November 2002 posts

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What Do You Think the Problem's With Angelus? -- Darby & Sara, 12:09:57 11/10/02 Sun

First off, what song lyrics have I just ripped off?

Anyway, talkin' with Sara about the Spike and Angel differences, it occurs to me that Angelus may be more the exception than Spike. Of the many vamps we've been shown, many seem to be more than evil incarnate - only the really old ones, like the Master and Kakistos seem to be all about the evil-doin'. And then there's Angelus, who pleasures in torture of all kinds and doing evil on both a small and large scale, who seems to retain zero positive attachment to Angel's great love, or to anyone - does anyone think that his link to Darla represents any level of affection?

Sara here now, - I also wonder if Buffy's inability to deal with her feelings towards Spike are caused more by a fear that Angel won't measure up to Spike, rather than the rejection of Spike because he doesn't measure up to Angel. Darbs and I were talking about the Spike with or without Soul compared to Angel with and without his soul. shadowkat's post about Buffy's fear of what their behaviors represent just keeps going round and round in my little head. Angel without his soul retains the obsession without any of the love for Buffy, is only motivated by evil. Spike's love for Buffy inspires him to try to be a good man, even a hero, regardless of how difficult it is to accomplish it, being evil and all.

Tag to Darby. If the vampire is suggestive of the man still inside, what does Angelus suggest about Angel, versus what old Spike suggest about new Spike? No wonder there are so many Spuffy shippers out there!

- Darby and Sara, taking this togetherness thing way beyond anything healthy.

[> Go marriage! -- Isabel, 13:27:49 11/10/02 Sun

My cats could care less about discussing Buffy. ;-)

How does Angelus reflect on Angel? Hmm? Remember, we could be talking about 2 different Angeluses. The Angelus who was the demonized Liam and the Angelus who was the re-demonized Angel.

Are they different? Spike in 2nd Season comments that the re- demonized Angelus is not playing with a full deck. He was different from before.

Liam was an unrepentant failure to his family, a drunkard and a rogue. Angelus 1.0 would not submit to the Master but went out to become the leader of his 'family.' He treated killing with artistry. There were always new heights of depravity to conquer. He and Darla traveled the world competing in evil. Drusilla was his masterpiece.

Angelus 2.0 was reactionary to having his soul restored and removed. He competed with no one. He remembered the agony of conscience and the horror of loving someone and feeling like a man. He was going nowhere until the former object of his affection was destroyed in as vile and depraved a fashion as possible. That would make him feel good and then he could go on. He settled on destroying the world when it started to become apparent that Buffy wasn't going to cave like Drusilla. He couldn't even kill all her friends. They knew him and took precautions against him. (Dru's family was probably easy because they had no idea what he was.)

It can also be said that Angel 2.0 is different from Angel 1.0. Angel 1.0 didn't know about the happiness clause. He wanted love and didn't know there could be pitfalls after "I love you." Angel 2.0 knows he can't have love and happiness like everybody else. Part of him is afraid of it like Liam and Angelus were. It causes pain. He becomes a monster. But he wants it, with Connor, with Cordelia. He seems willing to take the risk, but he's not innocent about love anymore.

I agree with Sara that Buffy does not want to compare Spike and Angel for fear of altering her perceptions of her 'perfect love.' Plus- guilt. People died because she wanted Angel back and couldn't kill Angelus. It hurts to look back and realize that you were a fool.

I don't know if we can infer much about Souled Spike yet. He seems to be much like Spike, but quieter. William and Spike seemed to be motivated by love. William was a failure, Spike was more successful and he decided to change himself for love. If Souled Spike lost his soul, would he be more like original Spike or Angelus? (I think, if Buffy loved him- Original Spike. If she rejected him-Angelus 2.0.)

Does this help?

[> [> Re: Go marriage! -- Wisewoman, 14:12:57 11/10/02 Sun

Interesting. Just a note, though.

Spike in 2nd Season comments that the re-demonized Angelus is not playing with a full deck. He was different from before.

Did Spike ever know Angelus 1.0? I thought Angel was already souled by the time Dru vamped William. Of course, I don't think the "family" realized it at the time; Angel was still faking it.

I got the impression Angelus 1.0 and Angelus 2.0 were pretty much the same...

;o) dub

[> [> [> Yes he did. -- Isabel, 15:00:44 11/10/02 Sun

Spike knew Angelus 1.0 for 18 years. Spike was vamped in 1880, Angel was souled in 1898. Spike killed the Chinese Slayer in 1900. That's when Angel was faking being evil because he wanted to be in his family again. As far as I know, Spike and Dru did not go off on their own until after 1900 when Darla kicked out Angel.

[> [> [> Re: Go marriage! -- LadyStarlight, 15:01:14 11/10/02 Sun

Did Spike ever know Angelus 1.0? I thought Angel was already souled by the time Dru vamped William. Of course, I don't think the "family" realized it at the time; Angel was still faking it.

IIRC, Dru had 'adopted' Spike by the time of the whole Gypsy massacre deal. I forget the exact dates involved, but when Souled!Angelus showed up during the Boxer Rebellion, I think the souling had happened a couple of years previous to that.

[> [> [> Re: Go marriage! -- rose, 15:08:47 11/10/02 Sun

nope Angelus was still himself for about twenty years after spikes turning.
and im under the impression that Angelus 1.0 stayed far from anything resmbling a slayer or love FFL flashback spike "don't you ever get tiered of fights you know you can win?"
Angelus 2.0 was half in love w/Buffy in an obsessed fasion.
also comparing angel trans to the potential of spike losing his soul isn't fair
part o angeluses reaction was he HATED the idea of being in love or having a soul.
spike sought his soul out it was not a curse and I'm not possitive it even has an esxape clause.
but if buffy cant accept him and at least try to be nice to him now and his soul is removed the big bad might be back and he CAN hurt Buffy shed probly regret that series of events with her life.
not because he is a vampire but 'cause she was a b*tch

Best. Line. EVER! -- Lucifer_Sponge, 19:32:25 11/10/02 Sun

"Got any weed?"

[> Was this a local or a national commercial? (SPOILER above for Angel 4.6, "Tabula Band Candy") -- d'Herblay, 19:47:42 11/10/02 Sun

After the implicit message of "Hey kids! You too can be a wannabe pothead in high school and then grow up to be a top- flight superstring theoretical physicist -- in fact, judging from some of the concepts of quantum physics, it just might help!" I knew all was right with the world when the last commercial before the preview was from the Partnership for a Drug-Free America. Two teens at a concert, sparking up in a toilet stall, getting arrested. The tag-line was something like "Marijuana can get you busted. Now do you think it's harmless?" This, of course, brings out my leftist- libertarian leanings: "Harmless? If you mean our nation's insane war on victimless crimes, then, um, no."

[> [> Now we have metanarration on commercials LOL! (4.6 spoilers) -- shadowkat, 20:09:09 11/10/02 Sun

Yes I noticed that as well. We have the commericial:
"Just say no to big tobacco" - and it was a confusing commericial by the way. I couldn't decide if the kids had started smoking or had decided not to until the tag line.
Then who should show up? Lorne - "Gee great product placements, let's buy some of those shall we?" he says picking up his cigarette. LOL! I didn't know Lorne smoked.

Then all the weed comments. And the comment how you always leave your audience wanting more - never satisfy them.
Methinks Lorne was channeling Whedon in this episode just as Sweet was channeling Whedon in OMWF.

If the devil is in the details then Whedon was truly in top form. This has got to be the funniest episode I've seen. I didn't think anything could beat some of the sight gag moments of HIM turns out I was wrong. (Am I the only one who is enjoying Angel better than any other show on Tv this year? It's riveting me.)

[> [> [> Ironically enough . . . well, if you know me, it's ironic only in an Alanis Morrisette way . . . -- d'Herblay, 20:36:29 11/10/02 Sun

. . . which is to say, not at all. Ironically enough, at that moment I was out having a cigarette, so I missed that commercial (I did catch the "TRUTH!" spot where a 1977 culpatory memo is posted on a billboard). I don't specifically remember Lorne smoking, but it didn't strike me as unusual either, as though he has before and I just don't remember it clearly. It completely fits his lounge lizard persona anyway.

I wonder, though, if Joss can get away with more because he's Joss than, say, Mere Smith (whose name lends itself to a pun which I will forswear). After all, even Mutant Enemy has shown itself not resistant to evangelizing for the party line. (I really want to read the script that the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy rejected; but then I have a taste for "otherworldly nonsense.") Leaving out the usual rote condemnation of marijuana is one thing, but leaving in blatant non-judgmental attitudes towards tobacco use? That takes, in Lorne's phrase, "balls." (I remember fondly the episode of Beverly Hills 90210 in which Dylan helped David flush his stash before the narcs showed up, a montage of illicit material going into a toilet which ended with Brian Austin Greene emptying a pack of Marlboros into the bowl. I can only assume that this is a case negative image- association which earned Aaron Spelling fat checks from both the ONDCP and R. J. Reynolds.)

Anyway, lots of narrative and metanarrative goodness, including a framing device that was a little confusing to me (um, Lorne . . . should the travails of the last bulwark against apocalyptic doom really be part of your stage act?). I haven't counted, but I think this episode had more references to earlier episodes than any since the opening montage of "The Gift." And one of these could explicate why Lorne gets to smoke: if a guy can survive beheading, what's a little cancer?

[> [> [> [> Re: Ironically enough . . . well, if you know me, it's ironic only in an Alanis Morrisette way . . . -- JM, 05:28:15 11/11/02 Mon

Lorne was seen with cigarette in "Fredless," as he grumpily stumbles throught the wreckage of his club. It seems to be a sign of a little indulgent melancholy on his part. Just like his symbolic drinking, since he seems to be actually immune to the effects of alcohol (though not firewater). Lucky demon.

[> [> [> Oh, me too! Me too! -- Masq, 08:08:07 11/11/02 Mon

"Am I the only one who is enjoying Angel better than any other show on Tv this year? It's riveting me."

Definitely. Hope this means the WB will give AtS a shot for 2003-04. Although, supposedly UPN will take it over if the WB doesn't.

So looking forward to the rest of the season!

[> [> Re: Was this a local or a national commercial? (SPOILER above for Angel 4.6, "Tabula Band Candy") -- CW, 20:16:00 11/10/02 Sun

Must have been local. The one we've been having lately is about a girl getting buzzed at a party. In the last scene the guy she's sort of been around starts opening her blouse without her permission.

[> [> [> Boston got both of those... -- dub, 20:37:50 11/10/02 Sun

I watch one of the superstations from the states that shows Angel at 6 pm Sunday my time, it's from Boston, I have no idea what it's called, but we had the big tobacco commercial, the smokin' weed in the boy's room commercial, AND the little girl smoking a pipe and getting groped commercial. Hmmmmm.


[> [> [> [> Ok . . . what is it with all the PSAs? -- d'Herblay, 20:47:30 11/10/02 Sun

Angel always seems to have a lot more public service announcements than the average show. (Actually, I don't watch the average show.) This is bothers me! I mean, I'm glad that the Powers That Be think Angel has a happenin', hip, young, impressionable demographic that needs to be told these sorts of things, but wouldn't it be if the WB could fill the spots with, I dunno, customers who are in it for the money? People who think that Angel has a happenin', hip, young, impressionable demographic that needs an iPod? (I won't settle for anything less than 20 gigs.)

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Ok . . . what is it with all the PSAs? -- parakeet, 00:07:40 11/11/02 Mon

Actually, most shows have these in spades right now, at least the ones I've been watching. As I understand it, the current spate of ridiculous anti-marijuana ads (have these people learned nothing from Reefer Madness?) are because of the latest rounds of legalization initiatives. As for the anti-tobacco ads, I'm biased; I'm a casual smoker myself and a bit contrary, so I keep getting the urge to smoke after I see them. I've already deleted and rewritten this next part three times. I've touched on hypocrisy, personal choice, the nature of addiction, and the lure of things that are bad for you. I've decided not to subject you to the details of my rants, except to say that priorities, as usual, are out of whack.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Ok . . . what is it with all the PSAs? -- JM, 05:30:45 11/11/02 Mon

Yeah, they always make me a little ashamed, and then have me compulsively reaching for the smokes. The association just isn't working the way it's supposed to.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Maybe they are since the tobacco company must pay for many of them -- Charles Phipps, 00:55:43 11/12/02 Tue

Which was a silly judgement

pay for medicine, don't make a person pay for stuff against their own product

[> [> [> [> [> These are not your Daddy's PSA's. -- Darby, 07:37:37 11/11/02 Mon

Used to be that if a show had lots of interanl promos and PSA's, they were having trouble finding sponsors. But with the "Truth" ads underwritten by tobacco settlement money, and I think the "Partnership" ads with fed money, these are paying customers looking for a certain demographic - which begs the question of whether they'll pressure Joss about content the way the burger joints did last year with the DoubleMeat Palace.

Got to admit, I'll never understand how anyone could be convinced to set something on fire and suck on it. But my PSA is, smokers and potential smokers, you're looking at one of the areas of prejudice that will be around for a long time without much resistance - how many jobs will not be offered or promotions denied to people deemed deficient in judgment? Right or wrong, it's definitely one of my knee- jerk responses, and I know from Sara's banking industry experiences that, as the elder smoking management was replaced by younger non-smokers, smoking employess were looked on more and more as slackers and medical-coverage headaches.

- Darby, clambering off the soapbox now before someone lights it up.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Warning: Contains Anti-anti-smoking Rant -- Wisewoman, 08:46:31 11/11/02 Mon

There's absolutely no way to explain to a non-smoker just how hypocritical, arrogant, and judgmental the whole anti- smoking movement comes across. And paradoxically, there's nothing that makes a smoker feel more justified in lighting up than being subjected to an anti-smoking diatribe of any sort.

I smoked over a pack a day for almost 30 years. I loved smoking; I enjoyed it; I had no intention of quitting, ever. (Yes, I do see that this attitude could be said to fly in the face of my board name; no need to go there.)

When I finally came to after ten days of aneurysm-induced unconsciousness, I found I was no longer a smoker. I have no explanation for that. I've been in hospital many times before and always recovered extra-quick, spurred on by the desire to get the hell outta there and have a cigarette. Not this time. It was just gone, as if I'd forgotten that I ever smoked. Not only no physical craving, which is understandable, but no psychological addiction either. No problem with what to do with my hands when tense; it was as if they'd never held a cigarette.

What I'm saying is the fact that I am now not smoking is in no way attributable to any conscious decision or effort of will on my part. I considered going back to smoking when I got out of the hospital just for the sheer enjoyment factor, but I couldn't justify the enormous expense any longer. My self-image is still that of a smoker.

Several family members, friends and co-workers have postulated that my recent brush with death has some sort of cosmic meaning; that I was spared because I have some noble purpose to accomplish (oh, please!); that the cerebral event itself had a noble purpose. But my own mother admitted that she felt I had suffered the aneurysm as a warning to quit smoking. Do you have any idea how infinitesimally insignificant your entire life can be made to feel in the face of a statement like that? On the six month anniversary of the event she sent me a card congratulating me, not on six months of survival, but on six months as a non- smoker.

And despite the insistence of my neurosurgeon that the cause of cerebral aneurysm is bad luck, there are those around me who will always assume that smoking contributed to it, and that I am now somehow forbidden or prevented from smoking by edict of medical authority.

And the kicker to all of this? What have I gained as a non- smoker (aside from saving almost $300 per month)? You would think that after thirty years I'd feel some physical benefit. More energy? Increased lung capacity? New lease on life? Not a bit of it. In fact, there's a good chance that I have now developed asthma.

As most rants do, this one fails to address it's main purpose, which is to say that the statistics, the horror stories, the medical photography, the wizened old lady dragging on a butt through a tracheostomy tube, don't have anything to do with why someone does or doesn't smoke. So don't bother. Really. It's a waste of time. And there's no way not to come across as self-righteous. Non-smokers own the world now. Be content with that and leave the rest of us to our fate.


[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: OT - Diet, Exercise, Abstain - Die Anyway -- Brian, 10:00:49 11/11/02 Mon

Just because I've given up some vice,
Doesn't mean that I don't believe in it.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Warning: Contains Anti-anti-smoking Rant -- LadyStarlight, 11:38:00 11/11/02 Mon

Right there with you, dub.

The other thing that drives me up the wall is the assumption that we don't know the dangers. Hell, even when I started smoking, there was media stuff that said quite baldly 'smoking is bad for you, don't start'.

I'm thinking of putting it in my will that if any of my heirs try to sue the tobacco companies, a letter will be sent out saying 'I knew the dangers and did this of my own free will'.

Sorry, but it's a button.

smoked through 2 pregnancies & both babies were over 8 pounds. Hell, my second was 9 and a half! Low birthweight, my ass.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Warning: Contains Anti-anti-smoking Rant -- LadyStarlight, 12:27:44 11/11/02 Mon

It wasn't until I posted the above & logged off that I realized that I was pretty flippant about a fairly serious medical issue.

Hopefully I haven't offended anyone and I apologize.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Would like to point out. . . -- Finn Mac Cool, 15:02:49 11/11/02 Mon

You said when you first started smoking, you knew all about the stuff in the media that said it was dangerous. Well, how were those any different from the current ones?

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Would like to point out. . . -- LadyStarlight, 17:29:43 11/11/02 Mon

Okay, casting my mind back here a good ways... but if I remember correctly, it was a gestalt kind of knowledge. I can't remember any PSA's about it.

Of course, we only had 3 TV channels, so maybe I just missed out. ;)

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Warning: Contains Anti-anti-smoking Rant -- mrfh, 12:47:27 11/11/02 Mon

Since health promotion is the subject I am about to get my master's degree in (and on Friday, we'll find out if I actually know anything), I feel compelled to weigh in.

Several of my teachers are on committees or directing programs to use some of that tobacco money to fund anti- smoking initiatives, and the programs are nearly all directed toward teenagers, not current adult smokers. I'm almost positive that the TV ads against smoking and drug use are also directed towards teens. This may be why they anger you...they aren't meant for you. The assumption in the health field is that adults know what they are doing and understand the risks, and if they want to quit, our job is to have programs available to help them do that. I don't know anyone who designs programs to make adults feel guilty (although, there are probably people in the field who do, I just haven't run across them).

The reasons for keeping teenagers away from drugs (including tobacco and alcohol) are myriad. Teens have a greater tendency to abuse them, don't always unterstand the risks, and with tobacco, tend to believe that quitting is easy. The reality is that billions of tax, insurance, and other health dollars are spent in our country to cure or keep alive people who are ill largely due to various lifestyle choices. I am FULLY in favor of choice, and the reality is that cigarettes (or any recreational drug) are not guaranteed to kill you. But with choice comes the need to fully know what you are choosing. Abuse of tobacco, marijuana, alcohol, and fatty foods all increase your risk for various diseases, and tobacco is one of the most addictive substances in the world. By preventing teens from smoking early, health educators hope to 1) keep them alive longer, 2) help them feel better and stay healthier longer, 3) lower insurance and medical costs for everyone, and 4) give them the information they need to make an informed choice. To do that, they have to combat the message in lots of arenas that smoking is cool. It’s a tough gig, and no health educator thinks that everyone will give up smoking, no more than everyone will give up fatty foods. NOT everyone who smokes will get sick, NOT everyone who smokes will feel terrible, and NOT everyone who doesn’t smoke is free from lung cancer or emphysema, or any other of the number of diseases that smoking is implicated in. But, the reality is that smokers are more LIKELY to be out sick from work, die earlier and be sick longer before death. All we want to do is give people the information so they can make an informed choice. If we’ve done our jobs right, more people will make the healthy choice, but we NEVER assume 100% will, and that’s ok.

That said, I do think that misleading drug ads (the current marijuana ones, for instance) that hype up the bad things that *can* happen to you are futile. Teenagers aren’t stupid, and they know that most people who light up a joint don’t end up date raped, or arrested. Just like most people who smoke don’t get lung cancer. You get to choose what you want to do, but at least you should know if you are choosing something bad for you. You are still free to do it.

I promise we are not trying to make you feel bad!!


[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> My biggest pet peeve is I was raised a fascist -- Charles Phipps, 01:06:06 11/12/02 Tue

My brother abused pot, cocaine, and probably worse in his lifetime and he was a angry, stoned out, and often dangerous individual who would probably be worrying he killed a man still that he doesn't remember were he not dead because of the breakup of his marriage (thanks to drugs) leading to a retirment on a farm...

Were a tractor fell on him

My entire life I supported the war on drugs but I truly loathed with every fiber of my being the idiots who offended me not because they did drugs but because they REFUSED TO OBEY THE LAW.

As I've grown older and accepted more responsibility for the matters, I've let my bitterness somewhat pass and realized that no matter how hard a person tightens the grip on the throats of people they arn't going to stop doing drugs.

For years I actively campaigned every time someone said loosen the grip thanks to former drug users coming to power....


Since apparently the message wasn't getting through. OBEY OBEY OBEY DON'T USE DRUGS! Institute the death penalty for drug use even if you remove it for rape and murder (I'm against it in all forms now being a pacifist but even then I verged on the edge of madness with the issue)

Now I survey the remanents of an attempt to try and prevent more families suffering what I felt was the result of a system that my brother was too weak to resist....

Not a bit better thanks to hatred.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> 2 things they *should* be telling smokers (plus) -- anom, 12:50:34 11/12/02 Tue

1. If you want to quit, you have a much better chance if you work with your doctor. (OK, not necessarily your doctor, but a doctor, one who's good for you to work with.)

2. Most smokers who quit have to try 3-4 times or more before they quit for good. If you go back to smoking, it's not a failure, it's just part of the process. A lot of people get discouraged when they start smoking again & give up trying to quit, & they needn't (give up, that is).

That's what I'd like to see in the ads. Practical, useful, hopeful info (says anom, who learned it from being a medical editor).

Of course, there are always exceptions. My aunt, who died a month ago at age 88, smoked for decades & thought she was hopelessly addicted. When she started getting a cough that scared her, she quit cold turkey. I think she lived after quitting almost as long as she'd smoked.

