November 2002 posts

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The Softer Side of - Well, everybody on Btvs -Spoilers thru 'Sleeper' -- Spike Lover, 10:46:52 11/20/02 Wed

Jane E. and David Fury wrote this? Thank you for the softer side; it was a nice change.

But, it could have been funnier? *I did enjoy the vamp on the parapet at the club thing.

"I did not mean to hurt your feelings, luv." Thank you, a belivable line from Spike to Anya.

"Is Spike in trouble?" X line. but I thought it too soft.

I forgot what Willow said, but it was along the same sentiment.

"I will help you." Thank you. About time she did w/o slapping him first.

Well, that was brief, wasn't it?

Interesting about the killing in London. Made me think that the big bad continues to be the first slayer. She knows who will be called next, and she knows x,w, & g. She would only know about D if she was partially made out of a slayer. And all members of the council?

Would the first slayer, if it is the big bad, be intimately connected w/ vampires -as opposed to other demons? Is the first slayer somehow connected with vampires directly- perhaps made from the same mold?

Is the big bad something that was formerly a force for good or balance? This may be a far more interesting story than I first thought.

Directions to Giles: gather them? Is the same bizarre stuff happening to Faith in prison?

And now for complete digression: If life is a box of chocolates...

Spike: One of those chocolates with soft gooey marshmellow inside.

Xander: Almond Joy because "sometimes you feel like a nut."

Willow: Reece's Peanut Butter Cup or maybe a York Peppermint pattie.

Giles: Hersey's plain milk chocolate bar, of course

Dawn: Baby Ruth- nuts on the outside and sticky carmel on the inside?

Tara: Any good Godiva chocolate- smooth, mature

Anya: ? Maybe a Snicker's bar. A little of everything in perfect harmony. Overall, very satisfying.

Buffy: a tough one. Butterfinger. brittle. Not soft but satisfying for what it is.

[> mmmmmm chocolate! -- neaux, 11:22:24 11/20/02 Wed

[> No, Giles is definitely Vahlrona bittersweet chocolate - he's premium -- Caroline, 12:20:00 11/20/02 Wed

[> [> I'd call him a Wonder Ball -- Arethusa, 12:48:17 11/20/02 Wed

Chocolate on the outside, suprise goodies on the inside.

Arethusa, demurely.

[> Giles as confectionary -- Fred the obvious pseudonym, 13:34:13 11/20/02 Wed

Try Cadbury's, the refined chocolate.

Never Hershey's.

"Sleeper": The Super-Evil Review --
Honorificus (The Revenant), 11:53:16 11/20/02 Wed

Mood: annoyed. After the promise of last week, this was frankly a letdown. Getting my hopes up over Spike like that, only to let them down in the most crushing way imaginable, is truly diabolical, and not in a good way. It makes me all peevish.

Fashion Statements
The Good
Xander's suit. If he'd stick to t-shirts and jeans and suits, he'd be almost bearable. It's the rest of his wardrobe that needs to be consigned to some third-world charity dimension.

Spike with blood on his mouth. An excellent look for him.

Spike naked.

Spike wearing only leather pants.

Anya's touseled hair. It's the perfect way to wear that cut.

The Bad
Willow's braids. What, you're trying to look like you're sixteen again, witch?

While we're at it, that high-necked burgundy whatever. Bad!

Buffy's hair. I strongly disapprove of the color and the cut. Darker blond works so much better on her, and the cut is just . . . not.

Anya's shirts. Not a good one in the episode.

Anya's high heels with blue jeans. I don't care if they are capri cut, high heels with jeans are just, for lack of a better word, bad.

Who keeps putting Dawn in warm colors? That shirt would have been okay except for the orangey-red color. She looks terrible in warm tones. Let's put it as simply as possible: a girl with ash brown hair, buttermilk skin, and blue eyes should wear only cool tones. Anyone with half an eye should know that--and, taking my brother-in-law as an example, does.

The Iffy
Spike's new jacket. It might grow on me, it might not.

Buffy's cowl-neck oatmeal-colored sweater. In principle, I like it, but it wasn't terribly flattering on her. Would've looked terrific on Dawn, but then, she's got a better bust.

Plot in a Nutshell
Buffy suspects Spike is Up To Something. So does Spike. Turns out he is, but he's also under the thrall of the Big Bad Whatever (BBW), as my Insipid Alter-Ego (IAE) likes to call it. And someone with very bad taste takes a swing at Giles.

Demonic Quibbles and Comments
Aimee Mann hates playing in vampire towns? That's a laugh, given her parentage. Who does she think she's fooling?

Spike merrily humming and burying a human body. I've spent many a happy evening doing that myself.

The Watcher getting knifed.

Spike killing. Makes me all nostalgic.

BBW-as-Buffy. So much more interesting than the real thing.

Dawn wrestling with the question of who to trust. Yeah! Torture the Twerp!

Anya's attempted "seduction" of Spike, and being offended when it didn't work. Even human, the girl's amusing.

Spike punching Xander. I just never get tired of that.

BBW-as-Spike. *Sigh!*

Seeing Giles. *Swoon!*

Xander, Willow, the usual.

Spike's whining! Sheesh, and people criticize the Twerp for being a whiner. He's got her beat six ways to Sunday.

Buffy not staking Spike. Come on, be a Slayer, woman! He's worthless!

Someone taking a swing at Giles' pretty head. Noooo!

Burning Questions
Is Spike going to turn into a homicidal maniac every time he hears that song? If so, I say play it again, Sam!

What are Spike's living arrangements now?

Can the BBW harm anyone directly, or does it have to go through agents?

How'd the Bronze dig up enough dough to book Aimee Mann?

Can I kill the costuming director? And, while I'm at it, the hairstylist?

The Immoral of the Story
Beware vampires humming old English folk tunes.

Overall Rating
I'm still annoyed at this Fury creature. Therefore, this episode gets a w under 10 on the Non Sequitur Scale.

[> Re: "Sleeper": The Super-Evil Review (with spoiler spec) -- The board's First Evil, doesn't play one on TV, 12:02:19 11/20/02 Wed

"BBW-as-Buffy. So much more interesting than the real thing."

Lol! I about choked on my own spit. You said it, sister!

"Can the BBW harm anyone directly, or does it have to go through agents?"

Lends creedance to the whole, "It's the First Evil" theorem, doesn't it? An physically impotent evil with a flare for psychological manipulation. Maybe it has a chip?

[> Coming Soon to the Bronze... -- Lahzarr, resident booking demon, 12:14:36 11/20/02 Wed

11/30/2002 - Shania Twain
12/7/2002 - Jeff and Tim Buckley
12/14/2002 - Kirsty McColl
12/25/2002 - Duane Allman
1/8/2003 - The Doors (original line-up)
1/15/2003 - Jimi Hendrix
2/5/2003 - John Lennon
3/4/2003 - Janis Joplin

APRIL - closed due to Apocalypse

5/14/2003 - Britney Spears

[> Buffy's seeming softenss... -- LittleBite, 12:30:38 11/20/02 Wed

... was really a rather delightful moment of cruelty on her part. There she was, confronted by Spike who not only confessed that he was back on killing mode, but brought her to the place where he had merrily buried the bodies, just so she could be attacked en masse, and what happens? He begs her to stake him. He holds his chest in readiness of what he sees as sweet relief (and who wouldn't, living with Xander). He's on his knees in supplication. And what does she do? In a moment of sadistic altruism, she refuses ... she says she'll help him!

May I just say that I've never seen a better instance of goody-two-shoesing being evil? It was an insidious moment of the hero's intent being wonderfully, deliciously subverted by the forced of evil. Spike remains a torured pawn of the BBW, and Buffy doens't even realize what's she's done.

Bwaaaaa haaaahaaahaaaa haa

[> It's the year of the bottom! -- Caroline (sorry, I have a dark side but it's inarticulate), 12:53:06 11/20/02 Wed

We were talking in chat last night and decided that the main overarching symbol for this year was not the heart, or hand or spirit or whatever, it's the bottom. Check out this summary:

From beneath you it devours.
Andrew's translation: It eats you starting with your bottom.
Anya's comment in Sleeper about biting Xander's bottom.
Xander replying that it wouldn't be the first time.
The sleeper as the butt-monkey (remember Xander in B vs. D?)

There was also stuff on AtS - like Cordy's comments about something coming up from below, not to mention the rumpy pumpy that Condy were engaging in.

I'm sure there are other bottom references that I have missed - perhaps some of the people in chat last night can add to the list?

[> [> You might be onto something, dear. -- Honorificus (With Her Cute Tushie), 12:59:03 11/20/02 Wed

And recall that in "Him," Willow made a snide comment about RJ's soul being in his ass. Which is, in fact, quite true for about 40% of the male human population.

[> [> [> Hmmm... -- Devilish, taking a moment from her busy schedule of mayhem, 13:21:06 11/20/02 Wed

and where do you think the other 60% have their soul?

[> [> [> [> Re: Hmmm... -- Ian, 13:29:15 11/20/02 Wed

That would be at the same altitude, but on the opposite side.

No, wait. I was thinking of where the majority of men have their brains.

Sorry about that.

[> [> [> [> [> Soul, brains it might as well be all the same, Ian darling. -- Devilish, perusing the results of said chaos, 14:30:35 11/20/02 Wed

[> [> Aha! -- Dynastica, on her afternoon tea-and-small- animals break, 14:26:03 11/20/02 Wed

And what about all the booty-dancing Dawn's been doing lately? How could we have missed it--the girl is obviously trying to communicate with us! By Honorificus, we'll have the girl over on our team before the season's over, mark my words!

"From beneath you, it grinds, salsas, and does the fishie love dance!"

Btw, when Honorificus says the fashion is "bad," that means we like it, right? 'Cause we're all evil and stuff? Just checking.

Yours in the service of black, naughty evil,


[> [> [> I'm not a god (whatever!) and do not speak for the ersatz Glorificus... -- Devilish, who enjoys being a very attractive lower being, 14:39:07 11/20/02 Wed

but I think that I can say this for sure. The bad is just that. So bad that even we of the wicked persuasion don't enjoy it. Cause you know we do have eyes and can see. How can you enjoy any of the pain, torment or evil-doing going on when you have to look away from the hideousness of a fashion no-no. What fun is that?

Hmm...I think that a pole to go along with that fishie love dance would be a good thing.

[> [> [> [> I do hope, darling -- Honorificus (The Greater-Than- Glorificus One), 16:36:33 11/20/02 Wed

that you do not speak of Me as the "ersatz Glorificus". If you do, you obviously need educating on the differences between the two of us. To wit:

Glorificus: whiny
Me: dignified

Glorificus: trashy
Me: classy

Glorificus: puffed-up and self-important
Me: as humble as I can be

Furthermore, she always colored her hair. I have no need for such facile self-alterations.

However, your point as regards the bad fashions is quite correct. Be evil, be wicked, be deviant, but never, never, never be badly-dressed.

[> [> [> [> [> Oh honey, you are so droll. And easy. -- Devilish, who relishes in the pushing of buttons, 20:26:34 11/20/02 Wed

But not in a bad way. I always tell the others that it's not true what they say but I am but one in a crowd. You are delight to play with. There should be more like you. A**- kissing now ending.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Why, you devil, you! -- Honorificus (The Smooth and Silky One), 20:48:24 11/20/02 Wed

We simply must have dinner sometime. I've got a few college kids I've been fattening in the pen out back. Want to make plans?

[> Re: "Sleeper": The Super-Evil Review -- Sophomorica, chewing on a bone, 14:40:46 11/20/02 Wed

My dear Honorie,

Willow was an extra low light this week. The hair made her face look round, the colors of her clothes just made her look washed out, and to top it all off, she didn't do any magick. I am so anxiously waiting to see that flash of black in her eyes once more.

I'm sorry but I have to disagree with you regarding Buffy's hair and clothes and Anya's shirt. I like this look on Buffy, very soft which contrasts with the hard-ass slayer mentality. I really liked that cowl-neck oatmeal-colored sweater that she was wearing when Spike drank the blood from her arm. Disapointed to see that sweater get damaged. And Anya's shirt looked quite nice on Anya. She could wear that with nicer pants to work at a office. Which brings me to: what is Anya doing to earn money now that she has given up the vengeance demon gig?

And Spike's clothes were awesome. Just about convinced me to go out and get a pair of black, hot leather pants to wear around town. So sexy! Spike naked works for me, too. I also really liked his body language when picking up girls. He leads them like he would on the dance floor ­ holding the girl's right hand with his left and gracefully executing open position, closed position, open position, closed position, bite. Throw in a triple step or a sugar push...

Spike merrily humming and burying a human body. I've spent many a happy evening doing that myself.

You really should get some minions to do these sort of tasks for you. Shovels are so hard on the hands.

Oh dear, gotta scoot ­ Sophie wants the computer to work on her d*** homework again. Sheeesh!


[> [> Quit chewing on bones and pay attention!! -- Whipwoman, 19:10:25 11/20/02 Wed

Which brings me to: what is Anya doing to earn money now that she has given up the vengeance demon gig?

Where were you during Him? Our little Anyanka-that-was is robbing banks for cash. (You go, girl!!)

[> [> [> Shamed into shutting up now...sheeeeesh! -- Sophomorica, spitting out bone bits, 19:18:00 11/20/02 Wed

[> [> [> [> Heh heh heh...didn't even have to use the whip... - - Whipwoman, oiling her leather, 19:24:10 11/20/02 Wed

[> [> [> [> [> Even if she hadn't heisted a bank... -- Devilish, fresh from an evening of shopping, 20:19:15 11/20/02 Wed

I seem to recall that Anya was very adept with investing her money. Of course now a days it's not such a good thing. I wonder if Anyanka pulled out of the markets in time?

[> [> [> [> [> [> Recovering her brain -- Sophomorica, sucking on a lollipop, 06:46:58 11/21/02 Thu

if she writes off the money she is losing on the magick box being closed due to willow's damages - she probably won't have to pay any taxes. i wonder if anya could sue willow for that...

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> If there is any way for Anyanka to prove that she is indeed evil... -- Devilish, who is having a very good hair day, 08:23:53 11/21/02 Thu

she would sue Willow for damages and compensation for destroying her only means of livelihood and the emotional distress of losing her Capitalist American dream. And while she's in the mood, she would sue Xander for reneging on an agreement at the very last moment.

[> [> [> Gee Dub, folks will think Canadians are full of whip- oil and Criminal Intent...... -- Rufus, 01:34:42 11/21/02 Thu

Anya simply borrowed some funds and surely left a polite note stating her intention to repay the funds when she is again a successful Capitalist....;)

[> [> [> [> WISEwoman is Canadian... -- Whipper, 10:12:00 11/21/02 Thu

...WHIPwoman is from...somewhere else...


Cordy and Connor in "Apocalypse, Nowish" (spoilers) -- Scroll, 12:21:50 11/20/02 Wed

I was skimming the TWoP thread for "Apocalypse, Nowish" (they call it "Rain of Fire") and saw this link posted in defence of the Cordy/Connor sex scene.

Terror sex. It sounded so inappropriate. We are experiencing horror and disbelief at what happened. We are grieving for friends, family and even strangers, who were alive just last week. Thinking about sex in a time of crisis seemed cheap. It reeked of bad-movie cliché: Cue the majestic music. The sounds of war outside as the barrel- chested man comforts the weeping woman. She tells him she doesn't want to sleep alone tonight. "Hold me," she cries. And he does. A fighter plane zooms overhead.


A fighter planed zoomed overhead. Really. They are flying over my house even as I write this, so nothing seems far- fetched. Anything can happen.

Basically, "terror sex" seems to be something very fundamental and not very rational. I don't think it excuses what many people will see as squick-worthy, but I do think ME are trying to really explicate a phenomenon that erupted after last year's tragedy. And the fire and brimstone raining down on Los Angeles seems so much more like a real apocalypse than anything we've ever seen, not even saving "The Gift". The end is nigh, folks, and everything's not fine.

[> Mmmm... careful with this comparison, articulate though it may be. -- Malathustra, 13:00:24 11/20/02 Wed

We're carrying on this conversation down below, too, with my post on what I WISH Cordy had given Connor, but I'll add to this thread, too...

There's a difference between what happened in the days and weeks that followed September 11th and the night of raining fire in AtS 4.7. The late-2001 world was scary, and I'd wager that lots of people used lots of different kinds of salves on lots of different kinds of wounds, but I doubt you'd find many people who'd admit to having sex at 9:30 a.m. on September 11th itself. I just don't see it -- turn on the tv, hear the news, grab the nearest warm body and get naked? No. The survival instinct works differently that that, in the very moment of crisis.

It's hard for me to throw my weight behind this "I want my last act on earth to be sexual!" idea -- in general, it seems so base and animalistic. I had hoped that Cordelia had progressed a few steps past that point, but maybe not? The "something real" excuse doesn't ring true to me, though I'm composing a separate essay to explain why.

