November 2002 posts

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From Beneath You, It Devours (Poem I found) -- fearshade, 10:31:57 11/13/02 Wed

From Beneath you it devours
Fierce demons of which you cannot fight
Blazing rotting flesh, Caressed with blood
Dying a thousand deaths. Evil intentions ignite

From beneath you it devours
Grabbing your every limb
Cutting you off, cutting your soul
Killing you, repulsively smiles and grins

From beneath you it devours...

[> Debajo de usted él devours... Klingon or spanish? (spoilage & speculation) -- ZachsMind, 11:06:49 11/13/02 Wed

I don't recall what the actual words were that Jonathan used, then Andrew translated to "it eats your bottom" or whatever. A quick trip to gives Debajo de usted él devours as a direct translation for "from beneath you it devours." Anyone recall precisely what Jonathan said? I thought it sounded cool whether it's spanish or klingon or whatever.

*A moment of silence for Superstar Jonathan..* Okay that's enough.

[> [> Re: Debajo de usted él devours... Klingon or spanish? (spoilage & speculation) -- Sang, 11:58:20 11/13/02 Wed

I am just learning spanish, so I am not so sure that I got it correctly. But it sounded like spanish,
Desde abajo te devora.

Which is a rough translation of "from beneath you, it devours." in Spanish.

Oh.. and someone pointed out that when Andrew told that this is a "Quest", Jonathan mistranslated it to "cuesta" which means slope. 'la Cuesta abajo' means "down hill" or "down fall".

Poor Jonathan. He knew it is comming, no one in Buffyverse survived longer than him without included in title credit. Next in order must be Amy, Harmony or Faith. (You know, everyone who stayed more than one season as an 'almost' regular and never made in credit eventually dies. Ms Calender, Larry, Principle Snyder, Joyce, Tara now Jonathan )

What did it mean? (spoiler?) -- Juli, 11:36:37 11/13/02 Wed

"Converstations with Dead People"
November 12, 2002
8:01 p.m.

I haven't seen anyone discuss this...what was with
the title of the ep in quotes & the date and then time?
I immediately thought someone here would have some insight. I usually read what you-all write to clear things up for me, the day after. But no one adressed this....anyone have a thought?

[> It felt very 24ish (7.7 trivial spoilers) -- Vickie, 12:20:08 11/13/02 Wed

The placard beginning reminded me of 24 (the action show on Fox). But they never followed up in the remainder of the episode, so I dunno.

Last week, we had the splitscreen sequence, which is also 24ish (as well as reminiscent of other shows as was pointed out).

The fact that they broadcast the episode title was a first, I believe. It could mean a change of policy, or just a preference of the writers. Or it could have sinister and juicy implications down the road?

[> [> Sorry, omitted the actual point -- Vickie, 12:30:10 11/13/02 Wed

I failed to mention that the 24 connection is likely to be that 7.7 appeared to happen in real-time, as does that show.

[> [> [> Well, almost (spoilers for CwDP) -- PepTech, 13:11:07 11/13/02 Wed

>>7.7 appeared to happen in real-time

Only saw the ep the one time, so could be wrong, but I thought that when Dawn got home there was a note with money for dinner, with the additional admonishment of "NO PIZZA". The next time we cut to Dawn, naturally, she was snarfing down some pizza. If Sunnydale is anything like where I live, there must have been at least a half-hour break in there... Aside from that, sure, it could have been realtime.

[> [> [> [> Re: Well, almost (spoilers for CwDP) -- ejs, 14:08:52 11/13/02 Wed

Also, I would think that the Jonathan/Andrew storyline, which began on the outskirts of town and involved digging what was essentially a grave would have taken more than an hour, while I got the sense that we got to witness pretty much all of the conversation between Willow and Cassie, which would have added up to about 10 solid minutes.

But hey, who knows.

[> Re: What did it mean? (spoilers 7.7 and AtS 4.7 preview) -- Doriander, 12:24:59 11/13/02 Wed

“24” homage perhaps?

But ME being ME, there’s always more to it.

Upon rewatch, this has a more sinister bent, establishing a countdown to something big. The thing that devours finally came out from beneath, announcing its presence to Willow ( and everyone else). Like in “24”, it implies a deadline, great urgency. The night started out with everyone going about their routines. I suppose tonight is the end of that sense of normalcy (or whatever passes for normal in Sunnydale).

My spec, next week’s Angel will have an establishing timeline as well. Whatever’s happening on Angel could refer to the same thing happening on Buffy, and we’ll have concurrent timelines (crossover-noncrossover).

[> So where were you? -- neaux, 13:55:44 11/13/02 Wed

If you are a police detective and you know the time and date and WHERE of everyone then you can start to make sense of what's going on.

This date is significant because what main character do we NOT know about at this time?

Xander. So hopefully we will be enlightened in a future episode.

Number 7 -- Etrangere, 12:19:23 11/13/02 Wed

7 years ago, in Season 1, the Episode Angel, the seventh, first introduced us to Buffy's issue with her boyfriend betraing her.

In Season 2, the episode 7 was Lie To Me. Another man who betrays Buffy, the first person we know of that Spike's sired, and that whole moral ambiguity thing so beautifully worded.

In Season 3, the episode 7 was Revelation, which, interrestingly enough, was a template for the whole season, complete with the two slayers breaking through a window as they fight each others. And it was all about the fear for character we know / trust turning evil and being misled to distrusting someone by the person we should not have trusted.

In Season 4, the Initiative introduces us to the storyline of the whole season, it showed us first Spike being shipped, and, along Petrie's commentary, being a hero of sort. The Season 4, ofcourse was all about Buffy having the keep the scale between humanity and demons, good and evil. Also about Buffy's new future Boyfriend... and what he was hiding.

Season 5 episode 7 was Fool For Love. All about Spike, all about the Slayer and what it means to be the Slayer. All about what a friend once described as being the only relationship that lasts on BtVS : that of Buffy and Death. La Jeune Fille et la Mort.

Season 6 episode 7 was OMWF. It was about too mcuh things for me to summerize it there. Certainly it was also big on the Buffy's relationship and her various issues.

Season 7...

Well you always know on Buffy that the Episode 7 is gonna be real good, don't you ? :)

[> Re: Number 7 -- fearshade, 12:38:20 11/13/02 Wed

Well, to clarify just a little, at the very end of Season 6 Episode 7, Buffy reveals to the gang that she thinks she was in heaven and things along those lines. In CWDP, at one point as Buffy talks to the "PsychVamp", she says something like, "It's just that sometimes, I wish..." and she hesitates before anything else is said. When I heard her start saying this, I beleive she was going to say she wished she was still dead, and I do beleive she would have said it.

[> La Jeune Fille et la Mort ? - love that idea -- Rahael, 17:40:52 11/13/02 Wed

[> Isn't that more because of November sweeps though? -- MayaPapaya9, 17:52:56 11/13/02 Wed

The tyranny of high expectations (Spoilers for CWTD) -- Sophist, 12:20:47 11/13/02 Wed

Holden gave Buffy "kudos" for feeling simultaneously superior and inferior, as though this were surprising. I don't think Buffy's feelings are suprising at all.

Buffy is The Chosen One. That status leads pretty naturally to a belief that she is, in some sense, "better" than others. Why bother to 'choose' someone unless it is that that someone can do something others cannot?

Others (Giles in particular) just as naturally have high expectations of The Chosen One. Since we know that Buffy herself performs her job diligently and, in general, with dedication, we can safely assume she holds herself to the same high expectations that, say, Giles holds her to.

When Buffy fails to live up to her own expectations, or perhaps to the ones imposed on her by others, she naturally feels like she has failed and doesn't deserve her Chosen status. She knows she's supposed to be better; every little failure thus becomes evidence that she doesn't deserve her superior status as Chosen.

We actually saw this early on. In Innocence, as Buffy and Giles sit in the car, her first words to him are "You must be so disappointed in me." Giles plays the perfect father and tells her he's not. I'd say she could use some of that now, whether from Giles or her friends.

[> I Read It Differently. . . -- Finn Mac Cool, 14:03:53 11/13/02 Wed

I thought Holden the vampire was saying that Buffy felt superior to everybody, but that she was ashamned of feeling that way. She felt that feeling superior made her morally inferior to others.

[> Re: The tyranny of high expectations (Spoilers for CWTD) -- Darby, 15:39:33 11/13/02 Wed

I kind of agree with both of you. Part of this is the common human feeling that we're nastier, dumber, less worthy than anyone knows but sooner or later everyone will see it. Part of it is we can't help but feel superior when the opportunity presents itself, and it presents itself to Buffy a lot. These feelings often are stronger with those who have acheived some sort of success - you hear entertainers describe it. As with so many other things, Buffy can't reconcile these parts of her inner feelings, and doesn't share enough to find out that everyone can feel the way she does without being Chosen. Does she really think that Giles, Willow, even Xander don't at times feel superior to their frinds, including her? She does need some therapy.

[> [> I've read that it's quite common for highly successful people to believe, inside, that -- Sophist, 16:44:30 11/13/02 Wed

they don't deserve their success and that everyone will eventually realize that they are frauds. Perhaps someone else here knows more about this (or whether what I read is an urban legend to make the rest of us feel better!)

But, seriously. Back to the issue at hand... (spoilers to 7.7) -- Malathustra, 12:50:54 11/13/02 Wed

Look, it's been what? 3 or 4 episodes since we've had a run- in with the punk-rock fighting girls and Buffy's nightmares of them?

Then, in 7.7, I think we get mention of them again. It's almost a throw-away, but in Jonathon and Andrew's first scene (in the car), Jonathon says that he couldn't handle the nightmares anymore.

Nightmares? Hardly any attention is paid to this, because the next thing he says is "Desde abajo, te devora" and Andrew poorly translates. ("It eats you, starting with your bottom.")

Jonathon, in Mexico, was having nightmares and, apparently, those nightmares taught him about the Devourer just as Buffy's nightmares had taught her. Was Jonathon dreaming about Lola and Istanbul and the rest of it? If not, what? If so, why?

Are there other people having nightmares, too? Are these girls real? Are they being chased by their own, personal dead people or by minions and priests of the Hellmouth's Big Bad?

On the other hand, it could be that Jonathon was one of them -- that he was killed and sacrificed at the hands of a Big Bad Priest, just like the fighter girls. (This is not to call Jonathon a girl, or anything... may he rest in peace.)

I always pay extra special attention to the throw-away lines.

[> OHHH -- MayaPapaya9, 17:19:46 11/13/02 Wed

>>Nightmares? Hardly any attention is paid to this, because the next thing he says is "Desde abajo, te devora" and Andrew poorly translates. ("It eats you, starting with your bottom.")

Is THAT what Andrew meant by that?! HAHAHAHAHA oh wow. That is hilarious. I so completely did not make that connection, thanks. So how do Andrew and Jonathan know about Beneath You it Devours anyway?

[> [> Nightmares -- Amkath, 17:50:47 11/13/02 Wed

I thought they were having nightmares about Willow killing Warren and almost killing them. Your theory makes more sense though. How else would they know "From beneath you it devours."

[> [> [> Re: Nightmares -- Darby, 20:29:50 11/13/02 Wed

Does this mean that Giles should be having the nightmares too? His connection to the Hellmouth is stronger than Jonathan and Andrew's.

And who else? Drusilla, for sure. Faith, maybe. The Sunnydale-connected Angel folks, could be.

[> Good points! -- Rahael, 17:37:05 11/13/02 Wed

My Big Bad theory for S7 *SPOILERS* S1-S7 -- Simplicity, 14:47:23 11/13/02 Wed

I think that that Buffy will end up being the big bad this season. Joss has stated that this year's finale will be "epic" and that the villian is the "ultimate big bad". As Giles said in Season 3, "I can think of nothing more dangerous than a rogue Slayer."

I think that this "Morphy" being is the source of all of the Slayer's power. I think that, in order to fight demons, Slayers must have a little bit of darkness in them to do so successfully. A demonic energy. Maybe they are demon/human hybrids. There's a balance to being both. I went scrolling through transcripts of episodes and got some choice tidbits.

Morphy is big on balance, it told Willow in CWDP that it was "over the whole good/evil balance thing". Perhaps, its naturally neutral. It told Spike that "'s not about right, it's not about wrong. It's about power."

Buffy went through a dark period last year. Maybe it is just me but they've been playing her as rougher this year. She's been wearing more leather, darker eye makeup, and lets not forget the psychoanalysis in CWDP.

Buffy and Faith speak in "Bad Girls"

(FAITH)Something made us different. We're built to kill.

(Buffy) But we don't get to pass judgement on people. Like we're better than everyone else.

(Faith) But we are better! You heard me. Better. In the balance, no one's gonna cry over some innocent bystander who caught in the crossfire.

Buffy denies this.

Buffy and Faith in "Consequences)

Buffy is upset about Faith's behavior (killing the deputy mayor)

What bugs you is that you know I'm right. You know that in your gut. We don't need the law. We are the law!

Sounds like Buffy speech in "Selfless"

The scene continues and Buffy denies it.
I've seen it, B. You've got the lust. (then) you need me to tow the line because you're afraid you'll go over it, aren't you, B? You can't handle watching me living my own way and having a blast because it tempts you. You know it could be you!

In, "Primevil" Willow and the gang invoke the power of all the Slayers. And were later punished by that source (Slayer Prime). When Buffy punches her fist into Adam, she says.

You could never hope to grasp the source of our power!

At the time, I thought she was talking about the gang but I think she's talking about Morphy.

In, "Restless", Buffy is having a conversation with Adam.


She's uncomfortable with certain concepts. It's understandable. (to Buffy) Aggression is a natural human tendency. Though, you and me come by it another way.

Buffy defends herself.
We're not demons.

Is that a fact?

In "Buffy VS Dracula", he taunts her, telling her that she's darker than she'd like to think.

All these years, fighting us (vampires). Your power so near to our own and you've never once wanted to know what it is we fight for? Never even a taste?

(As Buffy drinks his blood) Find it...the darkness...find your true nature

In "The Gift", Buffy sacrifices herself for her sister. She is told, during her vision quest that "death is her gift". In, Grave, she tells Giles that "it was her time" and that "she was finished". So, Willow defied the laws of nature to bring her back. It haunts me that Spike told her once that "you came back wrong!" They also never gave us a satisfactory answer as to why he could bite her again. Is it because the dark half of Buffy came back? A part that could be corrupted and used by Morphy? Joyce warned Dawn that Buffy "wouldn't choose you. She'll be against you."

Agree? Disagree? Let me know....

[> Interesting. Anything's possible at this point. -- yez, 14:57:27 11/13/02 Wed

Maybe Buffy will be ultimately corrupted by her dark side -- and never get the chance to overcome that if SMG doesn't sign for another season or two.

[> Agree. Completely. -- MayaPapaya9, 17:57:07 11/13/02 Wed

[> Re: My Big Bad theory for S7 *SPOILERS* S1-S7 - - anneth, 21:44:12 11/13/02 Wed

I agree completely, too. The parallels between Buffy and Faith have grown increasingly robust since season 3. Buffy never wore leather until S4, if I recall correctly. More recently, her darker eye makeup, clothes, etc - everything that Simplicity mentioned - recall Faith. But what struck me especially was "Joan's" response to her "first" vampire killing in Tabula Rasa - she said "wicked cool." Buffy has never, ever (that I remember) used the slang term "wicked" - but as The Slayer, without a past, identity, friends, or family, she became very Faith-like.

[> [> Buffy says 'wicked' a couple times. -- oboemaboe, 03:30:55 11/14/02 Thu

Dave and Fritz are "wicked jumpy." (IRYJ)

Riley looks "wicked conspicuous" in his GI Joe outfit. (Doomed)

And yes, old Faith used "wicked" as an adverb like this more of the time.

Willow even uses "wicked cool" when she's mocking Faith to Tara.

The question of God's existence... -- kty_fantastico, 15:29:27 11/13/02 Wed

... I definitely think there may have been something to that throw away line. 7 plays a pivotal role in Revelations 7 seals, 7 lamp stands and here we are at the 7th episode of the 7th season and Spike sees 7 manifestations of the Big Bad. Over at W&H, there is lots of wonder and worry about the apocalypse-- complete with an impending rain of fire. I have a feeling things may be getting a little biblical here. Who else would be more interested in destroying the balance between good and evil than Satan himself? Talk about epic. Oh and here's a theory on Xander being excluded-- by not going to him that says that the Big Bad doesn't see him as a threat which is in itself a slap in the face. By the way can I just say that last night ep scared the BEJESUS out of me!!

[> Re: The question of God's existence... -- frisby, 16:50:25 11/13/02 Wed

I just read your post to my son and an insight hit him -- what if it's the biblical God himself or herself or itself that has tired of the good/evil balancing, and wants to end it all, and the uber-uber-buffy (especially the power of the earth through Willow and the mysterious power of the key through Dawn) joins with the first evil (that which even the darkness fears) to stop the new beginning (which is for us the end)??????? But could even Joss get away with something like that? Wow!

[> Childhood's End (spoiler) -- ZachsMind, 18:43:38 11/13/02 Wed

I took it as just a throwaway line...

Joss Whedon's been dancing around this issue almost since the series began. The demons that populate Buffy's world are not your run of the mill demons. I mean sometimes they look on the surface to be similar to those imagined or interpreted by catholicism or even some eastern theologies. The Fyoral demon that Giles was turned into by Ethan Rayne some seasons ago is the classic example of a demon monster - - looked to me like they got their idea for the character directly from the video game Diablo. Lorne from Angel is an amusing example. He's got the horns, but he's green instead of red. Makes sense. In American culture, red means stop or bad. Green means go or good. Lorne's kind of a good guy.

Joss plays with these concepts but at the same time he distorts them, making one think perhaps he's toying with anyone who believes only one theology is accurate. The demons have been around in one form or another as long as humans have been around, and maybe Whedon's indicating that their presence in Buffy's world has indirectly affected human culture. He admitted earlier this season that Anya had at least some hand in the communist uprising of Russia early in the 20th season. Who knows what else has been impacted.

However, this is a dangerous line of thought to explore on prime time television. There's unfortunately too many out there unwilling to comprehend the possibility that their one theology is erroneous. Whedon dances with everything from pagan belief systems to Judeo-Christianity and anything in or out of that spectrum, without taking sides. Without solidifying his own beliefs or the beliefs he's decided upon for his series. In Angel he won't even call the supreme force in the universe "GOD." Instead he uses the phrase "The Powers That Be" and variations on that theme. It's obvious that there are hellgods like Glory, or god-like entities that Willow speaks to like Hecate or Osiris, but there's always the indication that no matter how big a guy there is, there's always something bigger. Even this "From Beneath You IT Devours" thing seems to have to answer to a higher source - follow rules laid down by something or someone bigger.

Arthur C. Clarke once wrote a story he called "Childhood's End." He made it clear that the views expressed in it were not necessarily those of the author, but as a scifi author Clarke took his role in human society very seriously. He wanted to make people think. In the story, an alien approaches the human race. An alien that appears on the surface to be a demon from human mythology. It turns out he's a good guy. However, his race choose to hide their physical appearance from humanity for many generations after they take the planet over and work with humanity to develop a Utopia, just as humans were about to annihilate themselves. Why hide their faces? Because their appearance, had they introduced themselves early on, would have caused many humans to assume them bad guys on the surface. Because we humans make assumptions on first appearances.

Now make no mistake. Many of these demons in Buffy's world are bad guys. However, just as not all human beings are good, not all demons are fully evil. So Whedon's been playing with our assumptions. We can't take anything at face value. We obsessed fans are even questioning Buffy's place in the universe. Is she really a good guy or is she gonna turn bad? Who knows? The only thing we know for sure is that Sarah Michelle Gellar has gotten engaged to Freddie Prinze Jr., and I gotta ask myself WHY? Why? She could have anybody on the planet and she settles for a guy who can't even spell the word "prince" right.

When fauxCassie said "Fact is the whole good vs. evil balancing the scales thing, I'm over it. I'm done with the mortal coil. But believe me, I'm going for a big finish" I like to think that's Joss Whedon talking to all of us. I think he's sick and tired of dancing around the whole good and bad thing. And WE do it to him! He turns Willow gay and there's people who write his secretary and bitch about whether or not that's a good thing. And then he kills off Whedon's lover and we got people writing his interns and bitching and moaning.

If you were Joss, wouldn't you be tired of this? There's just no pleasing some people.

Willow kills Warren. Willow needs to suffer a certain amount before some audience members believe she's acceptable to return to the show as a good guy. Anya goes evil, so Buffy has to stick a sword in her a few times until she's done. Spike starts eating people. Oh no. Now he'll never be able to get in the sack with Buffy again. As if Buffy's all wholesome -- She's not! Buffy's just as screwed up as the rest of them! Why do people keep thinking Buffy should only date people like Angel? I honestly can't believe David Boreanaz is like that in real life. That's gotta be CGI. Real human males just don't look like that. Where's his beer gut? That's what I wanna know. They're hiding it with special effects or something.

Moral ambiguity? I think Joss Whedon's sick of the balancing act. In real life things don't balance. There's people in our world who are put on death row for something they didn't do. There's white collar criminals out there who embezzle millions of dollars and no one ever finds out about it. OH! We HEAR about the ones who get caught cuz they end up on CNN and the NYT, but that just gives proof that for every one who gets caught, there's gotta be ten or so out there who were smarter than that. There's no balance in real life. There's theologies that talk about the balance. Whatever you do will fall back on you ten fold. Your karma ran over my dogma. Whatever.

Whedon's saying that to be honest, we don't know. We may never know. Anything. And why should we care? Theologies are fun and everything and it's nice to contemplate that, but screw it. It's all a crap shoot. We honestly don't know.

This bad guy Whedon's playing with now is gonna play with power. The Thing That Devours Your Bottom don't CARE who's good and who's bad. It's not Santa Claus. It's gonna screw with EVERYBODY. Trying to figure it all out is like watching a vampire stop beating up on you in order to do a psych evaluation. It's funny ONCE, but pretty soon it's gonna be time to just watch Buffy beat up on stuff, and that's gonna be fun. To me, it's like Whedon is saying, "quit trying to figure it out. We're gonna blow up stuff and people are gonna die and it's gonna be a lot of fun, so sit back and be entertained for once." I for one am looking forward to that, but I'll probably still dissect the hell out of everything because that can be fun too.

[> [> Proofreading my own crap... -- ZachsMind, 19:05:48 11/13/02 Wed

"He admitted earlier this season that Anya had at least some hand in the communist uprising of Russia early in the 20th season."

Uhm.. "season" was supposed to be "century" and I have no idea why I spaced on that. I got seasons on the brain apparently. Freud might have had something to say about that but he's dead. So.

"He turns Willow gay and there's people who write his secretary and bitch about whether or not that's a good thing. And then he kills off Whedon's lover and we got people writing his interns and bitching and moaning."

Uhm.. "Whedon" was supposed to be "Willow" in that sentence, but again I spaced. And again I'm sure Freud would have a FIELD DAY with that one but the bastard's dead. So.

"There's white collar criminals out there who embezzle millions of dollars..."

That could be a misspelling. I honestly don't know and am too lazy to go look the word up.

[> [> Re: Childhood's End (spoiler) -- MaeveRigan, 19:24:04 11/13/02 Wed

So, are you saying that sometimes a TV show is only a TV show? Maybe we should remember that now and then.

OTOH, maybe we should also remember what Joss the "very angry atheist" said recently when asked about the existence of God:

The Onion AV Club asked a number of celebrities "Is there a God?":

The Onion: Is there a God?

Joss Whedon: No.

O: That's it, end of story, no?

JW: Absolutely not. That's a very important and necessary thing to learn."

Always leave them guessing, eh?

[> [> Summing Up: God vs. Earth -- frisby, 04:34:57 11/14/02 Thu

It is for sure complicated, but I think the main tension will be between "God" and the "Earth" --------

[> More hints of religious mythology (spoilers through 7.7) -- Tyreseus, 19:28:12 11/13/02 Wed

Okay, like you, I was caught off-guard by the whole God conversation between VampFreud and Buffy, and I think there is more evidence that ME might finally confront the issues of religious mythology this season.