In response to Sara's & dubdub's posts below, I just have a story. Unfortunately, there are some smokers who don't care about the effect their smoking has on others (not saying they're typical, WW). I can't remember where this happened--it was a long time ago, on a subway system where smoking hadn't been outlawed yet, maybe even the NY subway. Anyway, someone I know in science fiction fandom was standing in front of a man who decided to light up. She asked him--nicely--not to, explaining that she was very allergic to cigarette smoke. He responded w/something on the order of "Tough noogies" & continued to puff away. It was too crowded for her to move away from him, so she stood there w/this smoke getting in her face...until she threw up on him. I'm not saying all smokers deserve such a comeuppance, but this one did!

PS: mrfh, good luck on Friday!

PPS: Masq, thanks for bringing the thread back so I could post this--it got archived as I was writing!

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Agree completely, anom! -- dub ;o), 15:19:13 11/12/02 Tue

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Anti - Anti Anti Smoking Rant -- Sara, 14:17:07 11/11/02 Mon

Warning this is going to be emotional - we've hit a big button of mine - really big.

Every couple of months I make my son promise me not to smoke and the reason is as much for my future grandchildren as for him

its not fun to watch your father on a ventalitor, making jokes with hand gestures because, hey he's got a tube he really doesn't want shoved down his throat

it wasn't fun seeing him die at 67, knowing his parents lived to be 98 and 100

it wasn't fun watching his wife, (my mother), spend a year starving herself almost to death, until she realized that if she just pretended he was on a business trip she could somehow cope

its not always about the smoker

how about giving up a saturday morning ritual of sharing a bagel at a favorite bagel place with your daughter, because the smokers (in the smoking section of this one small room) won't put out a cigarette which drives you into an asthma attack violent enough to break a rib, but they have rights. I guess my dad didn't have any rights to leave the house.

Let's not talk about law, let's just talk about morality, and behavior in society. If you were in public spouting hate speak, racial slurs, religious insults, in a loud voice, I think everyone on this board would consider that totally unacceptable behavior in public. And they would be right, you would be poisoning the environment of those around you. Why do smokers think it's a moral right to physically poison the environment around them?

So be polite in public, but feel free to smoke a cigarette in a crowd, there will be someone who's quality of life you will negatively affect, but we all have rights.

- Sara, who's life got a lot emptier and quieter 4 years ago

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Ah, here we go... -- Wisewoman, 15:02:05 11/11/02 Mon

Why do smokers think it's a moral right to physically poison the environment around them?

So be polite in public, but feel free to smoke a cigarette in a crowd, there will be someone who's quality of life you will negatively affect, but we all have rights.

Who are you talking about? Talk about button pushing. It goes without saying that it's never fun to watch a loved one die, whatever the cause. Calm down and take a step back from this.

No smoker I know feels it is his or her moral right to smoke around non-smokers (at least not since my Mom and Dad did it with three kids in the back seat of the car complaining non- stop, back in the 1950s). No smoker I know feels free to do that.

Maybe your world hasn't changed as quickly as mine has, but it certainly will if you're in North American. There is no smoking allowed in any public building, any where in BC, hasn't been, for years. Smokers don't have the right to pollute any else's environment. So be specific--I certainly didn't contribute to your father's death, nor did my personal smoking habits, and I resent the implication.

It's one thing to chastise someone for taking risks with their own health. It's quite another to accuse them of blatant disregard for the health of others.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Well Wisewoman... -- Charles Phipps, 01:15:04 11/12/02 Tue

The link between lung cancer and smoking has been for the longest time brought about with individuals who suffer from it....well quite a few. They're to my knowledge has never been a study on what exactly is a 'safe' amount of cigarettes.

But to touch on a personal issue loved ones who are non- smokers (just as I was to my brother with his problems) are often terrified for their loved ones that they are going to do irrepairable harm to themselves.

Basically smoking isn't to them a harmless habit but basically every time you put in the tube, instead of enjoying a euphoriac less dangerous than drinking...

You are setting for your family watching you die in one of the most painful agonizing ways possible.

It may seem tacky and tasteless (My mother believes God killed my brother in order to prevent him from going back to drugs....can you imagine that? That I as a minister am supposed to accept God killed my brother with a tractor accident because there was an off chance he'd go back to it?) but to people, they try and find good in disasters that may seem...deeply disturbing.

You may not think that you were in any danger because of smoking and maybe you weren't but she obviously thought it was the equivalent of russian roulette....not hard with all the adds against it

[> [> leftist-libertarian? I didn't know those two words could go together! -- Robert, 20:31:37 11/10/02 Sun

[> [> [> Well, leftist-libertarians hate to go to meetings . . . -- d'Herblay, 23:01:51 11/10/02 Sun

. . . so I may well have sought out a political affiliation which I alone claim!

[> [> [> [> check out... -- parakeet, 00:34:51 11/11/02 Mon

Sorry if this comes up twice, but the post doesn't seem to have taken the first time (is there a long delay, sometimes?). However, I thought you might be interested in checking out It's an academic test/survey site on political orientation, and Leftist- Libertarian is, indeed, there. In fact, that is what the site's analysis decided I was (in a big way).
Again, sorry if this ends up as a double post.

[> [> [> [> [> I'm a left libertarian too -- Rahael, 08:41:25 11/11/02 Mon

Quite left wing, even more of a libertarian than I thought. Must be all that social freedom stuff.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Me too -- matching mole, 11:08:37 11/11/02 Mon

Although I found some of the questions difficult to answer.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Me Three -- dub, 15:39:09 11/11/02 Mon

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: not me -- Ronia, 18:12:55 11/11/02 Mon

I was libertarian..but smack dab in the center, not right or left...perhaps..conflicted will be a new category? Also, the way that some of the questions are phrased makes them a tad difficult to answer without wanting to add a note at the bottom.. :-)

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Yeah, no kidding :) -- Pilgrim, 04:21:06 11/12/02 Tue

Never thought of myself as a libertarian, but a regular moderate-to-liberal social democrat who thinks government in service of the people is a good thing. I think the questions were rigged.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Me Four (and panicking) -- Caroline, 13:53:28 11/12/02 Tue

I was even more left and more libertarian than Ken Livingstone and Tony Benn. What does this mean????!!! Maybe now I have confirmation of what Sister Gerard (8th grade maths teacher and a Josephite nun) told me - I am going to burn in hell as a brazen hussy!

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> I'm sensing a trend -- Sophist, 14:31:27 11/12/02 Tue

We're going to have to start deconstructing the posts here for the political bias of the posters. What we need now is for each poster to include the x and y coordinates of his/her affiliation at the end of each post.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> LOL Caroline and Sophist -- Rahael, 15:16:09 11/12/02 Tue

I actually worked for Tony Benn once. I don't know that we always agreed in terms of politics, but he's a very good speaker and an even lovelier man. Personally kind and generous. (Talking of famous noncomformist families - he comes from one - the Wedgewoods. Of the Wedgewood pottery fame).

As for his politics, he's actually moved along the political terrain. At one point he was really quite moderate (that was when he was in Government). Now, he's very much to the left of the mainstream of the Labour Party. Though that's not saying much at all.

As for Ken Livingstone, I regard his politics as quite pragmatic and opportunistic, though he was once 'Red Ken'. I don't think he's that any longer!

I don't think that using Ken or Tony are that helpful as markers because their political utterances and views often have to be put into current political contexts. Actually they kind of acknowledge this by showing how much Tony Blair has moved since he got into power!

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> I'm a lefty leftist! -- Sara, 15:47:05 11/12/02 Tue

Who'd have thunk it? I can't even spell libertarian without carefully copying it from the page. This will relieve my very liberal mom, who has become convinced I turned into a republican after hanging with Darbs too long. Maybe this explains why I'm having such a negative reaction to Plato and Socrates as I attempt to learn some history (lousy fascists!)

-Sara, who'd go look for a good demonstration, except the libertarian side of her says "ah, let 'em eat cake"

[> [> I liked it when... (4.6 spoiler) -- ZachsMind, 20:33:41 11/10/02 Sun

I liked it when we came back from commercial break and Lorne was saying something like, "those were great products, eh? Give those commercials a hand. ...Yeah, maybe we should think about buying those, but you know kids I wanna take things down a notch..."

I was on the floor. Though it was a bit rough going at first, this is one of the funniest Angels I've seen so far, and though not one of Joss Whedon's best works (seemed almost a retread of Tabula Rasa) it definitely was him at his stride.

[> [> [> Headboys & HoYay! -- Apocryphal, 01:37:30 11/11/02 Mon

This episode was great, if only for the one-liners. The bit about Wes being 'headboy' and how it 'took a lot of effort' was hilarious. Oh, and Wes/Gunn HoYay!

Identity Through the Prism of Adulthood: (Spoilers for Spin The Bottle) -- AngelVSAngelus, 20:30:32 11/10/02 Sun

Don't hate me if this isn't terribly succinct and revelatory. I'm kind of prematurely reacting to the episode I've just watched, having loved another Joss Whedon installment, and really I hope to explore for myself what it was about in textual dissection. If this ends up being not terribly coherent, well know that I was searching rather than pointing out in this diatribe.
That having been said, I feel the need to share whatever I find with someone else.
To the casual observer Spin the Bottle may have seemed a retread in plot devices. Once again, we have a group of our favorite characters who, through the fumble of magic, lose large portions of their memories, and revert to basic manifestations of their true identities. And it is true that it is, in fact, reusing a facet of an idea. But there are important factors that create a difference, and the most prominent of them to me seems to be thematic perspectives.
Buffy has always been about adolescence, and its pain, and now as the characters are growing up (or grown up) begins to deal with adulthood. But Angel, however, has always come at that perspective from the opposite direction, with a hindsight, retrospective gaze at what one's done in the past.
What, then, does it mean when Joss Whedon takes one of his previously used metaphoric containers, identity loss and rediscovery, and places it in the context of the adult (or in Angel's case, old man) looking back and coming to terms with the past?
Each of the characters didn't, as in Tabula Rasa, completely lose their memories of who they have been, but simply the portion of who they presently ARE, reverting, as in Band Candy, back to a younger self, prior to all of the development through trials that they've undergone over the past four years. Cordy is once again rendered a self centered air head, Gunn is a psuedo-racist black-and-white impetuoso, Wesley is the bumbler straight out of Watcher's academy and green, Fred is a mousy pot-head, and Angel is seemingly a pre-drunken, but still disgruntled with his father, Liam of Galway.
I found it odd and interesting, to the point of seeming like a prolific point that I was missing, that during their battle Angel and Connor totally identified with each other on the resentment of fathers and not asking to be a freak. Maybe the episode was about what they've all learned to move past or integrate as they've matured.
I haven't been able to grasp anything tangible, being faced with abstract and floating ephemeral elements that just won't congeal into a capitalized and defined THEME in my head. Yet. So I leave it to someone else to help me do so. I just loved the episode so much that I felt the need to spill the glass fragments upon the ground for others to scrutinize with me.
Oh, and p.s., to whoever posted before about the usage of windows and framing on Angel to indicate family, was it just his father, Angel, that Connor threw out that window? Or was it Liam? Or Angelus?

[> Did anyone else get a queasy feeling about "Liam's" last comment about Cordy? (spoilers 4.6) -- cjl, 21:47:17 11/10/02 Sun

Horndog Liam says to Connor that he wanted to avoid all the smash-'em-up and he would have rather spent the night having his way with the lovely Miss Chase. Connor immediately reacts as if a depraved beast was threatening Cordy.


Was Connor right?

Remember Angel's dream about Cordy in "Deep Down"?

Angelus vibes, anyone?

[> [> Interesting that . . . (SPOILERS for AtS 4.6 "Spin the Bottle" and BtVS 5.8 "Tabula Rasa") -- d'Herblay, 22:57:16 11/10/02 Sun

. . . though he admits that he's not that filled with the bloodlust, it never crosses Liam's mind as it does Randy's that he is a vampire with a soul. So perhaps as Randy's speech delineates (and parodies) Angel's condition, Liam's parallels Spike from last year, who was definitely not much for the fighting and much more with the sinning.

Oops! This thread led to Spike!

[> [> [> Liam Is A Sex Fiend -- Nic, 05:50:14 11/11/02 Mon

Sometime lurker delurking here.

Re AngelvsAngelus: Who did Connor throw out the window? Doesn't matter to him. He knows nothing about Liam, has never met Angelus except through the incredibly vivid (and gruesomely graphic) stories that Holtz must have raised him on in that hell dimension, and has never bothered to get to know Angel.

Re cjl: Liam is definitely a sex fiend. I always got the sense in the flashbacks that when he followed Darla down that dark alley, he assumed she was either an unescorted lady or a high-class prostitute, but either way he was going to have a good time without paying for it.

Re d'Herblay: All threads lead to Spike, which eventually lead to Angel, (both of who I adore, especially the latter when he's putting a beat down on that cocky brat of his).

Any episode with tons of Lorne and the return of Queen C from season 1 is fantastic.

[> [> [> Urrpp . . . -- d'Herblay, 06:12:05 11/11/02 Mon

"Tabula Rasa" is, obviously, episode 6.7 rather than 5.8. I can finally rest easy now that I've fixed that.

[> [> You bet! Really Queasy!(spoilers 4.6) -- Sara, 18:37:33 11/11/02 Mon

I was wondering if we were actually finding out something really ugly about Liam? Based on the exchange he had with Cordy before Connor showed up, where he was certainly not making any attempts to charm his way into her affections, I was wondering if his plan to return to her, tells us that Liam is just as happy with rape as he is with consensual sex? Maybe even more of Angelus' evil is pulled right out of Liam then we thought. Could that be why Angelus is unusually cruel, and incapable of love? Could the personality of the person, not just influence the vampire, but expand or limit the vampire's emotional range?

[> [> [> I disagree -- Masq, 21:14:57 11/11/02 Mon

I don't think Liam was expressing any kind of urge to force himself on Cordelia against her will. Cordelia showed that she was very much interested in him, and I think Liam, raised by a puritanical father, was taught to see his own lustful feelings as "bad".

When he got a chance to talk with another boy about it (Connor), he felt freer to express his feelings than he would have in front of anyone else. He expressed them as "satisfying my sinful urges" because that's the way his father talked. He was being a rebellious teen-ager, mimicking his hypocritical father.

He did get off a little on scaring Cordelia when she first ran from him, but in the end, he wasn't the big scary Wesley made him out to be. He was angry at all of them for treating him like a predator before he ever acted or felt like one.

[> [> [> [> Expanding my point a little... -- cjl, 21:34:15 11/11/02 Mon

I found Liam's comment interesting, because it displayed characteristics we would see developed in both Angel and Angelus.

First of all, Angel--whether he's Liam, Angel, or Angelus-- doesn't like to fight. Liam would rather spend the evening cavorting with beautiful women or downing a couple of tankards of ale. Angelus would rather psychologically torture a poor hapless victim, and Angel--well, Angel would rather brood over Angelus torturing a poor, hapless victim. Fighting is a necessity, not a pleasure, the way it is for a certain bottled blond vampire we know.

Second, we get a reminder about Liam's view of women. He likes 'em. A lot. But he doesn't respect them very much-- it's more about how much pleasure he can get out of the evening, and I doubt giving them pleasure ever enters his mind. This is reflected in both Angel and Angelus' obsessional nature. Angelus went for the pain rather than the kill in BtVS S2 because he wanted to reassert his power over Buffy after his "unfortunate" period of emotional weakness.

Angel clearly learned a lot from his relationship with Buffy, but there's still a bit of "it's all about me" in him, when he zones out and focuses on "the woman" as an object of obsessional desire, or his tendency to make important relationship decisions that should be mutual. Let's run them off, shall we? His decision to turn back the clock in IWRY; his Darla phase in early S2; and his slightly patronizing attitude toward TabulaRasa!Cordy in Slouching Toward Bethelem. (I probably missed a half-dozen others.)

So, no--I didn't think there was the possibility of rape in Liam's comment in Spin the Bottle. But I did notice traces of what we came to know to as Angel AND Angelus peeking through.

[> [> [> [> Well, I think I agree with both you and cjl -- Sara, waffling and wishy washy, 05:22:57 11/12/02 Tue

There isn't anything you're saying, Masq, or that cjl says in the post below that I disagree with, so I guess you guys are probably right. There was just this little tinge of the way he said it to Connor, that made my radar go up. And it wasn't that I thought he would be looking to rape someone, just that the consent might be immaterial. ...Yet, he really doesn't like to fight, so I am probably wrong, because I expect he would back down against any real resistance. By the way, there was a really nice kind of vulnerable, hurt feelings, reaction in his response to being treated as a predator. Good point Masq!

- Sara, who gives up on her point, even though she kind of liked the implication to the person/vampire emotional range, ah well, better luck next time...

[> Angel the Series in Miniature -- Finn Mac Cool, 20:05:35 11/11/02 Mon

Think about it: what happened in Spin the Bottle? A variety of people, all wildly different, are thrown together into a situation by forces they don't really understand, and they must form of sort of team in order to survive (or at least, that's what they presumed they needed to do). Wesley even brings up that they're all from different cities and different backgrounds. This could describe the entire run of Angel the Series in a number of ways.

Liam's political background and conflict with his father, Angel 4x06, 1x15 SPOILER -- Steve, 20:31:56 11/10/02 Sun

In tonight's episode, Liam!Angel displays a deep resentment to Wesley for being English; he considers a member of the English natian to be quite different from himself, and gives a sort of "Brits go home!" speech.

However this has continuity problems with what we've seen of Angel's life and death in 1753. In particular Angel's family is well to do (they have a maid), his funeral is conducted openly in a well maintained graveyard (there is a groundskeeper) and Angel speaks English (he certainly has no problem understanding Darla. Darla's background in the colonies and subsequently in Europe may well have given her a familiarity with several international languages such as French or German, but she is extremely unlikely to have been taught Gaelic).

This all points to Liam being a member of the Anglo-Irish protestant elite (which would create continuity problems with regard to his tirade against Wesley) OR having a complex family history which may explain the friction with his father.

Why? In 1753, Ireland was subject to the anti-Catholic Penal Laws, which pretty much drove Catholicism underground. Admittedly, by 1753 these laws were not often in practical abyance (although they were not all finally repealed until 1829, with the first Catholic Relief Act being passed in 1778, following the foundation of the activist Catholic Committee in 1760). However, Catholicism was likely to be practised discretely, and a catholic graveyard would be extremely unlikely to have a groundskeeper. These laws, and the general political structure of Ireland at the time (basically run as an English colony) means it is unlikely that Liam's family could be practising Irish catholics and still be doing well enough to employ a maid and keep Liam in booze. At this time such a family would almost inevitably be a member of the protestent ascendency, the de facto ruling class who settled into Ireland from Britain, and which only ever amounted to a few percent of the population outside Northern Ireland.

So, Liam is a) not ethnically Irish, in which case he still could possibly have hostility towards an Englishman (many of Ireland's greatest champions of freedom came from the protestant asendancy, most notablly Charles Stuart Parnell, but these appeared more often in the 19th and 20th centuries, not the mid 18th). But this doesn't fit with his dialogue which clearly shows that he considers himself not an Englishman, nor does he have an English name, which we might expect a transplanted protestant family to give their son. Also, when he gives Buffy a Claddagh ring, he refers to it as a item given among "his people."

Or, more interestingly b) ME didn't screw up the continuity and Liam is ethinically Irish and his family are protestant.

But haven't I just spent most of this post showing how those two things don't fit? Ah, but part of the intent of the Penal Laws was to encourage conversion to the Protestant faith. So here's my theory:

Liam's great grandfather is a prosperous Catholic merchant in Galway. Then the hammer drops and the Penal Laws come in with a brutal bang - public executions of priests, the whole nine yards. So Liam's great grandda makes a pragmatic choice and converts the family and adopts English as the family spoken language in an area which would be overwhelmingly Irish speaking. Tempus fugit, but then Liam's dad marries a Catholic, who also converts, at least publicly. However, she insists on giving her son an Irish name, and who knows, maybe even secretly had him baptised in the Catholic faith and teaches him to speak some Irish. However Liam's father, having grown up in a much more dangerous age for Catholics, insists the family maintain its efforts to assimilate into the ruling elite.

So, here's the perfect thing for a rebellious Irish teenager to latch onto; Irish nationalism was on the rise at this time (and would erupt in a particulary bloody revolution in 1798).

Liam hates his father for selling out, not seeing that his assimilationist efforts are part of how he protects his family. The perfect issue to feed that self righteous streak we see in young Liam, so he goes down to the pub and talks big anti English talk with other lads, ingoring the fact that the only reason he has money to spend on ale and "wenches" is because of the pragmistism of his family's choices.

Or, of course, c) ME did screw up and just stuck a stereotypical anti-English rant in their young Liam's mouth based on hazy memories of seeing "Michael Collins"...

Just my 2 pence!

[> It still amazes me how, no matter what, if schools teach it, someone here is an expert. :o) -- tim, 21:10:20 11/10/02 Sun

[> Re: Liam's political background and conflict with his father, Angel 4x06, 1x15 SPOILER -- parakeet, 23:29:06 11/10/02 Sun

Thank you! I knew just enough about Irish history for bells to be going off in my head when Liam began insulting Wesley, but not nearly enough to figure out the logical possiblities. I like Option B the best; it also brings the metanarration (hopefully I'm using this right:)) of ME's acknowledgement of Boreanaz's lousy irish accent in Becoming back into the narrative as a possible fleshing out of Angel's history. Hopefully that last sentence came out as meaning something.

[> Actually, I don't think they screwed up -- Rahael, 03:31:06 11/11/02 Mon

The penal laws were attached to Land. It was possible to be Irish, prosperous and Catholic as long as you pursued commercial ventures.

There was an Catholic Irish middle class, but this was mostly found in Dublin.

Plus, one servant? you don't have to be that prosperous. I'd think that a comfortable middle class family could happily have 2 to 3 servants, simply because in those kind of societies people are cheap.

This picture bears out in England with regard to Noncomformists, who also went around penal laws by educating their children in establishments other than Oxford or Cambridge, and making money in business - why companies like Cadbury's, Wedgewood etc had their roots in noncomformism.

