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Conviction (spoilers for season) -- death, 11:18:57 10/02/03 Thu

Angel killing Hauser was justified because they wer to kill everyone near that kid. He has shown any last attempt of mercy to the Firm. Eve is a little too happy and chipper probably to make sure that they think that have some control. Gunn is probably turn into one of them by the end and Angel will try to save him. I think those enhancements were just the beginning for Gunn to enhance his abilities. I hope they end Cordy's coma sitituation because it was really stupid to end her like that.

It doesn't matter, the act itself has doomed them (Spoilers Angel 5.01) -- heywhynot, 14:54:02 10/02/03 Thu

Is it me or did the act of Angel taking over Wolfram & Hart set in motion the chain of events leading to Fries using his son like he did? Fries believed that the "new order" running WH's LA branch wouldn't look out for his best interest, which was true. The threat wouldn't of existed otherwise. Angel and gang had to deal with it instead of helping the helpless or even really changing WH. If they hadn't joined WH, Fries would of probably gotten off, like he did anyway, but AI would of been out there helping people. No potential bomb placed inside of Fries's son, none of it. The classroom of children would have never been placed in danger. By joining, Fries goes free but the helpless are not helped. They have AI getting their hands dirty while at the same time preventing them from their mission of helping the helpless. Angel is playing WH's game under their rules. The game is not about winning to them, it is about playing the game under their rules.

What Angel needs to do is have Kate remind him of what he said back in season 2:
(Angel to Kate in the 2nd to last scene of Epiphany)
"Not all of it. All I wanna do is help. I wanna help because - I don't think people should suffer, as they do. Because, if there is no bigger meaning, then the smallest act of kindness - is the greatest thing in the world."


[> Re: It doesn't matter, the act itself has doomed them (Spoilers Angel 5.01) -- Katrina, 15:09:54 10/02/03 Thu

Nope, not just you. I'm trying to feel positively about the regime change, but I don't see how this can possibly play out other than that they'll eventually wise up and have to extricate themselves. And if that's how it's going to end up, I wish they'd just get it over with. (Sorry, but I'm feeling like I'm the only evil troll who was really disappointed in the episode). The problem with the whole Wolfram and Hart set-up is that it's all about rationalization: boiled down to Eve's speech that the evildoers are "getting away with it" anyway, so the gang might as well use their resources. But AI's job is to help the helpless; W&H's job is to help those who prey on the helpless. These are not exactly reconcilable objectives. If they're working to help people who do real, immense evil (as in this episode), because it's their "job" now, how do they decide what evil is evil enough to stop? What are they working against, exactly?

[> [> Re: It doesn't matter, the act itself has doomed them (Spoilers Angel 5.01) -- heywhynot, 15:33:11 10/02/03 Thu

I would say Angel & gang believe they can do more than just use Wolfram & Hart's resources. They believe they can curb the worst evils and eventually change the LA branch. Of course it is the system not the people who are running it which I don't think Angel & gang fully appreciated. They are getting a harsh lesson in reality.

[> [> [> Baby steps . . . -- Finn Mac Cool, 16:03:05 10/02/03 Thu

They've just taken over W&H; any change they make in it is gonna take some time. Besides, Fries's trial going bad didn't have anything to do with Angel and Co. joining W&H; "Conviction" can't take place more than a few days after "Home". Fries probably would have made his threat to Linwood or Lilah if they were still around. The difference is that the old Wolfram & Hart would have killed dozens of people to stop it; the only people who died under Angel's management were two evil-worshipping assassins.

Lastly, remember what Gunn said: he could draw Fries's new trial out for months, during which time Fries would have to put a hold on his criminal empire or risk the prosecution getting more dirt to use against him. I doubt the old W&H regime would have done this.

So, while they haven't totally overthrown the old order, they have made a couple improvements.

[> [> [> [> Re: Baby steps . . . -- leslie, 17:00:50 10/02/03 Thu

"Fries probably would have made his threat to Linwood or Lilah if they were still around. "

Yes--his complaint was that none of this would have happened if Holland Manners were still around, and he's been gone for over a year now.

[> [> [> [> [> Actually that's probably not true either.. -- ZachsMind, 17:11:12 10/02/03 Thu

The guy was like, "well this wouldn't be happening if Holland Manners were still around" and that's a bunch of bull. The difference is if it happened, Manners woulda been kissing that butthead's ring. Cuz Manners was a smarmy disgusting buttkisser of the lowest order.

Fries put his son up as a sacrifice to save his own skin. It doesn't matter if Angel was in charge of W&H or not. Fries felt he needed security. He needed to stack the deck in his favor. He woulda done that for his kid anyway.

That's what I think ultimately Angel's gonna learn. It's gonna take all season. Eve's trying to make Angel see that if he burns the huts of the little W&H village right now, there's nothing. She's trying to convince Angel to not throw the baby out with the bathwater. By the end of the season, Angel's gonna realize that it's not the bathwater that needs throwing out, but the baby (i.e. The Partners).

[> [> [> [> Re: Baby steps . . . spoilers 5.01 -- heywhynot, 17:11:41 10/02/03 Thu

I would say around a week since the events of Home. Fries knows who Angel is and doesn't care about the "new regime". He said that he was not going to be made an example of. He had no reason to blackmail the old W&H, he had full confidence they would get the job done by any means necessary. He knew he was going to be set free. With Angel's gang the full resources of W&H he knows won't be used to help him. At the very least, it shows other clients how they can insure Angel's regime doesn't sell them done the river. How clients act with Angel's gang in charge has changed from how they would under Holland's reign. It is another dynamic that I don't think AI thought about when they accepted the role. I know as a viewer, I did not think about how the clients would react & what they would do to insure they received the same level of service.

Also, just because Gunn says it is so, doesn't make it so. Fries was able to make his son a living bomb while going through a trial. In other words he is still able to some heinous things especially ones that conventional laws aren't equipped to deal with. Fries is always being monitored, nothing really has changed.

To me they can't succeed the way they are going. They are going to have think outside the box. They are not doing that. As such they were better off helping people by not being part of W&H, IMHO.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Baby steps . . . spoilers 5.01 -- Finn Mac Cool, 19:16:49 10/02/03 Thu

What makes you think it was in the middle of the trial that the bomb was placed? He could have done it a while in advance in case such a situation arised. Also, the lawyer Angel talked to said, "We're not in a position to have anyone killed" and "the jury's tamper proof". This shows that Wolfram & Hart's resources weren't able to find a way to free Fries, even if they resorted to murder or jury tampering.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Baby steps . . . spoilers 5.01 -- parakeet, 00:41:08 10/03/03 Fri

Plus, the lab tech who designed the virus for him was set on fire by W&H before Nox (or whatever the name is exactly) had a chance to know him. It's possible, of course, that the staff in the tech division of the LA branch is big enough that they still might have been there at the same time, but the impression given (to me, at least) was that some time (more than a week or two) had passed.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Baby steps . . . spoilers 5.01 -- heywhynot, 06:57:04 10/03/03 Fri

Who was he going to blackmail? Not the judicial system otherwise that is what he would of done in this case as well. He was trying to make sure the "new regime" found a way to get him off. Which is what they (Gunn at least) did, otherwise an innocent child would die at the very least. They would probably of let their other clients know and Fries would of been dealt with accordingly by them.

To me either way, the doors are open for W&H clients to commit heinous acts to force the hand of Angel & gang to help them. They are playing by the rules of the senior partners. As things currently stand, they have failed & will continue to fail, cleaning up messes they triggered by their choice, their hubris.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> He was blackmailing them because the situation looked bleak -- Finn Mac Cool, 09:47:52 10/03/03 Fri

I got the impression that Wolfram & Hart lawyers had been on the case for a while, and that, as the trial was winding down, Fries didn't like the job they were doing (we can see why from the trial clips). Even with a lawyer perfectly willing to enchant a jury or kill a witness, Fries was still losing. That was what Fries was responding to; he had to have had the bomb in place before he ever heard about the new regime, and the trial was going bad before it ever happened, too. Fries's one comment about not liking Angel's leadership seems outweighed by his general pissiness at how his trial was going. As such, I think he would have blackmailed any incarnatin of Wolfram & Hart in that position. Didn't Knox say they had stopped more plagues than they ever created? Don't you think this sort of thing might be why? Perhaps it's standard practice for W&H clients to threaten their own lawyers.

I guess our difference of opinion comes from you viewing Fries as reacting primarily based on hearing that Angel was in charge, while I see that as a small part of his general unhappiness for the job the lawyers were doing. Given that not liking Angel's leadership was one line, while the state of Fries's trial was both shown and told in more depth, I tend to give that precedence.

Also, I again state that they have made some improvement in that Gunn will make sure it's a good long while before Fries's fate is decided, during which time he won't be able to run his criminal empire like he used to.

[> [> [> [> [> A week since Home... (spoilers 5.01) -- pellenaka, 04:50:37 10/03/03 Fri

Lawyer guy in teaser: "The vampire that you terminated actually did work for one of your clients but hey, first week..."

[> [> [> [> [> "The master's tools will never dismantle the master's house" -- Katrina, 08:48:17 10/03/03 Fri

As the late, great Audre Lorde said.

Although of course Angelus was once one of the Master's tools, and he helped... :)

As a general rule, though, that thing of taking down the system from within doesn't usually work. Once people have the master's tools, they want to keep them. Maybe I'm growing too cynical for AtS: I never would have believed it back in the days when Angel was busy killing lawyers and setting girls on fire...

[> [> [> [> [> [> I think cynicism is exactly what we need -- Scroll, 13:20:26 10/03/03 Fri

I really don't think we're meant to have complete faith that Angel & Co will be able to do what Angel says they'll do: Wait for W&H to tip their evil hand, yet still run the corporation with an Angel Investigations-like integrity. I think we're supposed to wonder, "Well, is that even possible? Isn't it more likely they'll all be corrupted?"

After all, Angel's already scuffed that line in the sand by spattering Hauser's brains all over an elementary school wall. Heh.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: "The master's tools will never dismantle the master's house" -- Arachne, 13:48:56 10/03/03 Fri

I've been thinking of that line by Audre Lorde too.

It's a common struggle that everyone faces. Because the "master's house" is everywhere-- it's your job, it's school, it's- dare I say it- government. Corporations taking over everything. How do we create a life of our own, when people are busy trying to shape us into what they want?

Yipes. I obviously have my issues.

But this season of Angel could prove to be extremely insightful-- if it's written well enough. Who on television is critiquing the hand that feeds them? It would be great to see this.

Robin Morgan from MS. on BtVS -- Buffyboy, 15:00:41 10/02/03 Thu

My wife pointed out this column to me from the Fall 2003 edition of MS. Since I don't believe it's been posted here as of yet, here it is. (In case you don't know Robin Morgan is a very well know feminist writer and the author of numerous book. Andrea Dworkin, mentioned in the column, is also a well know feminist writer whom I always thought would love the episodes Surprise/Innocence if she ever saw them-I guess she has. Despite the inaccuracies and debatable interpretations, I'm sure Joss Whedon is very pleased, her remark about BtVS being watched "from our guilty-pleasure closets" not withstanding).

Robin Morgan

Separation Anxieties

When MS.' Dynamic new editor in chief convinced me to write this column, I promised us both that I'd remember-to paraphrase our late, beloved Bella Abzug-that, throughout U.S. feminists are "very serious women," nowhere is it written we have to be solemn.

Granted, good news had been so scarce that for one heady week last June I tried recalling how to celebrate: The Supreme Court found for affirmative action (albeit ambivalently) and for lesbigay rights-and Strom Thurmond was formally declared dead.

But then we were back to Bushwackery. So-having bemoaned my once-and-future separation anxieties about the erosion of reproductive right, civil liberties, economic sanity, a free press and so forth-I'm pausing here to suffer withdrawal symptoms over two lesser losses.

"Buffy the Vampire Slayer" has ended its sever-year run.

"The West Wing" is losing its brilliant creator/main writer, Aaron Sorkin.

What am I to do?

"Buffy?!" you frown. Yes, "Buffy"-ostensibly a flighty teenage show that actually seduced hordes of adult fans into watching from our guilty-pleasure closets. (It was Andrea Dworkin who lobbied me to watch "Buffy." And you thought feminist writers met only to argue Profound Insights Into Patriarchy!) What other evening TV show consistently dealt with date rape, gang rape, child abuse, battery, lesbian love, consensual extramarital sex, male impotence, drugs, madness, abuse of power and deep female friendship? Not to mention Biff! Wham! Pow! Delivered by young women who really aced their karate chops; no helpless damsel, Buffy ever rescued male friends.

Sure, the acting was campy, the writing sloppy in its portrayal of Wicca, and the dialogue very, like, um, wow, duh, high school (which was the point.) Yet it was often hilarious in a way idealistic feminists couldn't help but recognize: Buffy's tombstone-during one of her numerous death and resurrection-read "Here Lies Buffy. She Saved the World a Lot." Her relationships with (and soul-saving feminist influence on) her two vampire lovers was "teenage" fare more sophisticated than most adult TV, which currently dumbing even downer with the proliferation of "reality" shows.

Buffy's finale, when her unique fighting spirit and powers were bestowed on all women everywhere, actually lift me misty-eyed. The show lives in rerun afterlife and on video and DVD-but awww, it's just not the same.

[I'm skipping her discussion of Sorkin and "The West Wing."]

So back to the barricades. As Jed Bartlet say, "What's next?" They're still comin' at us, straight from the Hellmouth Got your stake? Got your garlic? Biff! Wham! Pow!


[> Re: Robin Morgan from MS. on BtVS -- RJA, 15:33:16 10/02/03 Thu

Some interesting, nice comments, although could have done without the defensive 'adults can enjoy this too!' tone, but its perhaps understandable.

Disagree with the campy acting and the 'duh..high school' dialogue though. Really disagree. More watching of the DVD's needed I think!

I'm sure Joss will be proud tho. Morgan and Dworkin. Girl power :-)

[> Re: Robin Morgan from MS. on BtVS -- Rook, 15:51:29 10/02/03 Thu

"Sure, the acting was campy...and the dialogue very, like, um, wow, duh, high school (which was the point.) "

For some reason, I don't think she was watching the same show that I was.

