May 2003 posts

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It's official - I'm a Geek -- ponygirl, 12:52:26 05/28/03 Wed

Find your geek ranking here:

I got just over 17%, enough to qualify as a geek!

[> Wow - that was confusing! -- dream, 13:47:41 05/28/03 Wed

I had no idea what most of those question referred to. I scored 11% - I've got geekish tendencies. I can't imagine anyone who has ever posted on a Buffy the Vampire Slayer discussion board would be without geeky tendencies.

I have a bit of an issue with this test, though. I think of a geek as someone who is passionately interested in stuff that no one else cares about, and who has a tendency toward social awkwardness. This test was clearly biased toward the "Classic" or "Computer and Science Fiction" geek, with a nod to the "Renaissance Fair" geek. but what about the rest of us? Why no question about owning records of popular music from the 1890's, or collections of sea chanties? Why not "have you ever made your own ketchup, pickled eggs, brooms, or mead?" Why not some questions about Sherlock Holmes or other mystery series beloved of geeks everywhere? I demand equal geeks rights for non-traditional geeks!

[> [> LOL! Agree -- s'kat, 14:31:48 05/28/03 Wed

I ranked somewhere along the same lines as you did.
Around 15% - Geek. And most of the questions had to leave blank - very geered towards the Warren types and not much towards the William The Bloody/Jonathan types. sigh. I think I got it solely on the basis of comic books, tv shows and reading materials.

[> [> [> I'm not sure how accurate our rankings are -- ponygirl, 19:15:27 05/28/03 Wed

The resident spooky computer genius at my office took it and only got 18%. He clicked on every single computer question but pretty much left everything else blank. Of course he then got into a long discussion on the design of the quiz itself and how he could write a program that would be a more accurate measure, which I think is enough to bump him up a level.

ponygirl (whose Smurf knowledge shamefully raised her score)

[> [> It should be geekier -- Arethusa, 06:43:05 05/29/03 Thu

I think I should have gotten more points for wearing vintage clothes before Madonna, making my own jewlery, reading every book in my junior high library with "magic" in the title, and bragging about how many books I have. Even with the female bonus points, there aren't enough Girl Geek questions. (I'm 25%, based mostly on what I read.)

[> [> Send in questions! Cat Geeks? -- mamcu the multiplier, 10:32:56 05/30/03 Fri

You get extra points down there at the bottom if you send in some ideas to the web master--I sent a couple for linguistics (really pretty easy--write your name in phonetic symbols, etc).

Also, I think some of us qualify as cat geeks. Somebody should send those in.

[> [> [> Oh, god - I am SUCH a cat geek -- dream, 11:50:13 05/30/03 Fri

I think you're right - there are cat PEOPLE, who are the sort who have pictures of their cats on the cubicle, etc. But a cat GEEK - that's someone who has researched the whole raw diet versus cooked food debate, or has built catwalks in the house, or has a mental list of the breeds s/he would like to get someday, in order, or has given his/her cat two names, because of the Eliot poem, or can name the cats of historical figures...

[> All I'll say is my purity test score is higher than my geek score -- lunasea, 13:55:33 05/28/03 Wed

[> I'm only 8.87574% - Poser.... -- Random, 14:21:56 05/28/03 Wed

I guess I have a long way to go yet. Course, I may have fudged a little on what I want to or have been. Shoulda checked off wizard, superhero and vampire, I think. it geeky to want to be more geeky? If so, I imagine that should earn me a couple more points.

[> [> You're in good company, then. ;) -- LadyStarlight (who scored under 8%), 14:23:21 05/28/03 Wed

[> [> [> Ugh! I got 35%+. -- Rob, 16:21:15 05/28/03 Wed

[> [> [> [> Shocking! I am absolutely stunned, I can't even fake surprise here -- Random, looking bemused, 16:31:58 05/28/03 Wed

[> [> [> [> If it's any consolation, Rob... -- Indri, 18:58:30 05/28/03 Wed

I got about 40% but then, I'm a female comic-reading mathematician who used to role-play a lot and who now runs sf conventions, so I'm actually surprised that I didn't score higher.

But yes, the test is definitely skewed towards a particular kind of geekiness.

[> [> [> [> [> I would've probably gotten a higher rating, but I suck at math and science. -- Rob, 21:32:05 05/28/03 Wed

[> [> [> [> [> [> I hit that 36% mark... -- Jay, 19:22:08 05/30/03 Fri

Amoung the usual genre culture stuff, I think that there are two things that really pushed my score up. My participation in marching band, and that I've built my own computer and all that that implies.

Bill Gates really is both God and Satan.

[> [> [> [> Re: Ugh! I got 35%+. -- beekeepr, 23:19:32 05/28/03 Wed

Dearest Rob-I share your score, as well as your fear and loathing of (hold my hand, I'm going in) MATH, which I can do if I have to, and sciences, which I actually like. Slayrunt bullied me into taking it after he scored 16.85, (and very proud of it).

[> [> [> Us non- geeks have to stick together (I got 9%)... -- Alison, 19:11:26 05/28/03 Wed

though it does occur to me that since I'm only fifteen I could still develop into full blown geekishness..only time will tell.

[> [> [> I got 8.87574% - Poser, too. -- JCC, 08:03:49 05/30/03 Fri

[> [> Me too! So what does that make us? -- Haecceity, 00:21:44 05/29/03 Thu

[> [> I got almost the same score (around 8.8%) -- sassette, 06:25:58 05/29/03 Thu

Not that I mind. I go to school with so many literature geeks, I'd rather not be one of them :).

[> He He He He, that was so funny! I scored 28%! Eeek I'm a Geek -- Mackenzie, 14:24:00 05/28/03 Wed

[> I scored 17.8 %, but admit to exaggeration -- rowena, 14:25:05 05/28/03 Wed

[> Re: It's official - I'm a Geek -- moimeme, 14:45:44 05/28/03 Wed

27.0217%- Total Geek

[> I got 25+ -- CW, 15:29:46 05/28/03 Wed

But, I've been at it longer that most of you. I hit way too many of the 'old timer' geeky items. Missed scads of the more recent stuff. How come Russian is geeky and Sanskrit isn't? When I was taking classes in the linguistics department way back when, it was the folks who could discuss Sanskrit and Hittite, that were considered more that a little out of the main stream of humanity. ;o)

[> [> Ooh, I think I know the answer to that one! -- dream, 07:28:50 05/29/03 Thu

Russian is a classic geek language. So's German, but there's a whole of subset of German-studying types who aren't geeks, so you don't necessarily get points for German. French, Italian, Portugese and Spanish are, of course, not geeky languages - any language that sounds really, really good falling from the lips of your lover is inherently cool. Gaelic is a geek language, of the Renaissance Fair kind, subset Celtic Geek.

Sanskrit? Far too exotic to be geeky. Sure it's off the beaten path, but it's got flair. Generally, African and Asian languages are not geeky, due to the exotic factor.

And someone who can check "all of the above?" That's something special, known as "wrap-around cool." Wrap-around cool is something or someone so geeky they're cool again. Think Buddy Holly glasses as worn by the young Elvis Costello. Obscure languages definitely fall into the wrap-around category as well - Icelandic, for example.

Making a list of the geekiness level of different languages? Definitely geeky.

[> [> [> Re: Ooh, I think I know the answer to that one! -- CW, 22:16:49 05/29/03 Thu

Shows how times have changed. Back when I was starting to learn it, people were genuinely impressed when you told them you were learning Russian. You were what people would call a geek today if you'd ever studied Latin. German had just gone out of fashion as the language smart people really had to know, and it would be a few more years before Chinese and Japanese were widely available at the college level. French and Spanish were what you took to fulfiil the language requirement as easily as possible. Portuguese was something Spanish majors took to fill out their programs. Mostly music majors took Italian. (An old girlfriend of my taught it without actually knowing Italian.)