[> [> Hmm, more than land. What about.... -- Steve, 03:58:28 11/11/02 Mon

The penal laws affected more than land, and directly affected the ability to publicy practice Catholhicism. Also they were used in Ireland as much as a tool of colonial power as anything else (somewhat distorting the equivalance to English nonconformists who were (a) not members of an overwhelming majority of the population and (b) of the same ethnicity as their English protestant neighbors). For example, I'm explicitly thinking about such acts as (cut and paste magic follows. What, you think I can quote this stuff off the top of my head?). The 1703 Act is particularly relevant for my hypothesis:

The 1695 Act "For the better securing the government, by disarming papists...Sec. 10. No papist shall be capable of having or keeping for his use, any horse, gelding or mare of five pounds value."

The 1697 Act "for banishing all papists exercising any ecclesiastical jurisdiction and all regulars of the popish clergy...Sec. 1...all popish archbishops, bishops, vicars- general, deans, jesuits, monks, friars, and all other regular popish clergy shall depart out of this kingdom before the 1st day of May, 1698, and if any of said ecclesiastical persons shall after that day be in this kingdom, they shall suffer imprisonment, and remain in prison until transported out of his Majesty's dominions, wherever his Majesty or the chief governors of this kingdom shall see fit, and if any person so transported shall return, he shall be guilty of high treason."

The 1703 Act "To prevent the further Growth of Popery. Sec. 23 and 28. No papists shall take or purchase any house or tenement or inhabit the cities of Limerick and Galway, or the suburbs thereof, and all papists now inhabiting said cities or suburbs, shall before the 24th of March next ensuing before the chief magistrate become bound to her Majesty with two sufficient sureties, in a reasonable penal sum to be set by the chief magistrate, sheriff or recorder, with condition of faithfully bearing himself toward her Majesty, and in default of giving such security, such papists shall depart from the said city before the 24th of March, 1705."

The 1727 "Act For the further regulating the Election of Members of Parliament.. Sec. 7. No papist, though not convicted as such, shall be intitled to vote at the election of any member to serve in parliament, or at the election of any magistrate for any city or other town corporate."

The 1715 Act "Act to make the Militia of this Kingdom more useful... Sec. 4. Whereas the number of papists are very considerable in this kingdom, and it has been found that they have occasioned frequent rebellions, papists shall pay double the sum paid by protestants for support of the militia."

The 1733 Act "For the Amendment of the Law in relation to Popish Solicitors... Sec. 2. No person may be admitted as an attorney or licensed as a solicitor who has not been a protestant from 14 years of age...."

The 1733 Act "to prevent Persons converted from the Popish to the Protestant Religion, ... from acting as Justices of the Peace....Sec. 1. No convert from the popish to the protestant religion shall be capable of acting as a justice of the peace if his wife is papist, or if he causes his children under the age of 16 years to be educated in the popish religion...."

[> [> [> Off the top of my head -- Rahael, 05:04:52 11/11/02 Mon

I'd need to consult again the penal laws against non comformists in England, but they were also not allowed to take up offices like JPs etc. It did extend to more than land in England too.

As for Catholics, they were the majority in Ireland, thus making it harder to stamp out religious practice there then it had been in England - after all, the protestantisation of England took a very long time, and it was also inextricably linked to English national identity, patriotism and loyalty to the crown over the centuries.

And for ethnicity - there were *English* Catholic families in Ireland. And they were not only wealthy, but aristocratic - Ireland was the place to go for Catholic families escaping from the reigns of Edward and Elizabeth. That was why Charles was able to summon up an army of English Catholics in Ireland during the civil war, which is why the brutal Cromwellian adventures in Ireland are more complex than at face value.

I'm mainly going on the knowledge that there were Irish middle class Catholics in Dublin. Let me look it up and get back to you.

[> [> [> [> Re: Off the top of my head -- Steve, 05:30:13 11/11/02 Mon

I agree there were English Catholic families in Ireland, and even prosperous Irish Catholics but, as you say, these were prinicipally located in Dublin, where the urban setting made it possible to operate more easily in a purely mercantile manner. Nor did they practise publicly in the early to mid 1700's (hard to do when all the clergy has been exiled).

Also, an English Catholic background is inconsistant with a name like Liam, the identification of the Claddagh ring as at item exchanged among "my people" and Liam's anti-English rant in 4x06. Also, the minister at the funeral looks like someone who is going home to relax afterwards, not hiding out until the next hedge mass.

An Irish Catholic background is inconsistant with a graveyard with a groundskeeper (which is how he's described in the shooting script) -- who was paying for his services? The outlawed Catholic clergy? Or the Anglican church, care of tithes?

So, is it theorectically possible for Liam's family to have been a prosperous middle class Catholic and ethnically Irish family in Galway in 1758? Possibly. But a family history of being enthically Irish but converted to Protestantism fits much better with both the political environment of the time and what we've seen of Liam.

[> [> [> [> [> Oh, yes I agree he isn't English -- Rahael, 05:43:25 11/11/02 Mon

And you are right, being a recent convert adds nicely to familial tension, ideas of a hidden identity, guilt etc.

Just wondering if Joss is aware of the historical subtleties! After all, Darla emigrated to Virgina at a rather improbable date.

Actually, something I'm really interested in is the kind of ideological values that cluster around geography - centre and periphery etc. In Britain, while power lay in the centre, and the peripheries of Scotland, Ireland, America were disadvantaged (even the English countryside as opposed to the metropolis) there was a whole strand of thougth which ascribed to the oppressed periphery ideas of liberty, freedom and purity.

And, the French Revolution didn't have much of an effect in terms of the radical movement in England, but in Ireland, there was nearly a revolution.

Just thinking about this and the Watcher's Council - DarrenK did a great post about the Watcher's Council and the Colonial Bureaucracy, spreading through out the empire.

Thanks for giving me the chance to put on my history geek hat! Nice posts btw.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Maybe a Firefly fan could tell me -- Rahael, 05:47:48 11/11/02 Mon

I remembered why I was thinking of core and periphery with relation to Joss. I can't yet see the series, but I was struck by the fact that the Firefly crew have lost out in political terms and they exist on the outer edges of society. There definitely seems to be a correlation with physical geography and political virtue there. Of course, I'm only getting this through other people's posts which are slightly confusing since I don't have a clue what's being talked about.

Maybe I should take it over to that board?

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Maybe a Firefly fan could tell me -- Darby, 07:08:29 11/11/02 Mon

The impression I'm getting is that, although there is the contrast between the more prosperous Alliance centers and the more "backwoods settlers" leftovers of the Independent movement, there isn't a general theme being applied like what you would suggest. In some ways, Joss is using the classic science fiction approach of examining known Earth cultures by showing them recognizably in the future. Unlike a lot of science fiction, though, the cultures have mostly been a way to propel a fairly unrelated plot rather than hold a mirror up to human practices. The crew itself has only the simplest of political ideals, at least so far. "freedom good, slavery wrong," that sort of thing.

It does show why Joss was confident that he didn't need latex-faced aliens for his show to work. I'm not certain that he was right - it feels more like historical fiction than science fiction most of the time, and that's a very different perspective.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Simple political ideals -- Rahael, 07:26:34 11/11/02 Mon

Well, that was kind of what I was suggesting. The most attractive ones tend to have an emotional power that contains a lot of contradictions within.

I mean, Joss can show his crew as having simple political ideals but that doesn't mean his show is simplistic and unsophisticated..........unless Firefly is both and then I'm just very disappointed. I thought I'd found a hook for developing an interest in watching the show!

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Simple political ideals -- Pilgrim, 08:04:00 11/11/02 Mon

I think the show is reaching for complexity in a lot of different ways, including its exploration of political structures and institutional power. Is centralized power a good thing or a bad? or both? Are the frontier societies freer, since they are less controlled by the central government and further removed from corporate headquarters, or are they less free, since they seem to be _very_ poor? I _think_ the show is going to explore these contradictions and hopefully come up with no absolute answers.

The characters, I think, struggle with the contradictions of idealism and pragmatism in a way that mirrors the contradictions in the political situation. If freedom is your ideal, as it is at least for Captain Mal, imo, how do you implement that ideal in your life when you also have to make a living and protect your crew? What compromises do you make in your own freedom, and how often and in what ways do you impinge on the freedom of others so you can get what you need/want? All this stuff has really great possibilities for thought-provoking drama, but, imo, the show has yet to really deliver. Still giving it a chance, though.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Maybe a Firefly fan could tell me -- leslie, 09:20:24 11/11/02 Mon

"The impression I'm getting is that, although there is the contrast between the more prosperous Alliance centers and the more "backwoods settlers" leftovers of the Independent movement, there isn't a general theme being applied like what you would suggest."

Ooooh, I would disagree mightily here--Joss has explicitly state he is making a Western in space, and the whole genre of the Western is all about center versus periphery--in fact, it's the classic locus of the theme.

(Tangential comment--anyone else ever read Flann O'Brien's _At Swim-Two-Birds_, with its wonderfully surreal episode of a traditional Irish cattle-raid--as in the Tain Bo Cuailgne- -told as a Western? Hilarious.)

Getting back to Liam's Irishness, I also think the converted- Catholic-sell-out-father scenario is the most reasonable. In terms of the language, however (and admittedly, my expertise is in the earlier stages of Irish history), although Gaelic was banned officially, it certainly persisted not only as a peasant language but also in the "elite" classes, as there were Gaelic manuscripts being copied *and* new literature being composed in Gaelic right up through the nineteenth century--I'm thinking here especially of Brian Merriman's Cuirt an Mhean Oichte/The Midnight Court, written in 1780 (see for a translation and background material). My sense is that, much like the situation in Wales at the time, there were an enormous number of people in the middle classes who were bilingual, with English being the language of polite and official society (and thus the language in which one expressed politically correct views) and Gaelic the language of private and subversive discourse (which was, of course, why the English wanted it banned: a) people could talk treason in it, and b) the English wouldn't have the slightest idea what the hell they were saying).

If we're going to get back to the whole colonial/imperial thing, I'd just point out that everything the English did in Africa and Asia in the 18th and 19th centuries was stuff they had test-driven first in Ireland and Wales in the 12th- 18th centuries. (Did you know that the Society for the Propagation of Christian Knowledge--SPCK--a missionary organization dedicated to bringing the word of God to the heathen, was originally founded--at the end of the seventeenth century--to send missions to the WELSH?)

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Oh cool! -- Rahael, 10:07:58 11/11/02 Mon

Thank you for reminding me of the Western. From my (admittedly very sparse) experience of Westerns, they seem rife with political and social depth, not to mention the whole epic, Greek-drama-y thing going on. Both Dedalus and Lachesis have mentioned Richard Slotkin now, and he's definitely on my to read list - doesn't this match up well to Joss' aims in BtVS? and it seems natural that he would be interested in Westerns. In "Innocence" he talked about how he liked Westerns, and how he tried to imitate some of that style in the encounter between the Scooby gang and Angelus in the dark school corridor.

In fact the only bit of film I've ever analysed is in a high school English class where we watched a bit of a John Wayne/John Ford film (The Seekers? Searchers?) which was certainly contained a very resonant imagery - I can still remember it.

And I love High Noon and Bad Day at Blackrock. In fact I should watch more good westerns only I'm lazy! I'm really bad at sitting down to watch films.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> The SPCK -- Sophist, 10:43:22 11/11/02 Mon

Did you know that the Society for the Propagation of Christian Knowledge--SPCK--a missionary organization dedicated to bringing the word of God to the heathen, was originally founded--at the end of the seventeenth century-- to send missions to the WELSH?

Not according to the official history on the website. The SPCK was not a missionary society; that was the SPG (full title Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts). Anyway, the SPCK was an educational project aimed mostly at the American colonies (quoting from the website):

On 8th March 1698 a group of five friends met at Lincoln’s Inn to prepare for the departure of one of their number for America. Thomas Bray, an Anglican priest, was to visit the colony of Maryland on behalf of the Bishop of London. The time for which he would be away was uncertain, and the friends resolved to form a society to ensure that the many good works with which he was involved could continue in his absence.

The primary concern of the Society's founders was to "counteract the growth of vice and immorality", which they ascribed to "gross ignorance of the principles of the Christian religion". The main ways in which they felt the situation could be tackled were through encouraging education and through producing and distributing Christian literature. Through the work of SPCK, they hoped to build up a more learned clergy and to find ways of communicating the basic principles of the Christian faith to a wider audience, both in Britain and overseas.

At its foundation, SPCK's overseas focus was upon the British colonies in the Americas. Thomas Bray was particularly concerned about the quality of the clergy available to serve in new churches being established in the colonies and plantations. His solution was to establish libraries for the use of clergy and their parishioners, giving them access to a range of theological and other books with which to support their ministry and ensure that good learning and teaching were available. Frequent shipments of books were sent across the Atlantic throughout the eighteenth century establishing and maintaining a substantial network of libraries.

Of course, such organisations are perfectly capable of retconning their purposes....

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: The SPCK -- leslie, 12:18:10 11/11/02 Mon

Yes, and my information comes from the Welsh--it comes up in all the discussions of the Bible in Welsh, because the SPCK was busy disseminating Bibles in English, English, English just at the time when the speaking of Welsh was going into decline.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> There is no question -- Sophist, 12:28:51 11/11/02 Mon

that a determined effort was made to impose English as a language on the "Celtic fringe". I would tend to see the distribution of English Bibles as a part and parcel of this effort, rather than as a symbol, by itself, of colonialism. After all, the distribution of vernacular Bibles had a long tradition within Protestantism, and it would have been contary to well-established religious propaganda for Protestants to force someone to read a Bible in a non-native language. IMHO, it was the political goal of language uniformity that took advantage of well-intended religious efforts here, not the other way around.

I think this supports your basic point; it just blames a different set of people.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> O/T hijack re. politics and language -- Arethusa, 13:58:42 11/11/02 Mon

I frequently see language used for political gain here in Texas. Governer than President Bush famously peppered his speeches with Spanish, trying to extend his good-old-boy image to the previously politically excluded Hispanic voting population. (He also made lots of mistakes, but since he did the same thing in his English speeches, it wasn't a big deal.) Now many state politicians do the same thing. The (only) local newspaper has been printing sports and political articles in Spanish. My church bullitin is in English and Spanish. Diversity, rather than uniformity, has the political advantage, here and now.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: There is no question -- leslie, 14:11:04 11/11/02 Mon

Oh, that is not the only example possible of English (in fact, when it starts, it's actually Anglo-Norman) colonialism of the Celtic Fringe, it's just one that generally cracks me up. This *was* the point where Wales was still, at heart, Catholic--Wales didn't get ardently Protestant until Nonconformism hit in the 18th century--so the SPCK "mission" was similar to the English attempts to suppress "papacy" in Ireland at the same time, it's just that, given the later religious history of Wales, it tends to be forgotten unless you are dragged into the morass of Welsh language politics.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Oh, yes I agree he isn't English -- Steve, 06:04:31 11/11/02 Mon

"Just wondering if Joss is aware of the historical subtleties!"

Probably not ;)

It's a pity, this could be an interesting way for ME to talk about questions of identity and so on, contrasting Angel's experiences with Gunn's.

(Thanks for adding some shades of grey to my initial post BTW)

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Off the top of my head -- CW, 06:21:24 11/11/02 Mon

One line of my ancestors were Irish Catholics. The members of one branch of the family (not mine) were famous converts to Protestantism. They became very wealthy, owning much land in Ireland as well as huge tracts of land in the US in the 1800's. They were roundly despised by all Irish Catholics, and completely 'disowned' by their closest relatives. While that's an extreme case, I would image that every convert family faced some of the same isolation. If his family were converts it would partly explain Liam's dissipated life. He'd have very few friends, even if he were sympathetic to the plight of the Catholics. Indeed, his friendship's with most other Irish might last as long as his money did at the pub.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Did they originally live in Swamp Castle? -- 'erbert - um, Darby, 07:12:50 11/11/02 Mon

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Off the top of my head -- CW, 07:40:28 11/11/02 Mon

For all I know, they could be the original knights who said "nih." ;o)

[> [> [> Okay, Penal Laws are harsher -- Rahael, 05:33:01 11/11/02 Mon

Especially because they explicitly forbid participation in trade as well.

Jeez, this kind of stuff starts my blood boiling. I knew there was a reason why I didn't study much colonial history. The essays I wrote would just have been indignant tracts against racism and injustice. Anyhow.

in the 1780s, there is a movement abroad to grant some relief to Catholics. Yeah, it is grudging - prejudice runs deep - however, there is a small group of middle class Catholics who are out there articulating the case for reform. The 'Defenders' were able to join with Protestants who were not happy with English rule imposed from without Ireland. The United Irishmen were able to survive for a little, before internal contradictions and outside pressures made it crumble. To think that in the 18/19th Century Irish Catholics and Irish Protestants were enlightened enough to join together, and yet the situation is still so intractable in the 21st!


But I'm really glad Joss picked up on English-Irish tensions, because I've commented before on the 'Other' in BtVS, and how even Angelus is even more 'other' than Spike, after all. Despite Spike putting on a working class accent, Angel/Liam/Angelus is still the one who faces prejudice even today. "No Irish" is still in the dim generational memory still.

[> [> [> [> Re: Okay, Penal Laws are harsher -- Steve, 05:52:57 11/11/02 Mon

"To think that in the 18/19th Century Irish Catholics and Irish Protestants were enlightened enough to join together, and yet the situation is still so intractable in the 21st!"

Weeeell, careful now. Catholic/Protestant tensions only exist now in Northern Ireland. South of the border, in the Republic, there just isn't any tension. And even North of the border, enlightened Catholics and Protestants can work together on common ground: witness the (Catholic) SDLP and the (Protestant) UUP parties working together in the Northen Ireland Assembly.

Tensions between England and Ireland have also diminished considerably as the decades have passed, and both governments have learned to try to work together in dealing with their "problem child" of the North.

Also the post-colonial impact on the Irish psyche has finally begun to clear, thanks in large part to the psychological shift in Ireland's generation X, who defined themselves as Irish Europeans instead of "Not English"

What I'm saying is to be careful in juxtaposing the politics of 18th century Ireland to the present day - which is exactly why Liam's rant against Wesley is so shocking in comparison to the older and wiser Angel's attitude to his English colleague.

[> [> [> [> [> good point! -- Rahael, 06:09:47 11/11/02 Mon

Thanks for injecting some optimism.

Civil conflicts just make me unduly depressed.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Sorry, this was meant for KdS. Not that you don't make good points either! -- Rahael, 06:11:34 11/11/02 Mon

[> [> [> [> [> I'm going mad -- Rahael, 07:20:29 11/11/02 Mon

That response was meant for you. I for some reason thought KdS had written it. Yeah, good points!

Irish Europeans - Joyce also saw himself as European too, didn't he? So perhaps that strand of thought has also been present for a while? Or was he the exception that proves the rule?

I work for an organisation that has a very strong presence in Northern Ireland - in fact we are probably more powerful there than any other part of Britain. We have a non sectarian base, and were at the forefront of that whole mess where schools got attacked by sectarian violence.


[> [> [> [> [> [> Way OT, but based on Rah's post... -- Darby, 08:11:53 11/11/02 Mon

Was it here that I read a discussion of the expression about exceptions proving the rule? From Sophist, maybe? If it was, I'm expressing my gratitude for clearing up something that had been bothering me for years.

If not, and if it bothers others, let me know and I can swipe the explanation from wherever I did read it and post it here...

[> [> [> [> Re: Okay, Penal Laws are harsher -- leslie, 14:19:45 11/11/02 Mon

"But I'm really glad Joss picked up on English-Irish tensions, because I've commented before on the 'Other' in BtVS, and how even Angelus is even more 'other' than Spike, after all. Despite Spike putting on a working class accent, Angel/Liam/Angelus is still the one who faces prejudice even today."

See my now-archived report on the Buffy conference from this weekend. None of the academics at the conference wanted to deal with the Irish question, although I was sure asking! In fact, although I know that the episodes were filmed long before airing, and written even longer before that, the instant those words started coming out of Angel's mouth (especially since I had been raising the question of Angel's change of *national* accent at the conference), I swear to god, I was wondering whether Joss had some kind of mole at the conference picking up issues to address on air!

[> [> [> [> [> Yeah I saw that! -- Rahael, 14:48:14 11/11/02 Mon

That surprises me too, since, it kind of hits you in the face! That whole torturing nuns in churches, accent, starting out in Ireland.

And also, when Angel starts out on his own, in LA,guess who he hooks up with? Doyle! Who has his own issues of otherness to deal with.

[> [> This ties in to something that intrigued me in "Somnambulist" -- KdS, 05:56:38 11/11/02 Mon

In Somnambulist, there's a casual reference to Penn's family being "Puritans" (definitely with the capital P). This seemed intriguing to me as it would point to Penn's family being Protestant at least and probably Nonconformist (at the moment the really extreme/bigoted Protestants in Northern Ireland are mainly not Anglican but members of various Presbyterian/Nonconformist denominations). Certainly sparks interesting thoughts about the relationship between Angelus and Penn (Catholic or thinly-disguised Catholic Irishman siring a Protestant Irishman and converting him to evil).

I did wonder about ME's religious knowledge though, as I thought Puritanism (with a capital P) was largely a 16th/17th rather than 18th-century phenomenon. Perhaps someone better up on religious history could enlighten me...

Of course, the well-known William Penn was a Quaker, which given Quaker pacifism adds a whole new layer of irony to Penn's character.

[> [> [> Good question - 18th Century Puritanism -- Rahael, 07:54:21 11/11/02 Mon

I think the Interregnum had a huge effect on British religious culture. As the Church of England was officially de-established (but still functioned in many places, however), and the "toleration act" was passed, many different denominations were given the oxygen of toleration.

Also, the interregnum split whatever cohesiveness the puritan movement may have had. The whole period of the Republic saw conflict between conservative puritans and radical puritans. Toward the end, they came to have very different political aims.

With the restoration, the effects of the Interregnum were papered over. All the constitutional legislation was reversed, and the later Stuart monarchs attempted to rid the Church of radical puritan elements - The Act of Uniformity (1662), among other legislation led to about 2000 ministers leaving the Church - they became known as the Noncomformists.

More legislation followed, i.e - The Conventicle Act punished anyone attending a service not conducted with the Book of Common Prayer.

The culture and world view of Puritanims has always been a protean beast. It changed in tone from Elizabeth's reign to James' (became more introspective) and changed under the freedom of the Interregnum, and changed under the renewed persecution of the Restoratin.

