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Of Spike and Basements in the Buffyverse -- alcibiades, 16:59:05 11/22/02 Fri

This year, like last year, we have spent some time with Spike and Buffy in a basement. But there is a profound different in the two experiences.

Last year, the basement we visited through the experiential and sensory perception of Buffy was Spike's. It was a sensuous space hacked out of the rock walls and the ground, covered with richly colored carpets, books, lamps, records.

The last time we visited the basement, it was filled with demon eggs, little bits of uncontrollable resentment about to burst from their shell because of the entropic state the Spike and Buffy relationship created.

Buffy's solution, egged on by Riley, was to torpedo the basement whole. For Buffy this meant there was no longer a physical space she could go to to indulge her id. Since she had destroyed the physical place whole, she was safe from desires she could not otherwise control, her own desires which scared her intensely even as she disowned them as Spike's.

In the next episodes, however, Spike wandered dispossessed of his own whole self. Unable to sublimate his dark urges into loving Buffy, yet disconnected from the evil web that is his inheritance as a vampire because of the chip, his rage and pain eventually burst forth in the AR. Yet, when Spike saw his behavior subjectively, not through his own eyes but through Buffy's, and then his own flashbacks where he experienced Buffy's pain, he sublimated his enormous rage and pain into fighting strength enough to attain a greater spiritual level. He used his demonic animus to power his quest for an ennobled state born from his eros of the good (Buffy).

As Buffy inhabited Spike's idroom -- his basement -- as a way of denying her own id while fully indulging it, putting the blame on their mutual actions fully on Spike and not on herself, Spike borrowed Buffy as his superego. He blamed her for that as well. [It shouldn't be this way. Vampire, slayer. Vampire kills slayer, uses her bones to pick his teeth.]

This year, too, Spike has been inhabiting basements. But the situation is totally different than it was last year, because of the two basement we have seen him in this year, neither of them is his. The first is the place of the hellmouth -- a basement he was drawn to from some reason we don't know yet. Perhaps summoned by Morphy or perhaps to stand guard over it as Cereberus -- a task he was fulfilling, because it is not until he leaves that Jonathan can be sacrificed in that spot to empower Morphy to rise fed by the power of human blood.

The second basement, which Spike urges Buffy to descend into on Hoffman Street in Sleepers, is an interesting case. Spike knows it is the seat of shameful behaviour on his part, but he doesn't know why.

Yet here is the twist. This basement is not properly his basement. This is not the playground of his id anymore -- so he doesn't much recognize the geography. The sins he committed and buried there are truly denatured since he did not commit them volitionally, and if he were to revert to inhabiting his id at this point, this is not how he would be wallowing.

He does have buried bodies in his past, but they create the desire in him, not for more victims, but to help prevent more victims from being created.

This is not to say that Spike does not still have a darkside he has to deal with. I think he does. But it is no longer a darkside that is drawn to killing. Perhaps his darkside will center on the fact that he is still not his own man and that he will still have to fight the strings and compulsions, his present love or his past love, in his past in order to become one.

So, I think, as with Willow where Morphy made a mistake by trying to induce her to committ suicide, here, too, in this basement that belongs to someone entirely else, a basement that Spike can enter but does not inhabit, Morphy made a mistake. Spike will reluctantly own these deeds as something he disconnectedly recognizes he did. He will recognize he deserves death for them. But since killing humans is no longer the playground of Spike's id, by showing his hand this audaciously with Spike, his best suborned weapon to date, Morphy has unwittingly provided the means of rescuing Spike from the compulsion he is under.

Because the pieces don't fit, because these are no longer crimes that Spike would dream of committing on his own volition, Spike can ask for help, and this time Buffy will recognize he needs it. Buffy has a familiarity with Spike's idground from long usage last year, and she realizes in the basement on Hoffman St., that Here is not Home. This is no longer ground that Spike inhabits.

[> ^ Oops. Spoilers through BTVS 7.8 above ^ -- alcibiades, 17:47:45 11/22/02 Fri

[> Thanks, alcibiades. I enjoyed that. -- Dead Soul, 18:49:51 11/22/02 Fri

[> Re: Of Spike and Basements in the Buffyverse -- Caroline, 19:44:01 11/22/02 Fri

Great post alcibiades. I like to add a couple of thoughts and play devil's advocate to help to clarify my own views on this (and I hope I'm not misinterpreting what you say).

I've also been thinking about the structure of souledSpike's psyche and wondering about its current orientation. I see your point about Spike no longer being drawn to killing but wonder if he really has transmted this yet. His manipulation by Morphy to kill in an unconscious way is symbolic, in my interpretation, of a psychological state where the impulses and drives are still there within but the conscience that his ensouled state gives him compels him to repress those impulses.

Do our darker impulses and drives go away? Once we are aware of them and have contained and transmuted them, they certainly lose their compulsive power over our behaviour. But Spike was acting out his dark impulses in the most unconscious way. Perhaps what is really going on is that his new conscience has so strongly repressed this vampiric drive to kill and feed that it has just erupted unconsciously into being, thus providing him with a convenient defence mechanism of forgetfulness. This is definitely a plausible explanation, given how devastated Spike is about his past behaviour, yet it also acknowledges the immense compulsions that our unconsious drives can have over us. (This also fits in with my argument that the big bad of the season is our characters' darker sides that are made manifest in Morphy).

I think that Spike in Sleeper has begun the process necessary to contain and transmute those impulses. While initially denying his behaviour to Buffy, he conscience nevertheless would not allow the denial to continue when the evidence started mounting. He made a full confession of his sins in an attempt to gain not only some absolution but an end to his existence - a stake through the heart from the slayer. He didn't just want to stop his darker impulses, he wanted to negate his entire existence. The eruption of his repressed drive again in the Hoffman Terrace basement - and his awakening after tasting the slayer's blood - symbolize the desire to live of the psyche, the desire of Eros to rise above Thanatos. While Spike subsequently fully expected to due, the tasting of the blood and his self-awakening from his unconsious behaviour mean that the basic drive in his psyche is to live and learn and overcome and transmute the darkness within himself. In this case, the desire for death is a copout and the individual must choose the more difficult path of conscious development.

The tasting of the blood was a very Christ-like image, with Buffy shedding her blood so that the souledSpike could live. It awoke him from his unconscious thrall and challenged him to change. Once again we have Buffy shedding blood so that a souled vampire could live. I am encouraged by the progress made by both Buffy and Spike in this episode in dealing with their issues and concerns. They faced their problems and pain with courage and dignity which gives great hope about their capacity to handle what the Big Bad throws at them.

I hope to hear your thoughts and this and look forward to continuing the discussion.

[> [> Re: Of Spike and Basements in the Buffyverse -- Dariel, 20:43:54 11/22/02 Fri

I think you are right about Spike's repression of his vampiric drives. His William self/soul is so horrified by the vampire nature that he must separate from it, repress and deny it. That is one of the reasons that, in BY, he talks about the voices in his head as if they were different beings: "him, it and the thing beneath..." Well, the last IS separate, but the "him" I take to be William, and the "it" is the demon.

Now that the vampire self has seen the light of day, so to speak, Spike/William will have to learn to integrate, to live with his dual nature.

[> [> Re: Of Spike and Basements in the Buffyverse -- alcibiades, 21:56:34 11/22/02 Fri

Thanks Caroline.

I've also been thinking about the structure of souledSpike's psyche and wondering about its current orientation. I see your point about Spike no longer being drawn to killing but wonder if he really has transmted this yet. His manipulation by Morphy to kill in an unconscious way is symbolic, in my interpretation, of a psychological state where the impulses and drives are still there within but
the conscience that his ensouled state gives him compels him to repress those impulses.

Well in truth, I don't think we know yet definitively. We won't really know until we find out just how Morphy is getting to him.

There are a few possibilities.

One is as you say. He has repressed his vampiric nature, but not entirely successfully, and its compulsion is still exercising its pull on him. That is how Morphy is working through his vulnerabilities. That is more or less what Dariel is also arguing by bringing up the fractured identity.

If however Spike has transmuted his compulsion for "killing for kicks" as he put it in the original version of BY, then it seems to be that Morphy is operating in another way.

One possibility, given the extent to which Spike is clutching his head lately at moments when it seems he might be seeing visions, is that Morphy might be working through reverse chip pain. IOW causing him pain through his chip until he accedes to Morphy's wishes. In which case, it is reconditioning him to kill against his instincts. This does explain the extent of the head holding we have seen, which occurred once again in Sleepers in the basement when we were seeing Spike through Buffy's eyes, not his own, which might have revealed Morphy/Spike to us.

Another possibility is that Dru has him in a kind of thrall. One interesting point is that although we saw Spike bite several victims who rose, we didn't see him actually sire anyone. Maybe that happened behind the scenes, or maybe Dru is in league with Morphy. Dru is certainly appearing to him, enough for him to comment about it to Morphy/Buffy in Selfless. And in Lessons, Dru did tell him, we'll always be together, singing our little songs. Here the trigger to act unconsciously is being controlled by the little songs. That seems to me a great big indication that Dru is likely involved.

In either of these two cases, I don't think we can see the process of Spike biting humans as his repressed self re- emerging because there are too many complicating factors. And FREX when Dru had Giles in thrall and he told Angel how to end the world, we would also not chalk that up to Giles having a repressed desire to end the world, but rather being in a deep state of hypnosis, and subject to suggestions.

A fourth possibility, one which I alluded to but did not spell out in my post, is that Spike's compulsion here is not rising because of his repressed vampiric urge to bite, but through the dark side of his love for Buffy. The one time we do see his rationale for biting -- in Sleepers -- it is because Buffy -- the model of his super-ego -- has urged him to do it. So the compulsion could be a twisted dark form of his desire to please Buffy arising -- and that is the thing he has to exorcise, the all about Buffy tendency he just fessed up to Buffy in Sleepers, not a continuing desire to bite humans. In which case, the solution is to learn to be his own man.

I am finding this the most interesting possibility, particularly if Dru is involved, because what is going on is the inversion/perversion of the yearning to be good to please Buffy which ended in ensoulment. Here, this desire is being twisted and perverted in a way which Morphy might feel sure would rupture any connection between Spike and Buffy. It also turns Buffy very much into a Dru figure -- the guiding star for whom he turned himself into a monster in order to attain her. As a friend of mine likes to say, Dru is the one who got Crushed when the House fell on Spike and Buffy. The perfect revenge is to turn him back into a monster so that she can once again be his lodestar.

I AM taking heart from the fact that Spike does not return to familiar ground to bury those bodies. He goes to a stranger's house to operate -- a nice upper middle class house in Sunnydale. If he had taken his victims to the tunnels in the Initiative or anywhere near his former crypt, on the symbolic level, I'd be more worried that these desires belonged to him, because I think that would signify clearly that the desires were his own repressed ones.

In a stretch, we could say that the upper middle class house might have a connection to William's upper middle class status, but that seems remote. Likewise, the middle aged woman whose house it was -- she didn't look particularly like a mother figure, she seemed random to me.

So, to summarize, my feeling is that there is too much manipulation of Spike going on just now for it to be clear that his killing really is his own repressed desires. If he is being fiddled with externally, then that argues against suppressed desires working their way up through unconscious fissures or breaks in the personality.

I think the thing that will help him with integration is to get him fighting again. Once no one is messing with his head and he has an outlet, a path of sublimation for his vampiric fighting urges that is healthy, it will be easier for him to be whole.

[> [> Good post, Caroline -- Rahael, 10:01:21 11/23/02 Sat

And I totally agree with you about Morphy.

Marsters under the microscope (dissecting his performance of Spike with Shurtleff's Guideposts) -- ZachsMind, 21:15:07 11/22/02 Fri

People are always asking me why I like Buffy so much. What follow is just one of many examples. I really enjoy the acting. Particularly James Marsters. I don't necessarily like Spike, but I LOVE how Marsters presents the character and has developed Spike into a very complex individual who is so filled with conflicting paradoxes and yet manages to function (at least when a BBW isn't screwing with his head) tolerably well in the environment given him. Marsters makes Spike real, in an unreal fashion.

The following is risky. I'm making the foolish assumption I can get inside Marsters' head. I may be wrong at times. I certainly can't call the guy up and verify any of this, but his performance is so flawless and brilliant I believe it will stand up to this scrutiny. It should also be pointed out that no man is an island. Marsters couldn't begin to do this without the impressive writing and the direction, but in anyone else's hands all the efforts in all the world couldn't make the character of Spike simultaneously this despicable and this lovable without the portrayal being corny or pathetic or both. Marsters rises to the challenge and above the pitfalls that a role of this nature would derail any other performer.

From an acting standpoint, Spike is a very difficult role to play right now. Actually, if you go back as far as season four, it's amazing for me (someone who once was a young, aspiring, struggling actor and is now just a bitter old bastard) to watch Marsters perform his role. Spike would fall flat and unbelievable in the hands of perhaps any other actor living today. Yet it's one that fits Marsters like a glove. Like a well-cut suit.

There is a book by Michael Shurtleff which as far as I'm concerned is the actor's bible. Published back in 1978 it is quite literally everything an actor needs to know to play a part. It breaks it down beautifully, and in Shurtleff's work, AUDITION, one of the important points he makes is that an actor needs to know twelve things about his character before he even gets on the stage or before the cameras.

James Marsters has got these DOWN for Spike!

Here's the breakdown in a nutshell.

Is there ever a time when you see Marsters on screen with another individual, and you don't know his relationship with that person? No. Never. Whether he's talking to Clem or fighting with Buffy, you know at a glance what's going on, and there's scores of things that must be on Marsters' mind in some scenes, that brings him to do the smallest of things to bring to the audience's mind what his relationship is to others in the room. Marsters knows both what the relationship is between Spike and any other given character, and he understands how Spike feels about that relationship. This comes out sometimes through dialogue delivery, and sometimes even when he's just standing there, seemingly doing nothing.

In the episode "Him" we learn that Xander's gonna have to house Spike again, like he did back in season four, and Marsters plays Spike very low key. He is thankful for the gesture but he doesn't think he's going to work. His head is down. His voice is lowkey. It's very subtle but we see his pain and discomfort having to accept the graciousness of Xander, and Xander's just rubbing it in which makes it worse. However, we also sense in that simple scene that nothing Xander can say compares to what Spike's already been through in his life. And yet later in the same episode, Xander & Spike are working together almost as if they're plainclothes policemen working on a case. The partnership seems so natural and they even work up a 'plan' together that works well. Marsters manages with such grace and subtlety to make this strange dichotomy work flawlessly. We buy it. Xander & Spike are both actually friends, but there's also an unspoken enmity between them, because even though the both won't admit it, they're competing for Buffy.

This subtlety inside Marsters' presentation of Spike carries on to characters that we never see. What is his relationship to God? The very small stage business in "Him" where Spike's turning the figurines of angels around so that they're looking away from him. He can't stand to see even statuettes of angels looking at him. That tells VOLUMES. Whether it was a writer's decision, a directorial choice, or an improv of the actor, the moment is brilliant, and it tells us so much about what's going on with Spike and yet tells us NOTHING. Sheer genius and Marsters pulls it off so subtly that the director had to go back and focus on it for a couple seconds because he didn't want us to miss that moment.

"What are you fighting for?" is a question Shurtleff would often ask his students. It's the most important question from the perspective of bringing an immediacy to any scene for the audience. One cannot just stand there and deliver the lines, there's gotta be a force behind them. There's gotta be a strategy in the dialogue.

Marsters must know that Spike doesn't just fight when he's in 'game face.' Spike fights in every scene. There's a scene in season six when he tells Dawn that he will protect her.

Spike gets a pack of cards out of the drawer, pulls a chair over to the coffee table opposite Dawn.
DAWN: But I'm fine alone. It's not like anyone's coming after me. I'm not the key. (Spike sets the chair down) Or if I am, I don't open anything any more. It's over. Remember?
SPIKE: (softly) I'm not leaving you here by yourself, so forget it.
He sits in the chair.
DAWN: Well, I'm just saying-
Spike slams the cards down hard on the table. Dawn jumps.
SPIKE: (not looking at her) No. I'm not leaving you ... to get hurt. (softly) Not again.
They look at each other. Spike points to the cards.
SPIKE: Now deal.
Dawn picks up the cards.

