May 2003 posts

Previous May 2003  

More May 2003

My rant about feminism (spoilers End of Days) -- lunasea, 11:29:19 05/17/03 Sat

I have a dozen essays left unfinished and others that I posted and left off promised addendums. I still have an essay I promised Masq back from when I first joined. I'm not one for actually completing things. Sorry. I tend to puzzle things out by writing about them and often my mind jumps ahead of my fingers and I don't need to write any more. Hopefully, I can gather a list of these and work on them after we bid Buffy adieu. If anyone is looking for something specific, let me know. You can email me at if you want to maintain your lurker status.

Now for my rant. If anyone takes this personally and needs to respond in kind, get a grip. One, it is an admitted rant. Two, my opinion shouldn't matter that much.

Last night I watched the 50 Greatest Women of Rock in the Video Era on VH1 with my 6 year old daughter. It was a great testimony to how far women had come. Of course at the top with the Queen of Female Empowerment herself, Madonna. A close second was Janet Jackson. It was fun talking about these women with my daughter and telling her about women like Chrissy Hynde, Pat Benatar and Cyndi Lauper. My daughter's favorites made it to the list, which excited her to no end. 50 was Avril Lavigne and from that point on there was no way I was going to get my daughter to go to bed, so I let her stay up an extra hour. Pink was 19 and Gwen Stefani broke into the top 10 at 9. My daughter sang along with the program. It was amazing watching my daughter being so captivated by all these women and even more amazing that there are now 50 that she can be captivated by. These really are her role models.

There were artists on the list I would have preferred not to be there. Top of my list of "Artists that I wish would just go away" isn't Brittany Spears (#4) or Christine Aguilera (#14) or even Ms. Jennifer Lopez (#21), though all of them are on that list. It is Destiny's Child (#15). I can't believe that one of my favorite artists, the wonderful Stevie Nicks (#23) who really understands what empowerment means, let them sample one of her songs and turn it into such garbage. I like Kelly Rowland, but the crap she does with Destiny's Child just needs to leave the planet.

As the list climbed, I figured out why I hate them with such a fiery passion. One thing I have learned about myself is that when something evokes such a strong reaction, it is speaking volumes about me. I try to see just what that is. When we got to TLC (lucky 7), I realized why I hate Destiny's Child. TLC is a great example of female's empowering others. Destiny's Child is to TLC as Brittany Spears is to Madonna, cheap knockoffs that think they get it, but are really clueless.

TLC had the "I am woman, hear me roar" songs. They had the ones about females owning their sexuality. They also had "Waterfalls." Further down the list is another amazing woman, Mary J. Blige (#11). Her song "No More Drama" truly empowers women. It is more than an "I'm not going to take this crap" or an "I deserve better" song. In it you can really feel her pain. It is intense.

Another great artist for female empowerment is Alanis Morisette (at my favorite #16). "You Oughta Know" is so indicative of what the feminist movement has become. It is a song of rage and pain. Most only saw the rage and when she redid it for a live performance and focused on the pain, it was amazing. In each and everyone of her songs, you can feel the intense emotions that drive them. In that she empowers women to do what it most important for any human being to do, feel. She says it is ok to have these feelings and empowers us through her example.

There are so many women on the list that did that. Most of the women on the list do that. That is why I hate Destiny's Child. They think they are strong. They put this image out there to the young women of today about female power. One of their biggest hits was from Charlie's Angels. It is called "Independent Women." Supposedly it is about female empowerment. What do they think empowers women? Money and being alone. "The shoes on my feet, I bought them." What an accomplishment. "I depend on me." It is something they are proud of.

They are wrong. A strong woman is one that feels and can depend on others. The Queen of Female empowerment doesn't just sing about being a "Material Girl" or to "Respect Yourself." She also asks "Papa don't Preach," can "Cherish" another, wants you to "Justify My Love" and for someone to "Rescue Me." She understands "The Power of Goodbye."

This is what fills my head as Buffy draws to a close. Joss truly empowered women, in ways he probably didn't even intend or realize he was doing. The little blond girl doesn't get killed in the alley, she now kills in the alley (actually usually in the graveyard or underground). Where she went from there was so much more of a story. There is a reason that "Innocence" really showed Joss what he could do.

What would have happened if Angel hadn't been resouled before she killed him? Joss could have done that. He wanted to do the "I slept with my boyfriend and he changed" story. Where he took that was amazing and the original metaphor basically got lost. When Angel was resouled, Buffy had to now kill her lover instead of a monster, but she regained her heart. That is so much more powerful than writing off a guy who's being a jerk after you have sex.

Now for the actual rant. I am sick and tired of all the calls for Buffy to end up alone, for her to move beyond needing Angel or Spike or any man. Empowerment and independence aren't synonyms. Because I am married doesn't mean I am dependent. My husband and I are interdependent. We are both made stronger by being with the other. Sure we could each exist and be happy without each other. We could have meaningful lives and contribute to the world we live in. Together we are much happier and make stronger contributions.

I am a Stay-at-home-mother. I am looked down by many working women who feel that the only real sign of your independence is to have your own paycheck. This is fueling the Mommy Wars, a ridiculous battle of women against women where one side resents the other for damaging their children and the other resents the other because they are less than women or give women a bad image. It is utter and total Bull shit on both sides. It is not what the early feminists fought for.

Choice. That is what it is supposed to be about. It is up to every women to decide what to do with herself, whether that is to have an abortion, have children at all or take that body to work to collect a paycheck. What is fulfilling is for each woman to determine for themselves. No one should be telling another how they should end up.

How about what Buffy wants? Isn't that the ultimate feminist statement? Not what she wants specifically, but attaining that or at least having it left open as a future possibility. The show has made it perfectly clear what Buffy wants. Take a revisionist history to the show if you want to make it so Buffy was just being immature or deluded, but she isn't idealizing it. The writers have NEVER said that. They have said Buffy and Angel are the ideal. She doesn't have to idealize it. It IS the ideal. Why wouldn't she want that? As her friends, why wouldn't we want that for her?

There is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to be with someone that makes you happy, perfectly happy. There is nothing wrong with wanting to be with someone that you feel so comfortable with that you can tell him anything. There is nothing wrong with wanting our true heart's desires. A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle. How about a woman might not need a man, but he sure makes the bicycle ride to go fishing more fun? If you both go fishing, you might even catch more fish that way.

I resent people (remember this is my rant) who seem to think that if a future with Angel is left open, that Buffy is some how less of a feminist icon. For Buffy to give up on what she really wants, what sort of feminist statement is that? Does Buffy "need" Angel? Wasn't that addressed when he showed up? I LOVED how they did that. Buffy did first assert her independence. They both acknowledged this. Angel does believe that Buffy can handle herself. He said so in word and deed, both on his show and on hers.

Now they can move onto something deeper. They don't need each other, like in "Forever," the last time we saw them together. They want each other. "Aren't you gonna tell me how glad you are to see me." Not "Don't you really need me." Glad. Want. Desire. Absolutely nothing wrong with either wanting it or acknowledging this. If anything the powerful feminist statement lies in doing JUST this.

Do we want Buffy so closed off that she doesn't want any one? I am all I need. That's nice honey. Just keep thinking that. It'll make that death wish kick in any day now. It is expressing her love that keeps her humanity alive. She needs someone to express that with. Friends are great. I love them. Have some myself even. Friends aren't the only way to express love. What is wrong with romantic love? Why should she cut herself off from that? Why shouldn't she want that?

Getting all ranted out. Main point: Feminism isn't about independence. It isn't about killing the monster. It is about feeling and being strong enough to move to interdependency.

Go Buffy!!! And Go ME for showing it to us all these years. Joss cared enough about that little blond girl and that has shown in everything he has done with her. His heart has shown though his characters. It takes a truly brave man to do that. There are three huge hearts in the Buffyverse--Buffy's, Angel's and their creator's.

[> Big hearts -- Dandy, 11:49:48 05/17/03 Sat

I agree that feminism does not mean ending up alone.
There are lots of big hearts in the Buffyverse.
And I will miss them all.
I hope Buffy and Angel get to finish thier story on Angel.

[> Where were Missy Elliott and Ani Difranco? -- lost_bracelet, 12:57:48 05/17/03 Sat

[> [> Missy Elliott (18) a nd Ani Difranco (didn't make it, sorry) -- lunasea, 13:04:17 05/17/03 Sat

full list at:

[> [> [> Ani Difranco is a very successful independent musician. -- lost_bracelet, 13:09:46 05/17/03 Sat

She's probably the most blatantly political and feminist of all of them. It's no surprise to me that VH1 left her off because she doesn't fit into their corporate paradigm. There are a number of feminist hip-hop artists who are fantastic but I can't even name because they just don't get the kind of airplay that "role models" like J.Lo and the others get.

[> [> [> [> I like her and play her for my daughter -- lunasea, 15:51:49 05/17/03 Sat

We don't play most of the female hip-hop artists, because some of them are just as big thugs as the male ones. The others think that empowerment means showing as much skin as possible. If anything the music industry has depowered a lot of them by confusing what power really means. Contrary to popular opinion, it isn't all about the Benjamins.

Lil Kim made the list. Yuck. Take her off and put someone like Ani on.

[> [> Re: Where were Missy Elliott and Ani Difranco? -- Eryn, 16:17:47 05/17/03 Sat

Please tell me that Aretha Franklin was on that list!

[> [> [> Not considered a video era artist. She does make several other lists -- lunasea, 17:28:10 05/17/03 Sat

[> [> [> [> Number 24? -- manwitch, 21:23:53 05/17/03 Sat

I know they are talking "video" artist and so that gives Brittany an automatic high score (she was number 4 on the list), but the idea that Brittany could be thought better at anything than Salt-N-Pepa is kinda disturbing.

Brittany in the Catholic school-girl outfit is nice in its way, but Salt-N-Pepa are wonderful

[> [> [> [> [> We're in agreement, again :-) -- lunasea, 05:24:43 05/18/03 Sun

[> [> [> Well, if we're discussing older black women, how about Nina Simone? -- lost_bracelet, 00:52:47 05/18/03 Sun

She only passed away recently, probably after the list was put together.

She was one of the most empowered female vocalists ever.

[> [> OT: Ani Difranco -- tomfool, 22:48:02 05/17/03 Sat

If you like Ani D, you might get a kick out of a little song called Chick Singers by Dan Bern on his album Fifty Eggs. It's a silly but heartfelt tribute to ... chick singers. Oh yeah, in a nice reversal of music industry roles, it's produced by Ani D.

I just checked, and you can pull it off of Kazaa.

[> [> [> Thanks for the lead! -- lost_bracelet, 00:54:43 05/18/03 Sun

[> I totally agree -- Miss Edith, 16:10:22 05/17/03 Sat

Well aside from being a B/A shipper because I'm so not :) But it does depress me slightly when I read so many posts at different boards about it being a greater sign of female empowerment if Buffy ends up alone. Now this is O/T but I also enjoy the show Farscape. The main female character Aeryn Sun was introduced as a fierce and independent warrior who claimed to have no need for men or emotional attachments. IMO she became more of a femininst role model when she opened up her heart to a man she loved, the series ended with her having accepted all aspects of her feminity and she was expecting a baby. I applauded that sentiment. Aeryn Sun was a female heroine I could relate to and admire, more so when she was not cold, fuctional, and alone. She made the choice to cut off her heart in one episode (The Choice) and it was presented as the wrong decision.

From the Buffy series I would see Tara as the finest example of a feminist hero (JMHO), and early Willow befre she got hooked on the magic. Being kind, compassion, and nurturing are all important qualities. If I had daughters and wanted them to look up to female role models I wouldn't want them to just admire female action heroes who are basically John Wayne in drag.

I totally think Buffy shouldn't be with a man simply because she can't function without one. But I hate the message that Buffy as a female warrior must be closed-off and alone. That is not what I believe the feminist movement was fighting for at all. Romantic love can be just as liberating as the sole female warrior, more so in fact.

[> [> Re: I totally agree -- Miss Edith, 16:17:26 05/17/03 Sat

Just to clarify when talking of Tara and Willow being my role models, I was not excluding Buffy. I think she too is an admirable female character. But I do think there is a tendency from some viewers to want to see Buffy as a male action hero almost, just in high heels. In Intervention Buffy was told she was full of love, I have always seen that as an essential message. I personally Buffy should not be denying her love. She should be incoperating what is great about being female into her heroic warrior image, that is what I would find the most impressive message.

And I also think Cordelia in the first two and a half seasons of Angel (up until she went blonde and had a personality transplant) was a wonderful example of a feisty female. I adore the scene of her and Lilah comparing shoes as they discuss how to beat Billy.

[> [> [> Re: I totally agree -- Eryn, 16:57:53 05/17/03 Sat

I have always defended Buffy as a feminist heroine, but then again I get confused when the word "feminism" is uttered because there are so many conflicting viewpoints that can't really be covered by one "ism" word. (Example: Sometimes I'm accused of being too feminist and sometimes not at all feminist--by the same person, during the same conversation.)

I have my own conflicts when it comes to notions of women in society; one day I might be bothered that Buffy is always in heels and lip gloss, and the next day I'm glad that a woman in heels and lip gloss is depicted as smart and strong. Since this is Hollywood, however, most of the depictions of women are going to be pretty and petite, with perfect hair, so I'm just glad Buffy is also in command and saves the world--a lot. She's a little messed up when it comes to relationships, but I think that's a fairly realistic depiction of a human being in general; in particular, a woman in command probably does find it necessary to hold herself off from everyone around her and might find it difficult to reconcile her need for intimacy with her need to stand apart. (I do not mean that strong women innately have this relationship problem, but that they might have to operate in a certain way because of cultural understanding of women.)

I'm afraid I may have rambled a little. I love the posts on this topic; everyone is so insightful.


[> [> The most basic aspect of the feminist movement . . . -- Finn Mac Cool, 18:07:23 05/17/03 Sat

. . . is that men and women are equal.

While many action heroines seem like action heroes in drag, it does make sense, given that one of the most common definitions of feminism is that gender doesn't matter. Implying that a person's gender affects how they act is treated in many circles as being anti-feminism.

[> I like this -- manwitch, 16:10:25 05/17/03 Sat

I think you're right on. Buffy sort of transcends feminism. It is feminist, no doubt, but it doesn't stop there. She empowers me, too. (Well, feminism does too, but the audience of Buffy is not simply women looking for an icon).

I used to have this argument a lot with some friends who ran a sort of workshop/facilitation speaking to men about men's violence against women. They did a great job, really they did. Opened a lot of eyes in young people about how different the world is for men from women, how very small things that seem innocuous to one party speak violence to the other. They did good work.

But occasionally, they would discuss the power of symbols in pop culture. I remember them being really stuck on the Terminator as a negative image because it glorified hypermasculinity and male domination of women. And, as they used to say, it "functions in a continuum of other symbols of male aggression."

And I was like, "Dudes, it functions in the friggin continuum of the movie its in. The Terminator loses. He gets killed by a pregnant chick. Do you get it?"

In good movies and television, just like good literature, the characters aren't role models. The males in the audience are not supposed to think they are being asked to behave like the male characters while the females in the audience behave like the female characters. Everyone in the audience is supposed to recognize at some level their identity with the protagonist. This is one of the most basic of literary skills. I'm Sarah Connor, not the Terminator. He's a big frightening bastard.