The radical religious elements of English society, which had originally been called puritan, grew and grew during the 17th C, and during the 18th Century, took on new identities.

But I should think there were still many who could and would call themselves "puritans".

[> [> [> [> Thanks, clarifies a lot -- KdS, 08:33:26 11/11/02 Mon

[> [> [> [> I'd be surprised -- Sophist, 09:03:31 11/11/02 Mon

if people in the 18C identified themselves as "Puritans". Not saying it didn't happen (I really don't know for certain), but the term was originally one of abuse imposed on more radical Protestants by their opponents. After the Restoration, I think both sides moved on to other terms. FWIW, my dictionary (the only reference I have here in the office) describes the term as one used in the 16 and 17 C.

Fascinating thread. I'd have to agree with Steve about the status of Irish Catholics in the 18C and the inconsistencies in Angel's family scenes. However, I'm inclined to attribute those to ME's usual historical carelessness (viz., Darla's arrival in VA) rather than to construct an elaborate explanation about conversion for the sake of convenience.

[> [> [> [> [> Puritans or precisionists -- Rahael, 09:57:22 11/11/02 Mon

Which was another variant.

A term of abuse yes, but often used by puritans to describe themselves. Though they did prefer "Godly" etc.

It gets a little complex. How are we using puritan? as a word historians use to label and define a certain distinctive world view and mindset? Or a self description?

Can you remind me - does Penn describe himself as a Puritan or does he get called one?

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Puritans or precisionists -- Sophist, 10:14:37 11/11/02 Mon

Sorry, I don't know whether Penn (I assume you mean Angel's friend and not William Penn) described himself as a Puritan or got called that. Never saw the episode.

I rarely (never?) see historians use the term "Puritan" to describe anyone in the 18C. Occasionally I'll see, for example, Cotton Mather or Jonathan Edwards described as the "last Puritan", but even that use is clearly not intended literally.

I could easily see someone in the 18C using it as a term of abuse.

Do you know if the Cromwellian colonists in Ireland were mostly Presbyterian? It was my impression that they were, but I'm not sure. I doubt, even in the 1650s, that many would have described those colonists as "Puritans", but again I don't know for sure.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Possibly historians don't -- Rahael, 10:36:14 11/11/02 Mon

But now I'm genuinely curious how quickly a self conscious puritan world view died out. I mean, religious faith was fervent enough to cause enormous upsets in the fabric of English society - where did it all go?

How much of a backlash was there to the Interregnum? Pepys doesn't like Cromwell even though he was a youthful supporter, and yet he displays a grudging respect, and a feeling that such a man's body should not receive the treatment it did.

For the 18th C, I think historians have new words to describe those who are not in the mainstream, and basically since they were driven out of the church of England, they were defined by their fate. Also, I think with the whole "history of mentalites", the term puritan has found new favour, as a useful category of religious culture as opposed to simply doctrine.

Also, puritanism is not just for radicals - I think it really was more a part of the mainstream than a fringe element. (But this is the subject of huge historical debate - you could even contest the existence of puritans in the Church under Elizabeth and James until they almost vanish, inexplicably. Turning puritanism into the invisible dog that barked, imho) There is a lot of conservative puritanism out there. I see the virulent anti-popery sentiments, the deposition of James as all showing signs that the secularism gains ground in the 18th C is not all conquering.

Cromwell encouraged colonisation of Ireland, and I think most of those who went over were pretty radical. Especially his pest of a son in law. Fleetwood was inept and more 'hard right' than Cromwell. The fact that the more illiberal sort of Protestant would be attracted to moving to Ireland I think, sowed seeds of conflict. An interesting case is Cromwell's second son, who seemed a promising politician - he made alliances with rich Catholics, and tried to reach agreement between Catholic and Protestant. But he had a difficult time always getting London to back him.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> The Radical underground -- Sophist, 11:01:49 11/11/02 Mon

Oh, the religious radicals were still there after 1660. Many were caught up in the Fifth Monarchy plot. Others fled to Holland, where we still find them plotting in the 1680s. They were Locke's associates when he fled. Many were involved in the Rye House plot and others in Monmouth's Rebellion. Others left for America (at least one regicide -- Vane -- was taken back from America for execution).

I think the fervor died out due to the combination of exhaustion and the settlement of religious affairs under William and the latitudinarian attitudes of the Whigs thereafter. Reform efforts focused on Parliament rather than revolution.

And you're quite right that religion remained much more important than secularism at least through the first half of the 18C and probably long after.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> It's a good ep! I just checked btw, and it's Wesley who calls him... -- Rahael, 10:47:01 11/11/02 Mon

a puritan. No one else. Okay, I did a skim read, but I'm pretty sure that was it.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: It's a good ep! I just checked btw, and it's Wesley who calls him... -- yabyumpan, 16:37:31 11/11/02 Mon

Penn does. In the AI office, just before Wesley walks in

Penn: “What? You don’t drink, so now no one gets to?”
Angel: “I don’t expect you to understand.”
Penn: “Oh, I – I understand. I was a Puritan, remember?”

from psyche's site

[> [> [> [> 18th Century Puritanism -- in America? -- Fred the obvious pseudonym, 19:00:29 11/11/02 Mon

IIRC some members of the Mather family were self-identified Puritans in Boston until the second quarter of the 18th century.

[> [> [> I checked a timeline -- Rahael, 10:58:00 11/11/02 Mon

And now I'm leaning more toward Sophist's sceptism that Penn would have been a 'puritan'. I think 1760s is now getting on too late.

However, it was Wesley who called him one, and it seems a pretty off hand and quite a jocular comment.

So that's okay! I've explained that away to my satisfaction.

[> How would Angelus' attitude towards the Church fit into this? -- Arethusa, 07:14:47 11/11/02 Mon

We know he was fascinated with convents and nuns, and often fed there. He waited until Dru took her orders until he turned her into a demon. Does this demonstrate a resentment against or a fascination with the Church? If Liam's hated father converted to Protestantism, wouldn't he be resentful of his father's new religion, and see Catholicism as purer by contrast? He would be much more likely to try to corrupt the Chuch and its representitives if his father were Catholic.

[> [> Vampires and Christianity -- KdS, 07:48:25 11/11/02 Mon

Good points about Angelus's hostility to the Church. (He also went through a period of carving crosses into his victims' faces as a defiance of the Church and God [Somnambulist]). This could support any theory about his family background, depending on how you interpret his motivation. He could be attacking the Catholic Church because he didn't believe in it as a human, or alternatively because he did believe in it as a human and vampirically resented the way he'd been taught to be moral. We can also note that when Angel was faced with a case of demonic possession in I've Got You Under My Skin he and Wes immediately went to a Catholic priest rather than a Protestant Deliverance Minister.

It's interesting that this exaggerated hostility to the Christian religion doesn't seem to be a general characteristic of Buffyverse vampires. The only comparable case was the Master, who constantly blasphemed Christian ritual and liturgy. (I'm ignoring Spike's references to the Crucifixion in School Hard, which seemed primarily driven by the desire to make fun of vampire pretension rather than human religion.) Could this be related to the original human's spiritual beliefs? Would a vampire who'd been a devout Muslim go around drinking booze, eating ham sandwiches and setting fire to mosques?

[> [> [> Re: Vampires and Christianity -- Darby, 08:20:33 11/11/02 Mon

It'd be hard to reconcile this with the established Buffyverse history, where vampires are much older than Christianity, perhaps older than religion itself (how long between the first vamp and the First Slayer?). There could be a great story there - perhaps a powerful Catholic attempted to eradicate vamps magically, but only succeeded in instilling a physical reaction to Christian trappings (which we know includes Holy Water and Communion Wafers, which is why I said Catholic) - or maybe it was a much more powerful version of the protection spells used by the Scoobies. Something for Tales of the Slayers (another issue of which was released recently), maybe.

[> Question - how necessary is historical accuracy ? -- shadowkat, 09:37:22 11/11/02 Mon

I have question - If you design your own fantasy universe where there are vampires, werewolves, portals, etc - is it important or vital to include historically accurate tidbits from the real world? Or does this depend on the story you're telling? Or the universe you've created and whether you've already consistently planted items from "our reality" into the one you have created?

This question has been bugging me for a while, actually as far back as the fanfiction round robin for well partly selfish reasons, being a writer myself - I'm wondering how much I can get away with ;-).

If Whedon's verse did not include references to our own popular culture such as Britney Spears, George W. Bush, or Warren Harding, could he have gotten away with greater latitude when it comes to historical data? Even with such references - can he still get away with it?

It's obvious I think that the Buffyverse is not our verse nor meant to be ours. So does that give the fantasy/scifi/etc writer more latitude than someone who is say writing West Wing? Or ER? Or American Dreams?

How much does it matter if Whedon screwed up the date to the Russian Revolution? Darla's arrival in Virginia? Liam's religious background and political leanings with respect to what occurred in our history regarding these events?

It probably matters a little - since Whedon and Company appear to make a point of commenting on these events. I remember reading in FFL's commentary that it was important to Whedon that the class distinction between Spike's cockney and Angelus' Irish brogue was made clear along with the costumes each wore. He wanted Spike to look like the working class man of the time and Angelus to look like the aristocrat of the time. But I also know as both a reader and writer - that fantasy/sci-fi/horror is often more effective if it is grounded in something real to me, or a world that is identifiable in some way. I also have been told that if you are dealing with suspension of disbelief, ie existence of vampires, etc - it's a good idea to be as accurate as possible on things like historical events, etc. Or the audience will scoff at you and turn the channel.

That said:

My question then is how much can Whedon get away with before he breaks our suspension of disbelief? Or makes us scoff? Or causes us to spackle in the gaps to preserve it?

[> [> Re: Question - how necessary is historical accuracy ? -- Rahael, 10:17:21 11/11/02 Mon

Well, I'm pretty laid back about historical mistakes. I just like to discuss them here because it means I get to talk about history.

The story is important, and little inaccuracies are fine.

But, I definitely think that the Buffy universe is meant to be our universe - I don't think it's some SF parallel universe.

And if you're going to make jokes about historically based tensions, and if you have characters who have lived centuries, and you do flashbacks to past eras, you definitely have to get the spirit of the law, rather than the letter correct.

In Fool For Love, Petrie said that Joss was very specific about the changes Spike was to undergo in his accent. That seems to me to be trying to achieve a certain social accuracy no?

Finally history is powerful. It informs who we are, it tells us about why we live in the world we do live in. In a show about power, about questioning authority, about politics (since Joss says it's a feminist show, it is necessarily political also) surely history is important. And we don't just need to think about 'traditional' history. There is also a history of narrative that it's clear that Joss taps into. Even his oft quoted statement about wanting to create a blonde heroine who actually fought back in the alleyway is a statement and awareness of popular cultural history.

[> [> [> I agree - this has relevance to contemporary politics, and so it should be right -- Steve, 11:09:24 11/11/02 Mon

I would say that the question of how much weight to place on historical accuracy depends on the current political climate the show is operating. As Rahael pointed out, the Buffyverse is an explicity politicised one.

The fact that the issues we've been discussing are relevant today show quite clearly in that ME was able to use Liam's little rant and know that a contemporary audience would get it. ME are unlikely to bother to have e.g. two Italian vampires trading insults based on which particular city- state they came - because as far as today's Buffy watching audience is concerned that's a dead issue (no pun intended).

So as for details which don't materially impact on the current story line or political climate - that's just window dressing and I don't worry too much about historical accuracy with regard to those. Who cares if the characters say a particular scroll is written in Sumerian when any archeologist worth his or her salt would know that based on the other evidence it would have to be written in Babylonian?

But this was a plot element, and points to a political situation that is still problematic today and even more to the point, a problem which has been exacerbated by all the parties involved continually dredging up various bits of history and painting everything in black and white. When you do that you've painted yourself into a corner, because any kind of rapprochment becomes a form of betrayal, and the cycle is perpetuated.

It is precisely because of such stylized, absolutist, versions of Anglo-Irish history that the IRA was able to receive considerable funding from Irish-Americans in the US, long after the citizens of the Irish Republic itself had turned their backs on these butchers in digust. So that's why I hope that ME puts a little more thought into any knee jerk "Brits out!" speeches, however correct it might appear to be to a modern US audience.

I say this because I've experienced situations in NYC where Americans have expected me, as an Irishman, to have some sort of automatic hostility to the British people I might run into, when in fact nothing could be further from the truth (when it comes down to it, Irish and English ex-pats have more in common than not, e.g. we both understand what a real cup of tea is!).

[> [> Re: Question - how necessary is historical accuracy ? -- luna, 13:13:57 11/11/02 Mon

To me, it's fine to play games with history, as long as it's done deliberately (as many, many writers and movies do-- everything from The Name of the Rose to The Knight's Tale). The original historical problem (Angel's Irish past) was worrisome because it seemed to suggest that ME possibly was just wrong about the history--and that is greatly worrisome because we're always reading them as taking great care with continuity and other details, and depending on that in turn to support our analyses.

Quick Question on Spin the Bottle.... *spoilers* -- trebor, 00:17:43 11/11/02 Mon

Quick question.... for those that saw the episode.

Why didn't 17 yr old Cordy remember Angel?... she seemed to believe she was in Sunnydale at the time. Looking for theories on why they made her forget that, and why she seemed to be naive towards demons and vamps.

[> Re: Quick Question on Spin the Bottle.... *spoilers* -- Apocryphal, 00:30:59 11/11/02 Mon

Erm, she mentions that she's a sophomore. It can be assumed that this is Cordelia during her sophomore year before Buffy came to Sunnydale.

[> Re: Quick Question on Spin the Bottle.... *spoilers* -- luvthistle1, 01:02:52 11/11/02 Mon

Well, at that time she didn't know about vampires and wasn't involved with the scoobies. she was in her own little naive world . That was before Buffy came into her life, after that when ever a vamp would attack or something weird would happen she would just blame it on Buffy.It Makes me wonder did they ever see a vampire before Buffy came to sunnydale. Oops, I'm having a "Normal Again" flashback.

Camera Technique in Angel 4x06 (spoilers) -- Williamson, 02:00:10 11/11/02 Mon

This may be previously covered ground but Angel and Buffy have often seemed inconsistent. It occured to me while watching this episode that part of it is due to constantly changing directors and consequentally, changing filming technique and composition. Joss' direction of the episode was quite unique, compared to the rest of the series. The freeze frame hasn't been used much if at all nor the jumpcuts between narrative and story. Now, if only he'd direct all the episodes. Of course, despite the inconsistency, both shows can be said to have some of the best direction on television, in general.
I especially loved the scene where Wesley enters and the situation between he, Fred, and Gunn is explained through Lorne. In particular, the shot of Fred and Wes facing each other, with Gunn looking on in the background was nice. The abrupt change in the direction of motion leading into that scene was somewhat jolting but felt appropriate for the awkwardness of the scene.
I have a new appreciation for camera technique after my last class and am probably being disgustingly enthusiastic and/or pretentious. Many apologies, just had to get my thoughts out.

[> you might also know a familiar framing theme this year -- neaux, 04:37:34 11/11/02 Mon

As someone greater than I has mentioned about this year's Angel. There are lots of framing scenes. In particular in this episode. The framing of Gunn by Wes and Fred. and the framing of Connor.

would the frame expert please stand up and elaborate on my simple thoughts.

The Uncontrollable Penis and Sexual Innuendo (Spin the bottle spoilers!) -- neaux, 04:45:30 11/11/02 Mon

Not that I am the greatest penis master (and not that I want that title, which I dont), but I would like to hear everyone's thoughts on Wes' operational malfunctioning of his own.

Of course its straight up laughable, as it should be, but the fact that this is a very very deadly weapon, did anyone else get a little squirmish (pun? doh!)

Fred's tight grip on her big wooden stake was a little disturbing too, but again funny.

And as I could go on and on the oral sex references from head boy to Fred's mis-inflection of her Pylean speak... is all this sexual hoo-ha just really for laughs?

I would like to believe that re-entering the mind of a high schooler is all about oral sex jokes and weed.. which I'm sure is a surface analysis. But what is the deeper meaning?

Was Wes in his younger days really unable to control his manhood?

Someone take over this monster topic please!!

[> Re: The Uncontrollable Penis and Sexual Innuendo (Spin the bottle spoilers!) -- JM, 07:00:06 11/11/02 Mon

Also Connor's revving engine, and Angel in the bathroom. Since vampirism is often a sexual metaphor. And I'm sure that Cordy was pretty suspicious of the "I'm almost finished" comment. I think the implication was about how sexuality, especially male sexuality, feels pretty erratic and awkward and possibly a little inconvenient during adolescence.

PS Great title!

Ten things I loved about "Spin the Bottle" (4.6 spoilers galore) -- Masq, 06:21:46 11/11/02 Mon

With a tip 'o the hat to Rob's "Him" list from last week...

And no, this is not a reminiscence from my adolescence.

1. Lorne as narrator. Lorne doing The Host thing was a good way to frame the story, a nice, familiar way to lead us all into this weird perspective on our heroes (and doing the narration during the flashbacks. *snerk*). I'd forgotten how much I missed Lorne on the small stage.

Plus, fun metannarration moment as we come back from the commercial and Lorne quips, "Those were some exciting products. Let's all think about buying some of those."

2. Angry Gunn: they've been building up this boy's 'tude this season. From Fred's "You're the alpha male" comment in Deep Down to Gunn's "I'm not a sidekick" insistence a couple weeks ago, it looks like Gunn is building up some big-time resentments of his not-the-leader "I'm just the muscle" position at Angel Investigations. Glad to see they're giving Gunn some real meat to chew on.

3. "Hello Salty Goodness!": continuity goodness! One of my favorite all-time Cordelia lines. The return of snippy Cordy can only be a good thing, although did anyone else think CC's performance was a bit off, maybe, not edgy enough? I remember Cordelia being a much bigger bitch. Oh, and a new Cordelia line to go on the long list of favorites, "I know who's president... and I sort of wished I didn't."

4. The return of dorky Wesley. AD's physical comedy was pryceless. And Princess Charles' attempts to lead the gang with Gunn stealing his thunder were a crack-up. "Head Boy" indeed! I did wish we'd gotten more of a glimpse into his own daddy-issues, though.

5. Proof from the pen of his royal Jossiness that Liam wasn't such a bad bloke. I knew that dorky!Angel stuff had to come from somewhere besides just broodiness over centuries of evil. Yes, the clueless dorky!Liam did become a useless "18th century frat-boy" by the time he was in his mid-twenties, but I think a lot of that was acting out and bravado over daddy issues.

Also, did anyone notice that some of Liam's first lines were straight out of 18th-century Buffy in "Halloween"? And I still think an 18th century person would realize a car was some sort of weird carraige, not a demon.

6. A twist on a favorite Joss theme: the helpless blonde in the alley turns out to be a hooker. Poor horny!Connor. And he was being all heroic and surly and stuff, too!

Plus Liam and Connor bonding ever so briefly over bad fathers! You know, between their respective right and left hooks.

And why is it that Connor is starting to remind me of Buffy? Is it the nightly slaying? The scraggly blonde hair? The self-righteous attitude? The punching-matches with Angel?

7. Fred the "something's out there" geek. Who wants to bet she spent more time asking people if they had weed than actually scoring any?

8. Liam actually enjoying the vampire thing once he realizes he has power over the others. I don't think that, with a soul, he actually would have hurt any of the others (besides pounding on Connor), but he did like scaring them a little.

9. What.Cordelia.Knows. And she knows stuff. Agh! Do you think they'll tell us next week, or will we have to wait a month and a half to find out??!! Or longer?

10. Beginning and ending the episode on the same note. Most folks here know I'm not an Angel-Cordy shipper, but I'm always for frustrated, unconsummated love in the name of angsty drama. In the beginning, we only get Angel's confusion over the "Are we in love?" question. At the end, Cordelia's answer is "Yes", but why do I get the feeling she knows it can't go any further than that?

[> and one more "love" -- neaux, 06:31:04 11/11/02 Mon

How bout that Trailer for next week!!! THAT looks downright Awesome!

[> One more thing to love......Angel Season one DVD news -- Rufus, 06:33:06 11/11/02 Mon

Yahoo News


HOLLYWOO (Variety) - Fox will release the first season of "NYPD Blue" in a six-disc set March 18. Set will feature audio commentaries from producer/co-creator David Milch, director Brad Silberling and others. Also on deck is a six-disc set of the first season of "Angel," which includes four featurettes and audio commentaries by co-creators Joss
Whedon and David Greenwalt and writer Jane Espenson.

[> [> Hurray! -- Masq, 06:42:06 11/11/02 Mon

I've had those things pre-ordered at Amazon for a year now.

Obsessed, me? Never!

[> [> [> I'll finally get caught up.. -- DickBD, 14:17:50 11/11/02 Mon

I'll finally get caught up from the beginning with Angel, as I did with Buffy. Those FX episodes were like gold to me (or artifacts to an archeologist). One of the things I have noticed about Joss's offerings is that they can hit you emotionally. (I have more than once been glad I was alone when watching Buffy because I had tears streaming down my cheeks. "Passion" gets me every time, as does "Innocence" and "Becomming." I'm looking forward to that whole thing about Doyle that you guys discussed.)

And, yes, I particularly liked Cordie's comment about who the president was, too!

[> [> [> [> Re: I'll finally get caught up.. -- DanTheMan, 17:11:08 11/11/02 Mon

Some Additional Info on the Angel Season One DVD
$59.95 retail
Release Date of Feb. 11th

[> Re: Ten things I loved about "Spin the Bottle" (4.6 spoilers galore) -- CW, 06:34:57 11/11/02 Mon

I also enjoyed the fact that, when Liam discovered that he was a vampire, he didn't turn evil. He was still the same likable guy with a severe social problem, that he was getting picked on for.

[> [> Re: Ten things I loved about "Spin the Bottle" - Connor is BuffyJr.! -- Nic, 06:49:28 11/11/02 Mon

You're definitely right about Connor and Buffy showing some strong parallels. He's neither human nor a vampire. With all the drama Angel's gang is going through right now, Connor's become LA's resident Slayer.

If they do go through with the crazy idea of continuing Buffy without SMG, Connor should move to Sunnydale and hook up with Dawn. How about a male Slayer and a female Watcher (or eventual goddess-in-the-making)?

