November 2002 posts

Previous November 2002  

More November 2002

This makes the third time in a row -- Deb, 14:28:22 11/14/02 Thu

that a new post of mine has been moved to the archives. (#4) I only posted it late this morning. Makes one think: "Why bother?" So what's up? So what does this program have against me? I can understand it happening once in awhile, but three times in a row?

[> You could ask me to bring it back... -- Masq, 14:37:00 11/14/02 Thu

The day or two right after a Buffy ep airs, posts are archived VERY quickly unless they get a lot of replies in a short period of time. I wouldn't take it personally. You happen to notice that yours is archived because it's yours, but others are getting archived too.

There isn't any magical thing you can do to get people to respond to a post, unfortunately. People ignore my posts, too. But if you feel your post deserves the attention, ask me, I'll bring it back to the main board.

[> [> Would you? It's in 2 not 4. -- Deb, 14:48:25 11/14/02 Thu

And if people don't want to read/respond, then I just won't post.

[> [> [> But your posts are great ! -- Etrangere, 15:01:07 11/14/02 Thu

Don't let yourself be discouraged. When I first arrived here, i had very few answers to my (sometimes quite long) posts but after a little bit of time it went better. Also lots of people read posts and don't necessarily answers them, or only to say a quick "great post". That doesn't mean they don't enjoy what you say. Actually you more often find people answering posts they do not like or disagree with that posts they agree with :)
So please, go on posting, I find that your thoughts bring a lot to this board.

[> That's strange. I've been checking the board pretty regularly all day, and I never saw your post. -- Rob, 14:37:16 11/14/02 Thu

[> Re: This makes the third time in a row -- Slain, 14:50:35 11/14/02 Thu

My advice is to, whenever you can, add your thoughts to an existing thread, rather than starting a new one - that works for me. Often it's mostly just a lottery which thread gets the most replies, as the topics are usually similar.

[> [> Look at it in reverse -- Tchaikovsky, 14:54:57 11/14/02 Thu

Last week I posted what I thought was quite an interesting point about Spike and Xander being in the basement. It had gone by the next morning.

The week before, I wrote a post called 'Has Spike Changed?', which had no useful content, and a link to a very tedious article. The thread survived for four days.

Sometimes, the quality of your initial post is inverse to the length of time it stays. If you've nailed something, there's nothing else to say. If you leave something very open-ended, many people have their own thoughts.


[> [> Re: This makes the third time in a row -- Deb, 14:58:25 11/14/02 Thu

I've done that also, but no feedback/discussion there either. Perhaps this is not a board where I fit-in.

[> [> [> Re: Fitting in -- pr10n, 15:23:44 11/14/02 Thu

I've posted this feeling myself and had some encouraging feedback, so I have some teeny advice.

I decided that I fit in here long before I posted anything, amd certainly before I interacted with the reg posters. When I finally steeled up and sent something I checked back often to see if anyone else thought I was as neato as I think I am. This was a disappointing approach to posting, as you can imagine.

One day I decided to tear off a comment from my gut, and it went well. Although it vanished quickly I knew that it had been valuable, because I did get a little feedback.

Lately I've been pulling off my style stoppers and writing with my personal "journal" voice about things I observe or care about. I'm kind of a 1-Note Johnny on certain topics, and a polyboor on lots of things, so what the hey? Talking too much has always worked for me, except for dating. :)

The lack of competition and sniping here has made this the only board I frequent. I think it compares favorably to working in DOS (stay with me here folks): If you aren't getting error messages, that means you're OK. And here, I've even received positive feedback!

I've enjoyed your postings, and I hope you'll continue to contribute.

[> [> [> [> So, what you are saying is that we are "Interaction Whores"....;) -- Rufus, 16:35:29 11/14/02 Thu

It takes time to find your place at any board. For one remember we are awake at different times.....I'm on the West Coast but tend to post in the middle of the night, don't even start posting till the late afternoon. And there is the voy monster, I can read posts but if they are on the next page can't reply. So, I find the best thing to do is reply to existing posts because the small one get bumped first. I've made posts before that people didn't reply to at all only to have someone comment in chat that they liked don't assume that cause there is no reply that no one has read or liked your post. And yeah, interact with us.....get our attention every time...chocolate bribery works for me too.

[> [> [> [> [> Hey, I know I'm a communication addict! -- Sara, who's favorite hobby is chit-chat, 06:26:55 11/15/02 Fri

[> Well, here's something I've been thinking about lately. . . -- Deb, 15:38:28 11/14/02 Thu

I'm really beginning to question this notion that Buffy is a feminist icon. First of all feminism covers a broad range of beliefs regarding the "place" of women and other groups. I'm been kinda wondering if she isn't becoming the next female stereotype of the single mother.

She has so many roles and responsibilities, there is no way she can be proficient in any area, even with "super human powers." Buffy is running a household (paying bills, upkeep of property, mowing the yard, cleaning, shopping, etc.); caring for an adolescent "daughter" and so is parenting and all that comes with that; she can't get a good, half-way stable job that pays anything because of her obligations; she's the Slayer and we all know what is involved in that (thank you God for not making me a Slayer!); she ends up taking care of her friends problems; she's broke all the time; she is not involved in any social outlet; and she's reached that point where having a "boyfriend" (hate that word) is more trouble than it is worth so she doesn't even attempt to develop a relationship. She assumes it will end in disaster. She gets little if any credit for what she does for the community, and she is saving the world at least once a year. She can't look into the future and see anything because she is so busy just acting and reacting.

Feels like a typical single-mother lifestyle to me. You can do anything, but you must do it all at the same time, then you die young.

To be honest, if Buffy is being presented as a role model for girls as the "modern" independent woman who can take care of everything herself and never needs anyone . . . that stinks. This is not a "strong" woman. She is a culturally mediated slave who can only say "no" to having any fun. Just how does she pay all her bills with the income we are given to believe that she makes? Joyce's death left her in debt and minimum wage jobs won't support the household she has. She would have lost that house last year if she were in the real world. She'd also be getting food stamps and SSI for Dawn if she were in the real world and didn't feel too superior to accept help.

She has no time to get an education to get a decent job. . . This presentation of a single mother household with a "daughter" is as bad as "The Gilmore Girls."

Somehow that high school Slayer with "power" has been lost and replaced by a lonely, tired, over-worked, overly responsible woman with low self-esteem.


[> [> Forgot the cost of medical insurance and care for Dawn -- Deb, 15:41:58 11/14/02 Thu

or dental care. Thank God Buffy self-heals.

[> [> Re: Something you've been thinking about lately. . . -- pr10n, 17:12:35 11/14/02 Thu

See, now that's interesting, and here we all are!
Do you think she's becoming stereotypical because many people can relate to her struggle?

--> Spoiler for AllBuffy Finale:

"You must pay the rent."
"But Ah cain't pay the rent!"
"But you must pay the rent!"
"Oy'll pay da bloody rent, wif me fist of vampiric powah!"

<-- end spoiler

How does Buffy do it? That's part of ME's 3-card Monty with reality: Willow has parents but we never see them interacting even though they live in town; Xander has crashed through union levels to become a suit; Anya is living on insurance money; Dawn stopped shoplifting by force of will alone...

We get to see into their lives in snippets, and they even do us the favor of talking about "off-stage" events. Still, when we discuss them in terms of Reality, like She has no time to get an education to get a decent job..., they seem like the reverse of Woody and Buzz in "Toy Story" -- when we're in the room, the Scoobies are alive and functioning. As soon as we leave, they collapse into props on a darkened set. It's easier to be a hero if someone writes you.

Counter-argument to myself: Feels like a typical single- mother lifestyle to me. You can do anything, but you must do it all at the same time, then you die young. Lots of people would claim that life is exactly that, and they relate to Buffy because her life seems as crappy as theirs. That's why she's heroic -- she's just barely keeping her family afloat, and she's does the Slayer gig too.

That's been true about heroes for a very long time: for example, folks could relate to a guy growing up on a farm, adopted and low-income, and not all that popular. The flight and x-ray vision, that would be COOL!

Buffy IS a lonely, tired, over-worked, overly responsible woman with low self-esteem, from The Freshman, on and growing more so. Are you saying that portraying her more realistically as the show has progressed was a bad call by ME?

[> [> [> Hummm. I need to think a little about that last question. -- Deb, 01:23:19 11/15/02 Fri

I really don't have any idea how others "see" Buffy regarding this issue. I guess it is just really beginning to hit home, after watching her plunge into marginalized society for 4 years. Add ten years, take away a house, subtract super human powers, add an advanced degree (this is a big laugh), add a firm belief that there is a God, quotion in no self-healing powers, change literally killing demons everyday to figuratively whacking them with one quick decisive blow or spending months and years to tend to other demons . . and you pretty much see my life.

My daughter is always telling people I'm her role model, and she sees my "Slayer" skills as something remarkable, in particular the ability to literally "cut" things and people out of my life simply because that choice is the least "worst" of all "worst" choices, and not ever look back. (So she thinks.) And my little "apocs now -- the world is ending" situations do not always include a threat of death of myself, or worse, my daughter . . . or anybody else, there have been those moments. And my daughter believes that if Napoleon had had me commanding his forces, the world would be speaking French today. Then she watches Buffy and thinks its so cool the way she can fight, and she gets totally lost in that part of the story (I do too at times -- plus other things). And she thought Spike and Dawn's "parenting" relationship was real cool, because he promised he'd take care of her and he did. And of course he had great scary stories, and he showed her he cared when he told her he'd take her head off when she came home late.

I try to show her that you can expect good, great things from the world, but you must always be prepared for the worst to happen; do not confuse your life with a fantasy. Basically, don't run from it when it shows its monster face, but confront it, and get through it. When you do something that society would consider to be "heroric" just do it, and then turn and never let anyone know. The world, for a good part, can't tolerate the individual, perfectly human, "heros" of the everyday streets to live. They are supposed to die to fully complete their role as "hero." The public fascination is short-lived when they see that you really are only human.

I guess I'm afraid, that's the word for it, that in the end, Buffy's death will result from placing complete trust in someone who has been her friend for years. Someone who worked at earning her trust, who went out of the way to help in bad times. I can just imagine, the one time she really counts on, say Spike (great example), he shows her that he is truly evil. That he has been waiting all these years for just the right moment to relish in her moment of comprehension of the fact that he is a monster all the way to the soul, and he has been playing her like a well-tuned violin. This is a real consequence in real life. Our head- shrinker vamp of the past episode tells Buffy that everyone is lonely until they die. True, true, true. He forgot to tell her that you never know anyone completely until you die also, so you have to live your life with faith, hope and charity, and you must take risks if you want any fulfillment at all in this world. So, while Spike is draining her of all life, will she in that moment be able to forgive herself? Will she be able to say that "My life had meaning."? To choose to love is a risk. To choose to love completely is a walk on a tight rope, and most people don't ever, not once, even consider loving completely, with every breath, with every thought, with every action, with every choice, with every bit of energy from physicial, to mental, to spiritual to the essence.

So, yes, I'm a little concerned about the motivation behind portraying Buffy in a more realistic light if what is presented are the "real" problems, trials, pains, puzzles, growth of life, and then no solution is offered. Instead we are given a fairytale, nightmarish ending, pointedly bringing home the fact that life is hell and you just made yourself into a victim. So, go, take a coffee break, and come back and do it all over again.

I'm concerned that we will just have a new version of the same old stereotype of woman as victim by choice if she oversteps her "role"; if she doesn't keep her place.

But, then again, everyone has issues.

[> [> Keeping that feminist icon thing going -- Sara, 06:37:25 11/15/02 Fri

I've been getting that same feeling, that Buffy as feminist icon was getting kind of wilted around the edges. The single mother thing is an interesting aspect, but I'm not sure whether I quite agree. I think it's just difficult to keep the icon thing working, while moving into a more realistic portrayal. Real people aren't icons, real life doesn't allow it. I admit I like Buffy better when she's in a perky, take- no-prisoners, mode, and don't enjoy angsty, paying the bills, gotta get to work Buffy nearly as much. On the one hand I admire ME for taking an artistic chance by really changing the tone in season 6, and yet I really liked the old tone, and really enjoyed the iconic Buffy a whole lot better than the real-life Buffy.

- Sara

[> [> [> I liked season 6 too. -- Deb, 06:58:25 11/15/02 Fri

I just think that by doing things in this manner, the ending will need to restore the Icon status. Otherwise it is a hopeless story of victimage. Things must go back to the beginning to do this, and find the solution to show that the characters have really grown through their experiences.

[> [> [> [> I actually didn't like Season 6 but... (Normal Again Spoiler) -- Sara, 08:20:25 11/15/02 Fri

I admired the courage to go out on a limb creatively. I tend to like happy shows, and Season 6 didn't have alot of those. Although, Normal Again, was highly cool! But back to the feminist icon thing, it seemed awfully ironic that the whole little blonde girl who beats up the bad things in the alley might only be a little blonde girl in a straight jacket in an asylum. Which, by the way, could still be true.

[> [> [> [> [> for what its worth, I think we were supposed to think that really, Buff always was in that asylum -- Helen, 09:01:24 11/15/02 Fri

[> [> [> [> [> [> So the whole show is Buffy's solipsistic fantasy? Somehow I doubt that! ;o) - - Slain, 11:46:18 11/15/02 Fri

[> [> [> and I know everyone has talked this to death .... -- Helen, 08:58:13 11/15/02 Fri

but I hated hated hated the attempted rape. It actually made me angry - was that all they could come up with to make Spike the bad guy again in Buff's mind? What the hell was wrong with her falling in love with him anyway?

And though I know domestic scene with someone well known to you is how most rapes occur, it just felt really really wrong. His actions, her reactions. Frankly, no matter how vlunerable she was at that moment, she would have kicked the shit out of him. No question.

This isn't directly relevant, but it is part of the stereotyping of Buffy that has been going on. Not only is she now downtrodden single mother in minimum wage employment, but she's a rape victim too.

[> [> [> [> Not quite -- Finn Mac Cool, 09:52:01 11/15/02 Fri

She's now someone who would have been a rape victim but kicked the would-be rapist across the room. Considering that Spike is roughly her equal, strength-wise, this isn't a petty feat. Also, Seeing Red was an episode where Buffy twice kicked some sense into guys hyped up on masculine power (she even (not-too-subtlely) metaphorically castrated Warren). I think that the Mutant Enemy writers do intend Buffy to be viewed as an icon in her present state because of the simple fact that she has the courage to press on and accept all these responsibilities.

[> [> [> [> You tell it like it is! ;) -- Deb, 11:03:56 11/15/02 Fri

I'm rather relieved that I am not the only woman who has considered this *situation* It's really been bugging me this season.

And another thing regarding rape: What did Buffy do when she became invisible last season?

Spike: This vanishing act's right liberating for you, innit? Go anywhere you want. Do anything you want. Or anyone.

When Spike kicks her out, Buffy does something that's "not fair" and then complains that he is insensitive.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: You tell it like it is! ;) -- Sarand, 12:39:42 11/15/02 Fri

You're everywhere in this thread. I don't know where to respond. But, in response to your message above about fitting in, keep posting. I read what you write (well, I pretty much read everybody's posts, when I can get to the board), even if I don't always respond (or understand).

In response to this message, you might want to read an essay posted at "" which discusses feminism and "Seeing Red" and "Gone." It's a work in progress, I believe. I don't know if I agree with everything the author said but I found it interesting and it made me think. And, yeah, this *situation* bugs me too.

[> [> [> Interesting sub-thread ;) -- Slain, 12:30:58 11/15/02 Fri

This sums up a lot of my initial feelings about Season 6 - that while the show was getting more 'realistic', it was losing its feminist punch. Buffy is supposed to be the blonde girl in the alley, getting attacked by the vampires, who fights back and kicks their arses. In Season 6, the vampires (Spike) had an unpleasant amount of power over her - sexual, in the sense that Buffy needed Spike as an escape, and violent, in his ability to attack her. Add to this the unpleasant suggestion that Buffy likes to be abused and we're a long way from 'Innocence' in Season 2, where Buffy gets hurt by Angel, but fights back. The problem I had with the attempted rape scene (let's lose that cop out abbreviation) was not that it went against Spike's character - Spike is, in part, a misogynist, who hates women as much as he needs and fears them - but that, to an extent, it went against Buffy's.

The point about the show was that it wasn't supposed to be 'realistic', or to portray gender roles equally; rather it was to reverse the norm, and have women portrayed 'better', as more capable and (literally and metaphorically) stronger than men. Buffy does kick Spike across the room, and lay him low with a few words, but she doesn't take back the power.

