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Crucifixion Imagery in Lessons 7.1 as we wait impatiently -- Al Cibiades, 09:42:41 10/01/02 Tue

So why is crucifixion imagery -- the passion flower that Willow summons then returns to the earth -- appropriate for Willow?

Is this a symbol of what is to come?

Cause I can't see that her suffering is either unmerited right now or for the sake of mankind. It's about Willow dealing with trying to be Willow again.

Have there been any other crucifixion symbols in 7.1?

[> Re: Crucifixion Imagery in Lessons 7.1 as we wait impatiently -- Caroline, 10:38:53 10/01/02 Tue

Quick response - maybe Willow feels an internal need to atone? I noticed that both Willow and Spike appear to be undergoing their own form of a Passion experience - it's not that God has forsaken them, they've forsaken their own conscience or souls in the past and are now unable to deal with it. Spike 'should be caned'. Willow wants to deny the darkWillow aspect of herself and be non-darkWillow. We've even got Spike with the Christ-like wounds on his chest (of course they're not inflicted by a Roman soldier but it does parallel).

There are other sacrifices as well. Perhaps the girl killed in Istanbul is also some type of sacrifice also. THe manifest spirits were also a sacrifice - they could not be saved by Buffy. My speculation skills are not great but I would say that this points to some type of sacrifice required this season in dealing with the big bad.

Gotta go, but will think about this more.

[> [> Episode 7.2 spoiler here! re: Crucifixion imagery -- KKC, 13:22:31 10/01/02 Tue

Interesting observation about Spike and Willow going through Passion experiences. I've just finished watching the second episode of the season, and I won't give away the ending... But the last visual is one of Spike hugging an ornate, six-foot tall cross to his chest. Neat stuff, and it ties in with the ending of season 6 (with the allegorical carpenter saving the world with passive, unconditional love and without violence or argument.)

-KKC, wondering if Willow's Judaism ends up being a factor in her redemption or not. She is still technically jewish, yes?

[> [> Don't be impatient (spoilers for future episodes, based on the teaser a the end of 7.1) -- Santa, 13:22:38 10/01/02 Tue

There should be alot of talk about Cruifixion poses. Did you see the Spike pose flashed during the teaser for tonight?

[> Re: Crucifixion Imagery in Lessons 7.1 as we wait impatiently -- luna, 18:30:13 10/01/02 Tue

Enough crucifixion in Beneath You, hmmm?

Will Angel's Hair Grow While He's Trapped In the Water? It Should. -- B, 11:47:54 10/01/02 Tue

[> Vampire hair -- Apophis, 12:46:04 10/01/02 Tue

Previously, I didn't think that vampire hair grew. After Amends, in which Angelus sported both longer hair and facial hair, I revised my opinion. Obviously, Spike's hair grew somewhat during his "vacation," but not a whole lot. Nor did he have facial hair. This leads me to conclude that vampire hair grows, but does so at a much slower rate than in living mammals. Ergo, Angel's hair may not have grown noticeably between seasons. Then again, I guess it all comes down to whether or not the costuming department feels like dusting off the extentions.

[> [> didnt I read somewhere? -- neaux, 13:22:47 10/01/02 Tue

or maybe I heard it on a commentary about really really old vampires. They have long fingernails.

Or that is just the makeup departments' own whimsy for a particular "look".

But if fingernails grow, I'd say that hair grows too.

[> [> [> Re: didnt I read somewhere? -- leslie, 14:02:55 10/01/02 Tue

In terms of the intersection of "folklore and reality" (as Paul Barber subtitles _Vampires, Burial, and Death_), one of the reasons that people thought the corpses they dug up were vampires was that their hair (especially whiskers) and fingernails appeared to have grown since death, though in actuality, this was due to the contraction of the flesh as the result of decay rather than the extension of the hair and nails. Likewise, the "vampire's" smooth complexion was due to the exterior skin sloughing off through decay and revealing a deeper layer (the stuff all those alpha-hydroxy acids and other facial scrubs and peels are supposed to reveal!)

[> [> [> [> Re: didnt I read somewhere? -- meritaten, 23:03:15 10/01/02 Tue

Well, we learned early in season Four that demons' fingernails grow after death (Buffy demon roommate).

Vampires heal from injuries.

Given the above, I don't think we can rule out the growth of hair.

[> [> Re: Vampire hair -- B, 13:49:26 10/01/02 Tue

Good theory, that it grows much more slowly.

From the previews it looks like his hair didn't grow. I hope it's not just a slip up, but that there's an explanation.

[> [> Something I'd like to see -- ponygirl, 13:55:45 10/01/02 Tue

I want an episode featuring some sort of demonic barbershop. There'd be video monitors so vamps could check out their new 'dos and maybe some features for the more exotic demons, like scale polishing, or clawed manicures, or horn sharpening, and lots of nancy-boy hair gel.

[> [> [> Re: Something I'd like to see -- Xaverri, 15:35:34 10/01/02 Tue

Haha!! What a great idea! Now there's a product to market to vamps. A mirror created by a tiny camera implanted in a video screen.

[> [> [> Re: Something I'd like to see -- Munkeegrl, 23:26:18 10/01/02 Tue

Did you know...

That Nancy-boy is the name of a real line of products now? Near where I live in the Castro in San Francisco there is an entire Nancy-boy shop (and yes they have hair gel). When I first saw it I had a hard time stopping the laughter as I felt it was a direct Angel reference.

Dawn, something precious to the world (S5 Spoilers) -- meritaten, 16:20:43 10/01/02 Tue

I just watched a rerun from S5, the episode where the space demon comes to earth to kill crazy people (Sorry, don't know the name of the episode). Anyway, when Joyce was goofy as a result of her tumor, she saw that Dawn was not really her daughter. When she asked Buffy about this, she said that she got this realization that Dawn wasn't her daughter, but was something very precious to the world - something that had to be protected. Not only did Joyce say that she loved Dawn as a daughter no matter her origins, but she said that she sensed that Dawn was something precious to the world. I'm hoping like anything that this is expanded upon this season. I've always wondered why the monks were so determined to save the key. I had forgotten about this statement by Joyce, which is another clue to the importance of the key. I'd really like to see this question resolved.

[> May I just say she rocks lately? (7.2 spoilers) -- HonorH, 01:13:16 10/02/02 Wed

Agree with you, meritaten, and the UPN promos specifically mention her Key-ness. Now, UPN and ME don't always agree, but I'm hoping ME had a hand in the promo, because I do think they need to get back to the Key and explain just *why* the monks felt such a strong need to see to it that it wasn't destroyed.

And isn't my little Dawnie growing up nicely? She was all mature and leadershippy in the first ep, and tonight, with a smaller role, she just rocked. She was there to comfort Buffy out of that nightmare/Slayer dream, she very calmly confronted Buffy on the Spike front, and Scary!Dawn with Spike? Oooh, I was happy! Yes! *That's* how you deal with the guy who tried to rape your sister!

I need to be in bed, but I'm so jazzed tonight, I don't think I'll sleep. Happy-loolah!

[> [> Let's play 'hit the Spike' (again) -- CaptainPugwash, 03:16:00 10/02/02 Wed

Woohoo.. let's all be mean to Spike; it doesn't matter that he has got his soul back; once an attempted rapist, always an attempted rapist etc.

If I can forgive Angel (as Angelus) for killing my favourite character (Jenny) and etc. (countless murders), then surely people can forgive Spike (as 'Spikelus') for attempting to rape their favourite character and etc. (countless murders). I don't always buy the whole ex-vamps shouldn't be held accountable for their vamp crimes thing, but accepting that characters have to come to terms with things by themselves (and not be accountable to some higher/audience 'power') is one of BtVS' first principles (Buffy, Willow, Giles, Angel, Faith [ok, so she is locked up], and now Spike have all had to do it [or are doing it]; Anya tried to do it, and Xander should have been kicked off his pedestal a long time ago)

Thank goodness that Buffy has the guts to remind people (*cough* I-raised-a-demon-that-killed-someone Xander *cough*) that whatever occurs between her and Spike is none of their business. With any luck, she will give Dawn a good talking to as well...

[> [> [> Re: Let's play 'hit the Spike' (again) -- Finn Mac Cool, 04:29:23 10/02/02 Wed

Keep one thing in mind though: at that point, none of them knew that Spike had gotten his soul back, so I found it a perfectly reasonable attitude. I don't think Buffy was really like "it's none of your business", I think it was more of "he's not a threat, and we always knew he was evil, anyway".

[> [> [> At least Xander's being consistent -- Scroll, 06:52:46 10/02/02 Wed

I don't think Dawn's threat to Spike was inappropriate or "mean". Spike did try to rape Buffy, and Dawn was simply making it clear that if he ever tried to hurt Buffy again, Dawn would make him pay. Nobody hit Spike (until he hit Anya), nobody pushed him around or bullied him. While I think forgiveness for Spike can eventually be found, I don't think it's wrong for Buffy, Dawn, and Xander to be *extremely* cautious and angry with him now.

And Angel wasn't exactly welcomed back with open arms, either. Buffy forgave him and Willow accepted him back after a while (and after he saved her life), but Giles, Xander, and Cordelia pretty much didn't trust him or like him at all. I don't know if Giles has ever totally forgiven Angel for Jenny's murder (even though they still collaborate occasionally).

Angel knows and accepts that he may never be forgiven for the evil he has committed. He taught Faith to understand this, and this is something Giles tries to explain to Willow. So whether or not Dawn decides to forgive Spike for trying to rape her sister, is really Dawn's business. Hopefully she will, because I think holding anger against Spike will damage *Dawn* and I don't want that.

[> [> [> [> Amen. -- HonorH, 07:43:46 10/02/02 Wed

Yes, Spike was Dawn's friend. Yes, he saved her life. Yes, what's between him and Buffy is his and Buffy's business. But that doesn't mean Dawn's uninvolved. This is her sister; Dawn's got a right to be protective, even if Buffy's the Slayer. There's more than one way to hurt a person.

And yes, I hope Dawn does eventually forgive Spike. It'd be just too Dawnie Sue for her to welcome him with open arms.

[> [> [> [> [> Dawn, Spike, Anya, Spoilers 7.2 -- fresne, 09:56:54 10/02/02 Wed

Okay, first of all I deeply resent that my work life is heating up (time for quarterlies) just when I have new Buffy to masticate. It's deeply unfair.

Also, this really does need to be the last season because if this show gets any better I will expire from sheer poetic pleasure.

Anyway, I really liked Dawn's reaction to Spike. While I'm inclined to see the whole SR, S6 Gordian knot thing as this hugely complex tangle, that isn't necessarily how I want Buffy's little sister to perceive it.

That moment was very much Dawn taking her power and restating her loyalties. Especially nice since she was a bit peeved with Buffy just then.

Spike, as the vampire, is stronger and faster than Dawn. However, everything is vulnerable. Although, as it happens Spike is more vulnerable than Dawn knows.

So, in this episode, Anya the demon. Did anyone else get a thrill when she took on demon face and told Spike that she was going to kick his ass? Not because I wanted to see his ass kicked, but rather because it was such a strong statement of empowerment from a character that has been pushed willy nilly thus far.

