November 2002 posts

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Regarding the title (Angel 4.7 spoilers -- Tyreseus, 20:41:36 11/18/02 Mon

This just in on the Associated Press: Los Angeles, CA -- The Governor of California has declared a state of emergency due to the recent indications that it is indeed, the end of the world. Aethesists and Agnostics flock to churches, synagogues and mosques, confessing their sins. Paranormal skeptics believe the Los Angeles water supply may have been corrupted by a hallucinagenic drug. Meanwhile, reports continue to filter in about strange and bizarre occurances that seem to indicate a very Biblical Apocalypse is at hand.

We now return to your regularly scheduled analysis of fictional television programming. Okay, so I'm a bit confused. They were calling this episode "Apocalypse, Nowish" until very recently they switched it to "Rain of Fire." Annoying.

Anyway, the reference in the original series title is to the Francis Ford Coppola flick, Apocalypse, Now which is, itself, the story of Joseph Conrad's novella Heart of Darkness only updated and set in Vietnam. Admitteddly, it's been (censored) years since I studied Heart of Darkness in high school, but it seems to me that the themes of the book, subsequent movie, and current AtS series have some commonalities.

In Heart of Darkness, several existential themes of mankind are pondered. Characters wonder if they have purpose on this planet, will they make any lasting or tangible contribution to the world (for better or worse), and the fear of being disconnected beings. In the novella, the principal character Marlow sums it up with, "We live, as we dream‹alone"

In the story, we find the central character of Kurtz (Marlon Brando in the film), who has abandoned civilization and turned to cannabalism. When at last, Kurtz faces his moment of death, he looks into the afterlife (or lack thereof) and mutters, "The horror, the horror." The book/movie seems to put forth the concept that if man is removed from the checks and prejudices of "civilization," he may resort to his darkest desires.

A Place in the Universe
Most of the characters in this episode face a sort of existential dillema. Cordelia has been grappling with her destiny and lack of direction. Connor relates to her when he admits to wondering why he's here and what his purpose is. Gunn's outbust to Wesley (AtS 4.6) revealed his insecurities about his role in the A.I. team. Fred's insecurities about her future with Gunn and her pulling away from the team highlight the disconnected feeling she's coping with.

Meanwhile, other characters have shaken off the existential ennui and taken action. No time to ponder the big mysteries with Angel leading the charge. Wesley has found a role with A.I. as "Hidden Guns Everywhere Action Figure Wesley." Lorne has shaken himself loose of "the horror, the horror" of reading Cordelia by becoming "phone answering action figure Lorne with attachable crossbow (large arrows not included)" with some of the best one-liners.

The darkness of the heart?
Cordelia's offered explanation to Connor: "If this is the end, I want you to have one thing that is real" parallels the idea that all the checks and balances of society have been removed and they can indulge in whatever wanton acts they desire.

Meanwhile, Angel finds himself in an angst-ridden place of extreme doubt and uncertainty. In the movie Apocalypse, Now, Colonel Walter E. Kurtz says "I watched a snail crawl along the edge of a straight razor. That's my dream. That's my nightmare. Crawling, swiftly, along the edge of a straight... razor... and surviving." I think that about sums up almost all of Angel's existence. He strives to be happy, but true happiness will turn him evil again. But has he finally witnesses something that will take him to a place of evil on his own accord? We saw hints last seasons that Angel can be very "shades of gray," and immediately after Cordelia rejects him because of his past as Angelus, we see a scene where he jokes that he wasn't able to torture Gavin to his liking. In the name of expediency, the overall good, and his own ego, Dark Angel can almost be more frightening that Angelus.

I'll be anxiously awaiting the next episode to see how the rest of L.A. deals with the events of AtS 4.7 Seeing as how it's L.A., I expect looting, rioting, and wide-spread mayhem. Ooh, I can barely wait for the next ep (which is at least 3 weeks away where I'm at. Haven't heard if it's nationwide yet, but next week Angel is being pre-empted for "The Wizard of Oz" and will be followed with a repeat of the season premier the following week. Finally, an episode of AtS that has me hungry for more and I'll have to wait until my appetite cools.)

Okay, that may be my longest post to date, and I think I'll re-read Heart of Darkness as soon as I finish the entirely less "heavy" Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.

[> Really? -- Masq, 22:18:42 11/18/02 Mon

"Haven't heard if it's nationwide yet, but next week Angel is being pre-empted for "The Wizard of Oz" and will be followed with a repeat of the season premier the following week. Finally, an episode of AtS that has me hungry for more and I'll have to wait until my appetite cools."

I know about the Wizard of Oz thing, they advertised in on my WB station and at the official site. I'm still hearing, though, that the series won't come back with new eps until January.

Oh, I hope you're right!

[> Rain of Fire/Apocolypse Nowish -- Amber, 22:31:27 11/18/02 Mon

From the info I've gathered it seems that "Rain of Fire" is just a title the WB gave this ep. They gave silly titles to all their shows for sweeps week and used them in the promo commercials for the shows.

Joss and Co. seem to be in no way affiliated with the "Rain of Fire" title and are sticking by their "Apocolpyse Nowish" title, which they refer to in interviews, etc.

I have no idea why the WB felt it was necessary to make show titles, when nearly every series has titles for each of its episodes. I don't watch all the WB shows, but maybe if you put the titles together there's some sort of theme, (though how they would make a theme that stretches from things like Everwood and 7th Heaven all the way to Birds of Prey, Angel and Smallville is beyond me.)

[> [> It was probably b/c in commercials "Rain of Fire" sounds more dramatic than "Apocalype, Nowish"... - - Rob, 23:28:54 11/18/02 Mon

As for which was a better title, it's obviously ME's. The WB thinks that their audience can't deal with a show that can by turns be sweepingly mythic, and then silly. They made that huge advertisement filled with fire and brimstone, along with their deep-voiced, serious narrator guy. There was no way he was gonna say, "Apocalypse Nowish".


[> [> Where did you get this info? -- Masq, 09:44:13 11/19/02 Tue

"Joss and Co. seem to be in no way affiliated with the "Rain of Fire" title and are sticking by their "Apocolpyse Nowish" title, which they refer to in interviews, etc."

Gosh, where are the shooting scripts this season? Then we could see what title it says on the final script.

How evil works -- Eugene, 20:54:18 11/18/02 Mon

I was wondering if anyone saw "Conversations with Dead People" as a study of how evil works to influence human beings, much in the way Wormwood works on human beings in C.S. Lewis' The Screwtape Letters. The evil attempted to use each chasracter's hopes and desires against him/her.


[> Re: How evil works -- Rufus, 01:38:06 11/19/02 Tue

I've never read "The Screwtape Letters" but it has been mentioned here. And you are right, the First Evil or whateveritis, attempts to use fear, hope, longing to get the one they target to forget about the big picture. The whole divide and conquer thing starts in the mind and that is what the FE is going for. Willow was buying it at first because of her love and longing for Tara, but as evil frequently does, it senses victory and goes that extra inch that makes the person pause long enough to figure out they have been had. Willow may now have gotten that bit stronger an opponent because of the overconfidence of evil.

[> [> Re: How evil works...side note --
Mackenzie , 07:25:18 11/19/02 Tue

Don't politicians also work that way. They know the hopes, fears, desires, etc. of their constituants and they play on those.
So what does that mean....

[> And how evil fails -- MaeveRigan, 09:15:36 11/19/02 Tue

Evil works by using people's hopes, desires, and fears, and by twisting the truth: deception, lies.

It fails the same way, by deceiving itself. Because the Big Lie is that, in the long run, Evil wins. Nope. But because Evil believes that it can, sooner or later, it always overreaches and foils its own plans, like NotCassie.

Article........Now it's Buffy the Thesis from spoilers to season 6 -- Rufus, 21:08:25 11/18/02 Mon 599359618.html

Now, it's Buffy the Thesis
November 19 2002
By Anne Crawford

Two months ago, Melbourne University's head of cinema studies, Dr Angela Ndalianis, e-mailed postgraduates calling for papers for an in-house symposium.

The subject: Buffy the Vampire Slayer. That's Buffy the television series, the show that began with a teenager fighting vampires lurking around her Californian high school.

Within two days, e-mails were flooding in - many from interstate academics. Word kept spreading. Soon afterwards, international academics were e-mailing Ndalianis regretting they couldn't attend and offering her copies of papers they'd presented elsewhere. A mention in The Age Green Guide elicited 250 e-mails in one day.

Ndalianis, aware of the global following of the cult series, was stunned at the academic interest. Now she's busy ordering fangs.

Buffy, for the uninitiated, is Buffy Summers (Sarah Michelle Gellar), "chosen" and empowered to slay supernatural enemies, mostly vampires. "Chosen to fight, trained to maim", goes the show.

Early on, she's a somewhat flaky teen going to Sunnydale High School, fretting about boys and bad hair. By night, she patrols the streets, crucifix around her neck, stakes concealed in a bag, destroying demons and kicking butt. "I'm Buffy and you're history!"

In the early seasons, Buffy is nurtured and schooled in the occult by her "watcher", an English librarian called Giles.

She's surrounded by a group of misfit friends, including the shy and studious Willow, and Xander, (geeky but fast with the one-liners). "The Scooby Gang", as they call themselves, join her in her fight - "You're the Slayer and we're, like, the Slayerettes".

Buffy has had an on-off relationship with Angel, a reformed but sometimes lapsing vampire burdened with a soul, then for a time went out with Riley, a mortal.

Academics make much of its use of myth, magic and allegory, and its play on pop culture.She battles an assortment of underworld figures ("the fang gang") that has included a Billy Idol-esque vampire called Spike, who became an ally and a lover.

The unconventional United States series, approaching its eagerly awaited seventh - and final - season on Channel Seven in Australia, is the creation of writer-director Joss Whedon who persevered with the unlikely concept after it flopped as a movie in 1992.

Ndalianis says the show appeals to a broad demographic and has a strong cult status. The faithful range from 12-to-60- year-olds - teens, adults, whole families, psychiatrists and people from banks, she says. Natasha Stott Despoja is a known fan. One website notes "a disproportionately large number of theologians" holding a fascination for Buffy.

Aficionados, who ring each other to revel in a plot twist or debate a philosophical point, advocate it with a fervour and devotion usually associated with born-again Christians (or Star Trek fans), and are just as keen to convert. You're either a convert or you don't get it at all. Critics love it. Academics are invariably fans too.

Buffy accounts for an extraordinary amount of cyberspace. The Lycos search engine alone lists nearly a million references to sites devoted to, or drawing on the popularity of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Scholarly Buffyphiles prefer the Online International Journal of Buffy Studies (, a website governed by an editorial board with academic contributors examining notions such as Buffy as "transgressive woman warrior", or Buffy "and the pedagogy of fear". Intellectuals around the globe are deconstructing, dissecting and extrapolating from Buffy, across disciplines, in journals and at conferences too. The Melbourne University Symposium, which Ndalianis is claiming as Australia's first, follows fast on the heels of a two-day international Buffyfest at the University of East Anglia,Norwich, UK.

So why is a TV series with a ridiculous title, preposterous premise and a young woman wielding pointy sticks taken so seriously? The short answer is that Buffy gives its viewers a lot to sink their teeth into.

The program, which speaks to a media-literate audience, is witty, sardonic, complex and stylishly self-conscious. It works on many levels.

It's a take on the horror genre, a soapie about teenage and young adult angst, a bang-kapow action drama with plenty of fast-and-furious martial arts, and an exploration of modern and traditional storytelling.

Academics make much of its use of myth, magic and allegory, and its play on pop culture. "They love anything that's self- reflective!" says Ndalianis. Feminist scholars hold Buffy - strong, sexy and smart - as a post-modern heroine overcoming patriarchal oppression.

Ndalianis says the series raises themes vital to young people: family issues, parenting, youth culture, peer pressure, conformity, self-image, trust, responsibility, loyalty, good and evil, ethics, power and knowledge, sexuality, love and death.

"These sorts of shows are what help people work out their collective fears and anxieties. They're really important for youth sorting out conflicts, their demons, relationships with their contemporaries and older people, and problems with their parents." Relationships are realistically rough- edged. The "normal happy relationship" is questioned as a concept. Families are askew.

The script is inventive and the plot unpredictable, full of sharp turns. Like other television, Buffy has played on the URST (Unresolved Sexual Tension) between its heroine and the tall, dark and broodingly handsome Angel. But even this had a twist: if Angel slept with Buffy, he lost his soul and regressed to being a vampire, turning from valiant protector and lover to snarling arch-enemy. Angel, played by David Boreanaz, has his own spin-off series.

The show is praised for its idiosyncratic dialogue, its "Buffyspeak" -the slick one-liners, the play on teen-speak and in-jokes. (Not to be confused with "Buffyverse" which refers to the mythic universe the show creates.) Whedon plays with his genres. One episode, "Once More with Feeling", was an all-singing, all-dancing musical. Another, set in Angel's ancient Italian past, starts with subtitles. "The Body", about the death of Buffy's mother, was devoid of music and sound effects, giving its grief a stark reality. "Hush" had no words.

Whedon happily adds and subtracts characters. Buffy inexplicably gains a little sister and, is killed off herself, then brought back to earth. He allows his characters to change over time, to move on to university and jobs.

"Buffy's a demi-god but at the same time she's working in a burger place," says Ndalianis. She begins as "classic Valley girl", obsessed with how she looks, and evolves into a complex character, grappling with moral decisions. Later, she's revealed as having a darker side and sado-masochistic tendencies. Willow gains confidence, is recast as a wicca, and comes out as a lesbian.

Adelaide University academic, Dr Catherine Driscoll, keynote speaker at the symposium, will touch on topics in a book she has written on Buffy, out next year. (A draft index lists chapters on "Marxist Buffy" and "psychoanalytic Buffy".) There are 15 other speakers, but it's not all about intellectualising or "academic waffle", says Ndalianis. There'll be Buffy look-alike competitions, screenings, a Buffy board game, fan fiction-writing, door prizes, an "installation piece" and a free set of fangs on registration.

Ndalianis has found herself handling mass bookings for fans. "It's a huge event without it meaning to become one," she says. But it's only a warm-up. She's planning a big international conference after the series finale at the end of next year to have "closure" on Buffy. Well, until the repeats.

The Buffyverse: A Symposium on Buffy the Vampire Slayer is on November 21, 9.30am to 6pm, Prince Phillip Theatre, Architecture Building, Melbourne University. Registration at 8.30am or contact Felicity Coleman at

[> Re: Article........Now it's Buffy the Thesis from spoilers to season 6 -- Purple Tulip, 22:24:52 11/18/02 Mon

Angel is Italian??? Who knew??? J/K

[> Why in the Commonwealth but not the US? -- Darby, 09:11:56 11/19/02 Tue

Have there been any such academic conferences in Buffy's country of origin? Land of the freaks, home of the hey-we- could-make-money-on-this-es?

[> [> Re: Why in the Commonwealth but not the US? -- MaeveRigan, 09:21:18 11/19/02 Tue

An academic conference on BtVS/AtS is in the works for 2004 in Tennesee:

It was announced at the University of East Anglia "Blood, Text, and Fears" conference.

Connor: Messiah? (spoilers for "Slouching" & "Rain of Fire" & some vague metaphorical speculation) -- Masq, who's metaphor girl now, 22:14:20 11/18/02 Mon

I was looking back over my previous episode analyses for this season and came across that Yeats quote that accompanied my analysis of "Slouching towards Bethlehem":

"And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?"

In the analysis, I noted an interpretation of Yeat's poem, "The Second Coming" in which Yeats is likening the coming of an anti-Christ to the coming of the original Christ. The original Christ is born in Bethlehem and ushers in a two- thousand year era (gyre) of cycle of history, the era of Christianity. In the twentieth century, however, Yeats hypothesizes, a "second" coming will occur, the birth of a totalitarian "beast" that will usher in a new era of history.

This takes me back to the scene in this week's episode in which the beast is "born" into our world in the same spot as Connor was born one year previously. What if Connor is supposed to be like the "Christ" in the poem, while the "beast" is, well, the "rough beast". The beast in the poem is depicted as being born in the same spot Christ was born.

Of course, in our AtS scenario, the two "comings" are only a year apart, not two thousand years, and the apocolypse that would overthrow "Christianity" for "totalitarianism" will occur over the course of the fourth season of the show, but hey, it's a thought.

[> Oooh! Symbolic goodness! -- Rob, 00:32:41 11/19/02 Tue

Just thought of an addition to your Connor-as-Messiah idea. Although his wasn't exactly a virgin birth, it was an unnatural one, since neither of his parents had the capability to have children. If it is TPTB that made that possible, it would be similar to God making it possible for a virgin woman to have a baby.

Tell me if I got any of that right. What do I know about this stuff really? I'm Jewish!


[> [> well, there are cases... -- anom, 00:43:24 11/19/02 Tue

...of God's causing barren women to bear children. The Bible's full of 'em: Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel, Hannah....

And who's more barren in the Buffyverse than a vampire? So I'd say you're onto something after all, Rob. Although I don't know if it supports the messiah concept. On the other hand, I don't think that necessarily requires virgin birth. Not the Jewish messiah concept, anyway.

[> [> Or... -- Darby, 09:02:42 11/19/02 Tue

How do we know that Connor is Angel's son?

Okay, broody and sneaky. Great warrior, apparently more than human. But so was Holtz (anybody else think that Vincent Kartheiser is doing a Keith Szarabajka-as-Holtz vocal impression?), so it could be nurture rather than nature.

Wouldn't it be a kick in the fangs if, after reconciliation and such, it turns out that Connor is Lindsay's son? Did Darla give Lindsay some lovin' when she was human and he had the hots for her?

This begs the question, what happens when a pregnant woman is vamped?

