October 2003 posts

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Carpenter, Quinn both fired for drug use? -- M. Tharkas, 13:19:06 10/22/03 Wed

I'm hearing rumours that both Charisma Carpenter and Glenn Quinn were both fired from "Angel" for drug abuse and unprofessional behaviour. If it's true I'm surprised that there isn't more high-profile Internet chat going around (except for the brief note that Quinn died from an overdose).

Does anyone know whether this is true?


[> Not really any of our business. They'd probably issue a press release if they wanted us to know -- Random, 14:04:03 10/22/03 Wed

[> [> Re: Not really any of our business. -- M. Tharkas, 14:16:43 10/22/03 Wed

I don't agree. There's plenty of debate and tearing of hair regarding the wisdom of dropping the characters. If we know that this is why they were dropped, that that takes care of the issue and we don't have to wonder about Whedon's dramatic choices. These actors use publicity of their personal characteristics to make money (otherwise they wouldn't give interviews), so I think it's perfectly legitimate for us to discuss wehther their personal behaviour interfered with the production of the show.

[> [> [> Re: Not really any of our business. -- RJA, 14:26:54 10/22/03 Wed

M.E have said that the reason Doyle was no longer in the show as that they always considered him only there for the short term. They said that Cordelia was written out because they no longer felt they could tell interesting stories with her. Thats the official version.

If there is any truth to such rumours, then M.E dont want to fuel them, and for that they should be respected and admired. And I dont see too much problem with their official reasons for getting rid of the characters either.

[> [> [> Our status as fans doesn't give us the right... -- Rob, 14:39:50 10/22/03 Wed

...to pry into business that the actors and production teams themselves would obviously rather not discuss. The important thing is what comes across on screen. We do not need to know why Charisma left. The important thing to us is that Cordelia is now in a coma. We do not need to know why Glenn left. The imporant thing is that he had a glorious send-off on the show and died in the manner befitting a true hero. I'm drawn in to the show by the story, and the characters. The actors' personal lives, yes, sometimes do have an affect on the show, but, as Random said, if it were important for all viewers to know the backstage reasons behind peoples' departures, they would publicly announce it.

I'd also like to point out the recent story at SciFi.com (scroll down), wherein Joss says that he really wants Charisma back on the show, to bring closure to the character. I doubt that he would want her back if she were such hell to work with. Also, as MacKenzie pointed out, she was pregnant last year, and from all news reports, has a healthy baby boy. Drug use doesn't sound likely.


[> [> [> [> Well Said! -- Sheri, who's applauding wildly for Rob, 14:41:45 10/22/03 Wed

[> [> [> [> Who's prying? -- M. Tharkas, 14:57:17 10/22/03 Wed

Who's prying? I'm just asking what people know. I haven't launched an investigation. I haven't opened anyone's garbage cans or staked out their mothers' houses. It's not so off the wall to wonder about celebrities' lives.

If they do an in-depth interview with People magazine or the TV Guide channel talking about how wonderful it is to have a baby and all kinds of other details about their lives in order to get us to like them, then I think it's perfectly fair game to talk about things about their personal lives that might make us not like them.

[> [> [> [> [> Perhaps this is a question more appropriate to a celebrity gossip board -- It's called All Things PHILOSOPHICAL, not All Things Gossipy, 15:32:53 10/22/03 Wed

[> [> [> [> [> One small logically erronious presumption. -- OnM, 16:53:02 10/22/03 Wed

*** If they do an in-depth interview with People magazine or the TV Guide channel talking about how wonderful it is to have a baby and all kinds of other details about their lives in order to get us to like them, then I think it's perfectly fair game to talk about things about their personal lives that might make us not like them. ***

I suspect that most celebrities give us details about their private lives because a large contingent of their fans pester them about it constantly. So, they are simply trying to please the fans by responding. Not always of course, but I'm guessing celebrities liked to be liked about as much as most people do. Also, happy fans buy stuff, and that makes the entertainment industry happy. Are many celebrities genuinely trying to please themselves, or just keep their bosses off their backs?

[> [> [> [> [> [> I think you're right, but there is a line -- RJA, 17:42:08 10/22/03 Wed

When actors do interviews, they are carrying out their job, i.e. promoting the work they do. I'm not sure how the contracts are worked out, but I suspect that this is something they are compelled, or at least expected to do. Those Hollywood stars dont to 20-30 interviews a day (think Notting Hill) because they like saying the same thing over and over again. They do so because it promotes their product and more people seeing their product because of that is good for them. So I dont think its a matter of wanting to be liked. And on that basis, not an invitation into their personal life.

On a related note (and this doesnt have much relevance to the Buffyverse crew), but I do think that a line can be drawn at some point. Because while I think that being a celebrity doesnt stand as an invitation to invade their privacy, there are limits. Or at least limits to my sympathy :-)

For instance, Catherine Zeta Jones and Michael Douglas sued Hello Magazine for taking unauthorised pictures of their wedding day. However, the amazing thing is that they won their case, despite the fact that they had allowed a rival magazine to take photos for an exorbitant fee. Some privacy huh?

But I just have a harsh view on this. I think that all celebrities and people in the public eye have a right to privacy, until they sell pictures or their lifestyle to such magazines as Hello (not sure if you have an equivalent in America), in which case they dont get nothing :-)

[> I really hope not, Charisma was preggo last season, I would be really dissapointed -- Mackenzie, 14:10:08 10/22/03 Wed

Making Peace -- Claudia, 15:08:21 10/22/03 Wed

I just finished watching some of the Season 3 BUFFY episodes that featured Wesley. And I missed all of the second half of ANGEL's Season, which featured the ex-Watcher's arrival on that show. So right now, I am wondering if Buffy and Wesley ever made peace over the debacle of their Watcher/Slayer relationship.


[> Did they ever really even speak to each other after that? -- Sheri, 15:30:21 10/22/03 Wed

It's been a while since I saw that episode of AtS when Buffy goes to L.A. to confront Angel over his helping Faith... did she even run into Wes then?

I'm under the impression that the last time she saw Wesley, Buffy's basic attitude towards him was that he's useless and pretty dang inconsequential to her life. With Wesley, on the other hand, I wonder if Buffy's "I'll let you know if I need someone to scream like a girl" comments might be a factor in him becoming who he is today.

I doubt that they ever sat down together to talk about their feelings or anything, but I also doubt that there is any lingering resentment. They've probably been kept informed about eachother through Angel, so my guess is that whether or not they like eachother, they respect eachother for the growth they've both made.

[> [> Re: Did they ever really even speak to each other after that? -- LittleBit, 15:45:10 10/22/03 Wed

From "Sanctuary":

Wesley pushing Faith down the stairs in front of him: "Slight change of plan. (To Faith) Get your coat."
Angel: "Wesley, what's going on?"
Wesley: "In about twenty minutes the Council's operations team is coming in here. They'll expect to find you gone (holds up the syringe) and her drugged."
Angel: "How many?"
Wesley: "Three. Hello Buffy. I'm afraid you've come at a bad time."
Buffy: "I'm feeling that."
Angel: "Why did you bring them here?"
Wesley: "Couldn't shake them. Had to pretend I was helping them."
Angel: "Why aren't you?"
Buffy: "I know these guys. They're killers."
Wesley: "They've surrounded the building."

Other than that exhange there was no other dialogue between Buffy and Wes. But they did fight together, along with Angel, to keep the Council Special Ops team from getting Faith.

[> [> Wesley drove Buffy to the police station -- Masq, 15:47:26 10/22/03 Wed

To see what became of Faith. And before that happened, they ran into each other down in Angel's apartment.

Wesley's talking about the situation going on in very authoritative terms, nothing like his Sunnydale persona at all:

Wesley: "In about twenty minutes the Council's operations team is coming in here. They'll expect to find you gone (holds up the syringe) and her drugged."
Angel: "How many?"
Wesley: "Three. Hello Buffy. I'm afraid you've come at a bad time."
Buffy: "I'm feeling that."
Angel: "Why did you bring them here?"
Wesley: "Couldn't shake them. Had to pretend I was helping them."
Angel: "Why aren't you?"
Buffy: "I know these guys. They're killers."
Wesley: "They've surrounded the building."

She sees Wesley in competent mode.

[> [> Re: Did they ever really even speak to each other after that? -- Deacon, 16:48:22 10/22/03 Wed

I think that because there fight in S3 was because of Wesley' unwillingness to help angel. And now that Wesley is working for angel, those issues may have been resolved on there own

'Opinion' vs. 'Fact' -- LittleBit, 14:21:28 10/22/03 Wed

I've stayed out of these discussions until now but, as we head into this new season of Angel, I feel compelled to give my opinion on this matter. We've had one too many blow-ups on the board over this topic and I really would prefer not to be going there yet again.

Everything that every poster writes here that isn't a direct quote from someone or somewhere else is an opinion. It's the nature of this type of posting board. We see the story, the episodes, the characters, the arcs through our own lenses and we interpret them. If we think we have something of interest to say, we might post that viewpoint. I think it gets nearly ridiculous to consistently point out to one or two posters that they didn't say it was an opinion or personal viewpoint. On a board of this calibre this should be a given. Our discussions take on the dynamics of a nursery school recess when we reduce our discussions to this. (And I will note that that is merely my opinion and may offend some posters, but it is descriptive of the reaction I have to reading this, over and over).

We have several posters who write long, thought-out essays. Shadowkat, Tchaikovsky, KdS, Lunasea/Diana, OnM, Caroline and Random to name a few. To anyone who reads these I submit it's clear in all cases that these posters are expressing their own opinions, their individual viewpoints, their personal way of interpreting what they see, of relating it to their own life, to philosophy, to mythology, or even just to ask if anyone else saw the same things.

So I submit to the board...may we take it as a given that any poster is expressing a personal opinion, or interptetation of the show(s) and not feel compelled to point out that they forgot to say that?


[> 'Opinion' vs. 'Fact' vs. 'Argumentation' -- Maura, 23:17:14 10/22/03 Wed

Let me start by saying that I'm speaking here as an argumentative writing teacher, so if I sound a bit tetchy, it's not due to anything anyone's posted here; it's because this fact/opinion dichotomy triggers a multitude of memories of my students suggesting that no one can tell them their argument's "wrong" because they're entitled to their own "opinion."

I certainly agree there are facts: Angel's a vampire, etc. And just plain facts don't take us very far in the type of stimulating discussion we get on this board.

But for me there's quite a distinct difference between "opinion" and "argumentation." If I say I think Fred is an interesting character, that's an opinion. It's a statement of how I feel about her role in the show. No one can tell me I'm wrong. No one has any reason to agree with me either (based on my just saying that).

But if I make a case that Fred deserves to be considered an interesting character by using "textual evidence" ("facts") to illustrate that she has affected the development of the show in profound ways and has herself developed as a character in ways that belie the usual stereotypes of female TV characters, I am doing more than stating an opinion. I am suggesting reasons for others to share my views. And others are welcome to disagree with me, but the very act of argumentation challenges them to disagree with me not simply on the basis of feeling or innate preference but by presenting reasons that I should consider for reevaluating my own position.

In other words, opinion suggests, "Cool. We agree," or "Let's agree to disagree."

Argumentation suggests, "Here's why I think you should share my view. Can you explain to me why I do or do not convince you?"

I think these are quite different activities.

But I certainly agree that neither arguments nor opinions should be presented as if they were transparently correct facts. And I agree that it's clear that people seldom do this on this board, even when they write essays that take a very authoritative tone.

[> [> Re: 'Opinion' vs. 'Fact' vs. 'Argumentation' -- LittleBit, 23:32:01 10/22/03 Wed

I can agree with the extra distinction. I agree that there is a difference between stating what one feels or thinks and trying to convince others that there are reasons for that interpretation to get them to see what it is. Basically, I'm just trying to say that, however people express themselves, in general here we are hearing a point of view. It may be based in gut reactions, preferences, or an analysis of the current facts, for examples, but it is still one point of view. And that use of declarative sentences isn't a terrible thing.

[> Re: 'Opinion' vs. 'Fact' -- Rendyl, 06:43:21 10/23/03 Thu

***To anyone who reads these I submit it's clear in all cases that these posters are expressing their own opinions, their individual viewpoints, their personal way of interpreting what they see, of relating it to their own life, to philosophy, to mythology, or even just to ask if anyone else saw the same things. ***

Well...as long as you are certain then I guess it is okay for me to follow blindly along and just take your -opinion- as fact.

(following blindly since that clarity you spoke of keeps eluding me)

Ren - kudos to keeping us on the straight and narrow -

[> [> Sigh...I give up. -- LittleBit, 09:58:27 10/23/03 Thu

I'd hoped that maybe we could have a common ground for the discussions here, or at least that there could be some agreement that the statements regarding analysis or interpretation in posts here are the opinions of the posters who make them. I was wrong. I won't even ask for a modicum of common sense to help prevent flame wars. I'm stepping out now.

Do whatever you want.

[> [> [> Re: Sigh...I give up. -- Rendyl, 12:18:10 10/23/03 Thu

Er...you toss out an insult then step out? Maybe I should be the one sighing.

In your first post you essentially said, "hey gang, lets all do it this way." That is not a problem unless it results in my having no choice. Which pretty much is what it does. If I can't say, 'hey, I would rather not do it that way,' then there is no point in my posting at all.

(And maybe my earlier response should not have been so sarcastic but I do get tired of always trying to be polite when it seems like no one else is worried about whether they are or not.)


[> [> [> [> The problem I saw was... -- Random, 13:07:10 10/23/03 Thu

...that you didn't say "hey, let's not do it this way." You were just sarcastic. I understand you might have felt a carry-over from a previous thread, but LittleBit was in no way guilty of crossing you in that thread. She started a new thread offering a suggestion, one that Masq and Maura amended, politely, and LittleBit responded to -- politely. As I am replying politely to you.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: The problem I saw was... -- Rendyl, 15:30:41 10/23/03 Thu

And her objection -needed- a completely new thread? A quick note under the posts she found objectionable was not good enough?

(And no, I can't ask her. She appears unavailable)

And what was the point of saying let's not do it this way? It was stated that we -all- understand this meaning under the meaning stuff. So if I don't I am what? An idiot?

And for some weird reason I found 'nursery school recess' just a tiny bit insulting. Guess I missed the meaning behind that as well.

Ren - well...hell - no board (not even this one) is worth this level of grief -

[> [> [> [> An apology and clarification... -- LittleBit, 13:34:20 10/23/03 Thu

I did respond with sarcasm, and I apologize. It was an uncalled for reaction on my part. So please allow me to both modify and clarify my previous response.

You singled out and objected to, in a manner I took to be quite sarcastic, the following (I include both the sentence and the response):

***To anyone who reads these I submit it's clear in all cases that these posters are expressing their own opinions, their individual viewpoints, their personal way of interpreting what they see, of relating it to their own life, to philosophy, to mythology, or even just to ask if anyone else saw the same things. ***

Well...as long as you are certain then I guess it is okay for me to follow blindly along and just take your -opinion- as fact.

(following blindly since that clarity you spoke of keeps eluding me)

I don't know how much more specifically I could have made my word choice. I did not say we 'must' do things like this. I used the word "submit" which according to Merriam-Webster online is defined as follows:

2 : to present or propose to another for review, consideration, or decision
3 : to put forward as an opinion or contention.

I offered a proposal and the reasons for offering it. My intention was never to be offensive or to be seen as "telling" anyone what that person "must" see or do.

Having said this, I am bowing out. If I am seen as not caring about being polite then I am failing miserably in my intentions. And if I am having this much difficulty in saying what I intend to say in a simple post, then I have no business trying to post here.


[> ITA (NT) -- ACS, 14:24:31 10/22/03 Wed

[> Re: 'Opinion' vs. 'Fact' -- Masq, 15:20:00 10/22/03 Wed

I agree with sentiment behind your statement that "this is an opinion" should not have to be stated, that the burden is really on the reader to realize that this is a statement of opinion, not a statement of fact.

But I have been that reader myself from time to time. Some of the essayists you mentioned (and others) write with such strength of conviction and eloquency that if I disagree with them, I find myself thinking (rather hot under the collar), "They're saying that as if it's a fact! It's not! People are going to buy this *&^% because they'll think it's a fact, too!"