So I'm not supposed to think I need to be like Xander or Giles. No. I'm Buffy. Frisby above is absolutely right about Buffy's legacy, except that everyone, not just young girls, are being given an icon of empowerment in our incredibly complicated and sometimes stifling culture. And the beauty of it is, if we follow the metaphor to its conclusion, the icon is ourselves. Pretty cool, I think.

If Joss is a dummy, he hides it well.

[> [> I agree with what you said -- lunasea, 17:39:31 05/17/03 Sat

I hope you don't think that I was saying that only girls can get a message from Buffy. I am a female and my 6 year old daughter is well, a daughter and not a son. I don't feel qualified to talk for the male perspective. I loved what you said about "The Terminator." People get so focused on their cause that they tend to take a reconstructionist approach to everything, looking for things to fit their theory, rather than see what is actually out there.

Someone once said that Joss uses feminism as a vehicle to humanism. I agree completely with this. I identify more with Angel than I do with Buffy. It isn't about totally about the gender of the characters.

All I was addressing was the assertion that the feminist statement would be for Buffy to end up alone.

[> [> [> Nope, I agree. -- manwitch, 20:20:15 05/17/03 Sat

I always feel hesitant to say I understood what somebody said, cause its always possible that I didn't.

But I thinkthat I agreed completely with your rant. I meant to just be repeating a small part of your point.

As to the Buffy being alone part, I agree with you about that not being necessary. But by the same token, I know that whatever they end up throwing out there, ME seems to find a way to make the message work. With just a few more nights to go, I continue to have total confidence in them.

[> [> Thank you -- Sophist, 17:44:03 05/17/03 Sat

At the end of S6, I tried to articulate why the scene of Xander and Willow on the cliff did not work for me. Your post allows me to say it this way: for that scene, Xander replaced Buffy as the protagonist, the one with whom we're supposed to identify. That doesn't work for me -- I can identify with Buffy, I can identify with Willow, but I can't identify with Xander.

Oh yeah, there's the issue of whether the show subverted its own feminist message by leaving Buffy helpless while the man saved the day from female destruction.

No one needs to talk me out of my quirks. I'm really just glad that manwitch gave me the vocabulary to express my thoughts more clearly.

[> [> [> Not entirely, since Xander solved the problem with a proclamation of unconditional love. . . -- Finn Mac Cool, 18:25:36 05/17/03 Sat

This is, traditionally, a female role. There are many cases in classical literature of a physically powerful male character being talked out of a heinous crime by an emotionally attuned female character. The subversion continues in Buffy, with a physically powerful female character being talked out of a heinous crime by an emotionally attuned male character.

[> [> [> Re: Thank you -- manwitch, 20:35:53 05/17/03 Sat

I hear what you're saying. That ending was a bit akward for me too.

I sometimes try to get past it intellectually by thinking of Xander as Buffy's heart and Willow as Buffy's spirit, and recognizing that what was happening there was just Buffy coming to terms with life in the world as it is, rather than how she wishes it would be or how she thinks it should be.

But it felt wierd, having her physically so far away from the solution to the problem.

If I have any complaint about Joss at all, and really I don't, it would be that he honors what I call the "symbol set" above the actual characters and plot. He makes the message work, and doesn't worry about plotholes, plot devices our someone being out of character. To his credit, most of the time its never an issue, but in my own mind I feel that when he has to choose, he chooses the message and sacrifices character or plot consistency.

I don't really have a problem with it, because my main interest is in the message. That and the incredibly beautiful women in the show.

Oh, right. This is a thread on feminism. The incredibly beautiful people in the show. I tell you, that Xander....

[> [> [> [> Re: Thank you -- aliera, 22:13:26 05/17/03 Sat

Cute. ;-) Part of the difficulty at least coming out of the season in question (and just perhaps for me) was the need for a empowered vision of Buffy at that point. And the Grave/showing Dawn the world as nice as it was, just didn't do it for me. Yet I'm hearing (and feeling) what you're saying and also bearing in mind the difficulties of sustaining over a large body of work. I also feel much better about it after I read posts like yours but it begs the question of why the show doesn't give me that same feeling. Just rhetorical really; can't expect you all to know what's pulling my strings. And yet I was looking for something more, more integrated and balanced, more as I envisioned strength. Not that we might not get that yet.

This season went a slighty different direction than I intitially thought it would and with only one ep to go finale anxiety is probably also a factor. Thank you though for the reminder of Joss's focus. It does put things back in perspective. (MC Escher perspective? No, no. Not going there!) And I have to close by saying with all my quibbles it's still one of the few shows I tune in to...

[> [> [> [> [> Buffy isn't empowered at that point, though -- lunasea, 06:14:14 05/18/03 Sun

I had a problem with how Buffy came back S6 because I thought the realization in "The Gift" should have had her coming back much more enlightened. She descended, came back wiser so the next step is to impart this to Man and make the world better. I didn't get that.

But that isn't what happened, because Buffy's realization in "The Gift" didn't really empower her yet. It is part of 3 that she needs to get before she is really empowered. Without all three, she is even more vulnerable than she would have been without any of them.

I think the same thing happened with "Grave." The Guide's message in "Intervention" has several parts. Buffy figures out how she can turn pain into strength by showing Dawn the world. She hasn't figured out how to apply this to the world itself. How does she turn the pain of dead little girls into strength?

She doesn't show this strength yet because she hasn't had all parts of the realization that will lead to it. We keep wanting to see it, but there is a process here. One thing Joss is forcing me to practice is patience. 3 seasons for this. I don't think I've ever spent 3 years reading a book before.

I thought this season would be Buffy's strength shining and from the first third it did look like they were going there. Then I realized that she still needs a final realization before she is truly divine.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Buffy isn't empowered at that point, though -- Eryn, 07:34:11 05/18/03 Sun

Lunasea, that is a great analysis. I've been wondering how the various conflicts of the show can possibly be resolved with just one hour left, but if the major point of the last show were Buffy's self-realization, ascension if you will, that would be fantastic.

[> [> [> [> Grave and Buffy's location -- lunasea, 06:02:47 05/18/03 Sun

There are various theories about why Buffy wasn't the one that actually saved the world season 6. The Big Bad is a metaphor for whatever Buffy is going through that season. Willow, as Buffy's spirit, was the Big Bad that was threatening the world. Buffy cannot defeat her own spirit to save the world. Instead another part of Buffy, her heart, symbolized by Xander, can bring the wayward part back to herself, or even elevate it to its divine nature.

Willow wasn't defeated or destroyed. She was just brought back to herself, shown with the physical changes she went through. Willow has been permanently changed and is now in the same boat that Angel is in. Don't think that Willow is going to Shanshu any time soon. The Coven has been attempting to elevate her to divine status.

It was Buffy's wounded spirit that went through her Dark Night that disconnected her from the world. The spirit needed to be healed and reconnected, not defeated. Buffy was in no position to do this herself.

What intrigues me with the compartmentalization of Buffy into the Scoobies is that the typical split is mind-body-spirit. Instead of spirit, we get heart-spirit. Season 5 dealt with Buffy's heart and in it she surpassed Xander. That heart left her incredibly vulnerable and in a lot of pain, so she felt that she came back wrong. Her human spirit had to become divine in order to deal with her now divine heart. Season 6, through Dawn, Buffy surpasses Willow.

Willow is an amazing character. I have written elsewhere that she is so amazing because she can care about Buffy above all else. It is representative of how Buffy can care about the world above all else, a divine spirit. In Season 6, we get Buffy so caring that she can't care. Instead she starts to focus on her own problems and spirals downward. Willow, who usually would be the one that would see this, is also preoccupied with her own stuff. This leaves Buffy with no one to really talk to.

Season 6, the world was left without anyone to really be able to save it. Nothing worked until mind dosed Willow and heart reached her. I always thought it was interesting why Willow was going to destroy the world. She wasn't completely evil in that she didn't revel in chaos and destruction. In some twisted way, it was an act of compassion. She was putting the world out of its misery.

That seems to be what Spirit is about, as opposed to heart. Heart is caring. Spirit is the strength to cut through things so that you can care. Mind then takes that and applies it.

Season 7 has been about becoming the divine mind. Buffy has the divine heart that can care. She has the divine spirit that can cut through everything to what is important. Now she needs to know how to apply that.

I can't wait to see how this is shown.

[> [> [> Re: Not at all...I agree. -- aliera, 21:57:26 05/17/03 Sat

[> [> [> [> Don't think that's where they are going with that (SPOILERY FOR FINALE and ANGEL) -- Dandy, 13:21:53 05/18/03 Sun

I think that the way Me is heading is to free Buffy from the torment of her gift and her mission, that this mision will never allow her to have an integrated life. For her to become a diety would not be a reward for her, just more isolation and responsibility. I don't believe the emotional needs of this character can be met, happiness can be achieved as long as she is the slayer. Her needs are too pedestrian. Normal is the longed-for nirvana for Buffy. She would never abdicate her post, so her post must become a non-threat (closing the hellmouth) and her burden lightened (empower all potentials.)
I believe at the end of Angel they will have Angel become human so he and Buffy can be together.
Her reward will be to be able to have the normal life she was denied.
Of course, for a spin-off or (yes, please) a feature film Buffy the hero would probably come out of retirement.

Buffy's Legacy -- David Frisby, 12:33:58 05/17/03 Sat

In one of his recent interviews Joss said he hopes that Buffy's legacy will be as an icon of empowerment for young girls entering adolescence, and then early adulthood. I think that he's hit the proverbial nail on the head. My nine year old niece, my twelve year old daughter, and my friend's twelve year old daughter all watch Buffy intensely and the pride or better empowerment they receive is literally visible. One of my favorite scenes of the series is young Buffy playing Powergirl to the rescue. I don't know the series will end Tuesday but I hope the final message is directed not only to all of us but especially to those young girls who have taken Buffy to heart. And by the way, after fifty years of watching tv, yes, this one is in my opinion the very best of its kind yet. Such a text -- it invites study, and repays such study with intensification and, even, the emmergence of hidden dimensions of meaning. As for Tuesday, I'm coming to think of it as The First Evil vs. The Final Slayer (given Fray's scythe, and all that). I'm spoilage free and stand ready to cry my eyes out. Thank you Joss and co.

[> Actually, I think Willow and Tara are better role models. -- lost_bracelet, 13:07:08 05/17/03 Sat

Buffy is beautiful, skinny, sexy, hung up on one man or another, and always fashionably dressed. Unfortunately, girls already aspire to be this way. Being a kick-ass superpower does give her a feminist twist, sort of.

But I've always thought that Willow and Tara were better role models -- at least more attainable. Willow is a nerd with unfortunate fashion taste. While I think she's cute and beautiful, she's not a spokesperson for a cosmetic company. She derives her power -- pre- and post-magic -- from simply being smart and resourceful, not to mention a good and loyal friend. She's also witty and makes people feel good about themselves. Same with Tara. Tara is also a more reasonable size for young women to aspire to than the incredibly thin Buffy. (SMG's stunt double says she weighs 10-15 pounds more than SMG does and could never do her job properly without the extra weight.)

Dawn is becoming sort of like Willow (except prettier in the stereotypical way), and Fred on Angel is a similar role model.

[> [> agree mostly but... -- newbie, 14:26:55 05/17/03 Sat

In many ways, as a 1970's era Birkenstock feminist, I agree about Tara and Willow as better role models for women than Buffy. (I do have petty issues with the impossibly high heels, stylish clothes and makeup Buffy wears.)

But... I think the issue that BtVS really deals with is POWER. How do women assert/ express/ use/ define power and how is it different than the way men do? Powerful women are viewed so strangely in our culture. They are dismissed as BITCAs when a man doing the same thing would be praised or at least respected. I think some of the discomfort with and criticism of Buffy (especially in the last couple of seasons) has to do with the fact that Buffy is truly becoming powerful and making mistakes, doubting herself, etc. Should she be more "masculine" and authoritarian or should she be more warm and "feminine"? How do you balance being powerful and vulnerable when everyone is counting on you? It is easier to "like" Willow and Tara because they fit our culture's view of women - in a wonderful but less challenging way.

I am hoping some of you brilliant posters touch on some of the feminist issues better than I can. But, in a nutshell, I sort of feel about Buffy the way I used to feel about the female surgeons I used to work with in a job long ago and far away. They always seemed like they needed to "out guy" the guys to be taken seriously and were often percieved as cold b***ches. But similar behavior in male surgeons was considered more tolerable.

I'm not being very articulate here - but basically, I think it is incredibly difficult to be a powerful woman in a our culture. You get criticism from all sides - but especially from other women. Ironically, my experience has been that women have a harder time with powerful women than men do. I think the thing that makes BtVS so special is that ME explores the issue of female empowerment in such a complex and sophisticated way that it makes us twitch a little more than other explorations of feminism do. It doesn't give us easy or comfortable pats on the head. It doesn't tie up all the loose end and tell us exactly who or what is right or wrong.

I think one of the things that makes some people uncomfortable with Spike is how incredibly feminine he is. So rich and interesting and SEXY (in a totally heterosexual way) but he and Buffy don't fit nice, comfortable definitions of masculine and feminine. I try not to get caught up in the shippiness of B/S but I do think the characters are brilliant explorations of power, sexuality, gender roles, etc. I am even starting to see where they are going with Kennedy and the other potentials. (still don't "like" Kennedy but she's growing on me....)

Starting to ramble aimlessly so I'll stop here. I really enjoy all the thoughtful, articulate and exceptionally respectful posts here.

[> [> [> Hi Newbie......why don't you pick a name and stick around...;) -- Rufus, 18:30:04 05/17/03 Sat

[> [> [> Very good post... a little more on feminism -- s'kat, 20:57:48 05/17/03 Sat

I found myself agreeing a great deal with this.

But... I think the issue that BtVS really deals with is POWER. How do women assert/ express/ use/ define power and how is it different than the way men do? Powerful women are viewed so strangely in our culture. They are dismissed as BITCAs when a man doing the same thing would be praised or at least respected. I think some of the discomfort with and criticism of Buffy (especially in the last couple of seasons) has to do with the fact that Buffy is truly becoming powerful and making mistakes, doubting herself, etc. Should she be more "masculine" and authoritarian or should she be more warm and "feminine"? How do you balance being powerful and vulnerable when everyone is counting on you? It is easier to "like" Willow and Tara because they fit our culture's view of women - in a wonderful but less challenging way.

Yes, lots of women struggle with how do you deal with power? A recent example is well the MArtha Stewart movie Just Desserts with Cybil Shepard - both women have been torn apart, justifiablly or unjustifiablly depending on your pov, in the press for being Bitca's - they throw their weight around, fight hard for what they want, give their all to a career, and step on people at times to get the job done. Men who do this - seem to get away with it (although they are called assorted names as well.) But women more often than not get blasted.

What I've liked about Btvs is that they depict a tiny women, whom everyone underestimates as having a ton of power. Wood can't quite picture her saving the day - yet she does. (Wood/Giles is S7's depiction of the man who underestimates Buffy, Warren/Rack was S6's depiction of the man who underestimated Willow, Riley/Forrest were S4's depiction of this, Ben was S5's depiction of it, Snyder/The Mayor/Wes were S3's depiction, Angelus/Spike were S2's,
and Angel/the Master/Xander were S1's). She is the twist on the small blond horror victim.

