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October 2003

Angel's soul re-re-visited -- skeeve, 07:42:55 09/25/03 Thu

Angel's body has been resouled three times.

First by gypsies.
The happiness clause gave Buffy a real big surprise.

The second time by Willow using *almost* the same spell as the gypsies.
It's interesting that it wasn't the same spell. Willow probably intended to use the same spell, but whoever possessed her had another idea. The reason for the other idea is not clear.
The second spell had the same effect as the first.
A moment of true happiness and Angel lost his soul again.

The third time was again by Willow using the same spell or at least the same incantation as she did for the second resouling.
When she de-ratted Amy, Willow demonstrated the ability to find spells she wanted.
If there was a spell to resoul Angel without the happiness clause, surely Willow could have found it and would have used it.
To me, the only reasonable conclusion is that there was no such spell to find, ergo the happiness clause is an inherent part of resouling.
It follows that the happiness clause also applies to Spike.


[> Technically, Angel's re-souling is a curse, not a spell. -- cjl, 08:05:51 09/25/03 Thu

Restoring the soul is an incidental part of the curse. The idea of the curse is for Angel to feel miserable for the rest of eternity. To do that, the gypsies had to give him back his soul, because you can't feel guilty and miserable without it.

However, once you have a moment of pure happiness, you're not feeling miserable anymore, the curse has been neutralized--and the soul departs for the ether. Hello, Angelus. Given all that, I don't believe there is any way to "get around" the happiness clause.

As for Spike...well, who knows? What the heck was Lurky, anyway? Satan? One of the PTB? He was obviously a legend in demonic circles, something no sane hellspawn would even dare to approach. Until we get a little more background on our cave-dwelling f(r)iend, it's almost impossible to know whether the happiness clause is there or not. (My guess? No.)

[> [> Re: Technically, Angel's re-souling is a curse, not a spell. -- Claudia, 09:29:32 09/25/03 Thu

I think that Angel's soul is still cursed. As for Spike - no, it's not.

I do wonder - if Angel's "cursed" soul had been used in that battle against the First's ubervamps in "Chosen", instead of Spike's, using the amulet, how would Buffy, Faith and the new Slayers have fared?

[> [> Also keep in mind... -- ZachsMind, 10:00:25 09/25/03 Thu

CODEKEY: In the following, when I refer to "Angel" I mean the souled guy we see the majority of the time, "Angelus" is in reference to the soulless, darker side of the character who comes out about once a season or so, and when I say "Angie" I'm pointing at both of them - the whole package.


Willow has returned Angel's soul, while Angelus was the predominant personality, twice now. She has done so through magic, but this doesn't mean Angie's Curse is done by the same magic. The gypsy's curse is a completely separate thing. Jenny and Willow had to research the gypsy curse back in season two of BtVS in order to learn how to return Angel's soul. However, they didn't attempt to counteract the curse. Willow has done nothing to the curse. The curse ensouled Angelus originally in order to cause Angelus to feel guilt and remorse for eternity. When that eternal guilt and remorse is interrupted by a moment's happiness, Angie is free of the curse in that moment - it's temporarily negated. When this happens, the Angel personality becomes dormant and Angelus becomes dominant.

"Enyos: The curse. Angel is meant to suffer, not to live as human. One moment of true happiness, of contentment, one moment where the soul that we restored no longer plagues his thoughts, and that soul is taken from him." - from BtVS s.2 Innocence

However the curse it not removed. It's simply temporarily suspended. When Willow returns the soul to Angie's body and mind, Angelus returns to the dormant state, and the grief and remorse resumes in the form of Angel. See, the problem here is that the gypsies expected the guilt and remorse to overwhelm Angelus and make him incapable of functioning in any normal capacity, and for a time they were successful. However, instead of just giving up on being a part of humanity, Whistler and Doyle instilled within Angel a desire to rise above the curse and take his journey towards redemption.

Long before that however, Angie developed Dissociative Disorder. The parts of Angelus' psyche which could not handle the remorse retreated. The Angel we know and love consists of the more courageous, willful, and resilient aspects of Angie's personality. We summarize it to say the good side of him is Angel, and his evil side is Angelus, but it's far more complicated than that.

Angelus fears the soul, which is why this whole curse thing works. Remember back in season one of Buffy when The Master spoke with The Anointed One about the cross?

"MASTER: We are defined by the things we fear. (goes to the large cross) This symbol, these two planks of wood, it confounds me. Suffuses me with mortal dread. But fear is in the mind. (puts his hand on the cross and holds on while it burns) Like pain. It can be controlled. (lets go) If I can face my fear, it cannot master me."

The same is true of Angelus and the soul. He won't admit it, but he's afraid of that thing. He doesn't want to feel the guilt and remorse, and so Angie has taken that part of him that can't face it and separated it from the part that can. In effect, splitting the psyche in half. So the gypsy curse is only half working. And the only way to irreversably uncurse Angie, is if Angelus embraces the soul. He has to face his fear and merge with the half of him that accepts it. So that the curse no longer holds any power - so that the fear is gone.

[> [> Re: Technically, Angel's re-souling is a curse, not a spell. -- skeeve, 10:25:32 09/25/03 Thu

Technically, the term "curse" includes a spell intended to harm.
Whether or not one calls what Willow did a spell, my analysis remains correct.
If there was a better way, Willow would have known about it and would have used it, ergo there was no better way.
The happiness clause applies to Spike.

In any case, I don't expect ME to be quite that consistent.
Also, I don't see Spike getting any true happiness for a while.
The happiness clause might not matter for Spike.

Here is my theory on why true happiness seems to equate with making love.
Angel lost his soul after making love with Buffy, but kept it after having sex with Darla.
The distinction is important, not because Buffy made him happier than did Darla, but because Angel was more focused on Buffy.
If "true happiness" means unadulterated happiness, then the imporance of the difference is clear.
Buffy could completely occupy his mind to the exclusion of things like grocery lists, the last case, and other things that would adulterate his happiness.

[> [> [> Context, my dear skeeve, context. -- cjl, 10:47:17 09/25/03 Thu

I don't know how much sex had to do with it.

When Angel made love to Buffy, it was, undoubtedly, his happiest moment in over 250 years of existence. He had a purpose in life, and he had found that one girl in all the world who loved him for who he was, and who he was capable of loving.

When Angel and Darla "worked the mattress" (so to speak), it was, as Angel so aptly put it in Epiphany, "perfect despair." He had lost his purpose in (un)life, and he went back to the bed of the one person in the universe who represented the emptiness of his former existence. Angel had about as much chance experiencing "perfect happiness" by sleeping with Darla as he would have had with 24-hour root canal surgery.

You'll note that when the shaman removed Angel's soul in "Awakening," Angel's subconscious duplicated his state of mind in "Surprise"--purpose in the universe as a champion, and the love of a woman he respected and could love in return. In fact, the events in Surprise and the fantasy in Awakening were so close that he instinctively called out Buffy's name at the end. (Didn't hurt that Cordy's hair was kind of Buffy-ish at the time.)

Still say Spike's circumstances are completely different from Angel's. We simply don't know HOW Lurky returned William's soul. Angel's curse is magic performed by mortals; this is a whole 'nother ball of wax.

[> [> [> [> Lurky -- Claudia, 10:58:03 09/25/03 Thu

Is Lurky evil? Is the demon who had restored Spike's soul, evil? Not all demons in Jossverse are evil (for example, Whistler, Doyle, etc.). What if Lurky is neither good or evil? And is simply just is?

For Angel/Angelus to rise above the fear of the soul, wouldn't that have to happen while he was in Angelus' state?

[> [> [> [> Re: Context, my dear skeeve, context. -- skeeve, 15:53:32 09/25/03 Thu

I agree with most of that. I wrote more or less the same as some of it.

It's true that _we_ don't know how Lurky returned Spike's soul.
What Willow could find out is another matter.

[> [> [> [> [> My impression of Lurky was that he was close to all powerful -- Finn Mac Cool, 20:00:33 09/25/03 Thu

He could read a vampire's mind, summon monsters out of nowhere, and return Spike's soul without even needing a ritual to do it. My guess is that the only thing he couldn't do was leave that cavern (remember, even the Beast could be stopped by a certain mojo). That's why he made that agreement with Spike: in order to lure victims to the one place where he has power, Lurky tells the world that, if someone can pass his tests, he'll give them one wish; if they lose, he gets to kill them.

That's just how it came off to me, anyway.

[> It does NOT follow that the happiness clause applies to Spike. -- ZachsMind, 11:34:53 09/25/03 Thu

As explained elsewhere in this thread, Lurky didn't curse Spike. Spike went to him and asked. Angel & Spike are nothing alike. The only similarity is they're both vamps with souls. That's where the similarity ends.

