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vanishing act (non-stop spoilers for 5.2) -- Miyu tVP, 10:23:41 10/09/03 Thu

I didn't get to tape last night's ep, so I was wondering if someone who's had a chance to review the ep more (or has better memory than me) can help me on this.

For some reason when Spike kept vanishing throughout the episode, I couldn't help thinking that there may be a pattern as to when he blipped out. Especially by the end when we are told that while when he blinks out he is visitng the mouth of hell... is it possible that Spike triggers these incidents? (from my memory) he didn't ever fade out while having a serious, soulful discussion of his situation, but rather when he was being most catty & bitchy (yeah I know that's vague since the whole ep was him being bitchy. :)

Control seemed to be the theme of the ep. So it would be important if Spike in some way can control his slipping, and ultimately can pull himself out of limbo. Even as a "useless" ghost he was given a choice to help Angel or the necromancer, and he made the right choice.

Anyway - I was wondering if someone with the evidence in front of them could comment? Am I imagining thngs? (wouldn't be the first time...)



[> It's a brilliant idea...(Spoilers 5.2) -- Random, 10:55:36 10/09/03 Thu

What if ME has set up a very literal system for Spike to atone by? What if the only thing keeping him on this Earth is the use he makes of his time to do the right thing? We finally have the logical conclusion of the moral order that rules Spike and Angel. The stick is a very effective one, but not trite in the least. Unsouled Spike has endured the programming of the chip -- how will the souled-Spike deal with this new, but almost analogous, behaviour-altering circumstance? Will he transcend the stick and work only for the carrot? Stay tuned...

[> [> I'm going with W&H -- shambleau, 11:05:39 10/09/03 Thu

Why would the PTB be involved with the amulet? W&H provided it, thinking that Angel would use it. Spike is being sucked into a hell dimension. "If it looks like a duck..."

Of course, in the Jossverse, "If it looks like a duck, it's a duck demon" is the better bet. We'll have to see.

[> [> [> Re: I'm going with W&H -- heywhynot, 15:05:28 10/09/03 Thu

Don't be so sure W&H wanted Angel to use it. They have their own end of the world scenario & have plans for Angel then which it appears him running their LA branch is part of. A fact Wes and Angel even bring up. W&H might have plans for the other vampire with a soul (hedging their bets perhaps, or maybe something more?).

[> Limbo (5.2 spoilers) -- Masq, 11:13:55 10/09/03 Thu

That's an excellent word for the situation Spike is now in (literally and metaphorically). However, there was some ambiguity about the "hell" he was being drawn down into. I think it's an open question whether this is the "hell" of torment for one's sins, or just a regular old hell dimension full of demons who want Spike down with them for some reason. Either way, it's a symbol for the struggle over Spike's soul.

He's not in heaven, he's not in hell. Which is about where I would expect him to be at this juncture. Stay tuned!

[> [> Ironically . . . -- Claudia, 11:19:25 10/09/03 Thu

It's ironic that Wolfram & Hart had meant for Angel to wear the amulet and find himself in danger of being sucked into that hell dimension. The question is why? An even bigger question I have is - will Angel end up taking Spike's place?

[> [> [> That is what is known as an assumption (spoilers 5.2) -- Diana, 11:26:51 10/09/03 Thu

You assume that the amulet has something to do with Spike being pulled towards Hell. Spike was killed, burned up in front of us. His essence has to go somewhere. Where that somewhere is probably has nothing to do with the amulet.

It is rather presumptuous to assume that Angel who has had 4 full seasons plus his actions for 3 seasons on Buffy would be in the same predicament as Spike because of being toasted. Maybe he wouldn't have been ghosted.

[> [> [> [> Maybe -- Mackenzie, 11:28:49 10/09/03 Thu

we are assuming that it was meant for Angel. It could very well be that it was intended for Spike from the beginning.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Maybe -- Claudia, 11:34:49 10/09/03 Thu

Does Wolfram and Hart have a psychic who had informed them that Buffy would give the amulet to Spike?

As for Angel's three years on BUFFY and four years on ANGEL - what does it really mean? He still has done more evil than Spike over the years. At least by a century.

But in the end, I found myself thinking - if Angel and Spike have to deal with karmic payback for a long time, can one say the same about others like Buffy, or Faith, or any of the other Scoobies or the AI team? Let's face, all of us have done something that is less than worthy in our lives. How long do we have to pay for our actions? Forever? Even beyond death? It seems to me that it is a pointless situation, and it is even more pointless to consider how many years one has to pay for past "evil" deeds. I guess that is why I believe it is more important to make the effort to change your life for the better (even if it is tinged with self-interest) than worry about how many years you have to spend in atonement.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Maybe -- Mackenzie, 11:50:56 10/09/03 Thu

That is the direction I was going. We have seen that there are prophesies and predictions all over the place. Maybe there was either a prediction that Spike would use the amulet or that he needed to for some other reason for events in the future. Maybe they made an educated guess that Buffy would give it to Spike. Or maybe it didn't matter either way, they just needed a souled vampire to use the amulet. Hope we get to find out.
I agree that the idea that either Angel or Spike have a set karmic retribution to the universe seems a little pointless. To look at the others in the series that would been that their karma, for the most part, would be big time in the positive. If that were true then the universe would owe them, right? I think it is important to do good things for your own personal satisfaction and not to worry about your karmic "score". Maybe that is where Angel has been getting it wrong. Maybe that is why he can't find happiness. He is looking in the wrong place. He is looking for someone to say, okay, you paid your debt back, you are free. Instead, he needs to look inside and be satisfied with what he does for others.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Not about some Karmic pay-off (spoilers 5.02) -- Diana, 11:58:05 10/09/03 Thu

If so Darla is much older and has done a lot herself, why should killing herself so that Connor can be born redeem her? She really looked redeemed in "Inside Out." Angel and she did realize one thing, they can never make up for what they've done. Does Spike realize this?

Karma isn't some cosmic balance sheet. X good wipes out X bad. Whatever new age guru came up with that really needs to suffer a million years traveling the lower realms. The effects of Karma are even one of the Four Imponderables. (per the Acintita Sutta, in the Anguttara Nikaya IV.77)

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Yeah, I've been thinking about Darla... (5.2 spoilers) -- Masq, 12:16:46 10/09/03 Thu

If Spike helping foil the First/the Uber-vamps didn't send him packing off to heaven, then Darla giving her unlife for Connor didn't send her to heaven, either, as much as I'd like to think she'd been redeemed.

The idea of a "Limbo" where you spend at least part of your after life making up for your (un)lifetime of sin is an appealing notion. It's a lot more fair than being sent to eternal torment, no possibility for parole.

Although Darla's visit to Connor in InsideOut turned out to be ineffective, it wasn't for lack of trying. She did seem to be coming to her son as Marley's Ghost, spending her after life living the kind of life she should have lead in her actual life.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Yeah, I've been thinking about Darla... (5.2 spoilers) -- Diana, 12:59:55 10/09/03 Thu

I think Darla was redeemed. Compare how she appeared and how she talked to Spike in "Just Rewards." I hope to see a lot of comparisions of these two story lines.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> I thought Darla was the First -- Doug, 16:14:55 10/09/03 Thu

The whole thing about not being her, but having her memories, just screamed "First Evil!" I mean, something that it is supposed to be one of the powers is about to enter into the world I would think the first would try something like that.

And quite possibly there is no redemption. I mean if going on a quest to regain your soul and then sacrificing your existence to save a world that is primarily populated by people who either don't give a rat's Eema about you or actively hate you isn't enough to escape the fires, then what is? Maybe all this talk of redemption is nothing but a carrot that got dangled before Angel so he would jump through the appropriate hoops; and Angel and Spike will find no remittance from sin. Still held culpable for acts performed while soulless, still going to burn regardless of anything they may do to try and make up for it.

Or maybe I'm just in a dark mood.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Think two words.......mystical death.....spoilers for 5.2 -- Rufus, 17:45:24 10/09/03 Thu

I'll repeat what I said to CW over at Angel after Spike....

Who can say for sure how Spike/William would have ended if he died the regular way, but Spike died a mystical death and that amulet trapped his essence, his combined essence. Remember in Lies my Parents Told Me, Spikes mom regained her kind visage just before she became dust making me think that upon death the curse of the vampire is gone......just like in season two when Darla was brought back.....human.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Think two words.......mystical death.....spoilers for 5.2 -- Masq, 19:18:09 10/09/03 Thu

What do you consider "the curse of the vampire"? Are you saying Mrs. The Bloody became human again right at the point of vampdeath or souled again, or what? And how does that effect Spike's death, him being already souled?

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Think two words.......mystical death.....spoilers for 5.2 -- Rufus, 21:33:39 10/09/03 Thu

It appeared that Spikes mother regained her humanity just before disintegrating, but she died a final death, not a mystical one like Spike seemed to have at the end of Chosen. The amulet seems to have trapped Spike as a vampire where if he was dusted the way his mother was he would have like her regained his humanity. All I can add is that the folks at Wolfram and Hart couldn't bring back a vampire but they could bring back Darla as a human adding further questions to the confusing situation Spike is in. Main question is why is Spike back? And that brings me to the "new player" that Wes mentioned. That would also bring me back to the comparison between the Marvel universe and the Whedonverse where the gods still have something more powerful watching them. I think of this new home like the Fall of the Hyperion, Jasmine was defeated at the Hyperion, one level of interaction of the gods was ended, a new one begins at the offices of Wolfram and Hart.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Redemption never ends -- Sheri, 12:28:38 10/09/03 Thu

Angel and she did realize one thing, they can never make up for what they've done. Does Spike realize this?

Excellent reminder!

I don't think it takes away from a character's "redemption" that they have to continue redeeming themselves. That's just how redemption works! You don't stop striving to do good things simply cause last week you did something that was really really super duper good. In fact, I find the idea that Spike's sacrifice at the end of Chosen to be far more poignant knowing that it wasn't enough. That it will never be enough because being "redeemed" doesn't mean that you can stop striving for a better world. Angel got that concept in "Epiphany" and hopefully Spike will understand the same thing this season.

ps What are the other three imponderables? thank you :)

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> The four imponderables -- Diana, 12:52:35 10/09/03 Thu

There are these four unconjecturables that are not to be conjectured about, that would bring madness & vexation to anyone who conjectured about them. Which four?

"The Buddha-range of the Buddhas [i.e., the range of powers a Buddha develops as a result of becoming a Buddha] is an unconjecturable that is not to be conjectured about, that would bring madness & vexation to anyone who conjectured about it.

"The jhana-range of a person in jhana [i.e., the range of powers that one may obtain while absorbed in jhana]...

"The [precise working out of the] results of kamma...

"Conjecture about [the origin, etc., of] the world is an unconjecturable that is not to be conjectured about, that would bring madness & vexation to anyone who conjectured about it.

"These are the four unconjecturables that are not to be conjectured about, that would bring madness & vexation to anyone who conjectured about them."

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Very much agree! -- Scroll, 01:00:49 10/10/03 Fri

And thank you for putting it so elegently. You think I kid? I kid you not. This

"You don't stop striving to do good things simply cause last week you did something that was really really super duper good. In fact, I find the idea that Spike's sacrifice at the end of Chosen to be far more poignant knowing that it wasn't enough. That it will never be enough because being "redeemed" doesn't mean that you can stop striving for a better world."

is absolutely beautiful.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Elegent? Moi? ;) -- Sheri, 10:35:07 10/10/03 Fri

I'm glad that I'm not the only one who doesn't believe that expecting someone to continue trying to be a good person isn't a punishment. I am hopeful that the direction ME will take with Spike is that he will discover that having this second chance to do good things in the world is his reward.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> See? Elegant (btw, we both spelt that wrong!) -- Scroll, 11:04:48 10/10/03 Fri

"I am hopeful that the direction ME will take with Spike is that he will discover that having this second chance to do good things in the world is his reward."

Love it!

Doing good for the sake of good isn't an easy task, as Buffy and Angel can tell us, but it has its own rewards. Not the reward of being acknowledged or praised, but that inward satisfaction of knowing you're helping to make the world a little bit better. I'm hoping Spike will learn that kind of satisfaction. I think Spike can learn a lot from Angel and the gang, more than he ever learned from Buffy who, as much as I love her, was way too confused with her own issues to be much of a teacher to Spike.

This isn't to say, of course, that Angel is on the right track with this whole W&H thing. Cuz I really think he's in for a crash and burn. But it'll be fun watching him crash. Watching Angel is like watching a train wreck in some ways, but in a good way. You just can't take your eyes off it!

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> I love the idea of them learning from each other -- Sheri, 11:52:27 10/10/03 Fri

Really, Spike and Angel can both be positive influences on each other. I was kind of shocked when Angel referred to his soul as something he didn't ask for (and to my ears, something that he kind of sees as a punishment). I hope that if the two do a little sharing that in addition to Spike learning that doing good for the sake of doing good can be it's own reward, that Angel will be able to recognize that his soul doesn't have to be a punishment. The soul has taken the control over his life away from the demon and has given it back to the man. Apologies for fanwanking, but I think a big reason for Spike wanting a soul wasn't (just) because of Buffy, but also because he was able to recognize that without an inner sense of right and wrong, he wasn't in control of himself. The "fun" thing about being a vampire is that you can do whatever you want and not care. But the trouble with not caring is that sometimes you find yourself doing things that you really didn't want to do.

[> [> [> [> [> [> indulgences for sale, cheap -- purplegrrl, 12:55:51 10/09/03 Thu

***How long do we have to pay for our actions? Forever? Even beyond death?***

Is Joss making some sort of statement about the practice of "good works will redeem you"? That no matter how many you perform or how big they are, that they are never enough? That you still have to pay and pay and pay? The Buffyverse has a lot of "working towards redemption" and very little "forgiveness". Everyone must strive to make everyone else forget what a bad person they were in the past. Not that I think doing good works is a bad thing, but is that what heaven is all about??

I'm not sure where I'm going with this mini-rant, but the idea that redemption-by-good-works never ends is unappealing and unsatisfying.

Maybe Wolfram and Hart need to start selling indulgences.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: indulgences for sale, cheap -- RJA, 13:43:13 10/09/03 Thu

Isnt that one of the ultimate questions (and I mean in life, not just the show), that has never been answered. And can it ever be answered?

All we have is believe and ideas, but no confirmation of any set route to redemption and salvation (if either of these things are indeed possible).

However, the questions are interesting ones, and I like the fact that Joss is raising them. I myself dont have a problem with the idea of 'redemption as good works' and that this is continual, never ending. Becuase I dont believe there is a moral slate that can be wiped clean (reminscent of Faith and Buffy talking in Consequences, that all the good they have done outweighs the bad). I think its a dangerous thing to believe that we only have to strive to do good to get to a certain point and it doesnt matter. While I think Spike's sacrifice was huge and important, now he is back on this plane of existence that doesnt absolve him from trying to do good in the future (and to his credit he isnt arguing that).

Anyway, the point of that longwinded paragraph is that surely the point for all of us is to do the best you can. That good works are about more than absolving your soul of sin, but rather something to attain for as a good man. Redemption then ,viewed through that perspective, is not so much an end in itself, but a state of being. How can it be otherwise? I suppose its down to what is the meaning of life (a question that I think Angel is himslf asking), and perhaps that cant be answered, but I can think of worse answers than the idea of doing good works, and doing them forever more.

Of course, this is all pure conjecture on my part :-)

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Redemption for the dead (spoilers) -- purplegrrl, 14:00:45 10/09/03 Thu

***While I think Spike's sacrifice was huge and important, now he is back on this plane of existence that doesnt absolve him from trying to do good in the future (and to his credit he isnt arguing that).***

I'm not opposed to good works. What I question is why they are never enough in the Buffyverse. Spike is now twice dead (former vampire, now ghost) and he's still having to make with the redemptive good works to keep from slipping into Hell. Forgiveness rarely if ever enters into the picture. (I'm still enough of a Christian that this bothers me somewhat.)

I picked up on a more ambivalent attitude from Spike about whether he still wanted to do good. Don't know if that comes from being angry/confused at being back on this plane of existence (even as a ghost) after his big sacrifce, or because someone pressed the Rewind button in his head. To me, he was trying to be The Big Bad (or at least The Big Annoying) again.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Redemption for the dead (spoilers) -- RJA, 14:11:00 10/09/03 Thu

Forgivness is undoubtedly a key concept and question within the Jossverse. I think where the ambiguity comes from is who can provide that forgiveness. Even within the Christian sphere, who is the one that offers us forgiveness, and what for, and when can we get it. From all I've learnt, there are no real answers to that, even within the Christian religion.

And this is even more the case in t Jossverse. Spike might need and deserve forgiveness (and then again he might not), but who can give it to him so that it will mean something. Some higher power? Well, by all accounts they dont care. Buffy forgave him for what he did (as she did Angel). The victims are in no position to ofer forgiveness. So who can? Its a fascinating question, but one I cant answer. Unless to say that perhaps we can only forgive ourselves. To go to Angel fora minute, I have felt that his jorney of redemption is ultimately to come to terms with, and forgive himself. That there is no one else who can give him that peace of mind. It has to be the hard way.

I've said somewhere else on this board that I'm not entirely sure that Spike slipping into hell is necessarily because of what he did but what he is. Too soon to tell.

I think that Spike does want to do good though, and I didnt see too much ambivalence about that. He was rather against Angel and snarking against him (understandably). But he still kept claiming he was on the side of good, that he changed (think of the bedroom scene in which he says something along the lines that he is now on the other side). I think what Spike has gone through is too important to him just to throw it away, but thats not to say he wont enjoy tormenting Angel. He's only human.. or not :-)

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Redemption for the dead (spoilers) -- leslie, 15:45:11 10/09/03 Thu

Lots of thoughts on this, in no particular order:

Spike's gold standard of behavior is Buffy, and I think the fact that virtually the first words out of his mouth (or at least the first coherent ones) are concern about Buffy and whether she survived shows that this is still the case. So: Buffy sacrificed her life to save the world, and for the sake of the person she loved best (Dawn), and she went to heaven, and then she got dragged back, and she was really depressed about it. Spike sacrifices his life to save the world, and for the sake of the person he loved best (Buffy), but he doesn't seem to have gone to heaven, and now he's dragged back, and given the examples he's had of how well that works out, no wonder he's somewhat apprehensive. Which, in his usual blustery manner, he exhibits as snark.

So why didn't he go to heaven? It's interesting that he reappears in exactly the same position he left in--screaming in pain. Seems to suggest that he's been in that state throughout the interim, and while it's 3 weeks in our world, we also know that time moves differently in other dimensions, so who knows how long it was. But it can't have been that long, because Angel was positively feral when he came back from hell, and Buffy wasn't that much better coming back from heaven. Both were, at a minimum, incapable of speech for quite a while, whereas Spike's yakking away almost immediately. He does, however, have a quick moment of ferality when he vamps out and goes for Angel.