Feminism is a red-button topic, because so many people take it to extreems. Some people think a woman can only show her power if she NEVER EVER depends on a man, that he can never encourage her or empower her. That's taking it a bit too far. Some think a woman is only happy if she has a man in her life and they empower each other - which is the other extreme and usually what sets off the first one. Some people think power - comes only from within - ourselves.
Others think it only comes with our connection with others.
The truth? It comes from BOTH. And I think that's what people struggle with. They keep wanting to take it to extremes.

I think the difficulty we have is we so desperately want to put things into categories. To pigeon hole ourselves, others, characters etc...make it all one thing, when it could be many conflicting things at once. Feminism is at it's core the female fight NOT to be categorized or pigeon-holed. To be allowed to be a Tara, a Willow, a Dawn, an Anya, a Buffy, a Faith, a Lilah, a Cordelia, a Joyce, a Jenny, a Sam, a Fred, a Jasmine, a Glory and a Professor Walsh. We should be allowed to be what we want to be whether that be a wife with three kids who takes care of her house and family, or a single working woman who takes on the business world or a little of both. Just as men should be allowed to be any of these things.

The difficulty with Feminism in the 70s? and early 80s? (not sure about the dates) was that women who were house-wifes often felt threatened by the media and culture - that told them there was something wrong with them for just wanting to stay at home and take care of their children.
Prior to that in the 50s - the problem was that women who wanted to be single and have a career were treated like aliens. I think...people have a tendency to want to see others echo their own lives to give themselves validation, they project their own choices and wants on to others...
forgetting that even if someone has made a choice completely and utterly different from theirs it in no way undermines them or hurts them, it's just a different choice.

What I like about Buffy is that each of the female characters are allowed to feel empowered by making different choices.

Willow - feels empowered by choosing to practice magic and research

Dawn - feels empowered learning to fight and research

Tara - feels empowered loving Willow and practicing magic

Anya - feels empowered bandaging potentials and going to the hospital to get band-aids and finding herself

Joyce - feels empowered being a single working mother

Jenny - feels empowered working as a teacher and a techno-pagan

and of course there's Buffy - who feels empowered being the leader and super-hero.

Empowerment in Joss Whedon's universes is not just one thing, it's many things. So the viewers can literally pick the woman they identify with.

There's an article on by O'hara, which states that prior to Buffy, most women role models were perfect superheros like Lynda Carter's Wonder Woman or the Charlies Angels. Or housewifes who got hit in the nose with a football. We didn't get a selection. We got one or two. Even Xena - only really had Xena and Gabrielle and they were in ancient Greece. Buffy gives us a whole list of empowered women. If you don't identify with Buffy - you can pick someone else and feel a sense of validation by the show.

Anyways thanks for the post, newbie. It's far less rambly then mine I think.


[> [> [> [> Let's blast them both -- lunasea, 06:24:59 05/18/03 Sun

Yes, lots of women struggle with how do you deal with power? A recent example is well the MArtha Stewart movie Just Desserts with Cybil Shepard - both women have been torn apart, justifiablly or unjustifiablly depending on your pov, in the press for being Bitca's - they throw their weight around, fight hard for what they want, give their all to a career, and step on people at times to get the job done. Men who do this - seem to get away with it (although they are called assorted names as well.) But women more often than not get blasted.

what's good for the goose is good for the gander. How about what isn't good for goosedom isn't good for either? Men can get away with being pricks, so why can't women? NEITHER should be pricks. When women give up their femininity, they aren't gaining anything worth gaining. It is one thing to encompass the masculine into yourself. It is another to sacrifice part of yourself to go sleep with the enemy.

The enemy isn't the masculine or the feminine. It is ONLY the masculine OR the feminine. We need to work to integrate these, not give up one for the other. If women give up the feminine, then society as a whole (as well as they) is losing out.

[> [> [> Re: agree mostly... and some further thoughts -- aliera, 21:41:50 05/17/03 Sat

Starting to ramble aimlessly so I'll stop here.

Not at all. Enjoyed your thoughts although ramblings are welcome too!

I think it is incredibly difficult to be a powerful woman in a our culture. You get criticism from all sides - but especially from other women. Ironically, my experience has been that women have a harder time with powerful women than men do. I think the thing that makes BtVS so special is that ME explores the issue of female empowerment in such a complex and sophisticated way that it makes us twitch a little more than other explorations of feminism do. It doesn't give us easy or comfortable pats on the head. It doesn't tie up all the loose ends and tell us exactly who or what is right or wrong.

Absolutely. And ME is known for not necessarily displaying the model as much as the problem, hopefully to provoke thoughts on issues like these, make people a little uncomfortable. Buffy's generalship could I believe be read this way. It's certainly something I can relate to on a RL basis... the difficulty of leading from outside of an accepted role such as mother/mentor. The necessity of assuming a mask in order to be effective. The difficulties inherent in enabling/actualizing vs assuming a more authoritarian control. And speaking from the other perpective the difficulties in following or supporting leaders who are entrenched in a certain role. Exploring these issues is certainly timely...and leads to questions of gender coding, a consistent subtheme of the show.

I think one of the things that makes some people uncomfortable with Spike is how incredibly feminine he is. So rich and interesting and SEXY (in a totally heterosexual way) but he and Buffy don't fit nice, comfortable definitions of masculine and feminine. I try not to get caught up in the shippiness of B/S but I do think the characters are brilliant explorations of power, sexuality, gender roles, etc.

I felt this a little more in the earlier seasons before they progressed him into Buffy's romantic lead. Edgy in the way that was done and I very much liked it. Sensitivity and violence... ever a potent mix. Of course there was the chip and then the difficulties inherent in mental trauma in the early part of the season. I thought JM said something in an interview to the effect of "which Spike"? Are you still feeling that now as much?

[> Hopefully, each will be a role model. Depending on who identifies most with who. -- WickedBuffy, 18:30:57 05/17/03 Sat

[> Re: Buffy's Legacy -- Rufus, 18:43:18 05/17/03 Sat

Buffy does leave a legacy that is more deep than her weight and costumes, or lovers would indicate. What Buffy says is that power is something that you may not get cause you deserve it, but because it's just there. It's what you do with the power you have (and most of Buffy's power is that of her mind) is what makes the difference between a hero or something less than that. If Buffy were perfect I'd have tuned out long ago, but it was clear that she is a conflicted, troubled, yet strong woman. She doesn't have all the answers and that is where the power of connecting to someone other than yourself fits in. Buffy as a Slayer is strong, but only as strong as her friends, family, and her ability to love makes her. I always remember that though my favorite character is Buffy, her story is told through an ensemble cast. Even heroes are vunerable to their emotions and that is where Buffy has found out about her weaknesses and learned to value the strength her friends and family give to her. It is only through the mistakes Buffy has made that she has been able to evolve to what we see her as today. When people bitch about the darkness of season six, I can only think that maybe Buffy had to learn something about herself and others that only dying and being resurrected could teach her. I've been with the show since episode one and I still like Buffy the best (sorry Spike I like you too), but the human condition is something that the show has spoken of from day one...from Buffy enrolling in a new school, to finding a love that broke her heart, her new sister who she had to learn to accept therefore making Dawn a real girl, and the loss of her mother, dying herself then making a mess of her return before discovering that even she could be redeemed. The show is all about the leaving the comfort zone of the familiar to returning from an adventure to start the whole cycle over again. Season seven is one I won't comment on yet, but just cause the show is over soon, the potential for stories about the Buffyverse go on.

[> [> Re: Buffy's Legacy -- cougar, 19:46:23 05/17/03 Sat

"dying herself then making a mess of her return before discovering that even she could be redeemed."

So true. We are all born with inner heroes but usualy forget along the way. We let parts of ourselves die and feel that if we ever try to reserect them, they might "come back wrong" and the result would be shame and pain. (Or maybe it's just me).

If Buffy never lost sight of what she was born with, she was she wouldn't know the meaning of it. She moved from desperate need to caring strength. But she needed the negative space to see the object.

Darkness and redeemability are both just there. Buffy pulls her strength and love of friends through darkness and grief back to the surface.That's power. She and Spike were alchemy, purifying base matter into somethng of great value. Her legacy is the maturity she forged in darkness and light.

[> Re: Buffy's Legacy -- Dandy, 12:12:14 05/18/03 Sun

I agree with all the posts. I would like to add that I see the dressing of Buffy as being extremely important to the feminist message of the show. The codifying of women into types by society is being attacked here by ME in a very healthy way. Just because a woman in good looking and into shoes and make-up does not mean that she is only gearing herself to attracting men. Tara may be a more traditionally maternal female in many ways but Buffy's love is for the whole world. She sacrifices her own life in so many ways every single day and in every decision because she is the law, but she still has a self, and dammit, that self likes shoes! It's part of Joss being inclusionary and breaking down stereotypes about women.
I thought Glory was one of the greatest feminist statements ME made. Here's this chick who is so comfortble with her power and her feminity and her humour. She wasn't dependant on men. She had minions and champagne and bubble baths! Glory was in love with beautiful things and dressed to please herself. It is the first time I have ever seen a female villian represented as being so likeable, as having such good self-esteem. She wasn't defined in relation to men. Female villians are usually so spider-like and creepy to everybody, sort of modelled on the noir spider-ladies. I mean I don't think I would want to hang out with the Glenn Close character in Fatal Attraction even if she wasn't boiling bunnies. But Glory, minus that little evil problem would be fun to hang out with. I just loved her. I thought she was the bomb.

Inside out (spoilers up to Home) -- yabyumpan, 14:20:48 05/17/03 Sat

This was meant to go in KdS's Dirty Girls/Inside out thread, but it's taken me so long to write that that's now been archived so I'm starting a new thread :o)

Inside out

I've been trying to get my head around writing this post since Thursday. I really wanted to do a good, well thought out essay but there's so much spinning around my brain about what's happened that I can't bring it all together, so I'm just going to go with a stream-of-consciousness and see what happens ;o)

To start of with, it was a wonderfully constructed, written and acted episode.....and I hate it! It sort of encompasses what I feel about the whole season so far. It's been a season of great story telling, some wonderful directing, truely memorable moments. I KNOW it's a great season...and yet...I don't like it, I'm just not enjoying it and at the moment I feel really sad about AtS.
Ok, why? I'm really not enjoying and am very desturbed by watching Connor, every week, being totally destroyed, piece by piece. I'm very uncomfertable with having a character being created and then systematically torn apart, just to cause Angel angst. The fact that that character is essentially a child just makes it worse. I know that Angel is the central character and so everything revolves around him but Wesley, Cordy, Gunn, Fred and Lorne are also characters in their own right, with their own stories which, to a greater or lesser degree, are independent from Angel's. Even though to a large extent, Connor's story revolves around Cordelia, it's still ALL ABOUT ANGEL. I don't know if any of that made sense but it's the best my poor brain can come up with right now. I love Connor but I'm hating his story.
I really don't like the whole retcon thing in this episode. Partly just because it doesn't make sense. Are we supposed to believe Skip? The FG seem to and even with the benefit of Gunn's speech, if they've been played all along then even if they just carry 'treating it as if it was up to them', they could still be being played and what they think of as 'free will' is just further manipulation from some outside force. I'd like to think that Skip is just BSing, I really can't see why Wesley sleeping with Lilah makes any difference to the over all plan, but there's nothing in this episode to counteract what he says. Yes, there's lots of talk about choices and free will but if the coices they make are being manipulated then it just leads back to Skip and his truth. (and then my head starts spinning and my brain dribbles out of my ears so I'm going to leave all that now).

The other big reason I don't like the retcon is the implications for Cordelia. This is going to be a rant, it's been building up for ages so it aint going to be pretty.....

I think it's agreed by most people that there have been problems with Cordelia's characterization for a long time. I agree but I think for different reasons than a lot of people. For most people, Birthday is the cut off time for Cordelia. She changed in ways they couldn't accept after that episode. I would argue that how she changed was perfectly in tune with facing your own mortality and chosing to give up part of your humanity to be able to live and continue to 'help the helpless'. The problem with Cordelia's characterisation starts way before Birthday IMO and is the reason that most people had problems with her after that ep.
When I look back at Cordy's time on AtS, it seems to me that she's been portrayed almost like a cartoon character. She reminds me of a 'toon' who's continually run over by a steam roller or falls off a high building, and just picks herself up, shakes herself out and carries on. For me it's brought into even more focus when I compare what happens to Wesley with what happens to Cordy. With Wesley, pretty much everything that happens to him has an effect - he gets totured by Faith, we see the cuts and bruses and hear his anger- he gets shot, he spends time in hospital and takes weeks to recover- in S3 we see his gradual decline and isolation right from 'Billy' and because of all he's been through he's now a very different person from the Wesley who first appeared 'Parting Gifts'. His character has been allowed to be affected by and changed by, all that's happened to him.
With Cordelia it's very different and I think it's why there's this continual cry (which drives me crazy) of 'we want old Cordy back'. Cordelia has been through some truely horrific things in the past four years and a lot of the time she just bounces back. They don't have any real or long lasting effect on her,she's not really changed by them and a lot of time they're just played for laughs. A classic example is being tortured by the priests in Pylea.

Angel: "What happened?"
Cordy turns to face him: "What's it look like? They jabbed me with hot pokers for a while and then (smiles) made me a princess."
Wesley (with his mouth full): "It doesn't make sense, does it? I mean, in a world where humans are slaves and chattel - why would they elevate one to monarch?"
Lorne: "You had a vision, didn't you, pudding?"
Cordy: "Uhm, yeah. And can I just say - visions? Not getting any easier. I mean, I'm still kind of vibrating - though *that* could be from the hot pokers."

Cordelia's not suffering after being tortured cos 'hey, Princess now'.(so that makes everything alright!) Her friends show no concern about her being tortured because again, 'Princess now!'. Any pain she went through is just played for laughs and she's drawn as shallow and two dimensional (bad, bad TM).
The psuedo-rape she went through in 'Epiphany', potion goes on and it's just brushed aside because Angel hurt her feelings. This sort of thing happens time and again, she's become 'bounce back Cordy', always there with the snark and a smile.
The exception, of course, is the ever worsening 'vision hangovers'. The solution was 'Birthday' and this is where the problems start, because she was changed by that experience and it affected her in ways that most fans didn't like. I think there are a number of reasons for this. First of all, she wasn't behaving like 'bounce back Cordy', the person that everyone's got used to, never really changing or reacting. It was a huge deal, she nearly died and she gave up part of her humanity, that would change anyone, make them more focused and probably more serious about life. It would also have a pretty big maturing effect. If you follow her path back to SD, a lot of the snark and the bitching came from basic insecurity and a need to assert some sort of 'role'(not quite the word i was looking for but my brain's turning to mush and I want to get this finished so I'm going to leave it in). With the person she became after being part-demonised she no longer needed all that. She now had a very firm role which as much about her as it was about Angel. She had focus and a very clear purpose, she no longer needed her childhood defence system. I think another reason why many people couldn't accept the change in her was because the full implications of what had happened were never dealt with at the time and, crucially, we never saw any reaction from her friends. We didn't see Angel worry or feel guilty, we didn't see Wes hit the books to try and find out more, we didn't see Gunn show concern that she might be a bad demon, we didn't see Fred babble at her about 'what's it like to be part-demon', we didn't see Lorne try to read her. It was, to a large extent, once again just brushed aside.