Here's the difference between them.

Imagine walking into your house one day after you'd been gone for awhile, and learning that by no fault of your own, someone just delivered an elephant to your house while you were absent and it's now crouched in the middle of your living room. And now you can't get rid of the darn thing. That's Angel.

Now imagine that for some unknown strange reason you personally wanted a large elephant crouched in your living room. You went to the Sears Roebuck catalogue. You asked zookeepers. You called abroad. You researched price ranges and care and feeding techniques, and went out of your way to go get this stupid elephant. And then you order it yourself and it arrives at your door and you manage to force it into your living room and there ya go. And now you can't get rid of the darn thing. What were you thinking? That's Spike.

Angelus had the soul unexpectedly forced upon him and wasn't ready or willing to undertake the peril. It caused him to go mad and spend a hundred years acting pretty erratic. He never asked for it, but managed to make the best out of the situation.

Spike realized when he attacked Buffy sexually, that where he was emotionally, he would never be able to be more of a man than the beast he was, until he got his soul back. He was ready, willing, and since he's handled it just a little bit better than his sire, Spike was better equipped - better able to face the peril.

Angelus never wanted to understand the guilt and remorse over all the things he had done.

Spike wanted to understand that guilt and remorse. He wanted to see why Buffy spurned his advances and treated him like dirt. So he could become a better man and one day learn how to deserve her love. Irrational? Yeah, and once he got the soul he realized the futility of it all. That there's bigger things in heaven and earth than one can conceive. He learned what it means to be a champion.

Angel's still figuring that out.

[> [> Re: It does NOT follow that the happiness clause applies to Spike. -- skeeve, 16:14:48 09/25/03 Thu

A possibly more important difference might be that Spike more or less had a soul before getting his back from Lurky.

More precisely he might have had a little bit of several souls.
We don't know the criteria for a vampire to be influenced by the soul of a human, but the example of Darla and Conner's soul demonstrates the possibility, albeit at very close range.
Most vampires hang out with other vampires.
Spike has been hanging out with humans.
Most vampires don't get more than a fang-length into a human.
Spike got more than a fang-length into Buffy.

Still, if Willow couldn't put Angel's soul back without the happiness clause attached, it probably couldn't be done.

BTW another hint that the happiness clause is inherent in re-ensouling is in the incantations used: they make no mention of happiness.

[> [> [> Willow -- Rook, 17:43:32 09/25/03 Thu

While Willow did find the spell to De-rat Amy, one instance of an ability doesn't constitute evidence that she could do that for anything.

Also, she summoned the de-ratting spell at the height of her magiccrack addiction, and although her characterization was off on Angel, it was pretty well established that she wasn't psychologically ready to try and acces that kind of power again.

And while "curse" and "spell" may be one in the same, there isn't any reason to believe that it was a spell that gave Spike his soul back. It could easily have been some innate power or ability of Lurky's that, while magical in nature, wasn't something that a spell could duplicate.

[> [> [> Re: It does NOT follow that the happiness clause applies to Spike. -- ZachsMind, 17:54:53 09/25/03 Thu

M'kay. Lemme try to put it this way. You're saying that if Spike ever has sex now, he's gonna lose his soul. Let me assure you that IF he ever has sex (which'll be at least a bit difficult for him to pull off in the near future, considering) he won't lose his soul. The Lurky guy didn't CURSE Spike. He just gave him back his soul. The gypsy curse was not to give him his soul. It was to cause him grief and remorse for all eternity. The only way for the curse to get started was to resoul him. So Angelus got resouled accidently the first time, as a byproduct of the curse. It's not the same thing that Willow's been doing.

Willow has not been recursing Angel. She resouled him. The curse never went away. They're two separate things.

[> [> [> [> Re: It does NOT follow that the happiness clause applies to Spike. -- skeeve, 08:15:03 09/26/03 Fri

Resouling was not a side-effect of the Ritual of the Undead.
The incantation explicitly calls for resouling.
It does not explicitly call for grief and remorse.
Grief and remorse are a byproduct of resouling.
I hesitate to call them a side-effect because the grief and remorse were the purpose for which the ritual was performed.

Happiness clause or not, methinks sex with Faith would not cause Spike to lose his soul.
Sex with Buffy wouldn't necessarily do the trick.
It didn't do the trick the first time.
Angel didn't lose his soul until it was time for the afterglow.
That would seem to be a count against my focus theory.

Whether or not one agrees with the previous paragraph, I'm sure we can agree that sex with invisible Buffy would not have caused Spike to lose his soul had he had one at the time.

[> Spike wasn't cursed -- Doug, 15:58:25 09/25/03 Thu

(by the way, I'm operating off the assumption that souled and unsouled entities are separate and destinct. This is amatter of some debate, however I have taken this route because others have said things on the other route.)

A curse is a magic that changes the nature of a being against their will. Because it is a violation of another's will some means of escape is a required part of the magic. Why is it required? because it's a curse and because of the nature of curses there has to be some means to escape it. This may be a time limit, measured either in years or in generations of a family line; or an event. The demon known as Angelus was cursed with the return of his human soul, and the gypsies were sly enough to make sure that the method of escape was prevented by the effect: with the souled vampire permanently miserable there wasn't supposed to be any way for him to acheive true happiness. We know how that story went if we watch BtVS season 2. Now, it might be possible for the curse to be modified to have a different escape; then they could de-soul our dark avenger, curse Angelus, and possibly have Angel back. But there would still be a way out, though it would not be the same.

Now, as my title says Spike was never cursed, he went on a quest. Now quests are virtually the opposite of curses. A quest has the role of changing an individuals nature through the trials and ordeals that they face; an individual wills something enough to pass through the fire and reach the goal. Ultimately though it's the journey that is frequently more important. Spike had a will; to get his soul back. Now before someone launches into a speech about how Spike's intentions weren't "pure" neither are the intentions of most who quest, it's the will that matters. This isn't a little whim, no one burns and bleeds for a whim, this is his true will. And he passes his trials and through withstanding the ordeal he changes his own nature. The actual scene where the demon touches his chest is nothing but a formality; he wins the sould through the quest, and changes himself to fit his own will.

Now, someone's going to ask "can't Angel go on a quest and get his soul fixed that way?" You see, I've done some thinking on that score and it wouldn't quite work. You see Angel was never cursed, Angelus was cursed and Angel is the result. Which means that the one who has to make the choice, the one who has to will this and pass through the fire and all that to get that no-escape soul is Angelus. Now, I'll freely admit that I don't think much about Angelus, simply because the RPGs I play have spoiled me for villains and Angelus is amazingly pathetic when standing next to the nastier villains like an Earthbound, or House Decados, or any of the Z'bri; to be blunt he reminds me of the GM created villains you get when your GM has had a long week. So while I myself don't thinnk their is a moth's chance in hell of Angelus ever doing this I freely admit that many here are far more knowledgeable about him than me, as well as far more interested, so I am willing to allow that such a situation might occur where Angelus would so choose. I remain skeptical however.

[> Question -- sdev, 22:31:30 09/25/03 Thu

The second time by Willow using *almost* the same spell as the gypsies.
It's interesting that it wasn't the same spell. Willow probably intended to use the same spell, but whoever possessed her had another idea.

I have seen this said before and I don't understand what I am missing. How do you know or why do you think the gypsy curse and Willow's spell were disimilar?

[> [> Re: Question -- skeeve, 08:27:41 09/26/03 Fri

For the first two, I'm going by the quotes and translations on Masq's web site.
I watched Orpheus the other night with closed captioning turned on.
The third time around Fred and Willow used the same incantation as the second time.
The only difference was that Fred spoke the first line.

Perhaps if nothing else works, a spell could force Angelus to recite the Ritual of the Undead whenever Angel loses his soul.
For it to work, there would have to be an Orb of Thessela around.
Angel, say aahh.

Question/Answer About Spike's Background -- Claudia, 15:08:19 09/25/03 Thu

I came across this article, which is a behind-the-scenes look at the Season 7 episode, "Lies My Parents Told Me":

After reading the article, I realized that Spike . . . or should I say, William, actually came from a wealthy background.


[> Re: Question/Answer About Spike's Background -- RJA, 15:20:05 09/25/03 Thu

Thats an interesting article, fascinating seeing how much thought they put into every aspect of the show. Also reminded me of one of the most memorable elements of LMPTM, which was Wood's sanctuary/cross room.

And yes, William was from a wealthy background, considering that episode and Fool For Love. While his accent as Spike doesnt reveal it, only someone with money would be in a position to be in the same room as Cecily and the other men. Nothing other than money gave him the key to that particular door.