And I then feel compelled to "point out" to the writer that that's "Just an opinion", which is probably something they know perfectly well, and they didn't intend to suggest otherwise. And yet, in that weird region in between their writing and my interpretation of their writing, everything they said seemed to suggest they believed that what they were writing was fact pure and simple.

If we can keep the psychology of this in our minds as we read, we can do as you suggest. Just keep saying, "Remember, self, this is just an opinion. Calm down, and just say you disagree, then state your own opinion."

And, as always, back it up with evidence.

[> [> Re: 'Opinion' vs. 'Fact' -- LittleBit, 15:59:42 10/22/03 Wed

Believe me, I fully understand. I've had that reaction myself at times. You know...eyes roll, big sigh, smart remark. Then I take my own advice, though, and remind myself that very little is anything more than opinion and personal interpretation, regardless of the education, training and experience. And if I disagree, I'll make my point. From my perspective.

[> [> [> Well, I think... -- Masq, 16:43:31 10/22/03 Wed

That Random's admittedly snarky post in response to your request is good evidence that there are many "facts" on the show that it is silly to dispute, e.g., that Angel is a vampire, etc. These are what I call "show facts", other people call them "canonical facts". These are the things we must use to back up our claims about things that are more matters of interpretation (or "opinion").

[> [> [> [> Good point -- RJA, 17:51:24 10/22/03 Wed

There is what happened on the show factually, and that we all have to agree on. This would include Buffy dying twice, Willow going evil, Spike sacrificing himself, Xander's passionate affair with Larry...

And then there is the interpretation of these facts. The whys, hows, wherefores and implications, i.e why did Buffy die in the Gift, what caused Willow to breakdown and so on.

Its rather like history as a whole. We know to an extent what happened (although theres still enough debate within that area itself!), but the real discussion and disagreements come over why it happened and what this means. Some people make livings off this grey area (I should be so lucky).

This thread reminds me of something I read today, that a writer criticised M.E because they had got their metaphor wrong, and that there was only one possible meaning for this metaphor and that it was a real mistake that they didnt do it correctly. And that was something that surprised me. Because I was so used to people (especially those getting paid to write about it) criticising/debating the show on its own premise, that I hadnt entertained the idea that someone would think the writers were actually wrong in their own interpretation.

[> [> [> [> [> Just to contradict myself -- RJA, 17:55:26 10/22/03 Wed

I used an example of a fact of the show as Willow going evil, however, I personally have a problem with the broadbrush use of the word evil. Thats not to say that I dont think what Willow did wasnt evil, but at the same time I'm not entirely sure that it was. And what can truly be defined as evil? Thats always a sticking point for me, yet I am cavalier enough in my own use of the word.

So even with things that appear to be facts, we still have to be careful about how we define or approach them.

[> [> [> [> Re: I agree -- LittleBit, 19:13:51 10/22/03 Wed

Without the show facts, or canon, then the basis for opinions or interpretations remains questionable. They do need to be there or there's no common basis for discussion.

[> Well, I guess this is as good a place as any to post my latest [spoilers to 5.3] -- Random, 15:21:02 10/22/03 Wed

In what was, IMHO, the first episoded of the new season of AtS, I was fascinated by what appeared to be several of the major characters, including one who was presumably Angel, dealing with a possible situation that perhaps provided a plot-line of some sort. My opinion was that it was likely that Angel -- who, to my admittedly unreliable persepective, is a vampire -- is dealing with issues that may or may not be related to the fact that they have entered a potential paradigm shift which could be less radical than it first appears. While, to my understanding, the previous seasons dealt with a rather existential world of colours that may or may not have been grey, this season -- if it is, indeed, a new season -- actually, IMHO, introduces a certain (or uncertain) clarity to their perspectives. "Don't let them make you play their game," Lindsay might have said way back when, and it possibly occured to me that the game in question isn't exactly what it seems. This humble writer's perspective is that what we might be witnessing is not so much the insidious external corruption theme, but the self-corruption. The law firm, which I tend to think is called Wolfram and Hart, could be, above all else, the embodiment of Evil-as-Order...and the AtS gang could be called the anarchists. The stability provided perhaps provides less a platform for control over the gang than a means of accessing the gang's modus operandi, their perspective. What if W&H isn't out to assimilate the AI people, but to be integrated into them? The gang appears to be operating W & H in a manner that may or may not be in keeping with their previous lives. Would it not be the final insidious evil if the gang is being led -- by Eve, by the cases, by the dilemmas -- to believe that they have to be on guard against corruption and moral quandaries...but in actuality are being used specifically because they are resistant to being incorporated into the normal W&H paradigm? Could it not be possible that they offer something that W&H didn't have before, independence and a resistance to moral compromise? When Spike appeared to come from the amulet and, at least to my eyes, seemed insubstantial and capable of passing through things, we perhaps witnessed not the counterpoint to Angel, but the accessory to aid Angel in remembering what he is. What if Spike isn't the nay-sayer, but the yea-sayer? What if his independence and snarkiness are designed by the Senior Partners to keep Angel from growing institutionalized like the previous leaders of W&H? The miscalculation, of course, lies in whether the Senior Partners realize that Spike tends to defy expectations sometimes. This is, I think, all IMHO.

[> [> A comment that Knox made [spoilers to 5.3] -- Rufus, 17:47:16 10/22/03 Wed

When you mentioned Evil as Order I thought about what Knox said to Fred in Conviction....

I think you were right, boss. These guys specialize in quick-fire disease scenarios: Sarin gases and viruses.

(stands, backs away)
Which you all built.

Hey, no. We've contained more plagues than we've ever designed. (shrugs) I'm not all about destruction here.

That line makes me wonder if Knox isn't all about destruction then, what? That goes for many other employee's of Wolfram and Hart. Using the "singing test" some employee's are not all evil, so why are they there? The same could be said for Angel and gang who now have to reconcile the fact that in some ways they are no different than that evil law firm they have been butting heads with.

[> [> [> It's not all about destruction -- Masq, 10:05:26 10/23/03 Thu

Well, the evil have a vested interest in keeping the world around for them to corrupt. If everyone dies from a virus, Wolfram and Hart goes out of business. So of course they're going to do "good things" for the wrong reasons sometimes. Just like Angel and co do "bad things" for the right reasons (Wesley sacrificing Willow in Choices to stop the Mayor would be an example of this).

A little Cordy Poll.... -- Nino, 20:16:58 10/22/03 Wed

So, we are approaching episode 5 and have gotten a pretty good feel of how the character dynamics might be playing out this season with the new "setup"...

...my question to you is, "What About Cordy?" I know, I'm a pain in the ass with ol'Cordy, but I really want to here some ideas about what people would like to see happen with Cordy this season, if anything.

I have already posted my ideal Cordy wrap-up storyline, so I won't bore the Board with it again...but what about everyone else? I have not read anyone else's hopes maybe a specific storyline/ep they would like to see play out....has anyone given it any thought, or am I the only one still hanging on to Cordelia?


[> Part One of my personal Cordy comeback scenario (spoilers for a never-to-be-shown episod) -- cjl, 13:37:28 10/23/03 Thu

[Los Angeles, day. Angel, decked out in full CEO regalia, walks up to the 2nd floor reception desk of Holland Masters Memorial Hospital. He asks the on-duty nurse about the condition of Cordelia Chase, and whether he can go sit by her bedside for awhile. The nurse informs him that somebody else is already there. Angel grabs the clipboard with the visitors' sign-in sheet, and he eyes the name on top: "A. Harris." The "A" throws him off, and it takes a few seconds until he makes the connection.

[Angel hangs back outside Cordelia's room, looking through the rectangular window in the door; he sees Xander sitting by Cordelia's bedside. Angel walks in and stands next to Xander's chair. Xander doesn't even notice him.]

ANGEL: Xander.

[Xander looks up, and scans Angel's natty-looking ensemble with his one good eye. No discernable facial reaction.]

XANDER: Didn't hear you come in.

ANGEL: Stealthiness. No breathing. Comes with the territory.

XANDER: Yeah. [Xander turns back to Cordelia. Angel pulls up a chair. Awkward silence by the gallon.]

ANGEL: So...how's it going?

[Xander's body language says, "I can't believe he asked that question."]

XANDER: Hey, best year ever.

ANGEL: I heard about the eye.

XANDER (shrugs): It's done. [Extends metaphorical olive branch] And I heard about how you knocked the Preacher Man around a bit. Thanks.

ANGEL: No problem. Guy got on my nerves. That accent. The cheesy Bible Belt speechifying. Who talks like that anymore?

XANDER: When Buffy-- [does an imitation of Buffy's up-the-the-'nads scythe swing] Was it--?

ANGEL: It was sweet.

XANDER (smiling): Excuse me while I bask in that moment of reflected glory.

ANGEL: Enjoy.

[Angel looks at Xander with confusion. Angel has been dreading a bedside confrontation with one of the Scoobs--but Xander isn't hostile. Xander isn't even mildly snarky. Angel wonders if Xander has matured, or if life has beaten the kid to a pulp.]

ANGEL: Don't you want to know what happened?

XANDER: Cordy was possessed by a straight-from-the-netherworld ultimate evil, and it sucked the life out of her before you could take it down. That about cover it?

ANGEL: The basics, yeah.

XANDER: Look--if you're waiting for me to come down on you for screwing up, it's not gonna happen. Kinda found out the hard way that when you're in a war, people are going to get hurt. And there's not a damn thing you can do about it. [Xander "goes somewhere" for a long moment.] Will tells me you two were getting pretty tight.

ANGEL: Don't know what she's talking about.

[Angel turns away when Xander tries to read his face.]

XANDER: Uh huh.

ANGEL: Cordy was a friend. Is a friend. And that's saying a lot. I haven't had too many of those. [Leans back in his chair] She's never been afraid to get in my face when I'm out of line.

XANDER: And you need somebody like that.

[Angel glares at Xander.]

ANGEL: I think we all do from time to time. You know, after awhile, I didn't even mind the "Queen C" stuff anymore.

XANDER (wistfully): She'd get all excited about the "fall line" and this new pair of shoes she'd just bought on one of her "day trips" to Beverly Hills--all of it completely wasted on Mr. Fashion Victim over here....

[Now it's Angel who takes a quick scan of Xander's ensemble.]

XANDER: Hey, I like the flannel. It's a lifestyle choice.

ANGEL: Not my place to judge.

XANDER: And I just knew that all of that stuff didn't matter. She could talk about clothes and shopping until I thought my head was going to fall off and it didn't change what I loved about her.

[Angel jolts a little bit at the word "loved."]

ANGEL: If it was going that great between you, what was the whole thing with Willow all about?

[Xander glares at Angel.]

XANDER: Do you want the Soap Opera Digest version, or the extra-long, "My God, Kill Me Now" exposition?

ANGEL: Forget I asked.

XANDER: I didn't know what I wanted. You're friends with somebody for so long, and you start to wonder-

[Xander doesn't finish. He doesn't have to. Angel and Xander fall silent and awkwardly look at everything in the room but each other.]

ANGEL: If you could do it all over again...

XANDER: Would I change anything?

ANGEL: If she would take you back...

[Long pause. Both men seem to be pondering Angel's line of questioning.]

CORDY (o.s.): Well? Aren't you going to answer him?

[> [> Hey! Xander shows up in my scenario too! -- Nino, 14:18:51 10/23/03 Thu

He's Key guy! I love it....more please!

[> [> cjl, do you write fanfiction? -- Tchaikovsky, 06:49:56 10/25/03 Sat

Just cos whenever you come up with one of these scenes on the board, they're always dead on and woundingly emotional.


[> [> [> And further up the board lies the answer -- Tchaikovsky, 06:52:23 10/25/03 Sat


[> [> Re: Part One of my personal Cordy comeback scenario (spoilers for a never-to-be-shown episod) -- jane, 16:15:46 10/25/03 Sat

This is just..neat. I could picture the scene, and it really seems like something that would happen. Always liked Cordy and Xander together.

[> [> part one? of how many? & when...? -- anom, 19:22:54 10/26/03 Sun

[> [> [> Sorry, anom. That's all I got right now. Besides.... -- cjl, 07:49:28 10/27/03 Mon

If I don't buckle down and finish up my Anyafic for fresne, she's going to do the tarantella on my spleen next time we meet...

[> Re: A little Cordy Poll.... -- Q, 15:15:34 10/25/03 Sat

I would like Cordy's story to continue EXACTLY like it is. I would like to NEVER see her again, and have the woeful Cordelia years rarely mentioned. If we need to remember her, they should allude to the years Cordy was worth a damn-- Buffy season 1-3, and Ats season 1. I would be very happy if we never see her on screen again.

[> [> :( -- Nino, 20:43:08 10/25/03 Sat

[> I've had some thoughts (Spoilers through 5.4) -- Finn Mac Cool, 20:28:24 10/22/03 Wed

You gotta keep in mind, Angel's been rather busy so far, what with setting up the Wolfram & Hart scenario and dealing with Spike. Give them several more episodes, and they might have enough breather space to tackle the problem (if they wait long enough, they can save it for sweeps).

Here are two ideas I can think of for a Cordy send off:

1) Very dark and intense. Angel discovers that Wolfram & Hart is keeping Cordelia in her coma while promising their working on making her better. It's sort of insurance in case Angel decides to back out of his deal. Angel tries to rescue Cordelia, fighting off many of his own guards. What happens from there after, I don't know.

2) Sweet and touching. Angel gains the attention/sympathy of some higher power (whether the Senior Partners, the Powers That Be, or someone else) who gives him a present: a DVD. When he plays it, Angel finds a farewell message from Cordelia. He ends up walking away a little happier with his life.

Granted, the two aren't necessarily contradictory, but they don't really match each other well. Of course, I thought Spike would come back as a PTB messenger, and then later thought it was the First Evil pulling him into hell.

Quick note on why tonight's 'Angel' made me so happy... ('Hellbound' spoilers) -- Rob, 21:07:44 10/22/03 Wed

There has been some discussion recently about whether Spike can truly be redeemed if the only thing keeping him from continuing to do good works is the threat that he will go to Hell one day. Tonight's episode brilliantly gave Spike the ability now to truly atone and grow psychologically, because he left it still believing he will one day go to Hell, but with the dedication to fight the good fight regardless. And he gave up what was very possibly his only chance to prevent himself from going to Hell indefinitely (from what happened to the Reaper, it seems like this "corporealizing" is pretty permanent) in order to save Fred's life, and doesn't regret the decision at all. Since it could be argued that his good deeds in Sunnydale were meant to please Buffy, this was arguably his first completely selfless act. I'm very happy that as we proceed through the season, we can clearly see that Spike is trying to do the right thing for its own sake, and not to prevent future damnation.

Also, am I the only one who instantly thought of Connor when Angel insisted that there are some people you can't save? His defensiveness is yet another clue that the fallout of the mindwipe will be dealt with soon.



[> Raining on the parade... -- Corwin of Amber, 23:03:01 10/22/03 Wed

>And he gave up what was very possibly his only chance to prevent himself from going to Hell indefinitely (from what happened to the Reaper, it seems like this "corporealizing" is pretty permanent) in order to save Fred's life, and doesn't regret the decision at all.

I interpreted his last scene with Fred as Spike accepting the consequences...but not without regret.

As for selfless acts, his saving of Fred...a big check in the maybe column. Fred is the only one (as far as he knew) who could recorporealize him - and he saved her life. He didn't know she couldn't just make another machine later.

To put me 100% in the spike redemption camp, i need to see him save a puppy from a speeding car...with no one looking.

I did find it interesting that Angel seems to have turned into a Calvinist...and assumes he knows where he's going. Does explain his grumpierness lately.

Is grumpierness a word?

[> [> Re: Raining on the parade... -- Rob, 23:14:41 10/22/03 Wed

I interpreted his last scene with Fred as Spike accepting the consequences...but not without regret.

I don't see anything wrong with regret. I mean, are we expecting him to be *thrilled* with the idea of eventually going to Hell for all eternity? Angel isn't thrilled about that either, and he's been doing the redemption gig for a much longer time.