I think, to a very great extent, heaven and hell are not only ME metaphors, but they are also literally reflective of the characters' state of mind within the Jossverse. Spike feels that hell is opening up beneath him because he still thinks that's where he belongs.

I think the more interesting fact is how much Angel kept hidden from the others about Spike. Didn't think it was important that Spike had a soul? Glossed over the fact that Buffy had a relationship with Spike? Denial much? Spike's reaction to resurrection is fairly understandable, but it seems to me that Angel's reaction has a lot to say about how he will deal as the head of W&H--is he just going to ignore things that make him uncomfortable? Is he going to lie to his colleagues when he doesn't want to admit that someone else deserves some credit? Are these chinks in his armor that the Senior Partners can exploit? It seems very much of a piece with his initial agreement, not only to give Connor another life, but also to wipe the memory of him from everyone's minds. He's got quite the little penchant for erasing people's memories--like Buffy's. He always justifies it as being for the best for everyone, and he alone has to suffer on with the knowledge of what had been, but I think this is going to reach out and bite him on the ass pretty soon. And I think the contrast with Spike, who seems to remember all too much (like those graphically melting eyeballs and exploding internal organs), is deliberate.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Well, with Spike being dead and all, it probably didn't seem too important -- Finn Mac Cool, 16:10:40 10/09/03 Thu

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Bounded in a nut shell, but a king of infinite space (spoilers JR) -- fresne, 16:57:45 10/09/03 Thu

Yes, but from an Angel is the king and Spike is the fool, whose words are 50/50 gibberish/wise, the king is ultimately the one who needs guidance.

Course, being ME, this could go like Lear, and Angel Co are in the belly of the beast.

And briefly, everyone who has read the end of Fray should consider the cross of the reference.

Be digested or do the other thing.

The continuing implications in everyone's behavior that would seem to result from Connor's absence. Than Angel made a choice not only to remove Connor, but the memory of him. That his current position separates him from what was always his source of power as a "Champion."

Angel is used to hands on, being the leader of small band of rebels. Now he is, at the very least, governor of this mighty province. The danger is not only that the beast will devour him, but that his own doubts will devour himself.

The lack of complete openness on this subject that was always a source of his own uniqueness would seem to be just another indicator of his discomfort. And seriously, from a story point of view, I want his inability to talk about his son to be eating at him. The burden of knowledge as he barkas on his lounging throne. And here's this other son, this grandchild, Abraham to Jacob. How can Angel dance on the head a pin if he cannot find his center of balance?

And just as aside, I read elsewhere, and I agree, without having really cognitively processing the meaning of it, that Angel seeks atonement and Spike seeks redemption and that those are not the same thing. No more than a goat is a sheep, although both have been sacrificed, been saved. Or a fig is an apple, although both have been figured as the fruit of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.

And as Cain wails, why isn't mine good enough, I have to wonder, where is Eve?

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Redemption for the dead (spoilers) -- Ponygirl, 20:30:01 10/09/03 Thu

I think, to a very great extent, heaven and hell are not only ME metaphors, but they are also literally reflective of the characters' state of mind within the Jossverse. Spike feels that hell is opening up beneath him because he still thinks that's where he belongs.

This is what I'm thinking - because how do you reconcile the idea of damnation in a universe that values free will so highly? Could heaven or hell be something one chooses, however unconsciously? It's the Sandman answer where the residents of Hell discover that they get what they believe they deserve. Spike seems to mention that word a lot - what Buffy deserves, what he deserves - with great certainty, while Angel so fliply discusses mercy. Could they both, to paraphrase another review, be talking out of their asses? Spike all snark and bluster, but really not that fine with the soul; Angel, dispenser of so-called mercy really looking for some for himself?

[> [> [> [> What Wesley said.......spoilers 5.2 -- Rufus, 17:55:15 10/09/03 Thu

Remember Spike died a mystical death which was initiated by the amulet and that amulet is what trapped Spikes combined essence. Wesley said.......

Whatever he is, it's clearly tied to this amulet. Spikes essence -for lack of a better word, must have been held within it.

Going back to Darla's situation and Spikes mother in Lies. When the vampire is killed by the usual (staking) means it appears that they lose the curse of the vampire and become what they once were. So, this death of Spikes is different, it's a mystical death that tied the vampire to the human in a limbo of sorts. Who can tell for sure exactly what Spike thought his ultimate end was going to be. If it's a toasty, flamey one then Angel better take note because nothing either vampire ever does will change the hell they will end up in. That leaves one option for a heaven dimension being the essence of the person (personality, memories, soul) rejoin upon the death of the vampire and just may not end up in a hell. Partial proof of this is the fact that they could only bring Darla back as a human, the vampire infection wasn't along for the ride from where she had been.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: What Wesley said.......spoilers 5.2 -- vmh, 18:19:53 10/09/03 Thu

"If it's a toasty, flamey one then Angel better take note because nothing either vampire ever does will change the hell they will end up in."

That is what I was thinking after this episode with Wesley's comments about the spirit of the "essence". How much of his essence/soul is predetermined and how much of Spike's actions and intentions will have any bearing on his final destination - hell or otherwise?

But I also keep thinking back to Angel popping back into this reality after Buffy killed him. That destination/location doesn't seem to want souled vampires.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Oops -wrong name -- Ann said while shifting between message boards, 18:21:12 10/09/03 Thu

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: What Wesley said.......spoilers 5.2 -- Rufus, 19:13:44 10/09/03 Thu

I think it's safe to say that what Buffy did at the end of season two wasn't killing Angel (one knife to the heart, being metal won't do it). Buffy sent Angel to a hell dimension. Also, Spike isn't a ghost in the terms that is known to the gang.....what Fred said.....

Fred: Wierd, I'm getting electromagnetic readings consistant with spiritual entities, but there's no ectoplasmic matrix.

Gunn: Meaning?

Fred: Ectoplasm's what makes ghosts visible to the human eye. If he's a ghost - technically we shouldn't be able to see him....and I'm detecting brainwave activity.

Angel: On Spike -huh- that is wierd.

Fred: Also ghosts generally absorb light and heat energy making the area around them a few degrees cooler. Spikes radiating heat.

Spike: Think I'm hot do you?

Fred: Mmmmmm lukewarm...just about room temperature.

So whatever Spike is, it isn't a ghost, but something that resembles a ghost.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Spike is a figment... -- Corwin of Amber, 21:54:41 10/09/03 Thu

of Angel's imagination. :)

At the time he did it, I thought Angel's rearranging of everyone's situation at the end of last season was very sweet...after all, he gave his son the good family he deserved. But after thinking about it more...Angel did a very evil thing, the very thing he fought against last season, he took away people's free will by overwriting their memories with a sanitized version of reality. At some point this season, Wesley, at the very least, will begin wondering about the scar on his neck that he can't remember getting, and he's gonna start obsessing on it, and at that point, the jig is up. And if he doesn't the show has truly changed.

Oh...Spike. Spike is Angel tormenting himself about his actions at the end of last season. :)

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Spike is a figment... -- Corwin of Amber, 21:56:23 10/09/03 Thu

of Angel's imagination. :)

At the time he did it, I thought Angel's rearranging of everyone's situation at the end of last season was very sweet...after all, he gave his son the good family he deserved. But after thinking about it more...Angel did a very evil thing, the very thing he fought against last season, he took away people's free will by overwriting their memories with a sanitized version of reality. At some point this season, Wesley, at the very least, will begin wondering about the scar on his neck that he can't remember getting, and he's gonna start obsessing on it, and at that point, the jig is up. And if he doesn't the show has truly changed.

Oh...Spike. Spike is Angel tormenting himself about his actions at the end of last season. :)

Apologies if this gets posted twice, voy is acting weird.

[> [> [> [> [> More assumptions -- Diana, 06:20:53 10/10/03 Fri

Where do you get that they could *only* bring Darla back as human? If they brought her back as a vampire, how would that have driven Angel to the dark? The Trials would have been pretty lame then. Can't really revamp a vampire.

There have been lots and lots of dustings on the shows. The vast majority don't reassume their human visages. Until Joss comes out and says, either in an interview or through the show, what happens when a vampire is dusted, I don't see enough support for a "curse of the vampire" theory. Hopefully ME will actually explain some of the metaphysics of their universe.

Angel isn't fighting for his afterlife. As he told Jasmine, he is working on being human. Abraham's reward in on Earth and Jesus takes that promise to an afterlife. I would predict that Spike's redemption lies in learning the Beatitudes.

Also, it is canon that Buffy was in heaven. Even Skip says so. Buffy has done wrong things in her lifetime. If there is no forgiveness whatsoever, then Buffy should have gone elsewhere. This very dark view that some are having, where there is no forgiveness just doesn't sit with me. The show has tended to ping pong between hope and desire for hope. I expect this to continue. We still don't know why Spike is back. If he is given a second chance to not end up in the other place, that means there is another option.

Have to tune in to see.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Mephistopheles -- skeeve, 09:25:41 10/10/03 Fri

Buffy might have been in a heaven.
She might not have been in a heaven.

The evidence for Buffy in heaven is only Buffy own memory.
Skip's staement isn't informative. Given subsequent revelations, it seems that what he would say was independent of what was true.

Buffy's memory might be wrong.
Suppose Buffy were being dragged out of a hell over the objection of whomever wanted her there. What better way to make her new life a living hell than by giving her a memory of heaven.

Even if Buffy's memory is correct, 'tisn't obvious that she was describing heaven.
She "knew" good things about her friends that were cheering, but clearly untrue for pretty much any definition of "okay".
According to Buffy, "time had no meaning." In other words, nothing would happen to her. Ever.
It reminds me of a conversation between the Doctor and a Guardian.
The Doctor: You want me to volunteer, is that it? And if I don't?
White Guardian: Nothing.
The Doctor: You mean nothing'll happen to me?
White Guardian: Nothing. Ever.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: More assumptions -- Rufus, 21:10:35 10/10/03 Fri

I don't see enough support for a "curse of the vampire" theory.

One definition of "curse" is To bring evil upon; afflict. From season one Buffy "The Harvest"

Giles: The books tell the last demon to leave this reality fed off a human, mixed their blood. He was a human form possessed, infected by the demon's soul. He bit another, and another, and so they walk the Earth, feeding... Killing some, mixing their blood with others to make more of their kind. Waiting for the animals to die out, and the old ones to return.

If that ain't a curse, then I don't know what is.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> No... -- KdS, 03:19:33 10/11/03 Sat

The "human form possessed" line does not, to my impression, include any logical implication that the original, moral human personality is somehow trapped and suffering inside the vampire, or any implication that the human personality is returned in the instant of death. Those are implied in certain other vampire mythologies (eg Stoker's original Dracula) but, as Diana said, we've seen many, many vampire dustings and only in the case of Spike's mother have we seen any implication of a human soul released to peace. (I might suggest that this was stacking the decks to enable Spike to come to a "revelation" incompatible with virtually everything implied about vampire psychology and identity since the end of S2, but my loathing for LMPTM is probably still strong enough to bias me.)

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: No... -- Rufus, 04:34:26 10/11/03 Sat

From Buffy s2 What's my line pt2:

Cut to Drusilla's room. She is kneeling between Angel's spread-apart
legs and holds the little pitcher of holy water above him.

Drusilla: Say 'Uncle'. (lowers the pitcher) Oh, that's right, you killed my uncle.

From Dear Boy......

Darla rolls them over so she's now on top.

Darla: "So are we going to kill her during, or after?"
Angelus sits up, startling her: "Neither. We turn her into one of us. - Killing is so merciful at the end, isn't it? The pain has ended."

Darla: "But to make her one of us? She's a lunatic."

Angelus: "Eternal torment. (Grabs a hold of Darla's arms and rolls them so he is back on top with her under him on the floor) Am I learning?"

Angelus starts to kiss Darla while Dru first laughs then cries.

Drusilla may have transfered her feelings for family onto Angel but she never for a moment forgets that he took her original one away. Eternal torment.

We have seen many dustings but never one as personal as Spike putting the stake to his mother. That act had an emotional meaning beyond the typical dusting we have seen.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Alternatives -- KdS, 06:10:30 10/11/03 Sat

The Dru/Angel scenes in WML can be explained as Dru taking advantage of Angel's guilt to torture him (and according to Rob's annotations there was a cut line that made that far more explicit). Angelus's "eternal torment" line strikes me as a) referring solely to Dru's insanity rather than anything else and b) dead wrong.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Alternatives -- Malandanza, 08:06:40 10/11/03 Sat

There's also Angel's odd behavior after Darla was vamped -- he rushes back to AI gathering up weapons to "save" Darla. Wesley wonders out loud how he can save her since she's already dead and ready to rise, yet Angel continues to insist that staking her before she rises is somehow salvation.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> That backs up Rufus' curse theory. -- CW, 09:41:01 10/11/03 Sat

If it's a curse then ending it now (before Dru starts killing again)is salvation.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Alternatives -- Rufus, 13:06:29 10/11/03 Sat

If the vampire is a totally seperate entity then the insanity shouldn't matter because the person who once was would be gone, but they aren't, they become a perversion of what they were, twisted by evil. Curses aren't just something spoken at a person like that very specific curse of the gypsy, it can be in the form of an evil that has befallen them, like being bitten by a vampire. Once bitten the person becomes cursed by vampirism.

From Websters dictionary.....

curse: 1: a prayer or invocation for harm or injury to come upon one : IMPRECATION (aka: a curse) 2:something that is cursed or accursed 3: evil or misfortune that comes as if in repsonse to imprecation or as retribution(now the last demon leaving the earth reality deliberately fed off a human, a retribution of a sort).

Whedon is a guy who has been influenced by books such as Regeneration through Violence, which in a way could describe the conflict between the pushed out of this reality demons and humans, it is never game over the demons want back and want what once was theirs back. Vampires are a result of that last bite, that act that caused a hybrid demon which is supposed to wait for the old ones to return. The evil they have become is a curse to humanity....it's a curse.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Hmmm -- KdS, 15:05:25 10/11/03 Sat

That's backpedelling considerably from what you wrote in your post to Diana that started this whole thing off:

When the vampire is killed by the usual (staking) means it appears that they lose the curse of the vampire and become what they once were.

which Diana and I understood to mean a Stoker style scenario where the human spirit is somehow retained captive in the body of the vampire and released on death. Sorry if I seem to push this issue too far, but it seems to me that such a vampire model overrates the characters' guilt for the various occasions where "mercy" has been shown to unsouled vamps (Harmony in Disharmony, Spike in Becoming and passim in S4-5, Dru in Becoming and possibly Crush). Moreover, it causes problems for the souled vamps - have Angel and Spike simply had their surviving personalities somehow reintegrated into their souled personalities, or is the human personality still trapped spomewhere under the souled vamp persona begging for peace?

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> No, you took it to mean...... -- Rufus, 16:05:58 10/11/03 Sat

Part of who once was is there in the vampire, the form, memories, and personality....the only thing gone is the soul and mortality. This is nothing new from what I've said for a very long time. Vampirism is a form of a curse, not one like the gypsy spoke out loud (which is a form of a spell)but evil that is unleashed on humanity by the departing demons. I haven't backpedalled at all.

Moreover, it causes problems for the souled vamps - have Angel and Spike simply had their surviving personalities somehow reintegrated into their souled personalities, or is the human personality still trapped spomewhere under the souled vamp persona begging for peace?

The personality is a constant, the soul is what makes the difference. Both vampires still have the same old hang ups they did when mortal. The loss of the soul and the infection of the vampire cause a predisposition for evil. The analogy of alcoholism does fit. People who are drunk can do a Jekyll and Hyde (the earliest use of the alcoholic analogy), and vampires get stuck in the Hyde character, they act out in the worst way possible for their existing memories and personality. If the vampire is made human they go back to Jekyll, and sometimes Jekyll isn't much better than Hyde (think Kralic).

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Yummy metaphysics (mild spoiler 5.02) -- Diana, 16:37:23 10/11/03 Sat

Infection, to me, means just that an infection. If Giles meant curse, he would have said curse. Vamping someone seems to be more of a biological process than a mystical one. The death of the human, even though done by a demon, is completely natural. Blood loss leads to death, simple fact of our biology. Doesn't matter what the cause of that blood loss is, this is a natural death. This death results in the leaving of the human soul. Again this is completely natural. Reanimated zombies don't have a soul. The human has to be very near death for the infection to take hold and has to die for the disease to fully manifest itself. Buffy drank in "Buffy v. Dracula" and wasn't turned. Also, when Angel was regenerated in IWRY, the infection was cured. Life itself makes us resistant to this infection.

The infection is caused by the drinking from the vampire, in essence having our own blood given back to us contaminated by the vampire. This infection allows the demon, just like a virus, to inhabit us. This infection gives the dead human certain characteristics. It reanimates him. It gives him preternatural strength and reflexes. These can be seen as side-effects of the infection. The infection is fed by blood, so with the infection comes bloodlust.

With the death of the human being, the soul, what Joss refers to as our guiding star and others have called the moral compass, is gone. The infection replaces this with an anti-soul of sorts. Instead of being oriented towards good, the vampire is oriented towards evil. All of this comes from the infection caused by the siring vampire. It is a reaction to the biological presence of the vampire tainted blood in the corpse of the human.

It is all still one creature. The human being isn't somewhere underneath all of this, cursed by the siring vampire. No matter what the form, human, vampire, souled or unsouled, it is still the same creature, just in different forms. Perhaps season 1-2 of BtVS so that teen Buffy could kill vampires with impunity, they were just demons walking around in human bodies, like the Necromancer was making in "Just Rewards." Episodes like "The Dark Ages" and "Lie to Me" support this. As the character of Angel was explored more, this was slowly undone. What we saw seasons 1-2 were the misperceptions of the Watcher Council. If given the choice between what Giles says seasons 1-2 and what Angel says, I'm going to go with what Angel says.

In IWRY, a curse wasn't lifted. Instead the infection was cured by his life being regenerated. Who Angel was didn't change much, other than physically. There was no human underneath who he was. He is who he is. Human, vampire, souled or unsouled. What changes him is the orientation of his guiding star with the addition or loss of his soul AND most importantly what his experiences are.

Vampirism isn't a curse, so much as an incurable disease that has some pretty significant side-effects. The only thing we have seen that can cure it is life itself. When Wolfram and Hart brings Darla back to life, the disease is cured. When Angel is regenerated, the disease is cured.

Metaphysics are fun.

Just how I see it.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Yummy metaphysics (mild spoiler 5.02) -- Rufus, 18:10:14 10/11/03 Sat

I didn't use the word "infected" off the top of my head it's clearly in the transcript for Buffy s1 The Harvest written by Joss Whedon....

Giles: This world is older than any of you know. Contrary to popular mythology, it did not begin as a paradise. For untold eons demons walked the Earth. They made it their home, their... their Hell. But in time they lost their purchase on this reality. The way was made for mortal animals, for, for man. All that remains of the old ones are vestiges, certain magicks, certain creatures...

