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Opinion of Buffy Series Final- -- Spike Lover, 12:09:51 05/21/03 Wed

Ok, I understood it, but I DID NOT like it.

I have sort of glanced over the posts and I see that some of you have had the same sort of questions I initially did, but this is what I got out of it...

This season final was connected to Season 6, and it was heavy on symbolism.

Because it was so heavy on symbolism, or perhaps because they did not bother with a 2-hour season final, they did not put much to character or plot.

There was only ONE scene that I truly liked and believed, and that was the "I'm the pretty one" scene with Faith and Woods.

With the exception of Caleb at the beginning getting up and kicking more ass, I pretty much hated the entire ep.

The BIG Question is WHY did they kill off Anya. They had to to make the theme/symbolism work.

The theme was "Vanquishing your inner demons". (Also illustrated by the fact that the demons are INSIDE the earth, and that Dawn refuses to run away. Compare to demon that chased Will and Dawn when Willow was strung out on magic.)

Q) why did Anya die, and why wasn't she paired up with Xander rather than Andrew?

A) Anya was symbolic of Xander's inner demons. (Although it was really his relationship with his family.) It really goes back to "Something Blue" when Willow states that he is a demon magnet. Anya comes on the scene after the fiasco with Cordy and sabatoging that relationship with Cordy by cheating with Willow, a girl he was never interested in until he had something good. (A generalization, admittedly).

Symbolically, they pair him up with Dawn, a human girl, average and equal to him. His inner demon, lack of self confidence, has been killed. He has a future. (And it is bright -sunlight- in atrium).

Why I hated it...(Never mind that he still has not addressed his family issues, or leaving a fiancee at the altar, etc. The writers glossed that.)

Q) Why did Anya say "Bunnies" when the vamps attacked.
A) Again, the thought of a bunny was enough to make Anya run for cover or jump on a table. She is able to visualize the vamps as bunnies in order to fight them. She has conquered her 'inner demon' symbolically, but not really plot or character wise.

Faith has men issues. The continuing relationship with Woods is to show that she too is going to deal/face them.

Willow: power issues. She confronts her fear of power by doing this big spell that does not turn her dark, but light. Symbolically, too, she has gotten over her trouble, but plotwise/characterwise, she has never worked out her feelings of insignificance, longings for power, etc brought up in season 6, so this too does not work for me.

Buffy: She has many, many demons, and the writers failed to deal with any of them adequately. But the ones they used for the Season final is this: She is the Only slayer and thus can not plan a future because of the great burden she bears. She has love issues.

I think when she sees the 1st as herself, she might realize she is her own worst enemy. By activating the other slayers she is not only the only one now. And she is finally able to tell Spike she loves him.

I have to agree with Spike. It was such a wimpy pronouncement, I was skeptical. But anyway, the big hole in Sunnydale and the open road in the desert ahead was suppose to show that the future is bright and wide open for Buffy.

Spike: His big inner demon was being love's bitch. He always needed the love of a woman (mom, Cecily, Dru, Buffy). He was lost without it. It was how he defined himself.

I know that the light that pours through him was suppose to be a light of God, or something so good, pure, something so loving, that it could wipe out the vampires, and ultimately kill the vampire demon within him.
*But they did not say that or explain that- so I fault the writers again.

Anyway, when Buffy finally tells him she loves him, for the first time, he does not need it. He is complete and whole without a woman's love. (Contrast this to the AR in the bathroom scene.) Whether she did or did not love him, no longer mattered. He was no longer going to crumble. And his demise SHOULD have made us glad, as it should have assured us that his soul was on its way to heaven or whatever. But they didn't bother with that either.

Giles: He has done basically nothing this entire season. He has had a few speeches, but mainly one liners. I suggest that symbolically he was nothing more than a memory in B,X, & W's head. He might as well have been hatcheted by the bringers. Therefore, it was Buffy arguing with herself (symbolically) about the fate of Spike in the graveyard while Woods was attacking him. And symbolically, she shuts the door on everything he had taught her. Sort of one of those... What would Giles say if he were here things.

Perhaps also because Giles was already an adult,(although can happen at any age) he does not face any inner demons. Woods similarly does not have any to address which may be why they paired them up.

I continue to wonder why they allowed Andrew to live, except to continue (a different) theme of redemption is possible for everyone. (which might be why they paired him with Anya.)

Overall, *I hated the lack of emotion. This was one of the most emotionless, dramaless season finals I have seen. (The first season final was pretty cut and dry too, though.)

There were plenty of opportunities for high drama in this final ep, and it could have been easily achieved with possibly another hour, or maybe some better or additional dialogue. What were the characters feeling before the final battle to open the seal? In season 5, we knew what they felt. Terror. Sadness. Xander proposed! Spike was invited back into the house. It was very, very gripping/touching. It was great.

What are they doing before the final battle with the FE and vamps? Playing D & D? Give me a break.

Buffy announces that she loves Spike? My question: Since when? It should have been a BIG DEAL. If it had not been for the vanquishing your demons theme, I think his response should have been: "I know." And it seems to me that if she truly loved Spike, she would have felt more of a loss at his death. (But no, she is too excited at finally having a future! Ingrate!)

And Spike's last moments could have been so much bigger. For once, he is REALLY being used as an instrument of GOOD. And he was happy about it.

It could have been so much better if they had had him talk about what he was feeling before the final battle (or even earilier in the season). Now that he had a soul, what were his desires (aside from Buffy). Did he want to try to atone? Did he long to go to Heaven? To truly have God love him and forgive him (see him hugging the cross at season opener). Did he want his chance to save the world? Did he want his pain to be over? But, no, they never bothered to explore that.

Finally I will go back to my old standby. Poor, inferior Writing.

I wish they had stopped with Season 5.

That is my $ .02. I am sorry if it offends anyone.

[> For some reason....... -- Walking Turtle, 12:34:59 05/21/03 Wed

For some reason this post reminds me of the student who told his his parents he "did't learn nothing" from his class professor [me] -- His parents were mollified when I told them what "did't learn nothing" meant.

Clearly this post is satire!!!!!!!!!!!!! For example, Spike knocked down the Sunnydale sign....Again

[> Re: Opinion of Buffy Series Final- -- sdev, 22:32:27 05/21/03 Wed

Great analysis. Too much ambivalence in many characters till the final moments. Felt contrived and emotionally untrue. I sort of felt this coming by Touched because too many things were still up in the air at that late date. I wish they had done this episode the week before and had a wrap up a-la Season 4 for the series finale.

Plus the cookie dough analogy made me cringe.

[> [> Agreeing- -- Spike Lover, 08:28:43 05/22/03 Thu

Hated the cookie dough. Hated most of it as it was EMOTIONALLY AND LOGICALLY UNTRUE.

We could have all been weeping and gnashing our teeth, like I did at the end of Season 2 or Season 5. But this was just- horrible.

I am SO ANGRY THAT THEY KILLED ANYA. With not much said before and not much said afterward.

THEY TRULLY RESOLVED NOTHING, BUT THEY LET MANY CHARACTERS OFF THE HOOK. (Kind of like allowing the surviving duo to escape to Mexico last season.)

I am looking to the future now. Wondering what I will be doing on Tuesday nights now, after so many years of spending them at home.

Hoping that there will be more of Wesley and Lilah in next season's Angel.


It's official, we're intellectuals (farewell to Buffy from The Independent Review, slight spoilery) -- Celebaelin, 12:35:03 05/21/03 Wed

The front covers shows a gravestone with the following words on it





Farewell Buffy and fangs for the memories by Boyd Tonkin

[> Do you think he was referring to ATPo?? -- Masq, 12:52:50 05/21/03 Wed

yet one of my favourite websites explains the presiding themes of Western philosophy through the twists of Buffy's plot and the foibles of its characters.

Unclear from other things he says in the text and the lack of linkage.

[> [> Re: Do you think he was referring to ATPo?? -- Celebaelin, 13:14:31 05/21/03 Wed

That's how it sounded to me but you can't be 100% certain obviously. My understanding is that ED will not be reprising Faith in the near future and I hadn't read that JE quote before so whilst I suspect that Mr. Tonkin is a visitor here, or possibly even a poster, he has other sources apart from ATPo.


[> [> I have that stuck on my pinboard in my office! -- Rahael, 14:27:32 05/21/03 Wed

That front cover - my co-workers cut it out and gave the article to me! They always save Buffy articles for me, but this was the best one I've been given.

I'm pretty sure it was you Masq - I can't think of any other site which fits the bill, especially the way he puts it.

[> [> [> I considered "Above the Law" -- Masq, 14:49:26 05/21/03 Wed

A Brit site, after all, and it does talk metaphysics, etc., in addition to legal issues.

*urgh* I wish they'd included a link. I could very possibly be doubling my hits even now.

Of course, today being the day after the last ep of Buffy, my site is already doubling its usual hits. People need to commiserate.

[> [> [> [> Naw, it's all you -- d'Herblay, 15:40:42 05/21/03 Wed

[O]ne of my favourite websites explains the presiding themes of Western philosophy through the twists of Buffy's plot and the foibles of its characters.

(Emphasis mine.)

Above The Law in its classic form took its shape as an anthology of essays; your site, on the other hand, is specifically organized episode by episode, following the "twists of Buffy's plot," with separate analyses of the "foibles of its characters" (sometimes two or three, when one factors in the "good of . . . ", "evil of . . . ", and "moral ambiguity of . . . " sections). It's you. It's all you.

I suppose that one could desire clearer confirmation than my assurances. Boyd Tonkin, the author of the article in question, has a paper in Fighting the Forces; perhaps he has a bibliography that will make clear his debt to you. Anyone want to check?

[> [> [> [> [> Oh, also, if I recall correctly . . . -- d'Herblay, 15:43:13 05/21/03 Wed

. . . Boyd Tonkin was Boke!

Ok, I'm just kidding on that one.

[> [> [> [> [> [> A bit paranoid are we? -- Masq, 15:52:17 05/21/03 Wed

Boke, aquaman (mentioned in your LJ). We know you are the god of (ATPo) Trolls, but now you're saying one of them has posted praise of my website in a well-known British publication?

Can't happen. ; )

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Just saying that . . . -- d'Herblay, 16:12:19 05/21/03 Wed

. . . perhaps I should be a little more circumspect in classifying people as trolls -- one never knows who they'll grow into!

Seriously, though, when I decided that Tonkin was definitely referring to your site, I began to wonder whether or not he'd ever been here (it's not a definite correspondence, reading your site and reading the board -- I came to ATPo regularly for two years before I ever clicked on the "Discussion Board" link). We have such a limited number of British posters, I can't imagine he's here now, not revealing himself. (I don't think he's either KdS or TCH, and slain has an alibi. I've completely eliminated the possibility that he's Rahael.) So I'm left wondering if he lurks here, or if he visited the board once and didn't like what he saw, or, thought with much trepidation, we scared him away.

(On the other hand, "Boyd Tonkin," "Jim Boke Tomlin" -- there's a certain assonance!)

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Well, I'd be flattered -- Masq, 16:20:43 05/21/03 Wed

A literary editor and all that....

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Or.. er... -- Masq, 16:28:54 05/21/03 Wed

I'd be flattered if he came to the board, I AM flattered he likes my site.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Giggling evilly -- Tchaikovsky, 16:37:55 05/21/03 Wed

I don't think he's either KdS or TCH.

Well, I have several times claimed to be an undergraduate student near Birmingham doing a maths degree, but that could have all been a devious aquaman-esque ploy to see how the responses to my posts changed. I can now exclusively reveal that I am TCH, KdS, Rahael, d'Herblay and Masq! Bet you didn't see that coming...

I've completely eliminated the possibility that he's Rahael.


TCH- who, to quell any rumours, is an entirely one-nickname poster. Any resemblance to posting styles of people alive or dead is entirely co-incidental, (although I do occasionally pretend to be one of the cool posters, who doesn't?)

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Well, then, in the spirit of Sophist's thread . . . -- d'Herblay, 07:17:18 05/22/03 Thu

. . . I'd like to thank TCH for being everyone and being here and providing us with such humor and insight and pathos and erudition and just good times. I particularly remember such works by TCH (under various names) as "Oil is the lifeblood of your car!" and the Dawn character analyses, and the Super-Evil reviews, and the Season 6 comparison of metaphors on Buffy and Angel, and the entire memes thread, and all the explications of Buddhism, Joseph Campbell, Gnosticism, Hawaiian culture, evolutionary psychology and Deep Space Nine. I don't know what I would do without TCH, but I know that it would be a little less bright, a little less joyous.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> That's the way -- Tchaikovsky, 11:09:39 05/22/03 Thu

Except you're me, which means I'm complimenting myself, and it's all just horribly hollow. I'm thinking I shouldn't re-watch 'Normal Again' any time soon.

And seriously, I agree with your love of all that stuff, and hooray for AtPo.


[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> It does sound like pseudonym -- Celebaelin, 18:29:01 05/21/03 Wed

This thought crossed my mind at a gentle saunter when I posted earlier, tonking is a slang word for huge, as in "there is this tonkin' great discussion board". Boyd? Boyed? Bouyed? None of this means that Boyd Tonkin is not the guys' real name however. The style is not recognisably similar to aquaman's to my mind but it could be him, he needn't be filing from the UK to be published in a British newspaper of course. I'm pretty sure adjusting his style for the publication of a review article would be well within his capabilities. One can only speculate. At any rate the article is affectionate and the use of a nom-de-plume doesn't necessarily imply any hostile manipulative motivation (I'm tempted to reveal my Christian name at this point, but I'm not actually going to for some unfathomable reason).


[> Yes, I think it referred to the rest of you! :> -- WickedBuffy, 13:29:41 05/21/03 Wed

Impressions on Chosen, power, choices, flipping the board (spoilers 7.22) -- s'kat, 13:05:50 05/21/03 Wed

What to say about this episode? How to add to what has already been said? Probably not forgive me if I repeat what's been said below.

The ending didn't surprise me. Actually it was very close in some ways to what I'd already pictured in my head, believe it or not. I had three scenerios and the one I got, while not perfect, was the best of the three. (I'm Not telling my other two - so don't ask.;-))

Nor was it my favorite season finale - that is still Becoming Parts I&II. Why? Because, they were the tightest, the most layered and advanced every single character, they were also the most tragic. Close second is probably Restless followed by the Gift.

But I did like Chosen. I liked it's message - of the empowerment of the human spirit, of female empowerment, of choosing our own destiney and sharing that power, and not having to make it work with some guy or gal before we're ready. That love can be more than "romantic love", that it's not limited to that. I loved what Buffy said to Angel in this episode - it's what I've been trying to say for weeks, yet having troubles making myself understood.
"I'm unbaked cookie dough - I'm not done yet - not ready to make it work with some guy, nor do I have to - I want to figure out who I am first...if that's okay with you." Ie. Spike is in my heart, along with you's not about who's my boyfriend or who I'll have kids with...I'm not there right now. I don't know when I will be. (Makes sense...she is only 22 after all and she's spent most of her life slaying demons. Now she can finally focus on other things.)

Amulets and Scythe's.

Caroline posted recently about male/female dichotimes. (Please forgive me Caroline - if I garble or misunderstand any of what you said in your posts - I didn't print them off and/or save them so this is purely by memory.) Anyways - in it, if memory serves, she mentioned how for the female power - we needed a masculine counter-point. (I think I got that right) Throughout the series Spike has been Buffy's masculine counter-point or shadow. Even as early as Season 2, he seemed to be her foil - his actions contrasted with hers. In Becoming he helps her save the world echoing her desire to bring back the lover. But she must kill hers, he carries his away unconscious. She saves the world in spite of her lover. He saves the world because of his lover.
(That's in Becoming). Now years later - we have Buffy and Spike saving the world again. Except it is very different this time - it's no longer about past lovers or new ones. It's about something bigger than that. She does it through sharing her power with others - making it so she is not the only one out there. Not the one girl in all the world.