The other thing which causes steam to come out of my ears is the whole 'St Cordy' thing. This is usually focused on the time after she came back from Mexico with Groo and found out that Connor had been taken. I wonder how people expected her to act. While I certainly think she could have been written better, I don't think it was unreasonable that she would be focused on helping Angel deal with his grief. I think that her actions would also have been influenced by a feeling of guilt that she was away enjoying herself when all this went down. Where I think the writters really failed was that they made it 'all about Angel'. Everything she did was shown to be a reaction to his pain with no reference to what was going on for her. This is especially true with her not going to visit Wesley. I actually think that it was perfectly in character for her NOT to go and see him. Yes, if you piss Cordy off she'll chew you out but I would imagine that she would feel as betrayed by Wesley as Angel. They'd worked closely together for a long time and were friends and confidants, and yet he didn't contact her with his worries about Angel, connor and the Prophacy. He didn't let her know that he was worried that Angel, her best friend, would kill his own child. I think she would feel very betrayed by that and when Cordelia feels betrayed by someone she just cuts them out of her life. When she was betrayed by Xander she didn't confront him, she just turned her back on him and tried to start again. When Angel betrayed her by sacking them all, she never went round to the hotel to confront him, she just cut him out and got on with it. It was only when he came crawling back that she really showed him how hurt and angry she was, and even then he pretty much pushed her to it. The problem was that the writters never had her express exactly what she felt about Wesley, it just became, ALL ABOUT ANGEL.

Which brings me back to the retcon and why I'm so pissed off about it. It seems to take all her character growth (however badly written) from 'Birthday' and just destroy it. They seem to have taken all the fans critisms to heart and their own crappy writing of the character and decided to destroy the only real character growth the character has been allowed to have.
I hope that she does come back at least for a short arc next season but my worry is that because of this retcon, they'll have her waking up from her coma with the last season and a half wiped out and we'll be back with cartoon 'bounce back Cordy'. I wish I hade more faith in the writers that this won't happen but with the disservice they've done to her character in the past and TM and DF's remarks recently, I don't hold out much hope that Cordelia's violation by Jasmine is going to be treated with the respect it deserves. If it had been Wesley that had been possesed by an evil entity I would expect much angst and change in his out look but I fear that Cordy will just wake up and complain about her manicure :o(

Ok, I'm done. Normally I wouldn't ask but this has taken me ages to do and has taken a lot out of me so I'd really appreciat not being Marcie with this post ;o)

Apologies for any typos/spelling mistakes, To tired to go back a proof read

[> Agreement and hopefully some reassurance (mild spoilers S5) -- KdS, 14:42:04 05/17/03 Sat

Yes, I think that they really dropped the ball with Cordelia last year. As I see it, it was a textbook example of trying to keep too many plot lines going on at once - there was Connor, Wes/Lilah, Angel's yen for Cordy, and somewhere Cordelia's own development got lost.

As a specific issue, I don't take the Pylea torture business in the same direction you do, possibly you think my interpretation's a bit too dark. My interpretation of that business would be that, considering Cordy's been undergoing what's been implied to be full-blown telepathic empathy with people who:

have spontaneously combusted
have cut their own eyes out with a carving knife
etc etc etc, not to mention with every single suffering person in greater LA.

whatever the Covenant did to her might have been fairly unmemorable and untaxing compared to what she survived before.

Moving on to S5, I really don't think we're going to get Cordelia's pain being minimised. If CC had been back for a whole season, I'd be worried about a plot reset. The fact that she's back for a few eps makes me feel that it's more likely that the magnitude of what was done to her will be dealt with, because they can take whatever story they decide to do to its logical conclusion even if that means her not returning to AI. What was it specifically that TM/DF said that worried you?

Nice catch on the C/W - C/X parallels.

[> [> Why Cordelia's ordeal may not be resolved (spoilers through Home) -- Masq, 15:16:15 05/17/03 Sat

In a word: Connor. If she is like everyone else, and has no memory of Connor, how will she, or Angel, or the rest of the gang, be able to understand half of what she went through in Season 4?

They will need an alternative story of what happened. To her. Maybe she was impregnanted by the Beast. This makes her ordeal even worse, but it's a lie. It didn't happen that way.

And one of the significant aspects of "Cordelia" in season 4 is that she "hid in plain site". She lived in the Hyperion for weeks, even months, and no one knew she was pregnant, much less "evil" or "under the influence" because she had Connor to run interference for her.

How will they explain that now?

Cordelia was duped by a powerful being, taken into a Higher Plane, brought back to Earth with no memory, manipulated, impregnated, and used to hurt her friends and her fellow human beings. But a lot of this story can't come to light properly if Connor is written out of the story.

If I sound worried about this whole "who's Connor" memory mojo thing, I am.

[> [> Re: Agreement and hopefully some reassurance (mild spoilers S5) -- yabyumpan, 17:37:16 05/17/03 Sat

What was it specifically that TM/DF said that worried you?

Basically they said that they felt they made a mistake in the direction of the character in S3. They prefer 'superficial'Cordy. My problem with that is that instead of just writing her character beter they're retconning and just wiping over her mistakes.
The link below is for a transcript from the Stranger Things board. I don't think S'kat caught that part in her transcript. It's a Cordycentric C/A board and pretty pissed off at the moment!

whatever the Covenant did to her might have been fairly unmemorable and untaxing compared to what she survived before
Disagree. Having someone else's pain in your head is one thing, being tortured yourself because of who you are is very different. While it can be said that the visions are a form of violation, it's one that she chose. She didn't chose to be tortured and it's not just a physical thing. It was a violation of her personally, because of who she was. In a way, I see your response as a confirmation of my post. It feels like you might not be able to see the difference between vision trauma and her own personal trauma because in a lot of ways, she's been written as 'bounce back Cordy' for so long, it's easy to forget that there's actually a real live feeling human being in there who does (or should) get affected by people sticking hot pokers through her.

Not getting at you KdS, I just think that the ball was dropped on Cordy long before last year. The character was originally painted as cartoonish and has never really been allowed to develop out of that and when they try (at last) people want 'old Cordy' back.

I hope you're right about her pain not being minimesed next season but as well as the problem with how she's been written already, I also share Masq's fear that with the Connor memory wipe effecting everyone in AI apart from Angel, it may be difficult for them to pull it off and I've pretty much lost all faith in ME when it comes to writting Cordy well. They've taken a character who's been there from the start of AtS and turned her into probably the most hated character in Whendonverse. I'm not really surprised CC wants out.

I do get angry at cries of wanting old Cordy. It seems like she's the only character in whendonverse that fans don't want to have any character development, just stay the same SnarkyCordy. I may not like where they've taken Wesley's character but I don't want him to go back to what he was. I would like him to be taken forward to a place where I could actually like him again but I would never call for 'old Wesley'.

Sorry for ranting. Feeling very tierd and grumpy.

[> [> Re: Agreement and hopefully some reassurance (mild spoilers S5) -- yabyumpan, 17:38:44 05/17/03 Sat

What was it specifically that TM/DF said that worried you?

Basically they said that they felt they made a mistake in the direction of the character in S3. They prefer 'superficial'Cordy. My problem with that is that instead of just writing her character beter they're retconning and just wiping over her mistakes.
The link below is for a transcript from the Stranger Things board. I don't think S'kat caught that part in her transcript. It's a Cordycentric C/A board and pretty pissed off at the moment!

whatever the Covenant did to her might have been fairly unmemorable and untaxing compared to what she survived before
Disagree. Having someone else's pain in your head is one thing, being tortured yourself because of who you are is very different. While it can be said that the visions are a form of violation, it's one that she chose. She didn't chose to be tortured and it's not just a physical thing. It was a violation of her personally, because of who she was. In a way, I see your response as a confirmation of my post. It feels like you might not be able to see the difference between vision trauma and her own personal trauma because in a lot of ways, she's been written as 'bounce back Cordy' for so long, it's easy to forget that there's actually a real live feeling human being in there who does (or should) get affected by people sticking hot pokers through her.

Not getting at you KdS, I just think that the ball was dropped on Cordy long before last year. The character was originally painted as cartoonish and has never really been allowed to develop out of that and when they try (at last) people want 'old Cordy' back.

I hope you're right about her pain not being minimesed next season but as well as the problem with how she's been written already, I also share Masq's fear that with the Connor memory wipe effecting everyone in AI apart from Angel, it may be difficult for them to pull it off and I've pretty much lost all faith in ME when it comes to writting Cordy well. They've taken a character who's been there from the start of AtS and turned her into probably the most hated character in Whendonverse. I'm not really surprised CC wants out.

I do get angry at cries of wanting old Cordy. It seems like she's the only character in whendonverse that fans don't want to have any character development, just stay the same SnarkyCordy. I may not like where they've taken Wesley's character but I don't want him to go back to what he was. I would like him to be taken forward to a place where I could actually like him again but I would never call for 'old Wesley'.

Sorry for ranting. Feeling very tierd and grumpy.

[> [> [> double post, sorry :o( -- yabyumpan, 17:40:04 05/17/03 Sat

[> [> Was Jasmine the PTB who made sure Cordy had the visions? -- simple moron, 20:46:46 05/17/03 Sat

[> [> [> Re: Was Jasmine the PTB who made sure Cordy had the visions? -- yabyumpan, 03:37:40 05/18/03 Sun

I think that maybe Jasmine chose Cordy inpart so that she could block in comming visions from the PTB so Angel and Co wouldn't have any warning about what was happening.

[> [> [> [> What put that "Peace on Earth" bug in Jasmines ear originally? -- WickedBuffy (spoilers through Home), 08:24:04 05/18/03 Sun

Could Jasmine (a PTB) herself have taken over the PTB job of giving Cordy visions from the start (or even thought of it herself and implemented it with the other PTBs blessings) and begun a little experimenting way back then to study humans?

Either way, perhaps it was her more frequent interactions with humans that led her to stray from the usual PTB lack of interference or interest in humans and begin her journey towards creating peace on earth. The mantis creatures were her lab rats - but earth was her goal.

::protecting ears::

[> Ack... I brought that thing back twice! -- Masq, 15:08:57 05/17/03 Sat

Sorry, KdS. I feel semi-responsible for the archivage.

[> [> That AngelFan thread at the bottom is archiving threads. I think it's time to retire that one. -- Random, 15:31:02 05/17/03 Sat

[> Wonderful Cordy insight -- Jessica, 16:22:10 05/17/03 Sat

I hadn't thought of Cordy's characterisation in those terms, that Cordy was a "toon" that could bounce back from anything. I had always felt her characterisation went down hill after "Birthday", but what you say about how we never see anything affect her, never change her essential nature, makes sense that it's something that was in her from the beginning, a choice by the writers. Maybe a bad, flawed choice.

Where I think the writters really failed was that they made it 'all about Angel'. Everything she did was shown to be a reaction to his pain with no reference to what was going on for her. This is especially true with her not going to visit Wesley. I actually think that it was perfectly in character for her NOT to go and see him.

I very much agree with this. While I was confused as why Cordelia didn't seem to be reacting to Connor's kidnapping and Wesley's betrayal *on her terms*, it made sense that her loyalty to Angel, the way she had been making everything about Angel, to make her decide not to see WEsley.

It would be nice to see some consequences regarding Cordy's posession, but I don't see how they'll do it without brinnging up Connor, who I thought nobody would remember. Would Cordelia remember him?

Say it ain't so (casting spoiler for Angel Season 5) -- Brian, 14:42:04 05/17/03 Sat

While reading CBG(my comic book newspaper), I saw an ad for a convention guest list that stated that Lorenzo Lamas would be a recurring character on Angel.

Can anyone confirm that this is true? Or have I hopefully slipped into an alternative dimension.

[> Who's [that person]? -- KdS, 14:47:09 05/17/03 Sat

Who is Lorenzo Lamas, if it isn't too painful to explain?

[> [> Re: Who's [that person]? -- monsieurxander, 14:53:42 05/17/03 Sat

If my memory is correct, Lorenzo Lamas played a bike-riding mullet-wearing renegade in a series aptly titled (what else?) Renegade. He isn't exactly known for his thespian greatness.

[> [> Fernando Lamas' son. -- CW, 15:18:47 05/17/03 Sat

Who's Fernando Lamas? The 'latin lover' the studios used to hire when Ricardo Montalban was busy elsewhere. Not a great acting heritage.

[> [> [> So lack of acting ability is hereditary -- mamcu, 21:32:03 05/17/03 Sat

[> [> [> [> Re: So lack of acting ability is hereditary -- Ray, 04:25:22 05/18/03 Sun

I used to watch Renegade occasionally. It was filler tv, not great, but okay background noise. On that show and the Highlander-Buffy ripoff "Immortal" he showed that he can fight, but his delivery his stiff.

[> [> [> [> His mom was a good actress in her time! (Arlene Dahl) -- WickedBuffy (just not sure when "her time" was, exactly), 09:21:59 05/18/03 Sun

[> [> [> [> [> Re: His mom was a good actress in her time! (Arlene Dahl) -- CW, 10:17:32 05/18/03 Sun

Arlene Dahl like her husband was sort of a B level star in the 1950's. Mostly worked on TV, if I recall correctly. Most people knew who both Fernando Lamas and Arlene Dahl were, but neither of them really made it big.

[> I'm keeping my fingers crossed for alternative dimension!! -- dub ;o), 14:55:44 05/17/03 Sat

[> Gah! No! -- HonorH, 16:28:15 05/17/03 Sat

Seriously hoping this is a mistake. I can't stand that guy ever since he made that ridiculous "Highlander" knockoff series.

[> Read Joss' interviews,Its unlikely that he would be a reg/recurring or even a guest spot -- Dochawk, 18:07:06 05/17/03 Sat

Joss has talked about how they can't afford guest stars of any fame on Buffy because of cost and Angel gets alot less per episode. Plus there are already a suprlus of males on the show (Amy Acker is going to be the only female regular). The only person they are adding is James, and they are especially not adding Lorenzo Lamas. Especially after, "Are you Hot"

[> [> Agree...according to the SC interviews and DG interviews -- s'kat, 20:24:10 05/17/03 Sat

The only guest stars that are showing up are from Sunnydale
and the others female.

David Greenwalt in his interview mentions SMG possibly making an appearence.

TM mentions Alexa Davilos (Gwen), and Lilah, and Willow, and possibly other women see in the universe (such as Dru,
Darla, Cordelia, etc) And the possiblity of a new femme fatale. and Joss Whedon state Giles and Willow will probably show up.

They are skimping this year, budget is tight.


[> [> [> Re: -- aliera, 21:02:56 05/17/03 Sat

Who would you like to see? Mine are in order of needed closure and/or fun Cordy, Darla, Lilah, & 'ElectraGirl' Gwen.

[> [> [> [> Re: -- sk, 21:15:01 05/17/03 Sat

1. Lilah
2. Drusilla
3. Cordy
4. Gwen
5. Darla
6. Willow
7. Harmony

I really really want Dru.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: how could I forget Dru? LOL and agreeing. -- aliera, the myoptic, 21:54:16 05/17/03 Sat

[> [> [> [> Giles baby! -- seven, 22:19:06 05/17/03 Sat

I am dying to see a Giles/Wesley buddy detective story.