Season 6 appears to go against this - super-women like Buffy and Willow aren't capable any longer. Relationships and 'emotional' stuff, as well as the day to day pressures of life, get in the way of their being super. They don't seem to be able to use their power effectively any longer, and are unduly influenced by, or even in the thrall of, men like Spike and Rack. An essay along with a title along the lines of 'Season 6: Where did the Feminism Go?' was in my head.

But ultimately I've decided that Season 6 wasn't just about the breaking down of the feminist icon. That definitely was part of it - but it wasn't done in such a deliberate way as that implies. Rather, the point of Season 6 was to show the weaknesses and vulnerabilities of the women in BtVS (we already know the men are weak!), and the ways in which they aren't super. Joss liked the Season 3 episode 'Helpless' because Buffy was stripped of her powers, and became the archetypical defenseless girl in the alley, which was new ground. But at the end of the episode, Buffy shows herself to be equally powerful even without her slayer strength; the episode only reinforces Buffy the Patriarchy Slayer, as she kills the vampire in the end (ironically, played by the same person who played Rack).

So, the ending of Season 6 does seem to go against this - Buffy ends up doing the 'emotional' sister bonding, while Xander saves the world. But this is, I think, the point. At the start of Season 6, the show had existed for five seasons, 100 episodes, of Buffy being portrayed as someone whose flaws were realitively minor, and could be got over when necessary. I think Season 6 was inevitable, because it looked into the heart of Buffy's character, looking at her as just Buffy and not as a representation of anything else. Perhaps the title of the series could have been "It's Tough Being a Feminist Icon".

It's true seeing Buffy lose her powers, physically or emotionally, is not nice. But it is good drama, and in the context of 100 episodes of positive Buffy I think the character still stands as predominantly feminist. Season 6 was not feminist, and was a departure, but I don't think it was anti-feminist; rather, it was more interested in the individual characters, and their flaws.

But I do feel that Season 7 has largely returned to the fold, to the kind of non-reactionary, cooperative feminism the show has always portrayed; 'Conversations with Dead People' was a microcosm of Season 6-style, with all the characters split off from each other. But, and I'm thinking of Buffy in particular, it was about their acknowledging their flaws, and coming to terms with themselves.

[> [> [> Re: That feminist icon thing -- pr10n, 13:30:38 11/15/02 Fri

[Oh, I've got to stay on task at work, yet I creep away to the Board -- someone's going to notice and...]

Oh, hi! Look what I founf while hunting for red-headed stepchildren (see thread above somewhere)

From Bad Eggs, mid-S2 (gracias a Psyche por supuesto):

Xander: Yeah, the only thing that stresses me is when do we tell them that they're adopted?

Buffy: I'll just lay that one off on my partner. (looks up, worried) Who'd I get?

Willow: Well, there were an uneven number of students, and you didn't show, so...

Buffy: (in shocked disbelief) I'm a single mother?

Xander: (nods) No man of her own.

Buffy: Do you know what this says about me? That I am doomed to lead my mother's life! (paces back to them) How deeply scary is that?

Oooh the rich foreshadowy goodness! "You're the Chosen One. Um, don't buy any matching towels, OK?"

[> [> [> [> Re: That feminist icon thing -- Deb, 15:23:31 11/15/02 Fri

Do I feel vented! I've been carrying that around for awhile, thinking no one else would notice this "situation".

I can sleep at night now. And today I went out and slayed myself not one, but three big, pompous, playing-God, HMO medical review demons. You know, the ones that tell the doctors how to practice medicine? (of course, anyone posting on this board who works in this capacity has a true, noble calling to assist the needy.) I boldly told the guy at the garage that I wanted Penzoil and not Quaker State oil in my car, and I stared him down to show that I met it. (The Death Stare that silently forces the viewer to think about just how dangerous I might be.) I used power tools with great skill in putting together a desk, and I changed the batteries in my smoke alarms. I released a big black spider from my apartment and back into nature, and changed my ink cart. I had not one ambiguous nor ambivalent moment of weakness. And all the time, I was flying high on sinus meds, which was a good thing because I gave my daughter a driving lesson during rush hour. "Can't I drive the freeway around the city?" 'No. We're going in and right through it to the other side!" "Not the triangle! Please! Not the triangle! Even middle-aged, white males avoid the triangle!" 'You avoid the Triangle, you give it your power and it controls you. Who has the power?' "You do." 'You have a wise, old soul inside your 15-year-old body.' "Does that mean I'm not grounded from the Internet anymore?" Death Stare.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Clearly you're feeling the power -- pr10n, 17:53:19 11/15/02 Fri


Except you let the spider live, which is a valid lifestyle choice. :) At my house all spiders must die lest they breed or migrate or clone.

[> [> [> [> [> [> I'm drowning in the power. Tomorrow I might rotate my tires. -- Deb, 18:35:46 11/15/02 Fri

[> [> [> [> [> Yea! We have a new feminist icon! -- Sara, who wants to be one of your scoobies, 19:26:39 11/15/02 Fri

If Buffy starts getting all angsty again, will need you to post some new adventures of "Deb with Her Death Stare!"

- Sara, who truly loves scary women!

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Yea! We have a new feminist icon! -- Deb, 09:21:49 11/16/02 Sat

I truely love scaring people with it, but it is a gift and must be used for good at all times. ;)

[> [> I could not disagree with you more -- Rahael, 02:45:53 11/16/02 Sat

And now I'm breaking my rule about replying to hot button issues.

My mother looked after me and my sister by herself. She was a feminist role model to many women around her; She was and still is an inspiration to many men and women as to how a human being retains their humanity in the face of inhumanity.

Even when I heard her sobbing wiith fear and pain at night, I knew she would get up strong the next day to mark her student's papers, teach and do dangerous human rights work in the evening. Facing death, facing down men with guns in order to ensure the safety of others.

She neglected me; she could be harsh and cruel; she made tons of mistakes; many respectable people called her a whore for living without her husband; she took insane risks; she got herself killed by 35.

Where do people get off telling women what is strong and what is weak? How dare society find yet another excuse for condeming, judging; an declaring that those who struggle and sometimes falter that they are to be sneered at?

Is this feminism? Bah!!!!!!!!

I want more than one idea of woman; a multic^plicity of female 'role models'.

Anyway, the point of BtVS is as a feminist narrative and the narrative aint over.

[> [> [> I totally agree with you on -- Deb, 10:12:06 11/16/02 Sat

wanting more than one role. I haven't lived your life. I didn't know your mother. I don't know the backstory, but you obviously have strong feelings about this and I respect that. It sounds as if your mother had to do what she felt she had to do and you admire her for it. I do what I have to do too, and it sounds like nothing near the choices your mother had to make. I cry some nights too, but I've always stuck to my priorities. I appreciate your responding, because sometimes I need to hear other world views in order to straighten things out in my mind. I'm not sneering at Buffy. I'm concerned about how this thing will be played out. I've had a man hold a shotgun to my head in my own home while my daughter and her friends were asleep in another room, promising me he was going to kill me and them because I filed for divorce. This wasn't the only time I've been in a similar situation, but this was the thing that made me start fighting back. I do volunteer work at a womens' and childrens' shelter, and I've done a good deal of lobbying, (and other things which I should not talk about) in their, our interests. I'm sure it still is not equal to what your mother did. Feminism covers a wide range of beliefs just as any ism does. I know that women everywhere have a much more trying life than I do, living in the U.S. Midwest. But I do have concern for how this feminist text ends, and I was expressing that concern. Things are not getting better here. In the city where I live, there were five murder/suicides (husband/boyfriend on wife/girlfiend and a child) in one week. I can't save the world. I can only attempt to make a difference in a very small way, and I'm certainly not going to sneer at any woman because of the choices she makes to do what she feels she must do. If it sounded as if I was doing so, I apologize. I should probably have been more clear about the context from which I was speaking. Again, thank you for your thoughts and your sharing of a part of your life.

[> [> [> Did you read my reply to PR10N above? -- Deb, 10:29:27 11/16/02 Sat

If you haven't, perhaps it speaks more directly to what my concern is. Perhaps not. I don't know.

Answer to Maladanza's "It's all about power" post that got archived too fast -- Etrangere, 14:36:27 11/14/02 Thu

Well, i did think it was nice of you or any "Snarkist" not to go for the kill and starts the "told you so" posts about Spike :)
And no, comparason to Andrew isn't exactly flattering lol.
But Spike is currently weak. He's weak because he is powerful. He's powerful because he is weak.
Exaclty in the same way that a superiority complex can springs an inferiority complex. Or in the same way that, as shadowkat explained us, a sexually submissive partner can have more power in a relationship.
There's many kind of power and when you say : There are three people on BtVS with whom I would be comfortable having great amounts of power (and two of them are dead -- Tara and Jonathan -- Buffy is the third).
you mention two. There's power in the first sense of the word. The abilities you have, the control you can have on the worlds, on other people. And then there is the power that allows you to control your own power. To control your desire to have power. Like Black Willow who was so powerful but who was so weak the power controlled herself. It's the Hanged Man vs the Devil.

It's all about power, but what kind of power ?

Spike used to be powerful, like any vampire. He was confident in his own abilities, he was, like psy-vampire described today, connected to a powerful source of evil. Then he started not having so much power anymore. Chipped, in love with the Slayer and her lapdog. And not even with the power to control himself not to hurt the one he loves. Spike realised you didn't have much power when you were a vampire. Souls are power, they allow you to choose, to control yourself.
But for that he had to remove everyother kind of power he had. To be stripped of everything, of his identity. I don't know what Spike is right now, and I have no clue about what's happening currently. I'm sure the Big Bad Shapeshanger is trying to control him because he has power (like he is killing those Slayers in Training because they have power - the Slayer power), he has a soul.
But the soul makes him weak, makes him suffer from guilt, doubts, despair. Like Willow suffers from it, like Buffy does.
Spiderman would say that with great power comes great responsabilities. I'd say that Power IS responsabilities.

[> Sorry to butt in , but very nice post! -- Dariel, 19:07:14 11/14/02 Thu

I especially like your point about the soul being a source of power. Giving you the potential to make decisions, to control your own actions.

[> [> A "snarkist" replies -- Dochawk, 19:31:40 11/14/02 Thu

Mal is down there defending Spike, now its my turn. What has CWDP wrought?

The reason none of us are gloating about Spike is that none of us hate him (well I hate Spuffy but that seems to be mute for the moment). What we hate is the way Spike, who has done little "good" except for women who bear the name Summers, has been deified by many of his fans. I love complex Spike. he's a fascinating character and tremendously well acted by JM. But the story was never about him, except in how his journey interacts with Buffy's. This season has been much clearer about that. But, I will say I don't think Spike would bite/vamp humans on his own accord. I think his behavior is being influenced in some way by Morphy or whatever you want to call the entity. I think Willow (maybe Buffy) or Dawn will find some way to exorcize this and we will have Spike back. If ME were sure that this was the last season, I think Spike would be making the ultimate sacrifice and like Jonathan reach redemption at his death. (I do think this will happen with one Scoobie, probably Anya).

[> [> [> Re: A "snarkist" replies -- Etrangere, 00:39:12 11/15/02 Fri

Mal is down there defending Spike, now its my turn. What has CWDP wrought?

The reason none of us are gloating about Spike is that none of us hate him (well I hate Spuffy but that seems to be mute for the moment).

Yeah, but the sex was so good :^p

No actually it's because my plot to take control of your mind and transforms you all in mindless worshipper of Spike is working ! (insane laughter)

What we hate is the way Spike, who has done little "good" except for women who bear the name Summers, has been deified by many of his fans.

The jacket effect, hehe ?
Well I don't think i defify him, I'm just extremely interrested in his character and feel compassion with him. I actually resented that thread lately condamning shippers as not being able to see the whole of the show. Knowing your own bias is the best way to be objective, calling myself a shipper is a way to relativise my own pov on the show. Sorry i'm ranting :)

I love complex Spike. he's a fascinating character and tremendously well acted by JM. But the story was never about him, except in how his journey interacts with Buffy's.

I never got the point about "all about Buffy". Sure, Buffy is the main character, but that doesn't mean that the story is only about her. It's about a lot of things through her, IMO, and though the other characters. Spike was never the character that was shown the most on screen, would it be only because he interract only a little with most of the cast, of course he might have been the character we talked the most about, but that's another problem :)

But, I will say I don't think Spike would bite/vamp humans on his own accord.

I'm gonna play Devil's Adovcate, i'm not so sure of that. I remember someone (maybe James Masters) jokingly saying that if Spike got a soul it would probably mean he would go evil, just so as to surprise us :)
In Spike's situation right now, broken by guilt and suffering, i don't think it would be impossible for him to go back to the whole evil mindset. He might not even realise that's counter-productive with his current situation with the scoobies, as a vampire he always made a different between his relationship with strangers and with people he knew.
Of course I don't want to believe that. As I said before, i cannot yet make any kind of conclusion about Spike right now, we lack too much informations.

I think his behavior is being influenced in some way by Morphy or whatever you want to call the entity. I think Willow (maybe Buffy) or Dawn will find some way to exorcize this and we will have Spike back. If ME were sure that this was the last season, I think Spike would be making the ultimate sacrifice and like Jonathan reach redemption at his death. (I do think this will happen with one Scoobie, probably Anya).

Oh !, but an ex Dark Boy dying for redemption is so Cliché ! I'm serious it's one of the kind of story you find wayyyy too much (or maybe it's just because i read too much manga), I hope they won't go that road. I think BtVS right now is more about the importance of living, keep on fighting day after day, than the big, dramatic sacrifice.
What Buffy said to Dawn in Him works also for Spike, y'know.

[> [> [> [> Re: A "snarkist" replies -- Malandanza, 08:19:49 11/15/02 Fri

"I actually resented that thread lately condemning shippers as not being able to see the whole of the show. Knowing your own bias is the best way to be objective, calling myself a shipper is a way to relativise my own pov on the show. Sorry I'm ranting :)"

I'd go further and say that the people who are deeply invested in loving or hating a particular character often add more to a discussion than those who look at the character objectively, but superficially. For example, Dochawk and Sophist have well-known biases against Xander, but they often contribute the best insights into why Xander isn't an exemplary character -- because they've spent the most time examining his character. For many of the rest of us, Xander just isn't that important. I'd say my feelings for Willow are the same. But caring passionately about a character, or hating a character, does not automatically invalidate everything you say about that character. To dismiss Sophist's comments about Xander, my comments about Willow, LeeAnn's comments about Buffy or Spike Lover's comments about Spike as biased without bothering to read the argument stifles debate more all the 'shipping on the board.

"I never got the point about "all about Buffy." Sure, Buffy is the main character, but that doesn't mean that the story is only about her. It's about a lot of things through her, IMO, and though the other characters. Spike was never the character that was shown the most on screen, would it be only because he interact only a little with most of the cast, of course he might have been the character we talked the most about, but that's another problem :)"

When I read the Arthurian myths, I was surprised to discover that most of them were not about King Arthur at all -- Camelot formed a backdrop for the independent adventures of individual knights (often the court at Pentecost was the starting point for an adventure or quest). Like the Arthurian legends were not all about King Arthur, BtVS is not exclusively about Buffy. I think the "snarkist" position was never that Buffy was the only important person in the Bufffyverse, but that Spike was not the only important person in the Buffyverse. Just as we wouldn't say that the stories of the Round Table were all about the adventures and spiritual development of Sir Sagremor the Unruly, we wouldn't say that BtVS is all about Spike.

"I'm gonna play Devil's Advocate, I'm not so sure [that Spike wouldn't vamp people of his own accord]. I remember someone (maybe James Masters) jokingly saying that if Spike got a soul it would probably mean he would go evil, just so as to surprise us :)
In Spike's situation right now, broken by guilt and suffering, I don't think it would be impossible for him to go back to the whole evil mindset. He might not even realize that's counterproductive with his current situation with the scoobies, as a vampire he always made a different between his relationship with strangers and with people he knew."

I think it's unlikely that souled Spike would vamp people of his own accord. The problem is that he's insane and he seems to be being controlled from without -- and not just manipulated like Andrew. In either case, it's not Spike who's responsible for the vamping, so it would be hard to classify a moment of insanity or period of psychic slavery as "evil." Before I would be willing to argue that he can go evil again (although I wonder when he ever went good, so maybe "again" is unnecessary), he needs to be healthy and capable of making his own choice once more.

When you say "broken by guilt and suffering" you come back to my point about power. Spike doesn't have it. I do not believe that weakness is strength and vice versa any more than I believe that rational numbers are irrational numbers. Weakness is weakness. It is possible, by feigning weakness, to acquire power over someone else -- certainly, we saw this with Spike during his time in the wheelchair. He pretended to be weaker than he was to acquire power over Angel, striking from a position of strength (from behind) after making an alliance to further strengthen his position -- but I wouldn't categorize treachery as a weakness (Othello may have been physically stronger than Iago, but Iago has sources of strength other than the physical).

