November 2002 posts

Previous November 2002  

More November 2002

An Interesting Thought (Spoilers for 7.7) -- Finn Mac Cool, 20:17:20 11/12/02 Tue

The woman at the Bronze (I'm assuming it was the Bronze, it could have been another bar) handed Spike a pack of cigarettes as an introduction. Later he bit her. I have the theory that (considering he had turned Webb only a few days earlier) that maybe Spike is turning people into vampires in exchange for small favors, like cigarettes and maybe money. Granted, we didn't see Spike put some of his blood into her mouth, but we didn't see that when VampWillow bit Sandy, but she turned up as a vampire in Season 5.

[> Re: An Interesting Thought (Spoilers for 7.7) - - Vickie, 22:22:02 11/12/02 Tue

But what we saw was the woman putting her ciggys down on the bar and gesturing toward the stool--asking if it were free. Nothing about giving Spike the cigs implied.

We only have Holden's word for his sire's ident. And if Holden was mrBeneathYou, his word is suspect.

Poor Masq (spoilers for 7.7) -- Finn Mac Cool, 20:28:19 11/12/02 Tue

With so much left unexplained in "Conversations With Dead People", I'm wondering if it will be difficult for our favorite site founder to write the metaphysical/philosophical analysis of it?

[> Re: Poor Masq (spoilers for 7.7) -- Masq, 21:02:00 11/12/02 Tue

Oh, they always leave things unexplained. So I put down the best theories in my analysis, and whenever they get around to explaining it, I go back and put the answer in place of the theories.

Heck, It's a year and a half since pregnant Darla, and they still haven't explained that. I can be patient.

But how can Spike sire anyone??? goes off and has a headache

[> [> Regarding Spike (spoilers for 7.7) -- Vickie, 21:22:32 11/12/02 Tue

Remember, we only have infantVampire's word for it. And Beneath-You-It-Devours doesn't seem to always speak the truth.

But how can Spike be biting anyone? (please pass the aspirin)

[> [> [> He did ignore most of the pain he recieved from beating on that cult-kid in "Help" you know. -- Majin Gojira, 05:20:39 11/13/02 Wed

[> Hey Masq! Liking the new quote up top! -- ponygirl, 08:33:33 11/13/02 Wed

[> [> Pretty cool, huh? -- Masq, 09:16:32 11/13/02 Wed

[> [> [> An excellent addition! But you have have a small typo in it. ;-) -- OnM, 12:06:22 11/13/02 Wed

[> [> [> [> Hey I cut and paste it out of Rah's transcript -- Masq, 12:22:47 11/13/02 Wed

Which was cut and pasted out of Rufus' transcript
Which was cut and pasted out of an AOL transcript
Which was probably typed by an illiterate.

So see? My sin was transitive at best.

Also, there might have been some not paying attention involved.

[> [> [> [> [> Wellllll, I have to admit to cutting out stuff like......"Connor is hot" -- Rufus, 02:37:13 11/14/02 Thu

[> [> [> Re: Pretty cool, huh? -- frisby, 17:11:39 11/13/02 Wed

Also cool is the fact that I read that quote from that joss interview and thought it would be a good one to post somewhere special on your website -- and then you did! Interesting. If Joss published a book (perhaps with someone else as co-author) titled "The Philosophy Behind the BtVS Television Drama" it would surely sell! Then again, hmmm.

[> [> [> [> Philosophy and philosophy -- Masq, 17:52:32 11/13/02 Wed

I'm almost certain that when Joss uses the word "philosophy" in his quote above, he means the things he and the writers are trying to say through the show, the themes and the way that they go about saying them. I doubt he actually means interpreting events on the show in terms of the various 'Isms' of Philosophy 101.

Still, I'm aware that Joss has taken a Philosophy class or two, and I think he'd appreciate a philosophical analysis of the show.

If he ever were to hear about us. *sob*!!

[> [> [> [> [> Have you ever considered...? -- Tchaikovsky, 07:26:29 11/14/02 Thu

...that one of us might be Joss Whedon? It would be most amusing to know that I or anyone else had shot down a point from the bloke who actually created the show.


[> [> [> [> [> [> Well... -- Masq, 07:45:25 11/14/02 Thu

A°?R?ave to funny, given to strange non-sequiters and odd fixations on various kinds of animals, know way too much about the character's motives but be somewhat deficient in the time-line of the series and the metaphysics of how stuff works. And they'd have to have little or no free time on their hands, so be somene who doesn't frequent here a lot.

Sound like anybody we know??

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Ah, but... -- Darby, 10:21:36 11/14/02 Thu

...Also a writer, he could probably mute the well-known "voice" known from the network-connected feedback boards. I don't think he could completely suppress the humor, though.

The two most obvious candidates on that front have alibis.

But, to be momentarily serious, I doubt that your site is unknown to the people in the ME offices, Masq, even if they've never set virtual foot here at the board. It's just too cool a related creation to ignore, the sort of thing that leads to "Hey, have you checked out this site about the show?"

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Ah, but... -- Arethusa, 10:50:41 11/14/02 Thu

There was a poster here a couple of times with inside knowledge of the show's writers and the commentaries on the DVDs. (S)he used a pseudonym commonly used by Hollywood directors who don't want their names on a fouled-up movie.

What is "A°?R?ave to funny"?

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> "He would have to be funny" -- Masq, 12:14:41 11/14/02 Thu

Don't know how that happened. It looked normal when it came up for proof reading!

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> A little night metanarration-slightly O your T. -- Arethusa, 11:04:06 11/14/02 Thu

On Angel they mentioned a Voy(something) demon. Buffy talked about insane Troll logic.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> The voynok demon, yes... -- Masq, 12:16:19 11/14/02 Thu

I noticed that, too. It could be our mascot. The evil voy demon who confounds and frustrates our posting and seems to have nine lives!

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Gee, thanks! -- Masq, 12:12:26 11/14/02 Thu

"It's just too cool a related creation to ignore, the sort of thing that leads to 'Hey, have you checked out this site about the show?'"

How could they do that?!?!?!?!?!?!??!?! *spoilers* -- Charlemagne20, 20:44:26 11/12/02 Tue

Kill Jonathan!?

It's like killing a puppy and skinning it alive on television!

Kill Xander, kill Tara (oh wait), heck kill Spike and Buffy!

You don't kill Jonathan though!

[> Re: How could they do that?!?!?!?!?!?!??!?! *spoilers* -- Traveler, 20:55:05 11/12/02 Tue

Yeah, I miss him too. I comfort myself by saying that right before the end he became a zen master and was too good for this world. Very "American Beauty"-esque.

[> Help! I can't get it out of my head!! -- Wisewoman, 21:24:18 11/12/02 Tue

"Anchovies, anchovies, you're so delicious
I love you more than all the other fishes..."

It just keeps going around and around and around.

Sorry, trying to lighten the mood. I'm crushed that Jonathan's gone, too. And the Dawn scenario was really, really scary.

I cling to the lighter moments: Andrew translating from Klingon what should have been "from beneath you, it devours" as "it eats you, starting with your bottom..."

I'm a sick, sick woman...

;o) dub

[> [> Re: Help! I can't get it out of my head!! -- Deeva, 21:34:17 11/12/02 Tue

But Andrew's translation was highly appropriate for him. I mean look at all the lines the writers gave him last season. Sue me. I'm sick, too. *g*

[> [> [> Re: Help! I can't get it out of my head!! -- CW, 06:50:30 11/13/02 Wed

This is going to sound a little more sick than intended, but I can't think of a better way to express it at the moment. The misquote is also appropriate for Andrew because he is the bottom (bottom of the food chain, bottom of the list of people with their own sense of self-worth) of the Buffy universe at the moment. And he's already been devoured by the evil.

Spike too has been having ego problems. But, I'm not entirely convinced what we saw in the ep was really him. Dawn is constantly insecure, so she is a logical target for the attack through playing on her suspicions and fears. Willow, on the other hand, has just too strong an ego (in a good way)for the attack in the ep to work.

[> [> [> [> Bottom's also a character from Midsummer Night, right ? -- Ete, 11:24:26 11/13/02 Wed

[> [> ummm...that wasn't klingon -- anom, 00:12:37 11/13/02 Wed

"I cling to the lighter moments: Andrew translating from Klingon what should have been 'from beneath you, it devours' as 'it eats you, starting with your bottom...'"

Actually, Jonathan said it in Spanish. & it wasn't a very good translation into Spanish, either. What he said means "From beneath, it devours you." Not quite the same.

[> [> [> D'oh! -- dub, 10:49:42 11/13/02 Wed

I didn't really hear what he said, but I figured if Andrew understood it at all, it must be Klingon!

My bad...


[> I'm afraid. Very, very afraid. -- Dedalus, 21:45:58 11/12/02 Tue

Does anyone else think the big evol on Angel is also the big evol on Buffy? Maybe that has already been brought up.

I didn't see that coming with Jonathon. I didn't see any of it coming!

Crawling into bed now.

[> [> Re: I'm also afraid (haven't seen the ep yet but still...) -- pr10n, 00:30:11 11/13/02 Wed

I think all the Joss-evils will roll together this season.

It seems like a whole lot of coincidental evils in South California. And there's that famous casting spoiler, which shall not be spoken by me, in a cross-over vector.

[> [> Re: I'm afraid. Very, very afraid. -- Artemis, 00:38:59 11/13/02 Wed

I didn't see it mentioned in any threads, but it definitely entered my mind that there could be a Big evil cross-over. And if so, How cool is that?

[> [> Re: I'm afraid. Very, very afraid. (speculation) -- Mystery, 03:41:28 11/13/02 Wed

That would definately make sense if this is indeed Buffy's last season. Something so huge that it would effectively end the arc in Sunnydale would have to have some repercussions in LA. And whatever the BB in Sunnydale is doing, you know they would take measures to ensure that Angel and company didn't show up. Then also, Faith was last seen in LA in prison. I'm wondering if the Fang Gang's involvement will be trying to stop her from escaping prison? The BB will probably make it seem like Faith has returned to her evil ways, and she'll have to fight Angel if she wants to get to SD in time to help Buffy and the Slayers in Training.

Some Season 7 Spec., so, Spoilers of course :) -- Purple Tulip, 20:52:24 11/12/02 Tue

Ok, well my roommate and I were completely floored tonight when we finished watching this episode, not to mention entirely confused. But I thought of a couple of things, and I'm not sure if anyone has posted this already or not, but I wanted to throw them out here for discussion.

First of all, I am really hoping that this is just a foreshadwoing episode and that all will be resolved/revealed in the coming eps. Second, I was upset with the whole Spike vamping thing, until I realized something: Spike still has his chip. It is impossible for him to hurt another human being (other than Buffy of course) without getting a major pain in his head. As we saw in, I think the second or third ep., where Spike stabs the worm-guy with that pole when he's turning back to human. Spike grabs his head and howls in pain at just harming a human. So could that Spike with the chip really be the same Spike that has killed two humans without any pain? My thinking is that the First/shapeshifter/or whatever it is, has been posing as Spike, just as it posed as Warren, Cassie, and Joyce or the thing attacking Joyce. And also, why would Spike actually tell Holden who he is before vamping him? Does that really seem like something that Spike would do, or something that First pretending to be Spike would do to maybe get attention? Hmmm...

Ok, my other point I wanted to bring up, was what Joyce said to Dawn, about how in the end Dawn will be alone b/c Buffy will chose evil over her. Ok, well here's my thinking on this one: either the First was posing as Joyce and just tried to get Dawn to doubt Buffy, just as it tried to get Willow to doubt herself. OR, if this is the end of the show, I thought that Buffy might get vamped, thus chosing evil over Dawn, thus not being there for Dawn, thus giving someone (possibly Dawn) the need to kill her and giving SMG a way out of the show for good and Dawn a spin-off of her own. I'm hoping that this doesn't happen, but it was the first thought that occured to me upon watching this episode.

SO, enough of my ramblings. Anyone got any thoughts, insights, guesses?

[> Re: Some Season 7 Spec., so, Spoilers of course :) -- Metron, 21:23:54 11/12/02 Tue

"...until I realized something: Spike still has his chip"

Oh thank goodness, I'd forgotten all about that. Hmmmm, that opens up a bunch of interesting possibilities.

I think that was Spike though, there's just alot there that we don't know about, that looks like it might be sorted out somewhat next week.

I myself wonder, however, WHY oh WHY wasn't this a Halloween episode! :(


[> Re: Some Season 7 Spec., so, Spoilers of course :) -- Alvin, 02:50:09 11/13/02 Wed

What if Morphy has convinced Spike that turning humans into vamps is actually helping them, not hurting them? After all, they'll now live forever and be a lot stronger.
Speaking of possible forshadowing, I think it looks grim for Xander. He's always been cast as a Christ-like figure before and always been willing to sacrifice himself. Plus he's always been the closest character-wise to Jonathon. Add in that he's AWOL this eppie, and it doesn't look for him. If Morphy could use Jonathon's blood on the seal while he's seeking forgiveness, what could Morphy do with the blood of someone who saved the world because of his love for another?

[> here's a new theory (total speculation) -- neaux, 04:35:09 11/13/02 Wed

Who did Buffy care more about helping before Dawn came along?


If Faith comes back, and Faith is sort of evily and Buffy has to choose on who to save, Dawn or Faith. Who would Buffy choose?

[> [> Re: here's a new theory (total speculation) -- fearshade, 11:07:51 11/13/02 Wed

Good Point, Buffy might think Dawn's somewhat capable of taking care of herself while dealing with/helping out Faith.

But, if Faith does return any this season, I see her being open to manipulation from the Big Bad.

After all, this is supposed to be a season of "epic" proportions. In any epic saga, the evil always seems to far outweigh the good. And there's usually enough evil for each of the heroic characters. What I'm thinking (or hoping, anyways) is that we'll finally be seeing a grouping of the "anti-scoobies", or our heroes opposites.

Buffy has Faith, Willow has Amy, Xander has Andrew, Anya - I'm not too sure of, I would have said Hallie, unfortunately she's gone (or is she?), so possibly Spike. But that's my theory, if the end battle is of epic prÿ

We are gathered here... (7.7, 6.19, 4.17, 3.20, 3.18 and more Spoilers) -- Steve, 21:29:43 11/12/02 Tue remember Jonathon. A man who died a hero, trying to save the world. A man, though as flawed as any human, always did the right thing in the end, even though he never had the benefit of friends like Buffy, Xander and Willow.

Certainly his trangessions were no more serious than any of theirs, and who knows what he might have become had he had the fortune of falling into their circle? Certainly, even though he came to hold his own power, he never tried to flay anyone, or knock off his friends, or summon a musical demon for laughs and kill a number of bystanders in the process. But alas, he was too nerdy for even the all-loving, all- accepting Scoobies.

And now, unlike Buffy, or Willow, or Tara, or Angel, or Giles[1] his passing will not even be mourned by loved ones. No final blaze of glory for Jonathan, just a forgotten grave in a school basement -- his sacrifice unmarked, literally and figuratively.

Although Xander is supposed to be the everyman in the show, the representative of the audience we all can identify with, perhaps Jonathan filled that role even more closely than we realise -- the perpeptual outsider, hoping for a seat at the table, a chance to hang out with the Scoobies, much as we do every Tuesday night. Has anyone here not been guilty of a daydream in which they put themselves into the Scoobies' world? It was Jonathan who made that daydream real. And it was Jonathon, alone, who gave up that dream and accepted the burden of lonliness which had alomst driven him to sucide in the tower.