I've heard that next season will have more stand alone episodes and also be more focused on one or two characters at a time. Giles and Wesely are bound to make for great storytelling.

[> Just don't give him much dialogue and he'll do fine. -- WickedBuffy (great body & fighting skills), 18:15:56 05/17/03 Sat

(His mom is Arlene Dahl, famous post-war movie star in America. His dad was her second of 5 husbands)

"Lorenzo Lamas' career in TV and films began in the '70s with bit parts and a big break in a small role in the film Grease. In the ensuing years, he was cast as the male lead on CBS' long-running hit, Falcon Crest, which earned him an international following. He also established himself as an action star, incorporating his martial arts and athletic abilities in numerous films. In 1992 Stephen J. Cannell developed Renegade for Lorenzo, a TV series which lasted five years, earning him an even wider audience. Lorenzo has since starred in two popular syndicated series, Air America and The Immortal. "

[> [> If they want handsome, with a great body and fighting skills, -- HonorH, 23:36:33 05/17/03 Sat

Why don't they just get Adrian Paul? He'd probably be cheaper, he's got a built-in fanbase from his days as Duncan MacLeod, and besides that, the man can *act*. Plus, he's the only man who's worn more bad wigs in flashbacks than David Boreanaz.

[> [> [> you want to put him back into his bad wig trauma...poor AP....;) -- Rufus, 00:47:21 05/18/03 Sun

[> [> [> That would be excellent...but -- Ray, 04:29:37 05/18/03 Sun

Adrian Paul would definitely cost more than Lorenzo Lamas. Adrians has fans and still acts in movies (direct to video but still).

[> [> [> [> Lorenzo = cheap & nonthreatening cast-wise. Adrian might challenge Davids "Star Heartthrob" status. -- WickedBuffy (I said MIGHT. It's highly possible.), 08:34:41 05/18/03 Sun

O/T: New Puppy -- dub ;o), 15:00:13 05/17/03 Sat

Our much-loved elderly Dalmatian passed away last September, and we have been dogless ever since (except for Jabba the Cat, who is as big as a dog anyway).

Today I went and picked up a 7-month-old black toy poodle. He's asleep on the floor beside me (which is a change, because up until now he's been asleep on me).

David comes home in an hour or so from work, and this is going to be quite a surprise. Keep your fingers crossed for me, 'cuz I'm definitely keepin' the dog!

dub ;o)

[> Re: O/T: New Puppy -- CW, 15:12:08 05/17/03 Sat

A toy poodle? What are are you going to call him, Xander or Oz? Spike is my idea of a shi-tzu. Angel is definitely a broody basset hound. Wesley would be something tall and awkward like a lovable Great Dane. Giles? How about a cocker spaniel? ;o)

[> [> Re: O/T: New Puppy -- Rhys who is not Rhys-Michael, 15:22:32 05/17/03 Sat

You could name him Angry. Then you could have your very own Angry puppy.

[> [> Surely Spike is a Jack Russell? -- dub ;o), 15:23:47 05/17/03 Sat

If this little guy were red or brown, Oz would be perfect. Don't wanna label him Xander 'cuz, y'know, the eye thing?

He hasn't made a sound so far, but if he starts to sing I might go for Lorne.

Oooh, oooh, Holden Webster...Webs!! Yeah, that's a good possibility. Poodles have webbed toes, y'know.

Or, dare I say it? Joss? (Also means good luck.)

The possibilities are endless.


[> [> [> Nah, maybe once. Now he's just a big fluffy puppy. -- Random, 15:34:41 05/17/03 Sat

[> [> [> Spike is a Jack Russell? -- CW, 15:37:10 05/17/03 Sat

That's good, too. Also a cute, but mostly yappy dog.

Enjoy your pup, dub. ;o)

[> [> [> [> Re: The Buffyverse goes to the dogs: -- Brian, 16:20:32 05/17/03 Sat

Buffy - Greyhound - sleek, fast, with a deadly set of jaws

Willow - Samoyed - a white ghost - loyal, active, shy, and conservative

Xander - English Setter - the faithful family dog, born to run, and a danger to himself

Giles - Definitely a poodle - smartest of all the breeds

Anya - Fox Terrier - determined, self-centered, with strong endurance

Tara - Bernese Mountain Dog - strong, faithful, and loyal to a fault

Joyce - Boston Terrier - gentle, adaptable, and devoted

Spike - German Wirehaired Pointer - sporty, restless, and action-orientated

Clem - Basset Hound - the ears take it

Angel - Weimaraner - sleek, stylish, intelligent, stubborn, and bold

Wesley - Airedale - tough, loyal, courageous, faithful

Gunn - Rottweiler - tough, loyal, aggressive, and enjoys serious fun

Fred - Borzoi - lean & long, independent and feisty

Cordelia - Old English Sheepdog - agile, affectionate, organized, and intelligent

Connor - Got to be a mongrel - temper can go any which way

[> [> [> [> [> You sure know your dogs, Bri! -- dub ;o), 18:47:50 05/17/03 Sat

[> [> [> [> [> Nice, Brian! -- aliera, 20:54:13 05/17/03 Sat

Do you have dog(s) also?

[> [> [> [> [> [> OT - Dog Knowledge -- Brian, 21:23:30 05/17/03 Sat

My wife and I had two English Setters, hunters, and during summers off from teaching we used to take care of all the neighborhood dogs while their owners went on vacation. Living with so many different types of dogs, we started to pick up lots of practical information about them, especially on how they should relate to their owners. Eventually, many of our other dogless friends started coming to us for advice on what kind of dog they should get. And it snowballed.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: and it shows... -- aliera, 21:50:40 05/17/03 Sat

We have two keeshonds and a mini-doxie so I can well understand how one thing leads to another! Thanks for sharing... setters are beautiful. The kees are better for us personally given our lack of space. Always nice to see people considered the importance of a good match too. I have a few friends in the rescue end of things (another area where one thing leads to another) so I know how important this is for the owner but especially the dog. Although in our case we more feel like we're owned BY our dogs. Very happily tho'.

[> [> [> [> [> You must have know some different Boston Terriers -- mamcu, 21:15:06 05/17/03 Sat

I had a really sweet one as a child, but then my mother got one that was truly a hell-demon. Took four people to get him to obedience school, and then he failed. I'd say Caleb is a Boston terrier, now. Joyce is more of a Border Collie--determined to take care of people whether they want it or not.

[> [> [> [> [> [> known (that is) -- mamcu the myopic, 21:29:51 05/17/03 Sat

[> [> Re: O/T: New Puddles -- MsGiles, 15:24:37 05/17/03 Sat

I would have had Xander as an Old English Sheepdog type, big and lollopy. Anya an Afghan hound. Dawn is a chihuahua, skinny and yappy. Poodles are highly intelligent, so Oz fits. Aah!

[> Hells Bells, Dub, it's so Anya's "love poodle" -- cougar, 17:56:31 05/17/03 Sat

[> [> LOL! True... -- dub ;o), 18:03:32 05/17/03 Sat

[> Mr. Doggie Fantastico -- Dandy, 05:19:12 05/18/03 Sun

My analysis of "Peace Out" is up -- Masquerade, 15:20:49 05/17/03 Sat


Packed full of philosophical goodness!

[> Ummm...Masq? The only thing at the link is Peace Out's title. -- Rhys who is not Rhys-Michael, 15:24:45 05/17/03 Sat

[> [> You need to do a refresh of the page -- Masq, 17:00:25 05/17/03 Sat

You have an old cached version

[> Re: My analysis of "Peace Out" is up -- CW, 15:29:44 05/17/03 Sat

It interesting that Connor was created to be a protector, yet the beings of the world he grew up in knew him as the destroyer, which is the role he eventually fulfills here.

[> [> Re: My analysis of "Peace Out" is up -- aliera, 20:48:02 05/17/03 Sat what you said CW and perhaps extending that thought?

Protects by destroying... which in turn leads to the destruction of his ability to protect (Angel, and AI family even if power is intact) along with his ability to choose.

Choice functioning as the focus for his power. Interestingly, this focus on choice was one of the themes of The Matrix: Reloaded also.

[> Was wondering something about Jasmine in Mantis World -- WickedBuffy (spoiler "PeaceOut"), 17:58:29 05/17/03 Sat

(Sorry if this was answered way back, I must have missed the thread if it was.)

"So she left her faithful praying mantis followers and went to Earth. But her temples remain. A statue inside one of them shows her in more or less the form we know her."

So, does that mean that Earth was Jasmines ultimate target all along and the praying mantis world was simply something she chose to practice on first? Or else why would she have a human form and not a mantis form in their world (as shown in the temple)?

PS. With a title like "Peace Out" I was really expecting alot more tie-dyed outfits.

[> Re: My analysis of "Peace Out" is up -- aliera, 20:40:04 05/17/03 Sat

I liked this one... aesthetic note: you might want to take another look at the area that begins:

[F]ree will is gone. That which has made us somewhat deserving of such a paradise, our ability to choose to do right, has vanished....(snipped for length).

It was the only place that my eye was distracted by busy-ness. But do check with others... this stuff is very subjective. ;-)

what was it about Chaos demons that made them such groovy lovers -- MsGiles, 16:40:47 05/17/03 Sat

.. they just look like Wesley (when he first appeared) with horns, a suit and some slime (OK that's not Wesley). And come to that, what's the deal with demons and sex anyway? We get the occasional bunch of demon eggs, but what about demons like Clem? Are they all bachelor demons, except Anya, the Bezoar, Xander's teacher and the egg demon? Clems's friend was getting off with a cousin in Hells Bells. Can they only mate with their own species, or do you get mongrel demons? Moloch fell for Willow, would he have impregnated her a la 'Demon Seed' (terrible film)? Are there male vengeance demons? OK I'll stop.

[> They do know how to treat a lady. -- Honorificus (Always The Lady), 17:19:33 05/17/03 Sat

Unfortunately, their complexions are murder on one's wardrobe, so I don't generally keep them around. Furthermore, since their very essence is chaos, they find it impossible to be on time for dates. "Sorry I'm late, sweetie, but I misplaced the space/time continuum on a jaunt to Napoleonic France." Always excuses with them.

As for Clem's species, they've been slowly dying out since the Dark Ages. Back then, they were a force to be reckoned with, and I confess that one of their greatest warriors (Bert the Fearsome) was rather sweet on me. He kept bringing me lymph nodes from his kills. And let me tell you: that one was quite the lover. Unfortunately, that whole species was inordinately fond of mating outside its species. The only lasting result of that is the Shar-pei. So you can say they still exist, in one form, for as long as humans want fancy puppies.

Anyway, dear, it all really depends on the species. I will tell you, however, that you really don't want to be underground during Howler Demon mating season. Last time I made that mistake, my minions had to get me a set of brand-new cochleas.

[> [> Oh dear. I'm worried about Clem and the kittens now. You don't think..not Clem .. -- MsGiles, 09:53:29 05/18/03 Sun

[> I thought "demon" was a species. -- WickedBuffy, 17:40:34 05/17/03 Sat

ok, I know a llama can't impregnate a raccoon - it's cross-species.

But I thought "demon" was its own species and within that one species, any could mate.

Though I guess a llama and a raccoon could party together like there was no tomorrow - but just not produce offspring.

Which might explain no offspring on BtVS as a result of a human and a demon mating.

Though it could make for some intriguing stories.

(There are male vengence demons and they are all named "Caleb" for some weird reason.)

[> [> Dear, have you forgotten Doyle so soon? -- HonorH, 17:53:41 05/17/03 Sat

He was the result of a demon father and a human mother, and there were other demon/human hybrids on AtS, too.

[> [> [> Thanks, HH! I would explain my ignorance but don't want my ears sliced off. -- WickedHidingAHorribleSecret ==}:X, 18:03:45 05/17/03 Sat

Were there any in BtVS, though?

[> [> [> [> Acording to Anya.... -- Corwin of Amber, 19:18:07 05/17/03 Sat

...ALL of the demons we see on BTVS are hybrids...presumably with humans. I can't remember which episode she said it in though.

[> [> [> [> [> That Was Different... -- AngelVSAngelus, 21:50:35 05/17/03 Sat

At least I took it to be different. While Angel illustrated that there are some demon/humans breeding together, I thought Anya's comments on Buffy were speaking of demons tainted by humanity not in the genetic sense, but the metaphysical one (like vampires, who aren't the product of demon/human sex, per se, but despite being demons harbor some human interests beyond unambiguous evil. Spike and Dru share love and jealousy, etc.).

[> [> [> [> [> [> How I heard it was. . . -- Finn Mac Cool, 22:08:05 05/17/03 Sat

"All the demons that walk the earth are tainted, or human hybrids, like vampires."

Tainted doesn't necessarily mean part human. It could simply mean that, in order to cross over into our dimension, they must take a form that's only a fraction as large or powerful as they are in demon dimensions.

[> [> [> [> Anya herself had one in Xander's "future-vision" in "Hell's Bells". -- HonorH, 23:33:20 05/17/03 Sat

A little girl who looked suspiciously like Clem, actually. So I'm guessing it must be something the Scoobs have heard of.

[> [> Wait...are you saying that Llaccoons don't exist?.... -- O'Cailleagh, 18:06:32 05/17/03 Sat

[> [> [> LOL! oOo.. they'd wash you off right after they spit on you. -- WickedGeneticist, 18:21:31 05/17/03 Sat

[> [> [> Whoa, thought that was a famous statue... -- mamcu, 20:27:47 05/17/03 Sat

but then, I'm a bit dyslexic.

[> [> [> [> You're Thinking of Laocoons and his sons... -- AngelVSAngelus, 21:56:46 05/17/03 Sat

A statue that depicts them being attacked by Poseidon's forces, I believe. Unfortunately the majority of information that's IMMEDIATELY accessible in my memory from my Modernism and After class last semester is post modern work. But I think it was Greek.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: You're Thinking of Laocoon and his sons... -- Kitkat, 06:28:58 05/18/03 Sun

Laocoon and his sons being attacked by snakes. Very famous statue discovered in Rome during the Renaissance, heavily influenced artists especially Michelangelo. Now in the Vatican museums.
I think it is a Roman copy of a Greek original.

[> [> [> [> [> [> It was a poor attempt at a pun -- mamcu, 12:27:04 05/18/03 Sun

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> No worse than mine mamcu! ;-) -- O'Cailleagh, 13:18:42 05/18/03 Sun

[> [> [> I once dated a ramallamadingdonkey, the famous sheep-alpaca-dog-burro mix. Good kisser. -- pr0ng, 21:50:45 05/17/03 Sat

[> [> [> [> Fast hands, too, I bet! -- WickedBreeder, 22:24:11 05/17/03 Sat

[> Re: what was it about Chaos demons that made them such groovy lovers -- lynx, 00:24:53 05/18/03 Sun

sheesh, guys!

it's cause they're Horny...........