[> Oh god no!!!!!!!!! -- Rufus, 06:43:16 11/11/02 Mon

And why is it that Connor is starting to remind me of Buffy? Is it the nightly slaying? The scraggly blonde hair? The self-righteous attitude? The punching-matches with Angel?

He starts sleeping with Spike and I will puke...;)

Also, did anyone notice that some of Liam's first lines were straight out of 18th-century Buffy in "Halloween"? And I still think an 18th century person would realize a car was some sort of weird carraige, not a demon.

I sure did....Demons!!shiny ones....and to think he didn't like the noble women of his day...

The return of dorky Wesley. AD's physical comedy was pryceless. And Princess Charles' attempts to lead the gang with Gunn stealing his thunder were a crack-up. "Head Boy" indeed! I did wish we'd gotten more of a glimpse into his own daddy-issues, though.

When he kept reacting to the probing conversation from Fred capped off with the ejected stake I flashed back to the Bob Dole erectile dysfunction ads.....:):):):):)

Beginning and ending the episode on the same note. Most folks here know I'm not an Angel-Cordy shipper, but I'm always for frustrated, unconsummated love in the name of angsty drama. In the beginning, we only get Angel's confusion over the "Are we in love?" question. At the end, Cordelia's answer is "Yes", but why do I get the feeling she knows it can't go any further than that?

Yup, it ain't just Connor that is all revved up and stuck in Park....:):):)

[> [> LOL -- CW, 06:48:17 11/11/02 Mon

He starts sleeping with Spike and I will puke...;)

Wouldn't that make him more like Willow? Just kidding. ;o)

[> Re: Ten things I loved about "Spin the Bottle" (4.6 spoilers galore) -- gds, 06:58:13 11/11/02 Mon

At the end, Cordelia's answer is "Yes", but why do I get the feeling she knows it can't go any further than that?

I got the same impression due to the way she said WERE not ARE. I think your theory of why she was taken may be correct. Now that she's back and remembers everything, I think she is trying to avoid Buffy's mistake. Her vision also seems to be a part of her answer.

[> [> Re: Baker's dozen (4.6 - Spin the Bottle spoilers) -- Brian, 07:09:01 11/11/02 Mon

The final shot as Lorne exits, and we realize that he has been performing to an empty room. Ah, memories of his own place, of Las Vegas, of the glittery quiet before the storm.

[> More to Love-mucho spoilers for episode -- Arethusa, 08:26:17 11/11/02 Mon

More continuity: Bad hair and chess club mention (Nightmares).
The mention of the Crucianarium (sp?)-Helpless.
The bit about psychological tests and florists (What's My Line).
Tiny people singing/Buffy watches tv in Beer Bad.
Cordy is mean, selfish, a little lazy, and danger gets her horny. And people miss old Cordy!

Liam's father issue: tired of being bullied, the whole speech with Connor-it must be freaky to Connor to hear his own thoughts come out of his father's mouth re. his grandfather. Liam's father rode him because he was different- this fits in with the theory that Liam's artistic abilities were suspect to his father. Teenage Liam thinks vampires are cool-more criticism of immature people romanticizing vampires?

Metanarration: referring to Gunn as the muscle of the group, as fans sometimes do. Comments about DB's lack of Irish accent.

Crossover/Non-crossover: Another reference to mazes.

Loved the Ravi Shankar music accompanying the bad LSD trip. Lorne makes a reference to "transitive nightfall of diamonds," which made me think of Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.

Wesley Wyndham-Price is quite a bit like Percy Weasley, prefect at Hogwart's. Notice at the beginning Wes used the last name of Price, and that his crew members don't seem overly impressed by him.

Fred evidently watched horror movies with her dad as a kid, and might have been smoking pot while watching the X-files devotedly. There's not a lot to do in San Antonio. (Closed caption people? It's spelled San Antone, usually, when abbreviated.) And she confuses a cross with a metal detector!

Great episode, full of jokes and dread and tasty characterization.

[> [> And did anyone notice... -- Rook, 23:11:45 11/11/02 Mon

Fred's mentioning being asked if she wanted to be a florist on her "personality disorder test"?...a reference to Willow and Buffy's conversation from "What's My Line"

[> On alleyways and beautiful blond hookers -- alcibiades, 10:37:06 11/11/02 Mon

6. A twist on a favorite Joss theme: the helpless blonde in the alley turns out to be a hooker. Poor horny!Connor. And he was being all heroic and surly and stuff, too!

Actually it is more interesting than this -- this scene with the beautiful blond in the alley who turns out to be a hooker really parallels Angel's scene with beautiful blond Darla who turned out to be a hooker and a vampire.

Angel however pursued the blond into the alley with the explicit hope of sex, whereas Connor went into the alley to kick vampire ass and to save the beautiful blond and work at being a champion for which he did not expect a thanks.

[> [> Well that, and he was just pissed and working off steam -- Masq, 10:52:40 11/11/02 Mon

Which is what got me thinking about my Connor = Buffy parallel.

There's another blonde in the alley way scene, from "City Of..." where Angel the loner hero saves a blonde and then is tempted by the sight of her blood.

[> [> [> Re: Well that, and he was just pissed and working off steam -- Tess, 11:12:01 11/11/02 Mon

And there was another blonde in 'Innocence??' who was the first victim of Angelus' return.

[> [> [> [> Re: Well that, and he was just pissed and working off steam -- Masq, 11:26:38 11/11/02 Mon

She was probably a hooker, but I think she was brunette.

And that sinking his teeth all the way into her trachea and blowing out smoke. Ewwww!

[> Uhm a quick, albeit nit-picky but important correction. (Spoiler Tomorrow and Spin) -- shadowkat, 10:43:16 11/11/02 Mon

No one else seemed to pick this up, but it haunted me and I think it is important. And is one of the things I really loved about this episode.

"In the beginning, we only get Angel's confusion over the "Are we in love?" question. At the end, Cordelia's answer is "Yes", but why do I get the feeling she knows it can't go any further than that?"

Actually it was : "Were we in love?"
Cordy: "Yes. We were." Emphasis on the "WERE". Not "are", "were".

Very important distinction. Because if you compare with Tomorrow, Cordy couldn't wait to convey she loved him. Now?

The dialogue is also cleverly backended. The episode almost ends and begins with the same dialogue.

Lorne starts the episode, with the song "The Way We WERE" then goes into a monologue - It all started with a kid.
We start with Connor. Then he corrects himself and says actually starts with: Cordy asking Angel if they were in love and Angel not knowing the answer. He knows he had feelings for her but not her's for him. His explanation leads to two possibilities;
a) she'd say she loved him
b) she wanted to give him a restraining order and file sexual harrassment charges

This in turn reflects the two sides of Liam we see in the episode and the two sides of Cordy, it also is reflected in Connor.

Cordy leaves Connor's hideaway because Connor is beginning to want a bit more from their working relationship than Cordy is comfortable providing.

Cordy comes to Angel - asks what their relationship is. Angel states that whatever it was becoming - he misses the friendship most of all and wants that back. (Which btw felt like a parallel to Spike/buffy in Beneath You and other episodes, but was more out in the open.)

Later we see her in a towel and asking him why he feels he can just barge into her room.

What I get from Cordy is actually oddly similar to what I got from Buffy in HIM with respect to Spike, a combination of attraction and repulsion, fear and desire. Which works with the vampire metaphor. Connor plays a similar role in this episode as does Dawn in HIM, both are reflections of the adult's behavior or rather past behavior patterns.

Throughout the episode, Cordelia and Angel engage in an odd teenage dance of flirtation and chase. Cordy chases Liam.
Then when Liam discovers he's a vamp, Liam chases Cordy.
Liam's son saves Cordy by throwing Liam outside the family unit and through a window. The two men or boys engage in a fight, it does not feel like one to the death, and Cordy wisely escapes.

Later when Cordy regains all of her memory - there are three people present: Lorne (who knows her vision), Angel and Connor. The first thing she sees when she looks at Angel is the devil's face. She runs. He follows. He stops her, she begs him off. He pleads that she answer the question he's been yearning for.

Were we in love? - it is the exact same phrasing she uses at the beginning of the episode.
What did angel say? I don't know maybe, I was...
What does Cordy say? Yes. We were. (But it's changed now, whatever she's seen coupled with what she experienced, has made it clear to her that what she felt last year? Isn't
possible now.)

So what did she see in Angel that makes her say we were?
Again the chase.

In first portion of the episode Angel chases Cordy
When they lose memories of each other - Cordy chases Angel
When Angel realizes what he is and accepts it - he chases Cordy and she is repulsed and terrified.
When Cordy regains all her memories - she flees from him again, also repulsed and terrified and saddened.

And remember the song Lorne starts with? Memories...the theme song to the classic movie The WAY We WERE.
(It THE SUMMER PLACE theme music is about first love, The WAY WERE is about the adult love that couldn't work, the end of the romance, where we can only look back on the beauty and wonder wistfully why it never came to fruitation.)

My heart went out to them both in that scene and like you?
I'm not a A/C shipper either.

[> [> ugh. Spoilers for Him (Btvs 4.6) also longer than I thought. -- shadowkat, 10:45:31 11/11/02 Mon

[> [> Well, there is the thing.. (4.6 spoilies) -- Masq, 11:00:58 11/11/02 Mon

That Angel asks in the past tense, so Cordelia replies in the past tense.

Why does Angel ask in the past tense? Because Cordelia asked at the beginning of the episode in the past tense.

Why did Cordelia ask in the past tense? Because she has no memory of it, and it would just sound odd to say, "Are we in love"? when she doesn't have those memories.

I'm not a C/A shipper, but I think the whole "are/were" thing might just have that simpler explanation.

[> [> [> Although I prefer your explanation... more angsty : ) -- Masq, 11:10:06 11/11/02 Mon

[> [> [> The way we were.. (4.6 spoilies) -- shadowkat, 14:23:22 11/11/02 Mon

Maybe but what about the whole use of the song "The Way We Were?" which is also emphasized by taking the gang back to who they once were, then back again, with the memories of that innocence intact in the older more cynical minds?

I'm not positive about this - but I think Joss was doing a humorous (black humor) as well as angsty take on the idea of reflecting back on who you once were and what you once felt.

There's Fred/Gunn - who we see lying in bed, not together exactly, not apart, just side by side, in a state of pained shock and remorse/regret, possibly reliving the days prior to Seidel, reliving who they thought they were.

when Angel comes to the door, Fred is not pleased to see him and somewhat pointedly and irritably states: "What do you want."

Gunn has realized in his scene with Wes that he has little purpose outside of muscel in this group and hates it. But I also saw a regret for the passing of his friendship and light banter with Wes. In their highschool states they are harmlessly fighting each other. But before they lost their memories and regressed - Wes showed Gunn he had no compunctions about killing him and unlike Gunn felt no need to hide what he was capable of. Gunn does hide it from Wes.
Gunn seems to miss what once was. "What happened to you Wes?" "I had my throat cut and all my friends abandoned me." (knife to Gunn's throat.)

The Way We Were operates on at several levels.
1. The Way We Were prior to meeting each other and banding together, when they were innocent adolescents, well some more innocent than others.
2. The Way We Were last season before Wes took Connor, before Connor went through the portal and before Cordy was taken to the heavenly prisons. Before Gunn and Fred fell in love.
3. The Way we Were before the spell and what we are after, when Cordy gets her full memory back.'s not unlike Tabula Rasa - where in a way everyone was happier without the memories of the past and the present. When it all comes back, they can barely stand under the weight of it.

We were in love....I think is the actual phrasing because I think Cordy has realized under the weight of the vision and everything else...that it's not possible now.

Spin the bottle - a kid's game, becomes the adult game of chance - spin it- we're in the past, spin again - we're back to now?

[> [> [> [> Ooh, the juicy depths of it all -- Masq, 14:35:21 11/11/02 Mon

As it descends into angst, angst, angst. And we love it!

"AtS" is a Joss show all right!

Does that make us all masochists??

[> [> [> [> Appropriate song lyric for the occasion -- Fred the obvious pseudonym, 18:44:42 11/11/02 Mon

From 1980.

"Wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then."
-- Bob Seger, "Against the Wind."

Anyone over the age of say, 25? 28? has lived it.

And I wonder where they are now.

[> [> [> [> What's too painful to remember -- Masq, 19:31:05 11/11/02 Mon

I was thinking about my theory on Cordelia's memory loss, that it might be psychological due to some traumatic knowledge she gains in the heavenly dimensions.

This ties into Lorne's song,

"What's too painful to remember, we simply chose to forget."

Well, she's had those memories returned to her, knowledge of the future, I think. Maybe we'll find out what it is (she'll tell the gang, or it'll just happen) next week...

[> [> [> [> On Wes and Gunn -- alcibiades, 06:07:39 11/12/02 Tue

Wes showed Gunn he had no compunctions about killing him and unlike Gunn felt no need to hide what he was capable of. Gunn does hide it from Wes. Gunn seems to miss what once was. "What happened to you Wes?" "I had my throat cut and all my friends abandoned me." (knife to Gunn's throat.)

From several of your posts this season, you seem to have this unrelentingly negative view of Wes.

I see Wesley helping out on every major task the AI group took on except the retrieval of Lorne and providing invaluable help. He found Angel, he helped find Cordelia, he helped protect Cordelia, he helped Fred and provided her information and support both pro and against what she wanted to do -- being the only one who could see both sides and let her make up her mind as an adult. In this episode, he agrees to help Cordelia without a second thought, and the point is illustrated when Lorne obviously thinks he still needs convincing. He is also still concerned about Fred.

Considering how much he has joined them recently, he seems to miss the old group and feels how nice to be able to start over with the past erased -- from Slouching to Bethlehem.

Wesley is a demon hunter. He walks around armed.

In this situation, Gunn puts his hands on Wesley in a way that was entirely unprovoked, as a very real threat since from the point that Fred and Gunn got together, Wes has never tried to make moves on Fred. He may feel fewer compunctions about that now however considering how Gunn acted -- I don't know.

Wes let Gunn know he could handle the threat. And it didn't intimidate him.

This has nothing to do with having no compunctions about killing Gunn, something I believe that Wesley would never do unless he had to (say if Gunn went eeevil -- which is to say he killed people Wes cared about or if Gunn acted in harmful way to Wes) and would feel terrible about -- although Buffy- like, he might hide those feelings from appearing on his face, but his actions would belie it.

I'm perplexed why you think Wes is really this dark?

He's gray. (Actually his room is very similarly painted to Angel's, although Wes has A LOT more white trim than Angel.) And last week, for instance, there was a whole lot more light in his apartment -- for the first time in forever, it was daylight and the shades were wide open -- suggesting light gray. This week, his apt. was darker again, but the shades were still wide open. It was just that we were seeing his place at night.

Gunn hid what he did to Professor Seidel, just as Wes did not announce the fact that he helped, but Gunn read it in Fred and Wes' body language. Gunn is the one who started with the unprovoked threats. Having just killed to "keep his girl happy" and to keep her from becoming a vengeance demon groupee -- where she'd be expecting a visit from d'Hoffryn - - and thereby to keep her his, I think it is easier to visualize Gunn killing again to keep Fred his. Because he is the one of the two who feels deeply threatened right now.

Not that I want Joss to go that way -- but his act and the actions which followed do open up possibilities.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: On Wes and Gunn -- shadowkat, 10:07:45 11/12/02 Tue

Not sure how to respond to this, except in bewilderment.

At any rate. As much as it may shock you - I agree with your analysis of Wesely. I don't see him as dark at all. You have misintrepreted my intent, which I guess is the risk we all take when posting. I posted the above post quickly with little proofreading and didn't check to make sure my meaning was clear - fell into the writer's trap of falling in love with the sound of my own writing. And the phrasing of that just sounded great. Unfortunately the meaning came out all wrong.

Regarding past posts on Wesely? I don't remember writing that he was unrelenting dark? Course I haven't posted on him very often. Very rarely actually. When I do post on him - I tend to focus on the elements that I find most interesting such as his affair with Lilah and problems with his father. In my lost girl post - I actually saw Wes in a much better light than Gunn if I recall and mentioned how helpful he was. I really haven't posted that much on Wes or Ats actually. And Wes is barely mentioned. In this case - my point was NOT about Wes being dark, but the loss of the close friendship between Wes and Gunn.

I meant to state that GUNN misses the old Wes, who seemed to be less in a rage and was kinder to him. To GUNN Wes seems dark, perhaps unrelenting so. (And please don't interpret that comment as me believing this and using Gunn as a shield. I honestly saw that as Gunn's pov. I may be wrong about Gunn's pov but it is NOT in any way a psychological projection of my own views.)

I'm sorry if you perceive my posts as stating that I see Wes was "unrelentingly" dark. No wonder you're perplexed because I really don't think that at all.

What do I really think about WES??

I think Wes was deeply hurt last year trying to do the right thing. Not to mention the other crap he was dealing with, such as unrequited love, seeing his best bud go for the woman he cared for, and watching her choose him. Then the fear that Angel would betray them all and kill his son. He is somewhat Machiavellian, probably due to Council training, Giles has some of the same tendencies,(I don't consider Machivellian dark by the way) and he is very loyal. He cares deeply for his friends - as he demonstrates time and time again - by saving Angel, saving Fred, helping Cordy. And he gets little to no thanks for this.
Personally I have more sympathy right now for Wes than any other character on the show - I'm trying to keep that sentiment out of my posts, maybe I'm doing too good a job;- )
Since you've read the exact opposite of what I believe.
Well not quite the exact opposite. I see all the characters in both shows as grey, conflicted, complex characters. None of the characters appear to me as unrelenting dark or light.

Wes was abandoned and cruelly so. They never asked for an explanation and when they found out Wes had been tricked they cruelly threw it in his face. The fact he stuck around and continued to help them I found amazing. I think he is exploring some darker aspects of his personality or rather the writers are and it makes his character even more fascinating to me. So when I post I tend to focus on the examination of those attributes. I don't feel a need to defend him to people - he's well a) a fictional character and b) the nicer characteristics aren't fascinating me at the moment. I'm more interested in understanding what motivated Wes to hold a knife to Gunn's throat and for the record, I didn't blame him.

When I post I try to stay objective and bring as little of my own personal views into my analysis as possible. I usually post what I sense or see in the show to see if anyone else saw it or Me has successfully played with my head. What I'm trying to figure out is what the writers are trying for, what the characters are in the writers minds and what the themes are as opposed to what I may or may not have projected onto the story. Because I sense something really fascinating underneath the surface of both shows.

At any rate...I not sure this post makes a whit of sense.
Except to state my apologies for being so unclear in my posts about Wesely that you would come to the conclusion that I believe he's unrelentingly dark. Perhaps this is a sign that I should take a break from posting for awhile. ;- )

[> [> [> [> [> [> Though, Gunn's gotta be bitter. . . -- Finn Mac Cool, 14:45:19 11/12/02 Tue

About Wesley helping to setup the whole murder of Dr. Seidel. He can forgive Fred because he loves her, but Wesley, whom he's not too fond of right now, does not have that grace. Gunn's most likely angry at him for helping to plan a murder, for putting Fred's soul in danger, and for tarnishing his.

[> [> [> [> Re: What's happening to Gunn (4.6 spoilies) -- ponygirl, 13:49:54 11/12/02 Tue

For me the Gunn/Wes confrontation really underscored Gunn's uncertainty about his role in the group. Gunn's not the leader, he's not into the research or computers, he may be the muscle but Angel (and Connor when he's working with them) is stronger. What Gunn had was a certain ruthlessness that in the past none of the characters seemed to share. He would get the job done no matter what the cost. Now Wesley seems to have a few miles on Gunn's 1000 yard stare, and Gunn seems to be having a hard time living with the consequences of killing the professor. When he threatened Wesley, Gunn seemed to be trying to go back to that earlier, more-assured self, the one we would soon see when the spell kicked in. Un-spelled Wesley called his bluff easily, leaving Gunn to ask what had happened to him. He might have been asking the question about himself.

No One Expects the Spanish Inquisition - Thoughts on *Him* ... ( ***Spoilers BtVS 7.6 ) -- OnM, 07:42:27 11/11/02 Mon


That was then...


There's a summer place / Where it may rain or storm
Yet I'm safe and warm / For within that summer place
Your arms reach out to me / And my heart is free from all care

For it knows / There are no gloomy skies
When seen through the eyes / Of those who are blessed with love

And the sweet secret of / A summer place
Is that it's anywhere / Where two people share
All their hopes / All their dreams / All their love

There's a summer place / Where it may rain or storm
Yet I'm safe and warm / In your arms, in your arms

............ words by Mack Discant, music by Max Steiner, lyrics as recorded by The Lettermen in 1965


This is now...


I'm just looking / Just looking for a way around
It disappears this near / You're the rod, I'm water
I'm just looking for the divine hammer

I'm just looking for one divine hammer / I'd bang it all day
Oh the carpenter goes bang / Bang bang
I'm just looking for the divine hammer

I'm just looking for a faith / Waiting to be followed
It disappears this near / You're the rod I'm water
I'm just looking for one divine hammer

............ The Breeders


Or maybe this is now...


Mona Lisa, Mona Lisa, men have named you
You're so like the lady with the mystic smile
Is it only 'cause you're lonely they have blamed you,
For that Mona Lisa strangeness in your smile?

Do you smile to tempt a lover, Mona Lisa?
Or is this your way to hide a broken heart?
Many dreams have been brought to your doorstep
They just lie there and they die there
Are you warm, are you real, Mona Lisa?
Or just a cold and lonely lovely work of art?

............ Nat King Cole


Hi, ya’all! Whew-- what a week! No, it wasn’t especially busy at work or anything, but in terms of BtVS it
turned out to be one of the most time-involved weeks for me in recent history, and all of this occurred because
last Tuesday’s Buffyverse offering frankly baffled me at first viewing.

Oh, I liked the episode, but the problem was I wasn’t exactly sure why I liked the episode, because for
sure there was something-- several somethings, in fact-- that just didn’t gel. Even applying the parallel universe
theory I espoused last week, the change in overall tone from Selfless was jarring. Yes, I know that ME
likes to play with our heads, and that is one of the multitude of reasons that I tune in, but they’ve done it several
times already this year, and here they went and did it yet again.