It was Jonathon, standing alone, blinking in a spotlight, who redefined Buffy's high school experiences in a instant for the better when he read out her citation for "Class Protector"

It was Jonathon, alone, who gave Buffy the key to defeating the newly-invincible Warren and who saved Xander's life.

It was Jonathon's curse that every time he reached out to to try to find a connection another human being, it blew up in his face. Inca girl. Bossy Cordy. Superstar. The Geek Trio. The Geek Duo. The return to the high school itself.

So perhaps it was appropriate that Jonathon died as he lived, alone and unremarked, but no the less the brave or decent than any Scoobie. He even had style -- of his own sort, but style none the less.

For me he will always be The 13th Scooby[2]. R.I.P.

[1] Okay, so some of these didn't actually die, but they either came reeeeal close, or else everyone thought they'd died.

[2] As Scoobies, I'm counting Buffy, Willow, Xander, Giles, Spike, Tara, Dawn, Oz, Cordy, Anya, Reilly, and Angel (but not Faith or Wesley, as neither really identified with the group and even Angel is kinda pushing it as he really didn't turn up for meetings... But 13 has a nice ring to it)

[> Re: We are gathered here... (7.7, 6.19, 4.17, 3.20, 3.18 and more Spoilers) -- parakeet, 21:46:28 11/12/02 Tue

Praise is due to a character who, despite his faults, found an ounce of wisdom in his final moments. I think he finally realized that his life was his own, that it didn't matter who made fun of him or who didn't even notice him. What mattered was that he noticed them.
He was, in many respects, a pathetic character. The geek who never really connected and blamed that on the "cool kids". Jonathon only wanted to be part of the gang. He couldn't be part of the one he wanted and made a dumb, hideous mistake. He grew out of it, though, in the end.
He was one of the good guys, albeit very imperfect. Andrew couldn't be the sacrifice because he is, ultimately, just pathetic. Andrew belongs with the Warren fascimile; let him rot.

[> [> Oh, dear -- parakeet, 21:52:20 11/12/02 Tue

Of course, Andrew is pathetic. Amazing. I actually cared that Jonathon died.
I wouldn't have thought that.

[> [> [> Re: Oh, dear -- Steve, 22:01:11 11/12/02 Tue

...and you're right that even Jonathon ultimately accepted the very thing that I'm railing about - that even though no- one would/will notice his passing, it finally didn't matter, because he knew he was doing the right thing.

I too am suprised at how much I'd really come to like this character, and what what a gut punch it was to see him killed.

Maybe it's just a nasty flesh wound...

[> Sitting shiva at the Tomb of the Unknown Nerd (7.7 spoilers) -- cjl, 21:51:29 11/12/02 Tue

I, too, had hoped that Jonathan would one day overcome his limitations and mistakes and join the vaunted circle of Scooby-dom (our modern Knights of the Round Table).

You're right--Xander is supposed to be the everyman of the series, but our boy Jonathan fit the bill so much better (or so much worse).

I am deeply saddened by his passing. Thought he would make it all the way to the end. But killing of the J-man in episode 7 proves that ME means business this year. A B(A)SD [Big (Almost) Scooby Death] this early portends bad nasty things to come. Maybe bunnies.

[> [> It was a major loss -- Charlemagne20, 21:58:48 11/12/02 Tue

Jonathan always was more identifiable to me than Xander because Xander while he had his own problems was still a hero. Jonathan was a screwup with a big heart and that I shall always care for


[> *sniff* -- Deeva, 22:10:25 11/12/02 Tue

Jonathan, a more sacrificial lamb could not be had. I'm gonna miss this sad screw up. He realized too late that he was way in over his head.

[> It is fitting... (7.7 spoilers) -- darrenK, 05:41:30 11/13/02 Wed

I'm going to assume that Jane Espenson, writer of all the big Jonathan episodes, Earshot, Superstar, the Jonathan comic book one-shot, wrote the second half of the episode and therefore Jonathan's end.

Among the things that make a Mutant Enemy show different is that they really love the characters and try to do what's fitting for them. On what other show would a specific supporting character have a specific writer as a patron? On what other show would they stick an actor in the credits as a tribute on the night her character died? On what other show would the main character's mother's death get an entire episode just to contemplate it? (But, then again, on what other show would they let the main character's mother die?)

But, you guys know all that.

Jonathan made it through some tough scrapes, but this year looks like it's going to be too big for many characters to live through. I'm really surprised they'd give us another death so soon after Halfrek. It makes me wonder what sort of mourning we're going to be put through during February and May sweeps? I'm keeping my black armband out. You guys should too.

Not only was it a grand episode to send Jonathan off in, but it's now obvious that Mutant Enemy is doing something truly unique for their 7th season. They're bringing everything back. They're working in every available character, every available actor. They're ending every plotline. They're gonna give us the grand summation.

And, even if last night's "dead" were false, I have a feeling we'll be seeing the "real" dead characters before too long.

That's fitting too.

[> [> A fitting end...?(Spoilers and the morality of the scoobies) -- Steve, 09:12:19 11/13/02 Wed

"Among the things that make a Mutant Enemy show different is that they really love the characters and try to do what's fitting for them."

Hence my bitterness - where was the love for Jonathan? Themes of love and forgiveness are often promoted as being at the heart of the Buffyverse. And yet there was neither for Jonathan, beyond what he learned to have for himself.

And why not? Because he simply wasn't cool enough for the Scoobies, or even blunter still, because none of the Scoobies ever had a crush on him.

Jenny Calander shafted Angel and betrayed the Scoobies. But she was forgiven - Giles had the hots for her.

Angel kills people, and despite his own unwillingness to absolve himself of responsibility, is forgiven - because Buffy has the hots for him.

Oz is a dangerous werewolf (he has to be locked in a cage to stop him from hurting people) - but he gets a break because Willow likes him.

Anya is a vengence demon (twice) - but that's okay because Xander loves her.

Tara nearly gets everyone killed - but she's family because Willow loves her.

But Jonathan gets at best pity, at worst derision, from the Scoobies -- even though he may have had the strongest moral sense of them all. He always came around to do the right thing, by himself. Yet we've been shown time and again that many of the other Scoobies would have fallen by the wayside if not for interventions of one form or another.

Jonathan was a fellow traveller, and it's a shame that the Scoobies hadn't grown up enough yet to recognise that, even if they didn't want to sleep with him.

[> [> [> Reluctantly defending the Scoobies' honor -- cjl, 10:22:50 11/13/02 Wed

Can't believe I'm doing this, since I'm usually the first one who gripes that Buffy and her crew never gave Jonathan a chance to join the crew and fulfull his considerable potential.

However, we need to be reminded that the audience had first- hand exposure to Jonathan's struggles with his conscience, not to mention his questioning of his place within the Troika. The Scoobies didn't. Look at the guy's history from the view of Buffy and the gang: what little they saw of Jonathan in S2, Buffy was pulling his ass out of the line of fire (IMG, WML, etc.). When Willow gave him the third degree in Go Fish, we found a vindictive streak, and a petty talent for vengeance. Not exactly a good start.

S3, in a bizarre way, was Jonathan's best year with the Scoobs. They got to know him a bit better, albeit under extreme circumstances. Buffy talked him down off the tower and she and the gang recognized his loneliness and his severe discomfort within his own skin. Buffy's efforts on his behalf were amply rewarded in "The Prom," when he presented her the class protector award. As a big Jonathan fan, I thought he might have been on his way to becoming an honorary Scoob when they all hooked up in college...

Then we hit S4 and "Superstar," and the relationship went back into the toilet. Sure, Jonathan saved Buffy from the "Augmentation" Demon, but the augmentation spell in itself told the Scoobies that Jonathan wasn't willing or didn't have the maturity to come to the Scoobs AS HIMSELF and ask to contribute to the cause. He wasn't hated for his deception and his magick badness--he just wasn't trusted. He hadn't proven himself, the way all those other auxiliary Scoobs had, and there was no reason for Buffy and the gang to take him in.

Did their standoffishness create a self-fulfilling prophecy? Did Jonathan join the Troika because he didn't have anywhere else to go? Come on. After "Earshot" and "Superstar," Jonathan should have known better than to fall in with Robo- pimp and Whatsisname. Yes, he wanted to belong to a group, but after all his experiences with Buffy and the Scoobs, he should have realized how destructive, how negative even the smallest of the Troika's schemes could be. For crying out loud, he took on Buffy's burden in "Superstar": he knew what she must feel as the protector of Sunnydale, the weight of the responsibility on her shoulders. Didn't he learn anything?

Obviously not.

So when Warren and the Troika eventually descended into darkness, the Scoobs weren't willing to give him any slack. It's more than he was "beneath their radar": Jonathan, in their eyes, BETRAYED THEIR TRUST--and he knew it. He came back to Sunnydale with Andrew to win their trust, and in his final speech, he seemed to learn the lessons Buffy and her friends taught him.

Of course, since this is a Joss Whedon show, that meant it was time for him to die.

But you know--I don't think we've seen the last of Jonathan Levenson. He's dead, all right, but those words from Star Wars might apply to more than just Obi-Wan Kenobi:

"If you cut me down, I will become more powerful than you can imagine."

In the final battle, the souls of the dead may be called to serve on both sides, and Jonathan might fulfill his destiny at last.

[> [> [> Not so sure..... -- Rahael, 10:26:25 11/13/02 Wed

I don't think the ideas of Love and Forgiveness are unproblematic in the Buffyverse. If your argument is that Forgiveness is an unproblematic concept in the Buffyverse, I find the issue of forgiveness less cut and dried motherhood and apple pie than most people. And the Buffyverse universe is full of unresolved, complex moral issues that are not tied up neatly for our own comfort. They are left open ended and troubling.

Spike's love for Buffy unproblematic? Buffy and Angel's love can be seen as being unhealthy and adolescent. What about the Mayor's love for Faith? Xander and Anya? Riley for Buffy? I think Love in the Buffyverse is a hugely complex phenomenon. And it is multifaceted, and it often has a dark heart.

"Jenny Calander shafted Angel and betrayed the Scoobies. But she was forgiven - Giles had the hots for her."

See, now, forgiveness is a hot button for me. I don't think that Buffy is able to forgive Angel for Jenny, because the person who is really deeply wounded is Giles (Jenny is dead, so no longer affected). Giles doesn't trust Angel. It took Christmas Snow to persuade Angel not to top himself. Buffy didn't "forgive" him, she told him to keep fighting, keep living rather than escape life and all the hard choices.

And Jenny's death by the way is inextricably linked with "love" and Passion. Giles is enticed by roses, music, wine. The paraphanelia of seduction. Angelus mocks him. Shows that love is ephemeral.

"Oz is a dangerous werewolf (he has to be locked in a cage to stop him from hurting people) - but he gets a break because Willow likes him."

I happen to think that with Oz, what ME were trying to portray was a more nuanced idea of "grr, argh, monsters evil, shoot first, ask questions later". Oz was someone who added deep complexity not only to the idea of the monstrous in the Buffyverse, but also to the idea of masculinity in the Buffyverse. For example, look at how he was used to deal with the idea of "good" and "evil" people in Season Four and the Initiative.

Does Buffy want to sleep with Clem? So why doesn't he get killed?

Do ME say that it's okay for Faith to kill that demon book dealer? No, it's a shocking and tragic act, and the audience feels pity for him. Do we really get that depiction because someone in the cast fancies him?

What about Faith? Xander had the hots for her. Buffy had the subtextual hots for her. She got rejected more severely than Jonathan ever did.

"Tara nearly gets everyone killed - but she's family because Willow loves her."

Well yes, Tara is still family because she is loved. What's so deeply wrong with that? Tara makes one mistake. Yes, it endangers everyone, but I don't think there's anyone in the Scooby gang who has inadvertently placed people in danger. Should she have been given back to her family for punishment?

And if you look at Joss' commentary on the Season 5 DVD, he says that Tara is loved by Willow, and the other Scoobies not only do not know her all that well, they aren't sure what to make of her. And yet, they still claim her as family.

Spike still ends up being beaten up by Buffy, despite her having the hots for him. And Giles advocates the killing of Dawn even though she is loved.

Let's not canonise Jonathan too quickly. He was a fantasist, and a dangerous one, who persistently ended up making drastic mistakes. Decisions which were not only bad, but immoral.

[> [> [> [> Rahael, cjl -- Good points... -- Steve, 11:32:15 11/13/02 Wed

You're right that Love and Forgiveness are far from unproblematic in the Buffyverse. But they are central themes. I don't think ME is screwing up here or being inconsitent, BTW -- I just feel for Jonathan getting the Big Shaft.

I would also point out that Clem never hurt anyone; that the Scoobies went to extreme lengths to not reject Faith - note that even when Xander and Giles were looking for her after she came out of her coma, Xander was still willing to cut her some slack because of their sexual liason.

What I am saying is it appears that pity is the acceptable emotion for the Scoobies to feel for someone they don't like, yet don't want to sleep with and is not an enemy - it's respect and empathy they seem to have problems with, especially with regard to Jonathon. Hell, Warren got more empathy and understanding from the Scoobies (specifically Tara, in IWMTLY) than it seems Jonathon ever did. Even Buffy's talk with him in the tower was pretty much a one way lecture, not a two way connection.

My point is not to disagree with you that the examples you give of the Scoobies' forgiveness and understanding were the right things to do, even if they may possibly have been done for the wrong reasons - for example. bringing Tara into the family might well have had something to do with Buffy not wanting to set a dangerous precedent for Dawn - but simply that Jonathon deserved some of the same.

However, I must concede cjl's point that the Scoobies never really got a good look at who Jonathon was, perhaps precisely because Xander and Willow had grown up with him and so were unable to see with him fresh eyes, as Tara was able to see Warren.

[> [> back to the beginning -- leslie, 12:24:17 11/13/02 Wed

It seems fitting--and ominous--that Jonathan is the one character outside the Scoobies who has been present on the show since the very beginning. And, as we can infer from Holden's comments about Buffy in high school, he was more aware of what they were up to than most of the students (how much you want to bet that Buffy's Protector award was his idea?). The only other character who has bopped in and out of the periphery like that is Amy... where is she going to fall?

I am glad that he seemed to have come to some conclusion about his life and his past before he was slaughtered. Though, if he were still angry and isolated, he might not have made such a perfect sacrifice.

[> *Sob!* -- HonorH, 07:41:00 11/13/02 Wed

Oh, Johnny, Johnny--we hardly knew ye. Good night, sweet Geek!

[> The 13th Scooby -- matching mole, 10:03:29 11/13/02 Wed

What a nice send off! Jonathon has always been a favourite of mine. As you said he was probably a better everyman than Xander. At least he died with peace of mind.

If I was Amy I'd be looking over my shoulder right now. As far as I can remember she's the last recurring high school character still alive (Larry - dead, Harmony - vampire, Jonathon - dead - anyone else I've forgotten?).

[> [> Scott Hope, apparently -- Sophist, 10:52:09 11/13/02 Wed

And we all know what happened to him.

I assume you're omitting Cordy deliberately. How about Percy?

[> Hoist a Jolt! -- pr10n, 10:47:18 11/13/02 Wed

Ay, indeed!

Damn the ME bolt from the blue,
the flash that dazzles and burns
a hole where nothing stood alone:
"They'll miss me when I'm gone."

Today I'm wearing my black Converse Superstars in Jonathan's honor. I proclaim that I know the difference between tv and life, but I'm gonna mourn just the same. It's a little thing, but it's important. Sound familiar?

Dude had a life. Thanks, Jane.

