November 2002 posts

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Angel and the Wizard of Oz -- Kay, 20:55:09 11/24/02 Sun

I've been watching the Wizard of Oz and it reminded me of something that Gunn said in Spin the Bottle about Wesley being the brain and Cordy having the champion heart. And I think that the analogy works. In the movie each character goes to the Wizard looking for something they at first don't appear to have but as the movie and their journey progresses both they and the audience realise they already have what they are looking for. The Scarecrow is the smartest of the lot, the Tinman the most sensitive, the Lion (who is alive and has the most to lose in both pain and death) is couragous (Courage is not acting because of a lack of fear but in spite of fear.) and Dorothy wants to go home.

Extending the analogy to the characters on Angel, Wesley first appeared as a pompous, clumsy, cowdarly, inferior version of Giles. But when you added a bit of confidence and friendship we find that he does have a pretty good head on his shoulders, both for planning and observation.

Cordy was the biggest bitch in Sunnydale history. Buffy even asked Xander if Cordy would know what the heart shaped pendant he was planning on giving her represented. (BBB) But after being taken in and feeling all the pain of the world, we found that hidden under her designer clothes was a good and caring heart.

Gunn is the Lion, wait....hear me out. Gunn first appears as a ball of street bravado, and feeling and fighting like he has nothing to lose, even his own soul is not worth much to him. As his sister said he courts death and lives only for the fight not the mission. That isn't courage. Soon he gains friends and family and a mission and a girl, he wants to live but fights and protects them even though he is human and more vulnerable than the others. He is the muscle but not the the thug sense but a knight, showing more chivarly, loyality and bravery than the rest. And they both crack some of the best one-liners.

Last but not least, is Angel as Dorothy. Angel more than anything wants a home; wants to be part of a world in which he belongs; wants a family; wants the kind of connection that he had with Buffy and lost. LA can be seen as his Oz or you could say that while he wasn't physically taken out of his world, he was changed and his past prevents him from feeling like a part of it. But much of it is his own feelings of guilt and isolation. Like Dorothy he has the power to go home and/or make those kind of connections with people but doesn't believe it.

Now for the rest of the characters, some fit pretty easily. Lilia is obviously the Wicked Witch of the West. Some not so. Fred? Toto? Nah. Lorne is the Wizard, maybe? They both are pretty theactrical. I would love to heard anyone's observations or ideas.

[> I was struck by how much.. -- Masq, 06:39:12 11/25/02 Mon

The trip to Oz reminded me of the Pylea arc. Not necessarily because of what events happen there, but because of the medieval buildings, the strange creatures they encounter, the whole aura of this fantastical world "over the rainbow".

I think the creation of Pylea was based somewhat loosely on Oz, or at least, the writers were thinking of it, which is part of the reason Lorne breaks out into "Somehwere over the rainbow" at the end of the ep.

[> [> Re: I was struck by how much.. -- ponygirl, 08:11:43 11/25/02 Mon

What I really noticed on this trip to Oz is the lesson at the end where the characters discover they have always possessed the qualities they sought. But they don't have any faith in this until they receive some sort of outside validation. Thus the Scarecrow gets his degree, the Lion his medal, and the Tinman his (what did he get again?), a label to prove to themselves what the audience already seen in them. It reminded me of names and goals that get tossed around AtS: champion, Shanshu, redemption; external definitions for what may be internal conditions.

And man, those flying monkeys are scary!

The Gods are in the Details - Thoughts on *Sleeper* Pt. I - ( ***Spoilers for 7.8*** & Teaser ) -- OnM, 21:25:10 11/24/02 Sun

*Fast Forward to the End*

It’s starting to become obvious that we are in the midst of at least a serial mini-arc, relating to the visible
emergence of what is, if not the season’s final Big Bad, a pretty serious one nonetheless. Beyond that,
some previous questions that were presented get answered, just as other newer ones rise to take their
place. The ending of this ep is a real shocker, and once again proffers a cliffhanger for the next show’s
beginning, but more on that in due time.

The title of this episode, Sleeper, conjures up a number of references in my mind, but for me,
nothing seems to fit the general direction of the show so far this season than the meaning(s) implied in
Frank Herbert’s series of Dune novels.

Way back when I first read these stories, and later on when David Lynch made his film version of the first
novel, one of the only partially answered great questions of the mythology was just who or
what, exactly, was ‘The Sleeper’? Most Dune readers tend to assume Paul Atredes was The
Sleeper, who ‘awoke’ into maturity as the Kwisatz Haderach, a ‘super-being’ that would lead a corrupt
and de-spiritualized cosmos back to a more righeous state of existence. Paul proves his ‘divinity’ in a
variety of ways, but one of the most striking is that he apparently causes it to rain on Arrakis, a desert
planet where it literally never rains.

But is Paul the god himself, or is he merely the ‘instrument’ of the divine (as for example in Christian
mythology where Jesus is the revealing instrument of the Heavenly Father, not necessarily God himself), or
possibly both at once? It is very possible to argue that Paul is not ‘The Sleeper’, but that what is truly
‘sleeping’ is the higher knowledge/awareness of just who is ultimately responsible for creating and/or
balancing the universe. In either case, the journey’s events unfold as by either choice or fate, Paul taps into
this conduit of enlightenment.

A very apt comparison of this scenario can be made to Amends, by asking just who or what,
exactly, made it snow? Did Buffy do this somehow, without knowing it? Was she the instrument of the
Jossian ‘Powers That Be’, who cast forth this miracle to prove... what? That Angel was wrong to abandon
his desire to do good, to give in to despair and seek the end of his unlife? That Buffy was ultimately right
to do what she did, looking after him after Angel returned from the hell dimension, even hiding his
presence from her friends? She was certainly unsure then whether or not she had done the right thing, but
events afterward appeared to have confirmed that her decision was correct-- if she had informed them of
his return early on, it is very possible that Angel would have been dusted before the events of

Move forward now to BtVS season 7, and we are being given quite a few strong hints that Buffy’s
previous lack of confidence in her actions is greatly diminishing. What I am coming to really appreciate is
just how subtle these changes in Buffy and the rest of the Scooby Gang are being portrayed as this year

In the pre-opening-credits moments of the show, we see what is essentially a direct continuation of the end
of last weeks ep, Conversations with Dead People. We are inside Xander’s apartment, and there is
a loud knocking at the door. (The sleeping) Xander awakes to find Buffy at the door, and he asks if there is
something wrong, to which Buffy says replies that she's needs to know where Spike is. Xander tells her
that he doesn’t know, other than that he is out, probably ‘creaturing’. Buffy moves over to the window,
and again we get to see the horizontal bands of light and dark from he window blinds frame her face in a
metaphorical mixture of fear/purpose.

We cut to a scene in the basement of some place or another, where Spike is humming a
folkie/archaic-sounding tune of some kind while digging what appears to be a grave in the dirt floor. The
young woman that he was seen attacking in CwDP is there also, apparently very dead. In a display
of casual, brutal indifference that mirrors the cold realverse ugliness of the Nazis dumping dead Jews into
mass graves, Spike picks up the woman’s body and drops it into the grave, resuming his humming as he
happily shovels dirt to cover her over. Is this really Spike? The First Evil doesn’t seem to have the ability to
engage in actual physical activity of this sort, so it can’t be an FE manifestation like Cassie Newton was or
Joyce may have been. Has the First somehow completely disabled the chip? Or is DemonSpike doing this
on his own? We cut to the opening credits.

*Play Back to the Beginning*

The first two episodes of season 7 opened with shots of a young woman being chased by mysterious robed
figures, who in each case end up killing her. Many fans, myself included, came to presume that these
women were some kind of proto-slayer, possibly with Watchers overseeing their training, waiting for a
‘call’. Now after the passage of 5 eps without seeing a similar occurrence, we rejoin this particular plot

There is a brief shot of a street, identified as ‘London, England’, and a man enters a room where he finds
first the signs of a fight and then a woman lying dead on the floor. Shortly therafter, a robed figure attacks
the man with a knife, just like the ones used to kill the two proto-slayers in eps 1 & 2. He momentarily
blocks the attack, but a second figure stabs him, presumably killing him.

This is the point where pretty much any other show would have already made it plainly clear what is
happening, usually by someone directly stating that the women who were attacked were potential slayers,
and that they had Watchers looking after them. Bringing the scene back home to England neatly confirms
that the rising of the Big Bad is taking place, since this is where the main Watcher’s Council is located, but
still doesn’t overtly state the fact. ME presumes that its regular viewers have already figured out what is
going on, and so doesn’t belabor the obvious.

I may stand corrected on this, but I think that the flowers that were lying on the floor were tiger lilies, and
if so this seems very appropriate metaphorically. The depiction of the tipped-over table, the scattered
books, the smashed crystal of the vase, and the tiger lilies lying prone on the floor acts to sum up the entire
slayer/ watcher/ calling/ learning/ fighting/ death/ destiny of most Slayers in a single stunning image, and a
sadly haunting one at that.

*Not Always But Often*

We jump cut to Willow as she rushes in the Summer's front door, calling for Buffy. Dawn is still in the
living room where she fought the ‘beast’ and spoke to her mother, or what appeared to be her mother.
Willow is stunned by the damage done to the room, and fears that Dawn has been hurt, but quiets some
when she realizes that Dawn id mostly just badly shaken and exhausted.

Now there appears another instance of the subtlety and lack of convention I alluded to before. In most
other strories of this kind-- in fact, even several times before in the history of BtVS-- we would embark on
a series of misadventures instigated by the failure of one or more characters to communicate clearly.
Indeed, I recall reading a number of posts whereby other boarders speculated that Dawn would withhold
the information regarding her mother’s ‘visitation’ for fear of (fill in the conventional blank). Or, that
Willow would inform Dawn of her own meetup with the BB, but that Dawn would not believe or accept
that Joyce’s manifestation and/or her words could be a lie.

But lo and behold, the two communicate quite directly, and while Dawn seems partly skeptical, neither
does she offhandedly dismiss the possibility that she has been tricked. I think that this is another example
where the FE has underestimated the psyche of its intended victim. From the FE’s perspective, this had to
be an excellent plan-- first, have a manifestation physically batter and terrify Dawn, and if that doesn’t stop
her, use the mother-vision ploy to psychologically plant the seeds of doubt and fear of abandonment in her
mind. But did it work? The evidence over the course of this ep suggests otherwise.

*CSI-Sunnydale, Pt I*

Back now to Xander’s place, where he is discussing the Spike dilemma with Buffy. Xander makes the quip
about examining the situation in ‘a cool, CSI-like’ manner, referring to the detached, scientific,
generally logical means used to catch the perps on the TV show bearing that name. He wonders-- very
logically-- if Spike could have indeed managed to defeat his chip and so kill and sire Holden. Buffy doesn't
think so, pointing out that she has seen it actively working when Spike has attempted harm to humans.

Xander replies that the chip didn't stop him from hurting Buffy, so how can they be sure? The chip may
have stopped functioning, and Spike could have been faking it since then. Buffy mirrors Dawn’s misgivings
as to what is real and what isn’t-- she’s convinced that Spike ‘is different now’, and that he couldn’t do
such a thing, just as Dawn thinks the violent monster she cast out was the BB, and that her mother was
‘real’. She is torn between what she feels instinctively, and what the logic of the situation depicts.
Unlike most previous times, she doesn’t dismiss the ‘logic’, just weighs it in the overall balance of
For someone whose ‘calling’ is to prosecute the presumed guilty, Buffy seems intent on
presuming Spike is innocent until proven otherwise. She thinks that if he is acting, then he is acting on an
Oscar-worthy level, which BTW seems to me like a little meta- narration re: the show, Marsters, and other
failures to get proper respect from one’s industry peers.

*Better Get ‘im Before ‘e Lawyers Up*

Right after the ‘acting’ comment, Spike through the front door, disrupting the conversation. Buffy and
Xander are unsure what to say at first, and Spike notices the awkwardness, but assumes it’s something that
should be none of his business. His behavior is now completely 180 to the earlier scene in the unknown
basement, where he was chillingly evil and seemingly proud of it. Spike heads off to his room, looking to
get some sleep, but Buffy stops him, trying to act ‘casual’ as she probe for info. Buffy reveals the story
about Holden, deliberately dropping the name to see if Spike reacts knowingly. He doesn’t, and even acts
sympathetic that Buffy had to kill a former friend of hers. After the door to the bedroom closes, Xander
goes over to Buffy and notes how calm and cool Spike acted when Buffy mentioned ‘Webs’.

Now, I didn’t pay to much attention to this the first time throught he ep, but on subsequent viewings it
occurred to me that Buffy wondered if Holden didn’t really exist, that he was ‘real’ only because the BB
had planted the suggestion in her mind. But note that Xander refers to Holden as ‘Webs’, his school
nickname, not ‘Holden’ or “Webster’. He does in in a voice that suggests he used the nick often or
regularly, at least back then. If I’m not putting too much faith in this spin, it would at least tend to confirm
that Webs was real, not something that Buffy was made to accept as real when it wasn’t. Adding to this
Buffy’s declaration that the vamp ‘dusted like he was real’, and it still leaves Buffy’s CwDP
adventure as the most ambiguous of the four.