The overall tone of Him clearly seemed to be farce, but then there were these darker elements that one
typically doesn’t see in the traditional burlesque. Also, even after rewinding the tape and re-watching later that
evening, I was still getting the unmistakable sense that something was happening but I didn’t know what
it was, and I don’t think Mr. Jones did either. So, there was very clearly only one thing to do-- if you can’t slay
the metaphor on your own, you call in your friends and get them to help out.

So, I did, and not surprisingly, ya’all came through bigtime. Now, after about 4 additional passes through the
tape, interspersed with more daily reading of the ATPo board then I have done for a month of Tuesdays, I have
come to admire this episode to a much greater extent than I did previously, and I bow down with all due
gratitude for the sharing of your collective insights. (I’m hoping that someone out there in Buffyviewerland is
currently working on a book, or at least a lengthy article analyzing this strange and compelling ‘new’ entity
spawned by the internet-- namely the ‘collective review’ process of the works of art and popular culture).

I make no apologies for the extensive use of the words of others in the text to follow this week, which may turn
out to be very long. Those words inspired me to make my own contributions this week, so credit is due where
credit is due, ya know? As I sit here typing this sentence, I have so far taken about 27 pages of ‘clippings’
from the board and elsewhere and narrowed it down to 18 pages. (All this for a ‘filler’ episode? The mind
boggles!) I will attempt, for the sake of not hogging excessive board space, to narrow it down further, but it
may be difficult. My idea here is to show some examples of things that I saw happening in Him, but rather
than my rephrasing what has already been said in a perfectly clear fashion by someone else, I’ll try to comment
only on where I see a different take or spin. Many of the posts that I am ‘borrowing’ have been edited for
, but I have tried to be careful that nothing I deleted changed any intended meanings. If anyone of the
original authors thinks otherwise, please do respond to correct me. The (...) denotes text that was
removed from the original posts, most of which were much longer than appears here. My own thoughts and
comments are in italics, prefaced by an arrow --->.

To start off, I had to admit being amused that one of the very first posts on the board Tuesday night was a
‘negative’ review by Rob, which like many people, I had come to think of as something forbidden by the
conventional physics of the Realverse. Just goes to show... ;-) ..... ( Date Posted: 18:32:45 11/05/02 Tue )

Nevertheless, for an episode that at first appeared to be mostly ‘filler’, or ‘fluff’, kindly note that there were
approximately 142 responses
to Rob’s initial post, 10 Things I Hate About Him, prior to it
being archived. Way to go, Rob!!


No one expects the ATPo Inquisition...


cjl aptly sums up the essence of the ep: --- 19:37:52 11/05/02 Tue

"Doesn't having a soul mean you pick up wet towels?"

"Get off the boy, Buffy. We're going home."

"Enough with the Hecate!"

"OK, do you understand the plan?"


Traveler gets a possible handle on things right away: --- 22:18:04 11/05/02 Tue

So maybe this epsisode is best taken as a character study?


shadowkat saves me a great deal of writing time, as usual: --- 19:55:16 11/06/02 Wed

Just got off the phone with someone who explained it to me. The Summer Place theme music was perfect--
because it is taken from [a] Troy Donahue movie. Troy Donahue was the teen hunk, of little substance, and great
[body]. While he didn't play a football player in this movie (...) he was the teen hunk as is RJ. All the girls are
nuts over him because of his letter jacket. And beautiful teen theme music plays in the background.

---> OK, now like may viewers, I found the ‘Summer Place’ music perfectly logical yet perfectly odd at the
same time. On its first appearance, when Dawn sees and instantly falls in love with R.J., it is not only very funny,
but the sheeer schmaltziness clearly denotes that something is not quite right with this sudden swell of infatuation
on Dawn’s part. I didn’t suspect the love spell component at this point in time, but still, ranting about the
negative effects of romantic love with her sister one moment, and seconds later getting starry-eyed over a
football player seemed out of character for the Dawn that we are used to seeing.

---> I subsequently did a little Googling and found the lyrics to the tune, which if I understand correctly
was only played as an instrumental in the movie, ascribed to- - I love this-- The Lettermen who released
their version of the song in 1965, when it was a big hit with the general public all over again. See, now their
version is the one I remember-- I was 12 years old in 1965 and AM radio was still king, and I would bet that my
older sister even had the record. The memory of the original instrumental by Percy Faith seems to have been
absorbed by some kind of mass cultural osmosis, since I don’t ever recall actually seeing the film it appeared in.

---> The film, from what I learned by a visit to the IMDb, involves a teen romance and what at the time must
have been some scandalous sexual activity on the parts of the various characters. See the mini-review below:


A Summer Place (1959) / Directed by Delmer Daves. Writing credits go to Sloan Wilson (for the novel)
& director Delmer Daves

IMDb Review by Renee / Chicago, Illinois / 5 July 2001 / Summary: Sandra Dee Make-out Fest

I've seen A Summer Place about 7 or 8 times, mostly because every time I turned on the tube last summer
it was on AMC. I think that this is the kind of movie you see once and you love, you see twice and you love a
little less... and then by the third or fourth time you start to see all of its faults. The script is so 1950s socially and
morally conscious that at times you almost want to gag. The plot is excellent and it would have been carried
splendidly if only it wasn't for some of the lackluster performances we see with Sandra Dee and the piece of
wood that played her love interest, Donahue. It does have a great theme song and some riveting plot twists
(sometimes too riveting) but nevertheless, it captures the audiences attention.

You got to love this camp fest for what it is.


Back to shadowkat: once again::

The episode was shown mainly through Dawn's POV. When Buffy brings Spike to Xander's, Dawn is there, and
it's through Dawn's eyes that we watch Buffy requesting that an incredibly reluctant Xander take Spike in. Dawn
doesn't get it. She doesn't get love. It makes no sense why they do these contradictory things. (...)

This season is about the heart. And the ills of the heart. What happens when the heart is out of whack. It is worth
noting that the persons who figure it out and put things to right are the two symbols of heart: Xander and Spike.

Then we have the Dawn/Buffy relationship - Buffy who was Ms. Popularity, who was never klutzy and easily
made runner up in the cheerleading finals, even was a cheerleader at one point. Dawn - is klutzy. Imagine having
Buffy as an older sister? Ms. Perfect. Ms. Beautiful. The Slayer. Hell. And when Dawn finally falls for a guy, her
sister steals him from her without breaking a sweat. (...)

If she dies for RJ maybe that will be something. After all Buffy died for her - and look how everyone reacted. (...)

Dawn literally takes a walk in the other characters moccasins in this episode. She experiences the pain of
obsessive love, and by the end of the episode [she] may understand why they've done the things they've done.

---> I agree with all of this, except for the part about Dawn being ‘klutzy’ whereas Buffy is ‘athletic and
co-ordinated’. We have seen Buffy behave in a physically uncoordinated manner plenty of times-- most recently
when she spilled coffee on her blouse, and later dropped the box of pencils she was balancing on her forehead
when the phone rang. (Slayer-Buffy would have caught the pencils in mid-fall). It’s all about attitude and focus.
When Buffy is in sync she can catch an arrow in midflight. Dawn may not be a Slayer (yet?) but she has
demonstarted excellent physical co-ordination on several occasions, such as in the fight with the earth-monsters
in Grave. Dawn is a mental reflection of Buffy-- when she’s confident, she’s sleek and powerful. When
she isn’t-- we get ‘cheerleader Dawn’, trying to prop up her ego with her older sister’s clothes, and shredding
them when they fail to do so.


Arethusa follows up on ‘kat’s comments: --- 08:32:55 11/06/02 Wed

Because the episode is shown largely from Dawn's point of view and the plot is a bit of a retread, I think we're
meant to compare and contrast the behavior of the Scoobies as teens and now, to show how they've developed
over the years, and as you say, what they are capable of. Before the spell, all show signs of maturity-- Buffy talks
out her feelings with Dawn, Anya states she needs to spend time finding out who she is, and Willow leads the
research. After they are enspelled, Anya says she knows what RJ would like (evidently crime and money),
Willow tries to change her lover to suit herself, Buffy goes into Slay mode, and Dawn whines "Why are you
doing this to me?" to the other women. They all regress, but it is temporary. They're appalled by their behavior
afterwards-- even Dawn.


Scroll on ‘appalling behavior’ (??) re Dawn and Faith --- 09:10:26 11/06/02 Wed

I still haven't finished reading through this entire thread so maybe someone brings it up later on, but Dawn is
Faith! I'm so surprised nobody has noticed it yet! She can't compete with her perfect big sister, the one
everybody loves, who always gets the attention. She commits the accidental violence, [and] doesn't feel the least
bit guilty over it. She dresses in tight clothes, dances skanky, gets into a fight. Ends up almost committing
suicide. Dawn tried to be like her sister, being a cheerleader. She finds out that doesn't work. So she takes the
extreme opposite. (...)

and...HonorH who noticed also: --- 22:56:37 11/05/02 Tue

Just one thing, though: I did like Dawn channeling Faith in the Bronze.

---> Now, as self-appointed president of the ‘Dawn = Faith + Buffy in literal DNA-ness’ club, I would like to
gloat for a few (brief) moments, since I’ve been promoting this delightfully wacky idea since way back last
season, and even before. As I mentioned just the other week, I think the monks made Dawn from The
, and since both Buffy and Faith were ‘active’ slayers at the time, Dawn has a nice healthy (?) chunk
of Faith within her embodiment.

---> Him is pretty much the best supporting evidence that I’ve seen so far for this, since (like HonorH) I
swear Dawn was channeling Faith in the scene at the Bronze in far more ways than her sexy dance and outfit.
Watch Tractenberg’s acting closely during the part of the scene where Buffy confronts her after the dance with
R.J., and you will observe that not only is her makeup and clothing Faith-like, she has even studiously copied
Eliza Dushku’s mannerisms and body language
during the performance. The little side-to-side head shake
when she is angry? The piercing look? The positioning of her arms and hands? This takes me fondly back to
when I had similar admiration for how Dushku and SMG skillfully took on each other’s acting styles during
Who Are You / This Year’s Girl.

---> I also very much loved the part of the scene where Xander and Willow looked admiringly at R.J.’s dance
partner until they realize just who she is, then are appalled at finding themselves thinking of her in an openly
sexual way. This is classic ME, deftly rattling people’s cages in regards to sexual matters.


ZachsMind makes some additional excellent points regarding a (metaphorical) lake next to a
--- 19:39:22 11/05/02 Tue

Yes, this can be viewed as another fluff episode. It's what I've noticed some Buffy fans refer to as "filler." (...)
However, I submit that Him indirectly not only forwards the plot but potentially hints at what is to come.
It even amplifies the very theme of [the show]. Notice the title: Him. Referring to a male in an almost
inconsequential way. That guy. Him. The one over there. This series has always been about female
empowerment. That's something even more evident and on the front burner today than it ever has been. (...)

In this episode, in a properly subtle and understated way, they forwarded the plot in the beginning by taking the
steps necessary to bring both Anya and Spike back into the Scoobie fold. (...) We needed the Spike-centric
episode Beneath You, the Willow-centric episode Same Time Same Place and the Anya-centric
episode Selfless. Each of those three characters were out of the fold and needed a chance to shine before
their metaphorical tarot cards fell back into play with the rest of the deck. (...)

The use of the stereotypical jock and his magic jacket harkens back to the theme of the series as a whole, as I
mentioned before: female empowerment. The four main [female] roles of this season are strong women, each in
their own right. (...) Dawn may be arguable, but she's finding her footing. She's experimenting and exploring her
empowerment. She's stumbling and being held back by her own, but eventually she'll get it. The other three
women are each more noticeably powerful, but recently have had to face the fear of losing control of their
individual power. Their strengths have not been fully realized, and the magic spell symbolically showed that by
giving into temptation and bowing before a male that didn't deserve their love, they lose their independence and
individuality, and therefore they lose control of their power. (...)

Another thing we'll see? Xander & Spike working together.

Was this episode insignificant? Hardly. Give it time. You'll see that this episode is sorta foreshadowing for the
overall season arc as a whole. (...) Mark my words.

---> I’m certainly marking them! I love the ‘tarot’ references, very cool. And the idea of the ‘outside’
characters being brought back to the ‘inside’ before things can continue is a great observation-- and one I missed
on the first viewing.


ponygirl with very apt perceptions about costumes, hearts and souls: --- 20:06:18 11/05/02 Tue

Eyeballs of love: Yet another episode about perception! All the fem Scoobs were seeing RJ as they wanted to see
him. We're being told with almost every episode this season that perceptions can be very easily manipulated.
Again with the maybe morphin Big Bad I have to think this is A Very Big Nudge to the audience.

Costumes: Without the coat RJ was pretty much nothing, he wasn't even a starting QB. Put the coat on and all
the girls see him as a leader of men, a noble person. Spike tried a costume in Beneath You and it didn't work,
Dawn tried on Buffy's uniform, but failed miserably. Xander couldn't fit into RJ's jacket (he's grown too big? ).
All these costumes and roles seem to tie in with the perception theme above. Maybe the Scoobies need to get
past the costume thing, it's not working for them.

Hearts and Soul: (...) It was revealing how all the Scoobies described their love, or RJ's love for them. Anya said
he was her best friend, which is how she once described Xander. Willow, talked about his total devotion, and of
course that's what she got from Tara, and Oz. Dawn talked about sacrifice, about dying for the one she loved.
That's what she had received from Buffy in The Gift, no wonder it's her ideal. And Buffy? Well, here's the really
interesting thing. Buffy NEVER said she loved. Not once. She said RJ was in love with her, but that was it.

---> OK, now that last one, about the ‘hearts and soul’, really stunned me-- I never realized the connections
there, especially about Buffy never saying she loved R.J., only that ‘he is my lover’ or ‘he loves me’. Wow, and
wow again!


Malandanza pointing out an especially brilliant gem among the many other jewels of the ep: ---
09:05:44 11/06/02 Wed

Willow explains that having a soul doesn't keep you from leaving towels on the floor, it just makes you feel guilty
about it afterwards.

--->Gets my vote for ‘Best Buffyverse Metaphor of the Year’ to date. Heehee...


matching mole on the ‘24’ connection and ep ‘inversions’: --- 12:16:29 11/06/02 Wed

I didn't think of the '24' parallel either until it was mentioned on the board. It vaguely reminded me of 1970s TV
crime dramas, especially the opening credits, although I couldn't cite a specfic example.

I loved Him. I think it worked really well on several levels. (...) Dawn gets caught up in what she
disdains. I agree that her scenes were often agonizingly difficult to watch but they seemed to me to the 'truest'
vision of high school as hell since maybe S2.

And rather than being a rehash of BBB I think that Him is an inversion of the idea. Unlike the
typical tale of a love spell gone wrong, in Him the spell works all too well. There is no indication that RJ
is even conscious of the jacket's power but he clearly does know that he has the power to manipulate women,
which he does very cleverly. Most interestingly, his manipulations seem less directed at getting sexual favours
than at a variety of other goals. BBB is the love spell playing out a male fantasy and having it go wrong.
Him is the love spell playing out a female nightmare.

---> More on the ‘24’ and such later on. The ‘inversion’ is a clever idea, and would be a typical ME story
device. I agree that R.J. doesn’t seem to be an active ‘abuser’ of the jacket’s power, and I don’t even think he
realizes that it is a talisman. He just seems grateful for the attention he gets from women, and goes with the flow.
He manipulates to some extent, but he’s not ‘evil’ about it, IMO.


Sara sez (and seems to state succinctly): --- 07:15:44 11/06/02 Wed

I think Dawn pushing the Quarterback down the stairs, spell or not, is telling us something about her that we
haven't seen before. The spell's influence was like getting drunk, terrible judgement, loosened inhibitions, but the
characters really didn't do anything that they were incapable of. Buffy slays her enemies, all of a sudden the
principal looked like one. Willow uses magic to fix things. If she is capable of manipulating the mind of someone
she loves, as she did twice with Tara, it's just a matter of degree in manipulating the physical attributes of her
object of love. Anya has always been pragamatic, money conscious, and not very concerned with ethics or
morals. Again, not a huge leap to see her actually engaging in a life of crime. So the fact that Dawn assaulted one
person, and was willing to commit suicide is quite an insight into her value system. Has growing up with the
slayer made life cheap to her?

---> I don’t think it’s a matter of life being ‘cheap’ to Dawn, in fact I see just the opposite, but Dawn has a
dark side, just like all of the characters. We tend to presume that youth automatically infers innocence and
‘lightness’, but that’s a complete myth in my opinion. I know that I was just as odd as a kid as I am now, it’s just
that now I have a much better handle on the ‘oddness’, and understand the concept of balance.


Cactus Watcher and meeting the enemy, who is us? Hummm, could be... --- 04:48:39 11/06/02

You loved silent Buffy. You loved Buffy the musical. Now we have Buffy the classic theatric farce. (...)

I really think this episode was about us fans taking the show too seriously, our over analysis of everything, our
hanging on every possible sexual relationship, even our concern about Willow's sexual orientation. I know part of
the reason it took me two times viewing to start enjoying the jokes was that I kept expecting it to get serious the
first time I watched.

---> Seriously? How seriously could we be taking something that’s only like, 28 pages? Now I ask ya...

( ~ ~ ~ Continued in Part II ~ ~ ~ )

[> Part II should be posted tonight, probably about 11- ish EST. Work calls! -- OnM, 07:57:49 11/11/02 Mon

As it always seems to!

Part III will probably be up Tuesday morning. It's probably better this way anyhoo, what with the new Angel ep postings and all, won't clog the board space as much.

Hope you enjoy!

-- OnM

[> [> Re: Part II should be posted tonight, probably about 11-ish EST. Work calls! -- Cactus Watcher, 08:24:47 11/11/02 Mon

There's no need to hurry with the second part. I've already been quoted. ;o)

Your perception of The Lettermen's version of "The Theme from a Summer Place" is interesting. You're probably right about it being a hit, but I don't remember it being one. By 1965 the 'British sound' was running almost everything else off the charts as far as teen music. There were plenty of 'American-style' rock-and-roll songs and 'slow dancing' tunes still on the radio. But, they were less often as big sellers as the imports and copycats of the imports. Like the original instrumental, I suspect that a lot of record buyers older than teens pushed it up in sales, maybe kind of the beginnings of what became 'easy listening.' 1965 must have been just about the end of the road for The Lettermen, who'd been very popular in the late 50's.

[> [> [> LOL. This is're metanarrating on us now -- shadowkat, 10:16:51 11/11/02 Mon

I love quoted just about everyone who responded with huge posts to Rob then commented on their posts, so one wonders if we comment on what you commented on, does that mean we are metanarrating on each other?

At any rate - thanks for bringing all the posts together.
And making sense of them.

For the record? I like you're idea about how Dawn is a reflection of Buffy - I'm not sure that's true but since they appear to be doing the same thing over on Angel with Connor/Angel - I wouldn't be surprised.

What occurred to me this morning is that Buffy is treating Dawn in many ways the same way her mother treated her. Yet unlike Joyce, Buffy is resisting the idea of being "mom".
Don't blame her - I'd resist it to. (BTW kudos to Darby for suggesting we use the word "resist" over denial - since it's more precise and possibly more accurate.) Angel similarily is treating Connor the same way his father treated him. And in HIM as well as SPin The Bottle - I felt a flashback to Band Candy and the actions of Giles and Joyce who wanted to play, would committ crimes for each other, and were all about hormones.

Yet, I also see a reflection of Faith in Dawn, the path Buffy didn't take, b/c Buffy unlike Dawn had Giles, her friends and Joyce. Dawn really only has Buffy and the SG and since Willow returned? Her role in the SG is no longer even valid. Anya sees her as useless. And Buffy comments on how she has no possibility of getting RJ. Prior to Willow's return - Dawn was head of research. And remember in STSP - Dawn mentions how they can figure stuff out without using magic, ie they don't need Willow, they can use her. (Also not completely sure about this - but I think Anya has also added to the effect of shoving Dawn aside, since prior to Anya's readmittance - Dawn also found info on the demons, then again they did sort of need Anya over Dawn in STSP.) Once Willow's back in the mix Dawn's literally and figuratively shoved aside and Willow has possession of the computer. And in this episode? Dawn is horrified when she realizes that not only has Buffy fallen under RJs' spell but so have Willow and Anya. And once again, what happens? Dawn is pushed aside. She has to almost commit suicide to get Buffy's attention.

This reminds me a great deal of Faith - who similarily is shoved aside and only resorted to in times of desperation or guilt by Buffy. Faith appears to have no one. I'm hoping buffy does not make the same mistakes with Dawn. So far I don't think she is...Dawn is included in slaying and Buffy does save her life and does try to resolve the situation with RJ prior to the jacket causing her to fall under his spell. But it's a tight rope walk.

[> [> [> [> Maybe, but don't worry-- we can always employ an... -- OnM, 15:12:54 11/11/02 Mon

...anti-anti-anti-metanarration spell spell-- er, uh-- spell.

Did I count right?

Something like that, anyway.


[> [> Re: Part II should be posted tonight, probably about 11-ish EST. Work calls! -- Rattletrap, 15:23:32 11/11/02 Mon

Thanks for your usual insights. More importantly, thank you for synthesizing the massive volume of information on the board in the last week to a manageable size. Since I don't get BtVS 'til the weekend, getting caught up is usually iffy on a slow week, it has been a fool's dream this week. Even trying to read the main posts and get the gist of most of the debates has been too time consuming.

I like your use of the word "jarring" to describe the first viewing of this episode, that was precisely what I thought. It seems a complete redirection after "Selfless." Greenburg used a very strange pacing, almost tossing us headfirst into the plot. Knowing how the story plays out, I found it much more satisfying on the second viewing, but on the first I was still reeling trying to figure out what was going on. I don't recall having laughed this hard at a Buffy episode in ages, but it was so funny it was almost painful in places.

I have no substantive thoughts to add not already said by those wiser and more articulate than I. Thank you again for the synthesis, I look forward to the forthcoming installment(s).


[> Re: No One Expects the Spanish Inquisition - Thoughts on *Him* ... ( ***Spoilers BtVS 7.6 ) -- jbb, 18:10:26 11/11/02 Mon

I'm just a lurker but I must say that there are three highlights to my typical week. The first is to watch Buffy/Angel/Firefly. The second is to read the insightful commentary on this board and the third is to wait in delicious anticipation of, and then read OnM's review.

