November 2003 posts
post on Hopeless ( brought back) & Question: What's a hero? (very
vague spoiler for ATS 5.6) -- s'kat, 22:06:40 11/05/03
Hope no one minds - but I decided to honor Lunasea's request and
bring back Bit's post, due to some niggling questions in my own
head regarding tonight's episode and recent posts/essays on line.
I also think Bit's post oddly enough addresses several of themes
at the heart of tonight's episode.
"Date Posted: 19:10:36 10/31/03 Fri
Author: LittleBit [rambling longishly]
Subject: Angel, hopelessness and helplessness...
The following are just some thoughts of mine.
When Angel Investigations is originally by Cordelia (let's be
honest here, without her there never would have been a business),
their slogan was "We help the hopeless."
From "I Fall To Pieces": Cordy: Angel Investigation.
We help the hopeless.
From "Room With a View": Machine in Cordy's voice: "Angel
Investigations. We help the hopeless. If that's you leave a message.
At some point between the inception of AI and the current season,
this changed. Hopeless became helpless. Despair was replaced with
helplessness...an inability to act or react. Now it's neither.
Angel Investigations has been consumed by Wolfram & Hart. Hopeless
and helpless are now what defines Angel, no longer what he devotes
himself to alleviating.
Hopelessness, part of the original slogan, is something that Angel
has often felt, if not nearly constantly. I believe it is a large
part of what defined Liam. No matter what he did he never seemed
to please his father, so that he eventually lost any hope of doing
so and thus chose to do that which he knew would not please him.
There's a certain control in that choice. If what you do meets
with inevitable disapproval then doing that which you know is
undesirable behavior to get that reaction becomes better than
actually trying for approval and failing. Liam gleefully accepts
Darla's offer, seeing naught more than a new adventure, one that
would have his father's disapproval, of course.
As Angelus, he sought vengeance first, cold anger and hatred replacing
the hopelessness; he embarked on a campaign of evil that made
him legendary in demonic circles as well as among those humans
who were aware of his activities. He did things not to enrage
his father but because he enjoyed them. He had found hope in a
new sense of purpose. He made cruelty into an art form. Angelus
was not hopeless-this was a concept foreign to him. He had desires
and he satisfied them. In one case, his action caused a reaction
that cursed him with his soul, which brought back his hopelessness
along with overwhelming guilt over his actions. In another instance,
he did that which would eventually lead him to the lowest point
in his life/unlife, taking the lives of one man's family and turning
his young daughter. Angelus was never helpless, either. He was
in control. Even when the Fanged Four was together, and Spike
was annoying the heck out of him with what Angelus saw as reckless
behavior, he was still in control of the group, the leader.
After he was cursed with the soul, the direct result of his murder
of a favorite daughter of the Kalderash gypsy clan, he was stricken
not only with the guilt of all he had done as Angelus, but with
the hopelessness he had known as Liam. He attempted to hide the
change, unsuccessfully. He tried to rationalize his situation,
seeking out the unsavory to feed upon, telling himself the world
was better off without them. Darla suspected something, and tested
him, then threw him to the streets as soon as she found out.
Angel spent the next century, give or take a few years, wallowing
in his guilt and hopelessness. He occasionally did 'right' things
but these things are more ones that fall across his path, as opposed
to ones he sought out. Even his attempt to help in the Hyperion
Hotel failed. Angel didn't try to help because he cared about
the people, he just found himself in the middle of a situation.
When they turned on him, he turned his back on them and left them
and their paranoia to the mercy of the Thesulac demon.
He stayed mired in this guilt-ridden and hopeless state until
Whistler intervened and gave him an opportunity. To his credit,
he accepted the opportunity, even if it was originally just for
the girl he watched find out what she is. Angel makes contact
in Sunnydale, but at first his help is only given in the form
of warnings, earning him the appellation "cryptic guy."
The first time he actively helped is in "Angel" and,
although he may have done things behind the scenes we don't see
him again until "Out of Sight, Out of Mind" when he
offered to help Giles research the Master and the prophecy, and
then is there to save Giles, Xander and Willow when he returned
with the book Giles needed. Even then, his assistance against
the Master in "Prophecy Girl" is only given when he
is forced to help by Xander. Angel, left alone, viewed the prophecy
hopelessly, seeing no way around it. Even afterward, when Buffy
has "flunked the written" and they have begun a romantic
relationship and Angel started to believe that maybe he could
do good by helping her, those hopes were dashed when he finally
allowed himself to let go of the guilt and hopelessness, just
momentarily, and Angelus is freed.
Angelus still felt emotion for Buffy but he was repulsed at the
love felt by his human-souled counterpart and sought to destroy
Buffy. Not to kill her, but to pull her world to pieces. Spike
never understood what Angelus was doing, but Drusilla did. She
understood the way he played with the head and the heart to break
a person. Buffy, however, was tougher than Angelus realized, and
he underestimated the degree to which Spike was attached to Drusilla.
Spike gave Buffy her chance and she was able to do what she had
to do...send Angelus to Acathla's hell dimension.
Only it isn't Angelus who was sent. It was a newly re-souled Angel,
who didn't even have time to know what had happened to him. Sent
for a hundred years of torture, and returned for reason he didn't
know. He was able to find Buffy through his emotional pain and
pull himself back from the primitive level of pure survival to
which he had regressed. But this time his hopelessness didn't
leave him. He allowed himself to be comforted by Buffy's presence,
but he knew they could never be together the way he (and she)
wanted. To allow himself to love her, to be with her, would ultimately
bring a daily regret that he could never feel the contentment
with her lest Angelus be released. He doubted his own existence
in this world and was ready to let himself go with the sunrise
because he had no hope that he had a purpose, that he could continue
to keep the restraints on Angelus and his hunger. Even Buffy was
unable to give him hope, but he was given a 'sign' that he had
some reason for being here. He left Buffy because of his hopelessness,
because he does not believe they can have a future together, that
they could live with the limitations imposed on both of them.
He may have hoped for better for her, but never for himself. The
curse of the Kalderash clan continues and their vengeance remains
When he got to Los Angeles, he met Doyle who forced him to look
beyond himself...to look at strangers as people, people whose
welfare can involve him. He's forced to interact not just act
or react. Cordelia joined him and pulled him farther into the
flow of humanity. He began to believe that atonement may be possible,
that even though he can never make up for the lives he ended or
destroyed, he could begin to live among the living, to care, to
help. He is even given the hope that his deeds may one day allow
him to become human. That if he acts as a Champion he may receive
his due reward. When things began to go badly for him, when Darla
returned and was unable to live with her humanity (literally and
figuratively) and he was unable to help her even though he won
her a life, Angel was devastated. He lost hope again when Darla
was turned by Drusilla. He rejected his friends and allowed that
hopelessness to begin to consume him until it culminated in a
form of pure despair.
However, he found though that he couldn't reject everything he
had learned and reluctantly helped others, while he held himself
aloof from them. Eventually, though, he was handed a chance by
Kate, someone with whom he had a connection, albeit an emotionally
strained one. He saved her from her attempt at suicide and discovered
that he had a new purpose, one where the faint strains of hope
he had felt at the beginnings of Season 2 were no longer necessary
to continuing his path. He no longer sought his 'redemption',
to be a 'Champion', to get the 'great reward', but only to do
what he could, day by day, to make life better. He rejoined his
friends, no longer their leader, but as one of the "gang."
In time, Darla returned and Angel was given a hope he had never
even dared think about. He had a son. He had a chance to love
again, to care. He had someone for whom he, and only he, is responsible.
And his life as Angelus came back again to destroy this. Holtz
kidnapped his son, and circumstances force Angel to not only lose
his son, but to actually stand aside and allow Holtz take his
son to Quortoth, the worst of the hell dimensions. His despair
caused him to try whatever means he could to get to Quortoth,
but it wasn't possible. He had been betrayed by Wes whom he had
come to trust. Then the impossible happens. Connor returned, grown
to a young man, taught to despise and hate Angel. Angel reached
out to him, wanted to show him that he loved him then and still
does. Connor began to show a softening in his attitude toward
his father, a change ostensibly encouraged by Holtz. And then
Holtz arranged his own death in such a way as to make a relationship
between Angel and his son impossible. Connor believed Angel murdered
Holtz, the man he looked to as his father, and that he did so
in his vampire state. Connor didn't try to kill Angel this time.
He wanted Angel to live in eternal nothingness, without hope of
rescue, with the knowledge that his son hated him enough to do
that to him.
When Angel was finally rescued, he in his turn rejects Connor,
ordering him to get out. He then watched over Connor from the
rooftops. But when Cordelia returned without her memories, Angel
found himself placed in opposition to his son as Cordelia consistently
declined to believe what Angel told her about her life there and
turned to Connor. When Cordelia recovered her memories, she still
remained with Connor, keeping a distance between the father and
the son. Angel's desire to be closer to his son was a odds with
the feelings he had for Cordelia and with his feelings about Connor
rejecting him, disbelieving in him, sending him to what could
have been an eternal watery hell. But before any of this can be
addressed the Beast is unleashed and L.A. faced the rain of fire
and reign of terror. Angel saw Cordelia and Connor together. Anger
and jealousy kept him from repairing relationships with either
To defeat the Beast Angel agreed to relinquish his soul under
controls and Angelus is released. Angelus did indeed defeat the
Beast but Connor was further distanced from him by both Cordelia
and by seeing the vampire he was raised to hate. Once Angel's
soul was returned they were faced with several challenges which,
once again, prevented any relationship repair with Connor, especially
since Cordelia did her best to keep Connor off-balance and away
from Angel. Skip destroyed whatever little belief Angel still
had in the Powers.
The 'birth' of Jasmine put all conflicts aside for everyone. Everyone
loved everybody else. Angel and Connor were happy together as
father and son. They even, erm, 'sang.' Jasmine gave Angel hope,
happiness, the possibility of true redemption with the removal
of the evil within him. But when he learned what she truly was,
he was appalled and opposed her. This action put him once again
in direct opposition with Connor who had known Jasmine's true
nature all along. She gave Connor something that he wanted to
believe in. However, Angel destroyed that. Connor in turn destroyed
Jasmine, his last hope for inner peace. In doing so, he reached
the depths of total hopelessness.
Finally, when it mattered the most to him, Angel truly could not
help the hopeless. He became helpless in the face of Connor accelerating
self-destruction. Then Angel found himself in a quandary. Wolfram
& Hart offered control of the Los Angeles division, a chance for
all of them to use those considerable resources to further their
own agenda of fighting evil. Angel rejected this initial offer.
It held no appeal for him. The counter-offer however was less
easy to ignore, for it held out the one thing Angel truly needed:
real hope. He was shown Connor, ready to end his life and the
lives of other strangers. Connor had broken when his final small
hope for 'family' was torn from him by his own hand. Connor appeared
truly beyond Angel's reach now. Connor no longer believed in the
strength of love. He no longer believed anyone could love him.
So Angel made a deal with Wolfram & Hart in which he accepts their
proposal for all of the gang ("Executive decision")
in exchange for not only putting Connor out of his misery but
giving him a normal life with a good family. And only Angel carries
the knowledge of the deal.
What made him make that choice? Angel felt helpless to do anything
for Connor. He lost his hope when he lost Connor. Angel knew what
it meant to believe no one could ever truly love him. And, in
giving Connor hope for love and the future, Angel once again takes
away his own. Angel begins his time at Wolfram & Hart without
hope. He doesn't believe there's redemption. He doesn't believe
there's atonement. He believes hell awaits him when the time comes.
He continues to fight 'the good fight' because he doesn't see
anything else to do. Angel finds himself helpless within a trap
of his own making. He doesn't know what he is accomplishing at
Wolfram & Hart, but he has no choice but to continue. When Angel
had his epiphany he realized that he wanted to help because people
shouldn't suffer the way they did. Now he just doesn't know what
else to do.
It will be an interesting to accompany Angel on the next leg of
his journey; to see how he regains his hope and sense of empowerment.
And how the choices he has made put roadblocks and detours in
Comments? Other views?"
No comments so much as open-ended questions that are niggling
at me enough to fulfill Lunasea's request to bring back the post.
PArticularly after tonight's episode.
1. How is a hero or champion defined in our society?
2. How has it been defined historically?
3. Could Cordelia's actions in Birthday - Inside/Out be considered
those of a hero? OR anti-hero? What about Jasmines? Was Cordelia's
action in THAW heroic or anti-heroic? What about Connor's actions?
4. Were Buffy's actions in Season 7 as General Buffy those of
a hero? Were Giles' actions when he killed Ben, a hero's?
Were Buffy's actions in Selfless heroic? Were Xander's? Were
5. Spike in tonight's ATS episode, indicates that he does not
consider his actions in Chosen heroic or champion - is he right?
Why? Or Why not? Were his actions any less heroic than Buffy's,
Willow's Xander's, Andrew's?
6. Fred doesn't appear to see herself as a champion - is she one?
7. Is it important to be connected to humanity - to be a champion?
Or a hero? (Note Cordelia felt cut off from humanity in Birthday
- Inside/Out, so did Connor, now Angel and Spike feel disconnected,
Spike literally, Angel, metaphorically...)
I don't know what I think, myself right now,...just curious to
see what others think.
[> Original title of above: 'Angel, hopelessness and helplessness...'
by LittleBit -- s'kat (raiding the archives), 22:08:10
[> Heroes, hopes and self (Spoilers Angel 5.6) -- sdev,
02:22:17 11/06/03 Thu
One of my favorite hero depictions was shown in the movie Hero
(Accidental Hero in the UK) with Dustin Hoffman (Stephen Frears,
1992). Hoffman plays a sleazy petty thief, absentee father, who
happens to be on the site of a plane crash and rescues victims
from the water at the risk of his own life. No one sees who did
the deed and credit and reward money are grabbed by a heroic prototype,
ex-war veteran Andy Garcia. The media and public are quick to
latch on to Garcia as a hero, he fits the MO, unlike the seedy
Going on memory since it's been a while since I saw the movie,
Hoffman's character did not see himself as a hero. As the plot
develops he comes to realize the meaning of what he did and what
it says about him as a person. As his self-esteem develops he
grows into the hero role until he feels worthy of upstaging Andy
Garcia and claiming his actions as his own.
I see some of that in Angel, and Spike seemed to express that
view of himself in 5.6 as well. They are both working against
a tide of horrific acts that make them feel less than heroic and
more like indebted. Humility and self-questioning have their purpose,
but when it reaches the place that, Numero Cinquo, Angel's double
of the night, is in it becomes counter-productive. One must have
hope and a certain amount of self-respect to play the hero role.
If you don't believe you can make a difference, why would you
try to buck the odds.
Belief in oneself is essential to being a hero. Aristotle called
it megalopsychos greatness of soul.
that man who, being worthy of great things, deems himself to
be so (Nicomachean Ethics)
Angel was instrumental in Numero Cinquo's recovery of a worthy
heart and Fred tried to bolster Spike's self-image by reminding
him that he saved her life. What I liked about Angel's role tonight
is that although the phrase "help the helpless" was
used, his role was really about restoring hope to a disillusioned
ex-hero. Restoring hope is so much larger than giving help. By
restoring hope you give someone back their life in its spiritual
not just physical sense. You enable them to help themselves the
next time. Here's hoping some of this lesson was not lost on Angel.
On another front, Wesley seems on the verge of some major memory
recovery, as does Gunn. I assume that is what all those pointed
puzzled looks were about. Angel barely managed to cover. Gunn's
Johnny Cochrane reference to Angel's puzzled look showed that
he got more than Gilbert and Sullivan in the rhetoric department.
Gunn keeps pointing out the good he is doing. Does that, in the
perverted world that is ME, mean he will be the first to do bad?
Fred seems ever ready again to challenge Angel. She is the one
who was outraged and believed Spike that Angel had "attacked"
Number Five. Is it because she senses something wrong with him?
Will she be the first to detect the cracks in the memory wipe?
Also, a skirmish for the fate of the illusive Shanshu seems to
be brewing between Spike and Angel. Spike brought it up to Wesley
who in turn brought it up to Angel. Neither vampire is acting
like a total disbeliever. Spike does not do sneaky well. He is
transparent as well as incorporeal. His barbs in this episode
ranged from on target to plaintive. But his intuitive guess, go
for the heart, showed his strength as Angel's numero cinquo on
the no longer gang of four.
I thought this episode was the best this season to date. It hit
all the right notes between humor, campy, and serious issues.
Excellent division of screen time between characters. Great plot
flow. I loved the funny cemetery fight scene complete with outstanding
acrobatics and dialogue.
Angel: We're trying to kill it not pin it. (seconds later they
pin it chest exposed)
Angel: Okay. Pinning works.
Numero Cinquo (dying moments): Coffee
Angel: Coffee? You want coffee? (perfectly delivered line!)
Numero Cinquo: Stupido! The taslisman it's in...
Great work from Jeff Bell.
[> Hey Bit [waves] (spoilers 5.06) -- Lunasea, 10:47:51
Glad to see this was brought back. When you posted this, I felt
in my gut that you were heading in an important direction. Glad
to see the show agrees with you. Joss said something about a hero
that applies to being hopeless. "The thing about a hero,"
Whedon says, "is even when it doesn't look like there's a
light at the end of the tunnel, he's going to keep digging, he's
going to keep trying to do right and make up for what's gone before,
just because that's who he is."
Heroes are forged in those moments of despair when they can't
see a light at the end the tunnel. It is easy to keep going when
you have hope. Real heroes like Buffy and Angel keep digging no
matter what. As many pep talks at they have received, they are
the ones that rally the troops when things look hopeless, whether
that is against the Mayor, Adam, Glory, the First, Jasmine or
being in the belly of the Beast. They keep digging until they
rediscover their hope. Even if they temporarily give up, they
come back, typically on their own. As they grow, they give up
less and less.