[> [> Re: Question/Answer About Spike's Background -- Claudia, 15:24:39 09/25/03 Thu

The reason I had brought it up, is that while checking the archives, I noticed there had been some kind of debate over his family background . . . before Drusilla had turned him.

[> [> [> Re: Question/Answer About Spike's Background -- RJA, 15:28:02 09/25/03 Thu

I hadnt seen that. Interesting, I had always assumed he was well off (well from FFL onwards). Thats what makes some of his characteristics as Spike more interesting.

[> [> [> Re: Question/Answer About Spike's Background -- DEN, 15:38:10 09/25/03 Thu

William's family doesn't seem wealthy by the standards of the time--he's not from the landed aristocracy,nor, I think, from the "new" industrial money. But, to borrow the words of an old music hall song, "his people are well off, you know." I'd take a guess that his father was from the merchant/business community--"in trade," but for a sufficiently long time, and with enough success, that the family was moving into the ranks of the lesser gentry, living on investments as opposed to direct earnings. William almost certainly attended Oxford or Cambridge, albeit one of the non-elite colleges. Had he not had his close encounter with Drusilla, he would probably have lived after his mother's death as what was called "a gentleman of independent means," with a flat in London, membership in a club or two,perhaps publishing a volume or two of verse at his own expense, marrying late if at all--and possibly a discreet involvement on the fringes of the gay scene. He'd almost certainly have been acquainted with Oscar Wilde.

[> [> [> [> Re: Question/Answer About Spike's Background -- RJA, 15:49:58 09/25/03 Thu

Interesting points. I still think that William would rank in terms of the wealthy of the population (10-15%), but mainly because so many people werent, and as a man with no obvious profession (i.e. if he didnt need to work, then he's up there with some of the more wealthy men), he would be not too far down the social scale.

And again with teh visit to the club in FFL. It didnt seem so much that he was looked down on for his position in society (which he would have perhaps been had he been industrially wealthy), but because he was a sap interested in poetry. The implication seemed to be that his character, rather than status, gave rise to scorn. But then Cecily's comment of him being beneath her could indicate this nevertheless.

Either way, William's position in society would be such that if transposed to the same position today, few of us would be on the same level.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Question/Answer About Spike's Background -- RJA, 15:51:15 09/25/03 Thu

Oh, and forgot what most interested me in what you said - why do you think that he would have been on the fringes of the Victorian gay scene?

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Question/Answer About Spike's Background -- DEN, 16:08:57 09/25/03 Thu

I agree, there's no doubt William's family would count in the upper 15%, or even higher--the income differences in Victorian England were FAR more significant than they are today, especially in terms of buying power. I also think you're correct in saying William is not rejected for "inappropriate" social pretensions, but because he is an aspiring aesthete in an era that had little room for that in a man.

As for William and the gay scene, that's partly a tip of the hat to all the slashfic writers out there! But it was not at all uncommon for males of his class who had difficulties relating to women to develop at least homoerotic relationships, frequently also sublimated (Holmes/Watson?!), and sometimes go on from there. The familiar stereotype of the "sissy" who eventually becomes a full-fledged "queer" is not a pure invention of homophobes. On the other hand it was also possible for William to find a woman who admired his sensitivity, appreciated his income, and perhaps even found his poetry romantic, marry her, and father a half-dozen children.Plenty of examples of both life histories can be found in the literature.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Question/Answer About Spike's Background -- RJA, 16:11:55 09/25/03 Thu

Well, that would have been an interesting turn of events for sure! Now all we need to have is a flash back to William's strapping man servant, and we'll all be happy ;-)

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> The more likely scenario -- Rook, 17:55:26 09/25/03 Thu

Is that William would have eventually run afoul of some attractive gold digger and wound up penniless. His need for a romantic relationship, and his willingness to totally subjugate himself to the whims of whatever woman currently occupied his obsessions, would have made him a prime target for someone looking to take advantage of him.

[> Re: Question/Answer About Spike's Background -- DEN, 15:46:25 09/25/03 Thu

In analyzing the William/Spike issue it's interesting to note that in WWI, a LOT of young gentlemen like William joined the army as officers,then discovered or cultivated their "Spike side" in the trenches. Even "war poets" like Graves and Sassoon were regarded as extraordinarily brave, to the point of recklessness, by the soldiers they commanded. After a life spent being polite and repressed, there was pleasure to be found in violence and destruction: "fists and fangs, all out." Read some of the citations for medals in that war, and you'll see Spike everywhere--oly with a proper accent!

Sorry for the second posting--it just didn't fit with the first one

[> [> Re: Question/Answer About Spike's Background -- RJA, 15:56:15 09/25/03 Thu

I'm not sure I quite agree with that. Certainly the War Poets often dont glorify the War too much, and a great deal of it is the tragedy of the waste of this destruction of the talented youth. Wilfred Owen would be a case in point. Many of these poems are harrowing, and tributes to the destruction of these young men.

Extraordinarily brave, but less so through a liking for violence, but because of a sense of duty, honour and dedication, with the price being heavy. I dont think their bravery came out of being repressed for years, but rather a sense of what was important and making the best of a bad job. But my reading of these poems rarely gave the idea of satisfaction from that. But its been a while, so maybe I'm wrong.

[> Re: Question/Answer About Spike's Background -- Cigarette Smoking Vampire, 23:16:40 09/25/03 Thu

An interesting little tidbit in LMPTM is that Spike suggests that he send the coach for Dr. Gull. I assume that this was meant to be a reference to the Dr. Gull that was a noted physician and the doctor to the Royal family. I imagine that Dr. Gull would not have made house calls to just anyone.

[> [> Re: Dr. Gull -- Bronson, 15:31:42 09/26/03 Fri

I figured that William was just being dramatically concerned -- they might have been able to afford Dr. Gull, but I think it's unlikely that the Doctor would have run off to see anybody outside the Royal Family. By 1880 he'd been treating the Queen and her offspring for nearly a decade. (I'm inferring the year by the date on a "Fool For Love" transcript.)

Spike vs Lilah -- JBone, 20:10:10 09/25/03 Thu

Yeah, I'm fine. Slept at Wolfram & Hart. FYI, best place to be in case of an apocalypse.

Check out the week's results at the sweet16 page. Post your bloodthirsty comments here, at the voting site or email me.


[> Even though I'm starting the game with an 88% disadvantage, -- Apophis, 21:29:39 09/25/03 Thu

I'm still sticking to my anti-Spike guns. Lilah may have been decapitated, but Spike got all incinerated; there's not even enough left to pin. And, since Lilah has a Get-Out-Of-Hell Free card thanks to the Senior Partners, her death is merely an inconvenience. Sadly, Spike has no evil demon bosses to pull his ashes out of the fire; that's what a life of antisocial rebellion gets you. So, since this was so short a fight, here's a little swimming man to entertain you: ............... >-/0 .............

[> Oh, come on. This is pathetic. -- cjl, 22:26:28 09/25/03 Thu

I know Spike is, by far, the more interesting character, and richly deserves his second shot at unlife on ANGEL. But are there no red-blooded American men out there who will sell Blondie Boy out for the hotness that is Lilah? Those legs, those eyes, that evil, evil brain--really guys, you're hurting her feelings. (And Wes showed us that, yes, she's got 'em.) Spike's going to win anyway, so I'm voting for Lilah--we'll be in the W&H hospitality lounge as I console her after her ignominious defeat.

[> Logically.... -- Abby, 01:31:41 09/26/03 Fri

..I'm going to have to vote for Spike, as much as I love Lilah. This guy took out two Slayers: beautiful, clever and undead as Lilah is, she's no Slayer. No superhuman abilities, no mystical connection, and- most importantly, no mythological love/hate through the ages legacy with which to entice and entrap Spike. Plus the senior partners wouldn't give her any help: they're not picky about the vampire with a soul they get in the end!
He's in love with pain. She'll give it to him. But he'll come out with the coat intact and billowing. That chic wardrobe is going to get dirty.....

btw: final round match-ups: oh my! These are fights I would love to see. Great strategic positioning!

[> I really hate this-- -- MaeveRigan, 07:45:52 09/26/03 Fri

--having to vote for Spike on this round, I mean. Because he's got a soul. No-soul, pre-chip Spike would have killed Lilah in a minute and enjoyed every second of it. Even with a chip in his head, he'd find some way to do it--hire a gang of minions or something. Soul-vamp Spike wouldn't kill her, but since for him it's all about Buffy, he won't have any of Wesley's ambiguity problems. Bye-bye, Lilah.