He's fighting in every scene. He's fighting to be a gentleman, despite the evil that still rages within him. He's fighting internally (Man VS. Self). He's sometimes fighting externally (Man VS. Man). He's often fighting to be properly understood (Man VS. Environment) and he fails more often than he succeeds, yet he never stops trying.

And in the episode "Beneath You" the battle which wages internally through Spike comes out. Marsters jumps through the various Spikes that we've seen through every season since the second one. He does so with seemingly little effort, and we see glimpses of personalities that are entirely new which may be William the Bloody or something else. Yet it's not so blatant that we think he's becoming a split personality. They're all Spike, but they're different tactics that he's used in the past with varying success. He's trying on the different 'masks and costumes' that Spike has used in the past, and by the end of the episode Spike realizes that everything he knows up until now, everything he's tried before the soul to use for survival - to fight the fight that is his existence - it all fails him.

BUFFY: What the hell are you—?
SPIKE: It didn't work. Costume. Didn't help. Couldn't hide.
BUFFY: No more mind games, Spike.
SPIKE: No more mind games. No more mind.

For the first time since we first met him in season two, Spike is giving up. He's giving in. He can't do this alone anymore. Back in season four when Spike attempted to kill himself by falling on a stake, that was a cry for attention. Even then he was fighting. We see through Marsters brilliant performance this season with "Beneath You" and "Sleeper" that he's losing the battle. He's run out of tricks. So when he turns to face Buffy and bares his chest to her, he asks her to make it quick. He's done, but she's not.

SPIKE: Do it fast, OK? He said you'd do it.
BUFFY: Who said?
SPIKE: Me. It was me. I saw it. I was here the whole time, talking and singing. (sobs) There was a song.
BUFFY: What are you talking about?
SPIKE: I don't know. Please, I don't remember. Don't make me remember. (to invisible person) Make it so I forget again! I did what you wanted!
BUFFY: There's something here. (throws away the wooden tool handle)
SPIKE: Oh, God, no, please. I NEED THAT! I can't cry the soul out of me! It won't come. I killed, and I can feel 'em. I can feel every one of them.
BUFFY: There's something playing with us. All of us.
SPIKE: What is it? Why is it doing this to me?
BUFFY: I don't know.
SPIKE: Will you... Help me. Can you help me?
BUFFY: I'll help you.

Never before has Spike asked for assistance without there being a catch of some sort. He's giving himself no out this time with Buffy. Before he'd barter with Giles and only help if there was something in it for him. He'd tolerate the assistance given him before but only if there was an escape route somehow. Only if he could worm his way through and get what he wants at someone else's expense. NOW he's accepting the being tied up and put away from the table. He doesn't argue when they talk about him as if he weren't there as they do in the last scene of "Sleeper." Compare this to the Thanksgiving episode of season four when the tied up and newly chipped Spike would never shut up. Even when he was tied up before, even when arrows were hitting him, he was still fighting, with his mouth cuz it was the only thing not tied up.

Now, Spike has lost the battle. His conflict has left him fallen. He's got nothing left but the kindness of strangers. This is the worst place for any actor to work from, because there's no longer a conflict. There's nothing to fight, which means Spike's down to feral survival. Next episode should bring about a performance from Marsters unlike any other, to have to come from such a dark place as an actor to portray a character so broken and undone. Is there any other actor on the planet who could believably pull off playing a role from such a dark place? I think not. Not like Marsters.

In the scene of season four's "Lessons" when we first meet the new Spike, when he opens the door and sees Buffy, Marsters is not just a face with the expression of someone from Laugh-In. The moment before is evident on his face. We know that from the end of season six, he got his soul. We don't know yet when we see this scene the first time that he's been tortured mentally by a relentless evil spirit. However, we see and are communicated within seconds, even before Marsters gives off that blood curdling laugh, that Spike is for some reason, completely and utterly insane. Marsters communicates this to the audience with again, subtlety. He doesn't roll his eyes or jump up and down manically. He doesn't use mannerisms that are hokey and fake. The portrayal comes out of him naturally and organically, as if one might suspect Marsters himself has experience with mental aberrations. So that by the episode "Beneath You" when Buffy finally puts to words his condition, Spike's response is one that we the audience share.

BUFFY: Spike, have you completely lost your mind?
SPIKE: (lucidly) Well, yes. Where've you been all night?

And this brings us to --

Especially when one is playing such a tragic character as a man who's become a vampire and then retrieves his soul of his own accord thinking it will help him win the battle with his enemy, his lover, and even himself, only to find that the soul causes even more heartbreak than when Buffy shunned him.. A guy who's this melodramatic and weighted down with past crimes and present mistakes -- you gotta find the funny. You gotta show the audience that it's okay to laugh at this guy too, otherwise there's just too much here for anyone to stomach. It brings to the audience the humanity of the inhuman creature before them. It gives them something they can share. When the mad Spike looks lucidly at Buffy question about his sanity and goes "DUH!" we the audience are with him. We're on his side in that moment. We FEEL where he is and empathize on such a level that we find ourselves laughing WITH him, not at him. Although there's moments when the newly chipped Spike was pretty damn funny to laugh AT.

Spike : I don't understand. This sort of thing's never happened to me before. (He's sitting on Willow's bed.)

Willow : Maybe you were nervous.

Spike : I felt all right when I started. Let's try again. (He leaps on her and draws back immediatly. He tries again and the same thing happens.) Ow! Oh! Ow! Damn it! (He gets up and kicks the dresser. He starts to pace around the room.)

Willow : Maybe you're trying too hard. Doesn't this happen to every vampire?
Spike : Not to me, it doesn't!
Willow : It's me, isn't it?
Spike : What are you talking about?
Willow : Well, you came looking for Buffy, then settled. I-- I... You didn't want to bite me. I just happened to be around.
Spike : Piffle!
Willow : I know I'm not the kind of girl vamps like to sink their teeth into. It's always like, "ooh, you're like a sister to me," or, "oh, you're such a good friend."
Spike : Don't be ridiculous. I'd bite you in a heartbeat.
Willow : Really?
Spike sits on her bed again.
Spike : Thought about it.
Willow : When?
Spike : Remember last year, you had on that... Fuzzy pink number with the lilac underneath?
Willow : I never would have guessed. You played the blood- lust kinda cool.
Spike : Mmm. I hate being obvious. All fang-y and "rrrr!" Takes the mystery out.
Willow : But if you could...
Spike : If I could, yeah.
Willow : You know, this doesn't make you any less terrifying.
Spike : Don't patronize me.

But even in these moments, Marsters is careful not to turn Spike into a joke. And in some times in seasons four and five that was quite a dangerous prospect. Again, in someone else's hands, the above dialogue may have been presented in a way which made the failed vampire a flat joke that had no empathy. However, Marsters portrays Spike in the moment, knowing where he's been and knowing what he's fighting for, so even when we're laughing at Spike, we're still laughing with Marsters. Spike's never been a stereotypical "a vampire walks into a bar" kind of joke. There's always something meatier going on.

One of the things that brings out the depth of this character is the opposites that dwell within him. Spike was evil in season two, yet he was also a gentleman. He wanted to have fun, but he also wanted to fight for what he believed in. He's twisted, but in episodes like season four's "Yoko Factor" we see he can take a complex plan to its conclusion. He can manipulate. He can goad. He can test the waters delicately and he can dive right into the foray. Yet at all times he's still a gentleman.

Now that he has his soul, this dichotomy is reaching sharp relief, because the gentleman in him now wants more. It is no longer willing to accept any more suffering. It will no longer tolerate what the soulless Spike was willing to accept. The soulless Spike could kill and still be a gentleman. The soulled Spike realizes it is this very antisocial behavior which has robbed him not only of being a proper man, but being a man at all. Without the soul, he didn't see the dichotomy, and could be Jekyll & Hyde simultaneously. Now, that's no longer possible.

It is this blaring opposite that made Spike what he was up until now, and it's facing the lie of his existence for the past century which is causing his psyche to unravel, moreso than the Big Bad Whatever, which is only helping to pull at the frayed edges of his mind. He was already losing it before the BBW came along.

And nothing brought this forward like the attempted rape scene. She would have sex with him before. Why won't she now? The soulless Spike couldn't understand why this was being denied him. Why had things changed? The spark was gone. So he went to get it. Made perfect sense to the soulless Spike, but now that he's soulled, he wishes he could take it back. Another Opposite.

Spike is filled with paradoxes and contrasting beliefs & actions. He's killed two Slayers, yet couldn't bring himself to kill this third one. As Spike says in "Sleeper," "God help me Buffy, it's still all about you." And it is, it seems he was fine living in this dichotomy for over a century, until Buffy came along to show him why he's been living a lie.

Every time Spike punches somebody, the searing pain of the chip is like something new. Even when Spike knows it's coming, Marsters plays the pain so believably. It hits him like a ton of bricks to his cerebellum. It's believable because of how Marsters plays the discovery. As if every painful shock from the chip feels worse or different than the one before. That's the most obvious example of Discovery.

In the last scene of "Beneath You" it's filled with Spike discoveries.

Buffy reaches for his chest, where the scars seen in episode 7x01 "Lessons" are healing.

BUFFY: Tell me what happened to you.
Spike flinches, recoils violently, and looks her into her eyes.
SPIKE: Hey, hey, hey! No touching.

Watch the tape. The look on his face. Here's a discovery. He looks at Buffy as if he thought she'd never touch him again, yet here she is touching him. What does this mean? Does this mean she still sees him as something other than an object? It can't be. So the confused Spike goes through a plethora of mental processes. We see it on Marsters face, as well as in the delivery of his lines.

SPIKE: Am I flesh? Am I flesh to you? Feed on flesh. My flesh. Nothing else. Not a spark. (nods) Oh, fine. Flesh then. Solid through. (starts unzipping his pants) Get it hard; service the girl.

Spike shrugs and starts undressing. This must be what the girl wants. Okay. I'll serve. I'll do what worked before maybe it'll work again. He says service but Marsters delivery seems to be be just as much 'please the girl.' I'll do whatever she wants, but it doesn't work.

Buffy is disgusted and smacks his hands away from his pants.
BUFFY: Stop it!
Spike reflexively reaches up and grabs her by the throat.

Yet another discovery here. One of pain, shock & surprise, because his mental processes were faulty. He's failed yet again.

Buffy grabs his shoulder and throws him across the room. Spike lands on top of some pews, breaking them into pieces. He sits up a little, propped on his elbows behind him.

And here we get realization. Yet another discovery, in the dark. We can barely see his face, but we hear him thinking, because of how Marsters says the words.

SPIKE: Right. Girl doesn't want to be serviced. Because there's no spark!

One could take any scene between Spike & Buffy and while sometimes (God love her) it appears to me that Sarah Michelle Gellar is just phoning it in, I've NEVER seen Marsters phone in his performance. He's always in there. And there are even times when Marsters performance DEMANDS attentive response, and SMG rises to the occasion. Marsters brings it out of people. He brings out the best of his fellow performers.

Watch the scene between Riley & Spike in "Into The Woods." Marsters brings the very best out of Marc Blucas. Whether you like Blucas or Riley, everyone's got to admit that this is one of the best moments Blucas had on screen in the tv series, and Marsters is the one who brings that best out of him. Because he makes the perfect foil for Riley Finn's discovery.

Fade back in on Riley holding the stake in Spike's chest.
SPIKE: (yelling) Ow! Bloody hell! Oh god! (quieter) Hey.
He looks down at his chest as he realizes he hasn't been dusted yet. Riley yanks the stake out. Spike grabs his chest in pain, and stares at the stake.
RILEY: Plastic wood-grain. Looks real, doesn't it? (Grabs Spike's shirt again) Don't think I don't know what's goin' on with you, Spike. (They glare at each other) Stay away from her. Or we'll do this for real next time.
He pats Spike on the cheek and walks away. Spike leans against the pillar panting. He's still clutching his chest, but he begins to chuckle, and Riley turns back.
SPIKE: (chuckling) Oh, man. You are really under it, aren't you?
RILEY: (angrily) What?
SPIKE: Look at you. All afraid I'm hot for your honey.
RILEY: (walks back toward Spike) Because you are.
SPIKE: Well ... yeah. But that's not your problem. Even if I wasn't in the picture, you're never gonna be able to hold onto her.
Riley puts his hand over Spike's hand that is covering the wound. He pushes his hand deeper into it.
SPIKE: Ow, bloody hell!
RILEY: Maybe I didn't almost kill you enough.
SPIKE: (in pain) Come on. You're not the long haul guy and you know it.
RILEY: Shut up.
SPIKE: You know it. Or else you wouldn't be getting suck jobs from two-bit vampire trulls.
Riley looks annoyed, lets go of Spike. Spike continues panting.
SPIKE: The girl needs some monster in her man ... and that's not in your nature... (He pushes away from the pillar, still holding his chest, and goes to sit in his chair) matter how low you try to go.
Spike sits back with an expression of pain. Riley paces around restlessly. Spike reaches for his bottle and begins to remove the cork again.
RILEY: You actually think you've got a shot with her?
SPIKE: No, I don't. (removes cork) Fella's gotta try, though. Gotta do what he can. (Drinks) RILEY: If you touched her... you know I'd kill you for real.
SPIKE: I had this chip outta my head, I'da killed you long ago. (Replaces cork) Ain't love grand?
Spike tosses the bottle to Riley, who catches it and removes the cork again. He sits on a nearby coffin and takes a sip.
SPIKE: (quietly) Sometimes I envy you so much it chokes me. (They exchange a look) And sometimes I think I got the better deal. (sighs) To be that close to her and not have her. To be all alone even when you're holding her. Feeling her, feeling her beneath you. Surrounding you. The scent ... (louder) No, you got the better deal.
Riley looks over at Spike, takes another drink.
RILEY: (bitterly) I'm the lucky guy. (shakes his head) Yeah.
Long shot of the two of them sitting together. Riley tosses the bottle back to Spike.
RILEY: I'm the guy.
Spike takes another swig. They sit there together.

Riley's the guy. The lucky guy. Unlucky. What a discovery. And it's Marsters who helps him get there. Riley already knew Buffy didn't love him the same way he loved her. He didn't understand WHY until this very moment.

Okay. I'm tired. I could go on but I doubt anyone read this far. Here's the rest of Shurtleff's Guideposts. I could write a mile on each of them too, but I won't.


My point is when people ask me why I enjoy Buffy so much, this is just one of many reasons why. Marsters makes the show worth watching, because his portrayal of a character that's so hard to portray is something that could fill volumes of interpretive criticism. It's rich and vibrant and filled with emotion and energy. In a world where sitcoms like "Just Shoot Me" actually get renewed, it's rare and precious to find such fantastic acting as Marsters' on the little screen.

If you have read this far, I humbly thank you, but you're not off the hook. Who is your favorite actor in the series and why? Okay. You don't have to write THIS much but just write enough to get your point across and let me know I didn't type all this blabber out in vain. =)

[> Oh crap! I missed a tag! Sorry! (& this is spoilery up to "Sleeper") -- ZachsMind, 21:16:26 11/22/02 Fri

[> Who I like. A little this and that. -- Deeva, 22:13:13 11/22/02 Fri

Well, I'm not going to try and follow your example and wax on about why I like JM but I'll cop out and say that I pretty much agree with the points that you hit upon. I don't know if I would care as much about Spike if he were played by another actor not of his caliber. JM's ability and involvement make me care about Spike's journey. I don't hold Spike up on any altar but I am interested in his role in Buffy's world.

For the very lack of sheer brain power or equal parts laziness, I can't really decide, I can only possibly compare this to some what like my admiration of Colin Firth's acting ability. I have always loved Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice but was never a big fan of Mr. Darcy, until I caught the mini series. In that series I saw another side of Mr. Darcy that I couldn't imagine. One with more feeling than I was willing to give him credit for. Now don't think that my esteem for Colin Firth is frozen in his portrayal of Mr. Darcy, not the case at all. It made me interested in the rest of his filmography, so I went and looked for it. Gotta say not disappointed in the least.