Cranky critiquer can't contain herself (Spoilers for Angel 5.1) -- Katrina, 15:36:50 10/02/03 Thu

Everyone has already pointed out the plethora of great one-liners in last night's episode: the goats, the spanking, the Blondie Bear. I agree, I agree! I will add that I loved all the scenes with Lorne, and hope they actually use him this season. But in case I'm not alone in my overall crankiness with last night's episode, here are my top five problems, in no particular order:

--After that cool build-up with Gunn and the sense of awe and power he got from the panther, the follow-up was that he got Matrixized and turned into a lawyer?

--Having a temptress character named Eve is no less hackneyed because she points out the irony herself. The only way it won't be hackneyed is if she turns out to be working on the side of good. Even then, it'll still be too obvious of a reversal for my taste.

--As written and acted in the first episode, the character of Eve was 100% charisma-free. No pun intended.

--As was the incredibly dull guy in Fred's lab. Every time they said his name, I'd forgotten it by the next scene. And I think he got more screen time than Wesley did.

--Angel just hopped into a car and drove off in broad daylight. Because it's got special dark glass. And what happens if he gets hit by another car while on an exposed freeway? Actually, the whole thing with the special glass annoys me. I think it's because way back in the third episode, Angel already rejected the Gem that would allow him to walk in the daylight, even to keep squirreled away for special occasions, to do good by day. Because just the possibility would be too much of a temptation and would distract him from his mission, etc. Between forgetting those lessons already learned, and forgetting the lessons of the whole W&H Billy situation (compromising with evil in order to do good, which led to disaster), Angel's turning into more and more of a character who isn't learning from anything, which can be tiring to watch.


[> Re: Cranky critiquer can't contain herself (Spoilers for Angel 5.1) -- RJA, 15:43:22 10/02/03 Thu

On the Gunn thing, I'm not sure that its just about him being a lawyer (at least I hope not!). He had the pow wow with the panther in the White Room, yet afterwards he still didnt know what his place was in the firm and had no extra talent. It was only in this episode in which the law skills were planted on him.

But we also know that the Senior Partners saw something in him (through the panther?), and that the 'big cat' didnt lie to him. And since before he got the law powers, he didnt know he how he fitted in. So it seems that if ME choose to pursue it, Gunn's journey should take a different and interesting journey. They saw potential, but what they gave him in Conviction could be given to any lackey. So what is really interesting and important is what they saw in Gunn, and what Gunn saw in return.

[> [> Re: Cranky critiquer can't contain herself (Spoilers for Angel 5.1) -- DEN, 16:40:59 10/02/03 Thu

Gunn's makeover is logical, indeed necessary, in casting terms as well. A) Eve is right: the gang needs a lwayer--and a very good one--if they hope to cope with their new circimstances. B) Spike's arrival makes Gunn redundant in his existing role. The show can't support two dudes with attitudes, and Marsters is one of the best scene stealers and scenery chewers in today's tv.

[> Re: Cranky critiquer can't contain herself (Spoilers for Angel 5.1) -- anonn., 17:13:20 10/02/03 Thu

He didn't reject the Gem b/c it was a distraction he rejected it b/c it could be dangerous if someone else got a hold of it (I think anyway its been a long time) anyway the necrotempered glass isn't exactly the same as being able to walk in daylight he can just drive during the day and not have to use heavy curtains in his office

[> [> There were also hints that it seemed too easy to Angel. -- Finn Mac Cool, 19:30:24 10/02/03 Thu

It was stated a couple of times that the Gem might be Angel's redemption, that it was what he'd been looking for this whole time. However, it was also mentioned that Angel wanted to do things the hard way, to really earn his redemption, and being given a ring of unkillability doesn't really fit into that.

[> [> [> Re: Gem of Amarra, Angel's rejection -- rowena, 14:46:36 10/03/03 Fri

Before destroying the Gem of Amarra in S1, didn't Angel say that there were plenty of people around to help people with their problems during the day, but it was the helpless, forgotten people of the night who needed a champion? Didn't he say he was afraid that if he could live in the daylight, he would be like everyone else and forget the night people who needed him?
Wonder what will happen to his mission of helping those forgotten night people now that he's at Wolfram & Hart with all the tempered glass and darkened car windows. And how will the fight against darkness play out in the harsh light of day?
Can't wait to find out.

[> The incredibly dull guy in Fred's lab (spoilers) -- Hmm..., 17:45:05 10/02/03 Thu

Is this the same guy that played the vamp/Buffy's old classmate in Conversations with Dead People? They look and sound identical.

[> [> Re: The incredibly dull guy in Fred's lab (spoilers) -- heywhynot, 17:56:36 10/02/03 Thu

Yep, the same actor. Different character obviously. Was brought up on here last spring. There were links to all the actors you have played more than one character in the Buffyverse.

[> Good show - but I have to add another one (spoilers) -- Briar Rose, 18:42:12 10/02/03 Thu

Where are we to believe Cordy is at this point? Okay, I know it's fantasy and that ME set it up as a "mystical condition" and yada, yada, yada.... But shouldn't Crdelia at least be getting some serious IV intervention of glucous and saline by now?????

I could handle a couple of days without medical treatment. Heck, I could have even handled a week or two considering the metaphysics involved in her "coma."

But here we have Cordelia in limbo-land -- A coma with no end and even Angel admitted she was "sick." So when are they at least going to say, "Oh yeah... She's at General. They have her comfortable and who knows what will happen."

Harmony is still annoying and I still don't understand the panther connection to the LAWYER outcome with Gunn, even though I did notice that in one of the cross fades, they did show a brief glimpse of the Panther connected to Gunn again. I've always seen lawyers as more of weasels or possibly egrets/hawks than panthers though.*L

Overall, I'll be happy enough with Angel since there's no Buffy to get me through the Whedon withdrawels - but I sure wish that some of these major loose ends would come into play soon. If they're going to keep talking about Cordy, at least let it make sense in some way.

[> [> In "Home" it was said that W&H was taking care of Cordelia -- Finn Mac Cool, 19:23:42 10/02/03 Thu

Given what we've seen of their resources, it's probably safe to assume that they've got their own, private hospital. Plus, they're the only people with a chance in hell of reversing a mystical coma of that magnitude.

[> [> The Panther (spoilers) -- Mackenzie, 08:32:18 10/03/03 Fri

I personally wasn't looking for the connection between the lawyers or W&H and the panther. I felt the connection was the panther and Gunn. The man in the white room choose a form that Gunn would find intriguing and would want to listen to or relate too. I just don't see Gunn getting excited by a furry weasel being his spirit guide. The panther choice is one reason I wonder if this is not all one big trick to get Gunn to be bad without him realizing it until it is too late.
I know, I rambled, hope it made sense.

[> [> [> Re: The Panther (spoilers) -- Eloise519, 19:26:57 10/03/03 Fri

Historically significant, black and shiny, too. Not thinking it's evil. Gunn says the white room guy doesn't lie. Also, he doesn't seem to be under a thrall -- just got some knowledge downloaded.

[> [> Gunn and (5.1 spoiler) -- Walking Turtle, 08:33:33 10/03/03 Fri

When we saw the White Room, the Black Panther and Gunn in 'Home' my wife's and I's first comment was "The Black Panthers" This was an militant black group of the 1960's. They and the police had shoot outs and I think some cops went down for shooting a Black Panther who was unarmed and sleeping in a bed. Talk to any liberal of the 60's about this.
To me making Gunn a lawyer is an ironic joke. I am looking forward to where ME is going with this since 5.1 had so many current news references and I expect many more to come in an age were we had dear-old 'Russ' commenting on football so that a sports show might gain an bigger viewer share.

[> [> And by the way, what do they remember? -- Katrina, 08:58:02 10/03/03 Fri

Does Angel know what they remember and what they don't, so he won't slip up and mention things related to the unknown Connor?

Are we to assume that this Wesley never got his throat cut? If so, why does he think that happened? Adjusting their memories won't make the scar go away.

Do Fred and Charles know they killed the professor? Without Wesley kidnapping Connor, and going darkside, she wouldn't have gone to him assuming he'd help her. Would the "old" Wesley have helped her try to kill the professor by opening a portal, or would he have tried to talk her out of it? If they don't know they killed the professor, why do they think they broke up? Or did they break up? I mean, Connor was such an integral part of their everyday lives, between Darla's impossible pregnancy, taking care of the baby, the kidnapping, and Connor as a grown-up -- could only those memories be extricated? Or did W&H just overwrite the past few years with some generic memories? Maybe Fred and Charles don't even know they were a couple!

Right now, we don't know who these people think they are (so to speak). I hope this gets addressed in some way fairly soon, or we're not going to be following the characters and their motivations very well.

And I can't help thinking they're going to really Angel when it comes out. If a friend of mine could take away my memories for two years and have false ones implanted, even to save pain and suffering for a loved one, as in this case...I don't think I'd ever forgive them for messing with my head.

[> [> [> I'm thinking it's a "Ben and Glory" deal -- Finn Mac Cool, 10:08:09 10/03/03 Fri

Their minds simply refuse to process it. If someone asked Wesley about why he got his throat cut, he'd explain about Justine but then realize he doesn't know why she cut his throat anyway. This would lead to momentary confusion until the mojo kicked in again and he forgets that he had forgotten something.

[> [> [> Re: And by the way, what do they remember? -- Arachne, 13:40:33 10/03/03 Fri

I think you're absolutely right when you say that we don't know who these people think they are.

How do they think Cordelia got into her coma? She is in a coma because she was impreganted by Connor & gave birth to a zen-like, but evil being. Right? Hope I'm not missing something.

Even if it is a Ben/Glory-ish spell where they just forget about the past any time that they're forced to remember it-- well, we need to see that happen on-screen.

It's going to become less and less believable if the writers shut out the audience and don't tell us what's going on. I think I'm willing to accept a lot in the Angelworld. Mystic forces, curses, alternate dimensions. But just out with it and tell us where we are and what is going on.

My fear is that they continue the fiasco of the last season of Buffy with the writers thinking that the audience gets something out of being strung along-- with characters w/o motivation acting in uncharacteristic ways, mystery plots that fizz out.

And my other questions-- who sent the Spikegem to Angel? Do they know about Sunnydale before this?

[> [> [> [> Re: And by the way, what do they remember? -- Ike, 01:11:08 10/06/03 Mon

The problem is that there's absolutely no way they can explain the "mind-wipe" of everyone's memories of Connor without confusing the heck out of the new viewers. Remember, the series cannot survive unless the ratings get good--we need all those formerly BtVS-only people who are looking for their Spike fix, plus the Smallville viewers.

S4's ratings were just not high enough to keep the show alive (of course it didn't help that the WB kept moving the show around to different nights). Fortunately the ratings were reasonably good for "Conviction," back up to S1 and S2 levels and I think much higher than any numbers achieved during S3 and S4.

So addressing this memory issue would be very confusing for the millions upon millions of folks who never saw S4. I mean, how much exposition would be required for THAT?! And we all know that network executives are idiots who believe that you can't put confusing stuff in a TV show, or else everybody will switch over to "The Bachelor" or "The O.C." (when it returns in late October, airing against "Angel" and potentially putting a stake through our hearts, Nielsen-wise).

We're just going to have to accept a lack of explanation on the Connor memory-wipe thing. In the eyes of the WB, the show can't survive with endless references back to S4.

[> [> [> [> Still think it was Buffy -- Finn Mac Cool, 16:13:37 10/03/03 Fri

It's quite possible they went peering around the crater, checking to see if there was anything left. Now, if the amulet was buried, I doubt they'd dig around looking for it. But, considering the valley-like shape of the crater, and how it all centered around the amulet, it's quite possible that it is resting comfortably on the top. Or maybe all of the town got sucked into the Turok-Han dimension, which would mean the amulet would still be accessible if it somehow got on top of the Seal of Danthalzar.

[> Re: Cranky critiquer can't contain herself (Spoilers for Angel 5.1) -- slappymonkey, 11:52:14 10/03/03 Fri

I must agree...the one liners in the episode were great, the ending Blondie Bear had me smiling.
I am still undecided on the inclusion of Harmony as secretary #1. On one hand she seems like a cheap knock-off of the truly great valley girl in Buffyverse, Cordy. While on the other sometimes she seems to fit. I think Angel 5.1 used her effectively if not a little too much.
Eve is horrible. She has the ability to portray emotion and deliver her lines with believability (sorry, probably a word I made up in my head) as much as the doily coaster on my table in front of me. The name Eve and the smack-me-upside-the-head apple reference were just too cheesy. Hopefully they have something big in store for her character because right now i am just not buying it.
Not enough Wesley, Fred or Lorne but this is probably only a result of the episode being the opener and they needed to lay down the new characters.
Howser's speech was pathetic. He knows true evil! Why didn't Angel reply? When he was sans soul was he not the true personification of evil? This is what Buffyverse has had us believe all along that Angel was the meanest, the baddest, the most evil, blah, blah, blah. And then this schmuck shows up and just because he carries a big gun he thinks he knows what evil is. Thank you for ending his reign Angel and please creators of the stuff let's keep this guy buried.
The Spike entrance was typical, as soon as I found it was a continuation the predictability of #1 ending with Spike coming out of the talisman was just way too obvious. One thing I did really like is that there was just a whirlwind when Spike was released from the talisman. It would have been tough to swallow had they included the sunlight flash that accompanied his death in Chosen, considering Angel and Harmony were right there and would have gotten toasted.
I miss Cordy, just knowing she may never be coming back put a damper on the show for me something I hope I will get over as the season progresses.

[> Re: Charisma-less Eve -- rowena, 14:57:10 10/03/03 Fri

I agree that Eve lacked charisma. The actress just seems too young to pull off the role of the cryptic rep of the senior partners. I think Lilah was much more believable at this.
Angel said Eve wasn't "cute" when he was angry. OK, how can one's evilness be taken seriously when one is "cute"? Look at Harmony, for instance. She's an evil vampire, but who takes her seriously?

I kept expecting Eve to fall off her high heels at any moment.

But, hey, could be wrong. The youthfulness and baby voice are probably just facades for old evil. Eve said as much herself.

[> [> I may be the only one here, but I liked Eve... -- Rob, 14:53:56 10/04/03 Sat

And I liked how her sweet, "cute" exterior makes it even more difficult for us to gauge her true intentions. I thought she was sexy, funny, and coy, and I greatly look forward to future appearances by her character.