[> [> [> That's some evil spec! I love it! -- Rob, 11:35:14 11/19/02 Tue

[> Lots of questions, no answers (same disclaimer) -- Arethusa, 04:37:37 11/19/02 Tue

I've been having similar thoughts, since it can't be a coincidence that Connor and the beast are born at the same spot. The prophecy regarding the Tro-Clan in the Nyazian Scrolls said, "the arrival or arising of the Tro-clan, the person or being that brings about the ruination [or purification] of mankind." (Offspring) That was supposed to take place last year, at Connor's birth. Could the beast have been gestating for a year beneath LA? Are it and Connor in fact connected somehow, as some suggest- doppleganger, metaphysical hitchhiker, or Lex Luthor to Connor's Superman? Is Connor the Tro-Clan, sent to purify humans from the infection of vampirism, helping rid Earth of demons for all time, or will the beast finally rid the world of humans?

[> [> Re: More questions (same disclaimer, future speculation but I am spoiler-free) -- Arethusa, 08:20:52 11/19/02 Tue

Why didn't the beast kill Connor and Cordy? Why were its only words about Cordy and Connor? Why did Cordy dream the beast turned into Connor? Why have there been so many prophecies about births, and references to the coming of an anti-Christ-like figure? Was Cordy sent back for a reason, and if so, is that reason good or evil? Is the beast a red herring-was the real beast just conceived?

[> [> [> These are all questions that... -- Masq, 09:22:22 11/19/02 Tue that the connection between Connor and the beast is, in fact, quite textual, and not subtextual at all. The open question is really more--is the connection for good or for evil? Was Connor born to help destroy the beast, or did his birth somehow bring about the arrival of the beast (some some sort of supernatural side-effect?)

The tough question is why the beast didn't just kill him if the former possibility is the correct. Connor could have a fuzzy destiny like Angel does--will he be on the side of good or evil during the apocalypse? Or, it could be that Connor is meant to destroy the beast, but the beast is hoping to use Connor for his own benefit.

As for the Tro-clon, it isn't a person, but a confluence of events. Starting with Darla's pregnancy, Connor's birth, the arrival of Holtz, Holtz taking Connor into Quortoth, Connor aging at a rapid pace relative to Earth time, which means Connor is old enough to fight the beast when he emgerges on Earth a mere year later. The battle this season may well be the "purification or ruination of mankind" that the Nyazian prophecies talked about, with Connor, and Angel, as central figures.

I believe Cordelia was sent back for a reason, that she was given knowledge of what is to come by the PTB's and sent back, but that the beast is trying to thwart Cordelia's ability to fight. The beast, interestingly enough, doesn't try to kill Connor, Cordelia, or Angel. He attacks them on a personal level instead. It is quite possible that when he grabbed Cordelia in the alley he was somehow corrupting her mind, so that she sleeps with Connor against all good judgement. Then the beast sends Angel to witness this.

He doesn't want to kill his enemies, he wants to divide them, divide their strength, corrupt them into serving his own ends.

[> [> [> [> Future-spoiler-free speculation above! (up to AtS 4.7 only) -- Masq, 09:24:36 11/19/02 Tue

[> Metaphor Girl? What did you do with the real philosophically literal Masq?! -- Dedalus, 11:28:28 11/19/02 Tue

[> [> She's working on her "Apoc, Nowish"/"Rain of Fire"/whatever-it's-called analysis -- Metaphor girl, 12:00:27 11/19/02 Tue

[> [> Re: Metaphor Girl? What did you do with the real philosophically literal Masq?! -- aliera, 17:29:04 11/19/02 Tue

NEUMAN: This is an interesting piece, Mr. Ipkiss; looks like fourth or fifth century Scandinavian; possibly a representation of one of the Norsenight gods, maybe Loki.

STANLEY: Loki? Who's Loki?

NEUMAN: The Norse god of mischief. Supposedly he caused so much trouble that Odin banished him from Valhalla forever.

STANLEY: Then he could have banished him into that masq.

NEUMAN: I'm talking about mythology, Mr. Ipkiss.
STANLEY: But your book...

[STANLEY crosses the room and hands the book to Dr. NEUMAN.]

NEUMAN: My book is about masqs as a metaphor, Mr. Ipkiss, a metaphor, not to be taken literally. You're suffering from a mild delusion.


Have you seen the first evil? (season 7) --
luvthistle1, 22:44:01 11/18/02 Mon

Have you seen the first evil?

In the last couple of episodes we have witness the way the first evil had divide the scoobies up,
turn them against each other, we haven't witness that behavior since "the yoko factor. But have you seen the first evil? I believe we had. We all had. There once was a time when we could all discuss the entire episode rationally. Compare note on what we saw and didn't see. Without getting into a agreement But lately we have all, been divide, just as the scoobies were in ³The Yoko factor" and he turn them against one another like what is about to happen in this season. We have been divide in two camps Spike vs. Xander But it has always been that way, but lately it seem to become worst, just as Spike and Xander relationship on screen have, Have you notice the comparison? It was done that way on purpose. By doing so we can not openly discuss 3 to 4 episode from last season without going into a Xander vs. Spike or Buffy-vs. Spike , he did or he didn't debate. I came to realize (or rather it's my theory)

That season 4 thru 7 not only have an arc, but a running theme.

-Season 4 "speak no evil". People were not really saying what they truly felt. Willow was bother by people not taking her serious, Giles felt like he wasn't needed, Xander felt useless, Spike was lonely etc.

But none of them were saying how they truly felt. Everyone was "Restless" [Hush]

-Season 5 Hear no evil². No one was listening to what was being said. The knight tells Buffy, that the key is too dangerous to be allowed to exist in any form. Tara tells Willow she was using too much magic. Dru tell Spike that the chip doesn't work, Anya told Xander of her need to get marry, Riley told Buffy she keep shutting him out. Spike tell Buffy she keep letting him in, (into her house, that is) Riley tells everyone he wants to lock Xander in the room and experiment on him. But no one hears him or anyone for that matter.

-Season 6 "See no evil² We do not see anything, we never saw Xander summons the demon ³Sweet². We never "saw" Spike getting the demon eggs, we never "saw" Buffy actually being pull from heaven. We never "Saw" how Spike got to Africa. We never saw what the nerds did with the diamond. We never saw Anya becoming a vengeance demon again. (Note: we never saw her amulet in 6) We never saw Spike go into Buffy house before the incident, nor did we see him leave after the incident. We never saw what Dawn was up to, when Spike couldn't find her. We never saw anything, and what we did see, we turn away from.

You see the first evil has got to us too, made us turn away, made us doubt what we know about the character on the show and there back story. The first evil made us turn on each other. There are a couple of episodes we need to watch over again ignoring the offending parts (the AR incident, eggs etc) and examine what else is going on.

The episodes in question are as follow:

As you were

Hell's Hells

Normal Again


Seeing red

These five episode need to be watch and re- watch over and over again. because I think this season we will hear it, they will Speak it and we will see it all. If anyone ask you, have you seen the first evil, remember your reaction to the episode above, and how you started to hate certain characters.. just think about it.

How have it affect you?

Planning the Apocalypse (spoiler AtS 4.7) -- Tyreseus, 22:58:26 11/18/02 Mon

Just a question I haven't seen brought up here yet. Why does it matter the method of the Apocalypse? Why does is matter to Wolfram & Hart which Apocalypse this is?

(from Cambridge International Dictionary of English)
apocalypse: [noun] 1. a very serious event resulting in great destruction and change.
2. The Apocalypse is a religious idea of the total destruction of the world.

If we operate off of definition #1, W&H are planning a particular form of apocalypse that will simultaneously cause great devastation and change and will also launch them (senior parnters?) into some sort of super cosmic power.

If we operate off of definition #2, it seems that W&H ought to be grateful that there's an apocalypse happening at all. Complete world destruction - it's been the primary objective - so let's see if we can't help this surprise apocalypse along.

In addition to the lack of clarity about what kind of apocalypse this is (I'm beginning to think that word is over- used and has lost it's clear meaning), it also means that evil isn't necessarily all connected to the same master plan. In "Conversations with Dead People," Holden says he feels "connected to a powerful all-consuming evil that's gonna suck the world into a fiery oblivion." But I'm beginning to have serious doubts that there's only one source of all that evil.

The "connectedness" just isn't adding up. On AtS, Wolfram & Hart senior partners have always been the ultimate say on evil in L.A. (and seemingly in Pylia -- Wolf, Ram and Hart). Now, we've got another evil BBW on BtVS, and "the beast" on AtS, and no solid proof that these baddies are connected to each other. Come to think of it, even Glory (a god from a hell-dimension) was acting purely on her own self-interest as far as we can tell, and not as part of some grand master plan.

The more I think about it, the Lilah and Angel truce is the weirdest part of "Apocalypse, Nowish" to me. Especially since the senior partners have made it clear that Angel is supposed to be a "major player" in their coming apocalypse. When he convinces Lilah to help hih with his win/win argument, it wouldn't really be a win for Lilah, would it? The senior partners seem to want Angel to be alive and "gray," so when Angel says, "I fight this thing and lose, well... the only way that's going to happen is if I'm dead, you win." It's not the sound logic I was hoping for to convince Lilah to throw in with the A.I. team. She is a lawyer, after all, and should know what a real win/win is. Unless the senior partners do have something to gain by this temporary alliance.

[> Re: Planning the Apocalypse (spoiler AtS 4.7) -- anom, 23:50:51 11/18/02 Mon

"When he convinces Lilah to help hih with his win/win argument, it wouldn't really be a win for Lilah, would it? The senior partners seem to want Angel to be alive and "gray," so when Angel says, 'I fight this thing and lose, well... the only way that's going to happen is if I'm dead, you win.' It's not the sound logic I was hoping for to convince Lilah to throw in with the A.I. team."

We've seen before that Lilah personally wants Angel dead, even though it's not what the firm wants. Remember when she told Holtz ('cause the office was bugged) she couldn't help him kill Angel because it was against company policy but wrote "I'm in" (or something like that) on her legal pad & showed it to him? I think Angel's aware of her feelings. If Lilah gives him the info & he wins, she gets points from the firm for furthering their agenda. If he loses, she gets the satisfaction of his death. Not that she'd live to enjoy it for long, but at least while it lasted....

[> "A"pocalypse vs. "a"pocalypse - - Masq, 10:14:19 11/19/02 Tue

I think your first definition is the key to the answer. In Season 2 when Angel had the conversation with the dead Holland Manners in the elevator that was plummeting down to (he thought) hell, Holland was very blase about Wolfram and Hart's apocalyptic plans. He made it clear they have an apocalypse with a small "a" planned:

Holland: "Now let me see, there was something - in a sacred prophecy, some oblique reference to you. Something you're supposed to prevent. Now what was that?"
Angel: "The apocalypse."
Holland: "Yes, the apocalypse, of course. - Another one of those. Well, it's true. We do have one scheduled. And I imagine if you were to prevent it you would save a great many people. Well, you should do that then. Absolutely. I wasn't thinking. - Of course all those people you save from that apocalypse would then have the next one to look forward to, but, hey, it's always something, isn't it?"
Angel: "You're not gonna win."
Holland: "Well - *no*. Of course we aren't. We have no intention of doing anything so prosaic as 'winning.'"
Angel: "Then why?"
Holland: "Hmm? I'm sorry? Why what?"
Angel: "Why fight?"
Holland: "That's really the question you should be asking yourself, isn't it? See, for us, there is no fight. Which is why winning doesn't enter into it. We - go on - no matter what. Our firm has always been here. In one form or another. The Inquisition. The Khmer Rouge. We were there when the very first cave man clubbed his neighbor. See, we're in the hearts and minds of every single living being. And *that* - friend - is what's making things so difficult for you. - See, the world doesn't work in spite of evil, Angel. - It works with us. - It works because of us."

At this point, they arrive at the "Home Office", and it's just L.A., with its morally ambiguous human beings walking the streets.

Wolfram and Hart have plans for the apocalypse, but it is something they want to use to consolidate their own power.

The reason behind the apocalypse makes all the difference. Glory just wanted to get back home. Wolfram and Hart just want power. The beast seems to want the destruction of all mankind, the "Apocalypse"--big "A"--including all the little human beings at Wolfram and Hart.

So yeah, W&H is gonna fight this. It's a no-brainer.

And I don't think this is the "apocalypse" Angel is destined to prevent coming up this season. I think this is the "Apocalypse" Connor is destined to prevent. But that's just my speculationy opinion.

[> [> Remember the white room -- KdS, 10:43:32 11/19/02 Tue

The little girl in the White Room (whoever the hell she was, but apparently one of the entities behind W&H or a spokesentity for them) said something along the lines of "I like trouble. But I hate chaos"

As Masq says:
Wolfram & Hart's apocalypse - Evil takes over the world - evil as order
Beastie's apocalypse - World goes boom - evil as chaos.

Evil isn't a monolithic force in the Buffyverse - there's a whole lot of factions that fight each other as much as the forces of light. There seems to be a fairly clear divide between the order-and-method types and the blood-and- slaughter boys.

Possibly there's a direct or second hand Michael Moorcock influence here. His early books seemed to regard Evil and Chaos as synonymous, but fairly quickly he started viewing them as styles of thinking that can be used for good or evil. The Buffyverse usually seems to regard Chaos as essentially evil (Ethan Rayne, for example) but there are odd flashes that suggest otherwise.

[> [> [> Ooooh, great thoughts. -- Masq, 10:52:59 11/19/02 Tue

Can I borrow some of this for my "Apoc, Nowish/Rain of Fire" analysis?

Also, an example of
good as chaos

AtS has dealt with this more than once. In a world where evil is the order of things, good can come from creating chaos. This is the goal of the "freedom fighter" who uses terrorist-style techniques to fight their fight. From the perspective of the status quo, it seems like chaos. Jiera of Oden Tal is an example, as were the human rebels in Pylea, especially after Wesley started leading them. Lorne's mother becries how her world is falling apart because of the rebel uprising, the order that once ruled Pylea is disintegrating.

[> [> [> [> Wow... -- KdS, 11:07:44 11/19/02 Tue

Quoted on ATPOBTVS for the first time. Is there some "rite of passage"?

Oh, and I was aware of Jhiera, but I left her out because there are still serious questions about her morals (willingness to let innocent bystansders get slaughtered).

Plus the fact it's a very unpopular episode. I'd be more forgiving of it if they hadn't dressed the feminist avenger as if she'd just escaped from a Skin Two photoshoot :- >

[> [> [> [> Good from chaos/theological perspective -- alcibiades, 12:55:43 11/19/02 Tue

AtS has dealt with this more than once. In a world where evil is the order of things, good can come from creating chaos.


In the Jewish messianic tradition, as opposed to the Christian one, it is understood as important that the bloodline of the messiah is chaotic -- iow, a breaking of really serious commandments is twice inherent in his bloodline -- Judah sinning with Tamar, his daughter in law eventually to produce David, and David having Bathsheba's husband Uriah murdered in war so he could marry her.

It is the fact that these biblical heroes truly sinned -- crossed strict lines, created chaos by acting against laws which establish God's order -- but then truly repented of their deeds -- that enable them to have the spiritual wherewithal to produce the messiah. Imperfection and chaos is part of the seed that produces great goodness.

Which also seems to leave a certain hope for Angel as hero, doesn't it?

[> [> [> [> [> I can see I need to start work on my "good as chaos" section! -- Masq, 13:09:09 11/19/02 Tue

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Good from chaos/theological perspective -- Ysabel84, 13:15:07 11/19/02 Tue

In the Jewish messianic tradition, as opposed to the Christian one, it is understood as important that the bloodline of the messiah is chaotic...

This interpretation is not opposed to the Christian messianic tradition, or perhaps Jewish messianic tradition has influenced Christian thought (not too surprising) in the past twenty or thirty years. I've heard at least two or three sermons on the genealogy of Jesus that took this line.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Good to know. Thanks -- alcibiades, 16:15:21 11/19/02 Tue

[> [> [> [> [> not how i've heard it -- anom, 22:21:30 11/19/02 Tue

"In the Jewish messianic tradition, as opposed to the Christian one, it is understood as important that the bloodline of the messiah is chaotic -- iow, a breaking of really serious commandments is twice inherent in his bloodline -- Judah sinning with Tamar, his daughter in law eventually to produce David, and David having Bathsheba's husband Uriah murdered in war so he could marry her."

This sounds way more Xtian than Jewish to me. For one thing, in Jewish tradition, Judah sinned against Tamar, not with her, & not by having sex w/her but by refusing to give his youngest son, Shelah, to her after his 2 older sons had died while married to her. The Torah requires a brother to marry the widow of his brother's if he died childless & "raise seed unto him" so the dead man's name & portion (in their inheritance & in the land) will not be lost. (He can refuse, but it's a source of shame if he does.) Tamar, posing as a prostitute, actually tricked Judah into doing what was considered the right thing--not a sin--among his people, although letting Shelah marry her would have been preferable. When Judah found out about Tamar's deception, he said, "She is more righteous than I am." This is repentance not for having slept w/her but for keeping his last son from her.

Discussions in Jewish contexts about the lineage of David--& therefore of the messiah who is supposed to descend from him- -focus on Tamar because she wasn't a Hebrew/Israelite. And this is what happens twice in David's bloodline: Ruth the Moabite, perhaps the most famous convert to Judaism, is also a direct ancestor of David.

I've never heard in these discussions that David's sin against Uriah was--or would be--instrumental in producing the messiah. This may be partly because the messiah is referred to as "Moshiach ben David"--son of David, not of Solomon. Since the Jewish belief is that the messiah hasn't arrived yet, his ancestry can't be traced back. And here's where my knowledge runs out: I don't know if any other bloodlines stemming from David survived. But I've never heard that the messiah could only be born to a descendant of Solomon. If the line of descent can be different, there's no need for it to derive from David's sin that led to Solomon's birth.

I've also never heard "chaotic" used in regard to sin in Judaism. It's used to describe the state of the universe before God's act(s) of Creation (depending how you interpret what's usually translated as "unformed & void"), but I don't know of its use in any other context. Of course, this could just be an indication of the limits of my knowledge.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Oral traditions differ of course but I understood this as fairly standard -- alcibiades, 00:42:00 11/20/02 Wed

This sounds way more Xtian than Jewish to me.

Having been taught it in Yeshivah by an extremely learned teacher, I feel quite confident that it is a Jewish interpretation of Messianism.