In "Him" did you notice how Spike turned the little angel away while Xander was talking to RJ? Or how about the fact that VampFreud started examining a little statue of (I believe) the virgin mary in a remarkably similar fashion? Of course, VampFreud used the statue as a weapon, catching Buffy offguard (Talk about getting smacked in the face with religion).

I was confused this season about Spike in the church unitl I remembered the season 5 episode where Adam talks a group of vampires into facing their fear and entering a church. Apparently, in Buffyverse, holy ground doesn't stop vamps, but holy water and crosses do. ME has some serious explaining to do about religion's role in the whole good/evil fight.

And how does ME reconcile Judeo-Christianity monotheism with a Buffyverse that has already dealt with a "god" (Glory) from a hell dimension. If Glory was truly cast out by two other gods from her dimension, the count is up to 3 (4 if you count the big one from the bible). Not much for monotheism, myself, but isn't the basic idea that there's only one God? Y'know, capital "G"?

In Laurell K. Hamilton's "Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter" series (great books, like Buffy without super-strength, but lots more sex), faith seems to be a lot more important than which diety you worship. An atheist with a cross is in sad shape, but a faithful jew with a silver torah has got some power. There's even a scene where she invokes holy ground in a werewolf's gathering spot, where they worship their ancestors and ancient Norse gods.

Steering away form Judeo-Christian stuff for a second, they've never made much of Willow being Wicca. Wicca is not as synonymous with "witch" as many people have been led to believe. Rather "witch" as we understand it in the Buffyverse is a human female with the inate power to harness magic. Wicca, on the other hand, is a religious practice that often uses magic. I bring this up because one of the most startling differences between Wicca and Christianity (for me, anyway) is that Wicca doesn't recognize a devil or any primary source for "evil." In Wicca, evil deeds come from within each of us, not suggestions from an invisible bogeyman. Interesting, then, that Willow keeps referring to the power (evil and good) being within her.

[> [> Didn't anyone catch the irony? -- Finn Mac Cool, 20:44:09 11/13/02 Wed

*Just as Holden realizes one of Buffy's failed relationships was with a vampire*

Holden: Oh my God!

Buffy: Oh your God what?

Holden: Well, not my God, exactly, since I defy him and all his works. By the way, does he exist? Any word on that?

Buffy: Nothing solid.

I just found it incredibly ironic that Holden comes down firmly that he is extremely anti-God, but isn't really sure whether God exists or not. I think this may be a very important statement about evil: true evil, of the sort Holden said he felt connected to, is opposed to the idea of a good, benevolant god. It doesn't matter whether such a god exists or not; evil rebels against it under the priciple of it all.

[> [> [> Allusions to Nietzsche in Buffy 7.7 (God's Existence cont) -- frisby, 04:19:30 11/14/02 Thu

VampFreud (Holden) asks Buffy if there is any word yet on God's existence and she says nothing solid, but in some circles, Heidegger's essay "Nietzsche's Word: God is Dead" is solid enough and judges the triumph of modernity over the mere mythology of medieval christendom. And what's with that phrase Buffy uses with Holden: "that's beyond evil" -- are we somehow not supposed to think of Nietzsche's notorious/famous phrase "beyond good and evil"? Buffy seems to know part of it at least, the "beyond evil" part. And if the first evil is all over with the balancing of good and evil, does it mean it is time to go beyond good and evil, or something else (the final triumph of evil over good)?

[> Re: The question of God's existence... -- Kty_fantastico, 04:43:49 11/14/02 Thu

Interesting... at the time I posted I didn't even think about the other religious imagery brought up by others here.

Now just because Joss doesn't have a monotheistic Judeo- Christian theology running through the show doesn't mean that he wouldn't play on those themes/myths/beliefs.
I guess considering my own beliefs, I don't believe there has to be an either/or here. I am one of those Christians that actually watch Buffy and (heaven forbid!) read Harry Potter and don't immediate dismiss every other religion as utter garbage. I actually studied and practiced Wicca and Buddhism at other times in my life. My conclusion is that every single religion is a beautiful attempt to reach God and that with Christ he finally said "HELLO! Here I am, I hear you guys!" But those are just my thoughts. I also think there's more to it than what's in the bible (I know I'm a "bad" Christian for that one) because of the simple fact that when the bible was written I believe God was revealing to us what we could handle when we could handle it mentally. As complex as the bible is I think the REAL deal is MUCH more complicated. BUT I AM TOTALLY RAMBLING--this is why my husband calls me the rambling wiccan christian (I worshipped the creation-- thru wicca; I worship the creator-- in christianity; and I just won't shut up!)

All of this is to say that the Judeo-Christian theology is a very rich source of material that I don't think Joss would necessarily shy away from and I am REALLY looking forward to seeing how this season plays out!!

[> [> Re: The question of God's existence (& Xian myth and polemic) -- frisby, 05:32:09 11/14/02 Thu

I hope Joss takes on the christian mythology for what it is, what with the "Left Behind" series of book and movies and all that getting their share of the time, and that he takes a Gnostic approach to the question of the good or evil of the Biblical Yahweh (that is, that he's evil). Much of what passes for the christian education of children in this nation (with its denial of modern science) is a form of child abuse. Personally, I'm a student of religion including Christianity, but when the christian mythology becomes treated as god's irrefutable word, then intelligent citizens everywhere need to speak up and fight back. Joss can play a big part by incorporating his own version of their mythos into his drama. I'd like to see Willow channel the power of the earth, Dawn add her special power, Xander bring in humanity, etc., creating a superbuffy to protect us from the big bad god (the one who blames everything on Lucifer who through the trinity of the devil becomes Satan). Maybe touch on Zurvan (the Zorastrian god who is beyond and before the god of light and the god of darkness)? If necessary he could present it within a Hindu context to make it more plausible. Time for the powers that be to put up or shut up. There's one person's opinion!

[> [> [> A great deal of thoughts on Christianity and religion in Buffy -- Charlemagne20, 07:57:48 11/14/02 Thu

Religion is an excuse of individuals to justify evil actions but it just as often (and more so) an aspect for someone to be inspired to using themselves to reach higher levels of peace and love. Yes there is abominable acts in modern day society (and of course the past) but people are just well...people....and these things exist whether in christian society or not (Ancient Rome and the Soveit Union for instance)

The denial of modern science by the way is a small fringe group of Christianity today with the vast vast majority knowing and beliving that God's own works will be vindicated by continued study of the cosmology of the Earth...and I don't just mean Deism. The proof method of the miraculous conducted by honest testing conducted by the Catholic Church is a model other churchs would do well to follow.

Joss Wheldon has been very kind to Christian mythology in Buffy which is a wonderful change from the only people representing Christian iconography being those who really shouldn't. His use of crosses, the Carpenter imagery, the exorcist episode, and of course the enemy itself have been wonderful (Willow does call on Satan BTW in one of her spells though this was hardly a positive moment for her).

Joss has been equally kind to other religions with Judaism getting at least a mention, Wicca recieving quite a bit of good new (though they got some serious flak in their defensible opinion), and in Angel we had at least one holy Buddhist warrior

While the majority of characters are not particularly moved by faith it seems (having direct evidence of the supernatural)

The idea he portrays God as evil is intristically incorrect given he has done so much to set up while the forces of evil being prevalent the essential nature of the universe seems to be good whether on Angel or elsewise.

And even Gnosticism had a good and greater glorious God over the World to look out for.

Frankly I'm alittle disturbed by everyone's mantra against the belief in the Devil which I have difficulty seeing as unhealthy even if I believe in a more cerebral adversary that by its nature has reasons that itself appear sound to challenge God

This whole idea of "taking responsibility for one's actions" is neither legally nor morally right and it is the mark of a completely dispassionate society. The Devil as a force for temptation includes aspects of rage, peer pressure, addictive hungers, and the like.

People are constantly assaulted by things that pull them towards self destructive or other destructive behavior and the belief in the Devil allows a person a swift reminder that just as God and others urge others to righteous behavior so can that behavior be perverted or a person led away from it. Frankly in religion today the disregarding of such as well as the harrassment of such a belief is in my mind extremely dangerous.

Aside from the arguement I am POSSESSED at the moment of commiting an act (something legally not defensible at this time though I know a men who have attended excorcisms both valid and in my mind perhaps questionable) I don't see how it excuses a person and don't believe any real believer in the devil does either. Jim Baker's plea that he was moved literally by the devil fooled no one in his congregation when he visited a hooker.

Two final notes...

I consider myself an intelligent citizen by the way.

Zurvon or not, Ahura Mazda eventually inherited all

What do Angel and Connor want from each other? (AtS spoilers up to "Spin") -- Masq, 15:53:51 11/13/02 Wed

I'm trying to work on my "Spin the Bottle" analysis, but I'm getting a little stumped about the significance of the whole Liam-Connor talking and fighting scene.

What do people think of the whole Connor-Angel relationship as it exists now? For the purposes of this thread, let's set aside the whole something-evil's-coming that's going to change everyone's priorities thing. Talking about just right now, what do Connor and Angel want from each other?

At the end of Season 3, Angel wanted Connor living in his house, going to school, watching t.v., fighting at his side. Connor wanted Angel at the bottom of the Pacific suffering for all eternity for killing Holtz.

But things change. Angel comes back from his watery summer vacation and kicks Connor out of the home Angel wanted to give him. O.K., fine, that's punishment for what Connor did to Angel. But what's next? In "Ground State", Lilah suggests that Angel is waiting for Connor to "get all weepy and pull a prodigal"--that he's waiting for Connor to see the error of his ways and ask to be part of the family again.

Is this what Angel wants? He seems content to be on the periphery of his son's life, standing above him watching him fight vampires. He's almost starting to treat Connor as if he were an adult, as if he's got his own apartment and his own life and hey, how's Cordelia doing. But Connor is not an adult, not yet, no matter how well he can defend himself on the streets. And he doesn't have any means of livelihood that I can see.

And what about Connor? I think he realizes by now that his father is not the same as the evil vampires he slays every night. So he's not simply the patricidal pup anymore. And I think it's telling that Connor pops by the hotel in "Slouching Towards Bethlehem"--part of him does want a family. Someone commented in an earlier thread that they way Connor keeps coming around and the way he interacts with Angel just seems to be a cry for Angel to step up and be a parent to him.

But Connor does keep Angel at arms length, and he did that way before the whole Cordelia jealousy thing started. He seems to have this, "I didn't ASK to be born to a vampire" thing, and it kills him, I think, because he knows on some level Angel is the key to his identity issues ("who am I and why was I born"), but he doesn't want a vampire to be the key to anything in his life.

I can't help but feel this whole Cordelia thing is a red herring being used to stretch out the story line. It gives Connor another reason to be furious with his father and hold him at arm's length, but ultimately it will be irrelevant in how their father-son arc plays out.

On another note, do any of you think that Connor believes he's been physically abused by Angel, Gunn, Fred, and/or Holtz? Several times when he's been man-handled, he makes the comment "I'm used to it", or "You get used to it."

So as to the Connor-Liam fight scene in "Spin". On one level, this is about the Cordelia jealousy thing, but that's just what starts it. Connor gets to hear Angel's own father issues free of any of Angel's own fatherly angst. Liam thought his father was a bully and a hypocrite. Connor seems to feel the same way about Angel. Angel does tend to do a little chest-thumping with the whole "I'm a champion" thing. This coming from the formerly evil Angelus? Of course Connor thinks he's a hypocrite. But I can't help but wonder what else is really going on in Connor's head.

What do other people think?

[> Re: What do Angel and Connor want from each other? (AtS spoilers up to "Spin") -- Jay, 17:16:02 11/13/02 Wed

He seems content to be on the periphery of his son's life, standing above him watching him fight vampires.

I think this was true as long as Angel had the distraction of finding Cordelia and the road trip, but without distraction, I think Angel would like to have his son in the house. I know he wants to be on better terms with Connor, but realizes he has a lifetime of prejudice built in by Holtz to overcome. In the meantime, he is trying desperately not to become his own father with nothing but criticisms to give without a kind word. What was it that his father said to him? I was never in your way, boy. (Just checked with psyche's The Prodigal transcript.) But that came too late for Liam and his father. Angel's trying to give himself and Connor the chance that he missed with his father.

Connor is a harder issue to sort through, since we don't know him anywhere near as well as we think we know Angel. He has a lifetime of hate built into him by Holtz not only against vampires, but specifically Angel. The only reason I can think of for him to keep coming back to Angel and Cordy are his identity issues. Otherwise, with his only previous permanent anchor (Holtz) gone, in a new world with countless possibilities, and his unusual talents, he'd be gone. Searching for the good life.

[> Re: What do Angel and Connor want from each other? (AtS spoilers up to "Spin") -- yabyumpan, 17:49:23 11/13/02 Wed

I think at this point in time, Angel wants the impossible, for everything to be like it was in those few hours in 'Tomorrow' when it seemed Connor was accepting him as his father and Cordy was there as his friend and his rock.
His rant about not asking for any of this is telling (I wish the transcript was up already so i could see what was actually said). I also think that one of the reasons he was so desperate to get Cordy back is because she was his confidant, he has always been able to use her as a sounding board and get an honest opinion from her. He hasn't been able to do that so far and I honestly don't think he knows what to do about Connor as things stand at the momment, which in part is why he's content to let him live outside the hotel. How do you deal with a child who thinks you're evil and wants to kill you? I think what he 'wants' is to have a good, loving relationship with Connor I just don't think he really has any idea how to get that.

As for Connor, I really have no idea! (sorry) Not having seen this season yet I can't really get a handle on what's happening with him or what he wants except that it's probably close to his father i.e. the impossible. I would think that part of him would like Angel to be truely 'evil', that would fit in with what he's been brought up to believe and is probably easier to accept than an Angel who says he loves him.

Re: Connor being physically abused. It would imagine that Holtz had the mentality of 'spare the rod and you spoil the child', esp as he is the child of two demons.

[> [> Partial transcript of Angel/Connor convo (Spoilers for "Spin") -- Masq, 18:18:46 11/13/02 Wed

Partial transcript of the Liam/Connor talk in "Spin". This is from some notes I took, so I know stuff has been left out.

The mood is a little hostile concerning Cordelia, but otherwise it's kind of the banter of two boys the same age.

Connor attacks Liam at the request of youngWesley. Liam has youngCordelia cornered in the basement. Liam and Connor pound on each other, but Liam eventually cuts the fight off. At the point where this dialogue starts up, Connor has already figured out that Angel doesn't have his full memory.

Liam (concerning those upstairs): I'm a little tired of being bullied. Hypocrites. I'm supposed to be evil. But they attack me without cause. They gang up on me because I'm different. They're as bad as my father.
Connor: Fathers. Don't they suck?
Liam: Say one thing, then. "Be good. Fear God. Do as you're told." All the while, I know good and well, he's done his share of sinning.
Connor: Sounds kind of like my father.
Liam: Is he a self-righteous bastard?
Connor: You'd be amazed.
(they fight a bit, Liam breaks off the fight)
Connor: You're afraid to fight me?
Liam: Truth to tell? I'm not much for fighting. I'd rather be satisfying my sinful urges with the Chase girl.
Connor: You keep the hell away from her!
Liam: Oh, the girl is yours?
Connor: Yeah.
Liam: Well, she never did mention you when we were alone together---
*thud* Connor attacks him again. They fight. Liam gets the better of Connor, who is now lying on his back on the floor. Liam walks away from him.
Connor: You happy now?
Liam: I didn't ask for this. I didn't ask to be attacked. I didn't ask to be a freak. Hell, I didn't even ask to be born.
Connor gets up: Wait.
Liam: What do you want. Another beating?
Connor: Oh, I so almost had you!
Liam: Not in a dream!

[> [> [> Fathers and Sons (Spoilers for "Spin") -- Arethusa, 07:53:29 11/14/02 Thu

"Connor: You happy now?"

I think this sentence is significant because this echoes what Angel felt about his own father. He hates his bullying, critical father, but also wants his love and approval. All children want their parents to love them, no matter how horrible the parents are. Unable to please his father by doing good (and Liam seems to basically be a good boy), he decides to punish his father by being bad. Connor also both loves and hates his father, like most teenagers. He hates the evil killer that destroyed thousands of lives and "let" him grow up in a demon dimension, who infected Connor with his own demonic nature, and made Connor grow up different, violent, alone. He thinks his father is a hypocrite, using his human face to hide the killer within. But he longs to accepted and loved by his father, the only person he knows who is anything like him. Hating Angel means hating a part of himself, the part that is fast and strong and protects people. But loving Angel means accepting the demon that is inside them both, and Connor can't do that-yet.

[> [> [> [> I guess the question is... -- Masq, 19:37:50 11/14/02 Thu

How much of Connor is demon? Is he actually a demon hybrid of some sort? He has vampire strength and senses, and he does have a bit of a sour temper, although that might just be upbringing.

I wonder if there is anything more about Connor's "vampire heritage" they have yet to reveal.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: I guess the question is... -- Rufus, 05:54:12 11/15/02 Fri

How much of Connor is demon? Is he actually a demon hybrid of some sort? He has vampire strength and senses, and he does have a bit of a sour temper, although that might just be upbringing.

Don't all kids have moments when they exist as the demonic? Sour temper....hell he's getting used to a whole new hell that's been manicured on the surface but still has rotten spots. He has to figure out now who or what the hell to kill when it was pretty simple where he lived before. So, not only have the hormones hit but now he has to practise sexual and agression his daddy is bigger and badder than all the other kids dads and he has better sucks for is he smart enough to change that?

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: I guess the question is... -- yabyumpan, 06:40:17 11/15/02 Fri

"How much of Connor is demon?"

Maybe none, maybe 16years in Quartoth some how altered his molecular structure. All the blood tests he had done at birth came back normal. Cordy said after the soul colonic thingie that 'he was sick with that place'. If Quartoth was able to seep into his psyche and his soul(?) then it's also possible that it may have effected his physiology. I think that would probably make him a 'mutant' as opposed to a 'demon'. (but don't tell him, I doubt it would make him feel any better about himself)

[> [> [> [> [> Re: I guess the question is... -- Arethusa, 08:21:46 11/15/02 Fri

There are two aspects of siring: the loss of the soul and the addition of physical demonic characteristics. We know Connor has a soul. Connor has the secondary physical characteristics of a vampire, but none of the primary characteristics that a vampire would need to feed, such as fangs and blood-lust. Since he is not dead, he doesn't need or crave blood to survive.
His violent nature could be a product of his upbringing in a violent demon dimension, inherited, or both. His dad was a brawler even before he was sired.
I'd say Connor is physically a demon-human hybrid, although when W&H had his blood tested, they found nothing inhuman. We don't know if they analyzed his DNA, but Sahjhan told Lilah they were looking for the wrong things when they analyzed his blood. What might they have found if they knew what to look for?

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: I guess the question is... -- yabyumpan, 10:00:04 11/15/02 Fri

"We don't know if they analyzed his DNA, but Sahjhan told Lilah they were looking for the wrong things when they analyzed his blood. What might they have found if they knew what to look for?"

Sahjhan's comment is one of those things that we still don't have an answer for. I know a lot of people asumed that it answered with W&H feeding Angel Connor's blood but I think that just expanded the question. Why did Connor's blood affect angel in such an extreme way? Esp when it was such a tiny amount, a few Mls in what looked like a gallon container. We've seen him drink human blood before and not react with such violence, when he drank from Kate it gave him cravings but it didn't make him psychotic, and he had far more of her blood than Connors and from source.

Maybe the hospital didn't check for the right thing because they don't do 'mystical' blood tests although I'm sure W&H do. I don't know, I wonder if ME are planning on bringing back Sahjan to tie up loose ends, or even to actually forefill the prophacy that he changed i.e. the one born of the vampire with a soul shall grow to manhood and kill Sahjan. I think Sahjan is some one else who could do well to read Oedipus.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Connor's destiny (spoilery speculation only) -- Masq, 10:07:21 11/15/02 Fri

This is one of the story threads I'm really looking forward to. Connor's identity issues right now are building up to this, I think--the whole, "who am I and why was I born" thing is on the one hand the questions every teenager asks, and on the other hand, two very loaded questions chock full of Buffyverse prophecy and destiny goodness.

Personally, I think the PTB's are responsible for Connor's birth and that he will have a heroic role to play in what's to come, although he will carry it out perhaps in his churlish macho teenaged way.

But that's why we love'im...

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Connor's destiny (spoilery speculation only) -- Arethusa, 10:47:31 11/15/02 Fri

"Personally, I think the PTB's are responsible for Connor's birth and that he will have a heroic role to play in what's to come, although he will carry it out perhaps in his churlish macho teenaged way."

I agree.

"I wonder if ME are planning on bringing back Sahjan to tie up loose ends, or even to actually fulfill the prophacy that he changed i.e. the one born of the vampire with a soul shall grow to manhood and kill Sahjan." (yabyumpum)

I don't think Spike is the vampire in the Azerjiban prophecy, but if he is, he's going to be a daddy.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> And who would be the mommy? -- Masq, 10:52:02 11/15/02 Fri

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Connor's destiny (spoilery speculation only) -- yabyumpan, 11:05:40 11/15/02 Fri

"I don't think Spike is the vampire in the Azerjiban prophecy, but if he is, he's going to be a daddy."

I'm sure it doesn't mean Spike (how did he get in this thread?) the prophacy quite clearly refers to Connor, Angel's son, which is why Sahjan went to so much trouble to get rid of him.

It's interesting that ME seem to be referencing 'Oedipus' this season with C/A/C, I haven't read it/seen it for ages but my over all impression of the story was that 'you cannot escape what is prophasised (sp)'. Of course, that's a whole other discussion but Sahajan went to a great deal of trouble to try to escape the prophacy but seems to have actually produced someone (Connor) who is more able and willing to kill him than he possibly would have been if he'd left him alone.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Getting this thread away from the won't-be-mentioned one... (spoiler spec for AtS) -- Masq, 11:45:34 11/15/02 Fri

I have a tummy-lurching feeling that the Oedipal story will continue to play out in predictable fashion. Not that Connor and Cordelia will consummate anything, no, I think they'll keep that more or less unrequited, but I think circumstances will occur that will convince Connor it is his destiny to kill his father.

Angsty stuff. But I'm loving it!

[> [> Connor and Holtz (season 3 stuff mostly) -- Masq, 09:26:31 11/14/02 Thu

"Re: Connor being physically abused. It would imagine that Holtz had the mentality of 'spare the rod and you spoil the child', esp as he is the child of two demons"

So do you think Connor had some sort of "Stockholm Syndrome" thing going on with Holtz? That Holtz was perhaps a bit abusive because of who "Steven" was, the child of his most hated demon enemies? Holtz came to love the boy as he saw the basically decent person he was growing up to be, but I imagine it didn't start out that way.

And Steven, all alone in a harsh world with no other human company but Holtz, had no choice but to depend on him. And with their mutual "truth"--that God gave Steven to Holtz, that they were meant to be together, Holtz created an even more intense emotional dependence/connection in Steven than they may have already had.

Steven has no choice but to love and hate the man who raised him. He can't leave him, can't leave Quortoth.

So maybe Steven harbored some fantasies about his real father, and no matter how much he was raised to think his father was evil, had some hopes about him, that drove him back to Earth. And when he met his real father and saw he wasn't such a bad guy, these hopes were stoked a little.

Of course, he doesn't have enough history with Angel for Angel to really compete against Holtz when it comes to taking sides. Naturally, Steven/Connor takes Holtz' side.

It's all really intense and confusing for the kid. No wonder he wants a little distance from all things fatherly.

