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Best Performers -- Claudia, 13:03:34 09/22/03 Mon

Who would be your choices for the Top Five Actors/Actresses who portray regular characters in the BtVS & AtS television series?


Who would be your choices for the "Top Five Actors/Actresses who portrayed recurring characters in the BtVS & AtS television series?



[> Best Performers (BtVS/AtS) -- cjl, 13:32:55 09/22/03 Mon

Top Five Actors/Actresses on BtVS/AtS (Regular Characters)

1. James Marsters
2. Alexis Denisof
3. Alyson Hannigan
4. Anthony Stewart Head
5. Emma Caulfield

(Somewhere, there's a space for Seth Green, but I still resent him for running out on us and getting famous.)

Top Five Actors/Actresses on BtVS/AtS (Recurring Characters)

1. Stephanie Romanov
2. Kristine Sutherland
3. Amber Benson
4. Juliet Landau
5. Julie Benz

(What can I say? I likes the women. Danny Strong and, recently, Jonathan Woodward are down around 7 and 8.)

[> [> Re: Best Performers (BtVS/AtS) -- Arethusa, 14:09:36 09/22/03 Mon

Why Hannigan? Her face is wonderfully expressive, but her range isn't huge. Her anger more often seems like a monotone petulance, at least to me, and her mannerisms at times came dangerously close to being cutesy.

1.Alexis Denisof (brilliant at comedy and drama)
2.James Marsters
3.Sarah Michelle Gellar
4.Anthony Stewart Head
5.Emma Caulfield/David Boreanaz (based on Season 4 work)

I would substitute Vincent Kartheiser for Amber Benson, because while they both are very good, VK had the more demanding role.

[> Re: Best Performers -- Cactus Watcher, 14:31:57 09/22/03 Mon

1 Sarah Michelle Geller
2 James Marsters
3 Anthony Stewart Head
4 Emma Caulfield
5 Alex Denisof

1 Harry Groener
2 Eliza Dushku
3 Juliette Landau
4 Robia LaMorte
5 Robin Sachs

[> [> Re: Best Performers -- Claudia, 15:19:56 09/22/03 Mon

Might as well put in my choices:

1 James Marsers
2 Sarah Michelle Geller
3 Anthony Stewart Head
4 Alyson Hannigan
5 Alex Denisof

1 Harry Groener
2 Juliette Landau
3 Stephanie Romanov
4 Eliza Dukshu
5 D.B. Woodside

[> Re: Best Performers -- s'kat, 15:26:46 09/22/03 Mon

Who would be your choices for the Top Five Actors/Actresses who portray regular characters in the BtVS & AtS television series?

1.James Marsters (best in comedy and drama)
2.Alexis Denisof
3.Anthony Stewart Head
4.Alyson Hannigan
5.Sarah Michelle Gellar

Honorable Mentions: Vincent K (Connor), Amy Acker, Michelle Trachenburg,

*Based on consistency of performance

Who would be your choices for the "Top Five Actors/Actresses who portrayed recurring characters in the BtVS & AtS television series?

1. Eliza Dusku
2.Harry Groener
3.Robin Sachs (Ethan Rayne)
4.Juliet Landau
5.Romia La Mort (jenny)

Honorable Mentions: Glenn Quin, Jonathan Levinson, Adam Busch, Jonathan Woodward (he only had one), Julie Benze, Amber Benson, and the actor who played Holtz

[> [> Re: Best Performers -- skpe, 07:29:41 09/23/03 Tue

Who would be your choices for the Top Five Actors/Actresses who portray regular characters in the BtVS & AtS television series?

geting the list down to 5 in each catagory was tough but my list is

1. Sarah Michelle Gellar
2. James Marsters
3. Alyson Hannigan
4. Emma Caulfield
5. Anthony Stewart Head

Who would be your choices for the "Top Five Actors/Actresses who portrayed recurring characters in the BtVS & AtS television series?

1. Eliza Dushku
2. Amber Benson
3. Stephanie Romanov
4. Harry Groener
5. Romia La Mort

[> Re: Best Performers -- Rook, 15:35:05 09/22/03 Mon

Who would be your choices for the Top Five Actors/Actresses who portray regular characters in the BtVS & AtS television series?

1. SMG
2. Alexis Denisof
3. James Marsters
4. ASH
5. Michelle Trachtenberg

Who would be your choices for the "Top Five Actors/Actresses who portrayed recurring characters in the BtVS & AtS television series?

1. Eliza Dushku
2. Harry Groener
3. Juliet Landau
4. Christian Kane
5. Stephanie Romanov

[> Re: Best Performers -- RJA, 15:41:20 09/22/03 Mon

Who would be your choices for the Top Five Actors/Actresses who portray regular characters in the BtVS & AtS television series?

1. Sarah Michelle Gellar, who is, even in terms of the show, an incredibly underrated actor (just not in this threat it seems to me). Who Are You really made me pay attention, but there are so many other moments before and since, right up to Chosen.
2. Alexis Denisof - to go from bordeline unlikeable clutz to conflicted god is quite an achievment, and even better is to make it believable.
3. James Marsters - very affecting, and for much the same reason as AD.
4. Anthony Stuart Head - brings the class and gravitas to even the smallest line (and they have been small at times).
5. Oooh, last choice, difficult one! I'll go with Emma Caulfield, if only for The Body, but it stretches so much further than that.

Who would be your choices for the "Top Five Actors/Actresses who portrayed recurring characters in the BtVS & AtS television series?

1. Julie Benz who is some kind of goddess, and responsible for my favourite character ever on AtS
2. Stephanie Romanov, where I pretty much say ditto. But primarily for getting me to care about a cold hearted evil b****
3. Juliet Landau - took me a while to warm to her, but season two Angel convinced me. The sheer violence and fear she inspires is amazing in her portrayal.
4. Eliza Dushku - my first favourite recurring character. While my admiration has been dented due to her subsequent non-Buffy work, she is amazing in the role of Faith.
5. Adam Busch - responsible for the only character on either show I have ever loathed. Really quite some feat.

[> Re: Best Performers -- grifter, 16:26:10 09/22/03 Mon

Who would be your choices for the Top Five Actors/Actresses who portray regular characters in the BtVS & AtS television series?

1. Sarah Michelle Gellar
2. James Marsters
3. Alexis Denisof
4. Emma Caulfield
5. Alyson Hannigan

Who would be your choices for the "Top Five Actors/Actresses who portrayed recurring characters in the BtVS & AtS television series?

1. Eliza Dushku
2. Adam Busch
3. Stephanie Romanov
4. Amber Benson (if Tara counts as recurring and not regular)
5. Tom Lenk

[> poor NB, gone and forgotten -- cougar, 17:00:19 09/22/03 Mon

[> [> Nic Brendon is never forgotten in this corner. He's just not Top 5. -- cjl, 17:24:16 09/22/03 Mon

[> [> [> Just adding, while I wouldn't put him in my top five either... -- Alison, 17:35:49 09/22/03 Mon

comparativly speaking, he doesn't getting the big dramatic scenes...he does comedy effortlessly, and is perfect for romantic moments, but due to the nature of his character while he has gotten some seriously angsty scenes, he can't compare to Marsters or Gellar, because of the material he's been given. Could he pull it off? Maybe...but he's sort of out of the running on this one.

[> Re: Best Performers -- Random, 22:11:25 09/22/03 Mon

Top five regulars

1) Sarah Michelle Gellar: Highly underrated in the generally fantastic casts of these shows. Not just another cute face.

2) Anthony Stewart Head: What can I say? I love Giles. And ASH always pulls a winner. His delivery of "Tiny, tiny babies" in WAY was priceless.

3) Alexis Denisof he made me despise him on Buffy, warm to him on Angel, and was never once boring in any way. He da man.

4) Nicholas Brendon: The dark horse. Not the best on the show, but almost certainly the most underrated. Nicholas made the role his. I don't know how he would do on another show, in another role (saw Psycho Beach Party but that didn't tell me much) but the evidence I have suggests he is easily the most underrated actor on either show. He's consistent and never once left me wondering what was on his mind during the day's filming.

5) Alyson Hannigan Overrated, in my opinion, but not by too much. She's marvelous sometimes, and her few flaws in acting technique are easily outdistanced by her stellar talents in other areas of acting.

Honorable mentions: David Boreanaz: he keeps getting better and better. He may crack the list and take out a couple fan favorites next season

Top 5 recurring characters:

1) Harry Groener: The man is my god...the best and best-acted villain on either show, and that's saying something. What else can I say except that I love the Mayor!

2) Robin Sachs: Ethan. The evil Giles. He makes me long for a Giles/Ethan spin-off. The man is brilliant and a beautiful find for ME

3) Robia LaMorte: Jenny. Sigh, how I miss thee. Whilst thou wast here, Buffy was a better place. And thy death-scene was the pinnacle of a very-well-acted stint. Until the FE tormented poor Angel.

4) Danny Strong: Jonathan. Nuff said.

5) Julie Benz Until the last couple of seasons, I wasn't really impressed with Julie Benz. She struck me as a moderately pretty face with basic but unexceptional acting skills. I have since revised that theorem.

Honorable mentions: Eliza Dushku is marvelous...but she got edged out by all those dead people (except Ethan, but who knows what happened to him). Somebody kill Faith soon so she can make the list!

[> Question? How is SMG underrated?? -- s'kat, 22:49:16 09/22/03 Mon

Ahem...people keep mentioning how underrated SMG is.
Please explain?

She's won a daytime emmy. She has a movie career.
She was paid over 700,000 an episode more than most performers on television. Approximately 3 million for SCooby Doo. And is applauded by fans. She has won a fan award almost every year the show has been on. Whedon applauds her in every interview. Stating she made the show.

If anything she's overrated. None of the other actors on the shows have gotten this much attention.

Yes, I think she's a good actress. I've seen all her movies which I seriously doubt many others here can say (somewhat embarrassed to admit to myself, since most were stinkers).
But she is hardly underrated.

[> [> Re: Proud to say I've seen every SMG movie as well. -- Brian, 07:47:44 09/23/03 Tue

Slowly collecting as many as possible on DVD. Just picked up Simply Irresistible, which, even if Sarah herself didn't like it, it's still one of my favorites.

[> [> Re: Question? How is SMG underrated?? -- Claudia, 08:07:19 09/23/03 Tue

I don't think that SMG is underrated - except by the Emmys board. But I don't think she is overrated, either.

[> [> Re: Question? How is SMG underrated?? -- RJA, 11:58:59 09/23/03 Tue

When I said it, I was talking about in the circles I move in, she never gets her props. Certainly, at other boards I hang out at its generally acceptable to say she is talentless, one note, sleepwalking through roles etc. Maybe I just hang out in the wrong places (hence my surprise that so many people listed her).

I have also seen a trend in some 'serious' media to be rather snotty about her talents, with random asides being used to imply she is a talentless bimbo - I read An interview with one director last week who said in casting his film he wanted to look higher than the Sarah Michelle Gellars and the Freddie Prinze Juniors, which, you have to admit, is a low blow :-)

She certainly isn't fawned over in the ways that Reece Witherspoon or Kirsten Dunst routinely are. While I think that a lot of this is to do with bad choices of films (as you say, a lot of stinkers), and snobbery over BtvS (you mention her Emmy, but surely that's a sign of her underappreciation that she didn't get a nomination in seven years?)