"Oh !, but an ex Dark Boy dying for redemption is so Cliché ! I'm serious it's one of the kind of story you find wayyyy too much (or maybe it's just because i read too much manga), I hope they won't go that road."

An odd statement for a Redemptionista to make... :)

Although if the "Dawn gets vamped" speculation turns out to be correct, I don't think you'll have to worry about the new Spike being redeemed -- he's indiscriminately vamping people right now and would be the best candidate to vamp Dawn (since she has a measure of trust and affection for him and he has a standing invitation to enter her house). In such a case, we would have Buffy compelled to kill Dawn, feeling guilty because she didn't tell anyone about Spike's siring activities and wanting him very dead. Even without Dawn being vamped, I think Spike's in serious trouble right now - - Buffy was willing to kill Anya when she found out Anya had returned to evil, I don't think she'll be asking too many questions about why or how Spike is killing again
. We may get to see Buffy as the huntress and Spike as the Slayer slayer, which, to me, is more compelling than 1000 "Dark Boy[s] dying for redemption." Don't get me wrong, I like the metaphor, the angst and even the Soap Opera, but I love the action.

As a final note, I think the Redemptionistas have long harbored mistaken views of the Snarkists. It's not about hating Spike, it's more about balance and whether or not 1) soulless creatures can be redeemed, 2) if we allow that soulless creatures can be redeemed, does this particular weak, unrepentant, soulless creature even desire redemption? The Snarkists weren't dancing in the streets after the attempted rape when this debate mattered, why should we be celebrating Spike "going evil"
after the debate ceased to be meaningful? (We know souled creatures can be redeemed)

[> [> [> [> [> This is a great thread -- Sophist, 09:06:39 11/15/02 Fri

Lots of excellent points by all. I only have two points to add.

But caring passionately about a character, or hating a character, does not automatically invalidate everything you say about that character. To dismiss Sophist's comments about Xander, my comments about Willow, LeeAnn's comments about Buffy or Spike Lover's comments about Spike as biased without bothering to read the argument stifles debate more all the 'shipping on the board.

Putting aside my own inclusion in this group so as not to be accused of bias, I completely agree. Like Ete, I thought that earlier post was demeaning and offensive (it also contained several factual errors and the analysis was weak). Shadowkat criticized it, and I agreed, but felt it best to follow the nihil nisi bonum approach.

I do not believe that weakness is strength and vice versa any more than I believe that rational numbers are irrational numbers. Weakness is weakness

I see the triumph of the "weak" as a common theme in many stories. LOTR makes it explicit, not just at the beginning, but at several points along the way. I would reconcile this with Mal's point by rephrasing "weak" as "having an unrecognized strength".

[> [> [> [> [> [> Expliciting my point about Weakness and Power -- Etrangere, 09:38:52 11/15/02 Fri

I have a double edge approche to many things. I think flaws might be qualities, if they are used in the good way, and qualities may be flaws, if used in a badder way :)
Actually it's exaclty what I'm doing when i said that reckoning I was a shipper was way a not to be biased. I turn it around.
Knowing your limits is a way to gain power, to use your own flaws as a quality. In the same way, your qualities can make you blind to some things, thus turning into weaknesses. I really believe there's no simple "power is power, and weakness is weakness". It's all a matter of context, of the way you use it.
No one is simply weak or powerful either, they are powerful in some areas, and weak in others.

Instead of Spike, let's take Buffy as an exemple. She's strong, she's the Slayer and she has a strong morality. Yet, in season 6, this morality, this sense of duty made her weak because it blinded to the fact that life was also about pleasure, about beauty. She was only living because she though she had to for her friends, and thus she was more and more disconnected of what she could enjoy from life, and in turn it deprived her of her strenght, as a Slayer and as a moral person.

All in all it's all a matter of balance.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Since y'all are invoking my name, may I weigh in? -- Spike Lover, 10:17:36 11/15/02 Fri

I have a question: Overall, do you think the audience loved Conversations, or not?

I thought it was great, and posted so. Rather than get any responses, it was archived immediately...

Or is it that I am so unpopular on this board, posters just avoid reading my posts all together? -figuring they have heard it all before?

I got sort of an angry reply from Sophist above or below which I think was unwarranted.

Here is another question: If (somehow) Buffy turns out to be the BB this season, will a great majority of the audience be upset?

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> I think the post you meant was by -- Sophist, 11:06:26 11/15/02 Fri

Sophie, not me.

A quick note in response to your first question:

Overall, do you think the audience loved Conversations, or not?

I thought it was great, and posted so. Rather than get any responses, it was archived immediately...

Or is it that I am so unpopular on this board, posters just avoid reading my posts all together? -figuring they have heard it all before?

I loved it and judging by the posts here, I'd say most of us did.

Did you see the thread by dream of the consortium about posting and responses? Don't take the lack of responses personally. There are many reasons. As D'H explained above, we set a new record for threads after CwDP, which means threads get archived faster than usual.

Personally, I read a lot of posts here, including yours. I never mind if someone takes an unpopular position (and I don't agree with many of your views about Spike and Buffy). I usually learn the most from those who disagree with me. My only concern is with personal or ad hominem comments in posts, though occasionally we all phrase something too strongly or misunderstand an argument.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Slow to the plate, if that's the right phrase... -- Sophie, 18:29:56 11/16/02 Sat

Caught napping again, eh?

I enjoyed the episode. I have nothing against you, Spike Lover. Curiously, exactly what was posted that indicated this?


[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Tiptoeing out of lurk-land -- dream of the consortium, 11:26:28 11/15/02 Fri

Yes, I loved Conversations.

*Here is another question: If (somehow) Buffy turns out to be the BB this season, will a great majority of the audience be upset?*

This is the part I have to answer.
And again,yes.
I don't think that people will be upset beyond measure if Buffy goes dark-ish for a short while, particularly if under the influence of a big morphy brain-twister. But if the series ends with Buffy evil or worse, evil and dead, the audience will be very, very angry. And with good reason. For the same reason that ending the series with Normal Again would infuriate most viewers. It's a hook. On a superficial level, it's a big, shocking twist.

But it gives the viewer no gift.

This show seems to understand that great works do offer a gift to their audience, a gift of understanding about life. I know I am showing my biases in some ways, but I do believe that the greatest works are affirmative in some way, ultimately offer hope and strength. Why take an audience along on a hero's journey just to destroy the hero at the last? Our hearts are not meant to take such abuse - that's why tragedies are usually (relatively)short plays, and great novels, in which the audience comes to know the characters the way we have come to know these characters, do not end quite so bleakly. I don't need a Shakespeare comedy, don't need marriages or the closing of the Hellmouth and the beginning of an age of peace and prosperity - but I do want to see Buffy "actualized," so to speak, and at peace with herself, and to see the journey we started with her end with a sense of accomplishment. I was willing to let Joss tear my heart out with Willow last year, because I knew that she had a year in which to redeem herself. I would be willing to let Spike go evil, though it would hurt terribly, because I can accept that he may have been too far gone to save. But I couldn't forgive an ending in which all of Buffy's struggles came to nothing. I'm just not that pessimistic and have a hard time accepting works that are as having emotional truth.

I still haven't gotten over the ending of Twin Peaks. Which I was reminded of, by the way, with that singer bathed in blue light at the beginning of Conversations, and that damn well better not have been some sort of foreshadowy allusion.

And while I'm here, I might add that although I haven't made up my mind for certain about Joyce being real or not, I did notice that Dawn said "Mommy?" almost exactly as Buffy did when she heard the "resurrected-Joyce-zombie-thing" come to the door in the episode after The Body with the name I can't remember. Was that supposed to be a hint that Dawn was, like her sister, hoping for her mother when she was really seeing something else?

And, no, I don't skip your posts based on your name.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Catharsis -- ponygirl, 12:01:48 11/15/02 Fri

Hey dream! Nice to see you posting.

I'm not sure I agree with your views on tragedy (though I will back you on the ending of Twin Peaks, that was evil). A true tragedy is supposed to provide exactly the gift you mention, a gift of understanding and wisdom, and an emotional release. If BtVS had ended with The Gift, the series could be termed a tragedy, yet for me I was left with a sense of the rightness and the perfection of Buffy's actions. Of course I knew the series was coming back so it was certainly easier to bear. Leaving aside what I wish to happen to Buffy, I do believe that a tragic ending can still allow her, and us, to experience an actualization and a completion.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> You're right -- dream, 12:45:01 11/15/02 Fri

Actually, I agree with you. The Gift would have been a fine ending - Buffy dead, but at peace. I shouldn't have brought up tragedy, because that's not quite right - I'm mixing two issues. (Memo to self - write, wait, re-read, post.) True tragedy does give us a gift, because in a real tragedy (Othello, Lear, Oedipus Rex)the protagonist does learn something, becomes aware, usually in the final moments, of the horror of what he has done. Trauma, catharsis. Buffy going evil - especially going evil and dying evil - would not offer that. Nor would the idea that really she's a sick girl and every thing she has fought for has actually been making her more and more mentally ill.

I do, however, believe that there is a difference between the short forms for tragedy and the long forms for sprawling novels and serial television. I don't think the emotional explosion and catharsis of a Greek or Shakespearean tragedy would work with characters we know as intimately as we know these. If we had watch Othello for seven years, come to love him, cheered his successes, could we find the catharsis in his final clarity after his terrible madness? I don't think so, though some might disagree.

The Gift was painful, but beautiful at the same time, Buffy accepted her calling, found her peace, saved the world. Yes, she was dead, but a death she could be proud of. EvilBuffy would be something else entirely, something darker, bleaker in its view of the human condition (again, only if permanent). If Buffy, who has managed to do the right thing again and again, has shown her great love again and again, cannot maintain her moral compass at the last, then where are we?

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> It all comes down to... -- ponygirl, 13:10:03 11/15/02 Fri

I have to have some faith in Joss' love of his creation, not just Buffy the character but the series as a whole. There have been grim moments to be sure, but we have never seen the darkness completely overwhelm. For me what is arguably the bleakest sequence on show - watching a dead-eyed Buffy and the Scoobies kill each other in The Wish - ends with Giles destroying his reality out of his hope that there must be a better world.

Of course if I'm wrong and the end is nothing but a plunge into the dark, I'll be the first at the bar to buy you a drink. We'll be needing them.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> The key to Buffy's fate -- alcibiades, 19:38:48 11/15/02 Fri

The Gift was painful, but beautiful at the same time, Buffy accepted her calling, found her peace, saved the world. Yes, she was dead, but a death she could be proud of. EvilBuffy would be something else entirely, something darker, bleaker in its view of the human condition (again, only if
permanent). If Buffy, who has managed to do the right thing again and again, has shown her great love again and again, cannot maintain her moral compass at the last, then where are we?

What about if Buffy went evil for a while after killing Morphy or whoever we are all thinking is the big bad now, and then redeemed herself in death or some kind of frozen state?

That is what I am thinking may happen.

Because if Buffy manages to kill Morphy -- who seems to be something like the pre-existent void or chaos incarnate or the demiurge or whatever -- it would mean that she was the most powerful creature ever (besides God and Buffy does not know if God exists) -- and that superiority complex which has been coming more and more to the fore, and which she finally mentioned, will flower into a monster, I believe, just like Cassie's smile. She might find a way out for herself, but the price will be "her ending." And I think that is the ending Spike mentioned dreaming of in BY.

It is not unusual for heroes to "sin," make an error right at the very end of their journey: case in point, Frodo claiming the ring for his own as he stands on the brink of the abyss and rescued from his own hubris by Gollum.

As for the mom, mommy issue -- this is also what Buffy says to Joyce in the Body after she finds her -- so it doesn't relate only to the supernatural but to death. I wonder if Joss said something like that in RL and that is why he put it in. It is certainly powerful, made more powerful by the repetitions through the various episodes.

Here is something I noticed in No Place Like Home which may provide a clue about the current BB:
this year:

The monk is explaining the key to Buffy:


The Key is energy. It's a portal. It opens the door...

That round glowy thing?

(shakes his head)
For centuries it had no form at
all. My brethren... its only
keepers. Then...

He tries to point back to the factory.

The abomination... found us. We
had to hide The Key... Gave it
form. Molded it flesh, made it
human. And sent it to you.

The interesting bit is that for centuries according to the Monk, but really millenia, the key had no form. And then they were able to mold it flesh, make it human, just as the BB has currently been doing, molding himself flesh of all the other Big Bads. Dawn is also a door, a portal. And if that great seal we saw last week, with the goat's head (head of azazel? - the wilderness) wasn't a portal to some otherdimension, I'll be surprised.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Catharsis -- leslie, 17:07:34 11/15/02 Fri

"Leaving aside what I wish to happen to Buffy, I do believe that a tragic ending can still allow her, and us, to experience an actualization and a completion."

The thing is, Buffy's self-sacrifice was done from a position of her giving up her life knowingly and for the greater good, and at a kind of peace. (Which I have to say I am thankful also was basically the case with Jonathan--not willingly killed, but at least having reached a kind of peace with his past and a mature and compassionate understanding of the world--which, tangentially again, makes me wonder if this will give his spirit, should it return, the strength to overcome the evil that tries to control it.) Uh, where was I? Oh yeah. If Buffy went evil herself and had to be killed or died in an unworthy battle, *that* would be the slap in the face to the audience; if she were to die again in defense of everything she has spent the last 7 years defending, it would be tragic and wrenching, but acceptable and cathartic. It's the warrior ethos, after all, to die in battle in defense of what you hold to be the truth.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Except Buffy that dying is SO done already. It just wouldn't hold the same punch this time around. -- Finn Mac Cool, 20:34:14 11/15/02 Fri

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> "End" Spec based on Joss's interview posted last week.... -- Briar Rose, 14:58:34 11/16/02 Sat

In the post last week that was linked from here, there was a line where Joss said that he wrote "The Gift" with the idea that the series was ending and that he was writing the final act if the life journey of Buffy the Slayer.

He chose to give her the death that she deserved as the Hero and Champion, just as the deaths of Cucchulain and Arthur and so many others have earned. Peaceful in knowing that they have fought the battle with Passion, Truth and Universal Love on their side.

In the case of Buffy (particularly) with a sense of self fulfillment in having completed her journey to the ultimate "good job" by sacrificing herself for the love of all and especially Dawn and the ones she loved personally. This is also why her resurrection was all the more poignant: She had recieved the ultimate reward of the Warrior of Light. She was in a place where fighting was over and beauty surrounded her. She was finally a soul at PEACE in all ways. Then she was torn out of "heaven" by the same people she loved and had sacrificed herself for.

Having said that - I don't think that Joss will kill the girl again. I do think that he will give her an out that is nobel and honorable and filled with mystery. She may not die in so much a literal way as in "The Gift", but she could be in a situation such as Cordelia was in on Angel; becoming one of the PTB.

But I seriously doubt that Joss could take his Champion and turn her evil at the end. He has had a problem turning her evil all along, even when it was intrinsic to the story line HE set out to begin with and I doubt that he would allow any other ME to do so, IMO.

And on a personal level... I am pretty sure that I can't continue to watch the show if SMG calls it quits after this season. I can't hang with Dawn the Vampire Slayer and Faith the Slayer is a really long shot and not as emotionally stimulating. And maybe a spin off with Willow and Zander, but not as BtVS. But if ME were to truly go the road of turning Buffy to evil and killing her in a way that doesn't honor the memory of the Buffy and friends I have come to love? I couldn't watch any more ME stuff - period! I would always be thinking that they had sold out the myth for the sake of revenge against an actor that wanted out. True or not wouldn't matter. That would be the flavor I would be left with.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Well Said - All that would be left would be bitter -- Dochawk, 20:31:12 11/16/02 Sat

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Well said. I agree. -- Sophist, 12:42:09 11/15/02 Fri

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Thank you for your kind input, Sophist & Dream... -- Spike Lover, 18:29:26 11/15/02 Fri

I do think Conversations was great. One of the perfect episodes.

And thank you for taking the time to read and reply to my posts, whatever they say and for comforting me now.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Weakness *is* a weapon -- KdS, 10:56:49 11/15/02 Fri

... if you're fighting someone who likes to consider themselves as honourable.

Spike got away with incredibly ugly stuff post-chipping and pre-lurve because his inability to resist made the Scoobies think it would be dishonorable to kill him. Ethan "Please don't hit me!" Rayne did much the same thing.

On a more elevated real-life level, consider Mahatma Gandhi in India. Or the civil rights people in the States - seeing nonviolent people get dogs set on them does rather bias you towards them regardless of the actual merits of their position (not suggesting that their particular position wasn't highly merited).

