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My Big Buffy Awards :) -- Rook, 04:14:45 05/22/03 Thu

Well....someone has to do it. Now that we've reached the end, I decided to list my best and worst of Buffy, so here we go...



Fool For Love
Becoming II
The Gift
Once More, With Feeling

And the winner is: Once More With Feeling! So many great episodes, but there's nothing that can quite match everything this episode had to offer...singing, dancing, drama, comedy, tragedy all rolled up into one.



The Mayor
The Master

And the Winner is: ANGELUS! No one ever quite hurts Buffy and the gang the way Angelus did. Plus he had leather pants.



Jonathan - Class protector (The Prom)
Buffy - Cookie Dough (Chosen)
Buffy - Live. For me. (The Gift)
The Mayor - Commencement (GD II)
Spike - Love's Bitch (Lover's Walk)
Angel - Am I a righteous man? (Amends)
Buffy - Prepare me. (WttH)

And the winner is: SPIKE - LOVE'S BITCH! There were some others I was tempted to pick, but this is such a spot-on statement of how the show handles emotions that I just had to go with it.



Harmony VS Xander (The Initiative)
Buffy, Giles and the Wizard costume (No place like home)
Willow loves Xander (Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered)
Buffy loves Spike (Something Blue)
Who are we? (Tabula Rasa)

And the winner is: HARMONY VS XANDER! I'd love to choose every single one for this category, but this one makes me laugh every single time...Buffy, Giles and the Wizard costume is a close, close second, but I think the backstory to their relationship just gives this one the edge it needs.



The Master (Prophecy Girl)
Buffy (The Gift)
Jenny Calendar (Passion)
Spike (Chosen)
Anya (Chosen)
Warren (Villains)

And the winner is: BUFFY, The Gift. Nothing quite like the calssic Swan dive. Not diminished by her return, the sacrifice, the buildup, the speech and everythig else just put this one over the top.


Buffy: "Mom...Mommy?" (I Was Made to Love You)
Anya: "And no one will tell me why!" (The Body)
"She Saved the world. A Lot." (The Gift)
Tara: "Your shirt..." (Seeing Red)
Oz: "My whole life, I've never loved anything else (Wild at Heart)

And the Winner is: BUFFY: "Mom...Mommy?" Even when you know what's going on, this one just rips your heart out...even more than the following episode, it's always this moment that just kills me.


Jenny Calendar's death (Passion)
Angel kills a Hooker (Surprise)
Tara's death (Seeing Red)
Faith/Buffy: "Five by Five" (Who Are you?)
Willow: "Bored Now" (Villains)

And the Winner is: JENNY CALENDAR (Passion) - Up to this point, I really didn't expect the series to do anything amazing...sure, it was good. But Angelus killing Jenny...How the f*** are they going to bring him back from that? From this point on, I learned to expect the unexpected, but at that time, it wasn't where I expected them to go.


Giles: "I'd like to test that theory" (Two to go)
Spike whacks Angel (Becoming II)
Buffy: "Now!" (GD II)
Willow: "She's with me." (The Gift)

And the winner is: WILLOW "She's with me." - Just have to give props to Willow here, standing by her girl and giving Glory a whoopin at the same time.



Yeah right. We'd be here all night.

And the Winner is: OZ: "Our lives are different from other people's" (GD I)

If you have to sum up the whole series in one line, Oz is the man for the job.



Buffy, Blck Dress (When She was Bad)
Cordelia, The Bitch is Back (The Wish)
Anya, It Must be Bunnies (Once More, With Feeling)
Oz, God (Fear Itself)
Angel, Man of Mystery (Welcome to the Hellmouth)

And the Winner is: BUFFY, Black Dress (When She was Bad). Mmm, Buffy. Mmm, Buffy dancing.



Marcie Ross (Out of mind, out of sight)
Dawn (Older and Far Away)
Kennedy (The Killer in Me)
Mrs. Riley Finn (As You Were)
Riley Finn (The Initiative)

And the Winner is: Mrs. Riley Finn! Yes, in just a short time on screen, she annoyed me far more than anyone else. The line "Major league Wicca" Still gives me the shakes. And No one likes an overachiever.


Tara, Big Stripe (Who Are You?)
Xander, Green Mushrooms (The Harvest)
Willow, Wicked Witch (Villains)
Spike, Randy Giles (Tabula Rasa)
Dawn, Pushy Queen of Slut Town (Him)

And the Winner is: TARA, wuth the big, godawful stripe across her waist. What the hell was whoever put her in that thinking? The one moment when I realized Willow must really be falling for her, otherwise why would she be seen with her in public looking like that?


Aura/Aphrodesia "The chatter in the caf..." (Wtth)
Dawn: "A meat party in my mouth" (Wrecked)
Buffy: "She's an addictive personality" (Two to go)
Xander: "Party in my eye socket" (Chosen)

And the Winner is: DAWN, "A meat party in my mouth." This line simply has no redeeming features...not even Donald Sutherland would write a line this bad.

But the addictive personality line is a damn close second.


As You Were
Beer Bad
Bad Eggs
I Robot, You Jane
Go Fish

And the Winner is: AS YOU WERE. At least the others were technically proficient. This episode has almost nothing going for it.


Dawn Cheerleading (Him)
Xander VS Caleb (Dirty Girls)
Xander asks Buffy out (Prophecy Girl)
Buffy hates Giles (Helpless)
Cordy/Wesley Kiss (GD II)

And the Winner is: DAWN CHEERLEADING! At least Wes and Cordy had some privacy, and embarassment is generally more painful to watch than, well, pain.

And finally....




And the Winner is.....XANDER! yes, he certainly had his share of foul ups, but in the end he always came through. Whether it was with a bazooka, a fertilizer bomb, or a broken yellow crayon, Xander was always there, giving it everything he had.

Well, I ran out of categories, but if you actually read the whole have too much free time on your hands.


[> Re: My Big Buffy Awards :) -- mj, 06:10:01 05/22/03 Thu

Great lists. I only have one to add:

Tara, Big Stripe (Who Are You?)
Xander, Green Mushrooms (The Harvest)
Willow, Wicked Witch (Villains)
Spike, Randy Giles (Tabula Rasa)
Dawn, Pushy Queen of Slut Town (Him)

These are bad but my vote would have to be for Buffy's brown tie-dyed pants and striped glittery top in "The Replacement"? WHAT was she thinking???

[> Loved Your Choices! -- dub ;o), 07:57:35 05/22/03 Thu

[> liked it...but **major spoilers** above for latest eps (in case anyone here's not spoiled already) -- anom, 11:35:35 05/22/03 Thu

O/T: You are not going to believe this. Check out this premise for a new reality show -- Vash the Stampede, 08:44:04 05/22/03 Thu

U.S. production company Keller Entertainment has picked up North American TV distribution rights for Witchcraft, Scandinavian company Mastiff Media's reality show centered on the occult and paranormal, which will air on VH1, Variety reported. Witchcraft brings together 12 people who feel they have extraordinary talents, then teaches them all aspects of witchcraft, the trade paper reported. One person is eliminated each week, until the most promising takes home the prize: a cauldron of cash to be used on witchcraft studies.

Co-creator of Witchcraft and Mastiff head of development Markus Sterky said the school will be led by practicing witches, specialists in the field of witchcraft tradition, guest lecturers and consultants, the trade paper reported.

Okay, is it just me, or has the whole reality tv thing gotten waaaaaaay out of hand?


[> Re: O/T: You are not going to believe this. Check out this premise for a new reality show -- Mackenzie, 09:14:32 05/22/03 Thu

It is not just you,NO one will watch this. Not in America! TV people are reaching.

[> Cool! Can we call it 'American False Idol'? -- d'Herblay, 09:43:15 05/22/03 Thu

[> [> Hey, wait a minutes! Can't there be Canadian contestants?? -- dub ;o), 10:27:00 05/22/03 Thu

I wanna compete!!


[> [> [> 'minutes' ??!! Yikes! -- dumbdub, 10:33:28 05/22/03 Thu

[> [> [> Re: Hey, wait a minutes! Can't there be Canadian contestants?? -- Chris, 17:46:12 05/22/03 Thu

Help!! THat's a terrible idea....DOn't let Canadians in....not only are they almost Yanks, they're almost French too!! No Englishman would be able to sleep at night......


[> [> [> [> LOL! -- dub ;o), 07:25:02 05/23/03 Fri

[> [> [> [> [> Re: LOL! -- Laura, 17:04:26 05/23/03 Fri

Hey I'm not an America! I'm a C-A-N-A-D-I-A-N. Or a Canuck if you prefer. No offense to any Americans but there is denfinitely a difference.

Canada is not a republic. We have a prime miniter like the English and we're a socialist country not a capitalist. We got our freedom from negotiation no a rebellion. These are some of the most obvious differences.

[> [> [> [> [> [> And the saying 'Aboot'...;-) -- O'Cailleagh, 20:13:21 05/23/03 Fri

[> The only way this show could possibly work (tongue very definitely in cheek) -- Farquarson, Formerly Rhys, 01:59:55 05/24/03 Sat

...would be if there were magical contests. And they would have to have pretty good special effects, too.

For example, transmorgification. You could have the twelve people draw lots to see which ones would get to be the guinea pigs. Once the targets were selected, the remaining players would have to come up with a powder, a potion or an ointment which would transform each person's assigned--er--victim into an animal, bird or fish.

Naturally, there would be a possibility of accidental permanent transformation, so the players would have to sign medical and legal releases absolving the show of responsibility should they have to spend the rest of their vastly shortened lives in a doghouse or cat carrier. Also, the players would be warned that insurance companies tend not to believe in transmorgification and that, as a result, their next of kin might have to wait at least seven years before receiving any life insurance.

It is doubtful whether conjuring a cloak of invisibility or levitating large objects would be sufficiently dramatic on TV. However, materialization can be attractive. The main problem with this one would be curtailing the use of spells to make gold, gems or paper money appear, as anyone capable of creating an unlimited supply of synthetically created money or gems would be a serious threat to the global economy.

Another possible contest would involve the players making the Olde Worlde flying ointment reportedly used by witches in the Middle Ages. This would be a good draw for sweeps week, as the ointment is traditionally rubbed all over the naked (and, usually, female) body. The ointment is also alleged to cause intense and pleasurable hallucinations, which would be a draw for potential players. The hallucinations would likewise be useful to the players, who would be so busy hallucinating that they would be utterly inhibition free, which would, of course, be of considerable interest to the viewers. Indeed, many viewers might not even care if the flying ointment worked.

Still another potential draw would be demonic summoning. Granted, this would have to be done under strictly controlled conditions, and even then the show would most likely require the contestants to sign affidavits stating that they, the contestants, were taking part in this contest of their own free will, and that any temporary or permanent loss of limb, life and/or soul was purely the contestants' own responsibility. Also, since possession is nine-tenths of the law, any contestant possessed by the demon whom he or she had summoned would have to work out the details of shared residence of their now-mutual body with the demon, as the show would not provide exorcists. Reality TV demands that there be ** some ** risk, after all.

Of course, for sweeps week in May, the flying ointment show and the demonic summoning show could be combined, so that the audience would have plenty of beefcake and cheesecake to ogle while enjoying tons of gratuitous violence.

Now, under these circumstances, I think this show could work.

[> [> Now I REALLY wanna compete! -- dub ;o), 10:04:01 05/24/03 Sat

[> Harry Potter will kick their ass. -- lost_bracelet, 16:18:45 05/24/03 Sat

[> [> Maybe not. Harry Potter doesn't do too well in Potions class. -- Farquarson, Formerly Rhys, 19:42:14 05/24/03 Sat

My major problem with 'Chosen' (spoilers) -- Mystery, 08:57:08 05/22/03 Thu

It was only an hour long!

After 7 years, I think we deserved two hours! I think the whole story needed two hours. Everything that was in that episode was beautiful, amazing and necessary for real closure by the fans. Yet, I felt a little short-changed by the fight scene. They're in the Belly of the Beast, 30 Slayers and a souled vampire fighting off an army of thousands of Turok-Hans. Every new Slayer should have gotten a scene with the Scythe. Xander should have done more than just be around for Dawn to cleverly save. Xander should have saved Dawn as well. This was a battle fought on 4 fronts, it deserved more than 10 minutes. Yet, I can't think of a moment that I would shorten or remove from before or after that scene.

Everything else was perfect. Buffy and Angel finally getting a bit of resolution (Angel whining about spike having a soul was too funny). Dawn kicking Buffy then Buffy quipping "If you die, I'm telling." Buffy and Spike bickering about Angel and the amulet (I LOVE the illustration of Angel on the punching bag and Buffy exasperated look when she noticed it. "He wears lifts, you know." gigglefit). Everyone's reaction to Buffy's plan, especially Giles. Buffy's final speech to the Potentials. Faith and Wood coming to an understanding ("Please, I'm so much prettier than you!"). Giles, Xander and Andrew (the male version of the Crone, The Mother and the Maiden) playing D&D with Amanda while Anya sleeps. Entering the school. Andrew's "acceptance speech." The scene with the original Scoobies, and Giles echoing season 1 stating "The Earth is definately doomed." Willow activating the Slayers. Willow's whimper as Buffy declares her to be more powerful than all the Shadowmen combined. The chunky girl stopping the blow from a drunken relative. Vi, who two episodes ago declared "I think I'm freaking out," looking down on the wave of Turok-Hans and stating "These guys are dust!" The moments in the fight itself were awesome too! They're just weren't enough of them! but I'm an action junky I loved the scene with Spike and Buffy at the end (Looks like she felt the fire again, eh?). Vi screaming at Rona to "This is nothing! Stay Awake!" (Is is clear that Vi is my favorite Slayer right now?) And then the final scene were everyone is reflecting. My brother bitched that they didn't mourn properly for Anya and Spike but I argued, everyone knew there would be casualities, and it could have been anyone of them, it's more important to celebrate their sacrifice especially since they won. Besides, Spike might Shanshu and Anya, well, I suspect that she's still D'Hoffryn's favorite and he rescued her at the last minute by restoring her Vengence Demon powers...Hey! LET ME HAVE THIS!! I'll go nuts if I can believe there's hope for Anya's return. It helped me through Tara's death and I'm gonna need a lot more for Anya...:-)

Overall it was a fantastic episode but being a brat and all, I wanted a 2 hour series finale...not just one measly hour...:-)

[> I love Vi! -- Scroll, 11:01:56 05/22/03 Thu

Love all the things you listed, Mystery. Agree that two hours would've been good to address all the things that have got dropped this season.

I never hated any of the potentials (though Rona and Kennedy were kinda annoying at times) and Vi has become my new favourite Slayer. She actually kinda reminds me of S1 Willow, who was kinda scared and shy, very timid and non-violent, but then blossomed into a brave warrior once she came into her power.

Somebody needs to write some Vi fanfic!

[> [> Re: I love Vi! -- grifter, 02:39:39 05/23/03 Fri

"These guys are dust!" made me shudder (in a good way).

Yay Vi!