I also don't think that earning a vast amount of money shows she isn't underrated. I was talking as an actress she is. She's more recognised as a movie star, without any real hopes of getting props for her acting too. I don't think the attention she garners from being the lead, and in Scooby Doo necessarily reflects what people think of her talents as an actress (and certainly, in the media that focuses on BtVS and likes it, SMG isn't the only one routinely fawned over).

[> [> [> Re: Question? How is SMG underrated?? -- Ames, 16:39:17 09/23/03 Tue

SMG has two strikes against her:

1. Her performance was such a big part of making BtVS what it is that it almost goes without saying. It's the elephant in the room.

2. She's tremendously talented, and she's not self-effacing about it (hmmm, a lot like Buffy there). Some people are bound to feel the need to run her down just to be contrary and take her down a peg.

I think the entire regular cost were pretty darn good - so good that it's difficult to pick one as better than another. SMG stood out even in that group though.

If I had to pick, the best of the rest would have to be ASH. He had a difficult key role, and I don't think he ever hit a false note. The others played interesting, quirky characters, and usually did it very well, but after SMG I would say that ASH did the heaviest lifting. The fact that we don't notice it as much is a testament to how well he did it.

[> Re: Best Performers -- Liv, 10:11:40 09/23/03 Tue

Who would be your choices for the Top Five Actors/Actresses who portray regular characters in the BtVS & AtS television series?

1.James Marsters
2.Anthony Stewart Head
3.Alexis Denisof
4.Emma Caulfield
5.Seth Green

Who would be your choices for the "Top Five Actors/Actresses who portrayed recurring characters in the BtVS & AtS television series?

1.Eliza Dushku
2.Stephanie Romanov
3.Harry Groener
4.Tom Lenk
5.Robia LaMorte

[> Since no one's mentioned him yet -- Ponygirl, 10:36:36 09/23/03 Tue

I've got to throw in some praise for Armin Shimerman. If his delivery of the line "Your point being?" in response to Buffy's comment on him never having a date in high school wasn't enough to win my heart, his appearance in Restless puts him at the top of my favourite recurring characters list.

[> [> Yes. I officially replace Danny with Armin. Damn, how could I forget *him*?!? -- Random, 11:15:15 09/23/03 Tue

[> Best One-Shot (or Two-Shot) Performers -- Gyrus, 11:05:12 09/23/03 Tue

Favorite actors to appear briefly on BTVS:

1. Hinton Battle as Sweet
2. Joel Gray as Doc
3. Camden Toy as Gnarl
4. Paige Moss as Veruca
5. Abraham Benrubi as Olaf the Troll

[> [> Five More Best One-Shot (or Two-Shot) Performers -- cjl, 12:02:16 09/23/03 Tue

Liked almost all of those choices (I'm "iffy" on Veruca)

Five One-Shot/Two-Shot Characters from BtVS:

1. Katharine Towne as Sunday
2. Jonathan Woodward as Holden Webster
3. Azura Skye as Cassie
4. Sid the Dummy
5. John Ritter as Ted

From AtS:

1. Thomas Kopache as Denver (the book dealer)
2. Deborah Zoe as Mistress Meerna
3. Kristin Dattillo as Harry (Doyle's ex)
4. Jack Kehler as Manny
5. David Denman as Skip (third appearance? What third appearance?)

[> [> [> Good picks! -- Gyrus, 13:09:15 09/23/03 Tue

Forgot about Jonathan Woodward/Holden Webster.

[> Re: Best Performers -- Haddock, 14:04:56 09/23/03 Tue

Best regular characters

1. Alexis Denisof - Far and away the best actor in the series in my view, has done a really good job with Wesley.

2. Michelle Trachtenberg - Probably the other really standout acting talent in the show, brings an intensity to Dawn which can be almost frightening.

3. Anthony Stewart-Head - Tremendous comic timing, good grasp of the character he plays, rarely puts a foot wrong.
Particularly outstanding in The Wish.

4. Sarah Michelle Gellar - Never thought much of her in the film roles she's done, but couldn't leave her off the list after re-watching 'Five by Five' which leads me to....

5. Eliza Dushku - Just shades onto the list ahead of Alyson Hannigan, Nick Brendon and the guy whose name temporarily escapes me who plays Lorne. Again, 'Five by Five' parts one and two are an influence as I cast my vote.

[> [> Very much agree with your choices -- Scroll, 16:53:55 09/23/03 Tue

I think many of the ME actors can be outright brilliant for sustained periods, even seasons, but AD, MT, and ASH are the ones who consistently turn out superior acting. Considering how young Michelle Tractenberg is, I definitely agree she has been amazing. Above and beyond even her elders.

The guy who plays Lorne is Andy Hallett, whom Joss recruited after hearing him sing. AndyH never meant to be an actor until Joss signed him up, so I don't even know if has any acting experience other than his tour on Angel. Pretty impressive, huh?

[> Re: Best Performers -- btvsk8, 14:29:50 09/23/03 Tue

1. James Marsters
2. SMG
3. Eliza Dushku (ok not a regular, but rules are made to be broken!)
4. Nick Brendon
5. Alyson Hannigan

Let the Melee Begin! -- Sara, finishing "The Beekeeper's Apprentice" at the 9th hour, 14:26:23 09/22/03 Mon

Can't wait to hear what people have to say about this book! I, as usual, don't have anything profund to say. I did feel that the portrayal of Watson was more the general view of the character, rather than a true continuation of Doyle's creation. I remember being very surprised when I first read the Sherlock Holmes stories at how intelligent and competent Watson was - not in any way a buffoonish character. I thought that King's version was more the not too bright caricuture that you see in other people's works. I also found that Mary's trauma and psychological scars were not very convincing, more the picture of the author imagining what it would be like to be traumatized, rather than a real portrait of a person who has gone through tragedy. But a fun read, and best of all it's made me take out my Sherlock Holmes for a re-read. (...but wait I have to pick up "Hamlet again - oh no!)

- Sara, ready for mucho melee now!


[> Swarm the melee -- fresne, 16:45:00 09/22/03 Mon

So, I should say something, because I like, err...suggested this here book, cause you see it's really neat and stuff.

Neat as in a drink with no ice. Rich husky scotch that coats and smooths and then you're drunk on golden view and the whole world is philosophical.

This is one of my favorite types of story. The young apprentice puts polka dotted bag over shoulder and sets off to the big city. Hayseed in the hair.

Hay. I can practically smell the grass in this book. That smell at the end of summer when the grass is gold and brown and is well and truly baked in the heat. And the empty seed pods rustle in the breeze as you supine and watch cotton chase across the cerulean and next week, school will be in and all this will be gone back into shoes and socks and text books. Except school's long past and a memory. And as I work, summer's equal to other seasons. Where vacation is measured in PTO and accumulated hours.

She's Mary of the Magdalene and young and the worlds are all before her and yet it is all a memory of a bygone age, born in muddy fields. A sepia photo. Fall. When the world turns to harvest and winter and death. Then again fermenting grain makes scotch, with a little distillation and angel's portions, or was that brandy, but I digress.

Honey, a perfect preservative unless fermented and then it's all sweet tipsy and lost bee hours.

It's what the Initiative could have been, with the Queen calculating Bee.

Once again an old chestnut of a Holmsian story, where there can be only one ultimate villain. Dragon coiled into dragoness.

I read somewhere that Laurie King came up with the idea for the story after speculating what Jeremy Brett's Sherlock Holmes would have been like if Holmes were a woman. He was just so full of mannerisms that hysterical behavior must have some gyn.

That old acorn that this is not a story. But like so many epistolary tales reaching for that simulacrum of truth. Briefly I consider Thucydides who twenty years after the fact could remember verbatim the perambulations of speeches on the battle field. A found tale in a box. A series of objects that have no meaning unless the tale behind them is known. A necklace, a bolt, a cape. The emotional significance is in the knowing.

The insistence by that Mary Russell as writer that she is no story, but real. That Holmes lived and breathed. That insistence on narrowness of POV. This is Mary's story. The world colored by her brush. Gaze.

Not a Doctor wounded in Afghanistan. In what was one of the more spectacular of British colonial failures, but a child-woman wounded in a moment of childish bitterness. Consider that Mary's father would have gone into intelligence. Consider that as our story opens, Holmes has just finished a protracted intelligence operation. That she herself finds a love of the flex and weave of that secret work. That parallel of smarter brother, but this Mycroft died. That both Mary and Holmes have their little family issues. And in a scene coming so soon after Mary discusses Holmes much handled family photo, she describes in brief her aunt and then consigns that relation (also, a Jew, also Other, clever Queen Bee) to namelessness. How very old testament (well, actually, I suppose Torah) and power in a name of Mary. That both Mary and Sherlock are in fact Russell and Holmes. The last name as identifier.

I wonder what Watson's portrayal would have been if told from the eyes of someone less sure of her own genius. It's a knife that cuts both ways. What of Holmes, if not seen through the eyes of a young woman? I recall a comment by Laurie King that there is something incredibly appealing about a man that regards being defeated intellectually by a woman (Ms. Adler), as the height of romantic attraction.

In the corpus of cannon, Watson had no need to be Holmes apprentice, he was a physician and had already served his internship. Been through fire. Emerged with walking stick and half pay on the other side.

What is it to be an apprentice? A journeywoman? Master? Mistress? To grow like a weed into this adult, this person who writes with bad spelling her own tale. Layers of perception. Editing correction. To seek to divine man's thoughts and find divine tracings in the conjugation of a verb. While preparing the story, Laurie King had to re-correct the proof, because a copy editor changed the spellings from English to American.

Briefly I consider the reference to the younger son of a duke (one of Holmes friends), which is a reference to Lord Peter Whimsy, himself a ground up victim of French fields, and part of an evolution away from puzzle mysteries to mysteries of psychological depth and tremble.

Remembering chess on summer evenings, when Mary knows, logically, that the days were full of dying boys and field work and rattling thunder of falling metal. A twisted broken bolt as queen. No, Queen. It's all in the punctuation.

The series of moments that make a story.

Perambulating across the downs whilst immersed in Virgilian similes, sheep scatter on the bucolic hillside.

That furious moment of rescue in the dark, while the fiddler plays.

In midst of flight, a moment of dressing up to go to the ball/concert. Dashed. Slashed. Adulthood undone.

After years of holding/compromising on her identity as Other, Mary's moment singing the Psalm of exile, Psalm 137 "By the waters of Babylon, there we sat down and we wept when we remembered Zion!"

That bitter voyage home. The wear of pretend and that moment of conciliation in the dark, when the eyes are unseen and the soul comes forward to reveal the ugliness of truth.

And that bygone sunshine end, where fractures heal, but the bones, like ringed trees, always ache the memory of the wound.

"If you prick me, do I not bleed?"

And I consider that the Mary of this tale, cannot vote, but that's the next book.

And did those feet, in ancient time,
Walk upon England's mountains green?
And was the Holy Lamb of God,
On England's pleasant pastures seen?
And did the Countenance Divine,
Shine forth upon our clouded hills?
And was Jerusalem builded here,
Among those dark Satanic mills?

Bring me my bow of burning gold!
Bring me my arrows of desire!
Bring me my spear!
O clouds unfold!
Bring me my Chariot of Fire!
I will not cease from mental fight;
Nor shall my sword sleep in my hand
Till we have built Jerusalem
In England's green and pleasant land.