Of course, you do come unstuck if the other person *doesn't* worry about their public image and decides to just shoot you :-)

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Luckily, I was studying Gandhi last week in school -- Finn Mac Cool, 15:16:19 11/15/02 Fri

Actually, Gandhi did not believe weakness was a weapon. I offer these quotes to back this up:

"But I do not believe India to be helpless....I do not believe myself to be a helpless creature....Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will."

"My creed of non-violence is an extremely active force. It has no room for cowardice or even weakness."

"Non-violence cannot be taught to a person who fears to die and has no power of resistance. A helpless mouse is not non- violent because he is always eaten by pussy. He would gladly eat the murderess if he could, but he ever tries to flee from her. We do not call him a coward, because he is made by nature to behave no better than he does.

"But a man who, when faced by danger, behaves like a mouse, is rightly called a coward. He harbors violence and hatred in his heart and would kill his enemy if he could without hurting himself. He is a stranger to non-violence. All sermonizing on it will be lost on him. Bravery is foreign to his nature. Before he can understand non-violence, he has to be taught to stand his ground and even suffer death, in the attempt to defend himself against the aggressor who bids fair to overwhelm him. To do otherwise would be to confirm his cowardice and take him further away from non- violence."

Or were you only talking about physical weakness, which changes this a little?

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Luckily, I was studying Gandhi last week in school -- Malandanza, 16:53:35 11/15/02 Fri

Nice quotes, Finn! I think these quotations fit well with Sophist's remarks:

I would reconcile this with Mal[andanza]'s point by rephrasing "weak" as "having an unrecognized strength".

I feel a bit odd following up a Gandhi quote with a Buffy quote, but I think that, in this forum, I will be forgiven:

ANGEL That's everything, huh? No weapons, no friends. No hope. Take all that away and what's left?

Buffy stares at him, his words hitting home. She looks exhausted, and terribly sad. She shuts her eyes.He lunges, shooting his arm out, the sword straight at her face.Without opening her eyes she slams her palms together over the blade, stopping it an inch from her face.She opens her eyes.


Buffy's weakness didn't save her from Angelus --she found a source of hidden, inner strength that enabled her to overcome him.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Yeah, clarifying... -- KdS, 08:50:35 11/16/02 Sat

I was talking about physical weakness...

[> [> [> [> [> [> Just a few words based upon what I've read so far......spoilery -- Rufus, 21:31:34 11/15/02 Fri

Is Buffy the Big Bad this year.........ummmmmm don't count on it. Is Spike a bad man and screwed after what we saw in CWDP....all I'll say is that some Spike fans will get a hell of a lot more pissed off before the season is 3/4's of the way through. What to remember when you think about Spike.....all goes back to Fool for Love.....

Oh, I see you. A man surrounded by fools who cannot see his strength, his vision, his glory. (beat) That and burning baby fish swimming all around your head.

She (Drusilla) points to his (Williams) heart and head in succession.

Your wealth lies here... and here. In the spirit
and... imagination. You walk in worlds the others can't begin to imagine.

What is it about the spirit and the imagination that will make the difference for who Spike is now? Could it be possible that the Big Bad could be foolish in its assumptions of control? Remember Hearts, Spirals, and Sacrifice.

[> [> [> Exactly! -- Earl Allison, 14:44:42 11/15/02 Fri

Couldn't have said it better myself.

Although I am a tad offended that people would assume that ANYONE would gloat about what happened to Spike.

Take it and run.

[> Re: Answer to Maladanza's "It's all about power" post that got archived too fast -- Wisewoman, 19:25:16 11/14/02 Thu

If it's all about power, then maybe we should remember: "Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely."


[> [> Absolutly ! ^_^ -- Ete, 00:40:38 11/15/02 Fri

[> [> Re: Answer to Maladanza's "It's all about power" post that got archived too fast -- ponygirl, 09:21:46 11/15/02 Fri

Oh yeah. I also keep thinking that the true test of character for anyone in a position of power is what happens when they're asked to share power or relinquish it -- does the strong leader accept the results of a democratic election or go all dictator? Can Buffy share her burden even if it means that her judgement is not absolute?

Loving the Redemptionista and Snarkist peace summit!

ponygirl (a snarky redemptionist who secretly 'ships!)

[> Request for Rufus re "spoilery" content -- Dyna, 12:22:43 11/16/02 Sat

Not a reply to Ete, but a quick note to Rufus regarding a post upthread--didn't want to start a new topic and hasten the demise of something really worthwhile. :) Rufus, I'd like to request that you be clearer in your subject lines when you are planning to talk about *future* spoilers in a post. With so many posts about episodes 7.1-7.7 bearing the label of "spoilers," attaching just the word "spoilery" to a post doesn't seem to me to be sufficient warning. At least, in my experience the distinction hasn't been clear enough, and I've been burned several times.

I do enjoy your posts and would like to read the ones that don't contain, allude to, drop hints about or otherwise spoil for future events. Do you think you could help me out a bit on this?

Respectfully and with no snark intended, :)

[> [> Many of my posts are spoilery speculation if I think I'm directly spoiling I'll say it. -- Rufus, 16:49:11 11/16/02 Sat

I guess if you want to be safe you could consider just about anything I say a spoiler but in fact I'm only spoiled up to episode 10....anything past that is guessing. And most of my guesses are based upon information from early season and last year taking that information and comparing it to what has been done in the past. On this board I haven't given a direct spoiler but I have nudged people in certain directions and if it is about Spike my comments are based upon what they have steadily done from season four always looks like Spike is going in a specific direction til just about at the end we have been shown to have been misled, that not a spoiler but an observation. So I guess I could say that most of my hints are telling you to look to the past to get a hint at what the future may hold.

[> [> [> rufus is right and The twisty turns of Spike (Spoilers for Btvs Seasons 1-6 and 7.1-7.7) -- shadowkat, 21:09:48 11/16/02 Sat

"On this board I haven't given a direct spoiler but I have nudged people in certain directions and if it is about Spike my comments are based upon what they have steadily done from season four on....."

True - you haven't. I have friends who are spoiled who've testified to that. There's a TV guide preview and lyrics from Aimee Mann posted in a thread above that are spoilers.
This wasn't one.

"it always looks like Spike is going in a specific direction til just about at the end we have been shown to have been misled, that not a spoiler but an observation. So I guess I could say that most of my hints are telling you to look to the past to get a hint at what the future may hold."

Exactly. This character is impossible to predict. What's that song? Rumpleteaser from Cats - "when you think I want to go out? I want to go in. When you think I want milk, I want water? When you think I want to be petted? I couldn't be bothered..." Or something like that. From Spike's introduction in Season 2? I never knew what he was going to do next. Hey wait, isn't that what the Mayor says in Lover's Walk: "Spike. He drove us crazy last year just trying to figure out what he was going to do next."

Let's look at his arc for a moment?

1. in Season 2 - he's the BB, supposed to be staked after five episodes. joss changes his mind puts him in a wheelchair and then voila - Spike turns out to be Buffy's ally and helps her do in Angelus.

2. in Season 3 - he comes back to Sunnydale, kidnaps Willow and Xander and visits with Joyce, but doesn't kill any of them. Then buggers off again to reclaim Dru.

3. in Season 4 - he's BB again, but whoopsie he gets chipped so becomes the cranky neighbor and looks for their help, he appears to be assisting them for money up until Yoko Factor where he plays Iago and betrays them, only to turn around and help them out in Primeval b/c he serves his needs better - hey better than getting killed by Adam.
(If you've been watching Firefly - this Friday's episode sort of reminded me of Spike in Primeval - Whedon seems to like mercernaries.)

4. In Restless he is portrayed as a lad training to be a watcher and a circus freak doing vampire poses.

5. In Season 5 - he starts out appearing to want to kill Buffy, tries to get chip out, tries to attack her, can't, realizes he's madly in love with her, tries to force her to love him back, fails makes Warren build him a buffbot (who I thought at the time was going to be like April and try to kill Buffy but nooo instead she's almost nicer than Buffy, odd.), ends up almost sacrificing himself and getting horribly tortured to save dawn, helps the SG save the world, and is grief-stricken when Buffy sacrifices her life in the Gift.

Season 6: Spike starts out Mr. Tenderhearted/Confident (although there are little hints that he is trying to seduce her into the dark with him, brought out here and there, I still fell for him - old softy that I am, sigh.)
Then she makes with the kissing. They get into a S&M style abusive relationship. He starts doing evil things on the side. She dumps him. He doesn't quite believe it, so still helps her - in Normal Again. Finally we end up with the AR scene (which I saw coming as far back as Dead Things - even though I dreaded it), then horrified by the fact that he could actually hurt the girl he loved, he angerily takes off. We and the poor actor playing him think to remove his chip, but no - to get a soul so he can deserve the girl he loves.

Season 7 - He comes back nuts, the big morphy creature or hallucinations or joss only knows what tormenting him. He seems to still have the chip. He's helping the SG or trying to and is oddly contained at times. Then whoopsie - the flip he's biting people again. (Something I also saw coming but dreaded, a friend of mine called me on it recently - she said "why are you so upset? You were the one who predicted this would happen way back in September? You said sometime mid fall they'll show him killing people again and it's probably b/c Big Bad is controlling the chip or some such thing." Yeah yeah...but I was hoping I was wrong.
Changed my mind now - beginning to think this is going to be one whopper of a good story.)

Even the actor is NOT completely sure what they'll do with him. But if you read any of Marsters interviews he did say:
1. They like to mislead us. Remember Joyce? First she's sick. Then's she's better. Then she's dead.
2. (Question from fan - what would you really want to do next year? Marsters: I'd like the chance to be evil one last time - let him unleash it.) (See Shore Leave interviews for these quotes.)

Spike is the most changeable character on the show. Not static in the least. Investing emotionally in Spike's redemption is a bit like jumping on a rollercoaster without a seat-belt, you have 0 idea what will happen. You take your life in your own hands. Just like investing emotionally in Spike being evil or unredeemed or staked is like riding a rollercoaster without a seatbelt. Either way?

This is going to be a cool story line. Painful maybe but really cool. Actually as I think on it...I start realizing how great it really can be. Instead of mopey broody guilt ridden vamp in Season 3 - we have an ensouled vampire that we have no clue about. Is he evil again? Is he being used? And if so, why? What does his soul mean? What about the chip? What about how he feels for Buffy? etc. Enough fodder in that for about twenty posts. As a friend pointed out - broody, tender hearted, crazy Spike of the end of Beneath You, in Selfless, Him, and Lessons - would have gotten a little old after a while. (Heck some fans were already complaining).

Now here's what I'm convinced of:
1. Spike is doing the killing - it ain't a double.
That was the real Spike. Willing to bet money on it.
2. Something is up with the chip. Either the BB has found a way to turn it off or the BB has found the way to use it to control Spike. Or it stopped working and Spike is lying about it. (Doubtful - I saw it work in Help.). Or Spike has found a way to work past the pain - the burning of the soul may cancel it out.
(Personally I'm laying my money on the BB using it to control Spike - b/c that's the most interesting option and lends itself to the other character's arcs and the overall plot. But Spike finding a way to work past the pain works just as well - just seems a bit well too pat for me and well does not answer certain burning questions like uhm...why not kill Xander?)
3. Buffy as town sheriff has just met worse nightmare number three.Should she stake him? Should she help him? What did she learn from Selfless and Him??

[> [> [> [> Re. #2......spoilery speculation cause I really don't know for sure. -- Rufus, 21:24:40 11/16/02 Sat

Again the answer may lie in this little dialogue with Dru.......Fool for Love

Oh, I see you. A man surrounded by fools who cannot see his strength, his vision, his glory. (beat) That and burning baby fish swimming all around your head.

She (Drusilla) points to his (Williams) heart and head in succession.

Your wealth lies here... and here. In the spirit
and... imagination
. You walk in worlds the others can't begin to imagine.

So I ask again, what is it about the imagaination that makes so much possible in human behavior?

As for number one.....we will know soon for number three, how about some "Tough Love"?

[> [> [> Fair enough, and thanks for the reassurance. :) -- Dyna, 21:18:54 11/16/02 Sat

Do my eyes deceive me? (Spoilers 7.7) -- Valkyrie, 15:09:34 11/14/02 Thu

I don't have a tape of the show, so I can't test this theory. Maybe one of you can take a look? Anyway, I just saw a still photo from the final scene with Spike in game face, apparently feeding, and my first thought was, "That's not Spike." I compared it with other photos of him, snarling, and it seemed to me there were significant differences. For instance, the hairline of the "biter" in 7.7 appears lower and the overall proportions of the face are not as long as Spike's. The chin is more pointed. The open mouth doesn't look the same shape and the nose appears shorter. Maybe it's just the angle of the photos- or a difference in make-up artists- but it made me wonder. Early on, we see Spike approached by a blonde woman, at The Bronze. But from then on, all of the action is observed from a distance. I've seen several theories- probably more sound than mine- but I wonder if ME might be deliberately misleading us about who's doing the biting. Anyway, this whole weird theory is based on a couple of photos, but I thought it might be worth a second look. …for someone whose VCR actually works. I've loved reading everyone's ideas about the series to date! Thanks!

[> Re: Do my eyes deceive me? (Spoilers 7.7) -- Slain, 15:23:52 11/14/02 Thu

I'd make you a screencap if I could - but it's definitely Spike, physically speaking. I think it's just that we haven't seen him bite someone for so long, it looks alien.

[> [> Re: Do my eyes deceive me? (Spoilers 7.7) -- leslie, 15:29:19 11/14/02 Thu

Also, his vamp face seems to be deliberately uglier this season--as in the Bronze scene in Beneath You, when we definitely saw him change.

[> [> [> Re: Do my eyes deceive me? (Spoilers 7.7) -- PepTech, 16:55:54 11/14/02 Thu

>his vamp face seems to be deliberately uglier this season

Along with that, Lorne's makeup is a lot more detailed this season, or it seems so to me. More detail around the hairline (almost Daxian), redder reds, and blacker eyes. Anyone pay enough attention to know if the shows have switched makeup personnel?

[> [> [> [> Maybe this page helps -- oboemaboe, 23:52:13 11/14/02 Thu

I dunno about a switch, but whoever came up with Dinza needs a promotion/raise.

dub makes me tell a joke + 7.7 spoilers -- BabblingBrook, 15:31:36 11/14/02 Thu

Dub is forcing me to de-lurk and post this joke because she thought it would be appreciated, seeing as it was sent to me by a non-fan (who thinks I'm pathetic for watching six seasons in a row on tape over the course of 8 weeks [courtesy also of dub] - incidentally a good way to nurse a broken heart - AND then visiting the Board on top of that). Oh yes, I threatened to post her name on the Board too and give her credit for sending me the joke, so her initials are RICHMAL and she lives in London, UK tee hee

Here goes:
It's midnight and a vampire is walking down the street alone when something hits him on the back of the head. He stops and looks around but all he can see is a sausage roll on the floor. As he continues on his way, a vol-au-vent hits him in the back. He walks on and suddenly he hears footsteps behind him. The vampire turns around and a cocktail sausage on a stick comes flying through the air and pierces his heart. He stares in unbelief at the pork product protruding from his chest and just before he is reduced to a pile of dust he looks up to see a woman standing beside him holding a tray of assorted quiches (suitable for vegetarians). With his last undying breath the vampire asks the question, 'Who are you?' and as his damned soul is dragged back to the underworld he hears the woman's chilling reply..."I'm Buffet, the vampire slayer!"

Okay well now I'm out I just want to say that the scene in 7.7 where "Cassie's" smile widens until it devours itself was CREEPY. So it was a good thing I watched the episode on tape the next day around noon... Otherwise, no deep thoughts on the episode but I really enjoyed everyone's speculations about who was & wasn't the Big Bad. E.g., whereas upon initial viewing I thought "Joyce" was a trick, thanks to the Board I now I think she might be real and we're being faked out to think she's also the BB in disguise. Haven't re- watched the episode yet cuz, you know, it's dark at night.


[> 7.7 spoilers -- Tymen, 15:52:15 11/14/02 Thu

It may be Joyce, but who's to say that she hasn't been deceived, deliberately given bad information.

[> You DID it!! Welcome!!! -- dub ;o), 16:03:58 11/14/02 Thu

It's about time!

I can't believe you used BabblingBrook as a nick! I laughed so hard I snorted soda up my nose!!

Can we call you BB, for short? Oh no, then we'll confuse you with the Big Bad, that won't work.

And I still think that joke is hilarious...hope these guys haven't seen/heard it yet.

;o) dub

[> What the Buff?? -- neaux, 17:05:39 11/14/02 Thu

Honestly that was a pretty good joke..

it was definately better than UPN's slogan What the Buff Tuesday.