[> [> [> [> When I took undergrad Russian... -- dub ;o), 10:44:37 05/30/03 Fri

it was because that was the language environmentalists needed to know to shout at Russian whalers. Paul Watson of Greenpeace, Rainbow Warrior fame was in my first class as well.

Now I'm trying to study the Basque language, Euskara. I find it difficult to believe that anyone with a human tongue can actually speak it, although I know thousands do.

Oh, geek index was 25+ as well. I was surprised. I thought I was too old and non-tech to be a geek!
dub ;o)

[> [> Hey's what's wrong with Sanskrit. I've also been learning Pali -- lunasea, 15:08:39 05/29/03 Thu

Sanskrit is the language most Buddhist terms are in. There doesn't seem to be a religious geek bent on the test.

Pali is what the Theravadins use. It is what the Buddha would have spoken. Pali is to Sanskrit as Aramaic is to Hebrew. That I know that should probably give me extra points. Also, when Welsey was talking about the Scroll of Aberjian, I knew about each language that he was speaking of and wondered how the heck how something from Magyar which does have its roots in the Ugaric language, among others, (Hungary is a fascinating region when it comes to languages) could have the same word with similar meaning as Bantu. Magyar also had me thinking about Transylvania. Probably should have taken extra points for that, too.

Though I have to admit, that when I used to be involved with the Jesus Seminar, it was a bit disconcerting to hear people insult each other in multiple dead languages.

[> [> [> There's nothing wrong with it -- CW, 22:58:07 05/29/03 Thu

The folks I'm talking about were linguistics majors, who in the US are often renowned for not actually knowing any foreign languages. The folks I was talking about could have cared less about actually being able to read Sanskrit for content. Most of them couldn't make heads or tales of Devangari, but they knew the grammatical paradigms backwards and forwards. Wider interest in this country in the actual textual matieral written in Sanskrit is something that came later, after I was finished with grad school.

You could say that the goal of the students of Sanskrit, and Hittite in thoae days was to be able to swear in that purely conjectural ancestral language, Proto-Indo-European. I never got in that deeply, but I do have a good idea of how the ancient Slavs might have sworn in Proto-Slavic. ;o)

I don't pay much attention to the babble about linguistics by Giles, Wesley, etc. Its very much like Star Trek techo-babble. It's more meant to be interpreted as "this guy is smart," than "this means something." I did understand every word exchanged between Glory and the Monk without the subtitles, because of my training in Slavic. Unfortunately, I did not know what language they were speaking until I checked my references. I'm not an expert on West Slavic which includes the Czech they spoke.

[> [> [> [> Sanskrit is my favorite language. It sounds like chocolate pudding feels. -- WickedBuffy :>, 12:52:29 05/30/03 Fri

[> Evidently I have no life.... -- bell456, 15:44:30 05/28/03 Wed

45.56213% - Super Geek Should I be proud or depressed?

[> I'm obviously not geeky enough, but -- mamcu, 17:51:09 05/28/03 Wed

I got so excited by being a Total Geek that I forgot to notice the number--but I get most of my points from being a linguist, reading and watching SF, and lying.

But my son is Totally Dysfunctional Geek to the eighth power. He not only has a hard drive devoted to mp3's but is copying everything on it on CD's to transfer it to an Apple to get it on a I-Pod, and then getting all his friends to do the same, so that said server should eventually have ALL THE MUSIC IN THE WORLD on it! Now that is Geeky!

He also has a website only for his role playing game.Guess what his profession is.

So whatever geekiness I have was inherited backwards.

[> [> 31.5581%--but got 5 for being female -- mamcu, 18:07:30 05/28/03 Wed

[> [> Does being able to manipulate Geeks into doing stuff for me score extra points???..;) -- Rufus, 04:55:02 05/30/03 Fri

[> [> [> Yes! But it's another kind of Geekiness! -- mamcu, 06:47:04 05/30/03 Fri

[> 5%. must be a new low -- Dandy, 04:00:27 05/29/03 Thu

[> 60.55227% - Extreme Geek!!! -- Zaphod, 04:48:27 05/29/03 Thu

I can't be THAT big a geek!

I've seen combat!
I've taught outback survival courses!
I've been in bar fights!
I've STARTED bar fights!
I hunt!
I fish!
I support Bush on the War on Terror/Iraq/Iran/North Korea/France...!

Can someone be a redneck geek?

It has to be a split personality thing.

Zaphod (who realises that as he his writing this, he's listening to a CD called "Russian and Ukrainian Monastic Chants of the 15th and 16th Century")

[> [> Re: 60.55227% ???'re scary....must be the fishing....;):):):):):) -- Rufus, 04:40:17 05/30/03 Fri

[> [> Just don't tell the other rednecks about the music (and the score) -- mamcu, 06:57:21 05/30/03 Fri

[> [> Redneck geeks are the best kind of geek -- Jay, 19:40:16 05/30/03 Fri

I haven't been in an official combat, but I need no survival training. I suck at fishing but hold my own hunting. Bar fights, god, I wish they wouldn't happen around me so much. For the record, I never start 'em. I swear. I don't care what you've heard. And I also support the war on France.

[> 30.37475% - Total Geek Here!! -- Rhysdux, 09:39:59 05/29/03 Thu

[> Re: It's official - I'm a Geek -- Rhys_Michael, 10:42:09 05/29/03 Thu

51.87377% - Super Geek.

This test is definitely weighted towards a particular subset of geeks.

[> It's official - I'm not a Geek - but where's the Buffy Test for this kind of thing? -- WickedBuffy, 10:46:13 05/29/03 Thu

[> 28% - Total Geek -- grifter, 14:40:47 05/29/03 Thu

I don¥t really know much about them computer thigies I keep hearing about or my number would have been higher...

[> Re: It's official - I'm a Geek -- slain, 16:21:32 05/29/03 Thu

11.3% - Geekish tendencies. Sounds about right to me! Although frankly some of the things they consider geeky I thought were considered cool. Bloody geeks!

[> Geek at 18%, Clearly I know a little too much about Star Trek! -- Sara, feeling moderately geeky, 19:26:06 05/29/03 Thu

[> [> Re: Hmmm - 15.97633% - I geek myself! -- Brian, 20:33:20 05/29/03 Thu

[> I got 23% -- SS, 13:18:53 05/28/03 Wed

[> I'm a Major Geek! -- Anneth, 13:19:33 05/28/03 Wed

37.86982% - Major Geek

teehee. (looks pleased with self)

[> 35+%, Major Geek. -- Just George, 08:59:15 05/30/03 Fri

[> Re: It's official - I'm a Geek -- MaeveRigan, 09:21:41 05/30/03 Fri

My score: 22.68245% - Geek

Might have been higher if I were more into math & science, read Robert Jordan, played Magic: The Gathering, and participated in the Society for Creative Anachronism ;-)

But I'm pretty happy!

[> 27.61341% - Total Geek -- 3man, 15:39:24 05/30/03 Fri

My PTO campaign probably doomed me to geekdom. Oh well, it was a great time killer.

[> just regular geek, mainly on films, but -- MsGiles, 16:37:23 05/30/03 Fri

But if I merged with my partner, who plays chess, has played roleplaying games, is a programmer, has Linux on his PC ands runs it as a server etc (and doesn't remember any films except Star Trek ones) then perhaps we could be an ubergeek.

[> Me too!! -- Vickie, 23:08:10 05/30/03 Fri

38 point geekhood here, without being able to program!