In the previous episode, End of Days - Faith and Buffy discuss how they are alone. That in all the world it is their burden alone to carry and how it isolates them.

A comment that is ironically echoed by the FE/Buffy in the basement. A comment that sounds eerily like Buffy herself in Selfless and countless other episodes. And it is in that moment she has her epiphany, what if I'm not the only one?
What if...I flip over the board?

Remember Gunn's line to Fred in Inside Out?

Fred: Will it make a difference? If we are really are just pieces being moved around a board.

Gunn: Then we kick it over and start a new game......Look, monochrome can yap all he wants about no-names cosmic plan. ......The final score can't be rigged. I don't care how many players you greased. That last shot always comes up a question mark. But here's the thing......You never know when you're taking it. It could be when you're duking it out with the Legion of Doom. Or just crossing the street deciding where to have brunch. So you just treat it all like it was up to you. The World in the Balance...cause you never know when it is.

The SG's final act together is playing Dungeons and Dragons on a game board. Buffy's final realization with the FE is that she's been playing by the Watcher Council's rules.

The rule-book says she fights alone. She is the slayer.
But Buffy has never played by the rules, if she thinks about it. Not once in her entire life. And that's why she's gonna win.

So she flips over the board and looks at the chess pieces and asks the question - Do you want to play the game? You get to choose. She doesn't treat them like pawns or minions or soliders. She treats them like slayers. She makes all her pawns queens.

Same with Spike. Buffy nor Angel make Spike play. Buffy in fact tells Spike that they don't know what the amulet does, it could be volatile. But Spike is willing to take the risk, even if he's not quite as confident about being called champion - "I've been called a lot of things in my time but Champion has never been one of them.."

The irony of the Spike and amulet story is well Angel.
If it weren't for Angel - Spike would not exist. He wouldn't be a vampire. HE wouldn't have ever come to Sunnydale. He wouldn't have fallen for Buffy. HE wouldn't have gotten a soul. And he wouldn't have saved the world.
If Angel did not exist - William would have probably died of TB back in 1880s. So Angel does not negate Spike - Angel informs Spike - Spike is both the result of Angel's greatest sin and a triumphe...of Angel's example. Nor for that matter does what happened to Spike in any way negate Angel or his journey...if anything it informs it...Spike shows Angel what being a champion is and isn't. What it means to be human. The truly selfless act of no pride, just humility. Pure humility and courage and selflessness - the act of the tragic hero as opposed to anti-hero.

"I've never been called a champion before..."
"I can feel's really there, kinda stings."

"I love you." Buffy tells him. Spike responds:" No you don't, but thanks for saying it."

Even though Angel never sees it. They inform each other, they are to one another what Faith and Buffy are. Foils.
And if it weren't for Angel it would never have happened.
Angel brought the amulet. Angel does for Spike what Willow did for Angel in Orpheus - he gives Spike a means of illuminating his soul. The fact it was al the more important. And Angel's act is a selfless one, since he could have forced Buffy to accept him as the champion, but he doesn't. He respects her enough to let her make the choice. Even if it isn't him...for whatever reason she chooses. (Great performance by Boreanze by the way - boy did he deserve that Saturn.)

Spike let Buffy go. Finally. His last words were in an odd way an echo of hers to him last season. Where he insisted she loved him and she said she didn't. Or all the times he told her he loved her and she said he didn't. This round, he calmly looked at her and told her...that she didn't but that was please go so he can do what he needs to do.

The female power was to share. The male was to cleanse.
Spike's soul cleansed Sunnydale of it's evil. Cleansing purifying power. As Angel states about the amulet:"Translation is uh...not great, it's supposed to cleanse purify and there's scrubbing bubbles."
And Spike echoes: "You beat them back, now leave me to clean things up."

Funny...I keep thinking of all the Fray posts where the Watchers set themselves on fire - to be cleansed. And then I think of the Shanshu Prophecy that Wolfram and Hart had in their keeping. Where a vampire with a soul will be on one side of the apocalypse and will make a choice, by giving up what he wants most in the world - he will die and by dying live.

Wesley after a beat: "I think I know what it means."
Cordy: "A very wealthy man with just - no life at all?"
Wesley: "No. The word in the scroll."
He goes into Angel's office and the others follow.
Cordy: "That shoe shine thing?"
Wesley: "Shanshu." "If it isn't Phygian but instead descends from the ancient Magyar's then its root is proto-Ugaric. In which case it would mean..."
Cordy: "What?"
Wesley at his book: "Death."
Cordy: "But you said it was all about the vampire with the soul. (Wesley looks at her then they both look at Angel, who is reading his book as if he hadn't even heard Wesley) Angel's going to die?"

Wesley: "It's probably years off - ah, after the coming battles."
Cordy: "My raise?"
Wesley: "Apocalyptic prophecies aren't exactly a science. And-and I could be way off the mark, so - no reason to be concerned."

Wesley looking at his books: "Ah - oops. - I may have made a tiny mistake. (Angel sets the cup of blood down and gets up) The word Shanshu that I said meant you were going to die? Actually I think it means that you are going to live."
Cordy: "Okay, as tiny mistakes go - that's not one!"
Wesley: "Shanshu has roots in so many different languages. The most ancient source is the Proto-Bantu and they consider life and death the same thing, part of a cycle, only a thing that's not alive never dies. It's- it's saying - that you get to live until you die. - It's saying - it's saying you become human."
Cordy: "That's the prophecy?"
Wesley: "Ah, the vampire with a soul, once he fulfills his destiny, will Shanshu. Become human. - It's his reward."
Cordy: "Wow. Angel, human."
Angel: "That'd be nice."
Cordy: "Wait. What's that thing about him having to fulfill his destiny first?"
Wesley: "Well, it's saying that it won't happen tomorrow or the next day. He has to survive the coming darkness, the apocalyptic battles, a few plagues, and some - uh, several, - not that many - fiends that will be unleashed."

This of course does not mean only one vampire will shanshue. Or that Spike has. But one wonders. After all...isn't that what happened with the amulet and didn't W&H give the amulet to Angel? And W&H were the ones with the shanshu scroll? I don't know. These ME prophecies have multiple interpretations - just look how they inverted the whole the father will kill the son thing.

Not sure it matters in light of Chosen. Because chosen is about the human spirit. Anya who chooses to stay - not for Xander, but for herself. She chooses to go out fighting for the lame humans and her death is without fan fair. Unlike The Gift - she doesn't die to save Xander. Unlike Graduation Day...she doesn't leave town to save herself. She fights because its worthwhile. And in a thousand years? She may have finally found herself, besides her male counter-part Andrew.

Each person in this episode chooses their fate. Spike chooses to wear the amulet, an amulet he knows very little about - next to nothing. That was brought to Buffy by a man/vampire he doesn't trust. But he trusts in her and himself and chooses to wear it even though it scares him. And when the light shining from his soul burns, he endures it, he doesn't take off the trinket, he doesn't give up...he goes out laughing. Just as he once long ago in School Hard killed the hope of all vampires - laughing. Spike finally found his glowing moment - he finally became effulgent. The irony of it must have hit him - hence the laughter.

I agree with Rufus' post below - saying sorry means very little to the dead. It does not bring them back. Spike could not have honored poor Nikki, the Chinese Slayer, or all the others he killed more than by allowing his soul to consume the pure uber-vamps and his vampire body as well. People posted how they wanted him to ritually burn his black jacket - in an odd way he did. He lit it up from within. It's not words that count sometimes so much as actions. And Spike has always been an action sort of guy.

Anya chooses to stay and fight even though she's terrified. And Andrew is right, she did save his life. She died saving someone who she would have at one point killed without a thought. Someone who had become a friend.

Willow choose to connect others - to feel the connection. And spread the power. Instead of taking power - she gave it. She shared it. Remember in Get it Done - how she takes power from Kennedy and Anya to get the portal open. She believes that's how her power works - to take and her hair turns black, her eyes become black - just like Caleb's who similarly sees power as a taking - a prize. But in the high-school, Willow does something else - she channels the power through herself to others - she doesn't take - she channels it and spreads it out across the world. Giving every woman the choice to be empowered, to stand up on their own, to be whomever or whatever they choose to become.

Faith chooses to fight alongside Buffy and share the power. And Buffy, gets the same wound to her belly that she gave Faith ages ago in Graduation Day. She gives Faith her ax and Faith swings the scythe/ax to Rona and they share it, since it belongs to them all. And Buffy looks up into the face of FE in the guise of herself and forces it back - realizing once and for all, the FE only has the power she gives it.

It's all about power...that's true. But it's also about how we choose to use that power.
How we choose to share it. By giving Spike the amulet and telling him - he is a champion - she finally allows her shadow to come into the light, she allows him to shine.
And by doing so...she enters the next stage of her journey, exiting the darkness and entering the light. By empowering Spike, she empowers herself. And in a sense they both shanshu - Buffy shanshus by spreading her power to others so she no longer has to be the lone slayer in the night, isolated, the law, she can as her sister and Faith tell her, be anything she desires - the future is now an open-book with no clear expiration date.
And Spike shanshus by embracing the essence of his soul - the soul he may have gotten in the Bantu region of Africa (although the shooting script said Luganda), he becomes more than he was - the redeeming light of his soul amplified a million times over in the diamond face of the amulet - cleanses and purifies pulling the hellmouth and all that surrounds it in on itself and extinguishing Spike's demonic body in the process. To reach that perfect state of "effulgence" - Spike dies. He dies to live. And Willow also shanshus - she changes her magic from black to sharing the power, she herself becomes empowered - a goddess. As Willow tells Buffy in the last scene : "We did more than save the world - we changed it." They flipped over the game board. Nothing will ever be the same now.

In a world of television series finales and messages - I'd say that is a worthy one and certainly memorable. Maybe not perfect. But nothing ever is.


Oh...some favorite gimmicks, for film buffs:
1. The use of the mirror in the bedroom - to see the group Buffy is speaking too. Reminded me of Francis Ford Coppola's use of Mirrors in Peggy Sue Got Married
2. The huge number of uber-vamps - cgi effect in the hellmouth - right out of the Two Towers - actually that whole war was Two Towers. With Spike in the role of Gandalf? Or Willow?
3. The light trick with Spike - reminded me of Lord of The Rings, Raiders of the Lost Arc, and another movie that is somewhere in my foggy brain but I can't grab hold of. Loved the light trick.

Also - loved the conversations with B/A, B/S, and W/F - great moments.

Hope all of that made sense. Sorry so rambly and disjointed.
Sort of how my thoughts have been since seeing the episode, rambly and disjointed.

Thanks for reading.

Agree? Disagree?


[> Don't know what to say - yes, yes. -- dream, terribly sad it's all over, 13:19:15 05/21/03 Wed

[> Re: Impressions on Chosen, power, choices, flipping the board (spoilers 7.22) -- rowena, 13:27:41 05/21/03 Wed

That was beautiful. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. However, they did make me cry on my keyboard, shorting it out and causing a small electrical fire that cast a glowing light on the ficus tree next to my desk ... fire bad, tree pretty ... but it was worth it. I'm serious about your beautiful words, though. They perfectly express the essence of the show.

[> Re: Impressions on Chosen, power, choices, flipping the board (spoilers 7.22) -- MaeveRigan, 13:28:41 05/21/03 Wed

"And Spike shanshus by embracing the essence of his soul - the soul he may have gotten in the Bantu region of Africa (although the shooting script said Luganda), he becomes more than he was..."

"Luganda" is a Bantu language, spoken by the Baganda people of Uganda.

As for the rest of what you said, it makes all kinds of sense and I most definitely agree. Thank you!

[> Fabulous as always -- Dochawk, 13:28:48 05/21/03 Wed

[> Excellent...*sniffle* I got a little teary reading this post... -- Belladonna, 13:44:57 05/21/03 Wed

[> Re: Impressions on Chosen, power, choices, flipping the board (spoilers 7.22) -- leslie, 14:11:38 05/21/03 Wed

Still mulling this over. But in addition to your gimmicks, did you notice that the only two people you see sleeping in this episode are the ones who die?

I was thinking yesterday afternoon that the reason Buffy and Spike make such a perfect pair (not in the romantic sense) is that she embodies the principle of order and he embodies the principle of chaos, and so the tension between the two of them basically encompasses the whole of the human condition. Buffy's job is to patrol the boundaries of the human and demon worlds; Spike insists on standing with one foot on either side of the boundary, not fully human, but never fully demonic, either. (Angel, I would argue, can't really decide which side of the boundary he belongs on--he wants to be on the human side, but always deep down suspects that he is irrevokably on the demon side. This is why Angelus is always lurking within him and threatening to burst out, while Spike remains Spike even when he is Williamish and William even when he is Spikey.)

So I think it is interesting that it is Spike who closes the Hellmouth, drawing a permanent line between the human and demon worlds, establishing the ultimate boundary, but does so through the complete annihilation of the human town and the demonic underworld. It is in many ways the apotheosis of the Trickster as culture hero, destroying--often without really knowing what he is getting into--so that a new beginning can arise out of chaos.

[> [> Wow... nice post!! You too, sk! -- ponygirl (lock Voy lock!), 14:18:43 05/21/03 Wed

[> [> Yes...yes...Anya/Spike comparison(spoilers 7.22) -- s'kat, 14:52:19 05/21/03 Wed

Oh...very good pick-up leslie. Yes, it is an episode that requires lots of mulling.

But in addition to your gimmicks, did you notice that the only two people you see sleeping in this episode are the ones who die?

Yes, I did notice it. But didn't think about it. And I should have. Because it is so important. Spike and Anya - our two demons. The chaotic pair for Xander and Buffy.

Interesting. Xander's first real girlfriend/love: Cordelia ends up in love with and involved with Buffy's first boyfriend/love Angel. Angel and Cordy are alike in the same way Spike and Anya are. Angel can't decide which side to be on and this year? Neither could Cordy. Both in a way representing the pros and cons of going to either extreem.
JAsmine/White!Cordelia being the ultimate in order...the Beast/Angelus the ultimate in chaos.

Anya - causes chaos as a vengeance demon yet yearns for order/stability. But her vengeance does anything but.

Spike - causes chaos as Spike, yet as William years for orderly flow of words and rhymes.

When no one else can sleep, when everyone else is awake with chaotic thoughts, Anya and Spike are restful. Sleeping. And Anya and Spike are the ones who make the sacrifice.

Buffy's job is to patrol the boundaries of the human and demon worlds; Spike insists on standing with one foot on either side of the boundary, not fully human, but never fully demonic, either. (Angel, I would argue, can't really decide which side of the boundary he belongs on--he wants to be on the human side, but always deep down suspects that he is irrevokably on the demon side. This is why Angelus is always lurking within him and threatening to burst out, while Spike remains Spike even when he is Williamish and William even when he is Spikey.)

So I think it is interesting that it is Spike who closes the Hellmouth, drawing a permanent line between the human and demon worlds, establishing the ultimate boundary, but does so through the complete annihilation of the human town and the demonic underworld. It is in many ways the apotheosis of the Trickster as culture hero, destroying--often without really knowing what he is getting into--so that a new beginning can arise out of chaos.

Yes, I agree with this. And it is so consistent with his character - from the very beginning we see him knocking over the Welcome to Sunnydale sign. The Mayor who loves order - tells Trick to get rid of Spike immediately when Spike drunkenly returns to town in Lover's Walk - realizing Spike's chaotic presence could greatly disrupt his plans.
Just as it disrupted Angelus. As the Mayor states "So I hear we have a Spike problem. He was up to all sorts of mischief last year...we never knew what he was going to do." And neither does the audience. HE's the wild card in the deck or the chess piece that can move in any direction.
No wonder the FE tried to take him out early on.