[> Being all controversial: is Mary Russell a Mary Sue? -- Ponygirl, 07:25:26 09/23/03 Tue

Maybe I'm cranky because my neck is sore and I had meetings all day yesterday, or maybe I just want to stir the pot, but I do think a case can be made for Mary Russell being a Mary Sue. I realize part of the fun of a Sherlock Holmes mystery is that he can easily dazzle everyone with his brilliance, and that the basis for this series is in seeing what happens when he meets his match, but Mary had scarcely any learning curve. From her first meeting at 15 with Holmes she's beating him at his own game. Within four years we're to believe that she has reason to be treated as an equal and in fact may be surpassing the aging Holmes. Mary's intellect knows no bounds, there doesn't seem to be an area that she's not brilliant in, despite up until going to Oxford she has to rely on Holmes and various tutors to educate her. One might expect there to be certain gaps in such an education, but from biology to geology to languages she's a readymade expert.

Even more damning, with the exception of her aunt, everybody loves Mary. None of Holmes' loved ones resents this interloper or her almost immediate primacy in his life, in fact everyone welcomes her as the best thing that ever happened to Holmes. Despite a stated isolated upbringing she's at ease in any social situation and can be counted upon to say the right thing to anyone whether it's a traumatized child or a middle-aged police officer.

All of the above I could have accepted in the spirit of the novel, except for one detail that for me pushed Mary over the edge into the land of too good to be fictional - that Holmes had arranged for this young lady to study Eastern martial arts. Mary Russell has a kung fu grip? Ack!

[> [> I agree with you, except for one thing: -- Arethusa, 07:46:24 09/23/03 Tue

would Holmes accept anything less in a woman partner? The only other woman we know he was attracted to also was his equal, and also managed to fool him in disguise. The books skim over her years of tutelage under Holmes, and do show her arrogance. But overall, yes, the Buffy moves (back flip off a handsome cab!) and wealth and beauty and brillance and scholarship and adoring employees and advanced attitudes are a bit too much.

[> [> [> Holmes at least has flaws -- Ponygirl, 07:57:30 09/23/03 Tue

He is a lonely, troubled and prickly man, with addictions and prejudices. Mary does have the arrogance, but other than that it pretty much perfect. The thing is I quite liked Mary but I kept hoping for her to be completely wrong or make a horrible mistake.

[> [> Re: Being all controversial: is Mary Russell a Mary Sue? -- Rahael, 08:16:10 09/23/03 Tue

I believe KdS once suggested Mary Russell as a Mary Sue, but only as an example of how a good author can produce an entertaining Mary Sue.

I didn't read this for the Book Melee, but I did read this novel following Fresne and Arethusa's recc of it a while ago and enjoyed it so much that I've now read everything in the series (in fact, I save them for long plane journeys and some journeys over the Atlantic haven't been spent in an airplane, but with Russell and Holmes in Jerusalem.

The thing about Mary Russell is this - you get to enter into the mind of a very strong, independent, sometimes arrogant, determined woman. That feeling is such a novelty that she seems quite out of the mould of other female narrators. I actually got a different impression of her than others - bookish, handsome rather than beautiful, often awkward, with a large hinterland of thought and experience that gives her certain maturity.

Perhaps it is the fact that I've now read the whole series, but there are certainly tensions within the central relationship, and some resentment shown toward her by Holmes' friends.

I think it's very necessary that she is able to match Holmes when she first meets him, (perhaps he underestimates her to start) and then advances as they grow older - otherwise the power dynamic would be more uncomfortable than it is.

Funnily enough (considering I go for the aloof intellectual types), I don't actually find Holmes all that attractive, and so perhaps, I don't find her lot all that enviable!

[> [> [> The saving grace- -- Arethusa, 09:17:17 09/23/03 Tue

because I very much enjoyed all the books-is that I like her flaws. I like that she's arrogant and smarter than most other people and well-educated and just a little bit tortured because those are qualities necessary for a woman to fight the mainstream of assumptions regarding women. I'd like to be more like her, except for the little-bit-tortured part which I think I've already got covered. And her deep faith gives an almost unexpected depth to her character, as well as preventing her from being a Holmes clone. (Mini-Mary!) She's a little too perfect, but her superiority is a necessary facet of the story. She wouldn't be in Holmes' company if she weren't.

It's very refreshing to read about an unabashedly strong woman, physically and mentally. It's one of the reasons I usually prefer mysteries over "proper" literature. Heroes in modern (post-1980s) mysteries are very often written by women for women and include very strong females. Kinsey Milhone, Amelia Peabody Emerson, V. I. Warshawski, Kathy Mallory, Sunny Randal-and many more.

[> [> [> Say it again, Rah! -- mamcu, 09:53:55 09/24/03 Wed

[> [> I love this series, the little girl sobbed, flinging herself before the books -- fresne, 12:22:36 09/23/03 Tue

Although, apparently, I can't quite remember a few details regarding Psalms and bolts, but whatever.

It's the mood and the keen, proud, lonely mind that I love. The restless settling of A Letter of Mary, the tensions coiling like fog and splattering like mud in The Moor. And them there's A Monstrous Regiment where we really get into what it means to be a brilliant, well to do, young woman in the English twenties. You can't vote till you're 30. The war is over and the young men want their jobs back. Why don't you go back into your corset little girl, we don't need the steel for battleships anymore. The world is just a little broken.

Considering briefly the social significance of clothing.

But that's not the book under discussion, so I'll ask, what is the significance of POV? As when reading Bleak House, 1st person writing has certain critical obligations for the reader. Given how Mary sees herself, how old was she when she wrote this book? Is she 90, remembering the power and beauty of her youth, or is she 21 and in the midst? Given the larger framing device, Mary's poor spelling, the opening letter, Mary's specific reference to her POV of Holmes, the repetition of references to Watson's re-imagining of Holmes adventures, are we to take Mary's POV as completely accurate? Are there things in the cracks of the story?

Given Holmes role as a truth dealer, is there a truth to be gotten at? Is it possible to peal back the façade of the hive and see the bees at their work? The Beekeeper's Apprentice, not the detective's. On the Segregation of the Queen Given Holmes role as professional, and traditional placement in "the city", and as significant figure in the literature of the City, what is the significance of the largely rural setting of the mystery/ies?

Is there an overall structural significance to the interlude in Jerusalem? What is the significance of the escalation of cases? That classic Holmsian, well you see the poison! blah, blah, blah. Mary's picnic of a case. The jaunt across Wales, which differs somewhat from the classic cases, because Holmes alludes to cases where he failed. And of course, the final case with Dame Agatha Browning, sorry wrong mystery, Professura Moriarty.

And I must admit, I wish that I could discuss O' Jerusalem, which chronologically is buried within BKA, because I find the parallels of dreams and weakness interesting. The parallel of the two Psalms. One in joy, one in sorrow.

I don't know, given Mary's hard held grasp of her beliefs, which could not have been easy in rural downy, why does she eat ham?

Other than the fact that Laurie King has a PhD in Theology, what is the significance of Mary's theological bent?

Thoughts, whiring, buzzin' like a bee.

[> [> [> I love your posts, the other girl sobbed, flinging herself before her keyboard -- Sara, 15:56:51 09/23/03 Tue

I wish I saw all the wonderful things that you see in the book, but I'm glad I read it, so that I can peek into the world of your post, even if it's not there for me in the book itself!

[> [> [> [> If everyone saw things like I do, you'd all be wearing glasses. -- fresne, 17:14:10 09/23/03 Tue

At least they're small and stylish, although at the moment some what dotted with polyurethane.

To be honest, I didn't expect to like the books. A friend of mine, whose tastes don't always mesh with mine, described them and I went, ugh. But you know I read them, and now BKA is in my top ten.

In any case, if a Literature education teaches us anything, is you don't have to enjoy a thing to analyze it. Perhaps, consider the way the framing device of Frankenstein and BKA inform the work.

It's also useful to consider BKA as somewhat preparative to the Hamlet/Roz and Guild are like totally dead, man melee.

When a writer plays in someone else's sandbox, there is a certain tension, particularly when you're talking about a "classic". Like Jane Eyre and the Wide Sargasso Sea. or for that matter The Eyre Affaire.

Where do the works touch? Pull away?

This is something that especially applies to us, we many, we fans of a show that has generated its share of fanfic. Eliminating the (was it Sturgeon who came up with this) the 90% that always sucks, the remaining 10% skips about as the bastard child of the original work. I'm thinking about this in particular at the moment because Anna has at long last produced another chapter in her incredible Season 7 Buffy Noir, which she started way back in mid Season 6. Some of the current similarities and dissimilarities between Buffy Noir and the real S7 are quite interesting.

Anyway, BKA is peppered with so many references to the original works, actually as I think about it, this is something that the writer plays with in a number of the books, the biggest being The Moor, which revisits Dartmoor and Baskerville and place as personality. But I digress!it interests me that King imagines Mrs. Hudson as coming to work for Holmes as the result of a case, which as I recall, involved harpoons. Or the very deliberate reference to the "Valley of Fear", a Moriarty related case. The reinforcement of Moriarty's dual role as Criminal Master mind/High Math Professor and the link between High Math and Theology. The brief discussion of the Adler case, which in context with later books, seems fairly aware of fanfic.

The games afoot, yeah, yeah, Henry, Shakespeare, well, it's not the exactly the St. Crispin's day speech.

[> [> [> [> [> ...but I do wear glasses -- Sara, maybe needing a new pair...oooh shopping opportunity!, 19:19:35 09/23/03 Tue

[> [> [> [> [> [> Um!if everyone saw as I do, you'd all have my vision prescription and astigmatism -- fresne, 15:09:51 09/24/03 Wed

Or given the Holmes connection, perhaps it should be, "if everyone saw as I do, you'd all have my retina pattern," which would foil a multitude of spy/sci fi stories. Like that Holmes in the 20something century cartoon. Watson's a robot and Lestrade is a woman and everyone has flying cars.

It's the 21st century already. I want my flying car.

But have fun with the frame shopping. It's the one accessory that you wear every day, unless, well, you don't.

[> [> Personal view on the Sue issue (spoilers for later Holmes/Russell books if you're concerned) -- KdS, 16:16:06 09/23/03 Tue

Don't have a great deal of spare time at the moment, but here are my main suggestions for why Mary Russell isn't a Sue in the derogatory sense:

a) Whereas annoying Sues are often simply described as intelligent without ever showing it, LRK genuinely convinces us that Mary is very intelligent, and has the flaws that go with it, which I see as genuine and not bogus tagged on ones - the arrogance, impatiences and occasional patronisation of the less intelligent.

b) The Holmes/Russell relationship strikes me as developing organically, it takes two books, it isn't love at first sight, they are both quite uncomfortable with their attraction when they become aware of it, and thank God there are no sex scenes. (Q:How does Sherlock Holmes Do It? A:Very well... [smiles enigmatically])

c) Mary suffers not in the overblown angsty way, but in real undignified ways - she gets tired and dirty and injured. Name any female action hero who has to choose her dresses carefully to cover up the assorted burn and bullet marks she's picked up over the years.

The only thing that does annoy me about the books is Twit!Watson - a very annoying piece of radio/movie canon that misrepresents ACD's work. But I can forgive it, because of the limited role he plays.

[> [> [> And agreeing with Rah that Mary is definitely not portrayed as beautiful -- KdS, 16:17:56 09/23/03 Tue

... and about the need for her to be close to Holmes's level to begin with to avoid squicky age/power issues.

[> [> [> [> Re: And agreeing with Rah that Mary is definitely not portrayed as beautiful -- Arethusa, 06:35:33 09/25/03 Thu

Watson took one look at her, sweaty and grimy from working, and said she was beautiful. He's too true a soul to lie for flattery's sake. The Welsh police inspector took one look at her and assumed she was Holmes' lover. Holmes nearly had an appoplexy, according to Russell, when he saw her gowned, coiffed and jeweled on her 18th birthday. The male Welsh villagers, Russell stated, were all checking her out, making their wives jealous.