D'Hoffran, Hallie and Xander all push. Anya follows along. Her choices are so often based on other people's behavior/choices/arguments. Thus I agree and disagree with Xander's whole, "Miss Havisham the non-wedding is not an excuse for vengeance" comment. Disagree because, ahem, Xander honey, love ya, but you were secretly engaged this time last year. First deal with serious relationship issues, then seek to date. Agree because Anya needs to take agency for choices. She was doing so well in the finale. It would seem that now is her time to figure out her place in the world.

Because she did have the seeming of it all. Seeming. Wishing. Infinite power from feeling infinitely powerless. A weeping woman in a darkness with someone who has known her for a 1000 year. Why not be what she once was? As Anya said, those were good times.

So, after the episode, my housemate and I discussed how it would be nice if rather than rejecting being a demon (because I agree with Anya, Xander never did understand her as 1000+ year old demon), if Anya truly became a justice demon. Not sure what that means. Perhaps a leavening force. Perhaps giving power or understanding to the powerless. Help to those who cry for it.

God this episode rocked.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Anya and her future, Spoilers 7.2 -- Scroll, 10:23:11 10/02/02 Wed

I'm with you on Anya the Justice Demon. Not simply because I love her totally cool powers. But I think that she should have the chance to use her powers for good, and I think she could be useful as a "higher being"-type that empowers the helpless. Anya actually has a genuine understanding of power and knows her limits. While I agree with Xander that her "left at the altar" excuse isn't really going to work much longer, I do feel for Anya because she didn't just lose the love of her life, she lost her self-esteem, her friends, her certainty that she had a place in the world. I think it's time for Anya to reclaim her self-respect -- much like Willow needs to do.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> The source of Anya's demonic powers isn't really in the "justice" business (7.2 spoilers) -- cjl, 10:44:53 10/02/02 Wed

I think I've made the point a number of times that, despite Anya and Hallie's self-characterization as vengeance or justice demons, true vengeance or justice has little to do with D'Hoffryn's little operation.

Although I've sarcastically referred to D'Hoffryn a number of times as "pimp daddy," I'm not really being fair to the big guy. He's more of a middle man, an small-time demonic entrepreneur with one big client--and he needs to keep the client happy or he's out of business. The demons of the Lower Orders (whoever they are) contracted Pimp Daddy D to sow chaos and misery amongst humans, specifically through the instrument of revenge. IMO, these demons derive either an odd, aesthetic pleasure or actual physical pleasure (like Willow's magic weed) from a particularly juicy, havoc-creating wish. (Cordy's wish must have kept them high as a kite for weeks.)

If Anya keeps taking back wishes, or tries doing the "justice" thing for real, D'Hoffryn's clients don't get their "vengeance rush" and they'll be unhappy. And if they're unhappy, D'Hoffryn will be unhappy. And if D'Hoffryn's unhappy, Anya could be a pretty brunette stain on Sunnydale's streets before you know it.

So Anya's options are far more limited than you think. That's what makes her situation this season so poignant; she looks and sounds powerful in "Beneath You," but in many ways, she's actually LESS powerful than she's ever been. The poor kid's painted herself into a corner, and I'm wondering how--or if--she can get out.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Anya should switch teams, join Cordy w/ the PTB! -- Scroll, 11:07:19 10/02/02 Wed

wow -- lynxx, 18:06:33 10/01/02 Tue

i am speechless.

[> You can say that again! Buffy is BACK! NOW do y'all see how season six sucked? -- Rochefort, 18:13:15 10/01/02 Tue

[> [> No. But I will say this episode was great -- Artemis, 19:19:49 10/01/02 Tue

[> [> I would if season six didn't set all of this up... thank ME for S6 -- JBone, 20:11:40 10/01/02 Tue

[> [> [> I agree...Never has the necessity of Season 6 been more evident. -- Rob, 21:22:50 10/01/02 Tue

Huge Season Six fan as I am notwithstanding, I will admit that, so far, this season is blowing it out of the water (except for OMWF and TR)...but every single great thing this season has come about from plot elements that occurred last season. I think it is very clear now why last year had to happen the way it did. Now, we get all the fun ramificationiness that's occurring now!


[> [> [> [> execution execution execution -- Rochefort, 23:24:19 10/01/02 Tue

[> [> [> [> [> just whose execution are you calling for? @>) -- anom, 11:12:20 10/02/02 Wed

[> [> [> [> Agreed. Two *amazing* eps so far. -- HonorH, 00:00:36 10/02/02 Wed

I'm with you, Rob--I thought S6 was misunderstood genius. However, if this season keeps this up . . . well, I might not survive!

[> [> [> [> Yes, but ... -- vh, 06:05:30 10/02/02 Wed

The pieces of 6 still don't fit together quite right. Needed more skillful writing, and I just expect that level from this team.

[> [> [> Yes, they learned from last year's lousiness and laziness. Thank you, Joss!;) -- mundusmundi, 05:17:13 10/02/02 Wed

[> [> [> [> Hey, I was supposed to say that! -- Underworld, mm's evil alter-ego, with gravest apologies, 05:26:13 10/02/02 Wed

[> [> [> [> Echoing mundus -- Cactus Watcher, 06:53:35 10/02/02 Wed

[> [> [> [> From the battlements I pour boiling oil upon the S6 detractors! Burn baby! -- ponygoyle rattling my taloned wings, 07:51:29 10/02/02 Wed

[> [> [> [> You're forgetting one of Whedon's main rules: -- Arethusa, 09:34:16 10/02/02 Wed

Things change. And many people like the changes ME made, because only through going into the dark part of their souls can the characters really grow and develop. Would you prefer the vacuity and shallowness of, say, Friends, where people age but never really change, and character flaws exist only to trigger the laugh track? What you call lousiness is ground-breaking exploration of character, and what you call laziness is-I don't know, because I can't imagine where that comes from. They only complaint I really have about Season 6 is how subtlety was sometimes replaced by a whack upside the head with an anvil, as ToWP might say.

Spike's stunning metamorphisis only could come about after the events of last year. Already we are raving about Season 7, and the two episodes we've seen are just starting to deal with the baggage accumulated last year. That scene in the bar, where the Scoobies' sexual relationships were outlined, was hilarious and awkward and a little sad-and an off-shoot of the tangled mess they got themselves into last year. As always, last year should be seen in the context of the entire series. Even if the S6 detractors don't like it now, they might change their minds later, and have to pick crow feathers out of their teeth. And I'll say, "I told you so!"

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Arethusa Well Said and I AgreeTotally Thanks. -- Angelina, 13:57:29 10/02/02 Wed

[> [> [> [> [> I agree, except for your Friends comment. I'd say Chandler has grown a great deal from his origin. -- Finn Mac Cool, 14:07:37 10/02/02 Wed

[> [> [> [> [> Oooh, glad you brought that up. O/T re Friends -- Arethusa, 16:03:01 10/02/02 Wed

Maybe you can explain a little about Chandler's development, since I missed many episodes. What brought about Chandler's new maturity? I haven't seen any events that would change him so fundamentally, from the insecure wisecracking "little boy" as Anya would say to a mature man ready for committment and raising a family. He was one messed-up little puppy, what with the anger and defense mechanisms and daddy issues. It's like sleeping with Monica gave him a soul.

[> [> No. Tonight's ep rocked, but Season 6 set it up. -- HonorH, 23:55:42 10/01/02 Tue

[> [> Pleas stop whining about season 6. Season 7 wouldn't exist without it -- shadowkat, 07:14:37 10/02/02 Wed

I also loved Season 6. I prefered it to Season 1 and Season 4. We all have our favorite seasons. You will never change my mind and have made your point to the extent it is now annoying. Please stop whining. Season 7 builds on Season 6 and Season 5 and Season 4. It would be like saying can
you all see how the first five chapters of this book sucked?
When many of us, are going wow look where they led me too! This is amazing!! I'm so glad they went there.

So Stop whining already.

It makes me not want to read your posts. And you seem to have some interesting ideas, that I'd hate to miss.

[> [> [> S.6 wounded me deeply... but maybe I can try getting counseling or something and work it out there. -- Rochefort, 11:12:09 10/02/02 Wed

[> All I can say about "Beneath You" is...WHOA! (NT) -- Joie (d V), 18:18:36 10/01/02 Tue

[> Couldn't write till now I was so completely blown away -- luna, 18:27:48 10/01/02 Tue

[> [> Re: Couldn't write till now I was so completely blown away -- Dee, 18:32:59 10/01/02 Tue

Could James Marsters get any better? What an incredible actor he is! Wow is all I can say about the episode!

[> What the f***.... -- Doriander, 19:14:54 10/01/02 Tue

happened to "Buffy the Guidance Counselor"? I was so pumped for that!

Once again, UPN is sooo off the mark with its promos, and this once, I'm enormously thankful.

[> [> Not off the mark. You need to think about it for a little while. -- OnM, 22:31:00 10/01/02 Tue

The promo was misleading, yes, but not quite in the way I think you're thinking.

Ponder what happened, think 'Buffy the Guidance Counselor' in a slightly more thematically twisted fashion and you may reconsider the 'off the mark' bit.

Oh, the pictoral parts of the promo were misleading! What else is new?


[> [> [> Re: Not off the mark. You need to think about it for a little while. -- meritaten, 22:37:18 10/01/02 Tue

Do you REALLY think UPN thought that hard about the episode?

I'm also a Trekkie. UPN used to have the most misleading promos for Voyager. I never believe anything in the promos.

[> That was lovely! -- Dariel, 20:50:46 10/01/02 Tue

And I was ready to stake Spike myself before that last scene!

[> I was swearing! -- HonorH, 23:59:15 10/01/02 Tue

I don't swear. Almost never. But my subject line in my latest missive to my pen pal was one big "SH*T!!!!!!!" I couldn't say anything else. The ep left me that rattled.

Of course, my reaction also might have had something to do with the fact that the tape cut off *just* at the end of the episode and I wasn't sure if I'd missed something. Luckily, I only missed the "Grr, argh."

[> Shpadoinkle! (so many 7.2 spoilers! so little time!) -- ponygirl, 06:41:05 10/02/02 Wed

Still just reeling from last night! And I wasn't able to tape it so I'll have to wait a few days to really get into the underside of this ep. Of the top of my head, currently stuck to the ceiling after exploding last night:

Principal Wood's comments to Buffy about authority, there's something significant there.

The wonderful way that the episode SEEMED to be about exes and getting over them, but really had so much going on underneath. Just as Buffy may have thought for a time that the "from beneath it devours" line could refer to Worm Guy, but it turned out to be so much bigger, deeper and darker. Just like all the relationships on the show.

Anya's eagerness in finding out how Spike got his soul. Does she want one for herself?

Can't help feeling that every single line Spike spoke was significant, from his comments on scary Dawn, to, of course, the whole final scene. The way he kept going back between talking about Buffy to talking about God. The final image of Spike on the cross. I can't help but feel that it's not just about forgiveness for the attempted rape, not just forgiveness for his past crimes. There's something deeper here, something I can't yet grasp.

And most importantly: Anya, loved the hair. Spike, I so miss the shaggy, here's hoping further insanity leads to a quick grow out.

Is it next week yet??

Okay, just to recap... (Thoughts and spoilers on tonights episode) -- Yusuke Urameshi, 18:31:01 10/01/02 Tue

Right, just wanna make sure I got understood what we saw tonight:

1.) William is back in control, but is severly unstable right now. He is trying to reconcile his former life's memories (that of a foppish, lovesick poet) with what he was for over a century, which is causing him to be unbalanced.