But Anya is also a tricky card. We never knew which way she'd go. The female equivalent of Spike. Representative of the chaotic influence of vengeance. Perhaps the reason she dies fighting for Andrew and without too much fan fair is that vengeance has's no longer in the air? Andrew - who the SG felt feelings of vengeance towards in the beginning of the year, has been forgiven. Anya's chaotic power came from vengeance...but since vengeance is gone...she fights for love...and dies, ironically defending the very person she at one time may have destroyed.

Perhaps the reason both they are no longer chaotic? They've grown up, finally. And are now at rest?

Anyways great post leslie. And great pick up.


[> [> [> Posts like these are why I love this board! -- Cheryl, 16:00:16 05/21/03 Wed

Excellent posts all around. I've watched the episode twice now and am still picking up on subtle bits and pieces. Didn't catch that it was the two sleeping beauties who later died. And loved SK's piece about Spike and effulgent!

I haven't had time to read all the posts here, so not sure if this has come up already, but what exactly did Spike say when he was dreaming? I thought it sounded something like "I'm drowning in shoes." :-)

[> [> [> [> Re: Posts like these are why I love this board! -- leslie, 16:12:24 05/21/03 Wed

Possibly all those shoes that Buffy is feeling the lack of, hence the planned trip to the mall.

[> [> [> [> Drowning in footwear -- dub ;o), 18:06:28 05/21/03 Wed

[> [> [> One [tiny] quibble... -- dub ;o), 18:17:54 05/21/03 Wed

I mentioned this in chat last night and at least one other person agreed with me [thanks, Ran!]--I believe that Anya died fighting with Andrew, i.e. by his side, rather than for him, i.e. to save his life.

I watched that scene and the ending a few times last night. It appears that Andrew saved himself from the fella he was fighting with. Anya was actually no where near him when she was practically cleaved in two, from behind. That's part of the irony of the whole thing...she didn't see it coming, it was instantaneous, she dropped where she stood, and Xander couldn't even see her corpse lying there amongst the others. It was a completely senseless death, as deaths so often are.

Then the beauty part...Xander asks Andrew what happened to Anya as they're leaving the bus. Andrew at first answers honestly, that he doesn't know, he didn't see...and then we see him pause for a moment and come to a decision. At that point he tells Xander that Anya died to save his life. It almost makes me cry again to write about it like that. Andrew, the previously completely self-centered, non-empathetic, oblivious geek deliberately lies to Xander for no purpose other than to make him feel that his ex-fiance didn't die in vain. Andrew does something good, something nice, for someone else.

Damn, I love Joss Whedon!

dub ;o)

[> [> [> [> Ah, and yet... -- Tchaikovsky, 18:42:27 05/21/03 Wed

...he's still telling his story of what happened, not the real life event. Andrew's decision was lovely, but he is still casting himself as a narrator of Anya's story. He's still 'Storyteller'. Old habits die hard, hey?

Incidentally, not at all meaning to argue that he didn't do a beautiful thing, just that there are layers going on.


[> [> [> [> [> I didn't see that, but it's so true -- dub ;o), 19:00:38 05/21/03 Wed

If there's any difference it's only in the fact that Andrew took the time to decide to tell the story this way. In the past it's seemed almost automatic for him to adapt reality to fit his fantasies...he does it instantaneously.

The impression I get of the conversation with Xander is that Andrew is slightly in shock and caught up with his own issues, as usual, wondering why he's still alive, and the truth pops out of him instead of a fabrication. Then he consciously realizes that a fabrication would be kinder than the truth. I don't think that has been his motivation before so we are in agreement there!

;o) dub

[> [> [> [> He's still a storyteller -- lunasea, 19:18:25 05/21/03 Wed

This time he uses his power for good.

Great pickup

[> [> [> [> [> Um...thanks...and I'd just like to say... -- dub, 19:33:26 05/21/03 Wed

I thought your Jung/Campbell colouring book analogy was right on.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Thanks right back at ya -- lunasea, 19:41:36 05/21/03 Wed

Sometimes it is hard to put these things into words.

[> [> [> [> Good catch... -- sk, 19:54:41 05/21/03 Wed

I think Anya's death seeming so pointless...just bugged me, so I keep trying to remember it with more grandeur.

She did save Andrew by the way - right before. Two vamps came at them, she pushed him back and took them. Then there was more fighting. Then the bringer slashed her from behind.
Ah...a wicked death, realistic...yes. But would I be horrible in wishing Anya a more fitting tribute?

[> [> [> [> [> How legend and myth begins.... -- Rufus, 22:41:02 05/21/03 Wed

Anya died in a horrible way and some complained that it was senseless.....but jeeze isn't all death like that senseless? But enter Andrew...he is a storyteller...he doesn't let the mundane truth get in the way, he is able to take what seemed to be senseless and put it into a palatable context. Anya died a senseless death, but so did any of the potentials who died. Where the difference is gets down to Andrew. Before he was telling stories that were irritating because they were so self-centered...what made his Storytelling in Chosen easier to take was that instead of total fiction or twisting a lie (Warren and his killing of Jonathon) to look heroic, Andrew took the truth and made it more grand, and it wasn't all about him or living as Gods was about willing sacrifice told from the perspective of someone who participated in the battle instead of sitting it out from a safe vantage point. Andrew could have gone on about how heroic he was, instead he wanted to talk about the person he had come to see as the perfect woman..Anya. And this time someone thought his words were worth listening to.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Brilliant, Ruf! Totally forgot about the "Storyteller" connection there, and how Andrew's evolved. -- Rob, 07:50:30 05/22/03 Thu

[> "Aliens", "The Matrix: Reloaded", and "Chosen" -- Finn Mac Cool, 14:36:52 05/21/03 Wed

When we first saw the Turok-Han army in "Get It Done", it very much reminded me of "The Two Towers". I even thought they were orcs for a second. However, the final battle in "Chosen" reminded me of something else altogether.

"Alien": An alien life form gets aboard a space ship and starts terrorizing the crew. It seems impervious to all of their weapons and wipes most of them out, until a final, ardous confrontation manages to destroy it.

"The Matrix": The freed humans battle against the Agents, computer programs designed to keep the Matrix running. It is emphasized how dangerous they are. Morpheus says that everyone who's ever stood their ground against an Agent has died, and later he's taken prisoner by a solitary Agent, even though he beat Neo, the "One", in combat earlier in the film. In the end, Neo ends up in several standoffs when battling Agent Smith, the lead Agent, and only manages to destroy him near the end.

"Bring on the Night"/"Showtime": The Turok-Han is freed and it appears to be a truly enormous menace. Giles calls it the vampire that other vampires fear. It beats up Buffy, quickly kills one of the potentials, and manages to break through Willow's defensive shield. It takes a very grueling battle before Buffy is able to kill it.

Now, look at the respective sequels:

"Aliens": The surviving member of the original spaceship and a new crew, equipped with state of the art weapons, land on the original alien's homeworld to fight and kill thousands of them.

"The Matrix: Reloaded": Only three Agents appeared in the original "Matrix", and Smith was the only one to be destroyed/defeated. In the sequel, there are now about a hundred clones of Agent Smith, and Neo, now fully tapped into his "One" powers, defeats them all in battle.

"Chosen": Buffy and the new Slayers battle a horde of literally a thousand Turok-Han and manage to kick their asses, much better than they did when just one super vampire was rampaging around Sunnydale.

"Chosen" illustrated a good action movie gimmick: if you've got a villain in the first movie that's really powerful and fear inspiring, and the hero just barely manages to defeat him, in the sequel, bring back a hundred new copies of the villain and give the hero new powers to be able to butt-kick an army. As such, rather than "The Two Towers", "Chosen" reminded me of "Aliens" and "The Matrix: Reloaded" for their use of returning villains.

[> [> And Star Wars -- Jay, 20:38:55 05/21/03 Wed

Don't forget all the Jedi's going to battle in Attack Of The Clones, compared with all the Slayers taking on an overwhelming force.

[> Great post, as always. -- Dariel, 20:26:11 05/21/03 Wed

Especially liked your points about "turning the pawns into queens," turning the soldiers into slayers. I always had trouble with the "slayer walks alone" theme, and could never figure out why the CoW didn't provide the slayers with more back-up. Guess even the Watchers, and the Shadowmen before them, were watching too many cowboy movies, enthralled with the "lone gun" idea. Just knew that the show had to overturn this somehow, that female empowerment couldn't be about "lone" anything.

About those slayers: Although I know many people hated the Potentials, I always thought they acted like normal, scared teenage girls (whose lives were threatened at every turn by some creepy villains/monsters!). Given a little power, and they didn't hesitate to use it and fight. They weren't cowards--they just needed some real weapons.

[> Re: Impressions on Chosen, power, choices, flipping the board (spoilers 7.22) -- anom, 23:33:21 05/21/03 Wed

Really nice one, shadowkat. Too much to respond to, so I'll just pull out a couple of gems:

"She makes all her pawns queens."


"Spike finally found his glowing moment - he finally became effulgent." says: "from Latin effulgent-, effulgens, present participle of effulgEre to shine forth, from ex- + fulgEre to shine."

To shine forth. Boy, did he ever.

Warning: It's the negativity thread! (spoilers for Touched) -- ponygirl, 13:43:07 05/21/03 Wed

Who'd have thought Angel would be right when he said there was no third act? In some ways I feel that applies to this season. So many things were brought up early in the season, and not just in our wonderful over-analyzing way, but actual plot points that now seem to have been left behind, filed under red herring, or in an enormous room called What If. I really don't know what to do at this point, I didn't dislike the episode, not by a long shot, but I find that there's something lacking. I think of Becoming with the magnificent tragedy that had been building all season, or The Gift where so many disparate elements came together in perfection. I find that with Chosen I am left with grief but no catharsis.

I firmly believe in leaving us wanting more, but for me this is a bit too much. So many questions are left - they don't burn, but they do ache terribly:

What was the First's plan? Was it simply to raise an army, dominate the world, and somehow be made flesh? Why then would it not kill Buffy? What was it going to use Spike for? We came up with many ideas on the board about what the FE was and why and how it knew what it knew, but we never got any sort of confirmation. What's more we don't know what happened to the FE, it may not be able to be defeated but what happened to it? Here we had a villian who was literally never defined.

Buffy's plan - I agree with Rob that sharing her power was a wonderful thematic conclusion and powerfully done. However did she logically believe that her newly empowered army of thirty could take on thousands? And they couldn't, what ultimately saved the day was:

The amulet - I knew it was going to do something, but I didn't think it was going to do everything. Did Buffy know that it had that much power? Even the potential for that much power? The only information we had was that it was purifying or cleansing, some line about it maybe having the ability to close the Hellmouth would have prepared me a bit more for the massive deus ex machina.

And then there's the arcs:

Xander and Anya's arcs were lost long ago, it's sad but true. I can live with that but I needed one of those defining character moments, a chance for the glorified brick-layer to shine once more in a way that no one else could. As for Anya, I knew in my gut she was doomed, and I loved her raising of the sword for bunnies at last. But was this a resolution for her? What did it mean to her in that moment? Was it important that she finally joined the fight or was she just along for the ride up until her last moments?

Was the Buffy/Giles rift resolved simply because he liked her plan? I would have argued that much of Giles' behaviour this year came out of his very real despair and loss, but I have no idea what caused this to lift and Giles to revert to form.

Willow had resolution about her fear of loss of control, but was it only because she was able to tap into a good source of magic? Did she learn that she can handle the power or that she can handle only certain kinds of power? Wasn't it supposed to be all connected?

Spike got a fair amount of resolution, and the end of his relationship with Buffy was lovely, final spark and all. I just wonder why he said he felt his soul (hadn't he been feeling it early on in the year) and if we were supposed to see him finally moving past Buffy and sacrificing himself for a larger cause. Or was he love's bitch to the end, dying alone, and unloved? I like the idea that a part of him just wanted to see everything come crashing down, but mostly I'm just very sad...

And then there's Buffy. I loved the cookie dough analogy and the idea that Buffy doesn't yet know who she is. But she's been having trouble connecting to everybody, not just her boyfriends. She shared her power but did she truly connect? The Scoobie banter seemed a shadow of the past, the final jokes a little hollow. I can see the Scoobies walking down that school hallway, each going off in a different direction. It's growing up, but god it's sad.

There is a certain beauty in having an undefined villian and an undefined heroine, but this is the end I need some closure dammit! I wanted to connect once more to our heroine, who's hasn't shown anyone her heart in far too long. I loved Buffy's final smile as she contemplates the uncertain future but I know that she's actually looking into a huge hole. I know it because there's one in my heart.

Okay, that was maudlin as all get out and terribly negative (you were warned), but I'm feeling some serious mourning here and it's not getting any better.

[> Warning spoilers to Btvs 7.22 Chosen in above post!! -- s'kat, 13:47:16 05/21/03 Wed

And I'll respond in a minute. Just wanted to clear that up for the people who haven't seen the finale on the board.

[> Oh ack!! Sorry, sorry - spoilers for CHOSEN above!! -- ponygirl, losing her mind, 14:00:54 05/21/03 Wed

[> Some concurrence but less negativity (spoilers for Chosen!) -- Dariel, 14:33:20 05/21/03 Wed

I do agree about all of those unresolved plot points this season, especially about the FE. Although, my biggest gripe is about Willow's spell--that was mega-mojo, something that shouldn't just be whipped up over night. Glad there were no fawns involved, but it needed a lot more build-up and more suspense.

On Buffy, though, I feel rather good, which makes the rest less important. Although it wasn't perfect, I loved the final scene. To me, the wide-open space was the perfect setting for Buffy's (and the Scoobies) wide-open future. The burden of being the Chosen One is gone; now what she does with her life is up to her. The important thing is that she has regained what she lost at 15--the ability to make real choices about her life.

[> Re: Warning: It's the negativity thread! (spoilers for Touched) -- Simone, 15:00:09 05/21/03 Wed

I'm largely satisfied with the finale but still mulling most of it over so I wanted to touch only on the point that I do completely agree with you on: the ambiguity surrounding the First's plan.

I was complaining just yesterday about too much ambiguity on the show and this one was my main sore point. See, my theory is that TF's plan was to take over Buffy. Her body literally, her being metaphorically. It makes sense - Buffy's descent into alienation and power abuse, slowly overtaken by the darkest, coldest, nastiest bits of her unconscious (aka the First) due to her inability to truly explore said unconscious, come to terms with her shadow/Other/personal unconscious (aka Spike), see the potential for good as well as bad within it and, subsequently, start reconnecting with people. She's been taking small, superficial steps in the right direction all season but only intermittently and without really *meaning* it. She kept going into basements to find Spike but still told her friends (her conscious - Mind, Spirit & Heart) that it was just because she needed him in the fight. She kept trying to distance herself from it all, to make it about abstract duty, about some impersonal "mission," because, deep down, she still felt that what/who she was was ultimately WRONG. A killer. Dirty (that, I think, is what Caleb was meant to represent) and she was still desperately trying to hide that from her conscious mind. And the more she did that, the more alone she felt. It wasn't until "Touched" that her pattern changed in a significant way.

So, anyway, this is what I'm getting. But I'm well aware that there's precious little in the text to support this interpretation. There's Beljoxa's Eye saying that the Slayer is the weakness, there's Caleb merging with the First, there's mentions made about the First wanting to become corporeal and needing a "strong" body to withstand being taken over, etc. None of it is conclusive, though. And, assuming my interpretation is correct, I just don't understand why they couldn't have made the First's intentions more clear. Were they reluctant to make it more explicit that Buffy, the Hero, was in fact on the verge of being corrupted by her own power all season? Something else? I have no idea. But I'm finding it kinda' frustrating.