(Willow’s was confirmed to be BB-related last week, and this week confirms Spike’s tie-in. Dawn’s is
maybe 50-50, but Buffy’s is still very much anyone’s guess at this point. I love the way they are drawing
this out slowly, using elements of traditional long-form suspense writing to build tension over time, not
give everything away all at once in some tidy, neat, boring package.)

Buffy decides to go, saying she needs to check up on Dawn. She asks Xander if he'll keep an eye on Spike
for the rest of the day, but he declines, saying he's got an important client meeting (for the construction
company) in a few hours. Buffy insists that Spike can’t leave the house until they find out if he's killing

*One Bitten, Twice Shy*

It’s obviously several hours later, and we see Xander opening the blinds in order to flood the room with
sunlight. (It just occurs to me-- aren’t the blinds a door of sorts? Open, closed, partly open-- letting in the
light, closing it out, sometimes in between, sometimes both at once? You can look out through them to the
outside world, or vice-versa, or block the world from view. Hummm...)

Anya is there in the apartment with him, and she’s not too happy at being given Spike-sitting duty. She
argues with Xander that she could be in danger from Spike, if he’s killing again, but Xander says they don’t
know for sure if it’s true. Anya reluctantly agrees to stay, but wants Xander to leave her some kind of
defensive weapon like a crossbow or a flamethrower. Xander says Spike can’t become suspicious about the
plan to follow him, and tells her if he should go out, not to confront him, just call Buffy. He smiles and
assures Anya that ‘you’ll be fine’.

This leads to a very funny moment when Anya claims “If I get vamped, I’ll come back and bite your ass!”
“Wouldn't be the first time”, Xander replies, still smiling, as he shuts the door behind him. Seperated or
not, these two are still very connected to one another.

Anya’s traditional perkiness is a good bit more muted in this ep. EC’s makeup and hairstyle while she is
Spike-sitting makes her appear almost a little bedraggled, and certainly more ordinary-human-looking, less
glamorous. I can see why she wouldn’t be too thrilled at being captive with a possibly murderous Spike,
but on the other hand she also realizes that she isn’t in much of a position to avoid helping Xander, who
campaigned to save her life even after she had returned to demonhood and killing people. Even Buffy has
made it clear that Anya is a member of the ‘family’ again after renouncing vengeance demonhood, and
family members have responsibilities.

*Lie to Me*

Back to the Summers’ house, and a panicky Buffy as Willow tries to calms her down, telling Buffy that
Dawn is mostly unharmed, just badly shaken up. Buffy wants to know what happened, and Willow
describes both her own ordeal and Dawn’s, the latter based on what Dawn told her. Willow tries to
emphasize how the BB really seems to be aware of almost everything that makes the Scoobies tick, and
also how utterly convincing the ‘messages’ it gave were at the time.

Buffy then tells Willow about Holden and the reputed Spike- sirage. Willow becomes confused, assuming
like Buffy did that the chip would unconditionally prevent such a thing. Buffy confesses that she really
doesn’t know, and then Willow says it might be another fakeout from the BB. Buffy tells Willow that the
only way she will be convinced either way is to witness it for herself.

Even before the scene later on in the show where the fact that demons and other evils can tell ‘the truth’
and still use it deceptively, I had thought about exactly that as I watched this scene. ‘Truth’ by and of itself
means little-- since nothing accurately exists outside of a linked context with other things. This is one of
the reasons I personally tend to have so little patience with ‘flat-earther’ types of personalities, who point
to some isolated statement in some manner of ‘holy writ’ and bespeak it as unimpeachable. Malarky, sez I.
Even Xander, no Spike fan for sure, sees the ambiguity that Buffy does and confesses to it.

Several posters have posited a guess that the real BB of the year may turn out to be Satan hisself. (Sorry--
momentary pause here as I suddenly recall images of South Park - The Movie and Saddam Hussein
and how poor Satan got the raw end of the deal. Never mind... ;-)

It’s a tradition in most Satan-recognizing faiths that the Devil deceives the most those to whom he tells
‘the truth’. And if this wasn’t true, how else do you explain the world’s political/economic systems? Buffy
rejected the ‘politics’ of the Initiative and what it stood for in season 4, trusting to see things for herself.
She stood up to the ‘truths’ that the First Slayer/The Primitive tried to convince her of, insisting that there
was a better, newer way. Over the course of the last two seasons, Buffy passed through the bleakness of
the ‘Truth’, and came out the other side, tempered but not broken. I see that old self-assurance gradually
returning, and I expect it to only gain momentum as Buffy learns to trust herself again. I think those fans
who are postulating that Buffy will turn evil or otherwise ‘go dark’ this year are way off base. I
think that Buffy will turn out to be more powerful and better than ever, and she’s going to take her friends
with her. There are signs all over the place, subtle at the moment, but I’m convinced that it’s not a

*She’s Gotta Have It*

It’s now later in the day, and we are back to Xander’s apartment. Anya is in the living room, and is getting
visibly nervous as the light through the window is fading fast. She decides that she would rather be active
than passive, and sneaks into Spike’s room to do some recon.

Spike is sleeping, and Anya almost gets away with her snooping when Spike grabs her arm and asks her
just ‘exactly what she’s doing here’. Anya, still recovering from getting caught, thinks frantically for a
plausible explanation and finally comes up with “I want to have sex with you!” Now it’s Spike’s turn to be

Anya presses on with the act, straddling Spike and then nuzzling his neck. Spike pushes her back and
gently tries to let her down, apparently accepting her intentions at face value. He says that he's tempted,
but it's not right. Surprisingly, at least to me anyway, Anya genuinely seems to be hurt, even though the
whole riff was a scam to cover her tracks for snooping. She reveals that she really is totally down in the
dumps at being human and ‘alone’ again when she states that his lack of desire must be because “I’m Fat!”
or “It’s the haircut!”, neither of which we would have ever believed coming from the mouth of earlier Anya
incarnations. This scene is funny on initial viewing, and superficially appears written as such, but is really
quite sad in retrospect when you realize that these two ex- demons really are lonely and bereft in so many
ways that all of the knowledge of their former power leaves them powerless to deal with. Might not only
doesn’t make right, it can’t even make up with it after it knows that it was wrong.

*Music Soothes the Savage... Well, OK... Never mind...*

It is now evening, and Anya sits in a chair, idly flipping through a magazine as Spike comes out of his
room. He apologizes to Anya again, but she she dismisses his concerns, sighing and plainly still feeling
somewhat hurt, even knowing nothing that happened between them was Spike’s fault. He leaves the
apartment, and Anya picks up the phone and alerts Buffy.

We cut to a scene on a Sunnydale street, which for some reason is filled with ordinary people enjoying the
night life. (I suppose that Buffy must be doing a better job than we expect, what with the attention paid to
the ‘devouring from beneath’ problem and all-- certainly these folks aren’t afraid to be out after dark in
Sunnydale). A man whom we haven’t seen before is casually leaning against a pillar, a musician playing a
happy tune on his harmonica. We see Spike, who walks toward and then passes by the musician. As he
does, the man’s tune changes to the same folk song Spike was heard humming earlier. It has an ovbious
effect on Spike, and he starts to hum it almost as if it was casting a spell on him.

We now cut to Buffy who is trying desperately to follow Spike’s movements within the dense crowd. She
sees him approach a young woman, who chats him up, and he her. They walk off together, and Buffy
appears to follow them. Spike and the woman eventually end up in an alley off the main street, where they
start ‘necking’, but not the vampy kind. The woman admits to being attracted to the possibility of Spike
being a ‘bad boy’. They nuzzle some more, then Spike looks up, startled, to see Buffy approaching him, a
with a very odd look on her face.

Buffy initial cold glare morphs seamlessly into one of open glee. Buffy smiles broadly, then tells Spike,
“You know you want it.... you know I want you to...” Spike looks confused, then looks back at the
woman (who doesn’t seem to see Buffy, strangely enough), then suddenly morphs into vamp face. The
woman screams in terror, but Spike buries his fangs in her neck and begins to feed. Buffy-- obviously now
not the real Buffy but the FE posing in her image-- looks proudly at the demon incarnation of Spike, and
says, chillingly, “There's my guy!”

( ~ ~ ~ Continued in Part II ~ ~ ~ )

[> Re: The Gods are in the Details - Thoughts on *Sleeper* Pt. II - ( Spoilers as above ) -- OnM, 21:35:36 11/24/02 Sun

( ~ ~ ~ Continued from Part I ~ ~ ~ )

*More Coffins, Warden?*

"Now... doesn't that feel better?" crows the FE/ Buffy as Spike turns back towards her, his mouth dripping
with the woman’s lifeblood. The woman's body slides out of his grip and falls to the ground as Spike
suddenly gets a confused and then horrified look on his face, now back to its human visage once again. He
runs by FE/ Buffy and back out onto the main street. If there was even the faintest remaining question that
we weren’t dealing with the BB, it quickly shifts from a visage of Buffy to one of Spike himself, but the
evil grin remains. FE/ Spike, gazing in the direction real/ Spike ran off in, quotes the line from the folk
tune, “How could you use a poor maiden so?”

The next scene is back at Xander’s place, as we see Buffy violently throw Spike out of bed, landing him on
the floor. Buffy demands to know if he killed the girl he was with, as she stands looming over him. Spike
denies knowing what Buffy is talking about, but he can see that Buffy is in near-Slayer mode, and very
angry. Buffy tells Spike that she saw him go off with a woman, but then lost them and didn't get to see
what happened. (By this, I don’t know if this meant she found the woman’s body or not. Either way, she
obviously didn’t see the actual kill, so everything is still frustratingly all suspicion but no proof.)

Spike takes offense, and wants to know why Buffy is following him. but Buffy keeps insisting he confess to
being the guilty party. Spike admits talking to a woman, but that this was all he did. He doesn’t understand
whay Buffy isn’t believeing him, he reminds her that ‘he can’t’ kill anyone. Buffy, apparently now
accepting Xander’s conjecture that the chip is malfunctioning and Spike has been acting out its effects on
him, dismisses his excuse of ‘the chip’.Then something disconcerting happens that Buffy doesn’t seem to

“No, not the chip. Not the chip, dammit!” Spike laments, genuinely looking hurt. “You honestly think I'd
go back to the end of the underworld to get my soul and then...” Buffy now understands what Spike
actually meant , and starts to back down her anger, looking significantly less Slayerish. Spike continues:

“Buffy, do you honestly think I can live with what I did... it haunts me...” (pause) “If you think I would
add to the body count now, you're crazy.”

Now, this is what I was talking about earlier. At the end of *Beneath You*, we see Buffy shocked to
discover that Spike had willingly become ensouled, but beyond that it was very hard to tell just what her
reaction would be over time. In the very next episode, it semed that she was deliberately being very cold
and distant from Spike, as if she thought that all of this soul business was just another ruse for Spike to use
against her, or some kind of a trick. The logical world of experience dictates that she should assume this,
for the safety of those around her, but in play with that is her gut feelings, which are telling her that this
bizarre occurrance could be exactly as it appears. She is confused, and indecisive as to how to behave.

As time passes, and she spends more time with Spike, she comes to believe that his actions were ‘real’, and
that it was not a trick to deceiver her. Now, evidence appears supporting her original fears. Does she
freeze up? No. Does she go full on Slayer and dust him? No. She suppresses her highly conflicted emotions
and her ‘normal’ obsessive drive to take immediate physical action and acts like an adult. She
listens to what he has to say, weighs it against the evidence at hand

*Dead Man Talking*

Spike: “As daft a notion as Soulful-Spike-the-Killer is, it is nothing compared to the idea that
another girl could mean anything to me. This chip, they did to me-- I couldn't help it. The soul I got
on my own... for you. (pauses) So yeah, I go and pass the time, with someone. But that's all it is,
just time. God help me, Buffy, it's still all about you.”

Buffy finds this rather painful to hear, because as she confessed to Holden in CwDP, she
understands that in his ‘sick, twisted way’ Spike really did/does love her.

Holden’s name appears again when Buffy, in one last attempt, tells Spike that Holden claimed to have been
sired by Spike. Spike again denies the accusation, but now something changes in his demeanor as he begins
to realize that he doesn’t remember some things from the times he goes out wandering around. Spike starts
to look confused, wondering why this should be so. Buffy points out that Spike has been doing a number
of strange things lately, including talking to invisible people, but Spike, despite his confusion over the ‘lost
time’ declares that he can’t be guilty and that Buffy needs to have definite proof, certainly more than the
word of a dead vampire. We tend to assume that Buffy secretly agrees, for a variety of reasons, not the
least of which is the terrifying thought that she may have made a grave mistake by getting Spike out of the
school basement and back into ‘the world’. Her external demeanor may not overtly reveal this, but it has to
be on her mind throughout this whole sequence of events.

*The Lyin’, the Witch and the Wardrobe*

We return to the Summers’ house, where Willow is doing research. Buffy, Dawn and Anya are there also.
Dawn wants to know why Buffy’s questioning everything, when they ‘know’ that the BB was lying to
everyone and that Holden may not have been telling the truth about Spike being his sire. Willow says it's
possible the BB was lying, but it's also possible the statements contained at least some element of truth.
Anya confirms this tactic, by pointing out that she told the truth many times when she was evil.

