with Faith (a part that I felt was a little flat given the history), but gave a powerful introduction to a very believable evil in Caleb.

Caleb, a priest who has turned from his search for God and aligned himself with The First, is basically misogyny personified. However, he can also be seen as a statement of the hypocrisy of organised religion. As Gandhi said:
"I like your Christ; I do not like your Christians."
Caleb preaches the Bible to his intended victims in order to lure them in, before punishing them for trying to tempt the power out of men. As Christians take on that name and guise, they fail to live the lives that their teachings preach.
Caleb also enjoys re-enacting his "cleansing" of these girls he has murdered, as The First feeds his lust for killing. I'm a big believer that a villain needs to feel justified in his actions, no matter how wrong they are, and he definitely feels that he is saving the female race. Caleb is the perfect weapon against the potentials. Who better to wipe out an army of young girls than a misogynistic fanatic with super powers? His intro is made all the more powerful by leaving 2 potentials dead, several injured and Xander without an eye.

Faith's return, as I said earlier was a little flat for me. Her meeting of Buffy is used to show Buffy's determination and focus on the war ahead. As she told Wood, she doesn't have time for vendettas. The interactions between Faith and Spike were enjoyable. If only Buffy hadn't walked in on them in the basement...
Another downside to this episode was Buffy's treatment of Giles. I'm still not sure which side I fall on in the argument of whether Spike should have been killed or not (when the trigger was active. I now feel that he poses no threat.) I'm not sure I want to take any sides in the pit of waste that was "Lies my parents told me". Giles did what he felt was right for the protection of the potentials, and I feel he has been badly treated after it. Buffy's logic was ridiculous. She was content to let Spike roam the house freely, while he was still The First's bitch, which makes no sense whatsoever. He should have at least been tied up full time. But once again, this logic does come from "Lies...", so maybe we should forget about it.

Even though Caleb is somewhat of an easily understood character (he's insane. What else do you need?) I enjoyed him as a big evil. A priest who gets his kicks of murdering girls was a strange choice, but given the excellent subtle scripting of the episode, he was very easy to dislike. His calmness throughout and constant Bible preaching mixed in with insane rambling won me over. Not to mention a great performance by Nathan Fillion, of whom I'm a big fan (see Two Guys & a Girl). I'm looking forward to seeing where he's headed.

[> I think Caleb is a preacher, not a priest. -- WickedSemantics, 17:52:32 05/15/03 Thu

Unless I missed some part of his biography. It's an importance difference - they aren't interchangeable words.

[> [> ME dropped the ball on whether Caleb is a preacher or a priest. -- Rhys who is not Rhys-Michael, 18:41:27 05/15/03 Thu

First off, Caleb has a Southern accent and an Old Testament Bible name. Neither is characteristic of American Catholics--most Southerners are Protestant, and Catholics are enjoined to give children names of saints. (They don't always do so, but--judging by Caleb's apparent age--names like John, James, Francis, Joseph, Michael and Matthew would have been much more likely to be given to a Catholic boy forty or fifty years ago than names like Job, Gideon, Obadiah, Ezra, Ezekiel or Malachi. Likewise, Caleb uses a lot of the phraseology of evangelistic preachers.

But then he also brings up the belief of transubstantiation (that's the belief that the bread and wine of the Eucharist literally turn into Christ's body and blood in the Mass, even though they still look like bread and wine. This is strictly a Catholic belief; Protestants believe that the transformation is a metaphorical one, not a literal one. Caleb also mentions that his constant questioning leads to his never staying long in one parish. Priests (Catholics and Anglicans) have parishes--Protestant ministers don't. However, the sentence is sufficiently ambiguous so that he might have been referring to regional divisions, known as counties everywhere else, but known as parishes in Louisiana.

It looks like ME was not really sure what the difference is between priests and preachers, and didn't take the time to find out.

[> [> [> Or they deliberately vagued it up. -- Arethusa, 18:49:12 05/15/03 Thu

[> [> [> [> Re: Or they deliberately vagued it up. -- DEN, 19:37:43 05/15/03 Thu

I think they deliberately made Caleb's denominational identity vague--the individual points he mentions, both evangelical and Catholic/Episcopal, are accurate enough that somebody at ME had to be aware of the differences. IMO, apart form any antireligious subtext, Caleb's religious polymorphousness enhances his creepiness. One minute he comes on like a tent-show evangelist; the next he talks like a newly-ordained seminarian testing limits (the "body and blood" riff was perfect). The overall effect is nightmarish.