Agree with your more detailed description about Judah/Tamar -- in my defense, I was shooting off a quick post and skimming on details. And also in my defense, er, thinking quick, while Judah's sin against Tamar was in not letting her marry his third son, technically, in Jewish law, since she was promised to the third son, he was committing adultery by sleeping with her even though she sought him out. That, of course, is ex post facto, since the law was not yet given at the time of the story of Judah and Tamar, but it is also the way midrashic (rabbinic interpretations of the bible) texts tend to interpret the bible. Okay. Worked myself out of that quagmire. Phew. Note to self: next time don't skimp on the facts.

Hmm. I just reread what I originally wrote and I WAS actually writing shorthand. Thank God. Otherwise, kind of embarrassing. By Judah's sin with Tamar I was referring, (obliquely no doubt) to the whole mess with the sons, just not spelling it out. Note to self: next time reread what I wrote before I spend time rescuing mysef from a hole I'm not in.

Discussions in Jewish contexts about the lineage of David--& therefore of the messiah who is supposed to descend from him--focus on Tamar because she wasn't a Hebrew/Israelite. And this is what happens twice in David's bloodline: Ruth the Moabite, perhaps the most famous convert
to Judaism, is also a direct ancestor of David.

That is one focus but not the only one. There is also a focus on the continuity of repentance in the characters of Judah and David. Because that principle is considered to be crucial to the notion of messianism in Judaism. Can't have a messianic age in Judaism without a heck of a lot of repentance taking place beforehand. You need a spiritual leader with the greatness of soul to lead in that direction as well.

Oh look, here is a handy quote from Gershom Scholem that backs me up:

Judaism in all its forms and and manifestations, has always maintained a concept of redemption as an event which takes place publicly, on the stage of history and within the community. It is an occurrence which takes place in the visible world and which cannot be conceived apart from such a visible appearance.

Where these two foci, the one I mentioned on repentance and the one you mentioned on bloodline, merge is in what I have termed the "chaos" principle. By this, I mean that imperfection is inherent in the nature of the messiah. So, the Jewish messiah by blood is descended from outsiders like Ruth and Tamar, and not from a purely Jewish bloodline. And the bloodline also goes through the line of leaders who were sinners that repented publically of their acts. Because it is imperfection that has to be redeemed by the messiah, raising the sparks from the broken vessels and all that. So he has to be a physical symbol of someone who has the power to transform imperfections.

Re David, it is not the sin against Uriah that is instrumental -- it is the fact that David sinned, covered it up before his fellow men (but not before God), and then, once Natan accuses him with a parable, David admits to everything before God and man and repents from the depths of his soul. As you mentioned, Judah also admits to everything publically and does the right thing from that point on. That is the quality that Jewish sources also anticipate will exist in the Messiah.

I don't know if any other bloodlines stemming
from David survived.

Yep. They certainly existed in the geonic age. Some of the exilarchs in Babylonia were of Davidic descent (although there is some question about whether some of them made this up.). AFAIK, there are still people with geneologies that can be traced back that far. I am fairly sure there are still known people whose geneologies go back that far. I should check on it to be sure. I have a friend who wrote a thesis on this stuff.

This may be partly because the messiah is referred to as "Moshiach ben David"--son of David, not of Solomon. Since the Jewish belief is that the messiah hasn't arrived yet, his ancestry can't be traced back. And here's where my knowledge runs out: I don't know if any other bloodlines stemming
from David survived. But I've never heard that the messiah could only be born to a descendant of Solomon. If the line of descent can be different, there's no need for it to derive from David's sin that led to Solomon's birth.

Well it's a mystery. Who knows? And Messiansim, after all, only dates from the apocalyptic age anyway, 3rd c - 1st c BCE, which doesn't make it precisely gospel within Judaism the way that it is, oh say, in Christianity. Ahem.

But be that as it may, the point, I believe, is not that David's sin led eventually, after his repentance to the birth of another son who was Solomon, so that the line has to follow from Solomon. The point is the sin and the magnitude of the repentance itself in David.

Now I am seeing hope for Spike as a hero too. Goody. Goody. Goody. Lots of magnificent repentance tonight.

May all vampires with souls be redeemed.

[> [> [> [> Re: Ooooh, great thoughts. -- ELR, 13:35:39 11/19/02 Tue

This may also be related to the whole Yeats' "Second Coming" "things fall apart" theme, too. Most people have focused on the obvious Biblical allusions, but it seems likely that Yeats was thinking more of William Blake, who was very big on disorder as an antidote to stifling order: "The cistern contains; the fountain overflows" (Marriage of Heaven and Hell Plate 8). (Blake was a favorite with the Beats-- Kerouac, Allan Ginsberg, Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters.)

I got your apocalypse right here:
"[...] the whole creation will be consumed, and appear infinite and holy, whereas it now appears finite and corrupt. [...] If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is, infinite." (Blake, Marriage of Heaven and Hell Plate 14). (This line was the source for The Doors, BTW--Jim Morrison also a big fan of Blake.)

In Yeats's system of history as recurring spirals (gyres), the apocalyptic chaos prepares the world for the new "order": "all hatred driven hence, / The soul recovers radical innocence" ("A Prayer for My Daughter" 65-66).

[> [> [> [> A little speculation on character alignment (one widely- circulated confirmed casting spoiler) -- KdS, 08:42:35 11/20/02 Wed

If we are heading for a Moorcock style Order vs Chaos, rather than Good vs Evil, ruck, here's how I'd pick the teams.

Choice is on the basis of general personality, and in the case of the evil types, what type of apocalypse they were trying to create.

The Straight Arrows (followers of Law)

Giles (zeal of the convert)
Angel (pre-Reprise)
The Master
Richard Wilkins I-III
Quentin Travers
Oz (OK, he's a werewolf and a musician, but he's also self- denial guy sexually, and his repressive response to his animal side was definitely the reaction of a Straight Arrow - a follower of Chaos would have tried to integrate it)
Maggie Walsh (Quentin and Maggie are probably the closest characters in the Buffyverse to Moorcock's recurring style of Law-identifying villain)
Tara (natural law girl)
Adam (OK he tried to create mayhem, but only to provide raw materials to remake the world according to his master plan)
Everyone at W&H
Daniel Holtz

The Eight-Pointed Arrows (followers of Chaos)

Angel (post-Epiphany, after he realised that Law gave him the excuse to hypocritically indulge his worst instincts)
Ethan Rayne (natch)
Spike (unsouled)
Fred (OK she's a scientist, but frontier science is all about trying to improve yourself by your own efforts, instead of being satisfied with what you have)

Few interesting notes from the team lists:

Most of the happier and more stable relationships (X/Anya, W/T, W/O, X/C, G/J) seem to involve one person from each group.
It's now obvious why Wes ended up the outsider in AI post-S2 - with Angel's defection he was the only Straight Arrow in a crew of Chaos-followers. :-)
Only one person, IMO, has seriously made the move from one to another - Angel. Willow may go the other way, though, now she seems to have realised that her conscience is insufficiently robust to keep her on the side of good without some external rules. Likewise Faith, although I really wouldn't like to predict her post-jail personality and outlook on life.
Despite the general anti-Chaos bias of ME I've previously mentioned, the division between Good and Evil is fairly equal, although most of the more sympathetic followers of Chaos come from AtS rather than BtVS.

[> [> There are at least two different ways that the world can end. -- Finn Mac Cool, 14:11:02 11/19/02 Tue

The best examples probably come from Season 2 of BtVS:

In "Surprise/Innocence", a demon called the Judge is unleashed, who can destroy any creature with humanity in it at will. It hoped to use this power to wipe out the human race one by one.

Meanwhile, in "Becoming I & II", Angelus tried to destroy the world by opening the mouth of Acathla, which would suck the world into a Hell dimension where everyone would suffer eternal torment.

Both are examples of destroying the world (or at least the human part of it) and thus apocalypses, but they go about it in very different ways. The first form of apocalypse would kill everyone on the planet, leaving the earth to demonkind. The second form of apocalypse not only wouldn't kill humanity, but would preserve people's lives infinitely so they could suffer forever. A person intent on a certain form of apocalypse would be greatly displeased if one of a different form took place first. So, if Angel's new Big Bad is trying to simply wipe out humanity, but Wolfram & Hart is pushing for turning earth into a Hell Dimension, you can see how they would have a conflict of interests.

One last thing to consider: while Wolfram & Hart is intent on world destruction, it is still staffed by human beings. Given that Holland Manners ghost/spirit/whatever remained after death to serve the firm, the Senior Partners probably have a plan where their lawyer disciples will be spared from the apocalypse they intend to bring about (possibly transforming the highest ranking firm members into demons, much like the Powers did for Cordelia). But, if a different apocalypse occurs first, Wolfram & Hart may not be safe, and so they'll try to stop it until the Senior Partners can bring in their own end of the world scenario that won't destroy lawyers along with everybody else.

Not sure if mentioned.. RIPPER NEWS -- neaux, 05:22:02 11/19/02 Tue

Found this article on


Link to ChiefSeattle Review (Yeats mentioned) of ATS "Slouching Towards Bethlehem" -- Rufus, 07:11:05 11/19/02 Tue

For those interested in the Yeats reference in both shows may want to go
here to have a look. It's the Trollop Group so those of you pure folk just don't stray....;) Not that I'd stop you.

Masquerade - help please --
Mackenzie , 08:21:04 11/19/02 Tue

I want to send my answers to the 10 questions to be a board poster. I can't get the email link to work for me and I can't find her address. Can she or someone please give that to me. I really appreciate the help!

[> Masq's e-mail -- Tchaikovsky, 08:52:35 11/19/02 Tue


This worked for me


[> Re: Masquerade - help please -- Masq, 09:05:08 11/19/02 Tue

You don't need to submit the ten questions to be a board poster, all you have to do is post! But it helps if you have a profile so other folks can get to know you better.

: )

[> [> Re: Masquerade - help please -- Mackenzie , 09:14:51 11/19/02 Tue

Oh duh! x-)
I just love this board so much I want to do it all correctly.
Thanks for making such a great place for BtVS and AtS lovers to talk!

hope they don't end another episode that way (spoilers) -- 110v3w1110w, 11:58:05 11/19/02 Tue

what a shitty way to end as episode i need to know RIGHT NOW if giles is still alive how. dare they torture me this way. also STOP THE WILLOW SUFFERAGE damn you if its not demons eating her alive its demons taunting her about her dead girlfriend. they need a proper good by scene for willow and tara

[> Spoiler for BtVS 7.8 above (and a swear word! hide your blushing eyes ;) -- ponygirl, 12:03:28 11/19/02 Tue

Was it really...? (Spoilers for Buffy 7.7) -- monsieurxander, 12:30:42 11/19/02 Tue

Everyone seems to automatically think that the Warren manifestation is not him, that it is the First Evil. It seemed to me that "Warren" had way too many Warren-like attributes... where as Cassie seemed to have a complete personality reversal. Would the First Evil *really* be that hokey? Would it want Andrew to feel stupid? If I were some almighty evil trying to manipulate Andrew, I would want to make myself the ideal Warren (as in someone who is openly in love with Andrew), as well as make Andrew feel better about himself.

So, perhaps, this could be the real Warren? Maybe all of the events in "Conversations" were completely unrelated. Warren's yoda face and Joyce's forlorn face seemed very much in character for them. Neither of them sugar-coated their conversation-ees.

Hey, it could happen.

[> Re: Was it really...? (Spoilers for Buffy 7.7) -- Liv, 12:51:15 11/19/02 Tue

Interesting. The inherent Warrenness of the Warren apparition had me wondering too... he can be pretty damn creepy, I'll give him that.

What I was thinking about, though, were the events that went down at casa Summers. There seemed (to me, at least) to be TWO distinct forces at work there. I got the impression that what seemed to be the malevolent force (the one that Dawn cast out) was actually trying to protect Dawn by silencing "Joyce" and scaring Dawn out of the house by using classic horror movie tactics.

Its my personal theory that the "evil" force (i.e the shadowy figure that strangling Joyce) might have actually been the real Joyce.

Consider the following:

"Mom, is that you?": One knock for yes.
"Are you okay?"" Two knocks for no.
"Are you alone?": Two knocks for no.

Also, once Dawn cast out the "evil" force, "Joyce" was free to deliver her message. ...Wouldn't it be an awesome twist if the First Evil had tricked Dawn into expelling the ACTUAL spirit of her mother in favor an evil manifestation of her?

Finally, if in fact the manifestations of Warren and Joyce were actually the work of the First Evil, can we safely assumne that the First evil is a Star Wars fan? ;) Heehee.

Just a few random thoughts bouncing around my head as I avoid cramming for my final in a couple of hours...

[> [> Re: Was it really...? (Spoilers for Buffy 7.7) --
leslie, 13:21:39 11/19/02 Tue

"Finally, if in fact the manifestations of Warren and Joyce were actually the work of the First Evil, can we safely assumne that the First evil is a Star Wars fan?"

If you were a First Evil, wouldn't you be?

About "Warren's" behavior, though, I guess it depends on how cunning the FE is. Andrew, after all, fell in love with the real, creepy Warren, who seemed to have little problem in getting him to do his will. It would seem to have been the hope that some time in the future, Warren would love him, that incited Andrew to do things he knew were wrong. (His initial reaction to Katrina's death showed that he *did* know it was wrong, or he wouldn't have been so scared of the consequences.) So, thinks the FE, here's a good modus operandi with this one: Give him just enough hope, but never deliver; that way he'll keep on forever. And I have to say that the real Warren had a certain amount of impatience with the degree of Andrew's Star Wars besottedness.

[> I don't think so (spoilers to 7.7 and unspoiled speculation) -- Malathustra, 15:50:50 11/19/02 Tue

I know we haven't firmly established that "Spike's Hallucinations" from the first episode and the Big Morphy Bad are the same being, but I believe they are.

If this is the case, the BBW is more or less all-knowing when it comes to evil-types. He knew about Drusilla's kookiness. He knew about the Mayor's goofiness and that Spike was Hostile 17 at the Initiative. Is the BBW a collection of the essences of every villian on earth? If so, it'd be pretty easy to just step into whatever role was most convenient.

Cassie, though, wasn't a villian as far as we know (Joyce certainly wasn't -- and I'd also speculated a few pages back that Dawn had actually killed/expelled a positive influence from the house for the same reasons listed above), and I felt like the BBW did a pretty good job of impersonating her. Still, it's confusing. Cassie and Tara seem to be kindred in the good-girl sense, but the BBW tipped its hand by not knowing Tara well enough (or Willow well enough) to know that the whole suicide game wouldn't work. It also did a piss-poor job of impersonating Joyce, if you ask me, but Dawn is too teen-angsty and hormonal to question the message or the messenger.

The way I see it, if the BBW were manifesting as Warren and couldn't act enough like Warren to convince Andrew, there'd be no point. A loving or homoerotic Warren would be a happy phantom for Andrew, but might ultimately tip its hand too much. Frankly, I think BBW!Warren IS being "more than friendsy" enough with Andrew to string him along, in the sense that he has once again concocted a plan that will bring the two closer together and make Andrew feel like "the special one."

But, you're right. The accuracy is indeed impressive, because (just like the plan before Warren's death) it's ultimately not going to benefit Andrew at all and will only feed on his fears and fantasies.

I dunno what I'm really getting to here, except that I think the Warren that we and Andrew (and poor Jonathon, before kicking the bucket) saw was BBW!Warren and not Actual!Warren, just as Cassie and Joyce and perhaps Spike and who knows who else?

As far as we know, though, the BBW has only impersonated dead people (including the twice-dead Buffy)...

...or has it?

Mal, who can hardly watch a scene anymore without screaming "Are you real???" at the characters on screen.

[> don't think so either -- anom, 22:49:20 11/19/02 Tue

"It seemed to me that 'Warren' had way too many Warren-like attributes... where as Cassie seemed to have a complete personality reversal."

I thought "Cassie" seemed very much like the original...until her cover was blown. And if "Warren" isn't the Mighty Morpher, how did he come back from the yucky death we saw Willow inflict on him? The assumption that it's the MM fits in w/the fact that we've seen the MM impersonate other dead people, as well as Warren himself. And "Warren's" use of "Adam's" earlier line ("all specs are within parameters") sounds like a big juicy clue that it's not really Warren.

Oh man, I can't believe I didn't catch this hint before (spoilers up to Ats 4.7)!!!! -- I_of_lurking, 13:20:08 11/19/02 Tue

check out this thought. When Wes asks Angel how he plans to stop this "beast" Angel says,

"If it's alive, we kill it. If it's dead, we bury it."

Seems innocent enough, and totally off the cuff at the time. But link it to a few other facts.

1) The "beast" emerged from the ground, it had to claw its way up in more than just a metaphoric sense.
2) The beast emerged in the place where Connor was born, suggesting it somehow associates with him.
3) In Cordy's dream/vision/daymare, Connor became the beast, perehaps a warning from her (not so blocked) subconscious mind, about something she knew as a higher power.
4) Connor gets injured by the "beast", of which he notes "I've never been broken, not even in Quortoth, I didn't think I could be."
5) (and this a biggy) the "beasts" symbol, is the ancient alchemic symbol for "destruction", and Connor's handle in the Big Q--The Destroyer.
6) Angel dreams about killing Connor, during...
7) Angel's brief stint as a bed of lichen.
8) The beast's penchant for complete sentences, when he finally does talk.
8)That nagging, echo that never leaves us, even though we "know" it was all made up, "the father will kill the son."

I think what it all boils down to is this:, Angel is going to realize sooner or later that Conner and the "beast" are one and the same (though, I suspect Wes will see it first, or Gunn). He will naturally be "torn between" wanting his son to have a happy life, and wanting to end the beast's reign of terror. He will try to kill Conner, but Conner, like Angel will turn out to be "not exactly living" and since he is not exactly a vampire either, the old standby's won't get the job done.

That is when Angel will decide that he has to bury Conner, perhaps in a mystical stasis. There will be a lot of irony here, deliberately, especially after his "what you did to me is unbelievable" speech in DD.

Oh, but it get's better.

Think misdirection, who have we not seen since EP 1? Who is primed to pop back into the story? Our old buddy, Justine.

The way I figure it Justine has been "keeping a lo pro" and lurking in the shadows, a bit player that ME would want us to forget about. I suspect we will see Justine at the beast's side very soon.