Question (spoilers from conversations and back) -- Jaques Regnier, 23:18:06 11/12/02 Tue

Okay guys I was wondering. I seem to remember something about the first evil only able to appear as dead people. If so how was he able to appear as Dru and Buffy in the first episode or can he appear as anyone who has died or is a vamp since well sort of death. Just wondering if anyone had thought of that. Maybe its a sign that this isn't the first evil or maybe I'm just being to anal.

[> Well....(spoilers from conversations and back) -- Alvin, 02:54:56 11/13/02 Wed

Don't forget that as a vamp, Dru is actually dead. Also, maybe it can immitate Buffy becauses she's died so many times????

[> [> Re: Well....(spoilers from conversations and back) -- Zilla, 05:03:53 11/13/02 Wed

I was actually watching the Yoko Factor yesterday and then when this ep aired, the two seemed very close. Spike trying to break up the Scoobies and now here is Evil trying again to break up the gang...Joyce telling Dawn that Buffy would not chose her, the vamp telling Buffy that Spike was his sire, and trying to get Willow to commit suicide, thus leaving Buffy alone. I think Dawn still is some kind of key, and just because Glory is gone, it doesn't mean that some other force can't use her. We have seen that Willow is one powerful witch and despite the fact that she used black magic at the end of last season does not mean she would have to use it again. Maybe she could use her powers for good. That may scare the daylights out of this big Evil because maybe it is aware that Willow may just be the one that it has to fight instead of the Slayer. And if you combine a powerful witch and the Slayer who knows what you will get. Also if this is an all powerful evil, it could make Spike bite people and there be no effects from the chip. Just random thoughts before my coffee.

[> [> [> Re: Well....(spoilers from conversations and back) -- Darby, 07:59:02 11/13/02 Wed

Could Willow find a way to use the Key against the Big Bad?

And would Buffy support her, against Dawn's wishes?

Just 'cause the BB says it doesn't mean it isn't true...

"It eats you starting with your Bottom" -- Rufus, 00:55:08 11/13/02 Wed

Love that is funny and tragic when you know what happens in the end. Andrew, who is frightened and needs someone to be with him at all times, killed. Hands on, sword in your gut, killed....with what appears to be Warren cheering him on. Only at the last second does Jonathon see the spectre that haunts Andrew, long enough to realize his dreams of being accepted as a Scoobie, helping to do the right thing, help Buffy....all gone as his blood fills the channels of the artifact they have uncovered......Danzathar..could this be a seal, one that contains or restrains an evil that is trying to break through and end the constant battle between evil and good?

A few questions came to mind....why get Andrew and Jonathon to dig this sucker up when you have a perfectly servicable vampire who could do the job faster....or is the fact that vampires are impure a factor? Why approach Buffy, Willow, and Dawn?

Buffy was faced with a former classmate who she can't remember, and ends up spilling her guts to. Holden seems rather caring for a fellow that is evil....but he was new at it.

Willow......and Cassie....that little mind game was the most facinating. To make Willow feel how alone she is without Tara, make her long to join her love......make sure she can no longer do any magic of any kind. Hmmmmmm.

"Willow: I don't know where to start. Um...after Warren shot know all about that, what happened? It was horrible. I...I lost myself, the regular me.

Cassie: You were grieving.

Willow: A lot of people grieve. They don't make with the flaying. I hurt so many people.

Cassie: It was the power.

Willow: But I am the power.'s in me. Did I mention the random destruction of property? The Magic Box is not so much a box now.

Cassie: The power is bigger than you are.

Willow: I know, but..

Cassie: Things are more clear where Tara is where we are. We can see your path, and you have to stop. You can't ever use magic again....not ever.

I had a moment where I remembered the part in "It" by Stephen King where the clown tries to seduce kids to go to where It was......they all float....ewwww.

The whateveritis tried to use Tara through Cassie (damn contract talks so no Amber), get Willow where she is most vunerable.....then like bad guys or things do, it overplayed it's hand......

Cassie: The suicide thing was too far, huh? Hmmm you seemed so ripe.

Willow: Tell me who you are.

Cassie: I stand by my opinion. The world would be a better place if you took a razor to your wrist.

Willow: Stop!

Cassie: I can see it now. Candlelight...The Indigo Girls playing...picture of your dead girlfriend on your bloody lap.

Willow: Stop it.

Cassie: Oh left such a big hurts so bad!

You don't know hurt. This last year is gonna seem like cake after what I put you and your friends through, and I'm not a fan of easy death. Fact is...The whole Good versus Evil...Balancing the scales thing.....I'm over it. I'm done with the Mortal Coil, but believe me....I'm going for the big finish.

Willow: "From beneath you it devours"

Cassie: Oh, not it.....ME

So, great episode....tragic death of Jonathon.....blood of a man trying to do the right thing spilled on what....a Seal? Then there is Buffy and Holden...he gets to give her the whammy.......Spike sired him.....and she killed that SOB just a little deader than usual.....but her face at the end. Spike, we don't hear him talk, we only see him coast through a bar and pick up a girl, walk her home, and end her life on her doorstep. Why isn't Spike being heard? Why isn't he speaking? Why didn't he dig up that "seal, artifact"?

We have a whole lot of new questions to have answered but I think one of the most important conversations this year will be the one between Willow and "Cassie"......whatever it is, it wants to make sure Willow is no longer connected, no longer a threat. BTW, great exit for a villian. It also seems to have singled out Dawn. Telling Dawn through "Joyce" that when she most needs her, Buffy won't be on her side.

Back to Jonathon.....he was well liked by the audience but remember D'Hoffryns words....why go for the kill when you can go for the pain? People care less about Andrew, and Andrew is a bit less caring of others than Jonathon, more easily influenced by Andrew stays.....Jonathon ends up a blood sacrifice.

Jonathon: We should have told her what we know about this evil Danzathar.

Andrew: Think, McFly. Why would she believe us without any proof? If we go to her empty-handed, we'll be coolin our heels in the clink in a bell's microsecond.......

That's why we need proof. Think of it as Trial by fire, a quest.

Jonathon: Una cuesta.

Andrew: We find it, we alert the slayer, we help her destroy it.....we save Sunnydale. Then we possibly join her gang....and possibly hang out at her house.

Jonathon died thinking he was going to redeem himself with Buffy and the Scoobies, he missed everyone, even those who were mean to him or ignored him. In Earshot he was saved by Buffy when he wanted to end his life.....he felt alone........he came back to Sunnydale, not to hang out in a tower with a gun, but to help because he wanted to,cause it was the right thing to do......I'm gonna miss that guy.

[> Jonathan's last pose (spoilery theological goodness) -- FriarTed, 02:11:31 11/13/02 Wed

so here is Jonathan- wanting to redeem himself, caring about everyone, at a complete state of moral & emotional empathy & clarity- to be stabbed IN THE SIDE by A CLOSE FRIEND and to fall upon a SATANIC SEAL in a CRUCIFORM pose!!!!!!!!


Righteous Blood has been spilled by the forces of Evil & is soaking into the Seal to aid in Evil's release, but mightn't the Righteousness of that Blood "taint" the Evil & work to undo it????

"From above it, It devours" also! *L*

[> [> Re: Jonathan's last pose (spoilery theological goodness) -- Rufus, 04:02:30 11/13/02 Wed

The thing about the enemy that Buffy and the Scoobies now face is that "It" has assumed victory......gee kinda like Buffy does at times.

Holden: Hey, I don't mean to be Count Butt-insky here, but you seem as it because we're gonna fight?

Buffy: It's cause I'm gonna win.

Can't be two winners in this situation so, the question is, how can Buffy win?

[> [> Re: Jonathan's last pose (spoilery theological goodness) -- alcibiades, 07:37:53 11/13/02 Wed

so here is Jonathan- wanting to redeem himself, caring about everyone, at a complete state of moral & emotional empathy & clarity- to be stabbed IN THE SIDE by A CLOSE FRIEND and to fall upon a SATANIC SEAL in a CRUCIFORM pose!!!!!!!!

Not to mention, as someone elsewhere pointed out, that it is almost certainly virgin blood.

[> [> [> Re: Jonathan's last pose (spoilery theological goodness) -- abt, 12:49:30 11/13/02 Wed

so here is Jonathan- wanting to redeem himself, caring about everyone, at a complete state of moral & emotional empathy & clarity- to be stabbed IN THE SIDE by A CLOSE FRIEND and to fall upon a SATANIC SEAL in a CRUCIFORM pose!!!!!!!!

ISTR Jesus was pierced with a sword on the left side.

Not to mention, as someone elsewhere pointed out, that it is almost certainly virgin blood.

This is the same room the manifest spirits were trying to keep Spike in, right?

[> [> [> [> Yes it is the same room Spike was in that they tried to keep Buffy out of -- alcibiades, 13:25:25 11/13/02 Wed

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Yes it is the same room Spike was in that they tried to keep Buffy out of -- abt, 14:46:44 11/13/02 Wed

Were they trying to keep Buffy out, or keep Spike in?
ISTR one of them said something like 'I told you he'd get out'. Or perhaps it was something else they were trying to keep in, not Spike?

[> Oh, bugger......I forgot........the above post is Spoilery for Buffy 7.7 CWDP -- Rufus, 03:54:48 11/13/02 Wed

[> Trivia on "the quest" (still 7.7 spoilers) -- Vickie, 09:36:09 11/13/02 Wed

Thing is, "una cuesta" is not a quest, but a slope or hill.

Throwaway joke, or implication that our lads were on a slippery slope?

occam's razor (spoiler 7.7) -- ejs, 01:11:28 11/13/02 Wed

Hey there. I'm going to go the simplest route and propose a reason that Tara did not appear directly without involving real-world actorly motivations or complications, only narrative requirements.

If Willow could see or interact with dead Tara, then there would be less inducement to kill herself. Remember, "Cassie" played this up as a major selling point for suicide. The idea of killing herself to be with Tara would not have been at all tempting if she could be with Tara without killing herself.

Okay, three more random notes:

1) In my opinion, Holden was for real, not a manifestation of the Big Bad. Mainly because I think that makes for a better story. But also because Holden actually helped Buffy understand her problems, rather than mixing her up.

2) I also think that was really Spike chowing down on the nice young lady. In part because one of the motifs of the episode was the damage the protagonists can do to others despite themselves. Also because if it turned out to be fake Spike, it would have the same cop-outness as 'it was all a dream.'

3) When Cassie made her exit, was that scene not one of the creepiest ever committed to videotape?

[> Re: occam's razor (spoiler 7.7) -- Sara, 05:41:48 11/13/02 Wed

I agree with you about Cassie/Amber. I wish that I hadn't known that Amber Benson might and then wouldn't be back this season. I think the whole Willow/Cassie interchange would have been alot more interesting without the distraction of is this "where Amber would have shown up?" question playing in my head. Boo Spoilers!

- Sara, who doesn't want to be spoiled unless it involves chocolate or flowers

[> Don't agree. -- yez, 09:10:55 11/13/02 Wed

I think it would've been much more distressing and chilling for Willow to be confronted with Tara asking her to kill herself so they could be together. Same for the audience to see that. And this would've been parallel to the Dawn/Joyce thing.

I liked Cassie and was glad to see the actress again -- I think she's excellent. I also agree that her exit was horrifying. But imagine how much more horrifying it would've been to see our beloved Tara doing that? Exponentially more disturbing, IMHO.


[> [> agree with you, yez -- Vickie, 11:42:14 11/13/02 Wed

I think it would have been much more chilling to see Tara in that role.

However, it would have settled an important question that's still open: can the ?bigbad? interact physically when it is impersonating a dead person? We don't know this, and I'm sure there would have been an attempted embrace if Tara had appeared last night.

This way, we don't know. Willow's impetus to suicide might/might not have been stronger. I think Will would have twigged even faster if Tara had asked her to kill herself. So very out of character for Tara; not so much for Cassie.

[> [> [> Re: agree with you, yez -- yez, 12:37:28 11/13/02 Wed

I guess it seems most likely to me that the Big Bad *can* have physical interaction in any form. Let's assume both the force Dawn was battling and the force presenting and animating Cassie was the same, and that this was our BB. We know it can interact in the physical dimension because it struck Dawn and completely TRASHED the house (damn, that's the biggest mess in the Summers household ever). So I guess you're arguing that when it manifests as a dead body, it may not be able to do stuff like that... I'm not positive, but in the library with Willow, does Cassie manipulate the books when she first enters the scene? Does she pull out the chair?

I'm not sure what the deal was with Holden, and I don't think Warren touched anything, so I'm not going to get into them.

Regardless, I don't know if I'm following you. Why do you think it matters if the BB can interact in the physical universe when animating dead bodies or creating their specters? Based on what we saw with Dawn, the BB can inflict some damage even without a physical presence.

On the other hand, I guess, why didn't it just kill Dawn?

I don't know. I would've, especially what with all that shrieking. :)


[> [> [> [> Re: agree with you, yez -- ejs, 14:27:49 11/13/02 Wed

The crux of it is that I'm not convinced it *was* the Big Bad trashing the house. Remember, so far, we've only seen the Big Bad twice that we can be certain of: End of the first episode, and now as Cassie, and in both cases it was because the BB identified itself.

The thing that trashed the house may well have been in the employ of the Big Bad, the way the talisman spirits in the first episode were. But we can't safely make the assumption that it was the Big Bad itself. Just as we can't yet assume (only speculate) that the Big Bad appeared as Joyce, had anything to do with Holden, or caused/simulated Spike's recidivism.

And if it was the BB causing the ruckus at the house somehow, it probably didn't kill Dawn because a) she's more useful alive, as a pawn to foil Buffy and b) she'll wind up dying along with everyone else anyway when the time comes. Willow, however, has to be gotten out of the way because she has enough power to foil the BB's plot, whatever it is.

I get a sense that right now the BB is like the Master before the Harvest-- unable to affect things directly, but still able to have its wishes carried out by agents. And that seal (which certainly was sporting the Satanic imagery) is probably the thing keeping it bottled up for now. But only for now...

[> [> [> [> [> I see what you mean. Agree we can't know for certain what was in the house, etc. -- yez, 14:35:38 11/13/02 Wed

A Possible Spike Solution (spoiler 7.7) -- Stilskin, 03:39:34 11/13/02 Wed

How could Spike bite a human? The answer is simple: he did not bite a human.

The entity which in the episode manisfested itself in different forms to the various characters, to play upon their desires and fears, did exactly the same thing to Spike. The woman at the Bronze is that entity, and plays out with Spike the sequence of events he most fears (and yet partly desires) in his newly soulful state. So now the seed of suspicion has been planted in Buffy about Spike -- and in Spike about himself -- very clever, actually, in a diabolical kind of way, and very much in keeping with the doubts and misdirections sown among all the other characters.

Oh, this bad is good.


[> maybe.. maybe not (next weeks trailer) -- neaux, 04:30:02 11/13/02 Wed

except that they said Spike sired the Holden Psychvamp..who was probably human as well.

and if you watched next weeks trailer I think he bites a few more ladies.

but regardless I like your theory.

[> [> I still think I'm on the right track . . . -- Stilskin, 04:39:18 11/13/02 Wed

I think the trailer only shows Spike trying to bite a few more ladies. Remember how he tried to bite Willow after first discovering the chip? Whether he succeeds or not is a different matter.

And the Holden vamp is the only one who claims to have been sired by Spike -- there's no proof other than his word, and if we assume that the Holden vamp is what people are calling the Big Bad, i.e., the same entity that simultaneously manifests to Dawn, Willow, and Andrew, then clearly he's going to say whatever will be most hurtful to Buffy and helpful to his (its) plans . . .

But next week should definitely clear a lot of this up.