As for selfless acts, his saving of Fred...a big check in the maybe column. Fred is the only one (as far as he knew) who could recorporealize him - and he saved her life. He didn't know she couldn't just make another machine later.

Actually, the first thing he says to Fred the next day is, "Don't suppose you built a spare?" By the unhopeful tone of voice, it's clear that he knew that the likelihood of there being another chance at corporealizing by this method (or any) was next to none. The fact that she might be able to help him again in the future doesn't lessen the selflessness of the act, because he could very well have grabbed this opportunity to recorporealize, and haul ass over to Buffy. And even if he thought Fred might be able to help him again in the future, he didn't know for sure that she could (and as it turns out, probably can't, it seems), and so knew he was potentially giving up an only chance. After all the work it took her to come up with this method, he knew very well how difficult it would be to come up with another one.


[> [> [> well if he hops tv shows to STARGATE... -- neaux, 04:59:14 10/23/03 Thu

I'm sorry.. but I felt that Fred's corporeal whatchamajigger looked to much like a plastic version of the Stargate "gate" (probably because of the egyptian-like heiroglyphs).

so maybe if Spike can find McGuyver and the stargate then maybe he can become corporeal again.

[> [> [> Re: Raining on the parade... -- Corwin of Amber, 08:00:18 10/23/03 Thu

>The fact that she might be able to help him again in the future doesn't lessen the selflessness of the act, because he could very well have grabbed this opportunity to recorporealize, and haul ass over to Buffy.

Well, it makes you wonder if he would have helped if it'd been say, Gunn, who Pavain was strangling, is all. Did he do it because it was Fred, or because it was the "right thing to do" is the question.

Speaking of Gunn...shouldn't big alarm bells be going off in Angel's head that Gunn was so kootchie kootchie with the big kitty in the White Room?

[> [> [> [> Re: Raining on the parade... -- Rob, 11:49:26 10/23/03 Thu

Well, it makes you wonder if he would have helped if it'd been say, Gunn, who Pavain was strangling, is all. Did he do it because it was Fred, or because it was the "right thing to do" is the question.

A valid question, but I'm pretty sure Spike would've done the right thing, although I will concede that it might have been more grudgingly, not particularly because Gunn couldn't help him recorporealize, but because he doesn't seem to like Gunn very much.

Speaking of Gunn...shouldn't big alarm bells be going off in Angel's head that Gunn was so kootchie kootchie with the big kitty in the White Room?

Not to mention the fact that the kitty spoke to Gunn and not to Angel! Danger, Will Robinson! Danger! Danger!


[> Hell (spoilers for 5.4) -- Miyu tVP, 09:06:34 10/23/03 Thu

I am 100% in agreement with you!

At the end of Just Rewards I *hated* the idea that the fires of hell were being waved in his face. Seemed like it would undermine any motivation he might have had towards goodness... but now as you say, we see that he (& Angel) carry on with their good acts *despite* the threat of hell, not because of it. And in contrast to Spike's indignation throughout the first few episodes, now we seem him acknowledge that he does deserve hell, not a peaceful, heroic rest. (I disagree with him, but it is a huge breakthrough for his character.)

Also, I think this ep pretty well clears up that we are talking about the big H - E - double hockey sticks, as opposed to a generic hell dimension that just happens to somehow be linked to the amulet. We had multiple characters asserting that *of course* Spike is going to hell.

just loved this ep!!!!

[> [> Loved It! -- Claudia, 09:32:35 10/23/03 Thu

I really enjoyed this episode. I mean REALLY! The writing, the acting and the pacing were fabulous. Not only was James Marsters back in great form, but the rest of the cast was top-notch as well. Especially Amy Ackers. She and James were . . . whoa! Hot! There were a lot of great interactions in this episode - Spike and Fred, Angel and Spike, Wes and Gunn (it was nice to see these two creating sparks, again), and even Angel and Eve (hmmmm, such interesting possibilities).

Poor Angel and Spike. Are they both really destined for hell, despite all of the good they have done over the past few years? Is redemption really that hopeless, because of their past? I would hate to think so. At least neither of them would use other non-corporeal bodies to prevent themselves from going to hell - like Dr. Death. The latter was not only scary, but a hypocrite as well. Speaking of the actor who played the good doctor, I recognized him as a recurring character from the last season of "Just Shoot Me". He also played Death in an episode of "Charmed".

I hope that next week's episode proves to be just as good.

[> [> [> 'Dr. Death'? You mean that Reaper character? -- RichardX1, 10:39:31 10/23/03 Thu

[> [> [> [> Yeah -- Claudia, 11:22:14 10/23/03 Thu

Yeah. "Dr. Death" was simply my nickname, since his character was a doctor, and he had once played Death on an episode of "Charmed". Does anyone know the actor's name?

I have another question. Does Angel believe that he is doomed to be hellbound, because of his past as a vampire? Or has Spike's arrival brought up doubts of his status as a "Champion", along with his decision to work for W&H?

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Yeah -- RichardX1, 12:02:20 10/23/03 Thu

The guy throwing folks into Hell was played by Simon Templeman. I knew this even though I didn't read the guest credits until afterward (I recorded it for a friend), because as soon as he said his first line of dialogue, I said to myself, "It's Kain!"

In addition to the role(s) you mentioned, Templeman did the voice of Kain in both of the "Blood Omen" and both of the "Soul Reaver" video games.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Simon Templeman -- Claudia, 14:06:28 10/23/03 Thu

Didn't he also appear on "Northern Exposure" as a neurotic violinist? And on "Lois and Clark" as Superman's Kryptonian rival - Lord Nor (or something like that)?

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> According to the IMDb he did -- RichardX1, 20:02:06 10/23/03 Thu

[> I take it you liked it, Rob? -- LittleBit, 21:16:49 10/22/03 Wed

[> [> Ahem. 'Loved' it. ;o) -- Rob (struggling to not write Best!Episode!Ever! every week), 21:19:47 10/22/03 Wed

[> [> [> Re: Ahem. 'Loved' it. ;o) (spoilers) -- purplegrrl, 08:55:42 10/23/03 Thu

Oh, yeah!!! Me, too.

I especially loved Angel and Spike's bantering exchange on the couch. (Some of us just have to suffer through being Barry Manilow fans!)

And now for the drooling: When I saw the trailers for last night's episode I was hoping for more than a little "groin cleavage" from Spike -- and I was NOT disappointed! Yowza!!

Despite the fact that Spike did the "right thing" -- whether it was for non-selfish reasons or not -- I wish he would be made corporeal again. In episodes 1 through 3 I had had enough of whiney Spike (poor me, I saved the world and now I'm a ghost). He seems to have had at least a small ephiphany last night. Maybe less whining now. But what is Spike's purpose/raison d'etre?? It's got to be more than to stand around, make snarky comments, and ruffle Angel's tail feathers. Now that Spike can touch/move solid objects (ala "Ghost"), will the AI gang will make him a useful member of society again? I certainly hope so.

[> [> [> Personally... (Spoilers for Angel 5.4) -- Cactus Watcher, 22:08:59 10/22/03 Wed

It wasn't too bad, despite the continuing wierd (and now changing) rules for when Spike can touch things like the floor and chairs to sit on, and when he can't. I call it modifed Star Trek rules. In a Next Gen ep, due to warp-core problems, disembodied good guys and bad guys are able to fight each other and go through walls, but the floor always holds them up.

I preferred the unheralded partially nude Nina last week to the heavily advertised partially nude Spike this week. Probably due to favoring the ladies on my part. ;o) Oh, well anything that keeps the sponsors happy...

[> [> [> [> speaking of Star Trek (spoilers 5.4) -- Miyu tVP, 09:27:53 10/23/03 Thu

...every time Fred went into that techno-babble, all I could think of was Star Trek. I heard once that they actually hire people to make up the tech talk...



"I have to tell you that... [tech]... and unfortunately we need at least six hours to repair the damage"

it kept popping into my head whenever she started:

Fred: "well I was thinking... [tech}... and that might make Spike corporeal!"

Between this and the wildly fluctuating laws of ghostdom, a healthy suspension of disbelief makes the show a heck of alot more enjoyable. :)

[> [> [> [> [> something significant (spoilers 5.4) -- skeeve, 10:22:06 10/23/03 Thu

Amongst all the supernatural technobabble, Fred did say something significant.
She needed something evil, like nuclear evil.
Omitted was any discussion of whether they would want to be around a corporeal Spike powered by nuclear evil.
Unmentioned afterwards was that Fred and Spike did make progress.
Spike no longer had to worry about being pulled into hell in the near future.
Fred could study Spike's situation without having to worry about whether Spike would be there in the next five minutes.
The next time she tries to recorporealize Spike, she might actually know the state he is in now.
Spike also knows that his ability to interact (or not) with ordinary matter is at least partly psychological.

[> [> [> [> [> Well, Spike isn't a ghost -- Masq, 11:04:04 10/23/03 Thu

He's spiritual and incorporeal, but he has none of the other attributes of a Buffyverse ghost (this was established in 5.2). His abilities fluctuate depending on the crystal amulet and the "Reaper"'s control over him, as well as as a result of Fred doing that "sweep" of the building.

I don't see any inconsistencies here.

[> [> [> [> Re: Personally... (Spoilers for Angel 5.4) -- Rob, 22:32:32 10/22/03 Wed

It wasn't too bad, despite the continuing wierd (and now changing) rules for when Spike can touch things like the floor and chairs to sit on, and when he can't.

I was actually thinking about this, and if you notice, Spike has always been able to walk on the floor without falling through, and sit down on chairs. The only things we've seen him walk through are 3-dimensional things that are in his way--people, desks and other surfaces, walls--and when he does fall through the floor in this episode, it is only after first tripping through the desk. Not sure what this floor vs. 3D obstructions rule means, or if it can really be explained (and it doesn't fully explain being able to sit on chairs), but it is actually pretty consistent, on the whole.


[> [> [> [> [> I think I can explain that . . . -- Finn Mac Cool, 04:44:54 10/23/03 Thu

It's explained that, if Spike wills it enough, he can touch physical objects. He was probably doing that unintentionally when it came to floors and chairs.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Personally... (Spoilers for Angel 5.4) -- CW, 07:06:36 10/23/03 Thu

Now that you mention it, Spike does seem to have a face-or-hand-first/butt-or-soles-of-feet-first rule. Anything he's facing he passes through, unless he tries hard. Anything like the floor he touches with the soles of his feet first supports him. Anything he touches butt first like chairs and tables he can sit on even though he can psss through them face first. Now that's mystic laws of the unnatural at work! ;o)

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Personally... (Spoilers for Angel 5.4) -- Cheryl, 07:56:42 10/23/03 Thu

Now that you mention it, Spike does seem to have a face-or-hand-first/butt-or-soles-of-feet-first rule. Anything he's facing he passes through, unless he tries hard. Anything like the floor he touches with the soles of his feet first supports him. Anything he touches butt first like chairs and tables he can sit on even though he can psss through them face first. Now that's mystic laws of the unnatural at work! ;o)

I guess I'll buy that, but it definitely bothered me last night, especially when Spike and Angel were talking on the couch ("I liked your poems." "You like Barry Manilow!") I loved that scene but the whole time I was distracted because I was trying to figure out how Spike could even be sitting on the couch to begin with.

Overall I really liked the episode, though. Like Rob said, it shows that Spike has really grown and recognizes that he'll end up in hell regardless. What was interesting was that Angel thinks the same about himself, regardless of the Shanshu prophecy.

Don't you think this would have made a good Halloween episode? Can't wait to see next week's episode.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Spike can go where he wants (spoilers 5.04) -- Lunasea, 07:59:20 10/23/03 Thu

What he thinks is what happens. If he thinks he is walking on the floor, he is walking on the floor. The floor isn't holding him up. He can probably float as well. When he walks, he is sort of floating, since the floor can't be holding him up. It just doesn't look like that because the floor is there.

I would love to see a scene where Angel does a vamp jump to some great height and Spike floats higher and says something snarky on his way past Angel.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Makes sense, except... -- CW, 08:19:10 10/23/03 Thu

it doesn't explain why he has to concentrate to keep from falling/passing through when he's facing something and doesn't when he's not.

It seems like ME is trying to avoid some of the ghostly cliches (like floating off the ground) to emphasize that Spike isn't really a ghost. But, it does get confusing doesn't it?

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Not to mention, it is easier of the Special Effects budget -- Lunasea, 08:40:43 10/23/03 Thu

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Makes sense, except... -- Rob, 10:02:26 10/23/03 Thu

it doesn't explain why he has to concentrate to keep from falling/passing through when he's facing something and doesn't when he's not.

Maybe it's like this. Bear with me a moment. You know when you're holding a cup of hot coffee, filled to the brim, and bringing it across a room...If you look at it, as you slowly walk, you are bound to spill it on yourself, and yet by some balancing miracle, if you look straight ahead, it doesn't spill. It could be like that. If he looks at the thing, his confidence in the fact that he can remain upright falters and he falls through, whereas the seat of a chair isn't something he has to look at before sitting on. Does this make any sense?


[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> I'd accept that theory (she who has spilled lots of coffee!) -- jane, 16:33:10 10/23/03 Thu

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Oh, I can see it now! -- Sheri, 09:02:40 10/23/03 Thu

If Angel did one of those jumps, I'd hope that the first thing out of Spike's mouth would be, "What is in the blood you've been drinking???? I lived on a hellmouth and I've never seen a vampire jump 100 feet!!!" (only, y'know, add incomprehensible British slang every couple of words :) ).

[> [> [> [> [> [> maybe we should write those rules up... (spoilers for angel 5.4) -- anom, 10:37:41 10/23/03 Thu

"Now that's mystic laws of the unnatural at work!"

...like the laws of cartoon physics. Each set of laws seems to be equally a convention of its genre, although whether ghosts float or walk appears to be left up to the writer (or the special effects dept.). Up to this episode it had been consistent that Spike could walk on the floor & sit or lean on chairs & desks. Not only doesn't he pass through whatever he sits in, but in Just Rewards, when he hitches a ride w/Angel, the car doesn't pass through him & leave him behind (if it had, would he have fallen to the floor?). In Hellbound, when Spike leans on Fred's desk & falls through it--& the floor--it's because Pavayne is overriding the usual mystic laws to pull him through. I'm also pretty sure he backed literally into a desk during their fight & was punched through a wall butt first; on the other hand, this raises the q. of why Pavayne needed to send him the elevator, not to mention how he controlled physical objects like elevators & lights....) But the rest of the time, I have no problem w/Spike's sitting & leaning on things & walking at floor level. What I would like to know is why we could hear his footsteps--that makes no sense to me, even the mystic unnatural physics kind!

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Hey, VR!!! Are you reading this? -- LittleBit, 11:17:35 10/23/03 Thu

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: maybe we should write those rules up... (spoilers for angel 5.4) -- Rob, 11:21:25 10/23/03 Thu

on the other hand, this raises the q. of why Pavayne needed to send him the elevator, not to mention how he controlled physical objects like elevators & lights....

I think that was all illusion. That basement Spike landed on couldn't have been the real basement, because Spike only fell through one floor to get to it, and Fred's lab isn't on the first floor. That whole room and everything that happened in it was Reaper messing with Spike (messing, scaring the crap out of...you decide ;o) ), particuarly due to the fact that Spike has a history of madness in basements...a fact he probably learned from Angel in "Just Rewards". See how neatly it all fits together? ;o)


[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Personally... (Spoilers for Angel 5.4) -- Ann, 18:29:57 10/23/03 Thu

Good one CW.

"soles of his feet first supports him"

As I read this I thought -SOULS ...first support him- and I thought how true that is. Spikes soul gave him strength and that was shown by his being elevated/upheld/supported by his "soles". A little foot humour.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Which brings up that other burning question. -- CW, 22:36:26 10/23/03 Thu

Considering the other part of his anatomy that gives Spike support, does that mean the seat of the soul is actually the seat? ;o)

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> well, if lorne's heart can be there, why can't spike's soul? -- anom, 23:06:03 10/23/03 Thu

[> [> [> [> Did anyone see any Spike-Butt? I didn't....disappointing...maybe my screen was just too dark? -- Nino, 22:36:15 10/22/03 Wed

[> Re: Quick note on why tonight's 'Angel' made me so happy... ('Hellbound' spoilers) -- d'Herblay, 21:56:41 10/22/03 Wed

I thought of Connor, but I thought of Darla first.