(BTW, is this the first time Anya has ever referred to herself as having been ‘evil’ during her past
life as a demon? I think it is, and if so, that makes it all the better for being mentioned as an almost casual,
throwaway remark on her part. Buffy pointed out to Xander when he tried to keep Buffy from killing Anya
that Anya had chosen to become a demon, and not once but twice. William certainly had
little foreknowledge of what would become of him after Drusilla so kindly offered to ‘improve’ his
miserable life, and self-ensouled-Spike is a whole ‘nother thang. Yes, you can debate it, but there are some
differences. Most, if not all past Slayers never debated them, they played it ‘safe’ and went straight for the
kill. Buffy agonizes over the subtleties, and risks the mistakes that might occur if she judges incorrectly.)

Anya suggests that if Spike has been killing people, Willow should be able to use the computer to find out
if there have been reports of bodies with neck trauma. Willow checks, and doesn’t find any such reports,
but does notice that a number of people, mostly young women, have been reported missing. Dawn submits
that this appears to be pretty convincing evidence, but Buffy tells her that only Spike knows ‘for sure’ if he
killed those people.

In an interesting visual note to this scene, Dawn and Buffy are dressed in very similar clothing and hair
styles, and in one particular camera angle are posed together in the shot similarly to the way they were in
Same Time, Same Place at the airport. Is this meant to suggest that Dawn is emulating her older
sister, and reserving judgement on whether her experience with her mother was ‘real’, the way Buffy is
reserving judgement about Spike and or/Holden? I also noticed that Buffy was dressed in classic Slayer
black went she confronted Spike, and is now dressed in lighter, warmer colors, and once more her clothing
choices appear to reflect her mood.

*I Did It My Way*

The problem is, we know that Spike doesn’t know. He is however, appalled that Buffy
suspects him of these crimes, so he intends to investigate things himself. As he puts on his jacket, he pulls
out a pack of cigarettes, which unexpectedly triggers a flashback. He recalls picking up the blonde girl that
he subsequently killed, then sees her laying dead on the ground of the basement. The flashback then seems
to fade or disappear as quickly as it came, and Spike pushes the confusing thought of it aside and heads out
the door of his room.

Xander, who is eating dinner, jumps up from the table and tries to stop Spike from leaving, insisting that
Buffy doesn’t want him to vacate the premises. Spike says he understands, but he can’t sit here and wait,
he needs to get proof that Buffy is wrong about him. Xander steps in again, but Spike suddenly clocks
Xander, knocking him out. The chip immediately kicks in and Spike cries out and winces, but shakes it off
and leaves the apartment.

*I Hate Playing Vampire Towns*

Aimee Mann is playing the Bronze, or at least I assume it’s the Bronze-- Aimee seems like a pretty
high-profile act for a little town like Sunnydale, but hey, the music business is strange these days-- and
more on that later on. Spike is wandering around, trying to get info from the bartender and other patrons
as to the identity of the girl he was talking to the other night, but no one seems to know anything about
her. Spike goes upstairs to the loft above the dance floor to think about what to do next, and a woman
comes over to where he’s seated and starts making a move on him. He tries to brush her off, but it turns
out she’s a vampire, and worse yet, one who claims that he sired her.

A fight ensues, and Spike finally stakes the vamp woman just an instant before she falls over the railing of
the loft. Plummeting to the dance floor below, the vamp explosively turns to dust right in front of Aimee,
her band, and quite a number of patrons who stare bug-eyed at the spot where she landed and poofed.

Aimee stares at the dust for only a few moments, then starts up playing right where she left off, like
nothing ever happened. The crowd starts moving about and dancing again, apparently feeling likewise. As I
said, it’s the music business.

*The Mediocre Borrow, The Truly Great Steal*

Meanwhile, Xander has recovered from Spike’s knockout punch, and has called Buffy to tell her what
happened. Outside the club, Buffy walks up to the doorman and starts asking if he’s seen anyone of Spike’s
description. The doorman does in fact recognize Spike, and calls him ‘a Billy Idol wannabe’. Buffy starts to
correct him, and points out that Billy got his look by copying Spike, then thinks the better of imparting this
information. The doorman says Spike is a regular patron, and he goes home each night with a different girl.
Buffy tries not to look hurt, and questions ‘how many?’, and the doorman tries to tell Buffy that if she’s
this guy’s girlfriend, she might want to consider leaving him, because ‘he’s a real player’.

*Can You Hear Me Now? Good... Gahhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!*

Inside the club, Spike heads for phone just as Aimee and band exit the stage. Spike picks up the handset
and dials just as we hear Aimee comment that she “hates playing vampire towns”. Someone answers at the
other end of the call, (whom I assumed was Buffy), and Spike says “It's me. I'm seeing... I think I'm
remembering. I think I’ve done some very bad things.” He is clearly badly rattled, but is trying to hold it

Sure enough, it’s Buffy at the other end, cell phone up to her ear, asking where Spike is. Spike tells her he
needs to see her, and then gives her an address for the meeting. Buffy agrees to meet him, and then hangs
up, presumably heading to the address Spike just gave her, a house somewhere. As Spike hangs up and
turns to leave, he finds himself staring at the FE/ Spike version of himself. FE/ Spike says that Spike is
going against the plan, but it could still work out anyway.

*Beneath Me, But Not So Far*

We are now presumably at the house Spike mentioned in his phone call to Buffy, and Spike is decending
the basement stairs. We suspect that it is the one where he buried the dead girl, and this is confirmed in the
next few minutes. Buffy is standing at the top of the stairs, stake firmly in hand, with Spike ‘beneath her’.
She seems reluctant to come down any farther. Spike sees the FE image of himself again, taunting him.
Buffy, of course, doesn’t see what Spike does. It’s hard to tell whether or not she hears Spike talking to
the FE, but she does begin to descend the stairs and eventually comes down to where Spike is. She asks
him to tell her what’s going on.

Spike says he's been remembering the girl Buffy saw him with, and all the ones before her, and he now
thinks that he did kill them. He walks over to the middle of the dirt floor, and then tells Buffy that he thinks
he buried the bodies here. Buffy is shocked, despite all her previous suspicions and accusations, and asks
Spike why he killed them, but Spike tells her that he doesn’t know. As all this is sinking in, FE/
Spike starts singing the folk song, which has the same sort of Pavlovian effect on Spike that it did before,
and he morphs into vamp Spike and attacks Buffy.

Buffy raises her stake to defend herself, but Spike wrests it away and throws it toward a table with some
bottles, breaking the glass. Spike grabs a piece of the broken glass and slashes Buffy on the arm with it.
Buffy fights back despite the injury and is getting the better of the battle when the FE chimes in that
“Things should get interesting now”, and the bodies buried under the floor start to break through-- Spike
has apparently sired them all. The emerging vampires attack Buffy and eventually hold her in place so
Spike can bite her, which is what the FE wants him to do. But he doesn’t bite her, despite being under the
FE’s control-- instead, he finds himself drawn to the cut on her arm, and bends down over it to lick up the
blood from the wound.

*I’m Standing Right Here!*

Now, sometimes I can guess what is going to happen in these episodes, but I really didn’t see this
one coming, and it’s so perfect that I can’t help but applaud ME’s sheer damned cleverness in
writing this scene. Spike tastes Buffy’s blood, but instead of increasing his bloodlust, which is certainly
what the FE must have expected, it triggered another reaction altogether. Buffy vs. Dracula,

Spike seems startled as he starts having a rapid-fire series of jarring flashbacks where he sees himself biting,
killing, feeding on, and burying body after body, all the ones that were buried in the floor. Spike abruptly
pulls away from Buffy's wounded arm and we see him in his normal human face, stunned and bewildered.
The flashbacks slam into him a second time, and Spike staggers away, falls into a corner, cringing in horror
at the undeniable realization of what he’s done.

Buffy breaks loose from the vampires that are holding her, and in incredibly quick fashion dusts all of the
remaining vamps with the handle of a shovel, most likely the one Spike used to bury them with. Then she
turns and walks slowly over towards Spike, who is still huddled in the corner. The FE/ Spike is
contemptuously jibing him that now Buffy will kill him too, and that he has ‘failed’.

*Forgive Me Mother, For I Have Sinned*

Buffy is staring at Spike with her now-classic ultimate- poker-faced look, but she makes no other move,
just looks downward at him. Spike looks back up at her, knowing that this is the end. He leans back
against the wall and opens up his jacket, pleading quietly to her to “do it quick, OK?” Buffy continues
staring, but still doesn’t move. Spike becomes more agitated at Buffy’s apparent unwillingness to take him
out of his misery:

“He said you'd do it!”

“Who said?

“Me... Me... I saw him... I saw him the whole time, talking and singing.

“What are you talking about?”

“I don’t know... I can’t... remember”. Spike turns and yells loudly in the direction of the stairs.
Make it so I forget again! I did what you wanted!

Buffy looks around, finally starting to grok what is going on, and that her first instincts were correct--
something evil is manipulating Spike, and it’s probably the same evil thing that has been playing these same
cruel games with the rest of the Scoobies. She tells Spike that “There's something here”, then tosses the
shovel handle aside. Spike groans at this move, and begs her once again to kill him, that he ‘can’t cry this
soul out of me’. All of the deaths he has caused are torturing him, and he can’t stand it.

Buffy tells Spike what she thinks is happening, and Spike wants to know what it is, what it wants. He
calms just a little. Buffy doesn’t know, and she tells him this. In one of the most emotionaly touching
moments since the scene in the church, he pleads with her to “help him”, and she agrees.

*The Evolution Of Absolution & CSI Sunnydale, Pt II*

We are nearing the end of this beautifully paced ep as Buffy, Dawn, Xander, Willow and Spike are all
sitting around in the Summers’ house, trying to decide on a course of action. Spike is sitting over a ways,
off by himself, calm but still not looking all that well. Xander is noting with his usual quippage that he’s not
sure it’s such a good idea to have Spike around now that they know he has killed people despite the
chippage. Buffy defends having him there, though, saying that he was under the control of the BB, and that
what he did wasn’t his fault. Besides which, Spike was in contact with this specific evil longer than any of
them so far, and if they want to find a way to defeat it, knowledge Spike may have could become essential.
Xander objects to the risks involved, but Buffy says there is no other choice-- things are already dangerous,
and they’ll very likely get worse. One suspects Buffy isn’t remotely wrong about that, and the very next
scene emphasizes her point.

*(Un)Kindly Do as I Axe, OK?*

And now for the gut-wrenching parting shot. We are back in England, and a door flies open forcefully into
the room where we saw the dead proto-slayer and her Watcher. It’s Giles, and he looks around the room,
spies the dead girl, and moves quickly over to her body to verify that she is indeed dead. He calls out for a
‘Robson’, presumably the name of the Watcher, and then sees the man in question lying on the floor in
another part of the room, also apparently dead. Giles rushes over, looking still more distressed. He kneels
down by Robson, but Robson isn’t dead, just nearly so. Robson, with what are likely his last breaths, tells
Giles that he must “Gather them... it has started”. Giles replies that he understands, but as he says
this a hooded, robed figure sneaks up behind him, battle axe in hand. The figure swings the axe in a
powerful stroke, and we cut to black and the end credits as the blade is inches from Giles’ head.

*Why Won’t You Let Us Rest in Peace*

Well, I got caught up in this again this week. I started out commenting as I went along, describing the
story as it unfolded, and over the last several sections got more involved in revisiting the story than
commenting on it. ( ~sigh~ ) It seems that simply viewing the ep 4 or 5 times on tape after the original
airing just usn’t enough anymore! So, I’ll put down a few thoughts here in this space, and then get outa
here for the week.

OK, where’d I leave off? Somewhere around ‘More Coffins, Warden’?

Whatever, first off while there was less humor than in many typical BtVS eps, what was present in this one
was sharp and pointy humor, and sharp and pointy is where it’s at in BtVS, ya know? Besides Buffy’s
telling the doorman about Billy Idol copying Spike’s style, the great line by Aimee Mann about how she
‘hates playing vampire towns’ just had to be a dig at the music industry, since I have heard tell that
she despises it, for all the classic reasons. We know that vamps often stand in for arrested adolescence, but
one of my very early takes on vamp metaphors was that they represented the ‘bloodsucker’ image of
rampantly indifferent capitalism. Not a big jump from that ref to the music industry, methinks. I also liked
that the image behind her band was a TV test pattern. Rorshach test, anyone?

I keep waiting for someone to plant a serious uh-oh into my ‘Buffy the Kwisatz Haderach’ theory, the
longest running and still best-supported of my long line of Wacky Buffy Theories (tm), but not only hasn’t
this occurred so far, this ep places more hearty stock into the eventual goddess/ higher-being-in-training
soup than I’ve tasted for a long while. Has anyone taken special note that for someone who is ‘such a
bitch’, Buffy is one of the most loving, forgiving, reasonable persons in this whole mythology? She may
very well be a ‘committee’ some day, it wouldn’t surprise me at all. I loved that Spike finally said the right
words at the right time, and that Buffy accepted the challenge as gracefully as she did for Anya in her
defining moment.

And I love the way this ep was so underplayed. There were some stunning changes in the group dynamic in
this story, which is obviously still in play and will continue to at least next week, but you could have them
float right by you, they moved so quietly. The action scenes didn’t resolve anything, they just punctuated
the actual resolutions. This was really great teamwork between Espenson and Fury, and it shows.