[> [> [> [> [> Beautiful eagles and hellish gyres -- fresne, 10:52:10 09/25/03 Thu

Well, that would to my mind be based one the combination of several things (since we're talking about a number of incidents.)

I'm not sure perfect physiognomy is what Watson is talking about, but that's perspective.

Mainly, I don't think a woman needs to be beautiful to be attractive. There is pretty, but to be magnetic, if this doesn't sound too lame, one must have magnetism. Charisma.

I'm a firm believer in the Cinderella principle. Anyone, given an understanding of how to dress to their face and body type, can be attractive. Especially if they are willing to be happy and show it. Smiling can be very attractive, which brings us back to charisma.

I'd guess the Welsh villagers found Mary to be attractive because she's young, not disfigured, and a gipsy (and therefore Other/exotic/sexually Other).

As to the inspector, I believe that is called the Slash principle and would have applied if Mary had been Joseph.

Although, what I really want to comment on is a realization that I had yesterday when re-re-re-re (oh, whatever)reading the introduction again. I do wish I had time to apply an analytical lens to the work, have my reference materials next to me, and write a nice long essay. But, such is life.

Anyway, given my proclivities, I can't quite believe that I never saw it before.

Mary reading Virgil, wandering far from paths, in that spring time of the year, early April, if only this were 1914, rather than at a guess 1915, it might even be Easter Sunday, as Mary prepares to begin her decent, ascent into learning how to use the tools with which she was born.

I'd say it's an accidental parallel, but Dot is going to hell with Dante and I've read King's To Play the Fool a mystery based on her Master's thesis on Holy Fools.

The teacher with whom she demands parity in mental acuity if not experience. I contemplate Dante and Virgil's meeting the poets in Limbo and they talk. Or that conversation with Statius in Purgatory. This story in which Dante places himself as main character, gives himself his favorite poet as guide, from who he learns this and that, and yet with whom he demands parity as a poet in his vernacular.

Mary's insistence on theology, where Holmes sticks to the minutia of this world. It's all so very, teasing, as Holmes the eagle in profile sits. What Dante-esq description.

And bees, they buzz. There is a significance there that I haven't quite teased yet. Water sweeter than honey wine. Rejoicing at Jerusalem. Sorrow at Acre.

Well, I'd best say all that now, because by the time I have time, it'll be Christmas or possibly Easter.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Beautiful eagles and hellish gyres -- Arethusa, 11:20:38 09/25/03 Thu

We must disentangle, therefore, what now is obscure.

Isolate her and however abundant the food or favorable the temperature, she will expier in a few days not ofhunger or cold, but of lonliness.

Most creatures have a vague belief that a very precarious hazard` a kind of transparent membrane, devides death from love.

One came hither, to the school of the bees, to be taught the preoccupations of all-powerful nature....and the lesson of ardent and disinterested work; and other lesson enjoy the almost unspeakable delights of those immaculate days that revolved on themselves in the fields of space, forming merely a transparent globe, as void of memory as the happiness without alloy.

Maurice Maeterlinck, The Life of the Bee.

"[Bees are] a bit too close to the human race for my taste."
Mary Russell

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> "a kind of transparent membrane, divides death from love" -- fresne, 17:25:07 09/25/03 Thu

Yes, wonderfully evocative isn't it. It makes me want to schlep to my local UC Library and check out The Life of Bees apiary description, not as scientific treatise, but as poetry in prose. To look up the quotation to which the book is compared, Virgil's text on bees, in which Virgil ascribes to them divina mens, the divine thought/spirit.

To do one of those pendantic searches where one finds every reference to bees in the text. Gather minutea and mull until the daughter of the Voice has something to say.

Which I probably won't in the short term, but I should really put a note in my copy so I can go spelunk the stacks the next time I read BKA. After all, I've done more for books I like less.

Life of Bees info and a bit on Maurice Maeterlinck, Nobel Laureate for Literature 1911.

[> [> [> From the Sue-blime to the tasteless -- Dead (and always game to lower the tone) Soul, 22:22:21 09/23/03 Tue

Name any female action hero who has to choose her dresses carefully to cover up the assorted burn and bullet marks she's picked up over the years.

Anita Blake.

Haven't read BKA, but I hope she's got better taste than AB. Does Mary Russell color coordinate with the swoosh on her Nikes?

[> [> [> [> Right about Anita -- mamcu, 10:53:49 09/24/03 Wed

And Mary Russell's boyfriends definitely don't wear those shirts, as in AB.

In fact, Anita Blake is a lot more unbelievably perfect than Mary Russell. She kills hoards of werewolves and 1000 year old vampires with just her little gun.

[> [> Regarding Jessie Simpson--spoilers for Russell books -- Arethusa, 07:09:49 09/25/03 Thu

"I do hate them. Mama says I don't, but I do."

Jessie's mother is too afraid of what it means to accept that her lilttle girl, barely more than a baby, can feel such a mature and negative emotion. Russell knows better. She hates her aunt, which is against everything society teaches one, especially in those day. Russell knows children can have very strong emotions, because she inadvertantly killed her family as a young teen. She's experienced them, and can recognize them in other children.

"Well, sometimes when I wake up, I think I'm still in that bed....Do you know what I'm talking about," she asked without much hope.

Mary's had flashbacks since the accident too, so she does know what Jessie's talking about. She knows what it's like to wake up confusd and disoriented, feeling all over again the crippling fear, overwhelming guilt, grief and regret. So she can tell Jessie what she's feeling.

"Like maybe feeling it was somehow your fault, that if you'd tried just a little harder you could have gotten away. Like even being angry at your father and mother for not rescuing you sooner."

Children frequently feel guilty for being victims of crimes, even when there is no reason to do so. (So do adults.) Mary feels guilty even though she was just a kid fighting with her brother when the accident happened. And it was her father who crashed the car, her father and mother who left her and went away and never came back. She was angry at them, as her psychiatrist told her. It was perfectly natural. And since Russell knew this, she could tell Jessie.

"Be angry. It's right to be angry when someone hurts you for no reason. But do you think you can try to not be too afraid?"
"To be angry and-happy?"

Again, Russell's seen enough to know the effects of personal tragedies. She knows that anger can be healthy, because it lets Jessie know that it's not her fault. She doesn't have to deny her anger, which is going to be there whether she acknowledges it or not. And so she can give herself permission to be happy. Yes, Russell's making a lot of assumptions on how Jessie feels. But she's right, because she's been there, and with help figured out her emotions and how to live with them. And therefore she was able to help Jessie with hers.

[> [> [> Oh yes... -- Rahael, 09:12:19 09/25/03 Thu

I remember when I read that, that my precise thoughts were how excellently it was done. Especially the 'angry-happy' part.

[> Did you know about the preservative qualities of honey? -- fresne, 14:30:11 09/23/03 Tue

There's something interesting going on in all those references to bees. The moment when Mary thinks of Holmes book and the bees that die when separated. The segregation of the queen. Clever metaphor, wending simile.

Too bad the conversation about crime and punishment is in a different book. Maintained clever metaphor, vivid description of blah, blah, blah.

Mary's permission to yon wounded child to be angry because of her lost innocence. Simpson. Huh, is there nothing that donut's cannot do, as Homer wanders through. Clever metaphor neatly tied up with simile. Oh, not like that! Allegorically.

[> [> it also has mild antiseptic properties (no idea if this is relevant) -- anom, 20:53:16 09/23/03 Tue

That'd be 'cause I'm not reading the book. But I've started Hamlet...w/any luck I'll be able to join in the next melee. Don't start it too soon!

[> Freud and Sherlock Holmes -- Arethusa, 07:06:38 09/26/03 Fri

This is only peripheral to TBA, but I don't want to put all that highlighting to waste. ;)

Samuel Rosenburg wrote a Fruedian analysis of the Sherlock Holmes stories called Naked is the Best Disguise that postulates Doyle was supressing homosexual tendencies. He dances around the subject a bit, never actually stating Doyle was homosexual, but he does proclaim "his obsessive theme [is] the disasters which befall those who engage in either normal or abnormal [sic]sexuality. [His stories] embod[y] the fate of illict heterosexuals....[and] the punishments inflicted upon individual men and vast multitudes becuse of one individual's love for a person of the same sex." Plus he talks a lot about Oscar Wilde, whom Doyle admired and who was in overlapping literary circles. The clue to his "syndrome" is the presence of something written. One piece of evidence is Homes' book on bees, mentioned of course in TBA, which Rosenberg says is associated through bees to Dionysius, a god associated with out-of-control sexuality. Another sexually tainted figure placed in the Holmes stories is Nietzsche, who was the inspiration for Moriarity, according to Rosenberg. To save the world from "deviance" and its "godlessness" Doyle created Sherlock Holmes, bastion of Victorian law and morality.

I'm no fan of Freud, who seems to have based his Oedipal theories on his refusal to believe the experiences of his "hysterical" women patients, but the idea has interesting possibilities. If Rosenberg is right, Doyle, Bram Stoker and Oscar Wilde have much in common. All three were Irish, two were Catholic, and two suppressed their homosexuality, but explored it in their works. Wilde's trial was as famous as the O. J. Simpson case; everyone knew the consequences of public homosexuality. So maybe they used their stories to explore their hidden lives and feelings, giving us some of the most fascinating literary creatures in the process.

Xander vs Anya -- JBone, 04:46:59 09/23/03 Tue

Bite me, Harris!

Easy, Voynak. I'm just gonna post this and leave you alone. Post comments here, at the voting site or email me.


[> Re: Xander vs Anya -- Celebaelin, 05:33:47 09/23/03 Tue

The voting is already fairly advanced and things do not look good for Ms. Jenkins. I voted for her though, largely because Xander still wants reconciliation if remotely possible wheras all Anya wants is anything she can get. If she can't make tentacles grow out of Xander's eyes (again with the eyes) or lovingly squewer him with a disemboweling sword she can at least stick him with the bill.

[> [> Re: Xander vs Anya -- MaeveRigan, 06:58:20 09/23/03 Tue

Lots of votes, not so many comments. Does this mean people are uneasy about articulating their pro-Xander and/or pro-Anya feelings. Frankly, this is another of those contests that should never have happened, because--face it--those two crazy kids love each other, in spite of everything they've been through, in spite of the conflicts and the disappointments and betrayals and reversions to vengeance. In the end, Xander never stopped loving Anya, and Anya couldn't forget Xander and couldn't embrace vengeance whole-heartedly. Her love for Xander grew into love for humanity. On that basis, I'm calling it a win for Xander.

[> It's time... -- Random, 07:09:27 09/23/03 Tue

...for Xander to finally get his due. Over the space of 7 years, everybody's favorite butt-monkey has been abused and confused and often contused. I adore Anya, don't mistake me,'s time. Xander has survived the worst beasties and befuddlements the Hellmouth has thrown at him and has emerged alive, if Cyclopean, without the benefit of superpowers, magical daring-do, or an overprotective superpowered sister who would kill her best friend (Willow? Xander? Holden? Who knows who the best friend is anymore) to save the whiny, luscious lil thang whose dance moves are...ummm, back to Xander, who feels an infinite sorrow as he takes out Anya(y'all didn't know the boy had, like, real feelings, did ya? Too busy sighing over Spike's monomaniacal poet's disease?) Poor Xander -- having to defeat his own beloved dead ex-girlfriend. But he has *been* there, *done* that. Give not the heart to vain regret for Xander, our Everyman, our Carpenter, the clumsy and snarky kid who skateboarded into our lives on special day in 1997. Today, I vindicate him.