2.) Cleaned up Spike wasn't really Spike back in control, but rather William trying to be Spike, much like Angel did when he tried to be Angelus for awhile back in China. He slipped however, because he wasn't ready to be exposed as being souled (punching Anya) and for seriously hurting an a human.

Great episode all around. Took me awhile to understand what was going on with Spike, but when I did it made it that much more enjoyable. It should be interesting to see how the Scooby Gang deals with him now. Its sort of the reverse of Angel; they are meeting the man, after they have known the monster.

Speaking of Angel, Spike should have probably sought a few tips out about the whole resouling thing ;). Angel makes it look easy now (well, maybe not easy), but after he was first cursed, he was exactly like Spike, a human with a demon body and memories of evil deeds, trying to figure out who and what he is now. We have only seen glimpses of this from Angel. I look forward to see the work in progress Spike is becoming

[> More Thoughts and spoilers on tonights episode... -- ZachsMind, 19:26:20 10/01/02 Tue

1. Frankfurt Germany? Nice. Very "Run Lola Run"esque. Those "Slayers In Training" that the robed ones are cutting up for fishbait? They're not Slayers. They're KEYS. The knives they're using are reminiscient of the one that demon cut Dawn with in the S5 finale.

BUFFY: "There was a girl."
DAWN: "That would be me."

2. "From Beneath You It Devours." The worm in this episode was but a harbinger metaphorically, for the Hellmouth. It had teeth. Willow's been saying that now she's seen the teeth of the Hellmouth.

3. Now that we've seen all the scenes that were made specifically in England featuring ASH & Hannigan, I can honestly say I am very disappointed. Yes the scenery is beautiful, but the way it was used, they could have done those scenes on a Hollywood set and we would not have known the difference.

4. Marsters is going for the Emmys next year isn't he? Very nice. I saw shades of the old season two Spike, and entirely new slices of William the Bloody that we'd never seen before. He's really strutting his stuff, from an acting standpoint. I'm impressed.

5. Strange how Xander has kinda taken the place of Buffy's mom in the commuting department.

6. "Bastinade." There's a clue. Buffy said it was used in Turkish prisons. I think the new principal is a Knight of Byzantium whose undercover. Only a Knight of Byzantium would find that humorous.

7. Willow's coming back but Giles is not? Not very reassuring. Giles is only going to be in ten episodes this season, by all spoilery accounts I've read. It's what's in ASH's contract. Guess they're gonna save him for the end of the season.

[> [> Re: More Thoughts and spoilers on tonights episode... -- mundusmundi, 20:03:30 10/01/02 Tue

Frankfurt Germany? Nice. Very "Run Lola Run"esque.

I took it as a homage/spoof of Alias, aptly timed considering the recent NY Times piece on Joss where JJ Abrams, Alias's creator, essentially calls Whedon his hero.

Great episode all the way around.

[> [> [> Re: More Thoughts and spoilers on tonights episode... (Run, Lola, Run spoilers) -- TRM, 22:50:56 10/01/02 Tue

Nah... I'd have to agree with Run, Lola, Run because it was set in Germany (Alias was supposed to have adopted stylistically from the movie anyway). But I suppose we'll know for sure if, next week, they show the Frankfurt Key/Slayer/Girl go through the whole run scene again but timed slightly differently so she doesn't get killed.

[> [> [> Re: More Thoughts and spoilers on tonights episode... -- vh, 06:09:46 10/02/02 Wed

Actually, I'd agree with you, Alias being more topical.

[> [> [> Re: More Thoughts and spoilers on tonights episode... -- CW, 07:04:08 10/02/02 Wed

Yeah, one look at that silly wig and I'm thinking Alias.

[> [> SPOILER FOR ASH's CONTRACT ABOVE (nt) -- V, 21:10:24 10/01/02 Tue

[> [> Re: More Thoughts and spoilers on tonights episode... -- Quentin Collins, 21:24:28 10/01/02 Tue

Interesting thoughts, ZachsMind. However, I must disagree with a couple of your points.

I still feel that the the women at the beginning of the first two episodes are more likely slayers-in-training than keys. For one thing, they seemed too slayer-like. The woman in "Lessons" had Slayer-like instincts but her fighting skills were not well honed. The woman in "Beneath You" really seemed to have the Slayer thing going on. Or maybe somebody is killing CIA or SD-6 operatives? No, maybe not. But I think that the key is something unique -- it was always "the key" and never "a key". If there were many of them hanging around, Glory likely would have gotten one quite easily. And killing them without any apparent ritual (like bleeding them) seems to indicate that their deaths were the objective and nothing more.

I found the "bastinade" reference quite funny, but I am not a Knight of Byzantium (just an s&m afficianado). But seriously, Robin Wood seems too hip and modern to be involved with those "roleplaying rejects". His manner is easygoing and confident rather than stilted and he lacks the unfashionable head tat. The fact that he is a vegetarian also seems to me to be more of a potential clue than an amusing reference to the Doublemeat Palace's food ingredients.

The impression that I got was that the Willow/Giles scenes were not shot on location for effect. I seem to remember hearing something about them doing that to more easily fit the appearances into ASH's schedule. Even though the sound and video quality of the scenes were a bit substandard, I very much prefer them to having no Giles at all.

[> [> [> Re: More Thoughts and spoilers on tonights episode... -- aliera, 05:30:24 10/02/02 Wed

Re: Potential slayers, I have that take also and a lovely sense of anticipation.

Re: bastinade...I found the line very odd and interesting, can't wait for transcripts to come out. Easier for me to pick things out in that format but that line seemed to stick out on a couple of levels. And I guess it's just me but I found Sara's delivery caught my attention in this scene...anyone else? Probably just me.

Re: Robin Wood/veg, what type of clue are you thinking?...the one thing I haven't seen mentioned yet is The Green Man...probably way off-base because my orientation tends to be more myth-like but it was the first thing that crossed my mind when I saw the name(see http://mythinglinks.org/home.html for a good jump off point and links to essays and pages on this if anyone's interested.) This man bears watching in more ways than one.

And Giles, well absolutely. There's also something odd from the flower reference in Lessons...flora lua-uyala...I can't track it down in Paraguay or anywhere else as an actual flower name, although I did only a light search yesterday from work...many other references to lua though in Hawaii, Kenya, and oriental languages. And Ulaya is a river mentioned in Innana's story and the Gilgamesh's lament and as a city phone code in the same directory as Istanbul and a language?. Again probably stretching (delish to do this again after the summer hiatus; but, probably more than you all wanted to know, right? Oh well, I'm a tad obsessed!) and the reference is odd.

After two eps, I am just very very contented...all I was looking for and more!

[> [> Great catch, Zach! -- HonorH, 00:05:22 10/02/02 Wed

BUFFY: "There was a girl."
DAWN: "That would be me."

I hadn't even thought of this. I don't think I agree with you on the Key business--I'm pretty sure Dawn is unique, or Glory would have been chasing *a* Key rather than *the* Key--but ME dialogue almost always has double meaning. Dawn was the one who woke Buffy, and ostensibly, that's why she said what she did. However, I'm wondering just how this might play out in the metanarration.

"That would be me." Will it be you, Dawn?

[> [> [> Re: Great catch, Zach! (Speculations) -- meritaten, 00:19:11 10/02/02 Wed

I suspect they will be coming for Dawn. That will be how the robed-men-killing-girls sub-plot meets Sunnydale. Just my speculations.

[> [> Even funnier still (spoils) -- neaux, 04:33:38 10/02/02 Wed

The reference to Run Lola Run was obvious..

but I couldnt help think that ME was spoofing the show "Alias" and showing what they ultimately thought of that show. (realize this was just an interpretation and I wish not to offend any Alias fans)

[> [> [> Re: Even funnier still (spoils) -- vh, 06:27:20 10/02/02 Wed

"showing what they ultimately thought of that show"? I just thought it was a great send-up. If anything, I thought the tone was friendly. But then AtS is up against Alias this season (Drat the WB! Just when the X-Files departed and I didn't have 2 things on at the same time!) ... Just MHO.

research... -- Kim, 18:38:40 10/01/02 Tue

hi guys i'm just doing some research for a thesis and was wondering if some of you guys could help me out. i'm looking at television audiences and how they view, with special reference to 'cult' show such as buffy. if anyone could help me out by answering these questions either here on the message board, or by email to me at kimacmi@hotmail.com, ta!

How do you generally watch a show of buffy? (eg, by yourself, with friends at home, at a bar, etc.)

what sort of things do you do while watching? (eg discuss, stay silent, screem at anyone who talks etc)

what started your buffy obsession

what is it that draws you to the show

why is watching buffy such an important part of your life...

what other 'buffy' related things do you do in your life (apart from watching) to carry out your buffy interest?

thanks for your time.

[> Re: research... -- meritaten, 22:33:04 10/01/02 Tue

How do you generally watch a show of Buffy? (eg, by yourself, with friends at home, at a bar, etc.)

Usually by myself, but sometimes with friends. When I lived in the same time zone as my cousin, another fan, we would chat online during the show.

what sort of things do you do while watching? (eg. discuss, stay silent, scream at anyone who talks etc)

I watch intently. Chatting online worked, because we could ìspeakî or be silent as suited us ñ no voices drowning out important lines. When watching with friends, talking is usually limited to commercials. In fact, the bulk of the online chatting was during commercials.

what started your buffy obsession

My cousin, another fan, kept talking about the show CONSTANTLY. I finally watched it so I could carry on a conversation with her. I thought Iíd hate it, but I figured Iíd give it (and my cousin) a chance. Very glad I did.

what is it that draws you to the show

Terrific mix of drama, comedy, character development, plot twists, multi-layered storylines, ....

why is watching buffy such an important part of your life...

Why do people read literature?
It has an engaging storyline, but is also saying something much deeper.

what other 'Buffy' related things do you do in your life (apart from watching) to carry out your Buffy interest?

I visit this forum a lot. I have Buffy wallpaper and screensavers on my computer. I talk about it with friends. Örewatch videos and DVDs.

[> Re: research... -- Rochefort, 23:43:20 10/01/02 Tue

grad student, so glad to help.

How do you generally watch a show of buffy? (eg, by yourself, with friends at home, at a bar, etc.)

With friends when we can get together and we cheer like for a hockey game. By myself otherwise. Different pleasure because by myself I rewind every good scene and watch it eight times until I'M ready to move on.

what sort of things do you do while watching? (eg discuss, stay silent, screem at anyone who talks etc)

Discuss. Laugh. Scream (at the screen). Explain fine plot points to any new comers. We all know that we're all taping it individually for later watching anyway, so the first time is a community moment. When I'm watching it alone though? I pause at the good scenes and I dance.

what started your buffy obsession

I guess this strikes to the "cult" status or something. At my university I was always having people's whose taste I respected telling me I should check it out. I watched it curiously one time. Casually the next few times. And got shocked by the quality and execution. How fun to watch a silly vampire show that's so well crafted! Then, yes, the community aspect becomes part of the fun. We all talk afterwards, on e-mail or in person about the whole thing and all the characters and argue and rave.

what is it that draws you to the show

The vampire fantasy, partly. As a kid, I hated books that had only real things in them. What was the point of reading a book if it was just like life? Then i grew up and become a ph.d. student and you READ things that have people's names like "Karl Marx" or something instead of "d'Artagnan" or what not. But then it's like coming back to my childhood enjoyment, back from "Karl" to "Buffy" and "Xander" and "Willow" and vampires. It's like watching after school cartoons but for grown ups. And when I say for grown-ups I mean the psychology and emotion are handled in a profound fashion. Buffy's season five suicidal depression and escape, for instance. The episode where Tara's family visits especially hooked me. It was real abusive patriarchal family dynamics played out in a demon story. I was totally impressed.

why is watching buffy such an important part of your life...

escape. just like books were when I was a kid, but aren't any more. A shared escape with my friends who are all in their early and mid-twenties which makes it doubly fun. I forget where I am for an hour because while the genre is escapist, the themes are serious enough for my grownup mind. I can identify and think about my own problems in an escape sort of way. I sound like a cereal commercial now.

what other 'buffy' related things do you do in your life (apart from watching) to carry out your buffy interest?