[> [> Re: Mmmm... careful with this comparison, articulate though it may be. -- JM, 16:10:56 11/20/02 Wed

I have no idea whether immediate terror sex is real or not. My fiance was in a separate city on business during 9/11 so we just got drunk simultaneously, not planned, just coincidence.

I do think that grief sex is real though. And that seems to be where Cordy was. She didn't seem terrified, just deeply sad and hopeless. She seems almost in mourning, as if all the prospective victims are terminal cases. That's something I can get behind. In times of bereavement, sex can be a form of defiance. If that makes any sense at all.

[> [> [> Re: Mmmm... careful with this comparison, articulate though it may be. -- Malathustra, 20:23:55 11/20/02 Wed

I agree with that. There is definitely something to be said for consolation sex, but the timing on this just seems all wrong. Crisis sex? Maybe I'm just abnormal, but in a crisis, I'm out and running around to see if I can help or solve problems. I'm sure there were people who were injured or frightened by the goings ons... I guess I would have expected something a little more like a scene from mid- season E.R. (though, I don't necessarily watch that show) than from Li'l Louis's Love Shack.

Again -- not knocking the reality of terror/grief/bereavement/comfort sex -- just the timing of it, in this case.

[> [> [> [> Re: Mmmm... careful with this comparison, articulate though it may be. -- alcibiades, 22:18:13 11/20/02 Wed

I agree with Malathustra.

I think it was supposed to be the end is nigh sex, BUT the actors didn't make it feel that way -- CCs prouncement of her lines was too languid. So I agree with Masq it is more like post heaven traumatic stress sex.

[> [> [> [> [> Isn't the purpose of sex ... --
Cleanthes, 01:07:09 11/21/02 Thu


Attempting to touch infinity, as I post below in another thread:

That's why I thought Cordy had sex with Conner -- and him her, tambien.

Yeah, I know this is an unfashionable concept, but it would explain the languid aspect, I think -- they did it because they could and felt impelled to. Conner, the younger and stronger, enjoyed Stiffler's mom, but the fire rained outside, not in their bedchamber.

When all is said and done, this is also why Jocasta slept with Oedipus. Well, and to allow for affront to the gods and thereby allow the tragedians their scope.

As a point of criticism, Aristotle says in the Poetics that "No irrational element should have a part in the events, unless outside the tragedy (as, for example, in Sophocles' Oedipus)" -- which fits pretty well with a rain of fire outside and sex inside, although, of course, your mileage may vary.

[> [> [> [> [> Dang, I forgot to add: -- Cleanthes, 01:35:56 11/21/02 Thu

CCs prouncement of her lines was too languid.

"The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity."

- Yeats, in the same poem that gave us "slouching towards Bethlehem".

Agents of Balance? (*Spoilers and speculation for season 7*) --
Kenny, 12:30:41 11/20/02 Wed

So, two elements are coming into play this season (discussed ad infinitum across the web). The first is power. The second is balance. Off the top of my head, I can think of two beings who placed themselves as agents of balance. Whistler, who's been mentioned in recent threads, and Ethan Rayne, who's name I haven't seen pop up yet. While an agent of chaos, he did it in the name of balance. While I doubt we'll see Whistler, will we be lucky enough for an Ethan appearance this season? It would make perfect sense, and we haven't been graced with him in over two years.

Interestingly enough, he'd probably be on the side of the angels, as he does recognize the importance of balance. Are there any other past enemies who could end up working with the Scoobies this season for the same reason?

Curiously, it seems that the one who should be most about balance, Adam, was the one who scared the powers the most. Could it be that, given time, he could have actually achieved balance? Is that why the powers were scared? Not because balance would be lost, but be because it would truly be achieved? And that if true balance came to be, their identifies would be lost? Until now I've looked at the parallels to the Genesis story in a very superficial manner, but I'm really starting to appreciate the complexity of that story. For the first time since it ran I'm itching to watch season 4 again. So I guess the Initiative was Eden (if so, I really need to think about what it means that Ethan lost his Freedom there).

Back to the whole balance/power thing. Is the implication that there can be only one or the other. Power/balance is an interesting duality unto itself. It seems that the presence of balance necessitates the presence of power, and that power be distributed evenly. But power only has true meaning in relative terms. Instead, balance denotes the potential for power (my physics class is becoming more and more useful). Was that Adam's flaw? That he tried to achieve balance through power, which ends up being a contradictory statement? But what does that say about the "Girl Power" message of Buffy? Is it a sham?

Which leaves the question, what is the BB (and I'll assume for the rest of the post that it's the First Evil) trying to achieve? The obvious answer is "Evil Party, man!" But that's too easy. It's looking for a final gain of power, something that ends it all. It's looking to kill itself. When balance is so far lost that it ceases to be, so does power (which only has meaning in the presence of balance). So do meanings of good and evil. But it IS evil. So it ceases to exist. It's nihlistic. It's not out to make everything a hell dimension, to make everyone suffer. It's out for nothingness. It's tired of existing, and the only way it can stop existing is to beat good forever. Evil is suicidal. Which brings us to the possible spot of yin in its yang. Is Spike just a foreshadowing (or an avatar) of evil? Does it have enough of a conscience that it just doesn't want to be itself anymore? And will that be the key to stopping it?

OK, I've gotta stop and shift gears. Too many random thoughts about the metaphysics trying to make order of themselves. Plus the whole relationship between Adam/Spike as they themselves are an interesting duality. Plus my cat is sticking its tongue out at me.

[> Re: talking about balance (Ats 4.7 spoiler) -- Sang, 13:30:36 11/20/02 Wed

I read some post in AICN board, which is from self-acclaimed Spike hater. I usually don't care opinions from ***-haters, since they are mostly biased. But her idea was very interesting.

There were numerous posts already archived which are speculating how Conner is related with the beast. This poster pointed out that Conner inherited only good part (or non-demonic part) of two half-demons (You remember that Vamps are considered half-demons).

It actually broke the balance between good and evil. Thus a pure demon (or anti-Conner) born at the birthplace to balance the scale. That means the beast is un-born son who inherited all the demon part from two half-demons. Another point she pointed out was by killing the beast, Angel can fulfill the (false) prophesy that the father kill the son.

[> [> Oooh, I like it... -- Masq, 13:45:12 11/20/02 Wed

That would be a cool metaphysical twist!

[> [> But what about -- Arethusa, 14:34:45 11/20/02 Wed

Connor's physical vampire characteristics? If he were only human, he wouldn't have superhuman strength, hearing etc.
Could the Beast be the last pure-bred demon on earth, the one that created vampires when it infected humans? Is it seeking to breed a new kind of creature from Connor and Cordy, one that is an evil combination of vampire and human, who would be able to walk in the light like Connor, and be impervious to pointy bits of wood and crosses? Naah.

[> Re: Agents of Balance? (*Spoilers and speculation for season 7*) -- Rook, 13:31:34 11/20/02 Wed

Whatever it's goal is, I imagine that the BB's goal involves "ascending" in some way, since we're going "back to the beginning", and that was what all the BB's of the first 3 seasons referred to their goal as, at some point or other...and it was more or less Glory's goal too.

[> NIce post! -- Rahael, 13:36:00 11/20/02 Wed

THere's a great essay by ETrangere about Genesis, Eden and Season 4 - I think it's in Fictionary corner. If it isn't, it's in the archives.

[> Re: Agents of Balance? (*Spoilers and speculation for season 7*) -- fearshade, 16:30:18 11/20/02 Wed

Though I have no idea if Ethan will show this season it would be interesting, epecially since his 'chaos' would be a counter to Giles' 'order'.

"Could it be that, given time, he(Adam) could have actually achieved balance?"

I would have to say no, Adam didnot want to acheive balance in everything just himself simply because he desired to know who and what he was. Adam found that he was superior to man, demon, and machine because he was aware of himself and his surroundings right down to a molecular level. He decided his purpose was to destroy all living things, man and demon. He set-up the overcrowding of the Initiative holding cells so he could have "spare parts" to build living weapons towards that purpose.

As for the question on "true" balance ever being acheived, The best way for me to describe balance, order, and chaos would be to agree on a source outside the Buffyverse and go with the main concept of White-Wolf's RPG game 'Werewolf: The Apocalypse. In this RPG, at the beginning of creation there were three cosmic entities representing Change(the Wyld), Order(the Weaver), and Chaos(The Wyrm). At first, everything was alright. The Wyld went about creating things(essentially spirit energies), The Weaver would give them form and function, and the Wyrm would bring about entropy when the time was right. Soon, The Weaver(Order) got jealous of the Wyld ability to create. Knowing it couldn't create anything of it's own, the Weaver instead began implementing strict order casting a sort of 'metaphysical web' on all creation, eventually catching the Wyld(Creation/Change) as well. In short, soon it became clear that strict order results in stagnation. The Wyrm(Chaos/Entropy) tried to free the Wyld. It succeeded but also became trapped instead, even more so. So, while the Wyld, weakened and broken, went off to heal it's wounds; the Wyrm went crazy in the Weaver's web. Over millenia, the Wyrm went from being an agent of Chaos and Entropy to one of full on destruction and corruption. And now in the modern era, there is little of the Wyld(Creation/Change/Life) left, The Weaver(Order) has gone full on crazy letting technology bring different, yet essential, change to stagnation, and the Wyrm(Chaos) is trying to free itself, but in the process corrupting and destroying.

In the Buffyverse, Buffy and the Scooby Gang are agents of the Wyld. They fight to survive, to live, and on occasion bring about change. The Demons, the Big Bads, are agents of the Wyrm, they corrupt, destroy, and whatnot. The Iniative, then, could be seen as the Weaver. They wanted order, but strict order, with controlled environments and behavior modifying equipment. They, in a sense, were their own demise because they surrounded themselves with such a rigid net that they couldn't move beyond what they could rationalize with their senses and their logic and their calculations. Then comes in Maggie Walsh who wants to put all three concepts into one being. Not a pretty picture. And an impossible task. And a self-destructive one at that.

The plight of Cordelia "Hot Lips" Chase (BtVS & AtS 4.7) --
Malathustra, 13:54:41 11/20/02 Wed

[A warning, in hindsight, after having written this entire diatribe: It's LONG! Sorry.]

So I'm a child of the 70's. Sue me. I was raised on my parents' sense of humor, their political agendas, their and television viewing habits. I admit: I have seen every episode ever created of M*A*S*H. I own the dvd's, I have several coffee-table-type books, and I still insert random M*A*S*H quotes into conversations at random. In some ways, the show bears some resemblance to ME fruit, in terms of balancing tragedy and comedy, intelligently-witty writing, and homoeroticism... but that's not what this post is about.

Obviously, I can't be blamed for the comparisons that my M*A*S*H-trained brain made while I went about my Monday chores, stacking Margaret "Hot Lips" Hoolihan against Cordelia "Queen C" Chase, but it explains my frustration with "Rain of Fire"'s portrayal of Cordy.

In the early seasons of M*A*S*H, Margaret was nothing more than a caricature. Although she was always a capable, intelligent and intuitive nurse, Margaret was so ridiculous as to eliminate the viewer's need for taking her seriously. Loretta Switt, the actress who played Margaret, was regularly called on to deliver the most idiotic of lines about the sexiness of Frank Burns' nose hairs and khaki- colored lingerie. Even still, Hot Lips was occasionally thrown a spot or two of humanity: she would cry, or get drunk, or in some other way be exposed as a real human being.

Somewhere along the line, the M*A*S*H writers realized that they had to either humanize Margaret or kill her off. Loretta Switt, the actress who played the role, speaks fondly of her character's transformation. She had witnessed enough of the horrors of war and hatred and racism and ammunition that it changed her from the sniveling Hot Lips caricature into a loving, caring, and extremely sensitive Major Hoolihan who occasionally got angry or overwhelmed -- a near-perfect 180 degrees from the person she had been 11 years earlier.

Cordelia Chase was born as a caricature, too. Although she was always intelligent and able, her boofy hair, red sportscar, and carefully-orchestrated social heirarchy did everything they could to mask it. There were moments when the real Cordy shone through -- she sang a horrible song horribly for the talent show, fell for Xander in spite of what everyone else thought, and went all kick-ass on the vamps during the Mayor's ascension -- but for the most part, she played the part of "Hot Lips" perfectly to Wesley's poncey, Frank-Burns-esque sight gags.

Somewhere along the line, the ME writers realized that they had to either humanize Cordelia or kill her off. They then proceeded to rob her of her financial and familial base, send her to LA, give her the visions, and, in effect, show her enough of the horrors of war and hatred and racism and ammunition to change her from "Queen C" into a loving, caring, sensitive grown-up who occasionally acts like a dork. (I loved the newly-enlightened Cordy drooling on Angel's sleeve during the ballet, for instance.)

There is a problem with the scenario, though.

As far as I understand it, the M*A*S*H writers took Hot Lips and functionally transformed her into Loretta Switt, who really IS kind and compassionate and caring. The transformation worked because, whether through good acting or genuinity of character, Loretta Switt carried it off. (She was never all that convincing as the early Margaret, but how could you be?)

Charisma, who was utterly and thoroughly convincing as Queen C, may have been so because the character was such a close approximation of who Charisma really is. My sister met the cast at a television awards conference and came home saying one thing: "Charisma is just like Cordy. She's witty and interrupts the other actors and needs to have a lot of attention and is very high maintenance." It may be that the writer's have given Cordelia the perfectly-written progression into her higher-being life, but that Charisma either a) fundamentally doesn't understand the sensitive, forgiving, powerful new Cordy, or b) doesn't have the acting skills to carry her off.

It's the only way I've been able to reconcile my absolute disinterest in all things Cordy post-"Birthday." I'm willing to bet that Charisma simply doesn't understand the new Cordelia. She can't get inside her head, and doesn't entirely understand what makes her tick. Granted, this may be just as much a writer problem as an actress problem, but I'm frustrated.

After all, I consider myself to be kind and sensitive and compassionate and all things short of glow-worm and higher- being Cordy, but I still retain my matter-of-fact snarkiness.

And, what's worse, instead of discussing this with Charisma and trying to make it work, the writers seem to have pulled back from their original intention. The New Cordelia wasn't working out, and so now we are relegated to watching New Cordy delivering Old Cordy's lines in a more subdued, google- eyed, higher-power-ed voice.

Observe the two grossest sins from "Rain of Fire."

(1) Cordelia, after regaining her memory, takes Angel by the hand and explains that she once had feelings for him, but can no longer be in love with him because of the person he USED to be.

(2) Cordelia, after witnessing the onset of the apocalypse, takes Connor by the hand and explains that sex is the "realest" thing she can give to him.

I'm imagining these lines. I'm trying to figure out where they fit, and it occurs to me that they don't fit in AtS season 4 at all. In fact, they don't belong in AtS -- they belong in BtVS circa season 3. Unless there is some major explanation for this behavior (And, I mean, really -- are we supposed to just accept that a "higher being" would be unable to forgive Angel for his soul-less deeds???) and unless it's of a drastic or supernatural nature, I am very, VERY disappointed with both the dialogue writers (though, not the overall arc) and/or Charisma's lack of acting coach.

Because Cordelia deserves more than that.

The only thing I can come up with, beyond Masq's theories of Cordy being controlled by the PtB or some evil power, is this. Do we know for sure that the person in flowy white standing in the hotel at the end of "The House Always Wins" is really Cordelia? It's not like the Fang Gang has never encountered shapeshifters, stolen identities, switched souls, and the like. Is it possible that the memory spell actually implanted Cordelia's memories into the imposter? Do we want Cordy back on this plane so badly that we don't even question her mysterious arrival?

And this... THIS is just how far I will stretch to mourn the loss of one of my favorite characters: the kind and sensitive yet bitchy Cordelia Chase.

[> Re: Plight (Spoiler AtS 4.7 and, oddly enough, Firefly 1.8) -- JM, 15:59:18 11/20/02 Wed

I don't know, I guess I'm nearly the only watcher who's finding Cordy currently pretty fascinating and well acted. Humanization is not a one-way street, because in reality humans, all of them are not all nice all the time. Becoming realer is not just about becoming kinder and humane. Humanizing them should also be about making their faults real and morally relevant. I'm having difficulty articulating this concept, so fair warning, I'm afraid this post is going to be fairly crappy.