And that’s it. See you next week, when I predict that Zachs Mind is correct that Giles will stop the axe
magically, like Willow stopped the spider in Selfless.

(No, they won’t kill Giles! Get real! Jeez...)

*Famous Last Words*


[> [> Terrific play-by-play, OnM! -- HonorH, 22:44:39 11/24/02 Sun

I always look forward to your reviews.

This ep was so very concentrated around Buffy and Spike, just as "Beneath You" was, and I love how you bring out the parallels. The more I think about it, the more I'm certain that Buffy's coldness to Spike, her withdrawal, was *not* a mistake or continuity error, but her deliberately trying to keep some distance from him while she figured out exactly what him having a soul meant. The basement scene certainly bears me out on this. Buffy, seeing how distressed Spike is, kneels beside him. She doesn't touch him--touching, for them, carries confusing messages, and at least twice has caused him even more distress since he got his soul. Instead, she hunches down by him, making herself less intimidating, more comforting, and verbally soothes him. She makes things less confusing for him. He asks for help, and she agrees to give what help she can.

Beautiful writing--both the ep, and OnM.

[> [> What I love about this episode...(beneath you/CwtD/sleeper spoiler) -- Rob, 22:56:04 11/24/02 Sun that, now looking back on "Beneath You," we finally have a better perspective about what was going on in Spike's head as he bounced back and forth between personalities (although not yet a completely full picture--will we ever?). I have very little doubt that when he first attacked Anya in the Bronze, and then started acting cruel and very Evil!Spike-ish to Buffy that it was upon hearing that quaint little ditty.

I also agree with your spec that Buffy will not turn evil or dark this year. I certainly hope she doesn't. I believe that, yes, she may finally face the dark forces from whence the Slayer originally came, but I just can't see her being the villain. After all the talk about psychoanalyzing her, and her epiphany at the end of "Grave," I really think Joss wants to finally let Buffy reach a point where she is satisfied in both her Slayer and Human lives, where she can strike a perfect balance between the two. I think she will have to acknowledge her darkness, but not give into it. That's what last year was about. I think it's time for Buffy to finally prove all of those people who call her "cold and heartless" wrong. Now that she's finally addressed her superiority/inferiority complex, I want her to confront it head on, and nip it in the bud. And I have a feeling that this battle against what looks like it will be the Biggest Bad of them all will help her a great deal in this regard. I think she will have to face things and finally heal.

Regarding Giles, although I would love to believe your (and ZachsMinds') theory, I have a really bad feeling that he's really, really dead. And if he is, it will prove that ANYTHING can truly happen this year. The rules are being broken. No one is safe from this villain. And should Giles die, he would be the first core Scoobie to ever be killed (unless we count Jesse--but does anyone? ;o) ). His death makes the danger seem all the greater, this darkness seem all the scarier.

Not that I wouldn't throw a party and command Numfar to do the Dance of Joy if he isn't. ;o)



[> [> [> Something else... (CwDP spoiler) Btw, sorry for the misspelled acronym on the previous post -- Rob, 23:01:52 11/24/02 Sun

...In CwDP, Buffy mentions Spike's name. Only then does Holden say, "Spike?" and tell her that he's the one who sired him. Whether he's part of the Big Bad or not, I call into question the fact that he did not supply Spike's name himself but just said that he recognized it. Not that Spike really wasn't drinking from humans. I just find it suspicious that Holden only said that Spike had done it once the name had already been provided to him.


[> [> [> [> Well, he had no reason to volunteer the info. -- HonorH, 23:11:23 11/24/02 Sun

It was only when Buffy provided the name and Holden recognized it that he provided the information that Spike was the one who'd sired him. It's like if you meet someone at a party and they mention someone's name, you, realizing you two have a connection, mention that that very person was your 8th grade English teacher. I just took it as a, "Whoa, yeah, I know that guy!" reaction.

[> [> [> [> Re: Something else... (CwDP spoiler) picky but maybe important detail? -- luna, 06:11:31 11/25/02 Mon

In OnM's first post, he says:

" But note that Xander refers to Holden as ‘Webs’, his school
nickname, not ‘Holden’ or “Webster’. He does in in a voice that suggests he used the nick often or
regularly, at least back then. If I’m not putting too much faith in this spin, it would at least tend to confirm
that Webs was real, not something that Buffy was made to accept as real when it wasn’t."

Well, the real Webster could have been real, just as the real Joyce and Cassie were real, but what Buffy saw could still have been the BB or its product--however, his appearance still suggests that Webster (Holden) is dead (Conversations with DEAD people). So we still really don't know.

But to me the convincing evidence of its being the BB was its ability to tune in to the specifics of Buffy's thoughts, just as it did with Willow and Dawn.

[> [> [> With all due respect, Rob.. (speccy spoilery) -- ZachsMind, 09:01:51 11/25/02 Mon

"Regarding Giles, although I would love to believe your (and ZachsMinds') theory, I have a really bad feeling that he's really, really dead."

With all due respect Rob, it's far too soon for us to just write Giles off one way or another.

They're gonna make us *think* Giles is dead, but I seriously doubt they're gonna kill him off. There's too much potential money still to be made with Giles. We still got the possibility of BBC's "Ripper" to contend with. UNLESS ASH has made it clear to Mutant Enemy (publically or privately) he wants to never have anything to do with the character again and says no to any future with Ripper, and to the press ASH has made it clear he's still interested in the spinoff series, Giles can't die.

They could always kill him off in Buffy and then bring him back to life somehow in Ripper. That's always a possibility. This IS television after all. However, I sincerely doubt that's gonna happen. What'll happen is they'll make us wonder whether or not Giles is dead, Giles'll show up and may or may not appear to be the Big Bad Whatever in disguise, then the REAL Giles'll show up in a coma or with a headwound from that big axe thingy and then the Scoobies'll know that the other Giles is a fake.

Or something.

[> [> [> [> Who's to say "Ripper" can't take place pre-"Buffy"? -- Finn Mac Cool, 11:50:15 11/25/02 Mon

[> [> Re: The Gods are in the Details - Thoughts on *Sleeper* Pt. II - ( Spoilers as above ) -- alcibiades, 10:34:47 11/25/02 Mon

Now... doesn't that feel better?" crows the FE/ Buffy as Spike turns back towards her, his mouth dripping with the woman’s lifeblood. The woman's body slides out of his grip and falls to the ground as Spike suddenly gets a confused and then horrified look on his face, now back to its human visage once again. He runs by FE/ Buffy and back out onto the main street. If there was even the faintest remaining question that we weren’t dealing with the BB, it quickly shifts from a visage of Buffy to one of Spike himself, but the evil grin remains. FE/ Spike, gazing in the direction real/ Spike ran off in, quotes the line from the folk tune, “How could you use a poor maiden so?”

Thus far, without the full evidence, my interpretation of this scene is that for vampireSpike, Buffy was his replacement super ego, the paradigm he used as a replacement for a superego to figure out what to do. Thus, in his hypnotized or mind controlled state, when he gets the command from MorphyBuffy who he thinks is real Buffy to go ahead and give into his vampire nature and bite the girl, he complies, because Buffy is his moral compass. But deep down inside, when he finishes biting the girl, he knows that this is all wrong, but he can't account for it. He knows inside of himself that something is wrong. And this causes massive confusion and horror. He doesn't stay, he runs off, rejecting what has gone on.

I also still think real Dru must be involved with this. She knows that love of her made Spike turn himself into a monster, and she must have sussed out that love of Buffy turned Spike back from that and made him a man. She knows very well how this mechanism works in him internally.

[> [> [> Re: The Gods are in the Details - Thoughts on *Sleeper* Pt. II - ( Spoilers as above ) -- Slain, 12:40:30 11/25/02 Mon

I'm not so sure about Dru, or any other character, being involved; I say this because the BB seems to not only know events, but to know feelings. I think it quite probably understands Spike as well as Dru, perhaps more than he himself.

The idea of Spike becoming first evil, and then good, through his relationships with women, interests me, as although it's fairly explicit in the show, it's not something that I often consider. Spike always strikes me as an internal, perhaps lonely, character. Others influence him, but ulimately he makes his own choices. It seems to me that Spike often lays responsibility on 'bloody women' for ruining, or for bringing meaning to, his life, but that ultimately he does these things himself. Perhaps that's just the existentialism talking (and I can't get away from the parallels between Spike and several literary existential protagonists), but I usually see his journey as personal; he allows himself to be defined by his loves.

Just some tangential thoughts - feel free to dismiss them. What I originally intended to do was to thank OnM for a thread double-post. I wasn't all that satisfied by 'Sleeper' at first, good as it was, as it seemed that interesting possibilities about the true nature of a souled vampire suggested in CwDP were being dismissed in favour of a return to the established ideas... but having read a breakdown of the episode from a different perspective, I think I'll like this episode more when I watch it again. Which shows, I think, the greater value of positive criticism.

Why happiness? (general spoilers of BtVS including S7.7) -- Sang, 21:56:27 11/24/02 Sun

It is kind of OT, but there was something bothered me from pre-Buffy time.

Why many writers made there hero meet their doom when he/she admits that they find true happiness or peace in mind?

Like Faust in Goethe's 'Faust' or Tomas in Kundera's 'The unbearable lightness of being', our hero who experienced many things without feeling anything special, finally found happiness and peace in simple things around. In that moment, they die and their souls are taken away.

I found out Joss like this concept quite a lot. Obvious example is Angel. He doesn't die by 'happiness' but will lose his soul.

Then there was Tara who faced her fatal moment after the 'happy moment', and Jonathan who admit that he found a peace with his memories just before his ending (when he was talking to Andrew about how he felt about people who were wrong to him, I was saying myself 'Oh my god, he is SO dead!')

Well Jenny Calendar and Joyce Summers were not exactly clear case, however they died after they thought they were recoverd from their depression (Jenny was about to reconcile with Giles and Joyce thought she was healthy and happy again.)

Why is 'I am happy' the word for the ending of their mortal life?

[> A couple of suggestions... -- KdS, 03:45:52 11/25/02 Mon

In heaven, everything is fine. You've got your good things and I've got mine...

David Lynch via Black Francis

Suggestion one: Joss is a sadist :-) Moreover, once a character gets an epiphany of such magnitude, it's a good place to end their arc - less easy to create development without having them backslide.

Suggestion two: Joss is the opposite of a sadist...

On the main ATPoBtVS&AtS page for the first few epsiodes of S7, there's a quote from a poster called Ryuei suggesting a Buddhist interpretation of Buffy's post-mortem experience - that she achieved a state of nirvana in the last moments of her life. Could it be that we're seeing the possibility that what drives a Buffyverse person's post-mortem fate isn't so much their deeds over their lifetime as their state at the point of death? Doesn't seem entirely moral, but what religion's afterlife really is? Perhaps if people die in "a good place", then they stay in a good place afterwards?

[> [> Re: A couple of suggestions... -- Arethusa, 06:18:40 11/25/02 Mon

I second KdS's # 1.

Dramatically, it makes the death more poignant, unexpected and, perhaps, ironic if it occurs when someone is at their happiest. Whedon is truly the King of Pain! (Which makes us masochists, doesn't it?)

[> [> [> Sadists, really, since we watch these characters suffer for entertainment -- Finn Mac Cool, 14:16:39 11/25/02 Mon

[> [> [> I dunno, but... -- belle, 20:30:46 11/25/02 Mon

...combined with Cassie's "someday she'll tell you," that particular trope doesn't bode well for a certain blond vampire.

[> [> [> [> Re: Oh.. you are right! -- Sang, 07:59:00 11/26/02 Tue

If Cassie's prophecy meant Buffy will tell what Spike was longing to hear from her. And if it happend at the crucial moment... It really doesn't look good for him.

No one was safe after their true 'happy moment'.

The great Sunnydale death pool! (Two very well known casting spoilers, no actual future events) -- KdS, 04:55:03 11/25/02 Mon

Despite all the rumours about whether this will or will not the be last BtVS season, it looks that we're heading for something really big. Given the notorious degree of pain, blood and slaughter over the last six years, I think I can safely predict that not all of our core sympathetic cast are going to survive the end of this season. The following is some unspoiled speculation about the characters' chances of survival, based on previous ME storytelling tactics and cultural norms.

Buffy: The disagreement between Rah and myself over this issue (see archives passim) surfaced again over pizza last night. While I accept all Rah's points that Buffy's death might be seen as merely another example of "punishment of strong women" in pop culture, I believe that the traditions of the hero's final death and/or transcendence in European myth are strong enough to defend against accusations of sexism. While Rah argued last night that Buffy's forced return from the grave was a subversion of the idea of heavenly reward, suggesting that it was merely a false escape and moral cop-out, I feel that one cannot regard death in the Buffyverse as a punishment. If it were a punishment, then why would interference with the eternal rest of the dead be so continually shown as a bad idea? An ending with Buffy simply continuing her life in a contingent human way might be an ME-style subversion of mythology, but I doubt it would create the finality that ME (or SMG) would desire, and would be very hard to write without leaving fans with a feeling of something-or-other interruptus. A compromise might have her transcending in some way - taking the fight against evil to a whole new level beyond human comprehension. That, however, has already had the p**s ripped out of it in AtS. One thing I would like to make clear is that I don't believe we'll see PsychoSlayer!Buffy shot down like a rabid dog. Anything along those lines really would be "Punishment of strong women", and would end the show on a downer that I don't believe ME really want. ME are about rising above the darkness of the world, not empty GenX nihilism.