[> Re: Spike vs Lilah -- Celebaelin, 08:50:43 09/26/03 Fri

I was going to vote for Lilah but in fact I think Spike has her outclassed in every category except number of X chromasomes so I can't quite bring myself to, despite the loss of the only non 1 to 4 seed left in the competition. Let us briefly consider the subsequent possible permutations.

Since we were talking top Angel eps a few days ago... -- KdS, 07:13:02 09/26/03 Fri

TopTen from the CityOfAngel website:

1: Joint 5 By 5/Dear Boy
2: Redefinition
3: Sleep Tight
4: Darla
5: Orpheus
6: Sacrifice
8: Lullaby
9: The Prodigal
10: Dead End

Pretty uncontroversial choice, I think.


[> Re: Since we were talking top Angel eps a few days ago... -- Sofdog, 10:02:03 09/26/03 Fri

I worship at the altar of "Sleep Tight." Still kicking myself for not taping it. I'd just decided to stop taping Angel and that was the next ep. Frell!

Nothing against Julie Benz, but I wonder what Darla would have been like if played by Hudson Leick.

[> No Home? -- Ponygirl, 12:03:41 09/26/03 Fri

I know many would argue but I'd place Home in my top 5. I'd also have to kick Orpheus off my personal list, but it's nice to see Sacrifice getting recognition. For a while I thought I was the only one who appreciated its freakiness.

Can We Say . . . Threesome? -- Claudia, 07:49:51 09/26/03 Fri

Judging from the B/A vs. B/S feud that is raging among BUFFY & ANGEL fans, has anyone ever considered that Buffy, Spike and Angel might consider a threesome?

From "Chosen":

"BUFFY: You know, one of these days I'm just going to put you two in a room and let you wrastle it out.

SPIKE: No problem at this end.

BUFFY: (daydreaming) There could be oil of some kind involved..."

Buffy doesn't seem averse to the idea.


[> Hopped on *that* train late. -- HonorH, 08:10:33 09/26/03 Fri

Fanficcers have been writing that scenario since second season. As for Buffy not being averse to the idea--with that much vampiric prettiness, who would be?

A precursor to the new season of Angel -- Alison, 11:41:59 09/26/03 Fri

For the spoiled and unspoiled alike-- what do you hope for in Ats S5? Plots lines, ships, gueststars, the works. (spoilers marked, ofcourse)

I have to admit, I'm more nervous than excited, but I'm hoping everyone's ideas will cheer me up.


[> my re-posted hopes for Angel. -- Rochefort, 12:04:43 09/26/03 Fri

Here's one re-posted scene from next season that pretty much represents my hopes for the new season! Keeping my fingers crossed! I'm nervous, too!

Shot opens on Wesley. He is in a full body cat suit with painted on whiskers and big fluffy feet. He is wearing his glasses and holding his tail. He looks very Zoobalee Zoo.

Wesley: Meow.

Director: (voice over) Don't SAY meow. You have to DO meow.

(Camara pans to reveal a crowded stage in the theater district of New York. Dancers are stretching their legs.)

Wesley: (looking frustrated. This has clearly been going on for some time.) MEOW!

Director: (sighs) Look, Whyndam-Price, we've already demoted you from Mr. Mestophelees to Cat #3. If you can't manage a real meow...

Wesley: No no, I'm sorry. I know I can do this. Please just give me a chance. Meow. Meow. See it's getting better. Meow.

(A female dancer walks by in spandex. Clearly nobody else is dressed in a cat suit.)

Dancer: Hey sweety, nice tail.

Wesley: (glancing at the dancer, he can't move his head that well) Didn't anyone tell them I'm RUGGED now!? (then in response to the director's heightened chagrin.) meow.

(Cut to Spike's apartment. It's very cool. He's moving around the apartment making dinner, on the phone with:

Buffy: You brought him INSIDE!?

Spike: I had to, pet. I think he's got mites again. He's yanking out whole patches of his hair.

Buffy: But, Spike, (trying to not be too bugged by it) darling, after I'm done touring the country being free and finding myself and slaying vampires I'm going to LIVE in that apartment with you. And now it's going to have bugs.

Spike: I thought you'd want me to, doll. Plus, I feel bad. I took over his show. Maybe that has SOMEthing to do with the state he's in. I wouldn't think you'd want me to just LEAVE him out there with god knows what desiese. He was playing with Parker again.

Buffy: Oh gross.

(Angel comes walking into the kitchen. He opens the fridge and stares into it blankly.)

Angel: Who's on the phone?

Buffy: Well at least could you keep him out in the garage?

Spike: Love, it's an eighteenth story apartment there's no... (takes the butter away from Angel, but not before Angel takes a big bite out of it, wrapper and all). O.k., yeah I'll keep him in the garage. (Gives Angel a good kick)

(Angel howls)

Buffy: Is that him? Tell him I said hey.

Spike: Buffy says hey.

(Angel stops chewing his butter. He looks mournfully at Spike, his mouth full, a bit of wrapper sticking out.)

Spike: Will I see you in Detroit tonight, love? It's a play off game.

Buffy: I'llll be there. It's not far from Cleveland. Hockey is like ice-capades only... you with no shirt.

Spike: After the game, I can get us the whole rink baby. We can make love on the ice.

Buffy: (we can hear her crinkle her nose, but giggle). You're on the bottom. But you shouldn't talk that way in front of Angel. You know how he is.

(Spike clearly doesn't. He looks at Angel.)

(Angel who has been digging in his ear, looks at his finger which apparantly has mites on it. He stares intently at them, and then eats them.)

Spike: Yeah...right, I know how he is. (covering the receiver) XANDER! Give Angel a bath already.

(Xander walking in from the other room where he was watching t.v.)

Xander: Hey, I wanted to stake the guy a long time ago. Now he's human, and it's too late to stake him, but that's not my fault. YOU give him a bath.

Spike: I'm letting you stay in my apartment on my show.

Xander: Hey don't get all high and mighty. This is no Sunnydale, and the second Willow gets HER own show, I'm going there anyway. I mean there's nothing so great about being ....

Cordelia: (Off Screen) XANNNDER! Come make love to me!

Xander: being...

(Spike raises his eyebrows. Xander starts to go to Cordelia, but Spike grabs Angel by the collar and hands him to Xander. Xander holds his nose.)

Xander: Be right there, hon. Just gotta...wash Stink Guy.

Cordy: Oh you are NOT touching ME after you touch THAT thing.

Xander: (mumbling) Yeah well at least he doesn't have stretch marks from having an alien baby.

Cordy: WHAT did you say!? WHAT did you say!? Xander Harris if I wasn't TOTALLY in love with you again...

(Cordy follows Xander into the bathroom)

Buffy: What's going on? What's all the shouting?

Spike: Cordy is giving Angel a bath.

Buffy: Hm. Hey did you hear from Wesley? Willow says they demoted him. I hope he's doing o.k.

Cut to New York:

Wesley: (taking large leaping dance steps across the stage his tail flying behind him, and sounding like a kid firing a toy gun) Meow! Meow! meowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeow! MEOw! Meow! MEOW!

Back to apartment:

Spike: Not that I'm not loving life here in L.A. like I've never loved life before but...

Buffy: I know. We're not together.

Spike: I just wish you were ... you know, a baked cookie.

(Suddenly a little box that has been sitting by the cookie jar that has a zig-zag door, bursts open to reveal the head of the weird green guy with horns.)

Weird green guy with horns: Wish!? Did someone say WISH!?

Spike: Oh ....b-looody ell.

Buffy: Spike!? SPIKE! (she screams) I'm... I'm...I'm a...

Spike: (in a panic) I'll be right there, baby. (He hangs up)

(Suddenly Stink Guy comes running out of the bathroom naked with patches of his own hair floating off him and bubble bath all over him. He trips over the couch and falls hard on his face. Then he runs out the door blindly.)

Xander: Hey!

Spike: Oh bugger.

Willow: (Walking in from the hall) WHAT was THAT?

Spike: Stink Gu-- Angel ran off. (swelling suspenseful music) And I've got to go to Cleveland. Buffy is a cookie.


[> [> It's a beautiful vision -- Ponygirl, 12:31:00 09/26/03 Fri

I think I can safely say that we all shares your hopes for the new season. Except for the hockey. I hate hockey, and the Red Wings suck, but other than that it's all good.