[> [> [> [> [> I didn't find the effect nightmarish. I found it confusing. Sorry. -- Rhys who is not Rhys-Michael, 20:43:36 05/15/03 Thu

[> [> [> Re: ME dropped the ball on whether Caleb is a preacher or a priest. -- Corwin of Amber, 21:07:27 05/15/03 Thu

>This is strictly a Catholic belief; Protestants believe that the transformation is a metaphorical one, not a literal one.

My father says that the Lutheran sect he was born into believed in transubstantiation also; he converted to Catholicsm after marrying my mother. I also get the impression that particular brand of Lutheranism (i forgot which) was very close to Catholicism in other areas.

I also believe that Caleb mentioned parishes at some point in Dirty Girls, could someone check their tape?

[> [> [> [> The Parishes Speech from "Dirty Girls" -- Rhys who is not Rhys-Michael, 22:05:18 05/15/03 Thu

CALEB (wandering about):

You know, I loved the story of the Last Supper, the body, the blood of Christ becoming rich red wine... I recall as a boy though I couldn'thelp thinking, what if you're at the Last Supper and you ordered the white? Nice oakey chardonnay, or a white zin, was he gonna make that out of his lymph or some all? I never did bring it up, but... well I suppose there was reason I never could stay with the same parish for very long. Just looking for answers--looking for the Lord -- in the wrong damn places. 'Til you showed me the light.

Reading books to fill the void...recommendations? -- lost_bracelet, 18:54:54 05/15/03 Thu

The hunger I feel at the end of a Buffy episode, season, and now the series itself is a general hunger for a good story. Sometimes I can fill the void with a satisfying book, especially in the speculative fiction genre. I also have a passion for young adult and children's (age 9-12) books. Here are some of my favorites:

the Harry Potter series
A Wrinkle in Time

I am sort of glad Buffy is coming to an end, because 1) It's ending while it's still good, and 2) I watch too much television as it is and would like to watch less. I'd rather spend more time reading books than watching television, even if the shows are good (and there aren't that many good shows, in my opinion).

I welcome your comments about reading versus watching television, as well as your book recommendations.


[> Re: Reading books to fill the void...recommendations? -- lost_bracelet, 18:57:50 05/15/03 Thu

The hunger I feel at the end of a Buffy episode, season, and now the series itself is a general hunger for a good story. Sometimes I can fill the void with a satisfying book, especially in the speculative fiction genre. I also have a passion for young adult and children's (age 9-12) books. Here are some of my favorites:

the Harry Potter series
A Wrinkle in Time

I am sort of glad Buffy is coming to an end, because 1) It's ending while it's still good, and 2) I watch too much television as it is and would like to watch less. I'd rather spend more time reading books than watching television, even if the shows are good (and there aren't that many good shows, in my opinion).

I welcome your comments about reading versus watching television, as well as your book recommendations.


[> [> (Please ignore the second's the same as the first -- technical problem) -- lost_bracelet, 18:58:50 05/15/03 Thu

[> [> Re: Reading books to fill the void...recommendations? -- jane, 23:22:13 05/15/03 Thu

I suggest that you check out these books: "Beauty" and"The Blue Sword" by Robin McKinley; "The Arrows of the Queen", "Arrow's Fall", "Arrow's Flight" By Mercedes Lackey. One of my very favourite writers is Guy Gavriel Kay; his first series "The Fionavar Tapestry" is beautiful. Also, I really enjoyed a series by Tanya Huff called the Keeper's Chronicles. First one is "Summon the Keeper".

[> [> Re: Reading books to fill the void...recommendations? -- ANDREA, 13:40:43 05/16/03 Fri

Hey i can totally identified with you cause i watch way too much tv, anyway if you're looking for a good story to read, i would definitly recommend you Norhten lights by Phillip Pullman , its actually a trilogy im rading at the mo9ment and it is pretty cool.
also The Anatomist by Federico Andahazi, his from argentina and when you start reaing one of his books you just cant stop.


[> Re: Reading books to fill the void...recommendations? -- Rendyl, 21:06:34 05/15/03 Thu

Well...embarrassingly enough the last books I read were the 'Call of Cthulhu' gaming manual, the 'Chicks in Chainmail' anthology and the 'Adobe Go-Live' manual.