[> The contest is on, but the battlefield is empty. -- cjl, 07:19:33 09/23/03 Tue

Wait. Somebody left a note....

Dear Jay:

Thank you for the generous, albeit temporary resurrection. But if one of us is going to be eliminated in the next 24 hours, Xander and I thought we should have as much sex as humanly possible before the end. (And maybe some sex that's beyond humanly possible.) You and your group of combat junkies are on your own.


[> [> Hee! It's a tie! Or, hmm, Xander is tied up? -- Scroll, 09:55:22 09/23/03 Tue

Either way works for me... and for Anya, naturally. I'm not voting this time, cuz there's just no way for me to split this dynamic duo up. Let fate and the monsters at ME do what they must -- in my heart of hearts, Xander and Anya lived happily ever after, having half a dozen money-loving, furniture-building babies, a mortgage that will eventually be paid off, and a white picket fence that occasionally doubles as a vamp dusting device.

Xander + Anya 4Evah!!!

[> [> [> tied up? what, they couldn't find any chains? -- anom, 10:52:20 09/23/03 Tue

Well, their yet-one-more-time together is limited, so they wouldn't want to spend too much of it looking for their preferred type of restraints...anyway, sounds like restraint ain't exactly what they have in mind. BTW, Scroll, love the picket/stake idea!

[> Re: Xander vs Anya -- Apophis, 15:25:27 09/23/03 Tue

Let's face it: If ElectroGwen couldn't make me vote against Xander, no one can. It's my sworn duty to make sure that Xander is the last man standing, even if I have to do some unpleasant things, like vote against Anya or shoot a puppy. War truly is hell. Xander wins by paying Anya to lay down... not that she wouldn't have done that for free... Ain't a woman alive what can resist a jaunty eye-patch.

[> Much as I love Anya . . . -- HonorH, 18:43:49 09/23/03 Tue

I simply must vote for Xander. That is all.

[> "Bite me, Harris".....such a great line! -- Nino, 22:20:14 09/23/03 Tue

The Price and Hitchcock -- ScottS, 10:32:27 09/23/03 Tue

Was rewatching The Price last night (ATS 3.19) when I suddenly realized that the episode is constructed as a series of homages to Alfred Hitchcock. There are the obvious references to The Birds, but also at the beginning to The Man Who Knew Too Much (American version) and later to Psycho. I did not have time to go thru again last night, but has anyone noticed any other Hitchcock references in this episode?

Longest Active Slayer? -- Claudia, 15:08:26 09/23/03 Tue

It just occurred to me that after going over the entire series, Buffy was never the longest active Slayer, as many fans claim. Not really.


[> Re: Longest Active Slayer? -- Ames, 16:13:50 09/23/03 Tue

Ok, I'll bite - what evidence are you looking at?

In the entire series we were only introduced to 5 other Slayers: Kendra, Faith, the first Slayer, the one Spike killed in the Boxer Rebellion in China, and Robin Wood's mother. (not counting the not-quite canon stuff like the lead-in to the very first broadcast that showed some other Slayers)

Of these, Kendra lasted lasted only a year, Faith has lasted at least 2 years less than Buffy, and there's no evidence about the longevity of the first Slayer or the one in China. But a case might be made about Robin Wood's mother, since she was old enough to have a child who looked what, about 4-5 years old at the time of her death? I don't recall if anything specific was said about whether she had Robin before or after becoming a Slayer.

Then there's Giles' comment about few Slayers surviving past their mid-20s. Buffy was only 22 at the end of S7, and he called her one of the longest-surviving Slayers years before that. That implies that there are at least a few Slayers who lived longer.

[> [> When was Robin's mother activated? -- Ray, 18:39:24 09/23/03 Tue

Maybe she became a Slayer when he was a toddler.

[> I've always wondered this too. -- Artemis, 23:48:44 09/23/03 Tue

I've heard this said over and over by fans, that Buffy is the longest Active Slayer or the best that ever lived, as if she's been called this in the series or by Joss. I definitely have never heard it in the series and I too am wondering where this assumption comes from. It seems to be one of those examples of fiction becoming fact, exxagerations becoming real or ten ramdom people becoming the consensus for the viewing public,something that seems to happen often on the internet.( I would say all the time but I don't want to exxagerate)
Examples being:
"Season six is considered a failure by most fans"

"At least Spike knew Buffy didn't love him." (No he believed Buffy didn't love him.)

Wrecked is the worst episode ever.

While yes, these are just opinions they are sometimes stated with such passion that later these statements become written as fact. Its no longer. "I think Wrecked was bad."It becomes "The majority of fans think Wrecked is bad.

I wonder if this is what happened with Buffy being called the 'longest Active slayer', or the statement I've seen most often, 'The best Slayer to ever live.'

Mind you, she is the best in my book. But that's just personal preference not necessarily fact; Unless of course someone can give me the episode that states this; Or even a statement by Joss since she is his creation.

Forgive me for being kinda rambly.
And yes I know I use punctuation as art, not to structure a sentence. I especially like the semi colon. It's pretty.

[> [> "The greatest slayer that's ever been." (spoiler - commentary on restless) -- Cynicor, 16:17:29 09/24/03 Wed

Yes, the statement that Buffy is the greatest slayer who ever lived is not anecdotal: Joss said it himself, in his commentary on Restless (see S4 DVD). He made the comment during his monologue about what separates Buffy from her predecessors.

"And we learn the point of the thing. The Slayer must be alone, must be a beast, by herself and Buffy just won't put up with that. What separates her from other Slayers, we learn, is that she is not alone, she has friends, she has a life. That is as important to her as the part where she's a Slayer."

Needless to say, it would be my belief regardless of whether it was proven and documented. Buffy is the greatest.

[> [> [> Oops: the clipboard ate my quote -- Cynicor, 16:20:55 09/24/03 Wed

Apologies, my point is somewhat lost when the full quote is missing. Here is the full:

"And we learn the point of the thing. The Slayer must be alone, must be a beast, by herself and Buffy just won't put up with that. What separates her from other Slayers, we learn, is that she is not alone, she has friends, she has a life. That is as important to her as the part where she's a Slayer. That's what makes her the greatest slayer that's ever been."

[> [> [> [> Oh. Crap. -- KdS, 16:28:25 09/24/03 Wed

Straight from the horse's mouth, Joss really does think that late-20th century Western culture is uniquely enlightened and the only place women were ever capable of attempting autonomy. Pass the sick bag...

I do remember the debate a few months ago over whether any past cultures had female empowerment on a large scale. But this confirms something I feared and alluded to in my S7 essay, that Joss believes that only in the 1990s were women even capable of conceptualising that they needed empowerment, because that is the only thing that can explain no past Slayer, in however many thousand years, ever considering rebelling against traditional interpretations of her destiny.

Personal canon rewrite if I ever write fanfic seriously: Giles and Willow discover a secret Guardian archive of material on past Slayers who the WC carefully destroyed all records of ;-)

[> Re: Longest Active Slayer? -- RJA, 10:13:10 09/24/03 Wed

I dont think there is evidence one way or the other to make it a definite claim. It all depends if there is a set age for Potentials to be called - say, they have to tbe 15, and if a Potential gets older than that without being called, then they never will be. In which case, Buffy certainly wasnt the longest active Slayer.

However, there is evidence to suggest that isnt necessarily the case. There was an implication that Faith was older than Buffy when they met, so older when called too (although this is rather speculative based on Faith's reference to herself as big Sister). There is also Kennedy, who was 18 or 19 on her arrival in Sunnydale, yet still seemed to be able to be called.

Inconclusive though. I'll end with saying Buffy may or may not be the longest active Slayer. Case closed!

[> According to "Tales of the Slayer"... -- Majin Gojira, 10:53:43 09/24/03 Wed

a Greek Slayer (IE: Ancient Greece) named Thessily of Thessilonikki is credited with being the longset living/active slayer being called at 12 years old and finally dieing at the ripe old age of 29. 17 years of Slaying. Buffy's got 10 some years to go to reach that point.

As for greatest -- we have very little information on the other slayers so it is impossible to judge them, or Buffy, as "Greatest".

It all matters how much you consider "Tales of the Slayer" to be cannonical, currently, IIRC, there is no real reason why Vol. 1 should not be.

[> [> Re: According to "Tales of the Slayer"... -- Miyu tVP, 11:32:13 09/24/03 Wed

A slayer in Ancient Greece? Very cool.

Whether or not Buffy is (will be?) the longest living slayer ever, I think generally the idea is that she's lasted much longer than any of the recent slayers and alot longer than anyone (WC) expected.

And as to whether she is the 'bestest' slayer ever... I think it's more that she is the most revolutionary. She not only developed completely without tWC's training (prior to being called), but subsequnetly rejected their authority entirely. She rejected the idea of being "alone" and instead flourished as part of the Scooby gang. And then the thing about disrupting the whole slayer line and allowing all potentials to share in the slayer power simultaneously.

She may not be the best slayer in comparison to her many predecessors, but she forever changed what it means to be a slayer.

I miss Buffy :(

[> [> [> Longest Active Slayer on the Show -- Claudia, 11:55:07 09/24/03 Wed

I guess this Greek Slayer is, so far, the longest active Slayer ever.

However, I wanted to know who was the longest active Slayer during the seven seasons of BUFFY THE SLAYER. My answer? Faith.

That's right. Faith, not Buffy. By the way, this is my only answer, since I have no idea how long Nikki Wood and the Chinese girl were Slayers. But I did come to the conclusion that Faith was the longest active Slayer.

Buffy became the Slayer in 1996, at the age of 15. She ceased to be the Slayer in 1997, at the age of 16, when the Master killed her "Prophecy Girl". Kendra became the Slayer in May or June 1997 and ceased to become the Slayer in May or June 1998. Faith became the Slayer, after Kendra. And has been the Slayer ever since. As far as we know, five years had passed between Kendra's death and the activation of all the Potentials around the world in "Chosen". And that is when Faith ceased to be "the Slayer".

As for Buffy, since her death and resurrection in "Prophecy Girl", she has been the Guardian of the Hellmouth, not the Slayer. Isn't that what the Shadowmen called her in "Get It Done"?

[> [> [> [> If that's true... -- Sofdog, 13:45:45 09/24/03 Wed

"Buffy became the Slayer in 1996, at the age of 15. She ceased to be the Slayer in 1997, at the age of 16, when the Master killed her "Prophecy Girl". "

...then how do you explain everyone in the series continuing to refer to Buffy as The Slayer. Caleb called her "the one and only, the original, accept-no-substitute Slayer."

Why do you feel it's a title that can only be worn by one person? The fact that it was possible to make more than one implies that it is possible to share the mantle. That was the whole point of "Chosen."

[> [> [> [> [> This topic touches on a pet peeve of mine -- Finn Mac Cool, 14:46:58 09/24/03 Wed

Just because Buffy's death won't instigate the Calling process doesn't make her any less of a Slayer.

First, in "Potential", it's revealed that every potential slayer has the Slayer powers inside them; the Calling process just unlocks those powers. So there wasn't some essence of the Slayer that moved into Buffy when she was called and move on to Kendra when she died.