Giles: The books tell the last demon to leave this reality fed off a human, mixed their blood. He was a human form possessed, infected by the demon's soul. He bit another, and another, and so they walk the Earth, feeding... Killing some, mixing their blood with others to make more of their kind. Waiting for the animals to die out, and the old ones to return.

Whedon uses a few terms to describe what a vampire is namely infected, possessed....but Angel says that Darla damned him which can be described as a curse. I'm not talking about a curse as one spoken as a spell but the evil result of an action started by a demon against humanity. Put it this way, perhaps a more primative person would look upon the creation of a vampire as a curse, where a more modern person could see it as and infection.....Joss covered off both ends.

From The Harvest....

Giles: You listen to me! Jesse is dead! You have to remember that when you see him, you're not looking at your friend. You're looking at the thing that killed him.

I think that Giles is only partially right here.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Yummy metaphysics (mild spoiler 5.02) -- Diana, 20:00:15 10/11/03 Sat

I used the word infection for the same reason, but as I said, until season 3 of BtVS, a vampire pretty much was a demon walking around in a human body.

Diseases were once seen as "curses." Certain female biological functions are still viewed to be curses, which may be why I reacted strongly against your use of the word. The Buffyverse is fun because things that seem to be biological, such as mental illness, can be the result of curses.

In light of this, I think especially on a board such as this, we need to make some sort of distinction between curses and biological infections. Is the "aspect of the demon" that Buffy faced in "Earshot" a curse? Was the "curse" lifted from Angel in IWRY and if so how?

I'm a more modern person, so I'm going to see it as a biological infection, and infection that can only be cured by life. I think that Giles and the Watcher's Council is often trapped in a more primative mindset and haven't evolved very far from the Shadowmen they descended from.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Yummy metaphysics (mild spoiler 5.02) -- Rufus, 20:49:38 10/11/03 Sat

In light of this, I think especially on a board such as this, we need to make some sort of distinction between curses and biological infections. Is the "aspect of the demon" that Buffy faced in "Earshot" a curse? Was the "curse" lifted from Angel in IWRY and if so how?

I don't think we do have to make a rigid distinction when curse and infection and possession can all mean the same or similar things. The results no matter what you call it is a vampire in the Buffyverse. A vampire is the physical form, personality, and memories of who once was.....and what else is a person?

From s4 Angel "Inside Out"

The Powers have sent me to give you a message.

You can't be my mother.

(softly) I have her memories, her feelings. Isn't that what makes a person who they are?

(weeping in the corner) Let me go, please... (softly sobbing)

(walks toward the virgin girl) I know that sound, the look in her eyes, the smell of fear. (kneels beside the girl) I've nurtured it a thousand times (looks at Connor) in all the people that I've murdered.

My mother's dead. (the girl looks up at Connor)

(stands) And I'll always be a part of you. You shared your soul with me once when you were growing inside of me when I'd lost my own. You brought light to my shadow, filled my heart with joy and love. I'd never felt so close to any living thing as I did to my beautiful boy.

Why'd you leave me? (scoffs) Did you hate me that much?

Baby, no. I wanted to be with you more than anything.

You killed yourself. I wasn't even born yet. And you-

-did what I had to. My life for yours. I did so many terrible things, Connor, so much destruction, so much pain. You were the one good thing I ever did. The only good thing. I'd die every day for the rest of eternity for you. And this... (gestures to the virgin girl) is how you repay me?

(walks away) You don't understand. (turns toward Darla) 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 think it's safe to say that Darla is no longer a vampire in that episode, she isn't alive either, but her memories be they moral, vampire, mortal again, to spirit stay constant. It was the infection of Connors soul that allowed Darla to make a choice she could never have without a soul. And once Connor was born she would no longer have one. She was left one choice him or her. That soul she "shared" allowed her to make a choice she couldn't have considered before her pregnancy.

To look upon vampirism or the aspect of the demon that Buffy got in Earshot as a simple infection you can see why it can all get so confusing. In the Buffyverse infections, possessions, curses can all mean the same thing and the way to deal with them may differ but the result is the same, the person is resored to their original mortal condition. We know that the blood of the Mohra demon will make Angel human, but as there are many ways to curse, infect, or possess someone there can be just as many ways to restore them to what they once were, up to and including intervention from the PTB's.

Buffy after Chosen (Spoilers for Angel 5.02) -- Ames, 10:45:37 10/09/03 Thu

How did Buffy get to Europe in less than 19 days after the end of Chosen? She's never been overseas before, so she wouldn't have a passport, nor would Dawn. All her records were unexpectedly destroyed in Sunnydale, and she doesn't carry anything with her in action (e.g. see Tabula Rasa, no ID on her or Dawn). She now has no fixed address. She'd be lucky to get a replacement driver's license in less than a month.

Maybe Willow had to whip up some fake ID, or magically recover some from Sunnydale. Hmmm, maybe she recovered the amulet while she was at it - could that be Willow's writing on the envelope?

Wasn't Buffy's dad in Europe last we heard? Maybe she plans to visit him.


[> Re: Buffy after Chosen (Spoilers for Angel 5.02) -- shambleau, 10:56:44 10/09/03 Thu

Buffy's dad was in Europe for Joyce's funeral. He was back in Bargaining 1.

The magical thing seems perfectly plausible to me, if we have to come up with a reason.

I figure she's there contacting other Potentials, as per Chosen. If not, just on holiday for the first time since the end of season 2. Hope she's having fun. She deserves it.

[> [> Re: Buffy after Chosen (Spoilers for Angel 5.02) -- Claudia, 11:04:02 10/09/03 Thu

All of Buffy's records are in Sunnydale?

[> Re: Buffy after Chosen (Spoilers for Angel 5.02) -- CW, 11:05:29 10/09/03 Thu

I think her dad is the key, oops, the important factor. It's very possible after she came back from the grave, her dad suggested she and Dawn visit him in Spain if they could get the money somehow. Then there is no reason they couldn't have gotten passports even if the trip was mostly wishful thinking. One wonders why dad couldn't come back to the States or send his daughters any money. Have to presume his secretary wasn't the only thing he took from his old job. ;o)

So where is the money coming from now? When Giles was hopping around the world looking for Potentials, money seemed no object. He may have gotten access to the Watchers Counsil's accounts, in which case, Buffy is (a) with Giles seeking out european slayers to organize them, (b) with Dawn catching up with her father, (C) with Faith living it up on the Riviera.

[> [> (C) with Faith living it up on the Riviera. -- cjl, 11:54:04 10/09/03 Thu

Ooh...I like that one.

[Scene: poolside. Buffy and Faith, stretched out on adjoining deck chairs, enhancing their already gorgeous tans. Buffy lifts a perfectly toned arm and motions for a passing waiter.]

BUFFY: Artaud? S'il vous plait?
ARTAUD: Oui, mademoiselle Summers?
BUFFY: I'd looooooove another one of those yummy pina coladas.
ARTAUD: Bien. Et vous, mademoiselle Faith?
FAITH: I'm cool.

[Buffy and Faith sit up a bit, watch Artaud walk back toward the bar. They resume their tanning positions.]

FAITH: Oh yeah, that's the stuff.
BUFFY: Faith, could you pass me some of the chocolate?
FAITH: Which one, B?
BUFFY: Dark chocolate.
FAITH: My favorite.

[As if on cue--]

ROBIN: Honey?

[Yep, Wood's here, too. He's standing next to Faith's deck chair, dressed in a white shorts/white T-shirt/white cap ensemble that shouldn't work, but does.]

FAITH: Hey babe.
ROBIN: Don't want to interrupt, ladies, but I think it's time we got going.
BUFFY: Robin, we don't have to be in Brussels for another three days. Relax.
ROBIN: Giles sounded like he was a little overwhelmed by the situation.
BUFFY: Giles always sounds like he's overwhelmed by the situation. I think he can handle a few Watchers Council leftovers without us.
ROBIN: OK, ladies. Your schedule. Don't want to interrupt the serious business around here.
FAITH (smiling): Was that a crack?
ROBIN: I'm sure you're looking out for the fate of civilization when you're not checking out the buns on your little French cabana boy.

[FAITH playfully grabs ROBIN by the belt of his white shorts and sends him sprialling into the pool.]

BUFFY: Aw, he's jealous. I think it's cute.
FAITH: Yeah, I guess. But the whole committed relationship thing? Hard work. How do you do it, B?
BUFFY: You're asking the wrong girl. Sigh. Sad thoughts. No, wait! Here comes Artaud. Happy thoughts.
FAITH: More chocolate?
BUFFY: You'd better believe it.

[> [> [> No, no, as I suggested last night... -- Random, 12:10:47 10/09/03 Thu

Buffy actually went to Amsterdam to find out once and for all what the deal was with the boy, his finger and a duck.

[> [> [> [> ROTFLMAO!!!! -- Sheri, 12:14:30 10/09/03 Thu

[> Kendra found a way to get to Sunnydale from Africa or wherever she was. -- Mackenzie, 11:14:09 10/09/03 Thu

It may not have been legal, remember she was with "ripper"

[> [> Kendra Came From Jamaica (NT) -- Claudia, 11:15:50 10/09/03 Thu

[> [> [> Oh yes, that accent always made me wonder, don't know why I thought Africa -- Mackenzie, 11:20:50 10/09/03 Thu

[> [> [> [> i don't think it was ever specified where she came from... -- anom, 13:34:59 10/09/03 Thu

...but her accent sounds West Indian. You might have thought she was Jamaican based on her Watcher's name, Sam Zabuto--it sounds like it comes from an African language, whereas most West Indian last names come from the language of the colonizing country. But Zabuto could have been sent from somewhere in Africa to train Kendra, just as Giles was sent from England to train Buffy.

As for passports & other documents, maybe it's a lot simpler. Buffy, the Scoobies, & the new Slayers are in Cleveland, & Angel lied to Spike. Why would he want Spike to know where Buffy really is? Besides, it would be fun to send him on a wild goose chase...except it turns out he can't go.

Oh, and Kendra didn't need a passport to go to the U.S. because she stowed away. How she went back is another question....

[> [> [> [> [> They never really said on the show -- Vickie, 17:43:23 10/09/03 Thu

Though the commentary (Marti?) on the DVD indicated that her dialect coach had her coming from a specific township some 26 miles outside of Kingstown.

I still think she comes from the island of Rustafarian Leprechauns, though.

[> [> [> Re: Kendra Came From Jamaica (NT) -- CW, 13:10:58 10/09/03 Thu

Yes, her accent sounded like she lived somewhere between Kingston and Tipperary! Maybe Mr. Zabuto (her watcher) was Irish. ;o)

I think she was actual supposed to be from Africa, but Jamaican-Irish was the best accent Bianca Lawson could manage.

[> The non-magic way... -- Sheri, 11:29:58 10/09/03 Thu

In regards to a obtaining a passport, Sunnydale being destroyed really isn't a factor because the applicable records would be in Buffy's place of birth... i.e. Los Angeles. And it wouldn't be a plot hole that Buffy didn't see Angel after the Hellmouth was destroyed because you can obtain things from the County Registrar's office via mail. We know that Willow already has a passport--she seemed way too magicked out at the end of Season 6 to have gone to England on something other than an airplane. But since Angel only mentioned Buffy, it's also probable that Willow and Xander (the two who are likely to have lost all their records) decided to go to Cleveland. Or heck, Hawaii... they deserve it.

It is entirely possible to receive a passport on short notice, a quick google search found a company that could get you your passport in 1-2 business days for around $300. A bit pricey, but if Giles was able to access the CoW's bank accounts, it probably wouldn't be prohibitive. As far as a fixed address... she probably could have given the address to W&H.

[> Buffy Has a passport -- Rook, 13:19:15 10/09/03 Thu

Buffy has a passport already, for whatever reason. Faith takes it from the drawer ( You can see the cover quite clearly) in Buffy's room in Who Are You?

[> [> OOOOOO, great memory! -- mackenzie, 13:55:43 10/09/03 Thu

[> [> Re: Buffy HAD a passport -- Ames, 15:32:32 10/09/03 Thu

Now buried somewhere in the Sunnydale pit.

[> [> [> It's still pretty easy to get a new one printed -- Sheri, 15:40:27 10/09/03 Thu

[> [> [> [> Re: It's still pretty easy to get a new one printed -- skeeve, 08:25:49 10/10/03 Fri

Presumably said passport had her LA address in it.
Otherwise there might be some delay while the feds decide whether the sole survivors of a town that isn't there anymore should be allowed out of the country.

[> [> [> Re: Buffy HAD a passport -- skeeve, 12:44:42 10/10/03 Fri

Giles: You're sure Willow can handle the spell?
Buffy: Willow's sure.
Giles: In that case, there is one more thing.
Buffy (suspiciously): What?
Giles: If the spell works, there'll be thousands of Slayers all over the world.
Buffy (still suspicious): That's the idea.
Giles: You know the Watchers Council is mostly dead.
Buffy: Yes.
Giles: Most of the new Slayers will be ignorant. They'll need someone and they're all over the world.
Buffy: Meaning I should keep my passport handy.
Giles: If you have one, that would be best. I'm not as good at pulling strings as the Council was.

[> I wonder.... -- valkyrie, 17:00:08 10/09/03 Thu

Somehow I'm not sure Angel was telling the truth. I thought he sort of hesitated when he said "She's in Europe." Just a thought.

[> One other possibility -- Robert, 22:36:11 10/09/03 Thu

>>> How did Buffy get to Europe in less than 19 days after the end of Chosen?

Maybe Angel was lying. Consider who was asking. Angel was not at all happy about Buffy's dalliance with Spike and if Buffy was nearby, I feel sure he was more than capable of lying to Spike.

What I found considerably more interesting was that Mutant Enemy was allowed to include an excerpt from BtVS in AtS, given that BtVS was on UPN. I think it was mighty good of UPN to allow it.

[> [> WB is now showing syndicated reruns of Buffy -- Finn Mac Cool, 04:49:51 10/10/03 Fri

So it wouldn't be a problem.

[> [> [> Re: WB is now showing syndicated reruns of Buffy -- Dor, 18:02:07 10/11/03 Sat

I'll correct that: some WB stations are showing syndicated reruns of Buffy.

The local station (WTTV Indianapolis) was horribly cruel -- its Saturday night showing of Buffy was recently replaced with more of those damned reality dating shows. Just in time for me to miss seeing OMWF again.

[> Just watched 'Who Are You?'...and Buffy DOES have a passport... -- Nino, 12:27:19 10/10/03 Fri

I'm sure she wouldn't have had it with her after "Chosen"...but she did in fact have one, Faith had it when she was gonna leave the country as Buffy.

[> [> And I now see that someone has already posted this info, sorry im slow :) -- Nino, 12:28:44 10/10/03 Fri

The Greatest (Vampire) Love Of All -- shambleau, 16:06:14 10/09/03 Thu

And one that's shamefully never been discussed on this board. Forget Spike and Dru. Forget those losers on AtS who hung around with Angel and Darla for a few years. Forget Darla and Angel.

They whisper his name...

In the cantinas of Juarez.

In the trailer parks of Lubbock.

At Hank Williams Jr. concerts.


They whisper her name...

At neck trauma crime scenes, where it's scrawled in blood.

In the alleys behind San Antonio nail salons, where it's written on walls.

At Last Chance gas stations on West Texas backroads, where dying old gas station codgers gasp it out. "Who the hell's..."


The only vampire couple to get MARRIED. And in a church wedding. That's not well known because The Holy Apostolic Church of the Redeemer lost all ten of its congregants that day.

Still, for vampires to commit beyond the usual romantic "I'll be with you forever" crap and to do it in the house of their sworn enemies? This shows a level of devotion that has never been matched and never will be.

So, here's to Mr. and Mrs. Gorch.

Shed a tear for lonely Lyle and his tortured - yes, I'm going to say it - soul.

Somewhere in Texas tonight, a vampire backs off from a fight with a new slayer, heads to the nearest dive and sinks his teeth into a Lone Star and a barmaid. And thinks of what might have been.

I'm going to play some Patsy now. The music of pain.

My review of 'Just Rewards' (spoilers for 5.2) -- The Cheerleadery One, 16:28:31 10/09/03 Thu

So, going right into the review you know, right off the bat, before I say a word, that it's going to be a positive one. Cheerleader here! But there's a sort of comfort in that knowledge in that, isn't there? With so little to be sure of in the world, you can (just about) always count on me to bring in the positivity.

Yes, I loved "Just Rewards." It reaffirmed for me that I was right to be so darn excited about all the changes on the show: the move to W&H, the additions of Spike and Eve at the forefront. Less happy about the lack of Cordelia...I'm still not used to it, although one could say that her coma was a nice transitional way for us to be weaned off the notion of Cordy as a central character. Instead of her dying suddenly and shockingly, like Doyle, she was allowed to fade away. Still rooting for a Charisma return to tie up her story line, but...where was I?

Oh, yes. The episode. From the very first second of the episode, I was completely sold. Loved the black background, followed by the three title cards, with the impeccably pristine font. It gave it the epic sweep, grandeur, and "oomph" it needed. The flashback itself was a perfect way to show exactly what it was like for Spike to be one moment burning up inside (literally), committing what he thought to be a pure, complete sacrifice, and to find himself less than an instant later in a modern, almost blindingly white office, full of sunlight, strangers, and, oh yeah, two old "friends" who he wouldn't have been upset about never running into again.

The first time I watched the episode, I will admit, I had misgivings, especially when Spike first "betrays" Angel. And even more so when he "betrayed" him again. It seemed so completely out of character. I also didn't completely get why he still hated Angel so much, enough to double-cross him like this. And then Spike said something that put it all in perspective. When he was explaining to Angel his reasons for stealing his body, he says:

"And then, yours very truly will be running the show. Your cars, your fancy digs, everything...everyone I deserve will be mine."

And that instantly brought me back to something James Marsters said at DragonCon:

"Spike hates Angel because he knows that Buffy was really in love with him, not Spike...and Angel really hates Spike because he's been there most recently!"

That's when I remembered (which I already knew, but still it hadn't clicked) that in Spike's mind it's been less than a day since he last saw Buffy...And what was their last exchange?

Buffy: "I love you."
Spike: "No, you don't."

I had been blinded by thoughts that Spike was just jealous of Angel's new wealth, but when he moves from saying he deserves "everything" Angel has to "everyone," it's clear that he's talking about Buffy! Spike doesn't think Buffy is in love with him, but if Spike were in Angel's body, Buffy would finally would. And then his motivation for betraying Angel made perfect sense to me.