[> [> Re: Quick note on why tonight's 'Angel' made me so happy... ('Hellbound' spoilers) -- Ponygirl, 07:39:16 10/23/03 Thu

Either could apply but I'm wondering if it's Angel himself. Is Angel's hard-edged morality this season part of his damned if you do/damned if you don't view of himself?

[> Oof! Typo! -- Rob, 21:59:53 10/22/03 Wed

Bad phrasing...

"There has been some discussion recently about whether Spike can truly be redeemed if the only thing keeping him from continuing to do [influencing him to continue doing] good works is the threat that he will go to Hell one day."

Because it means something completely different the way it is now.


The Slow Path To & From Hell: Desire (spoilers Hell Bound 5.04) -- Lunasea, 07:46:05 10/23/03 Thu

Last night's episode was brought to us by Stephen S. DeKnight. This masterful writer also wrote: Blood Ties, Spiral, All the Way, Dead Things and Seeing Red over on Buffy, as well as Deep Down, Apocalypse Nowish, Awakening (with David Fury), Calvary (with Jeff Bell and girlfriend Mere Smith), Release (with Craft/Fain), and Inside Out (his directoral debut) last season on Angel. I hope I didn't miss one. Every writer has something that they are particularly good at playing with. For DeKnight his talent was best said by Darla in Mere Smith's "Untouched." There is nothing so lovely as dreams. Everything is in them, everything hidden. Open those chambers and you can really understand someone...and control them. Last night's episode wasn't a dream, but it had a very dreamlike quality to it. Not a good dream, but the same thing that is hidden in Angel's secret chambers, "Horrors."

A common synonym for dreams is desire. Open up those chambers and you can see what someone desires. Find out what someone desires, and you can control them...or can you? "Hell Bound" uses desire to revisit that question that has driven the series from the beginning, "What makes us human." Angel is working towards Shanshu, which he doesn't believe in any more. Spike is working towards being corporeal. Both are symbols of their quests to be real boys.

In "To Shanshu in LA" Wesley says:
Angel's cut off. Death doesn't bother him because...there's nothing in life he wants! It's our desires that make us human...He's got a soul, but he's not part of the world. He-he can never be part of the world...What connects us to life is the simple truth that we are part of it. We live, we grow, we change. But Angel...

In "Hell Bound" we set the same thing up with noncorporeal Spike. Death doesn't bother him, but going to hell sure does. That single desire defines him. It defines him in such a way that he can't interact with anyone in this dimension. The board has focused on Fred's sex (she is female) as the reason that Spike goes to her for help. What separates Fred from the other members of the Fang gang is that she is the most human. Wesley is a lot like Angel in that he shuts himself off and tries not to desire things. In this episode we see his desire for Fred resurface. Gunn has also felt the burden of leadership and losing his sister and is cut off as well. Fred is the one that refuses to be a "heartless, uncaring shell." (Sacrifice) This character is the perfect contrast to Spike. Her determination to work the problem. Her ability to come up with creative theories. Her desire to help another. Her interactions with the others (who else has kissed Angel, Wesley and Gunn). Just as Cordy was to be Angel's link to humanity, Fred is Spike's.

The similarities between Angel's situation with the Necromancer in "Just Rewards" and Spike's with Pavayne's in "Hell Bound" are rather obvious. The symbolism of the ghosts/apparitions (a man cutting his hand, a woman with no arms that wanted to be held, a woman with a shard of glass in her eye) was also obvious and I'm sure will be dealt with. There were two things that struck me most about this episode, Angel's speech about not believing in Shanshu any more and Spike being able to write on the shower stall. I will leave the other ways desire manifested itself in the episode for others to talk about. That way this won't be 6 pages long. ;-)

My favorite line in the episode, and there were so many good ones was when Fred says, "He just saved the world. Vampire with a soul fighting for the good of humanity. Ring anything? He's just like you, a champion." Then Angel said the line that took me a few minutes to stop laughing, "God, I really hate that word." Then some stuff was said, I think about Buffy. I was still laughing, but I think Angel pretty much is worried that as soon as Spike becomes a real boy, he will start to stalk Buffy again.

The show is about Angel for me. That is why it is called "Angel" and not even "Angel Investigations." It is Angel's frustrations and despair that get to me the most. In "Judgment" Angel gives up working towards Shanshu, but he doesn't give up hope that it is an eventual possibility. Angel's comment that prophecies are "a bunch of bull" comes from his experience with the Nyazian scroll, Sahjhan and Connor. In IWRY, Angel has to carry the memories of the day in order to prevent the day from occurring the same way and thus change nothing. Why does Angel have to carry the memories of Connor around now? The focus has been on why the gang doesn't have them and how mad they will be once/if they find out that their memories have been tampered with. What about Angel? Why does he have these memories?

Angel believes that he will eventually go to hell. Nothing we do matters. The only thing that matters is the evil we did. I wanted to give Angel a hug, but I want to do that frequently. I wanted to tell him that Darla made it out. She isn't in hell. It isn't about making up for what you did, but changing. What hit me the hardest was Angel's new answer to "Why fight." "What else are we gonna do?" He better remember why he fights, "All I wanna do is help" (Epiphany) or else he is in some serious trouble this season.

This episode took desires making us human one more step to our desires determine what sort of human we are. Wesley's desires this episode wasn't for Fred romantically, but for her well being. He wants her to have a real dinner. This is contrasted with Angel and Eve who are concerned with the finances of her department. Spike's desires have been incredibly selfish, UNTIL the medium is killed.

Spike is shadowing Fred trying to communicate with her. Fred is in the shower washing off the medium's blood. While Fred is doing that Spike is trying to puzzle out what just happened. He is genuinely concerned about the woman that just died. He wants desperately to communicate what he figures out to Fred and finds he can. He has wanted to avoid hell all this time and never becomes remotely solid. His desire to help (not be helpless like he told Angel in "Just Rewards") is so strong that it allows him to interact with this plane physically.

Wolfram & Hart is full of opportunists that can be easily manipulated because of their desires. These desires are also what makes Angel a champion. It is desire that makes Angel strong. As the Spirit Guide told Buffy, "love is pain and the Slayer forges strength from pain." What else can we do offers no strength. If Angel loses sight of why he fights, he will not have the strength to resist corruption. Angel took a dangerous step towards Hell this episode. Spike took one away from it. He hasn't reached his "Epiphany" yet, but when it came down to it he wanted to save Fred more than he wanted to be corporal. As Spike understands his own desires he will learn how not to be their bitch. He will use them to find the strength to be a real boy.

The path TO Hell is also the path that leads AWAY from it.


[> Are prophecies really bull in the Buffyverse? -- Masq, 11:24:23 10/24/03 Fri

Angel's right about one thing. Prophecies are tricky in the world he inhabits. The Master was fated to kill Buffy, he did kill Buffy, and she got her life back.

The Oracles predicted Buffy would die in IWRY, and Buffy did die, and again got her life back.

The Tro-Clon prophecy from the 3rd season of Angel predicted a coming together of events that would bring about either the ruination or purification of humankind, and events did come together--Holtz arrived, Connor was born, Holtz stole Connor resulting in Connor's aging fast enough to father a child with Cordelia, a child who tried to take over the world, but who was finally stopped by Angel and Connor himself.

OK, the prophecy that Connor would kill Sahjhan still remains out there, looking like it will never happen, given Connor's new circumstances.

The prophecy that "the father would kill the son" that was supposed to be false ended up becoming true, in a manner of speaking. The Connor we knew is gone, in part because Angel stabbed him.

Will "the vampire with a soul" shanshu? Probably, eventually, although it will no doubt unfold in a way no one expects, but that is still consistent with the letter of the prophecy.

the Anointed One rose and was a child,
the demon Barvain rose in Sunnydale,
Buffy's "little sis" came into her life,
Angel stopped Acathla in a manner of speaking,
the Mayor's ascended and was summarily stopped,
Pylea's "Cursed One" brought great change to that dimension...

and on and on.

Angel's bitter right now, and not happy with the ambiguity of prophecies, but they're certainly not "complete bull".

[> [> I agree sort of -- Lunasea, 12:20:56 10/24/03 Fri

I wrote about this somewhere above. Angel can't be working for redemption. He learned in "Judgment" that was the wrong attitude. On the other hand, disbelieving it is a form of belief. The response was on the hell thread and can be found Here It will probably get lost in there.

Buffy herself has thwarted prophecies, Giles tells Angel in "Prophecy Girl" so I don't think that prophecies are what has to happen. The ones we have seen on the show have come to pass in some way or form. If anything those prophecies were instrumental in them coming to pass. That is how I view a prophecy. They aren't thing written to predict what will happen, so much as things written to see that those things will happen. Prophecies are tricky creatures.

Still, in the atheist world of the Buffyverse, view prophecies as something that may or may not happen. It is especially important to note that even if you think something will come to pass, it will probably not be how you think it. Either way, they are not things to have faith in OR faith against. That is what worries me about Angel right now. As Spike took a step away from hell, Angel took one towards it.

[> [> [> Well, Angel is a tricky creature right now -- Masq, 12:46:54 10/24/03 Fri

Bitter, pessimistic, trying to cling to his mission while feeling trapped in the belly of the beast. He lost his faith in prophecy, destiny, and the PTBs in "Epiphany", so the only faith he really has to lose in himself. And I guess that is why we are afraid for him. He trapped himself in the belly for what he thought were good, good reasons. Now he has to find a way to deal, and survive with his morals intact.

[> [> [> [> But he didn't -- Lunasea, 07:22:44 10/26/03 Sun

Even as late as "Peace Out" he is working on becoming human. He doesn't really lose faith until he has to give Connor up to save him. To do this he has to admit that he can't save him. He's lost faith in himself, but more importantly he has lost faith in the power of love. Love couldn't save Connor. He needs to realize that it was love that saved Connor. He proved his love to Connor and saved him.

We can debate whether Connor was saved or damned, but I don't think ME will revisit that because it requires too much backstory. The gang will support his decision to save Connor and still be upset about the mindwipe. They are worried about what else is in there because of Gunn's upload. Those fears are going to be magnified when they find out their memories have been altered. Then Angel will lose everything. All he has now are his friends.

I don't see Angel going dark again. He can't. We learned in "Epiphany" that he couldn't lose his soul. It just wasn't in him. All he wanted to do was help. When that helping doesn't help anyone, then what? He didn't get there in time to save Nina. He lives the way he does to show the world what it can be. What is he showing it now? Spike, his shadow, teases him about ordering flunkies around and dealing with money and paperwork. That is Angel's own private doubts being articulated (just like Spike served that function for Buffy). Every word that comes out of Spike's mouth is some unvoiced concern of Angel. When the hero is reduced to paper pusher/support team, what happens?

That is one thing about Conviction that is standing out now. In the garage, Angel reasserts his identity as the hands on guy. It is Gunn who actually saves the day and Wesley and Fred that will disarm the bomb. Eve reminds him that he didn't save the day. Thing is he did. He saved a classroom of children. If Angel keeps focusing on the big picture, he willl get lost. The smallest acts of kindness often disappear in comparision.

One thing I have wanted to see was how Angel would continue to fight the good fight when he Shanshued. When he didn't have his powers, how would he cope? This season we may get to see that and he doesn't even have to lose his powers. He can just be tied up in paperwork and despair.

It has the potential to be the best season yet, especially with this writing staff.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: But he didn't -- purplegrrl, 10:49:59 10/28/03 Tue

Good essay. Lots of great thoughts and chewy words.

I'm thinking that at some point Angel will get fed up with the paperwork (could handing Angel Investigations the L.A. office of Wolfram & Hart have been the subtlest ploy yet of W&H to bring Angel down/to the dark side by bogging him down in paperwork and protocol?). Something will happen that will make him go back to his previous style of fighting evil. Although it makes for some interesting story development, I'm not sure that the best place to fight evil is from inside the Beast. Angel, et al., may become tainted merely by association (and Gunn *definately* needs to be watched!).

[> [> [> Buffy didn't actually thwart any prophecies -- Finn Mac Cool, 16:15:32 10/24/03 Fri

Gile said that because he thought she killed the Annointed One. But, in actuality, she didn't. Just as the prophecy said: the Slayer will not know him. Then there was "Prophecy Girl", where prophecy is fulfilled to the letter of the law but not the interpretation most people gave it. While you bring up a point that the prophecies caused their own events to take place, it's only natural: if they didn't, it would be possible to avert them. Prophecies that don't take into account their own effect on the world aren't prophecies; they're predictions. Also, while Joss Whedon is an atheist, he has said many times that he's fascinated by themes of redemption, resurrection, and faith. He may not believe them to work in real life, but he doesn't believe you can solve your issues by ramming a sword through something, either. Joss is an atheist; that doesn't mean his show is. Besides, being atheist doesn't discount destiny. Many determinists are atheistic, and that philosophy requires a belief in fate, just not necessarily in the control of a higher power.

[> [> [> [> yes, she did (at least one) -- skeeve, 16:29:21 10/24/03 Fri

"The Slayer will not know him, and he will lead her into Hell."

He led her into hell, but Buffy did know him.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: yes, she did (at least one) -- Finn Mac Cool, 16:42:01 10/24/03 Fri

See, "not know him" and "lead her into hell" are two seperate things. She didn't know him, mistaking another vampire for the Annointed One in "Never Kill a Boy on the First Date", and he lead her into hell(mouth) in "Prophecy Girl". Both parts of the prophecy came true, just not at the same time.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: yes, she did (at least one) -- skeeve, 08:12:58 10/27/03 Mon

I didn't make the mistake of assuming that unknowledge and leading had to ocur at the same time.
There was no time limit on knowing the Annointed One.
The statement "She shall know him" would clearly have been true.
The opposite statement, "She shall not know him", was clearly false.

Supposing an interpretation of "She shall not know him", was true in NKaBotFD, it was also true in WttH and before.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> The word 'know' can be used in the preterite and imperfect -- Finn Mac Cool, 09:05:32 10/27/03 Mon

Imperfect is where something happens over a period of time. For example: "I knew Bill Clinton; I talked with him every Sunday".

Preterite is where something happens at one time. For example: "Suddenly, I knew the solution."

The prophecy was using the preterite form of "know. Buffy killing the wrong vampire in NKABOTFD was an example of her "not knowing" in the preterite sense. Using the imperfect tense, the prophecy was inaccurate, since Buffy eventually knew who the Annointed One was. However, in the preterite sense, she did not know him.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: The word 'know' can be used in the preterite and imperfect -- skeeve, 12:31:43 10/27/03 Mon

Preterite is what I had in mind, not that it matters.
Preterite or not the following statement was true: "She shall know him."
The opposite statement was therefore false: "She shall not know him."

If one interprets the prophecy to mean that there would be a time or time period in which Buffy would not know the Annointed One, then that part of the prophecy was alrady fulfilled in WttH.
At no time or time period in WttH, did Buffy know the Annointed One.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> I still think it's a case of prophecy speak -- Finn Mac Cool, 04:50:45 10/28/03 Tue

For example, look at "The Gift". The portal will close "when the flow of blood stops". Theoretically, just bandaging Dawn's wound would have done that. However, that's just the way prophecies refer to death, even if it isn't what a literal reading of the text would say.

Or, take a look at this little snippet: "Five shall die, and, from their ashes, the Annointed shall rise." Of the five who died, only one was turned into ashes, and the Annointed One didn't actually come from these ashes. So, under a literal reading, this prophecy was totally inaccurate. However, prophecy writers don't always write literally; they often use more poetic descriptions of events. Therefore, it is through this lens that prophecy's must be viewed.

So, in a literal sense, the prophecy was wrong: Buffy did know the Annointed One at some point in time. However, given how events played out, this seems to point to NKABOTFD, where Buffy mistaking of the Annointed's identity was the prophecied act of not knowing.