While a character is a caricature we can enjoy their misbehavior. They¹re not real, so it's not real on a moral plane. We can love them, hate them, love to hate them, but we rarely really judge them because they¹re one-dimensional and often little more that a well-written, entertaining plot device. When Cordy was a caricature her really mean, self- center cruelty, selfishness, and shallowness just couldn¹t generate moral outrage. And I¹d say the same was true for other fun baddies like the Mayor, Ethan Rayne, and early Spike. Their horrific behavior doesn¹t really have a moral context until they are believable as humans with a recognizable moral compass, even if they are disregard it. The example that really caught me (sucker punched me more like) is Jayne on Firefly. In the eight eps of Firefly Jayne¹s utter lack of moral compass has been played overwhelming for laughs. And it¹s been hilarious, as have the other characters frequent admonitions not to trust him. But there have been two cases where it has had a genuine moral context, and they have only been effective because we¹ve seen the human element underneath, gotten a hint at what makes him tick. The ending of ³Jaynestown² was so ugly and painful because we saw a flicker of pain and even more importantly shame in the character. The other case was the entire ³Ariel.² It was no longer funny. One because the stakes were raised, two because we saw glimpses of conscious, though not really remorse, in the thug. Every time Simon turned to him with gratitude and even respect he visibly flinched. And in the end his last plea was not for his life, but for his honor. It wouldn¹t have been effective and painful if he had remained entirely a caricature. We couldn¹t have been disappointed if we couldn¹t have reasonably hoped for better conduct. In a similar vein, snarky, bitchy Cordy couldn¹t have raised such moral horror, opprobrium and disappointment.

Becoming humanized and three-dimensional through becoming more sympathetic (or at least more understandable) also entails their flaws taking on moral significance and that¹s what I think we¹re seeing here. If Cordy were simply developed in a positive direction, pointing up only her assets, she wouldn¹t being attaining three-dimensional status. An all good character is merely two-dimensional. Three dimensions is about faults too, and faults that we really feel and condemn. Failure to do that with the white- hats is often why audiences root for the charismatic bad guys in quite a lot of pop culture offerings. ME seems committed to taking things one step farther.

I think that we've seen this happen more or less for all of our main characters. In the beginning they were all stereotypes of one kind or another. Cordy was a sassy girl Friday, Angel a tragic romantic hero, Wes a hopelessly poncy dweeb, Gunn was a cross between an angry rebel and a noble savage, and Fred a geeky naļf. Turns out they all had more levels, good and bad. We usually met the good ones first. Angel is noble and suffering, and self-centered, self- righteous, and rash. Wes turns out to be a chivalrous sweetie, as well as endlessly persevering and a fabulous tactician, and also ruthless and autocratic. Gunn is loyal and gentle and self-righteous and chauvinist. Fred is plucky and sweet and mercilessly, murderously unforgiving. Cordy is practical, strong, and surprisingly sympathetic, as well as stunningly committed. She is also consistently superior to those around her. Sometime it comes out as confidence, sometimes as snotty condescension.

I think that some of what we¹re seeing and condemning from Birthday on, at least, is the emotional toll of the visions. They gave her the gift of empathy and noble purpose, but they had to have been exacting a more than physical toll. They were a punishment originally visited on Doyle for the moral sin of turning away genocide victims. They have to have had an emotional toll on Cordy too. Her growing compassion is definitely traceable to TSiLA at least. I do think, and not just in hindsight, that we¹ve been seeing another, internal, toll being taken at least since ³Reprise.² She admits to Wes that she has virtually no social life any longer. He¹s noted enough of a change to chastise Angel in ³Epiphany² about the emotional impact of the visions. In ³Dead End² we see that the physical impact is starting to become scary. In addition they aren¹t just flash visits, they¹re invasive repeat engagements until a resolution is arrived at. By ³Heartthrob² we know she¹s trying to hide the severity. And again in ³That Vision Thing.² In ³Birthday² Angel realizes for the first time that she¹d rather die than relinquish them. We also see in ³Offspring² that the barriers between vision and post vision are starting to blur in her consciousness. And this continues post ³Birthday,² noticeably in ³Couplet² and ³Benediction² when she is having difficulty distinguishing between vision and reality.

During this time she also seems to be making more and more unilateral decisions. First considering her visions, she constantly hides their price. And I think this constant death threat is putting her in a place where she feels superior to those who aren¹t in similar pain and danger (see Buffy¹s superiority complex). She lies about where she¹s going in ³Billy,² she lays into Angel in ³Offspring,² she makes two pretty momentous and rash decisions in ³Birthday,² she cuts Wes out and Fred off in ³The Price,² she makes a possibly inadvisable decision in ³Tomorrow.² And she makes two huge and pretty unilateral decisions in ³Apocalypse Nowish.² None of these are in themselves evil or even necessarily wrong, but they all bespeak a certain arrogance. One that is consistent with old Cordy, and has arguably been getting worse. I also think that this increasing arrogance, and now almost apathy, is a function of what can only be called compassion fatigue. How can you give the same consideration to people around you and their particular sufferings and rights when you¹ve absorbed so much pain over so long. How can you not be somewhat dispassionate in your communication and conceited in your prescription. (And also ³So bored.²)

Personally I¹m finding it believable and fascinating. Plus Wes is causing me such delicious agony that I think all the rest of the fans should suffer horribly too. Hmm, perhaps I¹m projecting about the compassion fatigue. In that case, Malathustra, you have my permission to have a different opinion. LOL.

[> [> Re: Thank you both, great discussions like this are one of the reasons I come to this board -- Just George, 16:18:06 11/20/02 Wed

[> [> I think we're closer to each other than we know -- Malathustra, 20:58:07 11/20/02 Wed

No, JM. Your post was not crappy. It was insightful and made me re-think what I had said. I agree with you on many points.

I think you were right, especially, when you said "Humanization is not a one-way street, because in reality humans, all of them are not all nice all the time."

Yes, yes, and yes. In fact, while I think that most of my complaint regards the acting, the de-humanization of Cordelia is a writer's error. They have written out Cordy's rudeness. Her harsh tact. Her quippy, matter-of-fact bitchiness. I do not understand why someone who had gained as much compassion as Cordelia had would also have to lose this important aspect of her personality. I don't think she truly lost it until post-"Birthday" and I want to know why. What happened to her, in the demonization, that robbed her of these most interesting characteristics?

As I said -- I want to believe that you can be both kind and caring but funny and tactful at once. At least, it's a goal that I strive for.

It's Cordelia's faults that I miss, and that's why I don't understand why our respective thoughts are not aligning. Clearly I didn't explain myself, because you said, "If Cordy were simply developed in a positive direction, pointing up only her assets, she wouldn¹t being attaining three- dimensional status. An all good character is merely two- dimensional."

Yes, a thousand times yes. This is what Cordelia has lost that irks me. She had it in many of the episodes that you mention -- she got right up in Angel's face in "The Thin Dead Line" at the hospital. She mumbled her way through Angel's name when answering the phone in "Reprise" and I loved that. She was all about jumping into that bikini and crown in Pylea and fell right back into her old, shallow self when Harmony dropped by to visit. She, on many occasions, expressed her general irk with early Fred and dropped every one of her responsibilities to lie around on a beach with Groo during their "holidays."

I cannot, for the life of me, fathom New Cordy doing any of those things, and I don't understand why her lessons about sacrifice and her purpose in life have necessarily merited a loss of her faults. Either she or the writers (or both) have been unable to balance the three dimensions of Cordelia and she has been relegated to 2-dimensional performances and/or dialogue.

So, we agree to a large extent on that much of the debate. Let Cordy be human — give her room to grow, but don't let the growth make her boring.

The issue of acting, where the episodes fall flat for me, is what you describe as the visions' "emotional toll" and Cordy's potential "compassion fatigue." It seems to me more like "actress fatigue!" Is it a superiority complex run amok? Interesting idea. Is it arrogance? Is it compassion fatigue?

I dunno...

Whether it's "actress fatigue" or plain laziness/shallowness on Charisma's part or the writers biting off more than they can chew, I can't get behind it. I would think that all of the pain of the pre-demon-esque visions would have made it pretty hard for Cordy to stay afloat, and that the absence of the pain would have freed up her attention and energy for things like, say, verbal sparring with Angel and co., a well- calculated eye roll or two, and some of those delicious faults that have gone AWOL.

Come back old, bitchy Cordy! And bring along her friend -- the good hair!

[> [> [> Re: I think we're closer to each other than we know -- yabyumpan, 00:09:07 11/21/02 Thu

"What happened to her, in the demonization, that robbed her of these most interesting characteristics? "

I think what happened was that she gave up part of her humanity, gave up the possibility of a 'normal life', took on the possibility of physical transformations that she would have no control over. I think all those things are pretty life changing, plus she looked at her own death full on in the face, that's got to be a huge deal.

I think because it was IMO, played out so poorly on the show (no believable reactions from the gang, I would have expected Angel to freak out and go guilt tripping, Wes to hit the books, Gunn to be warey of what sort of demon she is etc), that the full implications of her demonisation didn't come across to the audience.

while I'm not overly keen on the version of Cordy we've had since DorN I do think it is believable. She has literally, martyred self for the cause, part of her humanity is dead. I think the version we've been seeing is 'Cordy the Martyr', it's almost like she's been playing the role. It makes her feel important, indespensable, unique. she can feel ok about feeling proud about what she's done and what she does.

I think what we have right now is overload coupled’

[> [> [> Cordy has also been flat for me. -- yez, 06:41:50 11/21/02 Thu

"The issue of acting, where the episodes fall flat for me, is what you describe as the visions' "emotional toll" and Cordy's
potential "compassion fatigue." It seems to me more like "actress fatigue!""

Me, too. But I wouldn't blame Carpenter for not being able to get her head around the new Cordy -- if that was actually what was happening -- because, frankly, I don't think the writers have done a good job with her character. I'm not talking about the escalating visions and the demonization -- I thought that was very interesting. But then it went flat. And there were all those eps. with her absent which just added to the offness when she was back. This whole "higher being" thing has just seemed ridiculous to me, and this seemingly sudden transformation into karate-master Cordy, and the amnesia thing... I'm happy if others can get into it, but to me, it seems like they don't know what the hell they want to do with this character and are figuring it out on the fly. Maybe they painted themselves into a corner and trying to do a crazy little tiptoe dance out of it and hoping no one will notice. And even if they do come up with a great resolution for it and Carpenter nails it, I'll be really surprised if it retroactively makes up for all this up to now. Just MHO.


[> maybe she is Morphy Cordy? -- azazel, 23:58:03 11/20/02 Wed

[> The Houlihan/Chase transformations -- matching mole, 08:56:30 11/21/02 Thu

As another child of the seventies I appreciate the MASH parallel very much. My major disagreement would be that I never saw Cordy as a one dimensional character (well maybe for the first part of the first season). She has always seemed pretty complicated to me. It was the refusal to make either a 'realistic', likeable character or a one note adversary that was a big part of her appeal. And in the early years of AtS her role shifted fairly gradually and convincingly as is ably documented in other peoples posts.

It seems to me that what happened in MASH is that Margaret shifted from a one note adversary to something more akin to the 'transitional Cordy' of S1/S2 AtS - a character that is kinder and more sympathetic but still retains many of the characteristics of the original. In Margaret's case it was her love of the military and order and discipline, in Cordy's case it was her self-centeredness and bluntness.

An interesting contrast is the Hawkeye/Margaret romance in MASH vs the Angel/Cordelia romance in AtS. Once set in motion the former failed because although the protaganists were attracted to one another (and were vastly more sympathetic towards one another than they had been originally) they were true to the fundamental world views that they had held all along. And these world views were too incompatible.

As Malathustra notes Cordelia appears to have been stripped of every characteristic that was associated with her character in the old days. I would argue that she has beome less multi-dimensional. Her relationship with Angel is unbelievable not because of its mere existence but because of the form it takes. I can easily believe that Angel would fall in love with Cordelia. It would take more convincing to make me believe in the reverse but I could buy it. But this blind, hero-worshipful love seems vastly inconsistent with her character to date. Where's the internal self conflict? We have all kinds of issues: fear of Angelus, Angel's betrayal of trust re Darla, possible second thoughts about her 'demonization', desire (expressed many times earlier) for some part of her life to be normal. She may have consciously taken on this burden in 'Birthday' but that doesn't necessarily mean her past is washed away, that she is a tabula rasa on which a new persona can be drawn.

I think Cordy's rationale for not pursuing the A/C romance in Reign of Fire was the most ridiculous explanation for a plot development I have ever seen in the Buffyverse. It seems so enormously consistent with self-centered Cordy or with sacrificing it all to become a higher being Cordy. So I think that it is possible that there may be performance problems but I am sure that there are writing problems, that not enough attention has been paid to Cordelia for all these changes to be made in a believable manner. Perhaps there will be a big payoff down the road. If so I will be a happy camper.

[> [> Thank you everyone for such a wonderful discussion! -- Caroline, 10:26:00 11/21/02 Thu

[> *Never* apologise for long posts! -- Slain, 10:38:14 11/21/02 Thu

Long posts are one of the things which make this board special - the freedom to write as much as you like, without some ass replying with something along the lines of "Gee, you really think a lot, don't you?" or "You must have a lot of time on your hands." ;)

Bits of me agree with some of the things you've said, but only in reference to Cordy in the last two episodes of Season 4. Before that, I found Charisma and the writing of the character to be very convincing, as equally convincing as Wesley's turn to moral ambiguity.

While watching the past few episodes, I didn't see that there had been a change; she was still sensitive, and above all sensible, Cordy. But, reading posts here and looking back on the episode, I have to agree there are some apartent problems. But while watching the episode, I don't really see them. Cordy isn't condemning Angel, she's simply saying that she can't face him at the moment, because that would make her re-live the things that she remembers seeing him do; in this way she reminds me of Buffy being standoffish around Spike, as being near him means she re-lives what he did to her (and, also, her own feelings of guilt).

That Cordy would have sex with Connor, well - it doesn't make a lot of sense to me, and that Angel would see them doing it seems a little hackneyed, to say the least. But this was a short scene at the end of a complex episode, and I think it would be premature to judge it. I think Cordy's reasoning does make a kind of sense; but ultimately the point I would make is that she is changed by her experiences, and we can't necessarily expect her to be the same Cordy. Perhaps her attitude to sex and love has changed - we can't yet say.

[> FYI: You're being quoted on 'Slayage' (well, kinda) -- tomfool, 11:33:30 11/21/02 Thu

Ron, who writes reviews over on the Slayage site refers to your post/thesis. Here's a partial quote:

"Another writer (and I WISH I could give credit, but I can't remember where I read it) recently held up M*A*S*H as an example of a show where, over the years, the characters got so sweet and loveable and watered down that it became nearly impossible to show them in an unflattering light or to ever have them in conflict with each other. Their dark sides were gradually washed away as they became beloved American icons. Now Cordy has come so far in her journey toward the spiritual high ground that there's almost nothing left to make her interesting. Skip led her up to the sparkly place for some undisclosed mission, but she went from not knowing why she was going to not knowing why she's back, with not a whole lot in between. She loves Angel, but being with him just wouldn't be right. Is there any trace remaining of the selfish mall girl she once was, or has she completely evolved beyond earthly concerns & flaws? "

Here's the link if you want to see the whole review (pretty good review by the way).

[> [> Thanks for the heads-up -- Malathustra, 12:34:32 11/21/02 Thu

I'm flattered, in that anonymous way.

Hey -- maybe I can become a "they!" You know, of "They always say..." fame! :)

Spike and ..... -- Clen, 16:27:32 11/20/02 Wed

this thread seems sort of silly, but I'm posting it because I'm curious. The movie happened in the series, right? It was pre-series, has there ever been mention of Pike? Merrick was mentioned, but why not good old sideshow Luke Perry? Has he never been mentioned as a relationship of the Slayer's? Why not? Did they just erase his existence to make more space for the initial Xander character? And then in S2, we see the introduction of "Spike", complete with leather jacket. Looking at it from the here and now of S7, it is one of the most interesting arcs that has us wondering if Buffy will end up with Spike. Does Spike as a character have at least some sort of connection to Pike in terms of the flow of writer-ideas? Considering the name and fashion sense, it seems altogether possible. But Xander was Pike's heir in terms of the damsel in distress syndrome. Spike gets the love and the jacket and the name and Xander gets the loserness? Of course, both characters developed into their own since then. But I guess my question is:
if the writers are still conscious of Pike when they develop Spike and Xander, does this offer any additional insight into their characters?

[> Re: Spike and ..... -- JM, 18:23:05 11/20/02 Wed

This is total fanfic, but I always worried about Pike too. When I saw the original movie I was blown away. I know it's generally reviled and it's definitely inferior. But when it came out, even it's campy dilution seemed almost unique on the scene. I saw it at a discount theater. We sold out the theater with the group of students from the summer camp I was counciling and for 28 girls it was entertaining and empowering. I actually avoided the series till my boss harassed me into watching it in season two because I was worried it wouldn't do the movie justice. For all it's faults it was the very, very first movie I ever saw with an impowered male sidekick. Every other genre buster I'd ever seen reduced the male love interest to ineffectuality. I thought Pike and the movie did a great job in showing how a guy could be a totally great, totally guy, totally supportive side kick.

Anyway fanfic. Pike's in prison. He took the rap for the gym burning. But Buffy thought he skipped town on her. And every one around her covered to protect her.