[> [> [> here's one more theory on that -- ktyfantastico, 05:09:58 11/13/02 Wed

another theory i read was that maybe it wasn't spike doing the biting-- maybe that was the demon? all very perplexing!

[> [> Re: maybe.. maybe not (next weeks trailer) -- leslie, 11:56:07 11/13/02 Wed

The scene in the trailer of Naked!Spike in bed with just the sheet, saying "You're just jealous," gave me a major flash- back to As You Were, when Riley comes in all het up about the demon eggs and Spike thinks he's talking about him and Buffy. Of course, Spike *did* have the demon eggs, but the situation of Spike defending himself against the wrong accusation--he's being accused of active evil when he thinks he's just being accused of sleeping with someone--was certainly implied.

[> Exactly what I thought -- luna, 11:04:08 11/13/02 Wed

I think Paul is right about the woman at the bar being the same kind of manifestation as the dead ones (Cassie, Joyce, Holden, Warren) in the other scenes. It's complex because Spike is both human and vampire at the same time. In the scenes with the others, the manifestation did several things that it also did with Spike in his scene:

1. Revealed the characters' (Buffy, Dawn, etc.) great fears- -Buffy that she can't love, Dawn that she's unprotected, Willow that she might kill everyone, Jonathan that he's shut out, etc.

Human Spike's fear is that he is still evil; I think he wants not only Buffy's love but acceptance as human again

2. Revealed the characters' deepest longings (return of dead, understanding, etc.)

Vampire Spike wants to feed again "normally" for a vampire

3. Tried to separate the characters from each other (saying that Willow will kill others, that Buffy won't help Dawn, etc.)and tries to neutralize power of character (Holden turns off vamp face when Buffy goes to stake him, Cassie tells Willow not to use power), thus defeating the joint power that is what will be needed against IT, whatever it is

Human Spike is cut off when Vampire Spike acts out

Who is the Big Bad of this season (spoilers and speculation)? -- Mystery, 04:28:41 11/13/02 Wed

"Cassie's" speech made me wonder who was really talking to Willow. Someone who doesn't care about Good and Evil, and just wants to "shuffle off this mortal coil" even if it means bringing everyone with her.

I'm gonna just give my guess right off the bat: It's Gaia, herself. It's the Earth.

According to Ancient Greek Mythology, Gaia/Gaea was the personification of the Earth. She was born directly from Chaos, THE FIRST Child of Chaos. Everything was born from her: Uranus, her first husband; Pontus, her second husband; The Titans, the Cyclopses, The Once-Hundred Armed thingies (Hecta-something or other); The Furies; Humankind V1 was formed from her "flesh" (clay); Humankind V2 was formed from "her bones" (stones); even Enchinda, the Mother of Monsters (Hydra, Chimera, the Nemean Lion, The Sphinx, and a few more I can't remember).

She gave rule to her first-born son/husband, who soon dominated her and threw her monsterous offspring in her "bowels" (a place the Ancient Greeks called "Tartarus" their version of Hell, whatever is on the otherside of the "Hellmouth"). The non-monsterous offspring, The Titans were not returned into the Earth, and came to personify forces of nature. Gaia, tired of Uranus' rule, and upset at the mistreatment of her other children, asked the Titans to dethrone Uranus and Cronus (Time) did so by castrating him (and thus were born the Furies, Spirits of Vengence and Aphrodite, Goddess of Beauty and Passion). Cronus never freed the Cyclopses and the 100-Armed creatures, and earned Gaia's wrath. Cronus, also, proved to be just as bad a father, consuming his first five children as they were born. His sister/wife, Rhea, appealed to her mother, Gaia, and the Earth aided her daughter and heir in conceling baby Zeus from Cronus. As a result, Zeus freed his siblings and the Cyclopses and 100-armed creatures, and then made war on the Titans. Zeus overthrew them and then imprisoned them in Tartarus. Zeus ruled fairly well over the years, but has at times earned the wrath of his Grandmother, who unleashed Enchinda and other monster upon him. Zeus and the Olympians, again and again defeated them.

Willow did say that Gaia is showing her teeth and Giles understood it meant the opening the Hellmouth. What's on the other side? Primal forces that are beyond our imagining.

The Earth should have been destroyed many times now, but it has always been prevented by the Scoobies. Think of everything that has been done to the Earth, by humans, demons, and gods. Pollution, mining (literal raping of the Earth), war. All waged on her body. It's like someone who's been fighting a terminal disease, she wants to be taken off life support.

Gaia has always decided who was the Powers That Be and when the Powers That Be no longer follow her wishes, she attacks them. It certainly seems to make sense that a Slayer who won't die, a Sorceress who has the power to destroy the planet but hasn't and won't, and a mystical key who could also destroy the world but hasn't and won't, are no longer of any use to her, but can easily come together to thwart her plans. Just as it seems these "Slayers in Training" are being picked off.

The thing that doesn't add up is this: Why would she need Spike? Why is she ignoring Xander and Anya?

[> Fascinating. Better than my own theory of ultimate Big Bad (included). -- yez, 08:56:57 11/13/02 Wed

Whether or not it happens, I think Gaia as the Big Bad would be fascinating. Hard to imagine how they'd pull it off, but if anyone, Whedon et al could do it.

Here's the direction I was going in before I read your post:

Speculation and questions based on last night's ep. Sorry this is rambly, but no time to polish. Also, apologies if someone else has already put this out there -- connection seems slow today and I'm having a hard time reading all the threads.

Okay, so there are at least 2 instances now of It (the shapeshifting evil force) talking about going beyond good and evil, beyond tipping the scales. In "Conversations with Dead People" It goes so far as to say It's going for the "big finish." Is this somehow parallel to Willow's act under the influence to end it all, all the pain and suffering by destroying the earth? Is It connected to the dark power that manifested in Willow? Did Willow inadvertently summon whatever this is as a byproduct of her efforts last season when she tried to invoke the god linked to the sunken temple? Or could It actually an extension of Willow in some way?

Whatever It is, it seems to be omniscient and omnipresent, maybe. It either can see into people's hearts and minds, allowing it to exploit fears, desires and weaknesses -- or it's familiar with the Scoobies' recent histories, going back to Joyce's death. It even knows a thing or two about popular culture, suggesting that The Indigo Girls might be appropriate soundtrack to a suicide by a lesbian.

So I'm wondering, particularly with the "tipping the scales" reference, whether we could be getting the ultimate Big Bad this season -- Satan himself? Was the vampire's and Buffy's passing joke about the existence of God ("Any word on whether God exists, btw?") telling? And since this season is re-emphasizing the Hellmouth, is it possible that we're going to see the ultimate hell dimension this time around? Is "beneath you" a reference to Hell which it typically identified as down, under, etc.? Whedon has been quoted recently as saying this season's climax is going to be "epic" -- what's more epic than the God vs. the Devil battle? Isn't Satan often characterized as being a shape- shifter and also being quite charming and silver-tongued when necessary? Being a liar? And isn't he also characterized as sowing dissent and turning people against one another? And wouldn't playing the tortured soul, heaven/hell card (as with Joyce and Tara) be right up Satan's alley, assuming popular characterizations?

And while I'm asking questions, why was it important for ME to present us with the title of the ep.? Have they done this at any other time than with OMWF? And why the date/time stamp that wasn't ever used again in the ep.? Are we starting some kind of countdown?

Also, Andrew's "mistranslation" of the demonic refrain "from beneath you it devours" was funny, but does it also imply that there are multiple interpretations of that phrase from whatever language it originally came? I'm reminded of last season's Angel with the tampered prophecy and Wes' interpretation...

Is it coincidence that in this ep., Buffy talks about feeling "beneath" her friends (even while she sometimes feels superior)? Is it also coincidence that recent eps seem to have included several instances of Buffy talking about what it means to be a Slayer, her calling/mission? Is the force that "called" her going to be making an appearance? Does this imply God?

Or would it be too crazy for Whedon to bring Satan into this, too extreme? Would he be painting himself into a corner?

I don't know... too many questions, too little time.



[> [> OOOOO! I likes! thoughts on your theory and further season 7 speculation -- Mystery, 11:27:15 11/13/02 Wed

OOOOOO! Satan would definately work in this storyline as well, especially if you go back to Satan's "origins" as the Archangel, Lucifer, the Morningstar. And now thinking about it, there DID seem to be a bit of the Al Pacino in the Devil's Advocate in "Cassie's" final spiel to Willow. Hehe. But Wheldon has been neatly side-stepping the whole "God" issue, instead introducing the Powers That Be. And we already did have a Hellgod, Glory. However, I do remember being struck by "Cassie's" reasons, sounding very much like Glory.

But what is Satan really? He's the Judeo-Christian version of the Trickster. Trickster figures are neither good nor bad. They're mischief makers, and when bored with "a toy" they'll destroy it. They wouldn't really care, beyond what kind of enjoyment they can gain from it.

But whoever the Big Bad is, it's obviously very nervous about Willow and Dawn. Why else would it go through such great lengths to distract them and throw them off their tracks? Probably because of whatever the BB plans, Willow and Dawn working with Buffy could very well unravel all it's plans. Willow because she "saw" something, even if it isn't Gaia, "everything is connected." Willow also has been in a Hellgod's mind, and almost achieved Godhood herself. Dawn may have been made human, but that is just a mask. She's still the key, Willow made that clear in "Grave" and she still has the "energy" of the key. Dawn herself may believe she can't open anything anymore, but I doubt that ability was a one time thing. In eithercase, The BB doesn't want Willow and Dawn standing at Buffy's side.

So I'm thinking, this is where Xander is going to come in. This season seems to be all about the heart. Xander is the heart of the Scoobies. Everyone has noted parallels between Xander and Spike, as well as Xander and Jonathan. The BB has Jonathan as a sacrifice, Spike as a pawn. It would seem to make sense that it will take Xander too. Xander's already been pointed out to have Christ attributes, most powerfully, the Carpenter reference in Grave. In a sense, Xander is already a SAVIOR, he revived Buffy in season 1 and she went on to destroy The Master and prevent the first opening of the Hellmouth, and he stopped Willow from destroying the world. His shadow is Spike, who in Giles' dream in "Restless" did a Christ-pose and in "Beneath You" rested upon a cross. I can't help but think that Xander is going to be captured or do something that will nearly kill him and all the girls will have to come together to save him (I'm thinking Xander trying to protect Anya will take a blast that puts him near death. Anya remembers that Willow saved Buffy from death, and begs her to help. Willow sez she doesn't have to juice for that, and reflective of "Same Time, Same Place" Buffy offers her strength to help the healing, and Dawn, now more at ease with her powers as the key, also offers. The four women, in opposition to "Him" will COME TOGETHER for one man, rather than dart apart. And in this, they all get to prove the love "him." Since they all love Xander and Xander loves them, it proves that Xander is truly the Heart of the Scoobies, and off they go together to defeat the Biggest Bad.

Hmm...ok, go carried away there a

Also, I've been thinking. What's D'Hoffryn's deal with Anya? I have a little theory about our tactless little vengence demon, that I don't think she realizes. Anyanka is THE most powerful Vengence Demon to ever extract vengence. Hallie said that she always looked up to Anyanka. People trembled at Anyanka's name. Anyanka did flat out declare that she IS Vengence. Anyanka created a WHOLE OTHER REALITY! That couldn't have been a small task. We're talking keeping Buffy away from Sunnydale and Giles. We're talking bringing back the Master, we're talking the Hellmouth is OPEN. D'Hoffryn required the life and soul of a vengence demon to resurrect 12 + people. Yet, there didn't seem to be a heavy price paid to CREATE Wishverse. Perhaps, Anya did it under her own steam. Afterall, it did sound like the spell she used on Olaf was no small potatoes. How much natural power does Aud/Anyanka/Anya have? Maybe, equal to Willow? Willow was a candidate for a Vengence demon. Willow eventually got enough juice to know the thoughts of every being on the planet and then almost destroy the whole thing, one of the few beings powerful enough to hold her off was Anyanka. It would stand to reason that D'Hoffryn would want to kill her, especially when Anya comes into her own, finally, she could possibly kick his ass, and take over the order of Vengence.

I dunno, I think I might be too much of an Anya

[> [> [> Re: OOOOO! I likes! thoughts on your theory and further season 7 speculation -- yez, 12:18:27 11/13/02 Wed

:) I'm an Anya fan, too.

I like the possible parallels to Him that you're drawing of the 4 powerful female figures previously split by "him" coming together over a "him" -- to defeat a "him" if it's appropriate to ascribe a gender to the Big Bad, which at this point, it really isn't. That would be a neat little trick.

You reminded me about Willow having previously tried to change Dawn back into the Key. I wouldn't be surprised if this transformation becomes important and would explain why Willow and Dawn are important in the upcomings.

It does seem like it's probably Xander's turn to take a hit and be the rallying point. Harder to project Anya's role. But the absence of both of them last night was screamingly conspicuous.

Well, who knows how this is going to turn out. It's a cool ride so far, though. :)


[> Hecatoncheiroi -- leslie, 11:44:40 11/13/02 Wed

[> Cassie as snake eating own tail -- just me? (spoilers 7.7) -- yez, 12:53:45 11/13/02 Wed

I haven't had a chance to rewatch, but was anyone else left with the impression of Cassie's exit as the snake eating own tail symbol? I just learned this symbol was called "uroboros" by the Greeks.

I also found a reference online to its role in Norse cosmology when "At the Twilight of the Gods the serpent will devour the earth..." ( _uroboros.html) Tie in to the Big Bad's intents -- destroying the earth?

Or maybe it didn't really look like that at all and I shouldn't look at any inkblots today...


Ghost in the Machine? (7.7 spoilers) -- neaux, 04:48:21 11/13/02 Wed

I brought this up in chat, so I'll do it again for the board.

Did anyone else think the first 30 minutes of the episode was like the movie
Ghost in the Machine (1993)

I for one was waiting for the microwave to explode on Dawn.

[> death by stereo (continued 7.7) -- neaux, 05:32:42 11/13/02 Wed

Is electronic spookiness enough to destroy the television, entertainment center and stereo/radio?

Maybe. but it sure made me cringe to see all those electronics bite the big one.

And as for the Spanish Music Station, seems Buffy and Dawn have the same taste in Music when it comes to dear ol’ mum.

[> [> Re: death by stereo (continued 7.7) -- CW, 07:12:36 11/13/02 Wed

I noticed the Latin music connection as well. As soon as it came on, I was thinking Joyce.

Actually the scenes with Dawn reminded me of an older movie Poltergeist. And really it's reminiscent of dozens of movies and television ghost stories so it would be difficult to pin down an exact source.

[> [> [> yeah I though Poltergeist also after.. -- neaux, 07:37:52 11/13/02 Wed

after seeing the furniture stacking byitself..

but the whole electronic thing made me think of Ghost in the Machine. You are right in that it is reminiscent of many many ghost movies.. but that was my initial reaction.

Spike: is he being controled? and was Joyce a Manifest of the First? -- Majin Gojira, 05:13:16 11/13/02 Wed

Most people on this board have fallen into the idea that Spike is not truely responsible for his apparant actions. that some other force is controling what he is doing. this, I believe, is a cop-out.

Frankly, it would be far more interesting to see Spike EVIL with a soul. In other words. He is doing what he is doing out of his own will. Just because you have a soul, does not mean you will be good (insert list of historically evil humans here). I mean, in "Help", he beat on that guy DESPITE having the chip. It's been weeks since then...he's apparently acclimated himself to the pain (or maybe it's run out of batteries). So it is likely that the Spike we saw tonight was indeed our Spike.