So getting back to the real subject at hand, I really do like all of the actors on Buffy but picking one or four, I would say that it's JM, SMG, ASH & AH.

I actually caught SMG when she was on All My Children (I think?) She made a great little b****y trouble maker, look at who her "mother" was. I liked her a lot in Cruel Intentions.

As for ASH, the man appears to be quite fearless. From the Rocky Horror Picture Show (I caught his performance on MTV for Halloween a while back. I'll not soon be forgetting the image of him in fishnets and lipstick!) to the Tasters' Choice stuff to ManChild on BBC America. And hey, I've got a thing for accents.

I haven't seen much else that she might've been in but I loved AH in American Pie. And she is a far better Wicca than any of those chicks on Charmed.

[> Re: Marsters under the microscope (dissecting his performance of Spike with Shurtleff's Guideposts) -- Wisewoman, 22:29:16 11/22/02 Fri

Yikes! I used to prepare for auditions using Shurtleff. What an odyssey!

I admire Marsters' acting every week, but I think Emma Caulfield is right up there with him. The character of Anya is such that it's at times difficult to see the actor as fulfilling all of the guideposts. I think it's because Shurtleff has given actors a way to replicate authentic human behaviour while acting, and Anya seldom displays authentic human behaviour in any event!

Thanks for the blast from the past.


[> [> I couldn't put Caulfield under the same microscope... -- ZachsMind, 08:30:43 11/23/02 Sat

I'm not saying Caulfield is bad. I guess I'd have to say she's average. I also admire Nicholas Brendan's performance in Buffy, but this is apples & oranges. Marsters performance is one that can be dissected and analyzed through Shurtleff. I don't believe Caulfield or Brendan's performance can withstand similar scrutiny. If I attempted, I fear they'd fall short.

Anya's a difficult character as well but for dramatically different reasons. While Spike is IN the world wallowing in the muck, Anya feels separate and above it. Similar to S2 Cordelia, but while Cordy was spoiled in the mallrat sense, Anya was spoiled ten times worse as a millenium old child of D'Hoffryn. Talk about Daddy's money. So long as she did as D'Hoffryn asked, not even the sky was the limit.

This is just a slice of what Caulfield had to ascertain as an actress to play this role, but where does one come from as an actress to play such a role convincingly? From the early performances, I doubt Caulfield put a lot of thought into answering that question. She took the lines given her and lived in the moment, but I don't personally believe she's an ex-vengeance demon in "The Wish" or "Doppelgangland." It's not until somewhere around "Fear Itself" that I start to accept the character is a thousand years old, and it's not the fault of the writers. Caulfield simply has no real frame of reference.

Compare Caulfield's big entrance into the series (The Wish) to that of Marsters' (School Hard). Caulfield hits her mark and says her lines, but we don't feel the sense of urgency and the thrill of the kill that we get from Marsters right off the bat. Marsters hits the ground running with his performance and rare if ever could I find a scene where he's not on top of things as an actor. Caulfield? I can't say that about Caulfield. She fumbles and wallows in the first few appearances, and it takes her almost a year to find her footing. Somewhere around the time when she becomes a semi- regular playtoy for Xander's sexual fantasies, ironically that's where Caulfield finds Anya. Caulfield seemed nervous and uncertain in her first appearances and she incorporated that into her character, or maybe a lack of confidence was a character choice? I have trouble believing a thousand year old ex-demon would be that unsure of herself.

Don't get me wrong though. I adore Caulfield, however her power is in her comic timing. She knows how to disarm you with a smile at the most inopportune time. She can get a laugh from a glance. She can play Anya in such a way to where the other characters don't know if she's kidding but the viewers do, and it's immediately believable both ways. That's tough to do. She says the given dialogue with such deadpan accuracy that you do sincerely believe every social faux pas Anyanka commits. It's raw and fresh and comes from a place of naivette that is hard not to love. And every time she hugs a character in the show, it's like every time Spike punches someone. It's a new discovery. Anya sincerely loves to hug. It's always a new experience for her and Caulfield's eyes just light up and her face warms the heart of the viewer every time. Caulfield hugs as Anya in a way similar to how a child looks at a delicious double scoop ice cream cone for the first time. It's where we see that in a way Anya has NEVER grown up.

And maybe that's Emma Caulfield's choice as an actor, to play a thousand year old ex-demon as a child. She's Peter Pan. It works sometimes, but again I can't see how she could survive the Shurtleff scrutiny like Marsters' performance can.

[> [> [> I don't put much stock in Shurtleff, personally. -- Rob, 08:54:03 11/23/02 Sat

I've read his work before, and I always found it to be pretentious, and in many cases, unrealistic. It depends whether one is the kind of actor who just says his lines, and eventually finds the character, or one who feels like they have to know everything about the fictional person's childhood in order to utter a simple line. I admire those actors who research and spend hours cultivating every line, but those same people also come off as a little crazy.

Just because one cannot judge her performance based on his guidelines does not keep it from being brilliant. She is in the situation of playing a very different type of character, whose emotions, by definition, are not normal human emotions. Spike, as a vampire, was still more in touch with his humanity than Anyanka, making it easier to analyze his performance in such a way. I would definitely rank her high up there on the list of best actress on "Buffy."

But I still believe, and this is not just because I feel like I have to, that SMG is the best actress on the show. I think people far too often underestimate her talent. I have never found her to be "phoning in her lines," and the only times she might be accused of it (in the sixth season), I would call more an artistic decision. Buffy was depressed. The whole point was that she was just going through the motions. She is a very striking actress. She has had such moments of brutal intensity in the run of the show, such as "The Body," the last few minutes of "The Gift," "Prophecy Girl," etc. and some great comedic highs, the Magic Box sequence of "Life Serial" being one of my personal favorites. I think the show's success largely revolves on SMG's shoulders. She has never been anything less than utterly convincing as Buffy. I also adored her performances in "Cruel Intentions," and, yes "Scooby Doo." She is a great comedian, great dramatic actress, great everything.

[> [> [> Re: I couldn't put Caulfield under the same microscope... -- alcibiades, 09:42:54 11/23/02 Sat

And maybe that's Emma Caulfield's choice as an actor, to play a thousand year old ex-demon as a child. She's Peter
Pan. It works sometimes, but again I can't see how she could survive the Shurtleff scrutiny like Marsters' performance

Can't comment on the text because I have never read it, but I do think that playing Anya as a child does make sense in the Jossverse where the demonic impulse is symbolizes living in a world governed by id and never moving past that developmental moment. As Anyanka, she never evolved past the moment where she learned Olaf had betrayed her and she sought revenge. Her whole existence is a paean devoted to the "purity" of her feelings and the preservation of that moment of empowerment, where she took revenge.

As for Anya's other ticks -- well her name was Aud/Odd.

[> [> [> Re: I couldn't put Caulfield under the same microscope... -- Rook, 12:34:17 11/23/02 Sat

Have to totally disagree about Marster's performance in School Hard...I really disliked the character at first because all he was was a standard generic villain caricature, so much so that he might as well have pantomimed twirling a mustache. It wasn't until he got into the wheelchair that he had to stretch himself as an actor, a task to which he rose admirably. But his performances prior to that weren't any more interesting or skillful than Anya's in The Wish and Doppelgangland.

[> [> [> It's not the comedy that stretches her... -- Wisewoman, 16:06:42 11/23/02 Sat

I can't see how she could survive the Shurtleff scrutiny like Marsters' performance can.

Maybe if you scrutinize The Body or Hell's Bells? Those are places I know she shines, and there are others, but I'd have to do an episode check. It's Anya's dramatic moments where we get to see the full range of EC's talent.


[> [> [> [> Okay maybe I'll do a Shurtleff dissection of Emma AFTER I'm done with James. -- ZachsMind, 18:26:45 11/23/02 Sat

[> Re: Marsters under the microscope (Response to your question) -- frisby, 06:57:27 11/23/02 Sat

That's a very hard question. When push comes to shove I'll still have to go with SMG, but it's the relation of Buffy and Spike that is my favorite, and still, those who play Giles and Willow and Xander, not to not mention the others like Anya, bring very very much to the mix also. I will contend that it is the synergetic emergence from the original four (SMG, AH, AH, and NB) that has been the real key to the wonderful success of this show. Angel was okay but Spike has been a delicious desert or spice making each of the others even better. I'm not articulate enough to really review the performance of these actors, but I will argue they've done a magnificent job -- both they personally and the characters they depict will likely be with me always, maybe like those from a really good novel or friends from childhood. So there's one response, and hats off to those (not meaning to forget Joss and Co -- the writers etc) who "turn out a really good product" (each season has improved and this one will be the best ever).

[> I agree that JM is great as Spike/William/BB -- Deb, 09:44:39 11/23/02 Sat

You are 17? And you've given up on acting? Or do I have you confused with someone else?

[> [> Ya got me confused with someone else. I gave up around 30. -- ZachsMind, 15:28:45 11/23/02 Sat

[> [> [> Sorry 'bout that -- Deb, 10:42:32 11/24/02 Sun

[> Re: Marsters under the microscope (dissecting his performance of Spike with Shurtleff's Guideposts) -- Spicywings, 10:44:05 11/23/02 Sat

Have to thank you for such an insightful and thought- provoking post, and would very much appreciate reading the remainder of your thoughts on the last six guideposts, no matter the length. E-mail me or find me at Crumbling Walls. thanx very much. Discussions concerning James' portrayal of the character are extremely interesting to me.

[> Re: Marsters under the microscope (dissecting his performance of Spike with Shurtleff's Guideposts) -- Changeling, 15:00:14 11/23/02 Sat

Please finish Guideposts 7-12. This is the best critique of James Marsters acting and analysis of the character of Spike I've seen. Thank you for some fascinating insights.

[> Re: Marsters under the microscope (dissecting his performance of Spike with Shurtleff's Guideposts) -- Rowan, 09:09:37 11/24/02 Sun

This is a really fascinating post. Thank you! When I was at Shore Leave this summer, James talked about how he has created a 'widdle Sunnydale' in his head where 'Spike wubs Buffy.'

Okay, pausing for the giggling and groaning. ;)

Anyway, he said that as long as he understands how Spike inhabits this Sunnydale, then he can't go wrong in any particular scene. It sounds as if what you've quoted is how he goes about figuring how Spike inhabits the widdle Sunnydale in his head.

[> Re: Marsters under the microscope (dissecting his performance of Spike with Shurtleff's Guideposts) -- Cheryl, 09:18:20 11/24/02 Sun

Interesting, thought-provoking analysis. Please continue with the rest of the guideposts.

As for my favorite character, I do love all of them (including Jonathan), but my favorite is Spike, for many of the reasons you've mentioned. When he's on screen I'm always riveted and the gamut of emotions he's succesfully had to play over the years is impressive. Spike is a fascinating character and kudos to JM for making him real.

[> Re: Marsters under the microscope (dissecting his performance of Spike with Shurtleff's Guideposts) -- klytaimnestra, 09:42:59 11/24/02 Sun

Thanks very much for posting this; I knew nothing about acting, except that whatever JM does seems to work so well. I now have a much more acute sense of how brilliant he is and why. (File under "Discovery".)

For me I especially like how he makes anyone he's playing a scene with look great too. Not all actors are so generous.

[> Please, PLEASE finish this....... -- rabbit, 14:40:43 11/24/02 Sun

You just explained so very much, you can't stop now! it would be cruel not to finish!

[> Re: Marsters under the microscope (dissecting his performance of Spike with Shurtleff's Guideposts) -- mushmouse, 15:09:33 11/24/02 Sun

ZachsMind, this was so fascinating, I had to delurk for this. I don't know anything about the technical aspects of acting so this was just...neat!

I'm reminded of some of the dvd commentaries by MN and JW about JM's effectiveness with other actors, with everyone clamoring for more scenes with him. Some of that is credited to Spike being a "reactive" character (as opposed to Drusilla who is interesting but severely limited because she's in her own little world), but now I'm more inclined to credit Marsters with making Spike's reactiveness so compelling and watchable.

By the same token, I'm giving SMG more leeway in her performances since season 6. Buffy is now the *least* reactive in emotional terms, but the most reactive on a superficial level (slaying 'em left & right). Just because Marsters is able to play Spike with ambiguity to spare doesn't mean that SMG has that kind of room to play with Buffy, the hero of the piece and thus constrained by the demands of the stories in a way that Spike is not.

Buffy is still a mystery to herself and all of her circle, and to us as well. Her little couch session with Webs allowed some of that mystery to be revealed, but there's a whole season's worth of Buffy revelations to come, so who knows what they'll do with her? What's so remarkable about Marsters' performance is that while he can appear to be so transparent that we "see" everything about Spike's thoughts & feelings, he still retains a degree of mystery that keeps us coming back for more.

[> Fascinating post...thanks for this -- shadowkat, 17:42:03 11/24/02 Sun

Very impressed. Did some studying acting myself ages and ages ago, mostly Uta Hagen and some of that method guy.
From what I've read of Marsters interviews (he really likes to explain the acting process to people btw - so check out for articles that do this), the actor is a "method" actor with a little old school. He says "method" doesn't work as well on stage - because you need to project your facial expressions etc to the back of the theater, but for the camera? Method is the best approach he's found.

From what numerous actors have said on INSIDE ACTOR's STUDIO as well as what I've read from Hagen and that Russian guy - starts with Stans...?? the method is a process where the actor builds a character from inside out.

What James basically does is he roots around deep inside himself for experiences similar to Spike and builds the character from that. For instance - if Spike killed someone? He would act out in his head what that would feel like and maybe connect it to an experience he had where he hit someone over the head. (Because he obviously isn't a killer). Or say your character loses someone? You reach back and remember your mother's death. Method-acting is naked acting - the actor literally exposes his core to the audience. Because the emotions we see are what JM would literally feel as Spike - it takes his head to the ultimate what if? To stay sane while doing this approach - the actor creates a box to put all these emotions and feelings in - a place where the character lives - Scean Penn called it the cage or box, Merly Streep also uses it. Dustin Hoffman has been known to be a pain to work with because of his insistence on knowing every little detail of the character before doing a scene - he's almost anal about it.

A method actor normally does not want to know anything his/her character doesn't know. So unlike the other actors?
Marsters deliberately avoids spoilers or finding out what comes next for his character. Adam Busch who plays Warren commented last year in an interview that he went to the internet to find this stuff out ahead of time. Marsters avoids it. Marsters view is? If Spike doesn't know, I don't know. When asked how he was going to deal with the guilt inflicted by the soul in Shore Leave? His response was typical "method" - "I'm going to have to dig really deep" and as an actor "you often go places most pyschiatrists would advise you to avoide". Method actors also often change their physical appearence to fit a role. Robert Deniro put on 100s of pounds to play lead in Raging Bull without being asked. Dustin Hoffman insisted on waxing his legs for Tootsie. Marsters has similarily lost weight to portray Spike. (Compare to David Boreanze who hasn't lost weight nor changes any aspect of his appearence.) When Marsters stops playing Spike - you probably won't recognize him.

Acting is an interesting art form - because it is such a physical one. Your body and speech are your tools and product and limitations. The writer gives you the words, the director the moves, the makeup guys the look, but you as an actor? Control speech inflection, tone, accent, small twitches in the face, a blink of the eyes...


Beneath You: Nancy asks has anyone in this group not slept together. Marsters does a subtle blink of the eyes when he is directed to look at Xander. He blinks and sort of shakes his head, it's very subtle and Xander looks flushed. That is an example of the subtilites of body language which no director can really get an actor to do.

Another example? The clenching of the facial muscels to get across MorphSpike's grin. Or the look of horror and tears at the corners of the eyes when he realizes what he's done in Sleeper.

Also the swagger, how he treats that long duster like a cape in Crush, moving almost with a catlike ease through the Bronze.