[> [> I wondered... -- KdS, 02:46:38 11/21/02 Thu

If Billy Fordham was originally intended to be Pike. The only thing missing from Lie To Me, IMO, was any real sense of Ford's betrayal of Buffy - we'd never seen him, she'd never even mentioned him, so the relationship couldn't have been that important.

I can't help wondering if there were problems with Perry's availability/age, or if they had second thoughts because of continuity problems.

[> [> [> Re: FYI - Pike -- Brian, 05:39:40 11/21/02 Thu

Pike is appearing in the latest issues of the BtVS comic book.

[> It Seems to Me... -- monsieurxander, 12:40:14 11/21/02 Thu

It seems to me that most of the characters from the movie were rehashed into the series... Joss giving character ideas a second chance.

Pike seems to be the 'Xander' character. And David Arquette is 'Jesse'. And Natasha Gregson Wagner is 'Willow'. Hilary Swank is 'Cordelia'. The Jenny character is SO 'Harmony'. There's even a Jonathan-like character (the skinny guy who says "Can I borrow her?"). Lothos is 'The Master'. Pee Wee Herman is 'Darla'. The jock that gets vamped is 'Larry'. And of course, Giles is the latter version of Merrick.

[> [> Re: It Seems to Me... --
leslie, 14:32:09 11/21/02 Thu

"Pee Wee Herman is 'Darla'."

Oh, I don't know--Paul Reubens is MUCH funnier than Darla. And he takes much, much longer to die.

[> [> [> Re: It Seems to Me... -- Lurker Drew, 21:03:38 11/21/02 Thu

Thank you for the funniest thing I've read in ages! :-)

Random Thoughts on Connor and Cordy (Spoilers through AN) -- meritaten, 16:39:39 11/20/02 Wed

The following are only slightly sorted random thoughts that I have had since Apocalypse, Nowish. Sorry if these thoughts have been discussed elsewhere. I haven't seem these addressed speciafically, and I have to turn off the computer and get some work done.

Cordy - there is something she can't remember, and something she feels a need to do, some reason that she was sent back.

Connor - the Beastie rose right where he was born.

Ok, I did see a post (forget by whom) about the Beastie being a result of Connor's unique parentage.
interesting. My thoughts as written here are leaning more towards future implications.

Why is Cordy drawn to Connor? He is only 18, for Heaven's sake! He sunk Angel, who Cordy supposedly loves (If Cordy can't deal ith Angel's PAST, how can she deal with Connor's near-present???). Cordy may be only a few years older, but there is a definitely difference at that point in life. I don't buy the attraction. Unless - she feels drawn to him because it is part of her role in this fight. Plus, we know that Charisma is pregnant. I'm thinking there will be another mystical birth, sponsored by Cordy, Connor, and the PTB. I think Cordy is acting weird because she literally isn't herself. She was raised to a higher plane to prepare her for this role. Now, she is being used by the PTB to further their plan.

Question: All of those "You remind me of your father" comments - were they just to make us buy the Connor/ Cordy pairing?

[> Re: Random Thoughts on Connor and Cordy (Spoilers through AN) -- JM, 18:14:12 11/20/02 Wed

Who knows what to come? Spoiler trollops don't answer. But the multiple connection themes as well as the "can't remember quite" were too highlighted to have no impact. The Troclon has to have some horrible pay off.

Balancing Acts --
fearshade, 16:51:56 11/20/02 Wed

Yes, this is another "Balance" thread, but let's not get into the right/wrong and good/evil scales. Let's discuss another set of scales that's not quite as apparent - hope and fear.

It's a contradiction really. On a personal level, a person can't have one without the other. To hope for one thing, means you fear another. And vice versa.

Let's take a look shall we:

Buffy - Hopes to come to terms with her Slayer-ness, and yet fears it will drive her further away from her friends.

Spike - Hopes to one day have the chip removed from his head, yet fears what he will become afterwards.

Buffy (on Spike) - Hopes Spike will 'get over' his feelings for her, yet fears her own attraction to him.

Spike (on Buffy) - Hopes one day Buffy will come to accept his feeling, yet fears that day will never come.

Willow - Hopes one day to fully control her magicks, yet fears those magicks will one day control her.

There are others, of course, so go ahead and discuss.

[> Re: Balancing Acts -- Rook, 17:17:19 11/20/02 Wed

I've never seen Spike afraid to have the chip removed. He's been able to hurt Buffy since last season, and has had plenty of opportunities. In fact, I don't think the chip is an issue at all for him any more, with regards to why he doesn't want to kil people. He pretty much said in Sleeper that it isn't the chip hoilding him back, it's the soul.

The First (spoiler-free speculation ahoy! as well as other blatherings) -- Malkin, 19:33:28 11/20/02 Wed

Hello? Thought I'd step out of lurkerdom and into posterdom, on account of for once I have actually have something to say. In other words, I've got a theory.

Now, I've seen quite a bit of speculation on this board and others concerning the nature of Big Bad Morphy. Most of this speculation seems to point towards it being the First Evil of seasons past - something I'm having more and more of a problem with. Sure, it looked plausible in the beginning. Eeeevil hallucinations? Check. Hellmouthy references to eeeevil death, destruction, and apocalypses (apocali?)? Check, though Buffy villains have always had a habit of talking big. Trying to confuse Crazy Spike into eeeeevilness or at least ineffectuality, as per Angel- related modus operandi? Check.

Somehow, though, that just seems too obvious. Too obvious for ME by far. Besides which, the whole "higher powers of good vs. evil" has always seemed to have much more to do with Angel than it ever did with Buffy (not the mention the fact that the First evil appeared only in an Angel-centric episode. Agent-Of-Balance Whistler was also only there for Angel. Cleary, when it comes to the grand cosmic scheme, it's All About Peaches). There's also been some speculation about the Powers that Be somehow being involved with this on the board, but I can't see it happening. Angel has an near-independant mythology now, and BtVS could hardly be going Back to the Beginning by incorporating bits of mythology from a completely different show.

BtVS was always All About Buffy... Being the Slayer. What it did to her, what she did for it, how she gained and how she lost. Angel is about people working for forces greater than themselves, which BtVS is about people stepping outside of those greater forces and the power that it gives them. Note that in Angel their main adversary, Wolfram and Hart, is a malignant part of society, and Angel's ragtag group of friends are all people who've been fighting their way back in to society from places of exile. Fred was in Pylea but came back to restore her sanity and her professional identity as a scientist, Faith felt she was above the law and had to submit to it in order to redeem herself, and (in the ultimate metaphor) the carrot at the end of Angel's stick has been to live a normal life as a human in human society. His greatest happinesses haev come from sleeping with a near-human (Buffy) and constucting a facsimile of the conventional family model with Cordelia and Connor.

Buffy, on the other hand, is about what happens when one is placed OUTSIDE of society. When you refuse to accept society's rules, you gain power because you are more free to do what YOU'D like to do. Vampires are freed from society's rules by their lack of conscience, and are portryaed as stronger. Buffy shares that strength, but had to be pushed out of society as a Chosen One in order to be granted it, though she's never stopped lamenting being shoved out of the nest. Is it a coincidence that Willow, the hyper- intellectual lesbian wicca, has much more power than Xander, the strait white male everyman of average intelligence with a 9-5 job? I'm not so sure. Anya had more power before she became a good little capitalist human corporate cog, but then Anya was always "Aud" (hehe... okay, bad pun :P). Even Giles is shown as having more power in his rebellious Ripper persona. High School rejected the Schooby Gang, so the Scooby Gang rejected high school, and in doing so they became heroic demon fighters rather than downtrodden nerdlets ala the pre-Troika nerd trio (and may I say? I think they illustrate societal-rejection-as-power-and-also- temptation-to-evil theory quite well. As do our favorite vamps. I don't think it's coincidence either than none of them fit societal roles very well - William the dreamer, Darla the whore, Liam the drunken loser, and Druscilla the psychic). Not all people can leave mainstream society without thinking they're above it, even with the best of intentions, and thus we get people like Willow and Faith acting very much like vampires. Buffy is a hero because she doesn't let her power or her outsiderness make her into a vampire-type.

*cough* last season, anyone?

But I digress. I'm afraid I'm getting a little rambly :). In any case, what I'm trying to say that talking about forces like the first evil seems a little out of place for me, on Buffy. Buffy was always beyond that. There's never been a one-dimensionally "bad" character on the show as a major villain (and not often as a minor one, either) - Angelus had Angel in him, Glory just wanted to go home, etc. Nothing like Angel's Beast. And I don't really think that ME intends to start in on that with Buffy now in the form of a spirit that's in "in every drop of hate". Buffy isn't about the darkness that's in the hearts of everyone in society. It's about a select group of people that exist at least somewhat outside the system.

So if the Big Bad Guy isn't the First Evil, then what is it?

May I suggest the First Slayer?

We're going Back to the Beginning, and the last Big Bad shown in the Lessons hit parade was Buffy herself. Before the show ends I'm expecting Buffy to somehow come to terms with and embrace her Outsider status, in a way that she's never been able to before. Being the Slayer was her trauma from day one. Her friends didn't change that - they just became Outsiders too.

Who's communicated with he Scoobies before via visions - in the guises of people they've known and loved? The First Slayer - or whatever force "powers" the slayers - who could not affect the Scoobies outside of a dream realm.

Buffy - and, if we are to believe Spike, many of her predecessors - have grown tired of their callings. They want death. They don't want to be outsiders anymore. They want to feel warm, and loved, and complete like Buffy did in heaven. They want blessed oblivion, and a sort of completeness that they can't have as long as they suffer for their separation from society. Why would that become such a prevalent trend among so many young ladies of completely different backgrounds? Surely the psychological reaction to being Chosen wouldn't be universal. But maybe they're not the only ones who are tired. Maybe the Slayer within them is tired too.

Maybe after hundred of lifetimes, the Slayer wants to rest.

"You don't know hurt. This last year is gonna seem like cake after what I put your friends through and I'm not a fan of easy death. Fact is the whole good vs. evil balancing the scales thing? I'm over it. I'm done with the mortal coil. But believe me, I'm going for a big finish."

The Slayer is tired of balancing the scales. She's tired of tirelessly fighting the good fight not for victory, but just so that everyone keeps on breathing. There are other demon fighters out there, and Champions too. What does she need to be there for? She (it?) intends to walk off the job herself (one which she/it may never have willingly taken on). And when she does it, she wants to make the world pay for what she's gone through. Obviously she's not done with the mortal coil quite yet, if the bid finish is yet to come. But this causes the Slayer in Training deaths to make a whole helluva lot more sense (note that the killers appear to be wearing First Slayer-like paint). "There's an order" and it's not Buffy's turn yet, because first the First Slayer has to eliminate all of Buffy and Faith's possible successors before she eliminates them and herself. Then there's be nothing more tying her to the world. So she does things like have Spike manufacture vamps, because what better way to eliminate slayers than with their traditional enemy? She doesn't have her own face, so she takes on the faces of others - of her first vessel and Tara originally. As she did in Restless, she tries to weaken Buffy by messing with the companions she's so inappropriately picked up, like Willow and possibly Dawn.

Maybe it's not just Buffy that needs to accept and find joy in her nature. Maybe it's Slayerness itself.

*shrug* Or maybe not. Yay conjecture!

[> Re: The First (Some Spoilers in my Reply) -- Wolfhowl3, 20:02:14 11/20/02 Wed

First, welcome to posterhood.

Second, that is a solid speculation, but I do have a few questions.

1. Has it been determened that the girls who are getting knifed are really Slayers-in-waiting? I ask because the lady last night seemed to be rather old to be a S.I.W.

2. Why would the First Slayer go, in less then one year from the teacher, (Death is your Gift), to a homisidal mainac? That kind of personallity switch would take more then a year to do. (for a Mortal personallity).

Something to think about


[> [> Why do people think... -- Rook, 20:12:24 11/20/02 Wed

That the figure in intervention was the First Salyer, when she explicitly states she isn't?

BUFFY: I know you. You're the first Slayer.
FIRST SLAYER: This is a form. I am the guide.

Is there a retcon interview somewhere where ME says that it is the first slayer? Or are people just missing that line?

[> [> [> In my case... -- Wolfhowl3, 20:20:38 11/20/02 Wed

I just missed that line, so I must hang my head in shame!


[> [> [> [> Actually ... :) -- Malkin, 20:37:15 11/20/02 Wed

No big. All this talk of the previous First Slayer incident actually has me thinking even more that maybe the Big Bad IS the first splayer ^_^. I hadn't really given the Restless FS too much thought when originally posting.


Didn't the First Slayer (whom I took to be the epitome of "slayerness") ramble on about how Slayers were always alone? Obviously theis entity is in alot of pain, and felt/was aware of happenings in the lives of Buffy and the other isolated Slayers. That's how she knew Buffy had friends in the first place. And that's why I take her to have been a manifestation of "slayerness" itself, or the force that powers slayers, which for some reason cannot directly speak. If all those years of depressing isolation drive the FS to think that loneliness, depression, and living for the kill were NATURAL emotions then she's obviously suffered deeply. Now picture her also being aware of the events which have happened to Buffy in the past two seasons. Of Buffy dying... and then when she comes back, remembering peace (memories which the Slayer Spirit may have access too, sort of like a vamp demon?). Picture her going through the nightmare Buffy did right alongside her, in some way. Could that maybe have driven her to want the same thing that Buffy had? To move beyond the mortal coil? She was already a deeply traumatized being...

*laughs* but them, I'm a big fan of the idea that Season Six and Season Seven are two halves of a whole. And this theory is kinda out-there already. Also, now that I've started posting, I can't seem to stop. Is this a common affliction? Ack! :)

[> [> [> [> [> I think this is a very interesting speculation (spoilers, CWDP) -- Rahael, 02:11:14 11/21/02 Thu

Keep posting!

Especially with the whole "it's all connected" - all the Slayers throughout history are connected, are they not?

All reaching back toward the original. I certainly think that the First Slayer is involved in some way - I'm just not sure which side!

I agree with Caroline also that in CWDP, everyone was talking to something within them, because I don't think evil is a force outside the world - after all, it doesn't even have it's own body, does it? It takes on human guises. Because we are all capable of it.

I keep thinking of the Willow Giles scene in Lessons. That beautiful green pastoral which also contains the mouth of hell. The flower that grows out of the same earth, which also contains our bodies, and death, and all things which are not.

Life and death are connected. Because the earth brings forth life, but it also takes in our dead bodies.

Willow has done good things and terrible things - so has Anya, so has Buffy, so has Spike....the writers keep hitting this home to us, every ep. The same ep where Anya was being so adorable was the one where she had her arms covered in human blood.

I think the juxtoposition of this with an 'evil' entity that is able to take many shapes, to show us evil with our own faces....very intriguing. Can't wait to see what happens next!

[> [> [> Thanks to Rahael for this -- tost, 07:25:43 11/21/02 Thu

Jane Espenson: This is one of my favourite things I¹ve seen Sarah do was how she does the Buffy bot. It¹s just hilarious. The cheerfulness, the getting Giles¹ name wrong which was Joss¹ idea. He¹s aggravated by people who claim to be fans of the show and then pronounce his name SGuyles².

[Real Buffy pretends to be Buffybot and kisses Spike]

The kiss at the end of this episode is a huge milestone. She finds out for sure, by pretending to be the Buffybot that Spike did not betray her, that he did not tell Glory that Dawn is the Key. Buffy owes him a genuine debt of gratitude and gives him a kiss at the end of this episode, still in the guise of the Buffybot.

[Buffy tells Giles¹ she¹s afraid that she¹s nothing more than a killer]

Buffy is afraid she¹s losing it and goes on a quest in the desert and follows the mountain lion and sees the Primitive, the original Slayer.

[First Slayer tells Buffy ³Death is your Gift²]

This information, ³Death is your Gift² is what lets her know that throwing herself off that tower is going to be the right thing to do at the end. But at this point she takes it very badly. She does not yet understand what it means.

[Scene from Weight of the World, where Buffy tries to smother Dawn]

[> [> [> [> That's put the cat amongst the pigeons! -- Rahael, 08:14:52 11/21/02 Thu

I totally didn't note the significance of when I wrote it down.

I wonder if Jane made a mistake, or whether this is an insight into how ME view the first slayer. It's also intriguing that the spirit guide says she has 'taken' a 'form'. Of course, the First Slayer is in all the other slayers too, so she essentially takes new forms all the time.

Well spotted tost!

[> [> Re: The First (Some Spoilers in my Reply) -- HonorH, 21:01:38 11/20/02 Wed

1. Has it been determened that the girls who are getting knifed are really Slayers-in-waiting? I ask because the lady last night seemed to be rather old to be a S.I.W.

We didn't see her full in the face, but when I re-watched, she appeared to me to be a young woman. She didn't have to be any older than the Istanbul and Frankfurt girls. One imagines Slayers-in-Waiting go from ages 12-18 or thereabouts, so this might have been an older teen. And that guy? Definitely a Watcher.