However. We will not know the answer to this until next week.

So, what are the possibilities?

1) the First is Controling Him somehow
2) It actually is another Avatar of the First (Doubtful, it can't take physical form in this world)
3) this is our Spike Acting on his own free will

Secondly, was Joyce really the first? Most people here seem to be expecting the worst. (despite something dark and obviously evil trying to stop the message from getting out...everyone seems to be ignoring that...)But, let's think about the message she gave Dawn.

Buffy has been known to sacrifice her freinds (and lovers) in order to save the world. the first time the choice involved Dawn, Buffy found a loophole.

If it happens again and Buffy must choose between Dawn and the World...and their is no loophole...who/what will Buffy choose.

If we can believe the statement of Spooky!Joyce? than Buffy might not choose Dawn.

it also might be a means to an ends. Get Dawn to continue her development as someone who can take care of herself. it may mean that Buffy will not be able to save Dawn, and that Dawn will have to save herself.

Well, that's my little rant.

Last Night's ep was definitely Spooky. the ramifications are going to be evident for the rest of the season.

[> One more possibility re: Spike -- stilskin, 08:13:52 11/13/02 Wed

Not to flog an undead horse, but another overlooked possibility re: Spike is that the girl he bit was not human, but was, instead, another manisfestation of the Big Bad, just like the ones that appeared to Andrew, Buffy, Willow, and Dawn. I believe the reason we were only shown but not permitted to overhear any of the "seduction" scene between Spike and the girl is that the girl, not Spike, was doing the seducing, and that by withholding the soundtrack, as it were, the writers are counting on us viewers to jump to the wrong conclusion -- classic misdirection. This is where I'm putting my money.

[> [> Re: One more possibility re: Spike -- leslie, 11:31:07 11/13/02 Wed

Did anyone else think the girl looked disturbingly like Harmony? When she first appeared, it took me a second to decide that it was *not* Mercedes McNab with a new haircut. Plus, she's a smoker--never a good sign.

I agree that the lack of any sound whatsoever from Mr. Chatty has to be significant. As for who's in control... really torn on this one. On the one hand, it seems to me that "Spike" has shattered into several personality fragments which, when they had been united, all modified each other (vampire's demonic nature + William's romanticism = "Spike"); now that these pieces are no longer in contact, each is becoming more pure in its manifestation, which is why he's veering so wildly between personas. So, the demon in him may be breaking out while other parts of him are not so pleased with this activity. On the other hand... the Morphing Evil (ME2, to designate it from ME) seems to be only able to manifest itself as dead people: all the previous Big Bads, Cassie, and, I thoroughly believe, Joyce. But, with the exception of Dru, all of these are not only dead but buried/dusted/incorporeal. In that scene in the basement, isn't Dru the only one who touches Spike and he reacts to the touch as well as the words? I just wonder whether the ME2 can take over the bodies of vampires, who are dead but still corporeal. Spike, in his rantings, certainly seems to perceive the ME2 as somehow being inside him.

[> Re: Spike: is he being controled? and was Joyce a Manifest of the First? -- Cecilia, 08:49:54 11/13/02 Wed

To expand on some thoughts that I posted earlier, we have 2 possibilities with regards to Spike. First, it is either really Spike doing this or it is a "fabricated" Spike. I for one believe it is the former. Second, we need to explore why he is doing this. Again it comes down to two options; he is being controlled/manipulated or he is acting according to his own free will.

In the scenario that he is being controlled/manipulated it could be speculated that it is a direct result of getting his soul back. Perhaps this is another test? To overcome the influence of such an overwhelming evil power. I mean, why was he in the basement of all places? There must be other sunless places in Sunnydale he could have gone to like, oh say, his crypt. So the fact that he did "turn up" in the basement being tormented by this evil power may be indicitive of some kind of further test. For the worthiness of his soul perhaps? He had to be tested to earn getting his soul back but perhaps he needs to be tested further to keep it. I'm not sure, pure speculation here, but I see almost a "last temptation" type of thing here. Or perhaps it is merely the evil powers attempt to dissassociate him from Buffy, so she will completely reject him (if not stake him). He/she/it sure did seem to be very, very eager to separate Willow and Dawn from Buffy. So a possibility.

The more intriguing possibility, to me, is that he is behaving this way out of his own free will. In this scenario he is perhaps doing evil(secretly I might add) because he doesn't believe that he deserves to do good. Very similar to Buffy's assertation that she feels superior (secretly) to everyone but doesn't think she deserves to feel superior. Basically it comes down to this, without a soul, you are evil and you do not have the choice to be or do good. With a soul you are not necessarily good, you simply have the choice.

As for Joyce, it too could go either way. If we assume that there are forces for good (TPTB for example) as well as the forces for evil, we can assume that they can and do also use tricks and manipulation. Just because it is really Joyce and the message was really from her doesn't mean that it is necessarily the whole and complete truth. TPTB's can be argued as using any means necessary to achieve their ends, regardless if the end justifies the means or not. On the other hand, if the manifestation of Joyce was a trick, well there is an old saying and I'm not sure if I can quote it just right or not so I will paraphrase. "The devil will mix in just enough truth with his lies so that you will believe him." Not sure where that comes from but it popped into my head during the scenes with Dawn at the house.

[> [> Re: ...was Joyce a Manifest of the First? (spoilery of course) -- ejs, 11:24:24 11/13/02 Wed

I was thinking that though it seemed obvious to me that the whole Joyce situation was a Big Bad trick, I also remember how in "What's My Line?" it was obvious that Kendra was one of the Order of Taraka. This could have been more misdirection-- There's the possibility that it really *was* Joyce, and her message was not meant to sow dischord but to help somehow.

Some support for this theory-- We haven't seen that the Big Bad can do anything to affect the real world yet, as in trashing a house or slashing Dawn's face. (The only instance I can think of that's even close is when it caressed Spike's face in the form of Drusilla, but even then it might not have actually touched him.) Rather than doing anything itself so far, It manipulates people into doing things for it. It got Andrew and Jonathan to uncover the seal, and got Andrew to stab Jonathan. It tried to convince Willow to take her own life-- perhaps because it couldn't even *try* to kill her if it wanted to.

So where's the evidence that the poltergeist/Joyce situation had anything to do with the Big Bad? Hmmm... There isn't any... yet.

[> [> [> Season opener- the dead can attack and hurt people in real world -- Spike Lover, 11:38:44 11/13/02 Wed

[> [> [> [> Re: But someone had the raise them... (Spoilers Season 7) -- Just George, 17:34:04 11/13/02 Wed

Spike Lover: "Season opener- the dead can attack and hurt people in real world."

Yes, but I'll bet some physical presence made the totem that raised the spirits. I doubt the BigBad did that. I suspect someone operating in the physical world did.

My vote is that Spike made the totem and raised the spirits in Lessons. He told Buffy in BY that he had dreamed about killing her. He knew exactly what the sprits were and how they had been raised. He was in Pangs when the Indian spirits attacked, so he knew that it was possible to raise "unkillable" spirits. And Spike was under the manipulation of the shape shifting BigBad at the time. Until another candidate appears, I'll vote for Spike.

Of course when if it comes out that Spike made the totem and raised the spirits, even under duress, it will make it that much harder for the Scoobies to trust him. Which may have been the BigBad's plan all along.


[> [> A paraphrase of Shakespeare (Hamlet) -- Spike Lover, 11:35:06 11/13/02 Wed

[> [> [> Speaking of Hamlet, speaking of communicating with the dead -- Rahael, 16:52:06 11/13/02 Wed

I'm rather struck by Hamlet talking to his father's ghost, who enjoins him to avenge his honour...

and we all know how well that turned out!!

Okay I'm being reductive, but I think there's a resonance here.

[> [> Re: speaking of tests -- leslie, 11:38:09 11/13/02 Wed

What makes me think that Joyce was, indeed, a manifestation and not herself was the great lengths to which Dawn must go to get the message. Making her work for the information, making her feel that it is a reward for delivering her mother from torment--she really isn't going to question that information, is she. I just wonder what the fall-out will be from Willow twigging to the fact that she was being played. Will she be able to convince the others?

[> See my above post "High Praise ... Part II Therapy" -- Spike Lover, 11:40:55 11/13/02 Wed

[> Re: Spike: is he being controled? and was Joyce a Manifest of the First? -- Sophie, 06:32:19 11/14/02 Thu

3) this is our Spike Acting on his own free will

Being a good existentialist, I am still voting for option 3 and desperately hoping against Spike being controlled.


[> My thoughts (Spoilers and Spec. up to and including 7.7 "Conversation with dead people") -- Blood Luvin Girl, 09:51:54 11/14/02 Thu

1) the First is Controling Him somehow

It seems to me that we have had clues to Spike being controlled all along. If we look back on his behaviour and try and link it to this apparent "killing" to his past actions this season you could note that he has been talking to something all along. It was very noticeable to me in “Beneath You”, he seem to have an entity of some kind with him throughout the episode. It's telling him to do stuff, to which he disagrees, say's he can't or won't. Or as he said as he was stalking the rat, "not hardly ready", and what happened after he said no to whatever was "talking" to him. It appeared to hurt him, the earth shook and he cried out in pain, yelling “no” and for help. That seems to imply that the Entity has some power over him, that at the very least it is able to punish him by inflicting pain.

And then what happened next? He showed up at Buffy's acting "normal", saying he was there to help. Then when Anya say his soul he freaked out and did not want her to talk about the soul, he wanted it to remain hidden, and then to shut her up he punches her and when Buffy moves to stop him all of a sudden he starts acting like “season two” Spike. It seems to me the entity did not wish for Buffy or the Scoobies to know about Spikes soul, that it wanted it to remain a secret, so it uses some of it’s influence over Spike to cause him to act like “season two” Spike and attack Anya to distract her from revealing the truth.

He keeps acting like “season two” Spike until something happens to break whatever it was that had let him act "sane". And what breaks this fake sanity/entities control over him? It's him hurting someone.

Really hurting them, not like when he hit Anya or Buffy, because that didn't really hurt them. What he did ti Ronnie was some serious damage, perhaps even life threatening. He freaks and starts to yell for help. Help for what? Then he start's to say "No, no, too much, too much, too muchtoomuchtoomuch. Inside me, all the way, deep, deep, deep inside me..." It doesn't sound like he's talking about the soul here but something else, I think it is the evil that has be talking to him, perhaps trying to take him over. Buffy tells him to stop and he says "Call it quits, now there's an option. If only it was so easy". He might not have control over his actions, if he’s not in complete control it would make it very hard for him to “call it quits”. Just as he finishes saying this he starts screaming at whatever it is that’s talking to him to stop shouting, and he clutches his head in pain once again, like he did in the basement before he showed up acting sane. As the pain stops he says "I get it, Joke's on me, lots of laughs." He goes on to explain how everything will "go to hell" so to speak, ending it with the words from Buffy's dream, "From beneath you, it devours". Then he starts to break down, his eyes tear up and he laments the death of a little dog 'Poor Rocky". I think at this point Spike has realised that he is screwed. That he is seriously f*****. That there is nothing that he can do because the on him.

At this point whatever had a hold on Spike seems to have shut up, so by the time Buffy finds him in the church it's just "Spike" talking now, and he tells her the truth. He stops pretending, or maybe it’s that he has, for a moment, gotten out of the “things” clutches, out of it influence even if it‘s not going to last.

Now the stuff "talking to Spike" could just be a part of his insanity, but it could be this "Big Bad" or First Evil or the Morphing Entity, whatever it is supposed to be. Now if that's true he isn't as insane as he appears and knows more than we (or he) may realise. At this point he may doing what it wants him to do, but if that is true it doesn't seem to me like he is doing so willingly, and when he resists, it seems to hurt him both physically (the two times he clutched his head and screamed in pain) and emotionally, telling him to go to hell, that he's a bad man, that he's nothing and the soul doesn't make a difference.

We continue to see Spike talk to hallucinations or act in very uncharacteristic ways, such as in “Selfless” when he sees the white clad Buffy that comforts him before the real Buffy comes in and tells him to leave the basement, or his strange silence during “Him”.

Now I think the control that the entity has had over Spike has become even more powerful. At this point Spike may not even be aware of how much power it has over him. I believe it is controlling him, and he doesn’t even realise that it is doing it. I think that at the moment he has no idea it is happening, or that it is as bad as it is. I have a feeling that when he finds out, it’s going to be bad.

This is speculation I have been thinking about since seeing “Beneath You”, I have strongly believed since that episode that at least some of the voices and the people he sees and hears are real, and that they have power over him. And everything up to and including what happened in “Conversation with dead people” just makes me believe it more.

Ok I posted this in another thread, but it was archived before there was any responses. So since it fit in with this thread so well I thought I'd repost it here to see what you all thought.

[> [> Thought it looked familiar ;) -- Sarand, 13:19:22 11/14/02 Thu

As I was reading, I thought, Gee, this is deja vu all over again. Anyway, interesting points. Leslie's as well, which started the earlier thread. I had thought in "Lessons" that Spike had been brought to the basement by the Entity or whatever was in the basement (we really need to come up with a common name for this thing) for its own purposes. But I keep wondering why, if the Entity needs Spike, it would make Spike bite or even vamp people. Seems to me, that's likely to attract the Slayer's attention and have her feel, as with Anya, that she has no choice but to kill Spike because he's hurting people. Maybe that's what It wants. Unless It is thinking that Buffy's confused feelings for Spike are going to keep her from killing him, but that she will kick him out of Xander's closet and he will have no place to go but back to the basement where he is supposed to be. Hmmm, all very confusing.

[> [> [> Yeah, um.... -- Blood Luvin Girl, 14:05:26 11/14/02 Thu

...Sorry about that. I just really wanted to see what people thought of my observations, and it got arcived before anyone could. It took me a long time to write it too. :P

[> [> [> [> Re: Yeah, um.... -- Sarand, 14:39:36 11/14/02 Thu

No need for apology. Things sometimes get archived really quickly around here when there's a lot of activity. You may notice that Leslie reposted above also. I responded in part just to try to keep the thread alive a little longer.

[> [> [> [> [> Thanks -- Blood Luvin Girl, 14:53:26 11/14/02 Thu

I want to keep this thread open too.

I really want to keep this disscusion open and see what everyone thinks of my ideas. Then I want to engage them in continued disscusion of our views and ideas.

(I had to write something :P )

Conversations With Him (double-duty spoilers) -- Darby, 06:45:01 11/13/02 Wed

Is there anything to be made of the fact that the three twarted love-spellees from Him were the participants in the Conversations With the Dead?

- Dawn, whose spell played out as family drama, who was betrayed by Buffy?

- Willow, whose spell led to her looking to use magic to "replace" Tara?

- Buffy, whose conversation seemed unrelated to this season's Big Bad, but who was also sure that she wasn't under any spell, but that she was worthy of letter-jacket's love?

Did exposure to the jacket spell, with inherent wackiness, set up our heroines' minds for a bit of subsequent poke and prod? Have the several spells affecting perception so far this season been strengthened in order to make the Scoobies more susceptible to this sort of manipulation? Maybe this explains why the jacket spell affected them more strongly than most other civilians.

Will there be follow-up with Anya? Will she and Spike meet Cecily/Halfrek and finally clear this same-actress thing all up? Is this why Halfrek had to die?

And how long before Jonathan shows up - but no one knows that he's dead? Except us. And Andrew, who may be taking Spike's place in the basement. The doorway to Hell needs a gatekeeper, y'know. A crazy one, apparently (Glory connections, anyone-?).

And did anyone else notice the important point that whatever the BB is, it can show itself to one (Andrew) and not be seen by others (Jonathan)?