I check this board occasionally. Only this board though, none others. Quote lines, make reference to it amongst other afficianados. I once wrote lyrics to a Billy Joel song about Buffy. And I wrote a bunch of cereal commercials featuring Buffy characters. And I (heh heh) in two separate semesters had my students seriously analyze Buffy from a feminist perspective. Was this true gender transgression, true emerging resistance in a Marxist sense, or was this only PLAY at emerging resistance. Also, sometimes I jump around the house and fight imaginary vampires.

Thoughts (spoilers for Beneath You) -- Apophis, 19:16:20 10/01/02 Tue

1) Was Nancy the same Nancy from the alternate universe in The Wish? If I remember correctly, they look kind of alike.
2) I liked the religious undertones at the end. I wonder whether Spike was talking about God or the shapeshifter when he referred to "he" (or was it "him?" I have no shortterm memory).
3) It seemed to me that Spike and William were arguing in the alley. I also thought that some of Spike's ramblings were spoken in a higher-class of English accent, but maybe that's just my imagination.
4) I liked scaryDawn.
5) I liked Anya's hair.
6) I was terrified that tonight would lead to the resurrection of Spuffy. Thankfully, it still lies cold in its grave.
7) Xander just can't win with the ladies.

[> Re: Thoughts (spoilers for Beneath You) -- Artemis, 19:29:06 10/01/02 Tue

I thought Spike was talking about both. He talks about "Him", which I took for God and "It, beneath you", which I took for The Evil. I got the impression that there is a struggle for his soul. This being intertwined with all the other voices from past victims. It's enough to drive you crazy. JHMO

[> [> Him/It -- darvangi, 19:50:52 10/01/02 Tue

I thought, when I first saw it, that 'Him' was God and 'It' was whatever the shapeshifting evil presence was in last week's episode. And that scared me, because they've never really brought God into the mythology of the show and I didn't think it would be a good idea to do so now.

But now I'm convinced that 'Him' was refering to William and 'It' was the demon/vampire inside, and that the two are fighting each other. And the thing with him laying against the cross and burning was an attempt to purge himself of the inner struggle - but it's not going to be that easy. I'm very interested in how this is going to work out.

[> [> [> Re: Him/It -- AgnosticSorcerer, 20:15:20 10/01/02 Tue

Perhaps "him" and "it" are referring to the same entity. A correction of sorts.

[> [> [> Re: Him/It -- Dariel, 20:28:03 10/01/02 Tue

I think the Him he referred to was God. Spike is, after all, in a church. Not exactly his usual stomping grounds. It doesn't mean that ME is trying to bring God into the mythology of the show. A belief in God was probably part of William's make-up, and would be one of his frames of reference for that which is "good."

[> [> [> [> Re: Him/It -- David Frisby, 20:39:23 10/01/02 Tue

Yes! Very good insight. I wonder if the vampire felt pain from the presence of the church? I guess he (as a vampire even) already knows any such fear is just in his head. Have we seen that Sunnydale church before? And did Spike (or Will-iam) light those candles? And is the speech Will-iam gives to Buffy in her house the one he referred to in 7.1 that he had prepared? "I'm just a guy who can lend a hand if you'll let me."

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Him/It -- vandalia, 21:49:18 10/01/02 Tue

[i]Have we seen that Sunnydale church before?[/i]

Am I wrong, or was that the Church Angel and Buffy got married in in whatever episode that was in Season 3 in Buffy's dream, (or was it Angel's dream) where they exit the church and she turns to dust in the sunlight?

[> [> [> [> [> [> Not the same one -- Scroll, 06:06:18 10/02/02 Wed

No, it's not the same church as the one from Angel's dream ("The Prom"). The church where Angel and Buffy got married was much larger and more ornate. Actually, I don't think Buffy has ever used the same church twice. I guess Sunnydale is just jam-packed with churches and such, what with people needing to pray more with the Hellmouth and all. : )

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Not the same one -- aliera, 06:15:02 10/02/02 Wed

Did anyone get a good look at that icon? That's been niggling me...the church is reminiscent but I don't place it as one we've seen before.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Church, Religion and Him/IT -- shadowkat, 12:24:38 10/02/02 Wed

The church reminded me of the one in HUSH actually.
Also a little of What's My Line PArt II.

I think it's Calvinist. It's not Catholic. I know that.
It's too bare of religious artifacts. I'm also wondering big time about William's religious background. I could be wrong, but I have the feeling that William was studying for the clergy either in the Anglican or Calvinist churchs when Dru turned him. Which makes sense - since Dru had be religious as a human and was supposed to enter a convent, I think like Darla did with Liam, Dru went for a companion that was like herself in some way.

In another post I list all Spike's religious references.
But if you think back over the seasons you'll notice how of all the characters he seems to be the most religiously reverent next to possibly Drusilla. Often saying God or Christ as a curse or as a plea. Now as William we get a lot of God references. And he has two - one the evil beneath and one the evil above. Him perhaps refers to God and It to the thing below? Or maybe Him is the thing below that is tormenting him?

[> [> [> Re: Him/It -- Sara, 20:35:36 10/01/02 Tue

I think the soul and the demon are two different voices coming from Spike, but I don't think they're fighting each other, but are instead struggling to integrate into this new reality of each other. When one is speaking, it didn't appear as if the other was being repressed or fighting to get out, it was just which voice had something to say.

[> [> [> Re: Him/It -- luna, 13:25:53 10/02/02 Wed

I really agree with this. He shifted back and forth between the two--he got his soul, but unlike Angel/Angelus, didn't lose the vampire in him. It's already looking like this union of dualism is a theme.

[> [> Re: Thoughts (spoilers for Beneath You) -- meritaten, 22:10:22 10/01/02 Tue

Well, I seem to be the only one who thinks this, but I'm leaning towards the FE being him/it and being a part of Spike's insanity. If the FE (or whoever the BB is) isn't related to Spike's insanity, why is Spike seeing him, and why does Spike have knowledge of what's he/it is doing?

[> [> [> Re: Thoughts (spoilers for Beneath You) -- Wizardman, 22:36:34 10/01/02 Tue

Look at the characters that have a direct clue about what's going on: Halfrek (via the D'Hoffryn and other major demons), Spike, and Willow. Hallie and Spike are demons, and whatever Willow is, I'm not sure she's entirely human anymore. Is this a coincidence? I think not. As for Spike and the taunting- it could have been his subconscious giving him a clue. Like a waking dream, interpreting for him what he already knows deep down in his brain, but can't deal with yet due to everything else that's going on with him. Or, it could have been the BB having a bit of fun with the "pathetic schmuck," ala the First Evil in Amends. Hmm, maybe we know who the BB is now... but knowing Joss, we're in for one HELL of a curveball. No pun intended.

[> [> [> [> Re: Thoughts (spoilers for Beneath You) -- meritaten, 22:56:12 10/01/02 Tue

So, as a vampire, Spike has knowledge of the latest in the realms of evil? Why haven't we seen this with Angel?

I thought that knowledge of evil came wither through the demon grapevine or through magic. ... But I could be wrong.

So, how does Spike know the phrase that Buffy heard in her vision/dream?

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Thoughts (spoilers for Beneath You) -- Isabel, 17:16:59 10/02/02 Wed

I can think of two possibilities. 1) The Shape-Shifting Entity mentioned it sometime. Or 2) Perhaps he over heard Buffy say the phrase to Nancy, Xander and Dawn. Vampires are supposed to have keen hearing and he arrived in her living room about 10 seconds later.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Thoughts (spoilers for Beneath You) -- Indri, 22:10:32 10/02/02 Wed

I can think of a third: the repeating BtVS motif of the insane as seers, e.g. Drusilla and Glory's victims.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Thoughts (spoilers for Beneath You) -- meritaten, 22:52:48 10/02/02 Wed

Interesting point. I hadn't thought of that.

[> Re: Thoughts (spoilers for Beneath You) -- VLS, 21:10:43 10/01/02 Tue

I don't think spikes chip is working anymore, He looks more surprized then hurt. also he looked like he was hunting rats at the start of the show.

[> [> Re: Thoughts (spoilers for Beneath You) -- Corwin of Amber, 21:31:07 10/01/02 Tue

The chip only prevents him from harming humans, and he did clutch his head in pain after he impaled whatshizname. I thought he was just talking to the rats, though.

[> [> [> Re: Thoughts (spoilers for 7.2) -- Veronica, 21:46:32 10/01/02 Tue

It reminded me of the first time he hit Buffy after her resurrection - a bit like he expected it to hurt, but not like it really hurt.

An important part of getting a soul is having free will to choose to do the right thing. Buffy couldn't love a chipped Spike in part because he didn't really choose not to hurt people. The only way his redemption can be meaningful is if the chip is deactivated.


[> [> [> Re: Thoughts (spoilers for Beneath You) -- VLS, 23:16:28 10/01/02 Tue

In "the Initiative" season four' the chip was said to go off if he hurt any liveing thing.( except maybe flowers?)

[> [> [> [> Re: Thoughts (spoilers for Beneath You) -- meritaten, 23:30:26 10/01/02 Tue

Are demons not alive? Or is there a consistency issue here?

[> [> [> [> Re: Thoughts (spoilers for Beneath You) -- Miss Edith, 06:35:31 10/02/02 Wed

Any living thing? What about when he's walking across the grass and steps on an ant? Can he not swat a fly even?

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Thoughts (spoilers for Beneath You) -- VLS, 12:28:40 10/02/02 Wed

"The Initiative"( season four) Riley: The Implant works, Hostile 17 can't harm any living creature, in any way, without intense neurological pain. and "Out of my mind" (season five) Harmony: (to doctor) You know what it means that he can"t hurt any living thing? It means he can't even pick flowers. Spike: WHAT? Yes I Can!

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Thoughts (spoilers for Beneath You) -- meritaten, 19:32:33 10/02/02 Wed

I remember wondering what the Initiative defined as a living creature.

Wow (Buffy 7.2)! Can they write? Can they act? -- David Frisby, 19:44:45 10/01/02 Tue

Wow! What an experience! I had to watch that final scene with Buffy and Will (ie, William, the old Spike, the Spike with the chip, the Spike in love with Buffy, and the new 2nd vampire with a soul ever) four times before I could stop and start this. The episode surpassed my expectations. The spark? What was that line from OMWF that both Giles and Demon Sweet say at about the same time? something like what's it going to take to strike a spark? Buffy wants the fire back. A spark needs to be struck to start the fire. Is Spike the spark that will rekindle the fire Buffy wants? the love? romance? marriage as what the destiny of humanity turns on? what makes the world go round?