[> [> LMAO!!! If only.... -- s'kat, 13:20:57 09/26/03 Fri

[> [> Hee! :) I love you Rochefort. I feel better already. -- Alison, 20:10:01 09/26/03 Fri

[> [> [> yes, it's all about getting through these difficult trials together. -- Rochefort, 23:29:35 09/26/03 Fri

[> [> And another vision... -- Random, 18:40:15 09/28/03 Sun

A new vision for a legally-blind Rocheforte

[Scene opens in modern office at Wolfram and Hart, dimmed by the necrotempered glass. The door opens and Angel turns on the light. The illumination, rather than filling the room, slowly drips down onto the carpet, pooling in an icky peroxide-hued puddle of goo. Angel watches distastefully as it coalesces. Finally, the surface of the goo hardens into a distinctly Spike-shaped form.... ]

Spike: [spluttering] Bloody 'ell! That's what my enlightenment was all about? [combing the goo through his hair, a fairly futile move since it already looks exactly like it did back before his incandescence] Didn't fancy being part of the electrical grid at the sewage plant. [slaps the side of his head with his palm, dislodging more goo from his ears] didn't fancy it at all

Angel: Spike? Why are you staining my nice new carpet?

Spike [muttering, oblivious to Angel] Bleedin' rolling blackouts. Giving me 'eadaches. And alway cutting me off just when 3rd reel at the PussyCat Theatre gets interesting.

[Angel, realizing that Spike is acting dumber than usual, sighs and returns to his desk to brood while waiting for Spike to make some sense. He broods. Spike raves. Angel broods some more, slipping from Scowl Number 43 (contemplating past misdeed 1803-1817) to Scowl Number 117 (worrying about fluffy Pomerian puppies). Spike rants. Angel moves on to Scowl Number 86 (agonizing over May 3, 1799 -- a particularly unsavory day in which he re-enacted the Twelve Days of Christmas, Vlad the Impaler-style.) Finally, Spike starts coughing up goo in a loud hacking fit and Angel goes to thump him on the back]

Angel: [solicitous] Feeling better?

Spike: Bugger off, mate! Acting all superior cause your epiphany didn't involve ConEd and overbilling!

Angel: [trying with complete lack of success not to smirk] Come on. I've known Buddhist who would have killed to be able to do what you did. Besides, you never did have enough sense to come in out of the light.

Spike[growling] You're pushing it, you stupid bugger.

Angel: Whoa, Spikey-poo. You'll bring out the Angelus in me, and your ego and...[glancing down]...and other parts are already bruised enough

Spike: [glancing at the dark marks splotching his skin] What the fu...?!? I'll have you know, mate, that high-tension wires are really bad on those sorts of things.

Angel: I'm sure.

[A knock on the door disturbs this meeting of true minds. As Angel turns to go answer it, the door swings open. Standing outside are Gunn and Fred. Gunn looks positively delighted about something, and there is a slight hint, just around the eyes, that the something in question is not quite savory. Fred, on the other hand, seems downcast. She hold a white lab coat slung over her left arm]

Gunn: [glancing down at the prone, still-gelatin coated form of Spike] Damn! That's is whitest white boy I've ever seen. Make Seigfreid and Roy look like Bob Marley and George Clinton. Hell, Angel, he's even whiter than you! And he looks like he fell in a pit of lard.

[Spike sputters in outrage, but can't seem to manage coherent English. He stumbles to his feet, still babbling. Immediately, everyone's eyes focus downwards. Gunn looks even more delighted, if possible, while Fred turns red for a moment, then starts to giggle involuntarily. Angel doesn't react at all for a second, then turns away. A muffled sigh of relief emerges from his direction, and when he turns back, the smirk is back, a fully self-satisfied one now.]

Angel: High-tension wires, eh?

[crickets chirp]

Gunn: So, anyway, we came to tell you that Lilah's holding a Halloween party downstairs.

Angel: But Halloween isn't for another three weeks

Gunn: Yeah, I noticed that.

Fred: She said something about the real date being...tacky or something?

Angel: [with a knowing nod] Ahh, right....[glancing at Fred's face] What's the matter?

Fred: Oh, it turns out that cutie who ran the labs...remember him?

[Angel nods]

Fred: Apparently, he's like, an ex-vampire W & H brought back he was staked. They're heavy into recycling, it seems.

Angel [starting] You mean, like --

Fred: [interrupting] No, not like her. He's more of a "made from 90 percent recycled product"-type deal. He has a soul now, but every other minute, he starts crying about it. Then he goes out and threatens to kill people. It's really getting to me.

[Spike starts to speak, then thinks better of it]

Angel: Well, you'll have to deal with that yourself. I got my own problem, and I don't know how to operate the internal communications system to get a wet-vac up here to clean this mess on my carpet.

Spike: Now look here! [everyone looks. Spike starts to get flustered as he realizes he's still standing there naked] I mean, I want to make clear that I've been sent by the PTB to help you blighters!

Angel: [raising an eyebrow] Exactly how do you plan to do that?

Spike: What do you mean? I'm the Big Bad. I helped save the world. Almost managed to destroy it on a couple occasions too. You know what I'm good for!

Angel: Kindling? Weenie roasts? Clorox ads?

Spike: Grrrrrr...

Gunn: Say, ain't you the dude who sleeps with big dolls?

Spike: It was a bloody robot! I had it made cause...[trails off]

Gunn: Yes?

Spike [looking embarassed] Ummm, nevermind.

Angel Well, as fascinating as this all is, I need to get back to brooding. So if one of you will tell them to send up someone from the janitorial staff on your way down...

[Fred and Gunn exit, closing the door behind them. As they walk down the hall, Angel's voice can be heard faintly in the distance.]

Angel: Okay Spike, with Merle gone AWOL, we need a new butt-monkey around here...

Spike: [spluttering] What the bloody 'ell?!? I'm nobodys...[his voice trails off. A moment of silence. Then, faintly:] okay. A job's a job.


[> [> [> How about... -- Celebaelin, 19:24:45 09/28/03 Sun

Angel and Spike find a lucrative market in running a not entirely evil computer dating agency for lovelorn demons. The matches are designed to be close enough so they last until AI can get the surveillance contracts from suspicious 'others' and W&H can pick up the lucrative alimony/palimony trade.

There is also money to be made in the area of manipulation of breach of promise in convoluted pre-nups, which again become something of a W&H speciality. All things are posssible when you are availed of the appropriate information.

My own lawyers (Godwater, Carvup, Grabbit and Hyde) have advised me to make clear that neither Spike nor Angel is in any way implicated in the break-up of any of the relationships which their computer agency helped to forge.

Later, following dissagreements regarding direct remuneration as opposed to fringe benefits, Spike and Angel have a confrontation of apocalyptic proportions which, in truth, having finally come to accept that they really can't stand each others company, they both play their own little private parts to precipitate.


[> My hopes for Angel and the Fang Gang for Season 5 -- cjl, 13:12:45 09/26/03 Fri

ANGEL - I want to see Angel as I've come to know and love him: somber, cranky, tortured, snarky, whip-crack smart, menacing, borderline evil--and capable of expressions of love and generosity that leave me completely flummoxed.

WES - If Angel insists on casting himself as Superman and chairman of the Justice League, I want Wes to be Batman--the loner who works with the group only because the group helps him fulfill his individual mission. In a recent JLA plotline, the rest of the League found out that Bats kept a portfolio on the strengths and weaknesses of his "friends," and he was fully prepared to put them all down like dogs if they ever got out of hand. I WANT WES TO DO THAT.

GUNN - He's lived his entire life on the edge of destruction; now, for the first time, Gunn is doing more than just surviving--he has access to real power. Does he give in to the siren call, or will he be able to use his radical self-improvement to his own ends? Like Willow in Buffy S6, Gunn may be the supporting character who goes off the edge as a contrast to the series hero. Similarly, I hope that, by the time 5.22 comes around, Gunn remembers why he started demon fighting in the first place and comes back to his family.

FRED - Fred comes into her own. Head of Wolfram and Hart's R&D division, and given the appropriate respect by her colleagues and subordinates. Please, no extended romantic plotlines, which tend to play up her weaknesses. Also, I hope they clearly define Fred's areas of expertise; in a world where science and mysticism closely interact, I'd like to see Fred as the top scientist who brings in Wes and/or Lorne when she needs mystical expertise.

LORNE - Give the green guy a new club, with the occasional high power musical guest star to reflect his status (that is, if they can afford a high-power musical guest star). With all his talk about balance in "Home," I'd like Lorne to be a bit more mysterious this season--perhaps keeping crucial information about the tug-of-war between Angel and the Senior Partners from BOTH sides.

SPIKE - Many snarky, funny, vicious arguments with Angel--to the point where Broody Boy almost wants to stake himself from sheer aggravation. No romantic plotlines, ESPECIALLY if a certain blonde Slayer comes in for an episode or two. An ultimate realization that the events of "Chosen" were the start, and not the end of the journey.

HARMONY - Comic relief only. She must remain vain, empty-headed and emotionally vulnerable. (Wouldn't be our Harm otherwise.) Would love it if she decides to get her soul back, because it seems to be the fashionable thing to do...