I still think it's a classic ME misdirect. Somewhere the spoiled are snickering as we fumble through the darkness, but I was glad to know very little before watching this ep.

- Darby, happily being a gape-jawed fan again, and very happy to be here.

[> Re: Conversations With Him (double-duty spoilers) -- neaux, 06:59:22 11/13/02 Wed

Well to add to your connection of CWDP and Him,

you could say that Anya who was the fourth under the spell of the Jacket. Anya's masked burglary in Him forshadowed Andrew's presence in CWDP. So Andrew took over Anya's place in this episode.

[> Flash of insight before dreaming (spec and spoilers for Season 7 through 7.7) -- Sablehart, 08:17:06 11/13/02 Wed

I don't usually try to analyze Buffy, partly because everyone else does such a great job, and partly becuase I don't have the inclicnation to rewatch the episode in order to catch all the nuances. However, that being said, I had an idea last night. At the end of dead Cassie's conversation with Willow, when she admits to whatever she is, she said she was through with the whole balencing good and evil game. That got me thinking. If the Big Bad was actually evil to begin with, it wouldn't care about balence, it would be trying to win all the time, not just lately. So, that lead me to two possible conclusions:

1. The Big Bad is actually Death personified. The fact that it has been using dead people and villians to get communicate supports this, as well as the fact that death has been treated as a great balencing act on the show, with the sacrifice of Halfrek for the lives of Anya's victims, and the peculiar rules used about resurrection concerning Tara, Joyce and Buffy.

2. The Big Bad is some sort of manifest of the Powers that Be. I don't really know about this one, since the PtBs aren't mentioned like they are over on Angel, but they do seem to be interested more in cosmic balence than actually winning something. It could be that they're getting off the cosmic fence.

Please tell me, does this make any sense to any of the non- spoiled?

[> [> Oops, I didn't mean to post the above here, sorry if I hijacked! :( -- Sablehart, 08:22:52 11/13/02 Wed

[> [> Re: Flash of insight before dreaming (spec and spoilers for Season 7 through 7.7) -- yez, 09:20:51 11/13/02 Wed

Could be. I had been thinking Satan: (

[> [> [> Re: Flash of insight before dreaming (spec and spoilers for Season 7 through 7.7) -- Vickie, 10:37:26 11/13/02 Wed

Interesting idea. I think it unlikely that self-proclaimed atheist Whedon would allow Satan to appear as a character. The existence of Satan implies the existence of God. As Buffy mentioned last night, there's nothing solid on the latter's existence.

As for our ?bigbad?, the chatters last night noticed something interesting. It doesn't impersonate "dead and evil people." It appears to only impersonate (and, perhaps in some instances, control) those who have been touched by death.

Thus, our ?bigbad? can take on the appearance or form (we still don't know if it can touch anyone) of anyone who has died. Including those still dead, vampires (who are dead but walking around), and Buffy.

Does it impersonate or does it control these vampires? I contend we don't know. It appears to manipulate in its attempts to control, and we know it was working on Spike by impersonating nice!Buffy.

I think that Buffy's experience last night must parallel Willow's and Dawn's. Thus Holden must be an agent of the ?bigbad?. But his physical presence appears to follow all the laws we know of actual vampires--and Buffy definitely touched him(!). So was Holden a controlled agent, an impersonated vamp, or just what he seemed?

And remember, we only have Holden's word for his sire's identity. So we don't really know what Spike is up to, let alone his motives for it.

[> [> [> [> Holden's words (through 7.7) -- alcibiades, 11:33:17 11/13/02 Wed

And remember, we only have Holden's word for his sire's identity. So we don't really know what Spike is up to, let alone his motives for it.

Actually we only have Buffy's word.

Holden the evil vamp amateur psychiatrist who was learning his lessons very quickly said "what's the word?"

Buffy supplied the word most likely to cause her tremendous pain in the context of the relationship she had just been talking about.

The power of suggestion is huge. Especially when it plays into the greatests fears. Holden of course knows that.

And in part the audience is swept along with this conclusion because we have just seen Spike bite someone -- but those are discrete acts. One does not imply the other.

[> [> [> [> [> We don't know -- luna, 11:41:00 11/13/02 Wed

We don't know exactly what was real and what was just appearance in the Spike scene or in Holden's words.

I think we should assume that there's at least a chance that it was not a real person but an apparition that Spike bit.

Could Holden have been sired a while back? It's been three years since the chip, so I guess that's too long...

[> [> [> [> [> Huh? Afraid I am not following you -- Vickie, 12:10:06 11/13/02 Wed

Just because Buffy supplied the word "sire" doesn't mean she is telling us that Spike sired Holden. Holden said that.

I still believe we have only Holden's word for his sire's identity. Even if he couldn't recall the word, or if he only said it to wig Buffy out.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Huh? Afraid I am not following you -- alcibiades, 12:45:04 11/13/02 Wed

Here is the dialogue.

B: What do you mean? How do you know Spike?

H: What do you mean how? He was the guy's the word?

B: Sired.

H: Yeah. He was the guy that sired me.

Spike may or may not have sired Holden. We don't know. But in this scene, Holden begins a sentence and lets Buffy finish it for him. And given the context of their discussion -- her relationship fears, why she can't trust men -- the whole bit, what she comes out with is the thing she most fears. If Spike has sired Holden, she'll have to kill Spike, so the fact that he got the soul and all is pointless and he really is just a stupid vamp.

It's the power of suggestion.

This is one classic strategy to manipulate people with whom you are in tough negotiations. If you start a sentence and leave it open ended so that the other person has to finish it for you, you might end up with more information that way. Here Holden ends up with a way to dig his own stake into Buffy's heart before she thrusts one into his.

It is really the context of the converstion that enables Buffy to believe this.

But within the same conversation he have heard Holden tell Buffy he is learning his evil lessons fast.

So Holden is using Buffy to get her to admit to her fear and then repeating what she said. It's more devastating for her that way. And since he pretty much is about to die and since he is evil, he wants her to be in pain before the end. It might also unbalance her emotionally in the coming fight, so it would give him another edge.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Hmmmmm -- Rufus, 02:33:21 11/14/02 Thu

Buffy has no idea that while she is talking to Vamp Holden that what appears to be Spike is killing someone. So, you could say power of suggestion....but the audience is privy to information that Buffy isn't and that information supports what Holden says. To Holdens knowledge someone called Spike was his sire.

[> [> [> [> Re: Flash of insight before dreaming (spec and spoilers for Season 7 through 7.7) -- yez, 11:56:06 11/13/02 Wed

With respect to Whedon not wanting to imply God because of his atheism, that may be true. I'm just not sure he would skip telling a good story over it. He's already established a Good vs. Evil theme in BtVS and AtS, and in Angel, refers to TPTB. In BtVS, he's established the idea of hell dimensions, and Buffy, after she was "resurrected" has said she thinks she was in heaven -- and perhaps she's referring to Heaven and not just a "heavenly dimension" as Tara called it. And Glory called herself and was referred to as a god. So I don't know, there are a lot of ways to bring "God" into the picture without establishing The Creator. For example, "God" may actually be just be the entity at the top of the divine organizational chain of command in charge of earth -- and there may be many more entities beyond "God."

So while I'm not totally sold on the Satan idea as being plausible, I'm not sure Whedon's atheism automatically disqualifies it.


[> [> I like this idea -- Rahael, 09:56:48 11/13/02 Wed

[> One More Conversation With Feeling (double-duty spoilers) -- Darby, 11:46:15 11/13/02 Wed

Will the next morning be equivalent to the first morning- after in OMWF, where Buffy pretends to not remember the details of her experience?

That's getting way tired, but it's certainly possible.

[> Viewer specific? -- Malathustra, 11:47:37 11/13/02 Wed

"And did anyone else notice the important point that whatever the BB is, it can show itself to one (Andrew) and not be seen by others (Jonathan)?"

I'm not 100% positive that this is true. I'll need to re- watch, but it seems to me that Warren mostly showed up when Jonathon wasn't around or he wasn't looking. He did flicker in and out, so it's possible that the BB can switch on and off as necessary, but there was a moment right before Jonathon died where I could SWEAR he saw Warren. At other times, Warren was standing behind Jonathon or lurking around Andrew only when Jonathon was afk.

Still -- ookie. When Warren was standing in front of the Hellmouth's door? Looked like he was hanging. I swear, Warren Meers is just creepy. He's a creepy creep.

[> Conversations with HIM (spells, symbols, hearts) Spoilers 7.6-7.7 and Restless -- shadowkat, 17:34:42 11/13/02 Wed

1. First off:

"Is there anything to be made of the fact that the three twarted love-spellees from Him were the participants in the Conversations With the Dead?"

Quite a bit I think. Besides what you mention above about susceptibility. I think the other thing is empathy.

Buffy's experiences almost killing the principal while under a spell - and the subsequent realization that she could not control herself - may aid her in how to deal with others falling into a similar dilemma. Notice how in each episode, Buffy learns not to jump to slaying first - to the extent that she actually takes time to talk to the vamp shrink.

In Help - she leaps to slaying. Doesn't help.
In Lessons - well ditto
In Selfless

How much you want to bet the next time she's confronted with the option to slay first or ask questions first of a close friend and comrade who has lost complete control, she
chooses option number two? Particularly if said comrade saved her from herself a few times recently??

The spell was partly used to force the female characters to experience what it is like to lose control. And in losing control they learned a little something about themselves and others.

Also Dawn goes for suicide in HIM to get everyone's attention. In Conversations - she is told that Buffy will turn against her. So it won't work a second time?

In HIM - Willow uses magic to find Dawn and to change someone (is stopped in time) - and in Conversations she's told if she uses magic she'll go down a dark path from whence she can't return.

Interesting parallels. Also...why didn't BB take control of Spike in HIM - and make Spike let Buffy take out the Principal? Does BB want Principal Wood to stay alive?? And if BB is not in control of Spike (which I think is highly unlikely due to everything we've seen so far this season) why wait until now?

2."Will there be follow-up with Anya? Will she and Spike meet Cecily/Halfrek and finally clear this same-actress thing all up? Is this why Halfrek had to die?"

From your mouth to ME's ears. I truly hope so. But doubt it. Not sure writers know what to do with her here. Dang it.
I want closure.

3."And how long before Jonathan shows up - but no one knows that he's dead? Except us. And Andrew, who may be taking Spike's place in the basement. The doorway to Hell needs a gatekeeper, y'know. A crazy one, apparently (Glory connections, anyone-?)."

Actually two things interest me about Andrew and Jonathan.
Did anyone else notice that the seal is heart shaped in the middle of that star?

When re-watching Restless tonight - I noticed something I hadn't before. Xander in his dream goes through a jungle that looks like a dark room or basement cell in the bottom of the high school. He had been carried by people from hallways of old high school while talking to Giles and Anya, then hands bound he finds Principal Synder in the heart of darkness (the hellmouth in the center of the basement??) Snyder tells Xander he is sacrifice raised by mongrels to be laid on a stone. The scene is a recreation of Apocalypse Now which is based on Heart of Darkness.
Is Xander the final sacrifice to open the hellmouth?
In Xander's dream he refuses to come up stairs and his heart is ripped out by the first slayer. I don't know - I thought this already metaphorically happened in season 6 and he moved past it, but maybe not??

I think Jonathan will reappear. Along with other people dead or living. Remember the BB has been able to take on Drusilla and Buffy's forms. Well Dru is dead. But what about Buffy? Or can we consider Buffy dead - in BB terms?

I think Andrew has taken Spike's place in more ways than one.

I'm getting real Andrew empathy... (No Spoilers WHATSOEVER) -- KdS, 07:52:00 11/13/02 Wed

After discussing the Troika's SF fandom so rudely the other week I just had a real Andrew moment.

Just left a lecture in which I was told that one of my big assessments this term would be to produce a thesaurus and faceted classification code to describe an intellectual area of my absolute free choice. Guess who immediately started thinking of a BtVS metaphysical classification? Fortunately someone in the same row as me (who I didn't know was a Buffy fan) actually blurted that idea out loud, so I didn't feel as potentially Troika-esque as I might have.

Don't think I'll actually hand one in though - for a start I'd hate to think whether souls come under Personality, Matter, or Energy facets ;-)

High Praise for 'Conversations' -Spoils thru this ep -- Spike Lover, 08:10:09 11/13/02 Wed

Moments of perfection- sometimes whole episodes, but not lately.

First, to talk about my top perceived moments/eps of perfection... (Different from favorite eps).

1)Season 2, when Angel loses his soul and goes out and bites the woman and then exhales her cigarrete smoke.

2) Actually the entire ep (Part 2) when Angel says all of those horrible things to Buffy after their night of intimacy, the flashback of the sex, and Buffy crying on her bed. The statement 'She got older' at the end.

3) Giles finding Ginny C. in his bed, dead, in romantic setting.

4) HOw Dru gets Giles to tell her the secret to Alcatha, or whatever the stone statue was.

5) I forget the season and the ep, but the scene when the Mayor had set Faith up in her own place. Faith tries to put the moves on him, and he says, 'Now wait a minute. I am a family man." Immediately, Faith and the mayor go into a father/child relationship that Faith SO needed, and which both Giles and Wesley had failed to provide.

6)The Swan Dive from the tower in the Season Final of 5. Amazing and terribly tragic. What a moment.

7)Fool for Love, the entire ep. So intriguing and revealing about both Buffy and Spike.

8)The single scene in Crush, when Dru kills that girl at the Bronze so that Spike can feed w/o a headache.

9) The Wish, the entire ep, showing how dark, doomed everything could have been w/o Buffy.

10) A great deal of 'Intervention', showing how far Spike had come. His good treatment of the robot. Buffy's disguise at the end.

11) The sex scene in Smashed.

12) The entire: Once More With Feeling ep.

For me, 'Conversations with the Dead' was also perfection.

First, everyone who has been noting how this season's eps refer back to previous ep and seasons and history must have also caught the similarities...

1) Open w/ haunting music being sung at the Bronze. Reminded me of the Wolf girl/Oz ep.

2)Buffy confiding in a vamp openly as she did w/ Spike (implied) at the end of Fool for Love. (As she no doubt confided openly about some things w/ Angel.)

3) Dawn still trying to hear from her Mother- see ep where she gets Spike to help her raise her from the dead.

4) The Yoko factor reference, as the evil thing is clearly trying to divide and conquer where Dawn is concerned.

Also, great acting by everyone. Willow was absolutely believable, as was Dawn and Buffy. Good humor.

Two quibbles, I do not know if a psyche major could analyze Buffy's problems that well.

What happened w/ Spike's chip?

Also, what did the evil thing mean when it said something like it was finished with the 'balance of good and evil'.

And what was that throw away line about God's existence about? Is that suppose to be a head's up to us?


[> Re: High Praise for 'Conversations' -Spoils thru this ep -- neaux, 08:33:16 11/13/02 Wed

it was finished with the 'balance of good and evil'

I hope that italics works. anyway here is a possible answer to that question. Each scene that we see is A Balance of Good and Evil so to Speak.

Buffy good vs. Bad PsycheVamp

Willow good vs Bad Cassie

Dawn good vs Bad Monsterthingy

Johnathon good vs Andrew/Warren Bad

Does the balance shift when Johnathon is killed? I'm not sure. and I think I just confused myself.

You can tear this theory to hell, it basically came off the top of my head.
PS: My head has done nothing but think about this episode all day long.

[> Re: High Praise for 'Conversations' -Part II - therapy -- Spike Lover, 08:47:16 11/13/02 Wed

I apologize for double posting...