[> This could very well be. -- HonorH, 20:58:35 11/20/02 Wed

I'm still a bit confused on account of the BBW's first appearance--saying that there was no word for it. "Something older than the Old Ones," said Halfrek. One tends to think that the Slayer came about *after* the demons were forced out. All that, though, is mere conjecture. Your theory could very well pay out, and it would be fascinating if it did.

[> [> Origin of Slayer and her Power? -- meritaten, 23:21:17 11/20/02 Wed

What MADE the First Slayer? Where did the power come from? If there was no language, HOW was the Slayer created / called/ formed/ whatever?

Was there a power that created the Slayer to balance power? Could that be what they are now facing?

[> [> [> Re: Origin of Slayer and her Power? -- Malkin, 00:31:34 11/21/02 Thu

Maybe the power is older than the First Slayer/Slayer Spirit? The Key existed for at least millenia before it was given consciousness as Dawn, so that power could have existed for thousands of years before it was given consciousness/form as the Slayer.

[> A little more speculation.. -- Dyna, 12:15:35 11/21/02 Thu

Over the summer Joss said in an interview that the BB this season would be "everyone's worst nightmare." I immediately thought of Restless, where the four main characters each has a nightmare of being menaced by the First Slayer. I'm in the camp that thinks Restless is the blueprint for seasons 5- 7, so it made sense to me to speculate that Buffy's Slayer nature will be a major subject, possibly a major problem, this season.

That said, I don't think I can see it playing out as you suggest, with the First Slayer being an actual entity that's trying to end things. Don't have any solid reason why--it just feels very literal, and a metaphorical treatment seems more typical of the show. We've had several seasons worth of buildup to the idea of Buffy's Slayer origins being explored, or coming to the fore, and as yet that promise is unfulfilled. Is this the season where Buffy must finally confront what part of her is "Slayer," and all the implications thereof? Possibly in the form of some kind of threat or consequences to her for having carried this inhuman force within her for so long?

Right now it looks like the "big bad" is something that wants to end the world, but it may be this is a diversion, not the real capital-B Bad of the season. (It wouldn't be the first time a season started with one "bad" and ended with another.) We don't even know yet if the guys in black hoods are any relation at all to the Mighty Morphin' thingie- -they could be a secondary threat, like the Knights of Byzantium were to Glory, or they could be the real badness, and Morphy just an all-talk diversion.

I really like what you say about the difference between "Angel" and "Buffy," by the way--very astute observation!


Cordy & Connor age difference -- liz, 19:55:57 11/20/02 Wed

Just a question, but isn't Cordy 21? That's not so
terribly far off from 18.

It's easy to forget this because 1) she has so much more
life experience than he does, both literally on that world
and in terms of emotional maturity, 2) he was a baby in
her recent past, and 3) the actress is 33. Carpenter is
one of the actors who was much older than she was playing
in the beginning, and now its easier just to have her
basically act her age.

And in terms of emotional maturity, she really is quite a
bit further than he is. She kind of considers herself to
be a half-generation older. That's why when she had no
memory and there was that teasing trailer about the two of
them, I thought it was a mislead. I didn't think ME would
actually do that, because it would be too confusing for

But then they did. It's probably still a mistake (and
while I adore Connor and I wanted happiness for him, and
while I even had some liking of a Cordy/Connor pairing, I
too was put off by her actual reasons. Now I can
understand "it's the end of the world, lets share comfort."
But I really didn't like "You've never had anything real,
so let me give you this, which I would otherwise not do,
so, uh, it's not real.")

I seem to have gotten off track. What I wonder is what
is the actual age difference? In years it is not so great.
In life experience it IS great, and I think that matters.
In the "tell me we don't live in a soap opera" fashion of
Connor's rapid aging, we simply can't make any comparison.


[> Who cares? -- oboemaboe, 21:26:03 11/20/02 Wed

As I've said before, how is this worse than Angel being 300+ and Spike being 100+? They still had relationships with humans.
We don't know exactly what Connor went through in Quortoth, but he's sure to have had radically different life experiences from any human female, regardless of age. Even if he didn't have much in common with Sunny and she had been more emotionally mature than him, no one would have batted an eyelash about them forming a relationship.

But even though I don't care about age differences, I think some people were made uncomfortable by these two and that's why it's a little convenient for Connor to suddenly be eighteen after we've gone since last spring without knowing his exact age.

[> [> Not age in the "ick factor " for me..... (spoilers AtS Apocalypse...) -- Briar Rose, 21:48:39 11/20/02 Wed

I don't understand what the age factor would be having anything at all to do with the ick factor of this episode?

Forget ages. The ick factor comes in (for me) when just two weeks before she's looking at pictures of her holding Connor and thinking she's his Mother. (And in that picture - like in the actual scene it was taken from - she was his "Mother"!)

Then the next week, she remembers everyone and starts to treat Connor as her "son" again. She knows that it's just down right Icky to be kissing him, even in a thrill of post fight glee when she changed his diapers, practically nursed him and cared for him like a son not so long ago.

And then all of a sudden she'd boinking the kid?????? HER Kid??????

I mean I do understand the bit of "Love the one you're with..." That the act of sleeping with Connor when she was terrified of what was coming and had already started to happen has a basis in reality in the real world. Especially since Connor was acting as Angel in her heart, sort of a "replacement hitter" in a way.

But where I just can't hang is in the fact that Cordelia is no longer amnesiac. She remembers all about her feelings for baby Coonor and who and what he is to her and to Angel. And for her to actually commit what equates to Incest with him just disturbed me to no end....

I am seriously digusted with that little turn of events even while I see where the writers probably didn't see it the same way I do. Men don't see casual sexual relationships the same way women do, and many men don't see some forms of incest as "so bad" as most women do (Walk this way comes to mind readily...) and I doubt that Marti Noxon would have ever written this scene at all....

But it is what it is, and I just hope that the writers have a good reason for this little pecaddillo....

[> [> [> Speccy Spoilery Answery -- ZachsMind, 22:59:57 11/20/02 Wed

Something that occurred to me but others may not be thinking of it. I think that act makes it clear this is not necessarily "our" Cordy. At the risk of seeming like I'm wanting more of a cross-over thing going between Buffy & Angel, I think the Cordy that came back might be some kinda variation of The First Evil. If what's bugging Buffy & the Scoobies really IS The First Evil, remember, it was after Angel before it was after any of the others. How best to get under Angel's skin than to pose as the woman he loves?

*Our* Cordy may very well still be stuck in that all white light place.

[> [> [> I never bought Cordy as his mother -- oboemaboe, 23:09:48 11/20/02 Wed

Which isn't to say the writers didn't intend it that way.

(I haven't seen RoF, so feel free to ignore me. And I'm not trying to justify Connor/Cordy, because frankly I find it boring. And I'm not trying to defend incest in general, because I don't think this qualifies. And finally, though I'm male, I'm not the biggest fan of casual sex outside a committed relationship. Believe it or not.)

First, they're not related. She and Angel weren't even in a relationship. They might have had the tiniest glimmer of a beginning of one, but Cordy left town shortly after Connor was born to boink her boyfriend. How many "mothers" abandon their sons and husbands to have a sex vacation with the nearest hunk?
And didn't Fred spend as much time as Cordy caring for Connor? Cordy was at most one of his babysitters.

Second, she cared for Connor for a measly 5 weeks out of 18 years. And it's a five weeks that neither of them remembered when their relationship started.

First you say to forget ages, then you repeatedly bring up Connor's recently being a baby. Make up your mind.

Thinking of Connor as still a baby isn't thinking 4- dimensionally (or whatever). Thanks to magic, he really is an adult, we just didn't get to see it happen. If you hold Connor responsible for recently being a baby in one dimension, wouldn't you also have to be disgusted by Dawn dating high school boys since she's technically three? Whenever people pop out of portals, they are instantly accepted as whatever age they appear to be. Nobody treats Buffy like a 100-year old because she spent a timeless summer in heaven.
Buffy looks 21 - she's accepted as 21.
Dawn looks 16 - she's accepted as 16.
Connor looks 18 - I for one accept him as 18.
I agree with Spike's "it doesn't matter how you got here."

I will grant that I see these two mostly from Connor's perspective, since Cordy's perspective is so bizarre and constantly changing it's hard to get a handle on what exactly her situation is. Did RoF explain the reason behind her memory loss? (Y/N will do.)

[> [> [> [> No, re: Cordy's amnesia -- Scroll, 05:36:00 11/21/02 Thu

I think what Briar Rose is getting at isn't that Connor was a baby six months ago (in Earth time) but that Cordelia should remember that he was a baby, one she helped care for like a mother/aunt/baby-sitter/whatever. How do you toss away the past like that so easily? Especially since she made such a point about not being able to get over Angel's evil past in that same episode.

Personally, I don't see Cordelia as Connor's mother. I think the "Darla" reference was supposed to emphasise that. But I do think ME wants us to question the legitimacy of Cordy/Connor, they do want us to wonder if it's incest. Otherwise why show us that photo of Angel, Cordy, and Baby Connor as a cute little family? Why else have Cordy believing she is a mother only 3 episodes earlier?

From Connor's perspective, sex with Cordy is perfectly legitimate. But I'm not so sure that from Cordy's perspective, sex with Connor can be completely justified -- even with her reason of "you never had anything real" and even with fire raining down on L.A. I really believe Cordelia isn't thinking clearly, that part of her personality or her reasoning is being suppressed or manipulated by the BB somehow. Because even if you ignore the incestuous subtext, there's still her very strange attitude of "Angel, I love you, I'll always love you -- mind if I sleep with your son because the world is ending?" JMHO, of course, but something (I'm not sure what yet) about Cordy strikes me as very wrong. It's like part of her is still missing, maybe stuck in that heavenly cloud of hers. I dunno...

Take it and run, as Earl would say.

[> [> [> Re: Not age in the "ick factor " for me.. (spoilers AtS Apocalypse and speculation) -- CW, 05:30:03 11/21/02 Thu

Even if you don't think of Cordy as Connor's mother, he's still the child of the man she just declared her love for. We know she can't sleep with Angel. Sleeping with anyone else at that moment is trashy. Sleeping with Connor, whatever his age, is seriously disturbed behavior, at least according to any human society I know of. The excuse she gives Connor is that the world is ending and it won't matter. I think she already knows that's a lie on a grand scale.

[> [> [> [> totally agree with CW -- Sophie, 08:56:27 11/21/02 Thu

[> [> [> [> As soon as I heard Cordy say Connor was 18 I knew... -- Isabel, 13:38:37 11/21/02 Thu

That they were going to be getting horizontal soon.

They love upping the angst on Angel. Angel is cursed, in love with Cordelia and can never have her. Cordy is in love with Angel, knows, intimately, she can never BE with Angel and looks to his son for some momentary comfort sharing. Connor hates his father and is thrilled that the woman that Dad loves seems to prefer him at the moment. He's not going to be happy to discover he's a surrogate, at best, or a one night stand, at worst.

BTW- I did consider Cordy to be Connor's foster mom, but that was last year for her and 18 years ago for him. It's not incest and the writers bent over backwards to make sure WE know it's not even statutory rape.

You can't bring in Oedipal elements easily without Oedipus and Jocasta getting together in some way. And don't forget, Connor's father is technically dead and he is standing in for his father in his 'mother's' bed.

I just have to mention this. I have had the songs from 'Oedipus Tex' running through my head ever since Sunday. (There was a break yesterday when Spike's trigger song got imbedded in my psyche and I found that extremely distrubing. But that's over.) In case you haven't heard of it, Oedipus Tex is P.D.Q. Bach's mini musical take on Oedipus Rex. It's set in Thebes Gulch, Texas and I love it.
From the entrance of the Greek Chorus:

"Tragedy! This is a Tragedy! Neverending Tragedy! T-R-A-G- E-D-Y! Tragedy!"

To the introduction of Oedipus:

"I'm Oedipus Tex, that's what I said, but my friends just call me Ed."

He shoots a road hog in a fancy rig and goes to town and marries Billie Jo-casta, the Queen of the Rodeo.

I could go on, but I won't. I recommend the album if you like a) humorous music and/or b) classical music.

"My Eyes! My Eyes! What am I gonna do without my eyes!"

Like I said, It's stuck in there. ;-)

[> [> [> Re: Not age in the "ick factor " for me..... (spoilers AtS Apocalypse...) -- Arethusa, 09:18:20 11/21/02 Thu

We've seen Cordy sleep with three men so far, in "Expecting," "Couplet," and "Apocalypse, Nowish." Each time Cordy is very lonely and reaches out for someone to be close to. She has repeatedly said that a romance with Angel would be impossible. We may see Cordy as baby Connor's mother, but if they don't, by definition it isn't incest.

Having said all that, it's hard not to wince at the squick factor.

[> [> [> [> If you think that's squicky (Future AtS spoilers) - - Sophist, 10:48:25 11/21/02 Thu

the rumor is that CC is pregnant. If so, you have to wonder about the results of this little tryst.

[> [> [> [> [> SOPHIST IS SO RIGHT - MAJOR ANGEL SPOILER -- Angelina, 14:01:51 11/21/02 Thu

CC is most definitely prego. And, this will be written into the script.

Also, Am I the ONLY one who thought that not only was the entire Connor/Cordy pairing totally inappropriate, but what was with that blouse she was wearing??????? My God, if they wanted to keep her pregnancy a secret they certainly chose the wrong outfit - she was totally hanging out of that top. She really looked like Connor's mother! Hated the whole thing. Sorry. However, I do believe that we are going to have the pleasure of a major Crossover between Angel and Buffy at the end of the season. The seasons are paralleling each other and are leading in this direction. And I for one CANNOT wait for that to happen. I NEED to see Angel and Buffy interact again, even if it means them saying Good-bye for good. But as far as Cordy and Angel are concerned - I don't see the love there at all. I see friendship and trust (past tense now, I guess), but not romantic - sexual love.

What If BtVS eps were named using FRIENDS Titling Conventions? (slightly spoilery) -- ZachsMind, 22:35:22 11/20/02 Wed

A bit of a spoiler warning to start with. The following list involves describing plot elements essential to each episode, sometimes in ways that might 'spoil' an episode or two for some. So please proceed at your own risk.

One of the things I like about the TV series "
Friends" (yes there's actually at least one good thing about that show) is the way the writers of the series call each episode what they figured people watching the show would call them the next morning around the water cooler, so it makes it a bit easier to remember the names. "The One With George Stephanopoulos" for example, or "The One With Phoebe's Uterus" or "The One Where Ross Dates a Student" are titles that make it a little easier to recall the details of a given episode. It just makes things a lot easier to track. So, with that in mind, I thought it might be fun to see what the Buffy episodes might have been named if Mutant Enemy used The Friends' Titling Conventions...