(Hey, it was website research...really.)

Have you read any of Susan Cooper's 'The Dark is Rising' series? It begins with 'Over Sea, Under Stone'. It is next on the list to read to my little girl once we are done with 'The Goblet of Fire'.

My husband just finished 'The Voyage of the Shadowmoon' by Sean McMullen. He liked it but I haven't had a chance to read it yet. He also says 'The Briar King' by...ack my mind blanks...ok...Greg Keyes (I think) is pretty good. I did read 'Knight Life' by Peter David a few weeks back and enjoyed it.

Ren - hey, the 'go live' manual is chock full of humorous anecdotes...really -

[> [> Re: Reading books to fill the void...recommendations? -- Rhys who is not Rhys-Michael, 21:47:48 05/15/03 Thu

Madeleine L'Engle:

A Wind In The Door (follows A Wrinkle In Time)
A Swiftly Tilting Planet (follows A Wind In The Door)
An Acceptable Time

George R. R. Martin's Song of Ice and Fire series:

A Game of Swords
A Clash of Kings
A Storm of Swords

Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett:

Good Omens

Marion Zimmer Bradley:

The Mists of Avalon

Orson Scott Card's Tales of Alvin Maker series:

Seventh Son
Red Prophet
Prentice Alvin
Alvin Journeyman

Terry Pratchett (mind you, these are best of the best of his Discworld novels):

Of the Death series:

Soul Music
Thief of Time

Of the Witches series:

Wyrd Sisters
Lords and Ladies
Carpe Jugulum

Of the Rincewind the cowardly wizard series:

Interesting Times
The Last Hero

Of the City Watch series:

Guards, Guards!
Men At Arms
Feet of Clay
The Fifth Elephant
Night Watch

Stephen King:

Bag of Bones

Will Cuppy:

The Decline and Fall of Practically Everybody

I can come up with more, but I think that's enough to be going on with.

[> [> [> Wow, fantastic list! I liked _Bag of Bones_ as well. -- lost_bracelet, 23:41:48 05/15/03 Thu

I also enjoyed King's The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon and Hearts in Atlantis.

I didn't know L'Engle had follow-up books! I'll have to check those out. Thank you.

[> Re: Reading books to fill the void...recommendations? -- Tar, 22:33:35 05/15/03 Thu

Since you enjoy young adult books and mentioned quite a few of my favorites, you might also like Philip Pullman's series. 'The Golden Compass', 'The Subtle Knife' and 'The Amber Spyglass'.

There is also Steven King's, 'The Dark Tower' series which I'm reading again while I wait for the fifth book to come out. These include 'The Gunslinger', 'The Drawing of the Three', 'The Wastelands' and 'Wizards and Glass'.

[> [> Pullman has been on my reading list for a while. -- lost_bracelet, 23:44:35 05/15/03 Thu

I read a short story in King's Everything's Eventual called "The Little Sisters of Eluria" that was about a gunslinger. It was one of the better stories in the collection.

What about that Lemony Snicket guy? Is his series worth reading, you think?

[> [> [> Re: Pullman has been on my reading list for a while. -- jane, 00:08:55 05/16/03 Fri

I've read some of the Lemony Snicket; they're kindof cute in a depressing sort of way.

[> [> [> [> Harry Potteresque? -- lost_bracelet, 00:21:43 05/16/03 Fri

[> Books Books Books -- Michael, 04:01:05 05/16/03 Fri

As I think of books, I'll post them. Never give an English teacher the opportunity to list books...

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon
Summerland by Michael Chabon
A Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks (the plague, love, the 17th century, what else could you ask for?)
The Crimson Petal and White by Michael Faber
American Gods by Neal Gaiman
The Book of Illusions by Paul Auster
Gilligan's Wake by Tom Carson

more to come...

[> Re: Reading books to fill the void...recommendations? -- MsGiles, 08:31:46 05/16/03 Fri

what springs to mind..

Neil Gaiman's short stories 'Smoke and Mirrors'. Novel 'American Gods'. Fantasy with contemporary edge. A bit horror-ish, but more whimsical.

Laurell K. Hamilton 'Guilty Pleasures' on recommendation from this board. Vampire detection pulp style. I aim to read more.