Angel's despair comes because he doesn't give up his faith. If
he is going to hell, it is because he isn't worthy, because he
can never make up for what he did. Only the evil he has done counts.
Buffy goes to heaven. He knows that. It was even brought up again
in "Inside Out." There is an Elysian fields for heroes.
He's seen it with the Axis of Pythia.
That heaven was tainted by Jasmine. How would you feel if a Supreme
Power wanted your soul so you would be evil? She manipulated him
so that he would give up that soul and then stole it so he couldn't
be resouled. She had plans for him, unsouled and evil. As Angelus
he told Drusilla, "Oh, hush, child. The Lord has a plan for
all creatures. Even a
Devil child like you." He is working very hard trying not
to fulfill the plan of the Senior Partners, a plan he isn't sure
about and knows could be anything.
None of the prophecies say what side Angel fights on. That area
is gray. No matter what he does as a good guy, he is fighting
a losing battle. Evil always comes back, not 50 years later, but
the next day, the next minute. Why fight? He's been fighting and
it still isn't good enough. He can't even keep his son and Buffy
is cookie dough. He saved the world from Jasmine. His "reward"
was to run an evil law firm.
It is one thing not to fight for a reward. It's another to keep
fighting when you think you aren't making a difference. Is Connor
better off now? Has he just damned all his friends? What side
will he fight on in the Apocalypse? Nobody remembers Connor and
Connor is the one that actually killed Jasmine. Jasmine would
have destroyed humanity. Angel gave us back free will, but Connor
saved everyone. He is the forgotten hero.
I know all this would get to me. I was curious what ME would devise
to help Angel start to sort through these. Numero Cinqo. We have
the Fanged Four from Angel's past. Five would be the next one.
Angel can relate to him better than he can his own current gang
of four (Wesley, Fred, Gunn and Lorne). He needed someone who
wasn't quite so other to be a mirror for him. Five lost his brothers
and even their memory isn't respected. Darla said to Connor "Don't
let my death mean nothing." What has Connor's "death"
meant to anyone? The world still sucks.
Angel gets a chance to see how much losing his hope is affecting
him and at the end, in a moment that reminded me of "To Shanshu
in LA", he tries to find it again. He doesn't have to accept
the prophecy as something that WILL happen, just something that
I'm unspoiled, but I would say as Angel is running around putting
his finger in the dike, something needs to come along that shows
the water can be drained so it isn't a threat. Angel didn't save
the girl in "Unleashed." He is just helping her deal
with her problem, a problem he was too late to prevent. That something
was done on BtVS last season. Willow actually changed the world.
If the world can really change then there is hope that anything
is possible, even redemption.
just thought of something (spoilers for last
night) -- Neil, 07:58:47 11/06/03 Thu
the way Angel casually mentioned the "Father wil kill the
Son" Prophecy to Wesley, combined with when he said to the
gang in HOME "I'm going to see Connor" (something like
that) made me wonder, are we sure Angel knows the gang was mindwiped?
maybe their mindwipe is just the negative reaction to the Connor
[> I think it's even better than that. (spoilers from ANGEL
5.6) -- cjl, 08:43:23 11/06/03 Thu
I do think Angel knows the gang was mindwiped. He wanted all evidence
that Connor was his son eradicated from the Earthly Plane, and
said eradication included wiping the memories of everyone who'd
ever encountered the kid.
But, as it is with all contracts with Wolfram and Hart, it's a
bad thing if you don't read the fine print. Sure, nobody remembers
Connor anymore, and the kid has the possibility of a better life
without anyone coming after him for revenge on Angel. But Angel
never considered that the alteration of memories might go beyond
the simple deletion of Connor. Part of the reason he's feeling
so disconnected from his friends is that they're literally not
on the same page.
It became clear from last ep that Angel has no idea what Wes and
the others do or don't remember about the events of Seasons 3
and 4. My own opinion: when Angel mocks the prophecy of "The
Father Will Kill the Son," he thinks he's being clever, reminding
Wes of a prophecy that obviously can't be true because he HAS
no son. But Wesley DOESN'T EVEN REMEMBER THE PROPHECY, and Angel
inadvertently has pointed to a huge hole in reality which was
previously unknown to our former Watcher.
[Homework assignment for Wes' R&I team between episodes: the Nyazian
Angel is bound to make further slip-ups, because he doesn't know
who remembers what. (Is the revised history even consistent from
individual to individual?) Man, Dead Boy is really going to get
an ass-whupping when his friends find out.
Heh. (Rubs hands in sadistic glee.)
[> [> Actually, I doubt the ass whooping thing --
Finn Mac Cool, 10:02:02 11/06/03 Thu
They've forgiven him fairly easily for much larger transgressions
in the past. I doubt the memory wipe, if it's revealed, will be
a major source of contention among the gang.
Also, just wanted to mention, as Lunasea has said before, erasing
everyone else's memories of Connor might have been simply a side
effect Angel had to cope with in order to change Connor's life.
He didn't necessarily want their memories gone, but W&H may have
required him to in order to change Connor's memories.
Nobody Remembers the Good
Stuff.....spoilers for Angel 5.6 -- Rufus, 08:28:47 11/06/03
We have seen the masked mail room guy many times and of course
last night we got the payoff. Number five is an old guy who plods
along at a job that has become like a mill-stone around his neck.
Lorne jokingly refers to him as "El Cid". It's when
he tosses Angel through an office window that we realize there
is more to the old man in a mask.
People are being killed and Angel wants to deal with it. But Angel
is feeling....disconnected. He has lost hope and no one knows
exactly why. As Angel speaks to Gunn we see just how far apart
they are in the enjoyment of their current workplace....
Gunn: As CEO and President of Wolfram and Hart, you just bankrupted
a company that dumps raw demon waste into Santa Monica Bay, banished
a clan of Pyro Warlocks into a hell dimension, and started a foster
care program for kids whose parents have been killed by vampires...not
bad for a days work.
Angel: Yeah, great.
Gunn: Look, I know legal weasles and business deals aren't as
heroic to you as rescuing honeys from tumescent trolls, but I
love what we do.
Angel: Tumescent Trolls?
Gunn: Went a little Johnnie Cochrane on ya. You know for the first
time in my life, I can't wait to get to work in the morning. You've
always had your special powers...now I have mine.
I guess work ain't what it used to be for Angel. Not as much action,
til Wesley came with news....
Wesley: Then you'll be interested in this.....3 people found
with their hearts cut out in east LA. All within the last couple
of hours. The police are on it but my sense is it's more demonic
than some murderous nut-job.
Spike: So we're ruling out demonic nut jobs then?
This is about the time #5 chucks Angel through the office window
and we finally get a hint about his connection to the current
state of affairs. Number 5 attacks Angel, but that's sort of expected
in a place where everyone wants your job or you dead. The attack
is quickly changed into an attack on Grandpa Moses.
Spike: Hey Fred! Did ya hear? Angel attacked the old mail guy.
Fred: Not number 5?....you didn't hurt him?
Angel: No! He attacked me.
Wes: We should find him.
Spike: Absolutely, I wanna buy him a pint, bloody made my day.
Angel and the gang.....actually Spike, Gunn, and Wes, pile into
the Angelmobile (yeah, I guess it wasn't retired) and try to find
whatever is killing people. They are attacked but that leads them
to the fact that they are dealing with an Aztec demon. But Spike
isn't interested in Quauhtitlan pictograms....he wants to know
Spike: Who me? Nah? I was just .....is this one of those books
Wes: No, it's a source book each one ties into a discipline within
the Wolfram and Hart archives. This one is linked to historical
narratives...that's the one dedicated to prophecies.
Spike: So, you could look up that, uh, sans shoes thingamebob...you
know the prophecy that says that Angel gets to be a real boy again.
Wes: Shan shu prophecy, yes...uh, though it's a bit more complicated
Wes: It tells of an epic apocalyptic battle and a vampire with
a soul who plays a major role in that battle -- and there's the
suggestion that the vampire will get to live again.
To get to the point, Wes tells Spike that the vampire with a soul
could be any vampire with a soul, but not a ghost.....end of story.
Wes gets busy with telling Angel that the demon he is up against
is called Tezcatcatl, a demon that shows up every 50 years on
"The Day of the Dead". Wes also tells Angel about the
five brothers who fought and defeated the demon the last time.
So happens that one survived and happens to just have been escourted
from the building for tossing the boss. Now we get to the tale,
the cautionary tale. Angel goes to number 5's apartment to see
how to fight the demon and is faced with what he could become
if things don't change fast.
Angel: Now I'm dragging you back in.....I need your help. You
and your brothers beat this Aztec thing first time around, and
I need to know how.
#5: I'm sorry, in case you haven't noticed, I have retired from
Angel: Wearing that mask doesn't exactly hide your past.
#5: It reminds me that only a fool would want to be a champion.
Angel: Fool, is that what you think of your brothers.
#5: (slaps Angel) Never disrespect the memory of my brothers.
They were honorable men, Luchadores, Mexican wrestlers, the greatest
that ever lived. Together we were known as "Los Hermandos
Angel: The Number Brothers? Huh? You guys had no problem getting
past the whole irony thing now, did you?
#5: It was a different time, one that no longer exists. (flash
back to the brothers together) We were great warriors in the ring,
great heroes. Children worshipped us - women loved us - men
wanted to be us. In all the years we fought we never lost,
never quit, never compromized....we were the best. But not all
our battles were in the ring.....
You need to understand we were more than Luchadores, no one else
cared about Mexicans, Chicanos......so we protected our own. The
Five of us were always joined - always connected - and when
necessary, we came together as a fist! We fought monsters
and gangsters, vampiros. We were heroes, we protected the weak,
and we helped the helpless.
Angel: I know a little something about that.
#5: We spent every waking hour together. We fought hard, we played
hard. Brothers in the truest sense, never jealous, never bickering.
Those were the happiest days of my life.
Angel: Wait a second.....so you guys always wore your masks?
#5: What you are failing to see my friend, is that we had to be
ever-vigilant, ready for action at a moments notice.....
One of the brothers calls out: The Devil has built a Robot!
#5: Surely you have heard about our great victory over the Devil's
#5: Nobody remembers the good stuff.
Angel: But tell me about the Aztec warrior.
#5: What can I say about a demon who killed the people who mattered
most to me?
Angel: You can start by saying how you killed it back.
#5: I don't know - I can't remember.
Angel: Can't remember or don't care?
#5: Do not misunderstand me, after my brothers were killed, I
tried to carry on. Tried to help people. But after awhile the
phone stopped ringing, the people went away. Until one night when
a man walked in. He said he could use a young man with my abilities
(man presents W&H business card "Holland Manners")
Angel: Wolfram and Hart.
#5: I needed a job, they needed muscle. I knew that Wolfram and
Hart was everything my brothers despised. But what did I care?
Nothing mattered after I buried them behind San Gregorio. Every
year on El dia de dos muertos, I prepare this alter for them,
and every year they never come, never visit....because I'm not
worthy. But it does not matter anymore, not after this year. I
should have died with my brothers.
Angel: But you didn't, you got stuck with the hard part, the carrying
on (feel free to think of Connor and Cordy.) No wonder your brothers
spirits never come to visit. Listen to yourself. You've quit.
Tell me, why'd you stop caring?
#5: It was not hard, I will show you. (they go to a Wrestling
arena and watch present day wrestlers) This is how my brothers
are remembered. What their good deeds earned. They sacrificed
their lives as heroes and it is played out as a farce.
Angel: Maybe you expect too much from people.
#5: Is it too much to expect them to remember their past? (oh
dear, the mindwipe, none of Angel's friends can remember their
past) To honour those who fought and died? My brothers are dead
and Tezcatcatl is back to kill again. Why did we bother? What
difference did we make?
Angel: You made a difference in the lives you saved. And you did
it because it was the right thing to do. Nobody asks us to out
and fight, put our lives on the line. We do it because we can.
Cause we know how. We do it whether people remember or not. In
spite of the fact that there's no shiny reward at the end of the
day........other than the work itself. It think that some part
of you still knows, still believes.....in being a hero. (#5 has
left the building and caught a bus)
While Angel is putting people to sleep, Wes and Gunn figure out
that the demon is taking the hearts of heroes. Outside the arena,
Angel is attacked by the demon who runs him through with a sword
and goes for the killing blow....then turns his snotty nose up
at a heroic treat. Oh oh.
Wes: I understand you're feeling rejected, but this Aztec Warrior..it
wants the hearts for sustenance. It wants it for the meat, not
Angel: What are you saying?
Gunn: As meat goes....your heart's a dried up hunk of gnarly-ass
Angel: Yeah, but stick a piece of wood in it and I still die.
Must mean something.
Yes, the state of Angel's heart does make a difference, which
Wes points out to him.
Wes: Angel, what Gunn said about your hear.....the dried up
bit....I don't think that's the problem.
Angel: But you do see a problem.
Wes: It's the work.
They go on to talk about meaning, and Spike's mention of prophecy....
Wes: I'm not talking about them. I'm talking about you. It's
(work) lost meaning for you. Spike says you no longer believe
in the Shan shu prophecy.
Angel: Of course not....prophecies are nonsense....You know that.
Oh, come one Wes, after all we've seen the past couple of years.
"The Father will kill the Son".
Wes: What are you talking about?
Angel seems to have forgotten that he had his friends minds wiped
clean of the pesky goings on related to Cordy and Connor. This
mindwipe is going to have an effect that may not have been anticipated
when Angel made his deal, kinda like the deal number 5 made when
he gave up all hope. When it comes to Wes, I fear that Angel is
holding a grudge that Wes knows nothing about. Talk about bottling.
Wonder when that pressure will cause a blow up? Even without a
memory of what he did, Wes only regressed so far. He kind of went
back to the Wes pre-rejection from Fred. He can't remember the
first rejection and now has to relive it again. But Wes speaks
Wes: I'm sorry Angel. But nothing matters more. Hope.....it's
the only thing that will sustain you, that will keep you from
ending up like number five.
In Fred's lab they figure out how to deal with the demon, but
one thing made me pause....
Angel: And you just so happen to know this creatures Achilles
Spike: Well, I wager it's the heart.
Fred: You see that in the science?
Spike: No love, in the poetry. We're dealing with a mythic
creature here, a kill-or-be-killed kind of creature. If I was
going to kill something that was trying to take my heart, I'd
try to bloody well take it's heart first.
I compare the five brothers to the gang, all should be connected,
they are heroes after all. All shouldn't be bickering, or jealous....but
I somehow think that number five just may have romanticized the
past a bit. But, the gang should be together, not getting further
apart, but apart is what I see coming. Angel does his hero bit,
and sometimes forgets the others taking his back. The consequences
of the mindwipe may be slowly coming out. Angel can't be honest
with his friends and they are finding him becoming more and more
distant. The episode is called "The Cautionary Tale"
for a reason. Give up and lose everything. Lose hope and you may
find you have more company in hopelessness than you'd think. The
only glimmer of hope came in the office at the end. Angel told
everyone that number five died a hero. His brothers came to him
at that final battle. He got to go home. We leave Angel in Wesley's
office....talking to a book.....
"Shan shu Prophecy - English Translation"
We talk so abstractly about poetry, because we are all bad poets.
-Friederich Nietzsche, The Birth of Tragedy
[> Very nice! -- Ponygirl, 08:36:34 11/06/03 Thu
[> I wish I'd read this... -- Anneth, 15:29:55 11/06/03
before I'd written out my post, above, in response to Gyrus. You
said what I wanted to, only better. Nice job.
[> Truth, or a kind lie? -- Gyrus, 15:46:13 11/06/03
number five died a hero
I wasn't really clear on whether Numero Cinco's death was heroic
or suicidal. Since Angel answered "yes" to Gunn's question
about whether #5 had "jumped in at the last minute"
(when in fact #5 was just laying there bleeding at the last minute),
I'm not sure if Angel was telling the truth or a kind lie.
[> [> Re: Truth, or a kind lie? -- Rufus, 18:50:27
#5 had become a living farce. He was once a hero who did the right
thing because that was the thing to do. Without the presence of
his brothers, he became lost, unable to care about anything but
his own misery (as Angel noted.) Just because what he did was
suicidal doesn't mean that #5 died less than a hero. He found
his redemption in that cemetary when his brothers surfaced to
bring him home, the five again a fist. I loved it.
It's a Wonderful Life (spoilers 5.6 & Wonderful
Life) -- Miyu tVP, 11:10:51 11/06/03 Thu
Time to get in the holiday spirit anyway, right?
During Angel's lecture to 5 about being a hero... it quickly became
apparent he was talking to himself (first metaphorically and then
literally as 5 hopped a bus out of there) about maintaining hope
and persevering in the fight... and the situation reminded me
of the scene from it'a Wonderful Life where George Bailey (the
archetypical hero of the people) has lost all hope and wants to
throw himself off the bridge... but is distracted when the man
next to him does exactly that. Instinctively, George jumps in
to save the guy and later gives him the "what were you thinking"
bit - to which the guy, Clarence the AS2, replies "I jumped
to save you."
As is often the case it is so much easier for us to diagnose someone
else's problem, and furthermore to productively help someone else
- than it is to diagnose/solve our own issues.
Angel as George Bailey - unsung hero, humble, expecting no reward,
trying to resist the temptations of the high life. Spike as Clarence,
Angel 2nd Class, bumbling along, wanting desperately to get his
wings, guiding George back to his own sense of self. :)
Also a big episode for memory. Of course there was Angel's mega
slip up with Wesley. But also with 5 - we see he is deeply offended
and upset that the memory of his brothers has been desacrated.
It's a funny image of the mini wrestlers flailing in the ring...
but perhaps it shows how Angel's own team has been diminished
by his mindplay, caricatures of their true selves.