Welcome the board!

[> Re: dub makes me tell a joke + 7.7 spoilers -- kty_fantastico, 17:41:23 11/14/02 Thu

That smile creeped me out too! Reminded me of the video for the song "Black Hole Sun"-- anyone remember that?

Maybe it's cosmology, Beneath you it devours (OT) -- Sang, 16:16:57 11/14/02 Thu

After this ep aired, everyone started speculaion about what is 'it'. No wonder that posts were archived so fast. It is not because other posters don't reply to you, it's this crazy board that you are not allowed to reply once it is archived.

What was I trying to say? Oh.. From beneath you, it devours. I was sitting in my office and just thought about it, and two words came to my mind. Dark Energy!

I know it is off the topic, but anyway. Have anyone heard of this term 'Dark Energy'? The term 'Dark matter' was around here for decades and quite well known to public. But I never heard anyone mentioned 'Dark Energy' in public place.

At the end of 20s century, two groups of physicists discovered really weird cosmological phenomena.

One group was looking for billion years old supernova in deep space using Hubble space telescope and other most powerful telescopes. They found out really disturbing fact.

Our Universe is expanding, it is well known fact and supported Big Bang theory. Because of the gravity, matters attract each other. Gravity is a natural break for the expansion of universe.

But obersvation of ancient supernova shows us that the expansion speed of now is greater than past. How come?

There was another group of physicists who flew baloon installed with device to measure ancient cosmic rays. They do this experiment at south pole, since that is only place (other than north pole) that the baloon stays in the same place in the sky.

They found out that our universe has invisible energy which spread out all over the space homogenously.

Now we combined two facts and concluded that there is something in our universe which we cannot see or detect, yet it can push stars and galaxies away to each other.

They are not 'Dark Matter' DM only can slow down the expansion. It must be a completely new stuff. So we decided to name it 'Dark Energy'.

Whatever it is, it is ridiculously tiny amount of energy, which existed from the beginning, or even before the time. It is not an ordinary matter, it doesn't generate anything, no radiation, no heat. It cannot be diluted or destroyed. It is everywhere yet cannot be seen, thus it is the ultimate vacuum, ultimate darkness.

Because of the expansion, there will be less and less stars in the future, but DE cannot be destroyed, it will be there always, waiting. Slowly it will dominate and eventually devour whole Universe. There will be no star, no light, not even a single dust. This ultimate nothingness, absolute darkness is the only thing which is imortal.

Well, many cosmologists now believe that we finally found out how our world will end. Don't need to be depressed or scared. The doom will not come within billion years. Noone thinks that humanity can survive that long time. What really make physicists crazy is the fact that there is no scientific theory which can explain it.

Ed Witten, the smartest man among us (who was cited in 'Supersymmetry') once announced that DE is the single most important mystery in this new century. Yet, this subject kept low profile to public for couple of years. But I guess you will soon here this world Dark Energy in every SF. 'From beneath you, it devours.' Indeed.

[> Thanks, Sang -- Wisewoman, 18:37:58 11/14/02 Thu

It's always interesting to read your insights into things.

I think we're going to be treated to a mix of cosmology and metaphysics this's starting to get really interesting!


[> I'm confused...a few questions from a non- physicist -- Sophie, 19:34:25 11/14/02 Thu

I have heard of dark matter. A friend who was working on a Ph.D. in physics talk to me about it one time.

So you're saying that dark energy is what pushes the unending expansion of the universe? That dark matter is what "fills" the resultant "holes"?

When I think of "beneath", I think of something coming from the center of the earth. Could dark matter be inside a planet? Could I end up with dark matter (a hole) in my bedroom?


[> [> explanations from a non-professional physicist (*OT*) -- Corwin of Amber, 22:01:59 11/14/02 Thu

This just comes from my general interest in things scientific, so if there are any professional, degreed, physicists on the board, please correct me if I'm wrong.

"Dark Matter" is simply that. It's matter. It's dark. We can't see it, but it's there. Physicists figured out that that matter we can see in the universe - in other words, matter that is generating or reflecting light - can only be a very tiny percentage of the total matter in the universe. The rest of it has to be "dark". Hence, dark matter.

Unfortunately, the semi mysterious sounding name they gave to it - "Dark Matter", sent "science" fiction writer's muses into overdrive. We got poorly researched episodes of The Outer Limits, Star Trek: Voyager and Futurama which ascribed properties to dark matter that mainstream physics never has. Actually, The Outer Limits episode was pretty damn good otherwise, but for other reasons.

I've never heard of anything referred to as "dark energy". I've heard the terms "negative energy" and "zero point energy", but what Sang seems to be referring to most closely fits cosmic background radiation. CBR is an "echo" (completely my term) of the Big Bang

As far as the universe far as I know, there are only two possible outcomes. Either there is enough matter in the universe for gravitation to stop expansion, and the universe will eventually collapse in on itself into a black hole. (and possibly another Big Bang). Or, there isn't enough matter in the universe, and it will keep expanding into infinity, in which case all the stars in the universe will eventually burn out, and we'll be left in a bleak, cold, dark universe. :)

[> [> Re: DM and DE are different. -- Sang, 22:03:43 11/14/02 Thu

Dark matter is a matter which dosen't radiate, thus invisible to us. In the early cosmology, people found out that the visible matters (stars, dusts, gas) are not enough to explain the dynamics and chemistry of stars and galaxies. We need 10 times more matters than we can observe.

So people called the missing, invisible matter, whatever it is, Dark Matter. DM can be anything it can be big planets like saturns. cold gas or black holes, neutrinos, WIMPs (If you remember Gunn's misunderstanding about it)... But all of them are 'normal' in sense that they slow down the expansion of universe.

If DM is a big object, we call them MACHO (MAssive Compact Halo Object), like planets, dense gas, black holes, neutron stars, they can exist in or around galaxies.

If DM is WIMP (weakly interacting massive particle) like neutrinos, axions, LSP (Lightest Supersymmetric Particle), they will clustered around galaxies by gravity. And they should be everywhere around us. But they are so weakly interacting with other matters, it is very hard to detect them.

Problem is that we found out, even if there is DM, several things cannot be explained. New obeservations lead us to the conclusion that at least some of the missing part is not even a matter at all.

Dark Energy, is something, whatever it is, which can push away stars. It is not matter. It should be everywhere, in you, side of you, beneath you, above you. Yet it should not exist in normal sense. There is absolutely no way to see or detect it.

The reason that 'From beneath you' strikes me, is that DE is totally negligible if there are enough amount of matters and energy. So universe were expanding and also slowing down according to standard Big Bang theory. Then in some point, that the density of matter was below that of DE, it appeared to us. Suddenly we found out that some kind of darkness is slowly devouring our universe from beneath it.

[> [> [> Re: DM and DE are different. -- Corwin of Amber, 22:10:18 11/14/02 Thu

>Dark Energy, is something, whatever it is, which can push away stars. It is not matter. It should be everywhere, in you, side of you, beneath you, above you. Yet it should not exist in normal sense. There is absolutely no way to see or detect it.

The stars are being "pushed" (not a good term) apart because of the expansion of space-time from the big bang. An analogy. Take a sheet of rubber and mark two dots on it. Then pull the sheet apart from the edges, and the dots are "pulled" apart from the expansion of the sheet itself, not from any force between the two dots. That's whats happening to the universe.

[> [> [> [> Re: that is -- Sang, 22:23:24 11/14/02 Thu

very basic analogy but outdated. DE is different.

Universe expands, but it cannot be accelerated, or cannot be pushed if there is no DE, since all the matters and energy attract each other via gravity. Cosmic background radiation is actually normal matter, since we can detect it easily. And it slows down the expansion.

DE has a negative pressure. Using the rubber analogy; If you streach it, a normal rubber has tendacy to pull back to original size, that is a postive tension.

But if there is DE, the rubber will have negative tension. i.e. If it expanded to some size. Then it will try to expand by itself, instead of shrinking. So at the end, the rubber sheet will expand to infinite size and the sheet become so thin, there will be nothing.

It's about, who has it? for the purel, this is spoilery speculation. -- Rufus, 17:22:46 11/14/02 Thu

The Big Bad.....well you have gotten a few hints as to what is going on and one thing to remember...."Rules" even Big Bads are subject to certain rules. It, the Big Bad, First Evil, or whateveritis was so damn powerful it would just take what it wants....but instead it can only hijack bodies, and trick people into doing what it wants/needs........and's all connected and Willow is connected directly to the power that counts therefore the Big Bad wants her out of business.....but cause of the stinky rules it can't directly kill her, so it tries to trick her......but they have only pissed her off. Remember back to Amends when the First Evil tried to get Angel to kill Buffy......Buffy of course is also connected though she really doesn't understand just how connected she is, yet. So, we see a typical divide and conquer like the Yoko Factor....make everyone insecure and hope for the worst. But, the gang is older and hopefully remembers tactics from the past. And the First Evil.....well it wanted that seal exposed but neglected to use the vampire it can control to do I'm thinking maybe Spike can't be used to do that task. He is used however to make more evil minions (if you believe what Holden says about siring, and take at face value Spikes goodnight bite). So, it's about power, who has it.....and I suspect that Buffy, Willow, the other Scoobies will be the main people for the side of hell throw in Spike if he can gather all his marbles. The First Evil/Big Bad/Whateveritis it needs evil troops, and something about that seal makes me guess it wants access to power that it doesn't have now.

[> Re: It's about, who has it? for the purel, this is spoilery speculation. -- vh, 17:30:38 11/14/02 Thu

Have we forgotten what Dawn is? And that we don't really know exactly what she is? And what she is is capable of controlling reality? I think TFE has a special interest in her -- it started the very first day. If TFE is interested in undoing reality, it might well need Dawn; Dawn might be in some ways its natural match. I think she is more than a "troop." She may be "key."

[> [> Re: It's about, who has it? for the purel, this is spoilery speculation. -- Rufus, 18:19:23 11/14/02 Thu

What is going on is that we are getting an idea of who the Big Bad thinks will be someone to worry about.....and yes Dawn is one and I don't know if it is more her connection to Buffy or if it is her Key properties that the monks were trying to harness for the forces of light....meaning she is a Key for more than just one lock.

[> [> [> Re: It's about, who has it? for the purel, this is spoilery speculation. -- gds, 19:06:38 11/14/02 Thu

I very much believe Dawn is key to this season and it will be in large part due to the fact she is The Key. I have always believed that the key was not sent to Buffy as a "4th & 10" manuver, but that she was always intended to be given to Buffy - from the beginning.

The whole time I watched CWDP I was thinking of TYF. Using the images of the honored dead to divide the scoobies. Since I didn't see Spike grab his head, I am also skeptical the chipped & souled Spike bit anyone human. If not: was it not Spike or was she not human?

[> [> [> [> Re: It's about, who has it? for the pure, this is spoilery speculation. -- Rufus, 19:51:25 11/14/02 Thu

I'd still say that The Yoko Factor is the best way to describe the type of emotional attack that Big Bad will attempt, cause as I said before there are rules that even the Big Bad seems to have to follow.

So, how about that seal.....Danzathar....what does it do....why didn't the construction crew ever trip over it?

Remember I did a post quite awhile back called Hearts, Spirals, and Sacrifice.......I stand by that post and some of it keeps coming up....Jonathon as a sacrifice at the seal...Xander established as the heart, Buffy taking Anya to her home....spirals, the mortal coil...isn't a coil spiral like?

And I stand by the idea of getting troops for a battle of sorts...if the Big Bad can't do things without the help of corporeal hands, then it needs all the hands it can get to achieve what it wants.

The pursuers in Istanbul (spoilers for 7.1 through 7.7) -- luna, 18:00:27 11/14/02 Thu

I apologize if someone has already debated this to death. I can't get everything read fast enough. Here's my question: at the very beginning of this season, the first scene of Lessons, we saw strange cloaked creatures pursue a woman over some roofs. At the time, some speculated that she might be the next slayer, etc. But there's not yet been a clear connection back to that scene. That must have been significant--and perhaps connected to "it," as it becomes more clear in BY and now in CwDP. Any thoughts, or want to tell me to search archives?

"Mother's Milk is Red" (spoilers) -- 110v3w1110w, 18:18:35 11/14/02 Thu

the only possible thing i can think of that could be connected to "Mother's Milk is Red" is when a vampire feeds blood to a victim when it wants to sire another vampire. now when you add that to the image of dawn having a mouth full of blood and what joyce told dawn that when the time comes buffy will not choose her which could mean that buffy would kill dawn if she was vamped and choose to be a slayer instead of her sister. It could all be pointing to dawn being vamped.

[> Woo-hoo! -- Wisewoman, 19:14:31 11/14/02 Thu

Nice catch, 110v3w1110w! I was wondering what that was all about, but I like your theory.


[> And remember in "Lessons" (spoilers) -- Retread, 05:43:46 11/15/02 Fri

during Dawn's training, she said to Buffy wtte 'I'd come back as a vamp and bite you.'

[> I thought it was a ref to "Vino de madre" in Bargaining -- Rahael, 06:10:45 11/15/02 Fri

[> [> Me too, then... -- Haecceity, 13:20:41 11/15/02 Fri

...started wondering about all the (to my mind, downright peculiar) references to Buffy as Dawn's mom--"Mom hair", etc. And, of course, that classic throwaway someone above mentioned, about Dawn coming back to bite her. (Double- meaning, much? Will Buffy have good reason to regret saving Dawn last time the BB was in town?)

That plus the bloody scrawl was on the wall near where Buffy taped the terribly parental note re: dinner, wasn't it? (Might be wrong on this, haven't re-watched ep yet.)

Just remember a flash of "Boy, that looks a creepy grocery list" before my brain caught up to what was happening.

Way off?


[> Interesting. That baffled me. -- yez, 06:24:11 11/15/02 Fri

[> interesting - Will Spike be her Sire? -- Spike Lover, 09:49:49 11/15/02 Fri

Welcome to the new family unit- Dad and daughter. vs X,B,D.

[> [> Re: interesting - Will Spike be her Sire? -- 110v3w1110w, 10:37:41 11/15/02 Fri

well that is the massive hole in my theory it would have to be a female vampire inorder to be her mother so it would not be spike and there are no female vampire characters around at the moment. the only thing i can think of is if morphy was apearing to spike in the image of drusila and getting him to sire her some "children" and she convinces him to sire dawn. that seems unlikely to be the case and after thinking about it it seems unlikely that dawn will be turned into a vampire ( although i like the idea of dawn being turned and buffy having to fight the source of vampireism the demon that that first created them or somthing in order to cure all vampires and save dawn because that would be a great way to end the series having buffy defeat all vampires to save her sister) but i have a nasty feeling that this season is going to end in a way i won't like at all.

Psychiatry style of VampHolden (spoilers 7.7) -- Tyreseus, 19:08:30 11/14/02 Thu

"Demons do not exist any more than gods do, being only the products of the psychic activity of man." [Sigmund Freud, New York Times Magazine, 6 May 1956]

Sometimes a stake is just a stake, right?

I'm really no expert in this department, so I hope someone who knows more might be willing to chime in on this subject. I did pass Psych 101 in college (aka no brainer elective course for the Theatre major), but it's not a subject I've kept up on.

As I understand, modern psychiatry owes most of its current practices to the work of Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung. Although there are similarities in the two, for a very long time there were essentially two branches of psychiatry, Jungian and Freudian. Of course, today, there are people who blend the two, reject the theories of both, and a few who still hold to one or the other.

I'm trying to analyze VampHolden's approach to psychoanalysis, to see if it might give an indication whether he was "messing with Buffy" as Morhpy/Cassie did with Willow. Neither branch of Psychiatry seems to apply strictly, and I'm unfamiliar enough with modern techniques to know if he's practicing a particular form of psychiatry.

Here's some thoughts on Holden and Phsychiatry

1. Common to most psychiatry post-Freud, VampHolden attempted to determine what causes Buffy to feel/act the way she does. In a fashion that we typically blame on Freud, he goes back to her childhood and questions her regarding her father. The issue is pretty quickly passed over, though.

2. Being connected to a great evil - fits in with Jung's theory of a collective subconsious. For vamps, they kind of "know" that they, for instance, reject God and all his works. Jung argues that there are certain mythical archetypes which we all inherit as instinct, which are not formed by individual experiences.
The collective unconscious contains the whole spiritual heritage of mankind's evolution, born anew in the brain structure of every individual.[The Structure of the Psyche," The Collected Works of C.G. Jung. 8, par. 342.]