Umberto Eco 'Foucaults Pendulum'. Just read again, concentrated read like very rich fruit cake, but packed with templar-type conspiracy theory jokes, and a good story.

Alan Garner - 'Weirdstone of Brisingamen' and 'Moon of Gomrath' (children), 'RedShift' (young adult). I just read 'Strandloper', but couldn't make head nor tail of it, I'm afraid.

Neal Stephenson: Snow Crash (cyberpunky, but not as dark as Gibson). Most recent one 'Cryptonomicon' - encryption fantasy thriller set in geek-land, very funny, much appreciated by programmers.

Ursula le Guin, especially 'Left Hand of Darkness', 'The Dispossessed', 'Always Coming Home', but also the Earthsea books for younger readers eg 'A Wizard of Earthsea'

'Marianne Dreams', Catherine Storr 1952. Classic childrens book.

Terry Pratchett, yes. Also some of Robert Rankin, a bit like TP with beer, allotment and bicycle humour, set in Brentford (London suburb). Eg 'The Sprouts of Wrath'

EE Nesbit's 'Five Children and It', for younger children but I was surprised how much I enjoyed re-reading it recently. 1902, so it was getting on even when I read it first.

Rosemary Sutcliff's historical books for children eg The Mark of the Horse Lord (1965) Roman legions, British Dark Ages.

minds gone blank now, but I'm sure there's more

[> [> Oldies but goodies -- matching mole, 13:05:15 05/16/03 Fri

What a great list! I don't know how many times I reread 'Five Children and It' as a young lad. 'Weirdstone of Brisingamen' was one the first books ever to really scare me. Wonderfully atmospheric.

I ordered 'Marianne Dreams' after watching the filmed adaptation 'Paperhouse' which I think is one of the best fantasy films I have ever seen.

Robert Rankin is a recent discovery for me. Our local library only has two of his books so I might actually have break down and order some. Definitely reminiscent of Terry Pratchett in style but darker.

I guess I should add something of my own.

I recently read a book by Tanith Lee, part of a series set in an alternative Venice, each book a stand alone story based on one the four classical elements. The first book by Lee (who's been around forever) I've read and I was very impressed with her stylistic acomplishments. Sorry I can't remember the title - something to do with earth.

[> [> [> I'll try Tanith, new for me -- MsGiles, 15:06:20 05/16/03 Fri

[> And if you like historical fiction -- Rhys who is not Rhys-Michael, 10:07:36 05/16/03 Fri

Sharon Kay Penman:

Here Be Dragons

The story of Llewelyn Fawr (Llewelyn the Great) of Wales, King John of England, and Joanna, the bastard daughter of John and the wife of Llewelyn. If you only know John through the Robin Hood legends, you owe it to yourself to read this book. John was both better and worse than the legends paint him.

Falls The Shadow

Sequel to Here Be Dragons, it's the story of three men: Henry III, John's son and one of England's most incompetent kings, a deeply insecure and vacillating man; Simon de Montfort, a French-born English noble wed to Henry's sister Nell, a proud, rash, blunt-spoken man who valued freedom and representation in government for all; and Llelo, later Llewelyn, the grandson of Llewelyn Fawr.

The Reckoning

Sequel to Falls The Shadow. If you saw Braveheart, read this book, for one of the characters is Edward Longshanks. Falls The Shadow and The Reckoning go a long way to explaining why Edward was the kind of person he was. The Reckoning is also the continuing saga of Simon de Montfort's children--Bran, Guy, Amaury and Ellen--as well as the intense and passionate love story between the Welsh Prince Llewelyn and Ellen de Montfort.

If you like stories about people, romance, battles, intrigue, grandeur and/or larger than life personalities, you'll love these books.

[> Re: Reading books to fill the void...recommendations? -- Alianora (delurking), 11:06:17 05/16/03 Fri

In the YA realm: Diana Wynne Jones, I've enjoyed everything I've read by her

Jim Butcher's Harry Dresden series. The first book in the (so far) four book series, Storm Front, is also on CD read by James Marsters. I've seen it called "Harry Potter grown up". Not true, in my opinion, but I think a Harry Potter fan would likely enjoy them.

[> Thanks, everyone, for your great recommendations. -- lost_bracelet, 13:32:23 05/16/03 Fri

I've added many books to my reading list.

I was also hoping for more discussion about television addiction, but perhaps that requires a new topic thread.