If you read the prophecy literally, yes, it didn't come to pass. But Buffy wasn't the one to thwart it, then. Because the above passage refers to the Annointed One rising from the ashes of the five who died. Since only one was turned to ashes, that child vampire could not have been the Annointed One, at least according to a literal reading, meaning Buffy knowing him in "Prophecy Girl" means nothing.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> In which case, all prophecies come true no matter what happens -- skeeve, 12:35:03 10/28/03 Tue

The interpretation of prophecy in The Gift was stupid.
There was not the slightest hint that a literal interpretation was wrong, yet everyone took "when the flow of blood stops" to mean Dawn dies.
Under either interpretation, the prophecy was beaten.
The portal was closed before Dawn's death or coagulation.

As for the Annointed, that part of the prophecy was a tad vague to say it didn't come to pass.
"Their ashes" could be taken to mean five sets of ashes, one associated with each of the recently deceased.
That is how I would normally take it.
It could also be taken to mean one set of ashes associated with the entire group.
I would call the use of such semantics a poor excuse for communication, but it is in principle a valid literal interpretation.

As for arising from ashes, the normal geographical interpretation of "from" is sufficient.

BTW Buffy made the wrong decision.
Fulfilling prophecy by going after the Master was the wrong decision.
The next part of the prophecy was that the Master would walk the earth.
Better to invalidate the prophecy the easy way rather than the hard way.

Not grinding his bones after staking him was another bad decision.

[> [> [> [> On screen v Off screen -- Lunasea, 07:31:35 10/26/03 Sun

When Giles says that in "Prophecy Girl" he speaks of prophecies, he says "time and time again" I got the impression that this happened off screen and wasn't just refering to the Annoying One. I don't think we have seen every patrol and with only 11 episodes to lead up to "Prophecy Girl," Buffy had some things happen off screen which shape her into a Slayer that does kill the Master.

She does avert them. In "The Zeppo" there are portents that have to be dealt with. Same thing in "Doomed." Those portents have to be written somewhere or else how does Giles and Angel know they are portents?

Message from Joss to (non)Spike fans? (spoilers for Angel 5.4) -- Sheri, 08:51:26 10/23/03 Thu

When Fred tells Angel that she wants to help Spike NOT because she has some kind of school girl crush on him, but because it's the right thing to do. This statement made me think of things said by several Spike fans I know in regards to how hurt they feel that their interest in the character is passed off as merely "Oh, you just think he's kewl/hot." Considering that we know the folks at ME keep a strong enough internet presence to be aware of the "my favorite character is better than your favorite character" in fighting that sometimes occurs among fans, did anybody else take Fred's speech as a message from ME to just knock it off? Does anybody else feel that there was a message of "being interested in a character does not mean that that interest is based on a crush" coming from this scene?


[> Re: Message from Joss to (non)Spike fans? (spoilers for Angel 5.4) -- skeeve, 09:55:10 10/23/03 Thu

Fred: ... at all costs.

This spontaneous addendum struck me as gratuitous.
If it wasn't gratuitous, I'd say Fred likes Spike.
If you don't like Frike, how about Spingel?

[> I think if ME wants to send messages to the fans, they should refrain ... -- Earl Allison, 10:23:25 10/23/03 Thu

It could certainly be interpreted that way, but given some of the potential meta-commentary from BtVS in S7 alone (Anya's comment about Spike's "get out of jail free card," or Amanda's claim that she and the others were "punished" for following Faith -- something the story seemed to support, IMHO), I'm just as inclined to either say the message is there only if someone wants to see it, or that, if it IS there, it should be ignored anyway.

If ME wants to send a message, they should do so through the actual story, as opposed to possible meta-commentary or (even worse) after-the-fact interviews (Spike seeking his soul, anyone?).

Apologies if this sounds crabby, but I've little patience or goodwill left for ME. If they have a message, they can either tell it with the skill they showed in the earlier seasons of both shows, or not bother.

And if ME doesn't want to add fuel to the "s/he's hot" controversy, doing the exploitativeness of this episode (gratuitious Spike and Fred nudity, attention-grabbing "warnings" for stuff as tame as the UPN years) and last episode's hosing off and stripping/scrubbing of Nina shouldn't be part of the show -- if you attempt to make meta-commentary, and then undercut it with percieved pandering, you dillute your message.

All IMHO. I know this one rambles a lot -- almost didn't reply because I KNOW I'm too negative. I apologize in advance to anyone I've offended, I know there will be at least one.

Take it and run.

[> [> Re: I think if ME wants to send messages to the fans, they should refrain ... (4.3 and 4.4 spoilers) -- Rob, 10:50:42 10/23/03 Thu

gratuitious Spike and Fred nudity

Although I could see how Fred's nudity could be argued as being gratuitous, I disagree re: Spike, because it added a great deal to the scene...It demonstrated, metaphysically, that the clothing Spike had on was a construct of what he wants (how he sees himself), influencing his reality; it showed Spike being demoralized and de"human"ized by the Reaper and treated as nothing but a body to inflict cruel punishment on; it gave a true, visceral feel to the horrors that would be visited on Spike in Hell, and showed him, for one of the few times on either series, as scared, vulnerable, and completely under the will of a more powerful being. This dehumanization tactic is the same reason I didn't have a problem with Nina's nudity. At least IMO, it came across as cruel and humiliating in both circumstances, not as sexual.

re: Fred, although she was in the shower, there was actually less body shown than was on Spike. This scene was obviously a horror movie staple...This primal fear of being attacked in the shower. But I don't think this scene was meant to particularly be arousing or titillating. Last week on "Alias," Jennifer Garner strips down to a 2 piece bikini and jumps from maybe a 15th story window down into a pool far below, to elude capture. That was meant for its sex appeal. Fred's shower scene, really don't see it so much as that as playing up the horror angle.


[> [> [> You mean AtS 5.3 and 5.4 spoilers ; ) -- Masq, 10:57:55 10/23/03 Thu

[> [> [> [> D'oh! -- Rob, flicking himself repeatedly on the forehead, 11:12:13 10/23/03 Thu

[> [> [> The scene reminded me of Dr. No (5.4 spoilers) -- Anneth, 12:44:24 10/23/03 Thu

re: Fred, although she was in the shower, there was actually less body shown than was on Spike...I don't think this scene was meant to particularly be arousing or titillating.

Tangentially, the shower itself appeared so industrial that it reminded me of the scene in Dr. No (the movie) when Bond and (was her name HoneyChile?) Ursula Andress are de-radiated in an industrial shower, on a conveyer belt. It was unsexual almost to the point of dehumanizing the two characters.

[> [> [> [> Re: The scene reminded me of Dr. No (5.4 spoilers) -- Rob, 12:50:45 10/23/03 Thu

It was unsexual almost to the point of dehumanizing the two characters.

Agreed...It's funny, but when I read Earl's first quote about Fred's nudity, I actually had no idea what he was talking about, and had to think hard before remembering, "Oh, yeah...the shower scene!" Now, that's a pretty big sign, I would say, that I didn't find the scene arousing in that way in the least. Her nudity was so downplayed, at least for me, that I didn't remember she was naked or really focus on it when she was! And believe me, if the scene were shot for gratuitous Amy Acker nudity, I would've noticed, remembered, and looked for screenshots on the internet! Okay, too much info. Gonna go now. ;o)


[> [> [> [> [> Gratuitousness ... and Earl is NOT insane :) -- Earl Allison, 13:05:03 10/23/03 Thu

I more feel it was gratuitous for the "disclaimer" the episode had. I also didn't personally find Nina's predicament arousing, but I can see where others might, and if ME was indeed saying "enough!" re: Spike's appeal/lack thereof, this episode, and S6 of BtVS seem pretty hypocritical, IMHO.

Sorry for not being clearer :( My bad, as always.

Take it and run.

[> [> [> [> [> It was symbolic (5.4 spoilers) -- Lunasea, 14:12:19 10/23/03 Thu

Fred is inside the shower washing off the blood of the medium and Spike is outside the shower trying to figure out what happened to her and upset that she was killed. Fred is the one that is trying to work the problem, but in this scene as she washes herself clean, Spike is the one that is doing that. It was a nice role reversal.

[> [> [> [> [> It was the opposite for me, Rob (5.4 spoilers) -- Masq, 14:16:05 10/23/03 Thu

Someone complained somewhere "That's what they meant by partial nudity?" and I thought in my mind, "Yeah, we really didn't get to see much of Amy Acker's bod, did we?"

Half an hour later it occured to me that we did see much more of Spike's bod. But I'd forgotten about that.

Yep, queer as a three-dollar bill. ; )

[> [> [> [> [> [> I found that scene way too distracting/disturbing -- Sheri, 14:27:24 10/23/03 Thu

Hubby and I were both a bit disappointed by the lack of nudity on Fred's part in comparison to Spike. [IMHO]She's just cuter and can pull of the skinny look much better[/IMHO]

But geeeeez, was that shower scene creepy. Not just because of the horror movie aspect to it that Rob points out, but because of the "what the fruck are you doing in her bathroom????" I understand that Spike is Mr. Comfortable With His Nudity... but it just really squicked me to see him standing around while Fred was showering. (Side note: This isn't because it's Spike or in reference to SR, but because men just shouldn't be standing around where they can see women they're not romantically involved with naked. And that, folks, was the most grammatically incorrect sentence ever)

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Agreed -- Alison, 16:42:11 10/23/03 Thu

Though I decided I was okay with it, since the vibe was so very non-sexual. Spike seemed so distracted, I'm sure if he'd actually thought about where he was, he wouldn't have been there. But I do know what you mean- my initial reaction was to be veeeery uncomfortable with the whole situation.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Agreed -- Rob, 16:55:00 10/23/03 Thu

I wasn't uncomfortable at all with it, because I was basically of the mind that Spike's extenuating circumstances overrides what he is actually doing in the scene. He found Fred, was drifting away to Hell...I wouldn't have waited to be polite either if I had a way to send a message! ;o)

Also, I kind of got the feeling that he really didn't see much. Haven't rewatched it yet, but wasn't the glass completely fogged up?

Btw, not sure if it's coming across, since the TV's blasting in the background, but I am being tongue-in-cheek in this post. I hope.


[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: I found that scene way too distracting/disturbing -- LadyStarlight, 16:54:41 10/23/03 Thu

Gotta agree with you, Sheri. I was also waiting for the knife to come crashing through the shower curtain, actually. In a weird, creepy, kinda-stalkerish way, it was almost a homage to Psycho, wasn't it?

[> [> [> [> [> [> Hee hee! -- Rob, 16:49:04 10/23/03 Thu

Another factor might have been that I had been partially spoiled for the ep...only enough to have seen on some board somewhere someone screaming, "IN THE NEXT EP, JM IS NAKED!!!," a board I ran from in a panic instantly after reading that--"Oh, it's that kinda board," said I. ;o) So I was expecting Spike nudity the instant I saw the warning, wasn't expecting Fred nudity, there wasn't much to speak of, so it completely didn't register in my data memory files. Considering the Nina nudity last week, which didn't have a warning, I'm assuming that, had there been no Spike nudity, the amount of Fred nudity probably wouldn't have warranted a warning.


[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Hey, yeah, what's up with that? (5.3 and 5.4 spoilers) -- Masq, 17:02:43 10/23/03 Thu

Was there really more Fred nudity (or Spike nudity) than Nina nudity? I mean Nina was a little in the shadows, but that sure looked like nudity.

I suppose the warning in the previews was necessary for cutting off fingers, and glass sticking out of eyes and other grossness. And they threw in the "nudity!" for good measure (and ratings).

But there does seem to be a different standard for the two eps...

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> The rest of the commercial focused on Spike -- Finn Mac Cool, 17:29:32 10/23/03 Thu

This means that people would be likely to infer that Spike would be the partially nude one, which can greatly up the female demographic. For any other episode, a partial nudity warning is vague. For this one, it was more specific.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> See, and I was really hoping for what we all were... (5.4 spoilers) -- Rob, 18:05:06 10/23/03 Thu

A true combination of violence and nudity that would have made that warning even more exact--

The woman with the glass shard sticking out of her eye getting naked!! Am I right, people? Now, that would be hot!

Or, um, disturbing, gross and wrong.

Or hot.

Your call.



[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Of course it's a double standard (5.3 and 5.4 spoilers) -- skyMatrix, 12:33:37 10/24/03 Fri

Women are used to enduring (?) female nudity so it needs no warning, whereas men need to be warned about male nudity because we aren't used to it and it is therefore offensive to us! ;) We need to know ahead of time to cover our eyes if we are watching with other men, because if we didn't do so quickly, the other men might get the wrong idea and think we enjoyed it too much! And we can't have that, right? Right?

(This post meant tongue in cheek, and you are free to make whatever pun you want on this phrase as well!)

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Ah yes... -- Masq, 14:18:30 10/24/03 Fri

Also the explanation of why men in straight porn are usually so unnattractive (buck teeth, too hairy, a little pudgy, etc). Because it's assumed straight men are the consumers of straight porn, and they don't want to see attractive men lest they (gasp!) have a moment of attraction to them.

Can't have that. ; )

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> This always backfired on me... -- Rob, 14:38:44 10/24/03 Fri

...because to be aroused by the girl, you have to ignore the extremely unattractive guy on top of her, which can be very difficult, particularly with those male porn stars who are obviously chosen because of how ugly they are. In fact, I'm sure they deliberately make them look even more grotesque than they would in regular life. I can honestly say that nothing arouses me less than seeing, for example, Ron Jeremy naked (as shallow as that may sound, though to be fair, we're talking about porn here!). The fact that there's a naked woman there too, as hot as she may be, does not detract from the ick factor.


[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Ah yes... -- leslie, 14:46:34 10/24/03 Fri

Really? I always thought it was for the same reason that all ads are populated by short, pudgy, balding guys married to bombshells--so the male viewers identify with the male and are reassured that they, too, can hook up with a supermodel.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> I'm sure both reasons apply -- Masq, 15:47:49 10/24/03 Fri

But I have to agree with Rob, ugly takes something away from the total experience.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: You think so? -- Philistine, 11:00:28 10/25/03 Sat

When was the last time you saw, for example, a Bowflex commercial in which the female model worked out topless while the male model was required by FCC regs to cover up?

[> [> [> Re: I think if ME wants to send messages to the fans, they should refrain ... (4.3 and 4.4 spoilers) -- Lunasea, 13:36:28 10/23/03 Thu

I also thought Spike's nudity was a nice comparison to Angel's return from hell naked. Spike was being pulled into hell naked. The same way that both of them came into this world, as human babies.

I think the nudity is to appease the WB, but Joss will undercut it so that he maintains his integrity. Angel isn't the only one who was swallowed into the belly of the beast. I find how Joss is resisting corruption to be as interesting as watching Angel try. When asked if he is drawing on his own experiences with Hollywood this season "you do spend a lot of time talking about the message and 'Am I doing good or just deluding? Am I making a difference?' Once you get the, 'Am I making a living' question over with, the next is 'Am I making a difference?'"

I did have a problem with how Nina was shot. It was too close to rape. It wasn't sensual, but I don't want to watch rape. I found it much more distrubing than either Seeing Red or anything that was shown last night. I hope ME doesn't keep going down this path.

[> [> [> Re: I think if ME wants to send messages to the fans, they should refrain ... (4.3 and 4.4 spoilers) -- celticross, 17:48:53 10/23/03 Thu

I agree with a point somewhere in between Rob and Earl. I don't think the nudity was gratuitious, but I do think it was milked for the ratings potential by the WB with their warnings. So in this case, I don't blame ME, I blame the WB.

[> ok, sorry I asked. -- sheri, 10:31:32 10/23/03 Thu

[> [> Don't be; it's a legitimate question. (5.4 spoilers) -- Anneth, 12:49:22 10/23/03 Thu

I certainly can't speak to the truth of the matter, but it's not an unreasonable thing to think, Sheri. There were a couple of quality Angel/Spike moments in 5.4, particularly the conversation on the couch, that seem to indicate a desire to 'make things okay'- between the characters and, by extension, between the fans. ME is almost assuredly not unaware of the fan-scuffles; whether or not they're addressing them via meta-narration or otherwise is absolutely a legitimate question to ask.