Spike now needs to consult with Angel to learn how his first decades were while learning how to re-master himself after being re-souled. I want to explore this website again reading again all the great things said about soul. Plato called it the oldest of all things, older even that the ideas (which are the true form of the gods). Nietzsche too, even though finding it necessary due to the contingency of the times to destroy the old soul-concept (atomic version), found it both desirable and perhaps best to rebaptize the soul, and at the end of _Zarathustra_ he teaches his soul to sing, and the final songs of his marriage are sung by his soul (that which can defeat gravity not only by dance but by flying). And, speaking of soul...

Am I right that "Spike" (or whatever his name should be -- I prefer 'Will' to restore the William aspect) not only called on God after realizing he had hurt a person, but when explaining to Buffy said it's what 'you' wanted, it's what 'he' wanted!!! (If not God, then what? the first?) Will this season address the powers that be? Spike of "all this" meaning being, or creation, or the entire world of concern to us.

I really like the way this season has begun. Not playing around but showing the big bad (the first) straight up, and now directly addressing the great redemption story through love.

Every season has been better than what came before, and based on these two episodes, I think we're going get more of the same. Great work. Thanks!


[> Re: Wow (Buffy 7.2)! Can they write? Can they act? -- Meg, 23:29:57 10/01/02 Tue

The obsessive rewinding also caused me to react to the word "spark" and my evil mind full of useless facts recalled the song "Spark" from the church. Very apropos, lyrics below:

"I'm saturated. I'm wet with your tears, you spill so easily.
In reflection I'll see you again.
Approach me, soak me.
Faith, faith, breathe.

'Cause it's here, it's where the air is clear,
Where far off things could be quite near.
No repairs are needed, just a spark.

I'm interested, you've always been a subject, that I could learn.
Splendid hills, unconquerable mountains.
Climb, don't ever turn back.
Seed, seed, grow.
(Repeat first verse and chorus)"

Just more food for thought.


Symbolism, foreshadowing and myth and some rambling - spoiler up to Beneath You -- Caroline, 19:49:38 10/01/02 Tue

It seems quite obvious now that Beneath You is yet another ep where Restless comes to fruition. In Restless, Spike was the sideshow freak in the circus, having everyone snap photos of him while heís striking a Christ-like pose. In Beneath You, his ill-hidden madness make him a sideshow freak ñ he refers to everyone coming to see him at the circus and ends up burning his flesh upon a cross in a church. So Joss new at the end of season 4 what heíd be doing with Spike in season 7.(footnote 1)

The crucifixion pose at the end of the episode is symbolic of Spikeís self-loathing and hatred. ìAnd now everyone is in here, talking. Everything I did, everyone IÖ.and him. It. The other, the thing. Beneath. Beneath you.î With his newly acquired soul, his moral compass, he has the moral pain and consequences of all the deaths and evil acts he has committed inside his head and heart. And, despite having a soul, he still has the old vampire Spike inside of him ñ him, the other, the thing that Buffy said was beneath her in FFL. Perhaps he also has the thing beneath that devours inside him also. Perhaps his soul is being tormented by the new big bad, Morphy or whatever it is. And with all this inside him, he feels that he deserves to go to hell. So in that way, this crucifixion is atonement for all his past misdeeds, for all the pain he had caused.

We saw in Lessons that Spike was in the basement of the new school. With Buffy working above, I think it showed that Spike was still acting as her shadow, with Buffy still being his light. In Beneath You, Spike stepped out on his own as a whole person in a psychological sense. Instead of being just id, just the symbol of psychological darkness, he has acquired a true moral sense. No longer are his actions and feelings guided by what Buffy would do, he now has an independent sense of right and wrong. And he feels the burden and pain of everything he has done. But unsouled vampire Spike ñ ëthe thingí - is also within him too, as we saw in his behaviour at the Bronze and his actions before he stabbed Ronnie.

For me, this helps to illuminate the meaning of the soul in the buffyverse. A soul is a moral compass but there is still a choice on the part of the individual whether to follow that guide. So the soul in the buffyverse is not deterministic, it somehow allows for the agent to act to follow its dictates or not using free will.

Spike says that his newly reacquired soul burns him. But last season in OMWF he also complained of being burnt ñ ìthe torch I bear is scorching meî. Spikeís scorching in OMWF is obviously of a different order of magnitude than the burning of his soul. There is a huge difference between the dark night of the soul that Spike is currently undergoing to the much milder torment of having his love rejected.

As for who Spike is now, I donít think he is anyone that we have previously met. He is no longer unsouled Spike ñ his past deeds are now haunting him. He doesnít have the innocent, naÔve self aggrandizement of Randy in Tabula Rasa ñ ëI must be a noble vampire, one a mission of redemption, helping the helpless ÖI must be a superhero tooí. He is no longer William the poet either ñ his soul does not allow him to sink lethe-wards to forgetfulness.

I think that a clue as to Spikeís new identity can be found in myth (did you think Iíd post something without a mythological bent?) and this new identity will not be the fractured one he has now. Heracles/Palaemon (also Hercules) was a Greek hero rewarded for his prowess in battle. However, in one battle he went too far by ordering that his enemyís body be torn apart by horses. This unjust act sowed terror in Greece and caught the attention of the goddess Hera, who drove him mad as a punishment. Heracles ended up killing lots of members of his family. When he recovered his mind, Heracles shut himself away for days and later submitted himself to judgment at Delphi. He was ordered to serve Eurystheus, and perform whatever tasks were requested of him. He had to sacrifice all his possessions, his earthly rewards, his status, etc and become a servant. He performed 12 trials or labours but was given gifts from the gods to help him in his trials. These trials can be seen as a journey of discovery for Heracles, a way to discover who he really is because in each trial, he learns something about himself.

Spike can be compared to Heracles. He is scorned by society and follows Drusilla down the dark path she offers. He starts a successful, century-long career of raping and pillaging before falling in love with the slayer and becoming soulful again in order to be with her. But the soul drives him insane and he shuts himself away. He emerges from his seclusion still somewhat mad but now he wants to somehow try to do the right thing. So he goes to Buffy and offers her his help. Likes Heracles, he tries to put aside his former glory and be at the service of another. Like Heracles, who battles the Hydra, Spike is also battling the beast within, which the Hydra represents. Itís the beast within him that is the source of his current pain and madness. But how does Heracles defeat the Hydra? He tries to shoot arrow into her cave but that doesnít work. He eventually sends down lighted arrows that draw her up. But every time Heracles tries to cut off one of her heads, 3 more grow in its place. When one tries to confront the beast within, it merely gains more power. Heracles remembers the advice given to him by his mentor : We rise by kneeling, we conquer by surrendering, we gain by giving up. So Heracles kneels in the slime of the swamp, lifts the monsterís head in to the light and she begins to lose her destructive power, for all her strength comes only from the swamp. Heracles cuts off her heads (9 of them) and then a tenth appears which is a jewel. This shows that if we bring those things that drive us mad up from our unconscious into the light (give up fighting them), those complexes lose their power over us. Spike now has a light side that can look upon his own darkness. Being granted a soul has been equivalent to a gift from the gods because while it initially has driven him mad, it also provides the key to lift himself out of the vampire swamp he has been part of for so long. Then, if he can sacrifice the unneeded parts of himself ñ pride, desire, illusions etc, he will find the buried treasure that is within him and be able to transmute the horrible aspects of his nature. And I think that is what Spike wants to do when he burns himself on the cross at the end of Beneath You.

1. It seems as though another piece of foreshadowing is evident. In season 5 Doc says that Spike looks like someone called Rocco ñ a human being. Just before Spike runs off after stabbing Ronnie, he says ëPoor Rockyí. Could Rocco and Rocky be the same person?

[> Re: (Hercules!) Symbolism, foreshadowing and myth and some rambling - spoiler up to Beneath You -- David Frsiby, 20:01:28 10/01/02 Tue

Good insights! I might add a touch to your thought on Spike as Heracles: in Greek mythology and Plato the biggest battle is between the gods and giants and it is Heracles that finally decides the war in favor of the gods, thus playing the central fulcrum of the cosmos, or something like that. Applying this to your association, we might think of Spike (or "Will-iam" -- I don't like saying Spike anymore) as making the difference in the great war that this season hints is coming. (And did you know Sarah Michelle Gellar played the voice of Andromeda, Hercules' love, is the Disney animated half-hour series?) And while I'm at it, I read somewhere earlier today that Josh told Sarah she would die at the end of season five, and told her that near the end of season three!!! Makes you wonder just how far in the future she does play her part. I'm still not convinced she didn't come back more different than Tara discovered. Will-iam can still hit her without flinching. Your "Rocky" thought bears consideration. I drew a blank. Wow. Whoa --- (give him the emmy)

[> Re: (Rocky!) Symbolism, foreshadowing and myth and some rambling - spoiler up to Beneath You -- David Frisby, 20:34:40 10/01/02 Tue

I just noticed that Nancy's dog is named Rocky. She calls it just beform the worm eats it. So is Spike (= Will-iam) just feeling sad about the death of Nancy's dog, or is he in contact with all the dead, and registers Rocky's presence as he runs off?

[> Ummmmmm -- Rufus, 22:27:44 10/01/02 Tue

Rocky was the name of Nancy's dog.

[> [> There's a few references in Buffy& Angel of "puppies" as vampires -- Ete, 09:24:25 10/02/02 Wed

[> [> Re: Ummmmmm -- Caroline, 07:12:13 10/03/02 Thu

I'm aware of that but could you point out to me where in the episode Spike is made aware of the dog's name? I can't seem to remember. But I think the analogy holds. I seem to remember Drusilla referred to Spike (or Angel?) as a dog or a bad dog.

[> Plus -- verdantheart, 06:47:43 10/02/02 Wed

Spike attempts to pose as the big bad, in a failed attempt cover up his condition. The dream in Restless shows him as Spike the poser, posing in one menacing pose after another, only to conclude with the crucifixion pose.

[> Re: Symbolism, foreshadowing and myth and some rambling - spoiler up to Beneath You -- leslie, 10:47:15 10/02/02 Wed

Just a comment--remember that Heracles is a twin--his brother becomes a fairly run-of-the-mill king, while Heracles becomes a (tortured) hero and eventually a god. Can't remember his twin's name, but as I recall, this is one of those instances in which one twin is born of a mortal father and the other (Heracles) is fathered by a god, Zeus. Heracles' first heroic act is, as an infant, killing a snake that is threatening him and his brother--one sent to kill him by that most vengeful of goddesses, Hera, who is enraged by yet another one of Zeus's infidelities--he keeps abandoning her, you know. Anyone familiar with Jean Shinoda Bolen's _Goddesses in Everywoman? Hera is the goddess who becomes enraged and vengeful as a result of insults to the institution of marriage. So anyway, divine Heracles and mortal brother = vamp Spike and mortal William? Hera = Anya?