Alas, OnM decided to post his review in two parts, delayed by a full half day or more! While I understand that RL can get in the way of more important endevours I hope that Honorificous or De'Orrible (sp)? will justly take him to task for depriving us of instant gratification :)

jbb <- only now sitting down to watch last nights Angel

[> How cool is it that the song was originally sung by the Lettermen? -- Isabel, 20:20:00 11/11/02 Mon

Considering that the episode was about a jock in a Letter Jacket.

[> No One Expects the Spanish Inquisition - Thoughts on *Him* - Part II ... ( *Spoilers 7.6* ) -- OnM, 20:58:06 11/11/02 Mon


By way of preface to this next section, I don’t know if this person has ever posted on ATPo before (I don’t
recognize the name), but I certainly wish s/he would start doing so regularly if this is typical of the quality
of commentary s/he can produce.

vblackheart, whoever you are-- Wow!! If there is anyone reading this weekly essay who hasn’t already
checked out:

PLEASE DO SO! And a big thanks to Rufus for bringing this to our attention.

So now, as before, here are some excerpts and my own thoughts thereon:


vblackheart with: Theme 1: The old rules no longer apply

The issue at hand in Him was not that that women were all under a love spell that seduced them
into doing "wacky things." The point is that the jacket affected people who fell back on old habits that
earned them success in the past. Those that learned from past experiences, but didn't fall back on old
habits, were able to solve the riddle and save the day.

Think about this. In the B/D/A/W argument in the Summers entrance hall, all four women scramble to find
a way to "prove" their love to R.J. They all use their talents and skills to get what they want. The problem
is, even if they succeed at their tasks, they still won't win the object of their affection.

Buffy vows to kill the principal because she's a Slayer and she knows about violence. Violence and forceful
action has almost always carried the day and brought her victory. However, she's already been shown that
falling back on the tried-and-true does not always get her the prize. In Grave, acting as the Slayer
when she faced off against DarkWillow only got her enmeshed in a side fight and kept her peripheral to the
real action on Kingman's Bluff; in Lessons she was once again entangled in a peripheral fight
against the zombies while the real source of her problems was located one floor above; in Help, all
her Slayer tactics and actions didn't buy Cassie so much as one extra second of life; in "Selfless" she swings
into "kill Anyanka" mode while both Xander and Willow work to find another way to successfully resolve
the situation. "Him" is just another variation on the same theme.

---> This seems to be the consensus on this issue, and I agree except for one thing-- I’m not sure that
Buffy can be blamed for doing what often seems like the only thing she can do. Buffy’s skills are Buffy’s
skills, and for the most part she uses them judiciously. If you question this, just compare her to any of the
Slayers that we have any familiarity with from past events-- Faith, Kendra, Nikki, the Chinese Slayer, etc.
Buffy may often choose violence to solve a problem, but I wouldn’t say it is an automatic or even a
fallback response. Indeed, one event on Him illustrates this. If you think of enspelled Buffy saying
“I’m a Slayer-- slay means kill-- I’ll kill the principal!” and recall how many times in the past Buffy has
emphatically made the distinction that “A Slayer is not a killer!”, then this serves to illustrate that
Buffy accepts the violent nature of her role as protector, but she also fears its possibly corrupting effects.

---> Also, while this applies to all the women, not just Buffy, I would contest the statement as to whether
they would not succeed in ‘winning’ the object of their affection. We don’t know enough about R.J. to
answer this question definitively. He seemed to gather that Dawn had indeed pushed his rival down the
flight of stairs, and also seemed to, if not approve, at least respect her for it. If the attempts to gain his
affections involved a far more serious crime such as murder, he might become far more disturbed or even
angry. We’ll never know, since the spell was broken and the more serious actions did not take place.

Willow falls back on magic to transmogrify the boy into a woman. Using magic to smooth over the bumps
in the road of life, as well as changing her lovers to better suit herself (...) has been Willow's modus
operandi in the past. (...)

Anya robs banks. This is a perfect combination of Anya/Anyanka. As Anyanka, use of horrific violence that
is out of proportion to the "crimes" of men breaking hearts was basically the vengeance demon's raison
d'etre. As Anya, she learns (ironically enough from Xander) that in the game of Life (TM Milton Bradley),
lots of money means you're winning. In Something Blue Xander once again teaches Anya that if he
earns lots of money, buys Anya pretty things, he'll make Anya happy, and she'll love him (or make love to
him) because of it. Anya has basically internalized this lesson and associates money with safety and

Anya 2.0 perfectly unites the two. Robbing a bank to get money (thereby buying R.J. pretty things and
making R.J. happy so he'll fall in love with her) is an out- of-proportion solution to her problem. The human
touch is that she doesn't need to conduct violence to get it, unless you count destruction and theft of
property violent. Anya succeeds in getting money, but fails to win R.J.'s heart. What's especially interesting
in Him is that Anya still doesn't get it. She clearly has opted to keep the money, justifying herself
that she was under a love spell and can't be held responsible for her actions. When news of the robberies hit
the radio, she quickly buys the Scoobs' attention (and their love, if we follow Anya logic) by offering to
buy ice cream for everyone.

---> I think that Anya’s reaction to the spell was the least ‘lethal’ of the four womem, and as a result we
tend to not pay much attention to the ramifications of what she did. When Dawn shoplifted items from the
Magic Box, Anya was morally offended-- to Anya, stealing is a very serious offense. One might
also keep in mind that it is possible to steal other things than money. A broad definition of ‘stealing’ would
also include the concept of one party gaining disproportionately from a transaction. A phrase such as
‘Anya has basically internalized this lesson and associates money with safety and happiness’ is not quite
accurate in the larger view. Anya expects that if she gives, she gets something in return, and that that
something be of comparable value. In other words, Anya isn’t by nature an altruist, since her early attempts
to give without expecting a quid pro quo left her the object of ridicule by her husband, and possibly others
in her village. Adultery is also referred to as ‘stealing’ in some cultures, for obvious reasons. Becoming
Anyanka-- a kind of prostitute working for a ‘vengeance pimp’-- guaranteed she would always be
compensated equitably, at least from her (now twisted) perspective.

---> So, from her perspective, love of R.J. was so important that she would engage in an activity--
stealing-- that she normally finds repugnant. Until recently, it was arguably more repugnant to her than
killing. (Willow-- “You’d kill for a chocolate bar!”) Just remember the bunnies, and why she gained such a
fear of them-- they represented the failure of herself as a giving, loving, ‘human’ individual.

---> Also, I don’t think it it ‘clear’ that she kept, or intends to keep the money, for the reasons just
outlined. Now that the spell is broken, I suspect that she will surreptitiously return the money. I think she
was just greatly embarrassed, as the other three women were, and was merely trying to ‘cover’ with the bit
about the ‘epic poem’ and the ‘ice cream’.

---> The ‘daisy, tower and lake’ bit was pretty funny, I thought. This woman can make a sexual innuendo
out of almost anything, without even half trying.

Back to vblackheart:

Dawn becomes a damsel in distress/offering to die is the best way to prove your love. (...) Being rescued
has always brought her attention and sympathy from the Scoobs for her plight. While she's moving away
from that behavior this year, it's a new growth. When the chips are down, she's willing to become the
"damsel" again and wait for someone to save her.

This point is especially clear in Him since, of all the ways Dawn can think of to die, she lays down
on the train tracks as if she were bound and gagged and waits for the train to run her over. (...) One thing
Dawn has not grown out of, and this is partially Buffy's fault, is that true love means you are willing to die
for a person. She's partially right: if you're willing to die doing something proactive, say to push someone
out of the way of a speeding car, then, yes, it can be construed as a sign of love. However, being willing to
commit suicide is not. To quote Xander, Dawn may know the story about Buffy jumping from the Glory's
Tower to close the portal and save the world, but she missed the point: sometimes the best way to prove
your love is to live.

---> I hadn’t thought about this in quite those terms until I read this, but vbh is right on with the ‘lying
on the railroad tracks’ metaphor. Backed into a corner, with no hope of ‘winning’, Dawn wants to die not
as a way to eliminate her own pain (as Willow would) but to become worthy in the eyes of others.
What’s fascinating about this idea is that it makes more sense if it comes from her Faith half as opposed to
her Buffy half.

---> The Buffy half would do the noble thing, and die to save her sister and humanity. Unspelled Dawn
would choose this option, as she did on the tower in The Gift. The insecure Faith half would come
at the problem from the desire to save face, and so prove to an uncaring world that she isn’t ‘useless’ after
all (as Anya suggests in the early part of the ep). In the early days of Faith’s turn to the ‘dark side’, Buffy
lamented that she had ‘failed’ by not caring enough to get Faith help when she really needed it. While this
is a highly debatable point-- Faith may have been totally beyond help by then-- Buffy certainly doesn’t
intend to make this ‘mistake’ again with Dawn. Enspelled Buffy wants R.J. more than anything, but not if it
means Dawn’s life or even her emotional well-being. It’s only after the suicide attempt that Buffy admits to
herself that ‘I might be under a spell here’.


What's interesting is that it's the two characters, Xander and Spike, who are willing to break old habits that
crack the case. Xander hates Spike and would be happier if Spike disappeared, preferably in a puff of dust,
from Sunnydale. Spike hates Xander equally as much. (...)

Even more startling than the roommate situation is Xander's and Spike's willingness to work together to
solve the problem. It's that teamwork that uncovers the jacket as the source of their problems (...) and foil
the three most dangerous and deadly plans: Willow's spell, Buffy's bazooka attack, and Dawn's suicide
attempt. Without Xander, Spike would not have been able to get to all three women in time. With Spike,
Xander would've never been able to stop Buffy who was, in turn, able to stop Dawn. Anya's plan would
not result in loss of life or limbs, so stopping her was not a priority.

---> But they have worked together before, notably in season 5. The one thing they have in common is
that they both passionately love and respect their women (even if in a warped way at times), so looking out
for them ultimately trumps all other issues.

(...) R.J.'s brother, like the four female Scoobs, is also trapped by past habits that brought him success even
though it clearly is not working any more. He even goes so far as to make reference to Xander's
looser/geek status by remarking that his brother was involved with the model UN and read comic books (a
slap at Xander who doesn't bother to take offense) and wrote poetry (a slap at Spike who merely rolls his
eyes in response).

---> Yup. I admired the maturity shown by both of them in this ep. Will it last? We shall see, of course,
but I hope so, at least over the long term.


vblackheart Theme 2: No, they really weren't "good times"

I think I've figured out why ME is doing it's "back to the beginning" theme. It's a reflection of the
increasingly gray world now occupied by the Scoobs. When they were "children" the world was in cotton
candy primary colors. Things were clear cut. Very little, unless you were Buffy, had serious long-lasting
consequences. This started to change in S3 when Faith went "bad." It's been increasingly true in each
successive season. This season, there are real, hard consequences for failure. Each action has an opposite
and equally forceful reaction.

In addition, the Scoobs are now looking at similar situations they faced in high school through the eyes of
adults. The end result is that each situation has a slightly more sinister twist.

(...) Invisible Girl/Fear, Itself/Same Time, Same Place. In the world of Buffy, invisibility equals bad. In
"Invisible Girl," Marcy uses her powers to exact revenge on her tormentors, but she doesn't actually kill
anyone (at least in the episode, although her enrollment in the special government school at the end of the
ep suggests that state of affairs will change). In "Fear, Itself," Xander is rendered invisible as a reflection of
his low self-esteem, the feeling that all of his friends are leaving him behind, and that he'll ultimately be
abandoned and alone. When he becomes visible again, the first thing we hear out of his mouth is a rant that
no one listens to him when he has something to say. However, in "Same Time, Same Place," Willow's
invisibility nearly cost her life at the hands of the Gnarl demon and made her a murder suspect in the eyes
of Buffy.

Reptile Boy/Lie to Me/Help. The comparisons between "Reptile Boy" and "Help" are fairly obvious. Rich,
spoiled, fraternity-type dudes are willing to sell their souls for money and power. To make the spell
complete, they need a female sacrifice (or a "pure" female sacrifice in the case of "Reptile Boy") to seal the
bargain. The twist on "Lie to Me" is less obvious: Buffy's old friend is dying of a brain cancer, a monster
that Buffy can't fight. To save his own life, he is willing to sell his soul (to Spike, interestingly enough) to
make sure he doesn't die. Buffy is able to foil the snake demon in "Reptile Boy" and Spike in "Lie to Me."
However, she cannot spare her friend from brain cancer or evil ways and ultimately leaves him to his fate at
the hands of Spike. In "Help," Buffy believes she's faced with a similar situation and acts accordingly to
save Cassie's life. However, Cassie has a fatal heart condition, which is the thing that actually kills her. It's
something Buffy can't fight and can't defeat. She ultimately wins the battle (stopping the spell and the
demon), but loses the war.

---> I’m not at all sure she ‘lost the war’ in her battle to save Cassie. By delaying the death until the
time it actually did occur, Buffy may have created the ‘butterfly wings’ whose flapping turns into the
eventual monsoon. That is, Cassie lived long enough to tell Spike “Someday she’ll tell you” and Buffy
“You will make a difference”. I am predicting that these seemingly trivial events will make the
critical difference as to how things turn out at the end of season 7. Even if this is not the case, her ardent
efforts allowed the very decent and caring Cassie a death that had far more dignity than being violently
sacrificed for the base desires of the male money sluts.

The Wish/Selfless. Yes, there is a connection between the two and it somewhat ties into my first point.
Selfless is [a] twist on Anya's previous actions as a vengeance demon. In The Wish,
Anyanka cheerfully grants Cordelia's wish and is excited by the end result. All of the Scoobs are ultimately
murdered (by each other) as the alternate universe plays itself out. (...) Even more interesting, there are no
long-lasting repercussions from The Wish (unless you count Anya's sudden humanity). Even
Cordelia, the cause of the problem, escaped the fallout. In Selfless, Anyanka once again causes
mayhem that results in death, this time Anya is horrified by the blood and violence. This time she chooses
to reverse the wish and reverse back to her human self. Don't believe for one second that we're done seeing
the fallout from "Selfless." In Him, Anya already is ducking D'Hoffryn's vengeance.

BBB/Him. This is the most blatant and startling example of a dark twist on what many fans consider to be
a light-hearted, funny romp from S2. Xander originally blackmails Amy into casting a love spell simply so
he can break Cordelia's heart. Not the best of intentions, no. However, he clearly isn't thinking of having
sex with Cordelia while she's under the influence, so to speak. The spell goes wrong and Xander twigs to
the problem fairly quickly. The end result is that he goes out of his way not to take advantage of the
situation, even at the near-cost of his life, and admits his stupid mistake to Giles in hopes that the Watcher
can fix it.

In Him, we see what could have happened if Xander were coming from a slightly less moral place.
While it's unclear that R.J. is aware of the jacket's powers, he knows that he can manipulate girls and
women to get what he wants and uses it to his full advantage. The end result is the "eeewwwww" scene
with Buffy about to commit statutory rape and the four Scoob women resorting to violent or illegal means
to win R.J.'s attention.

The most interesting part about BBB vs. Him is that Him has a far darker sexual
undertone than BBB. In BBB, the focus was on emotion, what the women were feeling.
Yes there were some sexual situations in the S2 ep: Buffy in a raincoat, Willow wearing nothing but a
flannel shirt, Joyce and Jenny hitting on Xander, etc. However, through Xander's more innocent and virgin
eyes, the scenes are somewhat played for laughs. We know that Xander won't take any of them up on it. In
Him, we're far less certain about the clearly less innocent and less virgin R.J., so it's no surprise that
Xander views the jacket as something extremely sinister. (...) This darker sexuality and the Scoobs' darker
view of the spell is highlighted by the scene in the Bronze. Willow and Xander lust after the sensually
undulating young body pressing itself against R.J. When they realize that it's Dawn, they both are horrified
by Dawn's actions and the fact they found it sexually stimulating.

---> Like many viewers, I was surprised at the inclusion of the scene where Buffy and R.J. were
preparing to have sex (I am assuming Xander got there in time to prevent the inevitable). Not that it
happened, since it was perfectly logical that it would once Buffy was enspelled. However, pushing aside for
the moment the very Realverse issues of what would happen to Buffy and her job at the school if R.J.
would spill the beans about the two of them, this is once again a case about really pressing the limits of the
ways that the writers can mistreat their heroine and get away with it.

---> Back when Bargaining started out season 6, I wrote in my review that Buffy’s resurrection
and the events immediately afterward amounted to the ‘psychological rape’ of the hero.
Bargaining was a uniformly dark, dark episode, so at least the horror was fitting to the overall
tone of the story. In the midst of an otherwise ‘light, fluffy’ episode, did the Buffy/R.J. near-tryst amount
to the psychological ‘date-rape’ of the hero? Was this scene an attempt by ME to illustrate the slipperiness
of the date-rape slope?

---> If R.J. was fully cognizant of the powerful effects of the jacket, then the date-rape metaphor
is exactly valid. If he isn’t, and is just ‘going with the flow’ as I conjectured earlier, then the answer is far
less clear. Buffy was clearly the dominant partner in this tryst-- she ‘came on’ to R.J. in the principal’s
office, she pulled him out of a class, took him to a secluded spot and made the first move to kiss him. She
also effectively asked ‘permission’ when she queried R.J. if her being ‘like a teacher’ bothered him. He
asserted that it didn’t. Everything comes down to the minutiae of the intent, and I have to admire how ME
played the entire scene so that on first viewing you start laughing, and then later on find yourself going,
“Hey, wait a minute here!”

vblackheart Theme 3: There is no I in team

It has been said over and over that Buffy's strongest assets are her friends, family, and assorted allies. They
are what keep her tied to the moral realm (literally in the aftermath of S5) and contribute to her mission.
Angel, Riley, and later Spike all provide necessary muscle and/or knowledge of demons. Giles provides/-ed
guidance, education, and knowledge. Willow contributes (...) an emotional connection. Xander has filled
different roles as Buffy needed them: strategist, comfortador, truth-teller (...) and fire to go out and fight
the good fight. Auxiliary Scoobs such as Tara, Oz, and Anya also bring valuable knowledge and skills to
the table. Her inner circle, time and again, have proven that they can rise to the challenge, something that
was spelled out in both Primeval and OMWF. Buffy and the Scoobs are more than the sum
of their parts.

---> Question-- ‘tied to the moral realm’ or ‘mortal realm’? Or both? Hummm.....

While Buffy understands that her friends are her strength and that their presence has saved her life on more
than once occasion, she really doesn't know the meaning of ‘team player’. She has finally internalized the
lesson that the Slayer stands alone, the problem is that Buffy the Slayer does not. She can and
should make the final call, but she cannot afford to cavalierly dismiss her friends, their objections, or their
advice. Nor should she take them for granted. She also has not taken any action to form them into a
cohesive fighting unit nor do the Scoobs undergo any regular training (...) to keep them in top fighting

We are beginning to see Buffy slowly break out that pattern, although she really hasn't made the conscious
decision to do so yet. She has given Dawn enough training to protect herself and good advice (run away) if
something big and bad comes after her. She is pulling Anya and Spike into the fold, partially to protect
them, but partially to make use of their unusual skills and knowledge. In Him, she expresses her
empathy with R.J. that being the leader is tough, but it's easier if you have a good team behind you. She
also acknowledges that the "team" needs to train hard if they are going to play the game and win.
Bespelled Buffy got it right. Right Mind Buffy needs to catch up.

---> I agree with this generally, but not quite to the same degree. Yes, Buffy could do more to
‘organize’ her friends into a more efficient fighting force, but keep in mind that in her mind, they are
her friends
. If you were a general, would you want to take your ‘friends’ into battle with you? Isn’t
that complicating your job by burdening your decisions with undue emotion? It’s kind of like a family
business vs. a non-family one-- the interpersonal dynamic is very different, no matter how you try to make
it not be.

vblackheart Theme 4: Sometimes the simplest solution is the best one

Yet another theme this season, but one that was humorously highlighted in Him. In almost every
single episode (with the exception of Help, where there are no right answers), it's the simple
solution that saves the day.


Now we come to Him, an episode where Wiley Coyote and Acme spring to mind. All of the
women resort to complicated schemes to win R.J.'s love. Willow and Anya begin research to counteract
the love spell, but are unsuccessful.

Of all the characters, Xander sticks with simple actions and simple solutions, rather than resorting to
complex schemes or over-thinking the problem. He instigates research on R.J. and questions R.J.'s brother
to get a handle on the problem. He interrupts Willow's spell by merely covering her mouth; he shuttles
Spike over to the high school so the vampire can stop Buffy by simply tackling her and taking the bazooka
away; he gets Willow and Buffy to focus on saving Dawn. However, his final solution to the problem is
elegant in its simplicity: to stop the spell and R.J. once and for all, he and Spike resort to petty street crime.
They tackle R.J. in the street, rip the coat off his body, and then burn it for good measure.

---> Yes, this is very cool to see the virtues of the Xand-man come to the fore this way. One slightly
OT-ish note-- as to the opening rant by Xander tricking some viewers into thinking that the affiliate had cut
out part of the show, this actually did happen to me. The scene where Xander stops Willow by placing his
hand overher mouth was completely missing from my tape, apparently because the affiliate in my area
decided to squeeze another commercial into the available space. Fer cryin’ out loud! One the first run, no
less! I wouldn’t have known about it except for the description of the scene by vbh and others.

vbhTheme 5: What's up with Xander again?

I could get into how S7 is turning into the season of "Weird Xander," but I'd have to write another
book-length post. I will reduce it to something simple: Xander-as-convenient-plot-point. It's something, I
suspect, that is being done on purpose.

It appears that Xander has almost consistently been in the right place at the right time since the events of


The difference is that this year there is a lot of onscreen things going on that seem to highlight Xander’s
role as the convenient plot point that moves characters from point A to point B or, in some cases, moves
the plot to a final conclusion. In addition, this season marks the first time we Xander actively and purposely
fulfilling this role whenever we see him redirect people's attention from distractions to the immediate
problems that need to solved. (...) It's an additional element that simply wasn't there before.

We literally start at the beginning. When Him begins, Xander is in mid-rant about what Spike can
and can't do in his apartment. This odd cut lead some viewers to believe that they missed the first minute or
so of the episode. In Xander's next major scene, he suddenly appears from around a corner while Buffy
attempts to console Dawn through a closed bathroom door.