[> [> [> Re: I love Vi! -- Malathustra, 13:02:32 05/23/03 Fri

Last night, I saw Vi in a Coke commercial. She looked way more hot than they ever let her look on Buffy. I was a bit shocked.

[> [> [> [> Re: I love Vi! -- Eryn, 16:17:30 05/23/03 Fri

Vi showed definite potential (no pun intended--oh what the hell, pun intended) as a super hero.

I now freely admit that I liked Rona. I may be the only Buffy viewer who did. She gave Buffy grief but at least she has the guts to question authority and to speak her mind. Besides, a girl who quotes "The Wizard of Oz" after a serious, life-altering moment is a girl after my own heart.


[> [> [> [> [> Re: I love Vi! -- Jenny's Love, 19:49:48 05/23/03 Fri

YES!!!! I am a softy, so it broke my heart to see Vi so pitifully frightened after the explosion at the start of 'End of Days' as she shouted "I'm here" to Amanda and Caridad. Her confidence in the end ("These guys are dust")was awesome as was her fighting during the battle. Her all-time best moment in the season had to be yelling at Rhona on the bus to stay awake ('LOOK AT ME--THIS NOTHING')!!!!!!! Truly a great moment.

[> [> [> [> [> I too like Rona---you are not alone -- Indri, 20:00:29 05/23/03 Fri

[> Where is our 'missing hour'? -- luvthistle1, 15:28:41 05/22/03 Thu

...I felt that we deserved an two hour finale as well. if you look at the finale, it appears like a lot of scenes were missing. also if they were to do an spin off of one of the sits, I hope it "vi' she the only one who stood out, who wasn't overbearing ( re: kennedy and Rona)

[> Another Vi fan, and that extra hour -- Dariel, 17:55:11 05/22/03 Thu

I always liked Vi--she just seemed like a normal girl who was thrown into a crazy situation. Scared out of her mind, but not running away. And such a fierce fighter when she became a slayer! I hope ME noticed her too: AtS could use some more (nonevil) female characters.

I would have liked two hours as well. For all of the reasons you mentioned, but also, to give Willow's spell some justice. That was a huge spell, with far-reaching implications--it should have taken a lot more time, energy, worry, and ingredients to get it together. (Giles mentioned consulting some dead folks for help/advice--we should have been shown that!) I know it would be hard to top the snake in Bargaining, but they should have tried (with something less gross, of course!)

[> [> 'dead folks'? i thought he said something about... -- anom, 21:03:35 05/22/03 Thu

...the Devon coven (I think they made 'em from Devon just to make it harder to pronounce!). That's how it sounded to me, anyway, & I think it makes sense. Although the idea of consulting dead folks is interesting too!

[> [> [> Sorry-'dead folks' was my phrasing -- Dariel, 13:54:28 05/23/03 Fri

I'll have to check the tape (excuse to watch again!). After mentioning the coven, I think Giles said something like, "I have some other people to consult, but I have to get going since they happen to be dead."

What Spike Wanted -- mamcu, 08:57:19 05/22/03 Thu

In some ways, I really, really want Buffy to love Spike, not so much for hearts-and-flowers in the sunset shippy sentimentality, but to validate him. Her saying that she loves him is not a lie, because she does of course love him the way she loves Xander, Willow, etc. He is her friend, her champion, and in some ways her mirror. She knows he has wanted her romantic love, but she's clearly not ready for the "in-love" commitment that old William wanted from Cecily, Dru, and now her. As so many have pointed out, her cookie-dough speech was really for Spike as much as for Angel. She is a little beyond the Dawson-think that she referenced.

Personally after many years, marriages, and lots of etceteras, I question that kind of love at all. See Denis de Rougement, Love and Death in the Western World, for an analysis of why our idea of "romantic love" is quite possibly not only fallacious but a Bad Thing. It either ends in loss which is beautiful to view but miserable to experience, or in marriage, which very soon is not Romance, but family (a good thing, but different). We can't see Spike and Buffy as old happily marrieds 10 years from now, so that would leave only loss-whereas honesty, which he still maintains, opens the door for some kind of friendship, even maybe later some passion. (Of course, that's assuming they both still live!)

However, I still want Spike to get what he deserves, a reward for his many self-sacrifices and his devotion. So I have to say that making the sacrifice, for him, is what finally does validate him, beyond the need for Buffy's judgments. It seemed to me that even from the earliest days, while Spike was superficially motivated by his yearning for romantic validation, he was moving toward something more-the need to be a good man. Buffy recognized it in him when he let Glory beat him to a pulp in Intervention-and in Tough Love, he's already beginning to focus on that.

His desire for romantic validation is what leads to the AR in Seeing Red, and what leads him to seek for his soul is not his belief that the soul will gain what the rape didn't, Buffy's romantic love:

(angrily) It's the chip! Steel and wires and silicon. (sighs) It won't let me
be a monster. (quietly) And I can't be a man. I'm nothing.

Hey. Come on now, Mr. Negative. You never know what's just around the corner. Things

Yeah, they do.

Spike gives a bitter sarcastic laugh. Clem looks at him, kind of helpless.

Then something occurs to Spike. His grin turns nasty.

If you make them.

And in Grave:

You have endured the required trials.

Bloody right I have.

Slowly, painfully, Spike rolls onto his side and pushes himself up onto his knees. His face is
swollen and bruised, more bruising and injuries on his chest and arms.

So you'll give me what I want. Make me what I was. So Buffy can get what she

Of course these two scenes were set up to make us think he was getting the chip removed, but still, looking back, the expectation of romance is still not what he's voicing here. Instead, he seems to be focusing on Buffy's respect. This is even clearer when we see him later with the soul in Beneath You:

I was the enemy, then I was nothing,
and now I'm God's garbage, not even
a joke, less than, less than, less
than all His creatures combined so
tell me, dear Buffy ...

Buffy lets him approach, unmoving, but not letting go of that stake, either.
He barely makes it to her - and SLAMS straight down, to his KNEES. And opens his arms wide.
SPIKE (cont'd)
How ya like me now?

The events of S7 show Spike breaking away from his desire to possess Buffy and even more from his belief that Buffy's love is what will make him whole and happy. When he tells her of his love, it's a long way from the pleading of S6.

What the ending shows us is that Spike himself finally realizes that it is really not Buffy who can give him what he wants. The reason we even had Lies My Parents Told me was to remind us of the old William and his desire to be a good person, a desire that was overwhelmed by his misguided search for romantic love. In Chosen, we see that he once again makes the choice that he made earlier this season and in Intervention, but this time he knows that the pay-off is not Buffy's love.

The look on his face as the destruction begins shows us that he realizes that what he is doing is a truly great thing, and that he is indeed a Good Man. Spike's reward at the end of this series is not to gain Buffy's love, but to be complete in himself. His action is its own reward.

[> Being able to love, rather than being loved. -- sassette, 09:08:13 05/22/03 Thu

Great post.

In the end, I think it comes down to the fact that Spike realized that being able to love--to really love, in a selfless and real way--was more important than being loved. Throughout S5 and S6, Spike wanted to get Buffy to love him. When he got his soul, I think it signalled a change in him: he wanted to be able to really love her.

And I think that's why he said "No, you don't," at the end. I don't think he was saying that Buffy didn't love him, in some way, but that he was actually refusing her love. At that point, he didn't want it, because he didn't want to be another person who Buffy had loved and then had leave her, and he also didn't need it, because he realized that being able to give love means more and is more powerful than receiving it.

Someone over here the other day made the really astute point that, earlier in the season, Willow did a spell where she sucked power from Kennedy and Anya, and went to a dark place again, even if only momentarily. What she did in the finale was the opposite: rather than taking power from others, she gave it to them. I think it is similar with Spike. He began by wanting and needing to be loved--by Buffy, by Dru, by his mother--even if he had to take that love by force, but in the end he realized that giving love is actually where it's at.

[> That was beautiful, mamcu. I agree 400%. -- WickedBuffy, 09:16:11 05/22/03 Thu

The look on Spikes face at the end was no longer towards Buffy, yearning. It was out and up. About himself. I don't think he even realized how important wearing the amulet would be - he may have taken it for one reason, but that all changed when it became clear what the locket and sacrifice became.

[> [> In Defense of Romantic Love (WKCS for AtS) -- lunasea, 13:03:42 05/22/03 Thu

Figured I'd just stick this here rather than do a separate thread. I have seen various individuals pooh-pooh it on various threads. I'm here to defend Cupid and his wonderful arrows.

Romantic love that leads to nothing else dies fairly quickly and can be fairly destructive. However, after romantic love leads to something deeper, that doesn't mean that romance should be discarded. It still serves an incredibly important function.

I have written fairly extensively on the theological virtue of hope. Faith, hope, charity/love. There is a reason that hope is included in this list. Hope is what gets us through the dark times. In instills in us a strength that makes us better. Romantic love when coupled with deeper love does that also.

My husband goes out to sea for months at a time. What gets me through those lonely nights (besides chat) are the memories of those times that people would consider romantic. When I lie in bed, even when he isn't there, I can feel his arms around me and I feel not so alone. When we fight, it is the memories of these times that make me want to work things out. We had a pretty big one this week. It involved lots of screaming and crying and doors being slammed. It is times like this, when he is being an insensitive jerk, that I am tempted to just throw in the towel. Then I remember something or look at something and I get back in there and try to fix things.

It has been any number of things, an inscription in a book or a letter he sent me while we were dating or a look or holding me while I cried or any number of things that get lumped together as Romantic. These things show me how he feels about me and that he is more than just an insensitive jerk. Romance is what gets people interested in each other, but it also helps to maintain that interest.

It doesn't have to be something expensive or huge. Going to the store and coming back with something like Cadbury Eggs because he knows I like them means a lot. Watching a movie with me that he knows I want to see, but he doesn't, that shows how much I mean to him. Trying to understand art or anything else I am interested in shows how much he wants to understand me. When we were dating, he made me a tape of his favorite songs because he wanted to share these with me and broaden my horizon. Those would all come under the heading of Romantic and this is what keeps my marriage alive.

Why I decided to respond here.

he may have taken it for one reason, but that all changed when it became clear what the locket and sacrifice became.

What changed was that Spike could feel his soul. Angel pretty much felt it from Day 1. Spike's conscience had been replaced by Buffy, so when the direction of his moral compass has been changed, it didn't matter that much. He had a new moral compass long before he got his soul. Not to Spike bash, but my definition of strength is someone following his own moral compass, not changing it by being love's bitch.

Angel says the amulet has purifying/cleansing power and gives the wearer strength. That is just what the amulet did when it activated. It cleansed him of using Buffy as his moral compass and it gave him the strength to use his own, pretty much for the first time ever. When Buffy says that she loves him, he no longer needs to live in that fantasy. He knows she doesn't the way he wanted her to and he is ok with that. This is a dramatic change from him trying to get her to admit it in "Seeing Red."

He took the amulet because of Buffy. It all changed for him when it activated and gave him the strength to be his own man, for the first time ever.

Someone said that they wish they had seen what Spike was thinking prior to the battle. I think we did "That was just a bluff." The last real thing we see of Spike before the battle is him still being love's bitch. This contrasts with what he tells Buffy and shows how the amulet cleansed him.

That is just my interpretation. It will be interesting to see what they do with him next season.

[> [> [> That was very wonderful, lunasea! :> -- WickedBuffy, 16:23:53 05/22/03 Thu

[> [> [> [> Thanks [blushing] -- lunasea, 18:42:20 05/22/03 Thu

[> Agree (Spoilers Chosen) -- s'kat, 09:29:09 05/22/03 Thu

Spike's reward at the end of this series is not to gain Buffy's love, but to be complete in himself. His action is its own reward.

Yes, I would agree very strongly with this. I think it's why I didn't want the series to end with the "romantic ending" because it would feel false to me and counter to the message of the series. I've always said I did not want B/S to go off together at the end. And that's partly why.

Personally after many years, marriages, and lots of etceteras, I question that kind of love at all. See Denis de Rougement, Love and Death in the Western World, for an analysis of why our idea of "romantic love" is quite possibly not only fallacious but a Bad Thing. It either ends in loss which is beautiful to view but miserable to experience, or in marriage, which very soon is not Romance, but family (a good thing, but different). We can't see Spike and Buffy as old happily marrieds 10 years from now, so that would leave only loss-whereas honesty, which he still maintains, opens the door for some kind of friendship, even maybe later some passion.

I think Whedon may to a degree agree with this view. That pure romantic love - as nice and passionate and wild as it is - more often than not ends in loss. The tragedy of Buffy and Angel first in Becoming then in Graduation Day, which Buffy references in her speech to him. She basks in the light of that old love for a few seconds...then lets him know she doesn't really want or need to go back there. She tells Spike oddly enough the same thing in SR where she says the wild passionate love consumes until it burns itself out and nothing is left.

I've found in my own experience with relationships - that it's the quiet loves that last. The ones that end in family, partnerships, close-long lasting friendships, children, and marriage. The love Buffy shares with her friends and to a degree the love she felt for Spike - the respect and trust that enabled her to give him the amulet Angel brought with him and give Spike the choice whether or not to wear it. Somewhere along the line, Buffy stopped treating Spike like a trained lap-dog or pet. She began to respect him as a man. And somewhere along the line Spike began to respect himself...

I think his sacrifice made perfect sense...was almost inevitable. It certainly was forshadowed.

Dru to Spike in Fool For Love : You taste like ashes.
Dru to Darla: The King of Cups expects a picnic but today is not his Birthday
Restless - the sacrificial imagery.
Tabula Rasa: I could be a noble vampire, a vampire with a soul.
OMWF: this torch I bear is scorching me
Lessons: Because she doesn't get it SPARKY
Beneath You: I got the spark, so I would fit... I got the spark put in me and all it does is burn. (Another cruxifixion image - burning on the cross)

The number of times Spike has been set on fire or jumped into the sunlight from Lover's Walk onwards. He keeps trying to go into the sun and is pressed back into the dark - Normal Again, Gone, HArsh Light of Day, Spiral,
Shadow, etc.

Dawn's comment in Beneath You - that she will set him on fire.

The lines in OMWF - We walk Through Fire - all we need is a spark.

And of course all the lines about "glowing and effulgent"

Clearly the only way for Spike to go out, to be redeemed was to go out in the sunlight...except it's his soul that acts as the sun...amplified by an amulet provided by his sire/grandsire...the irony is beautiful when you think about it.

Even if he didn't end up on Angel next season - I would have been more than happy with this ending for Spike.

[> [> The Man of Light -- mamcu, 10:18:31 05/22/03 Thu

Thanks for all the spark-images. In some ways, I've been seeing the Buffy-verse as very Gnostic--what with the powerful evil figures and the absence of a strong good figure in the world. I wondered if Buffy would turn out to be the "Man of Light" who leads back to the unknown god, the real energy source that lies beyond the demiurges that control this world (FE, etc). But now I think it's Spike.