[> [> Very interesting point... -- Caroline, 06:52:44 10/03/02 Thu

I hadn't even considered Heracles' twin but it does make sense in terms of Spike's search for identity. Both in terms of his current inability to reconcile the differing aspects of himself - as shown by his all over the board behaviour in Beneath You - and as symbolic of his pre- and post-souled state. As for the identity of Hera - poor Goddess, why did she stay with her serially unfaithful hubby? - Anya does seem to fit as the woman scorned. But I think what is important here is that Spike is on a journey of discovery for his Self and trying every identity that was previously available to him in the past and finding them all lacking in some way. He's going to have to forge a new path that transcends what he was and encompasses what he currently has and is unable to deal with.

[> Re: Symbolism, foreshadowing and myth and some rambling - spoiler up to Beneath You -- Barbara, 16:58:37 10/02/02 Wed

I loved your analogy, Caroline. Did you like Spike in his new Herculean incarnation? I have to admit that I did not. It was too much like him trying to imitate Buffy--slugging demons just because they're demnos--to gain her approval. I was very glad he removed the blue superman shirt at the end of the episode-madness would be better than that.

I had my own thoughts on foreshadowing that I posted under a different thread. I'm copying it out here as well as this seems the the more pertinent thread after all.

Weren't Anya's actions just a plot device to show some foreshadowing? That little dog looked like Toto, and Toto appears to be Dawn's nickname amongst Buffy fans. So what happens--lovers who can't be gotten rid of (Spike and Ronny)--are changed (both into half men half demons, if from
opposite directions) by their girlfriend's (Buffy/Nancy) wishes--but they continue to follow the girls, get angry and then they steal the girlfriends' dogs (Rocky/Rocco?/Dawn) and take them down to hell/the hellmouth, where Buffy will be sure to follow like the good mom/mother goddess
she is being made out to be. Persephone and Demeter. Toto and Dorothy. I think the devourer beneath will be Spike after he gets over the Jesus thing and reverts back to the Romantic ideal of Lucifer that we know and love. Dawn is re-birth, like Persephone, and might end up spending six months in hell
every year (but I'm hoping that'll be Buffy). Whatever happens, Spike's spearing of the demon/man foretells his saving of himself, even if it means becoming fully a demon or fully a man again, or dying (which is the only time, in my opinion, a soul would be good for something in his position).

[> [> I like how you think.. -- Caroline, 07:10:17 10/03/02 Thu

although I don't feel that my skills in terms of speculation are good enough that I would presume to think that I know who the big bad will be by the second ep! Especially considering how wrong I've been in previous seasons. I would still say that Buffy is Persephone - we don't have her yet coming to any understanding of the origins of her slayer power, which, from all the clues we've been given, appear to be rooted in darkness. So as well as having to come to terms with her own darkness psychologically as a human being, she has to come to terms with the dark underbelly of slayer power. Persephone manages to do that in her relationship with Hades and does indeed manage to straddle the world above and the world below quite well. That's what I hope for Buffy. It's interesting that you perhaps see Dawn as Kore and a potential Persephone. I guess that would depend on the nature of her power as the key, which we have not yet seen manifest in any particular way (except in the Gift). But since she is made of the same flesh as Buffy, it may be something we see in the future.

I also think you are onto something with Buffy as Demeter. When Demeter loses Kore, she is in deep mourning grief. What she is mourning is not just the loss of her child but the loss of a part of her that Kore represented. Just as Kore and Persephone are two sides of the same principle (innocence and knowledge), so Demeter and Kore and two sides of the same principle (nurturer and nurtured).

As for Spike, I've been thinking of him in terms of sacrificing himself or being sacrificed, at least from how I interpret Restless. But his current psychological state of mind could point in the direction you are thinking. He is clearly in a dissociative state. He loves Buffy and hates her 'I dreamed of killing you'. He hates the power that she has over him, the things that made him do to win her etc. This is a great Kleinian moment - destroy that which you love because it causes you so much pain and anguish. If he doesn't move beyond his envy, it would be quite possible for him to behave in the way you mention and become Romantic Lucifer. But I see the spearing of Worm/Ronnie by Spike as the confrontation of his own dark side. In Beneath You, Spike was incredibly frightened of his own darkness after the initial bravado while he was twirling the spear around. With the Heraclean journey he is on now, I think it's quite possible that he will be the sacrifice once he encounters and accomodates his darkness with his soul.

Demon Symbolism (Spoilers for 7.2) -- Finn Mac Cool, 20:52:23 10/01/02 Tue

Did anyone else notice the symbolism during the alley scene of "Beneath You"?

Spike comes right at the demon, yelling out in the most cocky voice possible, calling himself the big bad, and swinging a metal poll around just like he did while fighting his second Slayer. He's obviously full demon at this point. He charges at the worm demon. . .

. . .and it becomes human. And that's the exact moment Spike's visage of demonhood slips and he starts babbling like the confused, insane creature he is now that his human side keeps rising to the surface. Rony's transformation back into a human signalled the re-emergence of Spike's soul.

On an unrelated note, Season 7 is off to the greatest start in Buffy history! This was a wonderfully dramatic episode. I liked so much about it. The plot twist, scary Dawn, Anya's inner turmoil, Spike's decay into insanity, Buffy's continued return to her strong, confident self. Xander's love life (or lack there of). Also, it effectively balanced comedy and drama, something Season Six wasn't so great at.

[> Re: Season 7 Getting Off to the Best Start Ever -- Rob, 21:36:07 10/01/02 Tue

I agree. What other show can recognize it's losing touch with a great deal of the fans, so promise to come back better than ever the next season...and actually deliver? Even though I loved Season 6, it did made me long for the way the show used to be, at times, and I never thought they'd be able to get it back. Sometimes when a show reaches a certain age, no matter how much revamping is done (no pun intended), it can't go back to its glory days. But if the quality remains at the level it is now, "Buffy" has succeeded in doing that. It has not only regained its ability to strike a balance between comedy and drama, but has actually improved. And the fact that it is so back now reconfirms my beliefs from last season that the "offness" was more deliberate than people believed. Season 6 may have been a drag for some, but all of its events were necessary to take the plot, show, and characters where they are today. Mostly everyone is raving about season 7 so far, which is nearly unheard of this early in a season, and yet just about every major plot this year sprang directly from the events of last year. I think that it will become quite clear, when the entire show is over, that Season 6 was an important one to go through. It certainly has made this season all the more sweet.

I will say that, throughout the middle of the sixth season, although I still loved the show and applauded the risks it was taking, I didn't feel that NEED to see the next episode right away that I had felt throughout all of the other seasons, since the second. The episode was over, I enjoyed it, but I wasn't dying for the next one. This year, that adrenaline rushy need is back (has been for me, since "Seeing Red"). I just finished watching "Beneath You" and I want to see the next episode immediately. I have so many questions unanswered--answers I know I won't get until later in the year, but I need to watch every episode anyway for any brief glimpse or clue as to what is going on.

I'll just come right out and say it--

I've fallen in love with Buffy all over again, and I'm the happiest little Scoobie in the world!


[> [> Re: Season 7 Getting Off to the Best Start Ever -- Wizardman, 22:44:01 10/01/02 Tue

Buffy is back! And in grand style! My one complaint? Too little Giles!

If the gang's reaction to Anya and Spike were any indication, Willow's right to be afraid. Then again, she is better now. Willow will definitely be needed, but will she be trusted right away?

Xander: Yes.
Buffy Probably.
Dawn: Those that saw tonight's episode should know the answer to that.
Spike: I don't see why not.
Anya: Watch Triangle. Multiply that by ten. That's probably what we'll see.

[> [> [> Willow's return: my specs -- HonorH, 00:34:43 10/02/02 Wed

Xander: will accept her as he loves her: unconditionally.

Buffy: will be more guarded. She'll still accept Willow, but as the Slayer, Buffy will also want to know whether Willow will be a threat again.

Dawn: will be even more guarded. Willow hurt her badly--taunted her with the things that hurt her worst, her Key-ness and her losses. It'll be hard for her to see Willow and not feel that betrayal. But Dawn's stronger now, strong enough to threaten Spike and make him believe it. It's going to take time for her and Willow to not rebuild--their old relationship is gone for good, I think--but to build a relationship they're happy with.

Spike: may just find himself a soulmate. No, I'm not sorry for that pun.

Anya: it'll be interesting. That's all I'm saying.

[> [> [> [> Re: Willow's return: my specs -- Little One, 05:44:29 10/02/02 Wed

Personally I think Anya and Willow's relationship could be a little more complex. Anya could look to Willow for guidance. Afterall, Anya was a Bad for quite a significant portion of her life before she fell in with the Scoobies. Now that she is re-demonized, she is supposed to pick up where she left off. Unsure of previous friends, unsure of her actions and, most of all, unsure of her Badness. Hoping that she doesn't revert to goodness, thus destroying her self-persona. Willow, on the hand, is the versa of this vice. She was good, good, good before she became big Veiny-Face. And she is now trying to put herself together according to the what the old Willow was, struggling against the fact that the picture on the puzzle box has changed - Willow is no longer purely good, nor evil. She is human.

Anya and Willow are really in the same place on different ends of the good/evil spectrum. If they can see past their differences, they can help each other.

Oh, and is it a coincidence that Xander was the catalyst for both Willow and Anya reverting to their former selves? Something tells me no.

[> [> I'm re-inlove too. It's the EXECUTION that's back -- Rochefort, 23:12:26 10/01/02 Tue

Many of the things that happened in season six, like Willow's power problems had been in the works quite obviously from very early in the season. But when we actually saw them executed they were done horridly, with poor pacing, cheezy lines, no ability to build up drama, as if they were connecting the dots with the broadest wiggliest strokes possible.

It's the EXECUTION that's back this season. They can be dark as they want as long as they do it with Buffy standard style and craft. That's what's back.

[> [> [> Me too.... -- mundusmundi, 05:36:58 10/02/02 Wed

The "anti-darkness" label attached to S6 critics has always been overblown anyway, since nobody ever complained about the gloom of S2, S3, S4 or S5. (Ok, maybe a little of S5.) One could argue that if it wasn't for last year's criticisms, ME wouldn't be going out of its way to not take anything (namely the execution of its storytelling, as you said) for granted this year. Which was one of the chief criticisms of S6 in the first place.

[> [> [> [> Me three (spoilers 7.2) -- matching mole, 06:35:01 10/02/02 Wed

I still consider S6 to be an interesting experiment. And I would like to affirm what the other mm and the spokesperson for MOLOJ are saying. What I found lacking in S6 was not the subject matter but its presentation, especially post TR.

I discovered an unfortunate side effect of S6 on my psyche last night. When the show got to the scene at the Bronze with the accusations, and the yelling, and the big Anya/Spike smackdown I was getting flashbacks to last year. Not that I'm opposed to the dramatic presentation of such traumatic events. Just that, IMHO, we saw far too much of that sort of thing in S6 that promised to advance the plot but rarely did (the endless circling of Buffy that someone mentioned last spring). Don't get me wrong, I thought last night's episode was pretty darn good and there was nothing wrong with that scene at all just with S6 scarred brain. My only real reservation about the episode was the presentation of Anya which seemed a bit off compared to late S6 (when I thought she was the best thing about the show).

A couple of odd ball observations. Any other HP Lovecraft fans notice the similarity of the name of the worm to Shuggoth?

Anyone else think that Spike driving a metal bar into Ronnie right after he is de-wormed is reminiscent of Buffy sending Angel to hell? Somewhat fittingly, given his current states of minds, Spike is playing both his own role in that drama (wielding the iron bar like he did the poker) and Buffy's. If the worm/Ronnie is a stand in for Angel we could also regard it/he as representing Spike's current condition. Spike is aggressively attacking the demon aspect but retreats into madness when he injures the human.