[> A bit of a rant (spoilers for "Chosen"; standard negativity warning) -- d'Herblay, 15:23:55 05/21/03 Wed

I too enjoyed "Chosen," but felt there was something missing: catharsis, or perhaps sublimity. So I'm largely in agreement with ponygirl. And I'm in agreement with Darby, who asks down the page somewhere, "Did this strike anyone else as a script from a very talented writer who barely had watched the shows this year?" I see the problems ponygirl points out as significant, but I don't see them as inherent to "Chosen" so much as arising out of what went before; it is as though "Chosen" is the cathartic, sublime finale that follows logically and satisfactorily on a season that was shown to some lucky alternate universe.

To take one example, Giles in "Chosen" was a joy -- "mystical strength of a doily"!; but he was definitely old skool Giles, not the enigmatic red herring that had been foisted on us all year. (I'll admit that the whole "Is Giles the First Evil?" question left me feeling manipulated. Was I really supposed to believe that a well-mannered Englishman with a touch of gallantry could live for weeks in a houseful of young women and never once open a door for someone?) I could accept Giles as he was in "Chosen" more readily had the writers not still been instilling doubts about his moral status up through "Touched," where he mysteriously slashes the Bringer's throat, and even unto "End of Days," where his attempts to convince Willow that she shouldn't fear her power can be seen as an attempt at corruption. Giles was so misused this season that to see him portrayed correctly seems like a continuity error.

Similarly, there must exist a season (either in an alternate universe or just in cjl's heart) in which Anya's decision to stand and fight is prepared for with suitable groundwork. "Bunnies. Floppy . . . hoppy . . . bunnies" is my choice for the most satisfying line of the episode; it would be more satisfying if she had been given similar lines in previous episodes.

Even the amulet would have come off better had we not just spent the last two episodes focused on the brand-spanking-new Glaive (errr . . . older-than-time-itself Scythe), which really didn't contribute all that much at all to the victory.

I realize that this might come across as criticism of season 7 -- that this might even seem to be bashing. But somewhere there is an alternate universe d'Herblay who is very happy with the season he got, and who has been as vocal in his enthusiasms as I have been reticent in my discontents.

I bet he's insufferable.

[> [> Making that wish... -- ponygirl, 16:03:42 05/21/03 Wed

Yes, that's it exactly! We had the perfect finale for a season that never quite was -- came close at times though, CwDP lingers like a gentle touch. You summed up my troubling "this doesn't quite fit" feelings very well -- and using proper grammar and spelling too, cool. I have enjoyed this season, but a large part of my enjoyment came out of my faith that in the end all the dots would connect, all the lines intersect. Maybe it was too much to ask for, but all that Potential -- not wasted, that's too harsh, but definitely lost somewhere on the road.

[> [> [> Re: Making that wish... -- aliera, 16:49:08 05/21/03 Wed

would you mind if I quote you in my blog, ponygirl?

[> [> [> [> Cool! -- ponygirl, 17:18:23 05/21/03 Wed

Quote away! If you want to send/post a link to your blog I'd love to read it.

[> [> Re: A bit of a rant (spoilers for "Chosen"; standard negativity warning) -- mundusmundi, 16:35:50 05/21/03 Wed

Yep, in a way, it was a alternate-universe-type Joss episode. Usually I find the whole of his stuff greater than the sum of the end of this cliched sentence. This time, I enjoyed the casual tossed-off moments much more than what they amounted to. Pardon the heresy (it's the Cathar in me), but there has always been, with Lord Whedon, a wee problem with glibness. Oftentimes, his knack for it offers him an ingenious sense of a shorthand, making a point in one or two quick lines what it takes the other writers several scenes to set up laboriously. On the other hand, it can also come across as callous. The fact is that nearly all of his written/directed episodes over the last few years ("Restless," "The Body," "OMWF") have been ambitious gimmicks -- brilliantly executed ambitious gimmicks, and wonderful to behold. But in the comparatively straightforward "The Gift" and "Chosen," he seems to have forgotten somewhat how to construct a simple story. It also seems to confirm what is palpable in his interviews -- that he's bored. Time for a breather, as he expressed in Salon the other day. He deserves it. I can't wait to see what he does after getting his second wind.

[> [> [> I'll Joss-bash! -- d'Herblay, 16:40:14 05/22/03 Thu

You are correct that when it comes to the engineering of storytelling, Joss is no perfectionist. He's not good with math, or history, or jotting little notes to himself like "Buffy's birthday falls on . . . " or "If Xander called Sweet, there might be repercussions." I'm not sure that he's incapable of constructing a simple story, though. There are a few recent Joss/Joss episodes you don't mention: "Lessons" and his two most recent Angel episodes, "Waiting in the Wings" and "Spin the Bottle." None of these strike me as being as riddled with plotholes as "Chosen" or "The Gift"; none of these strike me as particularly remarkable either (with "Spin the Bottle," I started wondering if Joss's talents had been surpassed by Rebecca Rand Kirshner's).

[> [> Re: A bit of a rant (spoilers for "Chosen"; standard negativity warning) -- fresne, 17:30:08 05/21/03 Wed

Yes, that's it exactly.

Just for the record. I enjoyed season 7. I loved Chosen. I haven't had a chance to review it, chew it yet. However, just for the image of two clasped, but burning hands, so evocative of Dante's poem of the burning heart, I would love it.

For dreams of shoes with their attendant soles, I would chortle. It was pure Joss and thus funny and exciting and beautiful.

It is not that it did not satisfy me, it was just, yes, the conclusion to a tighter season.

There was a moment when Kennedy and Willow were talking. It was tender and I liked Kennedy. Causing me to say, aloud during the episode, "I wish I'd met this person sooner." Because after weeks of trying very hard not to utterly loath her character, and for that matter wishing Caleb would get on with killing off a few Potentials, it was a bit cognitively dissonant to have them written likable.

No wait, I don't want them dead, I want them to have super powers. Check.

[> [> [> Re: A bit of a rant (spoilers for "Chosen"; standard negativity warning) -- d'Herblay, 17:46:27 05/21/03 Wed

There was a moment when Kennedy and Willow were talking. It was tender and I liked Kennedy. Causing me to say, aloud during the episode, "I wish I'd met this person sooner." Because after weeks of trying very hard not to utterly loath her character, and for that matter wishing Caleb would get on with killing off a few Potentials, it was a bit cognitively dissonant to have them written likable.

Definitely. Actually, being a contrarian, I liked Kennedy all the way through season 7 (Iyari Limon's status as a hot brunette helped -- hot brunettes can pretty much do anything in my book); the sudden onset of SIT-non-loathing was clearest in my case with Vi. Suddenly, what with the wirework and her masterful triage scene with Rona, I was struck by what charisma this character had, whereas previously I had just thought of her as the non-entity in the stupid hat.

[> [> [> [> Re: A bit of a rant (spoilers for "Chosen"; standard negativity warning) -- Alison, 20:03:48 05/21/03 Wed

I second that..or is that third?..anyway, I came to love the potentials, even KENNEDY, especially Vi..genius really, isn't it? Make us hate them, then like them at the last second, and feel guilty for wanting them dead. Pure Joss. So evil..but in a good way.

[> [> Anya and the Season that Wasn't -- cjl, 21:09:50 05/21/03 Wed

d'Herblay writes: "Similarly, there must exist a season (either in an alternate universe or just in cjl's heart) in which Anya's decision to stand and fight is prepared for with suitable groundwork. 'Bunnies. Floppy...hoppy... bunnies' is my choice for the most satisfying line of the episode; it would be more satisfying if she had been given similar lines in previous episodes."

You know, d'Herb, I read your post, especially the paragraph above, and I actually misted up. (I didn't even come close to doing that in the episode.) Agree with you on all counts. I wanted that alternate season, for Giles, for Xander--but especially for Anya. What a waste.

Geez, it's enough to drive a man to fanfic.

[> [> didn't contribute that much? doesn't that depend on how much you define...(spoilers for chosen) -- anom, 22:25:24 05/21/03 Wed

". . . the brand-spanking-new Glaive (errr . . . older-than-time-itself Scythe), which really didn't contribute all that much at all to the victory."

..."victory"? True, even though several different Slayers used it in the battle under the Seal, relatively few übervamps were slain with it. But the real victory was far wider, as women all over the world found new strength because of the Scythe (glaive, whatever) used not as a weapon but as a power source (conduit, whatever). As Willow said, "We changed the world!" I'd say that was all that much.

[> [> [> argh! how'd i do that...i meant "*how* you define"! -- anom, 00:38:03 05/22/03 Thu

[> [> [> Re: didn't contribute that much? doesn't that depend on how much you define...(spoilers for chosen) -- d'Herblay, 15:47:59 05/22/03 Thu

I'm easily convinced that the "scythe" was integral to Willow's spell; I'm also steadfast in my belief that it was extraneous to the story. Had Joss written "Chosen" so that Willow was able to empower all the potentials through just her own magical strength, or using the power already in Buffy or Faith, or with some sort of just-discovered mystical doily, I would have been just as satisfied. As it was, were there a bit of exposition or a line of dialogue which conveyed that the "scythe" was necessary to the spell, it did not penetrate my skull. Never did I say, "They're going to empower all the slayers? They'll need the 'scythe' for that!" That is what I mean by it not contributing.

[> [> [> [> The contribution of the scythe -- skyMatrix, 16:15:16 05/22/03 Thu

Of course the main reason for the scythe is Joss' desire to tie in with Fray, which I guess can be looked at as "cool" or "self-indulgent" depending on one's own viewpoint. "End of Days" associates the scythe with the feminine overseeing power of the Guardians. Some people (elsewhere mostly) have indignantly demanded how the rape-like instatement of Slayer power by the Shadowmen can be wrong yet it's right when Buffy diffuses this power to young women everywhere. The difference for me is that she does it through this symbol of feminine power rather than on the Shadowmens' terms and through their methods. To me, that is important. Did the Guardian say anything that would lead us to believe the scythe could be used in such a way? Not at all. For the sake of the story, should she have? I wouldn't think so, wouldn't that give the game away? I wouldn't call it completely logical, but I don't think logic is the foremost concern. I'm not making a blanket excuse of everything, but I believe this bit works anyway.

[> A suggestion about Anya -- Sophist, 16:41:36 05/21/03 Wed

I thought her end was the perfect coda: she died doing something truly, nobly Selfless.

I agree with your point about Giles. That has bothered me, but not enough to spoil a good season. I think the rest of your concerns have been addressed (to my satisfaction, anyway) in other posts below. Caroline's, in particular, are excellent.

[> "The Charge of the Malcontent's Brigade" (by 3strikes from BC&S) -- cjl (illegally importing), 11:14:03 05/22/03 Thu

This is a review of "Chosen" by 3strikes, one of the most eloquent and malcontented posters on the Buffy Cross and Stake board. His bitterness over S7 is unrivaled--I don't agree with most of what he says in this review, and I've had to clean up some of the rabies-infected foam before I could bring it over. But he makes a number of good points, and his review deserves serious consideration when evaluating "Chosen" and S7's place in the overall scheme that was BUFFY.

Here goes. Don't say I didn't warn you!


Of Chosen and Choices...

A Series Finale is a time of great moment, a chance for quiet reflection and the appreciation of all that's come before...oh, who am I kidding?

You didn't open this post for some sissy-assed, weak kneed, yellow bellied, namby pamby! You've come for a great big slab of raw and brutal honesty, preferably served with some eye watering red peppers.

Well, let me be honest then. "Chosen" was Crap. And not your ordinary kind of Crap either... Oh no! Some really, really *special* Crap. Crap that will stay with the viewer for a long time, like a stench that just won't go away no matter how hard you scrub. Where to start? By giving JW his propers of course (don't worry, that'll be rather short).
As a stand alone (and I mean *utterly* stand alone) with no connection whatsoever either in continuity or context to what came before, "Chosen" is actually a decent (read adequate episode): it's fast paced, action oriented with good special effects, little or no thinking required, and funny enough in places to counter-balance some truly horrendous, cringe worthy dialogue. In this context, I'd give Chosen a 7.5. As a mid-season episode, it would be fine, if nothing special. Unfortunately, it's neither a mid-season episode, nor does it exist in a vaccuum.

Here endeth the positive part of the review (until the very end). At this point, Pollyanna Lemmings should beat a hasty retreat off the bus, as the Hatchets are about to make an appearance.

Let us now proceed with the proper contextual dissection of Whedon's final opus in chronological order. I am a somewhat forebearing fellow. Mind the P's and Q's, tie off loose ends, add some humor, and I am quite content. If ever there was a time to tie off loose ends, you'd think a Series Finale would be the time. Not for Jossy apparently. In his Universe, a series finale is the time to unearth decomposing storylines, cast some bad mojo on the poor animals, have them perform a grotesque danse macabre and add as many loose ends as advertisers will bear....

Yep, you guessed it. I'm talking about B/A. Now correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the last time they spoke well nigh 2 years ago? And didn't "Forever" neatly tie off their story line?

Also, not to seem picky or anything, but didn't Angel just lose the woman he *loves*...and his son ? Awfully chipper ain't he, for someone who's "lost everything"? Chipper... until Spike's soul is mentioned...then wonders of wonders, Whedon turns a 240 year-old vampire into a temper tantrum throwing 4 year-old. So given all this, could there ever be anything less convincing and stilted than this entire fake dynamic? Well okay, I'll grant you the really bad puns (split, snort, 'splainy), ear drum busting metaphors (Kooky Doh!) and laughable dialogue (Dawson, etc...) run a really close second. But to see S3 B/A being dug out of its mouldering grave really augured badly for the rest of the episode.

And alas that prediction was soon born out.

Next comes [Dawn]'s return. There were many pointless moments this season. Too many to count (well no, not really--just too tedious too count). But in terms of futility, the kidnapping of Dawn ranks in the top 5. What exactly did the kidnapping tell us about the Dawnster, except that she has a magic zapper that appears out of nowhere? The pointless moment is capped by a kick to the leg (listen closely--Buffy has a wooden peg leg!) and a really cringe worthy joke by Xander. Pointless...but better than what comes next...

What happens when parts of a script rely on a really fake dynamic established in another part? It turns into the same kind of crap. Since B/A was fake beyond belief, Spike's *jealousy* was equally as fake. His *angry* declamations, and chewing of the furniture were as brattish as Angel's earlier devolution. Isn't this the fellow who got his rocks back in GiD and LTWTM? And to top it off, Buffy gave us the "Starving Rat finds Cheddar" look as she handed Spike the amulet, the same look she got when she first beheld the Scythe. Could be because she found herself a burro to carry the suicide I mean the "Whatket"? (*roll eyes*)

But worse it gets...when the FE finally makes an appearance to confront Buffy. Because up to this point, it was possible, with the generous assistance of Fine Malt Beverages, to ignore the giant, intellect crushing Plot Holes. Alas the FE just had to open its Big Yap...and it all came back...

So when the FE's armies have overrun the earth, it will be made flesh? And this is a bad thing, how ? If the #$%# earth has been overrun, who gives a flying mongoose if the FE is made flesh ? Who the hell will be left to care ? Now is the time to ask the questions that *ME* raised with their idiot plotting:

-- If the FE's plans was to raise armies all along, why didn't it raise them last year when the highschool was completely abandoned, and Buffy and the scoobies were imploding?

-- Why did it call attention to itself and its plans by targeting the Slayer line?

-- Why did it destroy the Watcher's Council?

-- Why was the Slayer line important?

-- What was the weakness in the Slayer line that allowed it to strike?

-- Why the #$%#$ did it dig up the Scythe, the instrument that brought about the demise of its plans, when Buffy had absolutely no clue it even existed?

-- Why did it raise only 3 [Turok-Han] in EoD, and 1 in BotN, when it's obviously a cinch to open up the seal?

-- Why did it get involved with Spike at all ? What were its plans for Spike (that it proclaimed LOUDLY in FD)?

-- Why did it want "her" spared, and who's "her"?