And, isn't it interesting by the way that the beast happened to stab Angel in his throat, with a sharp pointy object, something resembling, ice pick?


Anyway, long to story short: Angel is going to figure out he has no choice but to bury Conner deep in the earth. But with Justine's help, and his own demon nature, somehow Connor manages to come back in time (perhaps with the aid of Sajean, the time-shifting-demon who was last genie-in-the- bottled by, hmmm, was that Justine?)

Conner/the beast now has his shingle out, and his revenge thang on, and Angel is trapped in a causal loop of events that he can never escape. He sires Conner, looses Conner to Holz, gets him back, only to have his heart broken, his strength tested to its limits, and finally to bury his own son alive, and suffer the consequences.

"How many times will this our lofty scene be acted over...?"

[> Very plausible -- Darby, 06:21:35 11/20/02 Wed

So plausible, in fact, that this may be why there haven't been any responses - I don't have anything substantive to add, but wanted to tell you that this is a great theory, hard to argue with even if it turns out to be wrong, and I suspect that's why no one's posted to this thread.

While my head tells me that there are lots of ways that this could be true, my gut is saying that it isn't going to be - but you may not be far off.

Buffy's fear (re:Nightmares1.10; Fear, Itself4.4; CwDP7.7) --
fearshade, 13:30:40 11/19/02 Tue

Strange how the psych vamp Holden from CwDP brought all of Buffy's fear's into focus. Take a look at a few conversations from Nightmares and Fear, Itself.

Joyce: ...I spoke with your father.
Buffy: He's coming, right?
Joyce: You're on for this weekend.
Buffy: Good.

Willow: So, do you see your dad a lot?
Buffy: Not a whole lot.
Buffy: He's still in L.A. He, like, comes down for weekends sometimes.
Willow: When did they get divorced?
Buffy: Well, it wasn't finalized till last year, but they were separated before that.
Willow: Musta been harsh.
Buffy: Yeah, that's the word you're looking for.I mean, they were really good about it around me, anyway,
but still...
Willow: My parents don't even bicker. Sometimes they glare. Do you know why your folks split up?
Buffy: I didn't ask. They just stopped getting along. I'm sure I was a really big help, though, with all the slaying
and everything. I was in so much trouble. I was a big mess.
Willow: Well, I'm sure that didn't have anything to do with him leaving.
Buffy: No.
Willow: And he still comes down on weekends.
Buffy: Sometimes.

Joyce: You're awfully quiet this morning.
Buffy: I didn't sleep well.
Joyce: I'll say. I came in to check on you twice. You were yelling in your sleep. Do you know what you were dreaming?
Buffy: Not really. Oh, no, my bag! I-I packed it for
the weekend and I forgot it!
Joyce: You and your dad can swing by the house and get your bag. It's not an international crisis.
Buffy: Okay. Yeah, I just, uh, had meant to bring it. H- he's picking me up here, right? A-at 3:30?
Joyce: Honey, a-are you worried your father isn't gonna show?
Buffy: No! N-not really. Should I be?
Joyce: Well, of course, not! I-I-I just, I-I know it's a hard situation. You just have to remember that your father adores you. No more than I do, by the way.

Hank: I came early because there's something I've needed to tell you. About your mother and me. Why we split up.
Buffy: Well, you always told me it was because...
Hank: Uh, I know we always said it was because we'd just grown too far apart.
Buffy: Yeah, isn't that true?
Hank: Well, c'mon, honey, let's, let's sit down. You're old enough now to know the truth.
Buffy: Is there someone else?
Hank: No. No, it was nothing like that.
Buffy: Then what was it?
Hank: It was you.
Buffy: Me?
Hank: Having you. Raising you. Seeing you everyday. I mean, do you have any idea what that's like?
Buffy: What?
Hank: Gosh, you don't even see what's right in front of your face, do you? Well, big surprise there, all you ever think about is yourself. You get in trouble. You embarrass us with all the crazy stunts you pull, and do I have to go on?
Buffy: No. Please don't.
Hank: You're sullen and... rude and... you're not nearly as bright as I thought you were going to be... Hey, Buffy, let's be honest. Could you stand to live in the same house with a daughter like that?
Buffy: Why are you saying all these things?
Hank: Because they're true. I think that's the least we owe one another.
Hank: You know, I don't think it's very mature, getting blubbery when I'm just trying to be honest. Speaking of which, I don't really get anything out of these weekends with you. So, what do you say we just don't do them anymore?
Hank: I sure thought you'd turn out differently.

(Fear, Itself)
Joyce laughs: ³Your father *loved* to take you out.²
Buffy: ³He was such a pain! 12 years old and I canıt go trick-or-treating by myself?²
Joyce: ³He just wanted to keep you safe.²
Buffy: ³No, he wanted the candy. I was just the beard.²
Joyce: ³Oh, thatıs not true actually. The candy was for me. - Your father loved spending time with you.²
Buffy looks down: ³Not enough, I guess.²
Joyce: ³Buffy.²
Buffy: ³Oh, that just paved right over memory lane, huh?²
Joyce: ³Our divorce had nothing to do with you.²
Buffy swallows: ³I donıt know. ­ Iım starting to feel like there is a pattern here. ­ Open your heart to someone, and he bails on you. Maybe itıs easier to just not let anyone in.²
Joyce gets up: ³I thought it might be easier. You must have noticed that I am not exactly the social butterfly I was when I was with your dad. I donıt think I made a single new friend the year we moved to Sunnydale.²
Buffy: ³Why not?²
Joyce: ³Fear. I didnıt believe I could trust anyone again. Itıs taken time and a lot of effort, but Iıve got a nice circle of friends now. - I mean, donıt get me wrong. I ­ Iım still a little gun shy. It certainly didnıt help that my last boyfriend turned out to be a homicidal robot. I will *always* be here for you. And you got Mr. Giles and your friends. Believe me, there is nothing to be afraid of.²

Buffy hears Willow yell for help and spins around. She tries to follow Willowıs voice.
Buffy: ³Willow.²
She comes up to a locked door and bust it open. There is no floor in the room behind it and she falls down into the basement.
We see her laying on the floor on her back, looking up as the door swings slowly shut.
Buffy: ³Basement. - I must be in the basement.²
Hollow voice: ³All alone.²
Buffy pushes herself up: ³Who said - that?²
The guy that fell down the steps walks around a corner with his head tilted at an unnatural angle.
Broken Neck Guy: ³They all ran away from you. They always will. Open your heart to someone and (Smiles at her) ­ But donıt fret, little girl, youıre not alone (Buffy screams as arms burst up through the floor to grab at her) anymore.²
Broken neck guy: ³No matter how hard you fight, you just end up in the same place. (Buffy crawls along the floor on all fours, kicking at the guys following her) I donıt see why you bother.²

Gachnar: ³Theyıre all going to abandon you, you know.²

[> Re: One fear Holden left until last... (Spoilers CwDP 7.7) -- Just George, 14:37:50 11/19/02 Tue

I think the Vamp Holden left one fear out until last. Buffy is afraid that she will have to "Slay" her friends; that her job as the Slayer will force her too choose between friendship and duty. Think about it:

* Willow has tried to destroy the world. She still might. Would Buffy have to "go all the way" this time if Willow goes all "black eyed"?

* Anya killed many and Buffy had to try and kill Anya to stop her. Anya got her demon powers back once. Will she again? Will Buffy have to use something bigger than a sword this time?

* Dawn, as the key, has the power to destroy the world by tearing down all of the walls between dimensions. Buffy didn't kill her last time because she found a way to save both the world and Dawn. If Buffy can't find a way to save both, would she have to kill Dawn to save the world?

* Spike seems to be killing again. Will Buffy have to spike "Spike"?

* Xander and Giles don't have rap sheets full of bodies or the intrinsic power to destroy the world like the others. But they have both caused others to die by misusing magic. If they emerged as a threat, would Buffy have to kill them?

* Anyone Buffy has ever known can be turned into a vampire and then Buffy will have a duty to kill them. Why didn't she ever slay Harmony? The same reason that Cordelia didn't. The same reason that Willow couldn't stake Vamp Willow. And the same reason that Xander couldn't stake Vamp Jessie on his own. Because they all "knew these people when". And it was just too hard to kill someone you knew so well.

When Buffy told Holden that "You're not a stranger" at the end of CwDP, I think she was at least partially commenting on the fact that Buffy has a relationship with all vampires. Most of her relationships are just "argh" - "stake" - "dust". But all include the shared experience of the night and the fight. Some include conversations. A few occur in the privacy of dreams. Two have been physically intimate. At least one (or maybe two) have included love. Never mind the fact that at least two of these have souls and seem like they might be redeemable. Shared experience. Conversation. Intimacy. Love. These are the elements that bind people into communities. For Buffy, they bind her to her "mortal enemies".

I think Buffy is getting tired of killing things that walk and talk and act like intelligent beings. Things that act like they are or could have been friends. Too many killers hide behind human faces.

Buffy got to the point that she could see past Angel's Vamp- Face to see the person beneath. She saw past Spike's Vamp- Face enough to sleep with him. She saw past Anya's demon face enough to call her friend once again. Perhaps, after seven years, she is getting too good at seeing the human face beneath the forehead bumps.

Remember that every vampire that rises in Sunnydale can be seen as a failure on Buffy's part. I'll bet she sees them that way. It doesn't matter if Buffy knew them or not. They died on her watch, from the enemy she has dedicated her life to stopping. All she can do is stake them, like a man putting down his own rabid dog.

"How many of my kind have you done?" asked Spike in FFL. Viewers know the number is pretty darned high. What if Buffy has come to regard every one of those as a failure and not as a success? If so, it would be easy to see why she doesn't feel go good about her "calling". And it would make sense that Buffy is afraid that her "calling" will force her to fail the same way with her friends if they ever become threats again.


[> [> Wow...that was really good stuff :) -- MayaPapaya9, 22:23:48 11/19/02 Tue

[> [> Excellent post, JG!! -- Rahael, 10:54:41 11/20/02 Wed

Jumble of thoughts (spoliers to a minor extent from 4.22, 5.12, 7.1-8) --
Clen, 15:43:24 11/19/02 Tue

I was also thinking in labeling this thread salmagundi, or perhaps pastiche, but instead I think I will not be so pretentious. This is just a few reflections on Season 7 that I have gathered thus far while I found the rocks to actually post on the board.
I am basing my reflections on certain lines in Lessons that seem as if they do not fit into the dialogue quite as effortlessly as the others, and so could be there for a reason, as dialogue with us, the viewers. I may be wrong, but they seem like obvious enough audience road-signs. I apologize if this stuff has already been discussed before, I have no time to pore through the threads, but this is only a sign of my business and carelessness, not any comment on what I think about the value of other peoplesı thoughts. Arenıt I polite?
A. In Lessons, Buffy says, ³Itıs about who has the power² This reminds me very much of Checkpoint. Are there any ingredients from that episode that we can use as clues to Lessons, or S7 in general?
- even the title Checkpoint has significance. The most appropriate definition for that S5 episode is a point of testing and evaluation; but there is another sense of a point at which there is a pause or a break in the progression. This is consistent with the statement that Season 7 would not be like the dark Season 6, and more like earlier Buffy: Season 7 will be a break in the progression of Season 6 (or, alternately, Season 6 is conceded to be a pause or break from the actual progression of the series).

- the presence of the Watchersı Council and the Knights of the Byzantium. These are humans who have their own strategy for fighting evil and otherworldliness. The most likely connection to Lessons would be Principal Wood. He could be a Watcher, now that Giles is away, or he could by a Byzantium type, who is prepping for the Big Bad, and the Slayer will only be in his way. The latter would provide a convenient reason for his office being on top of the Hellmouth (other than dumb luck) and maybe his name is a play on words (opposing the Slayer ­ robbing her of her wood) though that would be such a dumb play on words, that it almost seems like something intentionally left out there to lead us astray. My guess? I think heıs a ³swerve². We must be conscious that the writers are conscious of us, so they throw in things that only we give meaning, the best example being the cheese slice guy in Restless. Itıs not that he has no meaning, there is a certain economy of thought in writing for a TV show. He has a meaning, his meaning is to have NO meaning. He only concerns the audience, so he is a swerve ­ something to occupy us. I think Principal Wood is a swerve. But heıs a reoccurring character, so I think itıs up to us. He is flexible enough so far (unless some of you have seen ahead, I havenıt) that he could be a loose thread for the writers to use as they see fit. If the general opinion out there in audienceland is that he is a bad guy, they could make him turn out to be a good guy, if we think heıs good, he gets to be bad. It may even be that if we are sure he has a lot of meaning, they may just let him have no meaning. He is right at the center of it all (literally) so he could be anything without pulling anything else off track. This theory is kind of out there, but hey, thatıs what makes it fun.

- in Checkpoint, Buffy finds out (right at the end) that the Big Bad is a little out of her league. Perhaps this is a hint about this Season, not that the Big Bad is another god necessarily, but something that Buffy at first blush would feel to be out of her league.

- Iım sure there are other things in Checkpoint, feel free to toss them as in as you come up with them. Nothing more fun than coming up with wild speculation through drawing patterns.

B. Giles says something to the effect that no matter how much we try to change, we end up being who we really are. Similarly, the Big Bad at the end mentions something to the effect of going back to the beginning, and we will all learn something about ourselves. I think that these two statements are related to a certain theme. I think that, in the spirit of returning to the less-dark Buffy, that people will seem to return to certain attributes they thought they had gotten past. Not in the sense of regression, I donıt think Joss would be so cheap, simply that they still have certain attributes they cannot shake. My guesses on those? I base this around how they have changed from their first appearance on the show. This of course gets a little muddled when you consider some of these people have had ³flashbacks² where we see their background ­ does this mean THAT is their beginning? Hard to be sure. But if it is a theme within the series itself, it would be more fitting for it to be based around their first actual appearance, and disregard the strictly chronological timeline, though I guess itıs just as easy to go the other way.

Spike ­ as we see, even though he has not been much of a vampire in the past few years, we have recently seen that he IS still a vampire.
Giles ­ even though he is no longer a Watcher, in Lessons he was still watching.
Willow ­ back to being ³plain old Willow²: unsure, geeky, scholarly. She still has magic of course, but we see more images this season of computers and her love of them (mentioning Doggie Howser fansites in Help) and general scholarliness like passing time in the library in Conversations With Dead People, and the general theme of being unsure of her magic.
Xander ­ back to being girlfriendless. Also back to being Zeppo? Or was Zeppo something only really established in S3? I suppose both Willow and Xander were equally useful (or -less) at the start. But still, back to the loser with no date.
Anya ­ she was back to being a vengeance demon, but now she is back to being Aud: still clinging to things, despite her best efforts. I guess this would fit better with the strict chronological perspective, dammit.
Dawn ­ even though she is no longer ³the² Key, I think she might still end up being a key, whether literally/mystically, or figuratively.
Buffy ­ this is a toughie. My guess though is that she might find herself back again as the ³child². Recently she has been forced to assume the mantle of adult. But this season she is right back in high school, albeit in a different capacity. Plus in Conversations With Dead People, she is reminded sheıs only 21 still. Personally, I think the best way to drive the child thing home would be for Mr. Summers to make an appearance.

Also, I think it would be a prime occasion to bring back Oz, what a fine example of someone who tried to be something other than he really was, and failed.

NOW, for the fun part. To tie this in to the Big Bad, this is my guess. Since weıre going back to the beginning, who was the first villain? Of course, the Master. But I think the actual first villain of Buffy was the Hellmouth itself. It has remained ever-present throughout the whole series, either the Big Bad was there because of it, or was influenced by it. It has been stated countless times that it makes everything go wonky, the first real crisis of the show was the Master trying to open it. So, the Hellmouth in a way is the first Big Bad, the raison dıetre of Sunnydale. Willow makes statements in Lessons that she ³saw its teeth² and ³itıs going to swallow us all². This is different from the Hellmouth being ³opened², this seems to attribute the mouth with sentience, not as merely a tool. So thatıs my guess for this season. Perhaps it was trying to work its influence all along, and is now ³tired of the whole good/evil balance thing², OR maybe it was just passively attracting evil, and after all this time all these baddies were not only strengthened by it, but were strengthening it in return, and now the mouth is ready to make its move.
I had this theory that it was only appearing as people who died in its area (which works with the strengthening perspective), but then it imitated Spike, so screw that part of my theoryŠ
Note that this is all a handy way for Dawn to be the Key once again.

Ok, my jumble is out of steam. Any feedback?

[> Re: Jumble of thoughts (spoliers to a minor extent from 4.22, 5.12, 7.1-8) -- Alvin, 17:20:41 11/19/02 Tue

Something that I've been kicking around from S5 is where Glory's minions think they've found the key as Spike. She tells that Spike can't be because he's a vampire and impure while the key is pure. Now what if the key became a vampire? If the key became corrupt, would the boundaries between universes become corrupt too? And all the universes bleed together? Wouldn't the balance between good and evil become useless if everything is mixed together? And wouldn't this destroy the mortal coil? And wouldn't this be a big finish?
One of my pet theories about lessons is that the three zombies are forshadowing Xander, Willow, and Giles in a fight against Buffy. And in Lessons the zombie that corresponds to Xander tries to stab Dawn in the chest with a pencil. She then falls to the ground almost as if she's playacting being killed. If Dawn became a vamp and the Scoobies tried to stake her, on whose side would Buffy be? Her sister as in S5, or as Joyce tells Dawn: She won't choose you.

[> [> Re: Dawn and more jumbalaya (stuff from 7.2, 7.4, 7.7, loads of useless musings) -- Clen, 17:36:45 11/19/02 Tue

does Dawn even have a soul? if she became a vampire, would she become evil if she has no soul to lose? she might have Buffy's blood, but did the monks give her a soul? no beastie has really remarked on it yet (like Anya did with Spike), so if she has a soul, where from?
furthermore, if the Scoobies can bring people back from the dead, why no big hunt for a vampire cure?
oh man, if Jonathan's blood flowed into the Hellmouth, could Jonathan become the avatar for the Big Bad? And when JW mentioned that Britney Spears will make an appearance this season, will it be as more than a musical guest? That would be worse than a recurring role for the kid from Home Improvement!
Hold me, I'm scared.....