GUEST STARS - Joss and the WB seem to be determined to bring in Buffy. (If we must, we must.) Frankly, I'd prefer Darla, Dru, Lilah, and Lindsey.

Oh, and one more thing....

CORDELIA - A dignified exit.

[> [> In the batcave -- Ponygirl, 20:00:45 09/26/03 Fri

I like your thoughts on everyone, especially Wesley. I'm thinking though that with the gang we have an interesting situation - a Justice League where everyone sees themself as Batman. Angel's got the dark and broody thing, deciding and dispensing justice; Wes, dark, broody, plus with gadgets and files and so many secrets; Fred, relying on science and planning to outdo stronger opponents; Gunn (and this is speculation) trying for the suave Bruce Wayne exterior, using the wealth and power to best advantage. Lorne, well, he's really more of Alfred, making the quips and getting into the liquor cabinet (c'mon,you know that's what Alfred was doing). Makes for an interesting, and chafe-y, dynamic.

[> [> cjl -- Rochefort, 22:06:04 09/26/03 Fri

I like your posts. Your take on Buffy is similar to mine. If Wesley isn't going to be in Cats, for instance, I agree that he should be Bat Man.

[> [> No romantic plotlines? -- shambleau, 00:01:38 09/27/03 Sat

Well, if the blonde Slayer you speak of does appear, I don't see that (romantic plotline) as such a terrible way to go. The romantic triangle in Sanctuary, even if it was all in the imagination of Ms. Stabsalot, led to some mighty fine pyrotechnics. On the board I frequented then, the debates that raged about who was right or wrong consumed many thread hours and were hella fun.

And, getting in the last word, Angel had his head up his ass.

[> [> [> Re: No romantic plotlines? -- celticross, 10:43:37 09/27/03 Sat

Oh, ick, no. Honestly, I'm not interested in the slightest in seeing an episode of Angel and Spike both making cow eyes at Buffy. Guys, she's not the be all and end all of women! Move on!

Oh, and shambleau? No way. Buffy was completely taking it out on the wrong person. :)

[> [> [> [> See? We're arguing already! Fun, fun, fun! <claps hands> -- shambleau, 10:54:44 09/27/03 Sat

[> My Vision of the New Season (Well Known Casting Spoiler) -- Finn Mac Cool, 14:44:14 09/26/03 Fri

First off, something has to be done about Cordelia. Her plotline just cries for some extra resolution. I'm thinking that the PTBs send Angel a videotape or DVD. When he plays it, he finds a final message from Cordelia. It's a heartfelt and touching scene. But, almost more importantly, something on the tape leads Angel to some secret files which reveal the truth: Wolfram & Hart is keeping Cordelia in her coma as a means to keep Angel in their pocket. Angel then makes a violent attack against his own company in an effort to free Cordelia. In the process of the fight, Angel kills or injures most of the security team. He doesn't get far, though, before his injuries overcome him and he can't move anymore. W&H eventually tracks him down, but he's hidden Cordelia somewhere where they can't find her. How that plotline might be resolved, I do not know.

Second, I think Lorne's celebrity clients would make for some wacky subplots. One I think would be cool is for Alyssa Milano (one of the stars of "Charmed") to be attacked by an obsessed fan who's used magic to emulate the powers of the demons who appear on "Charmed". She goes to W&H for help, and Lorne handles her case. I think that would be an interesting quasi-crossover. Something I also really, really want to see is for one of Lorne's clients to be Andy Hallet. Aside from the bizarreness of seing a character interact with the actor who plays him, in the middle of their conversation, someone could bring them coffee, and, in unison, they say, "Thanks, sweetcheeks."

Third, Spike, by nature, will bug the living hell out of Angel. As such, I want them to be forced to work together many, many times. They hate each other so much that it's positively charismatic.

Fourth, this one may not translate so well to screen, but an interesting theory I've had is that there are no Senior Partners. For the thousands of years it's existed, Wolfram & Hart has really been run by Mesektet (aka the White Room Girl). You see, she was smart enough to realize that, as the head of an evil empire, every good guy on the planet would be looking for a way to kill her. So she disguises herself as a messenger for some greater powers that no one ever sees; this way she gets to rule Wolfram & Hart while decreasing her risk of assassination. The reason Angel and Co. got the offer from W&H is that, after Mesektet's death, another extradimensional entity (the panther we saw) takes her place. Being under new management and all, Wolfram & Hart's policies are bound to change towards their greatest enemies.

Fifth, I want Slayers to turn up at some point. With Angel having his thumb on top of the supernatural world in LA, and Slayers popping up all over, it would be weird if a few didn't at least turn up. The very least they could do is make reference to it.

Sixth, I'd like to see our favorite law firm from hell do some actual lawyer work. For the past couple years, the whole lawyer aspect has pretty much been dropped and they've just been the local evil organization.

Seventh, given that Season 5 is supposed to have a lighter tone, and how it deals with a not-so-metaphorical "selling out", I want to see some guy pick a fight with Angel, get knocked unconscious, and be revealed as a professional boxer. When word of this gets out, Angel's suddenly got offers to be in boxing matches, where his vampire strength really comes in handy. He's so good that he gets close to being the world champion. Right before that fight, he gets attacked by some of the boxers he's beaten (if the image of that fight scene doesn't make you laugh, imagine it harder). He takes them all down and heads out to the match. However, clearly Angel's attention could best be focused elsewhere, so Fred slips him a strength reducing drug, causing him to go down with the first punch in the championship fight.

Lastly, we get to Connor. I'm not sure how he'll appear, or how he should appear, but something I want to see is Angel with a picture of himself, Cordelia, Wesley, Gunn, and the like, and sketch Connor into it. I just think that would be a good way to convey Angel's feelings.

All right, anyone think my ideas are crazy?

[> Queen C bows way :) -- Nino, 15:10:03 09/26/03 Fri

As I have made abundantly clear...I love my Cordy. Her final storyline should be well-timed (not done as an after thought), subtle (nothing over the top) and memorable (bringing closure to a great character, and letting her leave her mark on the Buffyverse in style).

This is what I had in mind...(only the idea in my head, I'm not saying this is the only way...and maybe it sucks, but it makes me happy).

2-3 episode arc...1 ep is too quick and not gonna cut it for me, especially since we were told CC might be at recurring status, before the rug was pulled from under us saying there are no concrete plans to bring her back at all. She deserves an arc, not an ep.

Written by Drew Goddard. Because he has proven that he can write characters we love the WAY we love them, even though he is kind of a newbie. He's never written Cordy, but he writes like a fan, and I think this arc needs a fan's touch.

I think it would be appropriate, somewhere midseason, for some Scoobs to show up. Xander and...anyone...Xander is key guy here. He wouldn't come alone...someone more important would be with him (Willow, Giles, etc.) but it would not be when Buffy comes back...she would upstage Queen C.

So Xan-man and someone else come to LA to deal with something Slayer related...possibly locating some new Slayers, or some other business of that nature. Cordy wakes up at the end of the ep they come to town (possibly after a semi-touching scene with Xander and her unconscience body). Here's the key...the present Scoobs are at odds with the boys at W&H...for some reason they have conflicted interests. When Cordy awakes and realizs that the Fang Gang is heading W&H, and that Xander/Scoob are at odds with them, she must decide whether she wants to stay with Angel.

Then...a touching (and "Selfless"-esque) scene where Cordy expresses her feelings of failure. She thought she was fighting evil all these years, when really, she was just a pawn for Jasmine's plan. Has she really done anything worthwhile? Is her life meaningless? Xander comes to the the rescue reminding her of the bitch she used to be, and how she transformed herself into someone selfess and willing to serve (no romantic undertones please...not necessary!). His speech convinces her that she can make a difference...but she cannot stay with Angel.

After whatever issue that Xander came to town for is resolved, Cordy makes her choice. She tells Angel and crew that she loves them, but cannot support them and their decision to run W&H....her decision echoes a growing sentiment that maybe it wasn't such a good idea to run an evil lawfirm....her decision marks a turning point in the season...from now on, the Fang Gang will truly feel conflicted as the new heads of W&H and will question their own motives and actions.

Cordy says "I love you" and "Goodbye" leaving with the Scoobs to help them on whatever "missions" they should continue on to...her future is uncertain, but she is ready for a new start, with an old group of friends.

Sappy? maybe....but it makes me happy to think that this might happen....sigh....i love you cordy! Any other/better ideas? What say you of the Xander guest spot?