Mind you, those are only the FE related loose ends...if we bring up all the others (Pod Giles, Joyce, Xander "seeing everything," Dawn), this season will unravel faster than the Lakers against the Spurs. So having remembered all this, how does the FE compound its ineptitude?

(Paraphrase) "You're ALONE...You have 30 GIRLS... can't share the POWER..."Can you HEAR ME NOW BUFFY? Is this on? Hello? Is this on? Testing! Testing! Can you HEAR WHAT I'M SAYING? "ALONE...GIRLS...POWER!" Buffy's lone remaining neuron finally fires and she has the Eureka moment. Boredom is making 3Strikes weep. Of course, as Willow noted, latter-day Buffy is not that bright, and her plan would make Charlton Heston and the NRA proud.

Short interlude, with Whedon making sure he gets as much buck from his Willow/Kennedy Lesploitation as he did from the blaxploitation of Wood. But never fear, he manages to find yet a lower place later on. To be fair, Giles and Anya are pretty good in the scene where Buffy reveals her plan. Speech...'d be less boring if the material was fresh and the FE less of an idiot. Hard to care about a non-threat like the FE...of course we later learn that the plan is about half baked as Buffy's cookies.

The next segments are Whedon's attempt to pay lip service to the two ingenious inventions of this season: the profound and deeply meaningful "Food" 'ship, and the extraordinary, astounding, mythic, ground-breaking Wennedy. Yes, truly, I can not stress how much these relationships and these characters have meant to me. *3Strikes is frothing at the mouth*...Aaarghhh! DIE KENNEDY! DIE! DIE! DIE! And take "Food" with you!

And now for the single most offensive moment of the episode..."Food" and the continued attempt by ME and Whedon to transform Faith into a Hood Rat (no offense to rats everywhere)....get what I'm sayin' yo? I could try tellin' ya that this segment was da bomb, but I's gots ta keep it real Dawg! Anyhoo, don't know how the booty call gave Woodsy cause to question Faith's mad skillz...far as I'm concerned he's just a playa hata.

Watching Faith as newly written by Whedon is like listening to *rap* by Vanilla ice. Or watching Bud Bundy of Married with Children impersonating Grand Master P. Yo! Offensive. Or hilariously bad. Take your pick. I'm definitely in the offensive camp since this caps Faith's journey in the Buffyverse. After watching her evolution on ATS and comparing it to what happened to her over the past 5 episodes, I wish she had never shown up on BTVS. What a freaking waste. Moving on.

Next, we have the D&D scene which was funny and sweet, and the cryptic Spuffy scene which was not. I'm thinking "gutless" for the Spuffy scene, but more on that later.

Short bus trip to hell, and we come to the other good scene: the Scooby Four. It's good...and bad. Good because it harks back to the golden years of the show...bad because it showcases how much potential ME wasted along the way with their focus on extraneous characters and plotlines.

A little blood, and presto, the seal opens up like a can of tuna. RING-RING! Joss, it's Peter Jackson...he'd like the Isengard caves set back! Now to be sure the effects were impressive...but it's very hard to care about 10 million interchangeable Ubervamps...or for 30 interchangeable whiners. Kill them all and let the PTBs sort them out. Let's not forget however, how we got there....first we had to endure the *empowering* orgasm wave and Buffy's master plan: share the power, share the cooties...praise the lord and pass the amunition! Uzis for everyone...especially young children. Power for everyone...regardless of the consequences.

Let's examine some of those consequences, shall we? With the Bat Girl as a case study (about 10 years old IMO).

Hypothetical conversation:

MOM: Honey, did you finish your homework?
BG: Nope. No need to. I had a *conversation* with teach...bitch won't bother me again. Won't walk straight for a week either. No tests ...just straight A's.
DAD: OMG! Go to your room!
BG: Do we need to have the *talk* again? [Father cringes.] Hand over the car keys Daddy-o. And a c-note. Gotta get me some smokes. Want. Have. Take...Capeesh ?
MOM: You can't do this.
BG (twirling her baton and speaking in Cartman's voice): No you say? I'll teach you to respect my authori-tay!

Buffy's plan has basically created a entire generation of monsters, and in the worst case scenario, a self-perpetuating and enduring menace. Because power as presented by ME is never always enhances the worst aspects of the human make up. Greed, lust, jealousy, etc...Power can only be controlled by training and self discipline. Something Buffy learned the hard way...and something that will be denied to most of her victims since the Watchers, for good and bad, are gone. Look how bad it got for Buffy even though she had an *exceptional* support system...what will happen to all those who don't have that support system? S3 Faith might well be a best case scenario.

In any event, to make this happen, Willow goes through another cringe worthy segment: Oh my goodness! Willow! The Goddess has stuck a poodle on your head! The horror! The horror! (Somebody shoot it quick.) And the Slayers are activated. Anything *but* nifty.

Cut to the big battle....the entire production budget stolen from all the other episodes is spent kung fu fighting...wait! what's that sound? RING-RING! Oh Jooosssy, Last of the Mohicans is calling. They'd like their soundtrack back. Buffy is stabbed..Buffy is dying...Spike looks like Liz worries mates! The FE to the rescue! A little taunting...some tough macho talk, and Buffy is ready to demonstrate how the Scythe chops better than Ginsu knives. A few Ubervamps later, and it's time for Spike's big production. The soul is really there!

Can you imagine if it wasn't? All these times when Buffy was braying: "But he's got a soul!" Oh, the embarrassment if Lurky had lied, or Spike had misplaced it! And finally, the culmination of all the ME gutlessness...another gutless moment. "I love you don't, blah blah blah"...except of course, that during the B/A danse macabre, Buffy stated point blank that she sometimes thought that far ahead. Stopping Angel as he was leaving. ME and Jossy have so *cleverly* (pardon the sarcasm) muddled the waters that they've left every possibility open. Every single possibility. That's not clever or original, that's deceitful and cowardly. Is Buffy telling the truth or is she trying to comfort a dying Spike? After the past two seasons, does she even know what love is and is she mistaken about what she feels ? Does Spike know she's telling the truth and is he trying to comfort *her* to make her leaving easier? Or is the melting of his brain confusing his truth sense so that he doesn't know she's really telling the truth? Is he calling her bluff of kindness knowing she really doesn't love him, or is he trying to give her a final gift of truth by telling her she really doesn't love him ?...

WHO KNOWS AND WHO GIVES A S**T. There's no greater hater of Spike and Spuffy than me, but at this point, Whedon has done such a great job of dragging that storyline through the gutter that I'm beyond relieved when Buffy ditches him so called *love* like yesterday's garbage and skidaddles up the chimney like a sooty santa. Unlike Angel I'm not getting any younger.

Cut back to what happened earlier...a daring band of limp raviolis escapes through the chimney and into the waiting arms of the me crazy, but ME stopped making Ubevamps like they used to: Giles and Wood dispatch their Ubies like Roseanne scarfing down Bonbons, poor Anya (who has another great scene with Andrew) molests those poor Ubies like they were evil fluffy Bunnies (before being tastelessly gutted like a carp by a treacherous Bringer), and Dawn introduces them to the joys of California sunshine. All in all, not very convincing, after seeing what Ubie the Original did to Buffy. Continuity, sweet continuity where have you gone.

The Whatket does its starts to crumble...Xander is looking for Anya...I feel a little sad...but Anya is finally safe from Whedon's hands and in a better place--in Vengeance Demon heaven torturing trollish writers who care nothing for plot and characterization, and who make promises their overlarge asses can't cash).

Back on the bus, then back to Buffy...running, jumping from building to building in her stylish boots...SAFE! Time for the curtain more tasteless "Food" scene with the death fake out...a semi-emotional scene between Xander and Andrew about Anya's passing completely negated not 30 seconds later by some tasteless mall jokes...and Buffy's final legacy: after foisting her powers and responsibilities on the unsuspecting shoulders of the innocent, she smiles at the thought that there's a blue light special calling her name in the next town's Walmart. "No" you say ? She's thinking about cookie dough? Pfft! You know nothing! Buffy is sans shoes *wink wink nudge nudge*! To be continued next year on ATS, in the Buffy movie, or in whatever comic Jossy will drum up next. Robert Jordan would be proud.

In conclusion, Anya owned the few scenes she got, D&D and cartoon Angel were funny, Core Four shout out was good...the rest was pathetic. This finale examplified and magnified the plot problems that have plagued the show in the latter part of the season, and provided neither closure nor resolution. But the failure goes much deeper than that.


3strikes promised a S7 and overall series review, which he warned would be much of the same, if not worse. I'll keep an eye out for it. (No, that wasn't a Xander joke.)


[> [> Wow... there's negativity and then there's this! -- ponygirl, 11:31:10 05/22/03 Thu

And that's the version you cleaned up, cjl? Yikes! At the same time though it was a hoot to read, and I do agree with some of the points raised - though my agreement is at about 0.02 on the passion scale compared to 3Strikes' frothing, screaming 11.

[> [> [> Re: Why I don't visit other boards -- Brian, 12:15:13 05/22/03 Thu

They look but they don't see;
They hear but they don't listen;
They touch but they don't feel;
They inhale but they smell only rot;
They taste but they chew only ashes.

[> [> [> [> Speaking of which -- d'Herblay, 14:48:03 05/22/03 Thu

Television Without Pity, deconstructed with Buffy as a test case.

[> [> [> [> [> I liked that! -- ponygirl, 15:27:17 05/22/03 Thu

There are occasions when I do enjoy TWOP's brand of humour, ie. when they're re-capping a show I don't like, but generally I find them an embarassing reminder of the "witty" commentary that filled the TV room in my university residence 'lo these many years past. It's snark for the sake of snark. I particularly liked this bit of the article:

This is only the most recent "Buffy" recap as of this writing, but many of TWoP's major flaws are on display: Strong feelings passed off as criticism. Ranting passed off as humor. Cutesy made-up character names that make no sense unless you've memorized every prior recap, as well as recaps of tangentially related shows. And constant reminders that the recapper has friends, and they're all really cool, and some of them even write for this awesome website that snarks on TV shows.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Speaking of which -- skyMatrix, 18:42:29 05/22/03 Thu

I really appreciated that article when I found it, because I am intensely bothered by stuff like TWOP, epsecially b/c these guys are so sure that they're right and you're an idiot, when in truth they don't come across as particularly intelligent in the first place. I'm a cynical guy about most things (like almost everything on TV or movie screens at the moment) but I'll be the first one to tell you that cynicism is not a substitute for or in some way superior to intelligence or careful analysis.

So hooray for the AtP brand of negativity (as well as the AtP positivity, of course)! Sometimes I am shocked that someone didn't like X or Y, but it's always presented as an opinion, and presented with ample justification!

[> [> Re: "The Charge of the Malcontent's Brigade" (by 3strikes from BC&S) -- shambleau, 13:15:07 05/22/03 Thu

That post reminded me of a guy named David Hines, who used to write Buffy reviews, along with participating on some boards. His hate for BtVS got stronger and more vitriolic in the fifth season, so much so that he gave The Body zero stars.

Not disputing anyone's right to dislike any episode as much as they please. Still, I find the vehemence of the hate that you find on some of the boards fascinating. It's a tribute to the show's power, really, that these embittered ex-lovers stick around to lament how horrible everything's become.

[> Re: Warning: It's the negativity thread! (spoilers for Touched) -- Malandanza, 11:22:06 05/22/03 Thu

I had many problems with the finale -- although it was also quite enjoyable in many respects. My first impression was that it felt like a Jackie Chan movie (although without the spectacular stunts) right down to the beaten, mortally wounded hero rising to her feet after being taunted by the bad guy and finding within herself the power to win. I thoroughly enjoy Jackie Chan movies, but not for the plot or character development -- they are pure escape that only works if you don't think too hard about them. The problem with Buffy is that I'm used to thinking about the eps, so all these plot devices, plot holes and breaks in continuity are unsettling.

First, Angel, Spike and the Amulet:

"The amulet - I knew it was going to do something, but I didn't think it was going to do everything. Did Buffy know that it had that much power? Even the potential for that much power? The only information we had was that it was purifying or cleansing, some line about it maybe having the ability to close the Hellmouth would have prepared me a bit more for the massive deus ex machina."

I didn't buy Angel just leaving abruptly when Buffy brushed him off. This is the Champion of LA? Just not believable to me. Next, the Scoobies didn't seem to bother trying to figure out what it was for -- they just dropped it around Spike's neck and hoped for the best. This was an amulet Angel said came from a source that was not even remotely reliable. I do wonder if the senior partners from W&H were hoping Angel would wear it, though -- maybe they thought closing the Hellmouth was a fair trade for getting rid of Angel. That the amulet did everything was also a bit disconcerting. Why were Buffy and the Potentials even there? What was the point of Willow's spell? Why did Anya have to die? Yeah, they didn't know the amulet would save the day, but that's because they didn't bother to find out. Finally, Spike's death scene came across as rather comical to me -- he's Samson in the temple -- sort of -- if Samson had been a lighthouse rather than the hirsute warrior he's usually portrayed as.

"As for Anya, I knew in my gut she was doomed, and I loved her raising of the sword for bunnies at last. But was this a resolution for her? What did it mean to her in that moment? Was it important that she finally joined the fight or was she just along for the ride up until her last moments?"

With Willow, Spike, Anya and Andrew, I think we saw only one satisfactory resolution. Andrew's. Spike got to be Doyle -- instant redemption, but that's dissatisfying to me. Willow never addressed murdering Warren and Anya's journey was dropped after Selfless. It really did feel as though she was "just along for the ride" to me. ME did such a fine job with a minor character (Andrew) -- why didn't they do something for the main characters?

And while I'm talking about Anya, why in the world were Andrew and Anya off by themselves? I don't get the defense plan vs. the ubervamps. The Scoobies want to keep the ubervamps from making it to the sewers. Ok, why not have everyone wait at the seal and kill them as they try to get out? And all that talk this season and this episode about Andrew summoning demons -- why didn't they have him summon a couple to help fight? It would have been way more believable to see Andrew and Anya fighting with supernatural assistance rather than poking Ubervamps and Harbingers with swords. Or how about leaving a Potential with them?

Then Buffy's plan -- open the Hellmouth (which appeared to be actually geographically beneath Sunnydale rather than a connecting dimension since Sunnydale caved in when Spike went supenova), march in with a bunch of Potentials and an amulet that does who knows what, then wait for Willow to cast the spell (which she doesn't know will work) make every Potential into a slayer.
Couldn't Willow have done the spell first? Not as dramatic, but I prefer intelligent to dramatic but mind bogglingly stupid.

I guess we learned why everyone (even the demons) left Sunnydale -- so when the writers destroyed the town, Buffy and her friends wouldn't be responsible for creating a mass grave.

I can believe that a mortally wounded hero can get back up and fight. It's cliche. I've seen it over and over. But dash up to the roof, leap from rooftop to rooftop, overtake a bus fleeing the scene of an impending disaster, catch it, leap on to it, hold on until it clears the city limits, then hop off and chat with her friends as though her injury were nothing worse than a scratch? It strains my credulity a bit.

Anya's death would have been more satisfying to me had Xander refused to go to the bus, staying to find her body and remaining with her while the world collapsed.

As the episode came to an end, I was left wondering at the shifts in behavior of the characters and the lack of a resolution. The episode felt more like a pilot, where the characters are poorly defined (as the writers try to get a handle on who they are and the actors try to get a handle on who they're supposed to be) and the future is uncertain. It bodes well for a spin-off. They practically said they needed to reform the WC so that the Scoobies could guide the new slayers through the rigors of life in the Buffyverse. Perhaps the new slayers could serve briefly, a two year conscription rather than a life sentence.

What will the Post-NearApocalypse World be like? -- WickedBuffy (speculating, never read Fray), 13:47:01 05/21/03 Wed

Now that all Potentials are full-powered Slayers, female, everywhere, can you imagine the ramifications in the world - the change in balance that would probably occur?