[> [> [> Re: Connor and Holtz (season 3 stuff mostly) -- yabyumpan, 10:51:16 11/14/02 Thu

"So do you think Connor had some sort of "Stockholm Syndrome" thing going on with Holtz? That Holtz was perhaps a bit abusive because of who "Steven" was, the child of his most hated demon enemies? Holtz came to love the boy as he saw the basically decent person he was growing up to be, but I imagine it didn't start out that way"

I would think that Holtz, although he came to love Stephen, was possibilly quite resentful of him as well. He took the baby, in part, to punish Angel and ended up in a hell dimension, 'the darkest of the dark worlds'. So, in effect, while he was trying to punish Angel, he himself actually ended up in 'hell', having to fend for and care for the son of his enemy. Holtz also didn't seem to happy with the knowledge that they'd only been gone 'a few days', so while he'd had to spend 16 years in a place where he'd probably had to fight for his life most of the time, Angel had only had to suffer the loss of his son for a short time. I think that's why he said he no longer had an appetite for vengence, in some ways he must have felt that he'd failed and probably why he decided to set Angel up as his killer, it was all he had left.

He also says to Connor/Stephen that he never kept the truth from him about who he was, that's true but the 'truth' that he gave him was he's 'the bastard son of two demons', a pretty good way to build self-loathing in the child. It's also a way that many cult leaders gain the servitude of their followers, by destroying their sense of self worth and then stepping in as their saviour. I would say that counts as emotional abuse on top of any physical abuse that may have happened.

AAAAh, poor Connor :-( boy does that kid need a good hug and some positive reinforcement.

[> Re: What do Angel and Connor want from each other? (AtS spoilers up to "Spin") -- Tyreseus, 18:33:41 11/13/02 Wed

Why do we assume that Connor/Angel "want" anything they can even put a name to?

Connor is still an adolescent, a time of intense emotional confusion. If you asked him why he keeps coming back - he'd tell you it had to do with Cordy. But if we remove that red herring, he probably doesn't know why he keeps coming back. Like all teenagers, he needs approval and acceptance. Like many teenagers, he needs to rebel against his father and assert his own identity and indivduality. It's a complex emotional tug-of-war (made even more complex by the ME universe of vampires, demons, hell-dimensions, etc.)

As for Angel, he's similarly confused about what he wants. He is a prime example of "vampires as arrested adolescence" - even more noticably in the memory-sapped teenager state. This may be the record for the oldest teenage parent in the world. Angel didn't "grow up" past his own confused issues with his father. He never learned how to co-exist as an adult with his parents. His interaction with Connor is off- the-cuff guessing based on his observances of father-son dynamics over the last 200 years.

Prior to Connor's abduction, Angel viewed the father-son relationship entirely as protector-powerless, provider- dependant. Now, Connor doesn't need protection or a provider.

If we credit Angel with any wisdom in his M.C. Escher speech, maybe he just wants Connor to ask to be accepted into the fold, to grow up a bit and come back as a the adult he claims to be. Connor needs to learn the real lessons of right and wrong, and perhaps Angel realizes that even he, as father, cannot teach those lessons to this boy. Maybe Angel told us, and Connor, exactly what he expects of his son. "It doesn't matter where we come from, what we've done or suffered, or even if we make a difference. We live as though the world was what it should be, to show it what it can be. You're not a part of that yet. I hope you will be."

And I think Connor just wants to be "right" where his previous actions were concerned. He needs a family, something to be connected with, a sense of identity, but he also needs to prove himself unneeding of those things. Jeez, he's a teenager, he's not supposed to make sense.

Just my opinions and a "psych 101" alert.

[> Re: What do Angel and Connor want from each other? (AtS spoilers up to "Spin") -- JM, 19:39:23 11/13/02 Wed

I don't pay as much attention to Connor and Angel as I do to the whole passel of Gunn-Fred-Wes-Lilah, but they are intriguing. On an exaggerated level I think that Connor and Angel want what all adolents and parents want, IMO. They want affirmation, each from the other, that their moral outlook, philosophical framework, etc. is valid and valuable. And they want it in deeds, not words. Angel wants to see through the way Connor chooses to conduct himself on his own that he can embrace what Angel has patched together from his epiphanies. A forward looking perspective on life, that doesn't dwell on past mistakes. A veneration of human life. A commitment to the demands of compassion. A rejection, to the best of his ability, of revenge as a way of life. If Connor were to come back to Angel and seek voluntarily to be part of AI, it would be an invaluable affirmation of everything Angel currently believes.

I think Connor knows that Holz did plan his own death. It took him less than a second to accept the implication. "Even if he did . . . ." He may have loved his foster father, but he also knew what motivated him. But though he's been disappointed by Holtz, he has still been shaped by him. It's not so much that he wants Angel to embody his own values, but that he wants him to recognize, acknowledge, and respect them. He needs Angel to see him as more than some one capable of the "unbelievable." He needs to know that Angel sees his loyalty to his ideals, his commitment to the people he chooses to protect, his clear-cut conception of right and wrong. Most of all, because he's a teenager, he wants Angel to acknowledge his ability to live up to and fulfill his own moral code. He accepted his commission to protect Cordy very seriously.

At some level they are tied by the physical connectness, but they each need the other's affirmation of their worth as an individual. But as with all parent-child relations they have difficulty seeing the other as anything beyond an extension of the self. They each have to separately get beyond that to even be able to recognize any affirmation the other's chosen path in life may convey.

[> Re: What do Angel and Connor want from each other? (AtS spoilers up to "Spin") -- Alvin, 00:26:54 11/14/02 Thu

I think what Conner wants is to show that he's better than Angel, and to force Angel to admit that Conner is the better. He seems to have defined himself in terms of enemies and creatures he has destroyed. Considering how quickly he dispatched that monster that came through the portal right before he did, he undoubtly had a high opinion of his fighting abilities. Sort of a "Tho I walk through the shadow of the valley of death, I will fear no evil because I am the meanest SOB in the valley." And then he comes up against Angel against whom he gets, at best, a draw. Who also teaches him to be a better fighter.
So I would say that Angel has become the standard against which he measures himself. True, he sealed Angel away and sent him overboard, but even then Angel in a way still came out ahead. Conner was only able to "win" by cheating, by taking Angel by surprise. Considering how Holtz raised him, that God had sent Conner to him, meant that Conner was a warrior of God, destroying the evil that he encountered. And using dirty tricks to win is not how a noble warrior should act. Sealing Angel away should have been his great triumph, but instead it was his failure because he was unable to win Angel's respect. Angel lost on the physical side, but won by standing on a moral highground. It was a lot like how when Angelus killed his father, he gained an immediate victory, but was then unable to ever win his approval.
Now as to what Angel wants from Conner? The only thing there I can come up with is more of the same: that he wants Conner's approval and respect because I think that will validate Angel in his own eyes. That if Conner sees Angel as a hero, then Angel's father was wrong, that Angel hasn't wasted his life. That if Angel can prove himself worthy in Conner's eyes, then he would have been worthy in his father's eyes as well.
Sorry to ramble on so long; I meant just to type a quick note but got carried away.

[> Re: What do Angel and Connor want from each other? (AtS spoilers up to "Spin") -- Rufus, 00:45:42 11/14/02 Thu

I haven't read what anyone else has had to say so you will get the first thing that comes to mind.

Connor....he just got through growing up in hell....and Cordy says thought he belonged there. He was brought up by a fellow that saw all demons as beasts to kill. So, here he comes to this dimension, and he spies his real dad.....who is a Champion....not at all the monster that Holtz described...I know Holtz said that the devil could be charming. So what does that do to the identity of The Destroyer.....he comes to a reality where he is second banana to his dad, his real dad who was once and even a few times with a soul, a real murderous bastard. So, Connor is attracted by Angel, yet repulsed by all the things Holtz has told him, which Angel admits are true. I'm getting dizzy just thinking of the flip flops Connors brain is taking....oh yeah add in that he has the hots for his Dads potential girlfriend. So, Connor in some way wants to replace his father and also yearns for the love of a father. When the two meet up in "Spin" they bond in an adolecent bashing of "fathers", Angel has no idea that he is talking to his real son cause he is stuck on pause at 17, and Connor is actually agreeing with a few things Angel says. He also makes claim to Cordy (wonder if Angel will remember that one). Seems Holtz is doing the most damage as a perfect father image from 6 feet under. Angel is flawed enough and new enough at being a dad he just doesn't quite get where Connor is coming from......of course you know it's going to get a hell of a lot worse before the season is over because there is a big ol Hotel full of resentment, misunderstandings, and jealousy.....and I'm not just talking who is going to light the match that makes it all go boom?

[> Re: What do Angel and Connor want from each other? (AtS spoilers up to "Spin") -- Vickie, 11:02:49 11/14/02 Thu

So much has been said, showing so much perception, that I have little to add. But I don't think we need to assume Connor was abused, by Holtz or anyone.

It sounds like Quartoth was an awful place. Presumably, Connor spent his entire childhood struggling for survival, and everything that he couldn't eat was trying to eat him. In a world like that, he'd be "used to it" without his foster father beating on him.

Just my $.02. Adjusted for inflation, that's practically nothing.

[> A thanks and a summary of everyone's points -- Masq, 12:04:34 11/14/02 Thu

Everyone had different things to say on this issue, but I've pulled out some similarities in what people said and they are pretty compelling.


* was raised knowing his parents had been evil demons.
* grew up a hunter, a demon hunter in particular, that's what he knows, that's what he's good at.
* He goes to Earth to find his father, but instead of finding an evil demon, he finds out his father is a supernatural demon fighter, a protector. In other words, he sees a reflection of himself in Angel.
* Angel thus is a standard to judge himself against
* a standard to identify with and
* a standard to beat, to get the better of, to prove himself against, because Connor fears that the similarities between father and son go deeper, that he has demon in him, too.
* he thus wants his own identity separate from his father-- "I am not a demon", I'm stronger than you, physically, morally.
* and he wants his father's approval and respect--"I am a champion".
* And in some ways, he wants to be his father, the supernatural champion, Cordelia's beloved. He just doesn't want to be a damned demon in the process.


* wants to be on better terms with Connor, to have Connor come back to the fold, to have Connor look up to him, but he doesn't know how to undo Holtz' programming.
* wants Connnor's approval and respect, not just because he loves him, but because it will make Angel feel better about himself, i.e., it will be "proof" that he is what he thinks he is, a good man, a champion.
* This goes back to Angel's own father issues. Connor's respect and admiration will prove Angel's father wrong. Angel's father saw him as a loser, as a "bad" person.
* Likewise, Connor was raised to see his father as "bad". So Connor becomes the person Angel needs to prove himself to above all.

Just wanted to say thanks! to people.

You know I realized, reading these responses that I had something of an agenda, a place I wanted the Connor/Angel story line to go. I realized I'd become a Connor-Angel 'shipper. I wanted them to grow closer and bond as father and son. Then, of course, Joss could come along and rip 'em apart with some juicy plot twist, but I wanted them to get along, reconcile before that happened.

Now I realize that ME is writing a deeper, more complex story than that, drawing an interesting metaphor about parents and children, fathers and sons and identity issues. It's very cool!

Conversations with Gay people (spoilers CWDP) -- Tyreseus, 17:09:31 11/13/02 Wed

Okay, we've had various experts ring in on topics from poetry and mythology to physics and biology. I don't consider myself an expert at much, but I know gay culture and the community. My "real life" career is being the editor of a gay magazine.

This episode was ripe with the gay community references. I think lost_bracelet pointed out that the actor who played Scott Hope (who came out a year ago) is now playing Ethan Gold, Justin's love interest on Queer As Folk.

There's all the obvious stuff with Willow and Tara, but in case anyone out there missed the allusion, Indigo Girls are (arguably) the greatest lesbian rock band ever. (Notice, I said "band" so that highly opinionated comment doesn't cover k.d. lang or Melissa Etheridge)

Also, there's Andrew. I know the debate is still out (pardon the expression) on Andrew's orientation, but his fixation on Warren is pretty blatant to me. I mean, he even wonders if Willow could kill him so that he can be with Warren. Note: his comment to"Warren" came before "Cassie" urged Willow to commit suicide to be with Tara. Could Andrew's simple comment have given the morphy ghost thing an idea (if we assume that all manifestations are a part of the same being).

Also, Andrew's interpretation of the "Mexicoan" phrase - "It eats you starting with your bottom." I'll keep this site clean in case we have any toddlers reading these posts, but that line could be interpretted as a sexual act many gay men engage in. I know my dirty mind went there when I heard the line.

Even the manner in which he killed Jonathon. I know we've discussed the symbology of penetration in other contexts (i.e. wooden stakes). But I think there was a reason he chose an up-close, personal method of murder instead of, say, a gun, or bashing him in the head with the shovel or pick they were using. If I've learned anything from watching crime dramas - sometimes the method of murder CAN tell you about the relationship between attacker and victim. Especially when you're talking about premeditated crime.

I'm not sure that all of this is pointing anywhere, but I do know that following Tara's death, ME wanted to let the gay and lesbian community know that they wouldn't be ditching the gay stuff on the show. Maybe these are some subtle ways from them to achieve that. And I think it was Shadowkat (my browser isn't letting me into the archives right now) who pointed out that Drew Goddard episodes seem to have the gay themes/jokes.

Also, does anyone know the name of the band who sang that song through the opening? I loved the song but my VCR cut off before the credits.


[> Re: Conversations with Gay people (spoilers CWDP) -- Rahael, 17:22:58 11/13/02 Wed

Very interesting post.

It's pretty late for me here, but I just posted to say that I've enjoyed reading all your recent posts.

[> Re: Conversations with Gay people (spoilers CWDP) -- MLL, 17:40:21 11/13/02 Wed

Interesting post.

The band is called Splendid. There's a web site at

According to a post at Cross and Stake last night, the song was co-authored by Joss and the singer, Angie Hart, specifically for CwDP. According to the band web site, Splendid consists of Hart and Jessie Tobias, her husband. Tobias was credited on OMWF.

[> [> Thanks! I hope... -- Tyreseus, 17:56:54 11/13/02 Wed

that there are more plans, someday, to release "music from buffy" cds.

[> [> Thank you for the band info! -- ponygirl, 18:22:45 11/13/02 Wed

I'd been wondering about the song, I really liked it. Man, Joss is certainly getting with the songwriting.

And interesting post Tyreseus!

[> [> [> Re: Thank you for the band info! -- JM, 19:05:16 11/13/02 Wed

Thanks for the song info. It was of the few songs to catch me right off. I like them all after a few listens, but I could tell with the staging right away that it would be very important to listen to all the words.

Fabulous post, Tyreseus. My heart hurt for Andrew right off the first time hearing his request (and then more when I realized it was Willow forshadowing, though I was so proud of her realizing that that wasn't real love or the real Cassie, who went with dignity, but not gently into that good night). I always wondered if loosing Warren wasn't as damaging for Andrew as loosing Tara was for Willow, a much more stable and moral person. It's pretty obvious now that he never got over it.

Also thought the mistranslation was funny. I never thought about it being deliberate. Hee! Why do they have to bundle the funny with the pain? That's gotta be some sort of antitrust violation of consumer rights.

I know many people were very, very angry about what went down with Willow last year and felt it was a negative reflection on gay relationships. I think that we should acknowledge though that ME has respectfully treated them very seriously, in a narrative manner that has historically been reserved for het relationships. Tara's death and life were very important to Willow. They were powerful enough to tip her into ugly, impassioned, destructive revenge. They are also important enough to give her the strength and conviction to stand up to some really slippery, seductive evil. She knows her lover, and knows that even if Tara were lonely, she would want only happiness, not death for Willow.

PS I'm really happy for Scott. I always thought he was a nice guy, thought he had point about Buffy not being there. I hope, no pun intended, that he can find a guy to make him happy. Bet he'll find them a lot less confusing than all those conflicted women.

[> [> [> [> Well said. -- Tyreseus, 19:40:01 11/13/02 Wed

I loved your comments on ME treating Tara/Willow respectfully. Cheers to them!

Even as I wrote my initial comments about Andrew, I hadn't even realized the parallel that could have to Willow's situation. An excellent point worth further thought.

As for Scott Hope, maybe he and Andrew can meet up some time. Unless, of course, Andrew continues on with the evil and the scoobies have to make with the killing and such. Scott, Andrew and Willow could be advisors for Sunnydale High School's Gay-Straight Alliance. Just a thought.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Well said. -- Rufus, 01:41:43 11/14/02 Thu

Yeah that was well said.....the parallel between true love and deception....Willow/Tara....Andrew/Warren. Willow was falling for the stuff coming out of Cassies mouth right up till Cassie/it went too far and suggested something Willow knew Tara would never do.....ask someone to throw away their life. It goes against everything that Tara stands for....and to suggest it to Willow was assuming that not only was Willow grieving...but somehow was stupid as well.

With Andrew and Warren it was a different story. I'm not sure Warren ever knew exactly how Andrew felt....but "It" did and sent the one that Andrew was willing to hide bodies for, and kill Jonathon for (I'm talking about the season six plan to get rid of Jonathon).....Andrew doesn't strike me as someone that would have come up with that plan himself, but with something shrouded in Warrens persona....he was putty in It's hands.

[> dead or killers (spoilers CWDP) -- mucifer, 08:49:31 11/14/02 Thu

I'm not sure if this was mention before but, I was noticing that all of the gay people on the show are either dead or have murdered someone.

Larry- dead
Tara- dead
Willow- killer
Andrew- killer
Faith (seemed bi to me)- killer

anyone I'm leaving out?

[> [> but that's true of almost *everyone* on BtVS -- ponygirl, 09:07:05 11/14/02 Thu

Dawn's actually the only character who springs to mind as having never killed anyone or been responsible for a death or two.

[> [> [> Cordy? Oz? -- Sophist, 10:15:40 11/14/02 Thu

Actually, if you limit the category to "those who are not dead and have not killed humans", it's much larger.

You could also argue about those who didn't kill anyone, human or demon, directly. Examples would be Ethan Rayne or Wesley (referring only to BtVS, of course). And we could quibble further about those characters that have demon alter egos. Anya has never killed anyone that I remember, though Anyanka certainly has, for example.

Not taking a side on mucifer's issue, just trying to sort out the facts.

[> [> [> Scott Hope :) -- Ete, 10:59:54 11/14/02 Thu

[> [> [> [> ;) -- ponygirl, 11:20:15 11/14/02 Thu

[> [> Re: dead or killers (spoilers CWDP) -- Robert, 10:11:09 11/14/02 Thu

>>> Faith (seemed bi to me)- killer

What's your evidence that Faith is bi-sexual?

[> [> [> Subtext with Buffy, most likely -- Scroll, 14:28:07 11/15/02 Fri

I'll admit I didn't see it when I first watched Season 3 years ago, but since then I've noticed a lot of lesbian subtext surrounding Faith, especially in regards to Buffy. Also, in "Five by Five" we have Faith thinking she's being picked up by Lilah. The subtext is definitely there (as with Ethan Rayne and Giles) but no real text to support it.

[> [> [> [> No text? What about the bathroom scene in "Who Are You"? -- KdS, 14:40:17 11/15/02 Fri

[> [> [> [> I think the sub was very close to the surface of the text! -- Rahael, 02:20:25 11/16/02 Sat

As KdS says, the bathroom scene; and the whole of Bad Girls!

[> [> [> [> [> Yeah Buffy-Faith shippyness! -- Masq, 05:30:07 11/16/02 Sat

Made my Season 3 a party!

[> OT Re: Indigo Girls -- yabyumpan, 11:09:36 11/14/02 Thu

" Indigo Girls are (arguably) the greatest lesbian rock band ever "

I would say possibly the one of the greatest bands ever. Loved them for years for their music and their politics. I'm not a Lesbian and their music has never struck me as being Lesbian identified, ( although I'm aware that they are) at least not in the same way that, say, Phranc's is. In fact I saw them in London a few months ago and they were stormin'. Nice to hear they got a shout out on BtVS.

[> [> Indigo Girls & irony -- Darby, 12:23:37 11/14/02 Thu

So ME assumes Willow and Tara listened to Indigo Girls because lesbians might identify with high-profile lesbians in entertainment (discounting the whole, you know, good music angle)?

And yet they didn't seem, at the end, to grasp that their creations might have had a similar impact...hmmmm....

Sorry, I just had to do it. Slinking away now.

Hey, at least I didn't accuse them of playing the cliche - well, until just now...

[> [> [> Actually, Jane/Drew and Joss/ME were COMMENTING on the lesbian cliche... -- cjl, 12:57:57 11/14/02 Thu

Evil!Pseudo!Cassie was mocking Willow and lesibans in general by bringing up the double-sided Indigo Girls/suicide cliche. By putting the words in the mouth of a clearly evil entity, ME was in fact displaying its sensitivity.

I think.

[> [> [> [> Agree - this was my take on it, too. -- yez, 06:36:05 11/15/02 Fri

[> Re: Conversations with Gay people (spoilers CWDP) -- Vickie, 11:17:47 11/14/02 Thu

Tyreseus, interesting points. I had wondered about your moniker--the original mythic transsexual!

You said: "Even the manner in which he killed Jonathon. I know we've discussed the symbology of penetration in other contexts (i.e. wooden stakes). But I think there was a eason he chose an up-close, personal method of murder instead of, say, a gun, or bashing him in the head with the shovel or pick they were using. If I've learned anything from watching crime dramas - sometimes the method of murder CAN tell you about the relationship between attacker and victim. Especially when you're talking about premeditated crime."

Now, this may be a hopelessly elderly and straight POV, but I saw the method of murder as a ritual sacrifice. Jonathan was standing on the seal, as though on an altar or other sacred place. (Sacred, in this context, being a bit inverted.) Andrew stabbed him, and Jonathan's blood filled the troughs in the seal the same way a victim's blood filled the altar troughs before being drained away in an Aztec ceremony.

I don't know what was being propitiated, but I'm sure we will find out.

BTW, it's interesting in the gay context to note Jonathan's name. The biblical Jonathan was Saul's son, closer than brother to David. The Bible never actually says their relationship was lovers, but...

At the same time, I've always thought that Jonathan Levin was pretty straight.

[> [> Re: Conversations with Gay people (spoilers CWDP) -- Tyreseus, 16:02:00 11/14/02 Thu

Thanks Vickie. And yes, the screen name is in reference to the blind prophet who spent part of his life as man and as woman. While I'm not transgender identified myself, I'm happily gay, and have always admired the Greek character.

And for the record, I also think Jonathon was straight. It's Andrew whom I have serious questions about. Ritual killing or not, you have to admit that there's something awfully personal about an upclose stabbing.

[> [> [> Unifying force in Eliot -- Tchaikovsky, 03:17:45 11/15/02 Fri

In Eliot's 'The Waste Land', (often cited as the greatest poem of the last century), Tyreseus is the unifying force. In the poem, we are supposed to link some of the people together, (the sailor, the businessman for example), and we then realise that in fact there are only two main characters- the exploited woman in the third section, and the slightly sinister man. But then Tyreseus, (who gets to speak in his own monologue: 'I Tyreseus'), unifies these two. Despite being blind, he can see and understand the story, (be it in London, near the Starnbergsee (sp?), or in ancient Greek myth). And he is both male and female, drawing together the common humanity hurrying over one of London's bridges, (I had not thought death had taken so many).

What a great poem. And what a great name.

TCH- deeply off-topic and misquoting Eliot in spades.

[> It wasn't me -- shadowkat, 07:41:35 11/15/02 Fri

"And I think it was Shadowkat (my browser isn't letting me into the archives right now) who pointed out that Drew Goddard episodes seem to have the gay themes/jokes."

nope can't claim the credit for this one, sorry. Also the poster who said it, was referring to Drew Greenberg, who btw used to write for Queer As Folk. (It might have been Finn or
one of the people who responded to his post about Drew Greenberg episodes. Greenberg wrote one of the earlier episodes of the American version of Queer As - when i still had showtime and was watching it - it was the episode, i think, where the not so nice, playboy character, has sex with young Justin - the script of that episode reminded me oddly enough of the script of Smashed (which I happened to love,btw) ) Goddard has only written two episodes I know of : Selfless and Conversations with Dead People which he shared writing duties with Jane Espenson.