The Last Pure Demon (Spoilers through "End of Days") -- Finn Mac Cool, 21:12:08 05/15/03 Thu

In "End of Days", the Guardian told Buffy that the Slayer's Scythe was brought to the Hellmouth in order to kill the last pure demon to walk the earth after all the others had fled. Now compare this to "The Harvest":

Giles: "The last demon to leave this reality fed off a mortal man, mixed their blood, turning him into a human form possessed, infected, by the demon's soul."

This is a description of how the first vampire came to be. Given this, I think we can safely conclude that the last pure demon the Guardian talked about is the same one that created the race of vampires. This resolves an issue some people brought up after "Get It Done" aired, where it was said the Slayer was created to drive off the demons, even though the show's premise was that the Slayer was intended specifically for vampires. But, if the Slayer, weilding a mystical scythe, killed the pure demon that was the father of all vampires, it makes a lot more sense that they're called Vampire Slayers. Plus, it's quite fitting that the creator of vampires was killed by a Slayer.

One more thing: according to the Guardian, at one point a Slayer, presumably before the age of fertilizer bombs, killed a pure demon with the Scythe. Given that pure demons are described as destroying entire towns, and how big and powerful the Mayor seemed in his pure demon state, it makes you wonder how powerful that Scythe makes Buffy if a previous Slayer could kill a pure demon with it.

[> RE: ... (Spoilers through finale previews + spec.) -- yez, 09:02:15 05/16/03 Fri

But if it's for the last pure demon, and the Mayor was changing into a pure demon (was he?), then wouldn't the scythe have been important then?

I'm not sure if this whole thing is going to tie up cleanly... So far, it's all been about the FE and Caleb, and judging by the previews which show Caleb (or his body anyway) being a part of the finale, I'd be surprised if we suddenly get the introduction of another figure -- the last pure demon.

Hhmm... I'm wondering if the FE didn't *need* Buffy to kill Caleb with the scythe somehow, that this turned him into a truly empty vessel that the FE could fill and take corporeal form, as it talked about longily in Touched.

But I'm pretty confused as to why, if the FE was something incorporeal that was part of everyone -- in their hearts -- it would bother to take form.

But maybe this is the FE's fatal flaw. Maybe instead of the last pure demon actually leaving the earth or the earthly dimension, it changed itself into something that could exist in everyone. Maybe something spiritual or maybe there's even some part of it in everyone's DNA.

Maybe the final battle will be some kind of metaphysical genetic therapy...

Anyway, of course we all know that once it takes on corporeal form, for whatever perversely touching reasons it may have (no pun intended), that the slayers will kick its ass. They better. Dammit, I didn't invest all this time into this show to have them all fold in the end!

yez are you? -- Nino, 21:36:11 05/15/03 Thu

Does anyone have any information regarding Charisma's return to "Angel?" I know she was taken off of the regulars list, but has Joss or anyone commented on whether she will be in any episodes at all? How about Connor? (Not that I wanna see him again...) But Cordy, she is the heart of the show...she has been there since the VERY beginning, and after a season where she was MIA, an amnesiac, possessed and unconcscience for all 22 eps, i need some serious closure! Please help if you have any info at all...and yay for Spike!

[> Cordy and Connor will appear as recurring characters on Angel. -- Rhys who is not Rhys-Michael, 21:56:49 05/15/03 Thu

[> [> Ummmmm, don't count on this -- Dochawk, 22:10:04 05/15/03 Thu

As far as I have seen, nothing official has said that CC will return as a recurring character. This has been fan projection. I wouldn't count on it happening (unless they come up with a special story line that they must have her for - think of CC like SG or AB, not ASH).

Miss Kitty's lives' story -- HonorH, 22:22:27 05/15/03 Thu

Jane Davitt just posted this at FFN, and I absolutely adore it. Read and enjoy:

Nine Lives

[> Yes! Forget Faith, a Kitty spinoff next, Clem guests -- MsGiles, 07:54:13 05/16/03 Fri

A Super-Evil Top Ten List: "No Excuses" -- The Unclean, 22:37:47 05/15/03 Thu

It has been a glorious day here at the hive, as my mate and I and our demonic brethren celebrate the lunar eclipse with our combination ritual slaughter and backyard barbeque. As I pick the shards of bone out my mandibles and reflect on the screams of the dead and the sound and smell of flesh bubbling over an open flame, my buoyant mood is tempered somewhat by the upcoming end of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

I have read the mortal commentators on the board waxing nostalgic over the most romantic moments of the series, or the episodes that best exemplified the nobility of the Slayer's spirit, or the laughter that the cyclopean carpenter and the babbling witch brought to their hearts...