And that's what was so brilliant about this episode to me, even more so than the episode this most closely resembles, season 3's Enemies, when Angel pretended to be lose his soul again, and Buffy and he entrap Faith into revealing her turn to the dark side...Spike's "betrayal" of Angel makes sense, even though it turns out to all have been part of the plan. But I believed for that short amount of time that this was real, and that it was in character. No, I wouldn't have believed it if it was just to get Angel's money or wealth or power or just because he doesn't like him. Spike still has a soul, after all. But the temptation to have Buffy truly love him with all her heart, yes, that would be enough, I think, for Spike to ignore the misgivings his soul might have, at least for a short time.

All of these games were so great, because all of us were wondering about the workings/motivations of Spike. Would he be an ally or foe? His actions in this episode played into our deepest fears of what the writers would do with Spike, and then revealed them to have been false. Spike would never ally himself with a dark necromancer! But then it was revealed that he would...and yet again, A ha! You need to have more faith in him!

And once again, it's all about Buffy. Remember, it's only been 2 or 3 days in Spike's mind since he caught Buffy killing Angel. His hatred and jealousy about this is still completely fresh in his mind. Although he was able to overlook it when he was with Buffy later that night, his "dying" words revealed he still believed himself to be Angel's inferior in Buffy's mind. And a moment after telling this to Buffy, he's face-to-face with Angel!

Needless to say, the episode is much more enjoyable the second time, when you know the truth about the double-crosses, because you don't spend as much time hating the writers make Spike go evil again, and can just focus on what I discovered the second time I watched, that every twist and turn was, IMO, completely believable based on the characters.

And wow, what a final scene! Although Angel's always excelled at the highly operatic moments of drama, it's rare that they have this kind of understated drama, where the cliffhanger at the end of the episode is a personal revelation rather than an earth-shattering one. This ending ranks right up with the best small dramatic moments on BtVS, such as Buffy's revelation to Spike at the end of After Life, and Spike's revelation to Buffy at the end of Beneath You.

And once more, even though we are getting an episode with a main story that is standalone by nature, the evil-client-of-the-week story perfectly complements the on-going story arcs, and further is important to the symbolism and character development of the series.

My only comments for improvement would be: we really need more Wes desperately. I am hoping he has a much larger part in the next episode. Beyond that? Um, a mention of at least trying to contact Buffy would be nice. Other than that, ME, keep up the great work!



[> umm,don't you mean 'kissing Buffy'? Freudian slip or what! LOL -- jane, 17:24:33 10/09/03 Thu

[> [> LOL! Actually I wrote 'killing Angel', not Buffy, but still funny! -- Rob, pretty sure he doesn't subconsciously want Angel dead, 17:51:39 10/09/03 Thu

[> [> [> You're right - I read it backwards! Still chuckle worthy.. -- jane, 21:37:36 10/09/03 Thu

[> You're preaching to the horse's mouth (spoilers for 5.2) -- Jay, 17:26:48 10/09/03 Thu

I thought the first half was brilliant, everything I love about crossover episodes. The second half, not so much.

I didn't like Spike just going off on an adventure with Angel, that felt forced. I just ended up remembering that Spike is not just replacing Cordelia in the show, but in the credits too. I may not be getting over that one anytime soon. I miss the twins!

I will say that I am duly impressed by JAR performance as a whole new Gunn. I wasn't so sure I'd buy it. I thought DB had some growing pains as an actor when he was first portraying Angelus back in Buffy Season 2. But this 180 by Gunn, I've bought it hook, line, and sinker.
I'll keep my more critical thoughts to myself for now, in hopes that they will be addressed in future episodes. I'm a nice guy like that.

[> Waving pom poms as well ... -- Dedalus, 17:56:38 10/09/03 Thu

And btw, I did send you an email Saturday, though I can't remember if I sent it to your old address or the one you were using for awhile ...


P.S. Definitely need more Wes.

P.S.S. And possibly a Kennedy crossover event

[> [> O/T: To Ded... -- Rob, 17:59:57 10/09/03 Thu

Yes, I did get your e-mail! Thanks!

And now, we've gone all turvy topsy, and I'm the one not responding to you right away! LOL! Sorry, it's been a busy week.

But yes, I did read it, and yes, I will respond...I swear! :)


P.S. Kennedy event.....Ooooooh, yeah. Speaking of which, when are you gonna figure out how to get your picture with Iyari on-line, so we can have that showdown? ;o)

[> [> [> Re: O/T: To Ded... -- Dedalus, 20:10:22 10/09/03 Thu

No, I am the king of taking forever to reply! I just didn't know if you had gotten it or not. I wanted to make sure my late reply wasn't any later than it was.

Anyway, loved the review!

P.S.S.S. As soon as I remember to send LB the negatives!

[> [> [> [> Post-postscript, Ded. NOT post-script-script -- d'Herblay, 21:29:55 10/09/03 Thu

Good to see you again!

[> Not quite that simple my dear boy (spoilers for 5.2) -- Diana, 05:53:29 10/10/03 Fri

Spike is good, never would double cross Angel, he plays on the good side now, yada yada. Waaaaay too black and white for the Buffyverse. The Spike I saw was a bit torn in his decision. Those sparklies that traveled through the Necromancer got awfully close to Angel and Spike took his sweet time in pulling his hand out of Angel. When Spike overhears the gang talking, you can just see what he is thinking.

When Spike said "Everyone" a chill went up my spine. I can see Spike, unsouled, doing that. Obsessions are taken very seriously on the show. If an obsession with Darla can turn Angel dark, what effect would Buffy-obsessed Spike be willing to do?

But if he did that, Buffy wouldn't love Spike. Spike doesn't want to be with Buffy. He wants her to love HIM, not him because she thinks he is Angel. When he goes to Angel's bedroom, he wants to no longer be helpless. He manages to help the one way he can.

Even that isn't as black and white, because he knows what he is straddling, the chasm to hell. He can't get his eternal rest. If that was an option, he'd take it. Spike is really left with a no-win situation and makes the best of it.

For once, Spike was actually gray. Not his actions, like over on BtVS, but his actual character. He was faced with moral dilemmas and he dilemmaed over them. At least that is the Spike I saw.

[> [> Re: Not quite that simple my dear boy (spoilers for 5.2) -- Rob, 11:55:25 10/10/03 Fri

When Spike said "Everyone" a chill went up my spine.

Me, too! At that moment, I actually completely believed that he had double-crossed Angel (and understood his reasoning), and that was pretty scary. It hadn't occurred to me as much, once I realized that Spike had been playing the necromancer this whole time, that he had been close to taking him up on his offer. But, you're right, there is a deadly urgency, longing, and anger in the "Everyone." Spike's not good enough an actor for that line to have come out like that if he didn't somewhere want to hurt him (Luckily for us, though, James Marsters is!). And since I did buy before that that Spike had betrayed Angel, the reason I could buy that had to come from the fact that it was possible. And this grayness will probably play itself out in his upcoming quest with Fred to become whole. Is it possible that Spike may have to face another question of morality in the process? (I promise, I'm completely unspoiled.)


[> Re: My review of 'Just Rewards' (spoilers for 5.2) -- skeeve, 09:34:57 10/10/03 Fri

Can you say plot hole?
Perhaps just unaccountable stupidity.

Angel should not have been surprised that his messenger came back in buckets.
The messenger presumably went because he was even more afraid of Angel than he was of the necromancer.
That doesn't explain why Angel sent him off to be killed.

The plan to defeat the necromancer should have failed.
To the necromancer, it should have been obvious.
Had he been unable to deal with it, he would have really been in the wrong business.
It's not like Spike was the first to get inside the necromancer.

[> [> Can't say I agree here at all. -- Rob, 11:33:29 10/10/03 Fri

Can you say plot hole?
Perhaps just unaccountable stupidity.

Angel should not have been surprised that his messenger came back in buckets.
The messenger presumably went because he was even more afraid of Angel than he was of the necromancer.
That doesn't explain why Angel sent him off to be killed.

Angel at the moment was very preoccupied, what with Spike and all, and I don't think either way that it would have necessarily occurred to him that the necromancer would have killed the messenger like he did.

The plan to defeat the necromancer should have failed.
To the necromancer, it should have been obvious.
Had he been unable to deal with it, he would have really been in the wrong business.
It's not like Spike was the first to get inside the necromancer.

Yes, but he was quite possibly the first to not want to leave the necromancer after entering him. Or actually, scratch that. He obviously was the first. I don't really see why it would occur to the necromancer that anyone would want to take his body, when they can have a fresh, young one he just had dug up. He's also full of hubris, which blinded him to the notion that he could ever be defeated. And the plan might have been obvious to the necromancer, except for the double-double cross. Spike seemed to follow all the plans to the letter and clearly, to the necromancer, hated Angel.


[> [> [> Maybe cause he didn't know (spoilers 5.02) -- Diana, 17:59:56 10/10/03 Fri

Angel only knew that Magnus wanted dead bodies, he didn't know why until AFTER the messenger was sent back and he requested Magnus' file. The messenger does bear some responsibility for not informing Angel why he was afraid to go see him, especially after he realized Angel didn't know what Magnus was. "One of our oldest clients" doesn't give Angel much to go on. Spike told him that he didn't have to go and he didn't. Angel was negligent, but I wouldn't say he was totally morally culpable for that man's death.

Then again, I can rationalize anything :-D

'Make them play your game' -- Ladyhelix, 19:05:05 10/09/03 Thu

End of Season #2 - Angel episode #40 (DEAD END). Just before Lindsey gets in his truck and drives out of LA...
Lindsey: "The key to Wolfram and Hart: don't let them make you play their game. - You gotta make them play yours."
Angel quietly: "Thanks. I'll keep that in mind."

It's the LAST THING Lindsey says to Angel. But he hasn't remembered.. or has he? What do you think? (Might be fun to have Lindsey visit this season!)


[> Good point! -- Scroll, 21:39:54 10/09/03 Thu

I definitely think some old W&H faces should pop up and give Angel a big smack in the butt little nudge in the right direction. I'd love it if Lindsey, Lilah, or Holland could show up again.

Angel's already lost control of the situation at W&H. He has the illusion of control, and that might be his downfall. He needs to remember that the Senior Partners have been at this game for millennia, and he's not going to win if he sticks to their rules. What happened to the lessons he learned last season about kicking over the game board and throwing out the rules? Hopefully things will become clear soon, especially regarding Gunn and the White Room cat, and Wesley and the Connor mind-wipe.

[> [> What's with Wes anyhow? -- TGIF! (Ladyhelix), 12:37:18 10/10/03 Fri

Yes indeed!

By the way, what's with WES this season? Did something happen to him at the end of S4 that I might have missed?

He seems so timid and lack-luster. Or maybe that's just how the mystical guy feels in the midst of scientists, lawyers, and flashy entertainment types when his boss is only into kicking a__.

[> [> [> I don't think he's timid... -- Scroll, 22:31:46 10/10/03 Fri

But with the mind-wipe, Wesley has defaulted back to early Season 3 Wesley. Possibly post-"Billy" but we don't know for sure. This Wesley is confident and takes command, is focused on the books but still has the ability to fight well. I think Season 3 Wesley is really the baseline of his personality, when he's happy and settled in his skin.

Since he has no memory of Connor, Holtz, Justine, the kidnapping, and the resulting rift between him and his friends, this Wesley doesn't have the same bitterness and darker edge. We also have no idea what memories Wesley has of Lilah. It could be that the mind-wipe incorporated his relationship with her, even without the kidnapping, etc. OTOH, it could be that Wesley has no idea he and Lilah were ever a couple. He may only know her as that Wolfram & Hart lawyer who always gave Angel such a hard time.

[> [> Spoilers for S5 in my posts above! Sorry! -- Scroll, 11:13:39 10/11/03 Sat

Angel vs Spike -- JBone, 19:58:51 10/09/03 Thu

I'm getting the brush off for captain peroxide.

This is a bit of a departure, but you are voting by email here. This is an attempt to curb any ballot box stuffing (and all the crap that comes with it) for any one character. And since these are two of the most flashpoint characters for fans, I, and others who have gently nudged me in this direction, believe that an email vote would work best for this matchup (and possibly others).

To make it easier on the poor SOB (me) who has to count the votes up, I'd like your vote to be in the heading of the email along with your posting name. No comments or email body. Please post your comments here or at the comment (guestbook) link at the voting site. For the lurkers whose name we won't recognize, but want to vote: You must leave a comment. Not a long one. Four or five lines is the most I'll have room for.

I really wish I didn't feel like I had to do this, but here we are. I'll try to keep you up to date on the voting, but at my work the voy address and web based email is websensed. Sometimes I can find a way around it, but that's not a given. This vote will be open for approximately 24 hours from the posting time of this post.

With all this said, I want the comments to be a hell of a lot better than that lame ass dialogue between Angel and Spike the other night. Hens do more damage with their pecking.


[> Angel outbroods Spike -- Random, 20:31:31 10/09/03 Thu

Oops. Didn't read the entire post, so sent my comments via e-mail. Sorry, Jay. Anyhoo, here they are...

It's finally time for the original Vampire-With-A-Soul to teach the newbie a few things about redemption. 1) It ain't gonna happen while you're bleaching your roots; 2) Leaving the bleach on too long does strange things to your thinking; and 3) Twenty-four years is w-a-a-a-y too long. Angel takes time out from watching the cookie baking to manhandle Spike (no, not like *that*, you perverted slashfic writers! I don't care *what* subtext Joss decided to put in the new season.) Dear Boy beats John-boy in a classic match of fists, fangs, and greasy hair. It degenerates into an oil-wrestling contest as their respective coiffures begin to leak under the pressure, and swells into...oh, damn! So much for discouraging the slashficcers. Anyway, Spike finally taps out when he realizes that he will almost certainly have to face Buffy in the Final Four if he wins...and she's kicked his ass so many times it now has roughly the same texture as a walnut.

~ Random

[> [> Results are up -- Jay, 16:09:20 10/12/03 Sun


[> [> [> Spike wins! And there was no bloodshed! (Well, not much, anyway....) -- cjl, 19:24:06 10/12/03 Sun

OK, the big contest is over, and the board survived the tumult. Spike wins.

"Bloody well right, I did."

Um, yes. Anyway, I have to compliment my fellow ATPers for actually pulling off an Angel vs. Spike competition in which the characters' various strengths and weaknesses were discussed with enthusiasm and love but without bashing and needless antagonism. We all have our individual favorites, but the love of Joss Whedon's vision unites us.

"What did he get, two votes? Must've been him and Percy."

Ahem. I also want to thank our two contestants, who--despite their long and checkered history--kept the snarkage down a bare minimum, and allowed the posters to get in the last word. I especially want to thank Spike for being such a gracious--

"Bet he's retreated to his little penthouse Batcave and has settled in for a nice, long brood."

I SAID...I want to thank Spike for being such a gracious--

"'Why? Why don't they love me? Don't they realize how much I'm suffering for my sins? Oh, the sacrifices I've made for these people! Every moment with my fleet of luxury cars, my 64" plasma TV, and my private helicopter and my army of bloody sycophants is unendurable agony.'"

Oh, never mind. Spike wins, OK?

"You said that already, nimrod. Never get tired of hearing it, tho."


[> The truth is... -- manwitch, 20:56:34 10/09/03 Thu

Angel is weak. And Spike is the tyranny of evil men. But he's been trying real hard, recently, to be the shephard.

Plus, Spike knows that by mussing up Angel's hair, he can throw Angel off his game. And Spike has been getting a lot more Buffy noursishment if you know what I mean.

And I just imagine Buffy to be really nourishing.

But honestly, Spike doesn't care about atonement. That's what I've always liked about him, and the reverse is what has always separated me from Angel, no matter how much I like him. I'm no angel basher. But Spike has no inhibitions in this matchup. Angel does.

Anyways, obviously angel should win. But I thought Spike should get a vote.

[> It's a little over one hour in, and,... -- Jay, 21:13:11 10/09/03 Thu

The next update won't be for about six hours. So, Spike leads Angel 5 to 4. Is there any tension yet?

[> [> Well, I'm feeling substantially less tense -- Masq, 22:49:00 10/09/03 Thu

Which is always a good thing for me, for the board, and for the world in general.

[> After a raging battle of fists, fangs, and snark, I declared the winner . . . -- Finn Mac Cool, 21:17:01 10/09/03 Thu

. . . by flipping a coin. Hey, these two have been through so many phases (evil, brooding, insane, evil-with-a-chip, ensouled, human, in-love, self-sacraficing, etc.) that, everytime Spike kicked Angel's ass, a different aspect of Angel's personality would step into the arena and kick Spike's ass, who is promptly replaced by a new aspect of his own personality. This went on until, due to the Orpheus drug, two versions of Angel's personality appeared at once. This created a paradox so severe that both characters were at risk of certain annhilation. The only way to stop a paradox is to remove logical constraints by summoning the spirit of the Random, and the best way to do that is by flipping a coin. I flipped it, and it chose Angel as the winner of the match. With this totally random decision, the paradox was repaired and Angel succeeded in winning my vote.

So, yeah, I couldn't make up my mine and flipped a coin.

[> Gold or Platinum? -- cjl, 21:17:48 10/09/03 Thu

The fact is, both guys are absolutely invaluable parts of Joss' little universe, and BtVS wouldn't have been a tenth of what it was (if, in fact, it would have survived at all) without Angel AND Spike. So, how to choose? Clearly, James Marsters is the better actor and Spike is a hell of a lot more fun than Broody Boy. But in the end, I think Angel is the better character, and David Boreanaz is just good enough to convey his crushing guilt for a century of murderous bloodshed--and the rage still lurking behind the now-compassionate facade. Spike is more entertaining, but compared to Angel's burdens, there are time when Blondie Bear feels...insubstantial. (A metaphor for Ghost!Spike this season?) Anyway, a vote for the first, no longer the only, but the original vampire with a soul.

[> [> Vehemently and Respectfully Disagree -- s'kat, 22:57:49 10/09/03 Thu

Reposting an essay I wrote on Angel and Spike, because I'm too edgy and beat to write something new. And it's almost two in the morning and I really shouldn't be posting in a bitchy mood. But it annoys me to no end that no one is supporting Spike. So I'm delurking for those poor souls who haven't spoken up. Ugh! Truth is I see Angel as more predictable and far less complex than Spike. Spike has been snarky/bravado Spike, clockwork orange Spike, Love's bitch Spike, evil Spike, Crazy Spike, Neitzche Spike, Demolished Man Spike, Geeky Spike, Big Bad Spike, Bad Poet Spike and now Ghost Spike. Angel has been: Angel and Angelus. The frat boy who is pissed he got a conscience. The boy who requires Daddy's love. And wants to be authority figure. That's it.