[> [> that's it! -- MsGiles, 10:06:02 05/18/03 Sun

LOL! Do you think they *meant* that? If so they join the Loan Shark in the Ridiculous Visual Pun collection

[> [> [> Re: that's it! -- lynx, 17:37:14 05/18/03 Sun

actually, yes - i think they did. the show is FULL of bad puns. :)

[> [> Hold still. I have to hurt you now. -- HonorH (who doesn't suffer bad puns gladly), 11:13:15 05/18/03 Sun

[> [> [> *pout* - holding still - (muttering "not fair. I didn't write it.") -- lynx, 17:43:52 05/18/03 Sun

[> [> That's a much better pun -- mamcu, 12:29:32 05/18/03 Sun

[> Re: what was it about Chaos demons that made them such groovy lovers -- Celebaelin, 06:21:21 05/18/03 Sun

Ah, yes, glad you asked actually. The true chaos demons, or Slaadi, have no allegiance to either good or evil and as such a kind of hedonistic 'Do what thou wilt.' often dictates their, er, romantic entanglements. Or should that read 'Do what? Thou wilt?', anyway the point is that they are inherently carefree and ultimately entirely self-serving, if a Slaad is spending time with you and you aren't dead yet then it's because the Slaad in question doesn't want your soul in limbo yet. Then there's the Calypso music and the ability to walk under low bars, hang on, erm, there might be some confusion in the source material as concerns that part, although is a typical Slaadic irony, their Mercurial nature can lead to a demon equivalent of a GSOH, even if there is usually some darker element involved if you do more than scratch the surface. Being the object of desire of a Slaad can be something of a mixed blessing however, Ssendam (The Lord of the Insane) is undoubtedly a useful ally to have in your corner, quite apart from anything else in his form as a 6' golden amoeba with a brain instead of a nucleus he is one of the few demons who could actually entirely fill your corner with no spaces and no surplus. The downside to this is the rather worrying prospect of being held in the tender embrace of his pseudopodia, which exude acid and suck out life energy. Of course he might take on any other form he wishes, which could lead to some fun to be had in 'dressing-up' type games which need leave nothing to the imagination. He can also grant wishes, which is always a point in a potential lovers' favour I tend to find.

On the other hand Ygorl (The Lord of Entropy) is definitely not even a good dinner companion. He never goes anywhere without his scythe and he runs heavily towards the morbid. In addition to that little foible he's never really motivated unless he's got some reaping to do. He works hard of course but that is still a disadvantage as he gets paged roughly a hundred times every second and Chronos frowns on stopping time for the purposes of social interaction as it gives everyone else the arcane equivalent of an awkward silence. There is no possibility for moments of frippery such as the ever popular flowers and chocolates (or even Islets of Langerhans and lengths of intestine) with Ygorl as organic matter is extremely ephemeral in the presence of his long-term gopher Clecht (The Bringer of Decay), that no food lasts long enough for him to eat it at least partially explains his appearance as a giant skeletal bipedal frog with bats' wings. Metal fatigue (Rooche) and erosion (Morabo) are also close companions so most jewellery is out as well (this is your opportunity to test the belief that 'diamonds are forever'). Ygorl is probably best summed up by the laws of thermodynamics - the best you can do is break even, you can't break even because there's always wastage, the wastage causes things to get unduly heated.

I, of course, am a pussy cat and faultless in every regard but then I'm mortal, technically, for the time being.

And don't be conned by Hermes or Aphrodite either, they just want you to think they look like that. Don't get me started, I could tell you some stories about that pair (I'd better check my wards and protections are working properly first though).

Celebaelin (hiding from Honorificus)

[> [> LOL C! That explains a lot! errr, too much? (I think I've dated a few Slaadi) -- WickedBuffy ::still recovering from lynx's remark::, 09:10:44 05/18/03 Sun

[> [> [> I was engaged to a Slaad once. Trust me--NOT enjoyable. -- Rhys who is not Rhys-Michael, 11:01:45 05/18/03 Sun

[> [> Blah, blah, blah -- Honorificus (Who Is Ever Eloquent, Never Loquacious), 11:10:04 05/18/03 Sun

I believe I said very much the same up top, only with more verbal economy.

[> [> [> hmmm ... a frugal antipedantic using $100 words -- WickedBuffy, 11:33:46 05/18/03 Sun

[> [> [> [> Precisely. Quality, not quantity. Anything else is gauche. -- Honorificus (Both Tasteful And Tasty), 12:49:31 05/18/03 Sun

[> [> [> Re: Blah, blah, blah -- Celebaelin, 01:48:07 05/19/03 Mon

Listen up bugalugs, I've got better things to do with my time than read inadequate critical appraisal from Hitler's grandma. Besides, from the sounds of it you do well to make it back from the second hand clothing store (the one where you buy all your favourite floral poly-cotton numbers) never mind coping with the distinction between getting lost in space-time and causing it to cease to 'flow'. If you really want to impress me, try accessorising for real, if you really want to scare me suggest we go steady.

Celebaelin (the one cowering behind the 'Big Boys Bumper Book of Boons and Banes')

OT: Matrix Reloaded: hommage to Buffy? (Matrix spoilers) -- lost_bracelet, 02:18:59 05/18/03 Sun

Joss Whedon remarked, "Every movie should be The Matrix."

Perhaps the Wachowski brothers heard about this, which is why they included two references to vampires:

1) The Oracle mentioned vampires, werewolves, ghosts, aliens, UFOs and other paranormal phenomena that reveal flaws in the system.

2) The giant television screen in the den-like room was showing Bride of Dracula or some such classic vampire movie.

More posted below.

[> Matrix Reloaded: symbolism of names (more spoilers) -- lost_bracelet, 02:22:25 05/18/03 Sun

Neo: New. As in the "New Covenant," which was supposed to be Christianity as a replacement for Judaism. Neo is supposed to be the Jesus-like messiah of Zion, according to their "prophecy."

Trinity: In Christianity, the Trinity is the union of three divine entities -- the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit -- in one God. Notice that a female entity is missing from the roster. Before the patriarchal philosophy took over Western Asia and Europe, it was the Quadrinity that was seen as divine: the father, the mother, the child, and the relationship that binds us all. This is an apt description of humanity. The Quadrinity was depicted by the symbol of the cross, but a geometrically balanced one in which the vertical and horizontal lines bisect in the middle. This symbol can be found in indigenous cultures around the world; often, it symbolizes the four directions or the four elements. When the patriarchy took over, replacing the Quadrinity with the Trinity, the holy cross moved the horizontal line upward to illustrate its proximity to the sky, the heavens, the Father, God, and (assumed) maleness. (Plus, the Crucifixion of Jesus lent meaning to this new symbol.) In The Matrix, Trinity is a woman, which turns the whole patriarchy of Christianity on its ear. Plus, she's smart and can kick ass. She's the Yin to Neo's Yang.

Morpheus: The god of sleep and dreams in Ovid's Metamorphoses. Morpheus was the one who introduced Neo to the world outside the Matrix -- in other words, awakening him, and then reintroducing him to the dreamworld of the Matrix but with awareness and superpowers.

Zion: A hill in Jerusalem, which, after the capture of that city by the Israelites, became the royal residence of David and his successors. It has come to mean an idealized, harmonious community, a utopia. (The tribal dance party in the mud sure looked like a funky rave. And all the people seem to get along pretty well. Seems good to me.)

Nebuchadnezzar: In the Old Testament, Book of Daniel, Nebuchadnezzar was the powerful king of Babylon. According to the reference, "After the incident of the 'burning fiery furnace' (Daniel 3) into
which the three Hebrew confessors were cast, Nebuchadnezzar was afflicted with
some peculiar mental aberration as a punishment for his pride and vanity,
probably the form of madness known as lycanthropy (i.e, 'the change of a man
into a wolf')." You can read the whole story at Bible Gateway. Interesting that when the Oracle is talking to Neo about "something wrong in the system" (in the tenement building yard scene), she refers to vampires (!) and werewolves. What do you suppose that means?

Persephone: The daughter of Demeter (goddess of harvest) and Zeus (god of heavens and other gods) who was abducted by Hades (god of the netherworld and dispenser of earthly riches) but rescued by her mother and thereafter spent six months of the year on earth and six months in the underworld. (This could explain the character's split loyalty.)

Kali: One of the manifestations and cult titles of the wife of Shiva and mother goddess Devi, especially in her malevolent role as a goddess of death and destruction, depicted as black, red-eyed, blood-stained, and wearing a necklace of skulls.

Seraph: A celestial being having three pairs of wings. In Christianity, seraphim is the first of the nine orders of angels in medieval angelology.

Smith: The most common last name in the United States.

Commander Lock: Interesting that his name is "Lock." He didn't like the Nebuchadnezzar crew, who were off to seek the key maker. Hmmm...

Niobe: The daughter of Tantalus who, after boasting that she had more children than Leto, suffered the killing of her own children by Artemis and Apollo, and turned to stone while bewailing their loss. In The Matrix, Niobe's loyalty is split between Lock and Morpheus. She explains, "Some things never change. Some things do."

Merovingian: A Frankish ruling dynasty (c. A.D. 450-751) founded by Merovech (fl. fifth century) and brought to prominence by Clovis I.

Malachi: A Hebrew prophet of the sixth century B.C.; a messenger or an angel.

Abel and Cain: Biblical brothers, sons of Adam and Eve. Cain slew Abel in a fit of jealousy and was cast out and doomed to walk the earth as a marked man.

Councillor West: played by Cornel West, professor of African-American Studies, Princeton University.

"The Architect" and "The Oracle" are pretty self-explanatory. One designs; the other guides.

[> [> More on Merovingians -- KdS, 12:13:46 05/18/03 Sun

In certain modern esoteric belief systems/conspiracy theories the Merovingians are alleged to be the descendants of a sexual relationship between Jesus Christ and Mary Magdalene. (IIRC)

[> Things cyberpunk movies and books have in common: -- lost_bracelet, 02:32:00 05/18/03 Sun

1. martial arts

2. interconnected computers and cyberspace

3. pretty young women who kick ass

4. sometimes vague symbolism (see post above)

5. weapons, especially swords and high-powered guns

6. chase scenes

7. an insoucient dismissal of bodily needs:
- a. no one ever sleeps (unless there are prophetic dreams involved)
- b. no one ever goes to the bathroom (unless it's a pretext to have sex)
- c. no one gets thirsty or stops to eat, no one gets sick
- d. people recover pretty darn quickly

8. a multiethnic cast of characters

9. old people sometimes surprise you with their hipness (the Oracle, the Key Maker)

10. the colors black and green

11. tribal, orgiastic all-night dance parties (could be a result of drugs or brain memes, as in Neal Stephenson's The Diamond Age)

12. nerds and outcasts rule

13. it's often night

14. the story plays out like an IF (interactive fiction) game, with lots of options, paths, and doors to choose from (kind of like a computer program)

15. love happens fast and furious

[> [> Also -- mamcu, 13:12:54 05/18/03 Sun

16. Set in weird cities with overgrown skyscrapers

17. Society devolved: incredible wealth and luxury or hideous poverty

18. Women have complete equality, including equal strength, even among bad guys, usually (or is this pretty much covered in #3?)

19. Special effects (in movies) have to move up a notch with each one (but Blade Runner is still the best, even with the low tech of the time)

20. Everybody wears incredible clothes (a patent leather body suit? Could you really fight in a full-length coat with a full skirt?)

[> [> [> Yup, on all 5 additions. #16 and #17 are basically extensions of now. -- lost_bracelet, 13:34:25 05/18/03 Sun

[> Another "Buffy" parallel ("Get It Done"/"Matrix Reloaded" spoilers) -- Rob, 10:14:00 05/18/03 Sun

First off, I have to say, I saw the movie last night...twice!...and I can say without hesitation that if Matrix: Revolutions is as good as this one, this will knock "Star Wars" out of my "Best Film Trilogy of All Time" spot. I have never left a movie thinking so much. My friend, Justin, and I spent a good 2 hours discussing the film when it was done, trying to wrap our brains around it. I looked back at Farstrider's thread from a few days ago, and many of our conclusions were similar or the same to ones that the posters in the thread came up with. But to make it more Buffyish we refer to Zion, the "real world," as the "Uber-Matrix". And it makes so much sense, too, that the machines would create another outer false reality. If humans wouldn't buy the original "paradise" Matrix, how about the opposite extreme? A hell on Earth. It fulfills all of their worst paranoid fantasies and satisfies them that they are finally "out." Apparently, the human mind really does choose to believe the worst. The real question is, what is outside this Matrix? Is it possible that all the history we have known to be true is false? And while some people showed frustration at trying to figure out why some programs were helping Neo, remember the repeated phrase in the film that each program does what it's made to do. For example, the Agents are programmed to know that the One must be destroyed and that people cannot leave the Matrix. It's highly doubtful that they know that the "outside world" is a matrix, too. It seems that Agent Smith is the only one who has figured this out, perhaps as a result of Neo and his joining in the first film. Each program fulfills its function, which is to get Neo to the source. The one thing I'm having trouble trying to figure out is the choice vs. predestination thing regarding Trinity. They said that the major difference between this Neo and all the preceding ones was that this one had choice, in the form of love. The preceding Neos, I came to assume, had not been in love. The question is, was this love programmed into Trinity and Neo, to test out the further evolution of the One...or was this the first sign that the Architect's plan was failing with this Neo? The fact that the Oracle told Trinity that she would fall in love with the one supports the "Matrix-wanted-Neo-to-be-in-love" angle, but...I'm not so sure of the Oracle's loyalties. I get the feeling that she operates outside of what the Architect wants her to do. Maybe she wanted love entered into the equation to add choice into the matter and ultimately defeat the Matrix. The question is, is she truly a rogue program or not?

Btw, just a pat on the back for me...I guessed the Oracle was a program before she said it. I always wondered in the first film why the Oracle wouldn't be unplugged from The Matrix. In the first film, we assumed she was human because she knew about the Matrix and helped them. But then, why wouldn't she meet them in person, in Zion? So I figured that out. Go me.

Anyway, I got to thinking, Neo had two choices: enter the source, thus causing the destruction and rebirth of Zion and the One being dispersed into the program, ready to slowly form the next One in the future, or go into the other door and save Trinity, possibly causing the destruction of every human on earth.

But what was the choice for the previous Neos, who didn't have Trinitys to be in love with? I think that the choice would have been one of self-sacrifice. Enter the source, and the One is basically sacrificing himself to both destroy and rebuild Zion; or go back into the Matrix and try to fight the machines a different way, without having to kill himself. The other times the Neos obviously chose to sacrifice themselves, especially with the threat that walking into the other door would cause the destruction of the human race. But now that this Neo has love, he cannot be so self-sacrificing. He has another person he needs to protect. So he takes his chances entering the other door. The question remains whether the threat that all of the human race would be destroyed as a result of him going to save Trinity was only that, a threat, to attempt to sway his decision, or whether that is in the process of happening right now. Did the destruction of the source with the bomb change that, either?

The moment, btw, that I began to suspect that the "real" world is an UberMatrix was when Neo was handed the spoon. Remember, in the first film, he was told "There is no spoon." I thought this was a hint to him, which he did not fully understand at the time, that this spoon, this reality, is not "there" either.

Another thing I noticed, going back to the first film, is that perhaps Neo's resurrection was not a miracle after all. It seemed that love have brought him back to life. But for the Matrix to work correctly, the One cannot die until it is reentered into the Source. If the outside world is the Matrix, too, then Neo's resurrection can be seen as a fail-safe in the program that kicks in should he die. This can also explain how Dozer was able to come back to life in the first one to kill Cypher and save Neo. He was temporarily "reactivated" to save The One and was then "shut off" again. The One cannot be killed, even in the world outside the Matrix, and that may be because outside the Matrix is the Matrix as well.