Faith's Words Season 3: Slayers and the Rules or Why I think Buffy Rocks -- heywhynot, 18:01:43 05/28/03 Wed

I am right now rewatching season 3 on FX in particular when Wes first shows up. Echoing Kendra's appearances in Season 2, Wes reinforces the notion of what is normally expected of a Slayer by the Watcher's Council, a prim and proper warrior who is disciplined & follows the orders of the Watchers. This is contrasted to the type of Slayer Faith is undisciplined, doesnít follow rules and is reckless. Buffy at this time is not prim nor proper but all in all follows the rules, the important ones at least. Buffy over the course of the episode becomes more like Faith until Faith kills the Mayorís lackey. What stuck out this time watching was Faithís pointing out to Buffy that Slayers donít have to follow the Watchers, they can make their own rules. (sidenote, in this episode Xander covers the same eye he looses to Caleb). Buffy to this point was an atypical slayer. Her relationship with Giles became one of mutual respect & a healthy father/daughter relationship, not a usual Slayer/Watcher relationship and worked with a group. Important changes from the norm but Buffy hadnít really challenged the core ìrulesî governing being a Slayer.

Season five comes rolling around and Faithís words begin to resonate. She has maintained her relationship with Giles but has turned her back on the Council. When the Watcherís Council comes to Sunnydale, Buffy turns the relationship around. Buffy realizes that the Council has no purpose & no power without the Slayer. They work with her, not the other way around anymore. Buffy as the Slayer begins to change the rules of being the Slayer. It is no longer the Councilís way or the Slayer does without the Council, it is now the Council works to help the cause of the Slayer.

Season seven, Faith returns to Sunnydale on the path to redemption. Buffy is the one trying to lay down rigid rules, wielding power instead of using it. Faith is like Buffy of season three. She is not prim nor proper, but she does follow the rules, well the important ones. Buffy is trying to lead in the manner used by the Council, as a patriarch. Which of course puts her at odds with her ìfatherî, Giles. She of course fails leading by these means. Such a leader is alone and as season 4 and 6 have shown, Buffy is better off when working with the rest of the Scoobies. By the end of the season, Buffy realizes this. She doesnít need to be the traditional leader, wielding power. She needs to be herself and use her power to empower. The old rules are out the window.

Why does there have to be one Slayer? Because a patriarchy took a girl and dictated the terms by which she could realize her potential so their rule would be maintained. Since demons would always be a threat, they activated the potential in such a manner that when she died another would be activated. Rounding up all the potentials and indoctrinating them prior to their possible activation insured the new Slayer would follow their rules. Later assigning someone to watch over the Slayer to keep her in-line.

Buffy throws out all the rules, not in a reckless manner like Faith of old, but to overthrow the patriarchy and empower each generation to make their own rules (continious revolution in the vein of the Jeffersonian ideal, his ideas that each generation should make their own Constitution). You see the sin of the Shadowmen was not giving the First Slayer access to her potential is was the means by which they were achieved, trapping her and future generations of girls so they may continue to wield power. Buffy through Willow achieved the same end, but through different means. In Patriarchies the ends matter more than the means, maintaining order justifies the methods used. As Buffy has pointed out, the means do matter as much as the ends. Every female with the potential is granted access without terms being dictated to her. Each is no longer limited, held back until the patriarchy needs their raw power and empowered to live her own life. The Slayers make their own rules. Faithís words become prophetic.

[> Re: Faith's Words Season 3: Slayers and the Rules or Why I think Buffy Rocks -- ajber, 03:35:24 05/29/03 Thu

It is funny the "one generation" rule has been shown to be a sham since Buffy died the first time and Kendra appeared (to be replaced by Faith in Season 3). The power is inside each slayer. Buffy does not loose strength after Kendra is called. The demon essence used on the First Slayer activated her power. After death the demon jumps to another potential and she becomes active. The S-Factor is always there just needed someone to think outside the box & Buffy is most certainly a think different kinda woman.

[> [> good point--that example was crucial! & btw, spoilers for chosen in this whole thread -- anom, 11:39:46 05/29/03 Thu

"Buffy does not lose strength after Kendra is called."

When Buffy sent the Slayer power throughout the world, she'd already seen that there could be >1 Slayer at the same time w/undiminished strength in each. When the time comes in Chosen, Buffy can have Willow do the Scythe spell knowing not only that there can be multiple Slayers but that they can all have full Slayer strength.

On the other hand, it could have been an interesting storyline if Buffy had found after being resuscitated in Prophecy Girl that she suddenly had only normal human strength, especially since she'd still have been alive & the Watchers would have been very curious about why Kendra had been activated. (I don't think it was ever explained whether the Watchers realized what had happened--they knew Buffy was still alive & slaying, didn't they? But Kendra introduces herself as the Slayer...& doesn't know that Buffy is! So apparently both their Watchers didn't get the memo on that one?) Anyway, if Buffy had lost the Slayer power after her 1st death, Chosen couldn't have happened. On the other hand, there might not have been the disruption in the Slayer line that gave the FE its opportunity.

The other possibility would have been that both Buffy & Kendra were active Slayers, but at half-strength. That could have been interesting too...when 1 of them died, would the other have gone back to full strength? Or would that have happened only if Buffy had died 1st, w/the power flowing only "forward"? If Kendra had died in this scenario, her half of the Slayer power would presumably have gone to Faith, & events might never have led up to The Gift. (I wonder how Dawn would've done as Faith's sister? That could've gone wrong in so many ways....) And again, Chosen wouldn't have worked--the power of 1 Slayer divided among all the Potentials? Nowhere near enough. Whether the FE would've had its chance in that case...I have no idea.

[> [> Re: Faith's Words Season 3: Slayers and the Rules or Why I think Buffy Rocks -- heywhynot, 15:14:43 05/29/03 Thu

Yes it did occur to me that being the case, but no one on the show really commented on it. They considered it a freak occurence. The Watcher's Council tried to rein both in & failed. Probably drove Faith further over the edge in fact.

[> It does Explain more Giles During Season 7( spoilers) -- buffyalie, 15:28:39 05/29/03 Thu

"Buffy is trying to lead in the manner used by the Council, as a patriarch. Which of course puts her at odds with her ìfatherî, Giles. "

Hadn't really viewed the relationship issues between Giles and Buffy in season seven like this. Always thought of it as the trouble of the child and the parent have accepting that the child is now an adult. It takes another level when Buffy where the daughter is taking the traditional role of the son to overthrow the father and rule in his place. Very interesting. Going to have think about this.

By the way really love this board. Too bad I found it after Buffy ends.

Spike/Buffy's Relationship S6,7 (Spoilers) -- Laura, 20:07:12 05/28/03 Wed

For quite a while there I was quite anti-B/S romance until this season because I didn't see any real love between them until then. I'm not saying that Spike didn't love Buffy or at least had deep emotions for her. (It depends whether you think unsouled vampires can love.) Nor am I stating that Buffy didn't care for the old-Spike to some degree and not completely in a physical way. In my mind it just wasn't a mutual romantic tale.

Prior season seven Buffy used him not only sexually but as a dumping ground for her bad experiences. While there is nothing wrong with letting someone else hear about your pain, she did so because she felt that he could't get hurt emotionally (or at least not as much) anyone else might've been; perhaps she did't even care to some extent if he had been. Their eventual sex is seen by her as meaingless except for release, while he saw it as him possessing her. In many ways he was convient; he wanted her, he was attractive, he as a physical match for her, and he was not likely to tell her friends. When she broke it off and said that "I am using you" in "As You Were", it was as much because she was feeling obliged to think decieving his perception of their relationship, as it was her feeling that she has been degrading herself. That second thought became the dominate one after the events of "Seeing Red".

In season seven, Buffy started out wary of him, but at the annoucement that he had been ensouled, she became his body guard, teacher and mentor. Much like she did with Dawn's Key dilemmas, she felt it was her job to help him define who he is and increase his moral. In some unconsicious way, she blamed herself for his pain.

This is also when any real love between them took off. For the first time Buffy had to see him as a person, someone who could really feel, which means she can't dump things one him anymore without reprecussions. She finally treated him as (more or less) human, thus meaning love could finally develop on her part.

Spike, himself, changed incredibly because of his transformation. For the first time in his (un)life he could deal with loving her without having her and caring for her emotional well-being was more than a way to gain her trust. In a situation where the old Spike would've been delighted if all her trust was centered on him, in "Touched", the new Spike wanted her to keep her connections with her friends. He does this not only to comfort but because he thought it was for the good of her friends.