I never know what spike will do, he's the anarchist, the unrequited lover, the fool, he is my male other. If I became a vampire - I'd be a cross between Willow and Spike. And if it weren't for Spike, cjl - I promise you - that we would never have met. I would never have come online. I would not have written any essays. (Actually - that might be reason enough for some people to prefer Angel, tee hee ;-) ) I love Angel, but he's never captured me in the way that Spike has, in S2, I did go online b/c of Angel, found spoilers on him, but I'd seen his character before in more than one permutation - he didn't catch my head in the way Spike did. He didn't change my outlook in the same way. I guess preferences like these are hugely personal things - for every one of us. Who we prefer has more to do with what we are going through, who we are at this precise moment in time. I just finished discussing this with a friend on livejournal. She sees Spike the way I see Angel. Just as you, cjl, view Angel, the way I view Spike. To me, Angel is an interesting character, but if it weren't for Wes, Fred, Gunn, Lorne and now Spike? I would have lost interest long ago. Heck I did, I stopped watching Angel in S1 and S2 until they upped Wes's character and brought Darla, Holtz, Justine, Fred, Lorne and Connor in.

But enough of the personal crap...here's my views on the two. If you want to understand why I prefer Spike and why I see him as far more complex than the above posters and most of the ones currently posting on this board seem to allow - see my website - I've posted over 30 essays on that character alone - check out the Willow/Spike essays in particular.

ANGEL and SPIKE - Restraining the monster in ourselves

First a few interesting quotes from our favorite vamps :

Angel: When you become a vampire the demon takes your body, but it
doesn't get your soul. That's gone! No conscience, no remorse... It's an easy way to live.

SPIKE: Don't make it sound like something you'd flip past on the Discovery Channel. Becoming a vampire is a profound and powerful experience. I could feel this new strength coursing through me. Getting killed made me feel alive for the very first time. I was through living by society's rules. Decided to make a few of my own.

Now a few questions that have been bugging me:

1. What would you do if you were to become immortal? No more physical pain? No quilt? No fear? You have ultimate power - you aren't going to heaven, you may end up in hell but only if you get staked or decapitated or stay out in the sun.
2. What would you do if you were suddenly given the power to hurt everyone who ever hurt you?
3. What would you do if the pain was gone? And you were free to slash and burn?
4. What would hold you back? Would you become the monster?
5. What holds you back now?

What do Spike and Angel do? Now this is not a debate on which vampire you prefer or which deserves to be redeemed, those aren't the questions that interest me. Any more than I am interested in the whole Spike is evil/Angel is good soul debate. No, I'm interested in different questions - some of which are posed above.

In Angel Season 2, Prodigal, Darla tells Angel something he never quite understands, maybe because he's afraid to: "What we once were informs all that we have become. (Angel looks at his father's body) The same love will infect our hearts - even if they no longer beat. (Angel looks at his mother's and his sister's body) Simple death won't change that."

What is she saying and why? She tells him this after he kills his father and his entire family. The reason he kills them is out of vengeance not bloodlust. His father was disapproving of him, rejected him, over and over again. So he brutally kills him. And what does Darla tell him?

Darla: "You're victory over him took but moments. But his defeat of you will last life times."
Angel: "What are you talking about? He can't defeat me now."
Darla: "Nor can he ever approve of you - in this world or any other.." (PRODIGAL, Ats Season 2)

She's right - this simple fact haunts him and motivates him whether he is Angel or Angelus. He wants approval desperately - whether it be from other demons or from humans or from the Powers That Be. He is concerned over how he appears to people, the artistry of his kills, the actions he takes and he does them in a grandiose manner when he is Angelus - take the whole opening the gates of hell idea in Becoming Part I & II (Season 2 Btvs). As Spike puts it - most vampires aren't interested in that, but along comes one with vision. If they don't approve of me - they can literally go to hell! What does he tell Darla when he first rises from his grave?

Darla: "You can do anything, have anyone in the village. Who will it be?"
Angel: "Any one? (Darla nods) I thought I'd take the village." (PRODIGAL, Season 2 Atvs.)

Angelus prides himself in the "artistry of the kill". Angel prides himself on where he lives, his car, his friends, helping the slayer. Why? Is he still hunting his dead father's approval? Will he always hunt it? Is that what lies behind some of his actions?

Becoming a vampire does not erase what you once were - all it does is remove certain barriers. The monster now has full reign. As Angel puts it - "I could do whatever I wanted, no pain, no remorse." Yet when he regains his soul, he can never quite examine the reasons why, perhaps it is too painful for him? So he makes it simple, I was a Vampire. Vampires= Evil. I had no choice, it's what I was before I got my soul back. I'm not responsible for those crimes. No more than he would have been responsible for them if he lost his sanity, right? He did not remember these crimes. And when he did, it wasn't him. He wasn't in his right mind. But Darla challenges him on this time and again.

Darla: "What a poster child for soulfulness you are. This is no life Angel! Before you got neutered you weren't just any vampire, you were a legend! Nobody could keep up with you - not even me. You don't learn that kind of darkness. It's innate. It was in you before we ever met. - You said you can smell me? Well, I can smell you, too. My boy is still in there and he wants out!" (Dear Boy, Ats Season 2)

It's difficult for us to admit that there is darkness inside us, difficult to see that we are capable of horrible things in a blink of an eye. Angel struggles with this. He struggles with the knowledge that part of him wants to hurt people and is afraid to fully examine why. To look at the darkness that still lives inside him, has always lived there, even when he was just a man. He even tries, albeit unsuccessfully to kill himself, when he realizes that he wasn't a much better man. In some ways he prefers the monster; the monster was simple. "It's the man in me that needs killing not the monster." (AMENDS, Season 3 Btvs)

So what about Spike? Interesting vamp Spike and very different than Angel as both a human and a vampire. Comparing these two can get dicey, sort of like comparing an apple to an orange.

Spike started his existence as a Victorian poet, granted a rather bad Victorian poet - if his peers are to be believed. He was the scholar, the stuttering somewhat haughty bookworm who courted ladies and wrote lovely verse. As "Leslie" on All Things Philosophical Board pointed out - Spike "liked words for their sound (the eternal "effulgent") rather than their sense. He likes how things feel physically; he gets suicidal when he, literally, can't touch things (both when confined to the wheelchair--paralyzed--and newly chipped)." Angel on the other hand likes to feel things mentally, and is into image - having a big house, a cool car, nice clothes, reading thought-provoking books. We rarely see Angel enjoying food or drink, while Spike is ordering a "flowering onion" and drinking quite a bit of alcohol, even has a liquor cabinet. Angel doesn't need anything but blood so he only eats blood. The only time I saw him enjoy food was when he became briefly human in Atvs Season 1. I thought for a while Angel went without for the same reasons that monks go without, but realized it has more to do with what each man/vamp enjoys. Spike's desires are personal or sensual in nature, taste of fine food, smells, cigarettes, alcohol, a fast ride on a motorcycle while Angel's veer more towards what others perceive - clothing, car, big hotel. Ironic because knowing their backgrounds, I would have expected the reverse.

What do we know about William (Spike)? Not as much as we know about Liam (Angel) that is for sure. We know that Spike was once called William, that he was a poet, that he respected his mother, and he loved a girl named Cecily. We also know that Drusilla not Angel was his sire. His anger unlike Liam's appears to be more directed towards his peers than his family. Liam has peers that go out brawling and thieving together. William has no one, he is solitary, a loner. When his peers seek him out, he invariably says the wrong thing.

ARISTOCRAT #2 Ah, William! Favor us with your opinion. What do you make of this rash of disappearances sweeping through our town? Animals or thieves?
SPIKE(haughty)I prefer not to think of such dark, ugly business at all. That's what the police are for. (looks at Cecily) I prefer placing my energies into creating things of beauty. (Fool For Love, Btvs Season 5)

While Liam usually has no trouble in this department, he is either with his friends or with the ladies, here's a flashback scene from Atvs, Prodigal. Season 2.

Anna: "Master Liam, your father..."
Angel: "Will be off to church by now, repenting of his sins, and well he should. Closer, Anna."
Anna: "Why do you keep to the shadows, sir? Are you not well?"
Angel: "The light. It bothers my eyes just now."
Angel's dad: "And I know the reason why. (Pushes Angel out into the sunlight of the courtyard) Up again all night, is it? Drinking and whoring. I smell the stink of it on you."

William on the other hand tries to court the girl with poetry, he is Victorian and all courtly.

CECILY: Your poetry, it's... they're... not written about me, are they?
SPIKE: They're about how I feel.
CECILY:Yes, but are they about me?
SPIKE:Every syllable. Oh, I know... it's sudden and... please, if they're no good, they're only words but... the feeling behind them... I love you, Cecily.
CECILY:Please stop!
SPIKE: I know I'm a bad poet but I'm a good man and all I ask is that... that you try to see me-
CECILY: I do see you. That's the problem. You're nothing to me, William. You're beneath me. (Fool For Love, Btvs Season 5)

One wonders if William would have been better off with Liam's approach, of course the two twenty-six year olds are separated by a century, which I believe is important. They are both men of time and place and environment. Angel/Liam was abused by his father. William as far as we know had no problems with his family; it was his peers that he struggled with along with the ladies.

When they become vampires, who they were colors who they become. As Darla so clearly put it: "What we once were informs all that we have become. The same love will infect our hearts - even if they no longer beat. Simple death won't change that."

So if you hated your family in life, hated the disapproval and were filled with rage against humanity, inflicting that rage through whoring and thieving - what type of immortal do you become? In Liam's case - he wanted to take out the whole village. The whole world. Inflict as much pain as possible. But what is interesting - is he was no longer interested in his human pursuits of thieving and whoring and drunkenness, he became more artistic and more interested in image and reputation.

ANGELUS: You've got me and my women hiding in the luxury of a mine shaft, all because William the Bloody likes the attention. This is not a reputation we need. SPIKE:Oh, I'm sorry. Did I sully our good name? We're vampires.
ANGELUS: All the more reason to use a certain amount of finesse.
SPIKE: Bollocks! That stuff's for the frilly cuffs-and-collars crowd. I'll take a good brawl any day.
ANGELUS:And every time you do, we become the hunted. (Fool For Love, Btvs Season 5)

But William? William preferred the arty pursuits in life. He seemed almost courtly. I can't imagine William ever breaking a rule or letting loose or being drunk and disorderly like Liam. Yet, Spike loves breaking rules, loves going against the crowd, loves physical pursuits. In some ways he seems to be the opposite of his human self just as Angel seems to be the opposite of his. Yet - it makes sense, when you think about it. Liam hated the disapproval of his family, no matter what he did he couldn't win. So when he becomes a vampire - he destroys them all. William refused to cow tow to the Aristocrats and their vulgarity. He suffered their contempt and possibly blamed them for the loss of Cecily. I've always found it interesting that he changes his name from William the Bloody to Spike paralleling the aristocrats criticism of his poetry: "I would rather have a railroad spike driven through my head than read another line of his poetry." Perhaps that man got his wish? When the man becomes a vampire - his insecurities are unleashed in violence and debauchery. He can inflict the pain others inflicted on him without remorse.

The vampires in Bvts fascinate me, each is such a different creation. Let's look at a few of the fascinating characters Whedon and company have created over the years and their interesting behavior patterns:

1. Darla - we know Darla was a prostitute dying of syphilis when the Master created her. She has never loved anyone fully except possibly the child she created with Angel. She was a seductress in life and operates in the same manner in death. The people who hurt her in life were "johns". Now she seduces her kill, going after "johns", and wearing numerous guises to do it. From the school girl uniform in Season 1 Bvts to the suite for the lawyers in Atvs.

2. Drusilla - a chaste girl with visions - she is driven insane by Angelus and made a vampire, eternally tormented by visions. She makes a vampire out of a poet hoping for a companion on her eternal ride. Yet is obsessed with the man who tormented and created her. She was tortured in life and enjoys torturing in death.

3. Harmony - a follower, wanting to be part of the crowd, she takes her identity from whomever she is with. If Cordelia is the head of the gang - she agrees with everything Cordy says, if Cordy falls out of favor, she is rude and obnoxious to her. She will do practically anything for approval - and will turn to whomever she believes is the one in power for it. She was this way in life as well as death. Angel believes Harmony will turn on Cordelia because she is a "vampire", perhaps he wants to believe this because it is easier; it is nice and compact and lets him off the hook. Vampires always turn on you, it is their nature, no soul = evil. Soul = potential for good. But Angel is forgetting what Harmony was in life. So has Cordelia. Harmony never showed any real loyalty in life - she went wherever the group went. If the group disliked you - she did. Cordelia should have remembered that. In the episode Disharmony, Cordy and Angel send Harmony into a vampire group meeting, a meeting filled with tons of vamps and a motivational speaker. They send her in as a spy. Harmony of course changes sides, joining the majority just as she always did in high school. Before she does this Angel states : "Harmony will turn on you."

Cordy: "Why? Because *you* did?"
Angel: "Because it's her nature. She's a vampire."
Cordy: "So are you."
Angel: "She doesn't have a soul."
Cordy: "Oh. That's it, is it? You're better than her because you have a soul?"
Angel: "Well, yeah."
Cordy: "I noticed yours didn't get in the way of betraying the people who worked with you, who cared about you." (Disharmony, Atvs Season 2)

Exactly, Cordy gets it. A soul doesn't keep us from betraying each other. All Harmony's soul might have done is make her think twice - or would it? It didn't make her think twice in life or has Cordy forgotten? Way back in Season 3 Btvs, when Cordelia was dating Xander, Harmony turned on her, treated her like crap because of Xander. Because he wasn't accepted by the in crowd. (See Bewitched Bothered & Bewildered Season 2 Btvs) The vampire is only echoing the worst in the human's nature. But it is easier to believe that Harmony does it "just" because she's a vampire. It's easier to blame a monster, because then we can believe that we wouldn't do it. It makes us feel safe. Just as it makes Angel feel safe.

Why don't Angel and Spike kill anymore? Is it the soul or chip holding them back? What is restraining them? They have nothing to fear. As Spike put it in Fool For Love: "becoming a vampire means you have nothing to fear but one girl." And hey she's easy to avoid if they want to.

Angel claims it's guilt, the pain and the remorse that stops him. When he becomes Angelus in Innocence - the first word out of his mouth is "the pain is gone". Remember the gypsies wanted to torture him; they didn't want to give him a gift. According to Angel the gypsy curse has somehow made it possible for him to feel the pain of everyone he's ever hurt. That would be 243 years of pain and suffering he's inflicted. Ah, that sounds like more than a soul they've put in our boy. Perhaps they've added a little something to go with it? Because clearly the Mayor and Warren didn't have this weight on their shoulders, nor did Ben when he decided to turn Dawn over to Glory. Nor did Anya, considering the scores of people she's hurt within the last 1000 years. So is it just a soul? I think there's something else that holds Angel back, something else that motivates him.

Prior to meeting Buffy, Angel was a bum, wandering about the tunnels in disgrace. Then, wham, he met Buffy and slowly over time figured out how to help her. It wasn't instantaneous. At first, he just issued nebulous warnings. (Welcome to the Hellmouth and Harvest). Later he actually started chipping in, though he had to be prodded by Xander and Giles (Out of Sight/Out of Mind and Prophecy Girl Season 1). Finally he openly aided the gang (Season 2). Then, when he left, he formed his own little unit and his own cause to help people. (Atvs Season 1). Somewhere along the line Angel evolved and became the hero Spike derides in IN THE DARK, Atvs Season 1: "No, helping those in need's my job, - and working up a load of sexual tension, and prancing away like a magnificent poof is truly thanks enough! (high voice) I understand. I have a nephew who is gay, so... (low voice) Say no more. Evil's still afoot! And I'm almost out of that Nancy-boy hair-gel that I like so much. Quickly, to the Angel-mobile, away!"

Which brings me back to Spike, what is holding him back? If the Spike from IN THE DARK (season 1, Atvs) were to meet the Spike from The Gift (Season 5 Btvs), what would he say to him? Probably the same thing he wanted to say to Angel. "We're vampires! Get with the program! Stop being the slayer's lap dog!" So why has he decided to help instead of hinder the gang? What is motivating him? Not the same things as Angel, he doesn't have a soul - so the guilt, if it is present, is not the same. The chip only prevents him from physically biting, hitting, or harming people. As he would have put it - there are other ways. Some far more effective. He certainly tried a few of them in Season 4 - The Yoko Factor, where he successfully splits the gang apart? Or in the beginning of Season 5 - Out of My Mind where he successfully delays Riley's operation? Why did he help them at all in the beginning? Money? Even he doesn't seem to be sure. He appears to be grasping for reasons - "pay me" or "I need your cash". Yet in "Where the Wild Things Are", Btvs Season 4 - he had to talk himself out of helping Xander save Buffy? Why did he even offer in the first place?

XANDER: We're fresh out of superpeople,and somebody's gotta go back in there. (Deep breath) Now who's with me?(Willow and Tara hesitate.)
SPIKE: I am.(Everyone looks at Spike in surprise.) I know I'm not the first choice for heroics ...and Buffy's tried to kill me more than once. And, I don't fancy a single one of you at all. But... Actually, all that sounds pretty convincing. (WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE, Season 4, Btvs)

I always thought that was an odd scene. What was motivating him then, even to think about it? Why go against his own nature? Why didn't he try to kill Giles when he became a Faryal demon in A New Man? (Season 4 Btvs) Money? He didn't get paid up front. Later, when he actually falls for Buffy, we answer this question with the obvious answer - he loves Buffy. He can't stand to see Buffy hurt. But he's a demon - why not find another way of getting her affection? He could kidnap her and have someone turn her into a vampire? What motivates Spike to hold the monster in check? It must be painful for him, going against his nature. He's not really being rewarded for it. The gang has not totally accepted him. Yeah he got to have sex with Buffy, but he couldn't have predicted that last season when he was doing all those noble acts for her benefit. Nor could he have imagined this when she was dead and buried and he stayed behind to help her friends and protect Dawn. When we see him in Afterlife, he's a nervous wreck - worried half to death about Dawn. Why? It's not because of Buffy, Buffy to his knowledge is dead. In Bargaining Part I - he saves Giles' life - why? Why is he even still there? And much later in the season, after Buffy has broken things off and Xander has treated him like scum, why does he help Xander get the monster that poisoned Buffy? (Normal Again - Season 6: shooting script taken from Psyche.)

"Xander gets another clear shot from the ground and nails the demon with a couple more tranquilizers. This time, the demon notices. It turns around to go after him, but Spike jumps from behind and chokes it. The demon stumbles. Beginning to feel the tranqs. And after a struggle, it finally falls.... (edited for length - fight was much longer.)"

Why does he protect Xander from the monster? I'd think he'd let the monster kill Xander - it would be easier. Is it because he still thinks he has a chance of working things out with Buffy? Even Spike seems to be wondering what he's doing after he learns that Buffy thinks they are all figments of her imagination : "On the other hand, could explain some things. This all being in that twisted brain of hers. Fix up some chip'n my head, make me soft so I'd fall in love with her, and then turn me into her sodden sex slave." (NA Season 6 Btvs) Now here's something Spike and Angel have in common - both are blaming external forces for their behavior. For Spike - it's the chip that's done this to him, for Angel it's his soul. And to Angel's credit - he has proof of that, without the soul he turned into a complete and utter monster. But then a soul is different than a chip, right? A soul makes you feel pain - at least a soul given to you by a gypsy curse. I have a hunch poor Angel doesn't have just an ordinary soul...I think this one was manufactured to torture him. But back to Spike.