3. Another Freudian concept is that all subconscious urges stem from our desire for pleasure. Buffy pretty much rejects this notion (paraphrasing: "That's what I hate about you vamps... Sex, violence, love, lust... they're all the same to you.") But we might ask if Buffy herself is suffering from displacement. If (as we are told over and over) the Slayer enjoys the hunt and the kill, and she's trying so hard not to enjoy it, could that spill over into,say, a violent relationship with Spike?

Okay, I'm about tapped now for my meager psychological analysis. But, I challenge those who know substantially more to help us understand. Through his psychoanalytical approach, where was he leading Buffy and what factors did he play up in the process.

Tyreseus - who has more experience on the couch than in the comfy chair with a clipboard.

[> More thought, different subject (spoilers thru 7.7 but oddly lacking in speculation about BB) -- Tyreseus, 19:38:32 11/14/02 Thu

Not wanting to start a whole new thread and contribute to the Voynok demon sending another brilliant post into archive, I'm chiming in to my unrelated post with another post.

I also noticed, down below, that a few poster were reluctant to get into the whole Freud/psychoanalysis thing, but now I've gone and tried to let that cat-demon out of the bag.

On to my new thoughts...
If I'm not mistaken, this is only the second time this season when Buffy has gone patrolling or on some other slayer-duty alone. First was when she infiltrated the demon raising in "Help." But even then, Spike showed up - invited or not. Same with the worm-demon in "Beneath You."

Arguably, she went alone to deal with Anyanka, but it just doesn't seem the same. Does going to fight a scoobie count as going into a fight without the scoobies?

Every other slayer-outing has involved at least one other member of the scoobie gang - including the staking of the frumpy old housewife vamp in the funeral home at the beginning of "Help" (another victim of Spike? he's gotten some terrible taste in victims if so).

The message of aloneness was hammered home to me even more when Dawn was unable to reach Buffy by phone and didn't even try to get Xander, Anya, Willow, Giles or even Spike. I mean, heck, even Clem would have been better than trying to face it alone. But then again, she does seem to have picked up magic overnight.

Anyway, just a thought that is bugging me because I'm guessing it has some significance in the long or short run of things.

[> [> It was only one vampire... -- Charlemagne20, 21:32:50 11/14/02 Thu

Buffy knew it was coming up and probably no one wanted to waste slayer duty on something that she's completely capable of handling herself.

How many vampires "en masse" has she killed with experience.

Holden was only surviving so long on his own because of his past connection and ability to mess with her head.

Holding was basically following a Freudian analysis. Basically he addressed her issues with her family, her sexual habits, and her relationships with other human beings being affected by such (basically occupational counselling)

[> [> [> Agree -- Deb, 09:45:53 11/15/02 Fri

I liked the visual allusion to Freud when Buffy "layed down on the couch" and Holden sat to her side, slightly behind. And then there was the little "transference" regarding Vamps -- Spike? lumping all those things together. Typical vampire.

Oh and the crashing through the stained glass windows was more Jungian. Crossing a threshold, literally smashing her denial and fessing up to her part, and her feelings, about the relationship with Spike.

Now my frosted side says: I loved Holden. Such a professional, yet relaxed and witty therapist. I wonder though. Since she did transfer her feelings about Spike onto Holden, was she possibly dusting Spike in her mind? And was he also baiting her anger when talking about the guy she dated who said she was gay, then later came out of the closet himself? Who's living in a closet right now, and used to "date" Buffy? Date? They never dated. It was a workplace fling.

[> [> About that phone call...(focused spoiler ) -- Darby, 08:01:57 11/15/02 Fri

I wonder if in the original script, Dawn tried to call someone else but got the nasty demon instead, by voice or poltergeist activity - it would fit into the whole monster- in-the-microchips (see? all things DO lead to Spike) thing. It might have been cut for time, but as we've seen from discussion here, it was an important detail to cover.

[> Vamp as Self Actualization (spoilers 7.7) -- Sara, 06:24:36 11/15/02 Fri

I don't know much about psychiatry (why do I all of sudden have Art Garfunkel's voice echoing in my head? hmmm... a nice thing) but I have noticed that vamps seem awfully happy. Maybe one of the reasons that Buffy finds it easier to confide in vamps is because they have a clarity of thought that we confused humans are lacking. I've been kind of growing into looking at the vamps less as serial killers, and more as really motivated predators. (Which strangely enough, makes me think about going vegetarian, I just which I liked vegetables!) When they become vamps they seem to get this "hey, I'm evil, and it's ok" feeling with a clear and solid purpose to their life. I think that Buffy, being the chosen one, without having done the choosing, is very attracted to that clarity of purpose. I know I keep using the word clarity, but it just seems to capture the essence of the vamps. The evil part actually makes them more honest, they're not concerned about hurting feelings, and when they look at the world they seem to cut right to the chase. No wonder they make great sounding boards!

- Sara, who probably could use some time on the couch, anyone know a good vampire she can talk to?

[> [> I think it depends upon the vampire -- Deb, 07:19:48 11/15/02 Fri

They all seem quite happy with things, but not all of them are quite all there.

[> [> [> Re: I think it depends upon the vampire -- Sara, 08:11:37 11/15/02 Fri

You're right. I think that the insight comes alot from the person who was, but even the ones that don't seem as intelligent or self-aware, do seem to be pretty content, happy-go-lucky, where's lunch kind of folks. Sometimes it looks pretty good to me!

[> [> [> [> Re: I think it depends upon the vampire -- Arethusa, 11:34:04 11/15/02 Fri

I love that-"happy-go-lucky, where's lunch kind of folks."

There's definitely a sense of happiness or being at peace in people with an absolute belief in something, either good or evil. They gain a sense of purpose, are given rules to live by, and are less likely to fell unprotected and alone. The only price is giving up free will. The vampire no longer has his own moral compass, so he no longer has to face an endless number of decisions on what to believe, how to act, and what is right or wrong. He simply follows the rules of his order-vampire tradition. And no wonder Spike was so confused after he was chipped-it provided a conflicting set of moral values, and Spike had to choose between them. Another price the demon pays is the lack of emotional growth. The gods/demons become responsible for the moral decisions of the vamp/person, depriving the being of the kind of emotional growth that comes from internal conflict. Buffy can dismiss Angelus' actions because the demon made him do it, but Angel can't because all that brooding, counting and catagorizing of the sins he's committed has made him realize that the anger, violence and cruelty were always in him, and must be carefully monitored to be controlled.

Please, everyone, don't take this post as an attack on religion or the devout (or very evil). Despite my (lack of) beliefs, I go to Mass every Sunday and respect the enormous comfort religion gives most people.

[> Nemesis (Spoiler 7.7) -- Deb, 10:43:12 11/15/02 Fri

I thought Holden's observation that he and Buffy were Nemeises was interesting. She is the Roman/Greco goddess of justice and revenge who punishes dead men for lying, or breaking an oath, and escorts souls, along with the Furies, to Tartarus. She is a winged griffon. She is related to/also the Greek goddess
Erinys "who beneath the earth punish dead men, whoever has sworn a false oath." Her head is covered with snake-locks. Both goddesses were raped by BB gods and had daughters who were taken to live in the Underworld. (Related to Demeter)

Buffy punishes "dead men"

When Buffy was res . . . brought back to life, she stood in the graveyard at one point and she appeared to have wings.

Notice Buffy has been wearing braids bound around her head? Kinda of like snake-locks.

In "Once More With Feeling," Dawn was almost abducted and taken to live in the underworld.

Questions: What about Dawn's birth could be a metaphor for rape? And, which dead man broke an oath? (Don't automatically scream in horror "Not Spike! No, not Spike!")
There are plenty of dead men. And not just literally.

"From beneath you it devours."

Crystallizing some CwDP thoughts: spoilers through 7.7 -- HonorH, 20:00:32 11/14/02 Thu

Well. This was quite the episode, wasn't it? I've never seen the board quite this full of activity. I had to think a bit, and by the time I had (and my Super-Evil Alter-Ego had gotten her ya-yas out), a lot of thoughtful discussion had gone by. That being the case, I hope you'll forgive me if I use your ideas and don't give you credit. I apologize in advance and state that a great many of my thoughts can be owed to other people doing the thinking for me. And now that the disclaimer's out of the way . . .

This episode was structured completely unlike any other BtVS ep--or most episodic TV in general. What we had was a total of five encounters, none of them overtly connected. Buffy didn't know what was happening to Dawn didn't know what was happening to Willow didn't know what was happening to the remainder of the Geek Trio didn't know what Spike was up to. Nonetheless, a common thread ran through them.

Let's start with a few assumptions. First, I'm going to assume that both the demon in the Summers house and Joyce were part of the Big Bad Whatever (BBW). Second, I'm going to assume that yes, that was really Spike, in the undead flesh.

Now for the common thread: vulnerability, emotional and otherwise.

The most obvious example of this, of course, would be Dawn. She comes home to an empty house and acts like a typical teen, getting pizza with her dinner money, listening to music, messing with her sister's things, and watching TV while chatting on the phone (to Kit, one notes). From this happy scene, she's dragged into a nightmare. She sees and hears her mother and an unknown malevolent force and, unconnected to Buffy, must fight both the force and her own fear alone. In this, she appears to succeed--at great cost physically and emotionally. After the demon is cast out, Dawn collapses, spent. Only then does Joyce appear to her to deliver one final blow: Buffy's not going to be there for Dawn when it all comes down. Then Joyce disappears, leaving Dawn a battered, exhausted, sobbing wreck on the floor.

Then there's Willow. She's also alone, studying by herself at the library, when she's approached by Cassie. Cassie, or the being imitating her, reveals to her several things only Willow and Tara would know and claims to be an intermediary. Willow cries, opening up about how much she hurts, and how scared she is. That's when Cassie tells her not to use magic anymore, or she'll kill her friends.

The next part is strikingly reminiscent of the First Evil's MO with Angel. It got him vulnerable and tried to drive him to attack Buffy. When that failed, suicide would be good enough. Same here. When Willow frets that not using magic might not work, suicide is presented as the answer.

Of course, that wakes Willow up to the fact that this isn't Cassie, and it sure as hell isn't Tara. The BBW acknowledges the gig is up and delivers threats and intimidation before leaving.

Then we go to Buffy. She's in a typical vampire-Slayer fight, except this vampire 1) remembers her from high school, and 2) wants to chat before they get down to the killing. And Buffy opens up. This is not so strange--Dracula referred to the Slayer and vampires as "kindred," Angel served as Buffy's confidant for a time, and, as Buffy noted in "Lover's Walk", she's never been able to lie to Spike effectively. Too, it's often easier to open up to someone not immediately connected to you. What Buffy tells Holden would be difficult, if not impossible, to say to a friend or family member.

It's only after Buffy's opened up completely to Holden, laying herself bare, that they get back to fighting. Before they do so, though, Holden delivers one big shock: Spike, he says, is his sire. Which leaves Buffy with one hell of a dilemma.

Gotta go now, but I'll be back later to finish this up and try to tie it all together. Talk amongst yourselves, please.

[> Part II: Crystallizing some CwDP thoughts: spoilers through 7.7 -- HonorH, 23:04:08 11/14/02 Thu

Okay, so Buffy's dilemma. She's presented with a few possibilities. To wit:

1) Spike didn't do it. Holden was lying. That's a tough one to sell. He'd have had to size up the situation in a second in order to swing that lie. Besides, from Buffy's pov, he hadn't been lying all evening; why start now? Another possibility is that Holden was misled. Some vampire claiming to be Spike (you know how they like to talk big over a pint o' blood) sired him, but it wasn't our Spike. It's something Buffy has to consider.

2) Spike didn't do it. The BBW was lying through Holden. Buffy may think this after hearing about Willow's experience. Can she really take that chance, though? The correct answer is, "No."

3) Spike did it. He's been lying this whole time about the soul and everything. From Buffy's pov: bloody unlikely. Truth is, Spike's a rotten liar. Manipulative as hell, yeah, but outright lying? He's terrible at it. Besides, Anya sensed the soul, too. Why would she lie? Finally, Spike's just not that stupid. He doesn't do Angelus-style "go for the pain, not the kill" type things. He just goes for the kill. He wanted to pick a fight with Buffy, he'd just do it.

4) Spike did it. His personality has finally fractured enough that he's committing murders and sirings in spite of the soul. It's gotta be considered.

And can Buffy tell anyone? If Spike is killing, Xander's in great danger, as is any Scooby who trusts Spike. OTOH, if he's not really killing and Buffy alerts the Scoobs, some of them (*cough*Xander*cough*) may take preemptive action. Besides, it wouldn't do Spike's mental health (such as it is) any good to have him under suspicion, especially unjust suspicion. Bottom line: Buffy's again in a position of having to decide just how best to protect her friends.

Okay, now to the Geeks. Jonathan wants to do something right. He knows something about the BBW and wants to help Buffy. He thinks Andrew wants the same. Jonathan shows great growth as a character in this ep. In "Superstar," he used magic to become the paragon of everyone's imagination. As part of the Geek Trio, he tried, childishly, to take that he thought was owed to him by a world that didn't care about him. In this ep, though, he's grown up. High school doesn't last forever. Some people you couldn't stand then actually turn out well. The popular ones may fall off their pedestals, and the unpopular ones may blossom. It just doesn't matter, ultimately, and Jonathan realizes they're all just people. And he wants to help them.

Andrew, OTOH, has never grown up. He followed Jonathan because Jonathan was there, but when Warren's doppleganger showed up, Andrew returned to his crush. His mind was so twisted by then that he became willing to lead Jonathan to his death--and do the killing himself.

Their respective positions in the gang are interesting, too. Jonathan was a warlock. Minor talent, yes, but a warlock. The BBW also tried to remove Willow as a threat. Could earth magic be dangerous to it? Andrew, meanwhile, is a demon wrangler. He knows how to raise and summon demons. Having him as the one who sacrifices Jonathan implies something big is being raised right there, and right now. Perhaps what he did will allow the BBW to manifest more directly. This week, it was all about manipulation of mind and emotions. What will the sacrifice allow it to do?

Finally, Spike. Buffy has several options, as stated above, but they don't quite match up with ours. We know Spike is killing again. He meets a girl at a bar, they talk, he walks her home, and it looks like she was giving him an implicit, if not explicit, invitation. Without dialogue, it's hard to say precisely what was going on, but I think we can all guess if we think about it really hard.

And he kills her. There's no question of this. Her blood was on his lips, he dropped her body, she was dead and perhaps sired. So what are our options?

1) Spike was pretending to be insane and guilt-ridden. Bloody unlikely. We saw him performing for an audience of rats, not humans. Yes, he was insane. Yes, he was guilt- ridden. So is the answer:

2) He got over it. Still unlikely. We saw the chip hurting him because he was helping someone just a few weeks ago. It's hard to believe he'd be able to swing back to killing so quickly. Besides, there's the whole siring argument. Spike, as I said before, isn't that stupid, and siring's not his usual MO anyway. That was more Angelus-style (see "Phases").

3) The BBW is possessing him. I don't think it's likely. If it can do that, it could've killed Buffy weeks ago. So either it's unable to possess him, or it can possess him and it's going for something other than a Slayer-kill.

4) His just plain Stark Staring Crackers, and his brain has finally divided itself up well and good. Part of him is Souled Spike, a good guy, and part of him is Big Bad Spike. Again, possible, though a tad cheesy.

5) He's being influenced by either the BBW or something else. We can't rule this out, but it's too nebulous to make any comment on right now.

What I'm seeing here is a big battle on the basis of trust being built up. Can Buffy trust Spike? Can Dawn trust Buffy? Can any of them trust their own perceptions anymore? Can they trust loved ones who want to speak to them from beyond the grave (and I say, always be suspicious)? My hope is that Willow will tell immediately about her experience. That may help Dawn to open up, and I think Willow would peg immediately that Dawn's being manipulated, too.

Which leads us to something truly scary: the nature of the BBW. It knows things no one should know. It knew about things that were private between Willow and Tara. It knew how to talk Star Wars with Andrew. It knew what position Joyce died in. Furthermore, it was able to be in all three situations at once, influencing three (at least) people. It used Andrew to make a sacrifice that will lead to what we know not. It tried to take Willow, who's connected to a great power, out of the equation. It attacked Dawn, who is a) Buffy's strongest link to the world, and b) an unknown quantity herself. And was it truly lying to Dawn, or was it telling a selective truth?

This is one of those eps that answers one question and creates twelve more to replace the lost one. My guess is that it'll take the entire season to play out what got started here.

Thanks for reading, and please comment.