And without anyone to guide them (at least until each and everyone is found by the Scoobies), how some of that power might possibly not be so positive?

Though I'm not sure how many Slayers there would be now - any idea? hundreds? thousands? seven?

[> yeah, i've been wondering about that -- anom, 22:12:59 05/21/03 Wed

Shuddering at the thought of baby Slayers going through the terrible twos...well, if they busted through the folding gate & fell down the stairs, at least they'd heal quick.

Wondering what would happen in cultures where women are severely repressed--imagine if a Slayer had been called in Afghanistan when the Taliban were in power!

On the other hand, imagine an abusive mother suddenly having Slayer strength.

The sports world would be set on its ear (Anneke who?).

How would women who didn't become Slayers feel about being left behind?

How would men whose self-esteem depended on being stronger than women feel? What about the ones who thought they were all sensitive & supportive...but suddenly found they felt threatened by a different kind of strong woman?

On the other hand, what wouldn't change? The number of women in government? How much difference would...what? one girl or woman in every million?...make overall?

Forget the 1,000 fanfics launched by "what happened after Buffy & Spike faced each other across the basement?" These are the fanfics I want to read!

[> [> EXACTLY!! The ripple effect would shake the world. -- WickedIfIHadABrainI'dWriteAnEssayOnIt, 22:21:54 05/21/03 Wed

[> [> Joss- Answers Please (Casting Spoilers for AtS) -- Wizard, 00:51:32 05/22/03 Thu

Perhaps, like Buffy, he doesn't think that far ahead. But I doubt it. With any luck, some of this will be played out in AtS- remember how we all thought Justine was a Potential last season (even before the terms 'Potential' or the earlier SiT were used)? What if she was, and was called. What if she came after Angel or Wes?

As for the rest... the Buffyverse is hardly closed, even without AtS. There is the possibility of Ripper, which would have to deal with this on some level. There are novels and comic books. And, of course, there is fanfic. We may eventually be Jossed (proven wrong the genius that is Joss) in some of what we write by AtS, Fray, or maybe a movie (TV or otherwise), but the important thing is that we think.

It all depends on how many Potentials there were in the world, and which age range were they Called. The speech implied youth, and the montage of Potentials bore that out. What if there are women in their 80's that were Called? There was a girl who couldn't have been older than 12, that we saw. What if there were even younger girls Called? What about Potentials who weren't born yet- were they Called? the way Willow was talking, there were a lot more Potentials who were Called than the ones in Sunnydale or the ones that we saw. The key to the effect is the number. The more Slayers, the more change.

As for Baby Slayers, I wouldn't worry too much. Buffy has grown more powerful than she was in S1- a baby Slayer would be stronger, faster, etc., but not to a noticeable degree. As she grows up, however...

The abusive mother/Slayer scenario is truly frightening. The power of the Slayer can be used however the Slayer sees fit- Faith proved that.

The sports world would be set on its ear? Oh, my, yes. There will be women that can outdo the men- by a vast margin.

Slayers in repressive societies? Picture the girl stopping her father from hitting her. Multiply that by, oh, say, 100. That is what we can hopefully look forward to.

There will be a number of women who will be upset at not being Called, for sure- especially if some of their family and close friends were Called. Some may feel relieved when they find out what the job means- the forces of evil will go absolutely nuts. I would'nt be surprised if the Order of Taraka, and other mystical bounty hunters, get called out. I can't wait to see how W&H will react.

Will men feel threatened? Yes, many of them will, for all the reasons stated above. Others may just be impressed and worshipful, but some will be scared shitless. A twist on the situation, which would tie into the abusive mother scenario, is that some of these men have good reason to be afraid.

JM will be on AtS next year as a regular. ASH and AH are slated to make guest appearances. SMG might- but probably not next year. ED- it depends on how long her new series lasts. Let's hope these questions will be answered when the Sunnydale crew rolls into L.A. next year!

[> [> [> Great post! And I really hope Buffyverse extends to LA next season. -- WickedBuffy, 09:04:18 05/22/03 Thu

I agree - the number of Slayers would affect how much of a difference (or at what rate) the effects would be. And we have no idea what that is.

It would be interesting to see it leak into Angels world, though.

Has everyone else been feeling weepy all day? Missing BtVS -- graylady, 13:57:33 05/21/03 Wed

[> Re: Has everyone else been feeling weepy all day? Missing BtVS (Spoilers for chosen) -- Pyro, 17:44:26 05/21/03 Wed

Yes! I can't get Amanda and Anya out of my head! Not so worried bout Spike, he cannot be gone for good, maybe it's just my own denial. I hope they do some kind of "After the storm" thing, even written in books, my mind is racing so i'm sorry if this doesn't make TOO much sense.

[> Call me red-eyed ... spoilers, Chosen -- band camp girl, 20:51:41 05/21/03 Wed

I keep thinking about Spike's sacrifice and how he laughed at the end, and about his nobility and heroism. And I was saddened at how, once again, the Scoobies just seemed to blow off his contribution. Notice how when they get out of the school bus and see the crater and Giles asks what caused it. Buffy says Spike did it and no one says a damn thing! It's like, oh well.
Other things that made me weepy:
*Anya... poor Anya, whose fear of bunnies gave her strength in the end. ... Anya, a former vengeance demon who got payback for women scorned, died when girls throughout the world were coming into their power as slayers. That touched me.
*Amanda, my inner geek.
*The montage of girls getting their slayer power.
There were lots of things that made me laugh, too, but this is just the "weepy" post. God, what a wonderful finale to an exceptional series.

[> [> Re: Call me red-eyed, spoilers Chosen: Spike's value -- rowena, 08:54:18 05/22/03 Thu

I agree. The Scoobies never validated or valued Spike's contributions to the fight against evil. The only one who did was Buffy.

Uber-Vamps Vs. Scoobies Finale Spoilers -- Hauptman, 14:19:04 05/21/03 Wed

Um, I haven't noticed this in any threads, but is it me, or should an army of Uber-Vamps like the one, ONE singular, Buffy had so much trouble killing earlier in the season...shouldn't the dozen or so that got to the main floor of the school have been able to evicerate Giles, Wood, Anya, Andrew, Xander and Dawn without stopping? One of those things beat Buffy down twice. Well, one and half times and Anya is killing them? Even Wood killing one is a stretch in my opinion.

Over-all, loved the witty banter, especially Faith: "We're going again. You're going to learn so respect." Gold. I was so glad there wasn't a prolonged Dawson moment with B/S when she got back. The interactions were crisper, faster. Not perfect, but so much better than the wimpering stares that comprised the majority of the season.

[> Re: Uber-Vamps Vs. Scoobies Finale Spoilers -- Dochawk, 15:23:07 05/21/03 Wed

I think (and maybe I am retconning for Joss here but) that the reason the army wasn't released before was that they weren't ready yet and therefore weren't up to their full power. Or they are like the Orcs they obviously were patterned after, stronger Urak-Hai, were much more dangerous for the men of the West in LotR, less strong other Orcs made up the bulk of the army. Another explanation could be that the new slayers knew much more about how to fight them then they did before (but that wouldn't explain Anya being able to take one on). But even in End of Days they looked much more vulnerable. But, we really didn't get a great explanation. Not unusual that we have to fill in the gaps in a 42 minute story.

[> [> The real question is....... -- Sophist, 16:16:45 05/21/03 Wed

Why was the SG so worried that the Ubers would get out? It was broad friggin daylight outside!

[> [> [> Re: The real question is....... -- Indri, who's making an intercontinental move, 16:28:24 05/21/03 Wed

Why was the SG so worried that the Ubers would get out? It was broad friggin daylight outside!

They mention a couple of times that they're blocking off the Ubie's access to the sewers, in which they could survive and spread.

[> [> [> [> Re: The real question is....... -- Dochawk, 16:53:25 05/21/03 Wed

I was wondering about Angel as 2nd line of defense. What could Angel and a few demon fighters do??? The second line of defense should have been, Riley can you send a few black hawk helicopters and blow the top off the hellmouth so its all in sunshine?

[> [> [> [> [> Forgive me but I think the show has stated Riley is a moron -- Charlemagne20, 22:35:29 05/21/03 Wed

Riley and the Initiative is a group of people who have no idea what the heck they are doing. They however swagger around like John Wayne in a manner comically similar to Jack Burton in Big Trouble in Little China.

They'd probably nuke Sunnydale and thus open the Hellmouth ending the world

[> [> [> [> [> [> Notice that with all their demon-equipment, none of Rileys group showed for this one. -- WickedBuffy, 22:43:44 05/21/03 Wed

[> [> [> [> [> [> In Defense of Riley -- Wizard, 16:52:15 05/22/03 Thu

After the events of Primeval, and in early S5, it was made clear that Sunnydale and the Hellmouth were to be left to the Slayer. The only reason Riley came back in AYW is because the demon they were tracking went to the Hellmouth, and it needed to be exterminated, and Buffy needed to know about it so it could be made her priority no. 1, which it was.

I'm sure that the ex-Initiative were paying some attention to what was going on, but, like Angel, they believed Buffy could handle it. And unless she asked for help, they were going to stay out of it, unless she clearly lost. Given her track record, it's a reasonable strategy. And besides- the Initiative is a world-wide thing. They hunt demons all over the planet. In other words, the job they do is what Buffy would be doing if the Hellmouth wasn't occupying her, and what Faith would have been doing if she didn't go to jail. Some slack can and should be cut for them.

I don't know why Buffy didn't ask them for help, because I think they have much more of a clue about demon fighting now. Maybe she wanted them available to help do the second front thing, and we just didn't see Buffy contact them. Or maybe she has many of the same concerns the people on the board do. I do wish Joss would have mentioned this, but oh well.

[> [> Geek nit-pick (spoilers LOTR) -- Shiraz, 10:18:33 05/22/03 Thu

Erm, In "The Two Towers" Saruman created the Uruk-Hai from the weaker Orks and Goblin Men, creating a race that was smarter and stronger than both, and able to move about in sunlight.


(now wondering how I ever managed to get a girlfriend)

[> I think these were new Ubervamps vs. a very old Ubervamp -- Charlemagne, 22:37:56 05/21/03 Wed

These Ubervamps were no doubt cultivated from Sunnydale's population (no wonder the town was deserted) and surounding areas while the other Ubervamp was in my opinion a very old Ubervamp, quite possibly thousands of years old

Its like the Master and Kakistos vs. Spike and Angel vs. Newbies out of the ground

[> maybe i'm retconning here, but... -- anom, spackle in hand, 23:13:11 05/21/03 Wed it possible the Scythe drew the power it sent out to all the world's Potentials from the übervamps? That could account for their being weaker & also fits in with all the "Slayer power is rooted in darkness" stuff from earlier in this & other seasons. Maybe it even weakened Caleb, accounting for Buffy's ability to fight him effectively (& even for Angel's being able to knock him out long enough for his conversation w/Buffy!) so soon after he was strengthened by merging w/the FE. Yeah--that's it! The Scythe draws power from evil but transmutes it into good...which is also why Willow didn't go evil again! How's that?

Hey, Hauptman--good to see you again! One of the silver linings of the series' ending is that it's bringing back some old friends to the board!

[> [> BRAVA, ANOM!!!!! BRILLIANT!!! -- Rob, 08:00:35 05/22/03 Thu

[> [> [> thanks, rob! but the really brilliant part is that this was all an attempt to keep sophist around! -- anom, 11:02:56 05/22/03 Thu

See, I just made up that evil-to-good-transmuting Scythe on the basis of no evidence at all! C'mon, Sophist, are you gonna let me get away with that? I mean, I like my own idea at least as much as Rob does, but I didn't even rewatch the last 2 episodes to find something--anything--to back up my wild speculations! And that kind of thing goes on here all the time! (Now that statement there's plenty of evidence for!) So you see, you can't just leave us here to get away with it! Even when, as here, it's done for an ulterior motive--a positive ulterior motive, that is--yes, for this most noble of motivations....

OK, I'm retconning my own post....

For a higher purpose, of course!

[> [> Re: maybe i'm retconning here, but... -- Dochawk, 14:42:40 05/22/03 Thu

I've been thinking about why Willow had to wait for the pots to be in the Hellmouth and why she had to do the spell over the hellmouth. If Slayer power is demon energy filtered through a spell, then Willow had to be close enough to the source of the energy to transform it. she had to suck it out of the hellmouth itself (otherwise why not slayerize all of them first because obviously the spell itself works over a distance since all the other slayers got energized too) and she needed to channel that power. So maybe its a greater analogy to LotR than we even thought, that Willow drains the hellmouth energy, thus drains the power of the Uruk-Hai - whoops I mean Turok-Han (boy it even sounds Orcish).

[> [> [> you mean there really is evidence? -- anom, 15:49:41 05/22/03 Thu

Supporting, I know...not conclusive. But still--hey, I might be right! Between this & the flattery from Rob & frisby, I'm starting to feel brilliant again, after a brief waning--y'know...double posts...not so brilliant.

[> [> Re: maybe i'm retconning here, but... -- Hauptman, 14:42:57 05/22/03 Thu

Hi, Anom. Nice to be back. Had to crawl out from under the rock for the end of it all.

Giles and Patriarchy (spoiler Chosen) -- lunasea, 15:46:50 05/21/03 Wed

Don't know where exactly to stick this. It pertains to various threads out there. We think of Patriarchy as males dominating females, but in a Patriarchy, males dominate males as well. Giles was under the thumb of the Watcher's Council and didn't exactly know how to break free. He was trained so that he would be their good little cog. Before they blew up, it is established that he is still working with the Council. When they go boom, he was lost. He didn't know how to act. It wasn't until Buffy was being irrational about Spike that he had a clear course of action again.

He still was imprissioned by his training though. He didn't know how to think outside the box. He wasn't quite as rigid as the Council. His flexibility was what made him and Buffy stronger. However, he just adapted what he was trained to do. Buffy went completely outside the box when it came to the solution in Chosen. I think this freed Giles and the change is remarkable.

I think the exchange between Giles and Buffy is more than just them reconnecting. It gives Giles a new perspective and hope that he didn't have before. Buffy really showed him that the rules don't need to be followed and that following them is hurting them. Buffy empowered all the women and Giles, too. Giles wants to be outside the box, but doesn't think it will get the job done. Buffy shows him this isn't so.

Giles has always admired Buffy because she is what he isn't. There is a deep mutual respect between these two. It was painful to see it gone, but it is wonderful that this was re-established, even if a bit quickly.

Now if Ripper would just get off the ground.

[> Re: Giles and Patriarchy (spoiler Chosen) -- Rina, 16:30:26 05/21/03 Wed

THANK YOU! This is exactly what I've been trying to say for the past several months. Everyone kept expressing bafflement at Giles' behavior, but you explained it beautifully.

[> Wonderful. -- sassette, 17:53:32 05/21/03 Wed

Yeah, an oft-forgetten fact about patriarchy is that it actually means "rule of the fathers," not "rule of men." Under patriarchy, the "sons" are just as oppressed as women.

Great thoughts on how Giles was in fact a victim of patriarchy even as he was a part of it. I think that's even doubly true for Wes.

[> [> Re: Wonderful. -- mucifer, 19:40:11 05/21/03 Wed

Yet Giles is more complex than that. After all he did have his rebelious youth and he's always encouraged Buffy to think for herself. I guess that ties in well with the last episode, too.

Lots of yummy continuity goodness (spoilers for "End of Days", "Chosen", & Angel season 5) -- Lampbane, 16:41:36 05/21/03 Wed

Forgive me if any of this has been addressed already - there are a lot of posts to go through and I'm not too good at catching up. I loved the finale, partly because it seemed to tie up so many things that have irked me for a while, or at least it referenced things from before, and I'm a continuity freak...