Liked this post by the way. Agree on Andrew. Andrew is portrayed as someone who has repressed his sexuality and is struggling with it - last year. He seems a little more open about it now. Something else you might want to consider about Andrew - remember in Entropy - Andrew's response to Spike is interesting. He sees the Spike/anya sex scene.
The others respond to Anya. Andrew responds to Spike - Warren may not be the only one who wants to emulate Big Bad Spike. And i think Andrew is definitely in love with Warren.
A comparison between Andrew and Spike is interesting in the sense that you have two characters who've shown they will do practically anything for those they love. Spike does good deeds to make Buffy happy. Andrew does bad/evil deeds to make Warren happy. Question? Is Andrew evil b/c of what he does out of lust/love? Is Spike good because of what he does out of lust/love? Probably not. Although I don't know enough about Andrew or ensouled Spike to make such a black and white judgement. I think they are neither - good/evil even if their acts may be.

I think ME has been alluding to and exploring gay themes for some time.
Way back in Phases - we have Larry realizing he's gay and becoming a better person when it happens. Xander actually is the one who inadvertently outs Larry or gets Larry to out himself, by misinterpreting Larry's rude, wolfish behavior as a side-effect of being a werewolf. What's ironic is of the two men - OZ (the werewolf) is the one that fits the "stereotype" of gay - somewhat small and adrogynous. Yet OZ is in truth the werewolf and very heterosexual. While Larry the big, macho guy, is homosexual and not a werewolf at all. ME does a good job of playing with our stereotypes and innocently throwing them in our face.

I found it interesting that Holden claims to be sired by Spike, particularly when Marsters states in his interviews, particularly "Introducing Spike" tidbit on Season 4 DVD - that male vamps only sire or bite girls. That siring is a sexual act. Then of course, right after Holden claims this, we are treated to Spike biting the girl in a "date" like setting. Reminds me also of the Dru/Darla relationship in Angel. Then of course we have Forrest's behavior towards Riley and Buffy in Season 4 - which always made me wonder if Forrest had some pent-up feelings towards Riley. It's very subtle.

Perhaps one of the messages here is that sexuality like morality isn't necessarily cut and dried, or black and white or so easily determined. Most of us fall within a grey area or spectrum. We fall in love with who we fall in love with and the reasons don't always make a lot of sense.
And love? Well it can make you do the wacky.

[> [> Re: It wasn't me -- Doriander, 11:41:12 11/15/02 Fri

Agree on Andrew. Andrew is portrayed as someone who has repressed his sexuality and is struggling with it - last year. He seems a little more open about it now. Something else you might want to consider about Andrew - remember in Entropy - Andrew's response to Spike is interesting. He sees the Spike/anya sex scene.
The others respond to Anya. Andrew responds to Spike - Warren may not be the only one who wants to emulate Big Bad Spike. And i think Andrew is definitely in love with Warren.

Sigh. I agree. Recall the Klingon love poems in SR salvaged from the trio’s lair. Now we get more credence that Andrew wrote them. Yet another similarity to William (Both have such immature, idealistic views on love, don’t they? Andrew idolized Warren, William puts Cecily up on a pedestal). Ironic, considering last year he’s the one skittish about holding hands with Warren in that magic bone ritual. Now? Such a pathetic delusional fool (“Can Willow kill me too?” tsk. tsk. tsk). Have to admit I feel sorry for Andrew.

A comparison between Andrew and Spike is interesting in the sense that you have two characters who've shown they will do practically anything for those they love. Spike does good deeds to make Buffy happy. Andrew does bad/evil deeds to make Warren happy. Question? Is Andrew evil b/c of what he does out of lust/love? Is Spike good because of what he does out of lust/love? Probably not. Although I don't know enough about Andrew or ensouled Spike to make such a black and white judgement. I think they are neither - good/evil even if their acts may be.


I think ME has been alluding to and exploring gay themes for some time.

In addition to Larry, who could forget the subtext heavy Faith/Buffy of S3.

I found it interesting that Holden claims to be sired by Spike, particularly when Marsters states in his interviews, particularly "Introducing Spike" tidbit on Season 4 DVD - that male vamps only sire or bite girls. That siring is a sexual act. Then of course, right after Holden claims this, we are treated to Spike biting the girl in a "date" like setting. Reminds me also of the Dru/Darla relationship in Angel.

I think JM meant they only show male vamps biting girls. And he’s right. Was there ever an onscreen male/male vamping? None that I recall. Some contend this is the reason for the retcon on Spike’s sire (I don’t agree). But then we have Penn, Luke, Ford. So male/male siring does happen, only offscreen. You mention Dru/Darla. ME is bolder when it’s female/female, aren’t they? What’s up with that? Is it more of a taboo on television? (Sidenote: This is why Wes feeding Angel onscreen is such a big thing and sent slash fans all a flutter.) With m/m they’re more subtle. Until recently, probably the boldest they went was in FFL, which Petrie in his commentary acknowledges as the dirtiest script he’s written for the show. I love what he said about the Angel/Spike fight in the coal mine. Something about the two males roughing each other up, driving their poles through each other, which gets the two female spectators "hot".

[> [> [> Re: It wasn't me -- Slain, 12:56:10 11/15/02 Fri

The way I've always understood vampirism in the show is that, first and perhaps foremost, it comes from the schlock horror tradition; hence the fact that we have things like sizzling crosses which complexify the Buffyverse. The Hammer Horror films strike me as the main influence, and they have a 60s or 70s attitude to sexuality, where men are usually bitten by the count's vampire ladies, rather than by the count himself, and where female vampires often like to drain the blood of young maidens as much as the male. BtVS hasn't yet really subverted these gender roles, in terms to vampires, and has generally stuck with the established 'lesbianism okay, male homosexuality not so okay' mode; probably, I'd argue, just because it never occurred to Joss to subvert it. In the episode where Dru and Spike kill a couple together, Spike takes the woman and Dru the man, as if automatically, and I think that's how the writers write vampirism - automatically, they write in a female partner for the men, and either gender for the women. It's true Spike is fairly homophobic (and denies that he'd even drink Xander), but I don't think that's the reason.

As an aside, in writing this post it's occurred to me that while there's a word for female homosexuality, there isn't for male (aside from some insults).

[> [> [> [> Re: It wasn't me -- Doriander, 15:40:55 11/15/02 Fri

As an aside, in writing this post it's occurred to me that while there's a word for female homosexuality, there isn't for male (aside from some insults).

Okay, this is very enlightening for me as English is my second language. All this time I thought gay is the term specific to male homosexuals and over time came to apply to both male and female. Sorta like the actor/actress thing, now it’s just actor. Huh.

Actually, your entire post is enlightening. Thanks.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: It wasn't me -- Tyreseus, 20:03:37 11/15/02 Fri

Interestingly, there have been several male homosexuality- specific terms throughout history, but most have either fallen off or become insults.

For example, "buggery" and "bugger" were terms that were, at one time, embraced by gay men in England, but seem to have become insults and (in America) archaic.

There are also fun phrases that never really caught on for long (i.e. "friend of Dorothy").

But you're right, in this day and age, "gay" applies to both men and women. I've always wanted a positive phrase that strictly applies to gay men. Personally, I'm lobbying to usurp the word "fabulous." :)

[> [> [> [> Spike, homophobic ? Hello, Angel/Spike subtext in season 2 -- Etrangere, 17:36:29 11/15/02 Fri

"You know, I've been hurt" "you were my sire.... my Yoda"

Where have you been ??!!

Sorry, i must refrain my A/S shipness :)

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Spike, homophobic ? Hello, Angel/Spike subtext in season 2 -- Doriander, 19:51:34 11/15/02 Fri

Well, Spike did have several instances of homophobic posturing, especially around males he has a seething hatred for (c'mon he's the vamp Eminem! Kidding). Primarily, Angel. Poof, poofter, peaches, nancyboy, what else? I don't think he's really homophobic. Like I said, posturing. In truth, he's Angel's bitch (A/S solidarity!).

Bad Buffy!? -- MayaPapaya9, 17:25:54 11/13/02 Wed

Is Buffy going to be the Big Bad?
-From beneath you it devours
-Buffy tells the Holden that she feels like she's "worse than anyone. I'm beneath them."
-Joyce clearly tells Dawn that this time "Buffy won't choose you...she'll be against you."
-Buffy clearly states that she feels isolated and superior. Didn't she just get through telling Dawn it's all about the power?

Am I, as my Lit AP teacher would say, "getting too Englishy" with this or is there something there?

[> Buffy 7.7 spoilers and spec for future in above post, and in this post! -- Rob, 17:34:33 11/13/02 Wed

Interestingly, the reviewer at had similar ideas:

Dead People Tell Tales
By Rachel Lovinger
"In ''Buffy'''s world, it's rarely a good thing when deceased friends and loved ones come back for a chat. More often than not, the visiting spirit is an evil force that has taken the form of a familiar pal. This week's episode, ''Conversations with Dead People,'' has more than its share of these visitors from beyond who seem to deliver hints about the eventual showdown with the season's Big Bad. It's hard to say, however, if they're giving important clues or merely increasing the mystery.

There isn't much info to be gleaned from the recently- departed souls who visit Andrew and Willow. After all, Andrew isn't even smart enough to tell that his visitor isn't really Warren. Cassie, on her return visit, fails to convince Willow that using magic again will set her on an irreversible path towards killing everyone. We learn a few things from this: What seems to be Cassie is actually the same force everyone's talking about when they say, ''From beneath you, it devours.'' In fact, it also seems to be the same morphing spirit that tormented Spike in the season's first episode. Whatever it is, it wants to finish the battle between good and evil, once and for all.

Then there's Dawn's visitation, which is different in many ways. For one thing, her confrontation is a lot more violent than the others (even taking into account the unfortunate sacrifice of Jonathan). Dawn has never looked so spooky as when she's wielding that axe against the possessed electronics. Something is trying -- REALLY hard -- to prevent Dawn from talking with her deceased mother. When Dawn finally banishes that threat (with magic that she seems to have picked up overnight), Joyce is able to appear and disappear in a very different way than the other dead guests. Not just the glowing and shimmering. There's nothing to indicate that Dawn's mom isn't exactly as benign as she seems. In fact, there's a strong implication that this spirit is exactly who she appears to be. Which means that Joyce's warning -- that Buffy will be against Dawn instead of with her when things get bad -- might be genuine, not just a demonic divide-and-conquer technique.

Buffy's therapy session with her psychoanalyzing vampire buddy may offer some clues about the truth of this warning. Describing the duel between her inferiority and superiority complexes, Buffy admits that she considers herself unworthy of her slayer powers. When she says ''Honestly, I'm beneath [everyone],'' it has an eerie echo of the Big Bad's tag line about danger that comes ''from beneath.'' Is all of this just an elaboration on the old ''the slayer is ultimately alone'' theme, or is it a harbinger of more sinister developments? Maybe there's a reason that slayers don't usually survive past their teens.

It seems impossible that Buffy could become so removed from meaningful human interaction, so wrapped up in the power of her destiny, that she would walk down that path of corruption towards the ultimate evil that's coming. But this show has done ''impossible'' things before and made them work. A twist like this sure would make for an impressive end to the series."


I'm not sure if I buy this, nor am I sure that I buy that Joyce was "real," but it is interesting.


[> [> Ooooh sorry! Yes spoilers, spoilers everywhere!!!! Sorry!!!!!!!! -- MayaPapaya9, 17:47:30 11/13/02 Wed

[> [> [> No biggee. :o) -- Rob, 19:00:36 11/13/02 Wed

[> [> [> [> In Good Faith -- Simplicity, 19:33:38 11/13/02 Wed

Good to know that I'm not the only one out here on my precarious Big Bad Buffy limb! It appears the Sarah Michelle Gellar won't be next year (*sniff*) so, I'm thinking that ,if the show continues, Joss needs himself a new Slayer. My guess, at this point is Dawn. Her mother and I do think that it was her mother that appeared to her warned her that it would be her against Buffy. I'm thinking that "Normal Again" was a preview of Buffy's descent into darkness. Anya, oh so cleverly reminded us, that Buffy trying to kill her friends is common place. . . Angel, Faith, and while she didn't try to kill Willow she sure tried to give her a beating. It was also clear to me that Willow would have won that fight if Giles hadn't intervened.

You know, this would explain why the Evil Morphing Thing is so threatened by Willow. It tried to get her to go evil (give up the magick and lose your mind again) or kill herself.

I'm also thinking that Faith's coming to provide more of a dichotemy. We could have Bad Buffy and Good Faith similiar to what happened in "Who are you?" when they literally switched roles.

I'm on the edge of the limb now. Holden, the psychiatrist vamp, made a joke at one point about Scott Hope saying that Buffy was gay. The relationship with Faith had romantic overtones and a heavy-handed gay subtext. I'm thinking that Faith is Dawn's other parent ("the monks made her out of Buffy). They needed another X chromosome right? It would explain the morally ambigious Dawn wouldn't it? She was scantily clad and dancing in a Faith like fashion in "Him". She also has a thievery problem ("Want. Take. Have.") Dawn was quick to say that Willow should have gone after Warren for killing Tara.

I'm thinking that Faith will die and, due to the shortage of Slayers-in-Training. . .Dawn will be called.

[> [> [> [> [> More than Spec about the future in above posts -- Phantom, 19:55:52 11/13/02 Wed

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Interesting Point - - pr10n, 20:03:11 11/13/02 Wed

(Quotes from Psyche)

In Blood Ties, Spike reads in Giles' notebook: "They had to be certain the Slayer would protect it with her life. So they sent the key to her ... in human form. In the form of a sister."

Well, your point is good: which Slayer? Officially, of course, Faith was the Slayer, cooling her heels in stir. If Buffy is sort of emeritus, could the monks have diluted the human form of the Key with a Buffy/Faith solution?

You know, I bet this discussion happened two seasons ago, and it's deeply archived. "pr10n, look through the chronicles/for some reference to a Slayer Cocktail."

[> [> [> [> [> [> Buffy's delusion #1 (still spoiling 7.7) -- Tyresius, 20:55:39 11/13/02 Wed

Ya know, every long term Buffy fan should have been a bit concerned when the Vamp asked Buffy about being "a" slayer and she said it was "the" slayer - as if putting a point on it. Has Buffy so quickly forgotten the existence of Faith?

My speculation is that all that "superiority complex" dialogue was just set-up for Buffy to learn that there are other slayers (or at least slayers-in-training). Learning that would deflate her superiority issues a bit, don't you think? And all her issues come down to the "I'm the slayer, not them, they can't understand" mantra. We might have to find a wholly new (and not unwelcome) source of angst if Buffy is introduced to people who ARE slayers and DO understand.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Buffy's delusion #1 (still spoiling 7.7) -- Rob, 22:52:39 11/13/02 Wed

Actually when he asked if she was the only Slayer, Buffy said, "Pretty much," after a moment of hesitation. I interpreted that as her just giving the easiest explanation, without going into: "...Oh yeah except for that time I died and another was called, and she was killed, so a third was called, who went all evil, and I put in a coma, but then came back...but I'm still alive, uh, even though I was dead again there for a while, so she was the only Slayer for a time, even though she was in jail. But I'm back now, so, uh...yeah, I'm the only one!"


[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Spoiling more than 7.7 in above (and therefore in this reply) -- Dochawk, 22:55:52 11/13/02 Wed

First off, the existance of SITs and their future in Buffyverse would consitute rather major spoilage to many people on this board.

Secondly, she said she is "the Slayer... "PRETTY MUCH" which is not the same. At this point her knowledge of Faith is that Faith is evil, so she stands as the only Slayer who acts like one. I don't find anything wrong with what she is saying at all. And she knows about the SITs already, she knows how Kendra grew up, I doubt she has a question as to whom the girl in her dream was either. Finally slayers in training are just that, in training and they don't understand what she goes through daily, the only one who might is in an LA jail.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> I thought that was just speculation above. So it's true? -- Finn Mac Cool, 04:35:40 11/14/02 Thu

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Buffy's delusion #1 (still spoiling 7.7) -- Maladanza, 07:04:07 11/14/02 Thu

"My speculation is that all that "superiority complex" dialogue was just set-up for Buffy to learn that there are other slayers (or at least slayers-in-training). Learning that would deflate her superiority issues a bit, don't you think? And all her issues come down to the "I'm the slayer, not them, they can't understand" mantra. We might have to find a wholly new (and not unwelcome) source of angst if Buffy is introduced to people who ARE slayers and DO understand."

Buffy doesn't have a "superiority complex" -- she's just superior :)

As Dochawk points out, Buffy does know about Slayers-in- Training from Kendra, but a Slayer-in-Training has not experienced the things that Buffy has. As Wesley found out when he first came to Sunnydale, there is a difference in facing a vampire in controlled circumstances and being carried off bodily by a group of sword-wielding vamps to face a demon that ought to have been dead for a century. Furthermore, the next generation of Kendras don't have the same angsty issues that Buffy has -- for them, the world is black and white. They don't make any difficult moral decisions -- the Council does. The WC is the Law, the slayers are merely the public executioners.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Interesting Point -- M, 22:59:11 11/13/02 Wed

Did Dawn scarily reminded anyone of Faith in Him?

[> This happens every year.....Spoilers for the BB....sort of..:):):) -- Rufus, 01:44:22 11/14/02 Thu

Is Buffy going to be the Big Bad?........I'm not going to answer that because it would be a spoiler.....but......Nahhhhh...I'll let you all find out the hard way....;)

More questions -- MayaPapaya9, 17:42:18 11/13/02 Wed

Sorry guys but there were so many goddamn confusing things in this episode it made my head spin. I know some of these have probably already been covered. Please share your thoughts on them to help me sort out my muddled brain!

-The date, time and ep title? Since when and why? It reminds me of the very excellent show 24 as did the split screens last week.

-All the Scoobies are isolated, why? Where is Xander? The song goes "Where were you?" and I think it ends on the word "Alone." THEME much? (My god, my Lit AP class is getting to me!)

-I am desperately trying to find connections between the four threads with dead people. Even after the second viewing this afternoon I still can't see any clear relations.

Buffy talks to dead high school guy. This could mean reconnecting with her past, back to S1 type stuff? She finds out she feels isolated and superior to others.

Willow talks to Cassie who is supposedly channeling Tara but is actuall the First Evil. Okay, we don't really know it is the First Evil but for the sake of simplicity let's call it that. We find out that the First Evil is threatened by her and wants Willow dead, but somehow has to accomplish this goal in the passive-aggressive way of trying to force her to commit suicide.

Dawn talks to her mother. If it really is her mother. Who warns her that Buffy will be against her. This could mean that either Dawn will be evil and Buffy will be good, or more likely, Dawn will be good and Buffy will be evil.

Andrew talks to Warren. Now, apparently, this conversation has been going on longer than just this episode. Andrew is not at all surprised to see him. What is up with that?! And what about "If you strike be down I will become more powerful," what is THAT? Are they opening the Hellmouth? Is Warren real? What was that ritual that they needed Jonathan for?

Any connections? Anyone?!

-SPIKE AAHHH WHAT THE HELL?! How? Why? How? Since when? What the hell?! And in response to whoever brought this up earlier, YES the first thing that came to my mind when I saw that woman was, Ohmygod it's Harmony! But it wasn't, it was some strange cross between Harmony and Chloe from Smallville.

Okay that's all for now, don't want to make this too long. I appreciate any help you guys can give me.

[> Spoilers 7.7 above -- Maya, 17:49:03 11/13/02 Wed

[> The "If you strike me down" line. . . -- Finn Mac Cool, 18:33:38 11/13/02 Wed

Comes from Star Wars. Obi Wan Kinobi says it just before Darth Vader kills him. Later, Obi Wan is revealed to have become a spirit who is "one with the force". This is an attempt on the Big Evil's part to make Warren seem like a god, like even being killed by Willow was a plan to get more power in this new state. Naturally, it uses a reference to explain it that is both in character for its Warren form and one that can convey the meaning well to Andrew.

[> [> Re: And the follow up... not! Spoilers-a-go- go and I Take A Stand -- pr10n, 19:21:54 11/13/02 Wed

So Evil came to Sunnydale and dug up a whatsit, and Jonathan greased that wheel. Was Jonathan Evil's only hope?

Nah, since lots of people in Sunnydale will bleed in like manner, and of course it's always the blood.

Did Evil slip up and reveal something to Andrew and then cover it with the "goin' with a thing" routine? Hah! Evil taunted Andrew, who didn't get the joke: "Well, if it doesn't work out with Jonathan, YOU'RE chock full of bloody goodness. Just kidding!" Not.

Evil is the loner, the manipulater, the user and cast- asider. Buffy is the Uniter, the Hands that hold together, all shiny and chosen.

Here is the stand I will take regarding S7 plot in general: Anything that points towards separation, loneliness, failure of good intentions, ultimate futility of efforts... all that is the BigBad.

[Jeez, pr10n, that's the candy-ass stand you're on about?]

Well, yeah! Because I don't mind looking doofy if there's no real skin in the game, and because it's easier to keep track of the players when all the bad guys have black hats etc.

Have I mentioned the part where I want Goodness to triumph? Now I have to go sing nursery rhymes and feed marshmallows to a fluffy kitty.

[Good luck with that Goodness stuff! (while Evil rips out your lungs and stuffs 'em with leeches, ya sap.)]

[> Re: More questions -- CW, 05:58:40 11/14/02 Thu

About the time and the date. We've seen dates before on flashbacks starting with the original opening to Welcome to the Hellmouth. This time, it's a minor flash-forward. 8:00 PM Pacific is actually when the showing ends in that zone, and would be after everyone who is going to see it broadcast first run has seen it (except for Hawaii and those who get the feed late for whatever reason.) As to why they chose the immediate future instead of some other time, it's hard to guess. I keep thinking about OnM two universe theory though; that this is all happening, but not necessarily in both universes. One universe may come to a bad end at the end of the season and the other may survive.

I think the best advice for the rest of it is "tune-in to the next exciting episode of..." Only time will tell.

what, exactly, can Spike do? (spoilers all around, belly up to the bar!) -- leslie, 18:13:27 11/13/02 Wed

I'm kind of free-associating here, and this is inspired by so many excellent posts below that I can't keep track of what came from where. So, a blanket acknowledgement to the entire forum!

I am increasingly convinced that the Morphing Entity (the ME2) is, indeed, controlling Spike by subverting his chip. Looking at it in this way, it also seems to me that Spike did not intend to return to Sunnydale once he realized he had been reso(u)led, but was caught and brought back, unwilling, by the ME2. In this light, perhaps we should not be looking at the events of Conversations as an attempt by the ME2 to separate Buffy from her friends, but to keep *Spike* separated from the Scoobies.

When we first (re)encounter Spike, he is being held in the basement room and the ME2 has conjured vengence zombies to keep... well, in point of chronological fact, it seems to keep *Dawn* away from Spike. When Buffy comes on the scene, of course, they try to keep her away, too, but it's Dawn who is first pulled down into the basement, and it would be much more likely that Dawn, the high school student, would stumble across something in the high school basement. In any case, the ME2's effort from the beginning is to keep Spike isolated. Even once people know he's there, his incoherence keeps him incommunicado.

Why would the ME2 need Spike? What can Spike do that no-one else can do? Well, he is a vampire with a soul, with a consciously acquired soul (in contrast to Angel, whose soul is a curse). Here I return to my belief that reason Spike has always been a slightly wonky vampire is that he was vamped by the ragingly insane Dru. Not only does the person that the vamp used to be affect the vamp as a vamp, but the personality of the vamper is also influential.

So, as has been pointed out, we've had not one but two vamps rise from the grave in a remarkably chatty mood: Holden, and the vamp in Lessons whom Buffy uses as Dawn's training vamp. These are the only two risings we've seen this season (I believe), and both appear to post-date Spike's return and, if Holden is not lying, at least one of them was vamped by Spike--what if both were? What does this mean?