[> [> [> Re: Dawn and more jumbalaya (stuff from 7.2, 7.4, 7.7, loads of useless musings) -- Alvin, 03:01:57 11/20/02 Wed

Britney's coming on the show??!! Well, Joyce did say bad things were coming. I'm assuming Dawn has a soul. Otherwise, she would have stood out since Doc (and I assume Glory) could sense it. Would have made her a lot harder to hide as a human.

[> Interesting thoughts, Clen -- Rahael, 10:37:03 11/20/02 Wed

[> Re: Jumble of thoughts (spoliers to a minor extent from 4.22, 5.12, 7.1-8) -- Arethusa, 12:29:49 11/20/02 Wed

Cool. A few more stray thoughts:
What is the Hellmouth, really? Is it a portal? We know there's a creature in there because the Scoobies fought it twice, and it grew much bigger in between battles. We also know it gives off "vibrations" that attracts evil. And I seem to remember an episode where the Scoobies say everying is going to be sucked into the Hellmouth. In "The Zeppo," the Hellmouth is about to open and Giles goes to the Spirit Guides:

The Spirit Guides appear in the
form of a bright cloud gathering in front of the mausoleum, and Giles
speaks to them.

Giles: Noli me renuere, umbra ducens. Sapienta manium super me

Translation: Do not deny me, Spirit Guide. Let the wisdom of those who
have passed be showered upon me.

Spirit Guides: Illae res occultae sunt tempoti et locis obscuris.
Enuntiare illas Chaos super orbem vivum terrarum ferat.

Translation: These secrets belong to time and the dark regions. To
reveal them would bring Chaos down upon the living Earth.

Giles: Belua propulsanda est! Invenire vitium suum noster spes sola

Translation: The Beast must be fought! Our only hope lies in finding
its weakness!

A strong wind begins to blow.

Spirit Guides: (angrily) Noli petere! Perturba nos non diutius!

Translation: (angrily) Seek not! Disturb us no longer!

quote by psyche

Giles also says at one point that they all must work together to defeat the beast. Interestingly, Xander is not part of the apocalyptic action in this episode, and now seems out of the main action again. I'm not sure if it's coincidence or continuity, though.

[> [> Hellmouth ramble -- Clen, 15:16:27 11/20/02 Wed

yeah, I'm not fully sure either. I have always been under the impression that it is a portal, and that the Audrey- esque beastie that emerges merely happened to be wandering around in that particular hell dimension when it got corked in it from the other end. so, if the Hellmouth opens, that thing is first in line. but, on the other hand, dimensional apertures seem to be openable pretty much anywhere, Dawn had/has the ability to open tears between all of them, and so one could argue that the portals are potentially everywhere, and yet none of them seem to be of such concern that the Slayer would need to be posted there, and none seem to have such an enhancing effect on "evil". But is it that the Hellmouth is a permanent gate? Are we even clear that it really did close after the Master failed? Maybe we should change our definition of closed, since it has had this wacky deus ex machina effect on Sunnydale the whole time. I think at some point, whether this season or not, it would behoove ME to really explore the subject of the Hellmouth, although there is always the fear that BtVS would need a new anchor for their existence if it became resolved, though A:tS seems to render that fear moot. Why is that spot between dimensions so thin? And why so much attraction to open it? Certainly, other baddies have wanted to go to other places.
eh, nevermind, too much rambling.

Buffy related learning breakthrough (OT) -- NightRepair, 16:14:48 11/19/02 Tue

I just went to chat but no one was there! I'm really excited because one of the kids in my class (I teach grade 3 and 4) gives me a lot of trouble and doesn't do much work. My students had a writing assessment today and the topic was "Who said there were no such things as...". He has written about half a page so far (which is about half a page more than he usually does) on the topic of "Who said there were no such things as vampire slayers..." complete with diagrams of stakes. It's pretty cool(for a ten year old!). He hasn't finished yet. When it's done I'll post it for you all to read!!! Sorry, I know this is really off topic, but it's always so amazing when teachers have a breakthrough with a
difficult student....Thanks.

[> Sweeeeet !! -- VR, 16:30:37 11/19/02 Tue

[> Congratulations! -- Vickie, 17:55:27 11/19/02 Tue

sorry I missed you in chat.

[> Yay!!! Score another one for our Slayer-in- Training!!! -- LittleBit, 09:45:44 11/20/02 Wed

Song Spike was humming (SPOILER) -- Michael Van Hoek, 17:29:22 11/19/02 Tue

The Theme from the "Friendly Giant". A children's show that used to be on in Canada.

[> Re: Song Spike was humming (SPOILER) -- Michael Van Hoek, 17:45:39 11/19/02 Tue

The lyrics are here:

[> Canada Freaks Out!! (SPOILER) -- ponygirl, 18:09:19 11/19/02 Tue

I never trusted that Giant! And proportionally speaking how could a rooster and a giraffe be the same size and interact? Obviously One Fine Morning is also a traditional English song, but for several generations of Canadians that tune is going to conjure up warm fuzzy memories, now forever blood- stained. I love it.

[> [> Re: Canada and America Freaks Out!! (SPOILER) -- aliera, 18:44:37 11/19/02 Tue

Medieval Songs
Sue Hutchinson
Willow Bluffs Area Drama Trainer
Ontario Canada

EARLY ONE MORNING (copyright expired)

Early one morning, just as the sun was rising
I spied a fair young maiden in the garden down below
Oh don't deceive me, oh never leave me
How could you use a poor maiden so?"

"Oh gay are the garden, and fresh are the roses"
I heard the fair maid singing in the garden down below
(repeat chorus)

Thus sang the poor young maiden, her sorrows bewailing
Thus sang the poor young maiden in the garden down below.
(repeat chorus)

Early one morning, just as the sun was rising
I heard a maid sing in the valley below
"Oh don't deceive me, Oh never leave me,
How could you use, a poor maiden so?"

Remember the vows that you made to me truly
Remember how tenderly you nestled close to me
Gay is the garland, fresh are the roses
I've culled from the garden to bind over thee.

Here I now wander alone as I wonder
Why did you leave me to sigh and complain
I ask of the roses, why should I be forsaken,
Why must I here in sorrow remain?

Through yonder grove, by the spring that is running
There you and I have so merrily played,
Kissing and courting and gently sporting
Oh, my innocent heart you've betrayed

How could you slight so a pretty girl who loves you
A pretty girl who loves you so dearly and warm?
Though love's folly is surely but a fancy,
Still it should prove to me sweeter than your scorn.

Soon you will meet with another pretty maiden
Some pretty maiden, you'll court her for a while;
Thus ever ranging, turning and changing
Always seeking for a girl that is new.

Thus sang the maiden, her sorrows bewailing
Thus sang the poor maid in the valley below
"Oh don't deceive me, Oh never leave me,
How could you use, a poor maiden so?"

This showed up under a page on "Unfaithfulness" quotes also which is interestingly odd. And OK here's a weird personal note. On the same page is a song my dad used to sing to me:

Cockles and Mussels

In Dublin's fair city, where the girls are so pretty
I first set my eyes on sweet Molly Malone
She wheeled her wheel-barrow,
through the broads and the narrow
Crying "Cockles and mussels" Alive, alive oh

Which for some reason I always associated with the plague and a song about death and betrayal (very Buffyesque) called..."Hang down your head Tom Dooley...hang down your head and cry hang down your head Tom Dooley" um never mind!

OK I'm really not going anywhere with this...I wonder sometimes if the writers pick these things out and then sit back and go...THAT will give them something to go crazy over for next week. Bwahaha....oh how I love this show.

[> [> [> Re: Canada and America Freaks Out!! (SPOILER) -- shadowkat, 19:52:11 11/19/02 Tue

Thanks for posting this. Ironically enough? I think my mother used to sing me the English Folksong as a lullaby as well as the Irish one. How much you want to bet that William's mother did the same for him?

The hummming rung an immediate bell for me.

[> [> [> [> Re: Canada and America Freaks Out!! (SPOILER) --
leslie, 09:18:01 11/20/02 Wed

You know, I'm somewhat less disturbed by this song showing up in BtVS than I am by the thought that Canadians think it's an appropriate song for a *children's* show???? Please tell me it was a purely instrumental theme song.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Canada and America Freaks Out!! (SPOILER) -- ponygirl, 09:26:53 11/20/02 Wed

It was all instrumental. I didn't even know the song had lyrics until last night. The Friendly Giant would play his theme song on his recorder in his castle, and we children would rise up and do the bidding of an unknown evil force. It all seemed perfectly innocent until yesterday.

[> [> [> [> [> [> LOL! It goes to show you... -- Scroll, 12:02:18 11/20/02 Wed

Don't expose your children to television at a young age, or at least not without adequate parental supervision. You never know when some presumably gentle-hearted giant will begin doing a Pied Piper on your little ones. I should tell my mom that I've been corrupted. I am a minion to his Giant Evilness. Grr. Argh.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> We had "Romper Room" -- Arethusa, 12:38:54 11/20/02 Wed

with a kindergarden teacher-type who looked at the "audience" with a large magnifying glass to see what they were doing. I think that show must have had a big influence on John Ashcroft....

[> [> [> It had a different meaning for me... -- Isabel, 16:49:01 11/21/02 Thu

I had heard the tune before, but the lyrics I knew were extremely different. A friend of mine, when she was in grad school and extremely poor, would make mix tapes of filk songs and other humorous tunes for her friends in lieu of Christmas and Birthday presents. FYI- Filk songs are recognizable established folk songs or any simple song that can be put to a guitar that have the lyrics altered and are often sung at Science Fiction conventions.

I can't check the lyrics since the tape was eaten last year, sigh, but what I remembered was:

Early one evening,
Just as the pubs were opening,
I found myself wandring down,
a dark and windy street.

The song ends with the pub owner lamenting "We sure get some funny customers in here."

Oddly enough, I felt the lyrics fit for a vampire. I was confused by IT saying "How could you use a poor maiden so?" when I realized that had to be from the original song and I whapped myself in the head.

[> [> [> [> Re: It had a different meaning for me... -- aliera, 17:59:16 11/21/02 Thu

I don't think your friend was alone in this...I did a more thorough search on this last night looking for the source of the tale (unsucessfully). Amongst other things, it came up as a sea chanty and the tune was picked up (not the lyrics although I believe it was colloquially known as the whore's lament) as a slow march melody by a military group. Yikes.

The title shows up in a musical about Mary Magdalene (who has a very interesting history by the way) although I didn't look to far into this so I don't know if it came from the folksong. There's also a Dylan Thomas's "Quite Early One Morning" which I also didn't look at...finding that even I have my limits drilling down into these things!

One of my favorite things to do when the transcripts come out is to go back through the lines and highlight the different references looking for connections. Last week it led to an speech by Vaclav Havel delivered in Independence Hall in 1994, 'The Need for transcendence in a Postmodern World', unrelated I'm sure...but, it was really funny to read his mention of Gaia and how we "by day work with statistics" and "in the evenings...frighten ourselves with thrillers about vampires" and how "we are mysteriously connected to the entire universe, we are mirrored in it, just as the entire universe is mirrored in us."

That's one of the intriguing things about the show and the board for me...all these little memories and connections and then the new paths to explore. ;-)

[> [> who knew? rusty ,,,, a demon -- lynx, 00:22:04 11/20/02 Wed

and the big bad - the friendly giant. wow. :)

[> [> [> Recorder music is inherently evil -- ponygirl now suspicious of Casey and Finnegan, 06:05:37 11/20/02 Wed

[> Argh, the Friendly Giant was a plant! -- Scroll, 06:15:27 11/20/02 Wed

He was planted in a kids' TV show to gain our trust and friendship at a young, tender age, so that when the BBW came in our adulthood, we would be off guard and easily exploitable! Damn that Friendly Giant and his rocking chairs around the fireplace. Damn his wooden recorder and medieval hosery. Evil, I tell you, evil...

[> Obviously I have been spared some trauma -- Deb, 11:19:05 11/20/02 Wed

Because I've never heard the song before nor seen the
(toon?). As long as it wasn't Barney's song. YUCK!

[> [> To see what we've been talking about -- ponygirl, 11:47:51 11/20/02 Wed

You can go here nt.html

There's some history on the show, a tiny photo, and possibly the oldest video clip they could find. I'd just like to say that when *I* watched The Friendly Giant it was definitely in colour. Still very trippy though.

[> [> Not a cartoon, think Mr. Roger's Neighbourhood... - - Scroll, 11:51:45 11/20/02 Wed

...only with a medieval minstral giant in a castle instead of a 20th century suburban bachelor -- or was Mr. Roger married? In either case, the Friendly Giant was a cornerstone of many Canadian childhoods, right along with Mr. Dress-Up (a much cooler version of Mr. Roger who had the aformentioned Casey and Finnegan) and Today's Special (that mannequin was freaky -- long story).

[> [> [> I'm not Canadian, but I used to watch "Today's Special"! -- Rob, 10:23:39 11/22/02 Fri

They used to air it in the US on the cable channel, Nickelodeon. I used to love it when I was a little kid. I never realized it was a Canadian show!

"Today's Special, Come and join the fun..."


[> [> [> [> Filmed in Toronto -- Scroll, 11:01:43 11/22/02 Fri

Actually, I didn't realise it was a Canadian show (you just don't think about these things when you're 6) until this thread came up about the Friendly Giant. Yeah, I used to watch "Today's Special" all the time, but now that I think back on it, the whole premise of a mannequin coming to life is really quite disturbing. I marvel that I never had nightmares about this show! Or perhaps it was an early indicator that I would one day be enthralled by these vampire Slayer shows.

[> [> [> [> [> LOL...It's true... -- Rob, 11:16:18 11/22/02 Fri

Looking back on it, the concept of the show was more than just a little marginally creepy. I guess we might have been too young to realize that the idea is creepy! Well, at least it wasn't a killer, evil mannequin. If I recall correctly, he had a checkerboard hat, and seemed pretty friendly, making with the singing and the dancing. Not that that isn't disturbing, in and of itself! ;o)


[> [> I saw it in black and white *blush* -- Wisewoman, 12:04:36 11/20/02 Wed

Originally. I loved Friendly. What a great voice he had. I always wanted to curl up in the rocking chair by the fire. I think it had switched to color by the time I quit watching...but I always loved the theme song.


[> [> [> Re: I saw it in black and white *blush* -- matching mole, 13:05:32 11/20/02 Wed

Very embarassed that I didn't recognize the tune. It was probably the first television show I ever saw. Don't know if it was in black and white or colour because we only had a B&W TV at the time (circa 1965).

[> [> [> me too (circa '60) -- lynx, 17:44:23 11/20/02 Wed

[> [> [> I must share my trauma..... -- Rufus, 01:31:03 11/21/02 Thu

As a child I faithfully watched Friendly Giant and when the bars of Early one Morning started up I expected a comfy rocking chair, a very tall man, and my friend Rusty...instead I get blood and dirt.....I should charge Whedon for all the therapy I'll need to get over this..

[> [> [> I'm getting the picture here. Help me figure this out. -- Deb attempting to find the inner trauma, 11:23:47 11/21/02 Thu

Sorrowfully, or maybe luckily, I have no childhood memories of this type that can be used against me for traumatic affect. But my daughter loved Burt and Ernie, and, well, the problem is there is a vampire on Sesame Street so it's kinda hard to really feel what you must be feeling. I'm grasping here though. Uhmmmmmmm. Not Barney. Love to see him go nuts. OK. Real guy. Whizzo. No I hate clowns, they are evil. OK! I have watched the same sports broadcaster on a local channel since I was like 6 years old. Len Dawson, first QB for the Kansas City Chiefs. I've met him too within professional context, and I must say that if Spike all the sudden became a QB or Sportcaster who vamped people on TV, and if Len Dawson looked like the BB, I'd be very, very upset.....or I'd be laughing my head off. Oh! I feel like I've missed out on something here! I didn't get a big emotional button pushed! But now I realize that my childhood sucked because I didn't have anyone to bond with on TV who made me feel safe and comfortable! I grew up watching the 3:00 horror movie everyday, and the scariest moment of my childhood, on TV, was when the coffin raised in the opening scene of "The Screaming Skull." Or when Boris Karlof's head was stuck on a fly's body and he was caught in the spider's web with the spider bearing down at 2 o'clock! Oh my God! I was raised as a child of the night! I also thought I was the oldest person on this board, but it seems not!

[> [> [> [> Re: I'm getting the picture here. Help me figure this out. -- lynx, 18:33:00 11/21/02 Thu

Friendly is a canadian icon, he was on the air for at least 20 years and his suit and castle are lovingly preserved behind glass somewhere at the cbc. all children loved him - probly as much as santa.

and i always wanted the rocker too. :)

[> [> [> [> [> Yes, Canada loved The Friendly Giant info from the CBC inside -- Rufus, 01:22:41 11/22/02 Fri


1958 - 1985

"Look up... look waayyy up."

For generations of Canadian children, this familiar line helped start one of Canadaıs most beloved children programmes.

³The Friendly Giant² began in 1953 as a radio programme in the American state of Wisconsin. Robert Homme (pronounced Hummy) was the show's creator, writer and star.

In 1958, Homme moved the show to the CBC in Canada. The programme was a big part of CBC Television for more than 25 years. ³The Friendly Giant² introduced thousands of Canadian children to books and music ­ two things Bob Homme loved dearly.

For fifteen minutes a day, Friendly and his faithful puppet sidekicks, Rusty the Rooster and Jerome the Giraffe entertained decades of young Canadians through story and song.

From 1958 until 1985, Homme wrote and starred in more than 3,000 episodes of ³The Friendly Giant.²

In 1998, Bob Homme was invested as a Member of the Order of Canada. Governor-General Romeo LeBlanc travelled to Bob's home town of Grafton, Ontario, to present him with the Order in person.

Fast Fact:
Photographs of Homme not playing the giant are rare, as he did not want to ruin his giant-like illusion for young fans.

Homme, Jerome the Giraffe and Rusty the Rooster (operated by Rod Coneybeare), and Angie and Fiddle (created and operated by John & Linda Keogh).