Since I wish to keep down my lunch, I have refrained from reading too many of those. Honorificus seems to be waiting for the series finale to unleash the fiery flames of hell upon the board, so I feel it falls upon me to reflect upon the episodes that bring joy to every demon's heart: episodes when the Scoobies, those paragons of virtue and saviors of humanity, betrayed their principles and sank into the depth of depravity or despair.

As much as I would like to include the jolly antics of Angelus, the savagery of Vamp and/or Hyena Xander, and the magical merriment of Dark Willow, I will not allow the humans on this board to make excuses for their heroes. This is the "no excuses" top ten--everybody made their choices with a clear head, and now they have to live with them. (Or not.)

10. ANGEL. No Angelus, so that takes away a great deal of ammunition for a "worst of Angel" retrospective on BtVS. Of course, Angel's glorious "multiple murder by inaction" at the offices of Wolfram & Hart in Season 2 of his own series would probably top this list, but we're not dealing with AtS here.

I'm tempted to cite Angel's abandonment of the Slayer at the end of S3, or his merciful (for everybody else) one-punch silencing of Xander in "Enemies," but he can claim virtuous motivations for both. No, the vampire with a soul was at his lowest point at the end of Season 1, cowering in his room in abject fear of the power of The Master ("Prophecy Girl"). He was ready to abandon the Slayer and the rest of the human world to their fates. Considering what I have waiting near the end of this list, the fact that it was the Harris boy who roused him to action is deliciously ironic.

9. JOYCE. Ah yes, the sainted mother of the Slayer, always caring and concerned and ready with a hot cup of cocoa to make the cares of the world disappear. During the most nightmarish time of her daughter's life, when Buffy's world was falling down around her ("Becoming II"), Joyce reacted like any understanding mother would: she threw Buffy out of the house, screaming at her never to come back. And when Buffy finally returned home ("Dead Man's Party"), Joyce once again displayed her infinite patience and love by joining the lynch mob of Buffy's friends and nearly driving her child away again. Her finest hour.

8. ANYANKA. 1100 years of blessed carnage, a veritable cornucopia of choices--but that would be too easy. No, to praise as perfect evil the actions of a creature blinded by rage at mankind is like applauding the artistry of an elephant stampede. Far better to judge Anyanka during her second go-around as a vengeance demon ("Selfless"), when she knew full well the weight and distinctions of human morality--and slaughtered those frat boys anyway. She did it to fit in with her old friends and to please her boss--much in the same way the Nazis did in the good old days. A shame she didn't have the guts to stick to her guns like a good little she-wolf of the SS...

7. FAITH. Poor little wild child. Never at home anywhere, especially with Buffy reminding her of all the things she never had. But then she finally found a new Daddy, the always charming Richard Wilkins III (I campaigned for him in 1912) and she would do anything to please him. The near-rape of Xander Harris and the accidental death of Deputy Mayor Finch were nothing compared to the cold-blooded murder of the vulcanologist, a murder with all the passion of dumping the weekly trash by the side of the road. Daddy must have been so proud.

[In honor of my favorite season--Season 6--the last six entries salute the disintegration of the Scoobies over the course of 22 episodes.]

6. GILES. Again, so much to choose from, although most of Ripper's crimes have been relegated to distant memory ("The Dark Age"). The murder of Ben in "The Gift" and the conspiracy against Spike in "Lies My Parents Told Me" were both prime examples of the utilitarian ruthlessness I've always admired in Watchers, but Giles fanatics could easily justify both actions. No, the true measure of Giles' selfishness came in Season 6, when he magnified Buffy's abandonment issues by running back to England when she desperately needed her most.

5. THE NERDS. The Banality of Evil incarnate. It was a pure pleasure watching Warren Meers develop from brainiac misfit in Season 5, to self-deluded crime boss, to full-fledged mystically enhanced psychopath in Season 6. And it was equally pleasurable to watch Jonathan Levinson--the perennial innocent bystander and eternal victim of the series--as he refused to acknowledge his own complicity in this sad state of affairs until it was far too late.