In regards to what Giles said about the Hellmouth at the end, about there being another one in Cleveland - I believe this was the first solid confirmation we've ever had that there is more than ONE Hellmouth. Other things that have supported this theory: Giles' comment in "The Wish" about Sunnydale being on A Hellmouth (instead of referring to it as THE Hellmouth like most of the characters do); the fact that Slayers are called in places far from California (when it seems unlikely that all of them would be able to reach Sunnydale at all); the fact that all the bad stuff that happened in Sunnydale happened in the past hundred years or so (and the Slayers were of course around a lot longer). I think the implication is that there are many Hellmouths, but only one is active at a time.

This certainly would explain why nothing bad happens at the other Hellmouths even though there is no Slayer to guard them. And the fact that there is one in Cleveland is also interesting - since that's where the alternate Buffy was in "The Wish". What I think Anya did in that episode was switch the active Hellmouth, so that when Buffy was called she would gravitate to Cleveland. But the switch would have to be recent in that world, since the Master, Angel, and Giles all ended up in Sunnydale anyway. Sunnydale not being the active Hellmouth in that world is supported by the fact that the town had no Slayer and yet the worst thing to happen was the Master, when we all know that our universe Buffy has stopped the apocalypse on a number of occasions.

In regards to Fray - maybe Sunnydale was meant to be the active Hellmouth for another 200 years, which is why demons and Slayers have been forgotten? Sorry if I'm just throwing things out here, I haven't read all of Fray yet.

Also in the lines of continuity goodness was last week's episode "End of Days" in which it was implied that the First was the last pure demon on Earth. We were previously told that demons used to control this world (numerous times, in fact), but were either driven out or destroyed (I distinctly remember a panel in Fray #3 depicting this), those that remained had to merge with human beings to survive (Anya referred to them as tainted hybrids). A lot of these creatures (notably vampires) stay out of the sunlight, which of course is one of the things that makes this world inhabitable by humans, in that it gives life through warmth and protects us from the creatures of the night (so to speak). Maybe I'm wrong, but I don't remember ever seeing the First in any of its incarnations in the daylight. Only at night or in various basements talking to Spike. This suggests a possible vulnerability to the light of day.

My boyfriend was confused because he didn't think they actually destroyed the First, just sealed it away when the Hellmouth was destroyed. I definitely think it was destroyed, in that when the amulet was activated, it transformed a dark place where the First (as a demon) should have been safe into yet another place of sunlight, it "conquered" that territory and made it like the human world.

So the Buffyverse has been dramatically altered - no more pure demons, no active Hellmouth, and lots of Slayers to clean up the leftovers - no wonder demons are completely forgotten about by the time of Fray.

I am also of the faction that believe Spike will appear on Angel as a human. Having two vampires with a soul seems redundant and annoying, but mostly it has to do with Angel and the First. The First tried to get Angel to kill himself, presumably because Angel was a threat. But Angel played no part in the battle because Spike was the champion. Remember in back when Angel was human for a day ("I Will Remember You"), he chose to become a vampire again because he was supposed to stand at Buffy's side in the big battle. Which considering how "Buffy" ended, I seriously doubt will happen now. Her story is over. So maybe everyone has been wrong all along about these prophesies being about Angel (as some have said on these boards since Spike showed up with a soul). Maybe everyone (Wesley, The First, even the Oracles maybe) read "vampire with a soul" somewhere and just assumed it was Angel. So yes, maybe Spike is going to "Shanshu" between seasons.

It'll certainly make for some interesting episodes of Angel.

[> My own theory about Hellmouths -- Finn Mac Cool, 17:50:20 05/21/03 Wed

Hellmouths were, originally, theoretical concepts. People knew there could be such a weakening in the barrier between worlds, but it took a while before one of them was actually found/proved to exist. In fact, in "Welcome to the Hellmouth", the impression is given that Giles had to do a bit of research to determine that Sunnydale was, in fact, on a Hellmouth. It's fully possible that Giles was the first member of the Watchers' Council to realize that there was a Hellmouth in southern California, and that this spawned interest in Hellmouth research, leading to the one in Cleveland being found (though some people have quoted Giles as saying the Cleveland one was smaller).

There are a couple more points of yours I want to address:

1) There's no reason why potential slayers shouldn't be from all around the world. Evil things may congregate around the Hellmouth, but they exist elsewhere, too (ever since the beginning of the show, LA has been known to have vampires, too, and "Angel" expanded on that; there's also Kendra in Jamaica, or Lurky in Africa). As such, while you might be more likely to find a potential in Sunnydale (mystical convergence, and all), there's nothing to say they HAVE to be there.

2) The reason why all the mystical activity in Sunnydale seems to be from the last century is because the town was only founded in 1899. Before then, there wasn't real anyone around to document the supernatural occurances.

[> [> Re: My own theory about Hellmouths -- Lampbane, 18:04:18 05/21/03 Wed

I never really thought that the Slayer needed to be near the Hellmouth, except for all those pesky apocalypses (apocalypsi?) that keep happening in Sunnydale, which made me think that it might be more important for the Slayer to be near the Hellmouth, leaving the rest of the vampires and demons to the other forces for good on the planet (who we've also seen, especially on Angel).

And about the founding of Sunnydale - true that the town was only founded then, but even isolated occurances have their way of getting into mystical books in the Buffyverse. ;)

[> [> [> Re: My own theory about Hellmouths -- April, 20:50:17 05/21/03 Wed

It seems to be implied in the show that more than one hellmouth can exist at a time. During "The Wish", Giles tells the Cleveland watcher-man that Sunnydale is on a hellmouth. In addition, unless the Cleveland hellmouth was giving off evil energies prior to its "conception" (since opening really isn't the proper word), I don't see how the watchers would have found it (though I suppose they probably had seers, but that's a thin explanation). That leads the viewer (being me) to wonder whether Buffy and co., being more conscious of how often the world is in peril, never worry about apocalypses in some far off land. Like Brazil. If there were an apocalypse in Brazil, would they even know; it's all said and done and I'd still rather like to see an episode where Giles finds a prophecy and the scoobies have to go fight evil in Brazil. But I digress; Having only one hellmouth at a time makes more sense than having multiple ones, but the show seems to intimate otherwise...

[> [> [> [> Powers interference? -- Laura, 23:50:56 05/21/03 Wed

Ever considered that maybe the PTB can prod things so that Whitehats are near or know of major demon activity? If anyone in Sunnydale ran into demons during normal activities as someone like Xander the death tole in that little town would be higher than Everest.

The Powers aren't know for major interference but what about more subtle stuff that changes things in the long term.

[> I like it -- Rook, 18:46:04 05/21/03 Wed

Your theory about "The Wish" that is. One of the continuity things people bring up about The Wish is that the Library isn't destroyed and there's no Hydra-monster thingy...which contradicts what we saw in PG.

So if Anya Switched the "Active" Hellmouth, then whatever power was sealing in the master probably deactivated and freed him, hence no earthquake and no monster. It would also help explain his depression...since he was suddenly free, but unable to complete his plan of bringing hell to earth, since this Hellmouth was now closed.

another negativity thread (Spoilers through 7.22, AtS S4 a bit; long) -- Maura, 16:19:14 05/22/03 Thu

I tried posting this yesterday and it doesn't appear to have gone through. Trying again. Sorry, if it's a repost.

This is my first post on this board, though actually I'm a long time lurker. Typically, I find it more comfortable just to sit back and listen to the conversation then to get into the inherent stress of putting my own voice out there, but with the end of the series, I feel prompted to speak.

I've really enjoyed this board and am, of course, a big fan of BtVS, all of which I want to point out up front because this post is going to be pretty negative. But I've decided to let my first post be a rather critical one because I just feel impelled to put my feelings on Chosen out there. The last ep of BtVS is naturally very emotional for us fans, and it's deeply disturbed me, and I want to try to articulate why.

Disclaimer: I haven't read or have just skimmed briefly a lot of the posts that have been made about Chosen, so if I bring up stuff that's already been chewed over to death, apologies in advance.

To put it bluntly, I think Chosen may be my least favorite BtVS episode of all time.

This isn't to say that there wasn't a lot of terrific stuff in it, as many of your posts have expressed so well. I'll just say in brief that I loved almost all of the character development stuff. I thought it ranged from okay to brilliant, with an emphasis on the brilliant. In fact, the way the various characters played off each other was like a return to the heyday of the series. It felt far more natural than most of S7, and several times I laughed uproariously. (And as a side-note, I loved the Sunnydale sign falling down at the end; it was a nice tribute to Spike in memory of his entrance in School Hard.)

What bothered me--what viscerally disturbs me--is plot and theme-based. Let me outline some issues in hopefully a somewhat coherent way:

1. Buffy's plan, as I understand it, is this: have Willow cast a spell that will give slayer powers to all the potentials so that they can really be an army to fight the Uber-Vamps. Am I missing something, or is that it?

(It wasn't *supposed* to hinge on the amulet, was it? My understanding of this is that Buffy was hoping it would be useful but didn't really know it if would work or what it would do if it did.)

If I have "the plan" down right, I don't see how it can be "brilliant," as Giles says; it's suicidal. There is no way I can conceive of that 30 odd slayers could defeat hundreds of thousands of Uber-Vamps (or hundreds of thousands of Bringers or maybe even of ordinary people). There was something about "holding a line," which suggests the only a few Uber-Vamps could get by at a time, but even if they had done what seems to me the more logical version of this plan and lured them up the seal where they could take them out one by one, how could they conceivably defeat *all* of them before just dropping from sheer exhaustion? They are just too outnumbered. This is where I lose my suspension of disbelief. It just can't cope.

This is a problem with the whole "war" motif of S7, not really the fault of Chosen, though I was hoping that we'd get some sort of twist at the end that would acknowledge the unworkability of this model. Didn't happen.

(The UVs have also suffered acutely from what someone termed, "the Borg effect": being transformed from an enemy so fearsome that one of them almost killed Buffy to an enemy so trivial that even the ordinary humans stand a good chance of taking out a few. But this is a comparatively minor quibble.)

2. Now, Buffy's plan does not, in the end, save the day. Spike does. This could have worked within the context of the Buffyverse if it had been explicitly acknowledged that Buffy's plan was a ridiculous failure to come to terms with the problem. But this didn't happen.

If it had happened, we would be left the message that our empowered slayer hero couldn't cut it and had to be rescued by her guy. We weren't left with this message, and yet, this is, in fact, what happened--and what had to happen, since Buffy's plan *could not* succeed. How would you even write a success story for that plan? How many hours/days would it take to wipe out all those UVs, even if all the slayers never tired and none of them ever died?

3. So we're left with an unworkable plan that is pretty much presented as, well, "brilliant." It doesn't work, and the world gets saved by circumstances that are really pretty incidental to Buffy. Yet the message of the story seems to be that Buffy's heroism has saved the day. This, to me, feels forced, and it might serve as a transition from plot to theme problems. I feel like I'm being told to revere someone for something I shouldn't be revering her for. I find myself revolting, which bugs me because I do like Buffy, and I do revere her overall for the seven years of faithful service.

4. The crux of my problem with Chosen might be described this way: I feel like I'm being told to respect as right decisions that I feel are wrong: both practically and morally. On a practical level, Buffy's "war" idea is an example of this.

On a more moral level, I have huge problems with the activation of all the slayers as such.

Let me pause to make some acknowledgments about my own moral sensibilities: I tend to focus much more on balance (yin-yang) than on the good triumphing over evil. In an ultimate, cosmic sense, such a triumph is an idea it's very hard for me to wrap my mind around (sounds like Jasmine's Brave New World to me). The demons = evil concept of BtVS has always been a hard one for me. But I've generally been able to deal with it because it operated as a fairly simply allegory.

5. Which, as I understand it, seemed to be: Demons, etc., represent problems that teens and young adults (and everyone) have to face. Buffy represents the "slayer" in all of us (especially teen girls but really all of us) who has to get out there and deal with those problems because that's how life is.

Caught up in this allegory is the question of being alone vs. having outside support. Buffy is famously "alone" as the slayer yet also famously unwilling to bow to that traditional aloneness, drawing much strength from her friends, often strength she needs to succeed.

Activating all the slayers shifts this alone/not alone balance. Suddenly, slayers are much less alone. "Problems" are much more something to be collectively solved. This is okay as a goal for dealing with life. But from a narrative perspective, it seems to undermine one of the great strengths of the show, which is the acknowledgment that we are often ultimately alone with our problems. It hurts and it's hard, and that's what life is like sometimes. The message now seems to be that it's not so hard and it's going to hurt a lot less, and that shift in emphasis seems to take away a lot of the power of a core concept: that Buffy is a figure we can identify with not so much when times are good, but when times *are bad*, when do feel alone and like the weight of the world is on our shoulders. Maybe that's why the series is ending: because that identification is over?

6. Note: I don't want Buffy to be eternally miserable or die (again) before 25. But I do feel that if she ceases to be that role model for getting through the hard(est) times, she ceases to be symbolically the "slayer" she was throughout most of the show. And if that happens, she should really cease to be the/a slayer. (My personal vote for an S7 ending would have been for Buffy to lose the slayer power altogether, get a chance at a normal life, and face the *challenge* of living a normal life.)

7. As it is, Buffy has been given the best of both worlds. She's has all her old slayer power but only a fraction of old slayer responsibility. Now this seems profoundly and distressingly out of keeping with all I know about life. When are we ever able to have power without a balancing level of responsibility? When can we ever let go of responsibility without letting go of power? One might say, Buffy does have less power now because she's has to share it with other, equal slayers. Okay. That's true to an extent, but in literal terms, she still has the "slayer" power she always did without the same problems: world not on her shoulders, not necessarily having to die young, etc. It's not balanced, and it's not realistic.

8. And speaking of balance, where does the power given to all the slayers come from? In her (as usual) eloquent post, Shadowkat suggests that the message is that Buffy shares her power with the other girls, a vindication the "female" power that is represented by sharing, cooperation, etc. I don't doubt this is exactly the message ME was going for; it's perfectly in keeping with the themes of BtVS since S1.

But Buffy doesn't share her power. If she and Faith did share out the slayer power, they would end up a fraction as strong as they were (as individuals); they don't.

Or, echoing the end of S4, all the slayers might form a more synergistic unit in which the slayer power plus the human power of all the girls together would be greater than the sum of its parts and they would all be connected as a single unit. There does seem to be some sense of connection to something greater. But it doesn't appear to run very deep: when one slayer dies or is hurt, the others don't appear physically affected, hurt, or even aware unless they see it. They don't seem to fight as a single unit either, just as different people in an army, as they were trained.

In fact, what we see happen is simply that all the potentials become independent slayers, like Buffy and Faith. The power is not shared; it is multiplied by the number of new slayers.

This is a huge amount of new power being "activated." Again, where does it come from? Not Buffy, not Faith. Not Willow, who is only momentarily drained by the activation spell: there's no sign she's given up any power. As far as we're given an explanation within the episode, the power appears to be generated out of nothing. This is in direct violation to canonical rule set up in Get It Done that magic is rooted in the laws of physics and obeys laws like conservation of matter and energy. (It would, by the same token, be in violation of our experience of how the world works according the laws of physics.)

9. So let's say the canon isn't violated and the power did come from somewhere. Where? The original slayer power came from a demon's soul, according to the Shadow Men. Are more demons being desouled then? Is "desouling" a demon a good thing? I've never been sure. We've been told over and over that the slayer power is rooted in darkness, yet the power Willow contacts appears emphatically light. Were the Shadow Men lying in everything they said about the slayer? Is the whole rooted-in-darkness thing a hoax? If so, then a) we deserved some commentary to that effect and b) it destroys a really neat theme about the nature of power as dangerous and tending toward corruption: a very valid theme.