The premise of the Buffyverse is that when you are vamped, your soul is kicked out and a demon takes its place, that vampires are humans "infected" with a demon. How would this be affected by someone being vamped by a vampire with a human soul *as well as* a demon? We haven't seen anyone who was ever vamped by a souled Angel, so we're in the dark here. But what if what Spike, Mr. Soulful, is doing is not creating humans who are infected with a vampire but vampires who are infected with humanity? These would not be nice, responsible humans but something more along the lines of Warren, I think. How might this be useful to the ME2? I really don't know, but I want to think about it.

Now, why is it important to keep Spike isolated, and who is he being isolated from? Not so much Buffy anymore. I would say that it's Willow and Dawn. Dawn, there may be some key issues involved here, but she is also the one Scooby who was closest to Spike before he left (he doesn't know--and thus, would the ME2 know?--that she has turned against him until beneath you, and it scares him). But Willow, now, Willow....

The ME2 in Cassie's form is trying to get Willow either so scared that she won't do any magic, or dead. The magic seems to be the threat. Here, again, I go back to my feelings at the end of Grave, that it is cognitively dissonant for Spike to go to a demon to have his chip removed, because the chip is a thing of science, while the demon is a being of magic. Souls, however, belong to the realm of the unseen. A soul is something a demon would be involved with. However, if the ME2 is controlling Spike's chip, this brings the chip somewhat into the realm of magic--it is being magically manipulated, and thus the problems that is causes are conceptually more amenable to a magical solution. Also, if the issue becomes the need to remove Spike's chip, how could it be done? The Initiative and its doctors are out of the picture, there isn't even Ben, the handy-dandy demon/doctor, to coopt--a medical solution is out. The only way to deactivate the chip has to be by magic, and Willow is the only one with the magical power to confront a Big Bad. Hence, the need to remove her or disarm her magic.

This, actually, is where I see some hope for the outcome of all of this, because Willow is the one who realizes that they are being mind-f*cked by the ME2 and will now be most on the alert and most apt to be trying to figure out why she's so important. And, with luck, coming up with a solution.

So, who is the ME2? Who has been awakened recently? What about that demon that was being worshipped at the "church" Willow raised at the end of Grave?

And as for Buffy's role in all of this--who remembers Angel decoying Buffy to the graveyard for a fight that she thought was all about her and him, when it was really a feint to clear the way for Dru to grab Giles and kill Kendra in the process?

[> Cool post. CuttoPrint to think it over... -- shadowkat, 18:37:37 11/13/02 Wed

But briefly? I agree with these things:

1. BB is controlling Spike through the chip : see my other posts, but briefly I sense this would explain the pain we see him in not once but twice in the basement(BY and STSP) and later in the alley(BY). I think the BB has been wearing down Spike's will and ability to fight him for quite sometime now.
2. BB brought Spike back to Sunnydale. After getting his soul, he didn't want to.
3. Willow is a key figure in getting out that chip. Remember the bullet removal in villains? Also she entered Buffy's brain in WoTW.
4. The distraction of Buffy in the graveyard was to get her away from Dawn and Willow. And Spike is also being used for this purpose.

I think you're on to something.

[> My thoughts (Spoilers up to and including 7.7 "Conversation with dead people") -- Blood Luvin Girl, 22:41:02 11/13/02 Wed

I am increasingly convinced that the Morphing Entity (the ME2) is, indeed, controlling Spike by subverting his chip. Looking at it in this way, it also seems to me that Spike did not intend to return to Sunnydale once he realized he had been reso(u)led, but was caught and brought back, unwilling, by the ME2. In this light, perhaps we should not be looking at the events of Conversations as an attempt by the ME2 to separate Buffy from her friends, but to keep *Spike* separated from the Scoobies.

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 SBeneath 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 saw 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 to 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 joke is 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 that 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 the voice he hears is real and the people he sees 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.

[> [> Oops forgot to add that it has some speculation too (for above post) -- Blood Luvin Girl, 22:43:44 11/13/02 Wed

"Conversations With Dead People": The Super-Evil Review -- Honorificus (The Delightful and Delirious One), 19:22:19 11/13/02 Wed

(Dedication: to Just George, who finds solace and delight in my words, wise man that he is. Take a lesson.)

Rarely, my fiends, rarely have I felt such utter and complete joy after viewing an episode of the thrice-bedamned "Buffy" as I felt tonight. In fact, I think "Passion" was perhaps the only other time. Then they went and lost Ty King, the fools.

One notes, however, that this glorious Drew Goddard creature seems to be picking up the slack. I feel this man must surely be one of us. His amorality plays, in the forms of "Selfless" and this episode, should be presented to all young imps as demonstrations of what we can do when we set our minds to it. Even combined with Espenson the Trickster, his vision remains clear and focused. All hail the new Drew!

You'll have to pardon me. I'm a bit drunk on the utter misery suffered by the various inhabitants of the Buffyverse last night. But I haven't forgotten what's important.

Fashion Statements
The Good
Willow's hair was a vision, much to my surprise. I was so distracted by it that I couldn't even find fault with her wardrobe.

Holden's suit. Normally, new vampires rise in such maudlin clothing. Someone chose well in his case, however. The boy had potential.

Spike. Leather jacket. Blood on his lips. I nearly died of happiness.

The Bad
Dawn's ruffly shirt. Creepy!

Did Joyce get her Heavenly Couture outfit from the same place Saint Cordelia did?

Warren. Even as an Evil Entity, his taste is horrific.

The Iffy
Did Spike's girlfriend/victim look like a man in drag to anybody else?

Plot in a Nutshell
Buffy gets therapy via a newly-risen vampire with a psych degree. Dawn gets slammed around physically and emotionally by a demon and her mother (or her demon mother, whichever). Willow gets railroaded by a demon medium supposedly representing her dead girlfriend. Spike gets back to his old self.

Demonic Quibbles and Comments
I wonder that I even have to bring this up. The Demon Joss is usually so clear on these things that it seems to me this might be a deliberate mislead. The point, dear fiends, is: when's the last time you heard a newly-risen vampire say anything more erudite than, "I hoooongry!"? They're nowhere near as coherent as our friend Holden when they first rise, before their first meal. For him to recall his Tae Kwon Do training and his psych degree is so unrealistic it very nearly ruined the ep for me.

Where to start? Well, first, it's always good to see Buffy get bashed around a bit. Her angst was a bit tiresome, but it served for a nice emotional bloodletting, so I'll forgive it.

Willow getting dissed by Cassie. "You can't see her because of what you did," indeed! The look on her face was priceless, dears, simply priceless!

The Brat's ordeal! The emotional bludgeoning, the physical battering, and the final emotional blow of her dear mommy crushing into dust the sickening trust between Dawn and her sister. It made me giggle for hours afterward.

Andrew murdering Jonathan. Makes the presence of the little twerps something to treasure, for once.

Spike. Sinking his fangs into that girl. Made me remember why I liked the boy in the first place.

The utterly maudlin song. Gah! Why do we have to listen to this crap?

Willow figuring out that she's not supposed to be offing herself. Damn!

Holden getting dusted. It had to happen, but really: that boy had potential. Such a waste.

Burning Questions
Is Spike evil? Is he being used? Is he real? Gosh, I hope so!

Does this inaugurate a new era of direct terrorism from the Big Bad Whatever?

Will the Twerp mention Mummy's visitation to Big Sis?

Is Buffy going to start chatting up every new vampire before she stakes them now? Didn't the Powers declare that there be no unnecessary cruelty directed at the newly-risen, and wouldn't the above violate that rule?

The Immoral of the Story
Don't go for the kill. Go for the pain.

Overall Rating
One big, hulking Chester's Whorl in a nice shade of peach on the Non Sequitur Scale. No, really: I think this episode deserves it.


[> Re: Drag at the Bronze -- pr0ng the Joiner, 19:45:43 11/13/02 Wed

Right there with ya, oh ever Perceptive One!

Did Spike's girlfriend/victim look like a man in drag to anybody else?

My first thought was that Spike should punch her in the face and then try to pull her hair off. But that's been done of course.

[> [> Actually that thing on her collar was a cousin of mine -- ponygoyle, 07:10:33 11/14/02 Thu

... and I couldn't stand my cousin so let's give the gal/guy a break ok?

[> Re: "Conversations With Dead People": The Super- Evil Review -- The Pushy Queen of Slut Town, 19:59:35 11/13/02 Wed

Honorificus, my dear, you failed to mention that delightful scene in which the twerp was led to violence against the many electronic devices in Buffy's home. I nearly squealed to think how many hours "Miss Peppy" (aka the slayer) would have to spend in servitude to replace the distraction machines. Even though one of the items appeared to have been a black and white television that was old when I was first hatched.

If the whiny sister-spawn can be so easily persuaded to violence against the posessions of the cursed slayer, there may be hope for her yet. In one of her most enlightened fashion moments to date, she attempted to improve upon one of the blasted Buffy's blouses. If only she had used the slayer's own blood instead of pizza sauce. Regardless, any stain or smear improves that flimsy, lacy monstrosity.

But otherwise, a perfectly evil review of Conversations With Dead People. Now, I must get back to my own conversations with dead people. Well, not so much conversations, the bodies don't seem to respond much.

[> Re: "Conversations With Dead People": The Super- Evil Review -- MagicBone, 20:21:31 11/13/02 Wed

While the slayer is held up in therapy,
The blonde has lost touch with reality,
The witch's worst fears,
The twerp cries tears,
And the virgin has popped his cherry.

[> And the biggest Burning Question of all-- -- Honorificus (Who Sees All, Knows All), 22:59:07 11/13/02 Wed

Did Spike kill Xander? Please?

[> [> That would be too much to hope for. -- Devilish, who is just back from an evening of mayhem, 23:35:34 11/13/02 Wed

I think Spikey dear has the boy locked up in his room. You know the one that looks like a closet. Which leads me to think what is that boy doing with his clothing if the closet has been converted into a 'room'? He dresses terribly as it is, now we have to look at wrinkly, ugly clothes? Oh, that Joss is a bad, bad god. It hurts so good.

[> Re: "Conversations With Dead People": The Super- Evil Review -- Un-Just George, 00:25:01 11/14/02 Thu

Honorificus, your reviews are a wonder, as ever...

(Did I do that right, the toadying I mean?)

(Bow low enough? Scrape emphatically enough? I'm still new at this.)

(Is prostrate the right word? Or is it prostate?)

(What ever.)

I humbly bring up one more highlight, Willow saying "From beneath you it devours." Then Cassie saying, "Not it. Me." And Cassie grins bigger and bigger until her body turns inside out and the teeth are all that is left. What a lovely exit.

(BTW, can you do that? The inside out thing?)

(Does it hurt? It looks like it hurts...)

(OK, OK, back to toadying.)


[> Re: "Conversations With Dead People": The Super- Evil Review -- Sophomorica, chewing on a fried pigs ear, 06:34:33 11/14/02 Thu was so delicious to see Spike feeding again!

[> I have an terrible sense of foreboding.... -- The Unclean, 07:23:17 11/14/02 Thu

Hail Honorificus, mistress of humiliation and unrivaled queen of the cutting barb (with the possible exception of my mother-in-law).

While I share in the joy of Spike's return to glory, the Slayer's psychological torture and the shrieking terror that is the Dawn-whelp's existence on this series, I cannot help but sense that we of the nether regions are being set up.

Note the disturbing signs:

1) The Devourer, the Trickster, the embodiment of Lies, slipped and made the unconscionable error of letting the witch know its true nature.

2) The whelp has the ability to summon magic, meaning the power of the Key still lies within her. She is potentially far too powerful to be left alive, and yet, the Devourer merely toys with her perceptions.

3) The Slayer's therapy session was helpful in possibly isolating her from her friends, but it also gave her useful insight into her own psyche. We do not need a Slayer in good mental health.

4) Jonathan's death was far too easy. Call me paranoid, but I think the little maggot might actually pop up again, and NOT as a manifestation of the Devourer.

5) Continuing the thought of (4): Could that possibly have been the REAL Joyce Summers? It's almost impossible to tell. That means the spirits of the Slayer's deceased friends and loved ones could be helping them as the season progresses.

6) No Xander. That just gave me the wiggins. The idiot is skulking around Sunnydale, planning heroics. I just know it.

All right. Perhaps I'm just being overly sensitive. But The Joss is a vile creature, and he has teased us with the triumph of ultimate evil before. We could be enjoying the cataclysm, and all these factors above could combine to produce the triumph of goodness on a scale I do not even want to contemplate.

I await reassurance.

[> [> That's "a" terrible sense of foreboding, Nimrod... -- The Unclean's mother-in-law, 07:28:33 11/14/02 Thu

I don't know why I didn't eat that moron while I had him in my house.

The devil is handsome and tells the truth..mostly -- Xaverri, 19:54:41 11/13/02 Wed

I know most of this has been covered, but I just felt like throwing my two cents in.

I've always favored the idea that any evil worth its salt is good looking, knows you well enough to hint at your greatest fears, and tells you the truth. Most of the time. Why else would you believe him/her? After your trust is effectively won, then the killer lie can be put into place.

To disect the cast and who they met:

Willow. Willow's is the most straight forward example. The demon used classic persuasive techniques, combining Willow's greatest love (Tara) with her greatest fear (losing control). I thought it odd when Cassie said that Willow couldn't see Tara because of what she'd done. Why would that be? And if Willow couldn't see Tara, why could she see Cassie? I finally realized the demon couldn't play Tara because she could never convince Willow that she was Tara. Willow knows Tara too well. This was the demon's biggest slip-up, but the lie played on Willow's fear. I found it interesting that Willow was the only one of the gang that the big bad made an effort to kill. If she so wanted Willow dead, though, why didn't she do it herself?(Same thing with Jonathon on the hellmouth - why did the big bad need Andrew to kill him - why didn't s/he just kill someone on the hellmouth. As shown by Dawn's ordeal, s/he can move physical objects.) But she had convinced her not to use magick; why press further and risk losing it all? Is it because Willow's the one most strongly connected to the good ptb? She is the only one claiming to be connected to anything at all. I also wonder if Willow got the real big bad and everyone else got a minion. Anyhow, this demon is beautiful because it represents Tara. Fortunately, badly.

Dawn. Dawn's was definitely the scariest, and my husband pointed out that Dawn had just been watching a horror movie, so her mind was already thinking that way. I also think, though, that this was the most clever manifestation of the big bad. Dawn's greatest fear is being useless. Most of her friends are superheros (or at least experienced in working superheros - as is the great missing one), and she spends a good amount of her time trying to prove herself to others. And what would rouse Dawn's desire to fight more than Joyce in trouble? So the demon stages a fight, pushing Dawn almost to the limit (makes it more believable) and then lets her win. The demon betrayed himself here, in my opinion, when Dawn opened the door to leave. The demon told her to get out, but when she opened the door the wind (that the demon was causing) made it so hard for her to get out, she had time to think again. He didn't want her to leave. He wanted her to stay, "beat him," and hear Joyce's message. She's much more likely to believe it if she has to work for it. The first characters the big bad is trying to split up are Dawn and Buffy and Spike and Buffy - coincidentally, the two characters that didn't start the show. The demon is beautiful because it represents Dawn's victory in a battle she shouldn't have won.

Buffy. I think that was a real vamp. I don't think he was a manifestation of the big bad. The vamp did, however, keep talking about being connected to a greater evil. That's why we can't believe everything he says. Did he tell the truth? Mostly, yes. He got Buffy to admit a lot of things about herself that people on this board have been saying for a long time. Did he tell the truth about Spike? I don't know. That would be a very well placed lie, and if he truly was connected to the greater evil, he'd know to say that. The thing I question most about that, is the significance (in Spike's vamp clan at least) of descendancy. He is only four steps away from the master, and the master's children seem to stick with their family. Has Spike ever made a vamp before? The only instance I can think of is the guy with brain tumors from season two, but I never thought Spike actually made him; I always figured that was one of Spike's minions. Correct me if I'm wrong, because I haven't seen a lot of season four, but I don't think Spike's ever turned anyone, and siring a vamp would be quite a step for him. I'm actually surprised he never attempted to turn Buffy while they were on and off again. But that's beside the point. This vamp was beautiful, though, because he gave Buffy hope that she was psychologically normal. He listened to her without judgement, and boiled everything down to psychological issues that everyone has - fear of commitment, inferiority/superiority complexes, parental issues, etc.

Spike. I ran the gambit on this one. My first thought was, "What the duck, he just bit a human. Well, a soul doesn't necessarly make a good person." My second thought was, "Oh! The big bad made him do it!." My third thought was, "Why isn't he rolling around in pain? That looked like an awfully long drink." And they've continued since then. Facts I have put together. Until the invite up to the room (and even then), the two were acting more chummy than one-night- standy. Note the way he walked her home from the Bronze, laughing and at least a foot apart. People who hook up in bars tend to be a little clingier going home. Another thing, I don't have this one on tape, so somebody tell me, was he smoking when she walked up or did she just somehow know to drop a pack of cigarettes (and if I'm not mistaken, the kind he normally smokes) on the table by him? Lastly, Spike's greatest fear, in my not-so-humble opinion, is that he is unlovable. Nobody has ever really cared for Spike. As a human he was laughed at, Angel, Dru, and Darla laughed at him, Dru dropped him and picked him up on whims, and Buffy and most of the Scoobies treated him horribly. Spike has never had anyone love him in a caring, personal sort of way. So what would be a likely choice for the big bad to take? A girl to be nice to him. What was it about her that made Spike take the bait? We've seen him scorn most other women before. Since we never hear their conversation, we just don't know what was different. So the big bad comes in female form to make Spike feel loved. As with Willow (Spike's impetuous, but he's paranoid enough to not be a dummy) the demon makes a mistake. Spike flips out and goes for the jugular. And it doesn't hurt a bit because she's not human.

OK, longwinded, I know. I'd love to hear your comments. I sure enjoy reading all of yours!

[> Re: The devil is handsome and tells the truth..mostly -- Tyreseus, 20:31:35 11/13/02 Wed

"I've always favored the idea that any evil worth its salt is good looking, knows you well enough to hint at your greatest fears, and tells you the truth. Most of the time. Why else would you believe him/her? After your trust is effectively won, then the killer lie can be put into place."

Evil is good looking. My Ex-boyfriend is good-looking. Therefore, my ex-boyfriend is evil! I knew it!

All kidding aside, an interesting post. In a thread down below, there's some discussion about how the way "demons" look gives us some preconceived notions about them. A red thing with cloven hoofs, a forked tongue, two horns and a tail surrounded by fire... probably not going to convince us easily that it's a good guy.

And in other discussion relating to "Him" there was some discussion about the way we dress and how it influences people, you know, sends out signals.

In a way, appearances and perception have been constant themes on BtVS. In "Nomal Again" Buffy is presented with a very enticing lie - that Sunnydale doesn't exist. Or think about Parker in "The Harsh Light of Day," he wasn't evil (as in killing people and trying to bring about the end of the world) but he was manipulative, and Buffy fell for his lie because she was attracted to him.

I don't know if they've fully explored the idea that maybe evil can appear as the thing you most want. Here's a shiny red apple, just sell me your soul...

Ooh, ooh. Spike's got a soul he's looking to unload - do ya know any buyers? Or maybe he already sold it?

Good post, Xaverri

[> Taking a footnote from X-Files for a second... (speccy & spoilery) -- ZachsMind, 20:40:29 11/13/02 Wed

The Deep Throat character said to Mulder once that the best way to tell a lie is to hide it between two truths.

The political B.S. aside, The Thing couldn't become Tara because it wanted to use Tara as the carrot on the end of the stick. If IT could convince Willow that the only way to see Tara again was to kill herself, then IT would have one less problem child to worry about. IT could do what it wants without worrying about Willow discovering she's more powerful than IT. And believe me, IT is very scared of Willow, otherwise IT wouldn't have felt a need to get her out of the way.

I don't buy that IT was Joyce. Maybe it'll turn out that way, but I honestly don't think that's how IT operates. IT woulda just appeared before Dawn as Joyce. Just as IT's just appeared before everybody as somebody. That's how IT works. It's like back when Angel was Angeles, he didn't go around just mindlessly killing people. That wasn't his method of operation. He had to be all weird and morbid and kinda romantic about it. The whole 'making Dawn work for it' thing doesn't set well with me. Why didn't IT do that to Willow? It woulda been much more convincing. Willow woulda bought that if she had to work for it. Dawn however woulda bought the *Joyce suddenly materializing out of the blue* thing cuz, well, as much as I adore Dawnie, she's not the thickest book on the shelf, y'know whut ah'm sayin'?

Buffy going up against the wanna be shrinkyhead boy. I agree with you on this one. That was definitely not anything directly to do with IT. Webster was just a bat boy. We may learn IT is directly affecting Spike, and since Spike sired Webster, IT indirectly affected that fight, but Webster was definitely just a good old fashioned vamp baddie. This also brings out the fact that vamp fighting is old hat. WE know she's gonna win. Even SHE knows she's going to win. You'd think the vampires would figure that out. So as we progress through this season, I think killing vampires is going to become less and less a thing again. Like back when Glory was in town, killing vampires was a sideshow freaky thing to put between the actual duels with Glory, in order to pad out the action a little bit.

Spike. Here's the clue. He didn't feel the pain. Though he's got the soul, we know that chip still affects him. We've seen it. Of course we've also seen that now he can keep punching somebody even though he gets the pain. With a soul, apparently he can overcome that. So MAYBE it's the same Spike, but I'm thinking there's two Spikes now. I don't know HOW. Maybe IT has a SpikeyBot. That could be fun. But they shoulda at least shown him dealing with the pain in his head if that were the real Spike. So I'm thinking Spike's gettin' framed, that next week we'll find out he was playing Parcheesi with Xander & Anya.

[> Re: The devil is handsome and tells the truth..mostly -- amber, 23:51:30 11/13/02 Wed

Just a small point, but I don't think that in the Spike plot the woman was a manifestation of the big bad. I think that in that scene Spike was the dead person that the living girl was having a conversation with.

I'm not sure what exactly is going on with Spike and/or why his chip didn't activate, but if the big bad evil was influencing anyone in that scene I think it was through Spike, not the girl.

My personal take is that either Spike is being manipulated/taken over by the big bad because he is dead which makes him easy for the evil thing to control or maybe Spike is out killing people because he wants to die. He wants Buffy to find out he's killing humans again because he knows that's the line he can't cross. If she finds out he's hurting people, she'll have to stake him. Perhaps the soul is too much for him to bear and he's looking for death.

[> Totally right about Spike, at least -- luna, 07:29:02 11/14/02 Thu

If there is any consistency, Spike's tete-a-tete should have been with a mirage created by "it"--giving him his most secret desire and his greatest fear at once, like it did with Willow, Jonathan, Buffy, and Dawn. Why would Spike be different?

The Thing That Devours Your Butt... What is it really? (CWDP) Spoilers & Speculation) -- ZachsMind, 20:17:08 11/13/02 Wed

I don't personally think the "Thing That Devours Your Butt" thing is able to affect physical reality. When we see it bugging Spike or bugging Willow, it seems to avoid physical touching of objects most of the time. I think once when "it" was Drusilla "it" touched Spike, but that's just cuz Juliet Landau's all touchy-feely.

This is why I don't think what Dawn was going up against was necessarily That Thing. That Thing doesn't operate like that. It's simply not its Modus Operandi. It stands there and talks to you incessantly until you wanna punch it in the mouth and then it just smiles at you and turns inside out. That's how it operates. It doesn't paint "Mother's Milk is Red" on the wall. It doesn't do knock knock jokes. It doesn't steal from movies like The Sign. It just stands there and tells you how evil it is and it talks about all the terrible things it's going to do to everybody very soon and then for no apparent reason it just disappears for several seasons and makes you go, "What the F*** was that all about?"