In that potent scene in "Touched" we see how far they have come. We know that the old Spike felt closest to her when they had sex, in contrast the newer one felt closest to her by simply holding her. They've suceeded in coming to understand each other, and accepting each other. Their love crystalized. Part of its beauty was that it wasn't necessarily romantic. Romantic love is a wonderful thing, but for two beings to love each other with or without a romance between them is stronger. This doesn't have to mean that if given the chance they'd be together as a couple, while it definitely seems possible.

The scene between them in the finale is controversial. There is no real doubt when it comes to the subject of whether Buffy loves Spike. While he says that she doesn't, the general thought is she definitely does but he believed it wasn't in the way he loved her. I agreed with this to some extent, but my favourite explanation for this was over the past year he started caring about the world at large. We've already seen him doing this at certain points like when he was being very polite when Anya is caught sneaking through his stuff, his sparing of Wood, and trying to make Faith feel welcome. Buffy was no longer the only reason he did good things. By rejecting her confession of love he was making the final step in displaying that it was not the sole reason he was sacrificing himself.

I'm not going to comment whether I think their relationship was or should've was a true love. I will say after their struggles they forged their bond and besides that does it really matter? Or perhaps it is the stubborn B/A shippper peeking out in my writing?

[> Re: Spike/Buffy's Relationship S6,7 (Spoilers) -- Jay, 21:55:00 05/28/03 Wed

Power. Who has it. And who uses it. My biggest problem with this season is probably the whole idea that Spike had the power to spare Wood's life. I would have felt a lot better about everything if it was Buffy or Willow to do it. Not Spike in his final stages of triggerism. It's just one of those things that is taking me a long time to accept. Yeah, it means something that Spike reaches that point at the same point Robin reaches his. And it is Spike who's growth we are meant to witness. I think more attention should be shed on Wood and his relatively instant good guy growth afterward. He buried his grudge much quicker than I would have ever imagined or expected.

My wishful thinking now holds that Spike's next incarnation will be even more foreign and inexplicable than any he has already gone through to make him finally, "just another fucking character" like the rest of them. But the odds aren't good. He's been a ruthless killer - I love Spike and Dru; a neutered vampire - why is Buffy so mean to Spike; a violent sex "partner" - Spike just wants to cuddle; finally onto the insane, tortured, soulled vampire - can't anyone see what he's going through? Mostly I hope he doesn't fuck up the other show like he did on Buffy.

But that's mostly fan hating. I never thought that I would become a fan of AtS when it was spun off. I was mostly relieved that Angel was off of BtVS, at least temporarily. I'm just one of those guys who is a fan of the humans, and wants to see the vamps dusted. I really didn't like AtS at first, and it wasn't until after Wes joined the cast and Faith visited that I could get onboard with the show. That, and all the suffering that Angel goes through validates all of it for me.

I need Spike to suffer more than his half season of being nuts. I need him to be tortured about his very existence. I know that's not in his character, but until I see it... I'm cheering to see him dusted. And so far, I may have seen a sign or two of it, but remain resoundingly unconvinced.

[> [> Re: Spike/Buffy's Relationship S6,7 (Spoilers) -- LeeAnn, 02:47:02 05/29/03 Thu

I need Spike to suffer more than his half season of being nuts. I need him to be tortured about his very existence. I know that's not in his character, but until I see it... I'm cheering to see him dusted.

So you're a hard core Republican?

[> [> Hostile much? -- carin, 07:48:17 05/29/03 Thu

"I need Spike to suffer more than his half season of being nuts. I need him to be tortured about his very existence. I know that's not in his character, but until I see it... I'm cheering to see him dusted."

So that humanity thing, it's still a work in progress? I understand not liking a character ... but the key word here is "character."

[> [> [> If you think this is bad; you should read me when I'm pissed off about somthing -- Jay, 21:12:26 05/29/03 Thu

[> [> [> [> Thanks for the warning, LOL -- carin, 21:17:10 05/29/03 Thu

[> Re: Spike/Buffy's Relationship S6,7 (Spoilers) -- heywhynot, 03:41:40 05/29/03 Thu

G-Phoria Award Show Nominations include Buffy and Cast -- neaux, 06:01:09 05/29/03 Thu

G4 the digital cable channel for video games is having its first video game award show.. and Yes Buffy is a part of it.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer- XBOX
Kingdom Hearts- PS2 (David Boreanaz does the voice in it)
LOTR Two Towers
Spiderman the Movie
Indiana Jones and the Emperor's Tomb

Alyson Hannigan- BTVS
Jenna Jamison- Vice City
Deborah Harry- Vice City
Mandy Moore- Kingdom Hearts
Ms. Cleo- Vice City

so root for BTVS and AH this august.

to see all the nominations of video games, go to

Eurydice (Angel Odyssey 4.15) -- Tchaikovsky, 07:46:03 05/29/03 Thu

Hello, everyone. Somewhat underwhelmed by 'Get It Done', loved 'Storyteller', but somewhat worried about the fact that I find it so much easier to slip into the side-lined characters' thought processes (Andrew, Dawn, Anya) than the ostensibly main characters (Buffy, Spike, Wood). There's something of a thematic vacuum going on in the middle of the season, making it feel a bit too like a ring doughnut for my liking. Next for me, the infamous 'Lies My Parents Told Me'.

Sorry, I'm forgetting my manners. Here's some poetry.

4.15- 'Orpheus'


Girls, I was dead and down
in the Underworld, a shade,
a shadow of my former self, nowhen.
It was a place where language stopped,
a black full stop, a black hole
Where the words had to come to an end.
And end they did there,
last words,
famous or not.
It suited me down to the ground.

So imagine me there,
out of this world,
then picture my face in that place
of Eternal Repose,
in the one place you'd think a girl would be safe
from the kind of a man
who follows her round
writing poems,
hovers about
while she reads them,
calls her His Muse,
and once sulked for a night and a day
because she remarked on his weakness for abstract nouns.
Just picture my face
when I heard-
Ye Gods-
a familiar knock-knock at Death's door.

Big O.
Larger than life.
With his lyre
and a poem to pitch, with me as the prize.

Things were different back then.
For the men, verse-wise,
Big O was the boy. Legendary.
The blurb on the back of his books claimed
that animals,
aardvark to zebra,
flocked to his side when he sang,
fish leapt in their shoals
at the sound of his voice,
even the mute, sullen stones at his feet
wept wee, silver tears.

Bollocks. (I'd done all the typing myself,
I should know.)
And given my time all over again,
rest assured that I'd rather speak for myself
than be Dearest, Beloved, Dark Lady, White Goddess etc., etc.

In fact girls, I'd rather be dead.

But the Gods are like publishers,
usually male,
and what you doubtless know of my tale
is the deal.

Orpheus strutted his stuff.

The bloodless ghosts were in tears.
Sisyphus sat on his rock for the first time in years.
Tantalus was permitted a couple of beers.
The woman in question could scarcely believe her ears.

Like it or not,
I must follow him back to our life-
Eurydice, Orpheus' wife-
to be trapped in his images, metaphors, similes,
octaves and sextets, quatrains and couplets,
elegies, linericks, vilanelles,
histories, myths...

He'd been told that he mustn't look back
or turn round,
but walk steadily upwards,
myself right behind him,
out of the Underworld
into the upper air that for me was the past.
He'd been warned
that one look would lose me
for ever and ever.

So we walked, we walked.
Nobody talked.

Girls, forget what you've read.
It happened like this-
I did everything in my power
to make him look back.
What did I have to do, I said,
to make him see we were through?
I was dead. Deceased.
I was Resting in Peace. Passe. Late.
Past my sell-by date...
I stretched out my hand
to touch him once
on the back of the neck.
Please let me stay.
But laready the light had saddened from purple to grey.