Second, being called "the Hellmouth's last guardian" doesn't mean Buffy isn't the Slayer. It's debatable if this is even an official title. And, if it is, it doesn't have to carry any mystical significance. Even supposing that it is an official title and has mystical significance, though, there's still no reason Buffy can't be both the Slayer and the Hellmouth's Guardian.

Third, Buffy has retained every other aspect of Slayerdom. She still had all the strength, speed, fighting ability, and healing powers she had before dying. She continued to have prophetic dreams. She retained a connection to Slayer related magic (the Shadowmen's portal, the "Intervention" ritual, the First Slayer, the Scythe). And, in "Graduation Day II", only the blood of a Slayer could cure Angel, and Buffy's blood did the trick just fine.

Given all this evidence, I don't see how Buffy can be labelled as anything other than a Slayer.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: slayerness -- Robert, 15:23:50 09/24/03 Wed

I would add yet another reason.

Fourth, even after Kendra and Faith came on the scene, Buffy still accepted the primary responsibility for the safety of humanity. Faith may have possessed the active slayer line, but she abdicated her responsibility to humanity. Even worse, she willingly chose to work toward the destruction humanity.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Slayerhood is not the same as fertility -- sdev, 21:36:02 09/24/03 Wed

I'm beginning to get an image of Buffy the barren Slayer. Why is her inability to create an offspring (with her death, no less) determinitive of her Slayer status?

Carve another notch on JW's feminist belt.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: slayerness -- Claudia, 09:07:47 09/25/03 Thu

[ would add yet another reason.

Fourth, even after Kendra and Faith came on the scene, Buffy still accepted the primary responsibility for the safety of humanity. Faith may have possessed the active slayer line, but she abdicated her responsibility to humanity. Even worse, she willingly chose to work toward the destruction humanity.]

Maybe that's why the Shadowmen called her "Guardian of the Hellmouth" and not the Slayer.

[> [> [> [> Re: Longest Active Slayer on the Show -- Ames, 14:36:31 09/24/03 Wed

If we're going to include the comics, one of them told the story of a Japanese Slayer who became a vampire and survived until the present day (kept secret by the Watchers). Was she still a Slayer or not? Was Buffy the Vampire in Nightmares still a Slayer?

But you're right about Buffy not being the "active" Slayer. Buffy and Giles were confused about this and appeared to contradict it at times, but the evidence in the show is clear (Kendra died, Faith called. Buffy died, nobody called). Joss has confirmed in response to direct questions that Faith is the active Slayer. But Buffy is still a Slayer, and this is probably the only time in history that there's been two at once. It's just the word "active" that clouds the question here.

And the Shadowmen don't call her "The Guardian of the Hellmouth", they call her the *last* guardian of the Hellmouth. Not clear if a Slayer has always been the guardian of the Hellmouth.

[> [> [> [> [> Buffy's still an active Slayer -- Finn Mac Cool, 14:58:02 09/24/03 Wed

She's active in the sense that she's still out doing her job as the Slayer. Perhaps the better term would be that she's no longer the "fertile" Slayer.

Also, I believe I once read a comment by Joss Whedon where he said the following comic books were part of canon: "Tales of the Slayer" (written by Joss and several other ME writers), "The Origin" (written by Christopher Golden but based on Joss's original Buffy script), and Joss's own "Fray" mini-series.

[> [> [> [> [> Opinion of comics as canon? -- Robert, 15:36:52 09/24/03 Wed

>>> If we're going to include the comics, ...

Joss wrote Fray and several stories in Tales of the Slayer. He controlled the mythology in both books. For this reason, I consider them to be part of the canon of BtVS. Likewise, since Joss wasn't in the process to control the mythology of the novels and assorted other comic books, I do not consider them part of the canon.

I consider this point important only to the extent that I worry about the self-consistancy of the overall story. Other than Fray and Tales of the Slayer, I haven't read any of the novels or comics books. However, if they are anything like the free-for-all of the Star Trek novels, I'm sure that the mythology would be a total mess should we try to fit it all together. What do others think?

[> [> [> [> [> [> Joss has gone on record that he doesn't even read the prose spin-offs -- KdS, 16:17:56 09/24/03 Wed

I think the way he expressed it was that even if a writer wanted to do an anti-abortion allegory as a spin-off novel, he couldn't stop them. (Apologies to any pro-lifers here, Joss said it, not me.)

[> [> [> [> [> [> Agreed. Joss's name makes it Canon. -- Sofdog, 07:41:08 09/25/03 Thu

I have read the "Tales of the Slayers" gn, and both "Tales of the Slayer" short story collections. Plus, the "Fray" series. All of these seem to be valid canon as a)Joss is involved with them, and b) they are designed to work with the mythology of the show. The First Slayer, the Scythe these things move back and forth between these books and the show. Most of the short stories are fluff that doesn't much touch on the Buffy saga, but Joss' name is on those.

It makes sense that he doesn't bother with the other comics or the tie-in novels. That would be too dangerous creatively. As it is, the Potentials/First Evil story line came perilously close to the plot of "Spike & Dru: Pretty Maids All in a Row."

[> two more years -- skeeve, 14:41:51 09/24/03 Wed

Considering her death rate, Buffy can expect two or three more years before her next death.

Willow vs Tara -- JBone, 20:18:37 09/23/03 Tue

You know, I'm really sorry that I didn't establish my lesbo street cred before I got into this relationship. You're the only woman I've ever fallen in love with, so how on earth could you ever take me seriously?

Post your scathing comments here, at the voting site, or email me. And you can check out results at the sweet 16 page.


[> are you KIDDING me with this! -- Nino, 20:30:21 09/23/03 Tue

[> MWAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAA!!!! -- Apophis, 21:20:52 09/23/03 Tue

The day of reckoning is upon us, my children! You wanted your precious Tara, now you have her! But, in order to keep your lovely witchcorpse, you have to make her mutilate her lover, the perenial fan-favorite Willow! You wanted interesting times, now you got'em! I voted for Willow, of course. See, the thing about Willow is, she had a personality in the first episode. Not only that, but her personality changed and developed over time. Tara... well, Tara was nice. And was a lesbian. And got shot. The end. Besides, Willow already proved that she could break into Tara's head and mess around anytime she wants. She could just make her walk off a cliff, or fight bears, or wear latex... anyway, you get the point. Now, one final message: None of this "tie" BS, alright. Chose one or the other; no fence stradling. This ends NOW!

[> [> Wait. Go back to the "Tara in Latex" part. You've got my attention. -- cjl, 21:36:07 09/23/03 Tue

[> [> Voted for Willow for exactly the same reasons ;-) -- s'kat, 23:35:50 09/23/03 Tue

I am voting for all characters whose original first name started with the letter W just as a matter of course.
My true difficulty will be when Wes goes against Willow
or Willow against William the Bloody. Until then? I'm fine.

[> [> [> Re: Voted for Willow for exactly the same reasons ;-) -- Jay, 19:00:12 09/24/03 Wed

Let's see, it's possible for Willow and the Bloody to meet in the final four (meaning they both have to win their region). But Wes has to make it through two slayers and the Demon region champ to make to the Apocalypse finals to meet either Willow or the Bloody.

I guess I'm saying, don't start worrying about who you're going to vote for yet.

[> [> [> [> Handicapping the semi-finals, the final four and the championship -- cjl, 19:25:11 09/24/03 Wed

BUFFY v. GUNN: A respectable showing for Charles Gunn, Esq., but Buffy is hardcore on a level beyond his understanding. She meets the winner of WES v. FAITH, which is one of the most droolworthy matches in the tournament. I say Faith edges Wes by the slimmest of margins, and the Buffster takes the region. Two hot chicks with superpowers. Mmmmm...good times.

XANDER v. ANYA: I was astounded by Xander's margin of victory. I thought my favorite ex-demon would tally a huge sympathy vote after getting screwed over by Joss in S7, but the Xan-man's support system is obviously stronger than I anticipated. Judging from his victory, I'm now fairly confident that Xander will defeat CORDELIA to win the region.

WILLOW is losing Tara again--but this time, it's by HER OWN HAND. (Cue dramatic music.) Look for Giles to do what he secretly wanted to do at the end of Buffy S5 and wipe out li'l Dawnie, setting the stage for a Willow/Giles Wicca/Watcher finale. Look for a near-total gender gap in the vote, with each voter lining up behind the Scooby of the opposite sex. Complete toss-up. As will be...

SPIKE v. ANGEL for the vampire championship. We've been waiting for this one for years. (Buffy's got the hot oil ready.) Expect a huge voter turnout, and--JBone? Considering the volatility of this contest, I would implement a MANDATORY comment clause in the voting here, so each voter can be accounted for at the end. If there's suddenly going to be 325 votes in this contest, we should have a record of every single one of them.

PREDICTED FINAL FOUR: Buffy v. Xander and Willow v. Spike.

PREDICTED FINAL: Buffy v. Spike.

PREDICTED WINNER: Buffy. Captain Peroxide has an army of devoted fans, but he has a near-equal number of people who hate his guts. The Buffster may have that superiority complex, but maybe she just IS superior.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Handicapping the semi-finals, the final four and the championship -- s'kat, 21:58:55 09/24/03 Wed

As a point of interest? The Buffy Yearbook did a contest amongst all the seasons big bads.

The final four were Angelus vs. Glory.
Dark Willow vs. Spike.

The final two Angelus vs. Dark Willow.

The final winner? Angelus.

No here I disagree - in Buffyverse? Dark Willow would win, hands down. Heck Good Willow took out Angelus just by giving him back his soul. Actually I think she might take the contest here - you never know.

[> Re: Willow vs Tara -- Celebaelin, 04:58:12 09/24/03 Wed

Love lies bleeding. I very nearly voted for the enigmatic Tara, I still think Willow didn't really 'get' her totally, but at the last moment reality reared its' ugly head and I had to go with what's likely to happen rather than what's just or fair. In a staggeringly incongruous display of insensitivity, comparable only to Morgan-le-Fey's 'where babies come from' speech to Mordred for sheer self-centered spite, Dark Willow magically coerces all the fight out of Tara and makes her mop the floor with her head. Dark Willow strides menacingly into the next round.

[> Re: Willow vs Tara -- Caira, 07:08:23 09/24/03 Wed

Tara. Because Willow might have been a more complex character from the start, but at least there was some logic applied to Tara's development (and use of magic --- *cough*hack*Orpheus*hack*cough*) in her last two seasons. Plus, hey, if it's between Snarky!Tara and MagiCrack!Willow, which would you prefer? And should they find they have better things to do than fight, well, it just so happens that Tara's on top at midnight, so technically...

[> How could this happen?! -- MaeveRigan, 08:29:30 09/24/03 Wed

First, just have to say that the Sweet 16 line-up could only have been brought about by nothing less nefarious than the First Evil--but then, we knew it was impossible to destroy in this world.

So--Willow v. Tara. Can't they just be kissing each other now? No? All right. Big confrontation, argument, tears, magic fireworks. No actual wiccans were harmed in the course of this contest. Tara concedes--she's just happy to be back in the world, even if it's to fight with Willow--and then the big make-up sex. Willow wins that round, too, several ways, most of which are fun for Tara as well.

Mummy Girl = Brann -- skeeve, 09:03:11 09/24/03 Wed

Brann is Jo Clayton's Drinker of Souls.
Brann had an interesting way of dealing with her problem.
Brann would wander around in dark alleys and such waiting for someone to try to rape, rob, or kill her.
Said someone would get drunk.

In Drinker of Souls, it seemed to go without saying that her food had to be human and had to be killed.