Or the cheek to cheek moment he and Juliet Landau created in their audition and were instructed to keep in School Hard.

These look easy guys, but they aren't. I remember doing an eye contact exericise once in acting class where we were expected to convey such subitilies and it was close to impossible.

An actor - a good actor - looks at a script and usually tries to build a character from the words, creating back and front story and writing out histories of the relationships. This is far easier to do if you have the entire play or film script in front of you, but if you have an evolving character whose back story wasn't revealed yet? You have to be careful. As Marsters puts it - I don't know if he was a jerk or a choir boy. In an early interview circa 1997, he assumes Spike was a theiving jerk but admits now that he says that Spike was probably a choir boy. Turns out that's sort of what they did. But the writer's were clever, they took Marsters own background and used it.
Stuff Marsters told them about himself when he was in Junior High. This helps - both actor and writer - particularly when you have a five year tv show and evolving character that you can't say everything about ahead of time or know everything about.

The brillance of Btvs - is it works. The evolution of Spike tracks back to the beginning, to the extent that we as an audience can't really tell outside of a few minor foibles that Whedon hadn't planned this trajectory for Spike and the other characters from the beginning. (The foible of course is who sired Spike - but it's a minor one and easily spackled.)

What interests me most right now is if the writers and actor can pull off something - I've never seen anyone else successfully pull off with a popular anti-hero villain.
When Han Solo got less snarky in Return of the JEdi - Star Wars lost it's edge as an example. But you can't keep Spike evil and snarky all the way through - he becomes two- dimensional and after a while a caricature of himself. He must evolve to be interesting to the writers or anyone else. Otherwise his character is in a sense nothing more than window dressing or allegory. I know, I know there are quite a few people out there who prefer fun caricatures or Wile E. Coyotes...but this is more interesting and richer.
To take a character into a very dark place, have the character give up and be dissolved in a state of depression, is risky, and to convincingly pull them back out of it again, reconstruct the character in the process and keep it strong? Never seen it done effectively on TV or genre. Usually the writers cop out. Be curious to see if they can pull it off now.

Spike and Marsters are one of the major reasons that I am obsessed with BTVS and write about it. I'm not invested in whether or not the show demonstrates or pushes a particular philosphy - mostly becomes I don't subscribe to just one.
I pick pieces from several. I think I'm interested in how these characters have evolved and changed and interacted.
The psychology of them and their individual emotional and mental journeys and how it relates to our own.

Anyways...just my ten cents.

PS: Wasn't planning on posting this week, but Zachsmind's interesting take on acting methods was too hard to resist.
Besides, needed a break from the family. ;-)SK

[> [> Re: Fascinating post...thanks for this -- Rufus, 20:50:36 11/24/02 Sun

When asked how he was going to deal with the guilt inflicted by the soul in Shore Leave? His response was typical "method" - "I'm going to have to dig really deep" and as an actor "you often go places most pyschiatrists would advise you to avoide". Method actors also often change their physical appearence to fit a role. Robert Deniro put on 100s of pounds to play lead in Raging Bull without being asked. Dustin Hoffman insisted on waxing his legs for Tootsie. Marsters has similarily lost weight to portray Spike. (Compare to David Boreanze who hasn't lost weight nor changes any aspect of his appearence.) When Marsters stops playing Spike - you probably won't recognize him.

Yes, and that is what may keep him employed over the years. I'm glad he was smart enough to realize that the character of Spike could only wear the coat and swagger about for so long before he would become a parody. When Buffy was at the door in the basement in Lessons it was clear when she saw Spike that this was a different guy. The easy thing to do would be have Spike be what he has always been from season two, but that just isn't consistant with people, we all change and evolve as we interact with others, to keep this character hobbled with a persona that is trapped in the Season 2 moment, would become boring and laughable.

[> [> Re: Fascinating post...thanks for this -- Doriander, 02:06:58 11/25/02 Mon

I love reading about these stuff!

You know it’s odd as I’ve read in some places, not here, describing JM’s current performance namely his mad scenes as scenery chewing. It’s a case of YMMV, I suppose. Now JM is not perfect, and in BY, knowing beforehand his love of Shakespeare, I can’t help but recognize him slipping into Shakespearean mode in some of his line delivery, which worked magnificently in the church scene, but quite discordant in the alley, particularly with “This, just the beginning, love...” up to “...screaming, horror and bloodshed”. I know he was switching personas in that scene, but the knee-jerk "Oh god, he's doing Shakespeare" kinda took me out of the moment. Otherwise, I think his current portrayal is the most compelling, raw, and I like the adjective you use, naked, that its cringe inducing, painful, and hence not a excatly pleasure to watch (“service the girl.” nuff said). And I’m glad we’ve progressed from that because I agree that it could get old easily.

If anything, and I think JW and JM concur, his most over the top portrayal was back in S2. I’ve read virtually every article in Spikespotting myself and came away with the notion that one big factor which informed JW’s decision on the twist in Spike’s story in FFL, in addition to what you’ve stated, was JM’s early-S2 portrayal. Spike is a put-on persona. Look at SH-WML. That Spike was showy, theatrical, his intonation and moves choreographed, telegraphed, practiced, in a way that’s effortfully effortless, unnaturally natural. Didn’t JW admonish JM sayiing something along the lines of “a little more Tim Roth, and a little less Olivier”? Seeing as his prior experience was primarily stage acting, it’s understandable. And oddly? Few people, if none, complained. Because it worked, IMHO, due in large part to him playing off of Juliet Landau. When those two do a scene, they are on, they’re in their own little world, they may be over the top but they’re over the top together, and it’s compelling to watch. Dru’s crazy was endearing due in part to how Spike reacts to her; coos her, humors her, occasionally loses patience but amends it seconds later (and conversely, Spike’s crazy post BY verged on grating because the other characters react to him with discomfort or impatience).

Marsters deliberately avoids spoilers or finding out what comes next for his character. Adam Busch who plays Warren commented last year in an interview that he went to the internet to find this stuff out ahead of time. Marsters avoids it. Marsters view is? If Spike doesn't know, I don't know. When asked how he was going to deal with the guilt inflicted by the soul in Shore Leave? His response was typical "method" - "I'm going to have to dig really deep" and as an actor "you often go places most pyschiatrists would advise you to avoide". Method actors also often change their physical appearence to fit a role. Robert Deniro put on 100s of pounds to play lead in Raging Bull without being asked. Dustin Hoffman insisted on waxing his legs for Tootsie. Marsters has similarily lost weight to portray Spike. (Compare to David Boreanze who hasn't lost weight nor changes any aspect of his appearence.) When Marsters stops playing Spike - you probably won't recognize him.

Interesting conjecture I read from another board (band of buggered forums), on why Spike appears to look healthier and meatier: he’s been unknowingly feeding on humans. Conscious choice on Marsters’ part you think? Someone there also posted a link to an Adam Busch interview, which included a funny anecdote about JM holding his breath during takes in that bitty scene in “Smashed” (the one with Warren running a scanning device over Spike’s head), because “vampires don’t breathe”. I’m simultaneously amused and scared ;)

[> [> [> Interesting points, Doriander, and I agree -- alcibiades, 10:51:18 11/25/02 Mon

And oddly? Few people, if none, complained. Because it worked, IMHO, due in large part to him playing off of
Juliet Landau. When those two do a scene, they are on, they’re in their own little world, they may be over the top but they’re over the top together, and it’s compelling to watch. Dru’s crazy was endearing due in part to how Spike reacts to her; coos her, humors her, occasionally loses patience but amends it seconds later (and conversely, Spike’s crazy post BY verged on grating because the other characters react to him with discomfort or impatience).

Very interesting Doriander. I think you are right there. And it also has a strong effect, at least on some audience members, of wanting the others to react with him with compassion.

Otherwise, I think his current portrayal is the most
compelling, raw, and I like the adjective you use, naked, that its cringe inducing, painful, and hence not a excatly pleasure to watch (“service the girl.” nuff said). And I’m glad we’ve progressed from that because I agree that it could get old easily.

I agree with this too, precisely. I have found many of the recent episodes, in the Spike scenes, not pleasurable at all to watch -- they are really, really difficult, because Spike is naked and raw and everyone else is buckled up. So this is really the antithesis of his SchoolHard performance. He has come full circle.

This is one reason I could not enjoy Him, frex, even though many people thought it was comic. Yet, mixed through the light tone was a very painful, cringe inducing performance which I found too disturbing so as to be able to view the episode as comic.

I also agree with you about the OTT Shakespeare note in BY in some of the lines. It did jar me out of the scene to some extent the first time through, as such a paean to Shakespearean acting, but now, after a few viewings, it bothers me less.

[> [> Re: Fascinating post...thanks for this -- aliera, 14:30:26 11/25/02 Mon

Well I'm very glad you did post...didn't see this until today but it made my day.

One of the things that caught my attention (whether true or not I don't know) is when he said he kept putting "more" into the character than the writers were intending and the he was surprised by how much they were keeping in. Maybe I'm reading to much into this (probably)but I'll put my money on this actor. ;-)

[> Putting in a word for Michelle Trachtenberg -- Tchaikovsky, 04:51:50 11/26/02 Tue

There's been a development of Dawn's character as profound as any other (except perhaps Spike) in the last two and a half years.

Michelle Trachtenberg does the comic scenes extremely well. She also has the depth of emotion to bring off the startling scenes in 'Blood Ties' and 'Dead Things'. I think that the latter is brilliant and highly underrated, largely because it was categorised as one of the 'Whiny Dawn' scenes that so many people disliked. The complete despair of Buffy turning herself in leaks transparently out of her face, in a very beautifully lit scene.

Transition from the endearing little brat of 'Real Me', through the self-discovery of 'Blood Ties', to the trauma of 'Bargaining', the empowerment of 'Grave' and the maturity of 'Beneath You' and 'Same Time, Same Place' has been handled really, really well. This is why, for me, Trachtenberg is my favourite actor on the show.

Incidentally, however, Alyson Hannigan and Sarah Michelle Gellar have the knack of making me cry. Emma Caulfield and Nicholas Brendon make me laugh. But it's Trachtenberg, Marsters and Head who really leave me intrigued by their characters. I believe that a spin-off on any of the three would work superbly.


Marti's comment on the future of S8 from Entertainment Weekly -- Deeva, 21:39:39 11/22/02 Fri

Buffy Branches Out? From Entertainment Weekly’s On the Air by Lynette Rice

Sarah Michelle Gellar may be ready to pull up stakes, but that hasn’t stopped UPN from imagining life without Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Says UPN entertainment president dawn Ostroff: "The franchise is important to us, so obviously we’re going to do everything we can to keep the show." The net has already begun talks with Buffy exec producers Joss Whedon and Marti Noxon about the show’s future is Gellar decides to walk in May-a direcion that could require a major overhaul of the plot and title. "A show with no Sarah is a spinoff," says Noxon, who believes fans should brace themselves for life without Gellar. "We can’t call it Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Her Friends and Family or Buffy’s Vampire Ex-Boyfriend." Don’t expect Dawn the Slayerette, either. While the drama has highlighted Dawn (Michelle Trachtenberg) and her Scoobyish pals at Sunnydale High, Noxon’s not that interested in making a vampire 90210. "This season feels really strong-we feel like we’re hitting all cylinders. But I have mixed feelings about going on," admits Noxon. "I want to do work I feel proud of before the idea of killing vampires is like sticking a hot poker in my eye." As is typical for most Buffy plotlines, tension is sure to mount, because a decision on an eighth season and Gellar’s participation isn’t expected until late winter. Predicts Noxon, "No matter what happens, Buffy will look different if it comes back-on camera and behind the scenes."

For lack of something to do at the moment, I typed this up. It's from the Nov. 29th issue of the mag. I particularly like the titles Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Her Friends and Family or Buffy’s Vampire Ex-Boyfriend. That last one got a smile out of me. *g*

[> Re: Marti's comment on the future of S8 from Entertainment Weekly -- Alvin, 01:57:43 11/23/02 Sat

Isn't that last one also know as "Angel"?

[> [> LOL! -- yez, 07:15:32 11/23/02 Sat

[> Re: Marti's comment on the future of S8 from Entertainment Weekly -- fearshade, 06:51:12 11/23/02 Sat

Well, if SMG doesn't sign on for S8, I hope the show does continue. The title doesn't need a huge change, but a simple one. Just call it 'Slayers'.

Do any of the other actors want to sign on for another season?

[> [> Re: Marti's comment on the future of S8 from Entertainment Weekly -- Deb, 08:20:39 11/23/02 Sat

I get the impression from what I read that she is sick and tired of doing the vampire slaying bit, which is ok with me. We all move on, grow up. I don't see any reason SMG would want to stay -- careerwise. But I'm certainly up for a spin- off with those who have signed three-year contracts to date.

[> [> Do any of the other actors want to sign on for another season? -- ZachsMind, 12:07:15 11/23/02 Sat

I remember reading somewhere that Nicholas Brendan, Alyson Hannigan & James Marsters all have contracts that do NOT expire the same time SMG's does. They each have at least one more season where, IF the ME studio wants to continue producing and IF the network wants to continue broadcasting, those three are contractually obligated to show up. Neither Caulfield, ASH, nor SMG have this same obligation.

So if there's a spinoff, it will most definitely include Willow, Xander & Spike, at least on the outset. Michelle Trachtenberg? Well, what else is she doing right now? My guess is ultimately, the next season will somehow involve a new Slayer (either Dawnie, Faith, or a new character they introduce later this season) and Willow will take it upon herself to be the new Slayer's Watcher. Xander, Spike, and maybe Dawn will come along for the ride.

I still prefer my ROAD TRIP idea though. Throw them in a van and do Scooby like mysteries with'em. I'd tune in.

[> [> [> ^^^ Oops. Forgot. That might be spoilery up there. ^^^ -- ZachsMind, 12:29:09 11/23/02 Sat

[> [> [> Re: Do any of the other actors want to sign on for another season? -- wiscoboy, 12:37:54 11/23/02 Sat

What else is M.T. doing right now? The bigger question is what else is SMG doing right now other than dreaming of a movie career? She needs to take a look at what she's done up to this point and realize her film choices have been less than memorable. The sinkhole of failed acting careers is a very deep one. I believe she should take BTVS to an absolute conclusion(on a better note than S5), then walk away.

[> [> [> Contracts aren't as air tight as all that. -- Finn Mac Cool, 14:14:16 11/23/02 Sat

I'm not sure how this works, but Brendon, Hannigan, and Marsters are contracted for three more seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, right? But, if Gellar leaves, it won't be Buffy the Vampire Slayer anymore, they'll most likely change the name and officially make it a spinoff, which they are not contractually obligated to work on, I'm assuming.

Also, my personal hope is a Faith spin-off that brings Xander along for the ride, but leaves the others out of it except maybe for guest appearances (Willow, Spike, and Dawn have too much bizarre backstory for them to work well as secondary character is a new show).

[> [> [> [> Re: Contracts aren't as air tight as all that. -- wiscoboy, 14:32:08 11/23/02 Sat

I don't think that Faith thing everyone is hyped about is going to happen. Eliza seems determined to make a go for the movie scene, which doesn't leave any room for a Faith spinoff(which is why you haven't seen more of her the last couple of seasons). My personal feeling is that when SMG is done with this(and what I've read recently she has started to waffle on this being the last season for her), that should end the series for good(or move it to movie sequels).

[> [> [> [> [> Yet another possibility... (Speccy Spoilery) -- ZachsMind, 15:15:00 11/23/02 Sat

According to all spoiler reports I've recently read, they're gonna bring in some Slayers in Training. That's what that Robson guy meant by "gather them" when he breathed his last words to Giles. Three to be exact. This is over and above Faith, who's scheduled to make an appearance late in season seven, after a brief stint over at Angel.