If it's all about Buffy for Spike - what motivated him to stay in Sunnydale, after Buffy's death, and help people who had shown nothing but dislike and hatred towards him? People who barely tolerated him? What motivated him to continue doing so? Why is he restraining the monster? Is it just love?

Why do we hold back the monster in ourselves? Is it our fear of being caught? What motivates us?

I think it's more than just love for Spike. Just as I think it's more than just guilt for Angel. I think these two vamps have come to an odd realization; one we all come to sooner or later. Sooner or later the violence, debauchery and evil acts ring hollow, become dull, easy, futile, there's no end to them and no challenge. They are the acts of ignorance and blindness. They provide no true rewards. Sometimes energy is better spent on creation than destruction. Notice Spike's delighted surprise when he realizes that it is far more satisfying to have sex with Buffy than to kill her. "I always knew the only thing better than killing a slayer would be f....." (Actually I think he is probably making love to her in his head, regardless of her intentions but that's another debate.) Wrecked, Season 6, Btvs. He's beginning to realize what Anya figured out way back in Forever (Season 5, Btvs) - creating life is more rewarding than destroying it.

This is what I think is happening to Angel and to Spike, I think they are being forced to grow up, but through two totally different paths as is fitting for their characters, since they are two entirely different vampires, an apple and an orange if you will. They are being forced to acknowledge that they are more than a windup toy for good or evil to do the gods bidding. And that destruction while rewarding at the time leaves nothing lasting. Perhaps this realization and not just a chip or a soul is the path out of their mutual states of arrested development. Perhaps similar realizations are the paths out of our own?

(First posted in 2002).

Sorry for the repeat and the length. Needless to say, I strongly vote for Spike. The bad poet over the frat boy.

[> [> [> Re: Vehemently and Respectfully Disagree -- Scroll, 00:14:44 10/10/03 Fri

You make some good points, s'kat, though I'm afraid I don't have the time to answer all of them.

It really must be a matter of taste, because I vehemently disagree with you and completely agree with cjl that Angel is the more complex of the two vampires. Not to say Spike isn't complex, but there's an element of shallowness in his own personality that touches his character as well (I mean "character" meta-wise, of course). Spike, as much as his fans tout him as all things grey and morally ambiguous and free will-ish, has a very black-and-white mindset. He's helping the good guys, therefore he must be good. He does as he pleases, without consideration or judgement, and calls it free will. He's impulsive and chaotic -- which I actually enjoy but don't consider to be good reasons to call him grey or morally ambiguous. He goes in search of a soul, without the slightest understanding of what that entails. Ooh, a thought: He's like Adam and Eve, having free will to eat the fruit, but with no real understanding of the knowledge of good and evil. He can make the choice, but doesn't understand the consequences.

Contrast this with Angel, who helps the good guys (and is one of the good guys, from our perspective at least) and yet knows very well that there are degrees of good and evil, complex motivations behind those actions of good and evil, and doesn't automatically assume that doing good makes one good or doing evil makes one irredeemably evil. Angel is morally ambiguous. His entire essence is morally ambiguous. The choices he makes are morally ambiguous. The way he slips from his mission, and yet clings to it even as he goes off the deep end, is morally ambiguous. Angel understands the entire spectrum of good and evil, having travelled along the path (in both directions) many times.

I don't find Spike very introspective. He doesn't seem to give much consideration to those around him, except for a select few (his women). And even then his consideration is very limited because of his weak understanding of their real needs and personality. Yes, he understood a side of Buffy that her friends couldn't. But many times Spike's "truth-telling" is simple random pot-shots that may or may not hit the target. He projects his own insecurities on others and calls it insight (as per "Just Rewards"). He seems to think that doing good will get him some kind of reward.

Yes, I know Angel is the one we usually point to as the vamp who wants a reward for good deeds. But does he really? Or are we just clinging to an old idea that died mid-Season 2? Contrast this with Spike, who goes to get a soul because he thinks it'll make Buffy love him. Who is bewildered that saving the world hasn't netted him eternal peace. I think I can safely say that Angel (and Faith) would feel that, no matter how many apocalypses they averted, they still deserved hell. They know this, yet still try to make the world better. Does this make them less complex than Spike? If so, I prefer simplicity.

Please try to understand I'm not bashing Spike. I've recently found a new respect for him as a character. I think I'm really going to enjoy his development this season. But I still have to call it like I see it. Spike is still very much the little boy who hasn't quite grown up. Angel, for all his flaws (and trust me, I see his many flaws), has travelled much further down his path. He's made decisions, good and bad, and had to live with the consequences. He's grown and changed, learned about himself and his friends and the world. He may have started out the frat boy, but he's so much more now. Don't be fooled into thinking Angel is only Liam, Angel, and Angelus. He's all those people and many others.

[> [> [> [> Oops, sorry didn't mean to preach at you -- Scroll, 00:22:23 10/10/03 Fri

I've been meaning to write an Angel/Spike essay for a while, and this sorta came out. I apologise if it seems directed at you, s'kat. Cuz that's not what I intended! Anyway, I hope it made sense :)

[> [> [> [> Vehemently and Respectfully Agree -- Malandanza, 09:12:48 10/10/03 Fri

"I don't find Spike very introspective. He doesn't seem to give much consideration to those around him, except for a select few (his women). And even then his consideration is very limited because of his weak understanding of their real needs and personality. Yes, he understood a side of Buffy that her friends couldn't. But many times Spike's 'truth-telling' is simple random pot-shots that may or may not hit the target. He projects his own insecurities on others and calls it insight (as per "Just Rewards"). He seems to think that doing good will get him some kind of reward.

Lack of introspection is something Wood called Spike on in Season Seven of Buffy -- and Spike readily admitted he wasn't one for self-reflection. He has, as Wood said, gone through life, causing damage, oblivious to the consequences for other people (and usually oblivious to the consequences for himself). He's blamed others for his own bad choices -- something he continued to do in the second episode of Angel -- blaming TPTB for not letting him rest in peace, blaming Angel for not sticking around and using the amulet himself (somehow I can't imagine S7 Spike being thrilled had Angel really hung around for the apocalypse).

But now, for the first time, Spike realizes that his actions have consequences. He's got one foot in Hell and the other in W&H, surrounded by people who'd rather exorcise him than endure his presence. It's a good thing Spike got a glimpse of the hell dimension he's straddling so tenuously -- otherwise he'd confuse his present purgatory with punishment rather than merciful PTB giving him a second chance. And to Spike, being incorporeal must seem like hell -- he's been a glutton and a hedonist for most of his existence and now finds himself reduced to the role of the impotent voyeur.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Vehemently and Respectfully Agree -- Scroll, 12:44:58 10/10/03 Fri

Date Posted: 10:56:03 10/10/03 Fri
Author: Scroll

I think making Spike a ghost was a brilliant idea. Instead of doing things the way he's always done them, through physical action, Spike is now limited to interacting through words. Not that he couldn't use words before, but this new threat of hell gaping at his feet is teaching him a kind of fear that seems to be revealing a vulnerability I've never seen before. I'm quite liking this story-line.

Spike's physical condition (or rather his lack thereof) is going to force him to contemplate his life, his existence, the decisions he's made leading him to this point and what kind of choices are being left to him now. I'm really hoping this will be a period of growth for Spike. Reduced to being an "impotent voyeur" (hee! nice choice of words!) may be frustrating, but it may also be the best thing to happen to Spike in a long time.

[> [> [> Angel AND Spike/Angel OR Spike -- manwitch, 09:01:01 10/10/03 Fri

First off, I did vote for Spike, and proclaimed it publicly on the board. Even though I think Angel will and should win, I didn't want it to be a sweep.

I found your comments on Angel made him a more interesting character in my eyes. Truth is, for me, I love Buffy, not just her (and I seriously have never been even close to infatuated with a fictional character before), but the show. Angel was an interesting character. I thought it was cool that he was a vampire who felt bad about it. I thought it was really fascinating watching him try to learn to get along with people, trying to learn how to court Buffy. I thought it was absolutely brilliant, turning him into the villain of season 2. And having Buffy have to kill him after she got her Angel back was just devastating. I remember so clearly the experience I had when I first watched Buffy take that bus out of town. I liked having Angel back in season 3, and, even though I claim to be guy, I loved the Buffy Christmas episode.

I got real pissed at Angel for leaving Buffy. But I understood they needed a spinoff and they had to get him out of there. I can allow characters to bend a little bit if the need is really important. And ultimately, separating them turned out to be a nice thing. It gave Buffy an anchor from her youthful youth, someone she loved and that loved her, but that was in a much more mature role for her now that the romance was just a memory. I thought that relationship was underutilized and loved every moment in Buffy and Angel when it appeared, no matter how small it seemed.

When Cordy found a spiritual calling for herself, I thought it was great and made sense that Angel would be more and more attracted to her. If Cordy really was "Buffy without the spiritual commitment," then when she got the spiritual commitment, she became pretty much Buffy. In a manner of speaking.

Angel has been a pretty cool guy, and obviously, Buffy would never have been the success that it was without Buffy's beautifully doomed romance. Angel is the icon of the gray zone that Buffy is ultimately all about. I absolutely love the character.

I have said all this without making any comment about Spike. I love Spike. From the moment he checks Buffy out on the dance floor in School Hard, I thought this is gonna be a hot relationship between these two. While Marster's showed right off his talent with the delivery of even the smallest lines ("Well this is just neat"), Spike quickly began to forge his own place in the gray zone, exactly at the point Angel(us) began to make us rethink whether or not there even was one. Spike's love for Drusilla was a great touch. His scheming with Buffy was a great and fascinating surprise.

I was thrilled in Lovers Walk to see that big black car plow through the Sunnydale sign again. It gave me the same sense of excitement and anticipation that seeing Faith dreaming in her coma gave me in Season 4. Spike's handicap in Season 4 was brilliant as well, and fortold his coming soul.

Not meaning to compare anyone or create ranks, but Spike in Season 5 is some of the most beautiful character development anyone can hope for. Sorry, I'm a romantic, no matter how much I try not to be. Intervention will always be one of my favorite episodes both because of spike's beautiful sacrifice even as he has stretched the bounds of obscenity, and because of Buffy's recognition of what he has done. There is no potential for romance, but there is finally an understanding.

I understand having favorite characters. Mine is Buffy, and last weeks Angel episode served only to remind me that I don't have her anymore. Between Spike and Angel, at least while they were on Buffy, Spike's experience resonated more with my own and with my own interests. That's not a criticism of Angel. It is, as you said, personal. But both these characters would rank very high on the list of reasons why the Buffyverse is so rich.

I voted for Spike in this silly but enjoyable road to the apocalypse because I imagine Spike being resourceful, and I imagine Angel not being sure he deserves to win. Plus, I think Angel wants to bow out and let Buffy kick Spike's ass. Angel's no dummy. He's checked the brackets. He knows Spike will be idiot enough to beat up on Buffy's father figure and then have to face the hot chick herself.

[> [> [> [> Re: Angel AND Spike/Angel OR Spike -- s'kat, 11:16:11 10/11/03 Sat

Oh didn't mean to imply I only love Spike. I actually do like and care about the character of Angel, I just struggle with the fact that he can be such a condescending/patronizing/self-righteous prick at times. What I loved about Connor and love about Spike is how they blast him for it and take him down a notch. It's also why I loved Faith on BTVS. (Condecension/Self-righteousness and Patronization piss me off big time. Wood and Giles pissed me off for the same reasons last season. ;-) Actually I care about most of the players in the shows.

I started watching BTVS for Giles. Buffy grew on me. Always loved Willow and Xander. And right now? Love all the characters on ATS, not one character in the main cast I don't love and appreciate.

For me? Spike is the more interesting character, partly and not solely because of how he expands Angel's character. For the same reasons, I found Connor fascinating and often more interesting than Angel. The writers have made Angel interesting and as the lead of the show, that makes sense.
But Spike? He's a discovery, he started out as a bit player and grew into a three-dimensional character with more layers than an onion. We don't really know who he is at his core, nor does he, he's traded coats so many times. The Trickster. Hard to pin down. I want to find out more about him, I can't wait for the next layer to be peeled back.
Angel? Very different character. And I'm not sure you can fully appreciate one character without having some appreciation for the other. Because if it weren't for Angel, Spike would not exist. Just like if it weren't for Holtz - Connor would not exist. Spike is Angelus' child.
Angelus and Dru to some degree created Spike. Just as Angelus and Darla created Drusilla. The links between these four characters make them some of the most interesting characters in the history of television, rich and multi-faceted.

If I had to choose between them? I'd have to pick Spike in a heartbeat, but that's a personal thing. I honestly don't think anyone voting in these matches does it objectively, not matter how much they protest to be doing so. After all, it's not meant to be an objective contest is it? If it were?
Angel would win - since as Marsters puts it in the E!Live Interview - Angel is the lead, you don't see Spike with an office do you?

[> Angel beats Blondie Bear.. -- jane, 21:46:40 10/09/03 Thu

much as I like Spike, Angel has had a lot longer to hone his skills. He rips the leather coat off Spike's back and sends "Captain Peroxide" off to have his roots retouched.

[> [> I'd say Spike. -- Nirvana 1, 22:10:45 10/09/03 Thu

He seems to be the more complex of the two. The more unpredictable one. The sort of underdog. The one you can never realy figure out. The freak or the runt of the two.

[> Captain Forehead & Captain Peroxide -- deeva, 22:17:37 10/09/03 Thu

Gotta go with my boy Spike. Sure he can be stubborn as all get out and can be extremely foolish but who hasn't been? I think that his obstinance has done him good in the face of dealing with Angelus and Angel. He'll find a way this time, too.

[> This is gonna be messy. -- Apophis, 22:55:52 10/09/03 Thu

I'd like to believe that Angel will win, but you people have proven that I can't trust you to do the right thing. Anyway, as you may have guessed, I'm siding with Angel. Why, do you ask? Well, because Angel's always been one of my favorite characters; he's got a neat coat and a quest for redemption and everything. Also, there's the fact that, after Season 7, I'm completely burned out on Spike for the next 5 years. Plus, the hair has freaked me out since day one. So, you kids want Spike, here he is: standard Hardcore Match rules aply, both sides get a shopping cart filled with foreign objects, no DQ, no countout. Spike gets the upper hand early on by cheapshotting Angel with a sledgehammer to the head, but Angel's been there, done that, and recovers quickly, responding with a corkscrew through the eye. While Spike is trying to regrow his left retina, Angel cuts his legs out from under him with a chainsaw (he never did get to use that on Giles). Angel takes an anvil and ascends the to the top of the turnbuckle; one quick jump later and Spike's skull resembles a jigsaw puzzle. That won't kill a vampire, though, so Angel's still got time to play. That pesky soul kicks in, though, and Angel euthanizes Capt. Peroxide with some lighter fluid and a zippo. Winner by slaughter = Angel! Honestly, name one fight where Angel didn't hand Spike his ass on a silver platter.

[> Like you can't guess who I voted for! -- Scroll, 22:58:13 10/09/03 Thu

Masq and a few others have made me see the light regarding Spike. He's still an asshole, but he's an asshole with vulnerability. Plus, he did help save the world. Gotta give him points for that. Yay! I don't hate him any more!

But my recent Spike revelation aside, Angel is still my main manpire. Despite the derision with which we fans use the term "champion", Angel is a champion in every sense. He does good and helps the helpless -- not to atone for his past or for some cosmic reward, but because people are in pain and he has compassion on them.

He may lose his path, now and then, but he always finds his way back. He's defeated so much evil, including himself, and he knows the evil will keep on coming. That doesn't mean he'll give up. He knows he can never make up for the evil he's done, the people he's killed. That's not why he fights.

This isn't to say Angel isn't a controlling, misguided, occasionally self-righteous dork with a sadistic streak a mile wide. Then again, Spike is a manipulative, misguided, occasionally self-righteous geek with a masochistic streak a mile wide. It's a match made in heaven hell, people!

So I gotta vote for my Angel, that big ol' paternalistic dork with really cool cars and a vicious murderer lurking inside.

~ Scroll

[> [> 'Big ol' paternalistic dork with really cool cars and a vicious murderer lurking inside' -- Apophis, 23:14:10 10/09/03 Thu

(Sniff) I miss my father...

[> [> [> LOL! or 'ouch'... -- Scroll, 23:42:53 10/09/03 Thu

...depending on how serious you are! As much as I love Angel, I wouldn't want him for my father :)

[> Re: Angel vs Spike -- lynx, 23:42:30 10/09/03 Thu

Spike is a wild card (or a joker ;)) which *always* trumps the A..ce.

[> Always Number Two -- Malandanza, 23:55:05 10/09/03 Thu

I have a feeling that the Spike/Angel match will go the way of all other Spike/Angel matches we've seen.

In the Fanged Four flashbacks, Angelus manhandled poor William and he took it -- too afraid to lift a finger in his defense.

In Season Two, Spike had to join forces with the slayer to be able to face Angelus -- well, face is probably not the right word, since he struck Angelus from behind, kicked him while he was down, then ran off before Angelus got back up.

In In the Dark, Spike strikes from behind again, gets whooped, runs away. He then hires another vampire to do his dirty work for him (a vampire even some of the most vile demons won't do business with), and gets a few kicks in while Angel is chained up and helpless.

But lets face it, Spike is intimidated by Angel. Angel can scare Spike off with a sneer of derision (and a few well-placed boots to the head).

Poor old Spike -- for the first 100 years of his unlife he tried to be Angelus (his Yoda), and for the last two he's tried to be Angel. He's killed two slayers and he still gets no respect -- not even from the WC, who've labeled him the number two vampire (after Angelus, of course). If Darla were still alive, she'd take Angel at his most noble over Spike at his worst (even at his most inspired, he was the Harmony of the gang) -- he just can't compete.

[> simple math -- sdev, 00:18:35 10/10/03 Fri

A man who can express his emotions always beats a man who can't. Just another, or should I say the most important, weapon in the arsenal. When Angel finds this piece he and Angelus will become one. Until then the whole beats the half.

[> Re: Angel vs Spike -- Celebaelin, 01:13:43 10/10/03 Fri

The moment of truth, Count Drabula or the Prince of Dickness? Well, no point beating around the bush, Spike.

[> Angel -- KdS, 02:55:55 10/10/03 Fri

'Cos Spike doesn't give a piss about your mother. And people wonder why he's still potentially damnable...