The Mummy Girl, whose name was not Ampata, did seem to have a choice.
She started to drain Xander, but stopped without permanantly injuring him.
It's not completely clear that partly draining Xander fed her any, but if it did, there was an obvious solution to her problem.


[> Mummy Girl = Brann accidently posted twice, may delete -- skeeve, 11:33:58 09/24/03 Wed

Doublemeat Palace Doubleshiftiness -- Celebaelin, 11:48:39 09/24/03 Wed

I've just watched DMP again on Sky having only seen the BBC2 broadcast previously and of all the reruns I've seen this is the one with the most radical changes in edit.

As I recall from the BBC2 version even the earlier (6PM) showing still had the dodgy scene in the alley included as it wasn't that graphic, at least what I've seen of it so far wasn't. Sky omitted this but included a whole lot of extra stuff at and around the climax, with more Demon dialogue about the paralysis, Willow recounting Amy's potestas double dealing over the intercom, Buffy crawling around on the floor of the cooking area persued by the wig lady's 'bald headed warrior'. We also see very clearly that this demon appendage has teeth and we see it spit at Willow, a scene the BBC apparently thought too uncouth for early evening viewing. Also the scene where Willow puts the severed wang in the meat grinder was extended and the footage of the yellowish-green mince that was the consequence was similarly a surprise, as was the stereo 'Ewww' from both Willow and the rapidly recovered Buffy.

To include all this extra material there might well have been further omissions cw the Beeb's version but I couldn't spot them from memory. Maybe the hour allocated for Buffy on Sky, albeit with adverts, as opposed to the 45 minute BBC slot allowed time for the additional length.

If there's that much room for manoeuvre it makes me wonder about a couple of things, namely:-

Has anybody noticed similar radical changes, particularly additions, in what is aired in other episodes?

If this is not unique or unusual is all the extra footage usually included in the DVD version?

Particularly bearing in mind the recent high standing of DMP in the Worst of Buffy nominations how would the omission of the Spuffy knee trembler affect peoples opinion of the episode?

In this last case, without the sexual payoff Spike seems to me to come over in this episode as a far more sympathetic character who has Buffy's best interests at heart, in a rather romantic way in fact IMO. He offers her a way out of the drudgery, which other scenes make it apparent she hates, even though there is potentially a price to pay in terms of dependance on his financial support.

In case you don't recognise it the title of this post comes from Buffy's line when Mannie the manager tells her she's pulling a double shift

Why the double shiftyness?

For your edification and delight the results of the Worst Buffy nominations in the recent thread were as follows

Where the Wild Things Are (12)
As You Were (9)
Bad Eggs (6)
Doublemeat Palace (6)
Beer Bad (4)
Go Fish (4)
Ted (4)
Teachers Pet (4)
I Was Made To Love You (3)
Gingerbread (3)
Into the Woods (3)
Wrecked (3)
I Robot, You Jane (3)
Him (3)
Some Assembly Required (2)
Bargaining (I & II) (2)

Bar (1)



[> Re: Doublemeat Palace Doubleshiftiness -- RJA, 12:25:58 09/24/03 Wed

Never noticed any realy big changes in aired episodes (but mainly because I would only ever know whats really missing after having seen the full version on DVD, and reruns to me are mainly background) - apart of course, from Sky's infamous cut to Villains. 'Willow, what did you do?'.. something the audience would have liked to have known too.

Channel 4 were the worst for cuts though, with Angel, making some episodes meaningless.

The DVD versions are all uncut though, as far as I know, so we see what the Americans get to see.

Interesting question you ask about DMP though, I had never considerd that the reason why people may not like it had anything to do with joyless Spuffy sex.

And for the record, shamefully, I reall enjoyed the episode.

And the list of worst episodes also contains 6 I really enjoy (Doublemeat Palace,I Was Made To Love You, Wrecked, Him, Some Assembly Required, Bargaining (I & II))

I am a freak among fans, it is true.

[> [> Joining you in freakiness -- shambleau, 13:22:34 09/24/03 Wed

Although not for Bargaining II. It felt padded to me. They didn't have enough material for the second half, so they lengthened the scenes of demon mayhem and the scene on the tower. My worst eps are ones that bored me, not ones that irritated me. Gone, WOTW, Im talking to you!

For all the rest though, I'm with you!

[> [> [> Duly Noted -- Celebaelin, 13:32:33 09/24/03 Wed

The Home Office -- Buffys#1fan, 13:22:49 09/24/03 Wed

What was it because I really didn't get Reprise since Angel got the ring but didn'ttransprt him anywhere and where do the Senior Partners come from?


[> I haven't seen the episode, but, from what I've read . . . -- Finn Mac Cool, 14:53:02 09/24/03 Wed

The ring did take him to the Home Office. It's just that the Senior Partner wasn't coming from the Home Office, it was coming to the Home Office. Wolfram & Hart's Home Office is placed on Earth in their earth based offices. The Senior Partners do seem to come from another dimension (as is hinted at in "Reprise" and "Long Day's Journey"), but Angel asked to go to the Home Office dimension, so that's where the ring took him: right back to earth.

[> [> It runs deeper than that -- KdS, 16:21:23 09/24/03 Wed

The point was to demonstrate to Angel that evil was present in all human beings, that it was part of the world and wasn't some external thing from a demon dimension. That was what drove him to attempt suicide, (which shows how far he'd sunk mentally that season, because in S1 he always acted in ways that suggest he was aware of that).

[> [> [> Suicide? -- Masq, 17:03:51 09/24/03 Wed

It's an interesting question. Angel goes home, finds Darla, and jumps in bed with her, believing fully he'll have a moment of true happiness and lose his soul.

I.e., become Angelus.

Is that suicide? I"ve longed believed that Angelus is just the dark side of Angel -- a metaphor for the impulses he and everyone human have inside themselves that we don't act on except in moments of weakness or that sociopaths act on with careful studied non-chalance.

Losing his soul isn't suicide, it's despair, giving in to your weakness because you think it doesn't matter anymore.

[> [> [> [> I think Angel saw it that way -- KdS, 17:19:12 09/24/03 Wed

Angel wants to be alive, he's just given up hope of achieving it as some kind of mystic reward, and hasn't realised yet that he was wrong to expect it as such. As Angel sees it, the soul is all that makes him something close to human, more than just an undead thing. As a souled vamp, he's in a limbo state between undeath and truly living, and so he's deliberately stepping away from life and towards death. And remember how he's paralleled with Kate's entirely mundane and unmetaphorical suicide attempt.

[> [> [> [> [> Of course he did -- Masq, 18:33:28 09/24/03 Wed

Angel has always had some denial about Angelus. Although he almost always says "I" when talking about things he did as Angelus (the only exception being at the end of S. 4 of AtS), he also says, "That wasn't me!" in Amends about the deeds of Angelus.

People have commented that he has a form of Dissociative Disorder when it comes to Angelus, and who could blame him? If you'd done the kinds of things Angelus has and are now trying to be a better person, you might want to deny that he is you.

But Angel knows in his heart that Angelus is just an aspect of himself. Otherwise, why bother trying to make amends at all?

[> [> [> [> [> [> That does not the same person make. -- Finn Mac Cool, 20:54:34 09/24/03 Wed

No one can deny that Angelus is an aspect of Angel. However, there is an argument to be made that, once you remove a key aspect of someone's personality (such as their ability to empathise with other people and their drive to do good), they are no longer the same person. They are part of the original person, but not truly the same entity. When Angel loses his soul, the character of Angel as we know him is gone as a great component of who he is is removed.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Is Angel still trying to make amends? -- Diana, 09:16:09 09/25/03 Thu

Or is he just trying to live his life the best he can? He's admitted that he can't make amends, even if he thought Angelus was him. At this point, I just see him trying to make the world a better place, not because he made it a bad place once upon a time, but because he cares. His epiphany isn't I need to make up for things, but that people suffer and he wants to help them. He doesn't need making amends to motivate him not to be a monster any more. He learns he isn't one.

Now he just has to learn that neither is Angelus.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Is Angel still trying to make amends? -- Arethusa, 09:48:01 09/25/03 Thu

My Shadow
by Robert Louis Stevenson

I have a little shadow that goes in and out with me,
And what can be the use of him is more than I can see.
He is very, very like me from the heels up to the head;
And I see him jump before me, when I jump into my bed.

The funniest thing about him is the way he likes to grow--
Not at all like proper children, which is always very slow;
For he sometimes shoots up taller like an india-rubber ball,
And he sometimes goes so little that there's none of him at all.

He hasn't got a notion of how children ought to play,
And can only make a fool of me in every sort of way.
He stays so close behind me, he's a coward you can see;
I'd think shame to stick to nursie as that shadow sticks to me!

One morning, very early, before the sun was up,
I rose and found the shining dew on every buttercup;
But my lazy little shadow, like an arrant sleepy-head,
Had stayed at home behind me and was fast asleep in bed.

[> [> [> [> i strongly disagree -- anom, 21:46:35 09/24/03 Wed

"It's an interesting question. Angel goes home, finds Darla, and jumps in bed with her, believing fully he'll have a moment of true happiness and lose his soul."

I don't think he believes that at all. He says he needs to feel something--"anything besides the cold." That doesn't sound like he has any expectation of remotely approaching true happiness. He can't, & I think he knows it. Even if a part of him may want that escape & be thinking maybe it'll happen, at base he knows better. Darla doesn't--she has no way of understanding why it wouldn't--& she thinks that's what's happening the next morning when Angel doubles over & is apparently in pain. But it's not.

I hadn't thought of it before, but this raises the question of what is happening to Angel the morning after. Of course, we the audience have to think he might be losing his soul. But what's the excuse? What's really happening? Is it some kind of psychosomatic reaction? It's never explained.

[> [> [> [> [> Lorne explained it -- Diana, 09:20:39 09/25/03 Thu

I hadn't thought of it before, but this raises the question of what is happening to Angel the morning after. Of course, we the audience have to think he might be losing his soul. But what's the excuse? What's really happening? Is it some kind of psychosomatic reaction? It's never explained

"What's to understand?  You think you're the first guy who ever rolled over, saw what was lying next to him and went 'Guyeah!'  And you're not.  Believe me. - It's called a moment of clarity, my lamb.  And you've just had one.  Sort of appalling, ain't it?  To see just exactly where you've gotten yourself?"

[> [> [> [> [> [> that's not entirely clear -- anom, 15:52:39 09/25/03 Thu

Angel's line before the ones you quoted from Lorne is "I'm still not sure I understand what happened." There's nothing in the preceding dialogue (at least in the transcript at Buffy vs Angel) to indicate whether "what happened" refers to Angel's physical reaction or to the whole thing, starting when he showed up at Darla's. It's not likely he meant "Why didn't I lose my soul?"--he seems pretty clear on that the morning after his night w/Darla. I don't think "a moment of clarity" explains what we saw--Angel's physical reaction that morning.

[> [> [> [> Does an alcoholic attempt suicide when s/he decides to get drunk? -- Diana, 09:10:34 09/25/03 Thu

Cause that is what Angel did. He tried to fall off the wagon. He went to the bar, ordered a drink, had it put in front of him, but he just couldn't get drunk.

And that is why I love him.

Not disagreeing with you Masq, just supporting you with an analogy.

[> [> [> [> [> That's where the booze analogy doesn't work -- KdS, 15:52:21 09/25/03 Thu

Anyone who's addicted to any form of substance, if they relapse, can still pull themselves back to sobriety. Angel, if he loses his soul, has to get it put back by some external agency. As another poster recently stressed elsewhere, he's not Spike who has enough residual humanity in his soulless state to go and get a soul to try to live up to someone else.