One of these S.I.T's will most probably die before the season finale. One of them will probably be gay - a love interest for Willow. The third slayer will probably become THE Slayer after a final big blowout battle at the end of season seven with Buffy, Faith, and the Big Bad. Faith will die. Buffy may or may not die. Again. Buffy doesn't have to die and since she's already died twice it'd be overkill, but they have to kill Faith, because so long as Faith is alive, Eliza Dushku would be the one to head things up in season eight, and all signs point to Dushku hoping the same thing Gellar's hoping for. What MAKES these women think silver screen is better than a steady paycheck?

The end result will be the passing of the torch. A new slayer will be born.

Who will the Slayer be? An actress who Mutant Enemy signs on to contract who will cost less than Gellar and not be allowed this political B.S. five to seven years from now. I don't know how they could legally do it, but they could have the actress sign a contract basically saying she's the Slayer until the writers say she's not. The name of the show can remain "The Vampire Slayer." They simply drop the "Buffy." UNLESS of course the other girl just happens to also be named Buffy. *smirk* It could happen!

[> [> [> [> [> [> Actual, FUTURE spoilers in above post, not just speculation!! -- Dariel, 20:58:49 11/23/02 Sat

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Hey! I SAID Speccy Spoilery didn't I? -- ZachsMind, 07:25:26 11/25/02 Mon

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Yeah, but no one else knows what 'speccy spoilery' means! -- Slain, 11:45:37 11/25/02 Mon

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Yet another possibility... (Speccy Spoilery) -- B, 06:13:40 11/25/02 Mon

You can't force someone to continue to play a part, regardless of what the contract says. A contract that says "you're the slayer until we say otherwise" is unenforceable. It's involuntary servitude and we fought a Civil War to eliminate slavery. They could prevent someone from taking on other roles for the duration of the contract, but it could only be for a limited, specific time period, not "until we say so."

[> [> [> [> [> We can all fantasize about some things -- Finn Mac Cool, 16:25:00 11/23/02 Sat

If the B/A shippers can dream of Buffy and Angel getting together once more, I can dream of the Faith Saga. And there is some potential hope for my dream, considering that Eliza Dushku doesn't seem to exactly be drawing in big name movies.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Eliza Dushku should go for the steady paycheck! -- ZachsMind, 18:25:04 11/23/02 Sat

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Same argument can be said for SMG -- wiscoboy, 09:49:59 11/24/02 Sun

She has visions of big screen grandeur, but hasn't made a film worth seeing yet(unless you're under 11yrs old and love Scooby Doo).

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> SMG's career -- Finn Mac Cool, 12:11:22 11/24/02 Sun

Of course, Sarah Michelle Gellar may feel that the reason she hasn't been able to make a truly successful movie is that she has to spend so much of her time making BtVS. And, if she wants to quit, I don't think she'll need to worry too much about the steady paycheck. Odds are she's made enough money to last the rest of her life.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Somewhere else! -- luna, 10:59:36 11/25/02 Mon

[> [> That name's taken, but good idea -- egak, 15:52:45 11/23/02 Sat

The "Waiting in the Wings"/"Apocalypse, Nowish" parallel (spoilers for both eps) -- Rob, 22:11:18 11/22/02 Fri

I just saw "Waiting in the Wings" for the first time, and I was struck by the similarity of the situation to Angel discovering Cordy and Connor in bed together.

In WITW, Cordy is temporarily "possessed" by the ballerina, while Angel becomes her lover, Stephen. The two original lovers were discovered together by the jealous Count Kurskov (although Cordy and Angel don't get to that point in the scene).

In A,N, Cordelia (possibly possessed or influenced, maybe not) has sex with Connor, whose alternate name is Stephen. They are discovered by the jealous Angel.

I'm not exactly sure what is being said here, but I was at first struck by the choosing of the name "Stephen." We have to wait to see the fallout from these events to make better sense of what these two parallel scenes are saying...but I find it interesting that in the second case, (a) Cordy is being romantic with someone of the same name as in the first scene and (b) that someone of the same name is the son of the person in the first scene. The image of Angel watching in the next room is reminiscent of Wesley, possessed by Count Kurskov, jealously staring at Fred and Gunn.

Anything I'm saying make any sense, or am I seeing links that aren't there?


[> How 'bout that ballerina? -- oboemaboe, 22:59:46 11/22/02 Fri

To my dismay, this is the only S3 ep I haven't seen. Does the exquisite Summer Glau have a big role, or just a brief cameo?

I'm tempted to whip out my Kazaa just to see her. (OK, that came out grosser than I meant it. Sorry.)

[> [> She only has one speaking scene... -- Scroll, 08:58:15 11/23/02 Sat

But it's a very well done scene, and I was impressed considering it was Glau's first acting job (I think). And she's a wonderful dancer! I for one am glad Joss hired her for "Firefly".

[> Hmm, would be interesting (Apoc, Nowish spoilers) - - Scroll, 08:56:47 11/23/02 Sat

I think you could probably parallel Angel with Count Kurskov. Both were Cordy/Ballerina's employer and had previous claim on her. They are both jealous by nature, and more dangerous than the lovers realise. I'm not saying Angel is going to pull Cordy out of time and trap her in a Giselle performance, but I think Angel might see Cordy's sleeping with Connor as a direct betrayal - especially since she'd only told him she loved him a few hours earlier.

So perhaps Angel will parallel Wesley and start withdrawing from the group and isolate himself by focusing on stopping the Beast. Maybe this will open up a new understanding of Wesley. All speculation of course, and not very well supported speculation at that. :)

Where do we go from here? (Assuming the worst) -- Drew the Lurker, 22:43:12 11/22/02 Fri

((Not trying to diss any shows, or people, just curious for thoughts on what I'm thinking))

I've been thinking lately about what comes next. I mean, if this is Buffys last season (and it seems like it could be), and Angel doesn't really grab me much, and Firefly is likely to be somewhat less than an instant hit (if it lasts even two more episodes I'll be surprised) I seem to be facing a Joss-free tv future. I know it sounds a little over involved, but there isn't much else I even watch tv for. (I could always put a stake through my tv set, i suppose).
For my part, I think I'm ready to let Buffy go. I mean the last season really was almost painful to watch (I know, I know, Whine doesn't taste good with that) and I nearly quit watching when Tara died. (I was unspoiled, too!) I remember thinking this hurt so much I should just quit watching because it was too painful. I wanted to just let the whole show go, but couldn't.
The current season has restored my hope/optimism about Buffy and Crew from a character point of view, but I really feel like I could let it go more easier than after the season were Buffy jumped of the tower (and the frog).
Would I jump to Angel? Would any of the Scoobies move over to that series and take up shop? Well, Angel hasn't done much for me up till now. It is a good companion show, and has had some wonderful episodes but its always been sort of borrowed glory (In my opinion). A non-self centered Cordelia has never really been all that woo-woo. I don't think Charisma can pull it off acting wise. (I like the actress, I just think she is a bit ...bland, for lack of a better word). Angel is ok, but he seems to lack some of the sparkle of his Buffy stuff. Wesley, Fred, and Gun are ok but the Buffy's characters have more energy just sitting around and talking about the baddy of the week.
And if the scoobies jumped ship to L.A., I doubt that would make the show any more appealing. And besides it would be really unfair to the Angel crew which deserve to rise or fall on their own merits.
Firefly? Sorry, Joss. Even if I could past the Western aspects (which I've never cared for), and the sci-fi stuff (which has been done better)I just don't care about it. I'd rather watch Twin Peaks:Firewalk with me backwards while going through a Klingon Age of Ascension ritual. It just sounds dull. I've tried to watch it (I've got it all on tape and will force myself sometime to do so, but all I can think is that this dreck is what he wants to do?) Maybe if I had seen the original pilot I might have cared more. (Perhaps if its cancelled, it can go to UPN-perhaps that network would give it more of a chance (i.e. interfere less).
I guess I've said all this mainly to see what everybody thinks a post-buffy existence will be like? Would you be able to accept it passing? (Man, I sound like an obessed fanboy!)

[> Zachie looks into his crystal ball... (VERY speccy spoilery S7 - 8) -- ZachsMind, 09:40:10 11/23/02 Sat

The following is based on a lot of guestimation, but at this point it seems the most logical future for the series. This opinion will change with the breeze but at this moment in time, looking ahead, I think it's the best bet. First off, Joss Whedon is presently juggling three tv series and is trying to keep his hands in all three of them. It's obviously taxing on his physical and mental well being. Don't count on this happening again. Had he been able to focus on any one of his three babies totally, its success would have tripled. However he's spread too thin.

Let's assume Firefly won't make it. So next season if Buffy ends completely, he's only got Angel left. Being the workaholic that he is, Whedon SHOULD just devote all his time to making Angel more successful but he won't do that. Instead, he'll spend most of his time in airplanes between California and England. And maybe he'll make the same mistake he made this year -- three series simultaneously.

Old habits die hard.

Anticipating The Beginning of The End

Where I think Whedon's team is going with the end of season six of Buffy is major upheaval. By the end of the season, there will be no more Sunnydale High. Again. There will be no more Sunnydale. From beneath you it devours. That's both metaphorically and literally. Whedon likes having a final and conclusive end to any given season (last season being perhaps one exception). He's going for a BIG finish this year. There's only one way to do that. Close the hellmouth once and for all. That's only gonna happen with a big no-holds-barred, lock-your-doors and hide-your-daughters blowout finale war type battle.

By the end of season six I'm assuming there will be nothing left of Sunnydale California but a crater. If there is anything left of Sunnydale by the end of season six I'll be very disappointed. I wanna see it BURN. So whether there's a season eight for BtVS, or if the storyline moves permanently to Angel or elsewhere, it won't be in Sunnydale. I think they've told all the tales in Sunnydale that they can. The gang has grown out of that small town. It's time to move on to bigger and better things.

So will Buffy continue in some form, will characters move to Angel, or will there be no Buffy at all? I think the answer might very well be YES to all the above.

First, let's look at ANGEL.

We already got Cordy & Wesley, as well as Angel himself. Faith has made an appearance on the show. It's not a great stretch to think that one or more characters from Buffy's present cast could make at least special guest appearances next season on Angel, provided after season seven of Buffy we see the Buffy characters have been scattered to the four winds. Would any of them make permanent residence in Angel's world? Doubtful. There's nothing Xander has which Gunn can't already offer in abundance and better. Willow would compete with Fred in ways I personally would rather not see explored. It'd be interesting to see Giles & the new improved Wesley face-off, but I'd tire of the banter quickly. So for most of the Buffy gang, L.A. would be a nice place to visit but I'd hate to watch them live there.

Angel's not Buffy. The shows are remarkably different. Willow's modern techopagan angsty nervousness wouldn't play well in a cityscape of modern gothic industrial eat-or-be- eaten subterfuge. It'd be like seeing Sailor Moon painted into a sequel of Lethal Weapon. I mean think "cello rock" in Buffy's world and you'd see the contrast. They just don't go well together. Angel stands alone now. Doing more than special guest appearances with any of the major Buffy characters would be kinda like trying to stuff a baby chick back into its cracked egg. However, I'd like to see some characters that didn't have a chance to blossom in Buffy transplanted into Angel. I think Amy would stir things up in L.A., and Clem would be the perfect foil for Lorne.

Next let's look at RIPPER.

I personally think the rare times we saw ASH & Amber Benson on screen together, it was magic in every sense of the word. Especially in "Once More With Feeling." There's a chemistry there that ASH & SMG have never had. So y'know what I'd like to see? RIPPER produced for BBC America but with a twist. After season seven when all the Scoobies go their separate ways, Giles returns to England. While there, he is forcibly removed from membership with The Watchers' Council because they do not approve of however things went down at the end of Buffy S.7, so Giles loses all ties to everything but the coven. They take him on as a sort of Paladin Knight of their mystic order. And in the process of accepting that mantle, he learns he gets a spirit guide in the form of Tara. She appears before him as if she were still alive but no one else can see her. Kinda like that scene in "Halloween" when Giles was with Willow who was just a ghost and couldn't even turn the pages of a book? Sorta like that.

No other characters. Maybe a special guest appearance by AH as Willow, but Willow can never see Tara. Maybe. Actually no. Just let ASH & Benson build an entirely new series off the ashes of the old one. A father daughter sort of relationship where she keeps him alive by being his spideysense and he makes her feel like she's alive. Two tortured souls taking on the world. I think it'd be brilliant.

And finally, AFTERBUFFY.

Is there life after Buffy? I think so. I think Sarah Michelle Gellar will move on to substandard motion pictures and may be able to etch out a good place for herself on the silver screen. She'll want to steer as far from Buffy as she can though if that's the route she's chosen. She's already risked typecasting. Whether she (or we) want her back as Buffy, her agency will probably recommend she not do so as soon as her contract is up. She has her career to consider. Emma Caulfield's moving on too. So if we're going to have a tv series after season seven, we can't assume it will involve either Buffy or Anya.

This leaves us with Dawn, Spike, Xander & Willow. Now, if you can't come up with a spinoff series that involves such a powerhouse combination of acting talent I don't know what I can do for you. Personally what I'd love would be ROAD TRIP! They find a van and start driving. Then they find out too late that the van is actually a temporal anomaly and every drive takes them somewhere new. Literally.

A modern Scooby-Doo Mysteries, with a vampire instead of a great dane. A cross between Sliders & Doctor Who, with a witch, a vamp, a ball of energy disguised as a girl, and a very normal guy who doubletakes a lot and always has something funny & poignant to say.

You can't go wrong with that. It's a sure bet.

[> Spinoff. Oh and I like the idea of spiking your tv. lol -- Deb, 09:41:00 11/23/02 Sat

And I do not like "Firefly." Never will. I do not identify with any of the characters, and the context of the story is nothing new. I hate westerns, and I hate bad sci-fi.

[> You sound like someone I know in KC... -- rabbit, 16:48:24 11/23/02 Sat

But then, he always was a cynic.... ;-))
Me, I'm an optimist...

What do you think about how Buffy's death was incorporated into Angel? -- Jules, 23:32:28 11/22/02 Fri

I'm curious, did anyone else have a problem with the way Buffy's death and resurrection was integrated into Angel???

At the end of series two, when Willow told Angel of Buffy's death, all we got to see, was his devastated facial expression before the season ended. One of many things I really love about David B is his beautifully expressive eyes. He does pain, amazingly well.

For example the way he looked when Buffy staked him, before he was sent in to the Hellmouth, ...and the poignancy when he finally returned to her,... as well as during Angel when they parted after he turned back time and he knew that she would never remember their time together... Of my god I digress.

My point is that David as an actor, had a perfect opportunity to do some pretty powerful acting re her death, let alone her resurrection, if the scriptwriters had let him. The beginning of series three had him spending three months in a monestry, before being attacked by killer monks and returning, apparently relatively rejuvenated to LA and Angel investigations.

Cool, however as usual he got to play the aloof, introspective, moody Angel that we all know and love, holding his true feelings inside and getting on with it. Whatever it is. Consistent yes, oh yes, but also a enormous waste of an opportunity to tap into some pretty great raw emotion.

Over the last three plus series Angel/David has got to show different elements of his character, from dark and brooding to comedic, to tragic. However while Angel/David does pain brilliantly, I haven't seen another actor use his eyes so powerfully to convey pain and agony, he doesn't often get the chance to really go really deep inside himself to express that pain verbally. Perhaps to expect him to do so would be unrealistic.

Nevertheless, considering that there may well never be any more romantic, or even any true crossovers between the two series and that Angel and Cordelia are now the "unrequited couple", rather that Angel and Buffy, it seems to me to be a profound waste of opportunity.

The brief scene between him and Cordie on the train, where he felt guilt for not wanting to die after Buffy's death, left me unconvinced.

I assume that it was meant to represent a closure around Buffy's death, so it didn't need to be mentioned again (am I being cynical) and the powerfull theme of "Is love healthy if you don't want to go on living if the person you love dies", was dealt with I thought too quickly and flippantly for my taste.

It's great that Angel has evolved enough, not to think, that his life has to end because Buffys has, as I have mentioned before, "Wuthering Heights "is not a healthy way to go, despite being incredibly romantic on the surface.

I supsect that if most of us, even if just for a moment, were honest, we could imagine how incredibly seductive the idea is of someone loving us so much that they wouldn't want to live without us.