[> [> [> [> [> The Chip (spoilers for 7.2) -- ponygirl, 06:59:13 10/02/02 Wed

It may just be me, but did anyone else think that Spike's pained reaction to impaling Ronnie was at first habit, then surprise? If it was the chip he seemed to recover from it far more quickly than in times past. Spike's reaction after seemed to be one that appreciated the cosmic joke of having the chip no longer work. Of course that was mixed in with the insanity so it's hard to tell.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: The Chip (spoilers for 7.2) -- aliera, 07:21:57 10/02/02 Wed

Nope. You're definitely not alone...chip talk in other groups also. I didn't get the same feel we got when it didn't work on Buffy though. Not sure what's up.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: The Chip (spoilers for 7.2) -- ponygirl, 07:27:51 10/02/02 Wed

In some ways it makes perfect sense, how can Spike truly choose his nature when he is still kept on his artificial leash? It raises the stakes tremendously to have him constrained only by his newfound morality. It seems like a wonderful twist, but of course this is all based on a debatable reading of the scene. We shall have to see...

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: The Chip (spoilers for 7.2) -- aliera, 07:45:50 10/02/02 Wed

Yep. I'm hearing pretty much what you said. I didn't get quite that feel off the scene though. I also haven't taped (what is wrong with me!) but the impression was of pain which triggered a switch in Who was front and center. Which then went switch switch switch...can see why JM was pysched for this season. I just keep saying wow to myself. Season 7 mantra. Also, we have writers comments that the chip is still working. Wonder if it's working on everything that came with the soul though...is it next week yet? Grrrr.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: The Chip (spoilers for 7.2) -- leslie, 10:18:36 10/02/02 Wed

I think he definitely did not feel the expected pain at harming a human, but I think it's interesting that his immediate reaction was not pain in his head but pain in his soul--which is what sends him back to babble-on. I think it's setting us up for an answer to the question of whether or not the chip was an "artificial soul"; the answer would seem to be that chip and soul perform the same function. But I also think it's interesting that this scene follows the scene in the Bronze, where Spike's reaction to Anya's sensing of his soul is to immediately vamp out--overcompensation much?

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> don't think it was overcompensation -- anom, 22:14:16 10/02/02 Wed

I think he was trying to keep anyone from knowing he had the soul by acting like the old Spike--faking them out rather than overcompensating.

[> [> [> [> [> On the worm and the sloughing of skin present and past -- alcibiades, 08:03:39 10/02/02 Wed

Anyone else think that Spike driving a metal bar into Ronnie right after he is de-wormed is reminiscent of Buffy sending Angel to hell? Somewhat fittingly, given his current states of minds, Spike is playing both his own role in that drama (wielding the iron bar like he did the poker) and
Buffy's. If the worm/Ronnie is a stand in for Angel we could also regard it/he as representing Spike's current condition. Spike is aggressively attacking the demon aspect but retreats into madness when he injures the human.

The worm isn't a stand in for Angel -- it's a stand in for Spike.

Ronnie's a man turned into a worm by a vengeance demon who pursues one woman again and again. And then, when the spell is reversed and Ronnie sloughs his skin, what's left is a naked, vulnerable, wounded man -- incapacitated, in shock.

So, too, after Spike kills his shadow self - he too sloughs off a layer of skin, calling it his costume, so that he is left, naked and vulnerable and wounded in the church scene.

Halfrek, as Cecily may or may not have contributed to the fact that Spike became a vampire -- there is a story there but who knows whether or not ME will choose to pursue it. But unfortunately for Spike and fortunately for the show, there won't be one magical incantation that will help Spike slough his skin neatly. Because he lived in his demon skin for so long that it truly, madly, deeply effected him on every level.

All of this sloughing of skin is really the continuation of the thematic motif began last year when Spike left his coat downstairs before going up to Buffy to have a real conversation with her about what he did with Anya and to apologize. He wants to have a conversation where they really address what is going on, to communicate on some kind of real level that Buffy keeps on denying is real. He is stripping off layers which he put on initially as a defense and as a persona he constructed to get to what is underneath.

And when he finally sees what is underneath his skin in the context of Buffy, IOW the complete breakdown of his self control as he hurts Buffy in the AR, he loathes it. Because the persona of his skin has seeped into the other part of what he prides himself on being -- a person who won't hurt Buffy. He learns finally it is quite impossible to put on a
persona and live for a time in that skin and for that not to happen, for the skin not to influence the man.

In FFL, it is quite obvious that even Spike's accent and his name is part of the persona he spent 120 years carefully constructing and inhabiting. The duster is, as it were, the epitome of that personality, since he took it as a trophhy off the back of the final slayer he killed. He is
at the peek of his fame and his prowess and his cajones within the vampire world at that moment. He has had two good days. No one really has ever had more -- that we know of at least -- he was a legendary dark warrior.

It is interesting that Spike has always known about using props -- physical barriers to protect what lies beneath.

And now the man must emerge from inside the skin, naked and vulnerable, slough off the empty shell, the husk, and grow a new skin, but this time a genuine one. He has to deal with himself at last.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Very nice -- dream of the consortium, 09:04:18 10/02/02 Wed

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: On the worm and the sloughing of skin present and past -- leslie, 10:22:16 10/02/02 Wed

"In FFL, it is quite obvious that even Spike's accent and his name is part of the persona he spent 120 years carefully constructing and inhabiting."

And is it my imagination, but isn't he slipping back and forth between William's accent and Spike's accent when he's nuts? Especially when he's in the basement.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: On the worm and other things...and alcibiades good post -- aliera, 11:38:47 10/02/02 Wed

Not your imagination, William Spike and others I think. (and agree also with your post above on the chip.) Maybe I'm just weird but I didn't see Spike when he appeared in her house but someone else, maybe a masque or the combined William/Spike, I don't know yet. There's commentary at the Stakehouse on the blue as a superhero costume, one of the ways part of him could see himself fitting, based on Season 5 and Tabula Rasa. Alcibiades great post...there was some commentary last season and after about this re: Spike clothed/or not...pattern continuing. Also the language, the way he is using He She It instead of you and me ...intriguing. Lots of Spike commentary today, not just here, leslie, you may be right about JM...we'll have to see, he's certainly filling the screen. Dawn's looking awfully good too. (And Giles...sigh) And I 'm still getting funny vibes from some of Sara's performance. I don't know if it's timing or what, but something's still discordant or a little off or something...again we'll have to see.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> cigarettes, accents, language, uniform Spike (7.2 spoilers) -- shadowkat, 13:03:12 10/02/02 Wed

I agree. I too have noticed how the accents change depending on the persona along with the words. When he draps himself over the cross - he is speaking cultured English not Cockney slang and uses third person nouns like someone who has been educated. (Rumor has it - that Petrie originally had him quote bad poetry to her, but Joss insisted it be rewritten and refilmed. Glad they did it the way they did.) Spike uses slang, his words are chopped off.

The man in the house - barely spoke. The old Spike would have leered or snarked at Xander or Dawn. This one didn't.
This one was very contained. He spoke softly and looked as if he was holding his breath. His speech became more slang filled as he got comfortable with her. And she tries to bait him. At the Bronze it is the old Spike, except there's a change - a) the custom is sooo not big bad or bad boyfriend, more ordinary guy. b)he doesn't really fight Buffy back - he just keeps baiting her - saying whatever he can think of to get her to hurt him more, like he did in HLOD. I winced at some of the stuff he said.
(I think he does it as a reaction to what Anya saw and is terribly afraid Buffy and the others noticed. His distraction works - Buffy believes he's the old Spike.)

Unfortunately that falls apart in the alley. And I agree to Spike - the worm is him. It symbolizes him. He even says - somtehing to the effect that we're demons and we should be killed, and killing demons is what I'm good at - when he thrusts in the pole.

His pain - I'm not sure about the chip. I think he was most surprised by the emotional pain. He felt both for Rocky the dog and for Ronnie the man. He says I'm sorry - in William's voice and pulls out the bar. This is something Spike would never have done. Buffy would have had to stop him. And he would have retorted something to the effect of "sympathy for the man with the migraine". He clearly is crushed by his action on so many levels: 1) he didn't help buffy and the entity is telling him how weak and pathetic and useless he is. A feeling Buffy echoes by her expression.
2. His soul is raging at him for it. 3. his demon is raging
at him.

Also I've been wondering about this for a while now. Why isn't Spike smoking? Where are his cigarettes? Spike always smoked. That cigarette was as much a part of his persona as the jacket. Has anyone seen him smoke a cigarette??

I'm loving the NewSpike. I'm loving watch JM - jeeze he has made this show his stage. But the others did their jobs as well, they just didn't have nearly as much to do.

SMG was pretty darn good in the final season. She does seem off a bit - particularly in the cheerful scenes but I think she is supposed to be. She's pretending to be cheerful w/ the principal while the whole time she's worrying about that crazy vampire she saw in the basement. In some ways her role is harder than JM's since she has to react to him. She has to convey through her expression what she feels without much dialogue. That's hard to do.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: cigarettes, accents, language, uniform Spike (7.2 spoilers and further spec) -- aliera, 14:15:14 10/02/02 Wed

I'm wonder about the rumours that are floating now about Buffy...resurfaced from last year's very red herrings in particular. With Sara it's on purpose when she twiddles with timing or method, at least according to JM's interviews...you'd know better than me, this isn't my forte.

Hard to stay off the boards today, at least for me...I just finished reading the archives from the past week last night there's paper ankle deep in my bedroom right now and this afternoon coasted around the boards trying to get other perspectives...the hook is well and truly sunk...love it!

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: On the worm Spoilers for S6, S7 to 'Beneath You.' -- Age, 18:02:40 10/02/02 Wed

Nancy's dog represents Spike before he could hurt Buffy, being the puppy, being led about. He was still beneath Buffy, ie a dog, but he was harmless. But once he could hurt her, he became the phallic symbol with teeth again, stalking her, trying to bring her down into his dark world as represented by Ronny, the sluggoth demon. When Spike found out that he could hurt Buffy, the devoted little dog on the leash got gobbled up by the phallic symbol with teeth, leading to the attempted rape...which then led to Spike's leaving to get his soul back, which ultimately resulted in this episode.

Ronny's transformation into sluggoth demon is an embellishment by Anya as she tries, like Spike, to disguise the fact that she has changed. This is why the two stories are intertwined. The unfinished business with the ex's is needed to bring out the results of the transformation through love from last year. The worm/sluggoth demon thus represents an aspect of Spike's nature which led to the attempted rape and also his current condition of trying to be the big bad again, trying to embellish when the human in him is really wanting to reveal himself. In the bar scene both Anya and Spike go into game face, so to speak, to reinforce the mask imagery. In fact the bar scene, reinforcing the motif of performance by being like a farce or circus or freakshow, recaps the events of last season in order to show us how we got to where we are, and therefore acting as an explanation as to why last season was needed(just as the dog to sluggoth demon showed the change in Buffy's relationship with Spike.)