[> [> [> She's not Lilah, but.. -- jane, 16:39:19 10/04/03 Sat

maybe the point is that evil often appears in very ordinary, mundane guises. I agree, it's hard to pinpoint Eve's underlying character. As often is the case,appearances can be deceptive.

[> [> [> I liked her too -- Rook, 21:11:53 10/04/03 Sat

Actually I was surprised at all the negativity...I should have expected though, it's really the same problem Riley had in Buffy S4: Her apparent darkness just isn't measuring up to her predecessor. Like Riley, I expect that if Eve shows her dark side, people will warm up to her. Hopefully, unlike Riley, she won't disappear just when she starts to get interesting.

[> [> [> [> No, I think this is different -- Finn Mac Cool, 21:41:50 10/04/03 Sat

The complaints about Riley seemed to have a lot to do with how he was nothing like Angel, unable to fill his shoes. The complaints about Eve seem to be that she's too much like Lilah, except without the past with Wesley and four years of developement.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: No, I think this is different -- Rook, 07:48:09 10/05/03 Sun

Some of the quotes I've seen on this board and others:

"--As written and acted in the first episode, the character of Eve was 100% charisma-free."

"Eve is annoying. Too chipper."

"Eve... Oh look it's KENNEDY with a dye job... Is there some kind of rule that every ME show has to have one REEEEALY annoying and grating character? She's not cute, not sexy and trying WAAAY too hard to be the seductress."

" Eve: She was OK. The problem is I find it impossible to watch her and not compare her to Lilah, and in that comparison, Eve loses, big time"

"I just mute the TV when she speaks so I dont have to hear her screechy voice."

" Lilah had a way of being seductively evil in a "You know I'm evil and it turns you on like there's no tomorrow" way. Eve is more like "Shucky darns, we know I'm evil and this is just an act but I'm going to keep playing it anyway". Its impossible to judge on one episode but I like seductive tempting evil in evil women."

"She kept popping up and being... boring."


Well, anyhow, I could keep going - there are a few thousand more out there just like these - but boring, uncharismatic, chipper, Kennedy-like, unsexy, not seductive...I don't think these were ever traits anyone ascribed to Lilah.

I know someone posted that she was "just like Lilah" or whatever, but honestly, I don't see how anyone could look at the perky, upbeat Eve and say that she was "just like" the smoldering, seductive Lilah.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Completely agreed. -- Rob, 09:01:29 10/05/03 Sun

[> [> Oops. Spoilers above. Re: Charisma-less Eve -- rowena, 14:58:35 10/03/03 Fri

A Joss Shout-Out or Commentary? (Angel 5.1 Spoilers) -- Eloise 519, 19:28:04 10/02/03 Thu

Sorry if I missed it but did anyone comment on the Dixie Chicks poster Fred tacked to her office wall?

What about the Joe Kennedy and George Senior references made while Team Angel perused their W & H client records?

The plot possibilities are endless...


[> ER and the Chicks -- mamcu, 16:00:30 10/05/03 Sun

Hope I'm not repeating, but the next night the Dixie Chicks came up often on ER, in an episode with a very pointed comment about the US not saving people in Africa because there's no oil there.

[> [> Ditto for the UN -- sdev, 01:15:29 10/07/03 Tue

[> Re: A Joss Shout-Out or Commentary? (Angel 5.1 Spoilers) -- Pathfinder, 20:06:27 10/02/03 Thu

Ooh, yes - and they did make sure that no one missed that in the shot, didn't they? I had to laugh when I saw it. It made me think about a couple of the comments Joss and Marti Noxon made in their commentary on the season 4 DVDs - Hush and Wild at Heart. Of course, I was also just sure that the writers were making lots of very pointed political commentary with some of the dialogue and themes late last season on Angel, but I could've just been projecting. But I don't think there was any misreading the Dixie Chicks poster.

[> [> Thought late last season (AtS) was very political, too. -- Eloise519, 09:22:25 10/03/03 Fri

[> [> Re: A Joss Shout-Out or Commentary? (Angel 5.1 Spoilers) -- Arachne, 13:15:05 10/03/03 Fri

Political because it's a good thing that the singer of the Dixie Chicks spoke her mind. Right? Because I think it was a very good thing & when I saw the poster on Angel, I suddenly got very interested.
Anyway, Fred is from Texas, so that makes even more sense that she would like them.
I frequent another message board where the political message is being completely ignored. Some even think that the Dixie Chicks poster was there because evil building= evil musical tastes. Which I think is just bunkum.

Where did you see the political messages from last season's Angel? I think I know what you mean, but let me know what you think.

[> [> [> Re: A Joss Shout-Out or Commentary? (Angel 5.1 Spoilers) -- eloise519, 19:17:39 10/03/03 Fri

Yeah, that's what I meant, Arachne -- thanks for reminding me that Fred is from Texas. "Evil building = evil music:" wow, I guess you project your beliefs. Remember Buffy's demon college roommate liked Celine Dion and Cher: evil roomie = evil music. Well, maybe.

Back to your question. To me, the Jasmine arc was a metaphor for blind acceptance and ignorance. Enchantment in the Jossverse is the ignorance (not knowing that you don't know) in ours. This ignorance is fostered, in part, by America's self-censoring media and the waves of mindless distraction they broadcast. Anything ME creates is not included here, because their shows make you think about something.

Here's Lorne in AtS 4.20 Sacrifice:
"Well, talk about media bias. Well, not that I wanna talk about media bias. It seems rather moot right now. Speakin' of moot, what about us? Anyone else feel like the last feisty wife in Stepford?"


So I saw Jasmine as Bush 43 et al. Not Bush as a demon, but the demon as Bush. Last spring a majority of Americans believed whatever the Administration said regardless of the evidence or lack thereof. Jasmine's subjects became her willing snacks or weapons -- a lovable diva as long as the enchantment lasted. Team Angel became the Free Will Gang with the disenchanting effect of Jasmine's blood. The continuing bloodshed and horror of war seem to be having a similar impact on a growing number of Americans. The dead and wounded soldiers are serving as a kind of clarifying blood sacrifice. A minority in this country and the rest of the world were never enthralled. Why do some believe, while others question?

A hallmark of the Jossverse is seeking knowledge and understanding: books, libraries, research, databases, history, human sources. Another is re-thinking the obvious and turning certainty on its head. Lastly, series characters remember what they've learned, apply it appropriately, and evolve.

[> [> [> [> Re: A Joss Shout-Out or Commentary? (Angel 5.1 Spoilers) -- Pathfinder, 03:59:59 10/04/03 Sat

Yes, exactly. Completely agree about the metaphor of the Jasmine arc. The political commentary is also already becoming quite pointed just before Jasmine's "birth", in the ep Inside Out. Look back at the scene between Conner and Darla when she's trying to convince him not to go along with Evil/Cordelia's plan to sacrifice the girl to save their baby:

You don't understand. We need her for our baby, to keep it safe.

By anointing it in the blood of an innocent? You really think that safety can be plucked from the arms of an evil deed?

I was watching that ep with a friend of mine who's politically like-minded, and our jaws just hit the floor in amazement at that scene. And then, as you so well noted, the commentary continued through the Jasmine/Happy, Shiny, Unquestioning People arc.

[> [> [> [> [> Yup -- Darla asked the right question! -- eloise519, 16:44:34 10/04/03 Sat

[> [> [> [> Re: A Joss Shout-Out or Commentary? (Angel 5.1 Spoilers) -- Arachne, 10:11:12 10/07/03 Tue

I definitely saw that. The unquestioning masses following the "charismatic" leader.

And Fred's isolation when she saw through Jasmine's peace/love schtick-- and saw worms/death.

Another thing w/ ME, a metaphor is never just a metaphor. It speaks on a lot of different levels. Which is clever, because the WB would have banned anything that was directly anti-war. By using metaphor, they open it up to interpretation and get away with a lot.

I've been on a message board that has a segment of Bush/war supporters who absolutely loved last season's Angel. It's kind of funny. But then I realize what's going on in a society where meaning is veiled--and it's kind of not funny.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: A Joss Shout-Out or Commentary? (Angel 5.1 Spoilers) -- Eloise519, 11:57:52 10/07/03 Tue

I saw the same thing on the Firefly Board. People saw the Serenity crew as representing either side of the political spectrum. I like that ME stories are multilayered; subsequent viewings are just as enjoyable as the first.

Wesley vs Faith -- JBone, 20:09:47 10/02/03 Thu

Come on, Wesley. Where's that stiff upper lip?


I love this matchup. Post comments here, at the voting site or email me.


[> C'mon, people! Faith's losing! Pull it together! -- Apophis, 18:37:05 10/03/03 Fri

Anyone who's ever even casually vistited this board, vote for Faith! Encourage people in other places in the web to come here and vote for Faith! Is a world where Faith loses a world you want your children to grow up in? Please, if not for my sake, than for the children; vote for Faith!

[> I voted for Wesley . . . -- d'Herblay, 19:07:57 10/03/03 Fri

. . . making it 32-31 for him. Jay may note that this contradicts my earlier tie-breaker vote (along with votes for Cordy, Anya and Dawn), but I was going for an all-cleavage ticket there. Well, "cleavage" may be a bit optimistic when it comes to Dawn. That, I guess, is what I'll most miss from season eight -- the inevitable appearance of Dawn-cleavage.

[> [> My error -- d'Herblay, 20:22:43 10/03/03 Fri

It was Darla and not Anya for whom I cast my tie-breaker, which makes the whole "Team Cleavage" thing more sensible.

Sorry for any confusion.

[> [> [> Re: My error -- Masq, 20:25:31 10/03/03 Fri

A big error. Breaking your all-cleavage trend to vote for Wesley over Faith? Faith is the cleavage queen!

[> [> [> [> Cleavage, schmevage....all I care is that by voting for Wesley, d'h has made me very happy...;) -- Rufus, 22:05:51 10/03/03 Fri

[> [> Me, too. Although I adore Faith, I was worried there wouldn't be enough votes for Wes. -- Rob, 20:46:14 10/03/03 Fri

Apparently, though, he needed no help from me. Although I also think after seeing Wes and Faith in the fourth season, that had Wes attacked Faith then and there, he could have trounced her.


[> [> Um, d'Herb? -- HonorH, 00:07:10 10/04/03 Sat

Dawn *had* cleavage. Did you miss her painted-on top in "Him"? Or that lovely purple shirt she wore in "Storyteller" that displayed quite lovely burgeoning cleavage? Truth is, she had more than big sis by seventh season. Probably more than Anya, too.

[> [> [> You make season 7 sound almost worth rewatching -- d'Herblay, 15:05:52 10/04/03 Sat


[> [> [> [> Re: You make season 7 sound almost worth rewatching -- Malandanza, 21:04:29 10/04/03 Sat

You can always rewatch the first seven episodes (possibly excluding Help and Him) and rewrite the rest of the season to please yourself -- you know, do things like pay attention to things like continuity and established character development, maybe even have a villain with an actual plan or have some sort of plot that doesn't involved the feminist heroine being saved by two guys and a magical amulet from nowhere and stays consistent not just from one episode to the next, but from one scene to the next.

[> [> All Cleavage Ticket? -- Diana, 13:23:46 10/04/03 Sat

Can there be anything more anti-Buffyverse than that?!? I'm shocked and horrified. Luckily the estrogen bearers on the tie-breaker panel can think more clearly and we would have trumped your cloudy judgment.

The final vote was most likely cast by my darling husband, since it was 32 to 32 when I checked last night. He promised me after the new season of Angel he would start to frequent the board. He chose last night to make good on that promise. Sometime around 10:30 EDT he cast his vote for...Wesley, thus making it 33 to 32. His rationale (per our IM at the time, since he was on duty. Big Brother was watching): I think I may have to vote for Wesley as well.....if for no other reason that he has Willow on his side in a parallel universe. He continued by saying: Willow counts for 2 reasons ...1) Powerful magik. 2) She's really cute.

When I told him the next match ups, he did want to know: Xander-Fred? what are they going to do....have a tickle fight? I told him that Fred upset Cordy and his comment was: I wouldn't call that much of an upset....Cordy is overrated. she's safely in a Coma now where she cant hurt anyone......much like Gerald Ford.

So all those who wanted Wesley to win, say thanks to my darling hubby.

[> [> [> Re: All Cleavage Ticket? -- LittleBit, 15:12:56 10/05/03 Sun

And those of us who wanted Faith to win know whose name to curse. [gets out grimoire with an evil grin]

[> Oooooo, this outta be fun! -- ApOpHiS, 20:59:14 10/02/03 Thu

I can smell the blood now ('course, I always smell blood, ever since the accident...). Both these fighters are hard bastards (and, in Faith's case, probably literally); they've both suffered horrible physical and mental pain and come back stronger than ever. That said, I voted for Faith. There's the obvious power advantage; Faith's a slayer, and a particularly vicious one, at that. She broke out of prison by taking a 3 story dive onto a car and didn't even slow down till she hit LA. Plus, Faith's been in the joint. That place changes a person... I don't want to talk about it... Anyway, with the many reasons I have to vote for Faith, you can rest assured that there's no need to sink to shallow lasciviousness to settle the matter. My voting for Faith has absolutely nothing to do with her smooth, tan skin or her full lips or the way her leather pants cling to her perfect... Faith wins, gotta go.

[> [> Of course, by "outta," I mean "oughtta." -- Apophis, 21:01:49 10/02/03 Thu

[> Can't we just sit back and watch 'em wrassle? -- Honorificus (The Silky-Perfection One), 21:43:18 10/02/03 Thu

I mean, really: we've got the sexiest female on either show (even beating out such contenders as Lilah and Darla, IMHO) matched up with the best thing to ever happen to Angel. This should be a moment to savor, not some rushed brawl. Honestly. Where'd I put that oil?

[> Wesley -- MaeveRigan, 07:19:12 10/03/03 Fri

"Giles--the Next Generation" has learned a lot since he screwed up royally as Faith's watcher way back in BtVS season 3. If these two have to match wits--Wes comes out way ahead. But even at fisticuffs, Wes could show Faith a few tricks now. No more screaming like a woman for Wesley Wyndham-Pryce; he's really earned that "rogue demon hunter" title.