So (maybe) Dawn was really talking to the real dead Joyce who really told Dawn that as much as she loves both of them, Buffy's really being a real big fat putz. It would have been more obvious had Joyce been jewish. She coulda used a word like meshugina. Then we'd all know. But that's the Rosenberg household. What happened to Willow's mom anyway? If she was dead we'd never find out about it, cuz Willow never goes home.

Of course I could be wrong. In reality "From Beneath You IT Devours" will probably turn out to be that thing some rich people still ride on which people made a big deal about a few years ago but turned out to be a stupid scooter.

[> Whatever it is, it isn't eating any butts. -- Wisewoman, 21:14:05 11/13/02 Wed

Y'know, I'm havin' a hard time working up much enthusiasm for this potential Big Bad. Presumably it feels Willow and her power are a potential threat to it. I'd say she's definitely a threat, if it can't do any better than try to convince her to off herself! In fact, I'm a little surprised we didn't get any Magick!Willow wicca mojo fireworks before Cassie self-digested. Granted, Willow was under a great deal of emotional stress, and reeling from the supposed conversation with Tara, but I'd say her interaction with false Cassie necessitates a retreat to the spellbooks, rather than the laptop.

You make some good points. This evil thingy seems quite inconsistent. Is it capable of physicality or not? Is the Summers' house truly trashed? Is Dawn actually injured in any way? She had facial gashes, blood, etc, then they seemed to heal themselves by the time Joyce arrived, but the house was still a mess. And yet we saw the earlier poltergeist activity that was repaired in a flash. Is all the physicality an illusion? If it is, then all the Scoobs have to fear is fear itself.

Is it something that will be capable of physical mayhem once it's released from beneath that big ol' seal? It's like, just preying on the young, innocent, and weak- minded, biding it's time until it gets busted out?

Okay, fine, but why the hell did it send dreams all the way to Mexico and wait around for Andrew and Jonathan to get back to uncover the seal? Why not just have some new guy show up on Xander's construction team with a treasure map and a convincing story for excavating beneath the school? Or, if we need someone more gullible, a new classmate for Dawn with said treasure map?

And come to think of it, if it has anything at all to do with Holden's, Andrew's, or Spike's behaviour then it would seem it would have no trouble just recruiting someone to kill Willow outright. Why bother to try to entice her to suicide if it can make use of other beings to inflict physical mayhem and death?

I got a lot more questions than answers out of last night's ep, as most of us did, but my questions about this potential Big Bad are gonna require a heck of an explanation to cover all the inconsistencies...

Hmmmm. :o|

[> [> Might be able to help you with that one... -- ZachsMind, 21:46:35 11/13/02 Wed

"And come to think of it, if it has anything at all to do with Holden's, Andrew's, or Spike's behaviour then it would seem it would have no trouble just recruiting someone to kill Willow outright. Why bother to try to entice her to suicide if it can make use of other beings to inflict physical mayhem and death?"

I might be able to help you with that one.

Remember what D'Hoffryn said, "Haven't I taught you anything, Anya? Never go for the kill when you can go for the pain."

IT, whatever IT is, doesn't want to kill anybody. It's going for the pain.

It wants people to so lose hope that they kill each other and kill themselves. It wants them to lose hope and in so doing lose their souls. It's no longer interested in people doing good or people doing bad. It just wants to have power over people. I think this says a lot about our society today. Whedon's hitting the nail on the head pretty damned hard. Maybe people will walk away from this feeling preached at, but when he's done he's gonna give people something really hard to think about. For example, the violence that people are doing to each other in the Middle East and other parts of the world in the name of some god or in the name of the people they claim to be fighting for. Their 'kind' or whatever. When we as human beings resort to violent, feral behavior and give in to that nature, we're basically giving up. We're saying it's impossible to create a new and better world for ourselves and those we love. So we blow up a bus filled with people, or we fly a plane into a building, or we take out people who we feel are obstacles in our way. We resort to destroying on the illusion that someday after all that destruction we'll be able to create, but we're only destroying ourselves in the process.

And whatever wants the power and the control thinks it'll win if it can get people like Buffy and Willow and even Spike to follow that path. Remember when Willow said she could now sense that everything in the Earth is connected, but that it's not necessarily a good thing cuz she's seen that this big thing in the Earth has got teeth.

Then there's this thing Webster said before Buffy staked him. "Feels great! Strong! Like I'm connected to a powerful all consuming evil that's gonna suck the world into a fiery oblivion."

There's that word again. CONNECTED. All vampires are connected to this THING. Willow's had a taste of it. She didn't sense it really until she lost all hope. However I must point out that she saw it's teeth once before. In "The Zeppo."

This might be the same thing that's THE thing. The Thing That May Or May Not Grab You By The Ankles And Devour Your Toejam. Sorry. Just having major trouble taking this "First Evil" guy seriously. It seems to have major identity issues.

[> [> [> Yes! -- Rob, 23:42:31 11/13/02 Wed

As the BB said in "Lessons," it's all about power.


[> [> [> [> And... -- Rob, 23:48:32 11/13/02 Wed

...I also agree with your assessment of the link between D'Hoffryn's "Don't go for the kill when you can go for the pain" line. If this First Evil thing really wanted to; if it is the SOURCE of ALL evil, I'm sure it could have killed everybody instantly. But it doesn't want to. It wants to build power through the pain and suffering of others.

Unless of course, as Buffy assumed in "Amends," the First Evil really was all talk...or, at least, overhyping what it could really do, and the real Big Bad has yet to show itself.

I so wish I had more answers! At the same time, I know that once we do have all (or most of) the answers, the season will be over...and I don't want that!


[> [> [> [> [> Yes, Rob! Spoilers, speculation and other stuff. Warning! May be boring. -- spaceclown, 21:35:25 11/14/02 Thu

I am connecting with your comments about the desire of the evil for pain and suffering.
Didn't Cassie say something like 'blah blah blah... with every death it gets stronger.'? Someone brought up this idea on the board weeks ago - that the hellmouth is fed with pain and suffering. That could mean that every instance of death or suffering gives the evil more power. So it drives our Scoobs to inflict more on each other and themselves. What if Holden's death, or any death, good or evil also makes it stronger? Buffy and all of the 'good' characters could actually contributing to the evil as much as the 'evil' ones actively contribute. But they can't begin to comprehend that they are doing wrong by 'fighting' evil. It seemed to me that Buffy could have found a way around summarily executing Holden. She seemed to be at times uncommitted to killing him. She was eventually driven to do so when overcome by her own emotions for Spike.

I am proably just overlaying my own crazy stuff, but maybe 'the story' is making a point about random classification and the danger of being for or against versus helping and problem solving.

What if the writers are comparing the demon/human issue with societal polarizing and other labeling abstractions?

I think they might be, but I have a bad habit (worse this season than ever!) of connecting things outside the buffyverse to the buffyverse because I am so obsessed with the goddamn buffyverse.

I am reading a book subtitled 'ordinary Germans and the Holocaust'. It discusses the ways one societal group can demonize another group, even their fellow local dwellers. If you don't see your fellow man as human, evil wins. You don't have to feel bad about the non-humans.
Maybe parallels can be drawn in the vilification of Muslims by some individuals or groups and how some radical terrorist groups apparently view Americans as 'the devil'. No one ever thinks they themselves are evil.

Oh, yeah, except demons in the Buffyverse. I forgot. But it's even easier to hate and kill the ones who easily admit, "Yep, I'm evil." It is easy to hate when the other group is beneath us.

In the human world, though, by defeating our 'enemy', we defeat ourselves if in the end we lose our own humanity.

Umm...this is my first 'real' post. I hope it doesn't upset, or most importantly to me, offend anyone. If it just bores you to tears, I can probably live with that. Click on, brothers and sisters, to the next post by a seasoned poster. I just love this board and have decided to overcome my shyness and perfectionism and share something. I have the utmost respect for the posters on this board and have enjoyed getting to know you through your writing. Thanks.

[> [> [> [> [> [> welcome spaceclown -- Etrangere, 23:01:52 11/14/02 Thu

And I think you've got a point. BtVS has slowly evolved to a de-demonisation and a breaking of the duality of good vs evil. Morality in the buffyverse is more complexe now.

[> [> [> I dunno... -- Darby, 07:03:04 11/14/02 Thu

All vampires are connected to this THING.

I don't think we've seen any evidence of this, beyond a vague reference from Holden that could just refer to the vamp demon's presence - presumably, they come from somewhere, um, evil. But none of the other vamps we've met support a unifying vamp force of which they're aware - not even NutsoSpike. This may be a clue that whatever the BB is, it was somehow linked to Buffy's Adventures in Psychology. (Obsession alert! - Just to check, I went back and looked, and it seemed like Holden Webster came out of a grave that had ****ter on the stone - that might indicate he was the real deal, puppet or not).

What I wanna know is what the dragon on the seal means - it was very Smaug-like and very unlike what we've seen slither out of the Hellmouth in the past (it's probably the scenic artist doing something "cool").

And wouldn't it be cool if this all connected to the return of the Fear Demon, who's living in the principal's desk? Remember, it may be midgets...

[> [> [> [> Connections -- Sophist, 08:58:16 11/14/02 Thu

But none of the other vamps we've met support a unifying vamp force of which they're aware

Well, we did have this dialogue from The Harvest:

Xander: Jesse, man. I'm sorry.

Jesse: Sorry? I feel good, Xander! I feel strong! I'm connected, man, to everything!

Buffy begins struggling with the door, trying to close it.

Jesse: I, I can hear the worms in the earth!

Xander: That's a plus.

Jesse: I know what the Master wants. I'll serve his purpose. That means you die. And I feed.

So I guess the notion of vampire connections does indeed take us back to the beginning.

[> [> [> [> [> Yeah, but worms are lousy conversationalists. I stand connected - er, corrected. - - Darby, connecting worms with special knots., 10:10:28 11/14/02 Thu

[> [> [> [> [> [> Apparently so. And look at the price they pay for that around your house! - - Sophist, 10:20:24 11/14/02 Thu

[> [> Re: Suicide (7.7 spoilers) -- Rob, 00:08:44 11/14/02 Thu

Cassie said that "that suicide idea was going a little too far, wasn't it?" I don't think that this was what the BB had originally planned. I think, as it went along, it tried to slip that in, since she had bought almost everything else up to that point. When it seemed that Willow wasn't totally buying that Tara wouldn't want her to do magic anymore, especially considering Giles said it was okay, and the fact that Tara didn't seem disturbed by the deaths Willow caused, "Cassie" changed "battle plans" and tried to go for the suicide angle. Perhaps the BB can't affect the physical plane and has to work through coersion and mystifying its victims. Also, perhaps it knows that Willow can hurt it, if she be allowed to keep doing magic. It couldn't really send someone to kill Willow. Anyone who tried would probably be shot halfway across the room (if not Sunnydale) if they came close, with a burst of magic.

The whole "back to the beginning" thing is very important, I think. And the choice of who is being affected is also. This BB seems like it might be the Hellmouth itself. It knows everything that has gone on. The last great evil was Willow. Maybe to do the proper spell (whatever Jonathan's body was used for there), it required the people who had caused Willow to become evil. For whatever reason, it needed the two surviving members of the the group that caused all the mayhem last year, to be sucked into it. Can't speculate yet exactly why, but I don't think anything's random here, neither do I think that there have been any inconsistencies.

The largest questions are about Dawn, and what was illusion, what was real. You can interpret it that the thing holding Joyce captive was not the BB, and that Joyce was real, and really had that message for Dawn. You can interpret it that this was all illusion, so that Dawn would feel she was casting out the demon capturing Joyce, making her more susceptible to believe the false Joyce's words, when it was all the BB. Even if the house was really harmed, that does not change much. I don't think the BB is incapable of affecting physical reality. I think, though, that that isn't it's style. It won't gain the power it wants by trashing and maiming outright, but will do so by emotional manipulation and destruction. And if it turns out that the BB actually can't affect physical reality, the thing that destroyed the Summers house might have been working for the BB. If it could manipulate the humans, and (perhaps) control Spike, why couldn't it do so to other demons? Or have demons who work for it? Hell, the whole demon world works for it.

In the end, though, we really can't tell until we get a full picture of what is actually going on here.


[> More About That Thing That Devours Your Butt (spec & spoilery) -- ZachsMind, 21:24:54 11/13/02 Wed

I got another reason why the Dawn/Joyce part of this week's episode has nothing to do with IT.

Got a VCR? Got a copy of Conversations With Dead People? Get to the point in the story when Dawn sees her mother on the couch and the lights are all dark. When she says "Mom? I see you. I'm coming towards you, okay?" hit the pause button. Go on ahead and cue up the tape and do it. We'll wait here for you.


You there? Good. See that thing over Joyce? Never mind the fact that it's really bad costume work. I mean, they probably didn't design this scene expecting anybody would freeze frame over it. We got a black humanoid looking creature covered in black with his hands apparently wrapped around Joyce's neck, and Joyce has white eyes and she's reaching out to Dawnie for help. Okay? See that? Notice that the guy's looking away from the camera, cuz they wanted it to look like it was just a head without a face. Actually very nicely done considering it takes up only a few seconds of screen time.

Now look at the guy's back. It looks like ANOTHER ARM, doesn't it? A kinda thin skeletony arm. So we got a humanoid figure looming over Joyce, with yet another partial figure draped over the guy. This is a completely different thing from the THING that's been bugging Spike & Willow. The Thing That Eats The Soles Of People's Feet just doesn't operate like this. Gee, this is almost as much fun as dissecting Blair Witch Project Part Two. Okay. It's more fun.

Another thing I feel like pointing out about this scene. A half minute later as Dawn's running for the door, the evil presence tells her to GET OUT. Did anybody else laugh at that? I thought that was rather fitting, since Dawnie's been telling everybody else to "get out Get Out GET OUT!!!" for years. =)

[> [> Yep. I laughed at that, too. -- dub ;o), 21:38:03 11/13/02 Wed

Maybe it is just throwing their own worst fears back at them? Or their own worst behavior? Or...hell...I don't know!

[> I think it's way too early to judge just what this Big Bad can and cannot do... -- Rob, 23:40:54 11/13/02 Wed

The talk of whether it can be physical or not, whether it is just driving people to grow mad or helpless in the face of their worst fears, etc., is interesting, but at this point in the year, it's really impossible to judge the consistency or continuity of it or its powers, because we don't know enough about it yet. Personally, though, this Big Bad has me stoked more than any other in the show's history, with the exception of Glory. I think and hope this year will end up being the best season yet. It is poised so far to beat out Season Five as my favorite in the show's history. I am majorly excited to see what this Big Bad can and will do.


[> [> Re: I think it's way too early to judge just what this Big Bad can and cannot do... -- leslie, 09:38:32 11/14/02 Thu

I think it's way too early to judge whether we've even seen the Big Bad yet. I think it's still buried in the basement, and the morphological wonder we've been seeing is merely its minion.

And here's a notion: did someone (Jonathan) have to be sacrificed and his blood seep into the shield so that the real Big Bad has a body to inhabit? (Nice irony--the Biggest Bad of them all is the shortest person who's ever been on the show.)

[> YET MORE about That Thing That Devours Your Butt (long, spoilery, speccy) -- ZachsMind, 14:03:51 11/14/02 Thu

I just posted this to BuffyRadio but was hoping to hear y'all's input on this. What follows is a summary of pretty much everything going on in my head at the moment about The First Evil of Sunnydale.

Is The First Evil a single entity or capable of pseudo-omni- presence? To be honest the answer is yes. It's both. However, we should preface this with the question of whether or not we're even dealing with The First Evil as it appeared before Angel in the third season episode "Amends." Whedon's not been clear and up front about that.

IT has a similar Modus Operandi. The entity appears before one of the supporting characters as one or multiple characters we know to be dead. IT antagonizes the supporting character with words but rarely if ever deeds. IT gets under the skin of ITs potential prey, and ITs goal seems to be to undermine the thought processes of the supporting character in such a way as to remove from it any and all hope that good can prevail against evil. MOST recently, IT's been even dismissing the very concept of a moral balance, saying IT's going for power and is not a fan of the easy kill. As D'Hoffryn said recently to Anya, "don't go for the kill when you can go for the pain." This IT thing is following that line of thinking as well.

IT sucks the hope from ITs victim, and then once ITs successfully broken ITs victim's will, IT uses that victim like a virus to kill other characters and cause other mayhem. Right now, IT appears to have both Andrew & Spike under ITs control, but IT doesn't seem to be able to directly affect Buffy's world. IT has to recruit the weak- willed to do ITs dirty work.

We know IT was posing as Cassie when IT talked to Willow. We know this because IT admitted it. Willow said "from beneath you it devours" and fauxCassie said "not it. ME." So IT was in at least one location during CWDP. We assume that IT was also the fauxWarren which was leading Andrew by the nose and encouraged Andrew to kill Jonathan as a sacrifice to the Hellmouth seal. However, we don't know this for certain. Warren may have brought himself back some other way. That's doubtful though, which is why we ASSUME this to be a fauxWarren which is really the Thing Which Devours. We can also assume Buffy wasn't directly interacting with IT. Holden Webster, the Spike-sired psych vampire was just a vamp. However, it's probable that Spike is being controlled in some way by IT so one could say Webster's presence was indirectly controlled by IT but that's a stretch.

We do NOT know if deadJoyce was fauxJoyce. Many will assume that on face value, but the entire scene with Dawn fighting that dark presence so she could see her mother - that's JUST NOT the Thing's Modus Operandi. If she were actually facing IT, IT woulda just appeared before her as Joyce. The hubbub beforehand may have been more convincing, but that's just now how IT operates. Otherwise IT woulda made Willow jump through hoops in hopes of getting to Tara. That's just not ITs way.

I don't think IT can BE Joyce OR Tara, because Joyce did not die without all hope. She JUST DIED. It happens. When it did happen she thought she had been cured. It was just fate. We had no indication she lost hope. UNLIKE Cassie, who was going around telling everyone she was just gonna die. She accepted death and had already given up the fight, so IT can easily become her. Likewise IT can't pose as Tara, because Tara went from a mental framework much the same way that Joyce went. It just happened. It was terrible, but Tara didn't die from a loss of hope. She died by circumstance, external to her own thought processes. Remember when Jenny Calendar died? She died a hopeless death, being chased after by Angeles until her will was broken and her hope for escape was shattered, so that's why IT could come around to Angel posing as Jenny. Jenny died a death without hope.

The way in which Joyce appeared before Dawn was also not in the M.O. of The Thing That Eats You From Your Bottom. She was glowing for one thing. IT never glows. She didn't hang around to taunt and confuse Dawn. She said her piece and then she left. One could say that WHAT Joyce passed on to Dawn was enough to stir things up, but IT hangs around to gloat. IT sticks around longer than that to manipulate and twist the truth. deadJoyce didn't do any of that. She just cautioned one daughter that when things get bad, her other daughter will not choose her. The statement was cautionary and filled with love. When you compare it to what and how fauxCassie tried to get under Willow's skin, it just doesn't jibe. Whether or not deadJoyce was THE Joyce or something else, I can't fathom that she was a manifestation of The First Evil.

As Willow might say, it just doesn't compute.

So yes, The First Evil, or The From Beneath You It Devours Thing or whatever you wanna call it, can be in more than one place simultaneously. IT's not limited to the physical laws of Buffy's World, but at the same time IT's restricted by some other laws and limitations. While IT can be in more than one place at once, IT can't be EVERYWHERE at once, and It can't do what IT wants at the drop of a hat. Otherwise IT woulda just destroyed everything in one fell swoop and then we got no show.

IT is answering, probably begrudgingly, to yet another higher power which has restricted ITs movements and abilities in some ways. So IT's malevolent, and partially omnipresent, but IT's not all powerful. IT's also AFRAID of Willow, which is why IT was trying to convince Willow to 1) stop using magic altogether and 2) kill herself. IT wants Willow out of the way moreso than it wants Buffy. IT also wants Will to suffer. Probably in much the same way D'Hoffryn wants Anya to suffer. IT had Willow in ITs clutches at the end of last season, and may feel animosity towards Willow because she faced evil and ultimately rejected IT.

I think IT thinks IT's already got Buffy. But we'll find out more about that soon enough. All good things in time. =)

Upon Recovery from Post-Dramatic Stress…Part I (Spoilers S7/S4 AtS) -- Haecceity, 20:28:36 11/13/02 Wed

Very well, I’ll admit it, this one creeped me a little. We all have particular things that push our “Ooh, icky!” buttons, and mine is nuked marsmallows. (beat) Ok, kidding. What really gets the salamander running up my spine is things that morph—especially by going all Joker-grin and teethy.

So let’s just say that the lighting scheme for last night’s slumber was on the searchlight side of the spectrum. All the better to jot notes down, my dears. For if the history of art and the archived areas of this board prove, nothing makes the heebie-jeebies more useful than writing about them, creating a response to cast back at the things that crawl out of the void.

In this vein, let me share a few off-the-wall notions:

Since we’re all sharing our Big Bad Specs---
I’ve always thought that Buffy’s power dive off the tower, while being all heroic, tragic martyr-chic was also a rather eloquent F* You to the PTB, specifically that which made her a Slayer.

There’s been enough discussion of Buffy’s sacrifice for Dawn to fill the cyberspace equivalent of Brazil, possibly spilling over into minor border towns of Argentina, and while sisterly devotion/protection of innocents, etc is all well and good, I’ve seen something a little…off in it for awhile now. If Dawn is indeed a part of Buffy, who’s to say that she isn’t the “normal innocent teenager” Buffy spent so much time trying to be? Pushing away the bloody reality of Slayerhood to have friends, a nice (why oh why can’t THIS one be nice/normal) boyfriend, a future that didn’t feature slaughter in a starring role.

If Buffy is, as so many heroes seem to be, split into a Buffy A and a Buffy B, it seems natural to assume that the split would divide “Normal Girl” Buffy and Slayer Buffy, right? Since WTtHM we’ve seen Buffy fight desperately to keep these two sides of her life far from the other, sometimes inhabiting one side, sometimes the other, in an increasingly Schizophrenic desperation to keep two worlds apart (Normal Again).
Buffy’s decision to leap off the tower was indeed suicide, but could also be considered murder. For what she did was decide which side of herself to save---the normal girl, Dawn, the innocent her duties wouldn’t let her be. Buffy’s sacrifice saved the girl, and killed the Slayer.

(No wonder she got pissed when they brought her back. For now there was already an innocent girl who deserved protection, and devotion, and love in the mix. And the only role left open was that of the Slayer. So she shouldered the sword and leaped into the part; became harder and cold and miserable, split from the other side of herself; resentful and uncomfortable in the presence of her friends who brought her back to her “calling”; found bewildering comfort only in the devotion of another border-creature, and the hunt. Meanwhile, the girl didn’t appreciate this free pass to Buffy’s idea of happiness. Dawn didn’t want the ill-fitting hand-me-down life forced upon her. She craves the Slayer’s world.)

So my thought for the “end”, my hunch about “Maybe-Joyce’s” words? In the next big bang, Buffy may have to sacrifice the girl to save the Slayer.

Though I’m fairly certain that Buffy won’t be the Slayer in question. If this is the end and Buffy is to receive the “reward” of the hero, she will have to have completed the Ultimate Task of the human—she will have to have achieved individuation; integrated and reconciled her selves, embraced life as “all-temperament Buffy”.

And the Big Bad? How about the source of Slayer Power?

Not to leave you scrabbling cliffside or anything...

but this is pretty long. Join me for Part 2.


[> Upon Recovery from Post-Dramatic Stress Part II: Meta-Morphy(Spoilers S7/S4 AtS) -- Haecceity, 20:34:04 11/13/02 Wed

Last night’s “Tragically Dead Now” Cassie confesses prettily to Willow that she was “borrowed” as a way for one living to speak to a spirit, specifically, Tara. Remind you of anyone?