------------------------------------------------------------ --------------------

Bob Homme died Tuesday, May 3, 2000 after a long fight with cancer. He was 81.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Some more "Insane Trollop Logic" and icons....... -- Rufus, 04:07:17 11/22/02 Fri

My feeling is why did the writers (those bastards ) pick on The Friendly Giant when they could as easily gone after Captain Kangaroo, or that Bloody Purple thingy Barney.....I should submit a protest....;)

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Some more "Insane Trollop Logic" and icons....... -- Deb, 10:00:06 11/22/02 Fri

See, there is a whole dimension to this story that I am missing out on. I think I'm not getting the full quotion of "horror" that everyone else is experiencing.

[> Re: Song Spike was humming - A question (SPOILER for 7.8) -- Nightingale, 16:12:01 11/20/02 Wed

A friend pointed out to me that the vampire who approached Spike at the bronze also echoed words from this song. She thought she heard the vamp say "how could you use a poor maiden so?"

I haven't double checked on that because I don't have the episode on tape. Did anyone else catch this?

And if so, how would she know that song? Was Spike singing when he was talking to her (before he sired her) or is she somehow connected to the BBW too?

Thanks for your input!

- NG

[> [> Re: Song Spike was humming - A question (SPOILER for 7.8) -- Wisewoman, 19:22:08 11/20/02 Wed

I'm not sure whether the female vamp echoed the lyrics or not, but it's possible that Early One Morning is just assumed to be part of general cultural literacy. Not because of the Canadian/Friendly Giant connection but because it's a tune that shows up frequently in films, etc.

If Joss chose it himself, it may be a reflection of all the years he spent being schooled in Britain. It's probably much more readily recognizable there.


[> [> [> Thanks, WW. I rechecked and... -- Nightingale (who found a copy of the episode), 17:06:16 11/21/02 Thu

...the vamp didn't say it. It turns out it was 'Mighty Morphin' Buffy' who said it to Spike as he left the alley.

Thanks for responding, though.


Rules Messages from Evil vs Messages from Good (Spoilers for 7.7/7.8, AtS 4--aww, the new ep) --
Kenny, 19:01:46 11/19/02 Tue

First, I've been lurking this board for a couple of months now, and I have to say that I love the conversations I've seen here. This is one of the most polite, thought- provoking areas of cyberspace I've encountered (Usenet-- shudder).

Now, the point of the message. We know that Willow got a message from the Big Bad. And we've all assumed it was just from the Big Bad. We (and Dawn) are left to wonder about the veracity of her visitors. And Buffy's could be seen as a coincidence or a message from the Big Bad. Tons of ambiguity going on here.

But what if we don't presume that Evil!Cassie was lying about Tara trying to communicate with Willow. Maybe she really was trying, but the Big Bad intercepted (or tricked Tara into thinking it would really act as an intermediary). That could mean Joyce was real too. And the interesting thing...what if Holden was an unwitting messenger for the good side? Morphy didn't seem happy that Buffy was getting involved as early as she was.

Evil is stepping up its attack. What if Good is doing the same thing? Buffy's usually warned through prophecies or dreams, but things are getting out of hand.

I keep thinking about Neil Gaiman's Sandman. We had all of these incredibly powerful beings, who on the surface could do anything they wanted. But they were bound by rules, by contracts. It seemed Morpheus had the power to do anything he wanted, but he couldn't do anything he wanted. As Buffy proceeds this season, I wonder if the same thing applies to the "powerful beings" in this mythology?

Even on Angel, we have "The Beast". A Big, Big Bad (so, which Big Bad is, uhm, badder?) Yet he still sets up his little highriser barbeque. Really, does he have to? I mean, if he's all that, shouldn't he just be able to start everything up? Or was he asking an even higher being to start things up? And if Buffy's evil really is the First Evil (that everything else answers to), why is it letting that happen if it's not part of FE's plan (and no, while I'll be elated if the stories cross, I don't think it's gonna happen). Or is that part of the deal with the forces for Good? And if Evil cheats, is there a force greater than Good and Evil to make sure they play by the rules? Sandman's analogy to the Fates?

OK, this really grew beyond what I intended. I've opened up too many questions for myself, and I have to study for a physics test tomorrow. So, to reiterate the thesis of this message...are the powers for good stepping up to match those of evil? I'd hope so. Otherwise it reminds me of an SNL skit where the (soon-to-be) Americans and the British were drawing for rules in the Revolutionary War. The British had to wear red coats and march in lines. The revolutionaries could wear whatever they want and got to hide behind trees. Great skit. OK. I'm going to study now.

[> Welcome to the board!! -- Rahael, 09:43:05 11/20/02 Wed

Much food for thought

[> I totally agree -- Scroll, 10:52:13 11/20/02 Wed

I think we're definitely seeing a banding together of the good guys, and possibly a little help from the PTB in fighting the BBW. Clearly lines are being drawn and sides being picked. Which side will Spike fall down on? Willow? Angel? Lilah?

Both fans here and "Sleepers" speculated that Holden was a manifestation/being used by the BBW to undermine Buffy's trust in Spike, but I don't see that. In fact, I think Holden actually helped Buffy. His tip about Spike helped Buffy to stop Spike from killing more people, which also led to Buffy realising that the BBW was manipulating Spike. The Evil!Spike manifestation said that Buffy was out of order; he wasn't ready for her yet. So Holden had actually done the good guys a favour. Maybe he'd been planted and/or nudged into place by the PTB to help Buffy out.

And I'm still not sure if Joyce was the BBW or if it was really her, trying to help Dawn.

BTW, welcome to the board!

I have a question... (**SPOILER for 7.8**) -- Wisewoman, 19:12:17 11/19/02 Tue

Why didn't she stake him?

I love Spike. He's my favorite character. I'm a B/S 'shipper. However...

I've been watching this show for over six years. I don't understand why Buffy didn't stake him tonight. Whatever the reason, he's killing human beings again. He admitted it. In Buffy's mind that should equal a dust sentence. Oh, we all know it's not his fault and there are extenuating circumstances, but the point is, Buffy had to hesitate in order to find out about them.

Since when does the Slayer hesitate? Her whole justification on the Spike thing so far has been that he's chipped, harmless, not fair to kill him. That just went out the window.

Buffy made a decision not to stake Spike based on what he told her, and an icky feeling she had that they weren't alone in the basement. Fine.

But what made her hesitate in the first place?


[> Re: I have a question... (**SPOILER for 7.8**) -- meritaten, 19:27:41 11/19/02 Tue

How many episodes did it take her before she was ready to kill Angel?

She may not love Spike, but she does have feelings for him. She has hesitated before to kill "people" that she is close to. Add that to the fact that something has been playing with everyone's mind. Plus, as she told the gang, Spike is her best source of info regarding the BBW.

[> I have an answer -- Finn Mac Cool, 19:28:05 11/19/02 Tue

Buffy has hesitated before. In her fight with Spike, she was still a little shocked, which has happened before in her fights with Anya or Angelus. After she'd dusted the other vamps, you must remember that not only had Spike refrained from killing her when he had the perfect opportunity, but was bearing his chest for her to kill him. She was already starting to suspect something wasn't right with him at that point, and it's very difficult for her to kill a monster that doesn't fight back.

[> another answer -- Clen, 19:37:36 11/19/02 Tue

also, maybe Buffy was worried about the "what if" and decided to take the other path this time. remember that in Selfless she reminded Xander she hasn't forgotten that Xander (and Willow) wanted her to go get him (Angel) but he got his soul back right before it, so if she would change one thing in her life, that one would be right up there. She seemed a little bitter, so maybe, just maybe, she felt Xander misled her. Soon after that, she learns that Spike may be killing, and maybe, just maybe, the BB may be misleading her. So, she hesitated. Don't want to be fooled into losing love again. (especially so soon after opening up about her feelings for him in CwDP)

[> Re: I have a question... (**SPOILER for 7.8**) -- ponygirl, 19:42:14 11/19/02 Tue

Because she LOOOOVES him. ;)

No just kidding. Well maybe not... ah who knows? But Buffy was being told repeatedly throughout the episode that things might not be what they seemed. Spike's alibi in the form of the chip is something Buffy has been buying for years, even before any sort of an emotional attachment. Initially she only had Holden's word. I'd like to think that Buffy, especially after recent events with Anya, and other s7 instances where her judgement has been questionable, would hesitate.

What I do find interesting is her first words after Willow asks what she would do if Spike's killing, are "I can't-- "

[> [> Also... (7.8 spoilers) -- Rob, 20:31:58 11/19/02 Tue

What Buffy said to the SG later...that she thinks that whatever's been messing with them is doing the same to Spike, and she wants to know more about what's going on. There's obviously some reason Spike is important to the BBW, and she wants to know what it is. She stakes him, she'll lose a valuable source of information, besides her complex emotional relationship with him.


[> [> [> Yes, Rob. And... (7.8 spoilers) -- Vickie, 08:11:47 11/20/02 Wed

Buffy does know that something's been messing with them. She doesn't know (absolutely) whether Spike did kill these people (likely) or has been manipulated into thinking so (barely possible).

More important, when Buffy's pinned by a few vamps and Spike can move in for the kill, he doesn't. He backs away and hides in the corner. That alone would make her want answers before dusting him.

[> [> A part of growing up (Spoilers Season 6 and 7.8) -- Deb, 07:11:09 11/20/02 Wed

If this whole show is about adolescense and growing up, Buffy might just be using her own judgement now and not giving in to peer pressure, which was a HUGE concern for her last season. 'What would they think if they found out I was allowing Spike to do those things to me?!' She's the/A Slayer. If anyone should have good instincts regarding the situation, it would be her and . . . Spike.

In addition, she just found out that others were mislead by the BB, so of all the people the BB would want to use, and get rid of if IT cannot use this person, it would be Spike.
Finally, in the Buffy confronting William/Spike scene (the big kick out of bed), Buffy left the room with a lethal sounding warning to him; that she was looking for evidence that he was killing again. It left me with the impression she would dust him if she found the evidence. The BB thought so also, I believe, and used it against Spike, or tried to. Buffy already knows the BB is out lying to people, so when William/Spike tells her that he knows she will dust him because He (the BB) told him so and HE has been there all along, singing, etc. it was enough for her to believe that he was being manipulated too. Buffy also saw him is his "hypnotized" state and commented on the difference in him. Buffy could have fought off the vamps that were holding her for Spike, but she didn't even try. She waited to see if William/Spike would come to himself, so to speak. He passed her test. She kills the sired and the BB tells Will/Spike that's he's next. Loved the acting in this scene too.

There are many things I would like to say about last night's ep, but I have several writing deadlines looming over me, so I'll just give a general overstatement now. (and probably sneak back the rest of the day.)

I thought the show last night was fabulous. As my daughter said at the 3/4 hour, "There's still 15 minutes left. I can't believe they've done so much in one show." I'm ready to suspend my theorizing about what is really happening just to wait to see what does happen (this might be due to those deadlines too.)

I thought JM's acting was superb. Think about it. He was playing three parts last night: William, Pavlov's Spike, and the BB. I loved the confrontation scene between Buffy (thank God he was wearing pants then) and William/Spike.
Even though the topic of conversation was not "typical" it felt real, and showed a great deal of the William influence.

Anya's (the dear story driver) scene with William (her words) was funny and it was nice that he lied to her about her hair.

How did William/Spike get Buffy's cell number?

Liked the "joke" about the Academy Award goes to . . . Comment on lack of Emmies or Emmys?

Xander was still saying the same stuff, but not with as much conviction. Everyone is pretty much trusting Buffy, except doubtfull Dawn. (She's doing the very same thing she accused Buffy of doing last season. Not telling everythng. I can't wait to see how the house looks next week, esp. after the trailer.)

Liked Buffy's comment to the bouncer about who actually looks like whom. If you saw it, you know whom.

Finally, I don't know if it was the full moon, or what, but JM was sizzling hot last night. Later in the evening I'm sitting with four other females, and all has been quiet for at least 30 minutes, grading and studying. One friend breaks the silence: "Did anyone notice anything about Spike/William tonight other than me?" Whole group "Ohhhh yeah..." Friend "So I'm not the only one who felt the heat and got a little steamed?" "Ohhhh no. You were definitely not alone." Silence, but everyone smiling as they work now.
It's all about presence in all of its many forms.

[> My guess is ... (**SPOILER for 7.8**) -- Robert, 20:36:46 11/19/02 Tue

Buffy doesn't want to stake Spike because of his soul. Buffy has always made very clear distinctions between the souled and unsouled.

[> Re: I have a question... (**SPOILER for 7.8**) --
Kenny, 20:44:03 11/19/02 Tue

I think having a soul is enough. The popular term on AtS and around here is "vampire with a soul." But it's just as easy to think (for me anyway) human trapped in a vampire's body. Six of one, ya know. And where humans are concerned, Buffy's going to show reasonable doubt. Heck, while Xander wanted to make sure that her feelings weren't cloudinng her judgment, even he seemed to agree that they should find out what's happening before staking him. A soul can save your butt in the Buffyverse.

[> Me Me hand is up......ask me.....<g> spoilers for Sleeper -- Rufus, 21:12:38 11/19/02 Tue

First off, Buffy knows Spike and has known him to be helpful even without a soul. Add in the sexual relationship and what appears to be her growing feelings for Spike, she just can't do it.

As for Buffy as the Slayer.....if I were her I wouldn't kill him either...the thing, it needed Spike but in getting close to Spike there just may be a grain of information in Spikes mind that could come in handy at a later date. A line from the the "other" Spike.....


Spike could be a wealth of information as he seems to be remembering more and more what happened to he is strong enough to be a useful fighter. I just wonder what they will do with the Manchurian Candidate facet of Spike....can they deprogram him?

[> I have a question... for you, dub... -- Marie, 01:41:45 11/20/02 Wed

I've missed so much, it's going to take me forever to troll the archives, and read the episode summaries, so for the love of mike, please tell me - where's Cleeeemmmm!!!

It seems from these posts that Spike needs his friend, and Clem wouldn't just leave him suffering all alone, would he?

(That sentence to be read in plaintive-voice!)


and who is Mike, anyway?

[> [> Y'got me there, Marie... -- dub ;o), 10:57:44 11/20/02 Wed

I agree, we're woefully Clem-challenged, but our boy is missing in action, and there's no word AFAIK on his next appearance. Not that I have a direct line or anything, but I have been known to receive e-mail directly from James C.Leary himself, and there's nothing on the horizon that he's been able to tell me. Of course, he may be sworn to secrecy...

My secret wish is for a Clem-centric Christmas episode!


[> The specific moment of hesitation -- Wisewoman, 11:12:05 11/20/02 Wed

I re-watched last night to see if my initial perception was off. The exact moment where I said, "Oh, c'mon, she's gotta stake him!" occured in the basement (of course)--Spike had gone vamp face, there were just the two of them at that point, no new sires, and then he'd cut her with a piece of broken glass, but she'd bounced back, had him down and was straddling him. That's when she hesitated. Instead of dusting him, she tried to talk to him.

I guess it was the act of cutting her that did it for me. Sure he only nicked her arm, but it could just as easily have been her throat. At that point he became too dangerous to allow him to live, IMO.


[> [> However-- -- HonorH, 12:30:04 11/20/02 Wed

She also saw, at that point, that something was definitely "off" about him. He'd been talking to her, obviously confused and tormented, and then, like a switch, he was someone else. Something was wrong, and she was trying to get through to him.

Also, yes, he did cut her, but Buffy's had worse injuries. She knew she could take him if it came to that. That's the whole reason she didn't stake him the second he came back to town.

First thoughts, numerous questions and one crazy theory for Sleeper (spoilers 7.8, duh) -- ponygirl, 19:20:19 11/19/02 Tue

Well, I have to say I wasn't crazy about this episode. Oh sure STUFF happened, lots of stuff, but I'm used to a little more subtlety this season. Coming after the elegance of CwDP there were a lot of moments that felt... awkward, but since this really felt like the first half of a two-parter rather than a complete show I'm going to hold off on the negativity. There were however a number of things that struck me:

Xander's decor. Skulls, red lights? When did Casa Xander go all voodoo lounge? Since I doubt Xander is letting Spike help with the decorating, I've got to wonder what Xander's choices are saying about him. And that's a nice size closet he's got Spike in! I'd have called it a study, or in the case of my apartment, the living room.

Xander also uses Holden Webster's nickname Webs, which I hadn't really picked up on last week. Does this add to the number of spider references we've seen this season? They're starting to outweigh the hearts. And were there any heart references in this episode?

As with last week, we see Spike on the prowl with a woman, but we don't hear him speak. This was a lot more noticeable this episode since the girl from the lineup was talking to him. Is Spike's status as a speaker of truths to the audience being protected? Are we to have some confidence in what he says?

634 Hoffman Terrace. I don't do numerology, but I wonder if the Hoffman is a reference to ETA Hoffman, he wrote a lot about doppelgangers.

Morphy's words in the basement were pretty notable. "Slayer's not in order"-- could be Spike moving the plan ahead of schedule, but could it also refer to the possibility (which I'd say is pretty definite) that the girls we've seen killed in Istanbul, Germany, and London are Slayers-to-be. Are the killers working their way backward to Buffy? Is she still in the order? Also Morphy's urging to Spike was to "taste her, weaken her" not to kill her. Does Morphy want Buffy alive?

Spike's reaction to tasting Buffy's blood. The effect was similiar to Buffy's reaction to tasting Dracula's, it brought back his memories, snapped him out of the thrall. He's had Slayer blood before, so why such a strong reaction? Could be his love for Buffy, but maybe there's something more.

I really wish I'd seen Buffy's face when she said she'd help Spike, but Morphy's reaction was interesting too.

None of the Scoobies seemed too enthused about helping Spike. I wonder if they think Buffy's judgement is being affected by possible feelings for him. And Xander and Anya have got to be thinking about Buffy's seeming eagerness to go after Anyanka vs. "getting close to Spike". Completely differenct situations I'd say, but I think the sword in Anya's chest might make her and Xander a little less willing to see Buffy's perspective. Willow though, I'd expect to be a bit more sympathetic, but then as Buffy said they weren't there in the basement, they didn't see him.