4. XANDER. The love spell in "BB&B"? Done in the heat of anger, and perhaps somewhat excusable. Summoning Sweet in "Once More, With Feeling"? He had no idea what the Dance Man could really do with an attentive audience. No, the moment when Xander betrayed himself and his loved ones on the deepest level was his wedding day ("Hell's Bells"). Sneaking out the back door of the lodge and wandering out into the rain, leaving Anya to walk down the aisle alone, was pure cowardice. (If he survives the final episode, he will spend the rest of his days living it down.)

3. WILLOW. I know, I know--Dark Willow doesn't count, because she was addicted to magic and driven mad by grief, blah blah blah. But she had no excuse for mind-raping her beloved Tara, barely months after Tara was mind-raped by Glory. (Actually, I always thought Willow was sick of Buffy and the rest of the world pushing her around, and she was attracted to the raw power of dark magic. Why couldn't she just admit it?)

2. SPIKE. This is a tricky one. Technically, Spike shouldn't be here at all, since he didn't have a soul until this season, and his post-ensoulment record has been relatively clean ("Chosen" pending). But even soulless, Spike maintained the pathetic delusion that he was a paladin of sorts, a creature first and foremost devoted to his Lady. The attempted rape in "Seeing Red" was so heinous, so utterly depraved, that it completely shattered his well-crafted self-image and drove him to the ends of the world to obliterate himself.

1. BUFFY. What, the virtuous Slayer? Miss "Everyone Has Been Evil Except Me"? Perhaps she's forgotten the end of "Dead Things," when she pummeled Spike into a bloody pulp in an orgy of projected self-loathing. (I hold out a dim hope that "Chosen" will reveal Buffy as the Ultimate Big Bad--but I doubt Joss Whedon will have the courage to Go There.)

Thank you for indulging me. This was a pleasurable trip down memory lane. Now if you'll excuse me, I have human sacrifices on the grill and a lot of hungry mouths to feed. (Where did I put the ketchup?)

[> *Munch* Great barbecue, Unclean! -- Honorificus (Gloriouser Than Glorificus), 22:55:03 05/15/03 Thu

I had a minion teleport over to grab me some spareribs off the grill. Hope you don't mind. I must get your sauce recipe some other time.

However, I frankly must disagree with your assessment of Buffy's worst moment. For one thing, it was Spike while he was trying to be a good guy, and I wanted to pummel him myself. For another, her emotional state was such that she lost control. Thus, it didn't have the premeditation or cold calculation needed for a truly evil act.

No, I would far prefer something like her little dance o' seduction to drive Xander and Angel crazy in WSWB. Or perhaps the stabbing of Faith. Hitting Angel below the belt with Riley in "Sanctuary"? No, wait--her whole "Generalissima Buffy" act this season that led to her "friends" evicting her.

As for Xander, I would more likely say his entire stint as an 18-year-old qualifies as his "worst moment". Did you see some of the idiocy he came up with in season 3? Human males that age--to stupid to live, too sweaty to eat.

This is making me all nostalgic as well. My Super-Snotty Alter-Ego is getting all defensive of her Favorites now, but she's had more than her say. My say is this: If this Joss creature is truly, as he thinks, revolutionary, he will end the series with Buffy giving in to glorious, glorious evil, becoming the First's Slayer vessel and wreaking carnage upon the helpless human world. The Old Ones shall rise again!

[> [> And Most Recently -- fawning minion, 09:27:55 05/16/03 Fri

Your gloriousness is ever the most brilliant, but let me just suggest that Buffy's behavior on End of Days really should be nominated: First she browbeats Spike into confessing not lust, but need for intimacy, almost turning him back into poor William the poet, and then refuses to own up to her own feelings--and then, very next time he sees her, she is back sucking face with her old lover. Gotta love it!

[> [> [> Oh, pah! -- Honorificus (Evil And Proud Of It), 15:46:29 05/16/03 Fri

Their conversation was horrifically open and (ugh!) vulnerable. Besides, just when has Buffy ever actually known her real feelings? She's just one huge mass of contradictions and Issues, which is one reason I hold out hope for her converting to Evil. As for the Angel thing, while I approved of the burn it must have been for Spike, what ruins it for me is the sure knowledge that had Buffy known he was there, she'd have refrained from licking Angel's tonsils out of sensitivity toward the Bleached Bomber. Nope. Sorry. Not evil enough for me.