Not so long ago (in fact, just this afternoon—thanks, FX.) we were watching a mysterious girl in a pink sari translate for a powerful, extremely pissed-off spirit who was determined to destroy the “daughter” who’d strayed from the path, along with those who’d led her off the bone-strewn causeway of Solitary Slayerhood.
Remember our girl’s response?
“You’re not the source of me.”

So what happens when the source of her does show up? What if the Slayer Source is not good, is not evil, but a force that had dedicated itself to a spare, bare-boned sort of balance? What if it doesn’t want to play anymore, and has decided to wipe all the pieces off the board?

(Pure conjecture, of course. But I’ve been wondering about this show that glories so in its moral ambiguity, that makes its characters chart their lives through the Land of Grey Area (Sunnydale, of course:) Is it really about Good vs. Evil here? Or is it about how to live between the two, in a place where the good guys are not always upstanding and true, where black hats are sometimes worn by those we love? Is “The Ultimate Big Bad” really a fitting final opponent for our girl? Or should she finally face the power behind the self she’s been scared of so long?)

And has anyone wondered how the Council first became the “guardian”, “trainer”, “watcher” of the Slayer? Did they trap the source? Channel its power through earth magic? Control the succession of girls who could contain the source’s gifts and agenda?

***The reason I’ve called this Source “Meta-Morphy” is that it’s spent the whole of this episode talking TO US. Much Like “Spin the Bottle’s” Lorne. Anyone else out there recognize themselves in that “faceless” audience? In the Buffyverse Episodes 7 are very important, often the mission statement of a season. And the title/date/time? The orchestra warm-up at the Bronze? The proscenium settings of Lorne and the Singer? Hellllloooo, Narrator!***

Okay, a quick look at the set-pieces, then it’s off to bed, off to bed:

Cassie-Morph’s speech to Willow—We’ve met, on fairly equal terms, because our powers can hurt us. (Can we talk about the oddness of that shot through the display case? The prismness of that?) But what I’ve really come to tell you is- --your death would be a gift.

Warren-Morph---demands the sacrifice of the “weak”, “protected”, “normal”, “on the line between good and evil” Jonathon, not so coincidently, the “witch” of the Troika. Is the Earth power the only thing that can stop the Source? Is that why it’s killed Jonathon and tried to get Willow to off herself?

Of the “attacks” on the Scoobies, which one was vicious, really? Who got bloodied? Dawn. The normal girl, the one a Slayer sacrificed herself for.

And what of Buffy’s confidante? A vampire, naturally. She is very comfortable sharing her feelings with them isn’t she? They may be the only creatures as split between humanity and darkness as herself. (Side note: Anyone notice how difficult it is for Buffy to kill Vamps who speak to her? Angelus, Spike, Drusilla, Sunday, Ramone-Punk Lucky Day vamp that staked her, etc.)
And the purpose of the talk? Give her a reason to stake Spike.

Why is Spike so dangerous to the Slayer Source? He’s done it, become a new creature, shown that it may be possible to integrate the two sides out of free will and love. (No wonder the Source has spent so much effort driving him nuts) Who else lies on the border? Angel, now threatened with an “Apocalypse” of his own out in L.A.

And Spike “vampifying” the girl? That was for us, folks. We are questioning a being’s ability to create its own life, aren’t we? Room for argument, room for manipulation, as the saying goes.

Okay, that’s enough for now. Please let me know if I’m onto something, or was merely unhinged by my rising terror of marshmallow goo.


[> [> Good thoughts! -- HonorH, 23:04:14 11/13/02 Wed

I especially liked your thoughts on Morphy's attacks on Willow and Jonathan, the magic-users. It's evident that Willow will play some big part, she with her earth-power, or the attack wouldn't have been that concentrated and deliberate.

What, then, does it mean that Jonathan was killed (sacrificed) by Andrew, a demon-summoner? Was it another summoning?

Just what is this thing's game?

[> [> Re: Upon Recovery from Post-Dramatic Stress Part II: Meta-Morphy(Spoilers S7/S4 AtS) -- frisby, 04:28:32 11/14/02 Thu

Nice thoughts. You are on to something here and there. By the way I love your absolutely singular screen name. Buffy "does" say you're not my source! I hadn't realized the seventh episodes to be important in earlier seasons. And you're right about the narration and perspective "for us" -- nice food for thought!

[> [> [> True by Midnight, Sorta Silly by Noon?- --Speculation and the Light of Day(spoilers/Spec abound) -- Haecceity, 08:20:42 11/14/02 Thu

“Theories usually result from precipitate reasoning of an impatient mind which would like to be rid of phenomena and replaces them with images, concepts, indeed often with mere words. One senses, possibly also realizes, that this is a mere makeshift. But doesn’t passion and partiality always fall in love with makeshifts? And rightly so, because they are so greatly needed.” ---Goethe

Thus the existence of this board, eh? A friendly place to hash out our hare-brained hunches, sort through our reactions, confirm the warm fuzzy feelings we get from a flash of insight. Even if in the morning we might think, “I can’t believe I hit ‘approve’ on that one!”

So, yeah, I concede my wacky theory’s got logic holes you could drive a Mack truck through, but I still can’t help feeling that ME’s going to surprise us with what a Slayer really is. There’s a lot of time for evolution hijinks between the First and Buffy. And if Buffy is the sort of aberration to Slayerdom as Spike is to Vampirism? Whoo-hoo could this get interesting.

Replies to posts above:

Frisby—Thanks for your insights, been wondering some of the same things myself. As for the screen name, I figured if you’re to be known by your name, best make it undeniably descriptive, right? Plus, with a Jungian Psych minor, a little obsessed with Self (though hopefully not self- obsessedJ)

The section on Jonathon, etc. was kinda rambly (Sorry, sleepy typer) and not very clear, but your post has certainly set me on a think-path regarding why Jonathon in particular might have been needed to open that seal, and whether Xander might be needed in something of the same capacity at some point.


[> [> Great post! -- ponygirl, 06:58:58 11/14/02 Thu

I noticed the shots through the display case too! A little nod to us that we aren't seeing Cassie clearly. While I do love all of this metanarration, I get very nervous thinking about the ultimate end of the series. Will we see the curtains close? The players leave the stage? And will Puck or possibly Joss come out and offer to make amends? I think I would freak out.

[> [> [> Greatest Fear re: The End of the Series -- Haecceity, 12:23:11 11/16/02 Sat

Thanks, ponygirl. Sorry it's taken so much time to answer, but I did want to address your thought, here:

"While I do love all of this metanarration, I get very nervous thinking about the ultimate end of the series."

Me too. My greatest fear is that we'll end in the Sunnydale equivalent of Arkham Asylum, with the justification given as- --

"Our revels now are ended. These our actors,
AS I FORETOLD YOU, were all spirits and
Are melted into air, into thin air;
And like the baseless fabric of this vision
The cloud-capped towers, the gorgeous palaces
The solemn temples, the great globe itself
Yea, all which it inherit, shall desolve,
And like this insubstantial pageant fade,
Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff
As dreams are made on, and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep." ---The Tempest

I don't think (hope!hope!hope!)
that it will, but you know the ME folks--Shakespeare-mad they are.

It would be a shame to truncate in this manner something that looks so capable of ending in transcendence.

(Off to finish that promised response to Age & Shadowkat, but having to read Age's new one first;)

[> [> Some Other Links between this Week's eps.(Spoilers S7/S4 AtS)Spec -- Age, 10:39:51 11/14/02 Thu

So that as we get older, the integration and then balance of our disparate aspects is done by us, and not by some external force that possesses us. It makes sense. As the Scoobs become more adult, the Big Bad may be the metaphorical expression of old thought structures rebelling against a new way of dealing with the world, ie integration versus a black and white view of the world.

Anyway, it does seem reasonable that the Slayer source may be involved.

Sorry, not highjacking the thread as there's no real analysis in the rest of this posting, but you make a link between the two eps this week; so, I thought I'd jot a few down and post them here to add to it.

Here is the passage from the above posting:

***The reason I’ve called this Source “Meta-Morphy” is that it’s spent
the whole of this episode talking TO US. Much Like “Spin the Bottle’s”
Lorne. Anyone else out there recognize themselves in that “faceless”
audience? In the Buffyverse Episodes 7 are very important, often the
mission statement of a season. And the title/date/time? The orchestra
warm-up at the Bronze? The proscenium settings of Lorne and the Singer?
Hellllloooo, Narrator!***

What struck me was the way in which both eps begin with narration and a song: verbal narration in 'Angel', and the song 'The Way we Were' sung by Lorne; and, visual narration in 'Buffy', through the guitar being connected, suggesting the theme of the episode, and then the song which included the line, 'Where were you?' The narration then becomes verbal for a moment as Buffy tells us, 'here we go' when the vamp rises. She's obviously talking to herself, meaning that another vamp fight is about to happen, but it's meant for us too.

Of course one main link between the two eps is that the narrator of the 'Angel' ep, Lorne, is really talking to himself as he tells the story, as is Buffy as she talks to the newly-made dead guy, Holden, ie a whisper in a dead man's ear, as other posters have pointed out. There is a suggestion of an audience in Lorne's scenes, but it's very small, and in the final shot we are given the impression that no one was there(ie we were the audience)and Lorne is alone, as Buffy is at the end of her ep.

One major link seems to be the emphasis on the return of past figures. In the 'Angel' ep we return briefly to past states, the ghostly figures of the main characters being their own teenaged selves. While in the 'Buffy' ep we have dead people apparently brought back from the grave as ghosts; a vamp from Buffy's highschool days, Tara, Joyce. We have a reinforcement of the highschool/teenage motif through the return of Jonathon and Andrew. What is more of a link between the two eps is that in both episodes, one would conclude, none of the apparitions from the past, teenage self or dead people, is really a ghost(I am assuming).

Another major link seems to be being alone and the theme of being disconnected, with the idea of there being a trial one has to face alone emphasized in both. In fact, I'd say that Buffy's session with the vamp Holden is just as much a parody of the trial she had to go through on her eighteenth birthday as the overtly mentioned trial that 'young' Wes thinks the council are putting them through. Of course the disconnection in the 'Angel' ep revolves around the splintering of the group through the Wes/Gunn-Fred triangle, Cordy's memory loss, Connor's alienation, Angel's feelings about what he is, all manifested as disconnection(not see each other again, says 'young' Cordy) under the influence of the spell, and symbolized in the thick white lines of the spell symbol on the floor, separating them all.

This disconnection, this feeling alone, is what sets apart the trials of the two eps. Let me explain. While both sets of characters are either diconnected or at least just alone for the moment, the emphasis on disconnection comes with Buffy and Angel. The trial in the 'Angel' ep is turned on its head as it is the vampire, Angel, who is alone to face the trial, while the humans band together to flush him out. (This is what I meant by the difference: the Angel characters are disconnected through their state as teenagers, but, unlike the Buffy characters, they band together to hunt.) In fact Buffy mentions that she feels beneath the others because of what she's done and the power she possesses. Once Angel finds out he's a vamp(again power), Lorne, as narrator, expresses the same thing about Angel: feeling all alone, feeling like you're the only one who thinks the way you do, and if anyone were to find out they'd drive a pointy wooden thing through your heart.

One other link between the two eps is the back to the beginning aspect of both. We see two human beings, Liam and Holden, discovering for the first time what it means to be a vampire. We see both learning about being a vampire, both learning to get in and out of game face. We also have two characters teaching another/others about the supernatural: Buffy teaching Holden, and Wes teaching the others, with Wes's being very much a parody.

There's also a mention of God in the 'Buffy' ep; and a reference to the devil in another.

One character from each ep apparently sees each series' respective big bad for the first time: Willow sees the devouring thing devour itself; and Cordy catches a glimpse of a beast. Whether the latter is the big bad, the beast slouching its way, I don't don't know.

There's a parody of Holden's martial arts skill in Wes's comical attempts at karate, helped along by some nice phallic swords and stakes emerging when not wanted. Fred's mimicking of Wes's martial arts move to eject the stake is priceless.

Another link: in the Angel ep there's a statement about youth being messed up when Cordy talks about Connor, and boy- oh-boy, we get a full and utter visual representation of that in the Buffy ep with the destruction of the interior of the Summer's house in Dawn's scenes. Another link may be to the disconnection between Connor and his father; and Dawn and her mother/sister, Buffy, due to what 'ghost' Joyce says. Although ironically Connor and Angel have a moment of understanding about fathers, but not as father and son. Also, we see Dawn playing at being her big sister, the slayer; while Connor is out patrolling the streets for vampires.

One last thing, not really a link, but just a comment: the 'Buffy' ep had that great parody of the psyche session with the evil walking dead as therapist; while the 'Angel' ep was a great parody of the sleuth detective genre, complete with the culprit perhaps being one of them, and hunted down not as the murderer, but as a potential murderer, and as the simple means of getting out of the plot.

Of course, whether they are links or simply coincidences or neither?


[> [> [> Re: Age! (Spoilers S7/S4 AtS)Spec - - Haecceity, 12:54:22 11/14/02 Thu

So glad to hear from you! I’ve missed your Voice of Non- Opposition.

Re: your post---

“So that as we get older, the integration and then balance of our disparate aspects is done by us, and not by some external force that possesses us. It makes sense. As the Scoobs become more adult, the Big Bad may be the metaphorical expression of old thought structures rebelling against a new way of dealing with the world, ie integration versus a black and white view of the world.”


Now, I’m biased, as in my worldview ARLto Individuation; becoming self, creating a life, and I find BtVS the most compelling narrative to deal with that path around. So, “naturally”, it seems that if things are being wrapped up, selves need to be discovered, crafted, claimed, embraced. The only way to do this is to go “back to the beginning”
(and, since this is the Buffyverse--all allegorical narrative story space, back to ALL of the beginnings)

to kill off the things that keep us from being ourselves, absorb that power and “become”. We are dealing with the uroborus---Life, Death, Life Cycle. Which I tend to see as a power of the Slayer, she who sets the balance between the living and the dead by killing those who seek to Live in Death—i.e. Vampires.

A really long quote from, I think, Jung (might not be, I’ll have to look it up!) regarding individuation:
“Through the process of Individuation the ego comes to know what it must do in relation to the Self. It is therein challenged to ENGAGE WITH ITS FATE—its unique and individual life. Free will is the ability to do gladly that which I must do. The ultimate act of will by the ego is its willing submission to that demand—to do what it must do. In order to become the agent of the Self the ego must freely choose to do what the Self is calling it to do. That always involves a sense of powerlessness and defeat for the ego, for it is required to submit to a greater will and its acknowledging its not knowing what it must do. That knowledge rests always and only with the Self—and cannot ever be fully grasped by the ego.”

And what of this?:
“What is it, in the end, that induces a person to go her own way[?]… Not necessity, for necessity comes to many and ‘they’ all take refuge in convention. Not moral decision, for 9 times out of 10 ‘we’ decide for convention likewise. What is it then that inexorably tips the scales in favour of the extraordinary? It is what is commonly called vocation: an irrational factor that destines a person to emancipate herself from the herd and from its well-worn paths. The personality is always a vocation, and puts its trust in it-- -but vocation acts like a law of the gods from which there is no escape---she must obey her own law as if it were a daemon whispering to her of new and wonderful paths. Anyone with a vocation hears the voice of the inner self---She is Called.”

On one reading, this seems an excellent description of “Chosen One”. On the second, perhaps it suggests one who seeks to escape the “dead destiny” of the Fated and forge a new “vocation”. Prophecy Girl, anyone?

And that “daemon” whispering possibilities? A vampire who went out and earned himself a soul?

Now, about AtS---
Thank you, thank you, thank you, O Zen Master of the “Similarities Between This Week’s Episodes” for your, as usual, excellent weaving of strands. I am very new to the whole AtS thing, having only started watching this season, so it was extremely comforting to have my blind hunches regarding theatricality validated by one who knows the shared ‘verse so well.

So looking forward to this story’s unfolding,


[> [> [> [> Hmmm...some additional thoughts on great thread (future spec) -- shadowkat, 15:22:48 11/14/02 Thu

Great enough that I printed both posts off to read in more detail later.

1.“So that as we get older, the integration and then balance of our disparate aspects is done by us, and not by some external force that possesses us. It makes sense. As the Scoobs become more adult, the Big Bad may be the metaphorical expression of old thought structures rebelling against a new way of dealing with the world, ie integration versus a black and white view of the world.” Age

2."Now, I’m biased, as in my worldview ARLto Individuation; becoming self, creating a life, and I find BtVS the most compelling narrative to deal with that path around. So, “naturally”, it seems that if things are being wrapped up, selves need to be discovered, crafted, claimed, embraced. The only way to do this is to go “back to the beginning”" Haecceity

Well, this makes me feel better, because I came to the same conclusions on my lengthy walk around Brooklyn this afternoon. As I wandered by the river, beneath the Brooklyn Bridge, I rehashed the last seven episodes in my head. I also remembered what I knew of similar fantasy stories including the comics X-Men (most specifically the journey of Wolverine - a man-beast with government implants in his head geared to control his behavior and make him a killer or a pussycat. He finally rises above them and gets them out, becoming his own man, and struggling with his own beast.), ClockWork Orange (see Burgess' book about the boy who becomes a man once his conditioning is revoked), The Snow Queen - the journey of girl who fights an evil queen for the pierced heart of her beloved, Spirited Away - the journey of a girl who rescues her parents and a river spirit through her love and becoming herself. As I thought of these things...I also thought of the game Othello as it applies to life and finally of something else recently argued on this board, something that seems to resurface as an arguement/slash debate in my life - free will/determinism.

So who we are and our integration of our disparate selves - what does this have to do with all of the above?

Well - I'm thinking what does a vampire with a chip with a soul have to do with a girl's journey to womanhood?
How do each of these character's journeys of discover parallel and comment on each other?

In the free will vs. determinism debate. In determinism: We have no control over who we become or what we are. What we are is pre-determined by biological factors, environment, and largely fate. Buffy has no choice but to be the slayer and she will die as the slayer. Spike is at heart a vampire and can never be redeemed. Xander is a carpenter who will never rise above his parents or family background.

From the free will side - we do make choices. Maybe not over genetic makeup or environment in which we are raised. But we are the masters of our own fates. It's how we choose to react to the enviroment that counts, how we choose to integrate and whether we do choose to intergrate and accept those various selves that matters. Under the free will view - Buffy chooses how to be the slayer and whether to be the slayer, she chooses who to kill and how she will die. Spike chooses whether to get a soul, whether to rise above his baser impulses, how to handle his environment, whether he will be a Wolverine (the man who fights the government's implants and the baser impulses) or a Sabertooth (wolverine's nasty counterpart who does not fight the government's orders to kill and gets off on it), Xander chooses whether to stay in the basement like Lance in Him or rise above it and get his own place and take on adult responsibilities.

So if the story is about the will-to-choose? About integration and about choosing who we will become and discovering who we are.

Then what is the best way of doing this?

I think IT is controlling Spike and doing so through the chip. Spike chose the soul, but IT has coopted his chip. The tables have turned. Instead of the dog being forced to do good things, it's being forced to do bad things. Spike has no control over his life right now. Except when he resists the pain and strives for it. What would be the best way for IT to torture one of it's old legendary warriors who've flipped sides (like a checker piece in the game of Othello)?
Co-opt the chip - force the traitor to do things he doesn't want to do, things he'll hate himself even more for doing now that he has the weight of a soul, things that will separate him from the people he so desperately wants to be connected to. And in the process? Torture those people as well, cause them to distrust him and themselves. And if the main target - Buffy - believes she must kill him, Buffy loses her knight errant.

How does this effect everyone? Well if life was determined,
then Buffy would kill Spike or Spike would be evil and weak and give in totally enjoying the release, ability to kill since at heart he is the vampire and vampires are pre- determined biologically to be evil. Furthering the imagery?
The chip causes a pre-determined response. You do this or I cause you pain, like pavlov's dog or a rat in a maze. (Although when I was in psychology I found people relying on the pain approach got bitten and people relying on the reward approach got the rat to do what they wanted...but whatever.) If free will approach? Buffy questions what goes on, realizes it's the chip, gives Spike the choice to get rid of the chip and make his own choices. a la Anya in Selfless. No longer Pavlov's dog - Spike can choose whether to be good or evil. Since he chose the soul - there's no curse or happiness clause reigning him in. It's up to him.
And it's up to Buffy whether she decides to accept his help and give him the chance to move forward. Can she find another way of handling a situation outside of slaying or is that the only one? Is she guidance counselor or killer?
Or is slaying a bit of both? ie. slaying our interpersonal demons, our fears, our lies, our misperceptions?

It's also about control. Does destiney control our path?
Or do we? In the metanarration - it's hard to tell. In HElp it seems destiney does. Cassie is destined to die. But at least Buffy helps to the degree that she is not destined to die for an evil cause. In Selfless - Anya seems destined to evoke vengeance and die for it - but she doesn't she takes back the deaths and gives up the vengeance mantel. Willow believes the use of magic is destined to kill everything she loves - but is it? Giles tells her no and to trust her instincts. Is our path foretold? Can we control our own source of power?

Right now all the characters appear to be struggling with this, with the possible exception of Xander who may not yet realize he has power. He does btw, more than he realizes. The power of unconditional love - which he has shared with Willow and with Anya. The women are struggling with control over their power, as is Spike. But all these characters are powerful. Everyone is. No character on Btvs and Ats is without power or weaknesses. It's not lack of power they are struggling with - it's control. And who has it.

In order to integrate ourselves to become whole - we have to control our fears, our doubts, our pangs, our guilts, and our uncertainities or risk them devouring us.

In each episode of BTVS - we see what happens when a character allows their personal demons to overwhelm them to take control.

Beauty and the Beasts Season 3 - the boy is afraid of being not macho enough, not measuring up - so he allows his fear to turn him into a beast which Buffy must slay. Debbie actually loved him for who he was - not the macho stuff, but the boy (whose name I've spaced) can't see this.

Hells Bells - Anya is afraid she wasn't good enough for Xander, that she is a nobody, so she goes back to vengeance, her fear alters her.

Villains - Willow can't deal with the grief and pain without Tara so she allows it to consume her.

There are more I'm sure - but have to go and rewatch Real Me on FX.

At any rate...just a few thoughts to share on a cool thread.

[> [> [> [> [> Careful, you'll spoil me:) -- Haecceity, 16:47:30 11/14/02 Thu

Only posting a couple days and already printed! If I'm not careful, my ego will be crowing too loud to hear my Self:)

In a continuing selfishness theme...this little note is just to bump the board into giving me enough time to reply to your post.

As ever, you've got my brain whirling, SK.


[> [> [> [> [> The Contrary and the In- Between, On Free Will, Choice and Personal Paradox (vague spoilers S5 On) -- Haecceity, 22:06:16 11/14/02 Thu

***Fair Warning---Please excuse the ramble of this post. I seem to have contracted a bad case of blurt;) Plus, I’m in the midst of a couple of books that are significantly colouring my BtVS philosophy filter. Lots of quotage below!***

“The psychological rule says that when an inner situation is not made conscious, it happens outside [the person] AS FATE. When the individual…does not become conscious [recognize, grant the effect of] her inner contradiction, the world [in her perception usually, but we are in a story ‘verse here] must perforce *act out the conflict and be torn into opposite halves*.” --C.G. Jung
(I believe this is in his writings regarding Individuation and Synchronicity, but could be wrong. For anyone wondering, I’m pulling these quotes from various notebooks, and apparently I really sucked at proper notation in college.)

“The realization of Self is all there is or can be or should be. The I that is in everyone, struggling to achieve breath…Happiness is not our goal. The achievement of happiness deflects us from our true destiny, which is the utter realization of Self.” --Jung, again.

(Really, I’ve read other stuff, but when it comes to the whole Individuation biz, Jung’s still the man. Plus, speaks so directly to ME’s fascination with creative Pain.)

Shadowkat wrote:
“I'm thinking what does a vampire with a chip with a soul have to do with a girl's journey to womanhood?
How do each of these character's journeys of discovery parallel and comment on each other?