[> [> Certainly much better than leaving her in a coma in a back room of the abandoned hotel! -- CW, 15:17:04 09/26/03 Fri

[> [> It works for me. -- Rochefort, 23:32:43 09/26/03 Fri

[> My hopes and dreams? -- Honorificus (The Saucy And Sweet One), 20:33:43 09/26/03 Fri

Of course you'd ask! And why, after all, should I deny enlightenment to poor, pathetic mortals? In no particular order:

1. Lilah. A woman that fashionable simply cannot stay absent for long. Resurrected by the Senior Partners, she stages a coup and gains full control over W&H, pausing only to shtup every member of Angel's little gang during her rise to power.

2. Spike. What a pathetic ending he made, eh? Well, no more! The Senior Partners restore him to the full glory of his badass self, and he becomes Lilah's consort. The two unleash Hell on Earth, and then Spike goes Slayer hunting!

3. Angel. Three words: lose the soul. First thing on our darling Angelus' agenda? Have Willow killed. Then he starts having real fun.

4. Wesley. Ah, the good guy to tempt the bad girls of the underworld! He discovers Angel's deception and goes all snarly and stubbly and badass again, providing a needed antagonist to W&H (while having occasional threesomes with Lilah and Spike).

5. Cordelia. Can stay right where she is, unless she wakes up insanely evil. That would be acceptable. Yes, most acceptable.

6. Gunn and Fred. Eh, no, on second thought, I can't be bothered.

7. Lorne. Goes with the flow, of course. Once all his Lust Objects have gone over to the dark side, he'll go, too. I like a demon you can yank around by his horns!

8. Connor. Daddy's little demon--or the poor, dull human whose facade he's been forced into--gets vamped by Spike and rather likes it.

In other words, a happy ending for all!

[> a few scattered ideas -- monsieurxander, 13:46:37 09/28/03 Sun

Connor need not show up, but the fact that he was erased from everyone's memories needs to be addressed. The Fang Gang notice gaps and "plot holes" in their memories... Lilah lets it slip to Wes about the whole ordeal, who, along with the others, has a total cow... similar to the "mental rape" issue between Tara and Willow in BtVS S6. Hilarity ensues.

Spike and Fred! Spike and Fred! Spike and Fred!!!! (It's just random enough that it could work...)

Angel and Co., near midseason or as part of the finale-arc, go about working a mondo spell (possibly with Willow) that souls every vampire everywhere... Harmony decides that in order to reach redemption she's going to give out free makeovers and fix up her "friends" on blind dates. Drusilla, being insane enough already, is driven OVER THE BRINK, and goes on an uber insidious killing spree, and has to be talked down by both Spike and Angel.

Wes finds a way to free Lilah from her contract... As the finale's major cliffhanger, he strikes a deal with W&H so that he trades places with her.

Lilah-will she come back? -- David, 13:55:58 09/26/03 Fri

Hi does anyone want Lilah to come back because I would love to see her and Wes together. She was the coolest villain ever. Does anyone know if any spoilers talk about her?


[> Re: Lilah-will she come back? -- skeeve, 15:02:20 09/26/03 Fri

Lilah has a contract.

Fool For Love - Spike or Drusilla? -- Claudia, 15:05:18 09/26/03 Fri

Who was the real fool for love in the relationship between Spike and Drusilla?

Many say it was Spike, especially since Drusilla had cheated on him with Angelus during late Season 2, and eventually dumped him for good in South America.

My answer? I think it was Drusilla.

I believe that Drusilla loved Spike a lot more than many realized. I also believed that the main reason she cheated with Angelus in the first place was to make Spike jealous, because she feared that the peroxide vamp was developing feelings for Buffy.

Drusilla may have seen signs of Spike's feelings toward Buffy in episodes like "Halloween", when he seemed preoccupied with studying the Slayer's fighting moves and in "What's My Line? - Part 2", Spike's words before his confrontation with Buffy seemed to hint that he was looking forward to more than just fighting the Slayer. And Drusilla had witnessed that moment.

I think the scene in "What's My Line - Part 2" had finally led Drusilla to resort to the jealousy game, especially after Angelus had resumed control of the family. But that all blew up in her face, when Drusilla's infidelity led Spike to form an alliance with Buffy in "Becoming, Part 2". Poor Drusilla. Can you imagine how she must have felt when she realized that her love had formed an alliance with Buffy, of all people, to betray her and Angelus?

For quite a while, I had believed that she genuinely preferred Angelus over Spike, until I saw that scene from "Fool For Love":

DRUSILLA: Why can't you kill her?

SPIKE: You're the one who keeps bringing her up!

TITLE CARD: South America, 1998

SPIKE: I haven't said a word about the bloody Slayer since we left California. She's on the other side of the planet, Dru!

DRUSILLA: But you're lying! I can still see her floating all around you, laughing. Why? Why won't you push her away?

SPIKE: But I did, pet. I did it for you. You keep punishing me. Carrying on with creatures like this.

CHAOS DEMON: Okay, you guys obviously have a thing going on here.

DRUSILLA: I have to find my pleasures, Spike. You taste like ashes.

SPIKE: (re: demon) So this is my fault now?

CHAOS DEMON: (to Spike) I didn't know she was seeing somebody. (off Spike's look) I should take off.

SPIKE: Yeah, why don't you do that?

The demon blows a kiss to Drusilla, then walks off.

DRUSILLA: You can't blame the ghoul, Spike. You're all covered with her. I look at you... all I see is the Slayer.

Hmmm. I guess she had figured it was best to dump Spike, before she could endure the humiliating experience of being rejected by him. Unfortunately for Drusilla, it was not meant to be. For in the end, Spike did reject her for Buffy - and right in front of the Slayer in "Crush". Poor Drusilla.

In the end, I believe that she had dumped Spike to avoid being rejected by him, for Buffy.


[> Both--Drusilla certainly is -- Maura, 10:43:00 09/27/03 Sat

I think you're right that Drusilla is a fool for love, and I agree that the depth of her love for Spike is sometimes underestimated: for example, when she seems to choose Angelus over Spike.

I'm not sure I agree that Dru's main reason for being with Angelus in S2 was to make Spike jealous. I don't see evidence of that in her behavior with the two of them, except insofar as she clearly revels in being a point of contention between them. But I think that may be more because it makes her feel important than because she's trying to pull Spike away from Buffy. I think all you mention could certainly be a factor but maybe not the main one.

Dru's leaving Spike seems to be the result of a mix of factors: Spike's feelings for Buffy, Spike's betrayal of Angelus and Dru, Spike's not being "monster enough." Based on the various accounts we get of the break-up, it seems like all these factors are in play and all are interrelated and probably existing at various levels of consciousness/unconsciousness for both Spike and Dru.

Back to Angelus: Dru certainly loves Spike, but she loves Angelus too, and I think an important reason for her turning to Angelus in S2 is simply that he was paying attention to her, and it gave her a chance to "have him" for a while. (I do, by the way, think that Angelus' main reason for taking Dru from Spike was to make Spike jealous; he just doesn't care that much about Dru.)

As for why Dru seems to choose Angelus over Spike, I agree with your reading that Spike's betrayal in "Becoming--Part 2" was shocking to her: he was betraying the family, after all. That's ample reason for her to turn on him in that instance. I also think that Dru may have a general tendency to give Angelus priority over Spike, not because she loves him more but because he is the "Father," the head of the household, so to speak, who simply does claim priority by position. (I think her Catholic background figures in here a lot.)

All these issues really make me hope they get Drusilla onto _Angel_.

[> Re: Fool For Love - Spike or Drusilla? -- sdev, 13:58:24 09/27/03 Sat

Was Drusilla actually unfaithful or just playing up the jealousy angle to make herself feel desirable? I can see this as the perverted quality of vampire love, akin to Spike's I'll torture her till she likes me again, rather than Drusilla really not loving Spike any more. And Angelus, likewise, was he merely tormenting Spike with the possibility rather than the actuality? This was never clear to me.

Also, this may be stretching things a bit, but could Drusilla's perception, in FFL, of Spike's love for Buffy be based on her vision of the future when he does begin to love her, circa S5? Does it have to be that Spike already did love Buffy when he was with Drusilla in Brazil? Drusilla's reality is not the same as everyone else's.

Anyone read Kushiel Trilogy? (no spoilers) -- mamcu, 06:24:49 09/27/03 Sat

Have any of you read any of the Kushiel Trilogy (Kushiel's Dart, Kushiel's Chosen, Kushiel's Avatar) by Jacqueline Carey? I'm in the middle of the third book and would be interested to hear what you think of it. I like them very much indeed--wonderful fantasy/rewritten history, but more erotic than much of that kind of writing.