[> [> You've totally neglected Tara. And there's a chunk of gristle in your front teeth. -- Archilochian, 12:14:42 05/16/03 Fri

Tara had more magical powers than she let on - yet she hid them even when they would have helped keep the Scoobies safe.

Tara sneaking in through the Magic Shops back entrance and casting that Forget Spell on the entire gang while cowering behind a door.

Sabatoging the demon Locator spell leaving Willow demoralized about her own powers.

Concealing her family "secret".

and the worst - Willow chasing Tara until Tara caught her. Oldest trick in the book.

[> [> [> She really was quite the tart, wasn't she? -- Honorificus (Who Never Chases, Always Catches), 15:49:55 05/16/03 Fri

You know, in spite of her being all Earth Mothery and goody-goody (not to mention badly-dressed), I found Tara sort of endearing. She had more maturity than the others, which made her more bearable, and could be quite delightfully wicked when she wanted to be. Remember Spike's "cramp" in the pants?

[> [> [> [> I've always wondered how many gf's Tara had had before Willow. -- Archilochian (we already knew Willows background), 17:49:15 05/16/03 Fri

[> Re: A Super-Evil Top Ten List: "No Excuses" -- Saguaro Stalker, 06:10:30 05/16/03 Fri

I think you've discovered a very profound point. Slayers and their friends are quite healthy for being such sickeningly good folk. You mentioned Buffster kicking the tar out of Spike over her self-loathing. Remember, Faith does the same thing in "Who are you?" She decides she doesn't like who she is. So she beats up Buffy while she is still in Faith's body, thereby accomplishing both self-flagellation, and the joy of punching somebody else. When Spike decides he doesn't like who he is at the end of season six, he learns from Buffy's bad example. He doesn't sit around and mope for umpty episodes. No, he goes out and kills some stuff, so he'll a be more worthy person. Let's not forget Buffy's solution to her mental distress over thinking she was trapped in the booby hatch in a world without real demons. (A thought that would make anyone depressed and crazy, isn't it?) She decides to kill all her friends. She may not succeed in that, but she does at least put a little joy in the world by tying them all up and scaring them half to death. Isn't that more healthy than keeping your fears bottled up?

Kudos to ME for keeping these themes alive. Kudos as well to the true First Evil who has given us a place where we can discuss these great literary themes without fear of angry mobs.

Observation on EoD (spoiler, 7.21) -- HonorH, 23:00:43 05/15/03 Thu

Apologies if this has already been brought up and I missed it, but I realized when I re-watched the ep that the wound Buffy deals Caleb is low, across his abdomen--the same wound he dealt Shannon the SiT and that girl the First imitated for him.

That Caleb would wound a woman in that way isn't remarkable. He's slashing at her womb, the center of life, which must be a fearsome thing to a misogynist like him. Buffy, of course, knew about Shannon's wound, so she might have been deliberate in her choice of death blows. In any case, it seems to me that the writer/director certainly made a deliberate choice to echo those wounds in Caleb's defeat.

[> Re: Observation on EoD (spoiler, 7.21) -- grifter, 02:42:09 05/16/03 Fri

Yup, saw it to. I immediatly thought "Entry for Masque´s "poetic justice" section!". My unspoiled brain tells me it´s not the last we´ve seen of him though.

[> Re: Observation on EoD (spoiler, 7.21) -- Cactus Watcher, 06:28:25 05/16/03 Fri

There was another blatant exchange of injuries as well. Buffy gouged out the eye of the Turok-Han before she killed it. Xander survived after having his eye on the same side ruined. Caleb killed Shannon with a slash acros the belly. Buffy does the same to him. But, from the previews it looks like Caleb will be brought back by the FE to keep fighting. I haven't kept track, but if I remember correctly some of the Bringers have been killed by the stabs to the chest recently just as they were killing potentials early on.

[> [> 7.22 preview mentioned above -- anneth, 12:29:53 05/16/03 Fri

[> [> Re: Observation on EoD (spoiler, 7.21) -- wiscoboy, 16:14:01 05/16/03 Fri

Since she didn't take the logical course to take the time to cut his head off, of course he will be there for the big finish.

[> They went for Continuity instead of Justice. Justice would have been a slice about 6" lower. -- Archilochian, 12:03:38 05/16/03 Fri

Current board | More May 2003