[> Re: What Spike Wanted -- Rina, 09:46:41 05/22/03 Thu

"Romantic Love" - the reason why the Buffy/Angel romance made me so uncomfortable and tense; the reason why Spike's pursuit of Buffy in Seasons 5 and 6 were obssessive and unhealthy; the reason why Riley Finn could not overcome his inferiority complex over Buffy.

You know what would be great? If Buffy didn't form a romantic love with either vampire and in the end, form a friendly love with both. I think that would be nice. And healthy.

[> [> Well, we would be perceived as cynics by most... -- dream, 10:21:15 05/22/03 Thu

Romantic love being at the center of popular culture at least in the States. I was very satisfied with Buffy's interactions with both Angel and Spike - a fitting conclusion to the story.

That said, I'll offer a strange boon to the Buffy/Angel shippers, out of the goodness of my heart: there was an article in the Boston Globe last week about research into the phenomenon of reunited high-school sweethearts. Apparently, people have been reuniting at an astonishing rate ever since the internet has made it terribly easy. People report amazing connections with their past lovers, a very large number end up together again, and these marriages seem to last - the divorce rates are lower than average couples, even if the affair started as adultery, which usually decreases your chances of staying together considerably. Um, what's this about adultery? Well, here's where things get a little darker. Apparently, a large number of reunitees report such overwhelming intense connections to their former lovers than they break up marriages to be with them - most of which even the instigators of the breakup report were perfectly happy before the reunion with the former lover. (Okay, note - chances for skewed data here are VERY high.) But researchers are considering the possibility that some sort of sexual imprinting goes on in the case of early (pre-seventeen) love relationships. In the case of high-school couples that marry immediately, the relationships usually fail. But these reunited couples seem to be gripped by an intensity of connection, that, combined I guess with their maturity and life experience, keeps them together.

So maybe the Buffy/Angel shippers are onto something after all. I mena, if you consider being in the grip of a biologically-imprinted reaction romantic.

[> [> [> It's Over! -- Rina, 14:55:06 05/22/03 Thu

You want to know what Buffy/Angel shipper is all about? People who can't over the possibility that it might be over with those two.

I'm not saying that Buffy will end up with a human Spike at the end of ANGEL.

But for God's sake! It's over! It's over with both B/A and B/S! Why can't we all just accept it?

Or for that matter, Buffy could just as easily be reunited with Spike, as she can with Angel, or end up with someone else.

Quite frankly, I'm getting sick of the subject.

[> [> [> [> AGREED! Thank you for saying it. Let's move on now. -- rowena, 15:13:53 05/22/03 Thu

[> [> [> [> The point is NOT about about the ship -- mamcu, 17:15:47 05/22/03 Thu

I started by saying that I was looking at something different. Can we discuss Spike's character without it automatically becoming a battle of ships? That weakens the reading of the entire series. I was discussing Spike's evolution away from the need for romantic love. I meant it as a very different issue, an analysis of character development.

[> [> [> [> Gee, overreact much? -- Sophist, 17:22:49 05/22/03 Thu

I thought dream made an interesting point. I hadn't seen that article and I found it thought-provoking.

[> [> [> Buffy and Spike meet, years, later -- mamcu, 17:55:55 05/22/03 Thu

BUFFY is wearing an old Sunnydale T shirt that stretches a little tight across her hips. Her hair is shorter and darker, and she looks a little worried. She's trying to stay away from the chicken wings. SPIKE walks up to her. He still looks the same, platinum, coat, and all.

Spike: Hi, Joyce! Glad to see you made it back to the reunion. Seen Buffy?

Buffy: Um, Spike? It IS me.

Spike: Buffy? Get outta here! How ya been? Slain anybody I know lately?

Buffy: A few. All the others-you know-they mostly take care of things.

Spike: Retired? No kidding! So what do you do with yourself these days?

Buffy: Well, I've been taking this GREAT yoga class, and I volunteer at the Kids of Vamps program..

Spike: Yeah? You too? Gotta say, those kids really slay me! (heh, heh) met one who was experimenting with siring a kitten! Now is that creative, or what!?

Buffy: Kewl!! Um, I-um, well, you know-I got divorced a while back.

Spike: Oh, yeah? Sorry to hear that. So it didn't work out with Angel?

Buffy: No, no, I didn't marry Angel. This was a motivational speaker I worked with in Cleveland, after we cleaned it up. But he met a feng shui practioner, and they just...

Spike: Aw, Buffy. Hey, you wanna go kill a demon sometime?

Buffy: Well, I'm trying to live a more positive life now...

Spike: Hey, you, too! Just yesterday I......

[> [> [> [> apologies -- mamcu, 17:59:42 05/22/03 Thu

IRL, I'm happily married to someone, not a high school sweetheart, but someone I knew years earlier and then got together with much later. Didn't mean to put the concept down, but just had this vision...

[> [> [> [> LOL! -- Caroline, 20:11:05 05/22/03 Thu

[> 'His many sins have been forgiven-for he loved much' -- Miss Edith, 10:09:14 05/22/03 Thu

[> Re: What Spike Wanted -- stillhere, 19:54:25 05/22/03 Thu

That was wonderfully put mamcu. From someone who never really cheered for Buffy and Spike that was really great. this is a lot of nit-picking on this page and yours was true and not partial in anyway. thanks for giving me something grown up to read instead of bickering and which character was best.

[> [> Thanks, stillhere--glad you read for the thought! -- mamcu, 05:43:34 05/23/03 Fri

[> [> [> An apology to mamcu ... and I sometimes feel like I'm Anya -- rowena, 08:35:44 05/23/03 Fri

I really want to apologize for the stridency of my post above. I was responding to something else that was said, not your beautifully expressed thoughts on "what Spike wanted." It was so moving, particularly your summation:

"What the ending shows us is that Spike himself finally realizes that it is really not Buffy who can give him what he wants. ...
"The look on his face as the destruction begins shows us that he realizes that what he is doing is a truly great thing, and that he is indeed a Good Man. Spike's reward at the end of this series is not to gain Buffy's love, but to be complete in himself. His action is its own reward."

About feeling like Anya ... I can't seem to get in sync with the postings. I feel like I say the wrong thing at the wrong time. So I think I'll return to the balcony and lurk a bit. :o)

[> [> [> [> No! Not! Anya! All thoughts welcome! My mistake. -- mamcu, 11:07:21 05/23/03 Fri

NOT a vengeance demon!

Rowena, I realized after I posted that I had been the hasty one, and that you were responding to the post about Spike and Buffy possibly getting together in later life, and as you see, I was much ruder to dream and indirectly to you. Please keep posting--I enjoy what you say!

[> Good for its own sake -- Laura, 16:41:11 05/23/03 Fri

I'm in total agreement. One of those most fantastic things about that episode was Spike finally stepped out of the shadows. For the first time his meaning based on other people's ideals and demands or his determination to prove himself. He is doing good for its own sake and because that is what he truly wants.

He has gone and done the things that took Angel over a hundred years to do and something that Buffy hasn't completely realised.

While romance is a grand thing, but he has shown that he can love people including Buffy without it.

Big Yellow Different (Finale End thoughts-spoils) -- neaux, 09:20:46 05/22/03 Thu

A Simple Thought:

What I like about the ending was Buffy DID NOT miss the bus. As if Buffy would have been late for school one last time.. not hardly. To me the School Bus signifies the concept of lessons/learning. Life lessons, education, knowledge. Yes the series was about empowerment, but to become empowered requires the act of learning. I just thought that seeing everyone on a school bus was like a final field trip. There's no going back from this field trip, but it still would be taking all its passengers on another educational adventure.

[> Re: Big Yellow Symmetry (Finale End thoughts-spoils) -- Darby, 12:01:52 05/22/03 Thu

Wasn't the first shot of Sunnydale High a pan across a school bus to the street, sidewalk, and entrance? Joss really did take us back to the beginning!

[> [> Small Bits of Possible Symbolism -- LittleBit, 13:54:04 05/22/03 Thu

Love the use of the School Bus to pull the end and beginning together. Other small observations:

1. When the core SG met in the hallway and left to go do what had to be done, they split up in the reverse order of their original introduction to the show. First Giles (with the wonderful reference to his final line of The Harvest); then Willow, followed by Xander, and finally Buffy walking alone to her destiny, and yet no more alone than she was in Primeval.

2. The three teams that held the line upstairs: Giles and Wood, Watcher and Slayer's Son; Anya and Andrew, Ex-Demon and Demon-Summoner; and Xander and Dawn, Everyman and Everygirl.

3. And the final ironic moment... the willing Vampire sacrifice to assure that a world of newly-empowered Vampire Slayers have a chance to live in it.

[> [> [> These were lovely -- PartlyCloudy, 15:31:19 05/22/03 Thu

[> [> [> Very true--thanks! -- mamcu, 17:38:50 05/22/03 Thu

[> they were taking the big bus from battle -- lunasea, 21:15:16 05/22/03 Thu

Goodbye to You: Working through the grief (and my utter pathetic fangeekiness) -- Malathustra, 11:11:23 05/22/03 Thu

I didn't contribute to any of the top-10 lists on this board, but they all got me thinking and I think I can finally start to lay this series to rest now that I've created this:

Goodbye to You t Mal's top-10 Buffy lists

They come complete with screencaps to jog your memory.

Thanks, all who contribute to this board, for helping me through this difficult time. :)

(The above link may contain spoilers if you are not a True Fan and haven't seen every episode.)

[> That was excellent. *Sniff* BtVS, you were greatly loved. -- Arethusa, 11:30:18 05/22/03 Thu

[> Beautiful! -- tomfool, 11:48:49 05/22/03 Thu

[> [> Upon further reflection -- tomfool, 19:10:31 05/22/03 Thu

I can only think of two essentials that I would have to add to my list. Agree with Dochawk about Xander's speech from The Freshman. Gets me every time. And from Surprise, the first time Oz asks Willow out would make either the Sexiest or Sweetest list. It may be the sexiest sweetest moment in the show. Cutest Willow ever.

Looking at your list one thing strikes me. In the harshest negative threads (on other boards), people say the show hasn't been worth watching since [insert your choice of S3, S4, S5, S6]. Look at all of the top ten moments from the later seasons that would be missed if you bought that line of thinking.

Thanks for a great spin through memory lane.

[> Stunning, Mal. I loved it! -- dub ;o), 12:53:13 05/22/03 Thu

[> That was fabulous -- Dochawk, 14:17:45 05/22/03 Thu

I am sure you considered these, but I'll throw 2 cents in anyway:

Best Speech: The Freshman, Xander - You're My Hero (reflect it to Buffy in Chosen - Your My Strength)

RIPs - if you wanted to keep it to living beings: Jessie in The Harvest, Larry in GD II

[> [> Forgot - I think Amanda deserves a mention too -- Dochawk, 14:32:39 05/22/03 Thu

in your RIP file - now that I think about it, should probably just do my own, but would be hard to beat your choices and even harder to equal your presentation (which is fabulous)

[> [> Re: That was fabulous -- Malathustra, 14:40:07 05/22/03 Thu

You know, Docohawk, the RIP section was really difficult for me. I decided to restrict it only to those "losses" that affected me emotionally -- even if they only made me saw "awwwww." I thought, for a while, about including Jessie (but, we hardly knew ye) or Harmony (she did technically die) or Nicki Wood (so bad-ass!) but...

...the GilesMobile. I mean, I just couldn't part with the GilesMobile.

[> [> [> Re: That was fabulous -- Dochawk, 15:28:09 05/22/03 Thu

Well then I can see why we would disagree. Although I agree with Jessie, hadn't gotten attached yet. But I was attached to Amanda, I liked her.

[> Totally loved it!! All excellent choices and catagories!! :) -- Kate, 14:24:55 05/22/03 Thu

[> Wow, Wow, um, Wow -- Mackenzie, 14:37:55 05/22/03 Thu

That was terrific. Masq needs to put that on the atpobvs website. Really, Wow.

[> Thanks--that was great! Sigh... -- Dariel, 14:45:02 05/22/03 Thu

[> Beautifully Done! Thank You! -- Just George, 15:32:21 05/22/03 Thu

[> NEW TOP-10 LIST ADDED -- Malathustra, 15:56:27 05/22/03 Thu

See? I'm already adding things and probably will be for a while... The new category is "10 Show-stoppers (you eventually learn that it's easier to expect the unexpected)"

PS: Thanks for all of the compliments. It just proves that I wasn't the only one who needed to sort of sift through 7 years and feel better.

[> [> fantastic, mala! -- anom, 23:54:07 05/22/03 Thu

I'd add one to your tearjerker list: the moment when Buffy finally breaks down in Forever.

And I have to say, that last comment in the new section is perfect!

[> Excellent! But, isn't it the 'Snoopy Dance'? -- V, 16:24:03 05/22/03 Thu

[> Thanks for supporting our fangeekiness! What a treasure! -- mamcu, 17:20:42 05/22/03 Thu

[> Thanks for this! (made me cry) Where DO we go from here? -- isis, 17:21:51 05/22/03 Thu

[> I liked this. Thanks for sharing. -- s'kat, 19:20:35 05/22/03 Thu

[> That was so cool. Thanks for sharing -- Artemis, 23:15:53 05/22/03 Thu

[> Excellent! It was like looking thru a yearbook of sorts. -- deeva, 23:15:55 05/22/03 Thu

[> Lovely, Mal! A definite 'ease (d) my (finale) pain' site! Thanks for sharing! -- Haecceity, 01:13:08 05/23/03 Fri

[> Loved this! (But - there had to be one! - what about the infamous 'Love's Bitch' speech??) -- Marie, 08:02:17 05/23/03 Fri

Question re AtS for BtVS fans (S5 casting spoiler) -- KdS, 11:59:28 05/22/03 Thu

Just a quick poll to see if Warner Bros.' demographic hopes will actually be fulfilled.

Of the people here who *don't* watch AtS at the moment, how many of you are considering watching it next year because JM/Spike is a regular and other BtVS characters are meant to be doing guest spots?

[> Re: Question re AtS for BtVS fans (S5 casting spoiler) -- Mystery, 12:16:24 05/22/03 Thu

Well that did help interest me in watching it, but what really made me want to watch was the episode "Home." I mainly watched it because I knew it would tie in to Angel's appearence on the series finale, and I'm pretty intrigued by the direction the show will be going considering they now own Wolfram & Hart. The dangling carrots of JM and other's appearing is basically icing on a black forest cake. :-)

[> I actually started watching AtS this season to prepare for the end of BtVS. -- Rob, 12:17:23 05/22/03 Thu

I figured with the great likelihood that Buffy would be ending soon that it was the best time to get all caught up on "Angel" so that I wouldn't have to possibly survive a future TV season sans Buffyverse. And boy am I glad I did!


[> [> They've got about a 30% chance of drawing me in. -- dream (still holding out hopes for Ripper), 12:51:33 05/22/03 Thu

[> [> Me Too! -- Haecceity, 00:51:02 05/23/03 Fri

I actually went out and bought the Season 1 discs when I found out Faith was WKCS-ing it over on the "Mr. Broodypants Show" with a return trip planned for SunnyD.

Ha, joke's on me. Liked the show, lurved goofy Angel and got all good and addicted in time to for the announcement that there won't be another DVD mainline fix till August.