[> My favorite watcher/slayer relationship -- cjl, 07:38:39 10/03/03 Fri

OK, in my mind, it's the ONLY true watcher/slayer relationship we've ever seen, since I regard B/G as father/daughter. But still--hoo! Wes and Faith are quite a pair, with those yummy dark sides, Faith's tendency toward random violence, and Wesley's cold-blooded method of pushing the limits--of trustworthiness, morality, sanity--just to get a little extra juice out of his slayer. Wish we could see them together again, but I know we probably won't. Sigh. Anyway, as for the contest, it's a toss-up whether Wes' mind games can throw Faith off HER game enough so he can take her down. Deep down, I don't think he can do it. But that it's even possible is a testament to Wes' dark power, and that's more than enough to give him my vote.

[> [> My, how they have grown -- Masq, 11:00:45 10/03/03 Fri

I was recently watching "Consequences" on FX. Compare Faith and Wes in "Consequences/Doppelgangland" (the evil wanna-be Slayer vs. Princess Margaret) to Faith and Wes in "Five By Five" (emotionally volatile/vulnerable Bad Slayer vs. proto-dark Wes) to Faith and Wes in "Salvage/Release" (redeemed formerly Bad Slayer trying to do right vs. emotionally scarred post-dark Wes). They bring out the best and the worst in each other. An interesting evolution of an interesting pair.

[> [> [> God, yes, love them both! -- Scroll, 13:01:41 10/03/03 Fri

Not gonna bother voting on this one. Can't choose between them at all. Besides, like cjl and Masq say, they're better as a team. A lethal Slayer/Watcher combination, with a truly balanced working relationship that Buffy and Giles (much as I love them) couldn't sustain. (Of course I might still be slightly bitter that Joss couldn't write "Chosen" without first dragging the concept, the institution, and the personages of the Watchers Council through the muck. < /rant>)

Faith and Wes have come such a long way, as survivors and self-proclaimed loners and cynics who, nevertheless, still have... Hope. Faith (the virtue, not the character). Belief in redemption. Desire to save even those who seem beyond their reach.

And while I love their relationship, I'm also truly fascinated by their individual journeys. Both are compelling in their own different ways. Their connections to Angel's journey reflect on their own development, and their counterparts (Buffy/Giles, Kendra/Zabuto, Justine/Holtz) give them dimension.

Can you tell I love these guys? Yeah, I really do :)

[> We've just about hit the wall with this one. (Wes/Faith 28 each with all votes counted?) -- cjl, 14:54:53 10/03/03 Fri

The average Road to the Apocalypse contest has been tallying 52-57 votes per face-off. (Spike's contests, as usual, have been the exception.) As of this post, Wes and Faith are tied at 28. Do we have our first tie?

[> [> Re: We've just about hit the wall with this one. (Wes/Faith 28 each with all votes counted?) -- Jay, 18:14:13 10/03/03 Fri

At least everyone's not sitting on the fence, refusing to vote for anyone. Or concocting some scenario where the contestants walk off into the sunset holding hands. If Spike was involved they wouldn't be so apprehensive.

Wesley is ahead of Faith with about an hour and a half to go 30 to 29. Can someone cast a vote with a real opinion?

Heaven or Buffy -- elabou, 02:42:21 10/03/03 Fri

No competition for Angel The Ghost of a Chance

So they brought Spike back as a ghost!

Poor Spike!

I always thought that after saving the world- Spike redeemed himself and entered into paradise.

Perhaps Spike believed that redemption was possible after hearing it with his own ears from Buffy, who returned from the dead, that heaven exists. She had a soul. Maybe unconsciously, Spike, who has always been an opportunist, wanted that reward too.

Maybe this was one of the indirect reasons he decided to attempt to get his soul back. If he couldn't have Buffy, well he could always settle for the possibility of Heaven -Those with souls can go to heaven. I always wondered why Buffy told him about her after life experience. And he's exaction to it was interesting. A vampire, I believe in Joss's world is immortal. However, all go things comes to an end here, if the world does.

Under 200 years ago, an English man, who was not accepted in his society, was killed by an insane vampire to become her compansion and lover. Then he lived his undead live for a time as a mass murder. In Sunnydale, he loses his sire and is disable. After fitting into Buffy's gang he comes to mature in a way that the English man never had the chance to. After facing rejection from Buffy after her return from the grave Spike decides to get his soul back 'so the bitch can get what she deserts' Barely able to adjust to having a conscious, Spike fights with Buffy again the First Evil and wins - saves the world and gaining Buffy's 'love' (I believe respect and agape type love at that) then dies.

Now he's back as a ghost on Angel. What tale from the grave, again, will he tell? I thought he was COMPLETE FINISHED. Words Buffy said to describe life after death.

Any thoughts or comments


[> Angel 5.1 Spoilers above -- Finn Mac Cool, 04:49:59 10/03/03 Fri

[> [> actually, spoilers for 5.2 also (above & in here) -- anom, 09:04:21 10/03/03 Fri

At the end of 5.1, there's no indication that Spike is a ghost. He appears out of the amulet & people say "Spike!" (& in 1 case, "Blondie Bear?"). Nobody gets close enough to touch him. I'm not sure even Spike realizes yet that he's a ghost. That's probably going to be officially revealed in the next ep.

[> Re: Heaven or Buffy (Spoilers ofcourse) -- Wolfhowl3, 06:10:54 10/03/03 Fri

I don't think that Spike is the unfriendly ghost right now, for two reasons.

1. When Spike appeared from the Amulet, it seems like he was doing a reversal of the flaming out at the end of Chosen, thus emplying that his body was re-created. since Ghost's don't have bodies, why re-create it for Spike.

2. We have had a few examples of Ghosts in the Jossverse being invisable. ie. The Phantom Denis, and the pair of Ghosts from "I Only have Eyes for You", and only one example of a ghost showing up physically. ie. Denis's Mother in "A Room with a View" I am of course leaving out Joyce in Season 7 because we were never sure if it was the Real Joyce, or the First Evil. I'm pretty sure that it wasn't the First Evil, but have to proff to back it up, so it doesn't count in this post. Since Denis's Mother did seem to be a bit Rotten of Body, and Spike seems to be at the peak of his Leather clad fittness, I'm guessing that Spike is not a Ghost.

I would hazard a guess that since Spike did the whole reverse Flambay act, he is once again a Vampire with a Soul.

Just my point of view


[> I'm a genie in a bottle baby! -- neaux, 06:56:06 10/03/03 Fri

Spike appeared from the amulet.. as if summoned like a genie getting the old rub from the bottle.

If he starts making insane Robin William impressions of every hollywood actor.. then we know Spike's role on the show. @_@

[> Re: Heaven or Buffy -- Dlgood, 08:18:02 10/03/03 Fri

I always thought that after saving the world- Spike redeemed himself and entered into paradise.
Depends upon your perspective on what constitutes qualifications for entrance to Heaven.

In many religious tradition, Spike's "Grand Deeds" wouldn't be enough to make up for his decades of murder and destruction. But it might be enough to earn him purgatory.

[> [> Blame -- Rufus, 22:04:23 10/03/03 Fri

That depends on if Spike should be punnished for what he did while a soulless vampire. I'll give you a bit of what David Fury said on the soul/soulless blame game...

Now Fury is talking about Willow but I think you could extend his sentiments to Angel and Spike......

Succubus Club interview Spring 2002

Candy: How are the fans going to come back from this? Fans are protective of Willow.

David Fury: She could skin you alive.

Kitty: Horrific and gruesome, not just killing him.

David Fury: You have to consider the fact, will be more clear when you see the last two episodes. This isn't Willow anymore. She is something not of herself. The same thing Willow did, Spike commited attrocities. Some people are forgiving of that. You blame the demon.

So, who or which part of Spike do you punnish? Both he and Angel are still vampires, but each now has the soul to help guide what they do. Can either guy atone for what they did in a cursed state? How much blame and subsequent mercy do we afford either vampire?

[> [> Re: Heaven or Buffy -- Claudia, 12:46:24 10/03/03 Fri

[In many religious tradition, Spike's "Grand Deeds" wouldn't be enough to make up for his decades of murder and destruction. But it might be enough to earn him purgatory.]

Why do so many societies use numbers to judge how a person can redeem him or herself? I wonder why they cannot simply accept that a person is making a serious attempt to change his or her life?

[> [> [> Karma -- Finn Mac Cool, 12:54:11 10/03/03 Fri

Under the karma theory, the universe punishes and rewards everyone justly for their acts (although not always in this lifetime). A person who's done a lot of evil but little good will be punished a lot, whereas someone who has done lots of good but little evil gets rewarded. So, under the karma theory, someone must do more good in their life than they've done evil, otherwise the universe will be out to get them sometime later on; karma doesn't care about people's intents or feelings, just the act. And even those who don't believe in karma openly often bring the same concept into their views of how God/the universe/whatever handles good, evil, and the afterlife.

[> [> [> [> Re: Karma -- Claudia, 14:41:22 10/03/03 Fri

Well, it is certainly a theory that I don't buy.

To me, it is more important that the person makes a serious effort to change his or her life for the better than try to make up for past deeds with a certain number of years of suffering - whether in this world or in purgatory.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Karma -- Dlgood, 07:24:01 10/05/03 Sun

To me, it is more important that the person makes a serious effort to change his or her life for the better
Does that "serious effort to change" wipe out all the good he's done? And how do we determine how serious the attempt is?

If Spike is serious about changing his life for the better, than what does it say about him that the only person he's ever apologized to is Buffy. And that he never apologised for killing those slayers, to Wood for killing his mother, or to Willow and Xander for the times he tried to kill him. Maybe he still doesn't care all that much about inflicting suffering on the people he's not in love with. Maybe his efforts to change and be a better person aren't that serious? Or maybe he wants to only be a little bit better, and not a lot better.

How do we judge that? Does a person have to actually be effective in their "serious effort to change" or is intent enough? And how do we know that intent is actually truth and not mere assertion? Spike said he was seriously trying to change in S6, yet his behavior seemed to indicate he wasn't having all that much success at it.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Karma -- Rufus, 08:40:28 10/05/03 Sun

Spike was trying to change in season six but without a soul he couldn't understand why he needed to, past getting Buffy by doing what he thought she wanted. The one change he made is one that Angelus would never have contemplated, even to get a girl, and that was to get a soul. This act caused by the conflict he felt when he didn't continue to attack Buffy in Seeing Red. Then he died the big death and that seemed to be it....til the WB stepped in.

For both guys it won't just be an apology that means the most, cause most of their victims and their families are dead, but what they do that proves their words. Apologies backed up with evil actions mean nothing, just a group of words that got someone a reprieve, but an apology backed up with actions that prove the apology is genuine are what counts. Come to think of it I don't remember Angel specifically apologizing for trying to kill Buffy as Angelus. From the s2 DVD of Angel.....

Season two overview.

There's a lot more flashbacks to the olden days when Angel was first turned into a vampire and what's led him to the point where he is today. You know Angel's a guy, he's got a lot to forget. I mean, he's killed thousands upon thousands of people, and I think we've touched more on that this season. Kelly Manners

I think it's safe to say that both Angel and Spike have a kill tally that equals in the thousands and what does an apology do for that? And if they are so fundamentally different with a soul how can they apologize for what they did while soulless when neither would have harmed Buffy or anyone else (oops forgot about the lawyers) if they had a soul. Most of the people each vampire killed are long gone and both have talked about remourse for what they did without a soul. For me an apology is just so many words if backed up with nothing or further evil acts, so the jury is out on both guys as who knows how the story will end.

From someone who understands Karma better than I do...


Angel's Karmic Baggage & Angulimala

"There were a lot of things about Happy Anniversary that intrigued me but I'll start with Angel's comment to the Host that he had 100 years of evildoing that he can never atone for and 200 lawyers out to push him over the edge. Angel's predicament is a universal one according to most religions but I will (of course) look at it from a Buddhist angle.

In Buddhism it is said that if one collected all the tears we have shed in past lives it would fill an ocean. Likewise our past evil deeds (actually akusala = unwholesome) of body mouth and mind are said to be vast and uncountable. So the point is there is a heavy karmic debt which would take countless lifetimes to pay off. In addition to that whenever we do try to escape the wheel of karma (karma means the unfolding of our actions and their consequences it does NOT mean fate or destiny) and rebirth we immediately draw the attention of Mara and his seductive daughters and demonic armies. Mara is almost the Buddhist equivalent of the Devil but there is a difference. The Old Testament devil is the Perry Mason or prosecuting attorney of the heavenly court. The New Testament devil is the Che Guavera or cosmic rebel against heaven. Mara however is more like the cosmic jail warden who wants to make sure we don't escape the prison of karma and rebirth in the six realms (as a hell-dweller hungry ghost animal fighting demon human being or heavenly being). So from the Buddhist point of view we are also burdened with a karmic debt we can never pay off in this lifetime and belaugered by demonic forces who want to keep us from trying to free ourselves or atone for past wrongs.

Now here is the kicker though. During the Buddha's lifetime a serial killer named Angulimala was converted by the Buddha and became an Arhat - that is a saint who was free of rebirth and whose karmic debt was therefore considerably mitigated. Let me be more specific. Angulimala was a fanatical devotee of a false guru who demanded that he collect the finger bones of 100 victims. Angulimala had collected 99 but was having trouble catching his 100th. He was on the verge of going home to kill his own mother when he happened upon the Buddha. Now killing one's parent's or even harming (let alone killing) a Buddha are viewed as unpardonable crimes that will instantly lead to the deepest hell in the next life. He could not catch up to the Buddha though even though he was running and the Buddha was walking. Finally he called out "Stop! Stop!" The Buddha turned around and said "I stopped long ago. When will you stop?" By which he meant "I stopped creating karmic actions that will lead to rebirth whether good or bad. When will you?" Angulimala was deeply impressed and renounced his evil ways and became a monk right then. He soon attained insight into the true nature of things and became an arhat. Shortly thereafter the local Prince came looking to catch and kill Angulimala but the Buddha convinced the Prince that the serial killer was now a saint. The Prince then allowed Angulimala to continue to live as a monk out of respect for the Buddha's judgement. Soon after however an angry mob lynched Angulimala who forgave his attackers because he knew that he had brought this upon himself and that this was the last karmic effect that would come to him because he would not be reborn having severed with spiritual insight (vipassana) the clinging to actions and their results which bind one to the wheel of rebirth.