[> [> [> And it's good for us Spangels... er Angikes... er (sp 5.4) -- Masq, 14:12:40 10/23/03 Thu

I think these two could be very good for each other. Angel mentoring Spike in the ups and downs of soul-having, Spike filling grand-sire-son void, and the two becoming more or less friends on an equal footing after decades of being at odds with each other both with souls, without souls, etc. etc.

The fact that it would also make life as an internet fan and internet board moderator easier is not an insignificant plus!

[> [> [> [> Agreed. ;-) -- s'kat, 21:41:14 10/24/03 Fri

[> [> Sheri, don't be ... -- Earl Allison, 13:07:10 10/23/03 Thu

If I come off as disgruntled or pissed off, it's at the WB and ME, not you.

Is ME possibly making meta-commentary? Maybe, but if they are, I'll be going out of my way to ignore it, or find fault with it.

That's me, not you, not at all.

Please, continue posting and asking. No harm done.

Take it and run.

[> [> [> This is me just being confrontation-phobic -- Sheri, 13:48:07 10/23/03 Thu

I was fairly hesitant to post in the first place, since it seems that any mention of a certain two characters and the word "fan" will spark arguments.

As far as the metanarration goes (if there was any at all)... I don't think it was meant to say "you all should like Spike as a (albiet fictional) person. You should think that all his actions are wonderful and blah blah blah blah" Rather, I took the message to be "a person can find a character interesting without being stereotyped as a fanatic". Does that make sense?

What would be a better way for ME to make comments on reactions in the fandom if not through metanarration? I understand that the actual act of bringing more fans over to a particular character(s) side should be shown overtly... but this seemed more like commentary to the current fanbase that ME wants everybody to kiss and make up. I didn't really see it as a way to change people's opinions towards Spike, but rather their opinions towards other fans. I have trouble seeing an alternative to the metanarration, partly because when I try to think of anything, all I can picture is Fred turning to the camera and making an overt plea to the fans to be nice to eachother, and partly because I just absolutely love metanarration.

Like father, like son? (spoilers 5.4) -- Sheri, 09:07:09 10/23/03 Thu

Anybody else find an eery similarity between the box Angel stuffed the Reaper in and the box Connor used to send Angel to the bottom of the ocean? I definately had a few hairs go up on the back of my neck.


[> Re: Like father, like son? (spoilers 5.4) -- Ames, 13:42:07 10/23/03 Thu

Yes, I thought the same thing. It may well have been intentional, but why? I might have thought it was a hellish punishment dreamed up by Angel based on his experience, but it sounded like Eve came up with the storage box, not Angel.

Disfigurement in Angel 5.4 (spoils) -- neaux, 11:17:02 10/23/03 Thu

This is just a topic for discussion. I have no meaningful claims.. be them outrageous or inciteful.

There were these disfigured ghosts, right? A lady with a shard of glass in its eye. A lady without arms. A fingerless man. A lawyer with half a face.

just for the heck of it.. could these ghosts pair up with some of the main characters on the show perhaps?

just want to see what you guys think.


[> Oooh, good question! -- Sheri, 11:21:25 10/23/03 Thu

Um, I have no clue.

[> ghosts with a purpose (Angel 5.4 spoilers) -- purplegrrl, 12:39:35 10/23/03 Thu

A different question:
Had the writer been watching "Thirteen Ghosts" (the remake with Tony Shalub and Matthew Lillard)?? :-)

These ghosts didn't seem like your run-of-the-mill spooks. It seemed like the Reaper hand-picked these particular ghosts to particularly freak out Spike.

In "Thirteen Ghosts" the mythology states that there are twelve ghosts that are purposely chosen for their representation in the Black Zodiac. So big, brewin' evil can happen.

So if the ghosts are meant to represent someone in the Buffyverse or Spike's past (or possibly aspects of Spike himself):

* armless woman in period dress - need for love/validation - Drusilla (possibly William/Spike's mother); Spike's whole existence
* woman with glass shard in eye - doesn't want to see or doesn't like what she sees - possibly Angel, could be Buffy; Spike in his current non-corporeal state
* fingerless man - self-torture - possibly Wesley; probably Spike after getting his soul back
* lawyer with half a face - dual nature - Spike (The Big Bad vs. vampire-with-a-soul-saves-the-world)

All to torture Spike and drag him into Hell. But Spike is no weakling, even in this whiney, half-crazed state. He's smart. He figures the Reaper out, and figures out how to best him at his own game. (Similar to how "Thirteen Ghosts" ends.)

[> [> Re: ghosts with a purpose (Angel 5.4 spoilers) -- neaux, 13:39:50 10/23/03 Thu

* woman with glass shard in eye - doesn't want to see or doesn't like what she sees - possibly Angel, could be Buffy; Spike in his current non-corporeal state

I also couldnt help but think of Xander's eye gouging when seeing the lady with the glass in her eye.

[> [> [> for *once* I'm happy about my lousy tv reception -- Sheri, who had no idea *what* was in wrong with that eye, 14:00:44 10/23/03 Thu

[> Re: Disfigurement in Angel 5.4 (spoils) -- Lunasea, 16:12:22 10/23/03 Thu

I saw them all as issues of Spike.

The man was cutting off what Spike refered to as his feelers. Spike couldn't feel anything.

The woman without arms wanted to be held. Not only couldn't Spike feel anything, but no one could hold him. These two are flip sides of the same coin. One can't feel and one can't be held/be felt.

The lady with the shard of glass in her eye was like Xander, but that was a role that Spike played as well. His own pain is blinding him to things. The glass, the thing that is causing him pain, is ripped out and used to cut him. It is this pain that keeps Spike from being able to interact with others.

Not sure about the lawyer. That was more a statement about what the ghosts were, Wolfram and Hart employees.

[> Re: Disfigurement in Angel 5.4 (spoils) -- Corwin of Amber, 20:28:17 10/23/03 Thu

The only thing that struck me about the "ghosts" was the lady with the glass in her eye. She pulls the shard of glass out of her eye (yes, ick), says "I remember you...William!", and slashes Spike across the face. I thought that perhaps all the ghosts had been past victims of Spikes.

We also have to remember that there were no detectable ghosts around.

[> [> Re: Disfigurement in Angel 5.4 (spoils) -- leslie, 14:39:08 10/24/03 Fri

I, too, expected that the ghosts would all be Spike's past victims, but he didn't recognize them. It seems that part of getting a soul, for both vampires, was inescapably remembering everyone you've ever killed, so that doesn't work. I think Glass-shard Lady has to have been calling him William in reference to who he was pre-vamp. Which, again, would make sense because she's dressed in 1940's-ish clothes, and Spike was calling himself Spike, not William (bloody or otherwise) by that time. I'd also point out that Armless Girl was dressed more 18th- or early 19th-century, so she would have predeceased William in his human or vampire form. I think the ghosts were more likely to represent what Pavayne did to his victims--both literally and metaphorically (yeah, blindness, lack of feeling, etc.)--than what Spike is ecountering, except to the extent that Pavayne is trying to add him to his gang of ghosts.

The Reaper and Dickens......spoilers for Angel 'Hellbound' -- Rufus, 23:40:34 10/23/03 Thu

I usually transcribe most of every episode just to catch things I may have missed. What is noteable about last night was the situation of Spike and Angel and how a spirit called the Reaper may have shown them that even "ghosts" have options that may not have been apparent when Spike first appeared. I know Spike isn't a ghost, but it's a good way to describe what he is at the moment.

Spike and Angel are past friends, family, privy to the worst each is capable of. Thing is, we saw Angel with a soul before we were introduced to what he had been. With Spike the opposite is happening. Angel seems to be rejecting Spike, eager to rid himself of his past partner in crime. Is Angel rejecting Spike or is Angel rejecting himself......

Spike: So, what's on the 'genda? Rousting a nest of venemous retirement plans?

Angel: Shop's closed Spike, come back and haunt me tomorrow.

Spike: Air's to rarified up here for my taste anyhow. Down with the dregs is where I belong, isn't it?

Angel: And yet he's still here.

Spike: Just thought we could hang is all. Couple of vampires from the old days doing their hangy thing.....

Angel: You're starting to feel it, aren't you? How close you are now...to Hell?

Spike: What if I am? Not like it's such a bleeding big deal is it? If a ponce like you could break out...

Angel: I never escaped from hell, all I got was a shor reprieve, not even sure how I managed that.

Spike: Oh, put your martyr away Mahatma. Fred told me all about your great shining prophecy. Pile up all your good deeds and get the big brass ring handed to you like everything else.

Angel: Except for one small catch, prophecy's a bunch of bull - they all are. Nothing's written in stone or fated to happen Spike. You save the world, you end up running an evil law firm. (hmmm what a Wasteland)

Spike: Or playing Casper with one foot in the fryer.

Angel: You think any of it matters? The things we did - the lives we destroyed - that's all that's ever going to count. So - yeah, surprise - you're going to hell -- we both are.

Spike: Then why even bother? Try to do the right thing, make a difference?

Angel: What else are we going to do?

So, Spike is Angel's Marley, a ghost unable to affect the world, doomed to watch everyone suffer without being able to do a thing but watch with regret.

From A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

``Mercy!'' he said. ``Dreadful apparition, why do you trouble me?''
``Man of the worldly mind!'' replied the Ghost, ``do you believe in me or not?''
``I do,'' said Scrooge. ``I must. But why do spirits walk the earth, and why do they come to me?''
``It is required of every man,'' the Ghost returned, ``that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow-men, and travel far and wide; and if that spirit goes not forth in life, it is condemned to do so after death. It is doomed to wander through the world -- oh, woe is me! -- and witness what it cannot share, but might have shared on earth, and turned to happiness!''

Spike has a soul and can't interact with the world change much around him,and Angel, well Angel seems to have lost something since his son was taken from him. To Angel, Spike is just another curse to add to that happiness clause that makes him more seperate from humanity than the vampire limitations can. Spike reminds Angel of everything he has done, the pain he has caused and the fact that he can't change that. As Spike yammers, Angel pours some blood from a decanter, starts to unwind. Funny that while Spike is trying to get back into the world that Angel looks like he is trying to escape it. The blood used as a way to soothe him much like an after work drink would the average man. To prove that these men have a connection we see them interact in a way that we have not seen yet.

Spike: So that's it then? I really am going to burn.

Angel: Welcome to the club.

Spike: Well, least I got company - eh? (still speaks Canadian I see) You and me , together again - Hope and Crosby - Stills and Nash - Chico and the....

Angel: Yeah - are we done?

Spike: Never much for small talk weer you? Always too busy trying to perfect that brooding block of wood mystique. God I love that.

Angel: Not as much as I loved your non-stop yammering.

Spike: The way you always had to be the big swingy - swaggering around, barking orders.

Angel: Never listening.

Spike: Always interrupting.

Angel: And youre hair - what colour do they call that? Radioactive?

Spike: Never much cared for you Liam - even when we were evil.

Angel: Cared for you less.

Spike: Fine.

Angel: Good.

Angel: There was one thing about you

Spike: Really?

Angel: Yeah - I never told anyone about this - But I liked your poems.

Spike: YOU like Barry Manilow.

Jeeze, I usually tell the kids to take a time out and learn to use their words. That little spat ties them together as a reluctant buddy team, bickering, suffering together. Just when Angel thought he was getting somewhere with Wolfram and Hart, Spike arrives to remind him of who he is and that he no longer is the only vampire with a soul, another tie they can't ignore. Angel thinks that there is nothing he can do but continue on without any hope of peace in the end. Then we get "The Reaper" who is something like the third apparition in A Christmas Carol, a representative of things that may come. The Reaper is a spirit who not only revels in his state, but finds new ways to cause suffering on the spiritual plane. He is what either Spike or Angel can become if they forget about the humanity around them.

``Oh! captive, bound, and double-ironed,'' cried the phantom, ``not to know, that ages of incessant labour by immortal creatures, for this earth must pass into eternity before the good of which it is susceptible is all developed. Not to know that any Christian spirit working kindly in its little sphere, whatever it may be, will find its mortal life too short for its vast means of usefulness. Not to know that no space of regret can make amends for one life's opportunities misused! Yet such was I! Oh! such was I!''
``But you were always a good man of business, Jacob,'' faultered Scrooge, who now began to apply this to himself.
``Business!'' cried the Ghost, wringing its hands again. ``Mankind was my business. The common welfare was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, and benevolence, were, all, my business. The dealings of my trade were but a drop of water in the comprehensive ocean of my business!''
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

Spike vanishes as a result of The Reaper, unable to contact anyone. Fred is the one that wants to anchor him back to this reality as she feels he has something to add to the team in respect to helping others. Angel does allow Fred to continue trying to find a way to make Spike corporeal. The Reaper tries to do to Spike what he has done to so many others, send him to hell.
Angel: Here it is - Matthias Pavayne - dark soul number 182.

Wesley: Pavayne......

Angel: Well, there's not much here. European Aristocrat - 18th Century. He was a doctor nicknamed "The Reaper" for performing unnecessary surgery on his patients.

Fred: Well, what kind of surgery?

Wesley: The kind you don't recover from. There's a file on him in internal archives classifed histories.

Gunn: He worked for Wolfram and Hart?

Wesley: Not exactly, "Word spead of his unorthodox practises, fled to California still under Spanish rule at the time. His arrival coincided with a rash of brutal ritualistic murders. Pieces of the victims placed in a manner suggesting an intimate knowledge of the Dark Arts. (reminds me of Jack the Ripper in Alan Moores 'From Hell')

Fred: Pieces?

Wesley: The slaughter continued for the better part of 20 years - the perpetrator was never caught - at least - not by the authorities.

Angel: What, you saying Wolfram and Hart tood this guy out?

Fred: Why would they do that?

Gunn: Sounds like their idea of employee of the month.

Wesley: Because they needed his blood - "Representatives from Wolfram and Hart were looking to build a new branch in what would eventually become Los Angeles. Unfortunately, a Spanish mission was already resting on the site the seers recommended. They needed an appropriate sacrifice to deconsecrate the grounds.

Fred: So this place is built on the blood of a mass-murdering psychopath?

Wesley: It would appear so.

Pavayne was a creep before he became the boogy man. His routine hasn't much changed over the years, except for he has found a way to affect the real world, first by killing that medium and then by trying to kill Fred. I wonder how many other deaths can be attributed to him?

While Fred is trying to bring Spike into the world, Pavayne is intent upon having Spike take his in hell. He is a grand cheater, not of death but of the consequences of his life. Instead of going to hell, he feeds other souls in an attempt to stay where he is, tormenting everyone he can.

Pavayne: Vampire soul - watch it stuggle - more fun than the others.

Spike: Go to hell.

Pavayne: Your journey, not mine. Oh, the pretty, still trying to save you, such passion.......so wet and sweet. Perhaps I'll have a taste one day. (Spike tries to attack Pavayne) Still thinking like meat and bone. None here boy, in this place all rules are mine - reality bends to my desire, the way it was meant to....

Spike: Bending reality - I didn't just fade away, it was you. That's why they can't see me any more.

Pavayne: Parlor tricks - to amuse - like your blood. Oh yes, nothing here without the will, your voice, your body..

Glass woman: Clothes you think you wear.

Pavayne: William the Bloody, scourge and destroyer....but scratch the surface..

woman: Little Nancy, still crying for his mother.

Pavayne: Know all your hiddens, dirty red things you've done. Then fell in love won himself a soul - no more dirty things - thinks himself special.

Glass woman: Thinks it matters.

Hanging man: Hell still waits.

Pavayne: Knows he deserves it - like all the others.

Spike is beginning to figure out what Pavayne is doing.....

Pavayne: Disappointing I expected more from the soul of a vampire. Too much conscience perhaps, weighing it down. Hell knows you're ready, plump and ripe. Beginning to understand aren't you....*The soul that blesses you, damns you to suffer forever* You go now William, so I can stay. Yes, squirm boy, it won't make a difference - getting what you deserve.

Spike: You're right, I do deserve to go to hell. But not today.

Pavayne: You DARE!

Spike: Quite a bit, mate. Reality bends to desire, that was it right? That's why I could touch Fred. Write your name in the glass. All I had to do is want it bad enough. And guess what I want to do now? You prissy son of a bitch. Keen little racket you got carved out for yourself, prying off spirits and sucking them down the chute. Kept your own toasties out of the fire didn't it? Til now. Not so much fun when we hit back is it?