Happy New Year to all celebrants and observers (5764) -- sdev, 22:16:19 09/24/03 Wed


[> thanks! l'shanah tovah to you too... -- anom, 21:41:26 09/25/03 Thu

..& to anyone else celebrating it. Also a belated happy equinox to anyone who observes that. Am I leaving anything out?

Spike, the Only True Danger? -- Claudia, 09:40:20 09/25/03 Thu

Was Spike really the only true danger to the Scoobies and the Potentials in Season 7? Weren't they all, in some form or another? Or at least most of them?


[> Re: Spike, the Only True Danger? -- Earl Allison, 10:14:22 09/25/03 Thu

Not sure I understand the question? Who is the "all" you refer to?

Do you mean that the Scoobies and Potentials themselves were threats to each other? I suppose Willow could have been, as could an empowered Anyanka, but actual threats tended towards ...

The Bringers were certainly a threat, since they'd dispatched so many Potentials (Eve, for one) already.

Spike was more of a threat when Buffy allowed him to run around free AFTER learning about the trigger issue, but that's IMHO more of a (lack of) Quality Control on the series at that point.

The biggest threat to the Potentials, IMHO? Buffy herself. Her terrible attitude and behavior coupled with her tactical inability and refusal to treat anyone with a pulse decently were more of a threat to them than anything. It helped drive Chloe to suicide (I wonder if the First didn't actually appear to her as Buffy, that's a scene I wish I could have seen -- and WHO had the prophetic dream and did nothing? Buffy did), and she never turned to Buffy at all. To me, that is somewhat telling.

And yes, I blame the writers, not the actual character, but Buffy is as much a victim as Spike insofar as the words crammed into her mouth and the puppet dance the ME staff made her play. Buffy is front and center, so she gets the "blame" for it.

Take it and run.

[> [> Huh? -- Claudia, 11:06:43 09/25/03 Thu

[Not sure I understand the question? Who is the "all" you refer to?

Do you mean that the Scoobies and Potentials themselves were threats to each other? I suppose Willow could have been, as could an empowered Anyanka, but actual threats tended towards ...

The Bringers were certainly a threat, since they'd dispatched so many Potentials (Eve, for one) already.

Spike was more of a threat when Buffy allowed him to run around free AFTER learning about the trigger issue, but that's IMHO more of a (lack of) Quality Control on the series at that point.

The biggest threat to the Potentials, IMHO? Buffy herself. Her terrible attitude and behavior coupled with her tactical inability and refusal to treat anyone with a pulse decently were more of a threat to them than anything. It helped drive Chloe to suicide (I wonder if the First didn't actually appear to her as Buffy, that's a scene I wish I could have seen -- and WHO had the prophetic dream and did nothing? Buffy did), and she never turned to Buffy at all. To me, that is somewhat telling.

And yes, I blame the writers, not the actual character, but Buffy is as much a victim as Spike insofar as the words crammed into her mouth and the puppet dance the ME staff made her play. Buffy is front and center, so she gets the "blame" for it.

Take it and run.]


[> No clue what you're talking about -- Random, 10:21:30 09/25/03 Thu

This question makes no sense to me because 1) I've yet to hear anybody argue that Spike was the only true danger; and 2) Spike wasn't even one of the bigger dangers in S7. Not clue what threat Xander posed, or Giles. We were already presented with the danger of Willow. It's old news. Are you suggesting that there's a movement to demonize Spike? Cause that's under-the-bridge stuff.

[> [> Huh? -- Claudia, 11:07:50 09/25/03 Thu

[This question makes no sense to me because 1) I've yet to hear anybody argue that Spike was the only true danger; and 2) Spike wasn't even one of the bigger dangers in S7. Not clue what threat Xander posed, or Giles. We were already presented with the danger of Willow. It's old news. Are you suggesting that there's a movement to demonize Spike? Cause that's under-the-bridge stuff.]


[> [> [> It was pretty self-evident. Sorry you can't understand. -- Random, 11:10:42 09/25/03 Thu

[> [> [> [> It Was? -- Claudia, 11:16:42 09/25/03 Thu

Sorry, but your post was no more self-evident to me than mine was to you.

[> [> [> [> It was -- anon, 16:41:27 09/25/03 Thu

[> [> [> Re: Huh? -- LadyStarlight, 20:25:39 09/25/03 Thu

If you don't understand your own question well enough to clarify it for others, perhaps it's time to step back and decide what you're really posting.

[> Re: Spike, the Only True Danger? -- RJA, 13:26:47 09/25/03 Thu

Well since we only have more questions to your questions, I'm still curious.

What did you mean when you asked that Spike was the One True Danger? Was it said that he was such on the show?

If so, I would disagree and say that he was one of many dangers in season seven, and temporary at that.

pregnant slayers -- skeeve, 10:42:45 09/25/03 Thu

Thousands of nubile slayers.
A smaller number of sexually active slayers.
A much smaller number of sexually active slayers relying exclusively on birth control pills for contraception.
At least that many pregnant slayers.

The reason is slayer healing powers.
Birth control pills are designed to make a female body not work normally.
A slayer's body can heal such damage real fast.

I leave to others the discussion of the consequences of having pregnant superstrong women running around.


[> Re: pregnant slayers -- Miyu tVP, 10:59:45 09/25/03 Thu

I don't think the pill argument works... (the pill doesn't 'injure' a woman's body, so healing powers wouldn't counteract its effects anymore than tylenol...)

but all the same, pregnancy seems a possiblity. It's still kind of up for debate whether Wood's mom was a slayer before or after he was born...

Interesting thought experiment though, if a potential happened to be prgenant at the time she is called. (One could argue that being pregnant might make one an unlikely candidate for being called....) How would it affect her child? whether male or female, would some part of the power be passed on? Sort of brings to mind Dune - when Paul's mom, unbeknowst to anyone, is pregant while undergoing her initiation ritual, and gives birth to a strangely powerful little girl. Fuzzy on the details as it's been a while. But, still a cool idea.

And beyond that, if Buffy or Faith or any of them in fact decide they want to have a kid... how would their owns unique biology affect her pregancy and her child?

[> [> tylenol -- skeeve, 15:44:39 09/25/03 Thu

Whether tylenol would work isn't clear either.
Healing probably means returning to standard state.
For the age range of slayers, that means fertile.
It also means without a headache, so the slayers probably wouldn't need tylenol.
Joss has more or less explicity stated that slayers can get pregnant, so standard state does not mean unpregnant.

On a happier note, with so many slayers around, a pregnant one can probably take "the day" off.
That assumes that she "worked" in the first place.
There doesn't appear to be any effort to educate the non-Sunnydale slayers about the meaning of slayerhood.

[> An alternative explanation -- Gyrus, 11:11:53 09/25/03 Thu

I would think that one solid punch in the gut taken during a fight with a vampire would have ended a lot of those Slayer's pregnancies pretty early on. I mean, pregnant women are discouraged from activities in which they might fall down (like skiing); for the mother to engage in bare-knuckle fights with super-strong foes would pose a far greater risk to the developing fetus.

[> [> Unless the body compensated -- Ray, 11:16:20 09/25/03 Thu

Slayers are so strong, it might be near impossible for them to miscarry.

[> [> Re: An alternative explanation -- celticross, 11:59:57 09/25/03 Thu

But...would a pregnant Slayer even be able to fight towards the end of her pregnancy? We're talking a lot of extra weight, in a rather awkward place. Pregnant women can and should be active right up until giving birth, but I don't think anyone would dispute that their mobility gets to be rather limited.

[> [> [> This is very true -- Mackenzie, 12:37:19 09/25/03 Thu

Starting at about the 7th month things being to be very hard. At 8.5 months shaving my legs is out of the question. A karate kick to someone's head is just something for me to laugh at!
I guess the Watcher's Counsil would have to find a way to make other arrangements for a while. After giving birth there would be time they could fight either, like 4-6 weeks. Well, a slayer would have the luxury of that fast healing thing, maybe it would be less time. Lucky dogs!

[> [> [> [> The odds are they'd never get that far . . . -- Finn Mac Cool, 14:15:16 09/25/03 Thu

What with Slayers fighting vampires and demons on a regular basis, it seems inevitable that they'd get a few kicks or punches to the stomach on a periodic basis. This could very well kill the unborn child before it ever became large enough to hamper Slaying activity much. In fact, for the Slayers that did get pregnant, they may have been punched in the gut and miscarried before ever knowing that they were pregnant.

Granted, this is a pretty sad scenario, but most Slayers' lives are pretty sad scenarios.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: The odds are they'd never get that far . . . -- tapioca, 17:55:21 09/25/03 Thu

First of all, Hello! I've been lurking for well over a year, love this board and thought it was about time I posted.

I think the reason we haven't heard of more slayer pregnancies maybe due to the fact that the majority of slayers were kept isolated from society. They wouldn't have many opportunities to engage in relationships with men. The slayers would have been very young and, like Kendra, probably taken into their watcher's care, away from the influences of friends and family. In fact Spike points out in both seasons 2 and 5 that Buffy is unusual in that she had "ties to the world", friends and family.

Nikki's preganancy and Faith's sexual promiscuity maybe the result of the affects of women's liberation and empowerment to the point where slayers feel that they can act against the restrictive slayer life-style that the Council of Watchers seems to have dictated to their charges.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: The odds are they'd never get that far . . . -- skeeve, 07:42:41 09/26/03 Fri

Buffy also had the advantage of not being discovered until she was called.
Otherwise she might not have even heard of women's liberation.

[> As a pregnant woman due in less than 7 weeks -- Mackenzie, 11:47:15 09/25/03 Thu

I would like to say that pregnant slayers would be a wonderful thing. I have learned about a whole side of life that I never knew existed. Human kind is more precious than ever to me now.
I would also like to say, those that don't agree, tread lightly. I am hormonal!! :)

[> [> Re: As a pregnant woman due in less than 7 weeks -- Miyu tVP, 12:04:32 09/25/03 Thu

first - Congrats! best of luck!

2nd - that's actually an excellent point. Given Spike's discussion of slayers' death wishes, bearing a child would certainly make a slayer cling that much more fiercly to life and goodness. I had been focusing on how it might affect the unborn child, but it would profoundly affect the slayer herself as well.

Although that didn't quite seem to be the case with Wood's mom??? We're only given a glimpse, and that through Wood's eyes, but maybe other slayers (Buffy) would handle it better.

[> [> [> we saw it from Wood's (and Spike's eyes) -- Mackenzie, 12:33:16 09/25/03 Thu

We have to remember that we didn't see it from Nikki's eyes. We didn't see into her soul like we have with Buffy and to some extent Faith's. We saw it from an emotionally unmature child and an emotionally unmature murderer.
Let me put it this way, 9 months ago I had just about a zero interest in something like gun control. I could have cared less. It wasn't my problem. Now, I have a firm opinion about them and am ready to take up the fight for what I believe in.
I think Nikki's experience with motherhood could have made her more commited to the "cause". It probably intensified her desire to fight the good fight and protect the innocent. From Wood's eyes, it seemed that she maybe cared less about him but I think that children often see their parents actions in the wrong light. Her commitment didn't mean she loved him less, but more.
Knowing what it is like to create life makes is an AMAZING experience. Slayers have seemed to only know what it was like to take life.

[> [> Tread lightly, I'm hormonal. My new motto! And I'm a guy! -- shambleau, 12:05:05 09/25/03 Thu

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