Giles: Might have just happened. At this stage in the season, I simply do not have a clue what might be in store. I have a gut feeling that Giles as vessel for the Big Bad has such potential for angst, torment and pitch- black humour that none of the ME writers would be capable of resisting it. I have absolute confidence in ASH's ability to play the Antichrist, and I doubt many actors could resist such an opportunity. On a metaphorical level, having Giles die before the end of the series would help to create a sense of the passage of the torch from one generation to another, might show Buffy (and the Scoobies in general) finally reaching adulthood by saying farewell to both her parental figures, and might help to create a sense of clean break while leaving Buffy satisfactorily alive.

Spike: Atonements 'R' Us. The idea of Spike sacrificing himself to save humanity is so obvious and such a hallowed convention that I'm convinced it won't happen. The only possibility that would satisfy me would be if someone had to condemn themselves to eternal combat as a Hellmouth-cork and Spike volunteered in a spirit of absolute glee.

Buffy: NOOOOOO! (lip quivering) I won't let you sacrifice yourself for me!
Spike: Who's talking about sacrifice? Kicking demon arses for ever, no moral ambiguity to get on your nerves... I'd be happy as a pig in... (grins broadly, vamps out, and jumps into hellmouth)

I see it in much the same way as with Angel in Amends or Reprise - for Spike to sacrifice himself as atonement would be far too easy. All of this is assuming that ME won't go really dark and have a pointless ugly death to wind things up. If that's true, all bets are off.

Willow: Atonements 'R' Us Part Two. Same concerns as with Spike, although the fact that Willow has more to live for might make her demise a more powerful and genuine sacrifice (and at least one prominent poster here thinks Willow deserves to die anyway). The whole "If you want to get to the viewers, hurt Willow" thing might come into play as well. Realistically, however, I think that fear of a renewed DeadMinority controversy will make Willow's death most unlikely, unless the body count is high enough that no- one can feel singled out.

Anya: Atonements 'R' Us Part Three. The fact that Emma Caulfield has openly and unambiguously announced her departure post-S7 does make Anya's death more likely, and it would be just like ME for Pinnochia to die on the threshold of becoming a real girl. IMO, if they're going for tragic atonement, this is the most likely candidate.

Xander: He's the ordinary Joe whose superpower has always been his calm willingness to risk his life on blind chance. After Ampatha, Jack, and WIllow, maybe someone will finally call his bluff. It would undoubtedly fit in with all manner of mythic precedents for the ordinary human being to quietly lay down his life for the cause, and Xander's accidental or pointless death would be a big tearjerker and a reminder of the precariousness of life in the Buffyverse. However, I have a gut feeling that even if everyone else gets dead, Xander will be the one left to bear witness to what went before. (I make no comment beyond acknowledgement on the various Evil!Xander theories floating around, as I think that your opinion on this is particularly dependent on actually seeing the episodes and making up your own mind instead of relying on web synopses and reviews.)

Dawn: Really, really dark, probably too dark for ME. It's possible that Dawn might end up having to become a green floaty thing to seal the Hellmouth. However, that would nullify everthing Buffy's worked for over the last three years, and leave the series arguing that Destiny's gonna get you, which has always been the antithesis of ME's position (I acknowledge Rah's post ages ago on the survival of the ordained innocent sacrifice in The Gift). Of course, it's possible that someone might do some jiggery- pokery with an Orb of Thessula so that Dawn ends up as a green floaty thing with a human soul and consciousness. That would provide great opportunities for a real, all-out fantasy spin-off (Dawn the Interdimensional Troubleshooter) but probably won't happen.

Faith: Atonements 'R' Us Part Four. All depends on Faith's personality when she gets out of jail. Is she going to be tormented-Angel seeker after atonement, snarky Rogue- on-the-side-of-good, all-out unpredictable psychopath? Need more information...

Multiple demises: I must admit, I don't believe ME will go for an end-of-series bloodbath in the style of the infamous Blake's Seven (if you have no idea what I'm talking about, go to for a Cliff's Notes). On the other hand, two or three deaths will provide that perfect sense of bittersweet closure, and depending on who dies it might provide that whole sickly Romeo&Juliet united-in-death thing (too Hallmark for ME, probably). Then again, there may be a bittersweet sort-of-happy ending with all the former residents of Sunnydale being served canapes by a cheerful young woman with an ankh...

On the other hand, the whole of this post might turn out to be so toally offbeam that I have to hide in a basement in shame forever :-)

[> Re: Practicalities and the death pool. -- Darby, 06:23:42 11/25/02 Mon

There are considerations beyond the very valid dramatic effects you've mentioned. Remember, Joss is just a demi- god, there are still people above him on Olympus whose decisions are framed by money considerations, such as...

A Buffy feature film. Despite some things SMG has said, if a major studio wanted a BtVS movie, she'd jump on board (just give her a couple more years of picking movies on her own and she'll be asking for Joss to write one!). With a potential franchise there (likely critical features: the name, SMG, Joss...), it's doubtful that Fox, who at the end have final control over the characters, would allow several of them - Buffy, Willow, and probably Xander, maybe Spike - to be killed off. Makes one wonder if Buffy would have been allowed to die at the end of S5 if that was going to be the last season.

Possible spin-offs. This also might interfere with killing off Giles (unless Ripper is much more dead than they're telling us), Willow, and conceivably Spike, Dawn, and Faith.

Other license holders. Put the book, comics, and syndication (especially that last bunch) people together and you have a decent influx of money. How would a bunch of suits look at the impact on future sales of killing the Scooby Gang? Does anyone know what similar effects played off the endings of Xena, or The X-Files?

So Faith, Anya, Riley, and a few others (how do you write Buffy out and keep Dawn? Bring Hank back?) are potential cannon fodder, but the others are much less likely. With this added in, I think the most probable Big Scooby Death is the setting itself, Sunnydale, devoured from beneath. There may be an ulterior motive to showing us how Big Honkin' Evil exists beyond the city limits.

Of course, we could have Jay set this up as a vote...Buffy meets Survivor... Who would each character vote off their island?

- Darby, looking for a spin-off involving a debonair, kickass demon biologist (either way that plays)...

[> [> Sunnydale kk-boommmmmm!! -- Helen, 06:40:35 11/25/02 Mon

That's it! End of the dale - perfect. It kinda fits in with Buffy's escalation of destruction:

Film: High School gym
Series 3: entire High School

there's really nowhere else left for it to go.

[> [> Uh-huh. Rob? -- KdS, 07:19:56 11/25/02 Mon

Hmmm. Hadn't thought of the financial/commercial issues.

Rob, I know you're a Xena fan. Are people actually boycotting all mechandise etc because of the ending, and would people have been more positive if the character had ended up dead but the ending was handled better?

[> [> [> Re: Uh-huh. Rob? -- Rob, 08:06:54 11/25/02 Mon

There was a large contingency of Xena fans who did boycott Xena merchandise and conventions afterwards, going even so far as to refuse to ever spend money on another item by the same production company, or on any other project Lucy Lawless would ever do. That last part was pretty unfair, IMO, since she didn't write the darn scripts. It was my understanding that this was mostly centered around the lesbian faction of the fans (not that all of them boycotted, just the majority of the boycotters, I believe, were the lesbian fans) who were hurt that they would not allow Xena and Gabrielle to be happy together. The felt that the "kiss" between Xena and Gabrielle in the last episode was just adding insult to injury, implying that two women could not have a healthy relationship, unless one of them ends up dead, and the other is left to mourn her, and talk to her ghost, for the rest of her life.

Therefore, I think it's the death that pissed people off more than just the way it was handled, although it was handled rather insensitively. True, on the whole, people didn't complain as much about Buffy's death in "The Gift," which was handled not only sensitively but beautifully. But we knew, going into that, that it wasn't the last episode. That Buffy would, somehow, in some form, be back. When it's the last episode, it can be very different. In the case of "Xena," any death would have angered fans who wanted their heroes, after all the turmoil they've been through, to finally end up peaceful, happy, in love, and together. It was especially insulting to them that "Hercules" ended up exactly that way for Hercules...and his MALE sidekick.

If Buffy were to die, I think Joss could make it work. I think he could make anything work. Although I would question the idea, especially since, whether it would make sense or not, that this would be the death Buffy was taken out of in "Bargaining," she still has died on the show before, and that does lessen the impact for the last episode. Although we know that thematically it might work, a viewer less educated to the ways of the Buffyverse, or someone who just takes the show at surface level and not read any depth or symbolism in it may think, "She died before. What makes this death so final?" That's also what many complained about from Xena, who had died quite a few more times than Buffy.

I'm not saying the end has to be completely happy. This is still "Buffy," but I think, for Joss to be able to maintain the franchise, it would be smart for him to not kill off his hero. The creators of "Xena" in interviews have said that they grew sick and tired of the lesbian fan fiction, and of internet fans trying to steal their creation, so they killed her. Many fans (rightly so) took that as an attack on them. Joss, however, welcomes gay/straight/whatever interpretations of any character relationship on the show (B.Y.O.Subtext), and if he killed Buffy, it would not be to be cruel to the audience. But I still think that on the whole, it might be perceived as unfair to the character, especially after all the turmoil he put her through through the years, and wrong to the audience, who want an ending full of relief. I don't think the fans want to be mourning their hero at the end of the last episode.


[> [> [> [> Thanks -- KdS, 08:17:05 11/25/02 Mon

Very well explained.

(KdS sneaking off to consider his own morbidity)

[> [> [> [> A possible interpretation: "They won't kill Buffy a third time & I'll tell you why.." (speccy) -- ZachsMind, 10:00:59 11/25/02 Mon

Why? We're expecting it. Why would they possibly kill her off AGAIN after doing it twice, with all the talk that SMG isn't coming back? If anything, they're setting us up to THINK they're gonna kill her off when instead they'll do the exact opposite. At the end of season seven, Buffy will still be alive. She will walk into the sunset. Probably alone. Like a good little white hat. We may or may not ever see her again.

Heck. They might even play "Happy Trails" in the background as she goes. Maybe she'll be riding a horse.

Before that final moment, they'll do far worse than kill her. They'll strip her of her friends. They'll strip her of her powers. They'll shred her of her dignity. They'll make her feel guilty for everything that's happened in the last seven years, as if there was anything more she could possibly do to prevent all the badness that's transpired. They'll take away everything that makes Buffy Buffy and make her wish she were dead. By the end of season seven they will do everything but rend the skin off her flesh. Heck, they may do that too. The evil in the world will make her feel like it's all her fault, and she'll carry the burden like Atlas. Then she'll shrug.

Actually, come to think of it that's the worst they can possibly do to the character -- the writers can find some way to have the powers of the Slayer removed from Buffy completely, so that in the end of season seven she has to go up against the Big Bad Whatever without any powers whatsoever.

I bet most people won't see THAT coming, and it'd give Sarah Michelle Gellar a lot of great opportunity to show she's a movie-ready superstar. Think "Thelma & Louise meets Diehard" to the tenth power.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: A possible interpretation: "They won't kill Buffy a third time & I'll tell you why.." (speccy) -- Dochawk, 21:26:33 11/25/02 Mon

I happen to agree there is no chance they will kill Buffy this year, but she may end the series losing her slayer power. But, now that Angel will end after Buffy imagine this scenario: After defeating their own Big Bad, Buffy goes to LA to help AI. She finds the battle already started and can't tell AI that she is there. During the battle AI is aware of another power fighting with them. After the battle they go looking for it and find Buffy's dead body. It would be the epitome of a warrior's death and talk about unexpected, killing her on a show that's not even hers!

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: A possible interpretation: "They won't kill Buffy a third time & I'll tell you why.." (speccy) -- Juliet, 14:06:38 11/26/02 Tue

That's always been my theory of how Buffy will finally bite it: on Angel or another spin-off.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> No. Way. In. H-E-Double Hockeysticks. -- cjl, 14:19:24 11/26/02 Tue

Rant. Incoming!

The idea of a modern American icon buying it OFFSCREEN on SOMEBODY ELSE'S series would be a slap in the face to devoted Buffyphiles. If SMG bows out after this season, I would blow a gasket if Angel staggers in from his apocalyptic battle at the end of S4 and TELLS us about Buffy dying. If the Slayer is going to go out, I want the girl front and center and ready for her close-up...

[> [> Re: Practicalities and the death pool. -- ZachsMind, 07:52:41 11/25/02 Mon

1. If they do a feature film it'll be with an entirely new cast. A younger cast, and geared towards a younger generation. Don't count on this happening for at least another five or ten years. Not successfully anyway.

2. Spin-offs: They could opt to tell the story of Giles even if they kill him off in the Buffy Universe. Either by making stories told for BBC America in "Ripper" done pre Buffy season seven, or just disregard the Buffy timeline altogether. They *could* but it's doubtful. I'd bet they don't kill off Giles, but they're probably gonna make us think he's dead at least for part of the season.