Also-- in Gunn & Angel's contract discussion, I'm pretty sure
he said twice "not bad for a day's *pay*" The usual
saying is "not bad for a day's work" but instead we've
got pay. This would seem to tie in with the idea of doing good
for good's sake, vs. behaving to get a reward or avoid retribution.
Is Gunn caught up in the pay? is Angel? -cue ominous music- :)
sorry this is so scatterd.
[> Another take on IaWL -- Masq, 15:38:48 11/06/03
That ponygirl reminded me of. In "IaWL", George wishes
he had never been born, and Clarence gives him that wish and George
sees the consquences of it were a lot more than he imagined.
In AtS, we get Angel (allegedly, this hasn't been shown yet, so
it may turn out otherwise) dictating the removal of all memory
of Connor and the effect his presence had on people's lives--in
essence, wishing that Connor had never been born. And he will
see the consquences of this.
A note on my parenthetical note. We weren't shown the details
of Angel's deal with W&H in "Home", so it is not clear
yet that Angel dictated the "no memory" portion of the
deal. It makes sense to remove Connor's memory of his old life,
but what's the point of demanding that everyone else's memory
of Connor be removed? It could still have been a caveat W&H demanded
in the deal, or just a metaphysical side-effect of whatever mojo
they performed to give Connor a new life.
[> [> There are a couple of reasons... -- Marie,
04:25:42 11/07/03 Fri
...that I can think of why Angel might choose to wipe the Gang's
1. No recriminations to face - however hard it must have been
to give Connor up, it would have multiplied the pain tenfold to
have to try and explain to them the whys and wherefores of his
2. To save them the pain he was feeling. (Doing the wrong thing
for the right reasons?)
3. If he'd left them the memories, there was always a danger that
one or more of them might try at some point in the future to contact
Connor and tell him all. After all, it was through Wesley's actions
that he lost his son to Holtz.
[> [> [> I prefer this explanation (spoilers through
5.6) -- Masq, 11:32:00 11/07/03 Fri
That Wolfram and Hart demanded the memory wipe of all involved
except Angel, either because it was a necessary element of the
spell that displaced Connor, or because it gave it would put Angel
in an emotionally vulnerable position they could exploit.
I prefer this explanation because it doesn't let Angel off the
hook. He still accepted the deal. He accepted it as a father desperate
to save his son, but he accepted those terms, and now he has to
deal with the consquences of it. He is alone, isolated with his
memories, through accepting the deal, he has allowed his friend's
memory of the recent past to be altered.
And this explanation helps explain why Angel isn't sure what Wesley
and the others know and what they don't know. He didn't dictate
how the memory wipe would go; he just went along with it.
[> [> [> [> Re: I prefer this explanation (spoilers
through 5.6) -- jane, 22:48:33 11/07/03 Fri
This fits with my theory on the memory wipe too. I think Angel
didn't realize how much would be lost in everyone's life history
when Connor's part was erased,and that W&H counted on his feelings
of dislocation and guilt to separate him further from his friends,bringing
him closer to his own darkness. His little slip to Wesley is perhaps
a subconcious need for them to find out about the wipe.
[> Re: Memory (spoilers 5.6 & speculation) -- dub, 20:52:20
This ep certainly jogged my memory. Angel quoting, "The father
will kill the son," reminded me that the father didn't
kill the son, but the son is still alive, and so is the father,
so this particular prophecy, even though it was a ruse, could
still come to pass.
Under what circumstances would Angel kill Conner? Well, how 'bout
if he went all Angelus again? And of course it would just add
to the tragedy to make sure that the AI gang had their memories
back first. It's kind of chilling, I think, the idea of Angelus
at the helm of W&H. There's been a lot of discussion around
Angel's inability to experience a moment of true happines, but
we know from experience that's not the only way to release Angelus.
Just idle speculation, really. I kinda think we saw enough of
Angelus last year to hold us for a while...
[> [> Re: Memory (spoilers 5.6 & speculation) --
aperitis, 20:09:34 11/07/03 Fri
it might also mean angel will kill spike becasue technically he
is his "son". but i dont think theyd do that
[> [> Re: Memory (spoilers 5.6 & speculation) --
Alison, 08:02:32 11/08/03 Sat
Actually, Angel did kill Connor. He had to, to put the spell into
effect. That fact that Connor is still alive doesn't change the
fact that Angel killed and fufilled the prophesy.
[> [> [> Kill / Save -- kisstara, 13:01:02
Actually, I remember that Wesley was having trouble in translating
the father/son prophecy. He couldnt't decide between 'kill the
son' or 'save the son.' Angel did both in one act, the act of
killing Connor saved Connor. Did Angel know for certain that W&H would
come through with their end of the deal and reinvent Connor into
a new person? W&H could have had a completely different plan than
Angel and Lilah (or whomever) decided on.
Now that Angel is grieving and is in pain for the loss of Connor
he may be wondering if the deal was worth it after all.
[> [> [> [> first i'll kill him, then i'll save
him? -- anom, 16:06:30 11/09/03 Sun
[> [> [> Am I the only one...? (Spoiler for 'Home;'
slight Spoiler for 'Numero Cinco' -- dub, 16:45:58 11/08/03
Who did not see Angel kill Connor?
I must have missed the subsequent discussion as well, because
it's only recently that I've seen references to Angel killing
Connor stated as a fact. I think even Masq's review of Home
on ATPoBtVS says something like, "appears to kill
Connor," rather than definitely.
People seem to be saying that the killing was necessary in order
to invoke the memory spell. Why?
My concern is if, as expected, ME decides to revisit the memory
wipe scenario, it's not a problem for the gang to regain their
memories, seeing as how no one but an unconscious Cordelia would
have witnessed this supposed slaying, but if Connor is
ever to be reintroduced and regains his memory, his last image
from his former life will be that of his father killing him.
Boy howdy, if Angel thought Connor resented him before, just wait'll
he gets a load of him under those circumstances!
Also, the Angel's Acolyte summary states, as I had recalled, that
Angel stabbed Connor in the leg with a knife he takes from a broken
display case in the store--hardly likely to be any kind of magic,
or charmed, knife as it was a random choice. This is the same
knife he appears to plunge toward Connor before the scene cuts
Angel's delivery of the line, "The father will kill the son,"
in this week's episode seems to support my theory that Connor
was never killed. He tosses the line off, as if to indicate that
this is another worthless prophecy that didn't come through, the
way he's been feeling about the Shanshu prophecy these days.
Now, if I've missed some crucial Joss interview where it is revealed
that Angel did indeed have to kill Connor to invoke the memory
wipe, well, I'm sure Rufus will tell me about it...
[> [> [> [> Re: Am I the only one...? (Spoiler
for 'Home;' slight Spoiler for 'Numero Cinco' -- Masq, 17:17:01
I think even Masq's review of Home on ATPoBtVS says something
like, "appears to kill Connor," rather than definitely.
Granted that I've only seen "Home" once, six months
ago, but I've also read the shooting script, and my impression
was that Angel had a knife, he approached Connor, brought up the
knife, and then they cut away. This leaves open the possibility
that he killed him to invoke the spell, or merely had to draw
blood to invoke the spell, or merely had to stab him to invoke
the spell. Or none of these, although I think it was one of the
three, otherwise why bother with the knife.
Since they cut away, I left what happened open and speculative
in my analysis.
I think people believe Angel killed Connor as part of the spell
for its symbolic value (and symbolic actions are often used in
magic spells). Angel "kills" the Connor we knew in order
to put his son into a new life. The old Connor is forgotten by
everyone, including Connor himself, and is essentially dead.
Reminds me of my favorite Babylon 5 quote (spoilers
for ATS 5.6) -- Gyrus, 12:28:55 11/06/03 Thu
"How do you know the chosen ones? No greater love hath a
man than he lay down his life for his friend. Not for millions,
not for glory, not for fame...for one person. In the dark, where
no one will ever know, or see."
- Sebastian, "Comes the Inquisitor"
In most human societies, one central aspect of the concept of
heroism is being praised and remembered for one's deeds. Number
5 appears to buy into this notion and, therefore, he believes
that his heroic status depends upon the acknowledgement of others.
As a result, when the public gives up on him, he gives up on himself.
Angel's "disconnectedness" puts him in a similar situation.
He no longer believes that anybody Up There is watching, so what's
the point of carrying on? He continues to do the right thing,
but it doesn't mean anything to him anymore. Until, of course,
he sees the toll that giving up has taken on Numero Cinco's psyche.
So my question is, what lesson does Angel really learn in this
ep? Is it that somebody IS watching, and that heroism, even if
it goes unacknowledged, will eventually lead to fulfillment? Or
is it simply that giving up makes you so miserable that hope is
always better, regardless of anyone's opinion or of the ultimate
[> Re: Reminds me of my favorite Babylon 5 quote (spoilers
for ATS 5.6) -- Anneth, 15:23:46 11/06/03 Thu
what lesson does Angel really learn in this ep? Is it that
somebody IS watching, and that heroism, even if it goes unacknowledged,
will eventually lead to fulfillment?
Wes' knowledge of the devil robot (or was it the Devil's robot?)
and the ultimate appearance of the brothers does seem to indicate
that yes, someone is watching, even if you don't know it. The
unacknowldeged heroism part is tougher - El Numero Cinco (ENC)
was apparently an unacknowledged ex-hero, and the indication
seemed to be that Angel was the same. I'm probably splitting hairs
here, but I saw a two-part process; an understanding that yes,
heroism could go unacknowledged, but that doesn't detract from
its inherent goodness, and then a return to heroism. At least,
that's what ENC demonstrated. The message seems to be that being
unacknowledged comes part and parcel with being a hero. Angel's
strayed from that understanding, which he's demonstrated in the
past; his journey this year seems to be about returning to it.
Perhaps Angel returned to the Shanshu prophecy at the end of the
episode because he was heartened by the appearance of the brothers
- ENC no longer believed they'd reappear, but he errected a shrine
to them anyway, year after lonely year. And, in the final battle,
they had reappeared, to defeat the enemy and gather him up. So,
yes, maybe someone is watching. Maybe prophecies aren't all bunk.
(Tangentially, I still think it's weird that Angel would decide
that prophecies are false when 'the father will kill the son'
seemed to come true - Angel did slit Connor's throat, or stab
him, or whatever, to effect the wipe.)
[> [> Re: Reminds me of my favorite Babylon 5 quote (spoilers
for ATS 5.6) -- Gyrus, 15:41:25 11/06/03 Thu
Wes' knowledge of the devil robot (or was it the Devil's robot?)
In English, they called it "the Devil's robot", but
the literal translation of "El Diablo Robotico" would
be "The Robotic Devil," so the exact meaning is kind
of a toss-up.
Perhaps Angel returned to the Shanshu prophecy at the end of
the episode because he was heartened by the appearance of the
brothers - ENC no longer believed they'd reappear, but he errected
a shrine to them anyway, year after lonely year. And, in the final
battle, they had reappeared, to defeat the enemy and gather him
up. So, yes, maybe someone is watching. Maybe prophecies aren't
Or, at least, maybe hope isn't pointless, however long it may
Tangentially, I still think it's weird that Angel would decide
that prophecies are false when 'the father will kill the son'
seemed to come true - Angel did slit Connor's throat, or stab
him, or whatever, to effect the wipe.)
Well, Sahjahn did say that he made the prophecy up and inserted
it into the scrolls, so it's not a real prophecy in that sense.
Unless Sahjahn is himself a prophet and doesn't know it, that
[> [> [> hee - Sahjahn's a prophet and doesn't know
et! er, it. erm, never mind. -- anneth, sitting in a corner
giggling, 15:44:30 11/06/03 Thu
[> [> [> [> Re: hee - Sahjahn's a prophet and doesn't
know et! er, it. erm, never mind. -- DorianQ, 18:27:45
Speaking of the prophecy "The Father will kill the Son,"
what happened to the real one, that Conner would kill Sahjahn?
Did that happen and I missed it?
[> [> [> [> [> Re: hee - Sahjahn's a prophet
and doesn't know et! er, it. erm, never mind. -- RichardX1,
20:08:23 11/06/03 Thu
Speaking of the prophecy "The Father will kill the Son,"
what happened to the real one, that Conner would kill Sahjahn?
Did that happen and I missed it?
I suspect that prophecy was sent by Jasmine to manipulate Sahjahn
so that Connor would end up in Quortoth.
[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: hee - Sahjahn's a prophet
and doesn't know et! er, it. erm, never mind. -- El Robotico
Diablo, 09:45:09 11/07/03 Fri
or, it could refer to the next most probable person to fit the
description of the Son of the Vampire with a Soul...
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: hee - Sahjahn's
a prophet and doesn't know et! er, it. erm, never mind. --
angel's nibblet, 15:01:55 11/09/03 Sun
"or, it could refer to the next most probable person to fit
the description of the Son of the Vampire with a Soul..."
don't you mean 'Son of the Vampire, with a Soul' :-O ? *nods knowingly*
Libre-tto (warning: sappy personal reminiscences and spoilers
for Angel 5.6) -- cjl, 23:33:44 11/05/03 Wed
I know, I know: "cjl hasn't done a review all season, and
he picks THIS ep to start?"
It had to be this episode. "The Cautionary Tale of Numero
Cinco" took me back to my childhood.
1. Dyckman Street Projects (Upper Manhattan), 1973
When I was a kid, I was heavily into comic books and science fiction
and horror movies. (Big shock there, huh?) First film I think
I fully remember seeing on the big screen was "2001: A Space
Odyssey." I was nine years old; that does things to a boy's
mind. (Second movie I saw was Elvis Presley and Mary Tyler Moore
in "Change of Habit"; that also does things to a boy's
mind--but not in a good way.) So the idea that there are colorfully
dressed individuals who spend their lives encountering/battling
all sorts of weird phenomena in the universe was not an idea alien
Besides the big screen entertainment and all the small screen
sci-fi/horror movies I saw on Chiller Theater and Creature Features,
there was another video influence tucked away in the UHF corner
of my TV: Lucha Libre--professional wrestling on Channel 47.
Now, for those of you young 'uns out there who have grown up with
Vince MacMahon and the mega-entertainment spectacles of the WWE,
there was a time when the whole world of professional wrestling
was a bit...smaller. Oh, Vince was there, and you could see the
glimmerings of the media monster that was to come, but there was
still the influence of the old days of pro wrestling, the greasy
charm of the carny rather than the bloodsport of the Roman Coliseum.
You had colorful characters like Andre the Giant, Chief Jay Strongbow,
Captain Lou Albano, Classy Freddie Blassie, and Haystacks Calhoun.
The pro champion of my day wasn't a steroid case like Hulk Hogan;
it was Bruno Sammartino, a likeable lunk from the outer boroughs
of New York who actually seemed to be athlete rather than an icon.
Was it "real" wrestling? No, of course not. It was just
as heavily scripted back then as it is today. But the combination
of ballet-like motion in the ring, and the personalities and costumes
of the wrestlers held me at rapt attention.
For a while.
2. Bensonhurst (Brooklyn), 1980s
When I went to college, the simplistic good vs. evil spectacle
of professional wrestling didn't, couldn't, hold my interest anymore.
I needed more sophisticated entertainment, not just in my TV watching,
but in all media--music, film, theater, even comic books. Wrestling
faded out of my life, and I barely missed it. Then, I discovered
two things every growing boy with intellectual pretensions needed
to survive in this world: Spanish language superhero movies and
Suddenly, I was back to my childhood days, but with an entirely
new perspective on the material. The movies featuring the masked
wrestler Santo, for example, were like a moving ethnological archive,
with signifiers of Mexican and European culture flying around
and colliding spectacularly all over the screen. Santo would be
in the ring one moment, pinning an opponent with all the artistry
of a Bolshoi Ballet dancer; the next, he'd be racing around the
world on secret spy missions, beating up the bad guys a la James
Bond; and after that, he'd have a drink with the buxom young woman
who'd been waiting outside his dressing room for the entire movie,
and she'd willingly submit to his unstoppable virile charm.
And yes, he'd have his iconic silver mask on all the time.
Was Santo a good looking guy? Not that I could see. Couldn't see
his face, of course, but his body was stocky, even plump (especially
in some of the later movies). You think we had a "Puffy Xander"
problem in Seasons 6 & 7 of BtVS? The Xan-man had nothing on Santo.
But it didn't matter. In the world of his movies, Santo was a
symbol of honor, power, and unquestioned manliness. He was a signifier
of the culture of machismo, and I reveled in the pure cheesiness,
secure in my smugness and ironic detachment. (This detachment
came in handy when viewing the movies of Ed Wood and our new governor
Has anybody ever seen a cartoon called "Mucha Lucha"?
It's a delightful series about a school for young masked wrestlers.
The kids always learn heartwarming lessons about teamwork and
belief in one's inner strength--the lessons taught by the great
luchadors of the past. It's wildly campy and a lot of fun--and
seeing it stripped away a top coating of irony from the memories
of my childhood wrestling fandom.
Tonight's ANGEL (you knew I'd get to it sometime) sanded away
Jeffrey Bell is amazing. Dios mio, this could have gone wrong
on so many levels. The episode could have been stone-faced serious,
and we would have laughed it off the screen. It could have tipped
over into high camp, and completely lost any emotional connection
to the audience. But Bell not only navigated between the Scylla
and Charybdis of camp and straight melodrama, he tied together
the legend of the luchadors, East Los Angeles, the pre-Hispanic
culture of Mexico and the parallel mythology of the Buffyverse
with stunning ease.
The ring sequences were perfect. The smoke-filled luchador HQ
from the fifties was so dead on, I almost gasped in wonderment.
And Danny Mora gave an inspired performance as the fifth brother,
a legend lost in the pages of history, who found his way back
as a truly human hero.