Pavayne and Spike end up in the lab where Angel and the gang have constructed a way to bring Spike into the world. That idea is threatening to Pavayne who sees himself as a god right where he is. He tries to kill Fred, leaving Spike to choose....flesh or the girl. Spike pauses, considering his options and chucks Pavayne into the instrument of his salvation from being a Caspar. As Angel starts to beat Pavayne to death, Spike reminds him that it is in the flesh that Pavayne is weak, as a spirit he would be unstoppable. Angel knocks Pavayne out.

In the lab, Fred looks sadly at the machine she had built to bring Spike back. Spike appears and talks to his friend.

Spike: Don't suppose you built a spare then?

Fred: Most of the pieces I used on this one were practically non-existant to start with (I do have a vision of what chasing that big cat down would be like to get another whisker). Even if I could replace them, the chances of finding another power source are......I'm sorry.

Spike: Don't be love. Made my choice, wouldn't change it for the world.

Fred: There are other things we could try, they're a little riskier but...

Spike: No, I'm not going to end up like Pavayne, cheating hell anyway he could, no matter who it hurt.

Fred: Just proves what I've been telling everybody.

Spike: That I'm a handsome devil who brightens the place up?

Fred: That you're worth saving.

Spike: Don't have it so bad really. Plenty of room - good company. Even picked up a few tricks. I guess there's worse things than being a ghost.

Spike has seen that his fate is not as bad as he first thought, being barely visible is way better than roasting your chestnuts anyday. While he and Fred chat, Angel and Eve deal with "The Reaper"......

Angel: sure it'll hold him?

Eve: Permanent storage, if there's anything Wolfram and Hart excels at, it's keeping their unmentionables, unmentioned.

Angel: Congratulations, you get to live forever, unable to move, to touch, or to feel or to affect anything in the world around you. But don't worry, I had em give you a window. Welcome to Hell

I started out saying that this episode reminded me of Dickens (as well as Jack the Ripper), and it isn't a character by character reminder, but the situation of the dead finding that they didn't do the right thing on earth, and as they come to that recognition, they can no longer do a thing about it. Spike was that sort of character, til he went up against that necromance, and now "The Reaper". He may be afraid of hell, but he knows that somehow his will, his ability to want something enough just may make a difference. He seems resigned to his current fate. Angel is still trying to find out how to deal with his position as head of an evil law firm. One thing about the end of "The Reaper", it reminded me of what Angelus did to Dru by turning her into a vampire. His motive was to give her eternal torment, with "The Reaper" the intent is the same, just now he's sticking it to the evil guy.

Hell as a place came up a lot in this episode. Something to fear as a literal fryer, where the hopeless end up to suffering for an eternity. Does that mean that hell is only one place, or in a show that deals with multiple dimensions are there other types of hell? One thing, hell can be the suffering caused by figuring the big picture out and no longer being able to act upon that knowledge. Spike is not a literal Marley as he has found out he can still make a difference, Angel seems less sure of his place in a world where nothing is written in stone and the end may be a place that requires air-conditioning. So, if nothing they do really matters, then why do they care at all?


[> What else are we going to do? -- Lunasea, 07:47:29 10/24/03 Fri

So, if nothing they do really matters, then why do they care at all?

Angel tried to stop caring in "Reprise." He couldn't. Why care? It's how we are made. There is something inside of us that forces us to care. We can try and shy away from the fire. We can cut ourselves off. We can try not to care. We can try, but we can't do it.

Why care? Why fight? Why post?

I think that is something more than a few people have asked themselves lately. I know I have. A friend of me asked me why not. I can give tons and tons of reasons why not. It hurts me. It hurts others. I don't mind the personal pain so much, but I don't like to hurt others. All I wanna do is help. If posting helps, I post. If it doesn't, I don't. The hard part is figuring out what it does. It hurts some and helps others. Do I create some sort of balance sheet? How do I know how many it hurts/helps and how much it does? I can't.

Every now and then I find out a little bit though. Someone says what I write is beautiful or that it helped them make sense of something. That encourages me to post. Then other things cause board (or journal) blow-ups and I consider not posting any more. Do I take away the beauty I contribute, the help, in order to remove the harm?

When Angel saw Connor on the TV in "Home" Angel wants to know who did this and Lilah's response is "I'm looking at him." Talk about harm. Angel just wanted to love his son and give him a good life. Instead those intentions got turned against him as his son was raised by a vengeful madman. Why care? Why fight? As my father would say, "Why bother?"

Because as Angel says with despair, "What else are we gonna do?" He's right, but it isn't cause for despair. It is cause for hope. I have no choice but to fight, to post, to bother. There is something inside of me that demands it. I have to care. All I wanna do is help. I can't help if I don't fight, if I don't post. I may cause the occassional board blow-up, but better to risk that than to hide my candle under a basket. I just learn from the blow-ups and try to minimize them in the future.

Most of the time, I will get no reward for my actions. People don't tell others when they like something. I am trying to be more vocal in my appreciation of others. That is another way I fight, fight against others feeling unappreciated, fight against loneliness, fight against others not wanting to fight.

I have to trust that the part of me that forces me to do this is good. I have to trust that I do help. It's a lot to trust, but what else am I going to do?

[> [> Re: What else are we going to do? -- Sara, 10:12:25 10/25/03 Sat

"I just learn from the blow-ups and try to minimize them in the future."

Hey, can I just give you a pat on the back for what I've seen as a really great effort to change the tone of your interactions without backing down on your opinions. The joy of this board is when people engage each other while still being sensitive and kind, and from what I've seen you've really embraced that. As someone with plenty of things to work through myself, it always makes me optimisitic when I can see other people being so successful!

[> [> [> Thanks [blushing] -- Lunasea, 15:42:37 10/25/03 Sat

[> Re: The Reaper and Dickens......spoilers for Angel 'Hellbound' -- Wolfhowl3, 07:51:29 10/24/03 Fri

Spike: Then why even bother? Try to do the right thing, make a difference?

Angel: What else are we going to do?

I think that this might be the most important line in the whole of the ep.

It shows that they are both willing to do good on earth, even thought it's not in their nature, and there is no reward at the end of the long dark night.

To me it harkens back to one of Angel's lines back in Season 2.

If nothing we do matter's then the smallest act of kindness is the greatest act in the world

It is that attatude that will save both Leim and Willam from the fire.


[> [> depression, spoilers for Angel 'Hellbound' -- skeeve, 08:26:15 10/24/03 Fri

I'm not sure what label to put on Spike and Angel's mental state.
Either clinical depression or paranoia come to mind.
However one labels it, their certainty that they're going to hell is irrational.

In any case, Spike is better off than he was before Hellbound.
The immediate threat of being sucked into hell is gone, and he can interact with ordinary matter.
Despite the recent failure, Spike's prospects for eventual corporality are looking up.
Fred's first attempt was a rush job.
It was so general, that she expected it to work even though she didn't know what Spike was.
Maybe when she discovers what Spike is, she can do the job without something powered by nuclear evil, perhaps something powered by a few gallons of Slayer blood.

[> [> [> Actually that's a good point -- Ponygirl, 09:58:10 10/24/03 Fri

I'd forgotten about the implications of Fred's machine being powered by source of plutonium grade evil. Doesn't really sound that appealing after all. while I don't think that Slayer blood is the answer, I do have to wonder if Fred's machine is symptomatic of the gang's situation - trying to do good powered by evil.

[> [> [> [> Re: Actually that's a good point -- skeeve, 16:08:48 10/24/03 Fri

The demon blood that humanized Angel would seem a more likely prospect.
I was just trying to think of something that was 1) good 2) hard to get and 3) could reasonably be suspected of healing.

I still think that Slayer blood should be tried on Xander.
It might not work, but Faith recovered after having rather a lot of brain cells killed.

[> [> [> [> and failing. Nice point -- sdev, 23:34:08 10/24/03 Fri

[> Liam, Angelus and Angel -- Sara, 10:02:11 10/25/03 Sat

"One thing about the end of "The Reaper", it reminded me of what Angelus did to Dru by turning her into a vampire. His motive was to give her eternal torment, with "The Reaper" the intent is the same, just now he's sticking it to the evil guy."

I would never have seen that connection on my own - but it's fascinating. I'm seeing Liam, Angelus and Angel less as separate distinct entities and more of aspects of an individual. It seems that whenever Angel gets dark or extreme his actions are not so far off from those of Angelus, the only difference is who he targets.

Also, loved the Christmas Carol comparisions, that's one of my favorite books - and it really worked well in the episode.

Other dead characters... -- anonn, 07:53:28 10/24/03 Fri

How about Darla she appears to have made it to Heaven, as evidenced by her appearance to Connor, and after her first death had no memories of any sort of hell; also notice that she didn't become a wisecracking badass with a martyr complex or a doomed homme fatale haunting the Slayer's lovelife, (I think we've discovered the cardinal sins of the Buffyverse)

What about Anya, she deserved Hell way more than most, but I think hunting down giant saber-toothed bunnies while preparing for Ragnarok in some surreal Valhalla would be much more in keeping with the spirit of her character and her death (or maybe she could own a souvenier shop in Alfhelm) even if we'll never get an answer (I can't see how it would affect AtS)

Do you think Giles would go to Buffyverse Heaven (Ben had to be killed to stop Glory), what about Willow (am I the only one that thinks Warren had it coming?) are Tara and Joyce in the same heaven that Buffy was?


[> Re: Other dead characters... -- Corwin of Amber, 08:24:22 10/24/03 Fri

Heh. Anya the Bunny Slayer!!! That's a fanfic waiting for an author. She would make an excellant Valkyrie.

[> I'm posting a fanfic on Anya's afterlife on Halloween. -- cjl (att'n Fresne and Rob), 08:33:06 10/24/03 Fri

Me, Fresne, and (I hope) Rob have been working on a triptych of Anyafic to send one of our favorite characters out in style. We'll post next Friday. (Fresne, you'll get my latest draft after this weekend. Input, pleeease.)

By sheer coincidence, the hot topic of discussion after "Hellbound" (who does or doesn't deserve damnation) plays a big part in my story. (I wrote the ending months ago--but I guess it just goes to show that if you think you're exploring a new corner of the Buffyverse, Joss and his crew are usually in there ahead of you.) I hope you guys are entertained by my own interpretation of the topic.

[> [> Cracking editing knuckles -- fresne, 08:47:31 10/24/03 Fri

Mwhahahaha. Ahem. Yes. I shall take a break between dancing, boots, dancing, shopping, dancing, to edit.

For weary of waiting to be seen, Anya longs to rip back the veil and show things as they were. Come with us, back to the behind the curtain of S7.

Speaking of which, Rob...Anya, wandering, wandering, wandering...she's running out of water. Save her.

[> [> [> *sigh* -- Rob, 09:19:05 10/24/03 Fri

Anya, wandering, wandering, wandering...she's running out of water. Save her.

I procrastinate, therefore I am.

I haven't touched the story in a while, but maybe that makes it a good time, to get back to it with a fresh perspective. Unfortunately, it's a homework-heavy weekend for me. But I'll do my best to Get It Done in time. Luckilly, I work well under pressure. I won't let Anya down.


[> [> [> [> Oh, and...cjl and fresne... -- Rob, 09:47:02 10/24/03 Fri

Since we started the project, my old computer has broken, and I have a new one now. While I did back up most of my files, I neglected to save my old e-mails. If you guys could e-mail me the stuff you've done so far, that'd be great. Since my story should be a bridge between the two of yours, I want to make sure I keep up the continuity.


[> [> [> [> [> No problem. I'll e-mail my latest draft to both you and fresne. -- cjl, 09:55:58 10/24/03 Fri

[> Re: After life ... -- Ames, 10:50:34 10/24/03 Fri

The whole heaven/hell thing is very confusing. There's not a lot of direct evidence to go on:

Buffy *thinks* she was in heaven while she was dead - but was she? If she was, apparently she bears no responsibility for the many beings she has killed in battle (including possibly some humans and ex-humans), or for the origin of the demonic energy that powers the Slayer. Where will Faith go when she dies?

Angel was sucked into a specific hell dimension in Becoming 2, so maybe that doesn't qualify as dying and going to generic Hell. Anyway he's never said much about it.
Darla said she didn't remember anything about being dead.
We don't actually know anything about Joyce or Tara - their ghostly appearances were probably due to The First.
Spike doesn't remember anything about being dead for 19 days, and all we know now about Hell trying to suck him in is what he says (which might be misleading).
The exact nature or fate of various other ghosts that have appeared to be haunting specific locations is unclear.

If a person dies and their soul departs when they become a vampire, and the body is then animated by a demon spirit that only seems to be like the original personality, then why would re-souled Angel or Spike go to Hell for their deeds as a soulless vampire? Surely their human soul, whether the original or a new one, is innocent of those misdeeds?

It seems more like the re-souled vampires are a fusion of the demon and a human soul, actually a new being that bears partial responsibility for the demon's past. That seems to be the way Angel and Spike think of it, and they should know best.

Does the soulless vampire simply evaporate with no remnant when they are finally dusted? That doesn't seem to be the case, because resurrected fully-human Darla still had all of her vampire memories. Where did new human Darla's soul come from? And where was her vampire self while she was non-existant?

How about Lorne (the Host)? Pure demon as far as we know, but not evil at all, just from another dimension. Does he have a soul? Would he go to Heaven or Hell when he dies?

[> [> at last -- skeeve, 15:59:17 10/24/03 Fri

Someone else who considers the possibility that Buffy wasn't in heaven.

From what I've read, the consensus of the board seem to be that the soul isn't part of a human or demon's conciousness or identity.
Some beings, e.g. humans and at least some demons, have a third part, a spirit that can retain one's memories and stuff.
The soul can provide a conscience.
It can even provide a conscience for a being, e.g. Darla, that is not the original owner.

Buffy's roommate from hell demonstrated that a soul is not discrete.
One can remove a little bit of it.

Here's an idea.
Get a thousand people (not W&H people) to donate 1/100 of their souls to the Reaper before letting him go.

For another take on demons, see Robert Asprin's MythAdventure series.

[> [> [> My take on Buffy's Heaven has been . . . -- Finn Mac Cool, 16:07:39 10/24/03 Fri

That she was actually remembering her death, not being dead. That was her moment of clarity, of escaping the harsh, cruel world by sacraficing herself for someone she loved. That was a very happy moment for her, and, when she was resurrected, that memory seemed stretched out, turned into eternity. That's what I've thought, anyway.

As for Darla, it could be possible that people who are resurrected simply don't remember anything about where they were. Perhaps it's like with Cordelia: the transition causes a memory blackout (though how much could vary).

[> [> [> [> Re: My take on Buffy's Heaven has been . . . -- Ann, 19:58:34 10/24/03 Fri

You might like reading the sci-fi novel Passage by Connie Willis. I read it a while back and thought it was interesting in the way it described death.

From SF site: " It concerns Near Death Experiences (NDEs), and the attempts of a couple of researchers to explain them as the reaction of the brain and body to the physical conditions of dying -- with a glimmer of hope that such understanding might even lead to a means of bringing more people back from the brink of death. As such, the book deals with several people on the verge of dying -- including some who have, as it were, been there and back."

The thought that NDE's is the response to the body dying is an interesting one. It would account for the near world wide similarity of stories of near death experiences like light at the end of a tunnel, peacefulness, remembering your life in a flash etc. This novel gives example to your idea that Buffy was remembering her death and the relief it brought her while "dead".

[> Concerning Darla -- Cigarette Smoking Vampire, 20:45:39 10/24/03 Fri

I don't think we can conclude that Darla made it to heaven (whatever that may be). If it was Darla who appeared to Connor in "Inside Out," she gives us no indication of where she may have come from. She merely says that the Powers have sent her. Furthermore, I don't think we can even conclude that it was Darla. When asked whether she is Connor's mother she merely says that she has Darla's memories and feelings. That struck me as a very odd answer to give. Plus, we have already seen that entities can possess the memories and feelings of the deceased without being identical with them (the First Evil for example).

post for Rob on class and stuff -- MsGiles, 08:49:10 10/24/03 Fri

Doublemeat Palace and ME's attitude to class.