So the lesson here is that even a serial killer can escape his karmic debt if (and only if) he lets go of the "self" that accrued that debt through awakening to the selfless nature of things. One must repent not only of one's actions but even of the self that did them and the self that futilely seeks to atone for them. In Buddhism it is clinging to self that motivates all our greedy angry and deluded actions and on a subtler level it motivates our attempts at self-improvement and self-seeking efforts at salvation. Only letting go of the self completely will bring about liberation from the endless cycle of actions and their retributions. Once the delusion of self is let go of the reality of interdependence with all other beings and phenomena becomes clear and can become manifest in our actions.

So Angel has not reached this realization yet. He is still stuck on himself. He still thinks that he can save himself when what he really needs to do is let go of the self which is causing this predicament. He needs to awaken to that which is selfless. This selfless nature is at the same time the source of genuine compassion altrustic joy loving-kindness and equanimity as well as generosity virtue patience effort calm and wisdom. This realization of selflessness also puts one beyond the temptations and intimidations of Mara and his daughters and armies.

Here is a final thing that just occured to me. In some vampire lore a vampire can not cross a running stream. They are stuck as it were and can not enter living waters. In Buddhism however someone who has begun to actually live the Buddha Dharma and is on their way to full sainthood within 7 lifetimes is known as a "Stream Enterer." So it would seem that Angel is stuck on himself whether through giving in to his vampire nature or through wallowing in guilt and depression. What he needs to do is let go of that self-conception and "enter the stream."

What he said....for both Angel and Spike.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Karma -- Dlgood, 01:33:49 10/07/03 Tue

So Angel has not reached this realization yet. He is still stuck on himself. He still thinks that he can save himself when what he really needs to do is let go of the self which is causing this predicament. He needs to awaken to that which is selfless.
And one could presume that Spike, in refusing to show compassion to Robin Wood, and continuing to wear Nikki's coat without apology, has also not let go of the self.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Karma -- Claudia, 12:07:17 10/07/03 Tue

[And one could presume that Spike, in refusing to show compassion to Robin Wood, and continuing to wear Nikki's coat without apology, has also not let go of the self.]

And will Robin Wood do the same? Let go of the self that caused him to go after Spike in vengeance? You might as well ask that question, as well.

And as I have stated before - I see no reason for Spike to show any further compassion toward Robin Wood. Unless the latter is willing to confront with the fact that his own thirst for vengeance caused him to attempt cold-blooded murder of someone who is trying to turn his life around and for conspiring behind Buffy's back. Perhaps Wood should have openly confronted Spike on the issue, then perhaps he would have received that apology.

Despite his anger at Wood's actions, at least Spike decided to give the man a chance by not killing him. Was Wood capable of doing something similar?

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> I think I was clear -- Rufus, 14:09:12 10/07/03 Tue

When I said "What he said about both Angel and Spike". I see them as pretty much the same and what most people are arguing about ends up to be little more than personal preference. If you do a balance sheet for both vampires both could be considered for the term "serial killer", both have done so much that it's hard to see that any of the good they do would matter much if a victims family ever had caught up with them. But when there is this constant back and forth over the "Attempted Rape" as opposed to the "Attempted Murder" of Buffy that I become very tired of it all. I see both as serious crimes, I do see murder as the worst violation of another human being. Angel was easily forgiven by Buffy for what he did as a soulless vampire, and Buffy also forgave Spike for what he did as a soulless vampire. Both stopped (for the most part) killing humans when they got their souls back (remember Angel killed criminals when he first got his soul back, and participated in murder with the lawyers in season two). Spike was attacked by Wood (who I see as having a valid beef against the vampire) and he defended himself. There is no perfect response when dealing with what you have done in the past, especially when it's clear that with a soul, William wouldn't have contemplated much past ink and paper. So, both vampires stopped killing humans. And for Angel I guess I have to say he had stopped, again, until Hauser. If people want to get stuck on terms, both men could have been considered serial killers, the only difference is that some people still want to judge Spike for what he did as a soulless demon while forgetting about what Angel (who has over a hundred years more killing to atone for than Spike) did. That may have something to do with the fact that when we met Angel he had a soul and we could feel for what it must have felt like to have become a monster. With Spike we have more recent examples of what a soulless vampire is capable of. But then again it could boil down to who likes whom better in leather pants.....;)

[> [> [> [> [> [> Words -- Claudia, 11:57:21 10/07/03 Tue

[If Spike is serious about changing his life for the better, than what does it say about him that the only person he's ever apologized to is Buffy. And that he never apologised for killing those slayers, to Wood for killing his mother, or to Willow and Xander for the times he tried to kill him.]

ME has already conveyed to the audience that Spike felt remorseful about his past life. Why does he have to act like Angel for us to realize that he is remorseful? Why does he have to be so obvious? Words don't really mean anything - at least as far as I'm concerned. The fact that Spike is trying to change his life for the better (whether he succeeds or not, will be up to Whedon in the end) tells me that he deserves a chance at redemption.

Angel could have apologized verbally until the cows come home. Or verbally expressed his remorse (frankly, I get tired of hearing it). But I'm more impressed by his actions and his attempts to change his life for the better than any apology he could have made.

As for Wood - he lost his chance for an apology by his actions in "Lies My Parents Told Me". He deserves an apology from Spike? Perhaps. But after "LMPTM", I would say that Spike also deserves an apology from him. Revenge is not an excuse for his actions.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Words -- Dlgood, 15:50:58 10/07/03 Tue

As for Wood - he lost his chance for an apology by his actions in "Lies My Parents Told Me". He deserves an apology from Spike? Perhaps. But after "LMPTM", I would say that Spike also deserves an apology from him. Revenge is not an excuse for his actions.
You're half-right.

Wood may not necessarily deserve an apology from Spike, but Spike owes it to himself to apologize. Just as Wood owes it to himself to apologize to Spike. Presuming both are actually remorseful about their violent acts.

[> [> [> [> [> Think of it like behavior modification -- Finn Mac Cool, 15:49:28 10/03/03 Fri

The basis of karma is that you suffer if your personal score sheet tips twords the evil side, but that's supposed to act more as an incentive for people to do good rather than being justice in and of itself. From what I can tell, most karma based systems see it as something created by higher powers to keep people in check; to "throw the fear of God into them". If people didn't change their behavior to avoid bad karma, the karma system would lose all purpose.

Response to Sdev's post (attn Sdev and KdS) -- Rahael, 10:49:36 10/03/03 Fri

For some reason, KdS's comparison of Warren and Spike is not only not in the 2002 archives but not in the Existential Scoobies essay section either (hey, KdS, none of your essays are on Existential Scoobies! You should submit them!).

And re "The Sick Rose" - Yes, there is something more in S6 Spuffy than just desperation. I could have been a Spuffy shipper all the way through (in the sense of the relationship interesting me, much as I was/am a Lilah/Wesley shipper, despite its unhealthiness). I do not mean to quote Sick Rose as a negative thing. You are very right to point to the appropriateness of it re secresy. Much of the worst aspects of that relationship resulted from Buffy's shame. Shame about herself and her decisions. The need to keep it secret. The need to isolate herself from others. She accomplished it by having a relationship with Spike, who confirmed her worst, and simultaneously, her 'best' fears that she was dirt, she was nothing, she belonged in the shadows. Those feelings existed before she started having sex with Spike.

Buffy torn from heaven, living in a hell. She and Spike, with their destructively different views of their relationship create something that is both heaven and hell.

And with all the images of burning and fire in Season 6, this too seems appropriate:

The Human Dress is forged Iron
The Human Form a fiery Forge
The Human Face a Furnace seal'd,
The Human Heart its hungry Gorge.


[> That's why I reposted it -- KdS, 12:24:20 10/03/03 Fri

On the end of my "Power" essay after S7.


[> [> TY . Will print and read -- sdev, 19:46:02 10/03/03 Fri

First Love -- Christina, 13:12:02 10/03/03 Fri

Does anyone know who was Xander's first lover?



[> Lover? -- Tchaikovsky, 13:20:05 10/03/03 Fri

If we're talking sexual partner, that's Faith in 'The Zeppo' although as he admits they weren't exactly lovers. Of course, both Cordelia and Willow are non-consummated girlfriends to Xander before, and Anya is perhaps his first real lover.


Conviction: The Sentence - 89 to Life -- Diana, 14:24:28 10/03/03 Fri

Conviction means two things in this episode. The first is the legal definition as it is used with Fries impending conviction in a criminal court. The second is the strong belief of Agent Hauser (Initiative Reject that he is. It's the Anti-Riley. I was sorry to see him go. I wanted to see Riley kick his ass, not Angel). This way also plays out in the beliefs of the gang plus Knoxy (how many episodes before I can include him as a member of the gang?) What I am going to talk about ties these things together. When you are convicted of a crime, you serve time. When you believe in something, you give it your time. For me the interesting part of Joss' season premier was how time was used.

I'm sure the second way is going to be discussed and I will join in those threads. I did want to add one thing about that before moving onto how Joss used time in this episode. Fred and the Dixie Chick poster from their album "Home." It isn't a slam on the current administration, so much as it says what Fred's role will be this season. Spike in all his snarkiness is still (as James Marsters himself said at DragonCon) a major asshole. Fred is the one who will play the role of Natalie Maines and be the one to speak out because of her beliefs/conviction. They even beautifully pose her next to the poster and dress her similarly. Fred is the one that so bluntly summed up their current situation AND even called Wesley on being patronizing. Go Fred!!!!! The Queen is dead (or in this case in a coma). All hail the new Queen. Long may she live.

What I wanted to discuss was how important time was in this episode. What got me thinking about this was asking myself what was the strongest metaphor. There was Eve's obvious apple, knowledge, but that played out two other places. There was Fries Jr's school and Gunn's instant education complete with false degrees. By gaining the firm, Angel is gaining knowledge. That knowledge is contained in those files that they now have to go laboriously through. There is a play of time there. He is instantly given the resources of the firm, but it will take time to utilize that. Time is important in almost every scene, so I will go scene by scene and show how it is used and then what overall statements Joss is making with it. (I hope someone else will go into the relationship between knowledge and both types of conviction. If not, I'll do it tomorrow)

(A very quick aside to all of this, time also played a role in Dark Willow season 6. I want it all, I want it all, I want it all and I want it now seems to be the surest path to evil in the Buffyverse. Gunn's ethics are in some serious trouble.)

One way time manifests itself greatly in the episode is a return to its roots, but that is constantly intruded on by the new order. This is seen best in the teaser. When is the last time we have seen Angel actually save someone, and with such flair? A blond lost in a dark alley, looking for something. I felt that way this summer. The first lines we hear are spoken by the blond in the alley, SCREAM!!! "Please, you don't have to do this." How many of us feel that way about the changes that are happening to our favorite (or at least now favorite since our favorite is no longer on the air) show? "I can get you money." We did, by watching it. It wasn't enough and we were attacked. Joss, I mean Angel, to the rescue. As the pabulum that passes for entertainment tries to feed on me, in comes my savior from above packing his metaphors and metanarration that can save me from losing my soul.

Angel gets in his first quip of the season, "Doesn't sound like the lady is interested. Maybe you're coming off as too needy." Does Joss know me or what? I like being called a lady (whether I am one is debatable) and I'm definitely not interested in the garbage that is on TV. It is too needy. Joss, I mean Angel, takes on the bad guy with me, I mean some blond, looking on. Angel is back, bye-bye bad TV. "Just get yourself home and stay out of dark alleys," namely NBC, ABC, CBS, UPN, most of FOX's stuff, most of WB's stuff. The nice sunlit world of Angel is where I am safe. "Who are you?" "Doesn't matter." The show does, not Joss. If I say that enough times, I'll believe it.

This wonderful trip down memory lane in which I'm saved from bad TV is interrupted by what is screwing with my show, namely ratings and slimy geek TV executives. Everyone go GRRRR with me. Angel's operation team wants to make sure that Angel is safe, but we know what happens at the end. Angel has this deer caught in the headlights look as he sees evidence of how upside down his world is now. In enters some geek boy telling Angel how things should go, but "that is your decision sir." How did geek boy know where Angel was? There is a "tracking monitor in your lapel" that allows them to monitor his movement. That is those boxes that allow the Neilson people to track just what people are watching.

The vampire that Angel killed works for one of Wolfram and Hart's clients. Like I said, most of WB's stuff is bad TV and Angel has rescued me from it. The slimy geek lawyer guy talks like slimy geek network executive and thinks that Angel sees that he made a mistake in killing a vampire that works for one of Wolfram and Hart's clients. HA!!! Slay away Angel. Rescued victim is asked to sign all these papers and she gets upset that is all about publicity. How did the WB's publicity make you feel? How about how they manipulate us and disregard our safety/entertainment? Joss doesn't like this any more than we do. He begrudgingly admits that he heads the firm. In this teaser we get an encapsulation of Joss' relationship with the network and how he feels about this. This sets up an episode where Joss asks himself if he has sold his soul to the devil to keep Angel on the air. Will he be able to handle the conditions the network has imposed on him and still deliver the show he wants to?

Time is first brought up in this teaser by slimy geek boy lawyer. "Really would prefer it if you wouldn't leave a rescue scenario UNTIL we have a chance to control the scene." Wolfram and Hart are trying to dictate to Angel the timing of things. Angel is used to his own timing. He does things how he wants, when he wants. Wolfram and Hart want to control things, though. Slimy geek boy mentions that the tracking monitor in his lapel is "a timesaver" and looks at his watch. Time is money after all and we know what slimy geek boy is after. Eve even tells the gang what is really important, namely "the bottom line."

First act doesn't start with the gang. It starts in an elementary school hallway. They are talking about comics. Matthew's dad won't let him read "Punisher." His friend says that he can borrow his. The teacher compliments him on a paper he has done and wants to talk about it after class. In the metanarration, Matt is the show itself. The teacher represents the critical acclaim the show has been getting lately. Matt isn't a very young child, but he still has a lot to learn and grow up before he is an adult, just like the show itself. The friend could be Greenwalt or someone else behind the scenes that encourages the show.

Cut to mail being delivered at Wolfram and Hart. I love that elevator. It makes for some great shots, plus the symbolism is great. The mechanical rising device is separated from the labor intensive stairs by the lobby. Fred takes those stairs rather than the elevator to get to her office. Fred's office is upstairs. Wesley and Gunn's are on this main level (which is pretty high up), as is Angel's. In this scene time is brought up by Fred with the speed they accepted Wolfram and Hart's offer. "...and we all said yes in like three minutes." Wesley's response also has a time component because run-on sentences are to speed things up. He remarks that they have gotten better, and if I didn't already love Fred, her response would have made me. More time with Knox when she tells him to call her Fred and he responds "Any minute now, I'm going to start." Wesley asks Knox "how long have you been evil?" More time. Knox says how things have changed "Now that I am taking orders from..." Knox's time references tend to be about the future. This scene is a good summary of the time line that led up to this moment. It is important exposition, but just as important is the speed in which the changes occur. People are still trying to figure things out, especially Wesley. I wonder how the guys over at ME feel about their new direction?