Plus, (blasphemy ahead, you've been warned)
found myself enjoying Angel S4 rather more than that 10, 12, 13 ep slushy spot in BtVS S7. The sun started shining a little brighter on Wednesday mornings, like it used to on Tuesdays--before the partly cloudy 95% chance of hopelessly muddled story and who are these characters? weather set up shop over Casa Summers: The House They Would Not Leave All Freaking Season Long.

All in all, I think I can safely say that I'll have at least one hour of appointment TV next season---

(Down from two, roughly halving the justification for the brand new, high-def, doesn't-quite-fit-in-a-dorm set I just brought home. Though with Jane headed to Gilmore Girls, maybe I'll get to stick to my Tues-Wed sched.)

---if only to watch my just-promoted favourite ME character, Lorne. (There's just something about those quirky, morally ambiguous demons with me;)

Admitted Angel-watcher, and OK with that

[> I think your demographic consists of dream and me. -- Sophist, 12:45:13 05/22/03 Thu

My answer is a firm "maybe". I'll describe below the way I see it. Those who love AtS may want to stop reading at this point. I'm only continuing because I'm trying to give KdS an in-depth answer to his question.

In my view (unshared by many here), AtS has suffered from serious defects ever since the beginning of the Pylea arc. Those defects are:

1. The implausible nature of the storyline, particularly during S4.

2. The fact that certain actors could not carry the demands of the scripts.

3. Lack of the top quality writing that we see on BtVS.

The announced changes for S5 appear, to me, to recognize those defects and to make substantial effort to correct them. Specifically,

1. The implausible storyline has reached a natural conclusion and can (and I hope will) be dropped quicker than you can say "MagiCrack".

2. The reduction (this is mean, but can I pray for "elimination"?) in screen time for Cordy and Connor (I'm assuming this) should eliminate many of the acting problems. If actors of the quality of JM or AH appear on the show, that will push the level closer to what BtVS has had.

3. The addition of DG and JW as writers should strengthen the scripts.

I am sure this will be the last season of Angel. I hope and expect that JW wants it to go out in a big way and that he will focus exclusively on making that happen. The improvements announced indicate to me that he does and will. No promises, but I may give the show another chance.

[> [> Re Soph's Comments and well Spike's Presence makes me Less Likely to Be Devoted to Angel -- Dochawk, 13:15:14 05/22/03 Thu

This is a bit of rambling here but...

Yea,the Spike- Angel Dynamic makes for some interesting storylines, but I am afraid that we will see a repeat of this year on Buffy, that Spike's story became so important it pushed the other main characters into the background so much that it almost equalled Buffy's storyline the last 6 weeks. There is a great risk to alienating Angel's core audience with his inclusion (of course that was true with what they did in "Home" as well and I really like that ME are risk-takers). Hopefully neither of the above will happen (Angel's story already has become less interesting than Wes', though the elimination of Cordy-love and everything for Connor [I always felt he was a forced version of the far more sympathetic Dawn]will help with that alot). So I liked the reset.

And I love that Joss and Drew Goddard will be writing more scripts, makes up for the loss of Minnear, but I agree with Soph, the other writers aren't as good (though Fain and Crafr are definitely improving). Also the acting will improve immeasurably with the exchange of CC (the worst actor in the Buffyverse) for JM (one of the best). I think you are very safe in your assumption Soph that we may never see CC again (except perhaps in flashbacks, like we get Darla now?), VK maybe, but his acting has improved dramatically with experience (not very suprising for an actor his age). DB has also improved miles from the wooden Angel of season 1 Buffy (except that he was horrible as Angelus, which I thought was weird, he wasn't acting, he was mugging for the camera).

I think there was a reason that Joss and Tim only wanted Spike for a few episodes, but that Jordan Levin demanded his inclusion (see Tim's Succubus club interview and JL's recent interviews for documentation) as full time regular in order to be renewed. Read below and you can already see the Spike fans salivating (Spike is the subject of the sanshi prophecy etc, which will denigrate Angel in many fans eyes; except for the interesting concept that it was supposed to be Angel and Buffy sent him away and W & H didnt count on that, THAT does sound interesting and does not say that spike deserved it more which would undermine a series called Angel).

As you can see, pretty mixed feelings here, but I will give it a chance.

[> [> Re: I think your demographic consists of dream and me. -- shambleau, 13:48:37 05/22/03 Thu

Sophist speaks for me re AtS. I did have great affection for Cordelia the first two seasons, though. Now, I can't stand her, either as a character or as an actor. Her Evil!Cordy was awful. I've had a lot of ME characters grow on me, but I've never had one go so completely the other way.

[> [> Interesting...this is actually similar to comments on other boards -- s'kat, 18:44:40 05/22/03 Thu

While I don't have the problems Sophist did with Ats, I actually sort of liked the Connor/Cordy/Angel storyline oddly enough. Preferred Wes/Lilah/Gunn/Fred and wish they'd gotten more of the air time. But whatever. I also have preferred the writing on Ats this season to Btvs...but hey that may just be me.

Regarding the fans:

I have been lurking on other boards and have noticed that the majority of posters share Sophist and dream's sentiments. Several in fact stopped watching Ats in S3 when Connor was born and Cordy ascended. They came back when they heard about Faith, Willow's cross-over and the possibility of JM coming to Angel. In fact shortly after the possibility of JM coming to Angel was made public in the press - the ratings for Angel went up - can't remember where I saw it...but it alerted me to something interesting going on. Orpheus also had higher ratings and got a bulk-load of emails demanding WB re-show it.

There is a lot of Connor hate out there - posters have been asking Kristin (was Wanda) in chat - if she's can please confirm that he is hopefully gone for good. I actually liked Connor, but outside of this board - the only other place that hasn't bashed the character is Bronze Beta. (Kristin's response btw - is he is slated for no more than maybe two or three episodes next year if that. )

JM has become a very popular actor with strong male/female 18-45 fan base. Part of the reason for this is the number of conventions he does, his accessibility to his fans, and his ability to give very informative interviews. He spends a lot of time and energy selling himself and the series.

To his credit - David Boreanze also spent a lot of time this season selling himself and his series, more time than in past seasons. But most of the actors don't do this.
Alexis Denisof has never been to a Convention. VK has never gone. Charisma rarely goes. Andy Hallet - goes to a ton of them. Yes - they have ulterior motives - money. But, marketing yourself to fans - bolsters career and visibility.
And it makes a difference.

I've never been to a convention, but I've read some of the con reports and seen the effects.

And you should know - there was a huge campaign launched by the JM/Spike fan base to get the character either his own spin-off or onto Angel. They were very organized. They had all the numbers and addresses of the decision makers. They
raised money way back in the winter. Put out two huge ads.
And when the news spread that JM could be placed on Angel, they launched the most organized and vigorous campaign I've seen to get Angel renewed. They faxed, emailed, and sent post-cards. I honestly think we have the Spike fan base to thank for Angel's renewal. They went nuts. And it was all positive, not hate mail, but positive things were said, and
if people went online to the site that organized the campaign they'd notice how much money had been raised in the actor's name to help pediatric aids. Positive mail gets better responses than hate mail or negative mail. People are like bees they hate vinegar and love honey.

On top of this - we have a professional actor who gets along very well with the writers of both shows. And does nothing but compliment everyone he works with. He seems to make a point of saying how great everyone is and how amazing the writing is and that all he really has to do is show up. He gives them most of the credit. He has acted with them in Shakespeare outtings, played guitare with them, sung with them, and has a lot in common with several of them. JM has made close friends with many of these writers according to both his interviews and the writers interviews. So they love working with him and want to work with him more. This also has a huge effect on things. Put yourself in the writers/creators shoes - you have an actor you love writing for and working with, the fans want him in your show, the network wants him - where's the problem? Yes, there are several fans who don't, some that send hate mail (which the writers consider nut-cases, don't blame them, when I get hate mail and flames - I consider the sender a nut-case) - but
hey there's always someone whose unhappy - you can't write art by consensus. Just make a choice and hope for the best.

My suggestion to the naysayers - is watch it first before you make a judgement, you never know - you might be pleasantly surprised.

[> Re: Question re AtS for BtVS fans (S5 casting spoiler) -- SS, 13:28:00 05/22/03 Thu

I will give AtS a chance cause 1. It is the only Buffyverse show on TV now...and 2. cause of Spike....

Even though I watched this season in anticipation of #1 and discovered the show has character/plotline problems you can drive a De Soto through....



[> I'm more likely to watch 'Angel' on a more regular basis now -- Indri, 13:43:44 05/22/03 Thu

I haven't watched "Angel" regularly because I prefer the generally lighter tone of "Buffy" and its theme of female empowerment. "Angel" hasn't grabbed me to the same extent and it's often been shown at times which clash with other shows I watch.

I also agree to some extent with Sophist's comments above. I did tune in to the earlier crossover episodes involving Faith, which I did enjoy, but not enough to become a regular viewer.

But with only one Whedon show available to me next year and with so many plot threads left dangling (mostly in a good way) after "Chosen", I will watch "Angel" now. So the WB can count me in.

[> Re: Question re AtS for BtVS fans (S5 casting spoiler) -- Traveler, 15:00:25 05/22/03 Thu

I skipped most of season 3 Angel, but I liked season 4. If they do a good job with Spike, I'll probably become a rabid fan.

[> [> Marsters and Boreanz (Speculation) -- Laura, 21:29:40 05/23/03 Fri

I can't wait to see Marsters and Boreanz on screen together. They're both fantastic actors and we've see only bits here and there of their characters interacting. It's always fascinating when our favourite vamps get blasts from their pasts.

I'm curious to see what will happen. Will Spike still have the blonde hair and leather coat now that he's taken a huge step into maturity? How will Angel react to his grandchilde? Will Spike still be a vampire or will he have shanshued? If he has will this completely dash Angel's hopes of becoming human? What will Wolfram & Hart have in store for them?

It's going to be neat to see how Gunn, Wesley, Fred, and Lorne will behave as well. So much to see and too long to wait...

[> Already crossed over to prepare myself for loss of BtVS -- mamcu, 17:22:57 05/22/03 Thu

but the addition of JM was a delightful bonus!

[> Re: Question re AtS for BtVS fans (S5 casting spoiler) -- s'kat, 18:13:02 05/22/03 Thu

Already watching Angel, but I've been lurking on two other boards and over 20 posters on each board mentioned that they'd never watched Angel before and were frantically reading Wildfeeds and getting tapes to catch up - so they could watch Angel next season in order to see Spike.

Go to Buffy Cross and Stake, fanforum,
and if you want proof.

Lots of people emailed and sent cards to WB telling them this, so believe me they have proof of the demographic.

[> I will try to watch Angel -- gillie, 19:44:08 05/22/03 Thu

i've never been an "angel as seen on btvs" fan.
and the one episode of angel i have seen ("orpheus"
to see willow and faith) i didn't particularly care
for as it all just seemed so silly and teeny boppery
to my husband and myself)

but i will go for jm and pray i'm not disappointed.
i'm too whipped by joss at this point not to.
bastige ;)

[> Interesting question... (long) -- Just George, 20:29:20 05/22/03 Thu

Hmmm. I already watch Angel every week. Enjoy the high production values. Good fight scenes. Some interesting characters. I enjoy watching the show for the interesting twists and turns.

However, I'm not addicted to the show. I abandon Angel early in the first season and didn't pick it up again until late in the second season. I didn't miss it at the time. I've watched faithfully since then and picked up Season 1-3 DVDs (UK editions) to make sure I've seen all the episodes. But, I could drop Angel without undergoing withdrawal symptoms. I never felt I could drop Buffy without getting the metaphoric shakes.

I'll check out Season 5 of Angel. If after viewing a few episodes I decide that I don't like the new direction or the addition of Spike I'll probably drop it. If I like it, I'll keep watching.

If you want to know what I THINK will happen? I think there is a 50/50 chance I will drop it.

As I think about it, I realize that I watched BTVS for the characters. I watch ATS for the plots and production values. The intricate clockwork of the ATS plots make them interesting to watch. The high production values make them a feast for the eyes. If the ATS plots and production values are cool, then I am cool with ATS.

The characters on ATS matter, but mostly in a negative way. For example, recently Cordelia and Conner made me enjoy ATS less. I'm neutral on just about everyone else (Angel, Fred, Gunn, and Lorne). Nice enough characters. Useful in moving the plot forward. Any of them could die or leave and I'd be sad, but not too sad.

The only characters that I have any significant emotional investment in are/were Wesley, Lilah, and Gwen. But they are very peripheral to the story. They do not get nearly enough screen time to make me watch if the plots and production values break down.

At some level, I guess I watch Angel the way I watch Law and Order. I may have liked Angie Harmon as an ADA better than I like Elisabeth Rohm. But the loss of one and the addition of the other didn't really affect my enjoyment of the clockwork plots. I would feel the same way about the loss of Fred, Gunn, and/or Lorne.

Actually as I write this I realize that I wouldn't be bothered too much by the loss of Wesley, Lilah, and/or Gwen either. I doubt ME would loose Angel. The show is named after him after all. But it wouldn't bother me overly much if he went away either.

I don't expect the addition of Spike to change my mind very much.

I was interested in the Buffyverse for Buffy's story. A story of how a young women with extraordinary abilities dealt with the burdens of being a hero and a good person. How her heroic example elevated the people around her. How she built an artificial family. And how she kicked butt on evil on a regular basis. Angel and Spike informed that story. Their individual stories never really caught me. I like them as characters, but saw them mostly as plot devices to help move Buffy's story forward.

I also like where Spike's story has taken him. As the most overly dramatic character on BTVS, it feels right that Spike ends his story with a grand heroic sacrifice. Much as I enjoyed Chosen (and I did, a lot!) in some ways Buffy's story peaked when she sacrificed herself in the Gift. For Buffy and Spike, how do you top giving your life selflessly to save the world and the people you love? I fear that post Buffy, post heroic sacrifice, Spike's story will decline as well. Given that, I think there is a reasonable chance that the addition of Spike will hurt ATS, not help it.

I don't mean to rain on the parade of anyone who loves Spike or the characters in ATS. I think they are worthy characters and it is reasonable to feel an attachment to them and their stories. They just don't matter as much to me as they do to some.

Finally, the addition of Joss full time on ATS may not be what is best for the show. Look at his track record on Angel. He wrote and/or directed: City Of, I Fall to Pieces, Sanctuary, Judgment, Untouched, Happy Anniversary, Waiting in the Wings, and Spin the Bottle. Of these, I think that only Sanctuary and Spin the Bottle stand out. And they were mostly about Buffy characters (or characters as they had been in Buffy). I'm just not sure that Joss gets the tightly scripted, Batman-like, vibe on Angel. We'll see.

In summary, I'll continue to watch ATS, but I have some fears about the shows future.

This has been a bit of a ramble. Thanks for reading.