3. Non-canonical stuff like books & comics don't factor in much to the creativity of the actual tv series. They'll just have to work around whatever's done on the series, and with the added creativity of being outside canon, the comics could even bring Tara back in a kinda Phoenix-esque way if they so desire.

However for the most part I agree with your guesses. Anya, Riley, and Faith are almost certain to die. We already know they're willing to kill off Jonathan, who's been with the show as long as anyone. Andrew's gonna die eventually. I think that's a given. Dawn's expendable (as much as I like her, very few others do). I think Willow, Giles, Xander & Spike may be the only real survivors by season's end.

And yeah. Sunnydale's gonna be a crater. I'll be disappointed if Sunnydale's anything other than a crater by season's end.

Completely off topic. Did anyone else notice in the scene at the start of "Sleeper" when Willow confronts Dawnie, that she didn't come out and say who visited her? I think that scene was filmed BEFORE the Willow/Cassie scenes we saw in CwDP. I don't think the writers even knew whether or not Tara was going to make an appearance in that scene at the time they did the scene between Willow & Dawnie.

[> [> [> Ummm.... Darby? Zach? -- KdS, 08:11:03 11/25/02 Mon

Do you know Riley's turning up again or are you just guessing?

[> [> [> [> *feigns innocent look and whistles an irish folk tune conspicuously* -- ZachsMind, 09:04:17 11/25/02 Mon

[> [> [> [> Total guess. (Well-known casting spoiler) -- Darby, 10:01:09 11/25/02 Mon

I am spoiled about Eliza's return (I'm thinking everybody is by now), but I was just speculating on what "core" members could be done away with.

And Zach, the options you mentioned had occurred to me, but I don't see them as viable, or at least not as viable as using your original cast (see X-Files minus David).

[> [> [> [> [> X-Files minus David didn't work though. -- ZachsMind, 10:04:32 11/25/02 Mon

[> [> [> Re: Practicalities and the death pool. (spoilerish for BtVS 7.7 & 7.8) -- Liv, 11:58:00 11/25/02 Mon

Hi! I'm newish and haven't gone through all the threads yet. Sorry if i'm covering well-tread territory. :)

About the Willow/Dawn tangent: I hadn't considered that possibility. I was just thinking that it was telling that no one really revealed any details to eachother about what they saw and what they were told that night. They all chose to omit certain information for their own reasons. Since Buffy is all Dawn has --HANK! WHERE ARE TOU?!-- she isn't willing to spill the beans till she sorts out her *mother's* message; Willow may have been reluctant to mention that Cassie was the one who delivered her message because she thought Dawn might have been through enough, but she also didn't share what the message WAS since she's not entirely convinced that the BBW was lying; and all Buffy shared about her therapy session with Holden was the revelation that Spike was his sire. All inferiority complexes about superiority complexes swept under the rug.

It seems to me that the less they communicate the more vulnerable they are the manipulations from the BBW (we ain't seen nothin' yet)... that they are, in fact, their own worst enemies.

Oooohh... that was rambly...

[> Death Pool preliminary odds breakdown (speccy spoilery) -- ZachsMind, 07:18:20 11/25/02 Mon

Buffy's already died twice. Third time's the charm? Or is it literally overkill? Been there done that? I say things could go either way with her, but there's a few other factors to consider.

First of all, we have an idea who's on contract and who's not. While this does not insure who should stay and who should go, it does help to give a basis for the odds breakdown. Emma Caulfield, Sarah Michelle Gellar and Anthony Stewart Head all have an open-ended contract that's up this year. ASH's seems to be very broad right now. He's not been an official regular member for two or three years. So based on this alone I'd give even odds that any of the characters played by these actors will survive or die. However, James Marsters, Alyson Hannigan and Nicholas Brendan each have contracts that can go another three years yet. So IF there is to be a future series after season seven, the writers will want these characters kept alive and relatively intact by season's end. Michelle Trachtenberg (Dawnie) is the Wild Card.

But also keep in mind the potential for characters after season seven outside BtVS. Whedon may want to keep his options open for allowing characters to show up Angel next year, and there's still "Ripper" for the BBC. This increases the odds that Giles won't die. It decreases the odds that Dawn will survive, because what would Dawn do in the Angel universe? Angel's never technically met Dawnie. He may or may not have memories of her. Depends on how complete the monks' were in their job of putting Dawnie into Buffy's reality. It'd be too confusing to bother with from the M.E. writer's perspective.

Now, Xander & Willow have been with the series from the very beginning. So killing Buffy off AND killing off these two would make the idea of a franchise impossible. It'd be like having a Baskin Robbins without any ice cream cones. And Spike is simply too popular to kill.

Who will die? I'd break it down like this:

BUFFY: even odds
ANYA: even odds
DAWN: 3 to 1 she dies
GILES: 5 to 1 he dies
XANDER: 10 to 1 he dies
WILLOW: 15 to 1 she dies
SPIKE: 20 to 1 he dies

However, there's one character not in the regular mix who HAS to die at some point. FAITH. they're bringing in Slayers In Training and for one of those S.I.T.'s to become the NEXT Slayer, Faith has to kick the bucket. So if you wanna bet money on a sure thing? Put your money on Faith in the Death Pool.

...Unless of course Eliza Dushku has an agent that convinces her to sign on the dotted line as the replacement for SMG in season eight. If that happens, all bets are off.

[> [> Re: Death Pool preliminary odds breakdown - Not Faith -- Angelina, 13:29:35 11/25/02 Mon

IF they are dumb enough to kill Buffy off, then the ONLY one I can see as the new slayer would be Faith. A "redeemed" Faith would make the perfect Slayer. And when I say redeemed, I don't mean so much so, that she is completely devoid of her badgirlness. She is just NOT psychopathic. Eliza is a fantastic actress and has terrific charisma. I just love her and if SMG has to go (sniff sniff bawl bawl), then I'd LOVE to see Faith hook up with Spike. What a team! I guess it all depends on Eliza's movie career and how its progressing. A few years as the star of a popular TV series can't hurt her career right now! What's your opinion?

[> [> [> Re: Death Pool preliminary odds breakdown: My predictions -- belle, 20:18:00 11/25/02 Mon

They won't kill Buffy again, but they might do something else to remove her permanently from the "mortal coil." (Dunno what). I still think she'll be BAD at some point this season.

I don't believe they'll kill Dawn. Even if you don't like her, think she's expendable, and so on, it's just too depressing a message: kill the next generation? No hope for the future? No, I don't think ME'll go that route. That's not just dark: it's...well, it's too much like current politics, for one thing (!) Nihilistic, that's the word I'm looking for. They've never been that, not really. Plus, she seems to be getting rather interesting; I think she'll have spin-off/movie potential.

Willow they won't kill, unless they kill absolutely everybody (and they won't, I don't think--again, too nihilistic). Above all else they won't Kill the Lesbian again. (and quite, right, too, she editorializes). Their ears are still ringing from last year. Plus, with Xena gone, there's a big market for a supernatural series with a sexy, smart, basically-good-but-with-a-dark-side lesbian in the lead! I know I'd be all over it. Also, everyone loves AH--fans and writers alike, and she loves working with them.

Spike has all the makings of a tragic/heroic death. It's just possible that they'll find something else for him, but I highly doubt it'll be an unmitigated happy ending, whatever it is. And I don't think he'll end as the old bad Spike again, either; that's a closed door. We'll see. (The only reason I can think for *not* killing him is the acting wonder that is JM, which is certainly something ME has considered).

Xander? Could go either way at this point. I could make a case for his foreshadowing as a sacrifical Christ figure, but Spike seems to have usurped Xander's role in most regards these past two seasons, possibly including that one. Anyway, he already had his Christ moment last year. I could see him either as martyr or witness. I don't think he'll be evil. I think he'll be the one character that never turns evil.

Anya's probably toast, since it would a) give her character some meaning, closure, and atonement and b) let EC go out with a bang, but you never can tell for sure.

Faith they'll probably keep around. Everyone (meaning the writers) likes her too much to kill, and her character's got loads of potential.

And Giles? It's too painful. At first I was positive that Sleeper's ending was a cheap sweeps stunt (which it is), but...I dunno. The more I think about it, the more worried I get. They might just be evil enough to do it, and, more to the point, clever enough to make it work, storywise. I didn't see how they could, but plausible scenarios are beginning to present themselves. (Go away, scenarios!) And yeah, they could potentially even make "Ripper" work with him dead. But oh, the prospect makes me cringe. Maybe that's a sign that they *should* do that storyline? - whimper.-

Andrew, poor little Harmony-esque Bambi villain that he is, is almost certainly toast. Probably soon. But not before we get some good laughs and a little pathos out of him.

For sure, though, they'll never kill Tara. I said it last year, and...Oh, wait.

[> [> Seriously doubt Dawn will die. -- HonorH, 20:36:14 11/25/02 Mon

Especially if Buffy lives. Dawn's far too important to Buffy to kill off while Buffy still lives. Furthermore, she's the one Buffy's sacrificed everything for--her schooling, her time, her life, and, yes, her death. When Buffy came back, it was Dawn who persuaded her to stay, repeatedly. To kill Dawn after all that would make all Buffy's sacrifices pointless. So Dawn will live.

[> [> [> But will she whine? -- Darby, scurrying back out of the line of fire., 11:00:30 11/26/02 Tue

[> [> [> [> My Spec -- Finn Mac Cool, 11:54:43 11/26/02 Tue

The Shapeshifter will eventually transform to look like Dawn and do a whining routine so fierce that people realize how non-whiny Dawn really is.

[> [> [> [> GAAAAAAAAHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! -- HonorH (going after Darby with Honorificus' favorite axe), 16:22:54 11/26/02 Tue

[> I have a bad feeling about...(spec) -- Rob, 08:20:17 11/25/02 Mon

...Anya. I have a gut feeling that they are going to kill her, and she is finally going to atone by giving away her life to save others, which was denied her in "Selfless." I've never felt so strong about a prediction I've had for the show. Anya's my favorite character who isn't Buffy...I really hope I'm wrong. But there it is.


[> Re: The great Sunnydale death pool! (Two very well known casting spoilers, no actual future events) -- skpe, 09:00:33 11/25/02 Mon

I remember the last time this topic came up that the general consensus was Buffydamurung

[> I take your point -- Rahael, 10:31:50 11/25/02 Mon

about natural death being a good on Sunnydale.

A bit like Cassie, no?

However, they've been here before the Gift. They have to make it as moving and as triumphant as they did before.

Now, of all the people who could do it, I'd say it would be Joss, but Joss rarely repeats a storyline to give exactly the same message - it usually resonates with and plays against the earlier theme.

And, the whole point of Season 6 was getting Buffy away from looking back at heaven, and forward to life, and making the best of it. Now, all those things suggest that in thematic terms, she can't die, because it would undo S6 (not that everyone would complain about that, it seems!) but.....I'm totally intrigued and have no idea what's actually going to happen.

And in the end, I'll probably end up admiring whatever they pull out of the hat.

OT: Site I found on different states of consciousness and mental being -- fearshade, 06:29:02 11/25/02 Mon


Being a short-story writer, and somewhat of an introvert ;), I tend to enjoy trying to understand what's going on in a person's head, partly to help me make sense of what's going on in mine, so I came across this site. It's quite interesting and so I thought I'd share with everyone else.

End of the Underworld (Spoilers through Sleeper) -- Valkyrie, 12:00:55 11/25/02 Mon

I've been trying to stay spoiler free (not very successfully) but that necessitates reviewing previous episodes endlessly. One line from last week's episode struck me today. All summer, we've assumed that Spike went to Africa to get his soul. However, in "Sleeper" he clearly says something like "I went to the end of the underworld and back to get my soul." I'm sorry if I missed a discussion about this elsewhere, but thinking about that line certainly has me wondering where Spike has been since last spring and wondering what it means in relation to current episodes. Any thought on this? Surely going to the underworld is a more ominous journey than going to Africa.

minor thoughts: souls and lies (7.7 and 7.8) -- Clen, 12:19:11 11/25/02 Mon

Some minor musings of mine, before I take the next two weeks to wrap up my semester...

The BB certainly lied lied in its manifestation to Willow, and the verdict is not in yet on Dawn, but at least the BB came clean at the end. The only blatant lies and omissions still hanging in the air are those owned by the SG who had a 7.7 encounter.
When Willow related her encounter to Dawn, she left out that it was Cassie. Willow knows that Dawn took Cassie's death a little personally (at least at the time).
Dawn left out the final prophecy of "Joyce".
Buffy left out about 90% of her experience with Holden. Sad that she should experience a bit of a breakthrough, then keep it to herself.
Maybe the greatest accomplishment of the BB so far is that it has them lying to each other.

On a completely unrelated topic, it occurs to me that Spike's chip is now useless. I don't just mean being hypnotized past it. With a soul now, Spike feels guilt. He runs perilously close to the possibility that he might decide he NEEDS to be punished for his actions. The quickest source of punishment at hand is chip-pain. We have already seen a few instances now where he invoked chip-pain without it being a case of self-defense: he tackled Home Improvement in Help, socked Xander in the mouth in Sleeper. Pain seems not so much a deterrent now as his lot in life. He deserves to suffer for what he did, so he must make himself suffer. The only wall holding him back is that he doesn't want other people (especially Buffy) to suffer. But he runs the same risk of a loop of behavior that the obese sometimes do: they feel bad about eating, they eat because they resolve that they are bad, then feel bad about what they ate, etc. If Spike becomes convinced that he is a bad dog, he might seek out punishment by replicating his bad behavior. In this circumstance, it would be rather easy for the BB to further manipulate him. I say either the chip or the soul must go. Either the guilt must go, or the source of immediate gratification for the guilt.