[> Score update -- -- Jay, 05:27:58 10/10/03 Fri

Spike 18, Angel 15

[> Re: Angel vs Spike -- Caira, 05:52:08 10/10/03 Fri

Angel always beats Spike in a fair fight. Spike, however, doesn't go in much for fair fights if they don't suit him, and after taking a beating in the first round goes on the beat a suspiciously sluggish Angel handily. The next morning, Wolfram and Hart obtain a court injunction stripping Spike of his victory after "irregularities" were found in Angel's blood bottle...

[> Re: Angel vs Spike -- Ann, 06:34:15 10/10/03 Fri

3 reasons: 1. because his character seems to have more places to go and more to be discovered/uncovered and 2. he saved the world a lot and 3. he has more humourous dialogue!

[> If ever there was a time for a tie this is it -- Ponygirl, 06:52:52 10/10/03 Fri

In a perfect world Angel and Spike would let the buzzer sound and skate off the ice arm in arm, leaving the rioting and chair-throwing to the fans. They'd find a bar and raise a glass to the strangeness of fate, the trouble with Slayers and the dangers of beautiful women in dark alleys. But this isn't a perfect world - it's nasty and harsh and in the middle of this speech Spike kicks Angel in the balls. A couple extra kicks for old times' sake and it's all over.

Spike's got my vote.

[> Re: Angel vs Spike -- MaeveRigan, 07:46:28 10/10/03 Fri

This is a tough one, but I'm voting for Angel. I know, Spike chose to regain his soul, but Angel has suffered with his for much longer and although he's had the opportunity to give it up and return to the carefree vampire life several times, has never done so--though he's hit bottom pretty hard now and then, notably in A2. Spike's got the attitude and the cheekbones, but Angel has the sheer determination that would bring him out on top when these two duke it out. I'd rather see them brothers in arms, but they're going to call each other a lot of other names first. Hope they survive. Until then, Angel wins.

[> Re: Angel vs Spike -- yabyumpan, 07:55:47 10/10/03 Fri

Angel, without doubt....

First Angel gets him all riled up and emotional,(it's jsut so easy to do and so much fun), taunting him about Dru, Buffy, his Mother, William, really bad poetry...then, he'd round up a whole bunch of demons Spike's betrayed and double-crossed over the past few years (I'm sure he's made just as many enemies in the Demon community as Angel) and let them go tag-team on beating the crap out of him...then, when he's nicely softened up, he'll drag Spike to the nearest graveyard(hallowed ground), maybe go a few rounds with him himself just for the hell of it and then, ooops, 'accidently' step on the Amulet. Bye bye Spikey ;o)

[> Oops -- lele, 09:41:44 10/10/03 Fri

This poll has to do with the characters fighting physically/verbally....
I thought it had to do with who one preferred.

I like'm both, but I chose spike (personal preference). However, if we're talking about who would win in a fight....
Angel probably....when Angelus starts cropping up he's way more scary and diabolical than spike. That's not a put down on spike in fact it's one of the reasons I prefer him.

[> Painful as this is, the decision is really quite simple for me. -- Alison, 11:28:36 10/10/03 Fri

I love Angel, but I can't not vote for Spike. In all honesty though, I'm hoping Buffy's dream comes true. Oil, and my two favorite souled vampires...whats not to love?

[> [> Wow. Now THAT would make great television. -- manwitch, 11:39:40 10/10/03 Fri

[> [> [> At Ringside -- cjl, 11:42:07 10/10/03 Fri

XANDER: Oh god. This is disgusting. Could somebody please poke out the other eye?
BUFFY: Shut up and pass the popcorn.

[> [> [> [> LOL! -- MaeveRigan, 11:53:52 10/10/03 Fri

[> [> [> [> Re: At Ringside [Somewhat should write a story on this.] (NT) -- Claudia, 12:05:40 10/10/03 Fri

[> [> [> [> [> Someones (who shall remain nameless, uh huh) did... -- The First Naughty Virtue, 12:50:54 10/10/03 Fri


[> [> [> [> [> [> Hmm, but it reall rather generated into... -- Masq, 13:53:36 10/10/03 Fri

A free-for all musical, didn't it?

I'm still speculating that season 5 will end in a mano-a-mano (vampiro-a-vampiro?) oil-wrestling match.

[> [> [> [> [> [> This is great! Thanks (NT) -- Claudia, 14:35:52 10/10/03 Fri

[> [> [> [> ROTFLMAO! -- Alison, 12:44:00 10/10/03 Fri

[> [> Re: Painful as this is, the decision is really quite simple for me. -- Claudia, 12:04:32 10/10/03 Fri

[I love Angel, but I can't not vote for Spike. In all honesty though, I'm hoping Buffy's dream comes true. Oil, and my two favorite souled vampires...whats not to love?]

I, on the other hand, love Spike, but cannot vote against Angel. You're right. Buffy's dreams of a wrestling match in oil should come true. Hell, that's been my dream since watching "Just Rewards".

[> [> Hmmm I like em both but still voted for Spike. -- Rufus, 21:15:37 10/10/03 Fri

[> [> Now you're talkin'! -- deeva, 22:26:55 10/10/03 Fri

Tell where and when and I'll be there! Ah, a girl that has her priorities straight.

[> Re: Angel vs Spike -- Brack, 12:30:11 10/10/03 Fri

I am a new poster on the red board. Voting for Spike after some thought.

[> Re: Angel vs Spike -- goose, 14:00:37 10/10/03 Fri

Spike gets my vote. I love both those two crazy vampires and just wish they would work it out, but if I had to chose I'd have to say Spike. There are just some moments when he's on the screen when I feel like I know exactly who he is and can completely relate to him. I've never felt that with Angel, and that's why I must vote for Spike.

[> Re: Angel vs Spike -- Julz, 00:39:20 10/11/03 Sat

Have to say Spike, hands down. Angel is too busy staring into middle distance with the hint of a frown on his eyebrow to be of any use at all.

How..... -- Jean, 08:21:10 10/10/03 Fri

How did the amulet get to wolfram & hart. I mean there was a pretty good sized crater were Sunnydale was. And I don't think there was anyone there after the crater was formed, so who or what got it there


[> Re: How..... -- LittleBit, 09:07:19 10/10/03 Fri

Heh. How does W&H accomplish anything that seems improbable on the surface? They probably have sand-burrowing demons on staff who can 'sniff' out magickal artifacts.

[> We don't know how ... yet! -- Robert, 09:07:36 10/10/03 Fri

>>> How did the amulet get to wolfram & hart.

Obviously someone (or some thing) dug it out of the crater and mailed it to Angel. It may have been the ambiguous Powers-That-Be, or maybe it is a new player. I suspect the "who" and the "how" are going to become vitally important to the resolution of the seasonal story arc.

[> [> Re: We don't know how ... yet! -- Ames, 10:32:51 10/10/03 Fri

But TPTB (or anything equivalent) would have no reason to mail the amulet to Angel via the USPS, would they? Ok, the USPS obviously has strong demonic connections, but still it seems unlikely.

So who else knows that the amulet should be returned to Angel at W&H?


a) Buffy and the Scooby gang
b) Angel and his team (presumably all accounted for during the 19 days)
c) Senior partners at W&H and their trusted flunkies

[> [> [> Re: We don't know how ... yet! -- Ames, 10:38:59 10/10/03 Fri

Actually, I forgot one! The First Evil knows.
Remember, the First observing the Angel-gives-amulet-to-Buffy scene along with Spike in Chosen?

Hmmm, tie in to pellenaka's theory here: http://www.voy.com/14567/665.html

[> [> [> Re: We don't know how ... yet! -- leslie, 12:49:23 10/10/03 Fri

What strikes me is that the amulet releases Spike as soon as it drops out of the envelope. Are we then to assume that brown paper and perhaps a little bubble wrap were strong enough to be keeping him in all that time?

[> [> [> [> Maybe it needed to be exposed to the light.. -- jane, 18:41:33 10/10/03 Fri

[> Re: How..... -- ladyhelix, 22:10:55 10/11/03 Sat

I resolved this in my own tiny mind by deciding that there was a SECOND amulet... and that Spike's "essence" was somehow "beamed" or transported from the one at the bottom of the Sunnydale rock pile to the one that eventually showed up at Wolfrom and Hart. Yea... the one that was in the package with NO post mark and NO return address; the one that was delivered to Angel's office by the guy/demon in a crazy mask which has NO significance. RIGHT. This is definitely NOT the end of the story! (...although we never DID find out why Buffy's being "out of order" mattered... did we? OH! - but that WAS season 7 wasn't it - the season when no one was EVER in the BtVS writers room except Drew - right? OK, never mind! We may NEVER know for sure)

Back to the amulet....
Since one can ascribe any imaginable characteristic to "how a vamps' essence behaves in our universe" - this is wide open! I imagined that one would act as the ENTER amulet, and the other as the EXIT amulet. I know I'm stretching, but it was easier for me to come up with something like this so that I can keep paying attention to the show. (I'm usually wrong when I do this, but I DO sleep better!) If I try to puzzle it out before JOSS tells us, I get distracted and I miss big chunks of the episode - and my life!

And I also decided that this was probably all by designed - coordinated down to the last detail by the:
* Senior Partners
* Powers that Be
* First Evil
* "New guy in town" - or someone we haven't met yet (my money's on this one)

I can hear Joss going "Mwaa Haa Haa" somewhere as I speak - because HE probably hasn't decided yet! (And he knows he's keeping me up past midnight pondering). So much for not getting distracted!

HEY!!! I just thought of something... (spoiler for 'Just Rewards') -- Apophis, 09:23:24 10/10/03 Fri

I don't know if anyone else has brought this up yet, but remember when Angel killed the butler with the fork? I just got that reference. This episode was co-written by Ben Edlund, creator of The Tick! "SPOOOOOON!"


[> Actually... -- deeva, 10:31:05 10/10/03 Fri

I believe that it was a spoon and not a fork but I can compromise with a spork. ;o)

[> [> speaking of utensils... -- Miyu tVP, 11:03:42 10/10/03 Fri

I havne't seen much of the early Angel eps, but happened to catch the tail end of one on TNT this week... bunch of demons about to devour a certain someone's brains, and they get into a spat about what utensil to use.

"What is this? a shrimp fork? He's supposed to eat his brains with a shrimp fork? Go get a soup spoon."

funny if the same writer was involved with that too!

[> OT: 'Live action' Tick series now available on DVD. -- cjl, 11:06:27 10/10/03 Fri

All eight-or-nine episodes on 2 DVDs, with the pilot written by Ben Edlund and directed by Barry Sonenfeld (Men in Black).

Can't wait for Edlund to really cut loose in ANGEL 5.5....

The Loss of Control (Spoilers Just Rewards 5.2) -- s'kat, 09:53:33 10/10/03 Fri

To have Control, that's all that anyone really wants. Isn't it? - Hainsely, Just Rewards. ATS 5.2

Control over our bodies, our emotions, our environment, our careers, our love lives, our entertainment, our world. An essential part of the human condition is the constant struggle and/or desire for control.

Sitting here on a gray Friday morning, sipping chamomile tea to hopefully reduce the negative side-effects of psuedoephredrine hydrochloride, which was in my allergy medication, I'm all too familiar with the desire for control. At the moment I just want it over my own body. If you've ever had a bad reaction to psuedoephredine, you know what I mean. For those who haven't? It's akin to having someone fire all your nerve endings at the same time or having drunk over fifty cups of coffee. The world starts to overwhelm, you can't sleep, you tongue feels leaden with a slight bitter after-taste, and you have a tendency to over-react emotionally to things that you'd normally ignore. It happens in waves and has been attacking me every two hours since approximately 12 noon on Thursday. Every little thing feels like nails scraping across a chalk board. Unfortunately, I didn't realize it was a reaction to the psuedoephredine until today - after I took the medication again last night. Big mistake. Should not have done it. Also my mother mentioned that heart patients are advised against having anything with psuedoephredine - it's an adrenaline booster. (And can cause hearts to go into flutter - thank god, I don't have a heart condition). This is why I don't take Claritan and most nasal decongestants. I've had the reaction before. The feelings produced are very similar to anxiety. Normal Benadryle doesn't have it. But the Allergy/Sinus Headache version does - it's a nasal decongestant. Note to self - check all drugs for psuedoephredine before taking them.

Loss of control. We spend our lives attempting to fight that. Some of us believe this is a futile effort that we do not have control over our lives, our fates, or our destiny's. This philosophy is called Determinism. Determinists believe our lives are determined by outside factors beyond our control - such as biology, genetics, cultural environment. Others believe we do have control over our lives. Complete control. I dated a guy in college who believed this. He believed that we could if we concentrated hard enough - control our bodies, our emotions, our own destiny. That very little was beyond our control. The name for this philosophy escapes me. But it sounds very Nietzchian.

Whether we are Determinists or Nietzchians, we spend our lives struggling for control. Yet no matter how hard we struggle, control is often snatched from our grasp.

Currently, I feel as if I have very little to no control over my life. And that is something I despise. While I would not describe myself as a control freak, I do fear losing control. As a child, my friends and I used to fight over whose house we would play at - because that would determine what game we played. If I played at my friend Debbie's house, we would play fashion show, if we played at my house - some sort of fantasy/adventure game. As an adult, lack of control comes in different forms - one is physical. For instance, I have what is known as an essential tremor. This is similar to what Katherine Hepburn had, except my tremor only affects my hands and arms, while Katherine's affected her whole body. The tremor ranges from something that is barely visible, just a small tremor, to rigorous shaking. As I get older, the worse it gets and the less control I appear to have over its occurrence. When I get really nervous or upset, my hands will shake so badly that I am unable to hold a coffee cup or type on a computer or pick up a fork. I have to sit calmly for a while until the emotion passes and with it the tremor. The tremor also affects my right hand more than my left - which is annoying since I happen to be right handed. I've gotten in the habit of telling people what the tremor is upon meeting them - as a means of staving off the inevitable looks and questions. People assume I'm just nervous or have a disease. In interviews, I keep my hands rested in front of me and make certain I don't hold any cups or pens. According to my neurologist, there is now medication to treat and control tremors - we just have to make sure we know what it is first. Over the years, people have worked to find a way of controlling a previously uncontrollable nervous condition.

The reality show Extreme Makeover - depicts people's attempts to change and control how they are perceived by the outside world. If I can control how I look, I can control how others perceive me, and possibly make them like me more. Plastic surgery, diets, implants, hair stylists, and make-up are just a few of the things we use to control how we are perceived. Advertisers spend lots of money trying to convince us to change others perceptions of how we look - to care how we are perceived. They also spend lots of money persuading us that one look or image is better than another. For example - being thin and blond is better than voluptuous and brunette so join Weight Watchers and get Oreal's new hair dye.

I just finished an internship with a marketing promoter and Hollywood producer - whose main occupation is manipulating perception. He struggles on a daily basis to control how others perceive certain products and events. He doesn't lie, he embellishes, he spins, he manipulates the information. We orchestrated a celebrity party at a famous Hotel last Friday, numerous celebrities were invited, at least five had agreed to show up. In reality only two did and they showed up forty-five minutes apart, never coming in contact. The promoter had the party filmed. Later in the editing room, he edited the footage so that it appeared the two celebs that did show not only interacted at the party, but were incredibly close friends. He also changed the timing of the party. In real time the party took place between 5-8pm before a film premiere. In the video he produced, it took place between 2-5am after the film premiere. He could not control the party, but he could control how the party was presented to the world at large.

On the internet, right now, at this very moment, millions of people are jockeying for control. A conversation is all about the struggle for control - who controls the subject matter and direction of the conversation. And we all get frustrated when the control slips from our grasp or when we can't change someone's opinion or taste or view on a topic.

This week's Angel episode dealt with all of these issues. Each character represented a different struggle for control and how that struggle is lost or all too briefly won.

Angel - believes he has control of Wolfram and Hart. He also believes he has control over himself and his own demons. But we wonder who has the control here? Is Angel controlling W&H or is W&H controlling Angel? How much control does the CEO or President of a major corporation really have? Arnold S. just became Governor of California. He believes he can cancel a car tax with an executive order and immediately right all the problems of the state. Yet California according to the News is a complex state with a divisive legislature. And a huge deficit. The Governor has less control than Arnold knows. Similar to Angel - who has taken over a huge multi-dimensional law firm - he believes he can change it, control it, snap of his fingers, yet each week he gets a new wrinkle from the subversive field operatives of last week's episode to the Gnarchar demon and the annoying Hainsely.

Gunn - believes because he now has expanded his knowledge of things, he has control. Anyone who has ever gone to law school knows how deluded this notion really is. Knowing the law does not provide you with control over it. You may be able to manipulate a few things here and there and it might give you a leg up over those who haven't taken the time and energy to study it - but it certainly doesn't provide you with greater control. Nor does knowledge for that matter. He comes up with a solution to wound Hainsely - but it doesn't solve the problem. Anymore than last week's solution to get Fries off, ultimately solved the problem - all it did was put it on hold.

Wesely - is similar to Gunn in this matter. He too believes knowledge extends to him a certain level of control. If he can manipulate mystical forces - he can control them. If he understands them, he has control. Just as Hainsely believes that he controls the dead, because he can mystically manipulate the dead. Or Jasmine believed that as long as she could manipulate the minds of her followers, she controlled the world.

Fred - asserts control through science. She figures stuff out. Not unlike the doctors who assert their power over life and death. We found a vaccine for measels - so we asserted control over measels. Unless of course someone fails to take the vaccine. Science makes men feel like Gods, through a formula or scientific procedure they can unravel the mysteries of the universe - determine how to blow up millions without damaging a single building or how to cure millions. Yet, the more mysteries we unravel, the more that pop up in their place and the more our control over our world appears to be a fragile illusion put in place by Circus owner to keep himself entertained. For instance, in the hell dimension Fred fell into way back in Season 2 Ats - science got her there but it could not get her out.

Lorne - is the media promoter/producer. He controls how things are seen or presented. How we sense something. He can tell through a song how someone feels, whether they are evil or good. Yet, as we saw last season, it's easy to fool this talent, fiddle with the mojo. And who controls Lorne's perceptions, Lorne's desires? Does he really have that much control over how he perceives things?

Spike - is the one member of the team with no illusions of control. The writers have literally done the worst thing they can think of to this character - remove his ability to interact with matter, to be of use, he is a phantom, a ghost, who is stuck to W&H. Spike doesn't even have the ability to leave LA. He is also the only member of the team that did not choose to join W&H. He is trapped there. Can you imagine the sheer frustration of not being able to control your own physicality? Of having no control over each slippage to hell? It's a bit like having a debilitating disease or a nervous condition. Spike who is the most physical of characters - is forced to deal without the ability to be physical.
Spike oddly enough is on the opposite side of the spectrum from Angel, who appears to be in control of everything, while Spike is in control of nothing. Yet, is this true? What is Angel in control of? What is Spike?

Spike chose his own soul. So no happiness clause. Spike controlled getting it.
Angel had his soul thrust on him. He did not choose it. He had no control over getting it and he has limited control over losing it. He can prevent its loss, but not without difficulty.
Spike chose to save the world with Buffy.
Angel wanted to save the world with Buffy but she turned him down.
Spike knows he is stuck with W&H. Angel believes he chose this and is in control.