[> Started watching when 'Soulless' aired and will continue -- LonesomeSundown, 06:48:13 05/23/03 Fri

It was the posts on the ATPo board that got me to start watching, mostly the long threads that TCH's Angel Odyssey posts spawned. I started taping episodes with Orpheus, then went hunting online for the first 3 seasons. My feeling from the half season I watched was that Angel is much more gimmick-y than Buffy - people jump in and out of alternate universes like taxi cabs and lose souls like I lose socks in the laundry.

[> [> 'lose souls like I lose socks in the laundry'--Hee! Love this. -- Haecceity, 13:56:02 05/23/03 Fri

[> Re: Question re AtS for BtVS fans (S5 casting spoiler) -- leslie, 11:58:08 05/23/03 Fri

I've watched Angel with increasingly regularity from the beginning. I was first put off about the idea because frankly, I never cared for Angel on BtVS--there's really only so much brooding one can do before one becomes tiresome. I also felt that, while the teen romance aspect of Angel and Buffy's relationship was well done, it wasn't a story that I, as a forty-something woman, was that interested in. In fact, I stopped watching BtVS for a while because of it. What roped me back in was when they moved on to college--I know many people think that the show didn't deal with the college experience well, and I think that there was a lot more that could have been done with it, but as a recovering academic, it resonated with me more, and they were dealing with more adult issues.

Anyway, back to Angel. I thought that the character made massive strides forward on his own show, especially in being more self-conscious and ironic about his broody tendencies. I loved seeing Cordy coming to terms with not being rich and not being famous; I think her character actually started to go downhill once she had really accepted it, because there wasn't that much more provided for her to deal with except headaches. But also, as the show developed, like BtVS, it began dealing with more adult issues that had more resonance to me. How do you maintain some kind of integrity working in a world dominated by corporations and the corporate mentality? What do you have to be willing to go without (money, fancy offices, etc.)? How do you deal with coworkers? What do you do when your boss betrays you? What is it like being, not just a leader of a band of warriors, but the boss of a business?

For me, BtVS was always more fun when Spike was around, no matter what he was doing. Villain, ally, lover, pain-in-the-neck, Undead English Patient, whatever. He was the engine of unpredictability that kept things all shook up. I would have kept watching Angel anyway, but I can't wait to see what Spike does to the new incarnation of Wolfram and Hart.

[> [> A unique possibility -- Laura, 00:04:15 05/24/03 Sat

There is one major possibility that catches my interest when it comes to Spike meeting Angel. Spike might be able to talk to him one on one. Angel has never really been able to do that, though both Buffy and Cordelia have done it on rare occasions. Spike is the first person who has the potential of truly understanding him.

[> [> A unique possibility -- Laura, 00:06:52 05/24/03 Sat

There is one major possibility that catches my interest when it comes to Spike meeting Angel. Spike might be able to talk to him one on one. Angel has never really been able to do that, though both Buffy and Cordelia have done it on rare occasions. Spike is the first person who has the potential of truly understanding him.

'you think you know...'--does she now? (spoilers for chosen, by way of restless, b vs. d) -- anom, 12:36:09 05/22/03 Thu

"...who you are, what's to haven't even begun."

Tara, speaking for the First Slayer, says this in Restless; Dracula says the same thing in Buffy vs. Dracula. Must be pretty important, huh? Raises a lot of questions.

Now the whole series is over. Has it answered those questions? Buffy may indeed have a better idea of who she is. But is that what either the FS or Dracula meant? What has come doesn't look like what I'd think they had in mind...well, not Dracula at least; I'm not even sure the FS had the same thing in mind!

One possibility is that the same spell that invoked the FS's spirit--the joining spell in Primeval--played a part in Buffy's inspiration in Chosen. Her plan this time was in effect an inversion of the earlier one: Rather than drawing the power of all the Slayers of the past into herself, she distributes the power to all the Slayers of the future.

But is that what the FS & Dracula--OK, we all know it was really Joss--meant? Does Buffy know? Maybe, at least, now she's begun.

[> Very Good Insight! -- frisby, 13:27:50 05/22/03 Thu

Your articulation of the relation between 4.21 and 7.22 (pastand future) is insightful and amazing. Thanks!

I wonder if any further light will be shed on the 21st century from Fray #8.

[> Re: 'you think you know...'--does she now? (spoilers for chosen, by way of restless, b vs. d) -- Darby, 15:42:29 05/22/03 Thu

Oooo, that would have worked! It would have been nice if they had explained how Willow was able to channel the power outward, and that would have done it.

Since the First Slayer was very adamant about the role involving lots of alone time, it's hard to reconcile that with what just came, and what Buffy and the Slayers have become...

Is there a 3rd option for Spike? (spoilers for Chosen) -- Vash the Stampede, 12:54:09 05/22/03 Thu

I've been reading the posts over the last two days and it seems we are split on how Spike will be coming back next year (vamp or human). Me, I am kinda wondering if he won't come back as something else, something supernatural, but not a vampire. I mean, Spike doesn't strike me as the kind of guy who wants to be normal; so long as he has his soul and free will, I think he would be fine spending the rest of his life as a vampire. Shanshu, to me, seems like an ultimate reward kind of deal; something to be given to someone who not only wants it but deserves it (i.e. Angel).

On the other hand, having two souled vampires on the same show seems kind of redundant. So maybe the writers have something else in mind for Spike.

Of course, I am probably wrong, but its something to think about as we wait for the next season of Angel to start.


[> Maybe...(with spoiler speculation) -- SS, 13:15:10 05/22/03 Thu

Maybe Spike could come back as a real angel? With glowingness and halo and everything?



[> [> Re: Maybe...(with spoiler speculation) -- Metron, 13:25:58 05/22/03 Thu

>>>Maybe Spike could come back as a real angel? With glowingness and halo and everything?<<<

Oh my I HOPE not!! :)

[> Re: Is there a 3rd option for Spike? (spoilers for Chosen) -- leslie, 17:05:17 05/22/03 Thu

This is what I wondered when I saw him go up in flames--have they said specifically that Spike will be on Angel, or just James Marsters?

[> [> But get real -- mamcu, 17:27:00 05/22/03 Thu

Who could see JM in the Buffy/Angel-verse and not see Spike? He's gotta be some atavar of Spike.

[> [> [> Make that avatar! Sorry for the dysdactylia! -- mamcu, 17:28:32 05/22/03 Thu

[> [> [> If you see JM without the Spike clothes and bleached hair, and hear him without the cockney accent -- Finn Mac Cool, 10:55:44 05/23/03 Fri

It takes a few moments to realize who exactly it is you're looking at, and probably wouldn't be too hard to overlook.

[> [> Re: Is there a 3rd option for Spike? (spoilers for Chosen) -- s'kat, 19:01:46 05/22/03 Thu

According to the Succubus Club interview - Tim Minear and David Fury said it would be Spike. They joked about how, but did not reveal what or how he'd look. Just that it would be "Spike and not Spike's evil twin."

WB has posted in press releases that it will be SPIKE on Angel next season.

Minear stated that Spike would be used as type of "foil".
No not evil.

So that leaves several options. My bet is he shanshoes, whatever that means.

All I know for certain is he will be Spike - the character he was at the end. I'm hoping they don't revert the character - but I doubt it. The writers made a point of saying they don't regress their characters - that they move them forward, not back.

[> [> [> I'm hoping for a tie-in with Doc's words in 'Forever' -- Indri, 19:52:18 05/22/03 Thu

From Psyche:

DOC: I know you.
SPIKE: I don't think so, mate.
DOC: No, no, you're that guy, that, that guy, hangs around down at the corner mart. (Spike looks confused) Big into dominoes, aren't you?
SPIKE: Can't say as I am. Look, we came here because- (stops because Doc is laughing)
DOC: That's crazy, isn't it? I mean, I, I, I'd swear, you were that guy. (Dawn looks nervous) I mean, your hair's a different color and you're a vampire, but uh, other than that...

[> [> [> From the Post-Buffy Joss Interview; Generalized Spoilers for Spike.A5 -- Dochawk, 07:15:53 05/23/03 Fri

Joss seems to think there is a third way. He actually has a more wicked mind than most of the rest of us.

TVGO: So, how do you plan to resurrect Spike?
Whedon: That's a conversation I'm going to be having with the Angel writers very soon.

TVGO: There's always Shanshu (the ancient prophecy introduced during Angel's first season that says once a soulful vampire fulfills his destiny, he becomes human).
Whedon: It's not quite that simple, although a lot of people have been making reference to that. But that's an interpretation, and ultimately could become the interpretation if we decide to go that way. I have some other ideas. The trick is how to bring him back without losing the integrity of what he did... the sacrifice. If it's just, "Hey, I'm back!" then that whole moment at the end of Buffy is kind of lame now. Like Buffy returning from the dead, it's going to be something that we're going to have to earn and play the ramifications of, possibly without making it so depressing.

[> [> [> [> 'possibly without making it so depressing.' -- Masq, 07:45:16 05/23/03 Fri

I am for that.

[> [> [> [> Re: From the Post-Buffy Joss Interview; Generalized Spoilers for Spike.A5 -- s'kat, 12:19:22 05/23/03 Fri

As I said - no clue.

Shanshue? Possibly a subversion of it? As long as they don't :

a) lose the integrity of what he did... the sacrifice
b) make it too depressing as Masq states below?

I'm on board.

Hoping they come up with something interesting. Honestly?
I can't visualize it. I've tried. The only one that I can visualize is the human one...and even that? Why he'd be in LA? (shrug)

[> [> [> [> [> Thats Why We Pay Joss the Big bucks -- Dochawk, 12:41:27 05/23/03 Fri

To think of things we haven't, if it were predictable, would we be so fascinated?

[> [> [> [> [> Thats Why We Pay Joss the Big bucks - Voynyak ate half of the first one -- Dochawk, 12:43:59 05/23/03 Fri

To think of things we haven't, if it were predictable, would we be so fascinated?

What I really think is interesting is the comments from Jordan levin, head of programming for WB - "I'm gonna be really interested to see how he does it". (that was paraphrased). So obviously Joss wasn't sure when he agreed to a Spikeful Angel.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Jordan Levin's actual comments -- Dochawk, 12:57:53 05/23/03 Fri

Jordan Levin, president of The WB Entertainment, is curious as to how Spike might be reintroduced to the world of the living.

"We're awaiting word from [creator Joss Whedon] on that as well," Levin says. "He's obviously a very creative person, and he hasn't let us down in the past. I'm sure he'll figure out a way."

Levin also confirms that other Buffy characters are scheduled to make appearances on Angel next season. However, Charisma Carpenter, who played Cordelia on both shows, will not return.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Spec on Btvs characters crossing over -- s'kat, 14:46:47 05/23/03 Fri

So that's a definite on Charisma? Interesting but not surprising after all the interviews I've read of Charisma's.

On the other Btvs characters:

Here's the one's I know won't be:

Xander - Nick Brenden apparently asked and Joss said no.
Xander and Angel were never friends, so it just doesn't work. Also NB is on a pilot with Fox. See chat with Kristen for details.

Anya - even if she'd survived? Again no. Emma Caulfield makes it plain in several interviews that she has no interest returning to the Buffyverse either on Angel, a spin-off or Btvs.

Dawn - probably not. MT has made it clear she is focusing on movies right now and doesn't want to do tv for a bit.

Buffy - not next season according to SMG's interview with Access Hollywood. She'd been planning on it, but can't fit it in next season. Even for sweeps. She might be able to do it in Season 6 though.

Willow - up in the air, but a good possibility.

Giles - definite, expect him

Faith - probably not, she's committed to a Fox series called True Calling and is the star. She also has two movies coming out. No time.

Andrew - a possibility.

Kennedy? - also a possibility

Wood- another possibility

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> I thought -- Dochawk, 15:34:38 05/23/03 Fri

That SMGs comments about "not this year" had to do with the spinoff not happening this year, not that she wouldn't be on Angel this year. The comments on the transcript (which I don't have available) "not this year" appear directly after saying she had agreed to appear on a spinoff and in the actual interview, which I listened to, that was my impression. In addition, Joss seems to imply that she would also. but those are just my impressions and you can certainly interpet it the way you did.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Here's the SMG blurb -- s'kat, 16:08:03 05/23/03 Fri

Pat: Is this the end of Buffy or are you going to come back in some form?

Sarah Michelle: It's the end of Buffy as we know it. The show Buffy the Vampire Slayer is ending. Hopefully Angel will continue. Joss [Whedon] actually asked me if I would consider doing an Angel next year and of course I had every intention of doing something for the spin-off. I initially thought that was something that I could do, and it still may be something I am going to do. But it's just not going to be next season.

Pat: No big sweeps return?

Sarah Michelle: There is unfinished business between Buffy and Angel and we were lucky enough that The WB was kind enough to let us have David [Boreanaz] for our last two episodes here. And that is certainly something that I would like to be able to do over there also.

Read whatever you want into this. It's about as vague as Amber Benson's interviews regarding her return to Btvs last summer.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> aww, Spike will just have total amnesia, is all. -- WickedBuffy, 22:30:22 05/23/03 Fri

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Been there done that -- lunasea, 08:38:08 05/24/03 Sat

Same thing with the human thing. I see Joss going somewhere none of us can even think about and I'm tempted to get off-line completely so I don't get spoiled. I can't see the WB not hyping their shiny new blond toy, so it will get out what happens before it does.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> One possibility -- Finn Mac Cool, 10:30:42 05/24/03 Sat

Spike comes back as the anti-Lilah. Just as the Senior Partners could bring Lilah back from Hell to wangle a deal with Angel and Co., maybe the PTB can bring Spike back to represent them.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> or even worse - as Lilahs new puppy! -- WickedBuffy, 14:26:37 05/24/03 Sat

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Here's the SMG blurb -- Simone, 08:38:42 05/25/03 Sun

I'm reading that as: initially, the plan was to have her guest on the spin-off, which now won't happen next season (because there is no spin-off yet), so she will instead try to work out an "Angel" guest-shot. She just phrased it in a rather convoluted way.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Eeek. -- Simone, 08:52:31 05/25/03 Sun

Should have read your post before sending mine out. Yes, that's exactly how I'm interpreting it too. Plus, hasn't Joss said recently that they are counting on SMG showing up on AtS sometime this season (sweeps)?

[> [> [> Fragment I found floating in the ether... (warning, snark) -- KdS, 11:18:24 05/23/03 Fri

Meeting room, somewhere in the new Wolfram & Hart offices. A pentacle is painted on the floor. Five furious RANDOM VAMPS are chained at the points. In the centre of the pentacle is a large wooden box. Resting on top of it are a bottle of hydrogen peroxide, a bottle of Jack Daniel's, and a ten-pack of Benson & Hedges. Gathered around the pentacle are LILAH, ANGEL, WESLEY, GUNN and FRED, all wearing black hooded robes.

Five are without breath.

OTHERS: Yet they live.

LILAH: Five are without time.

OTHERS: Yet they live.

ANGEL: [directly continuing last sentence] So, why are we doing this again?