The One With The Stiff In The Locker
The One Where Luke Bites It
The One With the Cheerleading Witch
The One With Xander's Thing For Buggy Women
The One With Buffy Dating Owen
The One Where Xander Eats The Principal
The One With Buffy & Angel's First Kiss
The One With Willow's Cyberdate
The One With The Dummy
The One Where Their Dreams Come True
The One With The One Who Went Unnoticed
The One Where Buffy Dies A Little

The One With The Master's Bones
The One With Cordy The Bride of Darylstein
The One Where Spike & Dru Come To Town
The One With the Foreign Exchange Student
The One With Cordy And College Boys
The One With The Trick Or Treating
The One With The Vampire Wanna-be
The One With Giles' Dark Past
The One Where Kendra Comes To Town
The One With Two Slayers No Waiting
The One With Joyce's New Boyfriend
The One With The Health Class Assignment
The One Where Buffy And Angel Have Sex
The One Where Angel Loses His Soul
The One Where Oz Goes Through Some Changes
The One With Xander The Babe Magnet
The One Where Jenny Tries to Curse Angeles
The One With The Lovesick Ghost
The One With Xander In A Speedo
The One Where Kendra Dies
The One Where Buffy Sends Angel To Hell

The One With Buffy in L.A.
The One Where Buffy Comes Home
The One With Faith The New Slayer
The One Where the Jeckyll & Hyde Tale Gets Revamped
The One With Buffy & Cordy Fighting For Homecoming Queen
The One With Joyce & Giles Doing It On A Police Car
The One With Faith's First Watcher
The One Where Spike Returns and Willow Gets Caught Kissing Xander
The One With Cordy's Wish To Anya
The One With The First
The One Where Amy Turns Into A Rat
The One With Buffy's 18th Birthday
The One With Xander And Some Zombies
The One Where Faith Kills A Human Being
The One Where Faith Joins The Mayor
The One With Vampy Willow
The One With Angel The Double Agent
The One With Buffy's Brief Stint As A Telepath
The One With Cordy Working Retail
The One With The Prom
The One With Graduation And Other Impending Doom
The One Where The Mayor Turns Into A Snake

The One With Buffy & Willow Starting College
The One With Buffy's Dorm Roommate
The One Where Spike Sees Daylight
The One With The Halloween Party
The One With A Very Drunk Buffy
The One Where Oz Two-Times Willow
The One Where Spike Gets Neutered
The One With Thanksgiving Dinner
The One Where Willow Becomes A Blip On D'Hoffryn's Radar
The One With Very Little Talking
The One With Riley Blowing His Cover
The One With Giles The Fyoral Demon
The One Where Buffy Joins The Army
The One With Riley's Drug Withdrawal
The One With Buffy & Faith's Tricky Tuesday
The One With Buffy In Faith's Body and Faith in Buffy's Body
The One With Jonathan Stealing Buffy's Thunder
The One Where Buffy & Riley Compare Battle Scars
The One Where Willow Admits Her Love For Tara And Oz Shows Up Briefly
The One With The Cool Fight Between Riley And Angel And Spike Plays Mind Games
The One With The SuperBuffy
The One After The SuperBuffy Which Has A Lot Of Dreams In It

The One With Dracula
The One Where Dawn Gets Kidnapped By Harmony
The One With Xander And Xander
The One Where Spike Gets Another Hole In His Head
The One With Glory's Big Entrance
The One With Tara's Backwoods Family
The One With Spike's Origin
The One With Glory's Pet Snake
The One With The Brain Sucking Space Demon
The One With Riley's Bloodletting
The One With Anya's Ex-Trollfriend
The One With Buffy's Cool Speech To The Watcher's Council
The One Where Dawn's Discovers That She's The Key
The One With Spike's Ex-Girlfriends
The One With Warren's Sex Toy
The One Where Joyce Dies
The One With Dawn Tries To Bring Joyce Back
The One Where Glory Thinks Spike Is The Key
The One Where Glory Thinks Tara Is The Key
The One With The Knights Of Byzantium
The One Where Willow Walks Around In Buffy's Comatose Head
The One Where Buffy Dies Again

The One Where The Scoobies Bring Buffy Back From The Dead
The One With Buffy's Stowaway
The One With The Flooded Basement
The One Where Buffy Looks For A Real Job
The One Where Dawn Goes Parking With A Boy, Xander & Anya Get Engaged, And Willow Puts A Spell On Tara
The One With All The Singing
The One With All The Forgetting
The One Where Spike & Buffy Have Sex And Willow Unrats Amy
The One Where Willow Goes Cold Turkey
The One Where Buffy Goes Unnoticed
The One Where Buffy Flips Burgers
The One Where Warren Kills His Ex-Girlfriend
The One Where There's No Escape
The One With Riley & His Bride
The One With Xander Leaving Anya At The Altar
The One With Buffy Going Crazy
The One With Anya Returning To Her Very Old Habits
The One Where Tara Dies
The One Where Willow Kills Warren
The One Where Willow Goes Ballistic
The One Where Willow Attempts To Destroy The World

The One With The New Sunnydale High
The One Where Buffy Discovers Spike Got His Soul Back
The One Where Willow Comes Back From Magic Detox
The One With Cassie's Impending Destiny
The One With Anya & Buffy's Cool Fight
The One With The Girls Competing Over A Highschool Quarterback
The One With Buffy's Headshrinking
The One With Spike Returning To His Very Old Habits
The One Where Spike Goes Cold Turkey

[> Have to nitpick...... -- meritaten, 22:42:55 11/20/02 Wed

Xander never ate the principal. The writers wisely had him elsewhere.

While I liked reading your list, I must say that I far prefer ME's titles. While I enjoy Friends, it is in a very different class than Buffy. The titles reflect this.

[> [> Yeah maybe. But I was going for the funny. =) -- ZachsMind, 22:49:02 11/20/02 Wed

I agree that ME's titling conventions are far more superior. I just found this idea an amusing thought and ran with it. =)

[> [> [> Re: Yeah maybe. But I was going for the funny. =) - - meritaten, 22:59:56 11/20/02 Wed

It's definitely amusing. I love it - I just wouldn't vote to adopt the system!

[> [> [> Hummmmmmm........................... -- Deb, 11:38:35 11/21/02 Thu

Doesn't it suck when someone doesn't "get it"? Nice idea. I have a few choice titles of my own. Keep up the good try.
I know how it feels.

[> ROFLMAO! Brilliant, ZM! -- Rob, 22:45:08 11/20/02 Wed

[> about 1.6... -- Dead Soul, 22:47:12 11/20/02 Wed

The One Where Xander Eats The Principal - except that he doesn't - he's busy putting the moves on Buffy and getting hit with a desk.

But still fun, even though I've never watched "Friends."

Dead (but still a killjoy pain in the ass) Soul

[> [> geez... -- Dead Soul, 22:48:56 11/20/02 Wed

Giving up on this whole posting thing - I never come in first.

[> [> [> LOL! That's okay. =) -- ZachsMind, 22:51:00 11/20/02 Wed

I've posted then someone else beat me to it before too. I know what that's like. It's cool. =)

[> [> [> Cool! -- meritaten, 23:08:57 11/20/02 Wed

I'm usually the one to post what has already posted. Nice to be on the other end for once!

[> [> [> [> My whole raison d'etre on this board seems to be -- Dead Soul, 23:31:39 11/20/02 Wed

doing the dorky stuff that makes other people feel better about themselves for not having done it in this particular instance.

It's my burden, my calling. I accept it graciously (if you don't mind the occasional whining).

Dead (and fading into the darkness to lurk until needed again) Soul

[> [> [> [> [> Re: My whole raison d'etre on this board seems to be -- aliera, 06:37:30 11/21/02 Thu


raison d'etre
raisin' d'dead at ATPo!

[> Re: What If BtVS eps were named using FRIENDS Titling Conventions? (slightly spoilery) -- Alvin, 00:09:22 11/21/02 Thu

I think 2.13 should be The One where Buffy and Angel, well, you know.

[> The Great Friends/Buffy Cast Comparison -- cjl, 11:59:16 11/21/02 Thu

Always thought the two casts were frighteningly similar in many ways. In one case, the two parallel characters are almost EXACTLY the same person. To wit:

BUFFY = Rachel (Come on--you can't see Jennifer A. prowling through Sunnydale Cemetary, stake in hand?)

WILLOW = Phoebe (Except Willow can't sing. Wait. Phoebe can't sing, either...And Dark!Willow = Ursula.)

ANYA = Monica (obsessive, single-minded, focused on reeling in her man--and in a paradoxical way, the most powerful individual of the group.)

XANDER = Chandler (They ARE the same person.)

SPIKE = Joey (Okay, I'm stretching here. But both are would- be lotharios who turn out to be love's bitch. [Spike with Buffy, and Joey with Rachel.] How're YOU doin'?)

JONATHAN = Gunther (There since the beginning, but destined never to be part of the group.)

ANGEL = Ross (The leading lady's one true love. Goofy!Angel reminds me of S1 Ross.)

Always wanted to do a fanfic with the Friends cast in Sunnydale and the Buffy cast at Central Perk...

Epiphanies -- Tchaikovsky, 05:18:28 11/21/02 Thu

The Journey of the Magi

'A cold coming we had of it,
Just the worst time of the year
For the journey, and such a long journey:
The ways deep and the weather sharp,
The very dead of winter.'
And the camels galled, sore-footed, refractory,
Lying down in the melting snow.
There were times we regretted
The summer palaces on slopes, the terraces,
And the silken girls bringing sherbet.
Then the camel men cursing and grumbling
And running away, and wanting their liquor and women,
And the night-fires going out, and the lack of shelters,
And the cities hostile and the towns unfriendly
And the villages dirty and charging high prices:
A hard time we had of it.
At the end we preferred to travel all night,
Sleeping in snatches,
With the voices singing in our ears, saying
That this was all folly.

Then at dawn we came down to a temperate valley,
Wet, below the snow line, smelling of vegetation;
With a running stream and a water-mill beating the darkness,
And three trees on the low sky,
And an old white horse galloped away in the meadow.
Then we came to a tavern with vine-leaves over the lintel,
Six hands at an open door dicing for pieces of silver,
And feet kicking the empty wine-skins,
But there was no information, and so we continued
And arrived at evening, not a moment too soon
Finding the place; it was (you may say) satisfactory

All this was a long time ago, I remember,
And I would do it again, but set down
This set down
This: were we led all that way for
Birth or Death? There was a Birth, certainly,
We had evidence and no doubt. I had seen birth and death,
But had thought they were different; this Birth was
Hard and bitter agony for us, like Death, our death,
We returned to our places, these Kingdoms,
But no longer at ease here, in the old dispensation,
With an alien people clutching their gods.
I should be glad of another death.

T S Eliot


Yesterday, I realised something. I realised it again. In fact, I realised it for the fifth or sixth time in my life, all of which have been in about the last five years. Homework and assignments are better, more interesting, less stressful and generally nicer to do if attempted about a week before the deadline. You can take them at a leisurely pace. It's not the end of the world, (or the end of your allotted time), if you can't answer certain questions straight away. You get a lovely glowy feeling if you do finish it early. And then you can continue getting further and further ahead, and give yourself breaks to watch Buffy or Angel with no dark clouds hanging over your every move.

I realised this as I completed my Combinatorics homework for Monday yesterday. Then I realised it again as I looked at my Vector Analysis homework this morning. And I resolved to keep it always in this pattern.

I resolved to keep ahead in my GCSE's. It worked to start with. Eventually I came back to night before chaos. I resolved to keep ahead in my A-levels, and largely succeeded, leading to a cheerful period of my life. I resolved to do it at the start of university, and slackened gradually over the first year. So at 14, 16 and 18 years of age I decided to do this. And here, at 19, I was learning it again.

So, if anyone is still reading, what does this have to do with the Buffyverse? Well, my epiphanies are multiple. I can realise something truthful, helpful, instructional, and then fall into the same pitfalls over and over again. In this instance, it's not a particularly terrible problem. I'm a little more stressed- but the needs must of tomorrow as a deadline sometimes forces superhuman effort. Sometimes I just get poor marks. I believe that in Buffy, as in life, our characters' epiphanies are multiple.

Sometimes you want to slap Buffy when she hides things from people. When she makes things her own little secret. Again and again and again. In less considered places than this, comments like 'Why doesn't she learn?' or 'Look where that got her last time', are prevalent.

Sometimes you want to slap Willow when she tries to control the uncontrollable, to disastrous effect. Consider 'Something Blue', her tacit help of Dawn in 'Forever', 'Bargaining', 'Once More, With Feeling', and 'Tabula Rasa'. And yet these never led Willow to the conviction that she couldn't control some things? Didn't she learn that 'what's done is done'? My answer would be 'yes'.

People have their own, individual personalities. They will fall into the same pitfalls again and again, because it is in their character to do the things that they keep repeating wrongly. Sometimes we repeat it unconsciously, (we start biting our nails again). Sometimes we tell ourselves it's going to be different this time, or it's only a one-off, (my assignment problem). But our nature is to do certain things which are not helathy for us.

Just because we start doing the same things again doesn't mean that we didn't have the epiphany at the time. We realised that happiness could not be constant, but we tried to follow rules that we believed made it better for us. Each epiphany is important. Each time we learn the same lesson again, it hits us with increasing force. We failed. But practice makes perfect.

Eventually, Buffy may stop hiding things. Hiding Angel's re- ensoullment before the tomb of Acathla. Hiding Angel's return from Hell. Hiding Dawn's Keyness, and her unease over her relationship with Riley. Hiding her relationship with Spike. It's not that she hasn't learnt, in every case, that she was wrong. Every time she had an epiphany. But it needs reinforcement, like a carpet needs an occasional vacuum cleaining.

Each epiphany is important. But few epiphanies are life- changing. Eliot's character, finding their faith in 'The Journey of the Magi', 'would be glad of another death'. It is in the death of his old ways, in The Epiphany, (capitals so important here), that he is reborn to eternal life. That he sees what he believes is a fundamental truth about human life. But I am sure that his faith will remain a struggle. It is organic, not constant. It has its ebbs and flows. Sometimes he needs to recount what The Epiphany was like, so that, in the mulitple mini-epiphanies through the rest of his life, he can continue to affirm his faith.

Keep trusting that Buffy and Willow can learn and grow. They do, every time they do something wrong, even if it's a similar mistake to the one before. You must forgive, as we forgive ourselves. Because that Algebra homework will still be due tomorrow.


[> A lesson I've never learnt -- Rahael, 06:00:03 11/21/02 Thu

Couldn't agree more with your post. You actually hit on one of my own traumas too...all of which have been in about the last five years. Homework and assignments are better, more interesting, less

Yesterday, I realised something. I realised it again. In fact, I realised it for the fifth or sixth time in my life, stressful and generally nicer to do if attempted about a week before the deadline. You can take them at a leisurely pace. It's not the end of the world, (or the end of your allotted time), if you can't answer certain questions straight away. You get a lovely glowy feeling if you do finish it early. And then you can continue getting further and further ahead, and give yourself breaks to watch Buffy or Angel with no dark clouds hanging over your every move.

I find work deadlines so traumatic. I find deadlines of any kind anguish inducing. I'm not exaggerating. We are talking of feelings of intense pain sometimes even tears. Many a 3 am phone call was made to my father while I was at university. In fact, every thursday night would be sleepless, and punctuated by regular phone calls home.

One of my closest friendships was created by mutual wimpering and early morning runs to get junk food while trying to do the work we were supposed to have completed.

I always do everything last minute. I type this while I have a large briefing to put together with a deadline drawing near. I have done all the hard work. The drafting is 90% completed. I could finish it today and make the deadline go away, but I prefer to let it lie there until it gets almost too late.

Of course at University, I only had 3 days to do an essay. I'd spend 2 and a half days doing the reading (I'd frequently get through about 10-15 articles in a thorough fashion, and skim read about 10 books for each. That left half a day to think through everything and produce an essay that usually went to about 2000/3000 words.

I loved the reading. But the actual production of an essay was traumatic. In my first term, I didn't hand in most of my essays. I once turned up for a tutorial with one page and my tutor went "well, I suppose there is enough here to mark".

By the third year, I had disciplined myself to always completing my essays. Never to just give up and go and sleep. (Though there was the one time I was follwing a cricket match run by run on the net and I got so excited I just abandoned the essay.)

But back to ephiphanies - I have to repeat my epiphanies all the time!! From the basic ones like drinking wine will frequently leave me feeling terrible the next day, and that eating after 11pm will do the same. Yet I do this all the time. I know that scratching my eczema will leave me in utter pain and moreover will not let it heal, and yet I do this on a daily basis. I know that if I leave work feeling bored and unhappy and walk into a bookshop, I'll have spent too much money on more books to add to my yet to read pile.

And on an emotional level, there are patterns of thought I fall into again and again which lead to unhappiness. And it's so hard to stop it! One of the things is that it is instinctive. And when you are embattled, and feeling alone, you'll fall into a familiar and comforting pattern which you are convinced is the only strength you have. It's hard to break out and do something brave. It's easy to be brave when you feel safe. Harder to break the pattern when you feel under threat.

One of my most steadfast standbyes is isolating myself - yes, very Buffy! - lots of times I just disconnect and walk away. Because it all gets too much and I don't want to hurt anyone and I don't want them to hurt me. And even now I'm reluctant to break it. It makes me feel like I have agency and power when I feel like I have none at all, and am trapped. Walking back can be traumatic to ones pride.

So I never get puzzled when I see characters make the same mistakes again and again. In fact it's something that strikes a chord in me. The point about lessons is that people rarely learn them (Isn't this the stuff of tragedy? Or even comedy, like Tom Jones) The process of undergoing tests, failing or succeeding is the narrative. We may grow older, but not necessarily wiser - our lives do not follow a linear line in things learnt and effected in our behaviour......though we often structure it so in our minds. One of my favourite fallacies is thinking "but I'm so much more together and more open than I was last year" when the truth is that saying this is just the prelude to months of listlessness, discontent and un-togetherness.

[> [> Empathise about the procrastination -- Scroll, 06:50:54 11/21/02 Thu

I currently have two essays I need to complete before the end of the year. One is worth 50% and is already a semester overdue. The other is a pass/fail paper and determines whether I will receive my degree in full. Yet I keep putting it off despite parental nagging and a rapidly approaching deadline. I do know better, I've had the epiphanies, but I just can't "get around to it". There are much more interesting thigns to do, such as reading/posting to this board. It's sad really. Hopefully I'll be able to come back to this board the week before Christmas and be able to say everything is done and I'm free to enjoy my holidays. Ah, well...

[> [> [> Good luck! Have many epiphanies! -- Rahael, 09:40:07 11/22/02 Fri

[> [> Yes, exactly- bravery/courage -- Tchaikovsky, 07:26:17 11/21/02 Thu

It's easy to do brave things when you feel safe. But they're not exactly courageous then, because you've got a safety mat to fall back onto. It's throwing yourself off the cliff without the parachute which takes courage.

I agree with virtually everything you say here.