There's so much good stuff here about the characterization of
each of the Fang Gang--especially Wes and Angel--that I could
go on forever. But we can discuss this as we go along in the thread.
For now: 9 out of 10.
[> Best...Title...EVER -- Apophis, 00:15:32 11/06/03
[> Dashing in to do a happy dance (spoilers for Angel 5.6)
-- Ponygirl, 08:14:52 11/06/03 Thu
You were right, cjl, Bell walked the line between camp and drama,
and if he was leaning a bit more over to the camp side I still
thought everything came off really well. Great characterizations
for everyone, funny lines... and like a special gift-wrapped prezzie
for Masq - a definite, underlined mention of the memory wipe!
[> [> Masq is almost happy today! -- Masq, 11:56:15
The memory-wipe mention did induce mental snoopy-dances. The rest
of the ep has sort of been wiped from my memory, for the most
part. Monster-of-the-week stuff with moral messages dropped like
anvils will do that. As does ME trying to do AtS with the funny.
Other than one-liners, funny AtS always seems to fall flat for
But if ME promises that everyone will remember my boy, I promise
to remember this episode. Well, I guess I'll have to, I need to
do an analysis of it.
[> [> [> Another implication - -- Darby, 11:51:44
This is Sara's, actually, but I'll pass it along.
Is the implication here that, with the memory wipe, that all of
our heroes' interactions revert to pre-Connor, before Gunn & Fred,
before Dark Wesley, before Physics Prof down the hole? Angel remembers,
but no one else, the changes along the way? What do the
others remember of that time period, or are they just primed to
not think about it at all?
And what will Cordy, bless her comatose heart, remember if they
ever pull her out of her Lucid Dream?
...And to the general thread, I have to agree that I too marvelled
at how Bell pulled this off. The ads had looked just sooooo cheesy!
-Plus they gave away the return of the Brothers...
[> [> [> [> I think it's a blend (spoilers through
5.6) -- Masq, 12:40:39 11/07/03 Fri
Is the implication here that, with the memory wipe, that all
of our heroes' interactions revert to pre-Connor, before Gunn
& Fred, before Dark Wesley, before Physics Prof down the hole?
The characters seem some weird combo of their early season 3 personalities
with who they became in the next two years. Wesley, for example,
is book-guy drooling awkwardly over Fred while retaining the beard
stubble and gun prowess without the attendent darkness. Fred has
a lot more self-confidence than her early season 3 (post-Pylea)
self, self-confidence she gained between seasons 3 and 4, and
yet at the same time you would expect her to be friendlier to
Gunn than she is, and to be the one person who would talk about
the past (e.g., what recently happened with Jasmine) the most.
Lorne seems well-integrated into the gang, which he wouldn't be
if he was completely reverted back to early season 3.
With Gunn, it's hard to tell because he had the least development
in seasons 3 and 4, and now he's getting a lot of development,
and is as unconcerned with the past as you would expect him to
[> [> [> [> [> Agree (spoilers through 5.6)
-- sdev, 16:00:36 11/07/03 Fri
Fred has a lot more self-confidence than her early season 3
(post-Pylea) self, self-confidence she gained between seasons
3 and 4, and yet at the same time you would expect her to be friendlier
to Gunn than she is
Couldn't the memories be gone without regressing the character
development? Memories being gone would certainly affect her feelings
for Gunn but might leave her self-confidence intact. If that has
happened the characters have been left in a very disoriented place.
[> [> [> [> Re: Another implication - -- Claudia,
12:55:45 11/07/03 Fri
Shouldn't Fred and Gunn have memories of their romance, since
Connor really had no effect upon their relationship, other than
the period during they had spent with him during the summer of
[> [> [> [> [> You're right -- CW, 16:04:11
If the recent past for Gunn, Wes, Fred and Lorne wasn't as we
remember it, what was it like for them? Jasmine without Connor
doesn't make much sense, so what did happen, in their view of
[> [> [> [> [> [> I'd love to see an S3 or
S4 flashback through Wes or Fred's eyes.... -- cjl, 16:11:36
But ME would never do it.
It would be like showing what Buffy S3 would have been like with
Dawn in the picture, and they never did that, either.
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> That's what the animated
series was supposed to be -- Lunasea, 16:29:48 11/08/03
It is Buffy, in high school in love with Angel and having younger
sister Dawn in the picture. I wouldn't say ME wouldn't ever show
that. Joss so wants to do that. No one will give him the money
to, that's all.
[> [> [> [> [> [> What about Faith? --
KdS, 16:36:24 11/08/03 Sat
I had a horrible thought last night. If the whole Jasmine episode
has been erased from everyone's memory, does Faith remember the
drug-induced encounter with Angel and Angelus that gave her a
reason to live again?
If I really wanted to torture Angel, I'd pass him on some news
that Faith was killed in a jail brawl or died in some suicidal
piece of fake heroism in the outside world because she thought
death was all she deserved. However, that would probably be too
painful for the fans as well.
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> That would be painful
-- CW, 09:05:30 11/09/03 Sun
For some reason this line of thinking reminds me of Spike in Pangs,
"You made a bear! Undo it! Undo it!"
[> Ay, ay ay. Pobrecinco,.. er... pobrecito -- CW, 08:46:37
Quite interesting that Angel followed a Halloween episode with
a Dia de los muertos ep. Dia de los muertos is different from
place to place in Mexico, but most often the first day is dedicated
to remembering deceased children and the second day deceased adults.
Can't say that I agree with cjl about the quality of the ep. First
we start off with Lorne who is not known for insulting people,
insulting Fred. For what reason? Well, naturally so Fred can look
all noble. Sorry, but instead of a Angel-type hero Fred's turning
into a Mary Sue solely written so that people can gripe about
how she's being treated, but won't gripe about how she's standing
up to the cruel, heartless men. From there on we have a fairly
lame story of Angel getting his heart back into the fight. Would
that by the end of the show there were some personal reason why
Angel should feel that way. Instead we have a muddled story of
an old guy who mostly misses his brothers, but who kinda misses
being a hero. Especially, he's bitter about not being recognized
as a hero. Well, he goes ahead and decides to be a hero again
anyway. Wake me when it's over.
About the only thing true to 1950's pro wrestling, as opposed
to 1960's pro wrestling, was that masks were used mostly to hide
identities. Most frequently in those days promoters put a mask
on a guy so that a wrestler who'd otherwise be recognized as a
stock good-guy or bad-guy could fill out a match in the 'wrong'
role. There was a fellow who consistantly fought as the 'Masked
Marvel' good-guy, but without his mask and robe he could have
fought as anyone. The masked wrestlers never revealed their identities
because it meant losing a pay check once in a while. The showy
in-the-ring unmasking of masked wrestlers by their opponents became
popular in the mid to late 1950's when it was realized the guy
could always get a new mask. The outlandish wrestling costumes
associated with pro wrestling since the 1960's began with a guy
from the 1940's and early 1950's known as Gorgeous George. I think
most people are aware of Liberace, the outlandishly dressed pop
pianist of the 1950's and 1960. Orginally, Liberace only appeared
in fancy, but tasteful and conventional tuxedos. It was when he
started petforming in Las Vegas regularly that Liberace pretty
much stole Gorgeous George's dress up act. Gorgeous George was
one of the supreme wrestling villains of his day. He'd come into
ring primping his curly blond hair, wearing the most outlandish
robes with matching trunks. And it was a different outfit everytime
you saw him. You have to understand that even the most garishly
masked wrestlers in those days wore plain dark wrestling trunks.
There was no color TV in those days, but I imagine the colors
were just as shocking as the design. Like all wrestling villains
he broke the 'rules' while the referee back was turned, but George
did it with style keeping his illegal choke-hold or whatever with
one arm and fussily checking the fingernails on his free hand.
Vanity was his gimmick, when he lost a match, it was usually because
he was caught unawares while making sure his hair wasn't mussed
or something similar.
[> [> Spoilers for Angel 5.6 in my post abve. --
CW, 08:54:32 11/06/03 Thu
[> [> Thanks for the history lesson, CW -- cjl, 09:10:05
Gorgeous George was a little before my time, but his trademarks--the
outrageous costuming, the illegal choke holds, the sheer love
of spectacle--carried over into the 1970s and the early stages
of the Vince MacMahon era.
Kind of agree with you about Fred, but considering the degree
of difficulty in what Bell was trying to accomplish this episode,
I wasn't too upset that Fred came off as a little Sue-ish. In
comparison to some of the cannonball flops in previous eps, Bell
was attempting a three and a half somersault dive off the board,
with one and a half rotations. That there was a tiny aftersplash
when he hit the water didn't detract from his nearly flawless
[> [> [> Re: what's up with Fred (and others) (spoilers
for last night) -- leslie, 10:49:04 11/06/03 Thu
This was the first episode this season that had both backstory
that was more than exposition (ie the direct reference to the
memory wipe) and foreshadowing (yup, those dead boys are going
to have a confrontation over that Shansu prophecy alright). I
think the primary purpose of whole bit about Fred's womanliness
connects up with the later scene in which she points out to Spike
that he's a champion because he actively saved her, rather than
"just standing there" to save the world. I.e., he saved
the damsel in distress, which in Spike's book is the definition
of championing. But also, since the last thing we saw in the previous
episode--which, since that was Halloween and this episode was
Dia de los Muertos means that the two episodes take place on consecutive
days--was Fred having a drink with Knox, I think the mention of
her womanliness probably also is supposed to mark her feeling
womanly because she's got a potential boyfriend on the horizon.
Incidentally, in addition to the raising of the memory wipe issue,
the other thing I liked about this episode in terms of making
things clear is that it finally states why Spike figures things
out even though he doesn't think he's very smart: He thinks mythically.
And he thinks mythically because that's how poetry works. And
he's right. Another way in which this episode looks both backward
and, I think, forward--this is the second reference in three episodes
to Spike's poetry, both positive references--I have a feeling
that Spike's poetic bent is going to become a strength to complement
his physical prowess, something that's emerging now precisely
because he can't hit things (another aspect of his situation underscored
[> [> [> And are you sure the insult was bad writing?
-- alcibiades, 10:51:16 11/06/03 Thu
Well, and are we sure that Lorne insulting Fred was gratuitous?
He ended the last episode smiling, with dreams of power on his
mind. And the way to pursue his dreams lie not with the others,
but with pleasing his clients, getting into their good graces.
It is not clear since his dissolution last week, he has really
been put together right again. I am not sure this is a Lorne we
really know yet.
Moreover, memory wise, in terms of feelings between the gang,
we are back in post season 2 or early season 3, before Connor
was born, likely before Darla revealed she was pregnant. So quite
a bit less bonding occurred amongst the characters. Lorne has
many fewer warm feelings to Fred.
And Lorne's people did visualize Fred as a cow, and that was the
context in which he first met her. So "sort of like a woman"
seems a just summation from his POV -- as opposed to Cordy, who
definitely was treated as a woman on Pylea. Made the people
Jeff Bell's scripts are not gratuitous. You have only to re-watch
Slouching Towards Bethlehem now, after season 4 finished, to see
how embedded much of the stuff he was dealing with was then. A
lot of it raised questions at the time that only become clear
If what Lorne said came across as awkward, to my mind, it was
there for a purpose that will become clearer later on, perhaps
after the season is over, perhaps before that.
And don't forget that smile we finished on last week as Lorne
dreamed of power. That is what is in his mind now. So his nice
may mostly be aimed at the people he is going to try to please,
his clients. We have mostly seen Lorne's "nice", but
there has always been an ambiguousness about him, too, that he
has hidden -- it came out though in seasons 3 and 4, though, in
his early reactions to Connor, which at the time I found inappropriate
And after all this episode was about masks and true faces. Lorne's
mask is his "nice" but there is a lot more conflict
going on behind that then we ever glimpsed so fully before.
Makes me wonder, too, if Angel starts seeing his fellows going
astray, at what price is he going to realize that the price he
paid to squirrel Connor away to his new reality was too high?
At the cost of which souls around him? And how many?
[> [> Re: Ay, ay ay. Pobrecinco,.. er... pobrecito
-- Corwin of Amber, 09:26:46 11/06/03 Thu
What was "Mary Sueish" about Fred? She didn't really
even have a part in this ep. And the thing Lorne said was just
your sterotypical hollywood stupid male who needs a woman to tell
him how to talk to people.
[> [> [> agree -- sdev, 13:53:05 11/06/03 Thu
[> [> Disagree re the Fred/Lorne exchange (spoilers 5.06)
-- Lunasea, 11:14:17 11/06/03 Thu
but it depends if you just view them as independent characters
or also as representations of what is going on inside of Angel.
Lorne representative of Angel's perceptive abilities accidentally
insults Fred representative of Angel's heart. She isn't a "real"
woman, just as Angel doesn't see himself as a real hero deep down
inside. He's going to hell afterall, the place where heroes don't
go. Fred shows that she is strong and a real woman, just like
Angel starts to rediscover his hero's heart.
One of the interesting things (and there were so many) about this
episode is that Fred is working on shadow Angel/Spike and Wesley
is working on Angel. Wesley's concerns were a nice tie back to
"To Shanshu in LA." Angel has lost his thrill for the
mission, though Gunn retains it. Intellect, symbolized by Wesley,
has to show him how important hope is. Then it is up to Angel
to find it again. I liked how no one could do this for him. In
the end it was Angel alone who requests a copy of the Shanshu
Prophecy (though it isn't called that. It is called the Scroll
Angel's heart is working on a more unconscious level. Angel's
intellect is working on a more conscious level. Together, they
will help save him from dispair, just like they worked together
in "Life of the Party" to save Lorne from the disconnection
of his sleep.
I thought it was one of the best episodes this season.
[> [> Re: almost a girl -- skeeve, 12:57:23 11/06/03
To Lorne, almost a girl is what Fred is.
Calling her that was almost certainly not intended as an insult.
Any girls out there think Lorne is handsome?
To Lorne, Fred is doubtless an ugly shade of not-green.
[> Los Luchadors -- undeadenglishpatient, 10:44:47
I think there was a FOX superhero show called Los Luchadors. Weren't
the villians: The Whelp and Spiderella?
The masked Luchadors were named: Lobo Fuerte, Turbine, Maria Valentine.
They fought some cyborg dog - named the Whelp, but that's all
Does anyone have a summary of the episodes in this short lived
[> Bored non-wrestling fan (spoilers for Angel 5.6)
-- pellenaka, 15:10:47 11/06/03 Thu
And the sweeps have started? It doesn't look like it.
The only reason why I'm still watching this, is because of the
fact that they mentioned the prophecy, that Wesley reacted and
that this will mean that the mindwipe will be dealt with.
Mexican music. All of the time.
I don't want to hear this guy's life story because I know he will
end up dying, even though I'm unspoiled.
Only one storyline still? Come on, you can do better than this,
you've got 6 regulars. How about the teamed up and had different
cases? Not just one freakin' case!
Anvilicious badness! Ooh, this is just like Angel feels like!
How wonderful to have it spelled out to me!
Angel being disconnected? Has he forgotten the epiphany he had
in Epiphany or does it need new batteries?
And why did you ever make Lorne a regular if you only plan to
have him on for 5 minutes (Besides last week's triumf, of course)?
I miss the previouslies instead of all of this exposition crap.
Give me 10 minutes of previouslies if you have to, it's more fun
to watch than to hear.
My sister and I sat and talked through the episode because we
were so bored and we had no problem following this predictable,
pointless story! We even missed Eve and that's saying a lot.
I missed Knox. There would at least have been something to look
at if he had been there.
[> [> Aww... (5.6 spoilers) -- Anneth, 16:06:53
Heh, I had exactly the opposite reaction. I felt this was the
best episode of the season; upon rewatching and rechewing, I may
stick it up in my list of fav Angel eps ever.
Sadly, I can't tape the episodes this season (long story) so I
can't rewatch and obsess over them as I used to with Buffy - so
caveat emptor, re my next comments; they may be the result of
my misremembering something.
This was the first time we've really gotten to delve into Angel's
brain since Home; the episode is written almost entirely from
his point of view, and we gain a lot of insight into what's going
on with him these days. He's suffering, he's confused, and he
seems to have lost his way, and his belief in helping the helpless
(or hopeless?) even if his actions ultimately go unacknowledged.
In one of those strange confluences of internal problems and external
events that run rampant throughout art and literature, Angel runs
into someone who is what he might become - a Jacob Marley to his
Ebeneezer Scrooge. By the end of the episode, Marley is laid to
rest and Scrooge is trying to find his faith again; it'll be a
long, slow process, but he's on the right track again.
I loved the music of the episode; it added to the beauty and the
melancholy of the theme, the unacknowledge hero. One of the praises
the movie The Royal Tennanbaums received is that it showed
the lives of precocious children long after their precociousness
had run to seed. Angel, in meeting El Numero Cinco, is confronted
with that same phenomenon - a man who had, once, fought the good
fight with his family at his side; yes, his family was a group
of professional wrestlers in shiny masks, but their appearances
in no way detracted from their accomplishments. Yet, years after
their deaths, their images were mocked and their accomplishments
were forgotten. (consider also the fact that Angel's group is
more than meets they eye - a skinny English guy, a besuited lawyer,
a skinny scientist, a green lounge-lizard, and, now, a ghost.)
As a result, El is left embittered, a former hero. Maybe El never
realizes that forgotten accomplishments aren't diminished in effect,
but Angel does. It's a beautiful, melancholy realization, and
perfectly in keeping with the beautiful, melancholy music. In
the end, El recieves what he'd most desired, to be reunited with
his brothers. Angel returns to the prophecy.