LILAH: [with the air of someone repeating something for the thousandth time] Because the Prophecies of L'Vine make it crystal clear that the damage Jasmine caused cannot be healed without the presence on Earth of a redeemed vampire who sacrificed himself of his own free will. And yes, that was meant to be you.

WESLEY: Where did you get these prophecies again?

LILAH: Only one copy. In house thing.

ANGEL: I'm supposed to work with him? When we were both evil, he was my...

LILAH: Sperm receptacle?

ANGEL: [sotto voce] Thank you, Files & Records. [Normal voice] Minion! He tried to kill me when I wasn't evil, when we both had a soul I didn't even like him, what's the point?

GUNN: Yeah, I never met the guy, but before we start using mojo on him, shouldn't we be bringing Cordy back?

[General murmur of agreement. LILAH tries to remonstrate then slumps a little]

OK, OK. If anyone hears I know this, I'm straight back to Hell, and I'm taking whoever talked with me. I hear things from down below, the Senior Partner I talk to let a few things slip. The Senior Partners? Not the real bosses. The only person who ever put anything about this in print fell to pieces... literally... fairly slowly... but I heard something about [low] "The Brothers".

FRED: Oh! [OTHERS look at her invitingly] When... In Pylea, the Covenant used to have a Feast of the Brothers every five years. [Haunted pause] You really don't want to know what happened then.

LILAH: What I heard was that whatever the Brothers are planning, they think your friend Spike is the only thing that stops the world going kablooey again. The only thing my source would say was "teen demographic".

[ALL look deeply disturbed in the way you are when you're completely bemused and really don't want to know what the truth is]

ANGEL: [With the air of a man walking to painful execution]
Five are without soul...


[> [> [> [> ROFLMAO! -- dub ;o), 14:04:57 05/23/03 Fri

[> [> [> [> ROFLO! More like 30something demographic. ;-) -- s'kat, 14:51:48 05/23/03 Fri

The teens think Marsters is too old for them, they are still stuck on Angel. ;-)

[> [> [> [> [> Hmmmm see what a difference 7 or 8 years makes.....;) -- Rufus, 03:10:00 05/25/03 Sun

[> [> [> [> that was THE best! ::wiping tears from eyes:: -- WickedBuffy, 16:45:09 05/24/03 Sat

[> [> [> Re: Is there a 3rd option for Spike? (spoilers for Chosen) -- Arethusa, 11:18:55 05/24/03 Sat

Are we sure that "live until you die" means become human? That might have just been Wes' interpretation of shanshu. Perhaps Spike will come back as he was. He can still "live until he dies" as a vampire.

[> [> [> [> Well, technically he can't, since he isn't alive in the strictest sense -- Finn Mac Cool, 15:22:44 05/24/03 Sat

[> [> [> [> What if we narrow it down to what Spike *hasn't* portrayed yet? -- WickedBuffy, 16:53:33 05/24/03 Sat

[> [> [> [> [> a woman -- Cozener Feint, 12:07:08 05/26/03 Mon

[> old -- try, 20:47:20 05/25/03 Sun

These men are beginning to look old (JM & DB). How will they explain aging vampires? Really very curious.

The Hellmouth -- Jenny's Love, 14:40:36 05/22/03 Thu

'Chosen' did rock my world, yet by the time 7.22 arrived, I realized that so many of the answers I desired were simply not going to be answered. I will think of them and pose them here as they come to me. First, who put the talisman that summoned the zombies in 'Lessons' there and why? ANother issue is, despite 'Him' and 'Storyteller', this season wasn't the nostalgia fest that the end of 'Lessons' promised. I thought the First's plans would have something to do with going 'back to the beginning' (the First I guess referred to time or whatever the 'true beginning' was, I also assumed it would have something to do with the beginning of the show and the events of season 1). And was it explained what the 'true beginning' was? 'Get it Done' was really the only ep that dealt with any sort of 'beginning' issues in my opinion. Another issue I have is the nature of the Hellmouth. The Hellmouth is simply a portal, a gateway to the demon dimensions/Hell and upon its opening the Old Ones would emerge first into the Earth realm. However, 'Doomed' presented the Hellmouth as a bottomless hole in the ground, whereas the concept should look more like the vortexes operated by the Mok Togar (Kathy's race in 'Living Conditions') only larger--big enough for giant tentacled demons to come through obviosuly. Now maybe if the Vahrall in 'Doomed' were diving into a hole which would eventually put them through a swirling vortex into another dimensional plane then that's fine. But then this season confused things even more with the Seal of Danthazar. I assumed that the Seal was related to but entirely separate from the Hellmouth under the former library. And I assumed an explanation of the seal's origin would come, but it did not. And then 'Chosen' seemed to confirm (at least for me who didn't believe it) that the Seal covers the Hellmouth and it's just a neat little circle in the ground and not a large swirling vortex. And there's even nice little steps carved into the ground descending into Hell. And they go down basically underground to the cavern full of Turok Han. Did they go through a portal into another dimension or just underground into a cave beneath the town? cause it sure looks like the latter. As I was typing this, I had a revelation (probably not an epiphany for others, but it confirmed for me what I just have been ranting about)--when the amulet blasts through the ceiling, we SEE it goes up and through the principals' office (energy beam next to Willow) and through the roof allowing the sunlight to channel through Spike's body and wipe out the Turok Han. This image basically shows that the dimension where the Turok Han have been massing is just a cave under the school/town. Of course, if the Seal unlocks the Hellmouth, then shouldn't the first thing out be tentacled 'Old Ones' as we have seen until now, and not Turok-Han. I mean, when we see the Turok-Han cave-dimension, are we seriously seeing the other side of the portal that was opened in 'Prophecy Girl' and 'The Zeppo'??? Anyways, I will wrap up this rambling for now. If you have made it this far, tell me what you think the answers are?

[> There are many demon dimensions -- Finn Mac Cool, 15:15:53 05/22/03 Thu

Opening the Hellmouth most likely sets all of the different hells loose on earth, where as the Seal of Danthalzar is linked directly to the dimension the Turok-Han are in. Also, the Hellmouth isn't precisely a portal. A portal is a hole punched into the fabric between worlds; the Hellmouth is a place where that barrier is severely weakened. As such, we can't expect it to operate in the same way; it's quite possible that, when the Hellmouth is partially opened with the Seal, that the gateway is seamless. After all, gateways to other worlds come in all different varieties. Sometimes all you can see is swirling light, other times you can actually see through it into the other world, sometimes it's a watery darkness (see "Anne"), and sometimes it's just a ripple in the air. So, if that's the case, it might be totally possible to create an opening into other dimensions that looks exactly like a hole in space.

P.S. As for Spike's beam of light, you said it blasted up near where Willow was. Well, we know the Seal is pretty near or directly on the Hellmouth, and that the principal's office (where she performed the spell), is directly over the Hellmouth. So it's fully possible that the beam of light traveled back through the doorway they originally came through to get to the Turok-Han dimension.

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.

I can't decide... -- Darby, 17:27:21 05/22/03 Thu

Should I be giggling maniacally or looking to get in with InstitutionalizedBuffy?

And I can't decide if this is the best or worst place to ask the question.

I actually bought a piece of the show from the fox auction on eBay - the cuckoo clock that was in the living room. I think it appeared in the fifth season, but I'm still searching for that. Anyway, I remember it being in "the house." Have I gone off the deep end?

I'd mention how much I paid, but that would sway the assessment too much. Let's just say that I need to avoid auctions, okay?

It's an investment, right-? Like a piece of the original Enterprise, or a knickknack from the Dick Van Dyke Show set?

Don't hesitate to tell me I'm insane - you wouldn't be the first. In fact, even now you have to get in line behind Sara.

[> Cuckoo clock?! Did Sara point out the metaphor there? -- Sophist, 17:43:50 05/22/03 Thu

Hmm. I wonder what the box of Gavrok is going for?

[> Does it make time go wonky? Could be worth every penny! -- cougar, 18:05:09 05/22/03 Thu

[> I'd do it if I could get organized! -- mamcu, 18:12:23 05/22/03 Thu

[> At least it wasn't the Buffy Replica Giraffe Skull .. -- MsGiles, 03:10:45 05/23/03 Fri

which I noticed, though I forget which ep the original giraffe was in. At least a cuckoo clock is useful. And it's original! It's a watchamacallum .. like the fingers of saints.. A Relic. Part of the True Set. Maybe it needs a reliquary (an elaborate Swiss chalet done in gold leaf?). it's a site of pilgrimage, to be viewed by the faithful on Holy Days (anniversary of the First Broadcast? Buffy's Birthday?) What can I say? (*jealous*)

The 'Why' of W&H and the amulet (Spoilers through 'Chosen' and 'Home') -- Finn Mac Cool, 18:16:23 05/22/03 Thu

Some people have been asking this question: why would Wolfram & Hart, the law firm from hell, give Angel an amulet that helped stop the world from ending, at the price of killing the person who weilds it?

There have been several theories: they figured Angel would use it, getting him out of their hair for good; they didn't know exactly what the amulet would do; they're interested in keeping the good vs. evil game going, not actually ending it (based upon Holland Manners's speech in "Reprise"). I personally don't believe any of these theories.

First, Wolfram & Hart certainly doesn't want Angel dead; they want him on their side. They've had opportunities to kill him for the past three years, but have passed them up because they want to corrupt Angel come apocalypse time. As Lilah pointed out in "Home", if W&H wanted Angel dead, they could have blown up the limo they sent to pick him up. It would be totally inconsistent for W&H to seek Angel's death now that they've just launched a big plan to get that pesky souled vampire working for them.

Second, it is possible that W&H wasn't able to figure out the amulet's exact power; they've had troubles with translating stuff before, and Angel's conufsion about what exactly it did lends it credence. However, while that might explain why they would give Angel a talisman that might kill him, it does not directly address the issue of why they gave it at all, since they knew it was meant to be used for world savage.

Third, I don't think W&H is really just interested in "keeping the game going". Yes, the wraith of Holland Manners said that they didn't intend "anything as grandoise as winning", but that doesn't mean they're not interested in destroying the world. I think that the Senior Partners very much want to overwhelm the world with evil and take over. However, they've long since come to the realization that it's not likely either side will ever truly win in this wacky epic battle of the Buffyverse. So they decided that, despite the improbability of ever winning, they've still got to try for world destruction and further the cause of evil as much as they can. While I have yet to see Angel Season 2 (hoping to change that come syndication this fall), from what I've read I think that Holland Manners's speech is very clearly meant to be the dark counterpoint to Angel's epiphany, that he'll never truly defeat all evil, but that he's still got to strive for the impossible goal and do as much good as he can in the process. It's not that either side wouldn't like to redeem/destroy the world, they just don't believe it's ever gonna happen. And this isn't just idle speculation on my part. Holland Manners did say that they had an apocalypse scheduled, and that they'd have more if Angel thwarted it, and there have been other references to W&H being interested in the destruction/damnation of earth (see "Habeas Corpses").

So, why did Wolfram & Hart give Angel an amulet they knew was crucial to saving the world from the First Evil's army? Here's my theory: Wolfram & Hart want to destroy the world. And they mean that quite literally. It's not that they want the world destroyed; they want to be the ones who destroy it. After all, remember how W&H acted when they heard all those prophecies about the Beast, it's Master, and the destruction of earth? They were not thrilled, to say the least. In fact, all the lawyers were quaking in their boots. The Senior Partners gave orders to make a deal with the Beast, since they were both after world destruction, but I think it's very important to note that, if someone else started to set up an apocalypse, W&H didn't want to be left behind. Now, we know little to nothing about the Senior Partners; they're kept in the background, and all orders given by them are heard second hand. All we really know is that they are very evil and have been plotting humanity's destruction for a long, long time. Given how W&H reacted to the possibility of the Beast bringing on the apocalypse, I think it's safe to say that the Senior Partners want to destroy the world for more than just the sake of destruction. I think that, if they end the world in the way they've been planning since the dawn of human kind, they stand to gain something. Maybe they want an eternal damnation apocalypse, like Acathla, rather than one where everyone's just dead, or, perhaps, like the First Evil, the Senior Partners will in some way become manifest if their apocalyptic plans are carried out. If either of these is the case, than I think it's clear why they didn't want the Turok-Han army to overrun the earth. Yes, it would be the apocalypse, but it wouldn't be THEIR apocalypse, it would be the First Evil's. The First would become corporeal and rule the mortal world with an iron fist, and the Senior Partners would be left in whatever dimension they live in, grumbling that their well thought out apocalypse since someone else beat them to the punch. And, if that doesn't pan out, there's always the fact that offering Angel a chance to help Buffy save the world certainly doesn't hurt their mission to corrupt him.

Of course, this is just my theory. If someone can punch holes in it, please do so. I think that figuring out the Senior Partners is going to become important in Season 5, and we all have a duty to pick out holes in each other's theories until we've only got a holeless theory left over (though that doesn't necessarily mean ME will do what we expect; they're great like that).

P.S. On a totally different subject, I just realized that Spike destroyed the Turok-Han and saved the world thanks to a talisman, and, in "Lessons", he was the one who uttered the line "there's always a talisman". Not sure if that was foreshadowing or not, though.

[> w&h, willow, & holes -- anom, 23:49:08 05/22/03 Thu

"It's not that they want the world destroyed; they want to be the ones who destroy it."

This connects directly w/the line about Willow when she was chasing Jonathan & Andrew w/the truck in Two to Go: "She doesn't want you dead--she wants to kill you!"

"...we all have a duty to pick out holes in each other's theories until we've only got a holeless theory left over...."

Ever read Theodore Sturgeon's "It Was Nothing, Really"? A theory punched full of holes might hold up best!

A Something Else Entirely Epilogue: The Seventh Chakra -- manwitch, 18:34:49 05/22/03 Thu

This was a very difficult post to write, which can't bode well for reading it, because frankly, I feel done. Its over. But I started an idea a few months ago and never really completed it. So hopefully this puts an end cap on it.

Buffy has accomplished the transformation of Chakra Seven.

A few months ago, I did a post on Buffy as a metaphor for spiritual transformation. Briefly, the idea was that each season of Buffy matches with a step along a metaphorical ladder of spiritual transformation in Kundalini Yoga, which is I think from some Tantric adaptation of Hinduism. I'm not the person to talk to on the history of it. But Kundalini has been around for a long time, and the idea is that through meditation you awaken these successive spiritual centers, called chakras, in your body. Each one has specific relevance, specific powers. And I was simply arguing that each season of Buffy corresponds perfectly to the respective chakra on the kundlini ladder.

So Chakra One is about letting go of your spiritless ego and choosing to embark on your spiritual journey. I'd say that's a bulls-eye with Buffy's first season. The second chakra is all about sex, recognizing both that it is important and that it is not the sole motivation of life. Again, fits Buffy season 2 perfectly, where she must recognize the importance of her passions, in contrast to Kendra who has none and dies, but not allow herself to be ruled by them, in contrast to Angelus.