[> [> I read it, I loved it, but I'm too tired to comment! I'll do it tomorrow, I promise! :o) -- Rob, 23:22:20 11/14/02 Thu

[> [> Re: Part II: Crystallizing some CwDP thoughts: spoilers through 7.7 -- EB, 23:33:36 11/14/02 Thu

It's obvious that it wasn't spike for two reasons. Firstly, the chip didn't go off. Secondly, the entire theme of the show was of misdirection.
Another thought. I believe that spike or buffy will die in the end, more likely spike. He was told by the psychic girl that "don't worry, you will" or something to that effect. The writers of the show deal with major themes in general, and a major theme here is redemption. Spike has to end up redeemed for his sins. However, redemption like angel's has already been done, therefore his can't be the same. There are several possiblities. one, he becomes bad and does not get redeemed. I don't think that will happen. My personal theory is that spike will end up saving the day, get killed in the process, and the last words he hears will be buffy saying she loves him, or she will say it right after he dies. That is probably what the psychic girl meant, "you will" . After all, what does he want most, what is it he wishes for, what else could she be referring to? But I think he will die in the end. The happy redemption ending has been done with angel. This one won't be a happy ending.
incidentally, Spike may turn bad at first, only to repent at the last minute and turn the tide of the battle, or win it entirely, with his life as the cost.

[> [> [> Counterargument re: Spike -- HonorH, 00:18:51 11/15/02 Fri

First of all, we saw characters being manipulated and misled in the course of the episode, while we as viewers were given more of a clue as to what was happening. Thus, we knew that Jonathan was in danger, we could suspect that Willow was being lied to (I knew when Cassie said Willow had to give up magic), and by what happened to Willow, know that it was all too likely Dawn was being lied to as well. We're shown Spike killing somebody outright. So unless we're being lied to as well, Spike is killing again for an unknown reason, and the chip's apparent failure to function is a clue.

Second, even if you don't accept that we weren't being misled along with the characters, the misdirection in our case would be that Spike has apparently gone evil again-- killing and siring again without conscience. So the question is still: why is he doing it?

I have a feeling we'll find out soon.

[> [> [> [> Personal Theorizing -- Finn Mac Cool, 08:05:48 11/15/02 Fri

1) The comment of "someday, she'll tell you" isn't talking about Buffy, it's talking about Drusilla. Someday, Dru will say that she loves him (it could be that, despite their long years together, her vampiric nature stopped her from saying "I love you"). Another possibility: Cassie forsaw the Shapeshifter telling Spike lots of sweet things in Selfless.

2) Spike is acting of his own free will, but is caving in to the desires of the Shapeshifter. After all, he's been tormented by it for months and he can't take it any longer and just lets his demon side come out to play.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Personal Theorizing -- eb, 09:21:24 11/15/02 Fri

Doubtful. Drusilla is not a major theme. Buffy is. He could be caving in though. It could be that he caves now, and in the end gives up his life to save everyone. It does not seem to be the most likely scenario.Anyway, I don't know why more people don't recognize the show. It is undeniably the best show on television. It's the only show I watch with any regularity.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Personal Theorizing -- Slain, 11:43:42 11/16/02 Sat

Was the vision of Buffy that Spike saw in 'Selfless' the BBW? I assumed it was his own mind - but perhaps not. Perhaps IT was trying to draw a contrast between Buffy's fairly sensible coldness towards him, and how he wanted her to behave. I don't know. But either way, that scene functions as an insight into Spike's feelings about Buffy.

My understanding was that by "someday she'll tell you", Cassie meant "someday she'll tell you whether she really loves you or not", based on the assumption that Buffy hasn't been honest about her feelings for Spike, be they love or hate, up till now.

[> [> [> Was Cassie psychic or under IT's thrall? (speccy & spoilery) -- ZachsMind, 12:36:11 11/15/02 Fri

PREFACE: "Bottom Feeding Shapeshifter" is my nomenclature of the moment for "From Beneath You It Devours," "The Primeval," "The First Evil" or whatever you wanna call IT.

This is something I haven't seen touched on anywhere yet. There is still a question of where Cassie got her psychic abilities; the very abilities which foretold her own death. Just as we never learned where RJ's father got the magic jacket, we don't know if Cassie always had that ability or if it was a recent phenomenon. Due to the fact her father & others around her were oblivous to her abilities, either she kept them secret all her life or it was a relatively new thing for her. Now, since she was letting it slip to a complete stranger like Buffy, it's probable that her experience with psychic phenomena was relatively limited, as was her ability to keep her mouth shut about it. She probably wouldn't have been able to keep it a secret for long, so we can safely assume she was new at being psychic.

So where'd these powers come from? Well The Hellmouth of course. It does strange things to just about everybody. However, where specifically? Is it possible that all of these strange happenings in Sunnydale, from The Master's presence in season one to the magic jacket in season seven have all been influenced either directly or indirectly by this Bottomfeeding Shapeshifter? Have we met the puppeteer behind the scenes for all evil influences in Sunnydale? Is the primeval force in "Amends" the same force that the Scoobies called upon in "Primeval" and later fought in their dreams in "Restless" and is it the same force now bubbling from beneath the surface this season? The arrival of The Gentlemen in Hush. Adam suddenly turning on his creator. The bad eggs. The haunted lovers in the school. The strange force that seems to becon evil entities towards the city from all over the world, like ships following the bead of a lighthouse. Anything that's not directly answerable to some other influence, are they ALL linked to this creature?

And was there a meeting with Cassie & The Bottomfeeder that we did not see, in which The Bottomfeeder convinced Cassie that she's going to die soon. Whenever we saw Cassie in the episode "HELP" was there a faux relative of hers hovering over her, telling her that Buffy was going to stain her blouse and Dawn was trying too hard to be her friend? Was Cassie being led by the nose by the Shapeshifting Bottomfeeder just as we now see Andrew being led?

Watch Help again. It's like Cassie's listening to something that's not there. Like she's mildly distracted, but trying to retain her sanity. With this realization, it makes the episode even more creepy.

[> [> [> [> Re: Was Cassie psychic? (speccy & spoilery) -- pr10n, 17:48:00 11/15/02 Fri

Ok, so I ran back to look at Cassie's site, which ME has maintained and even updated. And whoo hoo if there wasn't a pic like this:< BR>
So there's a little support for the thrall idea!

[> [> [> [> [> Ooh. Thanks for pointing that out. -- Dariel, 12:06:30 11/16/02 Sat

Creepy picture; Cassie and her shadow. Just like ME, too, to put a clue in an accompanying web site. And then, unlike other shows, to not make a fuss about the site at all.

[> [> or it could be... -- LeeAnn, 03:44:45 11/15/02 Fri

I wonder if the FE is controlling Spike more directly ...through the chip. When the FE pretends to be Warren does it have access to Warren's information on the chip and how it works? Could the FE/Warren be using the chip to cause Spike tremendous pain? In addition to the pain of the soul, has the FE been using the chip to torture and manipulate him. Certainly Basement!Spike seemed to be in, not just mental, emotional pain, but real physical pain. When he held his head and screamed he seemed to be in physical pain.

And Spike would think the pain was from the soul, not the chip, wouldn't he?

[> [> There is an another possiblity -- CW, 05:00:12 11/15/02 Fri

Holden's not real. The BIG EVIL as we've seen can look like anyone and can appear and disappear at will, selectively to whomever it wants. It's possible that neither Holden nor Spike's victim were anything, but more manifestations of the same devil/demon. It explains why Spike's chip didn't work, and it fits with what happened to both Willow and Dawn.

We can't tell what's real and neither can the characters on Buffy. The characters are only partly aware they are getting jerked around.

[> [> [> I find this possibility to be intriguing -- Deb, 09:16:34 11/16/02 Sat

It would make the situation more heroric, but I don't know. What if Spike were being controled not by IT but by some other force using him to fight BB. Still, I also like my theory.

[> [> Re: Part II: Crystallizing some CwDP thoughts: spoilers through 7.7 -- Mystery, 06:23:37 11/15/02 Fri

I still like the Spike is possessed by the BBW. As far as, "He would have tried to kill Buffy by now" as a way to eliminate that option: Maybe Spike's love for Buffy, the love that drove him to get a soul, is keeping the BBW from attacking her and her loved ones. Either that or the BBW is just biding it's times. I've also had a theory about Spike's chip, that if he tried to drink from someone who was willing to be his victim, it wouldn't be hurting them, and the chip wouldn't trigger. It actually came from when he found himself able to hurt Buffy: Buffy wanted the violence, if for nothing else than to make her feel alive.

There's also speculation that Dawn might get vamped: Perhaps Spike will be her sire. That would certainly help the BBW in converting the Key to it's cause.

[> [> [> Some dark ideas re Spike -- KdS, 10:45:59 11/15/02 Fri

OK, Morphy wants total destruction. *Not* a victory for evil. Absolute nihilism. So, the question is, if you'd just realised that you'd been torturing and murdering human beings for 150-odd years, wouldn't oblivion be a really tempting offer? If Morphy's out to smash everything, would that mean no afterlife as well? And wouldn't someone as depressed as Spike be able to convince himself he'd be doing everyone a favour?

Or maybe my Michael Swanwick obsession's escaped again.

[> [> [> [> Sounds like "Grave"-era DarkWillow. -- HonorH, 18:47:39 11/15/02 Fri

So your theory would either be a retread, or something foreshadowed earlier. ME has been known to do both. We'll keep it in mind.

(Myself and Honorificus, that is.)

[> [> Variations on a theme: What will Buffy do? -- Sarand, 10:09:19 11/15/02 Fri

Your line "Buffy's again in a position of having to decide just how to best protect her friends" reminded me of something I was thinking the other night (and maybe this was what you meant). I saw the ending of this episode, with Spike biting the girl, as setting up a theme we've now seen twice: What will Buffy do when she suspects/knows that one of her "friends" is killing or hurting people? In Same Time, Same Place, Buffy suspected that Willow was skinning people, while we in the audience knew it was not her. Buffy must have considered that she would have to take Willow out (or at least try to) if Willow was back to harming people. But, luckily, before having to make that decision, her suspicions were proved wrong and she didn't have to do anything to Willow. Then, in Selfless, Buffy learns that Anna killed a bunch of frat boys. This is different from Willow because we all, characters and audience, know that Anna did it and the suspense was whether Buffy was going to succeed in killing Anna to stop her from doing it again. Luckily, an out was provided, Anna could take it back, the frat boys were brought back to life and Anna lost her vengeance powers so Buffy did not have to kill her. All's well that ends well.

Now, Buffy has been told that Spike is killing people (or at least one person) and the audience sees him killing another. I'm leaning toward the girl being human and not evil and Spike doing the killing, I guess No 4 in your original list. Although, again, different from the previous two incidents, it's set up in such a way that you have to question whether he's doing it. I gotta wonder just what aspect of his personality was doing this. We don't get any dialogue but body language is an important aspect of Marsters's portrayal of Spike. And his body language, particularly when walking down the street, was so not Spike. He looked like a bashful teenage boy out on his first date: shoulders shrugging, hands shoved into his pockets, none of the cool sexuality he gave off when approaching other female victims in the past. In any event, the question, of course, is what is going to be Buffy's reaction? Since this is a variation on a theme, I'm guessing her reaction will be different from either how she reacted to Willow or how she reacted to Anya. From here, I've got nothin', except for my pessimism telling me it's not going to work out for Spike as well as it did for Willow and Anya. I don't think she'll tell Xander, because I don't think she's ready to stake Spike or have him staked, but, as you said, she has to protect her friends (as well as innocent bystanders in bars) and she'll have to do something to neutralize him. No more closet for him, and maybe back to the basement.

Not sure if this is adding anything to your post or maybe I'm just saying the same thing in a different way. Oh, well, I liked your crystallizing so I thought I'd respond.

[> [> Re: Part II: Crystallizing some CwDP thoughts: spoilers through 7.7 -- ponygirl, 10:39:59 11/15/02 Fri

Great summing up HonorH! At this point after reading a lot of posts I find myself with more questions than ever. Next week can't come soon enough and who wants to bet that not many answers are going to be forthcoming?

Right now I firmly believe that Spike is being manipulated by the BBW, for what purpose I haven't a clue. Well, besides the whole isolation of Buffy angle.

Since everyone seems to believe that Joyce was another manifestation of the BBW, I'm starting to wonder if maybe she was the real thing. After all she said that Buffy wouldn't choose Dawn, that Buffy would be against her. Vague much? After all that Dawn's gotta be pissed she didn't get specifics. Joyce doesn't say what Buffy chooses, or what Dawn's actually against at this future point, which I'm thinking is somewhere around season finale time.

In any case I think we're in for any number of reversals ahead. The recent talk of board games and such makes me think that isolationism is never a good idea, whether in foreign policy or battling evil. Also Buffy has been shown lately as missing the bigger picture - getting sidelined by the personal (this ep. is a good example) while larger battles are being fought -- so I have to wonder if we're going to see her making some sort of costly miscalculation in the future, or that this habit is going to make the Scoobs unwilling to trust her judgement.

Well, my thoughts are scattered and more scattered. And yet somehow this is all connected! Whew!

[> [> Some thoughts re: telling. (7.6 and 7.7 spoilage) -- Rob, 11:16:27 11/15/02 Fri

"My hope is that Willow will tell immediately about her experience. That may help Dawn to open up, and I think Willow would peg immediately that Dawn's being manipulated, too."

I hope this as well, but, unfortunately, I don't think that is going to happen. It seems like this distrust of Buffy that Joyce (or "Joyce") rooted in Dawn is something that is meant to be important, and continue to haunt Dawn throughout the year. Coming immediately after Buffy betrayed Dawn for RJ, I think this is very interesting timing. The fact that Buffy and Dawn were both under a spell notwithstanding, the events of "Him" did open up the possibility that Buffy could be lead to turn on Dawn or not be trusted to save her. I find this prophecy or whatever very interesting, especially considering that Buffy had chosen Dawn before, and sacrificed her own life in the process. Was the Joyce thing have been implying that this wouldn't happen again?

Another thing I found interesting is that the BB feels threatened by Willow. As powerful as it might be, it fears that Willow and her powers could be a danger to its plans. It attempted to manipulate Willow into not using magic, and then into killing herself, in an attempt to keep her out of the upcoming battles. Could the BB also be threatened by Dawn, and maybe even her Key powers? It seems to feel that it's very important that Dawn distrust Buffy, to sow seeds of doubt in their relationship. All of this attempt at manipulation and suggestion makes me even more sure that it's the First Evil, who, in its last appearance, in "Amends" took credit for something it did not do (bring Angel back) in order to try to turn him dark and kill Buffy, and then, when that didn't work, kill himself. The First Evil seems to specialize in this sort of mental manipulation.

Back to what each character will tell the others about her experiences, I definitely think Willow will tell Buffy about Cassie, especially since she identified herself as the villain they've been hearing about all year. Whether Dawn will open up, I'm not sure. Since she might think that the thing holding "Joyce" was the BB and that Joyce was real. That was the BB's whole plan in the Dawn scene...have her think she was saving her mother, so that she would be more apt to believe the false ghost.

Unless of course Joyce actually was real, but I tend to think not. That's more just a gut feeling, though, since there really isn't strong enough evidence either way.

Too many things to ponder, and of course no way to really find an answer short of being spoiled!


[> [> [> Another way of looking at it (spoilers and spec. for 7.7) -- Blood Luvin Girl, 12:01:28 11/15/02 Fri

**Another thing I found interesting is that the BB feels threatened by Willow. As powerful as it might be, it fears that Willow and her powers could be a danger to its plans. It attempted to manipulate Willow into not using magic, and then into killing herself, in an attempt to keep her out of the upcoming battles.**

Everone keeps saying the BB is afraid of Willow and her magic, so it either wanted her to stop using the magic or it wanted Willow dead.

But I keep remembering something that Willow said while talking to Cassie. She said "Right, right, stop...but what about Giles, he made it seem like it was just as dangerous for me to quit completely. Like I'll go off the deep end again."

I think the BB wasn't afraid of Willow's power, but wanted her to lose control again. By convincing her to go cold- turkey it could acomplish two things. Either it would keep Willow's magic out of the battle and maybe even cause her to lose control and become an agent of chaos and destruction again. That way it could subvert her power. She would be on it's side, or at least not on her friends side.

I think it did just get carried away when it started in on the suicide stuff. I don't think that was part of it's original plan. But I doubt it would have cared if it ended up having Willow stop using magic, Willow stop using magic and ending up losing control, or if she killed herself.

It being found out was not part of the plan, though I doubt it really cares.

[> [> [> [> Re: Another way of looking at it (spoilers and spec. for 7.7) -- Rob, 12:20:01 11/15/02 Fri

I agree that the suicide stuff was not part of the original plan, but added there at the moment, as the BB tried to shift gears, when it seemed like Willow wasn't completely buying the Tara-telling-her-not-to-do-magic-even-when-Giles- said-she-should thing. Of course, that ended up making her realize once and for all that this was not Tara, because Tara would never want Willow to kill herself. Although this BB is very good at manipulating people, it does not understand love and human emotion itself first hand, so while it might think that no one would be able to resist the ability to be with his or her loved one again, it does not understand that someone you truly loved would never ask you to kill yourself to be with them.