What did Spike really get in Season seven -- Cougar, 13:02:04 11/25/02 Mon

What did Spike actually recieve when he got his "soul"?

Before he got his soul he could be seen as a metaphore for arrested development, as vampires are. He was very insightful into feelings of others but was impulsive, self serving and self indulgent. After being chipped a certain order or discipline was imposed on him externally. He began to change and develop from that point. He redirected his energies to demon fighting, self serving yes, but sublimating his passions as we all do.

He did however have some conscience. He felt empathy towards Buffy in Fool for Love. His impulse was to shoot her but his heart was touched when he saw her vulnerable. He chose control of self and redirecting his anger into a more mature respnse of empathy.

Later, through the series he often acted to please Buffy, who was an additional source of external order, expectations and discipline.

But after Buffy died we saw Spike caring for Dawn, tring to redeem his failure. Who was he expecting to thank him for that? By then he had obviously internalized some of the restraints and motivations that had been imposed on him previously.

Then we there was the rape scene. Obviously his emotions were heightened and his impulse control was still imature and he regressed to major impulsivity. He immeadiately felt shame and remorse and actually took drastic and impulsive actions to get a soul. Maybe he feared that now that he had alienated Buffy, a ateadying influece on his life was lost.

He went looking for that soul already able to feel love, guilt, protectivness, shame. He was looking to discipline the part of himself that he could't control. What did he really need a soul for? People with souls rape and murder all the time. When he asked for his soul he appeared angry, What could the underworld place in such a body?

If the soul is good, would it come from the underworld? Anya said "what did you do?" rather than a more typicaly blunt statement like "oh my God Spike, you have a soul!"

In terms of human development we actually go through stages of adulthood. Spiritual and psychological development can accelerate at certain points. Sometimes this leads to painful confusion and people seek solutions in gurus and cults, giving over control to an external force that will keep there souls in line.

So far the soul seems to have brought Spike only pain. Is that all a soul is? No forgiveness or peace? If a soul is so good and important then what did he actully recieve? Was it a compete and untainted soul? Was some power or deity offended by what was put in him and where that soul was taken from?

Dawn said "Chip, soul, same diff" she had a point. He was far from perfect before but he had actully been growing up. He was trying to restart his arrested develpment. He wanted the process of internalization to be over. But getting the soul was maybe an impulsive quick fix that really led him to trouble.

Did Spike get a "Good Soul"?

[> Re: What did Spike really get in Season seven -- Angelina, 13:39:55 11/25/02 Mon

It is my understanding that he got his own soul back. The Demon in The Cave said "We restore your soul". He received the soul that was William before Dru vamped him.

[> Re: What did Spike really get in Season seven -- Retread, 14:00:37 11/25/02 Mon

"So far the soul seems to have brought Spike only pain. Is that all a soul is? No forgiveness or peace? If a soul is so good and important then what did he actully recieve? Was it a compete and untainted soul?"

More and more I'm thinking that Morphy, or whatever is controlling Spike, is more responsible for his pain and craziness than his soul. Or atleast its much harder to tell when its his soul and *not* Morphy causing his turmoil.

"Was some power or deity offended by what was put in him and where that soul was taken from?"

Hadn't thought of this in quite this way but it makes sense that returning Spike's soul upset the balance somewhere. Once William was vamped, his soul could be counted firmly on the side of Good (presuming as I do that William's life wasn't evil enough to send his soul to hell). Well Good lost when William's soul was put back into Spike and is now uncertain to getting to re-claim that particular soul. This ought to make it (Good) less than happy. Hmm, wonder if this will be addressed sometime this season?

[> Re: What did Spike really get in Season seven -- leslie, 14:19:00 11/25/02 Mon

In practical terms, it seems that "Spike" got reconnected to "William," who had been ousted by vampirization. Remember the often-repeated mantra that vampires are *not* the humans they used to be; they merely retain that human's memories. Spike was able to remember being William, but it seems that now he can *feel* being William again.

The Real Secret Truth about Buffy Summers (Spoilery through 7.8, heavy spec) -- Just George, 13:08:29 11/25/02 Mon

Lets assume that the young women we've seen knifed by the Guys In Robes (GIR) are Slayers In Training (SIT). What do you think the Council of Watchers (COW) tells the SIT about Buffy? That she's the most successful Slayer in Generations? That she "saved the world a lot"? I doubt it.

As far as the Council is concerned, Buffy is an unruly girl who has abandoned tradition and upset the natural order of things. The Council probably uses Buffy's story as a cautionary tale to get the SIT to eat their beets and do as they are told. I suspect the council tells Buffy's story something like this:

"Buffy Summers was called as a Slayer in Los Angeles. Her watcher was Merrick. But he was killed by a vampire that Buffy couldn't stake.

"Buffy moved to Sunnydale to be close to the Hellmouth. Rupert Giles was her watcher. Buffy resented Giles' rules and ultimately attacked him. Without her watcher, Buffy was killed by a vampire called The Master.

"When Buffy died Kendra was called. Buffy was un-naturally brought back to life above the Hellmouth.

"Buffy spared the mad vampire Angelus because she had been sleeping with him. Angelus tried to suck the world into a hell dimension. Kendra came to Sunnydale to stop him. But Buffy let Kendra get killed by Angelus' partner Drucilla. Buffy teamed up with the vampire William the Bloody to attack Angelus. Buffy and William were both mad that Angelus was with Drucilla. Buffy sent Angelus to a hell dimension as punishment.

"When Kendra died Faith was called. Her watcher was killed by a powerful vampire called Kakistos. Faith went to Buffy for help. But Buffy was jealous of Faith. The council even sent a second watcher to try and help them work together. But Buffy severed ties with the council and kicked her new watcher out of Sunnydale.

"Buffy was very mean to Faith. Buffy ultimately knifed Faith and knocked her off a building, putting Faith into a coma. When Faith recovered eight months later, Buffy fought her again. Buffy chased Faith all the way to Los Angeles. She turned Faith over the police. Faith sits in jail to this day.

"With Faith in jail, the council tried to help Buffy again. But Buffy rejected their help and demanded to run things her own way. Soon after, Buffy died falling off a tall building.

"Buffy was brought back to life again near the Hellmouth with powerful black magic. By now she was so corrupt that Mr. Giles was driven from Sunnydale.

"Buffy began sleeping with her old vampire ally, William the Bloody. She attacked her friends and let them be killed by her enemies. Because she'd slept with William, Buffy let the vampire live even after he'd killed nearly a dozen people.

"Buffy Summers is still at large. She is powerful and very dangerous. Notify your Watcher if you spot her. Approach only with extreme caution."

Or do you think I'm being too hard on the COW?


[> Re: Now that's funny - Thanks -- Brian, 13:34:33 11/25/02 Mon

[> Re: The Real Secret Truth about Buffy Summers (Spoilery through 7.8, heavy spec) -- leslie, 14:14:04 11/25/02 Mon

Well, the CoW seem to be kind of overlooking a certain Slayer's unholy alliance with the demon-wannabe Mayor Wilkins, but what do we expect from them? Frankly, I think they would be putting a LOT more of the blame on Giles--he was in charge, and she went completely off the rails. He didn't even give her the Slayer's Handbook! How could she be expected to be a proper slayer without the handbook, I ask you?

But honestly, I think they're just completely ignoring her existence. She died; as far as they're concerned, she's still underground.

[> [> Re: The Real Secret Truth about Buffy Summers (Spoilery through 7.8, heavy spec) -- Just George, 15:04:44 11/25/02 Mon

leslie: "Well, the CoW seem to be kind of overlooking a certain Slayer's unholy alliance with the demon-wannabe Mayor Wilkins, but what do we expect from them?"

The COW probably blames Buffy for what happened to Faith. She was mean to her, remember.

leslie: "Frankly, I think they would be putting a LOT more of the blame on Giles--he was in charge, and she went completely off the rails. He didn't even give her the Slayer's Handbook! How could she be expected to be a proper slayer without the handbook, I ask you?"

Between the Watchers, I'm sure they blame Giles. However, when talking to the SIT, they always put the organization in the best possible light. Watchers good. Unruly Slayers bad.

leslie: "But honestly, I think they're just completely ignoring her existence. She died; as far as they're concerned, she's still underground."

I suspect you're right. But, given what's been happening to the SIT, that would be a mistake.


[> [> [> Re: The Real Secret Truth about Buffy Summers (Spoilery through 7.8, heavy spec) -- leslie, 17:30:48 11/25/02 Mon

"But, given what's been happening to the SIT, that would be a mistake."

But, isn't "mistake" the CoW's middle name?

[> [> [> [> Re: The Real Secret Truth about Buffy Summers (Spoilery through 7.8, heavy spec) -- Just George, 19:05:09 11/25/02 Mon

leslie: "But, isn't "mistake" the CoW's middle name?"

I thought it was "of".


[> [> I didn't think they knew Buffy had been dead .... - - Helen, 01:22:53 11/26/02 Tue

I didnt think anyone knew apart from the Scoobies. The intention (from Giles' perspective) was to use the Buffybot as Buffy, and from Willow's, to bring her back so no one would have to know she had ever been underground.

[> [> [> Re: I didn't think they knew Buffy had been dead .... (spoilers through 7.8) -- Just George, 13:26:47 11/26/02 Tue

Helen: "I didn't think they knew Buffy had been dead ....

"I didn't think anyone knew apart from the Scoobies. The intention (from Giles' perspective) was to use the Buffybot as Buffy, and from Willow's, to bring her back so no one would have to know she had ever been underground."

I agree that the COW weren't supposed to find out that Buffy took the big header. But they are an organization that is dedicated to gathering intelligence, especially about Slayers. It makes sense that they could have found out about Buffy's death from a third party. Also, the COW probably doesn't actually know about Buffy sleeping with Spike or Spike's recent (BB induced) killing spree. But it is possible for the COW to know about each. And both could be "spun" to make Buffy look bad, so I included them.


[> [> [> [> fair enough! Really enjoyed this by the way! :-) - - Helen, 01:02:55 11/27/02 Wed

[> Too hard on the COW? No, you're very astute. (speccy spoilery) -- ZachsMind, 14:35:33 11/25/02 Mon

In fact, at one time I thought this was one of the more probable ways things were going to go ultimately in season seven. I was hoping the BBW would turn out to be the Council itself, and by the end of the season we'd learn that though Buffy thought she was herself the entire time, the Council & other factors would make her question the actions she's made over the last seven years. I thought ultimately the internal AND external conflicts there would be really cool. However, the 'battle' would be more of a psychological one, and not fit for the overall feel of the series. Think "Weight of the World" throughout the season. Only Buffy wouldn't be comatose. She'd just be indecisive and we'd find out which friends stood beside her in this troubled time, and which friends would turn on her. Willow, Anya & Spike would go through similar suffering, as they were put to the test and made to stand irrevocably on the side of good or evil. Ultimately a choice would have to be made and there'd be no turning back without dire consequences. Ultimately though this direction would have made the series even more dark and unfunny than season six. Personally I wouldn't have minded because I prefer it when the series goes dark and disturbing. However, they were losing fans over season six & if they kept going that direction, I'd probably be the only one to watch the season seven finale.

It's kinda hard to take the Council seriously in the context of this series. In a different show it would be a much more powerful entity, but since season five it's been little more than an annoyance, and prior to that it was mostly a joke. Shame actually. There's a lot of potential there.

And I thought with Giles away from the gang and closer to the Council, they'd have had a chance to convince him either by sheer logic or through other means to go against Buffy. From an objective distance, it does easily appear as you've illustrated JustGeorge, that Buffy is at best a loose cannon and at worst an emissary of evil. Giles would come back not to help Buffy, but as the leading force to stop her in her tracks and put her down once and for all. With the full force of the Council behind him it would have been possible, so in this scenario the Big Battle at the end would pit Slayer against Watcher, both thinking the other had lost their mind.

But instead we got a chamelion ghost, all pomp & circumstance with no substance, whose best laid plans seem little more than retreads of Spike & Adam's S.4 plan in "the Yoko Factor" with shades of "Empire Strikes Back" thrown in for good measure. So far it's been interesting, but not drop dead "oh my gawd" amazing.

I'm beginning to wonder if an enemy you can't punch is just a cop-out.

[> [> Re: Too hard on the COW? No, you're very astute. (speccy spoilery) -- Just George, 15:27:07 11/25/02 Mon

ZachsMind: "It's kinda hard to take the Council seriously in the context of this series. In a different show it would be a much more powerful entity, but since season five it's been little more than an annoyance, and prior to that it was mostly a joke. Shame actually. There's a lot of potential there."

I agree, the council still has story potential. I hope we see Quinten again, if only to get some closure. Not for Buffy. She already had her showdown and won. For Giles.