Chakra Three is about the will to life/power, and the recognition that our lives are for more than simply our own use. That's exactly what Buffy realizes in Season 3. Chakra four deals with the opening of the heart to compassion, and thereby finding the source of our being. Again, Buffy Season 4. Exactly that. Chakra 5 is the beholding of the beatific image, one might say, which is exactly what Buffy achieves at the end of Season 5. Chakra 6 is about experiencing the rapture of God conditioned by form, seeing the world as a wonder rather than a wasteland. That is what Buffy accomplishes at the end of Season 6.

I suggested in that post that all of the other characters, big bads and friends alike, have been, in addition to well-developed independent characters, metaphors for Buffy, or for some aspect of her, to further our understanding of her place along this journey of spiritual transformation.

And so my argument is that by matching these chakras, the entire series has been built around a metaphor for spiritual transformation, and is telling us that we are Buffy, and through Buffy's adventures, we can see how to make these spiritual transformations for ourselves. So that we, in our world, can be the slayer, can be responsible for the fate of the entire world. I think that's part of why the show resonates so deeply with people. I mean, sure, it's smart, it's witty, it has action, romance, horror, comedy, it has everything one could ask for from an entertainment aspect, but more than that, and more than just handling important topics, it addresses spirituality, the nature of it, how we can experience it in our own lives. Other shows don't speak to that, and I think people want it. There are some shows, certainly, that deal with religious motifs, angels, the afterlife, and some relatively heavy-handed shows on ethics, but Buffy is about who we can be during the brief experience of being human on this planet. Its not about religion, its not about ethics, its about realizing our fullest humanity.

This has been a seven year story of Buffy's journey from spiritual lethargy (prior to activating the first Chakra) to spiritual bliss (upon the activation of the seventh), and by extension, it has been the story of our journey, because Buffy is a metaphor for us. During this story Buffy has changed, and we with her, from a child wanting mine mine mine, to the fullest expression of humanity in pure love. And that is Chakra Seven.

Chakra Seven is the last chakra, and at that level the task is to extinguish all ego and dissolve oneself into undifferentiated consciousness. And that is exactly Buffy's task in Season 7. So if you figure that what you are transitioning to is undifferentiated consciousness, that is, pure consciousness unhindered by separate or individual forms, then you can figure that what you are transitioning from is differentiated consciousness. That's the world of forms. Of difference. Of otherness. Of separation. So that's the First Evil. If you think of the Bible, we were cast from the Garden by eating from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. What expelled us from bliss was getting the idea of evil, and the idea that it is opposed to good. This opened up the whole world of binary oppositions, which is the world of forms as we tend to experience it in our everyday lives. Good/Bad. Right/Wrong. Male/Female, Dead/Alive. Me/You. These are separations. So the way to overcome the First Evil, these notions of separation, is to cease to be separate, to cease to be differentiated, isolated or alone. The obstacle that Buffy must overcome is not simply the First Evil, but the separations themselves, including all the pairs of opposites that are part and parcel of such division. And what makes Buffy separate and alone, what differentiates her, is that she is THE slayer. The one girl in all the world.

Spike is sort of the embodiment of these separations. Again, if you think of the whole show as a metaphor for Buffy, every character as metaphorical of some aspect of Buffy, you could argue that Spike is Buffy's otherness. He is everything she's not. She says so, in Season 6. She says, "He's everything I hate, everything I'm supposed to be against." And they are opposites in so many ways. Man/Woman, Dead/Alive, Vampire/Human, Good/Not quite so good. So there's a really lovely moment in the finale when Buffy says, "He is in my heart." She wasn't choosing Spike over Angel. She was giving primacy to a particular kind of love. Of course, as characters, Angel is the guy she would like one day to settle down with. He will always be special to her. Angel is boyfriend love. But Spike, oddly enough, is Christ love. In the "Love your enemies," passage, Christ goes on to say, "for the lord sends his rain to fall on the evil as well as the good, and the sun to shine on the just as well as the unjust." Or something like that. Christ is saying that divinity does not concern itself with the oppositions, with the separations. Divinity includes all. So when Buffy says of her absolute otherness, "He is in my heart," she is acknowledging that she has finally managed to incorporate otherness into herself. She recognizes her connection to that which she is not, and it becomes part of her. She breaks past the separations.

So its basically at that moment that she realizes the First Evil is defeated and she realizes how: by ceasing to be separate, by ceasing to be isolated and alone. That it is a spiritual realization is indicated in that the vehicle for sharing this power, for including all, for overcoming the separations, is Willow, the metaphor for Buffy's spirit, who has been working on the interconnectedness of all things for the entire season.

So everyone becomes a Slayer, and Spike for the first time feels his real soul, not the one he acquired in the cave last year, but the one he has just acquired in the last couple of episodes, the soul of Buffy's grace. All Spike has ever wanted was to be worthy. He would have been ok, ultimately, if his love had been unrequited, and he ultimately was ok with it. But he wanted his love to be acknowledged, for her to admit that he was worthy to love her. When Buffy tells him she loves him, she is speaking in terms of this all encompasing pure love that breaks past all barriers of good and evil, of ally and enemy. When Spike says, "No you don't," he's talking about romantic love. But he knows, as he turns to dust and stops up the hellmouth, that he has been redeemed by the only power capable of redeeming him: Buffy's love.

We all face this part of Buffy's obstacle, this limitation in our ability to love. Where do you draw the line? Who are you unwilling to love? Who are you unwilling to forgive? That is the final obstacle to this spiritual bliss. If you have aught with your brother, you cannot make your offering to God. Spike was the emodiment of that obstacle for Buffy, and when she admitted him into her heart, when she took that which was absolutely not her and made it part of her anyway, she went beyond good and evil and found spiritual bliss. At the metaphorical level, when the obstacle is overcome, that which represents the obstacle becomes superfluous. So with Spike's metaphorical function complete, he appropriately disappears.

So it makes sense in this journey of transformation why Spike would die. But why Anya? Anya is, in my opinion, a metaphor for Buffy's humanity. The character was undergoing the transition from immortal demon to mortal human, learning what it means to be human, taking in the whole experience bit by bit. There were many things about humans that she did not understand, but in the last few episodes she admitted that she liked humans, she liked that they fought for what was important, and she wasn't going to run away this time. She would fight with them. In the series finale, Buffy reached the fullest possible expression of humanity, metaphorically speaking, by overcoming her separation, overcoming all of the binary oppostions that separation reveals, by finding in her heart pure love. And it is fittingly at that moment that Anya, the metaphor for Buffy's humanity, realizes the fullest expression of her own in mortality. In death, her transition to humanity is complete.

One of the things I love about this show is how things that seem very negative at the character/plot level are sometimes joyous occurences when seen in terms of their metaphorical significance. That's why you cry so damn much at this show. While Anya's death is devastating, Buffy's realization of the fullest experience of humanity, of which Anya is a metaphor, is a joyous event. Another good example of this would be Buffy's rejection of Xander in Prophecy Girl. Its heartbreaking for a character that we love, but if we think of Xander as a metaphor for Buffy's heart, the organ of love and desire, for Buffy to love or desire herself would be narcissistic, which, oddly enough, she kind of is during all of Season 1 up to that point. By turning her heart away, or outward, she is saying she is psychologically prepared to take the next step, and embrace her spiritual commitment. So what seems sad at one level, is wonderful and necessary at another, just as with Anya's death.

Xander's eye is another example. From the pov of the character, he got his eye stabbed out, which has to kinda suck. But again, when we see Xander as a metaphor for Buffy's heart, and when we recall that "one sees well only with the heart for what truly matters is invisible to the naked eye," we see that what has really happened is a good thing. Buffy's heart used to see in terms of duality and separation, the left and the right. But now it sees everything as one. Xander's remaining eye is the same as the eye in the middle of the forhead of the hindu deities, the eye that sees the truth beyond the dualities. When her heart lets go of duality and separation, Buffy can admit Spike into her heart, and overcome her final obstacle. It ends up being a wonderfully positive image.

But for a truly wonderful image, there is one that surpasses all the others. At least in my estimation. Dawn, who seems to be a metaphor for potential, for the new beginning, fittingly asks the final question at the end, as Buffy faces a new beginning. "What will you do now?" And Buffy simply smiles.

That, I can safely say, is my favorite moment in the seven year history of wonderful moments in this television series. In a sense, Buffy's answer is wordless, because having reached bliss, she can simply appreciate the world as it is. In a sense, her answer is, like her spirit, boundless, not limited by words, including all possibilities. But for me, the real beauty is that we are the ones being asked. For seven years this show has been a metaphor for Buffy and Buffy has been a metaphor for us. And last night, in the finale, they came out and basically said it. They gave us all Buffy's power. She handed it over to all of us, if we choose to take it. All over the world, people are waking up to being a slayer, to fulfilling their spiritual potential. That's not characters on the show. That's us. We're waking up. We're slayers now. We're chosen. Having reached her spiritual bliss of the seventh chakra, Buffy has exploded past the confines of the television itself, and given us the spiritual injection we have been looking for. By loving, by sharing, by connecting, we can save the whole world. Dawn wasn't asking Buffy what she was going to do now. She was asking us. And not about Tuesday nights during the 8 o'clock timeslot, either. What are we going to do, now that we are the slayer? That's why Buffy just smiled. Her task is complete. The new beginning is ours.

I've said before that this is reality television, and here is where it makes the transition. Last night may have been the last episode, but this story of spiritual transformation never ends. And for the rest of its seasons, you are the protagonist. What are you going to do now? We all get to repeatedly ask and repeatedly answer that question for the rest of our days. And like Buffy's silent smile, the sum of all our answers is that we can do anything.

My favorite moment in this whole empowering series. We are all Buffy, and now we recognize it. Really, I feel like we've all been part of a very beautiful thing.

[> Re: A Something Else Entirely Epilogue: The Seventh Chakra -- jane, 19:01:58 05/22/03 Thu

Thank you for this wonderful post! It expresses what has made this such a powerful show for me, in words more eloquent than any I could summon.

[> I've been waiting for this...wonderful, manwitch. Thank you. -- dub ;o), 20:04:46 05/22/03 Thu

[> [> ?but why can't I find the original essay in the archives? -- dub :o|, 20:21:22 05/22/03 Thu

Do you remember what month you first posted it, manwitch?

[> [> [> I think its here... -- manwitch, 20:45:09 05/22/03 Thu

Something Else Entirely: another take on the Buffy Metaphor

End of January. the 26th, or thereabouts.

[> [> [> [> Or not, as the case may be... -- manwitch, 20:47:31 05/22/03 Thu

So much for my html skills. But its the end of january.

[> [> [> [> [> 01/25/03 thanks for the epilogue -- tost, 21:31:23 05/22/03 Thu

[> [> [> [> Voy tells me that link is an 'invalid path'... (to enlightenment?!?) must be The First -- cougar, 20:49:04 05/22/03 Thu

[> [> [> [> Thanks! This is what the address url is when I reach it... -- dub ;o), 21:31:03 05/22/03 Thu


[> Brilliant and inspiring. Thanks. -- Sophist, 20:53:23 05/22/03 Thu

[> really glad you came back to this, manwitch...guess that earlier post was only KABOO ! -- anom, 23:34:03 05/22/03 Thu

[> That was wonderful, manwitch -- ponygirl, 08:10:21 05/23/03 Fri

[> Perfect! -- tomfool, 08:15:38 05/23/03 Fri

Thank you so much for completing this essay. I think your Seven Chakra analysis is spot on and puts the show in a perspective that allows me to comprehend it as a whole. I too love the ending. A perfect wordless goodbye - and beginning.

Giles: It's up to you Buffy.
Buffy: What do you want me to do?
Giles: Your best.

That's all any of us can do. Buffy's shown us the way.

I hope you don't mind, but I've tacked this on to the original essay and sent it to a few friends who don't frequent this board. Posts like this can't help but drum up new business for Masq.

Again, thank you for this.

[> [> Re: First the cake; now the frosting! Thanks. -- Brian, 09:50:11 05/23/03 Fri

[> [> [> You'll like it here. -- tomfool, 12:02:25 05/23/03 Fri

[> Fabulous! I'm glad that you've finished this. Thank you. -- deeva, 08:31:46 05/23/03 Fri

[> Thanks a whole lot for that (Chosen) -- lunasea, 08:56:37 05/23/03 Fri

It really put some things in perspective, not the show so much, but myself. Last fall, I actually experienced Nirvana. I woke up from a nap and there it was. It was only for an hour or so (not really sure, there was no time). I have been able to "return," but only very briefly. Life keeps pulling me back.

Since you shared your wonderful words with us. I want to share an article with you. It can be found at A Mind Like Water It is an article about a local Zen warrior Vernon Kitabu Turner from the magazine "What is Enlightenment." I think you will enjoy it and other articles at the site.

I don't like violence. I typically don't watch fighting. I don't like most of the fighting on the shows, but I do like watching Buffy and Angel fight (and now Faith, since she has found her center better). They remind me of Zen Warriors. They drop it every now and then, but when the quips stop, they disappear.

Buffy and Angel are only in that formless, egoless state where they don't think when they fight. I've been waiting with baited breathe to see how Joss will symbolize this with Buffy outside of Slaying. When taken together, Angel and Buffy are showing the process to enlightenment

There has been a lot said about Angel's dissociation and disavowal of Angelus as "him." In Western thought, mental health would be re-established by Angel acknowledging and incorporating Angelus. When he didn't do this, we felt he missed an opportunity. I admit that I felt this way. It is hard to rise above years of conditioning and training. Your post and re-reading the article I suggest got me back to a more Eastern way of thinking.

Angel has layed aside his ego of Angelus. He says "that is not me." In Western thought we see that as inaccurate. In Eastern thought, though, it is. We are not our past. Angel labels how he used to be as "Angelus" and says that he is no longer that. We see this as denial, but it isn't. He fully acknowledges in "Orpheus" that even with a soul he has done things he isn't proud of. He pretty much ignores his alter-ego in the battle. He wants to beat it, because of all the shit he has gotten because of it (which culminates with what happens to Connor), but he really is more concerned with the present and Faith than he is Angelus.

The battle in Orpheus takes on a different light when viewed in this light. It isn't good Angel vs evil Angelus. It isn't the various components of his psyche fighting, so much as it is his present and his past. Our past informs us, until we can really set aside our ego. Angel hasn't done that yet.

What he does is set aside Angelus and picks up Champion. Angelus is various lower realms (hell, hungry ghost and animal). The Champion is the higher realms (jealous god and manufactured god). It is only in the human realm that enlightenment is possible. It is pretty obvious how this will be symbolized on AtS.

Angel has been a great exploration of samsara (the rounds of rebirth) and what drives them. Angel in his drive to find himself keeps dropping one ego and picking up another. It is what we do. Even the stream enterer has 7 more rebirths ahead of him. If we observe this, we can see how futile it is and how suffering is caused. From this we can learn the Four Noble Truths and leave samsara.

Buffy is now a stream enterer. Unlike Angel, she discarded one ego and we haven't seen her pick up another. She isn't quite out yet, but she is in a position where this may be possible. Samsara and nirvana are the same. The only difference is that the enlightened person stays in the human realm rather than continue the round of rebirths. It isn't easy. It is so tempting to think that we are baked or do various things because we can't handle being unbaked.