We cope better with the idea, of someone being prepared to risk their live to save their loved ones, it is not an unusual notion, but to not want to go on living, especially for an eternity, in Angel's case, because you lose the one you love, I get that.

It seems to me, that he came to that mature place a little too easily and quickly. It is almost as if the scriptwriters were foreshadowing a new relationship. If his feelings for Corelia where developing, it might explain his reluctance to let go of life. Once again, I think a great opportunity for some deep acting was missed.

Finally, while I know why we didn't get to see the Angel and Buffy's reunion after her resurrection, it would have been cool to have more than "I don't want to talk about it" when Angel returned to LA. Consistent I know with his character and the scriptwriters uncertainty about all things Buffy and Angel.

When I look at it this way, it makes more sense to my why there has been a consistent Buffy byepass, in all the Angel storylines, since Cordelia and Angel became the new couple. I recon that noone know where anything is heading, despite the fact that the story arcs are created well in advance. Looks to me like all bets are off and anything can happen.

[> I completely disagree. -- Rob, 09:11:00 11/23/02 Sat

I got the sense that Angel was incredibly torn up by Buffy's death, and that is why he left for three months to sort things out. He wouldn't have had to leave if it didn't hit him hard. Remember, however, that three full months have passed between the season 2 finale and the season 3 premiere. You are not going to be as emotionally wrecked by that point. Also, remember that Angel had gone on a spiritual journey for this time, too, helping him reach the place where he can live without Buffy. I think the point that was being made by not going the route of showing him completely wrecked, as Buffy would have been, is to reinforce the fact that Angel has grown and changed a great deal since his time in Sunnydale. Although Buffy still has the same feelings for him, and somewhere he will probably always have them for her, he has been able to move on with his life. If she had died during their BtVS Season 2-3 time period, he might have been destroyed emotionally. But he's been on his own a while now. He's lived a long time, and further, in episodes such as "I Will Remember You," realized that a future with himself and Buffy could probably never truly be possible.

And then Buffy comes back...and he goes to visit her, and we don't learn much about the visit from either one of them. I think, though, we can infer that this visit brought closure to Angel, but not so much to Buffy. After that point, we never really hear him refer to her much and soon after falls in love with Cordelia. And I think the thing is that he has realized that he can live with her not in this world. He is thrilled that she is no longer dead, but the thing is that he, having come to grips with losing her and emotionally got himself to the point where he has dealt with that, no longer NEEDS her when she comes back to life. He has made his peace with the end of their romance. I think the reason neither of them talked about it is that it was more of a goodbye than a romantic meeting.

As long as Buffy was alive before, there was always something holding Angel back from moving on. After she died, he had to, and her resurrection did nothing to change the fact that he had moved on.

I'm also glad we didn't get too much raw darkness from him at this point. He had just recently come off his dark period from the mid-second season and was soon to encounter all more sorts of darkness in the third. Mourning is a private thing, and I'm happy with the way they presented it on the show.


[> [> Re: I completely disagree. -- myra, 10:46:33 11/23/02 Sat

Have to agree with Rob on this one, I really liked the way they handled Buffy's death on Angel in a quiet non-dramatic way.
It shows that Angel has really built a life of his own in L.A. and that it isn't All.About.Buffy anymore (personally, I thought Angel was kinda 2-dimensional on BtVS, the only times I really like(d) him are when he went all 'grrr, argh'- Angelus and ever since he has his own show).

And I always saw their little post-resurrection meeting as closure for what they had together, like Rob says, not so much with the romance, but more like a goodbye.
Ofcourse, all this might have something to do with the fact that I've really really had my share of B/A Romantic Agony™ ;).

So, yeah, this post could be summed up as "What he said.", my apologies :).

[> [> [> Re: I completely disagree. REPLY TO MYRA -- Jules, 14:31:02 11/23/02 Sat

Hi Myra no apologies needed, I love getting the feedback, see my response to Rob, it pretty much sums up where I'm at.

I also especially enjoy Angel when he goes Angelus on his mates, and agree Angel's character development has broadened considerably now he has his own show.

However in my opinion, I would rather deal with more of the B/A romantic agony, as you call it, then the C/A agony, that it sounds like I'm install for when I get series Four of Angel.

What's worse and I imagine more prolonged agony, than seeing your son sleep with the woman of your dreams?, no matter what the motivation. As far as I can see Cordie has just notched up the agony anty considerably.

[> [> Re: I completely disagree. REPLY TO ROB -- Jules, 14:17:51 11/23/02 Sat

Thanks Rob, what you said made a lot of sense and made me really think, which is one of the great aspects of these boards. I agree with a lot of what you said about Angel's process, however...

You won't convince me that the scriptwriters didn't take the easy way out. They could have produced the same result in three months time, but still showed the audience some of the process of how Angel got there. I still think it was a lost opportunity. They didn't have to spend a huge amount of time on his grieving, but a little insight, might have produced closure for the audience, as much as for Angel.

Clearly everyone has a different perspective on whether Angel and Buffy should eventually end up together and a whole new perspective on whether Angel and Cordelia should even be a couple, but I, "the audience", for want of a better word, also need closure on their relationship, before seeing Angel embark on a new one with someelse. Especially one that involves "falling in love". For all intense and purposes, expecting us to believe that Cordelia is replacing Buffy in his affections.

This is alot for people, I'll speak for myself, alot for me to buy, considering not that long ago, Buffy was the love of his life. I for one, needed to experience that psychological jump, but that's me.

So for me that means reaching that place (his closure?, if that is indeed what it was) through understanding Angels process.

In the end all we have is our own personal conjecture as to what was going on in Angel's/scriptwriters heads when they wrote those scenes involving Angels integration of Buffy's death and finding out about her resurrection. A romantic reexploration of their feelings for oneanother or a poignant goodbye? Who knows?

In conclusion all we have is conjecture, because issues of cross-overs aside, I really trulely don't think the scriptwriters know themselves what is going to happen and are leaving all their options open.

[> [> [> IMOO - Mars vs. Venus writing.... -- Briar Rose, 15:06:45 11/23/02 Sat

It would seem to me that the difference between what a woman (Marti) would see as appropriate grieving and what a man (David and Joss. etc.) would see as appropriate grieving.....

In a wide generalization (and i know there are some outstanding role reversals.*L), most men do not love the same way most women do, they don't react to separation the same way most women do and they sure the heck don't discuss feelings or show emotions in public as most women do.

The character of Angel on AtS is a "normal" male in the way they portray him, where on BtVS he was always less so, he'd seen the softer side of emotions, where Angel in LA has not (yet) and IMO, it's because the writers are generally divided between male for AtS and Female BtVS.

Sad to say that most people in general (of either sex) don't see love as an all consuming emotion anymore.... Most see it as something to "move on" from and "get over" and "Life's a Bitch and then you marry one...." or "One fight and it's all over....." all of which is sad for the human race.

And that's what I see in the way that LA Angel handled the death and resurrection of Buffy. It was handled more sensitively by the BtVS writers the first time she died than by than the Angel writers when she really died. And watching both shows seems to show a conflict between the two Angel characters, to me. On BtVS, he is more tender, more open and romantic and sensitive. On Angel he is closed, more moody, stoic, quiet and generally the stereotypical "John Wayne" archetype "hero."

To me it's all in the difference bewteen the sexes of the writers. Ever notice that once Joss wasn't the primary writer on BtVS that Angel got a sense of humor? That he got a softer form of melodrama? And that Cordy got more quiet and "strong" and less feminine in the AtS writer's hands?

Same thing.

[> [> [> [> Re: IMOO - Mars vs. Venus writing.... REPLY TO IMOO -- Jules, 19:56:46 11/23/02 Sat

Maybe your right, I hadn't really seriously considered that it might go down to the sex of the particular writer, as to how a character was written, particularily the way that character expresses their emotions.

Food for thought, if that is the case maybe it explains alot. I always figured Angel as pretty moody and stoic, under the best of circumstances, but also believed that was the culmination of dealing with a lot of accumulated shame and the agony of ending his relationship with Buffy.

The more I ponder, the more I think that there may be a lot more to the mix than trying to write a meaty storyline or even a consistent and realistic one.

Whose reality are we dealing with? A man writing for a man or a woman writing for a man in the case of Angel? Which writer knows the character better, and how do we, with such changes, begin to comprehend consistency?

Should we kill any of the Spikes in there? -- Rufus, 01:14:16 11/23/02 Sat

Much has been said this season about Spike and his potential Multiple personality disorder and then Manchurian Candidate Candidate mind screw that made me attempt to find an explanation of Multiple Personality that could help me in explaining what is going I did some casual surfing to find the definition I feel describes it best.

Although MPD patients are, by definition, diagnosed as having more than one personality, they in fact don't. The different 'personalities' are fragmented components of a single personality that are abnormally personified, dissociated from each other, and amnesic for each other. We call these fragmented components 'personalities' by historical convention: much of the scepticism about MPD is based on the erroneous assumption that such patients have more than one personality, which is, in fact, impossible.

Adult patients with MPD experience a number of core symptoms that should be enquired about in psychiatric assessments. These include voices in the head and ongoing blank spells or periods of missing time. The voices are the different personalities talking to each other, and to the main, presenting part of the person who first comes for treatment. The periods of missing time occur when different personalities take turns being in control of the body, and are attributable to the memory barriers between the personalities.
Colin A. Ross, M.D. author of the Osiris Complex

I can hear people now going "how the hell can a vampire have MPD?" and I think that is an easy answer. In the beginning the Vampire was created from a bite that infected and possessed a human subject.....this human lost the soul and became predisposed to the preference of evil. And to those who feel that the soul is what makes you......I don't think that is the case in the Buffyverse so save the theological stuff on the soul cause it's Joss's world an his rules....we have to kinda work around them. In the Buffyverse it's been clear that the soul operates as a compass that points a person in the right direction.....doesn't mean they will stay the course but it's a start all the same. The personality and memories of a vampire are the person that once was.....and still is...just possessed, infected. I'd also have to add in CURSED....who would want to wake up from a long dream and find out you are a killer of many many people? How does one cope?

This is where Spike/William comes in. We saw what happened to Angel, he has had a hard journey and has occasionally lost interest in the destination. With Spike/William we have a front seat to the beginning. If anyone doubts that Spike is William all you have to do is watch Tabula Rasa......all the characters were wiped of their immediate memories and identity so what was left were the tendancies that make them who they are or could be. Buffy didn't know she was a Slayer, and Randy had no idea he was anything but a hard done by fellow who had a father with a penis car. And when he found out he was a vampire it became clear that he didn't much want to bite Buffy (didn't test him on the others). So, what does all this mean? Spike got himself a soul, but along with the soul came the ability to really feel compassion, feel the consequences of what he had done....and we don't know what happened to him til we see him again in Sunnydale. And what Buffy found was a insane, talking to himself....mess.

In "Beneath You" Buffy finds herself confronted by a seemingly confident, back to business, Spike....until he does something that triggers his guilt and that is hurting Ronnie Spike thought he was fighting a demon and is pained in more ways than one when the worm turns into a man. He again reverts back to insane Spike causing Buffy to tell him to go away, but soon she follows him into a church there Buffy finds out that Spike got a soul, and it's killing him. Buffy feels that she is no help or in fact makes things worse for Spike and for the most part leaves him alone, despite his cries for help. Buffy doesn't know what to do with a mentally ill vampire.

I found the scene with Spike confronting the creeps who wanted to use Cassie as a ticket to riches, in Help one that bears revisiting.......

Is there something evil in the school? Down here, maybe. Spike, please, do you know anything?

(defeated sigh) Yes. (beat) There's evil. Down here. Right here. I'm a bad man. William is a baaad man. I hurt the girl. (cries)
Spike starts punching himself violently in the face.

(grabs his wrist) Spike, stop it! What did you do?

I hurt you, Buffy, and I will pay. I am paying because I hurt the girl.

(tenderly) Spike. No. (lets go of his wrist) It's not me. It's a different girl, OK? Her name is Cassie Newton. Please, do you know anything specific?
any transcript quotes from Buffyworld.

No kidding Spike hurt the girl, but we now know that he not only hurt Buffy, but as she said in Help...a different girl, a few different girls and a guy or two thrown in.

Spike shakes his head "no", and Buffy sighs. She turns to leave, when Spike calls out softly after her.

Don't—don't leave me. Stay here, and help me be quiet.

(turns to face him) I think it's worse when I'm here. (walks away)

Don't let him hurt the girl.

Who is him? Does Spike mean the creeps trying to off Cassie, or is he talking another him....the other part of himself.

Buffy takes the torch from Spike and points it at the demon. Spike walks to Cassie. Buffy sweeps the torch in front of the demon's face. Spike punches Peter, knocking him to the ground. Buffy jabs the torch into the demon's abdomen cavity. Spike's on top of Peter, pummeling him ferociously. After each punch, Spike pauses to hold his aching head, then he punches Peter again.

Who are you?

I'm a bad man.

Yes, part of Spike is a very bad man, but I don't think he was totally conscious of that other man til Sleeper, when he finally woke up.

I did follow you last night, and you know what? You didn't look lonely or casual to me. You looked like you were on the prowl.

You can't know that.

So, then, tell me. Tell me what happened. You talked to her, then what?

We talked. That's all I remember.

All you remember?

I don't know. I go out. I talk to people or I don't. It's boring. It all bleeds together.

Well, if you seem to forget that much, then—

Not that. The taste of human blood. That, I'd remember.

You were camped out on the hell mouth talking to invisible people. Recently. How can you be sure of—

Buffy is right....Spike has been talking to invisible people, she just hasn't been aware that they are in fact real, and have been messing with Spike's mind. The fact that Spike got a soul is a good thing, but it is so traumatic that it left him open to be manipulated by a being that made him forget. Then got him to kill over and over again like Shaw in The Manchurian Candidate. But, his dreams his thoughts were troubled, he understood that someone hurt the girl and most of the time I'm sure he still thought it was Buffy he was referring to....but he still seemed very intent of making sure no one hurt the girl in Help.

Spike's getting ready to go out, when he puts on his jacket. He feels something in his pocket—it's the pack of cigarettes one of the young women gave him earlier. Holding it, he flashes back to meeting her at the bar and killing her. He stares at the cigarettes, shocked.

Spike's memory is accessed by a trigger, that of the cigarette package that a girl gave him....the girl he killed. He went off looking to see what else he could find and found out he'd rather not know, but the cat was out of the bag and even though the Evil being got him to dance to "Early One Morning" one last time, that dance was with Buffy, and it was her blood that clarified things for him......and we are now left with the man huddled under the blanket.

So, do we kill Spike because he is a threat? Do we help him.....I find a little section in a book I read makes the most sense to me and applies to any of the folk in the Buffyverse.......from Karma 101 by Joshua Mack

"For negative karma to achieve full force, an act must:
1) Have been done intentionally.
2) been completed;
3) have been committed without remorse; and
4) been done without a promise to never repeat the act again."

For those going WTF has Karma got to do with it all, Spike is a killer and should be dead, dead, dead. Well, Spike without a soul may have been a killer, but Spike with a soul is still a bit of a question mark. Also the killings Spike did after getting a soul back were done without him knowing of them at first remember the quote above about multiple personalities being one personality fragmented, and in Spike for awhile he wasn't aware of what he was doing, and when he spoke to Buffy it was clear he didn't intend on killing people. Spike simply thought he was insane and wasn't quite sure of what was real or not. So traumatized by his ability to feel after all those years, Spike simply tried to forget, and the Being in the basement with him seemed to want to help, at a small price. The being was so sure that Buffy would kill Spike after the attack, it told Spike as much.....but Buffy pulled the fast one of taking him home...we are yet to find out if that was such a good idea.