In a way Angel has even less control than Spike does. Yet to the eye - it appears the opposite. The illusion fools them both.

As I slowly force my way up from the bowels of a bad drug reaction, I realize how precious the notion of control is to me. How frustrating it is to be without it. Particularly in regards to my own body. Hainsely is right, we do want control. Some would do anything for it. Control over our own lives, our destinies, even others destinies. We spend hours on posting boards and internet chat rooms attempting to persuade others to see things, whether they be political or cultural, through our eyes, to give us some sort of validation perhaps? Or maybe to give us a sense of control over the world around us, even as it continues to allude us elsewhere.



[> Re: The Loss of Control (Spoilers Just Rewards 5.2) -- Scroll, 10:34:08 10/10/03 Fri

I particularly liked VoodooDoll!Gunn. Nice snap-shot of the theme of control. Like the necromancer's power over Angel's body, here we have the ultimate misuse of magic to control and torment Gunn. This doll is just a puppet, something the puppeteer can manipulate and mutilate to his satisfaction, and, with the use of magic, can extend that manipulation and mutilation to the person the doll is fashioned after.

And now I'm thinking of how man was made in the image of God. Hmm, not sure where I can go with that...

Anyway, I think Angel only has the illusion of control. Despite his brave words to Hauser, to his friends, to his flunkies, Angel is not really in control of the situation at W&H. He's struggling to figure things out, but he's really lost at sea (even moreso than last summer!) and there's not a lifeboat to be seen.

Gunn, the ultimate existentialist, has made the devil's bargain and gained knowledge. Of the law, of Gilbert & Sullivan. He's eaten the fruit, freely choosing to take from the tree, and now he's got all the knowledge he ever wanted. But that choice, as TCH pointed out -- was it really made with free will? Is there ever such a thing, if one doesn't fully comprehend the consequences to the decisions one makes? If Adam and Eve had no understanding of death, the consequence of eating the fruit, then was their decision to eat the fruit one made with total free will? I don't know.

Can you imagine the sheer frustration of not being able to control your own physicality? Of having no control over each slippage to hell? It's a bit like having a debilitating disease or a nervous condition. Spike who is the most physical of characters - is forced to deal without the ability to be physical.

I think this was a brilliant move on the part of the writers. To make Spike insubstantial, in the world but not part of it -- well, now he can no longer fall back on simply reacting and doing. Instead, he is being forced to think and consider his existence. What is he now? Who is he? What can he do with himself? Why is he here? What kind of choices are being left to him? I look forward to figuring out the answers.

My Sunday school teacher explained that eating the fruit was about Adam and Eve wanting autonomy. (See my post to TCH re: why eating the fruit didn't give them free will.) They wanted to be like God, knowing not just the good of the garden and the peace that came from obeying God, but also the power and freedom that comes from making fully informed decisions. Unfortunately for them, they didn't understand the weight and responsibility that also comes with that kind of power and freedom.

'"For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."'
~ Genesis 3:5

'And the LORD God said, "The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever."'
~ Genesis 3:22 (emphasis mine)

Autonomy. That's what the fruit bestows on Adam and Eve. They didn't just gain knowledge of good and evil, but because of knowledge of good and evil, plus the free will God had already given them, they were now like God, having autonomy over themselves.

So what about Angel and the gang? What about Spike? What about Connor, who never had any autonomy at all?

The belief that we have autonomy, true autonomy, is a false one, in my opinion. Of course, I come from a different background from many of you, in that my religion plays a large part of my mindset. Do I think we as humans have total and comprehensive control over our lives? Most definitely not. Do we have any kind of autonomy? Only in a limited sense. We do the best we can, with what little we have. It's all any of us can do. We make our choices, and we live with the consequences. I can't wait to see what Angel and the others do with what they have this season.

[> [> Let's run with it (spoilers 5.02) -- Diana, 11:06:35 10/10/03 Fri

And now I'm thinking of how man was made in the image of God. Hmm, not sure where I can go with that...

In "Conviction" Angel takes a bite of the apple of Knowledge of Evil, sort of like Adam and Eve. Man is made in the image of God, but we really aren't gods. Job 38-42 does a better job at summing this up than I can. After The Fall, we have the knowledge of God, but not the powers. Those take time to develop and since we aren't immortal, we don't have that time.

In "Just Rewards" Angel is learning just what it means to have the knowledge of evil at your disposal.

"Cursed be the ground because of you! In toil shall you eat its yeild all the days of your life. Thorns and thisles shall it bring forth to you, as you eat of the plants of the field. By the sweat of your face shall you get bread to eat, until you return to the ground, from which you were taken; for you are dirt, and to dirt you shall return." (Gen 3:17-19)

Angel has at his disposal supernatural means, but he doesn't have the power of the Senior Partners themselves. He was made in the image of the gods, as a vampire, but that image isn't quite a god.

There are two ways to focus on for this episode, we can look at the lack of power, or the limited power Angel (and Spike) does possess. We can see him as not-quite a god, or we can see how understanding this allows him to act on the power he does have, thus see his lack of power as empowering.

Power corrupts. Does impotence redeem? It is in acknowledge our limitations that we can be brought back into union with God. We are sinners. Not we are evil or bad or something, but we fail sometimes. Angel tells that to Faith in "Consequences." The road of redemption is never over because we are always in danger of committing our next sin. Angel isn't trying to make up for his past any more. He is trying to make tomorrow better, trying not to commit more sins. Spike fades first when he thinks "saving the sodding world would be enough to earn me a little rest." Think again, Spikey boy.

It isn't about control, but what we do with it. Isn't that what Joss taught us on Buffy. It isn't about power, but what Buffy did with that power. Same thing here. Focus on the control and lack of it and we miss the big picture. Adam and Eve became more god-like by eating the apple. What we do with it determines whether our divine nature is realized or we slip further away.

[> [> [> Re: Let's run with it (spoilers 5.02) -- Scroll, 11:41:36 10/10/03 Fri

There are two ways to focus on for this episode, we can look at the lack of power, or the limited power Angel (and Spike) does possess. We can see him as not-quite a god, or we can see how understanding this allows him to act on the power he does have, thus see his lack of power as empowering.

Nicely said, Diana. I think this is what Angel will have to accept and understand in order to beat W&H. Angel isn't in control; he only has the illusion of it. And until he's willing to accept that he's merely a puppet or voodoo doll at the mercy of the Senior Partners, he will remained shackled to them. He's learned to be sceptical of the PTB last season, but his scepticism of the SPs has been diverted somewhat by Eve spelling out "the catch". (Personally, I think the catch she spelled out was a red herring.)

Angel knows there's a catch, and he things he can figure things out from the inside. I think he's underestimating the Senior Partners and the extent to which they can manipulate him and twist him around their baby finger. (Do they have baby fingers?) Remember S2, when Angel was at the mercy of a few hundred highly trained lawyers all dedicated to driving him insane? He had choices then, but did he have control? Not really. I think as he grew to realise he little control he actually had over his life, the more frustrated he grew until he hit critical mass and exploded in a frenzy of suicide mission cum rough sex with Darla. (Hey, anyone want to bet Darla's still around? She could come back and have sex with Angel again. What? It could happen!)

But I do think that once Angel realises the limitations of the power he has or doesn't have (IOW, fully comprehending the good and evil and thus having autonomy), he'll be able to finally make the right decisions.

It isn't about control, but what we do with it. Isn't that what Joss taught us on Buffy. It isn't about power, but what Buffy did with that power.

This always brings me back to Gunn. He's the ultimate example of man's desire for autonomy. His speech to Fred in "Inside Out" about how you have to kick over the board, do things as if you did have control even if you don't really have it, seems to resonate with his decisions so far this season. But I also look forward to Gunn realising it isn't just about having more knowledge and more power. It's also how you use it. And I can see Gunn getting a lot more grey (he's always been the least grey of the gang) this season as he plays lawyer to a bunch of low-lifes.

[> [> [> [> Re: Let's run with it (spoilers 5.02) -- Diana, 18:18:04 10/10/03 Fri

Nicely said, Diana. I think this is what Angel will have to accept and understand in order to beat W&H. Angel isn't in control; he only has the illusion of it. And until he's willing to accept that he's merely a puppet or voodoo doll at the mercy of the Senior Partners, he will remained shackled to them. He's learned to be sceptical of the PTB last season, but his scepticism of the SPs has been diverted somewhat by Eve spelling out "the catch".

But he isn't powerless. It isn't just the illusion of control. It is the illusion of how much control he has and over what. Angel has tremendous power, not just how we (or he, though how he is behaving reminds me of Generalisima Buffy trying hard to fight a fight she doesn't believe can be won) are concerned about. He isn't merely a puppet. He fought for free will last season. I can't see ME taking his away with his deal to W&H. Instead, he has to learn what power he actually does have so that he can really use it to help the helpless the way the helpless need to be helped.

I wouldn't be surprised if Joss' season premier followed the pattern he set over on BtVS where the season premier encapsulates the emotional arc for the entire season. Angel's realization about the power of mercy will come back into play to show him where his power is.

Even when events are beyond our control, we still have the ultimate power in how we allow those events to affect us. We have power in how we deal with those events, whether we give in to the dark or remain true to who we are. No matter what the SP do, they can't take that control away from Angel. When it came down to it, the SP didn't turn Angel dark. Ultimate control rests with him.

I'll write more later. Hubby and I are having an Angel marathon. I might not get back until Sunday evening, since my parents are coming for the weekend. Hopefully this thread will stay up until then. Voynak tends to think that Shadowkat's posts taste funny, so this should be safe. I just wanted to get that out while I still remembered it.

[> [> Re: The Loss of Control (Spoilers Just Rewards 5.2) -- LittleBit, 12:02:07 10/10/03 Fri

One of the things that intrigued me is that Gunn, who was at odds with Wes last season due in part to Gunn's perception of himself as muscle not brains, now finds himself, by choice, to be the go-to guy for interdimensional legal knowledge. Suddenly he's 'Data'...the one with all the information. Unfortunately Gunn is currently falling into the trap of thinking that information equates to knowing answers.

Wes, on the other hand, as someone who has a long association with information knows that it rarely gives quick or easy answers. The kinds of problems he usually has to solve have bits of information here, and bits there, and a mention in another place or two. It's a puzzle, and it's the ability and experiences of the mind solving it that allow the pieces to be put together...and sometimes those pieces (just like truly evil jigsaw puzzles) will fit together in more than one configuration, some of which will look correct.

In 'Conviction' Wes' information sources are able to give him little to help solve the problem of breaking the charm safely. Gunn, who withheld crucial information, is able to come in to save the day. He's the cavalry coming over the hill. He's able to prevent immediate consequences. In 'Just Rewards' Gunn knows that Angel's actions with his "three o-clock" could be a good thing. He knows how to hurt Hainsley. Wes, in contrast, is researching the amulet and coming up with precious little about it so far. He's going to have to use many resources, some of which may not be easy to obtain.

Consider though..."Conviction"---Gunn is in control of the situation in the courtroom. The cavalry has saved the day. But what did the cavalry actually do? Prevented immediate retaliation and bought some time. The cavalry is very pleased with itself. In control. The real job still falls to Wes to figure out how to open/remove/disarm the mystic vessel, and to Fred to determine exactly what the virus is (the one inside a mystic vessel that could kill them all if opened) and to find out what the antidote is. And they have maybe a few months. Now look at "Just Rewards." Gunn knows how to hurt Hainsley...hit him financially. Take everything away. Certainly, this hurt Hainsley, but it didn't stop him, it turned him to look quite directly at the obstacle in his way. Wes was researching the amulet, and as usual, as a magickal artifact used or developed by W&H it's poorly documented. Wes does learn one method to release the hold on Spike...break the amulet and send him on. Spike overhears this conversation and is able to realize two things: they are trying to find out what happened to him and how to free him, and that Angel doesn't immediately say "we can get rid of him? Do it." Spike then approaches Angel with a plan that really does remove the threat of Hainsley.

We see the AI gang react. Wes and Fred take it in stride. They'll both continue to work on the problem of releasing Spike from the amulet. Gunn's reaction is interesting to me, though. He's actually upset that they didn't run this plan past him. He wasn't informed of it before they did it. Why is this important? Why does he feel that Spike and Angel (Gunn's boss) developing and executing a plan needs to be brought to him first? Gunn, very much feeling in control at the end of "Conviction" finds himself out of the loop, and not in control at the end of "Just Rewards."

I may be completely wrong, but I'm looking forward to more of these contrasts between Wes amd Gunn. Gunn carrying out the business of W&H, and Wes working on the parts of the problems that AI finds important.

[> [> [> That was really good -- Diana, 18:25:39 10/10/03 Fri

Nothing to add. Just wanted to say that you put Wes and Gunn's relationship incredibly well. One thing you left off (guess I have one thing to add after all), in "Conviction," when Gunn and Wesley line up behind Angel when he comes into Wolfram and Hart ranting about what happened with the rescue scenario, Wesley is closer to Angel. In "Just Rewards" when they do it, Gunn is. I like to watch the physical placement of the characters and noticed that difference happened already. I don't think it is just the loop that Gunn will want, but Angel's approval, thus continuing the father issues the show has dealt with for 4 seasons.

[> [> [> [> Re: That was really good -- jane, 18:36:30 10/10/03 Fri

Fascinating discussion here. I am something of a control freak myself, so I'm really interested in the issues surrounding it. Don't have anything to add to this, just want to keep the thread going.

[> A note on Determinism -- Masq, putting on her philosophy teacher hat, 11:31:45 10/10/03 Fri

Sorry for the nit-pick but I feel compelled to add a few points to your explication of determinism (ex-philosophy teacher impulse here).

The idea that the world is run by laws of nature and that "truely true" free will doesn't exist is determinism, yes. Every act we engage in, everything that happens in the world is constrained by the operation of causal laws.

But that doesn't mean the causal laws are all external factors impinging on us. Determinsim doesn't say this.

To explain what I mean, we need the concept of the "causal chain". What was the chain of events that lead to a particular effect?

For example, say I fell on my ass this morning. Perhaps I was pushed, and I fell. The causal chain is the person who pushed me and gravity and perhaps my insufficient strength to counteract both of these causes.

In that example, my falling was caused by things external to me I couldn't control. But now let's look at another example. Let's say I fell because I was in acting class and I wanted to demonstrate what a good faller I was. In that case the causal chain goes through me. The chain of events includes my desire to be a good actress, my desire to please others by demonstrating my abilities, the fact that I was in acting class at the time.

A determinist would tell me that my falling that morning in acting class was completely determined. But it was determined by my personality, which was molded by my genetics and my environment, and it by the fact that the acting teacher was talking about actors doing their own stunts in class that day.

Both examples are examples of determinism, but in one case the causal chain goes through me, through my personality, my "choices", and in the other case it doesn't.

Determinism allows for "choice", for causal chains going through individuals and individuals changing their behavior themselves.

It's not "truly free" free will, but it's the closest thing possible.

[> [> Thank you for that. -- s'kat, 20:45:23 10/10/03 Fri

From my post you could probably tell that my understanding of determinism was pretty foggy. By the way - on Joan of Arcadia tonight - they did an allusion to determinism using a chess game, explaining how every action has a reaction.
We have choices - but the choice is do we act or don't act?
If we don't act that has consequences. It's a bit like playing chess actually - you touch a piece - you have to do something with it. Also you can choose to play your opponents game - giving them the advantage - or play your own game.

If that's determinism? Than I guess I'm a determinist. Because I believe in that logic. I've never bought the theory that we are complete masters of fate or captain's of our destiny. (Which is why the blowing up of the Council in Never Leave Me after Quentin Travers gave that speech still amuses me to no end.) There are way too many variables beyond our control for that to be true, logically.

Joan of Arcadia isn't bad by the way - a little sanctimonious at times, but the chess analogy was really quite good. And the cast enjoyable.

W+H's apocalypse -- David, 13:38:13 10/10/03 Fri

Hi can somehelp me because I was watching reprise with a few friends and holland told angel something like W+H weren't intrested in winning so do they actually want angel to lose their apocalypse. Thanks
By the way, i hope you can understand this post!


[> Re: W+H's apocalypse -- CW, 15:35:04 10/10/03 Fri

I think it means the Wolfram and Hart just wants to keep the game going. In other words, if good wins or if evil wins the apocalypse the world they have so much influence in is gone. I think this means that W&H is not so much evil as it is in favor of chaos (or life as we all know it, if you prefer, with both its good and horrible aspects). To truly good people W&H will look evil, and to the truly evil they will look on the side of good. This is the reason why Jasmine tried to destroy W&H, and why W&H supplied the medalion to Buffy that Spike used in Chosen. Jasmine wanted to end 'the game' in her favor. The First Evil also talked about ending it. Do the senior partners have sinister plans for Angel? Of course, but not as unequivocally evil as it might seem at first glance.

[> [> That's it!! I need to say this! -- Seven, 16:17:35 10/10/03 Fri


I don't know if anyone has posted this before, but isn't it likely that the Senior Partners and The Powers That Be are one and the same? I mean, both essentially want the game to go on. The SP don't want to "win" and TPTB have only helped out enough to keep apocolypses at bay. Both institutions (W&H and AI) are just working from different ends of the same rope trying to keep everything even. But why would this be the case? Why would both want to keep everything even? Maybe because the two sides that are pulling need for the rope to stay that way, for neither side to win the tug-a-war because then the whole thing would be over. The game would cease to exist and there would be no teams. So my guess is that the SP and the PTB are either the same entities or working towards the same goal: survival.

The joining of AI and W&H is an attempt to keep the balance. They (The Senior Powers) are pulling on all kinds of strings to get this to work.

Spike, Gunn, Angel are there major players right now. They may be the wagers on the table. "Ok, we'll give you Gunn but we get Spike." said the PTB. "Ok, but Spike has to earn it. We gave him the amulet, he's ours. said the SP. "We want to see what happens. If he can't be your new champion, we'll send him to Hell." said the SP. Get the idea?

Am i way off base here? I keep coming back to this idea.


[> [> [> Re: That's it!! I need to say this! -- lvsxy808, 18:32:48 10/10/03 Fri

My god, that all makes so much sense, it's almost scary. I almost regret reading it, because it seems such a likely way for the show to go that it's almost a spoiler.

[> [> [> yup yup....right on -- Nino, 23:11:22 10/10/03 Fri

[> [> [> Re: That's it!! I need to say this! -- angel's nibblet, 00:00:52 10/11/03 Sat

and if they're not one and the same, they may at least be working with one another. that would be an incredibly disturbing way for the whole thing to end!!! Thanx so much, now you've given me *thoughts*!!! It makes such a disturbing kind of sense :-S I hope Joss doesn't read this and get any funny ideas.....

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