Anyway, now the REASON why this was a perfect episode. Let me say that I rate perfection of an ep independently of the other eps in the season. Part of the reason, is because part of the perfection, imo, are the implicatons the viewer is left w/ that the writers may or may not pursue in future eps...

For instance, in Smashed, that sex scene, when the walls came crashing down around the two, and it seemed to imply that barriers were being torn down like the Iron Curtain. They land in the basement, where Shadowkat or someone said that the only place the two could go was up. It was the sign of a potentially positive relationship. -That did not happen, as everyone knows now, but the implications were still present at the end of that ep.

The Therapy

Buffy and the vamp discuss 2 of Buffy's issues. Feelings of superiority (very obvious- see my primadonna posts from seasons past) and feelings of inferiority.

Inferiority? When Buffy was trying to explain it, I still did not understand what she was talking about. WHAT has she done that she is ashamed of? (I mean that sympathetically, not critically). Is she ashamed that she has to be the one that draws the line in the sand, that the buck stops w/ her? Does she feel that she has no right to judge these non- humans? May I remind her that she was the one who fired the Counsel who could have made those tough decisions...

Why would she feel unworthy to have this power? Did she feel unworthy to be pretty or to have/use some other talent she has?

I am really pretty lost on this whole thing. What does being brought back from the dead have to do w/ feeling this sort of guilt?

Unless it can be better explained, I am not buying it.

I do think she has abandonment issues, which they did not discuss.

In fact, bringing up the whole inferiority thing- 'I did not want to be loved, because I do not feel I am worthy of it', reminds me a whole lot of the Quasimodo statement at the beginning of Crush. The writers are telling us what is happening with another character indirectly.

I think w/ Spike, the writers may argue that he has gone back to biting people because he feels so bad about his 100 years of bad behavior. He feels he will never be worthy of Buffy's love, and he does not deserve it, so why does he even try to rise above his nature and be better than what he is? If so, it is a cry out for Buffy to kill him. Let him go out fighting. (Remember Angel going out during the day because he suddenly could not handle the guilt any longer? - And it snowed.)


What if, now that Spike has gotten his soul back and he is able to see things more clearly- he simply has fallen out of love with Buffy?

I am not saying that the writers will take it this way, but the implications are powerful. I am reminded of 1Cor 13, the treatise of love, which does not really fit well here, but they do like to read it at weddings. The beginning says that if I have the gift of prophecy, and not love, then I am nothing. If I have faith to move a mountain, and have not love, I am nothing- or something like that.

Now a vampire can have a soul, know right from wrong, but if he has not love, then he can not be redeemed. (implied) In fact, his journey toward the light is immediately halted. Retrieving the soul was pointless then. Remember, w/ Angel, w/o love of Buffy, he was just wandering around allies living on rats. No direction. No coming toward the light.

Finally, the most Delicious implication... Angel who had a soul loved Buffy and then hated her, w/o it. What does it mean for Buffy if the soulless demon loved you whole heartedly, but once he gets a soul, no longer loves her? This one has got to give Buffy pause- if anything will. There are no easy answers, especially for Buffy.

The look on Buffy's face at the very end as the vamp turned to dust -was worth a thousand words. It reminded me of the hurt look she had when she sent Angel to Hell. Whether she was sad that she now had to kill her vamp shrink or if she was in pain because now she has to kill souled Spike, I do not know. (See 2 wks ago w/ Anya.) It also reminded me of when Angelus was tormenting her and siring her high school friends just to get at her.

Apparently, the soul enables Spike to override his chip. I wonder if she will have a split second of wondering if they can curse him and remove his soul to get the old Spike back?

The implications are rich and provocative -and likely the writers will not pursue them. However, the girl was singing that haunting song- "Night Falls, I fall. Where were you?"

[> [> Re: High Praise for 'Conversations' -Part II -therapy -- frisby, 09:47:56 11/13/02 Wed

Interesting. Very good point on Eros (love) and Psyche (soul) needing one another for completion. Isn't this the original beauty and beast myth? Yes, ensouled Angel without love for Buffy was pitiful, and souless Spike in love with Buffy was horrible, and that might be the "fire" Buffy wants and needs, the fire resulting from a soul in love. The song reminds me of Heidegger's darkening of the world night over the land of the evening sun (a line partially from Holderlin I think). Night falls and god dies (and modern humanity begins -- compare the end of Wagner's ring cycle as well as Tolkien's beginning of the fourth age).

[> [> [> Cupid & Psyche -- Spike Lover, 11:22:29 11/13/02 Wed

I had forgotten about that. It was a Greek Myth, in which Pschye is forced into a secret marriage that she does not even know about. (She is never allowed to see her husband.) Every need of hers is magically catered to, and she is happy, but curious as to who her husband actually is. (I think there is a terrible rumor that she is married to a monster.) So she lights a candle in the dead of night to see what he looks like. She is stunned to recognize him as the God of erotic love, Cupid. And the melted wax from the candle awakens him. He is angry and flees. (As I remember, the secrecy of the marriage I think has something to do w/ a condition set by the mother-in-law from hell, Venus.) Anyway, Psyche is stunned by what she has lost, and goes to her mother-in-law to find Cupid. Venus hates Psyche and gives her feats to accomplish to prove she is worthy of her son's love. (Similar to feats of Hercules.) Psyche is pretty pathetic as I remember, and barely completes any of them. Vaguely as I remember, she gets distraught that she will never see Cupid again and is ready to fling herself off a cliff. I believe it is then that Cupid comes to her rescue. The moral? You don't know what you had 'til it is gone. No one can earn love. No one deserves it. But love is all that will save you and keep you sane...

-Not that you wanted or needed a rehashing of the myth I barely remember.

However, I see your point about Psyche and Cupid needing each other. I will quibble that 'soulless Spike in love' w/ Buffy or even Dru was not horrible. It was actually hopeful, imo. -But we have beaten that dead horse for too long now, so I will drop it.

I am curious about the preview for next wk and why all these women are suddenly seeking Spike out.

Some thought (speculation of end and spoilers for S7.7) -- Sang, 08:44:36 11/13/02 Wed

The time is now. That's when all of our heros are alone. When they are vulnerable.

If everything we saw was manipulation of the 'enemey', it leads to some points.

It needs the slayer be alone at the end.
- This means Buffy needs all of her friends to defeat it.

It has no direct power to slayer, yet.
- It really sounds like first evil, but then, where are its priests?

It knows everything Scoobies knew.
- This makes it the most dangerous enemy.

It considers Willow as a serious threat.
- Willow's magic must have power on it. Also when Warren told Andrew that there is another who can make them gods(other than sacrificing Jonathan) the scene moved into Willow.

Spike and Dawn are also considered as threats or someone who should be against to Buffy.

Dawn must have her power of key. But, Why Spike? Is it because he is a strong vampire who will do anything for Buffy? Or maybe, he is a threat to the demon world since he made a choice to restore his humanity.

I rewatched S1, Giles told Buffy that when demon was driven out from this reality, they created vampires who can turn a human to an evil demon. So eventually, demons will wipe out humanity on earth and then demons can come back. It means that the humanity is the thing that prevent demons come back to this world.

Spike maybe the first vampire who actually choose to restore his humanity despite of his demon nature. And then, Anya might be the second. This could be the greatest threat to the demon world, the crack in the big evil ideology.

I think it could be interesting to think that hellmouth will be closed by demons after they realize that their plan to turn humanity into demon backfires and they are afraid of spreading of humanity in their demon world.

[> Re: Some thought (speculation of end and spoilers for S7.7) -- frisby, 09:39:25 11/13/02 Wed

I think maybe you're on to something with the idea that the big finale for this season (and maybe the series) will involve the most philosophical notions we have of humanity, divinity versus the demonic, magic and power generally, and a break in time! Everything is beginning to smell of biblical proportions (alluding to ghostbusters there). I think it's time for the big bang of the word itself -- a new beginning.

The role of the interpreter in Convo'swittheDead (7.7spoil) -- neaux, 10:23:12 11/13/02 Wed

it occured to me of the 5 scenes in last night’s episode that basically there are 3 characters in each scene. And while some of these characters remain unseen, the fact remains that there is an interpreter in each one of these scenes. It is this interpreter that is Evil. Either this third party is twisting words, telling lies, or outright blocking true communication between the other two. The role of the interpreter is evil and it makes you wonder if any of these conversations can be taken for truth.

When Buffy talks to the PsycheVamp, She is not really communicating to the dead, she is trying to communicate with herself. The interpreter is the PsycheVamp. He is only there to help her communicate her own thoughts. He is obviously evil, he’s a vamp. Because he is a Psych major, you wonder if the questions he asks are really the right questions.

Willow is trying to communicate to Tara but uses Cassie as the interpreter. It is not till the end of the scene that we realize that Cassie is evil, because of her message that Willow must commit suicide. This makes Willow question whether her entire conversation with Tara was legitimate.

The Andrew, Warren Johnathan scene is really different. We actually see Andrew communicating to Warren. Warren is of course evil and is telling Andrew what he must do to Johnathan. It is Warren’s interference that is blocking the proper course of communication between Johnathan and Andrew. So in this scene, Warren is the interpreter and leads to Johnathan’s demise.

The Scene with Dawn is interesting because Joyce is trying to communicate with Dawn through Electronics, first through the radio and she is cut off by her interpreter/monster. Dawn tries to circumvent the interpreter by speaking to Joyce through Knocks, but again the interpreter/monster tries to foil this by disrupting the house. I believe this scene is the most interesting because I think Joyce’s conversation with Dawn in real. Dawn was able to kill the 3rd party and actually speak to the dead. (I could be totally wrong, and Joyce could be a manifestation of the BigBad but something in my gut tells me this is legit).

Lastly we have communicationbetween Spike and his female friend. This scene is also interesting because the audience doesnt not hear any of the conversation. The interaction is through body language and it seems sincere, its seems like a one on one conversation. In reality it is another 3way conversation. The interpreter/blocker is Vamp Spike. It seems as if Spike is politely rejecting an invitation upstairs by the female friend.. and when she goes back to see him.. he turns. This last scene is hard for me to judge so if anyone could break this down further I would love to hear about it.

[> Request to the board -- neaux, 11:32:14 11/13/02 Wed

For fear that this post might hit the archives quickly, I wish to get some response to this post. While I'm not the most articulate of a poster, I think this post is pretty relevant in analyzing last nite's episode.

So if anyone has anything to add.. positive or negative.. I would love to hear it.. or else I will fear I have written another boring post. :(

[> [> Response -- Darby, 12:07:52 11/13/02 Wed

As happens often (and I always hope is happening with the posts I put up that get little response - I'm so needy!!!), I find this an interesting insight that I have nothing to add to or dispute. But it is frustrating to see such posts whisk away - Sara and I put one up on Sunday (probably a mistake in itself) that dropped quickly off the ends of the Earth that I would have loved to have seen discussed - I think that it was in one of those weekend activity lulls, though. Or that's what I'm telling myself.

- Darby-in-denial.

[> Re: The role of the interpreter in Convo'swittheDead (7.7spoil) -- LadyStarlight, 11:42:57 11/13/02 Wed

Interesting take. The more I think about it, the more I think you're on to something. This episode was more about communication that anything else, how we communicate and the ways we can misunderstand what is being said. Either because of our own internal filters or in the method of communicating.

However, I have to disagree with you on a couple of things. I think that the manifestation of Joyce at the end was the Big Evil. I really can't see Joyce telling Dawn that Buffy would abandon her. That one line just did it for me; everything else I could have seen as coming from Joyce.

And I also think that Vamp!Spike was also a Big Evil thing. Unless Spike managed to pick Xander's pocket, how could he pay for his drinks & pack of smokes at the Bronze? Of course, maybe Xander's paying him to stay out of the apartment? ;)

[> [> Re: The role of the interpreter in Convo'swittheDead (7.7spoil) -- neaux, 12:12:37 11/13/02 Wed

The interesting thing about the Joyce/Dawn scene.

Yeah.. it is really tough to say if Joyce is telling the truth or telling lies. Here are two different views.

Joyce is Bad: The fact Joyce was all glowy and Angellic really looks out of place.. like it was indeed the Big Evil playing up how Good Joyce was.

Joyce is Good: Her statement goes along with my theory/speculation that the end of the season there is a huge battle and Buffy must choose between Dawn and Faith. Because Buffy has never felt the true reward in helping Faith, she will choose Faith over Dawn. The reason? To help Faith on the path towards good.

Buffy will NOT choose Dawn because Buffy' will realize that Dawn has enough strength to handle whatever predicament that befalls Dawn.

[> Language, Interpretaton, Religion -- Etrangere, 12:47:06 11/13/02 Wed

Good post ! You're definitly on to something.

There is the mitranslation of "From beneath you, it devours" by Andrew. I wonder how much the Scoobies also do not understand correctly this sentence. And didn't Andrew commented on his difficulty of getting "mexican" language ? Also the "cuesta" error.

It's not easy understanding messages from Beyond.
And that's what religion is about. Interpretation, id est, giving meanings to things.
Buffy tells her therapist of a vampire that there's nothing solid about the existence of God.
That's why I don't think Joyce is more "real" than Cassie / Tara were.
They didn't give any really materials about Buffy's death, they won't just to give Dawn a warning :)

We don't know yet what means all these scenes, apart from Willow's, we don't know yet the truth of them.
It's all about interpretation.

[> [> Interesting observation! -- Dichotomy, 17:07:11 11/13/02 Wed

Very intriguing! I noticed the mistranslations and references to language, but didn't tie it in with the religion component. I'm going to have to watch it again.

[> "It all adds up to you feeling alone..." -- Dichotomy, 14:15:08 11/13/02 Wed

To me, what PsycheVamp says to Buffy seems very telling and important: "It all adds up to you feeling alone. But Buffy, everyone feels alone. And you are. Unitl you die."

In each segment everyone was really alone—sometimes physically, sometimes emotionally, often both.

Everyone but Jonathan began their scenes physically alone: Buffy in the graveyard, Dawn at home, Willow in the library, Spike sitting by himself at the bar. Jonathan, it could be argued, was alone in his quest to right his wrongs and do good, although he didn't know it at the time. So although Andrew was physically there, he wasn't spiritually in the same place as J.

And the visitors and companions (in most cases, the interpreter) in each setting really only served to make each character feel more alone. While PsycheVamp actually says it, the others imply it.

Even though WIllow saw through "Cassie" in the end, her visit still underscored Willow's lonliness and isolation: She alone has to face the fact she "made with the flaying," that she'll never see Tara again, that she has doubts and fears about her own power. Others can comfort and support her, but no one else can truly understand.

Dawn's encounter with "Joyce" and battle with the Growly Thing was totally solo. It was up to her to defeat GT and when she does, "Joyce" basically tells her she's on her own- -that Buffy won't choose her.

Spike: that's a little tougher to explain since we heard no dialogue, but what would make souled Spike feel more alone than siring vampires and killing people? We don't really know why he's doing this, but he must feel some sort of emotional torture actually doing it, and then there's the fact that he knows these acts will only serve to isolate him more from the Scoobies. The demon world doesn't embrace him, so what does he have left?

And as I said before, once he'd been betrayed by Andrew, Jonathan must have felt very alone in his last moments.

All of this points to the Big Bad. Divided, the Scoobies are less of a threat. We've seen this before, when Spike broke apart the Scoobies by pitting them against each other. Now they're not against each other, but this ep seemed to say, "yeah, but they're not exactly together either." I guess we'll have to wait and see.

Which brings up another interesting point: Why were Xander and Anya not in this episode? Hmmmmmm....