Since we don't get to see the rest of Buffy's story (though I bet there will be several phone calls over on Angel, since SMG says she is too busy next season), we assume that she will stay in the human realm. Who knows. That is for our imagination to determine. It might be interesting to think about what Karma would lead her out of this and what would lead her back.

In the meantime, I still get to watch Angel go through them on his way to Nirvana. It is amusing. When he gets there, the place of no death, he will be mortal again and be able to die. Nirvana and samsara are one and the same.

Thanks for sharing. It was truly a beautiful moment.

[> Re: A Something Else Entirely Epilogue: The Seventh Chakra -- O'Cailleagh, 20:21:03 05/23/03 Fri

Wow! I can't wait to read this manwitch (can't yet-haven't finished S7!), I read the first part of this in the archives not long after I came back to the board and I have to say it blew me away! After reading it, it all became clear. I was hoping you'd be able to do the same for this season, and now you have. Well done and thank you, I'm going to save it til I'm allowed to read it!


[> It's all connected....... -- Rufus, 00:52:32 05/24/03 Sat

For seven years this show has been a metaphor for Buffy and Buffy has been a metaphor for us. And last night, in the finale, they came out and basically said it. They gave us all Buffy's power. She handed it over to all of us, if we choose to take it. All over the world, people are waking up to being a slayer, to fulfilling their spiritual potential. That's not characters on the show. That's us. We're waking up. We're slayers now. We're chosen. Having reached her spiritual bliss of the seventh chakra, Buffy has exploded past the confines of the television itself, and given us the spiritual injection we have been looking for. By loving, by sharing, by connecting, we can save the whole world. Dawn wasn't asking Buffy what she was going to do now. She was asking us. And not about Tuesday nights during the 8 o'clock timeslot, either. What are we going to do, now that we are the slayer? That's why Buffy just smiled. Her task is complete. The new beginning is ours.

In Lessons we hear that "it's all connected" and for so long Buffy had not completely connected with those around her for various reasons. This year was the hardest because Buffy finally had to do the hardest thing...and that was to give up her isolation and risk everything by connecting, really connecting....

"Since compassion is the wish that others should be free of suffering, it requires above all the ability to feel connected to other beings. The Dali Lama's Little Book of Wisdom

From Conversations with Dead People....

Yeah. (face changes from vampire to normal) Whoa. Did my face just change?

Yeah. You look human now. You can do that-go back and forth.

Oh, so I'm a vampire. (laughs) How weird is that?


No, no. Feels great. Strong. Like I'm connected to a powerful all-consuming evil that's gonna suck the world into a firey oblivion. How 'bout you?

Not so much connected. (stands and walks away, he follows)

No, no. I mean, with the stake and the cross-you do this kind of thing a lot?

(stops walking, turns to face him) I'm the slayer. It's sort of a thing.

So, what-you like fight vampires professionally? Or-

Oh, I don't get paid. It's more like a calling. Since-even in school.

So, all that time, you were a slayer?


"The", like as in "the only one"?

Pretty much.

Oh. So, when you said not connected, that was kind of a telling statement, wasn't it-?

(puts hands on hips) Ah, Psych 101 alert.

Well, I'm just saying.

Yeah, what I really need is emotional therapy from the evil dead.

Hey, it was your phrase.

I'm connected. I'm connected to a lot of people, OK.

No. No, I hear ya.

I really am.

Pan down to show that Buffy's cell phone has fallen on the ground behind a nearby tombstone. It's ringing.

So, you meet someone, you form a bond...

But it never lasts.

Do you mean in all relationships, or just yours?

My parents weren't exactly the paragon of stay-togetherey-ness. Maybe that's part of it. I think there're people out there who'd make it. I just... target the impossible ones... with deadly accuracy.

You think you do that on purpose? Maybe you're trying to protect yourself?

Protecting myself? From heartbreak, misery, sexual violence, and possible death? Not so much.

From committing.

(sits up) I commit. I'm committed. I'm a committee.

So it's them? You're reaching out, they're just not coming through?

(shifts her body) It's different. I think you're confusing me because you're evil.

I just think you're in some pain here-which I do kind of enjoy 'cause I'm evil now-but you should just ease up on yourself. It's not exactly like you have the patent on bad relationships.

And the joke is... he loved me. I mean, in his own sick, soulless way, he really did care for me. But I-I didn't want to be loved.

Didn't you?

I have all this power. I didn't ask for it. I don't deserve it. It's like... I wanted to be punished. I wanted to hurt like I thought I deserved. I sorta think-you know, this is, um, complicated. If you'd rather just fight...

(leans back) Tell me.

I feel like I'm worse than anyone. Honestly, I'm beneath them. My friends, my boyfriends. I feel like I'm not worthy of their love. 'Cause even though they love me, it doesn't mean anything 'cause their opinions don't matter. They don't know. They haven't been through what I've been through. They're not the slayer. I am. Sometimes I feel-(sighs) this is awful-I feel like I'm better than them. Superior.

Until you can't win. And I thought I was diabolical-or, at least I plan to be. You do have a superiority complex. And you've got an inferiority complex about it. (laughs) Kudos.

It doesn't make any sense.

(sits forward) Oh, it makes every kind of sense. And it all adds up to you feeling alone. But, Buffy, everybody feels alone. Everybody is, until you die. Speaking of...(stands) you ready for our little death match?

I suppose. (stands) Thanks, for listening.

Oh, you know, there's some things you can only tell a stranger.

From Touched

Buffy: just sounds so casual. These are girls. That I got killed. I cut myself off from them, all of them. I knew I was going to lose some of them and I didn't... You know what? I'm still making excuses. I've always cut myself off. I've always....being the Slayer made me different but it's my fault I stayed that way. People are always trying to connect to me but I just...slip away...You should know.

Buffy has lost her first love...gained a sister...lost a mother...slept with a former enemy....died twice...but she never totally connected to living until she was able to give up the power that made her alone. In doing that one thing, Buffy has finally gotten it....gotten what was meant when she was told love will lead you to your gift.

Empowerment for everyone (spoilers Chosen) -- lunasea, 19:20:24 05/22/03 Thu

This is probably redundant as all heck, but I just wanted to jot this down all together. Feel free to tell me I'm repeating what has already been said and that I am wasting valuable bandwidth and should be promptly relegated to the archives.

The theme of "Chosen" (for me) was empowering yourself by empowering others. Now let's take a look at how this played out with each character.


The set up: I am alone. I am better than everyone, which makes me feel badly. yada yada. We all know this set up rather well and we bitched about it all season.

The action: Through the spell, she shares her power with thousands of girls world wide

The conclusion: she is returned to a relatively normal state and is no longer alone or better than everyone. We get a wonderful smile at the end when it finallly hits her that she isn't the only one any more. Up to this point, she is doing the spell not to make herself normal, but to fight the First and empower others.

Empowerment: Buffy is empowered to be a normal girl by sharing her power, thus empowering the girls of the world.


The set up: Magick basket case

The action: she is the one that has to do the above spell

The conclusion: "That was nifty." She learns what her power is for, to empower others, and no longer fears herself. She quickly returns to the red haired Willow we all love.

Empowerment: Willow is empowered to no longer fear herself or magick by using that magic to empower others.


The set up: poor Xander. Didn't even get a real arc this season. His story was set up S6 by leaving Anya at the altar. Feelings have been building all season and it is a tender moment when he says "Only the crazy ones."

The action: Nothing he really does. His moment is when he talks about Anya as "my girl"

The conclusion: Similar to "Amends." In Amends, Cordy is a bitch and Xander is unable to make amends for what he did in "Lover's Walk." He is left alone at the end. Same thing here. Because Anya is dead, he cannot have full resolution.

Empowerment: Xander doesn't really empower anyone and isn't empowered in return.

Feel free to disagree. I think he is used the same way he is in "Amends" to draw a contrast to all the empowerment (then it was forgiveness and reconnection) going on around him.


The set up: most poorly written character this season. ASH did a great job with the material he was given, but there wasn't anything given to really explain Giles' behavior. The audience really had to read into his character. Giles was cast adrift by losing the Council and hope.

The action: His moment in the show comes when Buffy tells everyone her crazy idea. Giles completely and totally supports her.

The conclusion: Giles' reaction both supports Buffy and allows him to see that you can and should think outside the box. Their mutual respect was resurrected and it really does empower them both. We get real Giles back finally.

Empowerment: Giles is empowered to think outside the box by empowering Buffy's crazy idea.


The set up: She will not choose you

The action: turning the car around to go back to Sunnydale AND confronting her sister

The conclusion: She finally gets to fight, something Buffy said she couldn't do in "Lessons."

Empowerment: Dawn is young and empowers herself, in contrast to the girls all over the world that will be empowered by the spell. Dawn is also empowered by this spell, but she takes her stand before that, even before the Potentials decide to fight.

Maybe one of the Dawn shippers will give more. I haven't gotten too much into her.


The set up: Killing Jonathan and "Storyteller" His storytelling ability is used also to give Faith's backstory. Buffy has told him not to do this any more. He bonds with Anya in "End of Days."

The action: There are two. First he gets Anya to not be afraid. Second he lies/embellishes for Xander.

The conclusion: The storyteller has learned how to use his power for good. By embellishing/lying to Xander, he both allowed Anya to have a heroic death and Xander to realize how special "my girl" was. It echoed the feelings he felt in "Storyteller" over killing Jonathan which turned the Hellmouth back to simmer.

Empowerment: Andrew was redeemed by empowering Xander to feel for "my girl."


The set up: Anya's talk with Andrew in "End of Days."

The action: fighting to protect humans that she formerly only felt scorn for.

The conclusion: Anya at first had trouble facing possible death and froze. Andrew empowered her to fight. She didn't empower anyone and she really wasn't empowered like the others were in a lasting way, seeing as there wasn't a lasting for her. She was redeemed, though. Her death reminded me a lot of Jonathan's. Jonathan gives a wonderful speech right before Andrew kills him. Anya gave a similar speech in "End of Days" and this time Andrew tries to empower her. Anya's death was more about Andrew than it was her. It did cause the most touching moment of the show, when Xander finds out about it.

Empowerment: Anya was redeemed by fighting for the humans that she formerly hated.

Again, a more Anya person will have more to say.


The set up: The major story with Wood was him being a vengeful jerk that culminated in LMPTM. In "Touched" he and Faith get all fleshy.

The action: While working with Faith to seal off access to the sewers (which you think the Uber-vamps would just move the boxes), Wood manages to get Faith to see that there might be more to guys than use 'em and lose 'em.

The conclusion: He helps Faith feel, thus empowering her, and this makes him into something that people actually want to see in a spin-off. How many see Wood as the vengeful jerk that tried to kill souled Spike and how many now see him as a bit more caring than that?

Empowerment: Not sure how he was empowered, other than as a character we now want to see, but he did empower Faith in a way that Angel hadn't even yet (and couldn't).


The set up: Faith's opinions on sex, herself and guys

The action: Faith tries to be a real leader for the Potentials

The conclusion: The spell is done with Buffy AND Faith's power, so both women are sharing the Slayer spirit. Faith has tried so hard this season to just fight the good fight however she can. She has talked to Robin several times this season, and those talks can be contrasted with the way she talked with Spike in "Dirty Girls." Buffy gets to be a real girl and Faith gets the one thing that she wants most, a real man. Maybe someone else will run with that.


The set up: Kennedy is the brat who is Willow's girlfriend. She has stood up to Buffy and is no yes girl. She thinks she is too old to be a Slayer

The action: she supports Willow emotionally and gives her moral support (rather than having her mystical strength drained like in "Get it Done") so that Willow can do the spell.

The conclusion: Because of this spell, Kennedy gets to be a Slayer.

Empowerment: Kennedy is empowered to be a Slayer by empowering Willow to be able to do the spell.

Did I miss anyone :-) Just kidding. Our two souled vampires. I will do Angel first since he is my favorite character and he appeared first.


The set up: Great jealous rant. He does those so well. Only good thing about him actually liking Cordy.

The action: He gives the amulet to Buffy and agrees to leave

The conclusion: Buffy tells Angel "Sometimes." Before this, would Angel have remotely thought he had a chance to be with Buffy in the future? Not really. Because Angel can be the man he is and not pressure Buffy, but instead just walk away, he doesn't just get the brush off. When Angel hands Buffy the amulet, he reminds her why she loves him. She can't just let that walk out of her life without saying anything.

Empowerment: Angel is empowered to think about a future with Buffy by empowering her to just be cookie dough and not pressure her.

And last, but not least


The set up: The last real thing we see of Spike is him being Love's Bitch

The action: Spike gets the amulet that Angel brought and meant to wear (will the poor guy ever get out of Angel's shadow. He was vamped because Dru wanted Angel and he dies because Buffy wants Angel gone)

The conclusion: First, Spike empowers Buffy in "Touched" and she in turns gives him the amulet which really empowers him. The amulet first cleanses him of being love's bitch, evidenced by him saying to Buffy that she doesn't love him. Then it gives him the strength to follow his own moral compass, something that was rather rusty.

Empowerment: Spike is empowered to finally be his own man by receiving the amulet from the person that he empowered earlier.

It was a beautiful theme that carried through every character. That is what I love most about Joss' writing, the way he can tightly carry a single emotion or theme throughout an entire episode.

Can't wait to see what he does with this over on Angel.

[> Xander and Anya -- sassette, 08:29:05 05/23/03 Fri

You know, I think Xander did have forgiveness and reconciliation, just not with Anya. I've gotten the sense in the past few episodes that Anya is over Xander, or, even if she isn't over him, she has fully accepted the fact that they do not have a romantic future together. I'm not so sure that Xander did. I think his acceptance of Anya's death, while a bit too quick, might have been quick because she'd already been gone to him, he just hadn't accepted it. And, what did it for him was Andrew's story. Someone over here mentioned the other day that Andrew was back to storytelling in "Chosen"; after all, Anya really didn't die saving his life, not in a direct sense. He was telling the truth to Xander at first, when he said he was too scared to see what was going on. But then he turned to what he does best, telling stories, and he told the story that Xander needed to hear, and, in turns out, a story that was true: as any Anya fan will tell you, she is indeed amazing (or incredible, I can't remember what he said). And that gave Xander the closure he needed to join up with his friends.

And, Anya was obviously empowered by floppy, hoppy bunnies.

[> [> More on Xander -- lunasea, 09:03:40 05/23/03 Fri

It usually takes a few days for the rest of the Scoobies to sink in. I think Xander's empowering others actually comes in earlier episodes. The one he empowered was Andrew. In "Dirty Girls" Andrew turns to Xander when the girls are making fun of Godzilla and Xander backs Andrew up. Xander and Andrew bonded this season and I think that had a lot to do with why Andrew lied to Xander. Xander made Andrew feel like a person and because of this Andrew gives Xander something of Anya to hold on to. It was, for me, the most beautiful moment of the episode.

[> [> [> You are the one who sees. ... that was lovely. -- rowena, 12:08:28 05/23/03 Fri

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