But maybe they weren't lying. Maybe Buffy and Faith's power is rooted in darkness, but the power Willow contacted isn't. Then are all the other slayers of a different order? If so, then why do they all feel the spell work as if they were on equal footing? And if the power is light, where did it come from? Were a bunch of good critters stripped of their souls? Is this a good thing?

Or maybe Willow contacted a dark power and transformed it into light. Problems: we have never seen Willow do this before; indeed, she seems to tend toward contacting dark powers, plus she's sitting on top of the Hellmouth. Also, to me anyway, this seems like another violation of the balance: it would be like the yin-yang being turned into a big, white full moon. Isn't it valuable to have both sides of things somehow represented? Hasn't BtVS flourished by showing how "dark" things periodically pop up to the help the good guys? Or to put it in Andrew-ese: I feel like the Light Side is clouding everything.

10. What I see going on is a huge tampering with the forces of the Buffyverse with no hint of any consequences. This seems to me to be a very problematic message about the nature of power and the responsibility incurred in making world-changing decisions. It also flies in the face of many of the greatest moments in the show: Ex. Restless, when the Scoobies almost got killed by the First Slayer for taking the risk of combining their powers. Ex. The Gift: Buffy got out of the conundrum of saving Dawn vs. saving the world but only by sacrificing herself. Ex. Bringing Buffy back from the dead: created a demon, pushed Willow toward the "dark side," and certainly screwed up Buffy's existence.

Things in Chosen that do not count as consequences of the slayer activation:

Spike's death: a consequence of Spike's choice, not the Buffy-Willow plan.
Anyone else's death: a consequence of the "war," not the slayer activation.
The destruction of Sunnydale (a good thing): consequence of Spike's choice.
Willow being tired for a few minutes: not exactly a balanced payment for activating a world of slayers.

Of course, there might be consequences that aren't immediately apparent. It would be neat if AtS took up that issue, though it probably won't for cross-series continuity reasons. As for BtVS, at this point, if something hasn't been shown to me, I'm assuming I'm not supposed to imagine it's there.

One final point:

11. Why I think the slayer activation fails on a symbolic level. I'm guessing that the message is that now that we've had the role model of Buffy--the hard work and sacrifices of Buffy--all girls can be empowered to be slayers in their own lives. Am I missing the point again?

If this is it, the problem is that that's always been the message of BtVS, from ep. 1. If the message had been, "She's special and you're not, and you need her to save you, and if you wait seven years, you might get to be special too," people wouldn't have watched. Buffy has always represented all of us. I don't see how multiplying the number of slayers changes that message.

If anything, it confuses it. Instead of having one or two women standing for the slayer in all of us, we now have hundreds or thousands of Chosen (a few billion not chosen), the message seeming to be, "Now, we can each individually be chosen," except that most people still aren't. This almost seems to suggest that now, everyone isn't symbolically a slayer. Only the "chosen" are. (I admit, this last bit is a tenuous argument. Chock it up to a digressive train of thought.)

In conclusion, my problems in brief:

--illogical plotting
--metaphysical/(moral?) imbalance
--lack of consequences
--damage to certain central metaphors of the show.

I could quibble about other things, but they'd be trivial and a lot of them have been ably addressed in posts already. I could also spend a fair amount of time praising certain individual scenes, but that, too, has been ably done by others.

Maybe I really am misinterpreting something crucial in Chosen. Please let me know. I'd like to like this episode more. And I've only seen it once, so I probably am missing a lot of details at least.

Well, to (try to) end on an upbeat note: I know most of you feel that Chosen was a stunning and moving close to the series (or at least "good.") I'm happy for you. I wish I was one of you. I adore BtVS on the whole; I think it's in the running for best TV series of all time. AtS is just getting better and better, and I'm very much looking forward to S5.

[> It went through . . . -- d'Herblay, 16:44:05 05/22/03 Thu

. . . and fell into the archives through the mindless workings of Voy's evil machinery. It, and its responses, is currently here.

[> [> Thanks! and thanks to those who responded (NT) -- Maura, 20:48:27 05/22/03 Thu

[> Re: another negativity thread (Spoilers through 7.22, AtS S4 a bit; long) -- Ray, 02:28:14 05/23/03 Fri

I agree with a lot of your points. It seems like sharing the power is unfair to all the girls who had nothing to do with the Hellmouth battle. They're now saddled with responsibility they may not want (Buffy should've remembered how hard it is to be a teen slayer). Also, showing all those girls suddenly strong seems to give the impression that without mystical intervention they'd be helpless victims.

Am I the only one who thought 'Chosen' was perfect? (spoiler free) -- Calvin, 19:19:27 05/21/03 Wed

This will probably get buried since there are some thoughtful and well written posts out there but...

So I get up this morning, and I decided to scan through several different boards I normally scan through (Bronze Beta, Buffistas) and even some I don't (Television without Pity). On the one hand I am really, really suprised at the *overall* negative reaction to this episode. Yes, there are many people who liked this ep, but it seems to me that there are more that didn't. On the other hand, I don't think that ANY final would please most fans. I'm not saying that people don't have the right to be displeased. I just think that peoples expectations have risen to the extent that to actually meet those expectations would prove impossible.

I know this has been talked about ad naseum, but I think it's interesting to see how my reaction has differed so much from other reactions. It really is like we were watching a different show. I had to rewatch the episode just to see things I missed because of all the times I kept saying, "Oh WOW!" I literally cannot imagine how Joss Whedon could have done it better. I know that a lot of people have posted (not really here) various lists of things that they would have done better (things like, 'Angel and Buffy should have had a long conversation to say everything that they wanted to say', that type of thing). I look at most of these and laugh, because it goes right back to what Whedon has said time and time again: give them what they need, not what they want. If the fans had written it, it not only would have been 97 hours long, it would have been *really* boring. True, there were a lot of things that were left unanswered. I love that. If he had tied everything up, people would have complained that everything was too neat.

I think I really do get why people seem to have had problems with "Chosen". I just don't agree. In fact, I think its perfect.


ps - Just in case I stop lurking (no more negative threads for this happy camper, thank you very much), I want to thank everyone who posts here, even those with whom I completely disgree. It's made it a great show even more so. Oh, and Rob, here are you pom-poms back:).

[> Re: Am I the only one who thought 'Chosen' was perfect? (spoiler free) -- Eryn, 19:36:42 05/21/03 Wed

I agree, Calvin. Nothing in life is perfect, but this was a near-perfect end to a near-perfect show. I, too, can't imagine what Whedon could have done to make it more fulfilling. I like things left a little loose, but it did give me some closure on my beloved Scoobies. I was sad to see Anya go, but I'm glad she went out fighting. I didn't mind that some old favourites died and some newer characters made it, because this show has always embraced the new as well as the old. The only thing that bored me a little was the B/A thing at the beginning, but I can see why it was there and I have no real complaints. That's just a personal reaction.

Willow answered the age-old question, "Are you a good witch or a bad witch?" Faith got a little stability while Buffy learned sometimes it's good to have things up in the air. Spike was truly redeemed. And that scene between the four original Scoobies in the hallway . . . . Fantastic.

And for that beautiful "every girl the slayer" montage, it's now one of my favourite episodes.

Bravo, Joss Whedon!


[> [> Sorry! Mega spoilers for Chosen above!!!!!! -- Eryn, 19:38:24 05/21/03 Wed

[> [> Re: Am I the only one who thought 'Chosen' was perfect? (spoiler free) -- Rina, 09:15:06 05/22/03 Thu

Calvin and Eryn said it all for me. "Chosen" is not perfect. It's not even the best BUFFY episode or finale. But it was more than satisfying to me. And I've only been watching BUFFY for four months (thanks to the FX Channel, I've seen most of the entire series through reruns).

[> I adored it to itty bitty bits and pieces. -- Rob, 20:05:05 05/21/03 Wed

I never in a million years thought I would love it so much. Even I was sure that I'd get nitpicky about the last episode ever, just because there's so many expectations riding on it. For what it's worth, I thought it was the perfect conclusion for one of the best TV series ever, and therefore one of the best finales ever. It was tightly written, brilliantly directed and acted, and fulfilled all my expectations, both dramatically and character-wise. Most reviews were positive as well, if that helps you feel better. And over 75% of voters gave it 5 stars at, last time I checked. Sometimes the posters who are negative about the episode can be more vocal, because they are more passionate and outspoken about their being disappointed. There's less to say when you thought something was perfect. Very little criticism, that's for sure.

I give it a 10. It's not only my favorite season finale on the show, but has knocked something (not sure what yet!) out of my top 10 list. I never thought a last episode could be so perfect.


[> [> I've long since applied Jossian math to my Top 10. -- HonorH, 22:32:00 05/21/03 Wed

[> [> [> LOL! Then my list might be up to 100 in realverse math! -- Rob, 10:31:42 05/22/03 Thu

[> "Perfect" was also the first word that came to my mind to describe it. -- sassette *see glowing post above*, 20:26:36 05/21/03 Wed

[> Calvin You are definitely not alone . I loved it. -- Artemis, 22:06:56 05/21/03 Wed

I had the same reaction as you. I was all excited after this show, wanting to read the boards, hoping even somewhat expecting others to have the same reaction as me. And alas was surprised. Yet I really don't know why. People over the years as I have watched Buffy have had such varying reactions to different episodes that there really was no way that Joss could have pleased even a majority. The very direction that he took which was to not answer all the questions is what I thought was the best choice. But for many they felt that this was a cop out. I wonder how they would have felt if the answers he gave were not the answers they wanted. The cool thing about Joss and Buffy is that for each episode you can come up with at least 2 or 3 if not more perspectives. One that can aggravate the hell out of you or one that gives you total bliss. Fortunately for me throughout the years I have always been able to find the perspective that makes me happy. That is my Choice.
I am just so happy that I have found so many people at this board that have helped me, through their writings, to always see it.

Thanks for writing this

[> Nope, perfect sounds just about right... -- Kate, 22:25:19 05/21/03 Wed

Calvin - fantastic post. There is nothing wrong in loving this finale or thinking it was pretty near-perfect. That was my exact reaction as the credits aired for the last time and one final "grr...arg" was heard in closing. There is not a single thing that I felt was missing from this episode. I too loved the unanswered questions...because this show has always left parts unanswered. That's half the reason it is the best show I've ever watched. I'm left to ponder the questions and decide for myself just what those answers might life. Joss Whedon gave me a finale for his masterpiece beyond my wildest expectations. There was wonderful resolution between so many characters, sweetly poignant shout-outs to its glorious past and most importantly, Buffy and her story came full circle. I have never felt more empowered by this show or proud of the characters on it than I did last night. I for one am left quite the happy camper.

[> I thought it was the perfect way to end the series. -- HonorH, 22:30:32 05/21/03 Wed

I really did. I loved the theme, and I thought everything was superbly done. Perhaps it's not the best ep ever, but I can't imagine a better way to end the series.

I'm also avoiding negativity posts--sorry, guys. I respect you all, but in this case, I'm all, "Lalala! Not listening!"

Oops. Seem to have caught Rob's pom-poms myself. Here ya go, guy.

[> [> Me too with the negativity-avoidance. -- Rob, 22:40:29 05/21/03 Wed

I love everybody who posted in the negativity posts, but I just love the episode so much I can't deal with anyone putting a damper on my happiness. Because there have been a bunch of times I read negative posts about an ep and even if I didn't agree completely, start to think "That poster has a point," etc. I just can't let that happen for this episode. It was too perfect an ending for me to let anyone rain on my Slayer pride parade.


[> [> [> Me three. I'm gonna honor this series, honor the memories -- Random, 23:24:06 05/21/03 Wed

by avoiding the negativity. I think, dammit, that's the least I can do for a show that I've loved for six and a half years.

[> [> [> [> Four, here!!! Still sitting in the Quite Happily Satisfied seats -- LittleBit, 01:16:27 05/22/03 Thu

[> [> [> [> [> Me fifth! I laughed, cried and enjoyed it. What more can you ask for? -- pellenaka, these positivity chairs are very comfy, 09:52:39 05/22/03 Thu

[> [> [> [> [> [> Me Sixth! I loved Chosen, and I see no reason to sully the experience. -- Alison, coming into the positive party a little late, 13:02:39 05/22/03 Thu

[> [> You're right - maybe not the 'best ever', but still a perfect ending, which is all we needed. -- Calvin, 11:00:58 05/22/03 Thu

[> I looooved it! (spoken in funny Andrew-voice) -- grifter, 01:10:23 05/22/03 Thu

[> Two Things -- Wizard, 01:11:23 05/22/03 Thu

There were only two problems I had with Chosen:

1) Xander didn't get to help making preacher julienne,

2) It was the last episode ever.

That's it. The rest, to quote Giles was "Bloody Brilliant!" And yes, it gets a 10 in my book. Maybe in a month or so, I'll start a Top 10 thread.

[> After some consideration I'm going with the Raising Arizona ending -- ponygirl, 12:42:25 05/22/03 Thu

This is my dream of the future. Just because it's a dream doesn't mean it's not true, just because it's about fictional characters doesn't mean it can't be true either.

In my dream I see our Scoobies going out into the world, finding young Slayers and teaching them about their power - but leaving it to them to decide how to use it. Giles leads the way, not as a Watcher but as an Active Participant, though most of his pupils could do without the mandatory acoustic guitar jam sessions. Dawn is at his side, chief researcher and translator, and instructor in the finer points of hair-pulling. Willow is a teacher too, helping witches and warlocks to maintain the balance between the dark and the light, she does however opt to stay with her natural hair colour. And quietly in the background Xander works away, making sure the windows get repaired and the debris gets swept up.

Further into the future I can see Faith fighting the good fight, hailed as the Saviour of Cleveland, the Warrior of the People.

Even further still, and things get a bit hazier, but I dream of Willow turning that corner in Istanbul and finding Oz... I know this is someone else's dream but I'm hoping he won't mind me borrowing it. I can see them laughing and talking of their adventures, or rather Willow talking, while Oz listens, always watching her face.

A bit of swirling, artful, dream-mist and I see Xander in a large, well-constructed house, with an opinionated, strong-willed woman, and swarm of smart-mouthed children, who all groan at his jokes, but when pressed will admit that he is the best father in the world. Lousy at baseball though.

Finally, furthest into the future of them all, years and years away so the details are hard to make out, I can just make out Buffy coming home, maybe from a trip to another country or maybe just a trip the mall, in any case she has shopping bags. I can't see exactly where this home is located, whether it's in a big city or a quiet suburb, Utah or Arizona, or perhaps by a crater-shaped lake that used to be Sunnydale, but I do know the house is filled with pictures of family and friends, mementos of places visited and battles won, and a ridiculous amount of shoes. There is someone waiting there for her - and some of you may see this person differently than I do, maybe taller and with very different hair - but I'm pretty sure he's human, and I know he's glad to see her and she him. It's not a happily ever after, there is much bickering and eye-rolling and the occasional storming out, but they are both okay with that because they know that nothing is perfect and nothing ever really ends. Except this dream, because that's where I choose to leave them.

So whatever my problems with Chosen, or season 7, I've decided I'm fine, because this is my ending. And it is perfect.

[> [> *sigh* ponygirl, I heart you so much! -- Dyna, 13:22:20 05/22/03 Thu

[> [> Oh, ponygirl, that's perfect! -- dream, 13:55:08 05/22/03 Thu

You sentimental fool, you!

I would only add Tara, Joyce, Anya, Jonathon and Jenny, watching over them with love.

Oh, and, um, Giles has a romantic interest in a certain administrative assistant from Cambridge, MA....but I admit that stretches things a bit.

[> [> I think you dreamed them all a pretty nice future, ponygirl. :) -- Kate, 14:34:25 05/22/03 Thu

[> [> [> Re: Damn it. You made me cry. Thanks. -- Brian, 19:20:33 05/22/03 Thu

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