We hear Gunn's voice and "Think fast" as a basketball comes directly as Wesley. Fred just laid out how fast things have changed and Gunn will take that one step further by saying "You gotta move faster than that in this place." Gunn's strategy to not be destroyed by Wolfram and Hart is to be too fast for them. This desire for speed will probably lead to his ultimate undoing. We get a mention of the future when Wesley says sarcastically to Gunn that Knoxy will probably take care of Fred. In this opening sequence we set up Fred, Wesley and Gunn's roles. Fred will be the one that can clearly see and express things (like Natalie Maines). Wesley is the cynic and Gunn will be the one to jump in with both feet to try and stay ahead of the game. Gunn mentioned kicking over the board and starting a new game in "Inside Out," but here he is the one ready to play the game as he picks his office and worries about such things as Feng Shui. Wesley isn't kicking over the board, but he isn't sure what to do. He mocks Feng Shui, but then admits in a place like this it may be important.

As Gunn and Wesley are talking in the doorway to Wesley's office, the mail guy walks in front of them. On top of his mail cart is the envelop that is addressed to Angel and contains Spike. The EXACT line that is said as the cart passes in front of them "You got the mystical creds. I just hit stuff." The mail guy stops on Gunn's side and picks up this envelop. "It's going to be a long, long while before any of us feel comfortable here." Cut to Lorne, a demon, being rather comfortable. So the scene is Wesley and Gunn in a doorway, pan over to Lorne wheeling and dealing on the phone with Spike in the middle of this. If you doubt this, ask why would the sequence start with the envelop and why would the mail guy even be in the shot. The time element in this scene is about the speed in which the characters become comfortable with their new situations. Wesley is on one extreme and Lorne is on the other. Spike and Gunn are in the middle.

Angel comes up through that amazing elevator. The cut is from Lorne's' comfort to Angel who obviously isn't. The order in which the men walk is significant. Wesley and Gunn don't just flank Angel. Gunn is further back and is playing with the ball. He is ready to play the game. Wesley is holding coffee, possibly symbolic of needing to wake up. Gunn first talks to and approaches Angel. More time stuff as Angel relates what happened in the alley. Now we get another mention of the future. "They are going to find out." Angel is pissed and that anger motivates him. He takes that anger and goes through the door quickly. He isn't tentatively waiting in the threshold like Gunn and Wesley did. Angel is ready for action. This allows Gunn and Wesley to cross the threshold as well. The hesitation of Wesley and Gunn has been changed into at least the desire for action.

That is interrupted by Eve. Prior to this, the play has been between past leading into the future and reservations about what that future may hold. Now Eve will lay that future out for them. When Angel tells her that this is supposed to be his office, her reply is "Never happen again," but as we know it does. Eve's first lie is about the future. Wesley remarks that she is a young woman. Eve questions "How exactly can you be sure I am either of those things." Wesley's talent isn't just mystical, but knowing the past. He is into prophecies and history and that sort of thing. Eve has just called his judgment about this into question.

Eve lays out how the game is played. Joss has his show now, and he could just go back to running it the way he used to. If he does that, the show isn't going to last. If he wants to tell his story, he has to keep the show on the air. He is only going to be able to do that by keeping the clients, or at least some of them, happy. The situation that Angel is facing faces most of us in some form or another. To explore what Angel is going through, he has to look no further than the deal with the devil, I mean network, that he had to make.

Cut to the gang going through the client files. Time plays a role here because it takes time to do this. It is a monumental task and Joss, I mean Angel, asks "How are we even supposed to start making things right?" Gunn, the one that is ready to play ball is the one that comes up with their starting point. Joss, the feminist who started the Buffyverse to empower the blond attacked in a dark alley, opened the show with a blond attacked in a dark alley. Angel saved that girl, but the girl was confused by everything. The slimeball that will be the show's first little bad is on trial for smuggling in Asian girls for cheap labor and prostitution. Look how the scene opens, with that nice shot of Fred's legs. How do you think the WB wants Joss to run his show? Joss is going to turn that around and use it not to show flesh, but to make a statement. It is up to us to see that statement and write about it. You have to love the shot of Fred as she says, "You know we are going to have to check the whole staff. Make sure we don't have any diehard evil doers plotting against us."

Time rears its head again as Lorne says he is tired. Even his horns are tired. He'll continue tomorrow. Fatigue is a very real problem that faces Joss, especially now that he has to get Firefly the Movie ready. Having three shows was just too much for him last season. Those mountains of client files could be seen to be analogous to this. Angel knows that he has to find a starting point. He can't do everything at once. Angel lets everyone go so they can get some rest, but he stays behind and continues to go through files. The man never sleeps.

Eve pops out in Gunn's office next. She asks him if he is having second thoughts. I particularly liked Gunn's line about her not having an office of her own. The network executives play god with the shows, but they really don't create anything. What is the next step. The Buffyverse has been a cult hit for quite a while, but until Angel was on the bubble, it didn't get a whole lot of mainstream press. Now it has the potential to take that step, especially with Smallville as the lead in. Is Joss ready to do what that will require? Part of him says yes. The rest isn't too happy about what Gunn will do, so I would venture that he isn't completely on board with the idea yet. "Feel like a new man." There is time again. "Tailor. Guess I'm not dressed for success." The show definitely has received a visual makeover to dress for success. It would take more than that to take that next step.

It's a new day. Angel is still going over files when he comes across the envelop, which he just puts aside. Instead we get a bit of Joss' trademark humor and Harmony. The bit about "This is Angel" is great. The show/Joss is trying so hard to be itself under its new parameters. It feels like itself "less and less" though. Ritual sacrifices starts out with goats, which we saw back in Season 2 and ends with "a loved one or pet," namely is Joss willing to sacrifice his loved one, the show. Every single line, even seemingly throw aways and jokes are important is a Joss Whedon penned script. Every line reveals multiple layers that are just there for us to devour. It is in these layers that Joss will maintain his integrity.

As Harmony shows up, the line is Wesley's "Can I stop by? We may have a situation." Angel calls Harmony his secretary, a big no-no for feminists. Harmony corrects him with "Hello, assistant." He asks her why he shouldn't kill her. Harmony represent almost a Sex in the City type of gal, what the networks want for the show. She mentions all the good things about working at Wolfram and Hart. Then she mentions all the good things about herself. Angel is reluctant to accept her. This scene is Angel representing the old show and Harmony representing a possibly new show and the conflict is the reluctance to see that change as a good thing. Harmony is the perfect character to represent this. Greenwalt brought Cordy over to AtS because he referred to her as "Big Smile Girl." Harmony plays this role even better. The networks wants a lighter show. Who better to represent that than Harmony, Queen of Fluff? It is that fluff that Joss is reluctant to embrace. The extra ingredient is otter, those funny clowns of the water.

Harmony brings Angel not coffee, like Wesley was drinking earlier, but blood. Angel doesn't need to wake up, he needs what he needs. The otter blood updates things a bit, just a bit and Angel actually likes it. Change isn't automatically bad. Who doesn't like the necro-tempered glass? A healthy show that isn't in danger of cancelation will be a much welcome change. Harmony's comic relief will make the show faster and stronger and even better written. Wesley is the one that picked Harmony out of the steno pool to give Angel something familiar. The network wants the show to be lighter. By bringing in a character from Buffy who even appeared on Angel, ME is giving the network their otter, but using something they are familiar with.

"We're going to get along great, boss, the whole gang." Then the show brings up the first of the C words. Since no one can say Cordy around Angel, does that mean they can now say Buffy? Are they going to have to post a list of names that can't be said around him somewhere? Maybe they can write it in mystical ink so everyone, but Angel can see it. Or maybe they can cast a spell on Angel so that he can't hear it if anyone says her name. Angel's look says it all about how Joss feels to lose this character. Even Harmony is temporarily upset by it. Angel doesn't know if Cordy is going to be OK. Harmony's reaction shows how the show will move on without Queen C because of Harmony. Wesley sends Harmony out of the office, which means that the show won't always be light and funny. "If there is a way to bring Charisma back, we will find it" or something to that effect.

Transition to the shows first little bad of the season. Corbin Fries. Biggest piece of pond scum that Wesley has met in hours. This is the person that tries to bluntly order Angel around. Such people are fodder for a writers most vile characters. How many villains have we seen with not a single good point? This guy is human, not a demon, and he acts worse than pretty much any demon we have seen. Since this guy is so vile, let's take a look at what he says, minus what Angel and Wesley interject, and translate it.

(quick aside. Could someone else do how Angel's jacket is used in the episode. Notice when he puts it on to play lawyer guy and when he isn't wearing it)

"Oh, yeah. Let's all chit chat and have tea and crumpets because I've got so much time. Here's the skinny. Tomorrow the DA puts my tit in a wringer for good and that does not stand with me. Butt-munch here, he got his law degree at dog training school and the prosecution has everything they ever dreamed of....Course I'm guilty. What the hell are you changing the subject for. The point is, when Holland manners ran this place this never would have got to trial. Now I bring a lot of money to the firm, more than most and I don't do that so I can be handed over to the frickin' law. You have gotta get me off...You think I give a ferret's anus about your new regime here? Yeah, I know who you are and I care to the sum of zero. You're my lawyers and if you don't do every last thing to keep me out of jail, you will regret it."

Exchange about how things have to be won of the merits of the case. That is how ME sees things. It is the merits of the show that should bring viewers in. However, this case isn't delayed on its own merits, but the connection the judge has to the defendant's company.

"They were doing jack. I'm not going to be made an example of. Either you get me off...The Hell with calm down. Either you get me off, or I drop the bomb...Let me put it this way, they bring in a conviction, bye-bye California. I say the magic word, the only people left standing are going to be the ones that are already dead."

Harmony's reaction is great. Funny doesn't understand the implications of that statement and is only concerned about itself.

Now for the translation. The law in America is written by We the People. The ones that have the real power are the viewers. We are both the blond victims that bad TV attacks and the ones that are the customers that advertisers are trying to reach. The judge holds stock in Oriental Trading Companies. It is the advertisers that dictate what is on TV and they do so based on what we are willing to watch. Fries is the ultimate slimy TV executive that wants to bring in massive advertising dollars at any cost. Entertainment is a fast game. If the big dollars aren't brought in, someone will be brought in that can do that. Doesn't matter if the show is any good. That isn't the point. What matters is what matters to the Senior Partners, the bottom line. The WB was willing to pay to bring Angel to life and now they feel they own it. They don't give a damn about the show itself. It is just a vehicle to bring in viewers and thus advertising dollars. Joss had better be willing to do everything possible to bring in those viewers and thus money or else the bomb will be dropped.

Thus closes Act 1. Joss, I mean Angel, is in a horrible position and has to figure out what to do.



[> Re: Conviction: The Sentence - 89 to Life -- pellenaka, 03:27:51 10/04/03 Sat

In this scene time is brought up by Fred with the speed they accepted Wolfram and Hart's offer. "...and we all said yes in like three minutes." Wesley's response also has a time component because run-on sentences are to speed things up. He remarks that they have gotten better, and if I didn't already love Fred, her response would have made me.

I read somewhere that the WB wanted more exposition for the new viewers, which of course is annoying for the writer as it takes up paper (=time).
Joss just puts it all in one sentence. Wesley (the WB?) says that her run-on sentences has gotten less pointless and Fred (Joss?) tells him that it's good to hear but still a tad condescending.

Good essay!

[> [> Yeah, wasn't that brilliant? -- Rob, 10:02:01 10/04/03 Sat

Joss is asked to put in more exposition to the show, so he gets it all taken care of in a single sentence, which is funny for the regular viewers, and, exposition or not, still a bit intimidating for new viewers. I like it. ;o)


[> [> Thanks everyone for the compliments -- Diana, 15:52:30 10/04/03 Sat

I like how Joss uses the exposition to do double duty. Since when do we see Fred stand up for herself like that? One nice thing this episode did was not bring back the turgid supernatural soap opera. Wesley and Gunn were like brothers, not men who had just be vying for the affections of the same woman and didn't trust each other. There was just the barest hint of sexual tension with Wesley and Fred.

[> [> [> And the closest the episode came to... ("Conviction" spoilers) -- Rob, 18:12:40 10/04/03 Sat

..."turgid supernatural soap opera," the melodramatic music playing as they were discussing Cordy's fate, was quickly undercut by Harmony's breakneck shift from somber to self-absorbed.


[> deconstructionism -- optimistic34, 10:20:13 10/04/03 Sat

you should definitely pick up a book on post-modern deconstructionism. you have a knack for it.

[> The long shot and the final scene (spoilers 5.1) -- Diana, 15:21:36 10/04/03 Sat

I completely left out the 3 minute 44 second long long-shot that was sheer beauty and took 27 takes. It was quite a challenge, but it also represented the long arcs the series used to do. I left Lorne's words off of my analysis, but seeing this scene as the transition away from the involved arcs puts his words in a different light. Why those particular words/jokes?

This shot is ended by Eve and the transition to the new order of quick jabs begins. The cuts from Eve to Angel were great. Watching the editing is another layer to this metanarration.

The final scene represents not quite a really quick jab approach, but not the long shots. The camera keeps pulling back to a wide shot of everyone. I particularly liked when the camera panned from Lorne to Wesley, which could have been done in editing, but was instead a pan. The final frame of Angel, Wesley and Harmony with their reactions to Spike was wonderful (though not sure where Lorne went or how Wesley got in that position). So was where everyone was placed, with Eve by Gunn, Wesley, Fred and Lorne standing up together and Angel isolated from everyone until the amulet falls. Wesley walks across the room to join Fred in their disapproval of Gunn. Earlier Wesley was the one talking with Gunn. At the end of the shot, Fred takes Gunn's chair, but doesn't sit in it completely. (could someone tell me what Gunn is playing with at the beginning of the scene? I couldn't make it out.)