It was an uphill schlep
from death to life
and with every step
I willed him to turn.
I was thinking of filching the poem
out of his cloak,
when inspiration finally struck.
I stopped, thrilled.
He was a yeard in front.
My voice shook when I spoke-
Orpheus, your poem's a masterpiece.
I'd love to hear it again...

He was smiling modestly,
when he turned,
when he turned and he looked at me.

What else?
I noticed he hadn't shaved.
I waved once and was gone.

The dead are so talented.
The living walk by the edge of a vast lake
near, the wise, drowned silence of the dead.

-Carol Ann Duffy, from her very, very funny collection, The World's Wife


Excuse that digression, but I can never resist bringing in some Duffy, given the opportunity. Here of course, the twist is that Eurydice didn't want to be saved, and that Orpheus loved her less than he loved himself- he was too closely related to Narcissus. In Angel's take on the myth, Orpheus' struggle is against himself, and both Faith and Angel play Orpheus and Eurydice, reiterating how the relationship has been rewarding and symbiotic ever since it hit our screens so powerfully in 'Consequences'.

This is probably an unnecessary re-statement, but in case anyone didn't know, I love Mere Smith as a writer- she's probably my favourite on Angel, with Tim Minear gone. Here she once again does extremely well. She also manages to bring in a good few literary references, almost as if jostling with Craft and Fain for that 'Soulless' crown, (I don't think she quite made it, but it was a good shot.) And at the outset, we reference one of the older episodes 'The Shroud of Rahmon', and also several films like 'Pulp Fiction' where we only see half of the narrative the first time round, and are made to wait to understand it all the second time round. In 'Release' we see Angelus biting Faith, but don't see either that Faith has already dosed herself, or Angelus' reaction immediately afterwards. ME tidily allow a cliffhanger to be nicely resolved in double quick time.

The result of Wesley's repeated testing of Faith, making sure that she is committed enough to risk anything for the mission of beating Angelus and returning Angel, is that she risks her own life. This is an ironic spin on the fact that Faith won't allow Wesley to be killed by Angelus in return for his re-ensoullment in 'Salvage'. It is not Wesley's life that Faith puts in jeopardy, but her own. Wesley's suggestions to her, while ingenious, are again exceedingly risky. That it works, we suspect, is more down to fortune than his good judgement. It is difficult to surmise, from the dense plot as it is, whether Wesley will some time get a comeuppance for his brutality and dedication to Good ends despite murky Means. Perhaps it will all end as an unexplored vista like Giles' murder of Ben in 'The Gift', but Wesley this Season has repeatedly used morally questionable methods to reach his results. Success has been relatively high. He retrieved Angel from under the sea in 'Deep Down', won more of Fred's heart in 'Supersymmetry', allowed Angelus to defeat the Beast in 'Salvage' and here returns Angel. But in each case there is a strong element of luck to his missions. His character's motivation and development continues to be one of the most inriguing on the show.

Before I alight upon the two fascinations of this episode, Angel and Willow, let me clear up a few of those references, internal and external.

-Internally, we have the same spell used for Angel's re-resurrection as in Becoming, with one minor alteration. The second part, spoken by Willow on both occasions on Buffy, was 'Not dead, nor not of the living/ Spirits of the interregnum I call' whereas here it is in Latin. But some nice continuity between shows once again.
-Also there's a nice shout-out to one of Greenberg's most memorable lines, from 'Smashed'
-How have you been?
-Rat. You?
as we get the Cordelia/Willow spin:
Willow: How have you been?
Cordelia: Higher power. You?
Willow: Ultimate evil. But I got better.
Cordelia: You heard about Faith?
Willow: Coma again.
-Finally, there's the little metanarration (at least for me), on that section at the end of 'Doomed', where Spike is desperate to go out and fight demons, ostensibly 'for puppies. And Christmas!'. Here to Angelus' deep despair, Angel actually saves a puppy for his owner, before not biting her, as succulent as she no doubt looked.

Externally, we've got Ovid/Virgil stroke whoever, Dickens and a bit of Dylan Thomas
-Orpheus. All sorts of puzzles as to who is Orpheus and who is Eurydice, and no, I'm not letting them off with calling the drug 'Orpheus' because it leads you down to Hell, (which in any case wasn't really what Orpheus did.) My initial reaction was that it was Angel who became Orpheus, saving Faith from Hell, (this being Angelus' hell), and allowing her, through the 'pep talk' to understand why it was important that she go on living and not just give up, aware of her inability to fight on the side of good through Angelus' tauntings. It is clear how well the mind of Ang... knows Faith from the way that Angel, the beneficient is able to help her to understand herself and her life, while Angleus is so good at ripping her apart. When Faith sees Angel, the ensoulled Angel, who so much of her attempts at redemption are modelled on, biting the dead, shot man, she almost gives up. For if her model is so flawed, how does she have any opportunity of getting back from Hell? Of course, it was not just the soulfulness of Angel which allowed him to start his long journey to become 'a righteous man' but also the motivation of Whistler and Buffy. Angel tells Faith that now she has seen the very worst that he has done, and yet he is still living, still atoning, and she must too. Faith's reawakening is crucial both in the short and long term. In the short term, for beating the avenging, worried Connor. In the long term for Angel's figurehead project, the reform of Faith, still staying on track.

There are other Orpheuses too though. Faith is an Orpheus who drags Angel back into the frame, accompanying Angelus through his purgatory. Willow is an Orpheus, unsure of her power, and yet playing her part of luring Angel from the hell of being inside Angelus. And perhaps Connor is an Orpheus too, attempting to liberate his supposed Eurydice Cordelia from the fear of Angelus' attacks on their nascent family. Cordelia would be the Eurydice least understood, the closest to the Duffy poem above.

-Faith is allowed to be Marley, making Angelus Scrooge. Of course, Angelus sees his past, his present, in his sempiternal yet current struggle with Angel, and maybe just a hint at what is to come as Angel inspires Faith towards redemption, slowly recliaming the body in the dream as Willow invests the soul. Maybe that's a stretch. But remember that Scrooge is so affected by the dream, that, late on in his life, he re-evaluates just what Christmas, and life, means. Angel has had frequent epiphanies, including, remember, the one at Christmas, in 'Amends', and the one with his personal Jacob at the end of 'Judgement'. Intirguing parallels or just plain gibberish. You decide.

-The most ironic and intriguing little reference was when Angelus said 'Faith go gently into that good night'. The night, in the Thomas poem is Death, and seems natural and beautiful. And yet Thomas instructs the reader to 'Rage, rage against the dying of the light'. Accidentally, or with a hint of fatalism, Angelus uses a poem that encapsulates Angel'ls later message to Faith, that she should fight and live, for redemption, like vengeance, is a living thing.

-Oooh, and not a reference, but an exquisitely funny little line:
Faith: Angel, It's good to see you. Hate the hair.
Lovely stuff.

Enter Willow. I was disappointed that Willow's interaction with Faith was so minimal in this episode, because the struggle of the powerful character worried about the consequences of her power is so strong in both of them, but there's still time in Sunnydale, so I won't whine much. Most of the Willow stuff is just general expressions of delight, but here goes:

-The character synopses during Willow's 'yammer' are of the quality of another wonderful Mere Smith moment, the pastiche of Buffy/Angel by Cordelia and Wesley in 'Fredless'. It also reminded me of Andrew's wonderful speech about female empowerment, only to be cut down to size by Xander and told to talk about Star Trek again, and the really, really silly: 'There's a guy called Fred with a really effeminate voice, for Willow'. Here we get Connor's androgynousness (nasty word), Wesley's transformation and so on summed up extremely amusingly.

-I'm sure I'm not the only person who realised after this episode that they are a rabid Willow/Fred 'shipper. Several wonderful moments throughout. Almost made me doubt my affection for Kennedy...;-) That line from Willow 'I'm seeing someone' was heart-breaking, in an irrelevant, off-set kinda way.