I can't speak to the anvily-ness of the episode. I liked Cautionary
Tale, so am willing to forgive it a lot. I understand that many
don't or won't share my feelings; I, for instance, dislike Lie
to Me a lot, but most fans I know adore it. To each, blahdiddy
blah blah... ;)
[> [> [> Like Your Post -- CTH (who is hanging
around a little more today), 17:21:13 11/06/03 Thu
[> [> [> [> Why, thanks! -- Anneth, come over
all blushy., 12:30:32 11/07/03 Fri
[> [> Re: Bored non-wrestling fan (spoilers for Angel
5.6) -- genivive, 17:22:19 11/06/03 Thu
Can't agree with you. I thought it was the best so far. The "eternal
champions" to swipe a phrase from Michael Moorcock. It was
both discouraging and uplifting that the fight never stops. It
also points the way to where future episodes will go. The consequences
of the mindwipe, Shanshu and two (vampires with souls) the consequences
of corruption. Can't wait for more.
[> [> [> Agree. Loved the episode! -- jane, 23:29:47
[> [> [> Champions -- Gyrus, 10:52:09 11/07/03
The "eternal champions" to swipe a phrase from Michael
It was certainly interesting to see that the PTB have had some
champions who were neither Slayers nor ensouled vampires. I'd
love to know the origin story of the Hermanos Numeros, especially
how they got their superhuman strength.
Poor Spike -- Nino,
17:25:27 11/06/03 Thu
...I'll diddle his Willie for him, if he needs help :)
[> LOL! I think you'll have to stand in line ;-) --
s'kat, 23:08:33 11/06/03 Thu
Suddenly had this vision of thousands of Spikefans, male and female
mary-sueing into the tv show simulataneously... run Spike! run!
[> [> Re: LOL! I think you'll have to stand in line ;-)
-- Dlgood, 00:20:53 11/07/03 Fri
Followed up by those fans being disappointed as Spike fails to
maintain his concentration during the process, returning to his
incorporeal state at the most inopportune of moments.
[> [> [> Re: LOL! I think you'll have to stand in
line ;-) -- Claudia, 09:48:16 11/07/03 Fri
[Followed up by those fans being disappointed as Spike fails to
maintain his concentration during the process, returning to his
incorporeal state at the most inopportune of moments.]
It's not wise to underestimate Spike.
[> [> [> reality bends to desire -- Miyu tVP,
14:09:31 11/07/03 Fri
he just has to *want* it bad enough.
[> Poor Everybody Else -- Gyrus, 11:01:18 11/07/03
Given that Spike can invade their privacy whenever he likes, I'll
bet none of the other Angelistas are spending much quality time
with Willie (or Wilhelmina) either.
[> [> Re: Poor Everybody Else -- Ann, 12:21:26
I never thought of it as a "helm" until now!!! I'll
be at the helm! The puns just keep coming.
[> [> [> By that reasoning... -- Gyrus, 12:49:27
I never thought of it as a "helm" until now!!! I'll
be at the helm! The puns just keep coming.
Then would a guy who does it for you be a helmsman?
[> [> [> [> Re: By that reasoning... -- Ann,
15:14:59 11/07/03 Fri
That is hilarious. I just burst out laughing. Thanks.
[> [> [> [> [> Thank you, I'm here all week.
:) -- Gyrus, 21:54:34 11/07/03 Fri
[> [> In that case, this is the perfect time for Spike
to reveal his sexual urges for Angel...! -- Nino, 13:24:53
I'd love love love to see some fanfic about THAT encounter!
(hmm....maybe I'll write it...)
[> gentlemen's time (mild spoliers 5.5 & 5.6) -- Miyu
tVP, 14:00:50 11/07/03 Fri
Ok - now that someone else has broached the topic so I don't feel
like such a perv. ;)
Spike would love to diddle his willy, but is incapable of doing
so. Contrast this with Angel's flat denial of enjoying any "gentlemen's
time" in LotP... Angel can and probably should (insert your
favorite euphemism) but has no desire to. Whereas Spike wants
to, but is incapable of... you know.
While working through a translation of the Bacchai, my professor
made the interesting comment that Bacchus is the god of fluids,
and his counterpart is Apollo, the god of solids. Wine, blood,
sweat, tears, semen... all the ineffable craziness of the human
condition is the domain of Bacchus. Marble statues, stone temples,
moral absolutes, logic belong to Apollo. So here we have the unquestionably
solid Angel who has lost all heart. Literally his heart is beef
jerky. Literally there is no warm blood passing through his veins.
He's a big, cold corpse. And also as a person he is dangerously
cold, dead & inert. Then we've got Spike who is literally fluid
- slipping and sliding through walls, across dimesions. And as
a person - well he's the perennial ball of energy, forever passionate,
driven. Both in diddling willies and life in general, at the moment
Angel has the ability, but no desire. Spike has boundless desire
but no ability.
Ok, so who's going to write the essay on diddling in the Jossverse?
;) In the immortal words of Xander, the epitome of heart - "Sometimes,
I think about two women doing a spell, and then I do a spell by
BTW - I know it's pretty much a waste of time to think about the
physics behind all this, but - why wouldn't Spike be able to diddle
his own willy? Granted his willy would be... unreachable(?) to
everyone in the real world, but whatever dimension Spike is in,
why wouldn't his willy be right there with him? Is there a willy-dimension?
sometimes I shouldn't say words...
[> [> Masturbation on 'Buffy' -- Nino,
15:37:08 11/07/03 Fri
I was rewatchin some Angel season 1...and in "She" after
that hottie/demon got him all excited he was unreachable by Cordy
and Wes by cell phone. They came to his plce and found him, kinda
jittery, just getting out of the shower. The dialogue and delivery
of lines definitly leads one to belive that Angel had, in fact,
just diddled his willie.
What about other self-pleasure moments?
-DreamXander's referece in "Restless"
-Anya's blatant comment to Andrew in "storyteller"
-Buffy's embarassment about listening to "I touch myself"
in "Lie to Me" (i think)
-Xander's boner at the beginning of "Dirty Girls" was
most likely met with a good diddling
Were there anymore? I'd think that season 6 would be rife with
Hey who wantes to undertake a comprehensive list or masturbation
references? Or better yet, oral sex, or some other uber-naughty?
[> [> [> uber-naughty, really? -- skeeve, 17:02:14
[> [> [> Re: Masturbation on 'Buffy' -- Alison,
07:57:11 11/08/03 Sat
Well, here's another one for your list.. Xander's "sock puppet
of love" in the Prom.
[> [> Feeeelllingss... -- LeeAnn, 04:29:45 11/08/03
I know it's pretty much a waste of time to think about the
physics behind all this, but - why wouldn't Spike be able to diddle
his own willy? Granted his willy would be... unreachable(?) to
everyone in the real world, but whatever dimension Spike is in,
why wouldn't his willy be right there with him? Is there a willy-dimension?
sometimes I shouldn't say words...
He could make it seem to move like he makes himself move and like
he made his clothes reappear in Hellbound but what would
be the point since he can't touch or taste or smell. He wouldn't
be able to feel it if he did.
[> [> [> Re: Feeeelllingss... -- Celebaelin, 06:04:37
but what would be the point since he can't touch or taste or
Did you just suggest that, were he corporeal, Spike would be able
to taste his own willie? Fan worship is one thing but this
is what I'd call 'above and beyond'.
[> [> [> [> lol -- LeeAnn, 08:40:01 11/08/03
Did you just suggest that, were he corporeal, Spike would be
able to taste his own willie?
In the words of Woody Allen, not even if his major was mechanical
[> [> [> [> [> There are several other...
-- Celebaelin, 17:19:23 11/08/03 Sat
Woody Allen quotes. I like 'I just beat a man insensible with
a strawberry', but then again 'I like his earlier, funny, ones'.
So what do I know?
[> Re: Poor Spike -- blondiebear, 08:42:48 11/08/03
at last...we get to the crux of the matter...the REAL reason for
watching angel...spikes'willie...i can tell you this
it is a subject i have given great thought to...usually at night...alone....ummmmmm
anyyway...spike has something i can't get enough of...ok ...sorry..i
just love the character and the way james pulls it off...was that
[> Sadly, I don't think you can either--? -- mamcu,
10:18:21 11/08/03 Sat
Just like no one can hit him, I guess no one can touch him anywhere--what
Heroes: Angel vs. 911 firefighters (spoilers
AtS 5.6) -- Tyreseus, 20:50:16 11/06/03 Thu
INTRODUCTORY CAVEAT: A bad miscalculation on my part resulted
in my video tape running out of room just a few minutes before
the end of the episode last night, so for me, the episode ended
with the killing of the demon. "What," you may ask,
"caused Tyreseus to be away from his TV during the sacred
hour in the first place?" Only tickets to a Jonny Lang concert
with Jason Mraz where I stood so close to the stage that sweat
fell from the men onto me!! Anyway, my point is that I wasn't
exposed to the final "did Angel learn his lesson?" moments
of the show.
As I watched the episode, every time I heard talk about being
a hero, a champion, it reminded me of the firefighters, police,
paramedics, and doctors who became heroes in the wake of the 9-11
attack on the United States. In my life, I've been lucky enough
to know a few of these "everyday heroes" personally.
What Angel is experiencing isn't so far from things I've heard
them say about their chosen careers.
Angel, in essence, signed on several years ago to be a "professional"
hero. That is, he decided to use his talents for stopping evil
to earn financial compensation for himself and his team. As we
remember from early seasons, Angel resisted this at first and
Cordy was the catalyst for the slow but ulitmate change. If Cordy
were awake and well today, her season 1-2 persona would probably
view this involvement with W&H as the ultimate way of putting
value to what they do.
Problem is, Cordy isn't awake and well, and Angel is starting
to find the idea of stopping evil for a paycheck repulsive again.
He puts his life on the line and gets rewarded with things like
a fleet of pretty cars, a great place to live, and a measure of
fame, but is that enough.
Returning to the "everyday heroes," people who put their
lives on the line for a paycheck. I have known a few who have
had similar crises of conscience. Sure, they all went into their
professions expecting to earn a paycheck (a difference between
them and Angel), but there are many different, less dangerous
careers they could have chosen. They generally choose to be police
officers, firefighters, paramedics, etc. because they want to
make a difference in people's lives.
But at some point, even doing heroic things becomes repetitious,
mundane and "just doing a job." My take on the episode
is that a certain amount of Angel's disconnectedness comes from
his feelings that he's just doing a job. He just doesn't
feel like a champion anymore. He saves the world or individual
lives so regularly, but the payoff isn't what it used to be. Now
he gets a paycheck and people expect him to go out and do it again.
I think back to the very beginning of the season, when he rescues
the pretty blonde girl in the alley. She was thanking him and
Angel was super pleased with himself for doing a good thing. He
tried to leave anonymously, knowing that the girl would remember
him as the mysterious stranger who saved her life one night. But
that's not how things work anymore. Before he can make his super-hero
exit into the night, W&H lawyers are having the girl sign papers
indicating that she has been saved by W&H CEO Angel, etc. She
asks "did you do this publicity?" and Angel tries to
tell her no, but the "mysterious stranger" illusion
has been shattered. Will she remember him forever as her savior,
or will she remember him with a jaded "this guy who saves
lives all the time once saved mine as well."
It's not a paycheck, some pretty cars or "the high life"
that Angel needs. Nor is it the Shan Shu prophecy. When he says
he feels disconnected, it's because Angel needs to make personal
connections with the people whose lives he is saving or changing.
That's why Gunn's beaurocratic acts of heroism seem vacant to
Remember this exchange from "City of..." (AtS 1.1)
Doyle (to lady): "Get a job, you lazy sow. (to
Angel) It's about letting them into your heart. It's not about
saving lives; it's about saving souls. Hey, possibly your own
in the process."
Angel: "I want to know who sent you."
Doyle: "I'm honestly not sure. They don't speak to
me direct. I get - visions. Which is to say great splitting migraines
that come with pictures. A name - a face. I don't know who sends
them. I just know whoever sends them is more powerful than me
or you, and their just trying to make things right."
Angel: "Why me?"
Doyle: "Because you've got potential. And the balance
sheet isn't exactly in your favor."
Angel: "Well why you?"
Doyle: "We all got something to atone for. (reaches
into his pocket and pulls out a piece of paper) Had a vision this
morning. When the blinding pain stopped I wrote this down."
Angel reads the paper-Tina Coffee Spot "Tina."
Doyle: "Nice looking girl, needs help."
Angel: "Help with what?"
Doyle: "That's your business. I just take the names."
Angel: "I don't get it. How am I supposed to know..."
Doyle: "You're supposed to get into her life, remember?
Get involved. Look, High School's over, boy. It's time to make
with the grown up talk."
The whole point of AtS is that Angel needs to save souls, not
just lives. Yes, there is ultimate reward for this (his own soul),
but that's the point, nonetheless. It's now been at least a full
season since Angel had the directly seen influence from the PTBs
in his life, and he's starting to forget the mission they had
in mind for him. Without Doyle or Cordy as emmissaries, he's become
disconnected from his original cause.
Let's come back to the idea of the 9-11 firefighters. Some of
the firefighters I know felt a renewed sense of purpose after
9-11 because suddenly the nation was holding them up as heros,
performing concerts in their honor, media specials, entire clothing
lines with "NYPD" or "NY Fire Dept." emerged.
But lately, they're starting to feel the ennui of just doing a
job again. Numero Cinco reminded me of them last night. His bitterness
over the "farce" acted out in memory of his brothers
was a cry to be continually remembered as a great hero. But people
have short memories, and it's easier to immortalize actors or
sports stars than the real heroes. "Only a fool would want
to be a champion," because people will forget what you did.
My "what Angel needs" theory isn't that he needs to
renew his faith in the Shan Shu prophecy. My theory is that he
needs to renew his original directive to "get in their lives."
Maybe he needs to make a girlfriend out of wolf-girl. Maybe he
needs to call Kate for coffee (and give her a job on W&H special
ops team - I know he already created a vacancy). Or maybe he needs
to find some of the evil employees at W&H and try to save their
souls rather than just firing or stopping them from doing more
evil. Maybe he needs to save Eve's soul, or Harmony's, or anyone
else, because it's not enough just to save their lives.
I say this because the everyday heroes I know usually get out
of their ennui through interacting with people. The firefighter
talks to a groups of elementary school students. The police officer
holds a barbeque in the neighborhood he regularly patrols. The
paramedic makes a follow-up visit to the home of the elderly couple
after saving the husband from a heart attack.
Anyway, that's my $.02 and it's long after having been too busy
to visit the board much lately. Maybe it's more like $.05. I've
missed you guys.
[> Real World Heroes (spoilers AtS 5.6) -- Rufus, 21:23:02
Joss has mentioned that the end of Chosen was something he wanted
to say for a long time about everyone being a hero, or at least
being capable of being one. In works of fiction we see the deed
of the hero, not how long it takes for the spin cycle to stop
on laundry day. Angel is a hero that we see as a Dark Avenger
with no life other than the heroic deed. Real heroes sound like
the people the Aztec demon was killing....
Wes: I'd forgotten that the Aztec culture was so violent.
Gunn: Yeah, cause our culture's so at peace.
Wes: All right, but by and large we don't eat our victims.
Gunn: You got that file on the lady at the All Souls Mass?
Wes: She's the most puzzling, the demon passed by over twenty
people so he could attack her.
Gunn: I know, we need to find his MO so Angel can quess it's next
Wes: Does Angel seem all right to you?
Gunn: Yeah, still adjusting to corporate life I guess. Bit of
Gunn: His word not mine. But he's still doing his hero thing...wait
a minute...didn't you say the homeless guy in the alley was a
Wes: Yeah, Gulf War.
Gunn: And something about a Bronze Star? Bronze star - lady in
the church worked with gangs - this dude, a fireman
Wes: Saved his crew in a fire, that's the thread, that's the MO?
Gunn: It's taking the hearts of heroes.
There are heroes, and there are heroes. Angel got a wake up call
when he felt the rejection of the demon who passed over his shriveled
walnut of a heart in favor of a more meaty kind. Being a hero
involved a heroic deed, but I think it also is a mindset of being
able to do something more than is required of you to exist.
From s3 Heartthrob...
James: "You think you won - just because you're still
alive? - I lived. - You just existed."
[> Good to see you Tyr! -- Ponygirl, 08:05:49 11/07/03
Angel's mourning -- Ann, 21:01:29 11/06/03
Losing a child. What is Angel is going through? I contend that
even though he knows Connor is "alive and well", he
is still going through what every parent goes through when they
lose a child. It is not as simple as the so-called five stages
of grief but he is experiencing a normal but extremely complicated
(ME'verse) grief. Angel is experiencing the normal yet painful
reactions that every parent has following the death of a child.
From Compassionate Friends: "When a child dies, parents mourn
and begin the long process of bereavement. Those who have had
a child die often immediately experience shock, numbness, denial,
and disbelief, all of which act as a cushion against the full
impact of the loss. As time passes and these emotions wear off,
others emerge, often including guilt, anger, loneliness, despair,
sadness, and regret. These feelings are all part of the emotional
reaction called "grief" and may be so overwhelming that
parents often do not understand what they are experiencing."
Also "Parents also feel that they have nothing to live for
and thus think about a release from the intense pain." (I
think it is interesting that the writer's had Angel have a release
of another sort in LOTP.) Life is going on. Sort of. That is painful
in light of his loss. (He withdraws from the party to his office
to watch hockey. He withdraws to watch, not to live.) Life. That
is something Angel also needs to learn to live with. Support is
necessary during a grieving period and Angel does receive it in
a "disconnected" sort of way from his co-workers. They
are worried about him but they just don't know the reason. A survey
done in 1999 on behalf of Compassionate Friends says that 60%
of parents that have lost of child turn to their co-workers for
support. But Angel can't do that in the traditional way because
they do not remember Connor. They do not remember Connor but this
in fact is a common occurrence after the death of a child. People
do not know how to speak of the dead child so they don't. Angel's
coworkers don't speak of Connor because they truly can't. It is
the same thing. Connor's death is not remembered because children's
deaths, especially in infancy are "forgotten" by family
and friends. The child's name is never mentioned. The parents
feel that everyone has forgotten and there is much anger.