So, killing Spike.....I find that those four aspects of negative Karma make it easy for me to say why we shouldn't kill Spike or beat Buffy up for not being compassionate quick enough.....and for that matter continue to rant and insist Willow gets punishment or Angel, because all the parties mentioned....hell throw in Anya too......aren't doing things that point to them being a threat. Willow is trying to atone the best way she knows how, Spike has only just found out he has been used and may need some rehab quick, and Angel..Angel is a whole other show but he is trying to do the right thing too. It's that constant call for retribution, blood for blood, punishment that makes me believe more than ever that if any of the people I've mentioned can do good, can help instead of harm, then who are we to mete out anything? So, for now I look to not the kill but the cure for Spike and all the others who for whatever reason fell down when we and they least expected it. Now I just want to know if that song will ever work again?

[> Link to book about mind control -- Rufus, 03:05:47 11/23/02 Sat

Search for the Manchurian Candidate

[> That's the rub,isn't it? -- AurraSing, 06:16:50 11/23/02 Sat

I think Buffy did not kill Spike because of reasons too complex for her to even vocalise but the fact remains that the FE rode Spike like a pony through those murders. Until such time as the Scoobies can sever the connection,Spike is a loaded weapon against them all.

And that is just damned scary.Unless he is back to the chains and ropes of early season 4, how can he be trusted since the FE can override the chip's effects with ease?

Wonderful article-I'm appreciative of the definition of MPD you have found since it clarifies some of the arguements I have been readin about Spike's condition.

[> Spike needs more help than any of them can give -- Deb, 09:34:12 11/23/02 Sat

or so it appears at this point. In the end, he will be fortunate to end this thing with just William. This "it's still all about" Buffy thing has got to end. It's got to be all about William and all about everyone else too. If the focus remains on Buffy, then she might as well dust him for his sake and everybody elses' sake.

[> [> Re: Spike needs more help than any of them can give -- Rufus, 13:31:50 11/23/02 Sat

You are going to have to explain the "all about Buffy" comment. My feelings are if she thought everything was just "all about her" she would have dusted Spike long ago, she would have no friends, and saving the world would have a lower priority. If Spike is suffering we have to remember he is suffering partially due to things done by him. I see the vampires as partly a metaphor for self involvement, killing for sport as well as food. But they aren't totally to blame because of the loss of the soul. Spike has a challenge either find it within himself to get past the trauma of his vampire past and become a help, or decide he can't live with his memories of killing and withdraw into a place where he can forget what he has been. In blaming Buffy or anyone else for his current situation is to keep him where he is right now as blame sets up resistance to change.

[> [> [> I think you missed Deb's point -- Dariel, 20:52:30 11/23/02 Sat

I could be wrong, but I think Deb is referring to Spike's "it's all about Buffy" problem, and not to some board dispute. Something that was illustrated nicely when the fake Buffy urges him to bite the girl. It confuses him, he's upset afterwards, but he still does it. The point here is that Spike needs to get an (un)life and develop his own sense of right and wrong that doesn't depend on Buffy's.

[> [> [> [> Re: I think you missed Deb's point -- Rufus, 23:21:25 11/23/02 Sat

The first part of my reply was asking Deb what she meant. The second part were thoughts of my own based upon the "all about Buffy" nature of the show. So, I didn't miss a point as much as Deb hasn't clarified to me what her point was.

As for Spike getting past the "all about Buffy" phase I think it has so far served him well to think of someone past himself or Drusilla. Even though Buffy hasn't always treated Spike well, it was as much his fault as it was hers. Buffy wouldn't have gone as far as she did if it weren't for Spike telling her she came back wrong....she then instead of checking things out (cause she did fear he was right) she ended up in a destructive relationship with Spike. Spike has some good qualities but his love for Buffy was on the selfish side, where he needed to isolate her from her friends. So both contributed to the freak show that ensued. I agree that at this point Spike will have to think past his obsession with possessing Buffy and more to getting a life of his own where each person has the choice to resume a relationship if they decide to. As bad as Spike's obsession has been, it did have many unforseen consequences that have been great to watch.

[> [> [> [> [> Deb clarifying Deb's point (Spoiler 6.2 and 7.8 and 7.9 trailer) -- Deb, 10:34:54 11/24/02 Sun

Dariel's intrepretation is correct (thank you!). This is about Spike, not anything else.

Yes, Spike's "All about Buffy" obsession has served him well in the past. A motivation to change, but he has a soul now, and it is unhealthy, and a miserable life too, for a person to "live" for another person. This is the type of situation that leads to murder-suicides amongst "romantic" couples. If a person does not want to live (represented by soul) for ones' self, then there is a problem -- a severe problem. If this person "uses" someone else as a reason to live, it is beneficial only for the short-term. A person has to want to live for one's self. The consequences of Spike's getting "souled" for Buffy have not been all good. They have been very entertaining, illuminating, metaphorical, but they have not been *good* completely (though I think Spike and Buffy are beginning to grow up a bit here.) He's possessed, which happened when he went to the *underworld* to get his soul. He knew there would be negative consequences. He said that bringing Buffy back with *bad* magic would have consequences, "It always does."

The fact he was still talking about it still being "all about Buffy" in "Sleeper" was a very pointed comment. I'm not sure if it will be "all about Buffy" now that he remembers what he did while "sleeping." He told Buffy to "make it fast" in spiking him because the BB in his form told him it would be that way. Just watching the trailer for this week, it appears that he, himself, is aware that in his current state he realizes that he needs to be dusted, or he needs to do something that "makes things right."

And I am sorry that you feel that "Buffy and Spike" -- together -- was a freak show, whatever that means. Was it the actions themselves that made it a "freak" show or the motivations of the characters and their reactions during and afterwards that made it a "freak" show?

[> [> [> [> [> [> Deb taking some of her own advice -- Deb, 11:01:33 11/24/02 Sun

I come to this board for several reasons, but then, after it has served these purposes, something creepy settles in. Not just this board, please! I'm not talking about this board, it makers, maintainers, posters, etc. Posting becomes a prominant part of my day, and, to be truthful, that's rather sad. It has reached this point again, so I need a vacation. I'm not going to look forward to the next day simply to see what people have posted and so I can post. So, everyone, what ever holidays, or not, that you have approaching, may it be fulfilling and prosperous and may you receive what you need.


(yes, drama queen, but if I say it I will feel really bad about myself if I return too quickly.)

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Deb taking some of her own advice -- Rufus, 19:21:59 11/24/02 Sun

So, you are cheating on us with other boards? Bad very bad.....

Posting can become an emotional thing and when you come up next to posts that are rather blunt like mine I'm sure it must feel like you are being attacked. I'm blunt....the written word is a hard thing for me to use so I try to get to the point. I should have made it clear that my reply to you was in 2 parts, first the attempt to clarify what you meant and second some thoughts over and above that I had. Take a rest, even if it's only 10 minutes, we'll be here when you come back....:)

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Deb clarifying Deb's point (Spoiler 6.2 and 7.8 and 7.9 trailer) -- Rufus, 18:50:12 11/24/02 Sun

Yes, Spike's "All about Buffy" obsession has served him well in the past. A motivation to change, but he has a soul now, and it is unhealthy, and a miserable life too, for a person to "live" for another person. This is the type of situation that leads to murder-suicides amongst "romantic" couples.

Spike's obsession was a catalyst for transformation and it was only when he got his soul back did he gain the last spark needed for a real fire. The thing about transformation is it isn't always pretty or comfortable. Spike as a vampire without a soul was capable of love and even a certain amount of sacrifice for love but that isn't enough to bring the wolf together with the lamb. Spike loved but it was somewhat immature and selfish in nature because he still wanted Buffy for himself to the exclusion of the light and her friends. And the clincher being that Buffy couldn't love him back because she always feared having to kill him like she had to Angel.

A motivation to change, but he has a soul now, and it is unhealthy, and a miserable life too, for a person to "live" for another person. This is the type of situation that leads to murder-suicides amongst "romantic" couples.

I saw more of a potential for a murder suicide when Spike didn't have a soul because he was getting more and more desperate near the end of the season, and that is why the mislead about the chip worked so well. We don't as of yet really know the Spike with a soul because the Evil one got it's hooks into him and turned his mind into a carton of Eggbeaters. I don't see Spikes current pain to be as much from Buffy as a result of having been influenced by something that has no interest in Spike other than to use him against Buffy.

[> Glad you posted this here too.... -- rabbit, 16:40:20 11/23/02 Sat

I tried to respond to this in that other place you posted it, but it got killed or disappeared into cyberspace, who knows... let me say thank you for posting this here and in that other place.... I suggested something like this early on and it was poo pooed... you've done a beautiful job of connecting the theory to the plot points, much better than I did and this field is part of my background! ;-))... and I also like the negative Karma points.. well done. Don't know if you got much reponse on that other place, but I'm impressed and I hope you do know who this is... ;-))

[> [> Re: Glad you posted this here too.... -- Rufus, 18:49:53 11/23/02 Sat

Yes, give a girl a search engine and poof!!!!! I think you know that it's not my area of expertise and I'm just connecting a few dots but some of what I found made sense, so I had to write something about it. The negative karma stuff at the end was thrown in because I see a tendancy to demonize characters who aren't acting in a timely fashion towards Spike as they aren't in the know like the viewers are. So, to fairly judge Spike I have to look at everyone around him. Spikes situation is complicated and he is around a group of people who are young enough that they are learning as they go. To see goodness in one at the expense of the other isn't fair.

I was thinkin this was perhaps McFreud?

[> [> [> Re: Glad you posted this here too.... -- rabbit, 19:12:13 11/23/02 Sat

:-)) Excellent search skills. And that unfairness you refer to is, I think, one of the lessons Joss wants the "scoobies" to learn. His situation is very complicated and to me, seems to be the benchmark against which the whole gang can measure their own individual journeys. Does that make sense? Sometimes we meet people who are so different from us that we look at them in puzzlement and then look at ourselves with a slightly different perspective. It can sort of push us outside our little boxes so to speak. Paridigm shift and all that.

[> Re: Should we kill any of the Spikes in there? (spoilery) -- Rowan, 09:18:54 11/24/02 Sun

Very interesting, Rufus. My personal opinion right now is that Spike doesn't have MPD or any form of multiple personalities. There is no William and Spike within him. There's just Spike with a soul, which has activated some of the *parts* of William, like his conscience, and which has made Spike *feel* William's memories in a way he couldn't before.

I think that the MPD was ME's little deception to cover up what they were doing with Morphy. I think Spike came back from Africa attempting to process the grief, guilt, and remorse of his soul. During that time, he was vulnerable and Morphy got hold of him. I think what has appeared as multiple personalities is Spike interacting with Morphy or being confused as to what's real and not real.

I think the Morphy storyline for Spike is not simply about Spike being controlled a la the Manchurian Candidate. It's not solely about Spike being a victim. It's about choice. Spike got the soul. That's great. He exercised some free choice (a choice that should have been impossible for a soulless demon). But once he got the soul, what did he do with it? Well, he sat around huddled in a basement, overwhelmed with remorse and...evil got to him. He let it in. It's not enough in the Buffyverse to not be actively doing evil. You have to fight it. It's everywhere.

People with souls can do evil; we've seen that. Now that Spike has a soul, he has to make another choice -- to consciously be on the right team, the team striving always for good and always fighting against evil, even within themselves. He has to do this of his own free will, which can now truly be free since he has a soul that helps him understand things in ways being unsouled prevented. He also needs to be effectively 'chipless' so it's a free choice. As of the end of Sleeper, the question is, how will Spike react to knowing he's being preyed up on to do evil? Will he fall and let it consume him, or will he fight it?

That's how this story, IMO, is operating on a metaphorical level. Spike has to reject Satan and all his works. ;) Hee! Just kidding with the religious imagery.

[> [> Re: Should we kill any of the Spikes in there? (spoilery) -- Rufus, 19:13:22 11/24/02 Sun

Very interesting, Rufus. My personal opinion right now is that Spike doesn't have MPD or any form of multiple personalities. There is no William and Spike within him. There's just Spike with a soul, which has activated some of the *parts* of William, like his conscience, and which has made Spike *feel* William's memories in a way he couldn't before.

I have to disagree.....the definition of MPD as I have in the quote makes it clear for the discussion of Spike or vampires as a whole that they are what they once were, the same person with a demon supplement.....they are only missing the soul, and in the Buffyverse the soul isn't the only thing that makes a person what they are. Spike is William and William is Spike. What has happened as a result of the ensoulment is that with the ability to care about what he has done as a vampire, Spike is feeling all the pain and remorse he couldn't before. This is quite the trauma and because of that he is open to manipulation. I see his mind as a whole that has fragmented somewhat to allow him to exist.

Although MPD patients are, by definition, diagnosed as having more than one personality, they in fact don't. The different 'personalities' are fragmented components of a single personality that are abnormally personified, dissociated from each other, and amnesic for each other. We call these fragmented components 'personalities' by historical convention: much of the scepticism about MPD is based on the erroneous assumption that such patients have more than one personality, which is, in fact, impossible.

Adult patients with MPD experience a number of core symptoms that should be enquired about in psychiatric assessments. These include voices in the head and ongoing blank spells or periods of missing time. The voices are the different personalities talking to each other, and to the main, presenting part of the person who first comes for treatment. The periods of missing time occur when different personalities take turns being in control of the body, and are attributable to the memory barriers between the personalities.
Colin A. Ross, M.D. author of the Osiris Complex

I think that the Spike that hit town before the Evil got him was in a mode where he was trying to reconcile the former schism of his self that was caused by the loss of the soul. Unfortunately he also could feel the intense pain of knowing what he had done while a vampire. This may have caused him to attempt to forget the trauma of killing many many people. Remember in the basement Spike pleaded to be able to again forget, forget what he had been because the pain of it was too much to cope with. So, you have Spike with a profound desire to forget trauma in a state where he is already trying to dissociate parts of his mind in an attempt to forget. The Evil used this to it's advantage by using that tendancy or need to forget to further fragment Spikes mind. That is why you would get a competant Spike that would dissolve into an insane Spike....the competant Spike was able to for a period of time supress the pain of the memories that were to intense for him to feel. When Spike struck Ronnie, his self he wanted to forget again asserted itself and competant Spike retreated. But then there is the Spike that the Evil got ahold of, that Spike was unknown to the rest of him until an appropriate trigger opened the door and he could remember what he had been induced to do. I see the fragmentation of the mind that Spike had done is the consequence of the trauma of knowledge....I also think it would have been something that could have been overcome with time and may have been exactly what Angel did at first as well. But Angel never met up with the Evil at a time when most emotionally vunerable. So Spike is still Spike/William that never changed the infection of the vampire doesn't add a new identity and personality it just warps what is there as there is no conscience/soul there to say "bad dog". As Spike was already fragmenting parts of his personality as a coping mechanism, it was easier for the Evil to take that one step further.

Questions about "Morphy" (spoilers from previous eps) -- Quentin Collins, 10:28:21 11/23/02 Sat

If the entity affectionately (or unaffectionately) known as "Morphy" is the First Evil (which seems likely), I have so many bloody questions about it. Given how lame FE seemed in "Amends", I am guessing that some major retconning will be necessary to make it particularly interesting compared to previous big bads.

1. How does it manifest as those who have previously died? Is it merely doing a good acting job? If so, how does it gain access to speech patterns and personalities of those it manifests as? Or does it somehow actually use the spirit of those such as Warren and the others?

2. Who is actually in control? Does the FE control the Harbingers or do they control it? In terms of "the power", it seems to me that the Harbingers are the ones who have it.

3. What weapons does it actually possess? If it is not material in form, then what can it actually do? If all that it can do is taunt, tempt, and maybe brainwash, how dangerous is it really? Can it do anything more than be a sophisticated version of "The Yoko Factor"?

4. Can it manifest in more than one place at the same time? Was it both Warren and Cassie in "CwDP"? Was it also the demon and Joyce at the Summers home? Such split consciousness threatens to overcome my ability to suspend disbelief. And if it was also Cassie, why was its M.O. so different? Cassie seemed quite solid. She had footfalls and made sounds when she sat in the chair and touched the table at the library. And her disappearance seemed quite different than the way FE "morphs". And since when was the FE interested in balancing the scales between good and evil?