Just to inject a touch of levity: I'm assuming the Tom Jones you refer to is the one who's got his own novel, rather than the Welsh singer. I have to say that when I first read it, I thought of Tom Jones belting out 'Delilah' or simpering 'The Green, Green Grass of Home' for the trillionth time, and thought that you were quite right. It's funny that after 40 years he's still happy singing the same old tedious nonsense.

TCH- preparing to be buffe(t)ted by tomatoes from Tom Jones lovers the board over

[> [> [> Here come the tomatoes! -- ponygirl, 07:37:18 11/21/02 Thu

Tom Jones rocks! Until you've seen him perform - complete with the tight pants, the bad dancing, and the fans in the balcony waving size 40 underwear - you don't know how much fun camp can be, especially when everyone is in on the joke. There's still a lot of life in the old guy yet, he had collaborations with the Stereophonics and the producer Flood.

Okay yes, I do sound like a spaz, but I've seen him in Vegas! Woo hoo!

[> [> [> LOL! It seems to work well in both senses! -- Rahael, 08:09:04 11/21/02 Thu

[> [> The thing about ephiphanies......... -- Deb already forgetting, 11:53:49 11/21/02 Thu

They slip into the mind like a snake hissing its warning or they breakthrough as if crashing through a window. Either way, I spend some time wondering why I had never realized that before. It is/was so obvious. It makes so much sense. It is/was practical and logical. I smile and make a promise to myself to change, and to never forget. The next moment, I tell a friend, "I just had an ephihany!" Looks up in expectation. I suddenly realize that it slipped away the moment I recognized it. "And I just forgot what it was, but it was awsome." And that's what I remember. It was/is awesome.

[> [> [> Yes, I have a habit of forgetting mine too! -- Rahael, 09:26:19 11/22/02 Fri

I remembered with amazement 2 days ago how I managed to make my eczema disappear a couple of years ago. I forced myself not to scratch. It's a marker of how dim I can be that I forgot all about it.

This little problem tends to crop up whenever my life gets hectic and I forget to look after myself emotionally and physically. It's as if my skin forces me to notice that something is wrong, and that it refuses to be forgotten. And in the middle of the pain and irritation it causes me, I have to force myself to remember that standing back from the here and now and examining stuff, and exercising a certain amount of calmness solves more than my eczema.

We can all get mired in our day to day problems. We can get lost in the dark wood, and only see the endless trees blocking our way, and never notice that the path is not far away.

[> [> [> [> Something I heard somewhere about the Path -- Deb, 09:51:15 11/22/02 Fri

So as not to get lost from the path, use your periphreal vision. Never look directly as the path. Makes a lot of sense to me. I had an ep. last night. I have this psychology class that is pure torture because the adjunct is so indentity confused and frightened. I decided a couple of weeks ago not to give it an more of my emotional energy, just do what I need to do and move on. This has paid off. So, I haven't gone to class in three weeks. Went last night to take a test, and found out the class rebelled while I was gone (I was the only one complaining and talking to people before) and now things are being changed to my benefit. If I had stayed and continued fighting, I would have been all alone because everyone counted on me to express the group feelings. I disappear, and voila! Sometimes the best way to lead is to not and hope the others will take some responsibility. I hope I remember this. It was truly an awesome moment.

[> [> [> [> Re: Yes, I have a habit of forgetting mine too! -- fresne, 10:34:04 11/22/02 Fri

As a fellow eczema sufferer, you have my sympathies.

I¹ve never been quite sure if it¹s that I get stressed so my skin itches, so I scratch, then boom eczema or if it is just that I get so caught up that I forget the things that I should not do. Being rushed, I¹ll just wash the dishes without gloves on. No wait a minute. Bad idea.

As you say, the physical as symbolic of the need to not scratch/irritate the thing that is bothering you. Enforcing that step back. Taking a moment to think about what you¹re doing. A lesson learned and relearned and like Vitamin E oil, only going skin deep.

Perhaps also these lessons can only learned and relearned, because they themselves are part of who we are. The skin that we wear. Perhaps it would be nice to do without the lesson. To be the saint, but then we would stripped of our essential selves. Washed in milk and glowy sparkles.

Mainly it¹s a metaphor that it would be nice to do without. My rubber gloves have a hole in them.

[> [> [> [> [> Wonderfully put -- Rahael, 06:30:16 11/23/02 Sat

[> [> [> I've got a theory...(not bunnies OR midgets) -- Wisewoman, 17:44:40 11/23/02 Sat

The more awesome an epiphany is, the more likely one is to forget it (and the more quickly!).

I fancy this has something to do with our lack of awareness of our true nature. Quite often the epiphanies seem to be clues to what's really going on, and I suspect it's part of the cosmic "contract" that we're not supposed to remember that.

The game isn't any fun anymore if you remember that you already know the outcome.

;o) (do-do-do-do, do-do-do-do, do-do-do-do, DOOOOO <-- spooky music)

[> [> If the characters learned the lessons the first time..... -- meritaten, 13:08:53 11/21/02 Thu

...and applied them faithfully, would we be able to take the show anywhere near as seriously as we do? I love them becasue they are flawed, just like me. This is what makes them true to life. This is what makes the show so compelling.

BTW, Multiple epiphanies - so very true.

[> [> [> yes, and BtVS isn't over yet -- Rahael, 09:17:30 11/22/02 Fri

what's the point if your characters learn lessons about the most complex issues facing mankind halfway through season 2, when you have at least several more years to go?

Wouldn't you time the narrative to reach the final epiphany at the end?

Or at least a bitter sweet conclusion, if one is being realistic.

And plus, how many people liked Riley better when he went all confused and dark? His ephipany tore his world apart, and left him with fewer answers than he had before. Sometimes epiphanies do that to you.

[> [> Re: A lesson I've never learnt -- Artemis, 22:15:10 11/21/02 Thu

Wow! Rahael I think you just described me. I totally agree with your statement regarding "repeating epiphanies" And yet in some ways it's comforting to know that there are others doing this everyday. I think it is why I feel such a connection to the Buffy character. Like yourself I can isolate myself, for the very reasons you mentioned. I often call this my "Desert Time"
Anyway, nice thoughts

[> [> [> Buffy buffs -- Rahael, 08:04:07 11/22/02 Fri

Our voices aren't always the loudest but they are here!

I mostly watch ME shows for the female characters. I love Cordy, Anya and Buffy - all the male characters are incidental for me (this is only my personal reaction. I'm not saying ME does it that way!). I did find Angel rather attractive but not for years into watching. It was only when I was watching AtS S1 videos that I went hmmm, rather attractive. Until then I hadn't even thought about the show in that way at all.

The sheer emotional power of the show blinded me to everything else.

Cordy, I always liked for her wit and her strength. She had an indomnitable spirit, which is something she shared with Buffy. Anya for her awkwardness and "stop referencing books I can't possibly have read" since I too have had the social akwardness of not being au fait with the culture I was living in. Also cos Emma Caulfied makes excellent use of the the lines she is given.

But 'it's all about you, Buffy'. I have no problem at all with Buffy making mistakes. I don't cry betrayal to ME. It doesn't destroy my self image just because I often empathise with her. It just makes her even more powerful, complex and interesting.

[> [> [> [> Re: Buffy buffs -- Rufus, 05:04:54 11/23/02 Sat

It was only when I was watching AtS S1 videos that I went hmmm, rather attractive. Until then I hadn't even thought about the show in that way at all.

Who says ME isn't into mind control.....;)

[> Re: Epiphanies -- Darby, 06:48:52 11/21/02 Thu

I think what is frustrating is the lack of escalation. When I've made a mistake the second, third, fourth time, my reactions and intent to do better get stronger (not that that necessarily helps in the long run). Buffy just seems to acknowledge that she probably shouldn't do what she's doing, shrugs, and sails on to the next time. At least Willow's denials of control got stronger and stronger, and Xander's responses go from "need to be cooler" to "no more butt monkey!" even though we never see him actually take steps to become a more empowered member of the group. Buffy has had that sort of arc in her tendency to screw up her romantic entanglements, but each time the dust creeps out from under the rug where she swept it, even when the other characters are giving her an "Again???" it seems like, to her, it's never happened before. This may be a character trait found in real human beings, but it's just as frustrating to those around them as we find this aspect of Buffy. It may be the mirror it holds up to my own habits that makes it hard to deal with. At what point should a hero deal with the foibles of their own humanity, or should they?

I agree with Rahael that it's very much a trade-off of comfort in the now for deferred trouble later (even though the anxiety in the now would seem to belie that). It's ironic that the Slayer evades potential conflict with her friends (and addressing her own culpability, often as not) by hiding things she knows can't be hidden indefinitely and will be that much worse for having been hidden. Where did we ever get the idea that we were rational creatures?

- Darby, vowing to not repeat mistakes, but instead find some brand-spanking new ones.

[> [> Re: Epiphanies -- Arethusa, 08:41:08 11/21/02 Thu

Buffy feels she's been rejected countless times-from her father to friends to boyfriends-for being what she is: a creature of both darkness and light, with a past that scares the daylight out of most people. It's no wonder that she falls into the pattern of hiding the dark side of herself from even her closest friends. It's hard on the self image to be rejected repeatedly for circumstances beyond her control. She has very valid reasons for protecting herself (as well as invalid reasons).

Arethusa, overidentifying much.

[> Great post. -- Sophist, 08:37:40 11/21/02 Thu

In an effort to avoid this problem, I always think of Mae West's line: "Between two evils, I always pick the one I never tried before."

[> I must be doing something wrong then -- Sophie, 09:00:07 11/21/02 Thu

Homework and assignments are better, more interesting, less stressful and generally nicer to do if attempted about a week before the deadline. You can take them at a leisurely pace. It's not the end of the world, (or the end of your allotted time), if you can't answer certain questions straight away. You get a lovely glowy feeling if you do finish it early. And then you can continue getting further and further ahead,

Every time I start on my homework early, I end up spending more time doing it, thus still finishing at the last minute. Thpththth!


[> [> I wonder if this is an arts/sciences thing -- Tchaikovsky, 14:01:05 11/21/02 Thu

In my math(s) degree, once I have answered the questions and got the answer, I'm done. Of course, as often as not I have to go back, learn the definitions of the things in the questions, learn the rules for manipulating the things in the questions, learn the major theorems about the things in the questions, and only then apply them, often making various silly manipulation errors.

But on the other hand, once it's done, it's done. You can't over-stretch or over-research a maths assignment, unless it's a full-blown essay or something particularly scary, which is unlikely as I'm only a second year undergraduate.

With essays you can probably research too much, write too much and then refine too much if you have a lot of time, meaning that, instead of feeling glowy, you feel proud of the essay, but wonder where your time's gone.

Only guessing. Of course, I don't even know what kind of homework you're doing!


[> [> [> urban planning has potential for endless -- Sophie, 06:59:34 11/22/02 Fri

I gather data from various source, read lots of literature about the data/topic at hand, think about the whole mess after beating the data up and down to see if it tells me anything new or diferent. Think about it some more. Find more data, read more literature, think, think, beat the new data up and down, think some more, read some more, start writing down ideas and making databases. Dump data into SAS and GIS programs, read, think and write some more....

As you can see, this can go on to infinity.


[> [> [> [> Gee, substitute "Spike" for "data," and you're Buffy! With Willow as databases... -- Darby, 10:32:49 11/22/02 Fri

[> [> [> [> [> lol...funny, uh, I think... -- Sophie, 12:49:18 11/22/02 Fri

[> In defense of Buffy -- Vickie, 10:00:38 11/21/02 Thu

Great post! I sent the url to my sweetie, who doesn't read the board but will love this one.

Regarding Buffy's secrecy, I think there may be (note: I said MAY) a reason why she cannot shake it. For generations, slayers have kept their identities secret. That's a huge secret for a young girl to live with.

Though slayers are not born in a direct line of descent, I assume that the calling has selected for girls who have a natural tendency to secrecy. Whose natural inclination is to hold onto information and deal with it themselves. This tendency protects the Slayer's identity and makes her more self-reliant and effective.

It's only Buffy's unique situation, a Slayer with friends and family as Spike says, that makes her natural tendency a bad habit. Other slayers have had no one they could confide in. Buffy does, and her relationships have always made her stronger. Too bad it's such a hard lesson for her.

[> [> Agreeing, in a long way -- Slain, 11:41:38 11/21/02 Thu

I don't think the MAY is necessary; it seems clear to me that her secrecy is part of being the Slayer. As has been pointed out, she's unusual or unique, in that she has a life. Kendra, Faith (going evil aside) or Wishverse Buffy seem to me to represent a more typical Slayer - do their job, don't get close, then get killed. They hide things, often effectively their whole lives, from people they meet, but don't get involved sufficiently for it to become a problem. Buffy has had this mentality ingrained in her from her early experiences pre-Sunnydale, and through Giles' teaching. In CWDP we saw clearly what happens, what has happened, when the Chosen One mentality conflicts with the Buffy Summers mentality; Buffy wants to be a 'normal girl', and wants to separate as much of her calling from the rest of her life as possible, and not to deal with being the Slayer any more than necessary.

It is her flaw, I think that's clear. But it seems churlish to me to judge her for it, as many people seem keen to. Maybe she's stronger because she doesn't share? Maybe, living with the knowledge that she'll probably die fairly soon (again) and that the world needs saving every Spring, she's better off the way she is? Buffy's impending death hasn't been dealt with on the show all that much, and her resurrections have served to dim its impact slightly, but ultimately [I have to stop using that word] I think it's a driving force in how she relates to other people.

[> [> [> Slain, I'm saving this post to use in future notes at the Annotated Buffy. -- Rob, 12:49:16 11/21/02 Thu

Really great stuff!


[> [> [> Buffy's Secretive Nature -- cjl, 13:39:23 11/21/02 Thu

GACHNAR: They'll abandon you, you know. (Buffy raises foot. SPLORTCH.) -- "Fear Itself"

It's not complicated.

No matter how "chosen" she feels as the Slayer, she's never been able to shake the feeling that the power of the slayer is tied to something dark and sinister. Despite her plea to Giles at the beginning of S5 to discover the slayer's origins, she has always been reluctant to travel down the rabbit hole and (once-and-for-all) discover what a slayer really is. And why? Because she's scared that the source of her power is evil at the core--and she'll lose everything. Her family. Her friends. Herself.

It really has nothing to do with the "secretive" life of a Slayer. Buffy doesn't spend much time doing the Clark Kent bit during the series, and--much to Giles' consternation-- has pretty much abandoned the idea during S3. Buffy keeps secrets because when she's confronted with parts of herself, facets of herself, emotional eddies and flows she hasn't mastered, she's always afraid that if she doesn't understand what to do about it, her friends won't understand either-- and they'll bail out on her. It's a deep down in her gut fear that multiple epiphanies won't solve.

Sooner or later, she's going to have to answer the unanswered question: what is a slayer? She might not like the answer, but this ultimate secret won't stay hidden forever.

[> [> [> [> The Slayer nature (pure spec) -- KdS, 14:45:14 11/21/02 Thu

Some intriguing notes:

The average vampire's possessing demon seems to me not to have much of a personality - raw predatory appetite.

Every time Buffy's been bitten by a vampire there seems to have been some curious connection - the Master ("I feel different"), Angel (pretty strong reaction, apparently the very opposite of pain), the near-mind meld with Dracula.

Slayers also seem to have strong predatory instincts - Buffy represses it because she's quite aware of what she's capable of, Kendra denied it along with her other emotions, Faith let it consume her personality.

The First Slayer - IMO not the actual first person, more an archetype, also seemed to have little personality beyond lust for killing. (Despite Espenson's comments on the DVD, I don't believe the entity at the campfire in Intervention was the same as in Restless.)

We've seen vampires. We've seen souled vampires consumed with guilt over their past acts. What would happen if you shoved a soul into a vamp as soon as he or she rose, before they'd done anything to feel bad about? I have a feeling you'd get something close to Buffy or Faith.

You can see where I'm going. I suspect that the source of a Slayer's personality is demonic, and not in a broad sense, but that Slayers are souled, living human beings, possessing (rather than possessed by) the identical type of demon you'll find in a vampire. Given the lack of PTB in BtVS, I think Slayers are a human creation - some time in the past some benevolent demonologist thought he/she could harness demon power for good. I hope he/she picked a volunteer.

I don't think Buffy needs to be freaked by this discovery - I'm probably fairly extreme on this board in believing that vamp demons minus a human host don't have enough sentience to be considered evil, just as a rabid dog isn't evil. Buffy probably would be though.

What would happen if you sent a Slayer to Pylea? I'd have to consider the experiment unethical.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Would Buffy be freaked... (spec and minor Spoiler CwDP) -- Just George, 17:09:05 11/21/02 Thu

KdS: "I don't think Buffy needs to be freaked by this discovery - I'm probably fairly extreme on this board in believing that vamp demons minus a human host don't have enough sentience to be considered evil, just as a rabid dog isn't evil. Buffy probably would be though."