And this isn't even a quarter of the ideas that were buzzing through my head all of last night. There are so many possibilites about what the real real world is (both reals intended!)...Is it possible that EVERYONE is a program, and Neo is the only "real" person? Just an idea I had...I was also thinking of the significance of Neo being the sixth One? Perhaps another biblical link? It took God 6 days to create the universe. Hmmm....

Oh, right, I was going to go into that other Buffy parallel I noticed. Basically it is, in "Get It Done," this year we learned that the Slayer was created by very questionable means. And in this Matrix film, we learned that the One was created by questionable means, too. But just as the Slayers were able to take what began as a violation and use it for great good, I believe that this One (who was created basically to be a false Messiah) will subvert the Architect's intent and be the REAL ONE, who will live out the prophecy to destroy the Matrix that the Architect had only made up and never intended to really happen.

Any thoughts on my ramblings? I adored this movie. I don't think I've ever left a film thinking this hard before, except for maybe "Memento." While I loved the first film, I think that this is the better film. The first film had great, brilliant ideas but did not have as much to wrap your brain around and dissect as this one. I wonder whether the third will answer all the questions or whether there will be things intentionally left unanswered. I hope it's the former.


[> [> Good post. My theory from the beginning was that... -- lost_bracelet, 13:56:52 05/18/03 Sun

The life outside the Matrix (at first, just Nebuchadnezzar and later the city of Zion) was another Matrix, but a higher-level one. In other words, all the "independent" people are just more powerful battery cells and meta-programs, and just like in the smaller Matrix, they don't yet know it. The more they strategize and fight, the more power they're producing.

Philip K. Dick wrote a story about people escaping one level of existence after another until, at the end, they thought they were finally out of the whole system. But it turned out that it was yet another uber-level. This is an interesting metaphor of Buddhist philosophy -- or perhaps meta-Buddhist philosophy, in which beings go through life again and again until they learn and evolve enough to escape the cycle -- but then perhaps they're just deposited into another cycle, a bigger cycle, and when they eventually escape from that, there's an even bigger cycle, and on and on. Spheres within spheres, with a multi-dimensional spiral thread running through them.

The Oracle reminded me of the mysterious computer character named "Mother Tiger" from Linda Nagata's Limit of Vision.

[> Was that Gina Torres? -- mamcu, 13:04:07 05/18/03 Sun

In the scene where the young black pilot goes back home, another woman with two kids is visiting his wife. She's only onscreen for a couple of lines, but she looked a lot like Gina Torres. The credits went by so fast I couldn't tell if she was in there.

[> [> Yes it was. She's married to Laurence Fishburne (Morpheus). -- Rob, 13:40:12 05/18/03 Sun

[> [> [> GMTA (Great Minds Think Alike) -- lost_bracelet, 13:46:24 05/18/03 Sun

[> [> Yup, otherwise known as Mrs. Fishburne. ;-) -- lost_bracelet, 13:45:22 05/18/03 Sun

The Watcher-Slayer team gets Shadowy (Angel Odyssey 4.13-4.14) -- Tchaikovsky, 07:55:07 05/18/03 Sun

Hello everyone. Quick note that I posted 4.12 at the bottom of the Bingo thread, which then got immediately got archived, so it's hanging around in Archive 1 or 2 at the moment. Anyway, Calvary aside, these episodes are really something a bit special for me at least. To explain, for me Faith has been one of the most valuable characters ever in elucidating Angel's journey. Her introduction at the tail-end of the Faith quadrology in 'Five by Five' and 'Sanctuary' were palpable highlights of the so-so Season One. Her sparing, beautiful use in 'Judgement' was both surprising and not gimmicky, introducing Angel to the next step in his long road to understanding himself and his mission- that he was not counting the people he saved, somehow rejoicing in each moment towards redemption and humanity. And here, Faith's introduction serves to really help expand two characters' journeys, those of Angelus, and most wonderfully, Wesley. Their conversations is 'Release' had me with my mouth hanging open in sheer reverence for the writing and acting. But before I get too carried away, let's introduce some structure to this eulogy.

4.13- 'Salvage'

Well, I still wouldn't call it an outstanding episode, but with solid and functional episodes like this and 'Showtime' over on Buffy Season Seven, David Fury has completely avoided my ire, which is a start. There are flashes of genius from Fury in this episode, mostly the wonderful conceit of Wesley's conversation with the dead Lilah, and Faith's nascent relationships with the LA set. Also, like all of this Season, the plot is hammering forward, lurching sickeningly like a fairgrond ride. And I love it. It's a style that Angel has always done well; these ill-defined plot-arcs, leaving room for growth, and unexpected victory. An episode like 'Awakening' could never have been attempted on Buffy, because the plot structure is too rigid for the First Evil to have been defeated after 10 episodes, so the trick wouldn't have fooled anyone. Angel's plot flexibility is one of its greatest strengths. Frankly at the moment I would claim to be enjoying Angel more than Buffy, which is very, very unusual. I still engage more emotionally with the Buffyverse characters, (particularly Buffy, Dawn, Giles, Willow, but I even quite like [wait for it!] Andrew and Kennedy- quit with the weird looks!), but Angel's thematic unity, brooding insecurity over the possibility of redemption and heroism, lack of the essential belief in humankind's innate goodness and marvellous writers is really a superior watch for me.

And so we see Lilah, the figment, always with the supposedly upper hand on Wesley. In the tryst they had, they could never decide whether what was between them was a 'relationship' or not, and it's still important here with Wesley denying it, and Lilah reminding him of the signed dollar bill. Did Wesley's tongue slip suggest he considered it more, or was it actually Lilah who really believed that the two could get together. The scenes here, literally and emotionally dark, scary and startling, allow Wesley to discuss his real feelings, as if in a dream, with a sounding-board. Lilah claims that, like Angel, Wesley had the tendency to believe that everyone with a soul had the possibility of redemption, even her. Wesley's loss, she tries to claim, is not in her life, but just in the destruction of one of his pet projects. What Wesley does feel for Lilah remains with enigmatic edges. He allows her to help in 'Calvary' but seems to continue to give her short shrift. He is stricken by her death, and ultimately the tragedy for him is a complex many-parted thing. It involves the opportunity of redemption being lost, just like Jonathan's zen-like calm before Andrew's murder in 'Conversations'. But it also involves lost love, a love which never quite was, but might have been. Apparently just like Jenny Calendar for Giles, this Watcher has a relationship which might have been life-chaging cut down by the cruel Angelus. In the Angelvers,e it is murkier than the exquisite gried of 'Passion', but there's that same feeling in Wesley as in Giles, as an untidy reconciliation never quite happens. Yet while Giles, his face melting like ice-cream in the fierce, meaningless sun, loses his grip entirely, needing his Slayer to save him from certain death, Wesley is more cautious. He calls his Slayer back, much to her initial bemusement. Yet Wesley and Faith's new relationship, so far from the 'Screw that!' of 'Bad Girls', turns out to be one of the most powerful depictions of the compromise of morality for the supposed cause of good ever displayed on either show.

From the start of their interrogation, it becomes clear things have changed for Wesley. For the viewer, who has seen his slow, convincing metamorphosis between 'Sanctuary' and 'Salvage' it may seem obvious, but for Faith it comes as a bit of a surprise. Just what a change has come about is underlined in a line which sent shivers up and down my spine; Wesley's 'Five by Five' after they jump through the window on to the car. What immense sorrow, pain and self-examination have gone on in his life that he can now mutter Faith's phrase sounding jagged and somehow dark, while any attempt at it in Season Three Buffy would have been another attempt for low farce from his character. How much he has developed, he has been deepened, and his actions have been compromised, in order for that simple reversal to work so powerfully, is a testament to Mutant Enemy's delicate development of their characters.

Meanwhile, we see Faith, the character already reformed by Angel's belief in her before she ever went to prison. The acceptance of the necessity of her punishment is much more important than the punishment of prison itself, in story terms, and hence I had no problem with her as a vigilante. More interesting was the reflections she cast on the other members of the Gang. Firstly, there is a clever reflection of her back in the Lilah/Wesley scene. When Lilah compares Wesley to Angel, the guy who will never give up on the redeemable, she calls to mind most readily Faith herself, who, despite pleading for death in the despairing rain of 'Five by Five' was saved by Angel by trust and by belief. Are we to believe that Wesley could have been to Lilah what Angel was to Faith? In any case, Faith's work here, despite ending up bloodied from her attempts at fighting the Beast, shows how important Angel's actions, way back in Season One of Angel, may now be to the group as a whole.

For Faith fills the hole left by Angel. She becomes the figure demonstrably stronger than all of them, disinterested in the supposed petty squabbles of Cordelia, (but how much of her evil continues under the surface), and able, better than anyone, perhaps even Angel, to control Connor by guile, belief in good, nd physical strength, combined with heaps of charisma. Connor in this episode realises that he is the Destroyer, and wonders whether this is to be the Destroyer of Angelus, but it turns out that he is never given the chance. Faith must save Angelus as Angel saved Faith- without killing her, allowing him the stepping stone back to his good, reforming character.

A few miscellaneous ponderings and 'Ha!' moments:

-I don't know quite why, but I loved Angelus' tiny little conversation with Dawn, when trying ot ascertain which Slayer was around. I would have been fascinated to see a scene between these two actors and characters, but it appears that that will never happen now. I'll have to content myself with HonorH fanfic, and hope we might just see Michelle Trachtenberg next Season on Angel, (although story-wise it seems a stretch).

-Re the anti-demon spell, 'That worked like a charm- literally'. I'm really very impressed with Fury's work on this episode in general, butthat particular line is the worst written line on either show in my memory. Other contenders welcome.

-Talking of which, the idea that Connor might be a demon seems once more to throw his identity issues into crisis. Yet just as this is happening, we get the scene between Cordelia and Connor, we she announces her pregnancy, and we see his face slowly move from anxiety to pride as Cordelia comforts him. This is after all one of the only things he has achieved in his life- one of the few things he considers able to define him- the archetypal teenager with no background. And yet, with the pupil-less, iris-less Cordelia Beast-Master lurking in the background, this surely can't be a good thing, and I trust Cordelia about as far as Giles could throw her. The 'weakness for Slayers' line about Connor and Faith was lovely, but just expanded the queasiness of what's happening between Cordelia and Angel's son. It still seems wrong on so many levels.

-Despite my underwhelmed-ness, I should [finally!] mention the major plot point of this episode, the defeat of the Beast. It seemed a little perfunctory, although I enjoyed the idea of the Beast doing the work of pummelling Faith, leaving Angelus, always the artist not the hunter, the easy, planned kill; sans sunlight at least. Incidentally, someone (Masq, I think) claimed Fury nailed one character and didn't have a clue about another. Between Faith and Angelus, I agree entirely (embarassing if that's not who you meant!) But as soon as the lackey is disposed of, we see the master is Cordelia, and start to wonder how much more twisty this 'onion from hell' (that was Masq), can get.

Well done David Fury.

4.14- 'Release'

But, and there's always a but with praise for the old bearded one, I prefered this episode, for the masterful and edge-of-chair development between Wesley and Faith. We think back to Giles and Buffy, probably my favourite relationship on Buffy, and compare, and, more obviously contrast. Wesley, who goes so far that even Faith seems uneasy, along with Faith, into whom Wesley attempts to instil some of the callous, cool logic that he has learnt recently. Yet Faith, so often the bad girl in the past, now believes she has reformed, (indeed, really has), and so is worried to let herself go again, (this ties in to a potentially interesting parallel when Willow comes to AI next episode).

A lot of the Wesley/Faith dynamic here adds weight because of the history between the old Pierce Brosnan-y Wesley and Faith. How they must always abide by the rules, and take instinct as a seasoning to carefully considered plans. Here Wesley plans, while still excellent, are derived from the experience of hours of 'field time'. Yet his dive into murky morality from 'Loyalty (actually building right from 'Billy') through to the present adds a dangerous edge to his thoughts. He has the ability to almost kill the dead-beat junkie, as Faith would never do. And he is consistently worried about Faith's devotion to the mission.

In 'Salvage', we see Wesley testing Faith's reflexes in a very dangerous test with no safety net. Here again, there is the issue of trust paid out. Later, Faith, unable to allow Wesley's death as a quid pro quo of Angelus' capture, does not carry through her violence when Angelus can wring her Watcher's neck. Wesley is worried about this, but in some respects it parallels nicely with Willow back in 'Choices', where Buffy refused to sacrifice one person she loved as a friend for the defeat of the Mission against the Mayor. Ironically, of course, it was Wesley then who was more worried about the Box of Gavrok than Willow's safety, and only that marvellous, wordless action from Oz which settled the issue. Perhaps, despite 'how mcuh Wesley appears to have changed', there are roots in him remaining the same deep down. Is his relentless attacks on the latest mission, all be they so much less ridiculous and certified than in his Watcher days, actually so much different from the Dick Van Dyke physical comedy Wesley who bungled in 'Consequences'. Now he is adept at the issues, but is he still to willing to compromise relationships in favour of doing Good?

One thing that Wesley has not forgotten is how raw and uncontrollable Faith used to be. That disturbing torture scene in 'Five by Five' makes him all too aware of how much anger Faith used to have. But does he fully understand the way in which Angel got her to turn herself into the police? Faith, just like Willow, appears to be afraid of falling back into her old ways, of losing the ability to do good in a nihilistic despair. Perhaps she has yet to realise that it is not denial of her essential aptitude to violence, to killing evil things, that 'demon inside' which will help her, but her ability to control it like Buffy. This in turn brings its own complications- the fragmented life as Slayer, the 'Slayer is not a killer' and 'You're notthe boss of me'. That's why I'm delighted that Faith returned to Sunnydale, and has resolved some issues with Buffy, for these two's abililty to understand each other is necessarily unique.

Some interesting one liners:
-'Places to go; friends to kill', says Angelus, before hastily noting that they're not exactly his friends. This is explored further with the disembodied voice of Cordelia later.

-'I need someone I trust here' says Wesley to Gunn. Although not exactly a bouquet of flowers or a hug, this is probably one of the most hopeful lines in the once powerful Wesley-Gunn relationship in a long, long time. It seemed there almost as a throwaway, but I for one thought it important.

-'Thought you were more of a taser girl', says Connor to Fred. This once again highlights Connor's tendency to feel betrayed by everyone in whom he has trusted- Holtz' death, Justine's treachery, Fred and Gunn's loss of respect after his double-dealing, Angel's reversion to Angelus, and his lack of respect for Wesley all contribute to a vacuum in his parent figures. This is another reason why the presumably faux (on Cordelia's part) Connor-Cordelia relationship is so unnerving. It's not just being played as a romantic tryst, but with a strong element of Cordelia as Connor's mother, mixing together startlingly.

-Angel's line about screwing Faith after he's killed her brings up the cheery subject of necrophilia, which I thought I shouldn't pass over, gentle reader.

This just leaves two remaining elements of this episode. We have the Fred/Gunn mini-reconciliation. The kiss and the make-up though were achingly ambiguous. After the first kiss, they seemed at as mcuh of a distance as ever.