More basements, more stairs, and Spike moving into Buffy's house! House metaphors are always favourites of mine, since Rowan's essays on exactly that is what first got me lurking on the board.

And now for what has led to my Whacked Out Theory of the Week. In all the scenes of Spike killing, we see him feeding, but no siring. With the girl from the line at least he actually flees the scene. Is he actually siring these vamps? Could the identity of this particular Morphy, but NOT the Big Bad Whatever, actually be Drusilla? Drusilla in league with the BBW and using her powers to cloud minds, and be in people's heads, to control Spike. Dru's appearance as the sole not actually dead (well technically) baddie in the parade of villains in Lessons, her line about singing in that episode, the use of the song in this episode as a trigger -- childhood memories aside the lyrics of the song are about betraying a lost love -- along with the not entirely coherent lines Morphy spoke and It's reaction to Buffy's offer to help Spike are all making me go hmmm in a big way.

Sorry for the incoherence. Looking forward to reading everyone's thoughts And to next week!

[> Re: First thoughts, numerous questions and one crazy theory for Sleeper (spoilers 7.8, duh) -- Clen, 19:27:59 11/19/02 Tue

Furthermore, if the BB wanted Spike to taste Buffy, and tasting her brought his memories back, did the BB know that would happen? Maybe BB was hoping Spike would lose control and drink too much, but if the slightest lick snapped him out of it, he could also have snapped out of it like Angel did when recovering from the poison.

[> Re: First thoughts, numerous questions and one crazy theory for Sleeper (spoilers 7.8, duh) -- Juliet, 19:37:56 11/19/02 Tue

Maybe I'm just dense, but the Drusilla thing seems to have come out of left field.

[> [> Re: First thoughts, numerous questions and one crazy theory for Sleeper (spoilers 7.8, duh) -- Dariel, 19:47:29 11/19/02 Tue

Maybe I'm just dense, but the Drusilla thing seems to have come out of left field.

Except for that song, which totally reminds me of Drusilla. As soon as I heard Spike humming it (while digging), I thought of Dru. Part of the lyric is "How could you use a poor maiden so?," or some such, a line that evil, Morphy Spike actually says in the episode. It's just the kind of ironic thing that Dru would sing (not being anything like a "poor maiden" herself!)

[> [> Well I said it was a *crazy* theory ;) -- ponygirl, 19:48:40 11/19/02 Tue

[> [> [> Not crazy at all. "We'll always be together... singing our little songs..." -- OnM, 20:37:58 11/19/02 Tue

As you probably know, I had thought about the Master being the one in league with the BB, going after Spike, but after several folks pointed out that I had forgotten about Drusilla, I did amend my theory to suggest she could also be the one.

I'd say this ep provides even more evidence in that particular direction.

Hang in there, ponygirl-- I'm with ya on this one!

[> [> [> [> That would make sense...(7.8 spoilers, Crush spoilers) -- Rob, 21:46:16 11/19/02 Tue

...and would tie in to how she tried to get Spike to drink in "Crush." I really am very intrigued by your theory that the Big Bad actually is working with villains from the past. I can't wait to see how the year pans out. The winter break is going to be excrutiating.


[> Re: First thoughts, numerous questions and one crazy theory for Sleeper (spoilers 7.8, duh) -- Kenny, 19:46:06 11/19/02 Tue

Two things I noted that your message reminded me of.

First, I was actually impressed with Xander this episode. Until there was proof of Spike killing, he was calm about it. He wasn't all gung-ho "Let's string Spike up." For once, his admonition for Buffy to be objective didn't seem a cover for his equally-polarized feelings. In fact, I almost got the feeling that he didn't want Spike to be guilty, but they still had to look at the possibility of it.

Secondly, I think Spike really did the siring. When he started remembering, it showed from bite to bury. I don't see any reason anyone else would have to step in for the actual siring process.

And there was even a clip of him biting a guy! So much for his posturing.

[> [> Xander's "objectivity" (Spoilers for 7.8) -- Sophist, 08:35:59 11/20/02 Wed

I was actually impressed with Xander this episode. Until there was proof of Spike killing, he was calm about it. He wasn't all gung-ho "Let's string Spike up." For once, his admonition for Buffy to be objective didn't seem a cover for his equally-polarized feelings.

I dunno. Xander's lines last night sounded nearly identical to what he said in Angel:

Xander: Alright, uh... (sits also) have a problem, and it's not a small one. Let's take a breath and look at this calmly and objectively. Angel's a vampire. You're a Slayer. I think it's obvious what you have to do. (grins)

I do agree that Spike did the siring. I wasn't sure last week, but it seems clear now.

[> [> [> Will everybody please give Xander a break here? (spoilers 7.8) -- cjl, 09:00:39 11/20/02 Wed

Was he exactly the most supportive guy in the world regarding Spike? No. He's hated him for years, and the supportive thing ain't going to happen overnight. Was he leaping at Spike with a sharpened stake, scraming at Buffy that "if you're not gonna do it..."? No.

We're talking about Xander Harris, and I thought he was incredibly level-headed about the whole situation. When the rumors of Spike and Holden first came up, he went right along with Buffy that they needed more evidence before condemning Spike. Heck, he even felt secure enough (or at least unconvinced of the worst) to leave Anya in the same house as Spike. S6 Xander wouldn't have done that in a million years...

And when the definitive proof came that Spike was indeed killing and siring, I think he was just as confused as the rest of the gang. There's a lot of "what the hell do we do now?" around the Summers house, and I don't think Xander is going to put forward "stake the vampire" the way he would have in the past. He realizes: a) Spike has a soul; b) they need information about the BBW from Spike; and c) for whatever inexplicable reason, Buffy cares about Spike. Xander WILL ask Buffy if she's sure her feelings aren't clouding her judgment, but given what they just went through with Anya, he probably won't press further than that.

I don't want another huge dramatic confrontation between Xander and Buffy. But it would be nice to see one scene next week: Spike, chained up, interrogated by Buffy about his connection to the BBW, pouring out his guilt and heartbreak over the whole godawful mess. Buffy, forced by the situation to be the taskmaster, even though she doesn't want to be; and Xander, watching from a respectful distance, realizing the complexity of the creature sitting in front of him, and the complexity of the relationship between the woman and that creature. He'd then look over to Anya, who would meet his gaze. They'd both look back to Buffy and Spike. No words would be said. None would be needed.

[> [> [> [> The problem with having a reputation -- Sophist, 10:07:30 11/20/02 Wed

is that sometimes it's deserved. In Xander's case, his character has consistently hated vampires since at least 1.2. He's never wavered in that. Given that, and his previous reaction to Angel, it's a little hard to accept his reasonable sounding words at face value.

The passage I quoted from Angel was clearly insincere at one level. I don't know yet whether he was sincere or not last night. But I think reserving a little doubt is wise given his history; we'd do the same about Willow's witchcraft, Dawn's hysterics, or Anya's vengeance. I'm not saying Xander's guilty, just that, on this subject, he's on probabtion.

[> [> [> [> [> "Mature, level-headed, compassionate--ok, what have you done with the REAL Xander Harris?" -- cjl, 10:46:55 11/20/02 Wed

After seeing what life was like at the other end of the telescope in "Selfless," Xander seems to have learned that a cry of "kill the monster!" isn't necessarily the best response to an emotionally stressful, morally ambiguous situation like "WTF are we going to do with Spike."

Of course, he could revert to form in Never Leave Me, and once again sing the executioner's song when it comes to Spike--but if he even moves an inch in that direction, Anya will clobber him with a vase. And I think he knows that.

There's another possibility (as indicated in the message subject): his calm and mature attitude toward Spike could indicate that Morphy has already sucked his brains out--and Xander is the Sleeper of the title. But Joss wouldn't be that perverse, would he?

Aw, who am I kidding...

[> [> [> [> [> [> On sleepers/spec/7.8 -- alcibiades, 11:15:19 11/20/02 Wed

Well literally there were 3 sleepers in the episode: Xander, being woken up from sleep in his first scene, Spike who was the one we saw asleep, but that makes sense since this whole episode was about how he was a "sleeper", and Dawn, who Willow tells us is asleep.

I think that leaves room for spec about what will happen later on to Dawn and Xander - will they be effected as sleepers by morphy too?

Dawn was also left with a vampirish bloody mouth last week. And there have been a lot of hints about how dangerous and scary she is.

And Xander of course has been doing altogether too well. No one does that well in the Jossverse without a fall. Not to mention all the skulls and weird red lighting and other morbid objets decorating his apartment.

[> [> [> [> [> [> there are two Xanders -- Clen, 15:44:51 11/20/02 Wed

lest we forget there are two Xanders, and they are BOTH the real Xander. there is the girlfriendless loser who does everything wrong, and mr. assertive. mr. assertive was not there at the start, but his rumblings manifested themselves -- I'm jealous, Angel die; hey Cordelia let's date; how dare I get dumped, time for a love spell.
But at the very start, oh yes, brave, but he was not able to kill his buddy, he got dusted by accident. So...if Xander is going back to how he was in the beginning (as is my half- ass theory) he wouldn't have been able to reach for the trigger with Spike because he's "going back to the beginning" just like he got bowled over in the brief debate over saving Anya in Selfless, mr. assertive has begun to submerge. If this is so, maybe we will begin to see his employment situation deteriorate.
I also believe that Xander's ancestor was Pike. Not literally, don't be silly, but the movie was a flip -- damselboy in distress, female hero. When the time came for the tv show, the boy damsel popped up, but he got tinkered with into becoming a friend, with a female counterpart -- Willow. But still, at least Willow could do the computer, but Xander was still the Pike, jumping in and losing, occasionally in distress. Then they began to wonder, hey, how could Xander evolve past Pike status? Let's pair him up with the hottest girl in school, and seal off the romantic thread in the air with Buffy left over from Pike. Now, let's explore his loserness, etc.
But if we go back to the beginnig, Xander will be back to being damselboy, and wouldn't assert himself on stopping Spike permanently, rather go along with the consensus.

Hey, this makes me wonder, but I'll put it in another thread.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: The problem with having a reputation --
Kenny, 11:42:39 11/20/02 Wed

But he's already shown a different attitude with Spike. For starters, I doubt he would have ever let Angel move in with him. He wasn't keen on the idea (and let's face it, who, in their right mind, would be?), but he went along with it.

Plus, Xander was always up front with his feelings towards Angel. He wears his heart on his sleeve, which is one of the things I admire about him. The one time he really didn't was his insecurities with Anya, and he sees where that got him.

And after the trip Buffy tried to lay on him in "Selfless", he could have seen this as the perfect opportunity for a little vindication, but there was no trace of that. The best way I can describe his conversation with Buffy about Spike's possible murders is "stern, yet gentle." With Angel, he always threw his disdain for the Buffy/Angel romance in Buffy's face. Here, all he did was make sure Buffy was asking herself the questions she needed to ask herself; I didn't get any sense of judgment from him. And I give him props for making sure he asked it; if I were in his shoes after "Selfless" I'm not sure I'd have the guts to, but it needed doing, and he did it. Given his history, all I can do is see how much he's changed.

[> [> [> [> [> That quote came. . . -- Finn Mac Cool, 13:58:53 11/20/02 Wed

. . . before any of the Scooby Gang knew that Angel was a vampire with a soul. Before that point, they didn't even know that such a thing could exist. After Xander found out about Angel's unique situation, he wasn't all "kill Angel" though he still hated the guy with a firey passion.

[> Re: First thoughts, numerous questions and one crazy theory for Sleeper (spoilers 7.8, duh) -- bluestar, 19:58:34 11/19/02 Tue

Dru a definte possibility as helping the BB. also a very scary thought she has allways been around the vampire spike before they left sunnydale the first time. she knows all his weaknesses also remember her comment about how electricty lies if any one could over ride his brain it would be him.
her hesitation could also come from the fact he CALLED her he did not have to do this and it is out of sorts if he had ment to hurt her. also the speech in Xanders closet he madesome very good points. and he did the jeckle hyde i've been hypnotized or somting all intelect seemed to leave when the BB spike impersonater started singing that song.
spike is impulsive and impatint but why make his life intentionally ninty times harded?

now all they have to do is find a counter to that song that doesn't involve Buffy blood.

and these cliffies need to stop now but we can be realitively certain that htese are slayers in waiting that keep getting killed and what has begun?

[> ..."in the dark, singing our little songs..."(spoilers for 7.8) -- Dead Soul, 01:49:45 11/20/02 Wed

As soon as I first heard Spike humming as he dug the grave for the blonde girl, I flashed back on Drusilla in Lessons telling him he still belonged in the dark with her, singing their little songs. I wonder if, drat, brainfart on the name of it, that song was one she sang?

Dead (and soon, I swear it, soon to swear off parenthesizing)Soul

[> [> And, double drat, really need to read all the previous posts in a thread before replying -- Dead (but blaming the sleepiness) Soul, 01:54:45 11/20/02 Wed

[> [> Don't (ever) change, Dead Soul! -- ponygirl (always liking the parenthesizing), 06:01:42 11/20/02 Wed

[> questions on your thoughts (spoilers for eps aired so far) -- anom, 22:33:05 11/20/02 Wed

1. "That's a closet??"--my 1st reaction to seeing Spike's room.

2. Is "Webs" related to spiders...or to the web of deceit the morpher is weaving? The spiders in Selfless didn't look like the web-spinning kind.

3. London? I remember Istanbul & Berlin, but when did we see a possible proto-Slayer killed in London? The only London scene I can think of was the one at the end of Sleeper, w/Giles (which I don't want to think about!), & I'm not sure that was London. But I did wonder if the hooded figure w/the ax was related to the ones who offed the women in the 1st 2 eps.

[> [> Re: questions on your thoughts (spoilers for eps aired so far) -- ponygirl, 06:36:45 11/21/02 Thu

Re: #3 The first scene in Sleeper after the teaser was an exterior shot of a London street complete with a title that said London, England (Joss' vacation video?), we then see Giles' friend-- was his name Robson?-- enter the apartment, find a young woman on the floor dead, and get knifed himself. I gotta think she was another Slayer-wannabe.

As for the spiders, I'm starting to make a tally of references: we've had the spider in Selfless, the kid who got skinned in STSP was spraypainting "Spider" on the wall when he got killed, and now we have Holden "Webs" Webster. I'd also make a stretch and say Buffy swinging in to save Nancy in BY was kind of a Spiderman move. I'd say the Scoobies seem to be caught in some sort of web. The thing about spiderwebs too is when something happens on one part of the web it's felt throughout -- all connected.

[> [> You must've missed the beginning (Sleeper spoilers) -- Scroll, 06:54:01 11/21/02 Thu

After the teaser and credits, the first act began in London, England. Robson, the Watcher guy, rushes home to find his SIT already dead on the living room floor. Two robed guys were waiting for him, and attack. Robson has a few moves, tries to get a hold of a sword, but is stabbed in the back. From the few minutes you saw at the end, Giles arrives at Robson's house, finds the girl dead and Robson nearly dead. Then the axe... But don't worry, I'm sure Giles isn't dead! I won't let Giles be dead, I'll fly to L.A. and hold Joss at crossbow-point to make sure.

[> [> [> And to further emphasize -- Isabel, 16:18:49 11/21/02 Thu

The robed guys were using the same knives that they killed the Isanbul and Frankfurt girls with. The guy with the axe was later, maybe he's the cleanup crew?

[> [> [> [> heh--oh yeah, & more q's. -- anom, 20:37:39 11/21/02 Thu

I didn't even remember that scene till Ponygirl reminded me (maybe that's just a measure of how gripping the rest of the ep was?), & then I didn't connect it to the scene at the end. So I watched it again--duh....

As for the ax, well, w/an ax you don't have to sneak up so close. And I think it was already in the room, not brought by the hooded baddie, or that the one swinging it was a separate hooded baddie who came later.

So do you think Giles lived there? It looked as if he forced the door rather than using a key...maybe he'd been knocking & not getting an answer. And how come Robson wasn't in the same place he fell when he got stabbed?

[> [> [> [> [> Robson not dead yet, probably dragged himself -- Scroll, 09:38:55 11/22/02 Fri

First Impressions for 7.8 (SPOILERS) :Spike, Clockwork Orange, Pavolov's dog -- shadowkat, 19:37:02 11/19/02 Tue

I'm leaving to visit the family in Hilton Head, SC Tomorrow - short two week trip, so probably won't be on board much.

Anyways here are my first impressions.

Whew what an episode. I was really really dreading this episode, expected the worst, because I'm not a fan of David Fury. But they surprised me. That was the best writing I've seen from Espenson and Fury in ages. (Their last efforts were Same Time Same Place, Double MeaT Palace, Grave and Gone).

Regarding Spike? Lacheisis? - you were right when you stated that the soul meant a great deal and was important and Spike was now where Alex in A Clockwork Orange is in Chapter 21. The bad boy is struggling to deal with what he's done. But ME in all its nastiness has decided to add a little twist - give him a BB that can take on any form and play with his mind.

The episode deals with the idea of conditioning and mind control. The BB has been at Spike for only Joss knows how long, playing with his head. And unlike Willow - Spike didn't know if it was real or in his head. He didn't have Willow's clarity.

The song Aimee Mann sings emphasizes the idea of conditioning. "I hear the sound of Bells....Ringing Pavolov's Bell".

Pavlov - was the scientist who discovered that a dog or animal could be conditioned to do certain acts by pain or rewards. Such as food. Anyone who has taken a Behavorist Intro Psyche course has probably had to use the same approach with a rat - training it to go through a maze with negative and positive conditioning.

Okay - in A CLOCKWORK ORANGE - Alec, a violent juvenile delinquent who talks and walks and has a gange like Spike, gets grabbed by the government and is conditioned through negative drugs and reinforcement to get sick at violence.
At the end of the book in Chapter 20, he is grabbed a dissident group, who tortures him, them de-conditions him using positive and negative reinforcement. Stanley Kubrick did a film that shows this as well - A Clockwork Orange, and Joss Whedon is a huge Kubrick fan. He cites Kubrick in his Restless Commentary and Doug Petrie cites ClockWork Orange in his commentary on The Initiative.