-The Cordelia interaction was interesting. There seems to be a little more residual feeling there than might have been expected, on both counts, although Cordelia's 'Basic Instinct'-y knife, (I only caught the end, honest), rather undercut the whole scene.

-There's the conversation between Wesley and Willow, which, besides the 'Oooh, they're married really!' thought, worked really well. For me, it actually made me consider how Wesley handled his beige period post-Loyalty, and how he is still handling it. It is made quite clear here how Willow's crossing into evil was much deeper than Wesley's, and yet, while Willow is in many senses recovering, Wesley seems to be irreparably altered. Perhaps Wesley, who of course didn't have Xander's shoulder to cry on or Buffy's strength to take, has brooded and isolated so much more than Willow that his recovery is still several more steps down the line than Willow's is. I would not expect to see a parallel to the 'That was nifty' scene by 'Home' for Wesley.

-Angel/Angelus. Despite Angel's continuing difficulty with taking responsibility for his dark, chocolate-y Angelus centre, there are all sorts of insinuations by Angelus in this episode that are hard to brush away. That Angelus is lurking under Angel's outer persona, waiting to come out. Were there elements of Angelus leaking out in his decision at the end of 'Reunion'? Or was it, as Darla postulated, neither Angel nor Angelus? And how much of the pent up rage in 'Forgiving' was Angelus, the demon inside? Of course, the emotional response was the entirely human one, that of rage in losing his son. But does Angelus' visage pop out even while the soul is connected to Angel's body?

-'Sometimes one death can spare infinite pain' says Cordelia, playing Connor like a banjo. It's an interesting speech, and an interesting point. Stephen Fry wrote a book called 'Making History' where someone was able to rid Hitler from the world. Yet Hitler's treachery and hatred in the First World War killed off an even greater, more charismatic threat, who prolonged and expanded the Reich's influence and who's empire lived for a hundred years. Fiddling with history is not easy, and, as attested here, neither is fiddling with life or death. It's not a balance of scales, as Buffy tells Faith at the end of 'Bad Girls'. Connor, impulsive, trigger-happy, was ready to kill Angelus. Someone really needs to teach him how to play chess or something. He's far too isolated for his own good. Maybe we should invite him to the Book Melee...

-The ending is pretty much your classic 'revelation to character not audience' moment, and the fall-out starts to be dealt with in the next episode.

-A little Sisyphean resonance from Faith, in a Greek heavy season. 'Faith: (laughs) You know what the definition of "Insanity" is, baby? Performing the same task over and over and expecting different results. Learned that in murder rehab.'
Thanks to cityofangel for all the quotes here.

Super stuff. 'Players' coming shortly.


[> Gwun (Angel Odyssey 4.16) (sp 7.22) -- Tchaikovsky, 08:46:15 05/29/03 Thu

I'm entirely aware that Honorificus (Ave, Ave)has covered this episode recently, and realise that there's probably not much that I, snivelling mortal that I am, can add to the Most Extravagant and Well-Dressed one's illustrious oeuvre. So you may want to give up now.

4.16- 'Players'

There have been a lot of co-written episodes in this Season of Angel, but they've on the whole been no worse than your average, so I'm not complaining. This is another one, shared between Jeffrey Bell and CraftandFain, the inseparable and superlative duo. This episode is rather nostalgic for me. It felt like something fomr Season One, or perhaps early Season Three, but it largely left the hurtling, dizzying plot that was going on before, and let us take a breath or two. Also, it allowed us to see the denouement, (or a denouement) in the battle of Gunn's identity, which has been running through this Season from his uncomfortable Father to Connor, through the Alpha Male comments, then the 'side-kick' and 'muscle' moments, through to his almost-irrelevance through the Angelus arc.

There's some nice, quiet, one-off plotting here, which calmed me down a bit. While I love the high-octane motor that Season Four has to it as a whole, Gunn's description of it as 'turgid supernatural soap opera' did raise a wry smile to my lips. It has been incestuous and extremely tightly focussed on the Hyperion, without the trips out to Kate and W+H and one-off monsters that we had before. The very feeling of the episode as a release is supposed to mirror Gunn's feelings, which are told not shown rather too many times for my liking, that he's enjoying doing something unambiguously Good. As soon as anyone labels any action in Angel that though, it becomes manifestly clear that it's not that simple, and in this case, Gwen constructs an elaborate smokescreen for her own self-motivated mission. In the end, however, Gunn is ablke to be honest with himself, and to realise that it's not just fighting for Good that he hankers after, (although that is an element), but also the attention that Gwen is able to give him, the way in which he can, through being intelligent and not just the muscle, get them into the private party. When Gunn is an important, turning cog, feeling validated but not dominated, he becomes a happy man. This is an important template for us all, and this episode allowed me to relate to Gunn, his anxieties and ambitions as much as any since 'That Old Gang of Mine'.

Meanwhile, there's Gwen, and her story in 'Ground State' was a moving one, particularly for me in that faded sepia of the 1980's flashback with the burnt out toy car. Gwen's freakishness, her uniqueness and her inability to connect as a result, is finally nullified. Whereas Buffy's Slayerness is ultimately something she integrates into herself, a metaphor for the struggles of life, and something which represents empowerment, which can be shared with others, Gwen's electricity is completely different. Because it disables her from touching, from ever knowing intimacy of any kind. While Angel shows Gwen that her extraordinary-ness is not an excuse to live outside human morality in 'Ground State', it does not alter the fact that her life is made unique and lonely by her Gift, her Curse, so that a thief becomes a natural option: 'in society and yet not'. So the final scene, where she becomes 'normal', I found touching. There's a delightful change from the sassy, sexualised, almost threateningly confident yet alone Gwen we see walk through the restaurant at the beginning of the Season, to the naive, inexperienced Gwen who we see with Gunn at the end of 'Players' almost afraid, even now her physical defence barrier is gone, to let down her emotional barrier. What this relationship means to the amorphous lack of relationships between Fred, Wes and Gunn now is anyone's guess. The almost reconciliation of Gunn and Fred in 'Release' appears to be invalidated. Fred has started to accept Wesley's tryst with Lilah, but still finds it hard to accept that he accepted her as a person, not just as a body or a representation of his inner darkness. It will be interesting to see how this quartet (Gunn, Gwen, Fred, Wesley) play out towards the end of the Season.

Coming to a head more currently is the Cordelia/Connor relationship. It is starting to become clear just how horrible the manipulation of Connor is by Cordelia here. While Angel is Angelus, she is his only confidant, and when that is torn away from him, as it surely will be soon, he's going to be left in complete despair. leslie commented on Connor's complete lack of a sense of humour, and this makes him unique as a Buffyverse character- all other regulars have had one of one sort or another. He has had nowhere to learn it from- coming from the bleakness of Quortoth and the stoicism of Holtz, but it marks him out as somehow a little joyless, happy only in the mission, with excitememnt only in the kill. And it's desperately sad, because underneath the bile pops out a normal teenager, craving identification, a place ot fit in the jigsaw puzzle of this turgid soap opera, seeking only to connect.

-'Everything happens for a reason.' Yet surely the idea of a deterministic universe, or one where we are 'The stars' tennis balls' doesn't mean that we should have total faith, totally give in, to someone in all situations. Cordelia's speech is chock-full of false platitudes, which Connor, desperate for some sense in this apparently meaningless universe, is bound to cling on to.

-And finally, how nice to hear Lorne singing, and happy. It's nice to see him cheerier, and also to see Andy Hallett in the opening credits. If only they would devote an episode or some of an episode to him, so that he could be as useful and interesting as he was in earlier Seasons and in 'Spin the Bottle'. Like Gunn up to this episode, he has been a touch neglected in the maelstrom of returning Angelus and with the addition of Faith and Willow. Hopefully soon we can see a little more, but the resolution of this Season of startling twists is only six episodes away, and frankly the metaphorical lie down after this Season is going to be nice for me. Any more twists and turns and I'd look like that twizzly pasta.