In the free will vs. determinism debate. In determinism: We have no control over who we become or what we are. What we are is pre-determined by biological factors, environment, and largely fate. Buffy has no choice but to be the slayer and she will die as the slayer. Spike is at heart a vampire and can never be redeemed. Xander is a carpenter who will never rise above his parents or family background.

From the free will side - we do make choices. Maybe not over genetic makeup or environment in which we are raised. But we are the masters of our own fates. It's how we choose to react to the enviroment that counts, how we choose to integrate and whether we do choose to intergrate and accept those various selves that matters. Under the free will view - Buffy chooses how to be the slayer and whether to be the slayer, she chooses who to kill and how she will die. Spike chooses whether to get a soul, whether to rise above his baser impulses, how to handle his environment, whether he will be a Wolverine (the man who fights the government's implants and the baser impulses) or a Sabertooth (wolverine's nasty counterpart who does not fight the government's orders to kill and gets off on it), Xander chooses whether to stay in the basement like Lance in Him or rise above it and get his own place and take on adult responsibilities.

So if the story is about the will-to-choose? About integration and about choosing who we will become and discovering who we are.

Then what is the best way of doing this?”

Aristotle, Opposition, Othello/Go and the Role of the Self- Determining “Human”:
Free Will vs. Determinism is an old, old debate. One of the very first, it seems. I certainly haven’t the answer, but my hunch is, if it’s debatable there’s clearly wiggle room built into Destiny. There’s also that old chestnut, “Chaos/the existence of random destruction is what enables Free Will, keeps us from being placid slaves to Fate”. In thousands of years, Free Will has often been used philosophically as the justification/exchanged reward for the existence of Evil in the universe, which might be a very important concept in the coming drama. (Especially if they want to sneak in one more Ethan Rayne appearance ;)

On Good vs Evil:
First, a quote from Terry Eagleton’s “Sweet Violence: The Idea of the Tragic” ---
“Aristotle explicitly inserts between the opposing principles of the world a ‘third thing’, a means by which one contrary can develop into the other.”
(Go/Othello? Spike? Buffy? Willow? Anya? Anyone?)

Then comes Aristotle’s famous example of the third thing and its ability to absorb opposition---“The Unmusical cannot equal or become Musical, but an ‘unmusical’ man can become a ‘musical’ man.”

[BtVS Algebraic/Philosophic Fun---substitute Evil for Unmusical, Good for Musical, see why Spike’s journey fascinates us so.
(And the *real* reason Willow didn’t sing much in OMWF—obviously an ME (Motto—We’ve Got Aristotle Down Cold) hint that she was headed to the Evil side of the tracks!)]

That is, the Powers Intrinsic cannot change, but those possessing the properties of either power are capable of change. I cannot recall if Aristotle went on to describe degrees of change, in this case musicality and unmusicality, but I think this is where we stand in the Great Spike Debates---a difference of degrees.

Is this why so many of us respond so strongly to the shades of grey in b&w worlds—because we sense our capacity as “humans” to be a “third thing”, constantly shifting in between stations on a continuum between good and evil, fated and free? This ability would make us both profoundly weak and intrinsically powerful, for creatures of Destiny are bound to one course, following deeply channeled instinct, powerfully unconflicted, but “humans” must choose their beliefs, desires, actions, loyalties. They must have a care to their souls and expend massive amounts of energy to create themselves, must find a personal position on the continuum---a level of paradox that completes them. And as we’ve seen, to be in conflict with the (ego) self in order to define one’s Self is a dark process.

The wonder in ourselves, we changeable creatures, is the possibility of being one or the other, or both, and at once. We are constantly in danger of becoming drunk on the sheer permutations of possibility our lives offer us. I think we find the drifting (Willow, Spike) fascinating because it underscores our own ability to change. And since individuation, possibly our highest, deepest goal is dependent upon change---we pay close attention when characters in stories do so (I promise at some point to write a little something about why we need narrative so badly). We love the elation/terror of knowing that change is unstoppable---it activates the private goals of even the passively passionate.

Just a few more notes/quotes on Individuation:
(Climbing back on to my trusty Hobby Horse—Grey Area’s “Moral Ambiguity”, out of Dam “Free Will” and Sired by…Up For Debate, especially this week;)

These will be at random, as I’m getting a bit sleepy…

One of the best “explanations” for why Sacrifice Angel for the World/Power Dive Buffy became Going Through the Motions Buffy I could find:

“The most profound urge in human nature is toward self- definition. This instinct…often saves her in the face of all perils. It is a sort of genuineness/sincerity that cannot be twisted out of shape...” (All you have is yourself— Gods! Can’t remember the name of the Angel’s PTB Recruiter. Will remember after this is posted in the morning and kick myself!)…”But in the end, instinct is not enough. A person, by nature, must know *why* she is doing something…must become conscious and comprehend the meaning of the ‘dark urge’. She must sacrifice that which is of greatest value to her—the inner instinct that demands its own sacrifice (to be reborn, transformed). This is a tragic and frightful moment in the life of any human being [or vampire!]. The ‘dark night of the soul’ takes over and she is abandoned by everything—even the helpful voices and supportive forces within her.” --from “Owning Your Own Shadow” Robert A. Johnson

“Individuation is the fulfillment of our potential. When born we have tendencies and possibilities. Our personal decisions during the individuation process determine the extent to which we enact these. Individuation is a ‘human’ process, not a religious one. It is not trying to ‘perfect’ oneself or live up to a standard. Individuation is coming to grips with the Self---the good, the bad, the ugly---is discovering one’s strengths and weaknesses.” ---Also from OYOS, but with rather heavy paraphrasing, as I recall—remember, sucked at notation.

“The instinct toward individuation vs. the drives toward security and stability—experienced as a ‘death’ of our old ways---can evoke the existential aloneness of one who does not ‘follow the crowd’. And it hurts.” --Jung

Okay, enough! Have to quit or slump over and wake up with ‘keyboard face’!


P.S. Shadowkat, I don’t know its source, but your screen name has always reminded me of those mysterious grey cats that show up in novels about unjustly accused prisoners wasting away in dungeons until the cat appears--to catch rats (sustenance), provide companionship, lead the walled-in to think anew of the nature of the outside world. It’s a great name.

Someday I’ll have to write about the Cat as psychopomp/relevatory convention in visual narratives. Maybe here—it does have “Restless” bearing. And, now that I think about it, might have some relevence to Basement Spike. But that’s another story, for another time.

[> [> [> [> [> [> You did it again! CuttoPrint! Love this. -- shadowkat, 07:04:54 11/15/02 Fri

Oh and thank you for a new interpretation of my screen name. Perhaps unconsciously this is why I chose it?
(It's orgin is comic books - yes, was a comic book geek but then so is Joss Whedon and for the same comic books, see his online aol chat for proof.) Personally I like your description best.

Also thanks for making sense of Jung for me. Jung often confuses me. I have a tendency to confuse the concepts flipping them inside my head. Yet, when it comes to understanding unconscious drives and incorporating those drives into a conscious state - Jung is the source. Freud tends to get a little...too subjective about it. Often when I'm reading Freud, I feel as though I'm reading a rational/justification of his own psychosises. Sorry didn't mean to turn this into a Freud/Jung debate. ;-)

A lot of what you say above makes sense. In a lot of the board discussions - we run into confusion over the literal and metaphorical interpretations of the show. The show can be watched both ways of course...but the metaphors are important to understanding why it's going where it's going.
Lots of people react to the following statement in the literal sense and get offended:

"Explore your dark side. Acknowledge and become conscious of the dark urges."

They think we mean that someone should literally go out and explore what it's like to do nasty things. Uhm no. That's not it. Although must admit there are a few posts I've seen on the boards that make me wonder if the poster doesn't mean it in this way.

Your statement via Robert A. Johnson is what most of us, myself included, do mean when we say it. And thank you for putting it so clearly:

"A person, by nature, must know *why* she is doing something…must become conscious and comprehend the meaning of the ‘dark urge’. She must sacrifice that which is of greatest value to her—the inner instinct that demands its own sacrifice (to be reborn, transformed). This is a tragic and frightful moment in the life of any human being [or vampire!]. The ‘dark night of the soul’ takes over and she is abandoned by everything—even the helpful voices and supportive forces within her.”

Interesting. So has Buffy already done this? Is this what happened when she sacrificed herself for Dawn, did she enter the dark night of the soul and what we've been seeing these past two seasons is Buffy's nightmare? Or her journey through the underworld or the night? Is that what Season 5 was about - duality: normal girl vs. slayer girl, robot vs. human, prom queen vs med student cool guy...Is Dawn - the metaphorical return? Makes me remember April's last words in IWMTLY - "It's always darkest before the Dawn."
Is last year about the exploration of the dark urges and this year about becoming conscious of these urges, comprehending them, and emerging from them whole?

Hmmm. this works I think with other things I've read. In Espenson's article on how to write for ME - she states they look for the emotional journey for each character and strive to move them to a new one by end of each episode which in turn leads itself to a new place for the character by the end of the seasonal arc. When looking for the plot - it's important to note - it's not "cool slaying choice" but the "emotional metaphor" or the "slaying choice that moves the emotional arc" forward. I know from my own background in creative writing - that it is far more difficult and interesting to explore a character's emotional arc, to make them from point a in the emotional journey to point c or f.
And as Burgess aptly states in his forward to A Clockwork Orange - if a character is not transformed in someway at the end of the story - the story is not much more than an allegory.

Okay so if we assume that this is what Me is doing, ie. the emotional journey, and it is a safe assumption, since they more or less say it in everything they've written or commented on, then how do the other characters fit?
And what works and what does not work?

I think we are revisiting past seasons. Flipping them on their side and looking at them from a more cynical and darker perspective. The dark night of the soul indeed.

I was talking to a friend about buffy a while back and they asked me an interesting question. "If Angel were still in BTVS wouldn't he be in the same spot as Spike is now?"
I think so. And I think they are doing something similar with Angel.

I just saw Spirited Away a week ago, interesting film, a japanese anime about a young girl's journey through a spirit world where her parents are turned into pigs and her best friend is a boy and a dragon. Through the story she is asked to complete several tasks, and she also deals with several dark spirits - or they appear to be dark but in reality aren't. By looking past the darkness, she reveals what they are and accepts it. Both reward her for this.
Sort of like the fairy tales of Beauty and the Beast, the Frog Prince.

But back to BTVS and ATs. Buffy and Angel are experiencing their own versions of the dark id. Angel from the perspective of an old man - looking back - dealing with his son, his friends, and his own baser impulses. Angel's story is more like Humphrey Bogart's in Casablanca, it is about the man who must incorporate the dark baser impulse and use it to understand and defeat a greater menace, without letting that impulse overtake him or giving into it's temptations. It parallels Buffy's story but is not the same as it, what ATS says metaphorically is quite different than Buffy in some ways - it goes to a different place. As Whedon states - ATS is about noir - film, detective...and we can use the more fantastical mythical elements in that but must make sure they fit the noir. Buffy on the other hand is more about growing up. About the emotional journey we take as we mature.

So Buffy's friends like Buffy are experiencing their own dark nights of the soul - but we are watching their journey's through Buffy's perspective.

We have Angel/Angelus in Spike with a twist. Instead of the duality being precise and easy like it is in Buffy's youth.
Soul = good. Soulless=evil. We have a vampire who is at constant war with himself. The split occurs in Spike not due to a moment of pure happiness but due possibly to the outside influence of IT (the dark matter at the root of the world) or the manipulation of a governement chip. His conflict is far more complex and less easily resolved. With Angel in Seasons 1-3, all it took was cursing him with a soul. With Spike - we have a lot more going on. And I think that part of it is the consciousness of the urge.

When we watch next week's episode? Let's ask ourselves this question. Are the characters committing certain acts, conscious of them? Are they aware? Or are these acts responses of a bottled up id that they are refusing to acknowledge? Does the BB have control over the id as long as they remain unconscious of it?

I think the key to understanding what is going on with Spike and everyone else this season is understanding the importance of and meaning of understanding and acknowledging the darker baser impulses, the primal if you will. And I think this theme was foreshadowed in RESTLESS, the first slayer representing that impulse and what happens when it goes unacknowledged in each characters psyche.

PS: the character you quoted from Becoming was Whistler.
A one-shot guide character.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Doing a little printing of my own -- Haecceity, 08:44:13 11/15/02 Fri

Wow! So much to talk about! I can't possibly do it justice in the tiny bits of time I manage to snatch at work! Between you and Age I'll be up to all hours wallowing in philosophical goodness (notice the lack of complaint--I think I've figured out how to express nuanced expression through emphatic typing:)


[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Just a little whimsy from a colleague (Soooo OT) -- Haecceity, 10:15:06 11/15/02 Fri

You know when you get a song stuck in your head (Atomic Brain Wedge)?

Listen to what's playing on Radio Beth (A Biomechanist, which explains much:)---

(To the Tune of O, Christmas Tree!)

O Tom the Toad
O Tom the Toad
Why did you hop in to the road?

You used to beeeee so green/and/fat
and now you arrrre so red/and/flat

O Tom the Toad
O Tom the Toad
Why did you hop in to the road?

A little someting to get the Anchovies Song out of your heads.

(See? I knew I could swerve this on to the Road to BtVS:)


[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> I thank you. My choir thanks you. Our audience thanks you. -- dubdub ;o), 14:13:53 11/15/02 Fri

We will never be able to sing O Tannenbaum/O Christmas Tree with the correct lyrics in either German or English, ever again.

It will always be...O Tom the Toad...

You can't take it back. It's too late. One brief scan and the entire verse is burned into one's brain forever...

The "delishus fishes" have faded into oblivion, though...

:oO <----- carolling dub

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> One must do what one can---See how Buffy's inspired us all to heroism? -- Haecceity, 21:35:17 11/15/02 Fri

Getting a hearty chuckle over the image of a christmas choir all decked out in robes belting this little ditty out.

Beth was unable to remember further verses, but I'm sure there must be some. Or perhaps that is a task for the extended 'nothing but re-run Buffy'period that will be on us over the holidays;)

Glad to hear the fishes are on their way--they've been schooling in my brain since Tuesday night. It would serve us all right if the BBW turned out to be the Giant Anchovy of Death.

Sorry if we've ruined any holiday traditions!


[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: On Free Will, Spoilers for Firefly, Buffy S5-7. -- Age, 09:46:08 11/16/02 Sat

You wrote:

“The instinct toward individuation vs. the drives toward security and
stability—experienced as a ‘death’ of our old ways---can evoke the
existential aloneness of one who does not ‘follow the crowd’. And it
hurts.” --Jung

Joss Whedon is certainly making this clear in his new series 'Firefly' where the need for security and stability has overtaken the central planets in the form of the Alliance. This is not to say that the dichotomy in this series is between the haves and the have-nots, the modern city dwellers and the rural inhabitants on the outskirts(although quite clearly the gap between the two has been shown in several episodes). No, in a recent episode Whedon used the inhabitants of a rural community to illustrate the type of society one gets if you try to make your life simple and easy: you give in to myth for expediency; you kidnap the people that you need; and when things don't work the way you want them, you get rid of your problem no matter what the human cost. Whedon seems to be hitting home in all three of his series how difficult it is to live as a human being in this world. In Mal and his crew we see yet again the desire to make the struggle and balance the various aspects of ourselves. Mal refuses to take the easy way out when faced with choices.

As for free will. I don't believe in it. I believe in will and awareness, both of which each person has to a varying degree. Add this to varying degrees of intelligence, compassion, fight or flight instincts, ie fear and aggression, upbringing and attachment to culture and concepts, and we have to some extent the elements that dictate how a person makes choices, ie as a robot who has never reflected on the myths, the programming that he or she has been given since birth, or as a human being who has examined him or herself and made a choice. That isn't to say that the choice to accept or reject who we are isn't determined either. But, to me, it is this awareness that changes the situation from simple determinism. The act of being alive, of being aware, is a special causal element. I think this is what Whedon is getting at in his series: it's all determined, even having will and awareness; and these latter two are still part of the chain of cause and effect, but being alive, being aware gives us the opportunity to make choices in our lives. The exertion of will from awareness also allows us to let go of what we call ourselves and our situation in order to balance out our struggle between the need for fluidity and stability in our lives.

The hardest thing in this world is to live in it. Children don't live in this world, they play in it; robots simply follow the dictates of their programming; and vampires try to take the easy way out, try to simplify their lives through aggression, and die to the their human selves. Whedon is charting metaphorically the difficult journey that we have in becoming adult human beings. In doing so, in acknowledging how difficult it is, he is both exhorting us to remain alive and not throw away our birth right as human animals, and telling us, through the most universal of media, television, that we aren't alone in our struggle: we're all connected.


[> [> [> [> Re: A few comments including this week's(Spoilers S5,6,7/S4 AtS)Spec -- Age, 21:41:33 11/14/02 Thu

I see Dawn in season five as a reiteration of the idea of calling as an adolescent. Dawn as metaphor suggests that up to a certain age we are determined by genetics and upbringing, but that at some point in our adolescence we wake up (as Dawn suddenly appears) to a new awareness about ourselves and our coming power as adults, one that's divided between personal identity issues (am I just a thing?) and the self sacrifice of 'social engagement' (Buffy's embrace of motherhood and sacrifice as illustration of the sacrifice we all make.) The original metaphor for this awakening to the power associated with adulthood, the identity issues, and the pull of duty/social engagement is of course the slayer.

Whedon may be saying that despite our not being party to our own making(ie we didn't pick our genetics, our upbringing) at some point, if we want to be truly alive, we have to take responsibility for who we are. If we don't then we end up as a bunch of children(the three nerds from last year) or a bunch of vampires who are to some extent just violent babies sucking on people's necks as if they were still sucking on their mothers' breasts. I wonder in an episode that centres on a vampire and has Spike chomping on a woman's neck again if what's written on the wall of the Summer's living room, 'mother's milk is red today' isn't a reiteration of the arrested development aspect of the vampire metaphor.

Season five also has Buffy choosing to sacrifice herself. She could easily have let Dawn close the portal. Buffy as slayer and person, animal and human, understands that she exists because there is a natural order to life and death, a natural order that the vampires attempt to escape.(Of course, Buffy's jump off the tower was also a suicide; this is why Whedon allowed this type of sacrifice to go ahead: he knew that the death aspect of it, the running away aspect of the adolescent Buffy, would be taken back the next season and she'd have to face adulthood anyway.)

Season five moves us from the beginning of adolescent awakening to acceptance of the natural order of life and death as human animals; season six highlights the darker aspect of ourselves, while showing us what happens when we refuse to grow up and take responsibility for ourselves. Season seven seems to be the continuation of the journey towards adulthood in the integration of the disparate aspects of the self, those unlocked by the Key. We cannot as adults be at the mercy of some external creature who plays at balancing out good and evil; this is the difference, using the game metaphor, between being the pawn(as are the manifestations of the Big Bad or those used by it, ie Andrew and Jonathon as symbols of adolescence) or the player, the difference between being dead or alive, between being a robot(fake Warren says to Andrew that their plans are within acceptable parameters) or a person. If we leave the balancing to something external, then that thing can, like a child, decide to just stop playing the game.

But it's not a game. That's the point. In adulthood we take the responsibility to balance the disparate aspects of ourselves. By claiming all of ourselves and taking responsibility for our various aspects there's no need for some entity to do it for us; and so this entity's power is dissolved because it was only ever really a part of us anyway, a part we haven't taken responsibility for, one which, in its desire to finish with the balancing, may represent adolescence's last rebellion against adulthood. Of course this is all fine on paper, but hard to come to terms with in reality. I wonder if the pain that the devouring thing promised is an expression of the difficulty of this integration and balancing?

One last thing: another intriguing link between this week's 'Buffy' and 'Angel' involves psychological therapy: Buffy and her tombstone-couch session with psyche major vamp; and the attempt to cure Cordy of her amnesia.


[> [> [> [> [> This is absolutely brilliant, Age! -- Haecceity, 22:23:49 11/14/02 Thu

I'll try a response tomorrow, but couldn't possibly live up to such a standard this evening!

Thank you for sharing!


[> [> [> [> [> Quick half-answer and a note on "Supersymmetry" (Spoilers for both shows) -- Haecceity, 09:54:18 11/15/02 Fri


Still reading through the print out--lots of multi-coloured pen-age--but wanted to say something really quickly:

Love this bit--
"at some point in our adolescence we wake up (as Dawn suddenly appears) to a new awareness about ourselves and our coming power as adults, one that's divided between personal identity issues (am I just a thing?) and the self sacrifice of 'social engagement' "

Individuation, i.e. the crafting of a Self, is a life-long process. This threshold barrier to active consciousness that is Adolescence/Early Adulthood seems to be the most traumatic, the most important, because it is the first.

This seems to be the focus of BtVS--getting through the firsts, creating/balancing your role against the action of the play. Whereas AtS is more about the refinements to the fledgling self--what does parenthood, complex adult relationships, etc. do to/for our inner beings.

This might be why I was not a big fan of the B/A thing. I think the unease I sensed in myself had nothing to do with their relative "ages", but where they were on the path to Selfhood. Angel was so much further than Buffy, and it really *wouldn't* have been fair for him to retard her growth to serve as support in his progression. (Also think this tragic melodrama wounded a part of Buffy to the hindering of her ability to see the rightness in "becoming" a new person, the fallout of which we are seeing now in S7)

This might be why I long so for a Ripper series (not just because I adore Giles:)--What an opportunity to show the ever-evolving Self from the POV of a man who has battled many of his inner demons and "kinda won".

I promise to send a more in-depth response to your post later today, but in the meantime...

For those who might be interested, there is an article online (sorry, don't have the URL on me here at work) regarding biology, quantum physics and the individuation process-------

[Geez, should've just picked "Little Miss Individuation" as a screen name! Actually...kinda did. Oh irony!]

------called (I think!) "The Individuation Process and Creative Life" by David A. Johnston, Ph.D. There's a lot of tangential stuff regarding dreams, etc., but lots of neat superstring goodness that might be interesting in light of "Supersymmetry".

Okay, that should distract you guys long enough for me to finish work and get going on my replies.


[> [> A fantastic series of posts-thanks, all. -- Arethusa, 09:45:00 11/15/02 Fri

It's not often that posts help me understand both the Buffyverse and myself better. Thanks again.

[> [> [> Ditto. these above posts have helped me figure out where we're going and why. -- shadowkat, 14:53:58 11/15/02 Fri

[> Re: Comment on source of slayer power being big bad -- frisby, 04:23:48 11/14/02 Thu

In Buffy 5.5 Dracula said (and Giles did not disconfirm) that the source of Buffy's power lies in darkness, and if the big bad this season is the first evil (that which even the darkness fears) then big bad can not be the source of buffy's power. Then again, what "is" the source of Buffy's power? Dionysos is, as we all know (says Nietzsche), the god of darkness. Is some version of Nietzschean Divinity the source?

[> [> Heck, Think all the way back to Prophecy Girl. -- Harry Parachute, 07:48:06 11/14/02 Thu

"I feel strong. I feel different."

Well, 'course she feels different...she's no longer the Slayer. Kendra was. Then Faith. Buffy went down and the Power passed on. What, the PTB or whoever's in charge were suddenly able to just...double the mojification they're dishing out into our lil' dimension? ONE GIRL in all the world and all that. Doesn't seem to hold the same weight when you figure one can simply "flatline-revive, flatline- revive" their way into making a Slayer-army.

So, I don't think Buffy's been a Slayer since that ep. Ain't workin' for me. Way I see it, Buffy got a Hellmouth injection.

I haven't slept in over 24 hours.

I believe my fingers are growing longer by the minute. That, and my hair is somehow hurting.

[> [> [> Good times. Go with it, mate. :) -- pr10n, 10:21:55 11/14/02 Thu

[> [> [> Oh! I haven't slept since............What day is it? -- Deb, 18:45:23 11/15/02 Fri

Now I just see blinking lights in front of my eyes and all my senses are acutely sensing so much so it hurts.

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