What happens in this episode? We see how the BB has deconditioned Spike. Spike is right when he tells Buffy that it's not the chip but his soul keeping him back. Unfortunately - he still has a demon in him and the demon is connected to the BBW. Or as I prefer to call BBw = IT.
IT has figured out to decondition the demon - using similar approach to the dissidents in A Clockwork Orange. But it also conditions the souled entity =William to take a back seat. How? With a song.

The song is I believe an 18th century ballad about "A fair maiden..." which William may have sung as a child. It's an English Folksong. The moment IT starts singing it - the demon in William gets control and the soul blacks out.

We saw how IT did this early on - in Beneath You when William says "not nearly ready" - IT fires the chip causing pain. Then when William goes against IT in the club by calling for help? IT posing as evilSpike echoes "not nearly read" with a meaningful glance. When William tries to continue fight it and is starting to remember - IT starts singing the song that it's been using to bring William to the surface. The song acts like a post-hypnotic suggestion.

There's another film this reminds me of btw: The Manchurian Canidate - starring Laurence Harvey, Angela Langsbury and Frank Sinitra. In it a man is brainwashed and conditioned to be an assassin. He kills without knowing it. All he needs is a well placed trigger - a catch-phrase.

And of course there's my favorite movie: Telefon with Lee Remick and Charles Bronson, KGB agents are triggered into action with the Robert Frost poem - "miles to go before I sleep".

The trick of the trigger is it works on a subconscious level and must be connected to something deep within the person, something they do not consciously understand.
Subconscious. Interesting. See the discussion in Hacceity's post about the need to be aware of our subsconscious/dark urges in order to ensure they don't become actuality.

Spike is unaware of the killing of the girls. IT disquises itself as Buffy and Spike himself while using the song to get Spike to do this and cause the soul not to know about it. It's not until Spike remembers and becomes aware of these horrible acts that he can get Buffy's help and try to stop it.

So what breaks IT's control over Spike's subconsicous or demonic id? The super-ego, the ego? (IT has actually grabbed Spike's role model of super-ego= Buffy to use against Spike, so no that's not it.) IT messes up with Spike in somewhat the same way the FE messed up with Angel in Amends. IT tries to get Spike to kill Buffy - but Spike's heart won't let him. And he remembers. And what he remembers overwhelms.

So now we know what our heros don't. We know what can defeat IT's control, which actually is the same thing that defeated the FE's control over Angel. The individual's connection to others - love of others - the heart, spirit connection. What defeats It's control over Willow? Willow's knowledge of her love for Tara, Willow knows deep down inside that Tara would never want her to kill herself.
What defeats ITs control over Spike? Spike's love for Buffy, he tastes her blood but in doing so - he relives his past crimes and is once again horrified by what he almost did. IT can't possibly understand why Spike can't kill Buffy. No more than IT can possibly understand why Willow knows Tara wouldn't tell her to kill herself.

What's also interesting in this episode is we get a glimpse at who spike really is...and what scares him. The song.
What is the significance of the song. Did his mother sing it to him? And what does he say: "It haunts me - what I've done." What is also interesting is when he is under IT's control - he says nothing. Doesn't speak. When he's not?
He does. And he is different, he acts different, he facial mannerisms, his speech, when he isn't under IT's influence.

Now onto the other stuff:

Xander? Well, can we say hypocrite much? ;-) I half expected Buffy to turn around and ask him about Anya again who did choose what she did and was NOT under anyone's control at the time. And oh yeah, she could take it back - but hey, that was just luck. They have no clue how many others she killed. Feel the desire to say the same thing about Anya actually. (sigh) But I have a hunch Xander is about to have his own personal experience with IT and something tells me, that he may not survive it as well as Spike or Willow or Dawn did. Assuming of course the Xanman
hasn't already been turned.

The Sleeper - that's what this episode was called. Well a sleeper is the conditioned response. The subconscious. The dark urge. What if? What if Xander has his own sleeper?
After all Xander has been spending a lot of time at the school. Xander built the school. Xander is building the gym.
I'm beginning to wonder about Xander.

Giles? I doubt he's dead. But nasty nasty writers to leave us hanging like this. And couldn't we have had more of him than ten seconds?? ugh.

Whatever IT is - it is very organized. IT is systematically killing all the slayers and watchers, leaving Buffy alone. Actually I think IT wanted Spike to kill Buffy and the basement was supposed to be IT's trap. But Spike resisted.
No problem, IT thinks - Buffy stakes Spike, IT still wins.
But Buffy didn't give into that. MEthinks that the Buffster is beginning to learn her lessons and may be harder to beat than IT thinks.

Anyways that's it for tonight. Must go to bed since I have to get up at 5:15 am tomorrow morning to get to the airport.

SK (praying this locks...before I give up.)

[> Re: First Impressions for 7.8 (SPOILERS) :Spike, Clockwork Orange, Pavolov's dog --
Kenny, 19:56:41 11/19/02 Tue

About Xander...

For me (and I'll project this onto Xander), Spike and Anya are apples and oranges as far as immediate threats go. Ignore culpability, and look at the damage they can do. Spike can (and has) killed people. He's bonkers. He was a weapon for Morphy, and he still could be. Anya is sane, and she doesn't have her powers anymore. She doesn't present the immediate threat that Spike does, so I believe he had some justification for his point of view.

I know the similarities between Morphy's actions this season and Spike's in "The Yoko Factor" have already been mentioned; but, wow, all I can think after this ep is "Dude, that's some Karma for you." I really felt bad for Spike at the end of this ep. I want things to turn out well for him. But I'm not about to bust on Xander for what he said.

[> [> Re: First Impressions for 7.8 (SPOILERS) :Spike, Clockwork Orange, Pavolov's dog -- Shiraz, 14:01:36 11/20/02 Wed

Also, remeber that Xander tried to protect Spike in this episode; by trying to keep him off the streets while Buffy was out looking for reasons to stake him.

[> [> [> That's not how I understood it (spoilers for 7.8) - - Sophist, 19:54:03 11/20/02 Wed

Xander was following Buffy's orders to keep him inside. I understood that the reason was twofold: to make sure Spike didn't kill again (if he was killing; they didn't know yet), and to give Buffy space to investigate. I don't think Xander had any concern for Spike's welfare, but that's not intended as a criticism because I think the point was irrelevant -- it was the welfare of others that was at issue.

[> [> [> [> Yeah, but -- vh, 08:35:55 11/21/02 Thu

I thought his tone was unusually compassionate toward Spike. Usually he doesn't talk to Spike in that tone.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Yeah, but -- aliera, 09:53:23 11/21/02 Thu

You know what? Given this season's trend I'd feel more comfortable about Xander's prospects if his weren't compassionate. I'm in an argument with a co-watcher on both Xander and Cordy right now (reminiscent of last season's Buffy spat "a molecular tan? how lame is that?"

I can't seem to get past the worry about the stuff that happened to Xander...the energy that poured into him from Willow at the temple scene in Grave...the summer spent building by the Hellmouth...the lack of a Morphy session in CwDP...the odd eagerness to leave Anya on Spike-watch so he can get back to the construction site...I dunno, I guess I'm alone here in right field...but, he feels odd to me.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Agreed -- dream, 11:08:10 11/21/02 Thu

See the thread up on top of the board about the possibility that Xander has got the Hellmouth working for him these days. I wouldn't buy that he has specifically chosen to align himself with evil - but I would buy either a) overexposure to evil stuff has him working under someone else's control, at least some of the time or b)he's dabbled in a little good-luck magic, which of course will come with a price, and the guilt is making him act extra nice and considerate.

Anyway, I would be rather unhappy about such developments, as they would really get in the way of the "Xander-gets- vamped" story I've been hoping would close the series. Maybe that can be the first movie. (They are going to do movies, right?)

[> [> [> [> [> [> You're not alone -- Isabel, 15:34:26 11/21/02 Thu

Mr. I-still-love-Anya Harris going cheerfully off to work, leaving her alone with a naked sleeping Spike. A few episodes ago he was still resenting both of them for their tryst.

Maybe I'm being paranoid, but ME likes knocking down successful people. Characters are dying on Buffy. And don't forget Jocasta's fate either when thinking of Cordelia.

[> Re: First Impressions for 7.8 (SPOILERS) :Spike, Clockwork Orange, Pavolov's dog -- ponygirl, 20:01:33 11/19/02 Tue

"No problem, IT thinks - Buffy stakes Spike, IT still wins.
But Buffy didn't give into that. Methinks that the Buffster is beginning to learn her lessons and may be harder to beat
than IT thinks."

Yes! I really do think that the goal has been to isolate Buffy. Keep her alone and disconnected. The only problem I'm forseeing is the Scoobies reactions to Spike. Are they going to see the value in helping Spike, or are they going to see this as another instance of the Slayer making decisions that affect them all? I don't think Buffy is the only one still dealing with fallout from Angel in season 2, the Scoobies have never trusted her judgement when it came to Angel/Angelus. Could they be seeing parallels with Spike?

Have a great trip shadowkat!

[> Re: First Impressions for 7.8 (SPOILERS) : How literal should we be? -- Darby, 20:36:12 11/19/02 Tue

I'm looking over the episode titles so far this season and they all relate to very literal aspects of the story, except maybe for Selfless. That in and of itself is not that unusual, but could this mean that Spike was literally asleep while these acts happened? That might explain the lack of speech and the disconnect of the chip, and the lack of memories, as people often have with dreams, although the memories might become accessible later.

The other meaning of "sleeper" is of a "sleeper agent," as 'kat mentions from The Manchurian Candidate. Could be that as well.

I liked that it was never strongly implied that Spike was going to be staked - that sort of plotline about a character you know they're not getting rid of is very distracting.

However, having said that, I'm hoping that subsequent ASH appearances won't be the Big Bad impersonating the now-dead Giles. Nahhhhh, that'd mean there would never be Ripper, so we just have to guess how Giles doesn't get a really extreme haircut...

[> [> Re: First Impressions for 7.8 (SPOILERS) : How literal should we be? -- Rob, 20:44:09 11/19/02 Tue

I was just posting about this farther down on the page. There are 3 possibilities for "Ripper."

(A) Giles did die, and the reason they "postponed" "Ripper" is because of this.

(B) Giles isn't dead, and can then still go on to do "Ripper"

and perhaps the least unlikely,

(C) "Ripper" takes place in the year Giles has been in England, before being killed, parallelling Buffy Season 6.

Which is the most likely? I don't know, but things aren't looking so good for Giles at the moment. *sob*


[> [> [> Re: First Impressions for 7.8 (SPOILERS) : How literal should we be? -- Slain, 18:10:46 11/20/02 Wed

(D) In death, he will become more powerful than you could ever imagine.

I think that's a misquote.

[> [> Re: First Impressions for 7.8 (future title spoilers) -- Rook, 03:14:05 11/20/02 Wed

Having seen the list of titles, I was expecting The Master to show up tonight, to be honest...if you look at the titles, there are ones that seem to be direct or indirect references to all of the BB's from seasons past...

Sleeper: The Master

From WttH: Luke: The sleeper will wake. The sleeper will wake. The sleeper will wake. The sleeper will wake, and the world will bleed. Amen!

Don't Tread on Me: A snake/Mayor reference

Parthenogenesis: Possibly an Adam reference, seeing as Adam had a mother but not a father...

\Par`the*no*gen"e*sis\, n. [Gr. parqe`nos a virgin + E. genesis.] 1. (Biol.) The production of new individuals from virgin females by means of ova which have the power of developing without the intervention of the male element; the production, without fertilization, of cells capable of germination. It is one of the phenomena of alternate generation.

Glory: Well...duh!

Duel of the Fates: The name of the song that plays during the climactic battle of Star Wars, Episode I...a Warren reference?

Not sure about Angel though...possibly "Never leave me" or "Shut your mouth" (which makes me think of "close your eyes")

Of course, I'm probably all wrong since we didn't see The Master last night, but it was fun to speculate :)

[> [> Re: First Impressions for 7.8 (SPOILERS) : How literal should we be? -- ejs, 03:43:23 11/20/02 Wed

"I'm looking over the episode titles so far this season and they all relate to very literal aspects of the story, except maybe for Selfless."

Actually, this title had a wonderful double meaning, in that 1) Anya exhibited selflessness in offering to sacrifice herself to bring back the frat boys, and 2) that Anya had no sense of self at all, defining herself through whatever she could cling to obsessively (Olaf, her work as a vengeance demon, Xander).

[> [> [> I get that. Early S7 spoilers,. -- Darby, 06:15:08 11/20/02 Wed

I understand how it refers to the episode, but it's on a concept or imagery level - all the other ones so far have quite a literal connection to things that are or happen in the episodes. I'm having a hard time making "Selfless" literally true, unless you stretch the end to Anya having had all "selfs" - Aud, Anyanka, Anya - stripped away, leaving her with just - well, that was the question, wasn't it?

[> Oooo! "Manchurian Candidate"!!!! -- Dead Soul, 01:51:50 11/20/02 Wed

[> Re: First Impressions for 7.8 (SPOILERS) :Spike, Clockwork Orange, Pavolov's dog -- Sophie, 06:47:40 11/20/02 Wed

Pavlov's old bell and Pavlov's new bell

Pavlov's old bell was the chip in Spike's head and his new bell is Morphy's song. Interesting how they are oposites: the old bell overrides Spike's evil nature and prevents him doing evil, and the new bell overrides his soul and the pain from the chip, and causes him to do anguishingly evil things.


[> Learning lessons -- dream of the consortium, 08:51:54 11/20/02 Wed

I HATE plots in which the audience is far ahead of the characters - and, even more, I HATE plots that depend on characters not telling one another stuff, particularly if life endangerment is involved. I loved this episode (though as someone pointed out, it did feel more like the first half of a two-parter) because everyone acted sensibly. Willow told Dawn right away about her experience with EvilCassie. Spike called Buffy - on the cell phone, no less! - once he realised that he might be guilty. Buffy gave Spike a chance to talk at the end. Everyone communicated - except, of course, Dawn, though that seems only reasonable. She is clinging to the idea of having seen her mother, her situation was certainly more complex than Willow's, and the doubts seeded in her mind are not likely to go away even if Buffy were to profess, as she certainly would, that she would never be against her. Also, Dawn is younger and has suffered less in the past from the trouble of secret- keeping(not that she hasn't suffered at all, just that she hasn't had as much time to learn from her mistakes.) But it was refreshing to see the group working so well, the difficulties coming from outside them, rather than from inside. After last year's torture, I feel like we earned the pleasure of seeing our heroes work so well together, be this self-aware (heck, even Xander was pretty controlled and reasonable.) They've grown, and it's great to see - and this Morphy creature is a complex enough villian to make the threat real, even while they display strength.

I still don't understand why they didn't call Giles a few weeks ago, just to get some background, a little advice, but what can you do?

I don't really understand the use of Early One Morning - since that song is the lament of a poorly used girl, it seems an odd choice for sending Spike into vamp-mode. Maybe just ironic? Oh, and since Willow points out that the missing people are mostly girls, are we to assume that Spike prefers to vamp girls (the vamp/sex connection, assuming Spike is straight) or that he simply would have easy access to them, being all high-cheekboned and accented and all?

And is it just me, or does Anya look unhealthy? Her face looks drawn and tired and she seems even thinner than normal. As far as her character goes, that makes sense; she's going through tough times, but I'm a bit concerned about the actress.

[> [> The Use of Early One Morning/ Spoilers 7.8/4.7 -- alcibiades, 10:10:45 11/20/02 Wed

I don't really understand the use of Early One Morning - since that song is the lament of a poorly used girl, it seems an odd choice for sending Spike into vamp-mode. Maybe just ironic?

A friend of mine pointed out that Spike seems to be playing the damsel in distress role this year. So far, he's playing a helpless victim needing the hero to rescue him. So ironic yeah, but not precisely the way you meant. Also, it seems to go together with his guilt last year about hurting the girl that the BBW knows about and is exploiting.

Oh, and since Willow points out that the missing people are mostly girls, are we to assume that Spike prefers to vamp girls (the vamp/sex connection, assuming Spike is straight) or that he simply would have easy access to them, being all high-cheekboned and accented and all?

After the bouncer told Buffy that the blond guy was a big time player, I kind of thought that the scene where both men and women were rising was pretty much ME poking fun while acknowledging all the fanfic where Spike is sexual master of the universe with both men and women. Kind of funny on a meta-narrative level. Like the Xander/Spike look in BY and the Wesley/Gunn embrace in RoF. It seems that in Season 7 the writers are being more open about the two way interaction between ME and the fans on the internet.

[> [> [> Re: The Use of Early One Morning/ Spoilers 7.8/4.7 -- Arethusa, 10:36:54 11/20/02 Wed

"After the bouncer told Buffy that the blond guy was a big time player, I kind of thought that the scene where both men and women were rising was pretty much ME poking fun while acknowledging all the fanfic where Spike is sexual master of the universe with both men and women. Kind of funny on a meta-narrative level."

And in their conversation in his bedroom, Spike tells Buffy "It's still all about you." Very meta-, and surely aimed at those for whom it's all about Spike.

[> [> [> Sexual metaphors and writer's speaking to internet fans -- Caroline, 12:36:27 11/20/02 Wed

I thought that there was a lot of sexual undertone in all the the biting and licking stuff that we saw in this episode. At least that was the way it seemed to me was played by Spike, particularly where Spike was licking Buffy - it seemed very orgiastic or s&m-ish. (I kind of expected them to go to Eyes Wide Shut.) Even Spike biting the guy seemed very sexy. Vampires have always been a metaphor in BtVS for hunger - particularly sexual hunger - with all the biting and blood and thrall and loss of control.

As for the interaction between writers and fans - didn't you love the line by Spike - "It's all about you Buffy". How many times have we seen that sentence on the board in response to Spike-centric posts? And how meta to have Spike be the one to say it to Buffy?

[> [> [> Re: The Use of Early One Morning/ Spoilers 7.8/4.7 -- leslie, 15:47:19 11/20/02 Wed

I think the significance of the song is that once it gets to "How could you treat a poor maiden so," he does.

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