The worst fear of a parent whose child has died is that they themselves
will forget the child. This worst fear is so truly manifest in
the W&H agreement. It has taken away Connor's memory. Angel's
life is ongoing but Connor's isn't, as Connor. Angel is suddenly
childless. Connor was so long in coming, was such a difficult
journey, but Angel had pinned hopes on Connor as all parents do
and now Connor is gone. A parent often question the value of their
existence after the loss of a child and that is just was Angel
is doing. He used to help the hopeless and now he is one of them.
Angel thought that being pushed to the bottom of the ocean was
as "low" as he could go but Connor's loss has proved
otherwise. He is having a complicated grief with the guilt that
he feels for making this choice. It has affected everyone around
him. All parents who lose a child feel that they were responsible
and Angel truly is. He is getting through the day and night, moment
by moment, and can't look to anyone for help. Yet.
I think meeting the five will open the door to the pain and perhaps
to dealing with his lack of hope and his loss. "5" died
a hero and Angel can find that also. He won't become "the
masked man". He will be able to become "1" with
himself feeling less disconnected. His mentioning the prophecy
is his way to open the door to allowing the memories of Connor
to come out. He needs to speak of Connor to someone, as all parents
who have lost a child, have to. His slip will allow this to happen
and I bet any money he makes more slips. He has begun falling
on the slippery slope to the truth about Connor - his responsibility
for it and all of the reverberations and consequences after it.
He needs to do this, so he will. After all he helps the hopeless.
It will come out. And I too think it will be an ass whupping but
it may be kind and gentle. It doesn't necessarily have to be harsh.
That will be his penance for his deed, this choice of his.
[> Yes! (Angel and Pearl) -- Maura, 22:59:31 11/06/03
Great reading, Ann! I think Angel is definitely going through
a grieving process much as many parents do when a child dies.
Your post made me think of _Pearl_, a 15th century narrative poem
(by the _Gawain and the Green Knight_ poet) that is about a man
grieving over the death of his two-year-old daughter. His daughter
has gone to heaven. He knows she's "alive and well,"
so to speak, moreso than she was on Earth. But that knowledge
just doesn't take away the pain. Even though, through a dream
he has of her, he seems finally to come to terms with the fact
that "God's in his heaven and all's right," his final
acceptance of her death seems a bit too pat. Is this a factor
of late medieval Christianity, or is it meant to seem too pat?
Is the poet's message that grieving is a subtler, longer process
than that? I don't know, but I agree that we see Angel going through
[> [> Re: Yes! (Angel and Pearl) -- Ann, 19:34:43
Thank you for the reference. I am printing out a translation as
I type this message. I had never heard of this poem before and
look forward to reading it. It has been many years since I read
old English and this one is really old so I am going to start
with the translation. Thanks again.
[> Re: Angel's mourning -- jane, 23:08:42 11/06/03
Very interesting and perceptive post, Ann. I think it explains
a lot about Angel's emotional state right now. As you say, not
being able to talk about Connor makes his grieving even more acute.
It is true that one of the hardest things for a parent following
the death of a child is that people don't know how to talk about
that child. My sister's middle child was killed in a car accident
when he was 19. She told me the worst thing was that it seemed
like Sean's life had been wiped away because no one wanted to
talk about him. She went through a lot of the same despair Angel
seems to be experiencing. Interesting that you mention Compassionate
Friends. She says they saved her.
[> [> Re: Angel's mourning -- Claudia, 10:29:04
Was Angel's despair and mourning apparent in "Convictions",
or did it start manifesting after Spike's arrival?
[> [> [> Re: Angel's mourning -- Athena, 10:51:11
I do think Connor is a major reason Angel is being so grumpy to
Spike. Connor did relatively little evil and even then it was
under the cruel manipulations of a posessed Cordy, resulting in
him becoming completely lost without hope or trust; meanwhile,
Spike did countless horrible things and he's on the path to redemption.
Yeah, Spike has a soul now, but it doesn't make it easier, so
to some extent Angel is using him as a punching bag.
[> [> [> [> Connor and Spike (spoilers through
5.6) -- Masq, 11:18:22 11/07/03 Fri
I think it's more complicated than that even. In some ways, Spike
is serving as Angel's substitute for Connor. When Angel would
really, really like Connor to be there, he's "stuck"
with his grand-offspring instead, and that is creating a strange
sort of bond between the vampires.
Spike and Angel's relationship is more subtle now than a rivalry
over Buffy or a rivalry over being "the vampire with a soul".
Spike is stuck at Wolfram and Hart, unable to go very far outside
its doors, unable to effect much. So Spike spends most of his
time either standing around criticizing Angel (which, hey, used
to be Connor's job) or tagging along looking for a diversion,
or trying to bond with the most familiar person in the building,
the one he is most like, and the person he has the most history
with (namely, Angel).
Meanwhile, Connor haunts Angel's mind like a pale ghost. So Angel
wavers back and forth between over-the-top hostility towards Spike
(for not being Connor, and for resembling Angel in so many things,
as Connor did) and openness to bonding with him. As if some part
of him is feeling the need to fill the void left by the fruit
of his loins, and the only obvious choice for filling it is the
fruit of his fangs.
[> [> [> [> [> Re: Connor and Spike (spoilers
through 5.6) -- Converso Romano, 17:04:10 11/07/03 Fri
Also did you get the moment in Numero 5, when Angel tells Spike
to leave and Spike says "if wishes were horses," and
Angel is so overcome by that expression, he has to physically
turn away, because he is so overwhelmed by wishing for Connor,
or wishing he didn't magically do Connor, and that he wasn't at
[> [> [> [> [> [> FYI If wishes were horses
-- Ann, 18:56:13 11/07/03 Fri
I googled this phrase and got:
"If wishes were horses, beggars would ride
If turnips were swords, I would wear it by my side.
And ifs and ands were pots and pans
There would be no work for tinkers."
Scottish proverb, first recorded circa 1628
If wishes were horses beggars wad ride, and a' the warld be drowned
There is also a Bryan Adams song:
If Wishes Were Horses
Come with me you can wish upon a star
You can do all the things that you've longed to
And you won't have to wonder who you are
You can be anybody you want to
In a land full of promises and kings
All your best laid dreams are for catchin'
You can have the world to tie up on a string
Just close your eyes and imagine
If wishes were horses
Beggars would ride
All dreams and desires would ride along side
Worries and troubles would fall off behind
If wishes were horses, beggars would ride
To a land far or near come along
There's an all new-round everyday glow
Like the young girl sang in the song
"Somewhere over the rainbow"
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> yeah, but...
-- anom, 23:56:58 11/10/03 Mon
...even if beggars rode their wish-horses, they wouldn't get what
they wished for. Unless they wished for horses. Or maybe they
could sell the horses & buy what they wished for!
[> [> Re: Angel's mourning -- Ann, 19:37:23 11/08/03
I agree. The best thing you can do for someone who has lost a
child is to ask about that child. It might be hard for them to
talk about it but it is harder not to. I hope your sister is doing
5.6 or the Caraciture of Angel season 5 (spoilers ats 5.6)
-- Seven, 10:47:31 11/09/03 Sun
Ok, this is my first real analysis of any episode, but I thought
that this was a great episode for so many reasons that I just
felt compelled to add my thoughts on it to the board. Usually
I just lurk or add a comment here or there. I don't really have
a guiding thought to this post except maybe the idea of caricature.
I hope that that will at least be clear at the end. Hope you enjoy.
Angel 5.6 or "The Cautionary Tale of Numero Cinco" opens
like any other episode of Angel this season - with no "Previously
on Angel" segment. I suppose this was one of the ways that
ME is showing that these can all be stand alone episodes-----
but won't there likely be a significant need for them later in
the season? I imagine there will be.
The teaser scene is standard. Introduce the monster - oooh, so
scary --- Now cut to # 5. We get a seemingly unneeded scene with
Lorne, 5 and Fred. I think maybe though that the "and I'm
all woman" line may come back to play a part in Fred's growth.
We are seeing now very similar aspects of Fred that we saw in
season three when she was essentially just a prize to be won by
either Gunn or Wes. I imagine that she might become more of a
vixen (for character and WB purposes). Maybe she'll fool us all
and just use old Knoxy boy like a cheap whore. Could happen.
Next we get Gunn and Angel sorting through paperwork. The work
is rewarding to Gunn who feels he is really making a difference
now. He is more hands on then he ever was fighting day-to-day,
monster-to-monster. Gunn mentions that Angel has signed off on
something like a shelter for runaways or something for disenfranchised
kids. This reminds us of where Charles comes from. This is at
least the second reference to that this season. The first was
in "Conviction" when talking to Eve.
Gunn: "Eatin' ,trash and watchin' my buddies get
picked off one by one? Yeah, that was the life."
Because of the mind wipe, Gunn is much closer to that life than
we realized. The last time we heard mention of his old life was
"That Old Gang of Mine" (Ok, there was the episode with
the soul for a truck, but that's mostly in flashback right?)
Next, Angel lying to himself. "Not bad for a day's pay."
He'll do this throughout the episode.
Spike: A reminder to the audience that he can't touch anything,
but we also are told outright what was only implied before. He
can't smell or taste either. (And later he says he can't drink
or smoke as well) So he can see and hear with no problem. Likely
because without those senses, someone like Spike wouldn't realize
that he exists. But we know that if he tries hard enough he can
touch things. How about the other things? If he concentrates enough,
could he tap into his vamp senses? I have a feeling that he might,
but I'll get to that later.
Soon #5 throws Angel through a window, but I'll get to that later
We have the pretty basic setup. Wes finds a pattern of bodies.
The writing seems a little weak with Spike. The camera angle sort
of annoyed me and Spike's lines were kind of forced. Maybe the
writer (Jeffery Bell) isn't sure how to write the banter or maybe
he had a dry spot here. Anyway, other than that, the editors did
make an awesome transition sequence. Especially with the rattlers.
We follow this with more plot development. Nothing real special
here. The only notable thing was Wesley's gun use. "Do
they ever work?" - Skip
Next is a short scene with Gunn and Fred. Hmm, no tension at all
between former lovers? Seems fishy to me. Like some nut who has
given up all his hope went and wiped there memory of the whole
thing. Oh, wait...
Let's skip the Spike and Fred dialogue.
Angel lies to himself again. "Cause that's what we do."
The second Shanshu reference of the season. I think Wes is guilty
of not reading between the lines. "Any vampire with a soul
who's not a ghost." Uhm, isn't what Spike described - his
saving of the world ---doesn't that qualify as enough? Can't Wes
see that maybe Spike has Shanshued? No. He still has too
much faith in Angel. Not exactly like season 4 Wes is it?
Cut to Wes figuring out the who defeated the monster (of the week)
last time it was here. Great ME joke on us here.
Angel: "Do we know his number?"
Wes: "Actually we do."
Cut to the number "8" when we were all thinking 5. Very
Ok, the vampire rules seem wiggy here. 5 pulls Angel in, I suppose
in doing so either giving an implied invitation or more likely
giving up his invitation only rights.
More importantly is what is said next.
#5: "Did you not get the message from our last
Angel: "We didn't have a conversation. You
just through me through a window"*
*Many of these lines are from memory and likely not exactly
right and defiantly not word for word. I'm just trying to get
the implied meaning out of it.
These lines have meaning. When Angel made the decision concerning
Conner, he didn't ask for anyone's advice. He didn't have a conversation
with them. He just acted. Just like #5
Now the story of Los Hermanos Numeros, "The Number Brothers."
This is an obvious analogy to the team of Lorne, Fred, Gunn, Wes
and Angel. The campy-ness of Brothers act as a caricature to the
former. A caricature brings to the surface all the ugly flaws
of a person or thing by making them cartoonish and easily visible.
Now another great line.
#5: "Surly you've heard of our victory over the Devil's Robot.
#5: "ugh, no one remember the good stuff."
I almost peed myself after hearing this line. What a great reference
to the mind-wipe. Then numerous other parallels: Brother's die/friends
are mind-wiped, worked for W&H/made a deal, now runs W&H.
Also of significance is this amulet. "There's always a
talisman." Hmm, just thinking now...that could be a connection
from Lessons to Chosen....and then from Chosen to the end of Conviction
and that would mean big reference to (future bookend Angel episode
title here)....but I digress. Yes an amulet (that looks suspiciously
like the one Spike is connected to) that had significant importance
to the caricatures of Angel's team. Yeah, that amulet is gonna
be of mondo importance.
Now some talk of the past from
,b>#5: "Is it too much for people to remember the past?
To much to remember those that fought and died?"
Pretty strong connection to the mind-wipe.
Also some fun with semantics. Does #5 say (my brothers) sacrificed
their lives ---as heroes or (my brothers) sacrificed----their
lives as heroes?
One is the Numbers Brothers --- one is AI.
Then we have Angel's big fake speech. He says the work is it's
own reward. But the way it comes out seems like he was trying
to convince himself but he didn't even believe that. And it seems
like ME is trying to make us feel the same...trying to strip the
meaning away from Angel' "Epiphany" scene with Kate.
Now they are refocusing on Shanshu. Remember that (essentially)
one idea was traded for the other. ATS was set up at the end of
season one to be that---the journey to his humanity. But season
2 smothered that idea with the first ep of the season and then
solidified the new idea with "Epiphany." Now we are
headed back to the Shanshu idea.
Next important scene to note is Gunn's Eurika moment. Yes, Gunn
figures out the M.O. of the monster. When have we seen this in
the past? We haven't. At least not in a situation like this. At
least not to my memory. Eurika moments are for Angel, Fred and
Wes, not Gunn, never Gunn. This means that his logical reasoning
is more developed. He couldn't possibly be a good lawyer with
just the base knowledge at his command. He has to be able to decipher
it and put it to logical use. Maybe Gunn always had that in him
but it is possible that the big cat toyed with his logical reasoning.
And I'll be the first to say that if one thinks differently,
one is different. He has changed and this is a problem
Now we get the monster looking for Angel's heart, but why doesn't
he take it? Unanswered question really. Look at the monster's
face when he has Angel pinned. I think it looks like he was going
to but then something told him not to. Didn't Wes say that
this beasty had a contract with W&H? Maybe they said no. Maybe
they want Angel to have that seed of doubt that he isn't a hero.
Maybe that's why he's alive right now.
Great exchange from Angel and Wes --El Diablo Robotico -- Very
funny but also connects the "no one remebers the good stuff
line to what is said next.
The big revelation. Wes doesn't remember the "Father
will Kill the Son" prophecy. Uhm, yeah that's big. This puts
Wes back to at least "Waiting in the Wings," before
the whole Saijan stuff started to emerge. If Wes never did that,
then he was never booted from the group, he never went rouge and
HE NEVER GAVE UP LEADERSHIP OF ANGEL INVESTIGATIONS. As
far as he sees it, when Angel was offered W&H, he kind of
relinquished his command. That may be why we see so much of Wesley
giving orders. Look at Conviction for a reference. There are others
too but I can't think of them right now. Also in Conviction, Harmony
says "BOSS!" And both Angel and Wes turn and say "What?"
Looks like he wasn't thrilled about giving up the job without
The rest of the show was great but I didn't find too much more
insight. Just more of what was already expressed throughout. I
LOVED that Angel went to look at the Shanshu prophecy. It was
really a great ending.
So that's it. That's my take. Thoughts? Questions? Suggestions?
[> Gunn -- abt, 16:11:49 11/09/03 Sun
Good post, very interesting comparisions. Just one point, I think
we have seen a Eureka moment for Gunn before, in season 4, episode
7, when they were looking at marked maps, Gunn sort of took a
step back, and saw the big picture, saw how laying the maps out
showed "X marks the spot".
[> The Shanshu Question (spoilers ATS 5.6) -- Ixchel,
17:58:38 11/09/03 Sun
Seven, great analysis, and you seem to touch on an idea that had
occurred to me as well.
You say Spike may have shanshued, and I was thinking that rather
he will shanshu when/if he becomes corporeal (but still a vampire)
again. If I recall correctly, the vagueness of the prophecy could
allow that Spike (souled vampire) would *live* again as a *dead*
person (a vampire) after a key role in an apocalyptic battle (could
certainly be the Chosen battle as it doesn't specify how long
after said battle). And the interpretation that it (the shanshuing)
is a reward, could be just that, Wesley's interpretation. Also,
Spike's situation was inconceivable before ATS S5, so no one would
consider that shanshuing would mean being restored to corporeality
and nothing more (such as becoming human). If this is the case,
then Angel could have been the shanshuee (if Spike had not obtained
a soul, etc.), and the result would be the same, life as a (presumably
souled) vampire again after a heroic death. I have to admit liking
this idea as (IMHO) it's a neat twist on the whole shanshu issue.
Again, thought provoking post.
Ixchel (sporadic delurker)
[> [> Anyone else think that Spike is already in Stage
2...? -- Nino, 20:58:58 11/09/03 Sun
Stage 1 being his role in an apocolyptic battle....maybe this
whole ghost bit is just the next stage before turning human....or
maybe not. I know it seems too obvious to "give" the
Shanshu to Spike, but the way the characters have ignored the
possibility that Spike is the souled vamp in question, makes me
think that it would be a great storytelling opportunity, even
if its a little obvious...