Once Xander shows Anya that she's using her anger at him as an excuse not to acknowledge that she herself has changed, she reverses the spell. It is at this point too when the persona that Spike is using breaks down. He's simply hurting the human that he has fought to become by playing this role of big bad Spike, spiking Ron as he returns to being human. The business with the ex's was needed to be worked through both with Xander and Buffy in order to help Anya and Spike move forward. I think Xander and Buffy were helped also, but in Buffy's case one doesn't treat attempted rape lightly. This is going to stay with her.

The final scene in the church where Spike burns himself on the cross was quite wonderful. It's so ironic that resting on a symbol of wholeness indicating every aspect of himself, he calls for rest. But rest is exactly what he's had all these years as the undead, as someone who gave up wholeness. The living never can rest, being human is a work in progress.

A quick point: are we to infer from the Principal's name that the extended metaphor of the dark wood from last year has been transformed into the green wood symbolizing that in adulthood one never leaves the wood, but one learns to operate better in it, making it ones natural home, like the band of merry men?

Was 'Beneath You' about doing what it takes to get the gang back together to meet the coming whatever that the sluggoth demon also represented by being a worm, ie a tube, the hellmouth, with teeth? Everything's connected.

Is Buffy's new job an adult/non-metaphorical version of the slayer? If the slayer is metaphorical and slays inner demons, representations of emotions or problems either ignored and thus given power or simply too hard to face etc, then perhaps listening to teenagers' problems and feelings is a way of 'slaying' them before they gain too much power. It's all about power, but what kind?


[> [> [> [> [> [> [> WOW ! Great post ! -- Ete, 21:03:40 10/02/02 Wed

I knew it ! I knew the worm was BOTH a phallic and a vaginal (hellmouth) symbol :)

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: On the worm Spoilers for S6, S7 to 'Beneath You.' -- aliera, 06:55:49 10/03/02 Thu

Thanks Age. Lovely post again. And Ete that was my thought too but I was hesitant to post it. The worm/snake image is an archetypical one? Cutting across culture and time, very old but even seen in early christian mythos associated with the cross (world tree). Generally associated with healing, I believe. Swallowing it's tail. Guarding the world tree. Shedding it's skin. Spirals.

"I am Atum, creator of the Eldest Gods,
I am he who gave birth to Shu,
I am the great he/she.
I am he who did what seemed good to him,
I took my space in the space of my will,
Mine is the space of those who move along
Like those two great serpentine circles."

Atum discriptions from Coffin Texts

And we saw it early season last year too...crawling under Willow skin and coming out of her mouth. This year crawling beneath Sunnydale and coming up out of the ground. Jung associated the image of the serpent with the unconscious, chthonic and spiritual. In particular, according to Jung in at least one piece I read, the snake has sudden and painful manifestations and frightening effects. A symbol of transition of creative energy and immortality. Campbell discusses the role of the serpent too.

"In both of the stories (Bassari legend and Genisis) the snake is the symbol of life throwing off the past and continuing to live. Life sheds one generation after another to be born again. The serpent represents immortal energy and consciousness engaged in the field of time. There is something tremendously terrifying about life if you look at it that way. And so the serpent carries in itself both the fascination and the terror of life."

Other symbols we have already seen this season, the cross, the sun and the maze (both on a poster in Lohegrin's class and in the basement of the new highschool.) The Bronze too would be recognized by Campbell as the mythic bar/watering hole, a place of transition and transformation. So this year we are seeing a lot of Earth and Water so far and the reference to Fire is internal? The burning spark in Spike and Buffy seems to have her spark back. We also have Xander involved in constructing the school attempting to bring structure to actualize thought in the world, ironically over the Hellmouth again. And in Willow we have the reference to Gaia which may become important later and again there is a reference to having assimilated/brought in something. The magic is in her, a fundamental part of her.

The name of the principal is interesting as you pointed out...leading to Robin Hood but; for me to the Green Man the God of the Wood, Jack in the Green, Pan, the woods another place of transformation. And yes, it is very interesting that this has now manifested in the world and more so that Robin Wood (the vegetarian?)is in charge of the highschool which also has a labyrinth in the basement. Oddly, he himself represents authority and warns Buffy? I'm not sure how to place his role yet, he is in a position representing order yet his name is a reference to the transforming power of Nature/Chaos?

I liked your thought on Buffy's new position. She seems in the first two episodes to be transitioning to more of a mentoring role again. And I think you are right that it's important not to lose sight of the heavy mention of Power in Lessons. All in all a lot to think about...thanks again for your post.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Great posts Age, Ete and aliera! -- ponygirl, 08:12:00 10/03/02 Thu

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Kaboom! Love the way you put that together. -- Caroline, 07:39:57 10/03/02 Thu

Both Spike and Anya are having issues with their identities, having a difficult time integrating the changes that have occurred in them. Anya has quota, has to please the boss, etc. She's not doing this for the love of vengeance, she's doing it out of fear and hurt. As for Spike, his behaviour was all over the place - big bad, sensitive, mad/crazy - precisely because he doesn't know who he is. Spike and Anya revert to demon masks because that comes so easily after all this time but it also points to the huge task they have ahead of them to integrate the changes that have occurred to their non-demon sides. But that is the struggle for identity that we all face in our lives.

Thanks for a great post.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> On SEX POODLES and Penis Monsters -- alcibiades, 08:12:42 10/03/02 Thu

It is interesting that both Anya and Spike feel sorry for Rocky -- whereas Nancy, Xander and Buffy don't.

As you say, Spike was originally the puppy in his relationship with Buffy, but then so was Anya in her relationship with Xander, she heeled to his command, she obeyed his words of censure and corrected her behavior. She was rambunctious like a puppy in love at her wedding with display after display of affection pouring out of her. And the kicker --SHE CALLED herself Xander's SEX POODLE.

The dog owners displayed just about as much affection for their pets as Nancy did for hers. i.e., why didn't I have a cat, it would be less trouble, no I just had to have a demon...er...dog.

Xander fans are not going to like that comment -- but it often seems to me that Xander is really upset about the fact that he is upset, not about the fact that Anya is hurting and that he caused that. And after all, why did Xander become abusive in their "future" relationship, it was because Anya stepped out of her role, as the adoring puppy who will follow his lead.

Nancy seemed curiously un-upset by the death of her puppy. After it was gone, she didn't have any regrets, no tear for the dog, she never mentioned it, and started hitting on Xander almost immediately.

Age proposed that at first Spike is Buffy's puppy, harmless,
affectionate, cute, until he turns into the ravening penis monster with teeth.

To add to Age's thought, to that extent, Buffy is Nancy and her fear last year was that the penis monster keeps on pursuing her to swallow her from beneath, i.e. the genitalia are beneath as supposed to the head, which is above, also, to suck her into hell. Behavior Spike seems to be continuing as the penis monster, er, worm tracks Nancy on the ground and Spike tracks Buffy in the sky, across the roofs.

The critical point is when Spike jumps into fight the penis demon for Buffy -- symbolizing the human part of Spike fighting against the part of his nature that allowed him to attempt to rape Buffy.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: On SEX POODLES and Penis Monsters -- Caroline, 09:30:32 10/03/02 Thu

I must be channeling you right now because I posted a similar idea in another thread - Spike fighting with the monster is actually symbolic of the struggle with the demon still inside him. But he is still scared and frightened of his dark self and in a huge amount of pain - he can't deal with his darkness, is driven again to madness again and runs off to escape.

Thanks for another great post.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: On SEX POODLES and Penis Monsters/Persephone -- alcibiades, 14:50:00 10/03/02 Thu

Thanks Caroline.

I read your thread right after I posted this and I realized I was overlapping with some of what had been said.

I'm still thinking about your Persephone posts -- in that context, what did you make of Willow drawing the passion flower through the earth, then sinking it back to its roots?

[> [> [> Indeed! -- Cactus Watcher, 07:27:41 10/02/02 Wed

This is what I was talking about all last season. If you accept whatever ME or any other group of writers and artists throw at you simply based on past reputation, you really are not doing either them or yourself a favor. The quality has gone up this year, and I think we can safely say that it was because a lot of us fans weren't happy with the execution last year. Last night for the first time in a long time I was thinking, gee, SMG is having to do a lot more than sleepwalk through her part. And JM, good grief! Is there anyone out there who thinks he couldn't star in his own show, in his own movies? Quaility is the reason I started watching Buffy in the first place. Quality is the reason I'm very pleased with this season so far.

[> [> [> [> Re: Indeed! -- leslie, 10:36:00 10/02/02 Wed

"And JM, good grief! Is there anyone out there who thinks he couldn't star in his own show, in his own movies?"

Is there anyone out there who isn't starting to suspect that he's already starring in his own show, no matter which character is in the title?

[> [> Re: Season 7 Getting Off to the Best Start Ever -- aliera, 05:48:58 10/02/02 Wed

I'll echo that Rob; I have the same feeling...the desire to watch and rewatch...I'm very pysched.

[> [> Re: Season 7 (Just adding my two cents) -- Sarand, 08:06:45 10/02/02 Wed

I'm LOVING this season. I watched and re-watched both episodes - they were just so terrific. And last night's episode? Kind of embarassed to say that I cried both times I watched it. And I agree, after what happened last season and knowing what the characters went through just makes what's happening now so much better.

By the way, did anybody else in the NYC area have wonky reception on UPN? It's happened to me both weeks now - the picture slows or freezes or blacks out and some of the dialogue is lost and there are these funny lines on the picture screen. It doesn't happen on any other station. I don't watch anything else on UPN but I didn't notice it for the few minutes of "Haunting" that I saw. Btw, I have cable.

[> [> [> Re: Season 7 ( Just adding my two cents about the chip) & wonky reception on UPN -- VLS, 11:37:58 10/02/02 Wed

I live in MO. and have a satelite dish and had the same problem, must be UPN. also it looked like spike was hunting the rat at the start of the show and he looked more surprised then hurt when he stabbed ronnie. the chip may still work but I don't think it works on spike anylonger, hope we will find out soon.

[> [> [> [> Sorry! possible Spoilers Above (NT) -- VLS, 11:54:21 10/02/02 Wed

[> [> [> UPN and wonky -- shadowkat, 07:04:41 10/03/02 Thu

Yep so did I and also have cable. I contacted my cable company to get better reception and they are coming on Sat.
(Because I have five other channels that have similar problems.)

But - the UPN feed of Btvs jumped over three main lines
in the Anya -Spike sequence in the Bronze. I live in NYC. For my mother who lives in Hilton Head - the sound was too low, she had to turn it way up, and five lines were blurred. It also went wonky the week before.

If this keeps up - I may email UPN and complain.

[> [> [> [> Re: UPN and wonky -- alcibiades, 07:45:37 10/03/02 Thu

yeah I also live in NYC and I had wonky reception -- really annoying -- except that this always seem to happen during Buffy -- it happened last year as well. In fact, wasn't the wonkiness of the reception the reason they replayed OMWF for a second time in the same week last year.

[> [> [> [> UPN's wonkiness abounds -- neaux, 12:02:49 10/03/02 Thu

Yeah.. coming from Durham, NC.. somthing is up with our UPN affiliate. Buffy is very low.. I always have to crank the volume just to hear it. Last week I thought it was because my wife decided to vaccum (shakes fist at wife). But this week I had to crank up the volume again because everything was a mumble.

Also.. the show bounced like 3 times. I dont know if that has to do with reception or not.. but heck I have digital cable. makes no sense.

[> Ditto, love season 7 -- Apophis, 22:18:21 10/01/02 Tue

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