When Dawn flees the high school and sits outside, Xander's shoes suddenly appear in frame. We pan up to
see that Xander is the owner of those shoes and he stops to talk to Dawn, yet there clearly is no
construction going on in the immediate vicinity.

When we are introduced to the investigatory team of Xander and Spike outside the brother's house,
Xander is in the middle of explaining to Spike about R.J.'s brother and his suspicions about the love spell
affecting Buffy and Dawn.

The Xander-Spike-Willow scene is literally introduced by Xander slapping his hand over Willow's mouth.
We don't see the owner until the camera pulls back. When Xander and Spike prepare to steal R.J.'s coat,
Xander literally cuts his way into the frame with Spike following close behind. (...)

What I found most interesting is that in two instances, Xander's sudden appearance is introduced in a
somewhat menacing way. Outside the high school with Dawn, we see his shoes first, without knowing who
the owner of the shoes are until the camera reveals the friendly face of Xander. The same thing with
Willow. Xander is introduced by simply slapping her hand over Willow's mouth. Both actions are horror
show clichés that practically shout "there's a bad guy over here" or "the serial killer whose about to chop
you up."


Another underlying thing in Him is that at no time to you get the impression that Xander is in over
his head. He seems actually fairly confident and in control. In point of fact, he's just about the only person
with any sort of control over himself or the situation.

---> Well, are we out of control yet? Hey, who cares? Not me! I’m still dazed and perfused by how
much stuff keeps surfacing from the depths of the ep’s. Stay tuned for still more in Part III, coming soon to
your favorite local Buffy philosophy venue!


Been dazed and confused / For so long it’s not true
Wanted philosophy / Never bargained for you
Lots of people talking / Few of them know
Thinking too much /It devours from below

............ Burma Shave

( ~ ~ ~ Continued in Part III ~ ~ ~ )

[> [> Now you know what I'm doing most of the time. -- Rufus, 21:31:21 11/11/02 Mon

I make fewer posts mainly because I'm lurking searching out goodies for the Trollp Board and whatever I think is well worth attention here. I've posted pt one and two on the Trollop board....waiting on pt 3.

[> [> [> Thanks for your efforts... -- CW, 05:58:31 11/12/02 Tue

though I image you're really enjoying yourself along the way. ;o)

[> [> Place her in ... the COMFY chair! -- Isabel, 04:58:03 11/12/02 Tue

Hoo Ha ha haha haa ha

(Evil Laugh, tm)

[> [> [> No One Expects the Spanish Inquisition - Thoughts on *Him* - Part III - (*Spoilers 7.6*) -- OnM, 08:40:13 11/12/02 Tue

( ~ ~ ~ Continued from Part II ~ ~ ~ )

Now, one last section with vblackheart, then on to a few remaining items:

Theme 6: You really don't know what true love is

As a professional writer and editor, I have a firm belief that all relationships between fictional characters
should be part of a story, not the end result of it. (...) If any pairing comes to pass, I want to see something
believable and reflects the themes of BtVS's larger story. I personally am relieved to see the show moving
away from the shippiness that was S6.

---> Me too. ‘Nuff said!

Yes, in a sense, Him took a lot of minor swats at the Buffy-Angel relationship. Buffy's "soulmate
affair" happened when she was Dawn's age, complete with Dawn's histronics, over-the-top proclamations,
and breast beating. That first experience has literally colored and overshadowed all of Buffy's romantic
relationships since then, something she somewhat acknowledges in Selfless. Her love for Angel was
an all-consuming passion and guiding light in her life. She viewed Angel as the one bright spot in her
difficult existence as the Slayer, despite the trauma of Angelus. She learned to associate passion and pain
with deep, long lasting, abiding love.

---> Ah. This brings us once again to the (neverending, unresolvable) debate over just how divided
Buffy is psychologically as regards her sexuality, and the level of understanding she currently holds
towards it. A very good example is the way that she confronts Dawn when Dawn asserts her own
developing sexuality by dressing provocatively and ‘dancing crazy’ with R.J. at the Bronze. Strongly taking
on her ‘mother’ role, Buffy first expresses extreme displeasure with her ‘daughter’s behavior. She then
backs down a bit as she undoubtably begins to recognize more than a portion of herself in Dawn. Spell or
not, Dawn isn’t happy at having her early experiment with ‘hotness’ cooled down so abruptly. Dawn
recognizes (and correctly, as Xander and Willow’s feelings reveal from the distance of a momentarily
outside observer status) that she is indeed ‘hot’, and not merely ‘tacky’ as Buffy insists.

---> So now, Buffy is confused. She knows that she is morally right in getting Dawn to try to ‘chill’, but
instantly gets hit smack with the knowledge of: ‘Who am I to talk? I want her to stop a little dirty dancing
with a normal human boy, and not too long ago I’ve been boinking the undead. (which of course was
Faith’s exact phrase).

---> Dawn understands sexual matters/mechanics far more than Buffy would care to admit. (The emotions
that come along with active sexuality are quite something else, of course). Realizing this makes Buffy have
to face head on the fear that Dawn will literally follow in her footsteps, and make the same (painful)
mistakes. Buffy’s relative youth makes the dilemma worse, not better. (“I’m very youthful, and peppy!!”)
Buffy doesn’t want to deny Dawn the joys of passion, but she wants to see her own past experiences
benefit Dawn, not cause her to suffer.

---> It is interesting how, at the end of the show, the second Dawn/Buffy confrontation goes to a more
intimate level as Dawn expresses her despair that she can never live up to her older sister’s potential. Listen
to her words as to how Buffy is ‘beautiful, athletic, gets to have sex that’s rough and kill things’. Warped?
Of course it is, but it all translates to desire and excitment and adventure and passion in Dawn’s eyes. At
her age, the idea of a future without these things is completely debilitating emotionally. Dawn has made
great progress in starting to become her own person since the events of Grave, but one’s deepest
fears don’t disappear in the course of a few months. The jacket spell took her to that place, and what she
got out of it was not ultimate love, but despair. Suicide then seems to be the only viable option to restore
her broken sense of self-worth.

---> I continue to be impressed at how ME keeps re- inventing the wheel, and still make it look like they
aren’t. Many fans expressed fear that going ‘back to the beginning’ in season 7 meant the recycling of tired
old plots and ideas. So far, this hasn’t happened to any significant extent and the wheel goes ‘round but
still covers new ground.



Buffy, right now, doesn't actually know what love should mean to her. However, you know that her sense
of what love means is evolving. It started with Seeing Red. Spike appeals to Buffy's earlier belief
that love should be all fire, pain, and passion. Buffy counters that love needs to include emotion, respect,
comfort, and trust. Her sentiment is dismissed by Spike as something that's "for old marrieds".

Until Buffy figures out what love does mean for her and what she needs out of a loving relationship, she
cannot and will not get romantically involved with someone else. It's interesting that she is now taking
comfort in familial love with Dawn and a completely non- sexualized, non-threatening agape love with
Xander. The big storm clouds on her horizon is that Angel is still casting his shadow over her heart four
years later.

---> Not sure about whether Angel represents ‘storm clouds on the horizon’. I think Buffy has accepted
that Angel/Buffy passion is a part of her life that she will never revisit with Angel himself. I do think if the
right person came along, Buffy would find ‘true love’ again, and that her past experiences will help her, not
hinder her. Will that person be Spike? I don’t think so-- I think Spike/Buffy will evolve into a
Xander/Buffy-type relationship, ‘agape-love’ as vbh stated above. This will take time, but I think it could
happen. It took years for Xander to do this, and Spike’s passion arguably exceeded Xander’s by a goodly
margin. I think that the new pairing of Xander and Spike as ‘roomies’ is ME’s way of suggesting this.


Xander associates sex with "an emotional connection." (A mistake similar to the one Buffy makes with
one-night-stand Parker.) His one experience with Faith erroneously lead him to believe he could reason
with her. It nearly cost him his life. His relationship with Anya literally started with sex, but evolved into
something more. However, the relationship clearly suited neither party and both Xander and Anya suffered
for that. (...)

Since the disastrous end of his relationship with Anya, Xander is simply unable to romantically connect
with women, a situation that seems unlikely to change if he doesn't resign his Scooby membership. Like
Buffy, Xander is taking comfort in other kinds of love: his unconditional love of friend Willow; his big
brother familial love with Dawn; his non-sexualized, non- threatening agape love of Buffy. He is also
putting out friendly feelers to Anya, but is clearly not pursuing anything more than a friendly vibe.

--->, Again, I dunno-- I think this may be excessively negative, just as I said in my comments re: Buffy
above. I think that Xander will get back together with Anya eventually, and that ME has foreshadowed this
event on several occasions. There needs to be some personal growth by both partners before it will happen,
but I believe that growth will take place (it already is with Xander, and Anya is ‘starting anew’, both
metaphorically and literally). Again, making Xander room with Spike, a semi-ex-demon, is possibly a form
of foreshadowing for an eventual Xander/Anya reconciliation.

Willow tends to view love as a relationship where she is the dominant partner. (...) When we first meet
Tara, she is somewhat pliable and willing to mold herself to fit into Willow's Scooby life. When she begins
to grow a backbone and disagree with Willow, most noticeably over the use of magic, Willow "fixes
things" so Tara is compliant once more. She does see the error of her ways when Tara leaves her, but she
missed the point: it wasn't about magic, it was about control. (...)

---> The S&M/B&D/D&S relationship themes show up over and over again in the Buffyverse, don’t
they? As shadowkat and others have pointed out in previous posts and essayage, the Realverse
implementation of these kinds of relationships depends entirely on both partners having a mutual respect
and understanding of what each brings to the power dynamic. If the exchange of power isn’t equal and
respectful, the relationship will be abusive at worst or dysfunctional at best. Willow wants to be the
dominant partner, but she repeatedly ignores the ‘safe words’ and fails to see that the power exchange isn’t
equal. It’s too early in the season yet to see if Willow has finally understood this, but her earlier statement
of how she now sees that ‘everything is connected’ does set a hopeful example. When she can balance her
use of magic and the due responsibility for same, then things can work out for her emotionally/sexually as

Anya and Spike are the other side of Willow's coin. The both are willing to alter themselves to fit into the
lives of the people they love. (...)

Pre-soul Spike was a bit co-dependent, molding mold himself to suit the desires of his lover and waiting on
her every whim. When he was thwarted in his desires, he resorted to extreme measures. William won't get
Cessily? He gives up his soul to Dru instead.

Losing Dru? I'll knock her unconscious and drag her away from Angelus/get Willow to cast a love
spell/chain her up and torture her until she loves me again. Buffy won't love me? Well, I'll stalk her, steal
her things to make a shrine, and give her a choice of admitting she loves me or I'll kill her. Am I not getting
enough out of my relationship with Buffy's? I need to isolate her so I'll have her all to myself. Did Buffy
dump me? Well, I'll get a soul to prove my love for her.

Souled Spike is a question mark. Clearly he is not ready to deal with romantic love and, in fact, seems not
terribly interested in it. What he wants from Buffy now is comfort, acceptance, and forgiveness. What he'll
get seems to be entirely a different matter.

---> Yup. See the above as to Willow and D&S relationships, and as to Spike, see ‘ME successfully
reinventing the wheel’, also above.


Hey now, nah-nah-nah-nah, that was a loooong part, all reading/responding to one single poster, but it
was an awesome post-- I was glad to read that vbh is an experienced/professional writer/editor,
otherwise someone needs to suggest s/he consider pursuing that field posthaste!

While I disagreed with some of vbh’s material and its conclusions, this was an extremely well-balanced and
well-reasoned Buffyverse essay. As I mentioned, much editing and post size reduction on my part took
place here, so be sure to check out vblackheart’s entire ramble at the addy Rufus supplied.

Now, just a couple of other li’l snippets, and then we be outa here! until the next show, which the
previews, misleading or no, suggest as being very exciting and eminently ramble-worthy.


Robert disagrees (with alcibiades in this case) --- 19:26:04 11/07/02 Thu

*** We learned last week that Buffy still believes herself madly in love with Angel, to the extent that she
has never loved anything on this earth so much as he ... ***

This is not exactly what Buffy said. In Helpless she said, “I killed Angel. Do you even remember that? I
would have given up everything I had to be with ... I loved him more than I will ever love anything in this
life, and I put a sword through his heart because I had to.”

She does not say that she is still madly in love with Angel, though it is apparently still a great source of
pain for her even after all these years. I agree with you that she exaggerated a little when she stated that
she loved him more then she will ever love anything in this life; Dawn being the obvious exception.

***... words which are pretty much belied this week by the fact that she snaps out of her enchanted love to
save Dawn who is on the point of suicide. Words which Buffy has also belied in the past. She never came
close to dying for Angel -- she did die to save Dawn and the world. ***

I have a problem with this statement. Please recall Graduation Day. First, she fought Faith, to provide
Angel the blood of a slayer, to cure him. Faith could have been victorious in this battle, with the likely
result of Buffy's death. Second, Buffy allowed Angel to suck her own blood to the point of her passing out.
If Angel had not regained his control, she would likely have died. Third, due to blood loss, she landed in
the hospital where she was nearly murdered by Mayor Wilkins. Thus, she came very close to dying three
times, all for Angel.

So who did she love more? Buffy aptly demonstrated that she was willing to die for Dawn. Would she have
also been willing to die for Angel? I think so, and I believe that Graduation Day sufficiently demonstrates
this. The difference is that the scenario in The Gift provided Buffy with no acceptable alternatives to
sacrificing her own life, whereas the scenario in Graduation Day was not nearly so bleak.

Robert then later continues along the same lines: --- 17:30:55 11/09/02 Sat

I would interpret these scenes a little differently. I think that Buffy knew that if she lost her battle with
Faith that she would die, and so would Angel. Since she was already motivated to risk her life for Angel,
this is a double motivation for her not to lose the battle. Regardless, she had no real expectation that she
was sufficiently better than Faith to come out of the battle victorious.

BUFFY: It'll save you.
ANGEL: It'll kill you.
BUFFY: Maybe not, if you don't take all...
ANGEL: You can't ask me to do this.
BUFFY: I won't let you die. I can't. The blood of the Slayer is the only cure.

It is not clear from this dialogue whether Buffy expected to die or not, but she knew it was very big risk. I
think that in order to take your interpretation, we would need to believe that Buffy was very confident
about her abilities and her future. I don't think this was true. Ever since Prophecy Girl Buffy has been very
aware of how dangerous her work was, and how likely she could end of dead at any moment.

---> Mostly chiming in to agree very much with Robert here. This was actually a very wonderful
undercurrent in Him, related to my comments previously (to vblackheart) that Buffy has difficulty
dealing with Dawn’s feelings regarding sacrifice since she has been very much there and done very much
that. Now she is trying to deal with the way she felt then, the way she feels now, and how best to impart
her hard-won life lessons to her younger sister without simultaneously destroying the joys of passionate,
devoted love for her. It’s a very difficult task, and Buffy is struggling mightily with it.

---> There is also the fact that Buffy embraces daily the battle with ‘fatalism’ that being a Slayer entails.
Dawn sees this fatalism as romantic and adventurous (emotionally) even though intellectually she ‘knows
better’. Buffy is a powerful role model for Dawn, so emotion will often override intellect, with the
concomitant dangers when that occurs.


And finally (yes, there is a finally here, really, truly, madly, deeply and all that!),
shadowkat and the unresolved status of Spike coatage:
--- 20:12:36 11/05/02 Tue

Spike of all people would understand the importance of the jacket. And what do Spike and Xander decide
to do to the jacket? They burn it. ( [Is there] anyone [else] who wonders what Xander did to Spike's
jacket?? )

---> What did happen to Spike’s coat, which presumably Xander confiscated in Seeing
? Did Xander keep it? Burn it or otherwise destroy it? Bury it?

---> Inquiring minds want to know, and I suspect that this might be another ‘throwaway’ item that
resurfaces in the future of season 7. Here are some bits of speculation on my part (no spoilers, other than
the well known one about Faith returning to the show in the later part of S7):

A. Xander kept the coat, although he was going to destroy it. In a metaphorical mirroring nod to Buffy
doing things that (at the time) apparently make no logical sense, but somehow turn out to have greater
future significance, he stashes it at the Magic Box. Anya rebuilds the Magic Box, and in a future ep Buffy
is there and discovers the coat. She attempts to hand it over to Spike, who is also there, and he recoils,
disturbed. The presence of his soul now makes him uneasy with this trophy of a Slayer-kill. Buffy further
freaks him by making a positive comment about how nice the coat was, and then blushingly admits she
found it a turn-on at the time. Spike pauses for a long while, then confesses the story of where it came
from, and why he left it behind after the attempted rape. Buffy listens, her look unscrutable. There is
anothe long silence, then Spike is stunned even more when Buffy finally speaks, and says,

“The coat of a Slayer huh? Can I have it, then?”

B. There is no B. I can’t think of anything more delightfully perverse than ‘A’.

C. Oh, all right, here’s another one. It’s the last few shows of the season, and the final battle with the (Big)
big bad draws nigh. Spike has recently met Faith and is increasingly drawn to her, despite his past feelings
for Buffy. We revert to the scene described in ‘A’, above, except that Faith is in the Magic Box along with
Spike and Buffy when the coat and its subsequent story unfold. We end up with:

Buffy: “The coat of a Slayer, huh?” (she pauses, studying the coat, then Spike, then the coat again)

Spike: “Yeah. Like I said.” (he’s still very deeply disturbed about this development, not sure what to say)

Buffy: “Well, then maybe it should belong to a Slayer again.”

(she holds it out in front of her, letting it unfold, hang down to its full length, the scent of the leather
wafting over to her face, acting like she’s sizing it up to fit herself. Spike is dumbstruck)

Buffy: (turning to Faith): “Here. I think this will fit you”. (Hands it to Faith, who also looks stunned for a
moment, then shrugs slightly, brightens, and pulls on the coat. It fits her perfectly.)

Faith: “Cool! Thanks, B!”

Buffy: “No problemo.”

(The two Slayers turn and walk out the door of the Magic Box. The coat billows sensually around Faith’s
body as she walks briskly. Spike stares at them at they leave, bewildered, then gradually starts to laugh. It’s
the first time we have heard him laugh from the heart this season.)


I’m just looking for / One divine hammer / One divine hammer




[> [> [> [> Re: A great read if you'll just point me in the direction of ..... -- Curious, 09:40:59 11/12/02 Tue

your other episode reviews for this season, I shall fall down and.......well o.k. maybe I won't go that far, but I would be very grateful.

I'm really glad you took the time and energy to do such a thorough work on this particular episode, which I believe is quite underrated. I personally loved this episode for pretty much the same reasons you and the insightful posters of this board has pointed out. In fact, "Him" is the first episode to make me leave my rotten schedule enough to do some quality Buffy surfing.

Curiously enough, I had a similar reaction to you on my first viewing of this eppy. Even though most of it was played for laughs, I couldn't help shaking this feeling that the undercurrents contains a rising power of sorts. That all the subtleties of this episode will resurface and not without bite.

Anyway, once again, from this sometime poster, thanks very much for your posts and I agree with you on almost everything you wrote.

---And as the divine hammer...Xander has that too..., the real kleptomaniac of the show :)

[> [> [> [> [> I did get your recent e- mail, Curious... -- OnM, 15:12:30 11/12/02 Tue

.. and just didn't get time to send the other reviews out to you, but I will, so look for them probably tomorrow sometime.

MS Word for Windows OK? Or do you prefer text or RTF?

[> [> [> [> Would love to see just the scene you describe! -- HonorH, 10:07:47 11/12/02 Tue

The Faith one, of course. She's made for that coat. It'd make her even more unconscionably sexy.

[> [> [> Also contains a well-known 'spoiler' for a character reappearing late in the season. -- OnM, 08:46:04 11/12/02 Tue

[> For those interested? A plot summary of The Summer Place (spoilers for the movie only) -- shadowkat, 09:02:30 11/12/02 Tue

First the review:

"A Summer Place (1959) / Directed by Delmer Daves. Writing credits go to Sloan Wilson (for the novel)
& director Delmer Daves

IMDb Review by Renee / Chicago, Illinois / 5 July 2001 / Summary: Sandra Dee Make-out Fest

I've seen A Summer Place about 7 or 8 times, mostly because every time I turned on the tube last summer
it was on AMC. I think that this is the kind of movie you see once and you love, you see twice and you love a
little less... and then by the third or fourth time you start to see all of its faults. The script is so 1950s socially and
morally conscious that at times you almost want to gag. The plot is excellent and it would have been carried
splendidly if only it wasn't for some of the lackluster performances we see with Sandra Dee and the piece of
wood that played her love interest, Donahue. It does have a great theme song and some riveting plot twists
(sometimes too riveting) but nevertheless, it captures the audiences attention.

You got to love this camp fest for what it is."

Now courtesy of my friend who seems to be an encyclopedia of knowledge for old movies and has seen The Summer Place.

The movie stars Dorothy MacGuire, Constance Ford, Richard Egan, Troy Donahue, and Sandra Dee.

The plot is simple. Richard Egan was a poor boy who used to work at this summer place up in Maine. When he was a boy he was in love with this popular girl who was above him, Dorothy MacGuire whose parents wouldn't allow them to be together. So now a successful man, married with a teenage daughter he returns. His wife Constance Ford despises sex and doesn't want the daughter, Sandra Dee to see men at all. Meanwhile her husband, Egan, (who the daughter is very close to) reunites with MacGuire. MacGuire is married to an alcoholic husband and her son is Troy Donahue. Donahue and Dee fall in love. But their love is innocent, no sex. But Ford believes they've had sex and insists on having her daughter tested etc. In the process she discovers that Egan and MacGuire are having an affair. This causes a major scandal. Dee goes off to an all girls school, Donahue goes off to school but they stay in contact by phone. Egan and MacGuire's characters get married, but Dee and Donahue won't speak to the Egan and MacGuire (who they once were closest to, because they can't forgive their parents for their crazy behavior and the scandal and betrayle). The suspense is whether the kids will forgive their parents and return to The Summer Place.

So it's a movie about Teen Love and the gap between generations and teens understanding adult love.

Current board | More November 2002