I would say that one major change that the series is going to see and one that Joss is not upset about is Fred and Gunn will have major story lines and this will be a more ensemble cast. The way one shots, two shots and wide shots were used in this episode were not only artistically pleasing and visually stimulating, but made its own statement.

Just my 2 cents.

[> [> Re: Gunn -- JM, 16:29:25 10/04/03 Sat

Would you believe a cigar -- and do you think it's just a cigar?

(I'm not 100% sure on this, but I think he was clipping a cigar, rounding out the retro robber baron look.)

[> [> [> Yup, he had one of those gadgets for cutting off the cigar tip. -- jane, 16:31:09 10/04/03 Sat

[> Conviction: The Sentence - 89 to Life (Part 2) -- Diana, 14:25:47 10/03/03 Fri

Act 2 opens with Lorne trying to see which employees can be trusted. Cut to Knox talking to Fred about Lorne's talent, for those who didn't know. Exposition is great, but Joss doesn't just tell us things. He uses the exposition for characters to bond. I want Fred and Knoxy bonding, a lot. More time talk about the future. Knox wants Fred to be comfortable and she says she never will be. Fred still sees herself as the "running away from things type." I am most looking forward to Fred discovering how amazing she is this season. She doesn't need to be corrupted. Her storyline of self-discovery is wonderful unto itself. I've already said one thing about the poster, but they could have used any poster of the Dixie Chicks for the statement of Fred as Natalie Maines. That particular one is from the Dixie Chick's album "Home." It is called this because the album is not the Country Rock that made the Dixie Chicks famous. Instead it is a return to a more Blue Grass sound. The reviews from that album state a lot about the direction Joss would like to take his show. Prior to Fries showing up, we see a tentativeness about the direction things are going (as happens with all change), but Harmony shows that they are workable and the gang isn't being forced into horrible things. Fries changes all of that. Where the show wants to go is where the album "Home" went.

From Stephen Thomas Erelwine at All Music Guide (the reviews all pretty much say the same thing):

Dixie Chicks always had deep country roots, but it was entirely conceivable that they could have chosen the pop route, since it's always the safest bet for established stars to follow the mainstream -- especially after they have been away for a while. Fortunately, one thing this trio has never been is predictable, and they were emboldened by their successful battle with the label, along with the O Brother, leading to the stunner that is Home, their sixth album. There may be a Stevie Nicks cover here, but there are no concessions to pop anywhere; there are hardly any electric guitars, actually. This is a pure country album, loaded with fiddles, acoustic guitars, and close harmonies, but retaining the Chicks' signature flair, sense of humor, and personality. It's a vibrant, quirky, heartfelt record that finds the group investing as much in a funny, rollicking number like "White Trash Wedding" or something as sadly sweet as "Godspeed (Sweet Dreams)." But the key to the album is that, as they so brilliantly put it on the wonderful opener "Long Time Gone," they recognize many modern country singers "sound tired but they don't sound Haggard," and "have money but they don't have Cash" -- and this is a sentiment that doesn't just apply to those riding the charts, but to the po-faced alt-country contenders who are too serious to have fun. They deftly balance modern attitudes with classic instrumentation, all built on terrific song writing, winding up with an album that feels purer than anything on the charts, yet much livelier and genuine than alt-country. This is what country music in 2002 should sound like. With Home, Dixie Chicks illustrate that country music should be simple but adventurous, sincere but fun. In doing so, they've delivered not just their best album, but what's arguably the best country album yet released in the 2000s. Needless to say, an instant classic.

I can't think of a better comparison to how Joss hopes to revamp the series.

Fred isn't quite sure of how to answer the phone yet, but one thing she is sure about "how can I help you." She ends up just using her name, which ultimately will be the thing to save her. If she can remember that she is Fred and not Head of Practical Science, she will come out of the season okay.

I love the interaction of the gang, minus Gunn, as they try to figure out what to do. "What I'm not allowed to hit people?" Wonder what in real life triggered this scene? "Those are exactly the types of people I should be allowed to hit." We want to see you hit them, Joss, but Wes is right. Lorne brings up time by brining things "back to the here and now, chickadees." A plan is hatched. The problem is dealt with based on each person's strength. It isn't Angel that tells people what to do. It is Wesley. Angel still wants to hit the genocidal maniac and is worried that this stuff came from his own firm.

"Can you get there by sewer" Fred asks Angel. That is how he used to get around. "Not this time." He has 12 automobiles that are all tricked out with necro-tempered glass. Classic muscle cars, just like Angel. They are so beautiful, just like Angel. Angel has an updated mode of transportation, but that isn't with modern cars. That is how Joss will create beauty with his series still. He will use older things to update his show. No Sex in the City. Instead we get shots of Fred's beautiful legs with subtext. Subtext, that wonderful word that keeps us all talking for days. So let's talk.

Operations led by Hauser shows up. Ominous music plays as the two men feel each other out with their words. "Traditionally my unit handles all of the wet work." Angel doesn't want to resort to wet work. He is more into field work and if things are going to be new, they are going to be new his way. "Later on you can tell me all about tradition." Time for the new order. If Angel can't do things his old way, he isn't going to be doing them someone else's. The gang just has to figure out what this new way is that will keep their clients happy enough and allow them to maintain their integrity.

Spanky. A reference to an old TV show with a modern twist to it. Angel wants to know about an old job, but Spanky "don't discuss my old jobs." This doesn't sit well with Angel, who is going to know "now or very soon from now." Spanky and Angel's banter about his windpipe involves "now." There is a time element that drives this whole scene. Spanky's job for Fries was in the past. Their banter is about the present. Angel is concerned about the future.

Cut to Gunn's instant law education. The magazines are out of date and he has been kept waiting for 5 hours. The doctor wants to talk about Gunn's past experience in the White Room, but Gunn doesn't want to. He is more interested in what they are going to do. Later Gunn will bring up this past to tell the gang why he isn't worried about what they did to him.

Next up Fred and Knox working together. Past employment records. The guy that was set on fire was working with a cult, the Black Tomorrow. The specialize in quick fire disease scenarios. Which Fred is wary of because Wolfram and Hart built these in the past. She says this backing up so that she is in a similar pose as the Dixie Chicks (though Natalie Maines is the blond in the middle. The others not only supported her right to say what she did, but publicly agreed with her). Knox tries to reassure her, "Hey, no. We've contained more plague than we've ever designed." Knox is the one that Natalie, I mean Fred, will be showing the truth to this season.

Angel finds out where the bomb is, inside Matthew Fries that boy that Act 1 opened with. "Do you want to spend the rest of this class in the corner?" Angel misbehaves, and the critics will withdraw their suport. The bomb is from the camera zoom by the child's heart. Act 1 opens with him and Act 2 closes. So now we know what is at stake.

Act 2 opens with Gunn's education. "Ah-ah-ah slowly, slowly" the mad doctor says to Gunn as he drinks. What a beautiful contradiction to what is going on with Gunn as he is quickly given an education. It is obviously painful, but Gunn doesn't want to stop until it is finished. He even hurries the mad doctor back to finish things, "Then shut up and do it."

Fred and Wesley give exposition on how far they have gotten in solving the problem, but there is an intense urgency to their words that gives the scene in the darkened lobby more energy. Their concern about the problem turns to concern about Angel, who "seems to be taking it rather personally." Neither of them know why he is. This next scene is just for you Masq.

Angel is having a tough time because Fries took a lethal virus and stuck in inside his son. Eve tries to make Angel feel better about losing his son, but his reaction shows how Joss really feels about the loss of this character. Angel gave him up to save him. If Joss had kept Connor around, what could he have done with the character? The only way he knew to save him was to do what he did. If he kept him around, he would have done more and more evil. Joss killed him off to prevent this. Joss doesn't want the networks mentioning Connor. God only knows what they would want to do with his character. Joss redeemed him the best way he knew and only he can talk about him. Eve tries to get sexy, but as Angel tells her "News flash. You're not cute when I'm angry." If the networks try to touch Connor, they had better be prepared for an angry Joss and they won't get anything out of angry Joss.

So how will Joss "play it." "Isolate the boy, if it come to that. Stop if from spreading" The Buffyverse is still a -verse and he does have the Serenity to get off the ground. He's not going to let what he has to do to keep Angel on the air affect his other projects. He doesn't want to sacrifice Angel, but will if he has to.

Then Angel finds his fire. "If every case hits you this hard, you aren't going to last a week." This is a turning point on the episode. Angel starts giving orders rather than just try to figure things out. He becomes the boss, boss Joss. Eve gets a little gray when she hints that maybe she is trying to help out. Fries is the asshole. We don't know Eve's motives yet. Maybe she is just trying to keep Angel on the air so that Joss can tell his story. He might have to compromise to do that, but to Eve that may be worth it. Is she Gail Berman, perhaps?

Cut to lots of gory pictures, which I'm sure the network loved. Didn't really interfere with the story. Could be one of those ways that Eve is trying to help. Knox tells Fred that they are looking at a retrovirus. This is how Joss sees his show being threatened, by something insidious that integrates itself into the hosts chromosomes to replicate itself. It has no real function other than to make more of itself. It is spread by touch, in this case, which makes it highly contagious. Now we see Fred in a rush. "Don't get someone on it. HAVE someone on it." Fred gives a very good description of what is going to happen and then plays Natalie Maines by blaming the scientists for this.

Next comes court. I agree with people on the net that say I hope the scenes in the court are limited and rare. I don't want to see The Practice with demons. This scene makes things more urgent. Lorne recommends that Angel get the kid into isolation "pronto." The defense is trying to draw things out, but things are inevitably coming to a head. Operations is going to "show the new boss how a threat is contained." They are into overkill, to put it mildly.

Thus ends the third act.

Wesley explains to Angel that it will take days for Fred's technicians and his own team to come up with a solution. Can they suspend the trial? Not going to happen. Things are happening NOW. Not since Darla's rising has there been such an urgency present. (Jasmine's birth is close, but they didn't know what threat they were facing then) Harmony explains why things are even more urgent because the Operations team left 10 minutes ago. Angel will never beat them in the streets, but he has to try. Harmony is the one with the solution.

Nice edits between school and courtroom. The school, a place where over the course of years we get an education. This is the normal and relatively non-evil way to get it. The degrees we attain are real and show not only that we know something, but that we gave it our time, effort and energy. He learn a bit more than just the subject we learn. Gunn's false degrees and rapid education don't show this. The education that children receive make us who we are. Gunn's education is so empty that he needs Gilbert and Sullivan for elocution. Slow, draw out education = good. Fast, instant one = bad. Fast saved the day, but for how long? Can it be trusted?

Operations team rush up the stairs. They find Angel sitting in an empty classroom, books still on the desk. Harmony's solution, "So it turns out with this new deal and everything, I own a helicopter." The operations team "just missed everybody." Now Hauser is going to show Angel how tradition works. What a beautiful shot of Angel in the students desk as he is about to get his lesson on tradition. The main fight happens next to the teacher's desk, by the flag no less.

Gunn enters the courtroom and saves the day. "The defense requests one more minute to confer." Gunn will successfully get the case stalled by having a mistrial declared. He will draw out the case for months. The guy isn't getting off. The gang is just delaying things until they can nail him safely. Maybe they will find a few weasels to eat him. Angel's strategy is to play things until the Senior Partners tip their hand. They can use time to their advantage. Not necessarily a win, but not a loss either.

Angel's final showdown with Hauser shows how he is going to play it from now on. Earlier we saw Eve fire Angel up by saying that he wasn't going to last. Hauser shows Angel how to play and win the game, by mercy. "What happened to mercy?" "You just saw the last of it." Not that Angel is giving up on mercy. He will maintain it, and therefore his integrity and sense of self. He showed it to the poor guy in the hallway, by not killing him. Now that guy has a choice to make. Operations has a choice to make. Showing mercy to this man allows Angel to remain Angel. That doesn't mean the guy gets it again, though. By not killing this man, Angel makes a powerful statement, a statement that will help to convert the opportunists at his firm.

But there is one more thing they have to deal with, Spike. "We'll do the work our way, one thing at a time..." cut to the amulet falling "we'll deal with whatever come next" as Angel is backing away from it. Gotta love Joss' edits. Harmony's reaction shows exactly what they will do with this character. The episode looks like it was a nice quick jab. The case was wrapped up rather nicely in one episode, just like the network wanted. The backstory was given succinctly and the season laid out nicely. But Spike's appearance changes this. The most startling thing happened at the very end. Three little words, "To be continued." Last season was one big gigantic run-on and the words didn't appear once. Those three little words were the biggest statement of the whole episode. It ranks up there with when the Grr Arg monster was replaced by the Trio singing "We are Gods" in "Storyteller" or Angelus' evil laugh extending through the blank screen followed by Joss Whedon's name in "Awakening."

How was time used this episode? The WB wants to force Angel into going more episodic, fine. They can hold Joss' child hostage, plant a bomb near his heart. That bomb explodes with nothing more than a magick word and it kills all of us diehard fans in a horrible way. Joss isn't going to let that happen. He won't let the child or the world be harmed. He'll take to the air with his metaphors and metanarration and beat the bad guys, all of them (ratings/Agent Hauser and those that would change or cancel his show/Fries). Joss Whedon is the one with conviction. They want episodic television? He's got three words for them "to be continued." Only thing missing was Angelus' laugh.

[> [> Ooooh! Metanarration makes me feel all warm and gooey inside -- Sheri, 17:06:57 10/03/03 Fri

I'm definately going to have to rewatch the episode with your essay in mind... the whole concept of this episode being about how Joss feels about the changes that he was forced to make in order to keep Angel on the air... very nice brain food, thank you!

[> [> [> Always happy to make you feel warm and gooey -- Diana, 15:34:47 10/04/03 Sat

[> [> Continuing the Fred/Natalie parallel -- RichardX1, 13:34:47 10/04/03 Sat

>>Fred gives a very good description of what is going to happen and then plays Natalie Maines by blaming the scientists for this.<<

While you didn't elaborate, I feel I should point out that like Natalie, Fred was willing to go up against her own people on this (Fred vs. other scientists (the only people with whom she really feels comfortable, usually), Natalie Maines: the entire country music culture).

(Imagine that: I, a white Southern male, actually managed to talk about a certain "country" music group without using the phrase "Yankee Chicks"... until now. Damn.)