Great subject, Rob! I've absolutely no idea if I can come up with anything of any use, but here's trying. Started going throught the transcript but ran out of time when still only a few minutes in! Never mind, here's as far as it goes:

First a few thoughts on class. I believe part of the appeal of the new American republic to immigrants from Europe was the escape from the embedded social hierarchies which formed class distinctions in those countries, including the UK. American culture was to be a meritocracy rather than an aristocracy, though in later years it has come to be something of a capitocracy.

The class system still hanging on in the UK in the Victorian era originated with the feudal system, and was based on land ownership rather than financial wealth. In feudalism - Lord, Vassal, Knight, Peasant, Serf. The Upper/Middle/Working/Lower system didn't really exist in the same way, and feudal society worked by a complex system of loyalties and dues owed

The Lords were various Earls, Dukes etc, up to the King. The aristocracy. They were owed fealty by Vassals, who essentially subcontracted their lands in return for supplying goods and services, including fighting men on request. The Vassals leased land to peasant farmers, the villeins, and even the lowest in the food chain, the serfs, had a small amount of rented land to work. In a predominantly agricultural economy, land was the thing, and only the top guys owned it.

Towards the end of the 13c, the feudal system began to break up, in that small landowners who did not hold their land in fief from a local lord came into existence. These people formed the basis of what became the trading and craftsman classes, the future middle class. Ownership of freehold land or property distinguished those who could (for example) vote for MP's, when the House of Commons was introduced in 1254.

The last traces of that system, whereby status was attached to land ownership, was still in place in the 1800's, but things were changing. By the late 1800's it was becoming seriously undermined by the rise of capitalism. Partly in response to this, the appearances, that is the signifiers of, class, were greatly intensified. In order to attain the social importance and political influence that had been the (inherited) property of landowning families, the 'nouveau riche' had to aquire the trappings of the landowner: parks, big houses, a large and servile staff, a country estate with good shooting and hunting. These manifestations were more extreme and ostentatious than they had been in earlier times. 'Class' became a matter of intense anxiety, for those ostensibly challenging its strictures, like Bounderby, or for those attempting to conform to apparently rigid but really newly evolving rules.

So were does that leave us with DmP and class? Well, though class may be based on land or money, and filtered through speech or dress, the biting edge of it is power.

BUFFY: I was kinda feelin' like a tool.

The fast food theme is broached with an image of Buffy in her uniform. It is clearly a uniform designed to make the staff look ridiculous. In some ways its a symbol of her low status in the company she now works for: they can show their power by insisting that their employees wear a uniform that trivialises them, and is in no way necessary to the job (I mean the hat ornament here). The uniform symbolises the company's ownership of the worker, and I am reminded here of all those liveried domestic staff lined up on the steps in the film 'Gosforth Park' to greet an important guest. The uniformed person in this instance, and in Buffy's case, is no more than part of the company 'brand'.

MANNY: I'm Manny the manager. It's not a joke, it's just my name.

Although Manny is a mentor to Buffy, an authority figure, in some ways similar to Giles, we are not encouraged to take him seriously. His lack of humour, his inability to understand why others would find his name funny, and his dorkish appearance all cause us not to respect him. And yet he is not an unsympathetic character, he is not vicious or domineering. Perhaps the real reason we don't respect him, symbolised by his demeanor, is his lack of power. Although he is nominally in charge, he has no real power in the workplace. The induction is not even carried out by him, but by an impersonal video representing the franchise.

MANNY: We have a lot of turnover here.

There are elements of 'Anne' in here. it's no wonder that Buffy starts concocting conspiracy theories, when we look back to this episode. In 'Anne' the young homeless were being abducted and systematically destroyed by working them into a premature old age, they were too hopeless to attempt escape. An air of hopelessness pervades DmP as well, but this time Buffy is in it for real. She no longer has a home and mother to run back to. She cpuld leave 'Helens Kitchen' in 'Anne', but she can't afford to leave the DmP.

This makes a point about the relationship of the institution to its staff. DmP isn't bothered, on an official level, what happens to its workers when they leave. In spite of the smiles and appearance of friendliness in the video, its just a sham - it's just to sell burgers. There is no real caring. On another level, this ethos has so eroded the natural humanity of the staff that they don't care either. Manny is not an unkind man, but he has cut himself off from all emotional contact with the people he works with. He does not worry if they disappear and leave all their clothes behind; he barely remembers who they were anyway. I think there is a point here about lack of power->lack of self respect->dehumanises people.

AArgh! running out of time. Must post this crappy and badly thought out post and run for the train. Good luck with the essay!


[> Thanks so much! -- Rob, 11:27:39 10/25/03 Sat

I must admit that I haven't had time to give it a proper reading yet, but I saved it to my hard drive and will definitely read it once I finish a paper I have for film class.

Thanks again!


regarding Hell (bit of a spoiler for 5.4) -- leslie, 14:41:57 10/24/03 Fri

I noticed a short article in the paper this morning that a poll shows 2/3 of Americans believe that they are going to heaven, no matter what they've done in this life. So Angel and Spike are bucking the trend!


[> Can you clarify... -- Gyrus, 15:04:02 10/24/03 Fri

...whether they meant that 2/3rds of the respondents said they were going to Heaven because (a) they believe in their own virtue, or (b) they believe that getting into Heaven is about having faith in God or choosing the right religion or something, rather than doing good things?

[> [> Re: Can you clarify... -- leslie, 10:56:29 10/25/03 Sat


Americans Describe Their Views About Life After Death

October 21, 2003

(Ventura, CA) Despite the constant flux in many dimensions of Americans'
lives, a new study from the Barna Research Group of Ventura, California,
shows that most people have retained
surprisingly traditional views about life after death. Although the
lifestyles, values, and self-perceptions of most adults have undergone
significant change - and millions of Americans have embraced many
elements of a postmodern worldview - the vast majority
continues to believe that there is life after death, that everyone has a
soul, and that Heaven and Hell exist. However, more than 50 million
adults are uncertain regarding their personal eternal fate.

The Afterlife

Belief in life after death, like the existence of God, is widely
embraced: 8 out of 10 Americans (81%) believe in an afterlife of some
sort. Another 9% said life after death may exist, but they were not
certain. Just one out of every ten adults (10%) contend that there is no
form of life after one dies on earth.

Moreover, a large majority of Americans (79%) agreed with the statement
"every person has a soul that will live forever, either in God's
presence or absence."

Evangelicals, born again Christians, and Elders (ages 58 and older) were
the most likely segments to embrace the idea of life after death. Those
least likely to believe in life after death were Hispanics, Busters
(ages 20-38), residents of the West, atheists and agnostics, those
associated with a faith other than Christianity, and unchurched adults -
although more than two-thirds of each of these groups accept the
existence of an afterlife.

Heaven and Hell

The survey also explored peoples' views of Heaven and Hell. In all, 76%
believe that Heaven exists, while nearly the same proportion said that
there is such a thing as Hell (71%). Respondents were given various
descriptions of Heaven and asked to choose the statement that best fits
their belief about Heaven. Those who believe in Heaven were divided
between describing Heaven as "a state of eternal existence in God's
presence" (46%) and those who
said it is "an actual place of rest and reward where souls go after
death" (30%). Other Americans claimed that Heaven is just "symbolic"
(14%), that there is no such thing as life after death (5%), or that
they are not sure (5%).

While there is no dominant view of Hell, two particular perspectives are
popular. Four out of ten adults believe that Hell is "a state of eternal
separation from God's presence" (39%) and one-third (32%) says it is "an
actual place of torment and suffering where people's souls go after
death." A third perspective that one in eight adults believe is that
"Hell is just a symbol of an unknown bad outcome after death" (13%).
Other respondents were "not sure" or said
they that they do not believe in an afterlife (16%).


Most Americans do not expect to experience Hell first-hand: just
one-half of 1% expect to go to Hell upon their death. Nearly two-thirds
of Americans (64%) believe they will go to Heaven.
One in 20 adults (5%) claim they will come back as another life form,
while the same proportion (5%) contend they will simply cease to exist.

Even though most Americans believe in life after death and the existence
of the soul, not everyone is clear about their own ultimate destination.
One in every four adults (24%)
admitted that they have "no idea" what will happen after they die. Those
who felt their eternal future is undefined were most likely to be
Hispanics, singles, men, atheists and agnostics, residents of the West,
and 18- and 19-year-olds (i.e., young adults who also happen
to be the first members of the Mosaic generation to enter adulthood).

Among those who expect to go to Heaven, there were differences in how
they anticipate such an end would be attained. Nearly half of those who
say they are Heaven bound (43%) believe they will go to Heaven because
they have "confessed their sins and accepted Jesus
Christ as their savior." Others felt they will get to Heaven because
"they have tried to obey the 10 Commandments" (15%) or because "they are
basically a good person" (15%). Another 6% believed their entrance to
Heaven would be based upon the fact that "God loves all
people and will not let them perish."

One of the intriguing findings from the research is that education and
income are negatively correlated with belief in Heaven and Hell. In
other words, the more education a person gets or the more income they
earn, the less likely they are to believe that Heaven or Hell exists.
While most high-income households and college graduates maintain belief
in Heaven and Hell, the finding reinforces the popular notion - and,
indeed, Jesus' teaching - that people of
economic means and those with considerable education struggle to embrace
biblical teachings on such matters.

The New Views

Although a comparison of current beliefs to those held over the past two
decades shows that Americans' views about life after death have been
relatively stable over time, new perceptions about the hereafter are
being grafted into the traditional perspectives. For
instance, nearly 1 in 5 adults (18%) now contends that people are
reincarnated after death. And one-third of Americans (34%) believe that
it is possible to communicate with others after their death. As evidence
that this belief is gaining traction, consider that nearly half of all
Busters (48%) embrace the concept of communication with the dead, while
just 35% of Boomers (39-57) and 15% of Elders (ages 58+) do so.

Contradictions Reign

George Barna, the president of the company that conducted the research,
pointed out that "Americans' willingness to embrace beliefs that are
logically contradictory and their
preference for blending different faith views together create unorthodox
religious viewpoints." For instance, he noted that among born again
Christians - who believe that they will experience eternal existence in
Heaven solely because they have confessed their sins to God and are
depending upon Jesus Christ to spare them from eternal punishment or
rejection - 10% believe that people are reincarnated after death, 29%
claim it is possible to communicate with the dead, and 50% contend that
a person can earn salvation based upon good works.

"Many committed born again Christians believe that people have multiple
options for gaining entry to Heaven. They are saying, in essence,
'Personally, I am trusting Jesus Christ as my means of gaining God's
permanent favor and a place in Heaven - but someone else could get to
Heaven based upon living an exemplary life.' Millions of Americans have
redefined grace to mean that God is so eager to save people from Hell
that He will change His nature and universal principles for their
individual benefit. It is astounding how many people develop their faith
according to their feelings or cultural assumptions rather than biblical

The California-based researcher indicated that born again Christians are
not the only ones confused about what happens after death. Many of those
who describe themselves as either atheistic or agnostic also harbor
contradictions in their thinking. "Half of all atheists and agnostics
say that every person has a soul, that Heaven and Hell exist, and that
there is life after death. One out of every eight atheists and agnostics
even believe that accepting Jesus Christ as savior probably makes life
after death possible. These contradictions are further evidence that
many Americans adopt simplistic views of life and the afterlife based
upon ideas drawn from disparate sources, such as movies, music and
novels, without carefully considering those beliefs. Consequently, the
labels attached to people - whether it be 'born again' or 'atheist' may
not give us as much insight into the person's beliefs as we might

Research Methodology

The data described in this report are based on national telephone
surveys among random samples of 1000 or more adults (age 18 or older)
living within the 48 continental states conducted in September 2003,
October 2002, and October 2001. The maximum margin of sampling error
associated with each sample of 1000 adults is ±3 percentage points at
the 95% confidence level. (There are other types of error besides
sampling error that may also be present in surveys.) All of the
interviews were conducted from the Barna Research Group telephone
interviewing facility in Ventura, CA. The distribution of the survey
respondents coincided with the geographic dispersion of the U.S. adult
population according to Census
Bureau estimates. Multiple callbacks to each respondent were used to
increase the probability of obtaining data based on a reliable sample of

"Born again Christians" were defined in these surveys as people who said
they have made a personal commitment to Jesus Christ that is still
important in their life today and who also indicated they believe that
when they die they will go to Heaven because they had
confessed their sins and had accepted Jesus Christ as their savior.
Respondents were not asked to describe themselves as "born again."

"Evangelicals" are a subset of born again Christians in Barna surveys.
In addition to meeting the born again criteria, evangelicals also meet
seven other conditions. Those include saying
their faith is very important in their life today; believing they have a
personal responsibility to share their religious beliefs about Christ
with non-Christians; believing that Satan exists;
believing that eternal salvation is possible only through grace, not
works; believing that Jesus Christ lived a sinless life on earth;
contending that the Bible is accurate in all that it teaches; and
describing God as the all-knowing, all-powerful, perfect deity who
created the universe and still rules it today. Being classified as an
evangelical is not based upon church attendance or the denominational
affiliation of the church they attend. Respondents were not asked to
describe themselves as "evangelical."

The Barna Research Group, Ltd. is an independent marketing research
company located in southern California. Since 1984 it has been studying
cultural trends related to values, beliefs,
attitudes and behaviors. This research was funded solely by Barna
Research as part of its regular tracking of the social, religious and
political state of the nation and its churches.

If you would like to receive a bi-weekly update on the latest research
findings from the Barna Research Group, you may subscribe to this free
service at the Barna Research web site (www.barna.org) by providing your
e-mail address in the section of the home page that offers The Barna

Copyright Disclaimer All the information contained on the barna.org
website is copyrighted by the Barna Research Group, Ltd., 5528
Everglades Street, Ventura, CA 93003.

[> [> [> Very interesting -- Gyrus, 11:47:16 10/25/03 Sat

I find it intriguing that so many Americans who consider themselves Christians have beliefs that don't necessarily jibe with Christian doctrine, like the belief in reincarnation. In some Asian countries, people see no contradiction in practicing several religions at once (for example, I've read that many Japanese people will have a Buddhist birth ceremony, a Christian wedding, and a Shinto funeral); maybe Americans are beginning to go the same way.

I was also puzzled by the note that Hispanics are among the groups least likely to believe in an afterlife. Is Catholicism losing its hold on that population?

[> [> [> [> Re: Very interesting -- Michele, 10:34:37 10/26/03 Sun

As our Priest pointed out in Mass the other week, those polls are done on such a small population of the Catholic faith that they are worthless. The Hispanic population is just as strong as ever. If you look back upon most of South and Central America's indigenous peoples religions you'll see a strong culture that not only believes in an afterlife but is firmly entrenched in the idea of heaven and hell. Also, as a side note, most people don't realize these same people used blood/blood sacrifices in their ceremonies. This is why Christ dying on the Cross was not only easy for them to believe, it fit right in! Thanks, Michele

[> [> [> [> Nature of Resurrection -- dmw, 13:34:31 10/26/03 Sun

I find it intriguing that so many Americans who consider themselves Christians have beliefs that don't necessarily jibe with Christian doctrine, like the belief in reincarnation.

The nature of resurrection in Christianity has always been a subject of controvery, with some believing in a pure bodily resurrection, which results in some Christians believing that cremation will prevent the resurrection of the dead, and others being influenced by Greek ideas of the soul, accepting a spiritual resurrection. Reincarnation isn't a new Christian doctrine, though it's always been a controversial one. Origen's writings from the 3rd century are the source of much of the controversy. The link above discusses the scriptural origins and history of Christian reincarnation.

In some Asian countries, people see no contradiction in practicing several religions at once (for example, I've read that many Japanese people will have a Buddhist birth ceremony, a Christian wedding, and a Shinto funeral); maybe Americans are beginning to go the same way.

While may be expanding, fundamentalist Christianity is still growing in the US. It's the older, more tolerant denominations that are losing membership to both groups, so I see more of a growing polarization in America's future rather than a more accepting society.

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