5. What exactly are its ultimate plans for Spike? If it wanted the newly sired vamps to kill or sire Buffy, then its plan is just a fancier variation on the lame "lure the Slayer into a trap" plan. If it wants to take Spike out of whatever battle it is planning, a bunch of Harbingers could have bum rushed him and staked him. If it wants Spike on its side, why bother? As much as I love Spike, he tends to get knocked out of fights against tough opponents fairly quickly.

6. And why snuff Slayers in training? It is like trying to put a sport team's benchwarmers out of commission while still leaving its star players to pummel you. Killing any of them is like cake compared to killing or gaining control of Buffy or Faith. A run of the mill vamp could probably have a sporting chance of killing a slayer in training.

I am hoping that in the next few episodes things can cleared up a bit and maybe "Morphy" will start to feel like a real threat to me. So far compared to Glorificus and Dark Willow, I am not impressed.

[> Counterpoints -- Finn Mac Cool, 13:58:51 11/23/02 Sat

1) Who's to say that the Shapeshifter hasn't been watching over the events of Sunnydale for years now? Plus, it isn't the best actor in the world, anyway.

2) We can't know until we find out whether this is the First Evil or not.

3) The Shapeshifter got Andrew to kill Jonathan, got Spike to kill eleven people, and has sown the seeds of discontent in Dawn. While it may only work through minions, so did the Master and the Mayor, but they were still pretty dangerous. Plus, it has the advantage that, while it can't directly attack the Scoobies, the Scoobies can't directly attack it.

4) The beginning of "Conversations with Dead People" said the episode began at 8:00 PM (whether that's Eastern Time Zone or California/Pacific time zone is uncertain). Yet, when Buffy shows up at Xander's to tell him about what she heard from Holden, he says it's after four in the morning. So the Shapeshifter had at least eight hours that night. It could do its job trying to get Willow to go off magic/kill herself and still have time to go over to the high school to manipulate Andrew.

5) I think that the Shapeshifter had two objectives in mind: first, get Spike to kill Buffy. If he resists, fine. She'll realize he's dangerous and is killing again, she'll kill Spike and her soul will be tarnished for killing a souled creature in cold blood.

6) "It is like trying to put a sport team's benchwarmers out of commission while still leaving its star players to pummel you. Killing any of them is like cake compared to killing or gaining control of Buffy or Faith. A run of the mill vamp could probably have a sporting chance of killing a slayer in training." The answer to this seems fairly obvious: if you take out the benchwarmers, there's no one left to take the star players' places if they get killed. Maybe the Big Bad wants to take out Faith, but won't do it until it can guarantee that no new Slayer will replace her. Also, we can't be sure the Shapeshifter is behind the robed assassins antics.

Lastly, on a whole new point, I'm not too sure that the Shapeshifter is the First Evil. Just a gut reaction. But, even if it is, there's no guarantee it will be the Big Bad of the season. It may only be the little bad, like Warren, Mr. Trick, or Spike.

[> [> Re: Counterpoints -- Sophie, 17:58:20 11/23/02 Sat

got Spike to kill eleven people

Curiously, how did you come up with this? I was trying to figure it out earlier this afternoon and gave up.

The beginning of "Conversations with Dead People" said the episode began at 8:00 PM (whether that's Eastern Time Zone or California/Pacific time zone is uncertain).

I assumed that 8p was local time for Buffy in California. Hmmm...


[> [> [> Re: Counterpoints -- Finn Mac Cool, 21:00:23 11/23/02 Sat

Willow found ten reports of people who had recently gone missing, and then there's the girl that Spike killed in the alley, who didn't have time to be reported by the time Willow went looking through the records. Thus, Spike killed eleven people.

[> [> [> [> Interesting. I was trying to count the vamps in the basement. Oh well. -- Sophie, 12:20:36 11/24/02 Sun

[> Not impressed? You will be. (speccy spoilery) - - ZachsMind, 14:18:36 11/23/02 Sat

First, let's rewind to the end of season one, beginning of season two. Buffy dies for the first time.

BUFFY: "Only a little!"

She then remarks that she feels great. Better than great. Like a whole 'nother person. She then trounces THE MASTER, and proceeds to alienate herself from her friends, her father, everybody. As if she were someone completely different. Then she learns the Master's bones have been dug up and he's trying to make a comeback, and the pummeling of The Master's bones appears to be a cathartic experience for her. A feeling of closure. Buffy appears to come back to us.

Fast forward to five years later. She dives into the dimensional portal after telling her sister and her friends to live for her. Three months later the Scoobies, led by Willow, bring Buffy back from the dead, but on an almost imperceptable level, we know she 'came back wrong' and though after a year of time Buffy manages to learn to live after death & reincarnation, to shrug off the experience as best as she can and then move on, she still doesn't feel completely comfortable in her own skin.

She's been dead TWICE, m'kay? For all intents and purposes she is the living dead. We assume she's the Buffy we know and love, but one can make no assumptions in Whedon's world. If SMG doesn't sign on for another contract, all bets are off. Buffy can turn evil, and there's five or six years of precedence. A few simple plot elements added to tie up loose ends and suddenly the Buffy we've known all this time has been a wolf in sheep's clothing, waiting for the right moment to strike.

The First Evil? Buffy could be its Kermit. A husk of a slayer, fighting to keep up the pretense. Destroying other evil to hide the fact that the body of Buffy is like a ventiloquist dummy. Pay no attention to the one behind the curtain cuz it's just pulling her strings.

It would explain why Buffy's been acting the way she has been. It would explain a lot of things. Like Spike & other vampires, Buffy could believe she's really herself from a conscious perspective, but from beneath you, it devours. This First Evil could have been like a cancer eating away at Buffy's soul since the first time she died, until there's nothing left on a spiritual level. Maybe she only thought she was in heaven, when Willow pulled her back from Osiris' grasp. Maybe.

You think you know.
What's to come.
What you are.
You haven't even begun.

Why? Because when things get bad.

When it's bad.
Buffy won't choose you.
She'll be against you.

When She Was Bad. She's always been a little bad. Just a little.

*Twilight Zone music*

[> [> You are truly scary! -- Robert, 19:39:01 11/24/02 Sun

Prewriting the Giles Scene (speccy spoilery for Sleeper & Never Leave Me) -- ZachsMind, 11:48:20 11/23/02 Sat

For those of you who saw the final scene of the episode "Sleeper" (& if you haven't I already WARNED you this is speccy spoilery so go run away and don't read any further) you are probably wondering the same thing I am:

Giles enters the flat, looking around. He sees the young woman lying dead on the floor.
GILES: Oh, dear God! Robson, are you here? Robson!
Giles gets up and starts looking for Robson, who's found near a chair in the next room. Giles goes to his side.
GILES: You too? (takes off his glasses and starts to cry) Dear God, I thought you—
ROBSON: (eyes flicker open weakly) Gather them. It's started.
GILES: It's all right. I understand. I'll take care of it—
One of the robed men sneaks up behind Giles wielding a battle-axe. He swings it at Giles.

How the hell is Giles supposed to survive that?

Okay. Well. I got a couple possible outcomes. Let's rewind the tape a bit and play out the scene with my own special fluorish of imagination tainting things just a bit.


ROBSON: (eyes flicker open weakly) Gather them. It's started.
GILES: It's all right. I understand. I'll take care of it—
One of the robed men sneaks up behind Giles wielding a battle-axe. He swings it at Giles.

Close up of Giles' spectacle-less face, still tear-stained with the axe inches away from it. The axe is close enough almost to give Giles a shave. His eyes look down at the blade emotionlessly.

Camera pulls back to show a bright flash between Giles & the hooded figure. The monk flies across the room with a powerful wind.

Camera cuts to show Giles stand up slowly, facing the direction his mind threw the axe-wielding warrior. Giles' physicality is almost like that of a caveman, stooped over the fallen body of his commrade. Giles' eyes are jet black. We see a brief pulse along his temples of veins. For a fleeting moment his posture & demeanor are like that of The First Slayer from the episode "Restless." But just as quickly as the shadow of a more powerful being was there within him, it's gone. He stands there and his feet meet again. His posture returns to normal. He fumbles with his glasses & puts them back on his face.

Giles looks back down at ROBSON soberly.

GILES: Gather them? So I shall, dear old friend.


Don't like that one? How about this?


ROBSON: (eyes flicker open weakly) Gather them. It's started.
GILES: It's all right. I understand. I'll take care of it—
One of the robed men sneaks up behind Giles wielding a battle-axe. He swings it at Giles.

Whereas last week the scene cut off unceremoniously just before the blade struck Giles in the head, this time the scene doesn't cut away. We see the robed man's axe go right through Giles, and the result is that of sparks & a small explosion. Smoke erupts out of the place where Giles' had been kneeling.

Camera cuts to show the robed figure coughing and using a free hand to try to swipe the smoke away from his now impaired vision. When the smoke clears a little, we get a surprise bust shot of a very whole and head-connected- perfectly-well-to-neck Giles looking chipper and friendly at the confused warrior whose back is to us.

GILES: (to the robed figure - big smile) Thought you had me there, eh you bloody bastard?

Camera cuts to a broader view. There's still a bit of smoke in the room. The fallen body of Robson can still be seen. Next to him is the headless body of a Giles which was most certainly a RipperBot - Willow's handiwork undoubtedly. The other "real" Giles is standing next to a still confused looking robed figure.

Giles disarms the gentlemen, stomps on his foot with a Buster Keaton fluorish. This causes the robed figure to now be trapped due to Giles' foot holding his hooded garb to the floor. Giles then punches the ever loving daylights out of the cloaked man, forcing the gent to retreat by lifting his arms over his head and trying to get out of the robe, with Giles still punching the robe like a bag of potatoes. The now disrobed gentlemen back pedals and falls bloodied and bruised against a nearby wall, causing some ancient looking antique furniture to be upset.

Camera cuts back to Giles with a wistful look as he rolls his eyes a bit and looks to the ceiling.

Giles: (sorta to himself or almost prayerfully) You were right, Willow. I owe you some Bangers & Mash.

Giles then proceeds to finish beating & browbeating the disrobed cretin & pounds some pertinent information out of him. Very Ripperesque scene proceeds with a sly, smiling, rather deliciously disturbing Giles. We learn something important from the disrobed cretin, which causes Giles to realize he must get together the remaining S-I-T's & head for Sunnydale.


Don't like that one? I got more. Just say the word I'll whip up another one, or share your own prewrite.

[> Re: Prewriting the Giles Scene (speccy spoilery for Sleeper & Never Leave Me) -- Wolfhowl3, 12:08:35 11/23/02 Sat

I like the Gilesbot idea, but I don't think ME will do anything that we could prodict.

Here is Wolfhowl's Prewrite

ROBSON: (eyes flicker open weakly) Gather them. It's started.
GILES: It's all right. I understand. I'll take care of it—
One of the robed men sneaks up behind Giles wielding a battle-axe. He swings it at Giles

Giles wakes up in his own flat with a jump, then calles his friends to find out that they are dead, and that he must do as his dream insturted.


[> [> The way it really went down (heavy spoilers from repeated viewing) -- black_eyed_veiny, 12:45:59 11/23/02 Sat

Giles: Robson, are you here...

Giles runs into the study, we see a shot of the interior. There is a couch, against one leg of which Robson is propped up, Behind him is a bronze-looking metal Vase (or perhaps umbrella holder).

Giles move's to Robson

Giles: Dear God, I thought you were...

Robson:Gather them, it's started...

Giles squints, as he looks PAST ROBSON at the reflection in the brass-vase behind him

Giles: it's alright, I'll take care...

The axe-man cometh, cut to black.

Re-watch your video of that last seen and you will see that Giles looks past Robson, and his voice changes ever so slighty as he udders the last line. Either he will duck, and fight his way out of the house, or, he will perhaps use some residual "magic-on-loan-from-a-very-powerful-coven-in- devon." to get out.

It's all on the film folks, the film don't lie.

[> Zachie Prewrite #3 (speccy spoilery blahblah) - - ZachsMind, 13:10:48 11/23/02 Sat

ROBSON: (eyes flicker open weakly) Gather them. It's started.
GILES: It's all right. I understand. I'll take care of it—
One of the robed men sneaks up behind Giles wielding a battle-axe. He swings it at Giles...

Camera cuts to a different angle in midswing. We see the axe swing by Giles' head, missing him by about an inch and a half. Giles looks up at the suprised robed man with a smile.

GILES: You missed.

Giles stands up imposingly. The robed man takes a step back and makes to swing again. Giles grabs the handle of the axe with one arm, then twists the weapon out of the man's hands. We see a shade of Ripper on Giles' smiling face as Giles other hand punches into the man's ribcage, sending him sprawling. Giles now has the axe in his hands.

He walks over to the fallen robed figure. This new camera angle shows us looking up at Giles from the robed figure's perspective. He looks quite imposing and wields the axe as if he knows precisely what to do with it.

GILES: This is where you say something menacing and fiendish just before I chop you into kindling.

ROBED MAN: (fearful) From beneath you it devours!

GILES: (sarcastic) Yes, so I've heard. Bloody shame that, eh wot?

Giles swings the axe flawlessly. It lands smack dab in between the robed man's legs, still partially hidden under the robe. He's now pinned down by the axe, which is firmly embedded into the floor and is holding down the robe. The blade is painfully close to the robed gentleman's naughty bits.

The robed man gives a baby yelp.

GILES: Did I take a leg?

Camera angle changes. The robed man shakes his head, now cowering in fear and trapped helplessly.

GILES: Oh. Damn. Looks like I missed.

The robed man gives another baby yelp. Giles puts his finger to his lips like a mother scolding a child.

GILES: Strange thing about us Watchers. We don't like to kill. Unlike you. We don't like taking advantage of people unprepared. Unlike you. However, we've this nasty habit of making people like yourself wish to hell and damnation that they WERE dead. With that in mind, you're going to tell me everything I want to know.

Robed man is shaking with fear. Giles towers over him. Then slowly kneels, kneeing into the man's ribs. Pinning him down further and more painfully.

Close up of Giles. Smiling. Enjoying this a bit much.

GILES: comprende, mi amigo?, Sie begreifen, mein Freund? Comprendete, il mio amico?

Camera pulls back to show Giles reveal that he has one of the robed figures' sacrificial daggers and it is now aimed at the man's eyes.

GILES: ...Kapish?

Man screams. Fade to black.


..can ya tell I really like it when Giles goes into Ripper mode? They just don't do that enough, but this moment seems ideal for it.

[> [> Re: Zachie Prewrite #3 (speccy spoilery blahblah) -- 110v3w1110w, 14:47:17 11/23/02 Sat

personal i don't think they will resolve the issue of if giles is alive or dead because i think they want to create an atmosphere of distrust they want to audience not to trust any of the characters so IMO we will be left guessing if giles is really giles or is he the big bad.

[> [> [> Right! -- luna, 17:44:46 11/23/02 Sat

[> I'd say the first one is the more likely. -- OnM, 19:12:06 11/23/02 Sat

Also, there is precedence-- Willow stopping the giant demon spider in Selfless. The spider's leap was probably just about as fast as the axe would be swinging towards Giles. What would be even funnier is if the axe got 'stuck' as if it was buried in some invisible wall inches from Giles' head, and as the robed figure is struggling mightily to get it unstuck, Giles slowly gets up and makes his move.

Good idea, ZM!

[> [> OnM, there you are! (O/T) -- Wisewoman , 20:22:55 11/23/02 Sat

Hi! I was thinking about you the other day as I was listening to Meat Loaf's Bat Out of Hell II cd, and thinking I should send you the lyrics to Objects In The Rear View Mirror, by Jim Steinman, and if you e- mail me, I will.

;o) dub

[> [> [> Mmmm... Meatloaf! =) (still O/T) -- ZachsMind, 23:21:10 11/23/02 Sat

The Bat Out of Hell albums are incredible. The best work Meatloaf & Steinman ever did. Separately or together.

[> [> [> [> Oh, YEAH!! -- dub ;o), 09:25:58 11/24/02 Sun

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