Then there's Angelus, and the main question raised in this episode is his relation to Angel. Beastmaster Cordelia brings up the idea of the fragmented personalities, the fear in Angelus that he may one day be Angel again. This, as far as we've seen from this run or back on Buffy, is is only weakness- the idea that he could be trapped again with the soul hanging around his neck like an albatross, and it is Cordelia, who has stolen the soul ('all smoke and mirrors' says Angelus, which is presumably metanarration on the how the object itself was made), who can finally make Angelus take a side other than his own.

Cordelia's voice as the Evil is a hokey Old Testament voice, which reminded me a little of the beginning of the book of Samuel, where the young seer is called, and thinks that it must be someone around him, when in fact he is being called to by God himself. Here, Angelus is pure enough evil to be called by the Big Bad itself, but only once he has been bribed by his only fear to stop acting the anarchist. By the end of the episode where we see Angelus and Faith, we hear the old Angelus saying the exact opposite of what Angel told her in 'Sanctuary'- that she can not be redeemed, that she is still the evil out-of-control psycho who nobody wants. It appears for the moment that Angel's words are stronger to her, but I am left on an ostensible cliffhanger where she appears about to be bitten. My Buffy-spoiledness negates the excitement of this cliffhanger, but I'm most interested to see how Willow adds to the beautiful storyline about identity, relationships' effects on individuality, that the Angel writers are drawing together. This is such a beautifully thematically coherent episode addressing those issues that it almost seems impossible that it was written by three writers, (although I am counting the Craft and Fain team as two), so big kudos to DeKnight and the best regular writing duo in ME history.


[> More on perspective -- lunasea, 08:27:56 05/18/03 Sun

Angel's line about screwing Faith after he's killed her brings up the cheery subject of necrophilia, which I thought I shouldn't pass over, gentle reader.

I thought it contrasted wonderfull with what Angel said to her in "Enemies." We got to see what Angel thought was Angelus in "Eternity" and "Enemies." Here we got to see the real Angelus.

My favorite part of "Release" was when Angel was talking about how to deal with pain that hurt to the bone. It was the most concise explanation of Angel/us (or even vampires in general) that I have seen. That was probably where the title appeared at one point. It seems to me to be what the episode was really about.

Which brings me to one of your points about Faith and Wesley. Until Wesley experienced that sort of pain, could he remotely understand Faith at all? I have written on dark feminine archetype threads that these come from places of rage and pain and to see modern man identifying with these is to put it bluntly laughable. Slayers and vampires are essentially rape survivors. That is where their rage comes from. Their own personal baggage gets dumped on top of this and warped by that rage.

Until Wesley was violated by Justine slitting his throat, Angel trying to suffocate him and his friends abandoning him, did he have the remotest clue about Faith? Doubtful. Faith came back from the brink because of the kindness Angel showed her. Wesley had no such luck. Wesley came back the same way Giles did from Ripper, but sheer determination to do good. Their pain was never addressed.

I don't think that Wesley can really understand how Faith feels about Angel. All he can do is work with what she is willing to do. He is very much like Giles in this respect.

I can't wait to read your impressions of Orpheus.

[> Worst line ever... -- Rook, 08:29:07 05/18/03 Sun

Not to ignore the well written post in favor of a bit of trivia (well, kind of), but as far as "the worst written line ever, on either show"...

"A meat party in my mouth"

[> [> Hey! I thought that was funny...but I have a sick sense of humor. ;o) -- Rob, 09:19:22 05/18/03 Sun

[> [> "We've been tear-assing through every jungle from Paraguay up." -- oboemaboe, 09:29:01 05/18/03 Sun

I can't blame you for repressing As You Were from memory.
Back to your regularly scheduled thread.

[> [> Agree -- tomfool, 09:30:34 05/18/03 Sun

That line made me cringe more than anything written in 12 seasons of ME shows.

TCH - Thanks once again. Cut, saved, will digest during second marathon viewing of S4.

[> No weird looks from me for liking Andrew. Kennedy's another story. ;o) -- Rob, 09:09:21 05/18/03 Sun

[> Wonderful reviews, TCH! -- ponygirl, 09:36:43 05/18/03 Sun

Scenes I really don't want to seen in the Buffy finale (spoilers for 7.21 and the 7.22 trailer only) -- Cactus Watcher, 10:26:24 05/18/03 Sun

Spike and Angel kissing while behind a nearby column the FE as Spike whispers words to inflame jealousy in Buffy's ear.

Buffy and Angel taunting Caleb, "Our shows lasted longer than your show, nyah, nyah, nyah."

Faith singing, "It Could Be Bunnies."

The reanimated Caleb singing, "Let Me Rest in Peace." to the FE as Buffy.

Andrew singing, "Under Your Spell" to anyone.

Buffy finding a real scythe which she perversely insists on calling an axe.

Xander awaking in the car and saying, "No Dawn!. You can't go back! Buffy doesn't want you to get hurt! Wait! This isn't the highway to Sunnydale. Where are you going now?"
Dawn answering excitedly- "We're going to Disneyland!"

Giles proposing and Buffy agreeing to marry him.

Andrew's life flashing before our eyes as Buffy's did at the start of The Gift.

Kennedy hitting on Wood.

Everyone dies except Anya, who is chosen the next slayer.

VampWillow waking up in front of a TV showing a rerun of the old Bob Newhart Show to discover the last seven years were all a dream.

[> I dunno, I kinda like some of those! -- HonorH, 11:08:22 05/18/03 Sun

But then, I'm a sick, sick person. Okay, how about things I don't wanna see in the finale:

The Bringers forming a chorus line and singing "We Are Family".

Anybody doing the Funky Chicken.

Kristy Swanson

The Hellmouth with a sign nailed over it saying "Closed for Renovations".

The Hellmouth opening to reveal . . . Alfred E. Newman!


Willow revealing that she's not really gay--she's a guy.

Anya relieving Andrew of his virginity.

Ben Affleck and J-Lo

Andrew at any point saying, "You have played right into my hands, Slayer!"

Numfar leading the Potentials in the Dance of Righteous Indignation.

Freddie Prinze, Jr.

The big revelation that Kennedy set all this up in order to get into Willow's pants.

59 minutes in, Joss Whedon suddenly stopping all the action, walking in front of the camera, and saying, "Just a joke, folks!"

[> [> And I like some of yours! -- Rob, 11:20:19 05/18/03 Sun


Anya relieving Andrew of his virginity.

59 minutes in, Joss Whedon suddenly stopping all the action, walking in front of the camera, and saying, "Just a joke, folks!""

And most of all...

"The big revelation that Kennedy set all this up in order to get into Willow's pants." (Well, I already guessed that one! ;o) )

Here's what I don't want to see in the finale:

Buffy, Xander, Willow, Dawn, Giles, Anya, Spike, Andrew, or Faith dying (although I'm pretty much resigned to the fact that the greatest likelihood is that at least one of them will).

The First Evil turns out to be...Scrappy Doo!

Willow telling Kennedy that she has never loved anyone as much as she loves her.

Hank Summers returning to apologize for abandoning his kids.

Xander losing another eye.

A "To Be Continued..." title card!


[> [> Oh, and one more: -- HonorH, 12:47:42 05/18/03 Sun

(actually, I'd kinda like to see this one--see above re: me being sick)

Spike jumps out from behind the pillar as Buffy and Angel kiss:

S: You bitch!

B: (surprised) Spike! I didn't know you were there!

A: Spike?

S: How could you? After everything we've been through, you go and do this?

B: You don't own me. I can kiss whoever I want!

S: Not him, you can't!

(Spike then grabs Angel and lays a passionate, juicy kiss on him.)

B: Okay, this I would not have foreseen . . .

[> [> Me too... especially the one about Dawn and Disneyland. Which reminds me of... -- OnM, 21:33:59 05/18/03 Sun


I just ran away from home
Now I'm going to dizz knee land
I just crashed my car again
Now I'm going to dizz knee land

I just robbed a grocery store
I'm going to dizz knee land
I just flipped off President George
I'm going to dizz knee land

I just tossed a fifth of gin
Now I'm going to dizz knee land
I just got cuffed again
I'm going to dizz knee land yeah

Shot my gun into the night
I'm going to dizz knee land
I just saw a good man die
I'm going to dizz knee land
Come on...I'm going to dizz knee land

Kicked my ass out of school
Rolled me out into the streets
Hitched a ride on a monkey's back
Headed west into the black
I'm going to dizz knee land

Now that would be a surreal 7.22!


[> More... -- Darby, 11:41:29 05/18/03 Sun

Is it too late to say that I don't want an epic cast-of-hundreds fight scene?


What else don't I want to see...

- Anyone peeling off their face to reveal...

- Giles peeling the top of his head back to reveal...

- Faith, wait, that'd be okay.

- Any shots of the mental institution.

- The Ubervamps standing over the dead Scoobies and singing "Where do we go from here?"

- Angel there only to make things worse.

- It was all a government conspiracy! With UFOs!

- No resolution for all of the murders the heroes have committed and which everybody keeps talking about.

- As THE END floats at the end, a question mark fades up after it.

What WILL the Grrr! Arrgh! Guy do this week? Porky Pig?

[> [> What's wrong with epic fight scenes? -- Finn Mac Cool, 12:18:26 05/18/03 Sun

[> [> Oh, there needs to be an epic fight scene... -- Sofdog, 14:18:58 05/18/03 Sun

The action has always been a primary draw for me. It's suffered since the Pruitt-Crawford stunt team left, but it still needs to happen.

I'm holding out for a cavalry of dead Slayers showing up to even the odds. That would rock.

[> Re: Scenes I really don't want to seen in the Buffy finale -- Dariel, 12:30:13 05/18/03 Sun

The FE going into a long-winded speech on how it tricked Buffy into coming here, and how Vi was really a mole, and explaining why Caleb is so Spike or some Scooby enough time to find the FEs power source and destroy it...

The Ubervamps jumping into the Hellmouth when Angel sings "Mandy" for the 900th time...everyone else having jumped after the third time...

Buffy telling Xander that she's always loved him best as they ride of into the sunset...

Angel telling Xander that he's always loved him best as they ride of into the moonset...

[> Re: Scenes I really don't want to see... (spoilers for 7.21 and the 7.22 trailer only) -- Eryn, 12:45:41 05/18/03 Sun

"VampWillow waking up in front of a TV showing a rerun of the old Bob Newhart show to discover the last seven years were all a dream."

Honestly, I would pay all the money I had in the world to see that happen. What a riot.


[> [> Re: Scenes I really don't want to see... (spoilers for 7.21 and the 7.22 trailer only) -- Rhys who is not Rhys-Michael, 16:40:27 05/18/03 Sun

Tara turning out to be a corporeal personification of the First Evil.

Buffy telling Spike that she's never loved anyone as much as she has loved him.

Anya, Xander, Willow, Faith or Giles dying. (Buffy returning to heaven, I could buy.)

Xander losing the other eye or becoming otherwise crippled.

Willow telling Xander that she never really loved him or Oz.

Willow telling everyone that Kennedy is her true soulmate.

Angel singing, "Mandy." (It would kill the First Evil, but it would also drive everyone else insane.)

Buffy in the mental institution, recovering from schizophrenic delusions about the existence of vampires, monsters, demons and hellgods.

The First being killed a la the anger entity in Star Trek's "Day of the Dove" episode, when Buffy, the Scoobs, the SITs and the vampires all laugh it to death.

Caleb having a weapon that is the equal and opposite of Buffy's--the Sinister Scythe-That-HE-Calls-An-Axe.

Caleb or the First violating any of the rules on the Evil Overlord list. Check it out at

The First Evil turns out to be--BUNNIES!

Spike and Andrew bonding after their journey to the monastery in Gilroy.

Giles is revealed to be an agent of the First.

Real Buffy (as opposed to First Buffy who plays snuff games with Caleb) is revealed to be the First Evil.

Kennedy doing anything remotely heroic, or even surviving. (At this point, I would pay good money to see a permanently Dead Kennedy.)

At a critical moment in the fight scene, Caleb saying, "Buffy (or Faith), I am your father."

Messengers of the gods, Whitelighters, archangels, higher beings, Oracles, Powers That Be and so on descending, orbing in, etc., to aid Buffy in her fight against Ultimate Evil.

Xander NOT killing Caleb. After the eye incident, if anyone deserves to slaughter Caleb, Xander does.

Willow going all black-haired, veiny evil again because she cast a spell.

Andrew saving the day.

Buffy going against the First Evil all alone, without any help from the Scoobs or the SITs, and winning without breaking a sweat.

Buffy ascending to heaven a la glowy Cordelia floating up off the highway in "Tomorrow."

Wood doing ANYTHING.

Anybody doing anyone. We've really had enough sex in the show to date; let's tie up the loose ends and finish the story.

(Although I would love to see Spike and Angel kissing passionately in front of Buffy--not to mention hearing Angel telling Buffy that he left town to get away from Spike, because Spike in the sack gave him so many moments of perfect happiness. Yeah, yeah, I know. I just want to see the utter shock and horror on her face. Indulge my evil impulses for a minute, will you?)

[> Things I dont want to HEAR in the finale.. -- neaux, 14:33:48 05/18/03 Sun

Grrr Argh. (Say it aint so!!)

any slappin noises from doin' the wil' thang (there has been enough sex .. totally not needed in the finale)

Dawn Whining again (She better Step Up in this last episode)

the sounds when Doves Cry

Angel singing (because he was absent from the OMWF episode)

[> [> Dawn hasn't whined all season; I can't see her starting now. -- HonorH (Dawn Defender Extraordinaire), 16:39:48 05/18/03 Sun

[> The scene *nobody* here wants to see: -- HonorH, 16:41:14 05/18/03 Sun

The last one.


[> [> Never will the "Executive Producers: Joss Whedon, Marti Noxon" title card be more cruel! -- Rob, 08:21:13 05/19/03 Mon

[> Re: Scenes I really don't want to see... -- Tyreseus, 03:32:18 05/19/03 Mon

I'd grumble a bit if we had the superheroes against their similar powered foes line-up

Willow against Amy
Anya against d'Hoffryn
Giles against Ethan Rayne
Buffy and Faith against The First and Caleb
Angel against Spike (or the other way around)
Andrew against Darth Vader
Xander and Dawn and the SITs against... well, they'll probably just fight ubervamps.

But you get the idea, like at the beginning of the old X-Men cartoon, when the bad guys all square off with the good guys and it's lined up evenly with their personal rivals. Although, it would tie up several loose ends.

And am I the only one who wants to type SARS instead of SITs? (Stupid Arrogant Rookie Slayers) Okay, that's probably in bad taste.

[> Can't resist. Just a few more..... -- cjl, 13:42:39 05/19/03 Mon

One of the lead characters dies in Buffy's arms. We switch to an overhead camera angle, as Buffy lifts her head to the heavens and shouts: "NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!"

The First is unmasked as ex-Principal Snyder, and all of S7 is revealed as a plot to depopulate Sunnydale and corner the real estate market. As he's led away by the Sunnydale PD, Snyder grouses that he would have gotten away with it too, if it weren't for those damn kids....

Willow, Xander, Anya and Giles, fed up with their anemic and/or inexplicable storylines, team up with The First and kill Wood, Andrew, Kennedy, and the Potentials as revenge for stealing their screentime.

Spike negates Angel and vice versa.

Current board | More May 2003