[> [> This is exactly what I mean... -- Seven, 21:10:41
I feel that the whole Shanshu thing is much more complex than
Wes made it out to be. Also, another idea could be a big fake
out. If W&H knew what would happen to Spike and knew what Angel's
decision (to take over W&H) would be, then the evil corporation
could be purposely making it seem like Spike has Shansued and
that there is no hope for Angel, making him sink deeper into solitude
and become more and more like #5. The team may start looking
at Spike and saying, "Hey, maybe he's the Shanshu guy and
Angel is just screwed" and then maybe Angel will think that
way too. Then he will just give up because What else is going
[> [> [> Re: This is exactly what I mean... --
skeeve, 09:34:26 11/10/03 Mon
Angel knows how to become human.
Buffy seems to have dealt with her last appocalypse.
Why Angel doesn't become human isn't clear to me.
[> [> [> [> Because this way.... -- Seven,
11:47:11 11/10/03 Mon
He preserves his life.
If Angel truley doesn't ---or at least hasn't ---believed
in the Shanshu prophecy, and he does believe that when
he dies he is going to hell, then continuing his life as an immortal
vampire is the only way to escape eternal damnation. Hell, I'd
most likely choose the superhero life instead of a life of torture.
[> [> [> Re: This is exactly what I mean... --
rsfayez, 12:05:26 11/10/03 Mon
doesn't anyone think that it's weird ME posing the possible elegibility
of spike while showing his vamp face in the opening credits?
[> [> [> Demoralize and divide? -- Ixchel, 18:03:06
I wouldn't put this kind of manipulation past the Senior Partners.
I thought of another reason why I like the Shanshu means "living"
as a corporeal souled vampire and nothing more scenario:
In the end, Angel couldn't even be angry with Spike for "taking"
some reward from him. The Shanshu wouldn't be the shiny new car
at the end of the game show, it'd just be a charcoal briquette
death, some phantom limbo, and then the life of a souled vampire
(and hey, Angel already has one of those).
Buffy's episode 'Get It Done' -- Cicily,
22:44:06 11/06/03 Thu
Does anyone know where I can find some Buffy fanfiction where
Buffy took the demon power offered to her by the Shadow Men in
the season 7 episode "Get It Done"? If you do, please
email me at email@example.com.
Love (is like a) Building on Fire (spoilers for
Tru Calling 1.2) -- cjl (with apologies to Talking Heads),
23:13:40 11/06/03 Thu
Warning: TWOP-level snarkiness ahead. I am unhappy.
Okay, folks, I did it--on your collective recommendation, I skipped
over the pilot, the better to save my sanity. And then, I get
the worst bits of the pilot in the credits, anyway. Run, Tru,
run! Bounce out of that top, Eliza! The money shot, with the wind-blown
hair and the soulful look straight into the camera. Oh my God.
It's the most embarrassing moment for a woman in the credits of
a TV drama since Kim Delaney's infamous hair flip in the credits
of NYPD Blue.
The story itself starts out in the morgue, where nobody seems
to have developed any psychic calluses to deal with the constant
flow of dead bodies. It looks and sounds like a bunch of actors
playing coroner. (Couldn't we have just one jaded lifer for Eliza
to play off of, please?) Her boss is agreeably quirky, but a little
of him goes a long way.
Then we get a building fire (nicely done, by the way--the only
thing remotely convincing in the entire ep), and Dead Hunky Firefighter
sacrifices himself to save a 10-year-old boy.
Tru has breakfast with little brother, and I forget his name almost
as soon as he leaves the screen. He's Gambling Addict, and so
far, there's nothing to his character beyond that. (Maybe next
week's ep will give the actor more to chew on, but it smells like
more melodramatic nonsense.) Tru has a tete-a-tete with Big Sis,
but she's not really much of anything, either. Best Friend looks
like fun, but I think Eliza and the actress would rather be doing
some actual shopping than reading the script.
The casualties of the fire get wheeled into the morgue, including
DHF and a sweet seven-year-old girl. Our heroine hears dead things;
she pulls out the slab, receives The Call for help from DHF, and
Tru does the time warp again.
Back to yesterday. Tru takes a taxi (yay!) to her local firehouse
and talks to not-Dead Hunky Firefighter, convincing him to do
an inspection of the doomed building in the hope that he can prevent
a disaster the easy way. Nobody who's watching believes this for
a second. The screenwriter (NOT Doug Petrie, thank god) is supposedly
developing heaping amounts of sexual tension between Tru and n-DHF
during the inspection, but nobody's buying this either. This is
criminally bad writing: n-DHF is vapid, but a pretty good looking
guy--and Eliza is smoking hot.
[My brains cells spend their free time wondering why n-DHF has
his own pin-up calendar hanging in the station house. Shouldn't
there be an Eliza Dushku or a Barbie Twins 2003 calendar up there?
That's a serious level of narcissism for such a supposedly straight-arrow,
blue collar guy.]
At one point, when Tru and n-DHF are checking for gas leaks, the
camera zooms in on Eliza's tight skirt, and I'm so bored I say
to myself: "Could we just hold the camera there for the rest
of the show?"
Anyway, n-DHF fixes the leak, and Tru thinks that maybe--since
Professor Weasel is out of the picture--she can find a man who
treats her with respect. But Tru can't avoid the anvils dropping
all around her, as n-DHF's dedication to his job (paralleling
her dedication to her mission, you know) indicates that he's toast
long before the first half irises out. Speaking of which, it's
8:27. Friends is over. Time for the recap.
Yes, they do it AGAIN.
The second half stinks up the screen with a number of red herrings
that add nothing to the characters or the plot. While walking
in the shadow of the GG Bridge, Tru keeps telling n-DHF to go
back to his apartment and wait until she comes over. (Nice background
scenery, BTW. fresne, is that real or green screen SFX?) She's
being sweet and protective and utterly loony, but for some reason,
he doesn't listen to her. If Eliza Dushku told me to go my apartment
and stay there until she came over? I think I'd stay there.
Turns out, the ten-year-old boy DHF rescued at the start of the
ep started the fire. Tru manages to get most of the building out
just as he's lighting the benzene-soaked rags. But the boy's little
sis--the seven-year-old girl--is still trapped in the building.
To absolutely no one's surprise, n-DHF goes back in, rescues the
girl, and is DHF once more. Apparently, Tru's mission was to rescue
the girl, not the love interest. (Okay, I'll go with it.)
And then, we get the finale. Tru grieves over the body of DHF,
begging him to wake up and talk to her. It makes the credits shot
look positively dignified by comparison. Badly written, badly
acted, and almost painful to watch.
Okay, I've vented. I'm going to give Tru one or two more shots.
But Petrie had better show up soon. The producers had better get
a freakin' clue. Otherwise, this is going the way of Skin and
Tarzan, and no amount of time travelling by Eliza is going to
[> Re: Love (is like a) Building on Fire (spoilers for Tru
Calling 1.2) -- jane, 23:24:09 11/06/03 Thu
Sadly, I have to agree with you here. Eliza, you deserve better
than this! Lame plot, and when the recap came, I actually yelled
at the TV. What, are we all too dumb to remember what happened
10 minutes ago? Please!
BTW, the scenery is real. That park scene with hunky firefighter
guy was filmed in Vancouver, along the seawall,in Stanley Park.
I'm going to give it one more try next week.
[> [> I have to wonder ... -- Earl
Allison, 05:11:15 11/07/03 Fri
... How much of the premise was changed after the original pilot
was changed? It may have been sold/sized up as an entirely different
show before the new pilot.
Poor Eliza is locked into the show now, for good or ill.
However, and also for good or ill, Tru Calling may actually survive
past December (my original prediction was that it would die before
the new year) -- only because FOX has axed so many other shows.
I'd heard they pulled the plug on Skin, but Tarzan, too? Not that
it isn't deserving, but FOX can't run test patterns and Simpsons
reruns forever, can they?
As to the Professor/Tru relationship, I'm of two minds on it.
Firstly, I'd never cheat on Eliza (but then I have no chance with
her, either, so the grass is always greener), but this seems a
lot like the marriage formed from prior adultery falling apart.
I mean, you are in a situation that is, if not actually illegal,
certainly immoral according to standard societal views. Is it
so much of a surprise to find out that the Professor you (as a
student) were sleeping with/involved with is now involved with
(gaspshockhorror) another student? It's like the man/woman who
sleeps with a married partner, wins him/her away, the two marry,
and suddenly they are seeing the same signs of what came before,
only now THEY are the ones being cheated on. Those immoral acts
don't simply form in a vaccuum, and while I can understand the
tendency of ANYONE to rationalize their own actions (but WE have
true LOVE!), there are patterns to be seen.
It's just very hard to get any sympathy here. Sure, the Professor
is a jerk (and hey? Eliza Dusku here, would YOU cheat on her?),
but is Tru really so wronged a party, or did she simply choose
a bad partner and do so in a bad way herself (by sleeping with
her Professor while a student). None of this exhonorates the Professor's
actions, certainly, but I don't think only ONE of the two in the
relationship is bad, here.
Curious to see if she will continue to enable her brother's problem.
There's an upcoming episode called "Brother's Keeper,"
I think. Maybe that will deal with it? Title's all I have, so
that shouldn't spoil anyone :)
Take it and run.
[> [> [> Re: I have to wonder ... -- skeeve, 09:35:58
It's not clear whether Tru was sleeping with one of her professors
just a professor that happened to work at the same place she took
In the former case: Naughty, Tru, naughty.
[> Re: Love (is like a) Building on Fire (spoilers for Tru
Calling 1.2) -- neaux, 06:08:53 11/07/03 Fri
Unfortunately I watched Tru Calling AGAIN last night.
And you know what I realized?? As BAD as tru calling is.. there
is no alternative! I actually hit my television guide to see what
else was on Thursday nights and there is NOTHING!! Other than
playing video games or watching anime on dvd.. (which takes effort)
I'm stuck watching Tru Calling.
So if everyone who watches Tru has the same affliction I have,
this show will stay around forever.
Thank God CSI was awesome last night.
[> Re: Love (is like a) Building on Fire (spoilers for Tru
Calling 1.2) -- CW, 07:46:55 11/07/03 Fri
Well, this time cjl and I largely agree. This ep was a bit better
than the pilot. But, obviously that isn't saying a whole lot.
As neaux was saying, this show's biggest assest is its time slot.
From the early reviews I'm surprised Threat Matrix is still on,
and this incarnation of Survivor apparently isn't as popular as
the ones before it. Still, Tru Calling is a gonner. I like watching
Eliza so I'll probably keep tuning in, but otherwise I not going
to expect anything from it.
Comparing this show to the UPN show Seven Days of a few years
ago, it's almost impossible to believe anything Tru does on her
'missions.' If some stranger comes up to you and starts demanding
you to do thus and such, you're probably going to think they're
crazy or trying to rob you, one way or the other. If somebody
walked into a firehouse and asked a fireman to do a building inspection,
wouldn't the fireman suggest she go through channels (unless,
of course, he saw a prime opportunitty to get in her pants.)?
If as last week a stranger came up and started accusing several
people you know of trying to kill you wouldn't you most likely
call the police to keep this nut away from you? The time traveler
in Seven Days usually had a little time to make sane-person contact
with people he couldn't bully with his military connects. Tru
says in the last ep to the prof (one of the few meaningful lines
there have been in the show overall) he had his day, he only gets
one. One day just isn't enough for Tru, either.
[> Yep, I'm done -- Ponygirl, 08:02:40 11/07/03 Fri
I actually got a fair amount of house-cleaning done while supposedly
watching Tru so that's something.
[> Re: Love (is like a) Building on Fire (spoilers for Tru
Calling 1.2) -- skeeve, 09:59:22 11/07/03 Fri
In the fairly near future, Tru should be able to hire done what
she needs done.
As has already been hinted at, Tru could make a fair amount of
If there is to be any premise-specific drama, 'twould stem from
discovering what she needs done or avoiding prosecution for winning
Gary, the guy who received the Early Edition, worked much too
Eventually Gary encountered a guy from New York who worked much
less and got more done.
He had employees and played the stock market.
Gary's strategy didn't change.
BTW I miss Seven Days.
[> Wait, are you saying that... -- Masq, 10:58:59
'Tru Calling' takes place in San Francisco? I wonder if Eliza
does any location shoots....
[> [> Nope, looks like I'm wrong again.... -- cjl,
11:10:07 11/07/03 Fri
From the Fox website:
Tru Davies is a smart, sexy recent college graduate who finds
herself working the midnight shift at the New York City morgue.
One night, Tru questions reality when she thinks she hears a murder
victim asking for her help. But the next morning, Tru wakes up
to find that she is back at the beginning of the previous day
-- twelve hours before a murder that only she knows is about to
take place. With the clock ticking, she is compelled to scour
the city of New York to prevent this wrongful death, while at
the same time trying to make a difference in her family's unhappy
It's set in New York?
Looks like Vancouver to me.
[> [> [> They all look like Vancouver! -- Masq,
11:27:33 11/07/03 Fri
Every town in America Mulder and Scully visited in seasons 1-4
of the X-Files looked oddly like Vancouver. I've never seen so
many pine-tree covered cliffs and hills in a "small Iowa
town" in my life.
[> [> [> [> Re: They all look like Vancouver!
-- Emma, 14:09:27 11/09/03 Sun
We only worry about Vancouver because we live here but everyone
seems in a panic about Arnold. Now that he's governor he's probably
going to try to steal some of our territory as far as movie and
television locations go. It's a big business in Vancouver because
it's a pretty city with a dessert, snow capped mountain, cattle
country, and forest.
[> All I can say is thank heaven DP didn't write it, and(spoilers
for Tru Calling 1.2) -- s'kat, 11:27:56 11/07/03 Fri
Why wasn't he the one writing it??? (sigh, mucho apologies,
apparently my information source was wrong. OR maybe he did write
one but they didn't like it and that's why he bailed is working
on Lost in Space now?)
And wait - they cancelled SKIN? But they aren't cancelling Tru
Calling? Are they insane? Are viewers insane? SKIN was actually
good - innovative with good actors, Ron Silver, Rachel Ticotin,
John Anderson, DW Moffet. I give up.
Long as I live I will never understand the majority's television
Neaux is right - there is zip on tv Thursday. I was bored until
Scrubs came on at 9:30. Tru Calling? I agree with
CW, it was better than the pilot but that seriously isn't saying
much. The only thing they've fixed so far is the running.
[> [> Agree completely. -- cjl, 11:45:54 11/07/03
The FOXies have no brains whatsoever. "Skin" and "The
O.C." would have been a superb one-two punch of soap operatics
for Thursday nights, an excellent counterprogramming move against
NBC's comedies, Survivor, and whatever the hell ABC is throwing
up in those time slots. (Threat Matrix? Please.)
The O.C. is doing well enough on Wednesdays at 9, but it's not
nearly the break-out hit it could be. (It's also chipping away
at Angel's demographics, which isn't making me happy either.)
Skin should have been given more of a shot--more of a shot than
Tru Calling, anyway.
And if Tru goes down in flames anyway, what has Fox have on tap
to replace it? Anything?
[> [> Re: All I can say is thank heaven DP didn't write
it, and(spoilers for Tru Calling 1.2) -- alcibiades, 14:33:37
I agree with CW, it was better than the pilot but that seriously
isn't saying much.
I thought the opposite. Once you saw the pilot, you knew the premise
for the whole show. Go back a day, think you fixed the problem,
nope, go back two more times until you get it right. Or don't.
Which is why I stopped watching about three minutes on and only
wandered back in occasionally and then for the final scenes.
Moreover, in the age of Third Watch, we are supposed to be
so stupid as to believe that nDHBmaterial would venture into
the fire without being suited up because he is stubborn, when
actual suited members of the fire squad are standing right near
by and not going in at that moment to help? And no one on his
squad stops him? Like the other guys? Or the captain?
In which case, nDHBmaterial is so stupid, he deserves to die his
Moreover to the second power, didn't anyone learn anything obvious
about ED's acting abilities from watching BTVS and ATS. She is
great when she is playing off other strong actors, being high
energy girl. In an ensemble cast of strong actors, she would be
lots of fun. But anchoring an entire show of non-memorable actors?
And standing around looking indecisive? I don't think so.
But then, it was brought to you by the idiots who deleted Firefly.
Yep, that about sums it up.
[> Tap, Tap, Tap -- Dlgood, 11:45:50 11/07/03 Fri
I'm waiting for College Basketball season to start, so I can watch
the ACC games instead of this boring & lame show. Eliza's hot
and all, but it's not enough.
At least Shack's recaplet for TWoP was funny.
[> [> Did you read the TWoP recaplet for Angel as well?
They tie together. -- Doug, 11:48:48 11/07/03 Fri
And they're both very funny.
[> [> The recaplet WAS funny. Especially when you combine
it with the AtS recap.... -- cjl, 11:51:25 11/07/03 Fri
ANGEL 5.6: "The Cautionary Tale of Numero Cinco"
Episode Report Card
555 users: B
Subject: Re: RE: Re: RE: Oh, *that* Donald Sutherland movie
How are you? I am fine. Sorry for not writing sooner but stop
forwarding me spam about Viagra. Ha ha okay? Please stop.
I did get out of the office like you suggested. Not a vacation
though. Just another scavenger hunt through the alleys: demons
and dead bodies. Nice to get away from the desk though and I met
this guy. He was our mailman but he threw me through a window
and he used to be a wrestler and a ch^H^H hero. He and his four
brothers used to fight evil. Then the brothers got killed fighting
this Aztec demon.
Remind me to look into pension plans.
The demon came back looking for the hearts of pure heroes, but
me and the wrestle-guy were too bitter for him. You make fun of
me for brooding but it saved my life this time so lay off. The
guy was trying to get the demon to kill him but then there were
wrestling ghosts and I'm not sure I understand it but everything
Since you asked: you-know-who just won't you-know-what. Stop laughing;
you don't have to live with it. Now he's sniffing around my prophecies.