You raise an interesting point about the BB wanting to use Willow's power for him/her/it(?)self. Perhaps the BB realized that if Willow continued to use "good" magic, as she is now, she could be a threat to it in the future. Therefore, the two results of telling her to stop using magic would be (a) it could mold her power to do evil, should she go crazy again or (b) her cold turkey-ness would work, and she wouldn't be a threat to it at all, anyway. Both options would work alright for the BB, I think. If it NEEDED Willow to be dark, I don't think it ever would have suggested the suicide thing. By trying to convince her to kill herself, it's obvious that the BB doesn't care if it lost the ability to use Willow's powers for its own ends. I think it wants Willow either working for it, or out of its way altogether. And I don't think it really has its "heart" set on either way.


[> [> [> Re: Some thoughts re: telling. (7.6 and 7.7 spoilage) -- leslie, 16:50:11 11/15/02 Fri

This just struck me about "Joyce's" warning to Dawn: it comes just as Dawn *has* successfully defended herself against a supernatural attack. Going back to the whole "prophecies are never what they seem" theme, is "Joyce" intending to buttress Dawn's ability to take care of herself in an emergency, to stop waiting for someone else to save her (as Buffy saved her from the train last week)?

Another random thought: The blonde girl did seem to be turning back to ask Spike in to her apartment. Yet he killed her outside. Given that we had that very pointed reminder of the need for a vampire to be invited inside last week, this must be important.

[> [> [> Regarding "Him"-- -- HonorH, 12:59:07 11/16/02 Sat

I actually thought it proved just the opposite: the Dawn *could* trust Buffy to have her best interests at heart. Yes, while Buffy was under the love spell, she made a move on the boy Dawn wanted. But later, still under the love spell, she saved Dawn's life and was even willing to give up RJ for her: "I'd give him to you in a second if I could." Sisterly love was strong enough to overcome the enchantment.

[> [> My .02 on 7.7 (spoilers) -- Shiraz, 12:54:06 11/15/02 Fri

My odd little theories:

1. That was not the real Spike that we saw at the Bronze. For one, he had his old coat back, the one he gave up in Seeing Red. I don't think Buffy would have given it back, and I'm pretty sure its not the sort of thing Xander would keep as a souvon... souvoin... a keepsake.

Secondly, we didn't see Xander at all during the episode, which, as it was night, means that he should have been at home. Now if Spike did turn evil, then he would have killed Xander before doing anything else. As this is kind of an unlikely direction for the show to go in, I think it's more likely that Spike's been in his closet-like room the whole time, and will have to rely on Xander for an alibi.

2. Holden, whether he was or was not a real vamp, was put there on purpose to keep Buffy occupied while whatever it is had its way with her gang.

3. Holden's comment on his demon ancestry could not have been accurate (unless the writers have completely lost their minds; which is always a possibility). Either the big bad planned that revelation, or it was a flash of evil insight on the part of the psych vamp.

4. Unless Buffy has kept up with the premiums on her Crazy Sister insurance, we're now going to see more of the "finacially distressed slayer" arc.

Also, one nitpick:

-Vamps seem to get 3rd degree burns from even the crudest crosses, but Holden was able to use a statue of the Virgin Mary as a cudgel?

One thing is for certain, though, the possibilities for the season are now wide open.


[> [> [> Re: My .02 on 7.7 (spoilers) -- Sarand, 13:21:05 11/15/02 Fri

Um, as for point 1) that was not Spike's duster. Looked like a short black windbreaker to me. As for point 2), why couldn't Holden's comment about his demon ancestry be accurate? I don't get what you mean.

As for the Virgin Mary as a cudgel, that crossed my mind when he was reaching for it - ooh, he's gonna get burned - and it surprised me when he didn't. Oh, well, I guess it's just crosses that burn.

[> [> [> [> Re: My .02 on 7.7 (spoilers) -- Rob, 13:47:03 11/15/02 Fri

I assume that the reason a Virgin Mary statue doesn't burn is that crosses are all the same shape, give or take some ornate decorations on some or some more plain ones; holy water is always water; and yet statues, icons, or artwork...each looks different, and it may have been hard for whatever mystical flabotanum that made crosses and holy water hurtful to vamps to do so also for an image that is different in each incarnation. And then how would it differentiate between Mary and the Baby Jesus, or just a statue of a woman and a baby? It's been established on the show that the only things that can harm vamps in bad, possibly fatal ways are sunlight, fire, crosses, holy water, decapitation, and wooden stake through the heart. Perhaps this is meant to imply that the shape of the cross and holy water was dangerous to vamps even before they became symbols associated with Christianity.


[> [> [> [> [> Re: My .02 on 7.7 (spoilers) -- Malandanza, 06:33:48 11/16/02 Sat

"It's been established on the show that the only things that can harm vamps in bad, possibly fatal ways are sunlight, fire, crosses, holy water, decapitation, and wooden stake through the heart. "

On AtS, Angel is burned when Wesley hands him a bible (for the exorcism of Ryan). Also, I seem to recall the Host being in Buffy's bag of vampire killing stuff back from Season One.

[> [> [> [> [> [> The bible might have burned Angel b/c it had a cross on it... -- Rob, 18:57:36 11/16/02 Sat

...and I guess the Host would hurt a vamp for the same reason Holy Water would, since it's food blessed by priests.


[> [> [> [> Shameful former Catholic admission -- dream, 13:48:44 11/15/02 Fri

I was thrilled that the Virgin statue didn't burn the vampire. As a Catholic schoolgirl, the Virgin was used as a sort of cudgel against girls who had any sense of self whatsoever. The Virgin, as we were often told, represented every possible manifestation of the "ideal" female - a virgin and a mother(BOTH!), completely passive, accepting of her burdens without complaint, soft-spoken, genteel, modest, you name it. I always liked St. Teresa and St. Joan better - and seeing as they got props last year, seeing the Virgin statue a) fail to burn the vamp and b) used as a bludgeon by a bad gay - well, it was a little burst of guilty pleasure for me. (I really hope no one finds that too offensive.)

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Shameful former Catholic admission -- Sarand, 13:56:10 11/15/02 Fri

Not being a Catholic, I have no such associations. So, not offended and found your burst of guilty pleasure funny. Also, to Rob, thanks for the explanation.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Excellent point Rob! Water/Fire being sacred and many forms of the Cross pre-date Christianity. -- Briar Rose, 14:00:06 11/15/02 Fri

[> [> [> [> Re: My .02 on 7.7 (spoilers) -- Shiraz, 13:51:25 11/15/02 Fri

Err. I could have been wrong about coat. The black coat with the red shirt reminded me a lot of Spike from two years ago, so I could have just been imagining it.

As for Holden, think of the contortions in the storyline required for Spike to be his Sire:

Spike would have had to bite Holden long enough ago to give him time to be found, autopsied, and buried in a proper funeral.

Spike would have to be stupid enough to allow a vampire he was siring to be found and buried in a graveyard regularly patrolled by Buffy.

Spike would have to have introduced himself to Holden prior to siring him. (I can hear the conversation now:

"Allo mate, my name's Spike. I'm going to be sucking your blood right about nowish, then afterwords you're going to be sucking mine. But not in a queer way, mind you.")

That's a little too much for me to swallow, but then the writers could just be on crack again.


By the Way, thanks for posting!

[> [> [> [> [> I Disagree -- Finn Mac Cool, 14:11:13 11/15/02 Fri

1) If the scene between Spike and the girl was any indication, Spike is chatting up his victims first before biting, most likely meeting them at bars and luring them away till they're somewhere private, which is usual vampire style.

2) Why couldn't Spike have turned Holden long enough ago for him to be buried and rise from a grave? We don't know how long he's been up to this, or how long Conversations With Dead People is supposed to take after Him.

3) Really, what are the odds that Buffy would stop to have a chat with a newly risen vampire? Or that Buffy would happen to bring up Spike in front of him? Most of the time the limits of conversation between Buffy and your typical, freshly risen vampire are little more than a few quips on her part. Spike probably figured that Buffy would just kill Holden very quickly after he rose from the grave, and I would have that so myself.

[> [> [> [> [> [> But... -- Shiraz, 14:53:42 11/15/02 Fri

1. From the (admittedly soundless) scenes, it looked like it was the girl that was doing most of the chatting. Besides which, to me at least, it seems really out of character for Spike to be chatting up a GUY.

2. If Holden had been sired three or more days prior to this episode, then Buffy, Xander, et. al. would have had to remain clueless that much longer.

i.e.: (hypothetical scene at the Bronze)

Xander: Well, Spike didn't come home again last night. Wonder what's up with that?

Buffy: Yeah, those tormented, souled vamps sure are wacky.

Willow: Yeah. Hey! Looks like that blonde guy in the black coat over there's gotten lucky again!

Xander: Bastard!
(apologies to all)

Not impossible, but something of a stretch.

3. True, but isn't the point of siring other vamps to create an army of souless minions which obey your every whim? Why go to the effort if you're just going to let them be Slayer bait? If he was sired by Spike, wouldn't Spike have hauled him somewhere he could rise privately?

In short, its all a bit fishy to me.


[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: But... -- Finn Mac Cool, 15:26:08 11/15/02 Fri

1) That doesn't mean he NEVER spoke to her. He probably at least mentioned his name. And, the chatting up might be neccessary if he couldn't find anyone conveniently loitering in a dark alley.

2) Well, no one ever said that Spike didn't go out now and then. Frankly, Xander probably doesn't care, or is even relieved when he's gone. Plus, if the first scene with Spike is any indication, it's not unusual for him to go to a bar, nurse a drink, and mope untill an opportunity to kill comes along, and everything up to "until" sounds a lot like what a souled vampire would do.

3) I forget who, but I think one of the writers said once that the act of siring a vampire was a pleasurable experience. This seems likely, considering that most vampires seem to be left for someone to find and bury, and for Buffy to stake without even an appearance by the sire to try to make sure his/her offspring comes out OK and isn't slain. This last issue can really apply to most vampires, not just Spike.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Watch that scene again... -- Slain, 12:05:10 11/16/02 Sat

And you'll see that, as Spike and the girl are walking, Spike talks as much as she does.

I don't think Spike's clothes can determine whether or not he's real - I thought that half-length sleeved blue top he wore in 'Beneath You' was very un-Spike, but I thought that was saying something about his character, rather than saying he'd completely changed.

And let's not discount that fact that Spike just isn't that good at the planning side of evil. He is best at the more visceral, action side of being evil, contrasting with Angelus. Perhaps he just thought Buffy wouldn't notice, in the same way that he thought storing demon eggs in his crypt wouldn't get noticed, or that Buffy couldn't just pull the ring of Amargh (spelling...) off his finger. Spike has sired men before, even men who Buffy was obviously going to stake ('Lie to Me').

Ultimately I think there's something more going on with Spike than that he's simply returned to evil, but my point is that none of his actions in CWDP are very unlike him.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Watch that scene again... -- alcibiades, 14:51:46 11/16/02 Sat

Ultimately I think there's something more going on with Spike than that he's simply returned to evil, but my point is that none of his actions in CWDP are very unlike him.

Well that is hardly true.

The fact that he bites her with absolutely no emotion playing over his face, is completely unlike the Spike of Season 5 or Season 6 -- Crush and Smashed.

Even in LW, when he bit the annoying Wicca shop keeper, emotions galore were exuding from him.

Spike has always been the one with emotions galore running across his face, he is easy to read, unlike Buffy. But there is nothing at all to be read on his face as he bites the girl and that is completely out of character. Buffy would bite the girl (if she turned vampire) with an emotionless face, but not Spike.

The point is that those scenes are shot totally outside the POV field of either of the two characters. The camera is at a distance to emphasize that Spike is at a distance from us -- in this case, the distance is metaphor. The audience is at a distance, and perhaps also Spike is at a distance from himself -- we won't know until later in the season.

So we can follow the literal events, the girl asking Spike up, Spike refusing, the girl coming back down stairs and reapproaching her, Spike biting her, but the viewer is at a complete distance from knowing what is going on in this story besides the literal presentation of the facts is not adequate in this case to explain what is going on.

So that even though in one sense the camera doesn't lie, in this case, it doesn't nearly explain either. Something is going on beyond the truth it can convey to the viewer.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> What I saw. . . -- Finn Mac Cool, 15:16:21 11/16/02 Sat

It may have just been me, but I think I definitely saw satisfaction on Spike's face post-biting (though not before he pulled away from her throat, granted). At any rate, this issue is hard to debate, since Spike was vamped out at the time, which makes sensing emotion without any dialouge more difficult than usual. And even for characters without vamp makeup, there have been large disagreements about what they were emoting (see the controversy over whether Buffy looked sad for Spike at the end of Beneath You or if she looked like she "smelled something bad".)

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Have to agree with this. -- HonorH, 23:53:38 11/16/02 Sat

Somebody call 911, please--I think I gave alcibiades a heart attack with that subject line.

Spike wasn't acting like Spike. I do think it was him, at least physically, but his whole demeanor was *not* that of Spike of old. It was closer to his quiet, submissive demeanor of "Him". His eyes were downcast at the bar, which is totally unlike him unless he's very drunk and depressed. The ambling with the girl, and the vague awkwardness when they got to her place was also very unlike him.

Of course, the lack of dialogue also affected my perception. Spike's voice is extremely expressive, so it was hard to gauge his emotions without hearing it. His bearing, however, was oddly "off". I'm very curious as to what exactly is up with him.

[> [> [> [> [> Thanks, Shiraz -- Sarand, 14:15:28 11/15/02 Fri

Just wanted you to expand a bit further on that point. And I agree with pretty much everything you said about why it really doesn't work for Spike to have sired Holden, particularly Spike introducing himself. And Spike never seemed to be much into siring, except when asked (e.g., Lie to Me) or when attracted to the girl (Willow in The Initiative). I don't see him doing it as a way to get Buffy to stake him - he would be much more direct if he wanted her to kill him. Although, we don't really know who he is or what he's really like now, do we. Is it Tuesday yet? My head's beginning to hurt.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Don't forget though, that this is not the Spike we know... -- Rob, 14:28:23 11/15/02 Fri

...This is Spike Version 2.0, and we cannot make assumptions about his behavior based on the Spike we're used to.


[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Don't forget though, that this is not the Spike we know... -- Sarand, 16:17:01 11/15/02 Fri

Kinda thought I said that at the end of my message. But I won't split hairs with you. ;) Enjoy "Firefly" tonight, Rob! But I know you will.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Yeah, you did say that. I'm sorry! Must not have noticed your last sentence for some reason! -- Rob, 17:34:30 11/15/02 Fri

[> [> [> Thoughts on Spike: -- HonorH, 18:37:13 11/15/02 Fri

My theory still holds. That was Spike. Now, I somehow doubt he'd be doing this deliberately or consciously--like I said, Spike's just not that stupid. It is, however, more than likely Spike's being manipulated. In his vulnerable state, it'd be relatively easy for the BBW or something else to get its hooks into him, and even to override the chip.

Furthermore: why wouldn't that have been Spike? None of the Scoobies was nearby for a doppleganger to "perform" for. If the BBW is merely wanting to spread doubt about Spike, it's an inefficient way of going about things. So I'm saying something else is going on here, but it involves the Real Spike (accept no substitutions).

[> [> [> [> I think he was the real thing too -- Deb, 19:28:24 11/15/02 Fri

But, the whole scene was "staged" on a brightly lite porch with lots and lots of backlighting. BBW in control. Perhaps Spike didn't go upstairs because he/it/him/BBW wanted to maximize the potential audience.

I've already talked about my thoughts about this being a stimulus-response thing (Pavlov's Spike). So I won't go into it again, but the whole chain of events had a eerie musical quality, and the picture was fuzzy, and then there was that thing with the lights passing across Spike's face at the bar just before she threw down the smokes. People saw them leaving the bar together and walking on a well-lite street to her place. And the scream thing I've already talked about and the camera angles. I wouldn't say it was a "The Seventh Seal" but it was surreal.

[> [> [> [> [> Could be (very minor spoiler for next week) -- HonorH, 21:31:18 11/15/02 Fri

Your theory about Pavlovian Spike has a lot of credence, especially as TV Guide says Aimee Mann will be singing her song "Pavlov's Bell" on the show next week. Hmm . . .

[> [> [> [> [> [> Hummmmm................. -- Deb, 08:45:27 11/16/02 Sat

Current board | More November 2002