ZachsMind: "And I thought with Giles away from the gang and closer to the Council, they'd have had a chance to convince him either by sheer logic or through other means to go against Buffy. From an objective distance, it does easily appear as you've illustrated JustGeorge, that Buffy is at best a loose cannon and at worst an emissary of evil."

I'm not sure it would be completely credible to turn Giles against Buffy. He was there for 6 years. He saw the good that Buffy did and what she went through to do it. But the SIT haven't seen either. They would be vulnerable to the Big Lie. As the old saying goes, "Give me your children for 5 years and they are mine forever."

ZachsMind: "But instead we got a chamelion ghost, all pomp & circumstance with no substance, whose best laid plans seem little more than retreads of Spike & Adam's S.4 plan in "the Yoko Factor" with shades of "Empire Strikes Back" thrown in for good measure. So far it's been interesting, but not drop dead "oh my gawd" amazing.

"I'm beginning to wonder if an enemy you can't punch is just a cop-out."

Not to me. I like the story so far. I want to know more about what the Big Bad can do. But I'm willing to wait. When ME introduces the Big Bad this early in the season they need to keep an air of mystery for a while. For now, the Scoobies will have to defend their heads. Later they will have to defend their tender bodies.


[> A perfect summation of the situation re Ms. Summers -- KdS (Education Officer, CoW European Division), 06:36:24 11/26/02 Tue

But I think that you underestimate the depth of Buffy's depravity regarding poor Faith.

How about:

"Faith came to Sunnydale to seek Buffy's help. But Buffy and Angelus were working for the black magician who ruled the town. When Faith began to suspect them they framed her for their own crimes, corrupted her new Watcher Mr. Wyndham- Pryce, and finally tried to kill her. We sent a commando group to try to aid Faith when she recovered, but Buffy chased Faith to Los Angeles and teamed up with Angelus and Wyndham-Pryce again to kill Faith's rescuers. Buffy and Angelus persuaded a notorious law firm to have Faith wrongfully jailed, so effectively that we can't get her out without drawing too much attention."

[> [> Yes, but what about Ms. Gwendolyn Post? -- fearshade, 07:23:55 11/26/02 Tue

[> [> Re: A perfect summation of the situation re Ms. Summers -- Just George, 13:42:06 11/26/02 Tue

KdS (Education Officer, CoW European Division): "Faith came to Sunnydale to seek Buffy's help. But Buffy and Angelus were working for the black magician who ruled the town. When Faith began to suspect them they framed her for their own crimes, corrupted her new Watcher Mr. Wyndham-Pryce, and finally tried to kill her. We sent a commando group to try to aid Faith when she recovered, but Buffy chased Faith to Los Angeles and teamed up with Angelus and Wyndham-Pryce again to kill Faith's rescuers. Buffy and Angelus persuaded a notorious law firm to have Faith wrongfully jailed, so effectively that we can't get her out without drawing too much attention."

Thank you KdS. It is good to see that the COW Education Group is on the job.

I had limited my "spin" to things I could prove were true:

* Buffy was jealous of Faith (see Faith, Hope, & Trick)
* Buffy did severed ties with the council. (see Graduation Day)
* Buffy was very mean to Faith (especially after Faith attacked Angel in Graduation Day).
* Buffy did knife Faith and knocked her off a building, putting Faith in a coma. (see Graduation Day)
* Buffy did fight Faith when after Faith recovered (see This Year's Girl)
* Buffy did chased Faith to Los Angeles. (see Sanctuary)
* Buffy was the one that suggested Faith should go to jail for her crimes. (see Sanctuary)

However, if the COW decides to go from spin into full fledged disinformation, then I think your presentation is even more damning than mine.


Link to Wildfeeds on the Trollop Backup Board -- Rufus, 15:46:25 11/25/02 Mon

Conversebuffyverse Spoiler Trollops

[> Uh, Rufus? -- Masq, 16:13:11 11/25/02 Mon

Not that I go over to the Spoiler Trollop board and read or anything, but the few times I've clicked on the link to see how that board is doing, it doesn't load, or it takes forever to load. I think it has to do with a graphic that goes with the text you have at the top of the threads?

Just doing my part to support Trollopism as a seperate-but- equally-valid Buffyverse lifestyle : )

[> [> Hmmm -- Tchaikovsky, 16:20:46 11/25/02 Mon


You've (accidentally!/with incredible empathy) clicked on the trollop board links? Take it back- before I lose my faith!

As far as I'm concerned, the trollop board works perfectly well.

I just wish more people like Masq would give in to temptation.


[> [> [> I really don't read it. But I do feel a little responsible for it -- Masq, 16:40:34 11/25/02 Mon

as the board mistress.

Believe me or don't. It's true.

[> [> [> [> Rufus? I must concur with Masq... -- ZachsMind, 17:06:39 11/25/02 Mon

Not that I'm kissing her delicious butt or anything, but when I click on the link to the Trollop board, it takes forever to load, and when it does come up I don't see the graphic.

I think I may have found the culprit. Dude, check your tagging fields for the graphic. This is what I found when I viewed source:

[IMG alt="ConverseBuffyverse Spoiler Board" src="VoyForums ConverseBuffyverse Spoiler Board_files/83370" border=0]

There's no image in the source field. "VoyForums ConverseBuffyverse Spoiler Board_files/83370" is not a decent graphic file, so the browser spends too much time searching the server for something that isn't even there. I think if you doublecheck that you'll find Masq was right. AS A SPOILER TROLLOP, it's in my personal interest to insure that spoiler message boards and websites look their best =) to encourage nonspoilers to turn to the dark side. *MUA- HAHAHA!*

[> [> [> [> [> Is that the voice of someone offering to help make the Voy board look better? -- Rufus, 17:12:18 11/25/02 Mon

[> [> [> [> [> [> I'll Never Tell. *smirk* -- ZachsMind, 17:15:42 11/25/02 Mon

[> [> [> [> [> The Yahoo Group is working again, the Voy board is the backup so I didn't spend any time on it. -- Rufus, 17:16:16 11/25/02 Mon

Do you have any suggestions on what could be done to get that board working better? I have dsl so loading has never been a problem for me when it comes to voy.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Link to Closed Caption for Never Leave Me -- Rufus, 17:24:42 11/25/02 Mon

Trollop Group

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: The Yahoo Group is working again, the Voy board is the backup so I didn't spend any time on it. -- Masquerade, 18:24:52 11/25/02 Mon

Fixing it, by removing that line of code preferably, shouldn't be too hard. It would be nice to have a place where Trollops can go who have issues with Yahoo groups. Make it less spoilery here on the main board. Thanks!

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> My tech support got home and fixed it......try and tell me if it worked -- Rufus, 19:25:55 11/25/02 Mon

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Works! Thanks! -- Masq, 19:45:04 11/25/02 Mon

she said with her fingers over her eyes!

[> [> [> [> [> Hey! Rufus isn't a "dude"...Rufus is a "chick"! -- dub (the other Vancouver-area chick), 18:20:39 11/25/02 Mon

[> [> [> [> [> [> OT - While we're outing people - is Sol a he or a she? -- Sophie, who simply couldn't resist asking one mo' time, 19:47:08 11/25/02 Mon

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Yes. -- OnM, 19:58:41 11/25/02 Mon

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> You are so cheeky........;) -- Rufus, button cute chick, 20:02:43 11/25/02 Mon

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Give up, Sophie--no one is ever gonna tell! HA-ha-ha-ha- ha-ha-ha!! -- Whipwoman, 20:04:07 11/25/02 Mon

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Anybody guessed my sex yet? ;o) -- Rob, 21:38:58 11/25/02 Mon

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> No, we're still working on your gender. :) -- Sophist, 09:02:20 11/26/02 Tue

[> [> According to The Futon Critic "Angel" is moving to Wednsdays mid January -- Rufus, 17:37:51 11/25/02 Mon intv&id=20021125

this day in television - 11/25/02
by brian ford sullivan

PLEASE READ THIS FIRST: We got tons of e-mail asking about why our ratings data sometimes differs from's. Find out why by clicking here.

late update: 'angel' moves to wednesdays

The debate is over: the WB has officially canceled "Birds of Prey." More surprising however is its replacement: "Angel." In a conference call designed to tout the network's November sweeps growth, WB Entertainment President Jordan Levin reported the news along with a host of changes for the Frog network's Thursday and Sunday lineups.

Sundays: The reality series "High School Reunion," from "The Bachelor" creator Mike Fleiss, will join the lineup on January 5 at 9:00/8:00c in place of the now relocated "Angel." Encores of the series will air Thursdays at 8:00/7:00c.

Mondays: No changes.

Tuesdays: No changes.

Wednesdays: Fourth-year series "Angel" will take over the "Birds of Prey" slot in mid-January. Levin blamed "Prey's" failure on not having a strong writing showrunner on board to get the series on track creatively.

Thursdays: Encores of "High School Reunion" will take over the 8:00/7:00c hour giving "Do Over" and "Family Affair" pink slips. Both series had their runs cut significantly in the past week to 15 episodes each. At 9:30/8:30c, the WB will debut another reality series - "The Surreal Life," featuring a "Real World" of C-list celebrities. The series debuts with back-to-back episodes (beginning at 9:00/8:00c) on January 9. "The Jamie Kennedy Experiment" will then resume on January 16 at 9:00/8:00c. The Frog network has ordered two additional episodes of the comedy bringing its season total to 24 episodes.

Fridays: No changes other than the WB has ordered two more episodes of "Reba," bringing its season total to 24 episodes.

[> Wow! on those wildfeeds! (no spoiler here though) - - frisby, 17:24:06 11/25/02 Mon

I went to your site and read all of those wildfeeds about tomorrow's epsidoe (Buffy 7.9) and all I can say is Wow double wow and wow wow wow. If I were more articulate I might say that I thought only to catch a small peak at the opening but I really could not resist reading everything that was available. Are these wildfeeds really real? They've really seen the episode? I am at a loss for words. I also feel like I've cheated somehow or other. Maybe I should have stayed unspoiled? And when will episode 7.10 be shown????????

[> [> Episode 10 so far is January 14th -- Rufus, 17:30:34 11/25/02 Mon

Did you go to the Yahoo Group cause there are pictures as well as the Closed Caption Transcript.

[> [> [> January 14th??!!! No way! I can't last that long! -- ponygirl making with the grumbling, 06:16:14 11/26/02 Tue

[> [> [> I thought I heard January 7, to coincide with the DVD. -- Rob, 09:01:09 11/26/02 Tue

[> [> Re: Wow! on those wildfeeds! (no spoiler here though) -- aliera, 17:34:06 11/25/02 Mon

I might say that I thought only to catch a small peak at the opening but I really could not resist reading everything that was available. Are these wildfeeds really real? They've really seen the episode? I am at a loss for words. I also feel like I've cheated somehow or other. Maybe I should have stayed unspoiled?"

Yessss...addictive too! And yes really real. At least so I assume since I'm more on Willow's path this season...of course, I'm behaving so I'm not sure what Willow's path is or will be. Last season though! Very veiny. And lastly, that's the critical question...would I have appreciated last season more had I been surprised? Hard to say but it's where I placed my money this year...I'll let you know, if I can hold out!

[> [> [> To spoil or not to spoil -- ponygirl, 09:07:46 11/26/02 Tue

That's always the question. And it is like an addiction, knowing all that info is out there just a few clicks away... But having done wildfeeds for more than a few episodes last season, I have to say it's better without reading them. Of course with my new satellite I can actually watch BtVS on Monday night!! I feel very evil, yet privileged. It's interesting though to see what gets left out of the wildfeeds, obviously a lot of detail, but sometimes viewers see what they want to see (very apt for this season) and interpret scenes very differently. Can't compare to the real thing in any sense.

And frisby, I agree with your wow and add a holy #$%&!

See? I am evil.

[> [> [> [> Re: To spoil or not to spoil -- aliera, 10:09:38 11/26/02 Tue

Thanks! Er... um... what am I saying!

You're absolutely right... much harder to go back. (r-e-s-i- s-t the pull of the dark side not-so--young aliera) I actually got involved pretty innocently last year (no honestly!).

I didn't get the WB and I was missing Buffy so I did a search on ep guides, which of course brought up all sorts of other goodies too. I actually do go out and get the wildfeeds now...I just wait and print it off and read it after the ep is over.

I'm really not much like you guys with these eps. I tend to get so caught up in the people that I miss so much (oh yeah there was that African death mask again...this type of stuff is soooo not going to happen for me) Even with the dialogue I miss some stuff so with the printoffs I reinforce and then later I grab the transcript and read it over the weekend and google on the good stuff like peoples' names and what not. Then I'll print off the archives when they're done (thanks D'H) and that's when I feel like I really get caught up on all the stuff. One of the ways I feel different from folks is inspite of my love for drawing I really don't have much of a visual orientation...much more text oriented (although to make it even odder I do love comics.) Hence the appreciation for all the written stuff.

Now my son watches Buffy and Angel too (he's fifteen in a week) and he knows about the wildfeed because I talked about some of what I was up to last year (not everything not until he at least knows what a firewall is) not only am I fighting my own desire to be firmly spoiled but he is not helping matters by trying to talk me into (tempt me) back to the dark side again! And Angel thinks he has problems!

Multi generational spoilage.

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