[> [> [> Very good point -- Diana, 14:11:33 10/04/03 Sat

Thank you for bringing that up. Recently Emily Robinson (the one that Fred looks like) has been criticizing Ah-nold's decision to run for governor. She told German newspaper Abendzeitung "He is a great film star, But I find his idea to run for governor absolutely insane. America should be governed by people who have a clue, I hope he doesn't win."

I really don't think that Joss was making a political statement about the current administration with that poster. He was making a statement about Fred herself, especially since he posed her with it. Combine that with how the country music practically lynched the Chicks and rock totally embraced them and we can see where Fred will go this season. This contrasts wonderful with Knox who just "mixes the potions."

Maybe next she'll put up a poster of Shania Twain. Not politically vocal, but that navel caused quite a stir.

[> [> [> [> Going WAAAAAY into a tangent now... -- RichardX1, 15:30:38 10/04/03 Sat

>>"America should be governed by people who have a clue..."<<

That pretty much rules out the entire human race.

[> [> [> [> [> Maybe Angel could be our King. He isn't human -- Diana, 15:42:07 10/04/03 Sat

[> [> No time to really respond, but just had to tell you how incredibly cool that was! -- Rob, 15:04:25 10/03/03 Fri

[> [> [> Thankee much -- Diana, 15:12:04 10/03/03 Fri

[> [> Obviously major spoilers above, as in the entire episode explained -- Diana, 15:13:41 10/03/03 Fri

Cool steady-cam shot (spoilers Conviction) -- pellenaka, 14:29:36 10/03/03 Fri

When you rewatch Convictions, take a notice to the scene that start when Fred gets out of the elevator and ends when Angel and Eve start talking. It is a very fascinating and beautiful shot.
According to Amy Acker, they had to retake that 27 times.
You can read about that here: http://tv.zap2it.com/tveditorial/tve_main/1,1002,274|83717|1|,00.html
NB: It has spoilers for how many episodes Mercedes McNab is signed up for.


[> Agree. It was a magnificent shot. -- Valheru, 23:45:38 10/03/03 Fri

Goes right up there with the first-day-of-school shot in "Anne" and Xander's run through the sets in "Restless" as Joss's best long steadicam takes. Just for fun, he should ask John Wells if he could direct an episode of ER or The West Wing, shows that rely heavily on similar camerawork.

[> [> All good choices, but... -- Fenugreek, 12:29:37 10/04/03 Sat

...for my money, the best Joss continuous take occured in Graduation Day Pt. 2. If you have access to season 3 on DVD, use the scene selection feature to go to the scene titled "Two Slayers Down" (if you only have VHS, I believe you can go to the beginning of Act 2). The scene goes like this: Angel rushes into a hospital carrying Buffy in his arms. He places her on a gurney and a doctor and nurse attend to her. The doctor then takes Angel aside and quesions him about Buffy - "Have you two been doing drugs?" Angel replies "She's clean" and then Angel asks for a phone. The doctor directs Angel to the hallway where there is a payphone. Angel goes to the payphone, drops in a quarter (at least I assume it's a quarter), and dials. BTW, the attention to detail at this point is impressive - next to the payphone is a magazine rack with real issues of Newsweek and BusinessWeek (cover story is "Has Success Spoiled Fidelity"), just like you would find in a hospital waiting room. Anyway, while Angel is still on the phone, the camera moves further down the hallway and into another room where a doctor is explaining Faith's condition to the Mayor. The camera moves continuously to the bed where Faith lies (lays?) in a coma. The Mayor brushes Faith's hair and speaks reassuringly to her. A nurse enters and speaks to the doctor about another young woman who has been admitted suffering from acute blood loss. The Mayor overhears this, leaves Faith's side, and walks to the room where Buffy is out cold. He begins to smother her. A nurse rushes in, trys to stop him, then yells for security. Instead, Angel enters and stops the Mayor. A confrontation between Angel and the Mayor ensues. The first edit of the scene occurs during this confrontation. On my DVD player, the scene begins at the 10:36 mark and the first edit occurs at 13:33 - almost a 3 minute continuous take. Very impressive. While watching it, for some reason I had the feeling that the scene had gone by much more quickly than 3 minutes. Thanks for letting me have my say - now back to lurking.

[> Re: Cool steady-cam shot (spoilers Conviction) -- Dandy, 06:33:32 10/04/03 Sat

Martin Scorcese does these shots very well. I believe the longest shots ever filmed are in Hitchcock's Rope. There is only one edit in the entire film.

[> [> Re: I think Rope is made up of at least 6 shots -- Brian, 10:02:28 10/04/03 Sat

Orsen Welles' "Touch of Evil" opens with an 11 minute tracking shot.

[> [> [> How it worked in "Rope" . . . -- Finn Mac Cool, 11:13:06 10/04/03 Sat

The cameras of Hitchcock's day could only run for so long, making an entire movie done in one shot impossible. So, whenever he needed to put more film in the camera, he'd have it go behind something, like a person's back or a wall divider, change the film, and the next shot would continue on without the audience knowing anything had changed. The only cut recognizable as one is near the beginning, when we cut from outside to the apartment where the rest of the action happens.

[> [> [> Anyone seen "Russian Ark"? -- Fenugreek, 12:38:35 10/04/03 Sat

Directed by Aleksandr Sokurov and 96 minutes long. I've read reviews that describe it as a stroll through the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg where historical figures come to life next to the exhibits. I haven't seen the movie but have also read that it is done in one continuous take. Zero edits. Can anybody confirm that?

[> [> [> [> Re: Anyone seen "Russian Ark"? -- znachki, 16:38:23 10/04/03 Sat

Yes, it is one long shot. It takes the viewer through space and time.

Another great instance of tracking shots are the ones used in the episode of the X-files set in the Bermuda Triangle - sorry I can't remember the name. The first one is something in the neighborhood of 20 minutes long.

[> [> [> [> [> Thanks znachki ("Triangle" was the X-files ep.) -- Fenugreek, 20:19:21 10/04/03 Sat

[> Re: Cool steady-cam shot (spoilers Conviction) -- Rob, 14:58:17 10/03/03 Fri

I didn't realize until the second time I watched the ep that that was all one long shot from Fred getting off the elevator, all the way through the gang entering Angel's new office. Really quite an amazing, beautiful shot, and I was wondering how many takes it must have um taken to get it right.


[> [> Joss loves the long shot -- Jeanie, 15:09:43 10/03/03 Fri

And I loved that elevator. The seamless transition from one character to another really showed Joss at his best. Spike was even in that scene. Only one missing was Harmony.

[> [> [> Yes! -- Rob, 20:32:22 10/03/03 Fri

I noticed Spike the second time also!


[> [> [> Re: Joss loves the long shot -- angel's nibblet, 22:08:12 10/03/03 Fri

wow i'm so confused, how was spike in that scene? am i thinking of a different one? the big huge long shot at the start right? v impressive btw

[> [> [> [> Re: Joss loves the long shot (5.1 spoilers) -- Dead Soul, 22:18:09 10/03/03 Fri

He was in the padded envelope on top in the mailcart that got pushed through the scene. He was still in the amulet.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Joss loves the long shot (5.1 spoilers) -- angel's nibblet, 22:35:01 10/03/03 Fri

lol ofcourse, thank you for the miracle of rewatching. i totally missed that the first time, which just goes to show that rewatching really does pay off. haha you can see the poor confused mail guy so many times in the background of that shot, trying to figure out wat to do with spikey do doubt ;-). can i just say again how much i LOVE that shot *worships at the altar of joss* ps: wat is the mail guy wearing on his head? some kind of shiny blue helmet? or is he a demon? pretty dangerous place if even the mail ppl have to wear protective headgear :-S

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Joss loves the long shot (5.1 spoilers) -- Rook, 06:01:32 10/04/03 Sat

It looked like a mask a Mexican wrestler might wear...or maybe I've just been watching too much Strongbad lately.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: The Mail Guy (Spoilers) -- Sgamer82, 11:26:50 10/04/03 Sat

It is, a later episode will feature the mail room guy, who was apparently one of a group of five Mexican masked wrestlers who fought the good fight like Angel and co. do now.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: The Mail Guy (Spoilers) -- angel's nibblet, 17:28:21 10/04/03 Sat

hehe strongbad. plus points to me for my observationy skills! yeah!

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: The Mail Guy (Spoilers)--Future Spoilers? Beware -- LittleBit, 18:18:04 10/05/03 Sun

Angel-Season 1 -- DianaD, 15:23:28 10/03/03 Fri

Is anyone else watching the re-runs of Angel? I missed a few of these the first time through, and am really enjoying them. It's interesting how much the show has changed, both in cast and emphasis, since the firt season. And, although it was probably already endlessly discussed, I miss Doyle.


[> Re: Angel-Season 1 -- Dandy, 18:47:16 10/03/03 Fri

I became a big Doyle fan once I got my S1 Ats DVD.I wasn't when it originally aired.

[> Yep... -- LeeAnn, 06:17:27 10/04/03 Sat

I am watching Season 1 of AtS as well. As always, Angel the Character and DB the Actor bore and annoy me but I am really liking Cordelia and Doyle. They are carrying the show as far as I am concerned. I was never a fan of Cordie on BtVS so am surprised how well I like her on AtS. I myself becoming a fan. Too bad now that she is gone.

But I am especially angry about Glenn Quinn (Dolye). That ME threw him away for drug use instead of sending him to rehab and that he could never really get another job and went down to death. I think he was good enough to support and help rather than discard. Hell, he could even do a passable Irish accent. Bet Rush gets treated more gently Quinn was.

[> [> Uhm, that was actually not an accent. he was Irish (NT) -- Seven, 10:14:36 10/04/03 Sat

[> [> [> In fact... -- Rob, 11:40:13 10/04/03 Sat

...on "Roseanne," Glen Quinn did only a passable American accent! If you listen carefully, there is a definite Irish tinge to his voice almost every time he speaks. This, of course, goes to prove the point that it is really hard to judge how accurate actors' accents are. While some people say DB's Irish accent isn't convincing, other people say it is. And here, LeeAnn only found Glen Quinn's actual accent "passable"!

Here's a quote from Glen Quinn about using his real accent on "Angel": "I've been hiding it for so long that it's amazing to have some freedom. It was like putting on an old pair of shoes-it's bringing my soul back to life."


[> [> [> [> Re: In fact... -- angel's nibblet, 22:10:26 10/04/03 Sat

i guess the only real way to judge a fake accent is to ask the opinion of someone who actually has the accent

[> [> [> [> Explanation for why it might seem to be a fake accent -- skyMatrix, 14:08:48 10/05/03 Sun

I thought someone would mention that oft-repeated chesnut from Jane Espenson's "Rm w/a Vu" commentary (no spoilers) saying that the way Quinn pronounced some words naturally made them supposedly too difficult for us silly Americans, less accustomed to different accents, to comprehend. Therefore he had to go back into the studio afterwards and loop some words and lines in his American accent so we could understand it. As Espenson explains, this gave many people the impression that Quinn was an American with an natural American accent and that it was the Irish accent that was the fake accent, although it seemed he wasn't doing it too well because the accent seemed to "come and go." So in conclusion, it isn't just LeeAnn! ;)

[> Re: Angel-Season 1 -- Finn Mac Cool, 16:25:25 10/03/03 Fri

I didn't become an aficionado of the Buffyverse until Season 6/3, so these "Angel" eps are brand new to me.

I must say I'm kinda dissapointed. I dunno, the episodes, so far, seem a little bit too rushed and lacking in character depth. However, there have been improvements: I only tolerated Doyle in "City of", but he's begun to grow on me. Also, I liked how, in "Room with a View", Cordelia's old apartment seems scarier than her new, ghost infested one (of course, few things can outdo roaches). Also, the whole "LA is a corrupt city! See how noir it is!" stuff has gotten toned down (everyone's repeated comments on LA in "City of" were just a little too much and a little too obvious).

[> [> Lacking character depth at the beginning is ME's MO -- shambleau, 17:40:12 10/04/03 Sat

Think Buffy and Firefly. The characters begin as stereotypes and are gradually fleshed out and layers added.

[> [> [> Wasn't depth I was talking about -- Finn Mac Cool, 21:00:20 10/04/03 Sat

You can't expect a great deal of character depth during the first appearance. What I was talking about was character appeal. For example, some characters catch your interest right away (Spike, Nancy from "Beneath You", Gollum from "The Lord of the Rings"). They're not that developed when you meet them, but they're interesting enough that you want to find out more, want to wait and see them become developed. However, with other characters, they don't really grab you in their premiere performance (Angel, the Mayor, and, for me, Doyle). You don't find them funny or interesting or what-have-you and find what you're watching drops in quality whenever they're on screen. It's not until they start to get developed that they begin to become interesting. On a side note, the characters that get you interested right away sometimes don't fare too well from added development; what made you love them on first sight can start to fall to the wayside in the name of character development. To create a character who instantly gets your attention and retains that interest as he develops is a miracle to witness and, like most miracles, happens far too infrequently.

[> [> It gets better mid-season -- Masq, 16:33:14 10/03/03 Fri

Once Doyle left (though this has nothing to do with him, he was a great character) and Wesley arrived and Faith arrived, the show hits its stride. The W&H lawyers get brought in and get depth, and the show becomes recognizable as the forebear of the show we know today.

Season 2 rocks.

[> [> [> Couldn't Agree More (except for the Doyle thing) -- Unitas, 09:49:06 10/04/03 Sat

[> [> [> Re: It gets better mid-season -- CW, 10:51:00 10/04/03 Sat

Nothing wrong with the late Glenn Quinn's acting, but before Hero aired I was certain they were going to have to get rid of Doyle. I think that ME finally realized that the Whistler/Doyle character, a minor twist on the standard film-noir stereotype, just wasn't deep enough for the kind of multi-level story ME loves. As Masq says with Wesley arriving with all his baggage from BtVS and a strong desire to be someone else, things turned around very quickly. And I believe that the Fatih episodes on Angel rival Restless as the best eps of the BtVS/Angel saga that year.

[> I just programmed my TiVo... -- dmw, 16:33:01 10/03/03 Fri

Only a few minutes ago, I noticed that Angel s1 was reshowing and programmed my TiVo to start recording them, then I sat down at my computer and found this thread. I haven't watched any yet, but I'm looking forward to seeing Doyle again too.

[> [> I love my TiVO. It tapes AtS for me Wednesday nights, since I have a class. :) -- Rob, 20:33:26 10/03/03 Fri

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