[> Interesting posts in this thread. Intepretation and Perception (7.7 spoilers of course) -- shadowkat, 18:19:01 11/13/02 Wed

In a way it's a metanarrative on the audience. Whedon has openly admitted to lurking online at Buffy Websites and boards to see how people are perceiving his show. And he's very interested in film that skews our perceptions of things or is based the audience's interpretation. Examples include: Magnolia, Eyes Wide Shut, Clockwork Orange, The Prisoner Series, The Searchers, amongst others.

I agree with your take on this. Spike is a hard one. It's hard for me to analyze him from a purely objective pov but I will try.

We seem to be outside both Spike and the blond's pov. He is dressed in clothing very similar to the Spike in the first few scenes of Crush. He looks like a normal guy sitting lonely at a bar. We see him drinking a shot of scotch, blood red. We hear in the background a song about Falling but where were you and why am I alone. This song I felt first and formost related to Spike then connected to the others. Odd - the music connected each scene which visually from a casual viewers perspective may not have seemed connected at all.

When Spike is joined. He does not offer the woman cigarettes. She throws him a pack. He glances at it but never picks it up. Next scene is them casually walking down a street. We do not hear what they are saying. But she seems to be doing most of the talking. We do not get another closeup of Spike until he goes into vamp face.

He did not feel like Spike in this scene. Even in vamp face, he seemed more contained than usual - hence many peoples view that he isn't the real one. I think he is the real one btw.

So what is real? What is our perception supposed to be?
Where's the pov? This scene threw me - partly b/c it was the only part of the episode that did not have a specific pov, did not have a conversation that we heard and was not up close and personal. It was witnessed mostly from a distance. We were not included in the scene, we were watching it from the most distant pov available. As if we were the casual passerby who just stopped for a moment to watch them.

Every other scene? Up close and personal. We were right in the pov of the main character and their emotional journey was emphasized. In the Spike scene we see the journey from such a distance that it appears to be the cliche - two lonely people meet in a bar. The guy walks the girl home.
She invites him up. He declines. She comes back for a kiss.
He gives her the vampire version of one. Does he drain her dry? Does he sire her? We don't know. We only know he appears in vamp face to enjoy it - but he is after all a vampire.

I like what Dichotomy says about loneliness - I see that in spades here. In fact of the three, it's ironic that the biggest disconnect happens here. Why ironic? Well all the interpreters say the same thing:

You are alone until you die. Everyone is alone until they die. Joyce says this to Dawn regarding Buffy abandoning her.
Cassie says it to Willow - you're alone now, but if you die you will be with Tara. Holden says it to Buffy, everyone is alone until they die. Warren says it to Andrew - once you die you become god like me. Holden also tells Buffy - Now I'm dead things are better - I'm connected to things - the evil that lies beneath and wants to destroy you all. Buffy responds she doesn't feel connected.

So what about Spike? Who supposedly sired Holden.
OF all the characters in this episode he felt the least connected, the least in control of himself, the least himself - his own person. In the prior episodes - he seemed to be connected to something - the SG, his love for Buffy, and struggling to be himself. Here he felt like the hollow man, a tool, like a radio or tv set showing a vampire movie over and over again. Or even like the women under the spell last week (connected to each other through the spell) but disconnected from themselves to the extent that the connection had no meaning and was far more lonely.

So Spike is evidence that the evil BB is lying. You aren't connected only when you die. Life is what connects us to each other - our reverence for it and struggle to push our way through it, our beating hearts, our ability to love, to care, the cell phone with Dawn's voice begging for her sister's help on the other end. It's not electricity.
It's not death.

I'm wondering if Spike and what he does or does not do might not be the clue on the BB and just where the BB's weakeness lies. Why is Spike so important to BB? What does a soul truly mean? And why do I have a feeling that Spike's heart and soul and mind may be the SG's first battle ground?
Is it important that Spike be connected to humanity through the SG, through his heart and soul? Isn't that part of the reason he states for getting the soul? To fit. To be connected to the sG, to Buffy? And isn't that also why Anya gave up vengeance demon status? Because she also missed this connection?

[> [> Wonderful. Thank you for your insight! -- neaux (with new stuff to ponder), 04:33:29 11/14/02 Thu

[> [> Re: Interesting posts in this thread. Intepretation and Perception (7.7 spoilers of course) -- fresne, 12:06:16 11/14/02 Thu

Okay, normally, I’d write some huge thematic wending post, but no time, no time, no time.

However, I have some Conversation thoughts that I want to get out before (A) I forget them (B) the thread goes away. So, I’m going to throw a few things out there.

1. It’s interesting that Andrew had no trouble learning a created language, Klingon, but could not learn to speak and comprehend (i.e., to converse in) an evolved natural language, Spanish. Especially, since Klingon was deliberately created to be difficult, sort of the anti Esperanto. For example, the lack of a To Be verb. Thus the humor of “To Be or Not to Be” in the original Klingon.
2. Holden – Catcher in the Rye. No thoughts really, but there it is.
3. Buffy feels disconnected, but she isn’t. She is the Slayer. There can only be one, but that’s because the ones that came before died. She is one of a long line of Slayers. In both the movie and the first episode, Giles/previous Watcher discussed the Buffy’s dreams. In the movie, particularly her dreams of previous Slayers. Her powers, abilities, skills flow down the line. They aren’t the source of her, she is unique. However, they are a part of her. As her mother is a part of her. As her history is a part of her. Perhaps part of the Buffster’s disconnect is that she is out of the Slayer flow. However, we must not forget the dream of the Alias girl killed in episode two. Just because ME hasn’t shown us these dying girls for awhile, because we have not seen Buffy’s dreaming, doesn’t mean it’s not still happening. That Buffy won’t be confronted with the nature of her connectedness. That the connection goes forward and back and around.
4. Spike – I have no idea what to think. However, since I believe Willow and Dawn’s confrontations were based on lies and misdirection, I have no idea as to how to interpret Spike’s scenes. I think ME is messing with my head again. Evil therapy. Good for them.

[> [> [> Let's clutch at some straws -- Tchaikovsky, 13:51:39 11/14/02 Thu

Well, of course, Holden Caulfield's favourite expression, (a little shocking when 'Catcher' was first published) was 'goddam phoney'. This seems somehow relevant to an episode full of fake dead people

[> Spending the night... alone (7.7 spoilers) -- Tyreseus, 21:31:15 11/13/02 Wed

I might argue that rather than having three characters in each scene, there was only 1. The idea that they were holding conversation with someone else was always illusion.

I have conversations with my deceased grandmother all the time, but it's not really a conversation with her as much as to her. Many of us talk to ghosts, but its generally more self-therapy than anything else.

So Buffy talked to herself about her fears, commitment issues, superiority/inferiority complex, and parents' divorce. VampFreud was incidental, he didn't matter, his opinion was moot. He'd came there to kill her, not to judge her.

Willow talked to herself about her grief at the loss of Tara. I don't think she's fully mourned her loss, nor is it time to. In real life, mourning a partner can continue for months, even years. I wouldn't be surprised if suicide did weigh heavily on Willow's mind. So if nothing else came from her conversation with dead people, she's set her mind against suicide.

Dawn never really conversed with anyone. It was fight-scream- whimper-scream-fight until Joyce appeared, spoke two lines and disappeared.

Out of all the characters, Andrew had the most actual conversation. But his "real" conversation pal ended up dead - possibly the only dead "people" in the episode, if morphy evil doesn't qualify as "people." But Andrew's role seems to be primarily that of taking orders - some from Warren and some from Jonathon.

I don't know, just rambling at this point. It's getting late for me.

[> [> Wow! that's an interesting thought -- neaux, 04:41:24 11/14/02 Thu

I understand your viewpoint, really cool! what you say about Andrew Warren and Johnathan make sense.

But how bout this for a future scenario.

If this episode is about being alone, Andrew isnt fully alone because he has the human counterpart that in Johnathan. So Johnathan must die.

Andrew kills his "good" conscience, so he can focus on his thoughts with Warren.

This is where it gets fun. I would absolutely love it if in future scenes, ME plays on the Angel and Devil on your shoulder routine with Andrew. So Andrew is still alive and every decision comes down to Warren and Johnathan whispering in his ear as to what to do!

(not very likely.. but would be extremely funny for a scene)

[> [> Re: Spending the night... alone (7.7 spoilers) -- Arethusa, 09:04:29 11/14/02 Thu

IT* is trying to get each person to mistrust herself and her power. Buffy learns to mistrust Spike, so he must be a future source of great power for her. Willow's power, we know, is magic, so IT tries to get her to mistrust her magic powers. IT tries to get Dawn to mistrust Buffy, who is teaching Dawn to be powerful.

*I'm using this name for the Evil thing, with apologies to shadowat for co-opting it. It also is the name of the evil thing in A Wrinkle in Time and the Steven King book, so it seems appropriate.

Hey! What if IT didn't attack Xander in this episode because he already conquered IT? (His spech to Willow in Grave was similiar to one in AWiT.) Or since he has no supernatural power, IT was unable to attack his source of power-his heart, which IT could not hope to understand. IT's mistake with Willow was not understanding Tara's love for Willow. Maybe all the women need to learn to trust their hearts, which is the source of our strength. Is Xander missing in action in this episode and stronger this year because he already trusts his heart?
Does Buffy have to come to terms with her vampire with a soul ex-boyfriend before she opens up her heart, and learns to trust it? It fits in with her coldness at the beginning of this year, Spike's actions in this episode, and the themes being developed.

[> [> [> Much agree-age! -- ponygirl, 09:10:17 11/14/02 Thu

[> [> [> Very good points, Tyreseus and Arethusa -- Caroline, 09:47:48 11/14/02 Thu

I think that part of the irony of the title was that on a psychological level, Buffy, Dawn, Willow, Andrew and Spike were interacting with the darker aspects of the Self, as represented by the Holden, demon/Joyce, Cassie, Warren and PawnSpike respectively. Each character took a hit to their psychological Achilles' heel through some apparent external agent that was really only playing on their own weaknesses. Those are the 'dead' aspects of the Self, the things that we try to hide from others and our own conscious minds because they are not acceptable.

I wish I had time to develop this more but must get back to work, which is intruding on board yumminess far too much!

[> Re: The role of the interpreter in Convo'swittheDead (7.7spoil) -- Slain, 11:52:49 11/14/02 Thu

Great, post neaux - I have many thoughts about this episode, and I think I'll put most of them here.

Someone else in this thread pointed out that the title of this episode was ironic - which I something is saw, in the sense that it was a misdirect, I think, leading us to believe that Willow, Dawn and Andrew were talking with the dead; but in I thought they weren't, but were rather being fooled by the mystery If-it's-not-the-First-Evil-I'll-eat-my- hat big bad (my name for it - catchy). I didn't see that the big bad was getting in the way of Dawn or Willow's communication, but rather that there was no communication with Tara or Joyce (and Warren).

But communication is, as you pointed out, what the episode was about - but in an ironic sense, as most of the characters were in some way misled, and weren't communicating (cue 'Communication Breakdown' by Led Zeppelin, at least in my head, anyway). Willow thought she was finding catharsis, but instead the reverse happened. I don't think Dawn spoke with her mother - it seemed unlikely to me that she'd be able to cast out the First Evil, even using her Dawnie-scream; instead I thought she had doubts planted in her mind by the big bad. Andrew was misled into killing Jonathan, his one friend in the world, just at the moment when he was offering him a route towards some kind of redemption.

The big bad acts as an Iago figure in this episode, I thought; as a deciever or distorter - feeding self doubt for its own ends, trying to split up the Scooby Gang like Spike did in 'The Yoko Factor'. Everyone in this episode is separated out, and I think the reason Xander wasn't there was simply a case of time constraints - or perhaps another suggestion of his fourth-wheelness in matters Scooby.

Dawn will probably now mistrust Buffy, Willow mistrusts herself more than before, Andrew has returned to evil. I wouldn't be surprised if Spike's actions in this episode had something to do with these Iago-like activities. It's probably groundless, but how sure are we that the Shaman who gave Spike soul back in Africa wasn't in some way involved with this big bad? This assumes that the Spike we saw is Spike, the likelihood of which I'd personally put a small sum of money on.

Buffy has the only true, beneficial conversation; as has been pointed out, Holden performs the traditional psychiatrist's role of letting Buffy converse with herself - the interpreter, to get back to the thread title. And of course it wasn't just a conversation with herself; it was with we, the audience, letting us inside Buffy's head. I've always thought that Buffy was a mystery to us; she held back a lot of herself from her friends and lovers, and used the Slayer side of her as a mask, as if they were a real Buffy, separate from the Slayer, which she'd only reveal to certain people (Angel, Spike). In her conversation she acknowledges that being the Slayer pervades her whole life, including her thoughts and emotions; in Season 6 she seemed to want to switch off the Slayer part of her, and just go through the motions of doing her 'job'. But, in coming to terms with her relationship with her father and her lovers, she's acknowledged that she can't separate out the two; that her superiority inferiority complex is part of her personality, and that she hasn't some inner Buffy she can let people see; is she were a stick of rock, she'd have 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer' written all the way through (in very small letters, presumably)

All in all a brilliantly unexpected episode, for me - not just because of the revealations, but because of the style - lots of talking, almost no action; emotional resonance, but not a rocket launcher in sight. Certainly what I'd expected, namely BtVS making its way back towards the style of earlier seasons, might be itself a misdirect; here the idea of the Scooby Gang going back to a 'lighter' style that was suggested by 'Him', and most of the season so far, is turned on its head. So I'm wondering if Buffy Year One is being rapidly replaced by Buffy Year Seven; which is itself a mystery: 'You think you know who you are, what's to come? You haven't even begun.'

[> [> Misdirection (Spoilers 7.7) -- Sophist, 13:07:52 11/14/02 Thu

Willow mistrusts herself more than before

I would think the opposite. Since Willow realized she was being played, she should be more inclined to trust Giles's advice and perhaps herself.

Of course, if the BB-whatever-it-is were really clever, it might reason thusly: Willow's use of magic poses a risk to her and to everyone else. I want her to use that magic in order to increase the risk. I'll tell her to stop altogether, but have her realize I'm trying to play her. She's smart enough to decide that if I don't want her to use magic, magic is what she should use. Mission accomplished.

Then again, Vizzini tried this approach in The Princess Bride and look where it got him.

[> [> [> LOL! Vizzini! Was Wallace Shawn brilliant, or what? -- cjl, 13:59:31 11/14/02 Thu

Hazardous to reach a full conclusion when you only have half the facts...

[> [> [> Re: Misdirection (Spoilers 7.7) -- Slain, 14:10:41 11/14/02 Thu

And Iago, while clever, didn't exactly end up well.

Perhaps it is a double feint, but to me it would seem a bit pointless for the big bad to materialise itself, to only confirm Willow on the path she'd already taken. However, the fact that it was so blatant and transparently so perhaps Willow does have more faith in her magic now, thinking that this path goes against what the evil apparently. Certainly the big bad didn't seem particularly bothered that Willow found it out, which is something else which reminds me of the First Evil; its plan seemed fairly tenuous in 'Amends', as if the most important thing was the carrying out of it, the causing of pain, rather than the details.

Or perhaps the big bad (I have to keep stopping myself from calling it the First Evil) isn't as subtle as all that, and relies too much on taking advantage of a disordered mind (Spike, Andrew), as the First Evil did with Angel. Both Willow and Dawn are disordered by grief, and vulnerable through it, but both of them still have their wits about them, whereas Andrew and Spike don't necessarily seem to.

Current board | More November 2002