Totally average episode, and I loved it for that. The quality of mundane-ness.

'Inside Out' and 'Shiny Happy People' coming in the next few days, along with a brief penny for the ceaselessly dangerous well that is 'Lies My Parents Told Me' discussion.

Thanks for reading.


[> [> Something I've been wondering -- KdS, 09:15:40 05/29/03 Thu

Given the state of things between Gunn and Fred at this point in the season, does anyone think Fred would be reasonable or justified in feeling jealous if she found out about Gunn and Gwen's one-nighter?

[> [> [> From what's on screen, yes. -- Tchaikovsky, 09:32:45 05/29/03 Thu

I thought that the reconciliation kiss, which then turned confused and awkward, while not exactly an occasion for fireworks and a holiday to Paris, certainly didn't suggest that the relationship was all over. There may be something off camera which gave the relationship more finality, but I would have thought it would make sense to show it. Of course, I'm unspoiled past 4.16, so intrigued to see what happens.

Which incidentally, reminds me- could people generally keep marking Angel spoilers for me, just for the next month or so? There haven't been many, but I've had to avert my eyes a couple of times when a Buffy post suddenly went Angel-y. Thanks.


[> [> Busted! -- cjl (reposting his "Players" review), 09:53:40 05/29/03 Thu

Gunn couldn't have summarized my feelings about this ep any better if he'd hired Lorne to peek into my brain: after weeks of "turgid supernatural soap opera," we finally get a break.

The title of the episode is "Players," and--like the last solo Gunn ep, "Double or Nothing"--our man Gunn is linked with games of chance, or (more accurately) with beating the odds. The Bond-ian caper with Gwen Raiden is one of those prototypical spy plots where the hero (or heroine) has to get out of a locked house stocked with armed guards, a complex security apparatus, and a double-cross or two, just to make things interesting.

The fact that Gunn maneuvers out of this tricky and deadly situation without even wrinkling his brand new suit shows how many times he's negotiated these waters before. He's been beating impossible odds his entire life, from dusting vamps on the streets of L.A. with his underequipped squadron of warriors to staving off the apocalypse with the Fang Gang. And for the first time since "War Zone," we finally get to see why he was such an inspiring leader for his troops.

Gwen rightly points out that Angel Investigations--and, to a certain extent, Gunn himself--has taken a one-dimensional view of his capabilities, reducing him Raw Muscle. But as this and other episodes have shown, he's so much more than that. The Gunn/Ninja smackdown demonstrates advanced fighting techniques and copious amounts of style; Gunn thinks on his feet as well, if not better than, almost anyone else in A.I.; he's attuned to the rhythms of art, culture and diplomatic tact; and, as shown in his last scene of the evening, he can put it all together for the benefit of the ladies.

Yes, he's a Player in every sense of the word.

Meanwhile, back at Turgid Supernatural Soap Opera HQ, our stalwart A.I. team snaps out of their collective shock and puts on a little play of their own. After weeks of dangling on Evil!Cordelia's puppet strings, Angel and crew turn the tables and yank our Momma-to-be around for awhile. Angel, Wes, Fred, and especially Lorne (Andy Hallett earns his "regular" stripes!) were masterful, especially during the "botched translation" scene, which may have been played entirely for Cordelia's benefit. (For all we know, Angel gave Fred and Wes the accurate cuneiform text earlier in the episode, leading them to Cordy as the Beastmaster.) Also, you had to love Angel mocking Cordelia's Big Evil Voice of Doom--something posters on this and many other boards have been doing for weeks.

Interestingly enough, Gwen Raiden--our resident Player Supreme--displayed an emotional vulnerability that's pure poison for a thief and manipulator. Out of our usually straight arrow cast, she was the one who reminded us that, when it comes to living a decent life, the best possible option for a Player is to leave the game.

Brief bites:

-- Evil!Cordy was much more subtle this week, and Charisma gave her most relaxed and NATURAL performance since Cordy was revealed as the mastermind. (I'm still up in the air about her "Elvira, Mistress of the Dark" maternity wear.) Ironically, she wasn't fooling anybody this episode. Go figure.

-- Alexa Davalos is back! Yes! As I said above, Gwen is showing more emotional range with each successive appearance, and the romantic chemistry with Gunn is already a welcome change from the dying melodrama of F/G. I thought it might have been interesting to pair her up with Angel, but I'm not complaining. Can't wait to see what Joss and the crew do with her next.

-- Loved the apology from Angel to Wes. Ostensibly for Angelus' "midnight snacking" on Lilah, but could be taken to mean so much more. Wes is almost fully re-integrated with the gang now, but I like that there's still plenty of rough spots to smooth out. His conversation with Fred about the W/L relationship ended with a great deal of discomfort between the two--and I think it should stay that way for awhile.

-- If Lorne ever needs a job, he could be the guest cantor at my synagogue any time.

Angel 4.17: I/O, I/O, it's off the edge we go...

[> [> [> Great review- picking two lines to drool over -- Tchaikovsky, 10:01:11 05/29/03 Thu

Out of our usually straight arrow cast, she was the one who reminded us that, when it comes to living a decent life, the best possible option for a Player is to leave the game.

Beautifully put.

If Lorne ever needs a job, he could be the guest cantor at my synagogue any time.

Andy Hallett singing- a joy in any Angel episode in which it appears. In some earlier seaosn episodes, it was Lorne's voice that redeemed some weak episodes- very much like Giles in the otherwise mediocre 'Where The Wild Things Are'.


[> Re: Eurydice (Angel Odyssey 4.15) -- Rob, 09:03:31 05/29/03 Thu

-I'm sure I'm not the only person who realised after this episode that they are a rabid Willow/Fred 'shipper. Several wonderful moments throughout. Almost made me doubt my affection for Kennedy...;-) That line from Willow 'I'm seeing someone' was heart-breaking, in an irrelevant, off-set kinda way."

Me too! Actually I thought they had such great chemistry (much better than W/K) that I just completely didn't get why, if Willow thought Fred was gay too, she wouldn't jump at the chance to go out with her. That "I'm seeing someone" sounded more like an obligation to me than desire. I did come to appreciate Kennedy more in "Chosen," but still had they found a girl with this type of chemistry with Willow, I would've been able to buy the relationship a lot better.


[> The Odyssey Returns! -- cjl (snapping out of his funk), 09:11:32 05/29/03 Thu

Ah, we're back. I've been so off-balance (Buffy-wise) since "Chosen" that I've almost forgotten Joss Whedon's universe is a living, breathing organism, and will be until at least the Spring of 2004. It's nice to slip back into (what is still a) continuity....

Notes on "Orpheus":

-- Baffled more than impressed by the architecture of the plot. Still confused by how Angel (ensouled good guy) started lecturing Angelus (soulless bad guy) in the simulation of that Manhattan alleyway when Willow hadn't even gotten around to putting the soul back. Interesting implications there: are BOTH Angel and Angelus always inside what was once Liam of Galway, soul or no soul? Does the soul merely give one or the other personality dominance? Is Joss sure he wants to go there, or is this just another "whoops" that should be ignored for the health of all concerned?)

-- Willow. Oy. Don't get me wrong, love seeing Alyson Hannigan in just about anything (which would explain my knowledge of the "American Pie" movies and "My Stepmother is an Alien"), but if this is the best the Angel crew could do with Willow, I'd prefer she stays clear of Los Angeles from here on in. I liked the W/C catch-up, and the W/W "evil inventory" conversation was cute, but her presence in the episode seemed forced, and Aly (sacrilege!) didn't deliver one of her best performances. (I still can't figure out why a generally polite girl like Willow sounded so completely obnoxious when she was introduced to Connor.)