Don't tell her I said this but just between you and me, even with
almost sending the world to hell I'm still the best boyfriend
Buffy ever had. No wonder she never got over me.
She hasn't gotten over me, right?
Plus I got impaled again. I've forgotten how much that stings.
Tell Buffy and the gang that I said hi. Don't let on that anything's
wrong till we figure it out.
P.S. This will sound strange but have you ever really liked a
piece of jewelry? REALLY liked it? Just wondering.
Tru Calling 1.2: "Putting Out Fires"
Episode Report Card
58 users: B-
Subject: RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: Oh, *that* Donald Sutherland movie
Angel! I'm so glad I finally heard from somebody I know. Look,
everything's a little confusing now and I don't have time to get
into your...wrestling ghosts? Okay, well...actually, we've seen
Anyway, I've been body-switched, and this time it's really not
my fault, I swear. I was just minding my own, when suddenly I'm
trapped in the body of this girl named Tru. I know that I've been
switched, and I think they know I know. This girl, Lindsay, keeps
insisting to me that she's my best friend. And this guy, Harrison,
keeps telling me he's my brother. Normal people don't talk like
that. I think they're trying to mojo my mind, you know. Convince
me this is all real. And my "sister," Meredith, just
keeps telling my own life story back to me. If I'm really Tru,
why would she do that? There's something nasty going on, and I'm
not falling for it this time. I really don't need yet another
damned coma. I think it has something to do with Tru's mom. She
died a few years ago, and I found out the death rate here went
way up after she was gone. Maybe she was a slayer? With three
And then there's this other part. Whoever did this to me wants
me to do something good for some reason. Some firefighter gets
killed while trying to save some kid, and somehow I'm able to
go back in time a day to try to stop it. I know, it's not exactly
stopping Satan or anything, but the guy is seriously hot. Way
hotter than Tru's asswipe of a boyfriend. When Tru gets her body
back, she better damn well be grateful I dumped her cheating weasel-faced
boyfriend for her. That guy was a big load. Oh, a little girl
died, too. Forgot about that. So I flirted with the firefighter
to get him to inspect the building the morning before the fire
was supposed to start. What? It worked. You have your ways. I
have mine. We found a gas leak and fixed it, but then it turned
out that didn't cause the fire after all. It was arson. And then
I thought it was the building super. Or owner. Or maintenance
man. Whatever. Some balding guy. You know the type. But then it
turned out to be the little girl's brother, who started it because...you
know, I don't know. I don't even know how I know. So I don't prevent
the fire, and the firefighter insists on showing up at the building
anyway. And then he saves the girl, but dies anyway, but I don't
even know how, Angel! I was there, but I don't know how he saved
the girl, yet still died.
There's something wrong with this world, Angel. Everybody here
is dumb. Dumber than Wesley. Nothing makes any sense. This has
got to be some hell dimension or something. Or maybe Ethan did
it. Is he still alive? I can never remember who's still alive.
You've got to get me out of here, or I swear I'm gonna do something,
and I don't know what it is, but when it shows up on the news,
it will be called a "spree."
Get me out of here, dude. Now.
5 x 5 (NOT!)
P.S. Jewelry? B has not been a good influence on you.
[> [> [> Wow -- Ponygirl, 13:09:18 11/07/03
How is it the recaplets are so funny and the full scale reviews
(the AtS ones at least) so not? Brevity is the soul of wit...
The recaplets kind of make me want Tru Calling to keep going!
[> [> [> [> The problem with TWOP's full-length
reviews of AtS.... -- cjl, 13:24:22 11/07/03 Fri
...is that their reviewer, Strega, hates the new set-up, and most
of the subsidiary characters. She's been ragging on Wes since
Day One (stubble or no stubble), she doesn't care about Fred or
Gunn, and she insists on calling Spike "Spicule"--as
if he's some kind of impostor in Spike's knee-length leather duster.
For every somewhat amusing observation, there's usually an uncalled-for
"Shut up, Wesley!" (Shut up, Strega. It's getting old.)
But that's TWOP for you. Every one of their reviewers has a pet
peeve, and they beat that dog so many times during a review, I'm
surprised the ASPCA doesn't shut down the site.
"The recaplets kind of make me want Tru Calling to keep going!"
I wouldn't go that far, pg.
[> [> [> *gasp* Trying to remember how to breathe
-- Vesica, 11:21:32 11/11/03 Tue
*gasp*splutter* HOW! How can the recaplet be so much better than
the show?? I want to see the racaplet as its own show! Faith's
ending line is perfect. I want it on a T-shirt!
"You've got to get me out of here, or I swear I'm gonna do
something, and I don't know what it is, but when it shows up on
the news, it will be called a "spree." "
Where can I find the recaplet for the pilot? Anyone?
[> Tru's writing is trying our patience! -- Ames, 13:38:01
ED is an engaging actress, so I'll keep watching until it gets
really bad. But so far the writing really sucks. I agree with
a lot of the above review comments, i.e. heavy-handed red herrings,
romantic interest not very believable, siblings and friends with
nothing to contribute. And Tru has the perfect opportunity to
think out exactly what she wants to say to her cheating lover,
and that's the best she could come up with?
I'm sure you're right that the half-hour recap is to pick up the
Friends audience changing channels. Now that's funny!
I don't think there's anying fundamentally wrong with the premise
- it will serve as a vehicle just as well as any other unlikely
set of circumstances (high-school girl in California town is the
champion of humanity against the forces of evil?). But please,
hire some decent writers! There used to be a good script doctor
named Joss Whedon.
BTW, Tru Calling is filming in Vancouver until Dec 2003 (see http://www.hollywoodnorthreport.com/pages/insidetrucalling.htm)
[> The Ratings for Tru Calling 1.2 -- cjl, 15:52:37
"Week two of Fox's Tru Calling sunk to a 3.4/5 at 8 p.m.
(17 percent below last week's already dismal 4.1/6)..."
Keep that resume handy, Eliza.
[> [> Re: The Ratings for Tru Calling 1.2 -- celticross,
23:17:26 11/07/03 Fri
I'm calling it...A Faith guest appearance on AtS by February sweeps.
[> [> [> Here's hoping! -- Dariel, 10:22:40
I know it's wrong to hope someone's series tanks, but I do so
want to see Faith again. I like ED, but Tru is so uninteresting
that she might as well be played my generic actress. 10 or 15
years ago it could have been Valerie Bertinelli.
[> [> [> [> That's 'by any generic actress.' Time
for more coffee. -- Dariel, 10:24:28 11/08/03 Sat
[> My nitpick -- Cheryl, 23:26:44 11/08/03 Sat
I liked this episode more than the first one, but it's still pretty
disappointing. My question - why was the fireman's calendar on
September 2004? Shouldn't it have been a 2003 month? Or did the
firehouse have the 2004 calendar and put up September because
it was one of their own? I just thought it was strange - were
they going to have September 2004 up all year?
[> [> Oh good, someone else saw that! I thought I was
hallucinating. -- jane, 23:30:52 11/08/03 Sat
government knowledge -- aperitis, 15:40:34
i was just curious...remember when the scoobies destroyed the
initiative and they cut to a secret government meeting where the
people said that research on the "hostile subterrestrials"
was over...does that mean that the government knows about demons
and magic? if it does, that really blows...i always thought of
the magic world being separate from the rest of the world (as
it is in charmed). if regular joes know about the supernatural
then why dont regular joes go out demon hunting and slaying vampires;
then demons woould be almost nonexistant seeing as how everyone
would hunt them down. id like to hear thoughts on this
[> Re: government knowledge -- Ames, 17:07:50 11/07/03
There wasn't much follow-up to this on BtVS. Riley and his new
wife when they showed up in "As You Were" in Season
6 were part of some branch of the military that was still hunting
demons. And must still have been some remnant of the Initiative
scientific staff around in Season 7 so that they were able to
remove Spike's chip. It's difficult to believe that there wouldn't
have been more continuing interest by government/military types,
so you either have to suspend disbelief, or apply some fanwanking
to come up with a plausible but unsupported explanation.
For example, a possible explanation for why most people can ignore
the presence of demons and vampires is the "Ben/Glory"
effect. Glory had some sort of magical spell or effect that kept
people from remembering that Ben was Glory, until they were told
or shown often enough to make the knowledge stick. It could be
that there's a global spell that makes people quickly forget about
seeing demons and vampires unless they are repeatedly exposed.
Of course the spell becomes ineffective for those who are constantly
exposed to the presence of these creatures (like the Scooby gang
or Angel's gang in LA), so they know what's going on. This effect
would also explain why people who were involved with the Initiative
gradually just forgot about it once the Initiative was shut down.
If they remembered anything, it was only that they were doing
biolgical research on "animals".
[> Re: government knowledge -- manwitch, 16:30:59
Regular joes do go out after demons and vampires. That's what
the scoobs are between seasons 2 and 3. That's what Gunn is. That's
what wolf-poacher is in season 2. The vampire wannabees in Lie
to Me are an ignorant version of average joes who know about
the supernatural world.
The first indication we have of government knowledge of the supernatural
world is in Season One's Out of Mind, Out of Sight. Marcie
is taken by federal agents to some covert ops program to learn
In Season 2, we find an average joe, well, reasonably average,
makes money off of poaching werewolves in Phases. Many
members of the Alpha Delta Machita fraternity are obviously aware
of demons and the supernatural even though they have gone off
into regular society for the past fifty years. We also find that
the Principal of Sunnydale Highschool and members of Emergency
Services are aware of the unusual qualities of Sunnydale and are
engaged in covering it up. See School Hard. The end of
Season 2, Becoming begins to implicate the Mayor of Sunnydale,
which implies government.
In Season 3 we find that the government of sunnydale itself is
corrupt and demonic.
In Season 4 we get the special ops Initiative, which by that point
is hardly a surprise in terms of government knowledge or involvement
in the world of the supernatural. They are, of course, attempting
to tame it as it were, to objectify it and reduce it to a series
of rules and equations. To demystify it one might say.
In Season 5, we discover that regular Army also goes after demons.
I kind of prefer this vision of the supernatural. That people
willing to see it, can see it, can interact with it, can be effected
by it and can in turn effect it. People who don't know about it
can learn about it, like Oz or Joyce, and can learn how to function
in the new but consistent reality. I also like that while many
in the non-mystical world know about the mystical world, there
are also people in the mystical world that don't know they are
mystical, like Dawn for example. I just personally find it more
interesting then the completely separate worlds approach. It means
characters, even minor characters, are given room to grow and
develop. Plus it blurs the line of what a regular joe is or if
they even exist. Is Jonathon a regular Joe? Is Xander? Tucker?
Girlfriend-beating Beast boy? The loser bullies that know how
to raise themselves from the dead?
It seems that everyone has a connection to the mystical world
if they choose to recognize it. I just think that's kinda cool.
No one is cut off unless they do it to themselves.
As Plain as the Number on his Face, er, Mask.......spoilers
for ATS 5.6 -- Rufus, 04:52:00 11/08/03 Sat
The Cautionary Tale of Numero Cinco was an episode that was allegory
and farce, but something was as plain as the number on the old
mans mask.....five. So, what does the number five have to do with
From A Dictionary of SYMBOLS by J.E. Cirlot...
Quinary: This is a group of five elements. It is represented
formally by the pentagon and the five-pointed star, and also by
the square together with its central point. Traditionally,
the number five symbolizes man after the fall, but, once applied
to this order of earthly things, it signifies health and love
(44). Esoteric thinking sees this, not as the effect but, in fact,
as the cause of man's five extremities with the number five inscribed
also on each hand and foot (54). This association of the number
five with the human figure, common during the Romanesque period,
is found all over the world, from England to the Far East. Agrippa
of Nettesheim depicted the image of man with arms and legs apart
and related to the pentagram. Many amulets and talismans are
based upon the number five, not only because of the associated
ideas of the human figure, health (or physical integrity) and
love, but because the quinary is symbolic of the whole of the
material world (denoted by the quaternary) plus the centre or
quintessence. In Morocco, for example, to protect oneself
agains the evil eye one repeats the phrase hamsa fi ainek ('five
in your eye'). Certain Islamic rites and concepts were patterned
after the quinary: there are five religious duties, five keys
to secret knowledge, five daily prayers and a solemn oath is repeated
five times (12). For the Chinese, five is the most important of
all the numbers. The Quinary, in sum, represents the natural
rhythm of life, the order of the cosmos. The following groups
(among others) are based upon the quinary 'model': the five planets
(Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn); the five elemental forms
(metal, vegetable, water, fire, earth); the five colours (white,
black, blue, red, yellow); the five musical timbres (of bronze,
stone, silk, wood and clay); the five essential landscapes (of
mountains and woods, rivers and lakes, hills, fertile plains,
springs and swamps) (13). In the Near East and in the West the
number five has been used solely as an expression of the human
figure as a whole, and of eroticism; here the predominant model-numbers
have been four and seven, and it is according to these numbers
that the cosmic components of the universe and of man have been
Angel restored free-will, changed the fate of his son by giving
him a new life, wiped everyone's mind of the sons existance. We
have seen six episodes of Angel and for some people the arc isn't
that clear, but there are things that are happening that show
that the natural order has been changed by Angel's actions, even
if they were well intentioned. Number five was someone who had
been a hero but lost his way as the connection to the centre he
had by his relationship to his brothers had been forever altered.
His heart hardened and life became a wasteland where existance
was all there was, no more joy to be had. When his brothers came
from the earth to collect their fifth the order was restored,
for them. We have talked about Grail Quests but what are they
From An Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Traditional Symbols....
Grail: In Christianity the Grail is also the Sacred
Heart of Christ. The loss of the Grail represents the loss
of the Golden Age, Paradise, man's primorial spirituality, purity
In Christian legend the Grail was given to Adam but was left in
Paradise at the Fall. It is at the centre of Paradise and must
be refound, hence the Redeemer (of whom Seth, who achieved re-entry
and recieved the Grail, is the prototype) recovers the chalaice
and restores Paradise to mankind. The Quest for the Grail is
the return to Paradise, the spiritual centre of man and the universe,
and follows the symbolic pattern of initiation through trials,
tests and encounters with death in the search for the hidden meaning
and mystery of life. The quest is usually undertaken by a solar
hero, often the son of a widowed mother and brought up in seclusion
and in ignorance of his true nature. Grail symbols are the
cup or vase, a radiant chalice with a heart, the lance, sword,
dish, downward-pointing triangle, magical stone. The Quest is
sometimes symbolized by the Book, in which case the search for
the Lost Word.
Paradise: Paradise Lost,. or the Fall, symbolizes
the descent from unity into duality and multiplicity in manifestation;
the movement away from the centre of perfection and dispersal
and disintegration in the world of multiplicity. Paradise Lost
plunges man into time and darkness; Paradise Regained restores
unity and ends time. Symbols of Paradise are the Centre; the
enclosed and secret garden, having bird song and scented flowers;
the rose garden; the Island of the Blessed; the Green Isle; Elysian
Fields; the Promised Land; El Dorado; a cluster of pearls (Chinese),
The lost Paradise is guarded by monsters, dragons, or angels with
flaming swords; to regain it entails great difficulties, trials
and perils, which symbolize the arduous spiritual path of the
journey back to the Centre.
Notice that Lorne mentioned "Ship of Fools" when he
spoke of his ability to guide anyone, help them see their destiny,
as Lorne is now a crew member of Wolfram and Hart.
Angel. It's a graveyard out there, and all the guests wanna meet
the new guy in charge.
Look, Lorne, I-I- I have things. I'm busy. I'm brooding.
(turns behind him to see the television is on)
Oh, you're watching hockey!
Yeah, but my team is losing.
Get up off your keister and get out there! I can't steer this
ship of fools by my lonesome! I just can't do it! I-
From Herders Dictionary of Symbols.....
Ship: It is a symbol of journey and crossing, and thus
a symbol of life ("the journey of life").
Now we see that no one has purchase on moral or spiritual matters
as everyone associated with Angel is now in the Belly of the Beast
where transformations can occur for the better or worse. The thing
is that even if we never see a container or anything like a Grail,
we see the struggle they are in as a Grail quest, that quest to
restore the centre that could no longer hold....comeon, I just
had to throw in that Yeats reference....;)
The Wish -- Buffys#1fan, 15:52:33 11/08/03
Hi I just noticed something in the wish. When the master was releases
in prophecy girl, the hellmouth began to open and all those demons
were coming out. Howcome it didn't happen in The Wish since I
thought that's what the master always wanted. Thanks.
Oh and is it true Lilah or Lindsay are coming back?
[> One can fanwank -- KdS, 16:30:42 11/08/03 Sat
In Prophecy Girl the Master implied that it was necessary
for him to drink Slayer blood if he were to be freed and the Helmouth
opened. In the Wishverse, presumably the Harvest occurred uninterrupted
and the Master was freed, but the Hellmouth was not opened. In
my personal imagined Wishverse, the Master spent a while making
fruitless attempts to open the Hellmouth until Spike and Dru turned
up and showed him how much fun the world could be, putting him
on the emotional path that led him to his decision to enslave
humanity in The Wish. Spike and Dru, however, had by this
point been dusted by Vamp!Willow for trying to take her puppy
[> [> Re: One can fanwank -- Finn Mac Cool, 16:39:17
In my version, it goes more along the lines that Giles and Angel,
realizing Buffy wasn't coming, try to stop the Master from rising.
They fail, but find some way to close the Hellmouth again (we
know Hellmouth closing rituals exist, see "The Zeppo").
The Master, having been stuck underground for 60 years the last
time he tried to open the mouth of hell, probably decided to leave
it be and enjoy his rule over the human populace.
| More November 2003