You mean you think Buffy would be freaked that the source of her power (and a strong influence on her personality) is a sub-sentient force of "raw predatory appetite"? I can see why she would be freaked. It would mean that she could never know if her reactions came from "Buffy Buffy" or from "Slayer Buffy". As Holden said in CwDP "Are you attacking me because I'm evil or because you opened up?"

I think Buffy has combined the different aspects of her personality pretty well. But she obviously has doubts about some of her choices. Given the potential cost if/when Buffy makes a mistake, this is understandable.

I think if Buffy had someone she could talk things over with she could work out her feelings and make better decisions. She needs a drinking buddy she can talk shop with. One she trusts.

Part of Buffy's problem is that her potential confidantes either have their own agendas (Spike), a history of abandoning her (Giles), or their own issues with misuse of power (Willow). Dawn is out of the question. That leaves Xander.

Unfortunately Buffy has never trusted Xander's judgement even though he's gotten over his crush, never abandoned her, and hasn't tried to destroy the world. She could do worse than taking up with Xander as a drinking buddy. They both might learn something and grow a little.


[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Would Buffy be freaked... (spec and minor Spoiler CwDP) -- Cori, 21:09:42 11/21/02 Thu

Xander as a drinking buddy is somewhat problematic is that, even after the crush, Xander still has Buffy up on a pedestal. He holds Buffy to these impossibly high standards which she doesn't feel that she can live up to. These high expectations are evidenced by the fact that he was almost more upset that Buffy was sleeping with Spike than that Anya was. I think it would be difficult for Buffy to confide in Xander as he sees her as his hero and she really doesn't want to destroy his allusions.

[> [> [> [> Re: Buffy's Secretive Nature - an incomplete thought -- Sophie, 07:35:34 11/22/02 Fri

she has always been reluctant to travel down the rabbit hole and (once-and-for-all) discover what a slayer really is. And why? Because she's scared that the source of her power is evil at the core--and she'll lose everything.

I think that this is the core metaphor of the show. The viewer can relate to this in their own life. I have metaphorical demons - fears, urges, where does my power in life come from? where would pursuing it lead me? would I be the same person afterwards? and yes, I keep many of these (especially dark urges) secret. And a few have slipped out.

By making Buffy "the slayer", she is forced to deal with these things.

[> [> [> [> Re: Beginning of Series. Spoilers S1,7 to Sleeper - - Age, 08:48:42 11/22/02 Fri

If the theme of this season is back to the beginning then the meaning of Joyce's and Buffy's arrival at Sunnydale should be explored.

On the one hand, their arrival signaled the coming of the women's movement to suburbia with Joyce starting life on her own; a return to this theme would be found in a focus on female empowerment(slayers in waiting/Anya/Dawn.)

On the other hand, for Buffy herself, Sunnydale, the suburban capital of denial, was the literal and metaphorical place she had come to in order to escape the life of power she'd had a taste of. With lifestyle as the focus and everything that doesn't fit into it repressed into the subconscious or out of sight, it's not surprising that Sunny/dale expresses a psychological split in Buffy between sunny day and dangerous night; and that the hellmouth is the representation of the thing beneath you into which all 'unfit' emotions have been repressed.

For me one of the premises of the series has been the consequences of repression, and how, emotions unmanaged, ignored and thus believed dead, take on an (undead) life of their own and come back to take you over. The hellmouth attracts the undead because it is seething with that to which they are connected, but moreover the theme of connection applies metaphorically to the human populace as they never lose connection to denied emotions; they simply abdicate management of them.

So, I think that in getting back to the beginning, Buffy does have to examine her slayer source and the life of power she was running away from at the beginning of the series. We already have the prophecy of the hellmouth going to open. 'From beneath you, it devours' is a reiteration of the vampire metaphor, of that which rises from the beneath the ground, the subconscious, in order to eat you, take you over, either by literally killing you or by freezing you into a certain state of mind through siring. By trying to cut off aspects of ourselves, ie give ourselves the illusion that certain aspects are dead(hence undead), we lose the opportunity to manage these aspects; we lose the ability to balance ourselves(and if some supposedly external entity won't continue to balance...)

'Sleeper' is in some ways a reiteration of this notion about repression with the morphing creature taking over Spike, making him do things that he's not aware of. Out of sight is not out of mind.


[> [> [> [> [> Age, as always, fabulous post -- ponygirl, 09:07:05 11/22/02 Fri

"The hellmouth attracts the undead because it is seething with that to which they are connected, but moreover the theme of connection applies metaphorically to the human populace as they never lose connection to denied emotions; they simply abdicate management of them."

And Buffy is left to manage the darkness of Sunnydale, patrolling it to make sure none of these buried monsters/emotions escape their confines. She offeres protection but also enforces the divide. Perhaps unwilling to see that one is connected to the other?

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Spoilers S7 Speculation. -- Age, 14:29:14 11/22/02 Fri

I see what you're saying, that as Slayer, Buffy maintains the divide by keeping the balance. As long as there's a balance, there's no real need to investigate further or change the status quo. It's business as usual in denial city and Buffy doesn't have to look into the source of her power.

Partly of course the divide represents the child/adolescent point of view which tends to see things more concretely. The series is, as we know, about the journey from adolescence to adulthood. I think that Morphy's desire to no longer maintain the balance is part of the journey: Morphy represents the last vestige of an external force acting in a parental role to keep a balance when human adults should be able to manage themselves(how can they if all they've been taught is to repress?) Buffy's final acceptance of the dark source of her slayer power will, I think, come as a necessary part of dealing with the hellmouth opening.


[> [> [> [> [> A Marvel of Concision and Profundity, Age... -- cjl, 10:02:12 11/22/02 Fri

I'd never considered JOYCE'S fresh start as one of the sub- themes of the series as established in WttH. You're right-- the end of her marriage to Hank and resettling the family in Sunnydale sets up the female empowerment theme right off the bat.

Newly single woman travels to new town and start new life. Sort of like the Mary Tyler Moore Show--except Joyce isn't going to make it, after all...

[> [> [> The death issue -- KdS, 14:32:24 11/21/02 Thu

I did feel for a long time that Buffy's inevitable horrible demise was a key influence on her personality - but then I had a little epiphany. I don't think anybody's actually expecting to die of natural causes surrounded by fat grandchildren. Willow, Xander, Tara (RIP), Giles (more active than your average watcher has been implied to be) and everyone at AtS seem to have accepted their likely demise without Buffy's emotional problems (Xander in particular makes a speciality of mindf***ing people with his willingness to die - Inca Mummy Girl, The Zeppo, Grave). Possibly it's the old conscript vs. volunteer thing (the real underlying problem between her and Riley, IMO).

[> [> [> Re: Agreeing, in a long way -- Arethusa, 09:25:52 11/22/02 Fri

Have you ever told someone something about yourself they weren't able to deal with because it's too scary and real, and then watch the person sidle away from you and walk very quickly away? It's very painful, and Buffy can't be blamed for protecting herself against the fears of others.

Buffy hasn't had a date since high school, doesn't have any friends besides the very few people who share her world with her. Her need for secrecy can be a flaw when she extends it to even her closest friends, but it is also a inevitable consequence of the life she leads. She can't separate the two parts of her life, because being a slayer affects every aspect of her life, from school to work to personal relationships to her view of the world.

[> [> [> [> I agree with you, but -- Sophist, 10:06:27 11/22/02 Fri

Buffy hasn't had a date since high school?

What about Parker and Riley?

[> [> [> [> [> Woops-university -- Arethusa, 11:03:22 11/22/02 Fri

The guy at Buffy's birthday party doesn't count, although he is an excellent example of why dating is problematic for her.

Hope I didn't leave anyone out again. Flu + medicine=fuzzy- headed posts.

[> [> Agree, and thanks -- Tchaikovsky, 14:03:00 11/21/02 Thu

[> Re: Epiphanies ...or maybe not -- Sara, always in the market for a good epiphany, 11:28:01 11/21/02 Thu

Actually, in the hiding things category I don't think Buffy ever has had an epiphany. Everytime she'e hidden important info it was either to protect people or because she didn't think they would understand, or both. I think that whenever she has experienced something really traumatic, she wants to protect the people who love her from having to know how much pain she's in. She wants to be a closed up person, but she just isn't really capable of it - she needs her friends and their support.

I think Buffy doesn't see herself as just protecting the world in general, but also having a responsiblity to protect her loved ones from all pain, even her own, therefore no ephiphany yet.

I think the hiding things aspect of her personality, and the damage it causes, goes back to the identity question. Buffy does acknowledge that she needs people, but I think she hasn't come to terms with the reality of that. I don't think she is comfortable with the depth of her emotional need for connection and love. When she hides a major crisis she's fighting against a very basic part of her that needs to share the significant parts of her life with her friends. Her control freakness comes out of fighting against her natural inclinations, where Willow's control freakness is an integral part of her personality. Actually, Buffy can use a good solid epiphany about her relationships!

- Sara, who's current epiphany is that she should not check the board while at work!

[> [> Speaking of hiding things, what should we make of-- (spoilers for 6.20, 7.8) -- Dyna, 16:17:57 11/21/02 Thu

--the fact that Buffy apparently hasn't told anyone that she "came back 'different?'"

I wondered a couple of times before if she had told anyone except Tara, but I couldn't decide for sure. It certainly seemed in "Villains" that she hadn't--notice how she omits the info in her argument with Xander about taking Dawn to stay with Spike, even though revealing it would have both strengthened her argument *and* reassured Xander:

He'd never hurt Dawn. He physically can't. And he wouldn't-

After the other night, I'd say all bets are off on what he's capable of-

She feels safe with him.
(off Xander's look)
We don't have a choice, Xander.
Right now - he's all we've got.

Apparently, as we find out in "Sleeper," Buffy didn't spend the summer filling in this gap in Xander's knowledge. She defends Spike against the charge that he's siring vamps by saying the chip stops him from hurting people, and when Xander counters with "He hurt you," she doesn't answer, only looks away, uncomfortable. Interesting!

I'm really intrigued by the fact that(a) it's still a secret, and (b) we've just received a clear reminder about it. For all of us who were unsatisfied with the "cellular tan" explanation, this may be a hopeful sign. What other shoe might ME be waiting to drop on us?

And to bring the question back to character analysis, what is it about this that would make Buffy keep it a secret, long after so many other things from last season have been aired and gotten over?

[> [> [> Re: Speaking of hiding things, what should we make of-- (spoilers for 6.20, 7.8) -- Sara, 16:27:49 11/21/02 Thu

Buffy also hides things when she's afraid of what they mean, and/or how people will react. I think "coming back wrong" is something she's both afraid of, and not sure of what the responses from Xander and Willow will be. Tara was really the only one in the group who was safe to confide the really scary stuff to.

[> [> [> [> Re: Speaking of hiding things, what should we make of-- (spoilers for 6.20, 7.8) -- Rob, 16:59:56 11/21/02 Thu

Yes, I'm really sorry Buffy has lost Tara as a confidante, especially when they were growing so close last year. Yet another reason that Buffy has seemed harder and even less open than usual this year.


[> [> [> [> [> Re: Speaking of hiding things, what should we make of-- (spoilers for 6.20, 7.8) -- Deb, 10:20:57 11/22/02 Fri

You know. This is the first time I realized that she hasn't told anyone (except Tara). Ok. She knows the chip works, but not with her. She also knows the chip isn't working while Spike is feeding. One could agrue that it doesn't work because Spike means no harm, the BB does and Will/Spike are sleepers through it. But, then what is Buffy's fear? (other than what her friends will think?)
She has an emotional, vested interest in the outcome of William/Spike's ability to "progress" to something not evil, something good. She can't kill Spike, because it would be killing her chance for redemption through Will/Spike overcoming the BB. Make sense?

It also could have to do with trusting herself. She, I think at least, tested Spike by seeing if he could/would vamp her or not the other night. If he did, well he was always right. She came back different and not a good different. But he had a taste of her blood and "found" himself. The Slayer's blood is the antidote to this "sleeping"? Dawn has Buffy's blood and she tasted her blood, but she is still doubting. Why? Buffy also was not able to figure out Holden, and she tasted her own blood too.

These are real questions. I'm asking for opinions, because I just woke up from "sleeping" here.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Speaking of hiding things, what should we make of-- (spoilers for 6.20, 7.8) -- Juliet, 17:59:28 11/22/02 Fri

My first impression was that it wasn't slayer blood that woke Spike up, but the fact the he was drinking from Buffy.

I like your theory too, though.

[> [> [> Re: Speaking of hiding things, what should we make of-- (spoilers for 6.20, 7.8) -- alcibiades, 21:49:04 11/21/02 Thu

And to bring the question back to character analysis, what is it about this that would make Buffy keep it a secret, long after so many other things from last season have been aired and gotten over?

As others have said, she can't deal with her ongoing suspicions that she came back wrong, because that makes her different in the way that she hates, with the suspicion of the demonic about her. And it is the Slayer origin which is connected to the demonic that she has always brushed off. Willow's spell did call for the warrior of the people, so if she were more concentratedly demonic now than before she died in the Gift, there would be a magical basis for it.

I also think she doesn't want the others to know that she trusted Spike not to bite her the whole time while they were in the throes. It implies much greater trust in him than she ever acknowledged to them. It shows Spike in a better light, because of that trust being justified until it wasn't at the end, and the AR wasn't about vampirism anyway.

It might also show rather nakedly to her friends how sex was a courtship of death last year for her, another way to escape the bondage of life if he ever gave into that urge.

[> [> [> Re: Speaking of hiding things, what should we make of-- (spoilers for 6.20, 7.8) -- Sophie, 07:08:54 11/22/02 Fri

and when Xander counters with "He hurt you,"

I thought Xander meant Spike hurt Buffy emotionally. Xander is probably safe assuming that the chip only prevents Spike from physically hurting soulled beings, but not from verbally hurting them. Spike spits out verbal abuse from time to time. I doubt that Xander can read S&M sexual activity from Buffy looking away here. He knows that Spike hurt Buffy when he had his little fling/fun with Anya. Buffy doesn't give him reason to loook further for pain in her relationship with Spike. In general, I would say that most people won't guess someone doing S&M activities unless someone spells it out pretty blatently.


[> [> [> [> I thought that line referred to -- Sophist, 08:51:28 11/22/02 Fri

the bathroom scene in SR. I agree with you about the bondage? S&M? activities.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: I thought that line referred to -- Sophie, 08:58:19 11/22/02 Fri

Sorry, I was thinking about the line in Sleeper. My bad. B&S barely rates S&M, though the basics are certainly there.


[> [> [> [> [> [> We (well, Ete and I) can dream. Or fantasize. -- Sophist, 10:10:39 11/22/02 Fri

[> [> [> [> A thought on motivations in B&S last season (Spoilage) -- DEb, 10:44:23 11/22/02 Fri

If Buffy was "testing" and maybe unconsciously hoping that Spike would give her death, the fact that he went out after his soul means he was looking for Buffy to make him alive. Yeah, I know he sings this and all, but I'm talking literally here, just as Buffy literally might have been looking for death, even though she sings about just how Spike makes her feel. Doesn't say what she feels. She just feels like she wants to die. If Buffy came back different, and she had been in 'heaven she thinks' then the different Spike really hoped for was a link to that "long line" of vampire slayers so he could become a man again.

As for bondage, I found it funny when Spike held up the hand- cuffs and asked Buffy if she trusted him. She said no. So who was wearing the hand-cuffs?

[> [> [> [> [> Re: A thought on motivations in B&S last season (Spoilage) --
Ysabel84, 13:36:32 11/22/02 Fri

As for bondage, I found it funny when Spike held up the hand-cuffs and asked Buffy if she trusted him. She said no. So who was wearing the hand-cuffs?

The suggestion that Spike might have been cuffed by Buffy is interesting, but I'm pretty sure we have to conclude that at some point Buffy was wearing the hand-cuffs, because she's rubbing her wrists later in the episode when she asks Tara to find out about the spell that brought her back from the dead and why Spike can hurt her ("Dead Things").

[> [> [> [> [> [> Hummmmm. -- Deb, 15:09:04 11/22/02 Fri

You're right. Humm. And she doesn't trust him? Perhaps they were wrapped around his neck at the time.

[> Thank you all -- Tchaikovsky, 14:24:58 11/23/02 Sat

I hypothesised the other day in a thread somewhere that the less defined and worked-out a post was, the more reponses it tends to get. This was an opinion I had formed after a thread I'd started called 'Has Spike changed?', which brooked massive responses outlasting by days a thread called, 'Who's in the basement?', which took ages, and had almost no replies.

I've changed my mind now, due to people replying to this, and the interesting discussions which, in some cases have gone in directions I couldn't have imagined.

I kind of think I should have looked into copyright issues about the word 'epiphany' though. I could be very rich by now. Someone even abbreviated it, which tends to be a sign that it's gone into the collective consciousness. Splenidid

TCH- wondering if this sounds smug, when it was meant to be only heartfelt gratitiude.

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