The other big problem, of course, was her air of confidence when she popped up at the Hyperion. After spending all season with "I'm so scared to do magic!" Willow in Sunnydale, the mojo-slinging, ass-kicking Wiccan in "Orpheus" was a head-snapping turnaround. Did ME think that, since Buffy fans generally don't watch Angel and vice versa, the switch wouldn't be noticed? If so, they're even dumber than I thought, since Willow's crossover was specifically engineered to get Buffy fans to START WATCHING ANGEL. (cjl shakes his head, and moves on....)

-- The "Christmas Carol" journey through Angel's ensouled life in America was a mixed bag. The scene at the dock and '70s Angel (the hair! the hair! I'm blind!) were fairly
inspired, but the 1920s bit was a looooong way to go for a puppy joke. (I'm sure the accountants at the WB had eye twitches for weeks after that one.) I'm stunned and disappointed that they didn't use the Hyperion set to revisit "Are You Now and Have You Ever Been," which would have ratcheted up the dramatic intensity considerably.

-- The last nine minutes of the first-run broadcast of "Orpheus" were cut off in the States for the announcement of the war in Iraq. This was terribly upsetting, not only because reality and the Buffyverse collided (I can usually compartmentalize), but because we didn't see the wonderful post-crisis goodbyes until the Sunday night re-broadcast. This was my favorite part of the episode. It's obvious that Angel sees Willow as a replacement for his baby sister; I think Fred fills that role, as well. I hope the writers pick up the A/F brother/sister relationship when we come back in the fall.

-- Faith walks up to Wes: ìFaith...î ìSee,î says Faith, ìWes knows how to say goodbye--Angel here wanted to hug.î ìNo, I didnít,î Angel protests. ìGood show,î manages Wes. ìYeah, sit back and let the girl do all the heavy lifting,î snorts Gunn. ìThatís pretty much it,î says Wes. And just like that, Wes is back. Still grey, still scruffy, but back in the fold. Sweet.

Not bad, but could have been better. The Faith arc started off at full speed, but tended to fade towards the end.

7.5 out of 10.

[> [> Largely agree with your points here -- Tchaikovsky, 09:28:19 05/29/03 Thu

Baffled more than impressed by the architecture of the plot. Still confused by how Angel (ensouled good guy) started lecturing Angelus (soulless bad guy) in the simulation of that Manhattan alleyway when Willow hadn't even gotten around to putting the soul back. Interesting implications there: are BOTH Angel and Angelus always inside what was once Liam of Galway, soul or no soul? Does the soul merely give one or the other personality dominance? Is Joss sure he wants to go there, or is this just another "whoops" that should be ignored for the health of all concerned?)

I tend to stay out of the metaphysics of this stuff- it makes my head spin. But I agree with you, there seemed to be a tacit suggestion that perhaps there was a strain of Angel lurking inside Angleus even without his soul. Or Angel was in Angelus' idea of hell, and therefore started telling Faith what to do? Who knows? I'm quite happy for the line ot be blurred lots in this regard- I think that integrating rather than repressing some aspects of Angelus is an important step in Angel's realisation of himself- but I could be proved wrong!

The other big problem, of course, was her air of confidence when she popped up at the Hyperion. After spending all season with "I'm so scared to do magic!" Willow in Sunnydale, the mojo-slinging, ass-kicking Wiccan in "Orpheus" was a head-snapping turnaround.

I wonder whether this can be excused to a degree by the not-Sunnydale-ness of it all. The tension in the Summers' house is palpable, and Willow has always recoiled at the idea of being Buffy's 'big gun', of shouldering the responsibility. Here she's more an outside influence, repeating a spell she did four and a half years ago, (the first spell she ever did, so presumably not as tricky as some of the later ones), and meeting a load of new people with whom she doesn't have such intense recent history. Doesn't make up for it all though.

-That final scene you mention was lovely, and it would have been intensely annoying to have had it cut- being very much in the same compartmentalisation mindset as you. I agree with the tapering off of the Faith arc- I think putting her in a coma for her final episode was a slight error, although looking at it in a full Buffy, Angel perspective I suppose the story continues.

7.5 sounds about right. I might give it 8 if England had just won a Test Match in three days...


[> One o f my favorite episodes, ever -- lunasea, 09:49:05 05/29/03 Thu

My mistake going in was thinking that they would play the myth straight, without putting their own spin on it. I loved how they spun the prodigal son so that instead of being saved at the end, he is damned. In this classic myth about loss, they turn in into a feminist statement about finding your way. It is both Angelus and Faith's hell, for nothing sucks more than finding out your hero/role model isn't so role modelly. It leads Faith to the barrens where she gives up everything. That is what leads us to the final scene of the hell-trip.

Angel plays Orpheus who has come down to hell to retrieve Eurydice. The twist is that Orpheus tells Eurydice to get her ass back to the surface in order to rescue him. The myth about loss is twisted to show how to really find yourself, help others.

Which is the key for Angel's growth in this. Angel has been looking forward to fighting Angelus, but as Angelus points out, Angel really isn't interested in the fight. He is more interested in saving Faith. In "Epiphany" in Angel's moment of dispair, when he is ready to completely give up, he discovers what he really believes, what he is made of. In "Orpheus" Angel finally gets to fight Angelus and realizes it really isn't that important. He agains figures out what he really believes and what he is made of.

This whole season is about dealing with your past. The Angelus arc wasn't a chance for Angel to accept Angelus and realize what his issues are. It was a chance for Angel to really get over his past. He saw his souled past. He was his evil past. The fight wasn't the Angel that ate rats and Angelus. It was Angel now and Angelus past. It was something Angel thought he wanted, but really want he wanted was to help Faith. By helping others, he can rise above his past. By saving the soul of others, he can save his own. We really saw that this episode.

When he comes back, he will say that he won't accept guilt for what he did as Angelus this time out. He knows that isn't who he is any more. This isn't a denial of who he is. If it were, the entire Angelus arc is just a pleasant distraction. Why bother to bring back Angelus if Angel didn't figure out anything?

[> [> Excellent points -- Tchaikovsky, 10:09:42 05/29/03 Thu

Angel plays Orpheus who has come down to hell to retrieve Eurydice. The twist is that Orpheus tells Eurydice to get her ass back to the surface in order to rescue him. The myth about loss is twisted to show how to really find yourself, help others.

That's an angle I hadn't considered, and it works nicely. Yes, the feminist subtext. In Ovid, Orpheus, Hero-man, comes to retrieve helpless woman. Typically male text- women considered as needing saving. In Duffy, Eurydice is happy in hell, and Orpheus comes and demands her back. Stupid men- an almost misandrist approach- but funny, so we forgive her, and feminist. In Whedon, the male is right, but both must save each other- Angel saves Faith in Hell, Faith saves Angel in LA. There is mutual strength, but as usual, a subversion- Angel does the wise (traditionally feminine) words, Faith does the beating up of the threat. In Whedonland, both men and women empower each other.

This whole season is about dealing with your past. The Angelus arc wasn't a chance for Angel to accept Angelus and realize what his issues are. It was a chance for Angel to really get over his past. He saw his souled past. He was his evil past. The fight wasn't the Angel that ate rats and Angelus. It was Angel now and Angelus past. It was something Angel thought he wanted, but really want he wanted was to help Faith. By helping others, he can rise above his past. By saving the soul of others, he can save his own. We really saw that this episode.

Agree. Less of the past. 'Presentness is Grace'. Thanks lunasea.


[> [> [> Thanks and Just another thought -- lunasea, 10:28:08 05/29/03 Thu

Angelus' gripes about what souled Angel has done in the past. Angelus' hell is this past of Angel's. We don't see the present. Angelus is the one that is really living in the past. When we first see Angelus in "Soulless" he is singing a CHILDREN's song. When he talks to Wesley, he is talking about the past. Angelus lives in the past. It is Angel that lives in the present.

Angelus' pain that hurts to the bone is about this past. Angel is able to get beyond this, by reaching out, in the present. It looks like vampires are the ones that live in the present, but really it is Angel that does. By living in the present, Angel is able to get beyond his past. Angelus has no way to do this, beyond hurt someone else. It doesn't last though.

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