[> I've read the first two -- Vickie, 10:43:12 09/27/03 Sat

I really enjoyed them. The alter-history/alter-geography aspect is a little confusing--I occasionally got distracted figuring out the our-world parallel rather than being carried away. Phedre, the main character, is quite mesmerizing in her internal life. The minor characters never appear flat to me, but are full persons even if the story is not theirs. Melisande is one of the very best adversaries I've read.

I especially like the religious aspect of the series. It appears to be this-world conventional at the beginning, then really twists the reader's mind.

I'm looking forward to Kushiel's Avatar.

[> [> Third book -- mamcu, 08:56:52 09/28/03 Sun

I'm trying not to stay up all night reading Kushiel's Avatar . I really find the whole question of Phedre's nature intriguing, and this book begins to give it a deeper meaning. It seems like a trilogy that women would either love or hate--the female characters are so strong, but also so traditionally feminine in some ways. I've been looking for a good discussion site on these books--do you know of any?

[> Books one and two, yes -- fresne, 10:50:36 09/29/03 Mon

Huh, what synchronicity, the last time Kushiel came up I was avoiding meeting minutes as well. Of course, the frequency of meetings does somewhat assist this.

Anyway, since, I want to chime in, I'll link briefly to a some posts discussing maschochism/choice last May, which references Kushiel and his dart, choice, avatar.

Lust and S6, May 2003

Phedre of the ill-starred name. Or well starred depending.

Thus far I've only read books one and two and am waiting for book three.

In these yawning to Octoberish days of autumn, what aspects of the books do we want to contemplate. Also, has anyone here seen the movie The Secretary?

Completely OT - my travels this fall -- Caroline, 06:55:01 09/27/03 Sat

Hey everyone!

I know it's been a couple of months since I've posted but I plead the excuse of extreme busy-ness. As some of you already know, I've made some major changes recently in my life and I'm planning to begin a road trip in just a few days to the west coast. I'm definitely stopping off in LA and San Francisco but the focus of the journey will be the natural wonders of this country - the Badlands, Yellowstone, Yosemite and as many other national parks, reservations and rodeos that I can manage. Call it part of my education in becoming an American. Needless to say, I'd love to meet (and meet again) as many of you as I possibly can on my walkabout. I'm already in discussion with some of the San Francisco crowd about a meet there in mid-October sometime. My connection to the internet will be spotty but I'll try to check in whenever I can. Thanks.


[> Re: Have a wonderful journey -- Brian, 08:03:45 09/27/03 Sat

[> Caroline in the City -- Masq, 09:03:02 09/27/03 Sat

We look forward to it.

Happy trails!

I'm really envious!

[> Have a Great Road Trip! -- Buffyboy, 19:00:55 09/27/03 Sat

Looking forward to seeing you again when you're in the SF Bay area. As I told you in Vancouver, if you need a place to stay, and you're willing to stay in Vallejo, you're more than welcome. Just let me know.

[> [> Re: Have a Great Road Trip! -- Caroline, 11:32:24 09/28/03 Sun

Thanks Buffyboy. There's an email coming your way soon.

[> Great thing to do -- mamcu, 09:05:33 09/28/03 Sun

I did that western journey once many years ago and remember it with awe. I've done pieces again since then, but just losing yourself in it is magnificent. Hope it's wonderful for you. One other great trip was the train from Chicago to Seattle, through Glacier National Park and the Cascades. Either direction is wonderful--it takes about 48 hours, but they time it so they go through the more boring parts at night.

Have a great trip--and let us know if you ever decide to come south!

[> [> Re: Great thing to do -- Caroline, 11:33:56 09/28/03 Sun

I will most likely be heading south in November sometime, so when I do, I'll let you know!

Thanks much for the warm wishes.

[> [> [> Re: Great thing to do -- mamcu, 19:35:22 09/28/03 Sun

Great! Maybe we can have a southern meet, or at least I'll be here.

[> Drive safe! Have fun! -- Ponygirl, 06:44:17 09/29/03 Mon

[> Bon Voyage, Caroline! -- Arethusa, 07:20:28 09/29/03 Mon

And, to paraphrase the immortal Zonker Harris, call us when you find America!

[> A walkabout! That sounds great, Caroline. -- cjl, 09:36:08 09/29/03 Mon

And you're hitting exactly the spots I'd want to see--the national parks and the natural wonders of the continental United States. (Of course, I'd spend a couple of days in Vegas before I went to see the Grand Canyon.)

Bon voyage, and let us know how you're doing out there, OK?

[> San Francisco -- Miyu tVP, 10:57:40 09/29/03 Mon

Sounds like fun!!! I'm sorta new to the board, but have been in the bay area for a while. I'm sure the nice people here have told you everything you need to know about SF, but just in case, I'd be happy to help. I lived next to Golden Gate Park for a couple years, and it's simply gorgeous! They closed down the stables this year for some reason or other, otherwise I would have recommended a riding tour of the park... but it works on foot as well. Japanese tea garden, stow lake, buffalos, lots to do!

Also lived by Lake Merced for a while, which besides being a perfectly wonderful lake, it a stone's throw from the coast. And just a mile or so south along the coast is a stable where they will take you down the cliff on horseback and let you wander on the beach. It's breathtaking when the hangliders are out in full fource - they're so close you'd swear you could just reach out and grab them out of the air. :)

Anyway, hope you have a fab trip! If there is a meet up, I'd love to tag along.

[> but--but weren't you going to come up & see us in ny? -- anom, 23:28:51 09/29/03 Mon

And to shop, of course. You said! You said in Vancouver you'd be coming to NYC sometime in the summer & you'd try to schedule it when the NY posters could get together & meet you! I have witnesses!

OK, we didn't find a time we could get together for most of the summer...I know, I know, it's our fault. And now we've lost our chance! For the summer, anyway.

When you're in San Francisco, take some time to go to the Muir Woods. A decent amount of time--don't try to sandwich it in between a scheduled event & leaving for home (or your next stop), like I did. And see Mesa Verde in Colorado, if you get the chance. These places aren't as well known as Yosemite or the Grand Canyon, but they're well worth a visit. I haven't been there (though I hope to go someday), but I also want to mention the Painted Desert--from everything I've read & the pictures I've seen, it's spectacular. Wherever you go, have a great time!

On a more somber note, be careful! Places like the Badlands can be dangerous. Take all necessary precautions; some of these places you shouldn't go by yourself. I actually knew someone who died when her car broke down in Death Valley. There's a reason they have names like that. Not that I want to bring you down or that I think you don't know any better--I just want to make sure you come back & visit us in New York!

In Season 7 did Buffy forgive Spike for the attempted rape? -- zombue, 11:08:47 09/27/03 Sat


[> I'd say yes. -- HonorH, 11:52:30 09/27/03 Sat

Certainly, there was a lot of tension at first and a lot of painful feelings on both sides. They seem to exorcise most of that in "Never Leave Me" when they have the first really frank talk about their relationship. After that, by her actions, Buffy demonstrates that not only has she forgiven him, but she trusts him. You don't trust someone you haven't forgiven. I'd say the ultimate watershed moment is in "Touched," when Buffy invites Spike to lie down with her, trusting him with her body again. I think, too, that the reason that was "the best night of (Spike's) life" is that he, for the first time, *knew* without a doubt that she'd forgiven him.

[> [> Yep. And is that daring or what? -- shambleau, 12:23:53 09/27/03 Sat

That's not exactly a rhetorical question, by the way. Crossing significant parts of your base and risking ideological excommunication is brave stuff. Or naive and foolhardy. Or completely wrong-headed. Major mileage variance at work here. Killing Tara, having Spike attempt a rape in the first place, and then having Buffy forgive him is driving on quarter-inch thick ice with a mack truck.

I admired the artistic moxie myself.

[> [> [> We actually have an answer to this question from one of the writers. -- ECH, 12:49:00 09/27/03 Sat

Jane E. said in a UK con. that Dawn was never able to forgive Spike because she didn't know or understand why it happened because she didn't know about the nature of their relationship. However, Buffy knew he didn't mean to hurt her and why it happened from the nature of their relationship, (ie the violent sex and the no means yes crap) which was why she was able to forgive him.

[> [> [> [> Dawn Unable to Forgive? -- Claudia, 15:19:14 09/30/03 Tue

If Dawn was unable to forgive Spike, why did she stopped acting hostile toward him by mid-Season 7 ("The Killer in Me")? And why didn't Buffy explain what really happen between her and Spike in Season 6?

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Dawn Unable to Forgive? -- Finn Mac Cool, 20:23:03 09/30/03 Tue

She wasn't really around Spike in the latter part of Season 7. As for why didn't Buffy explain, I have three words of explanation: Very. Awkward. Conversation.

Although, my personal opinion has always been that, because Dawn believed Spike to be good without a soul, the fact that he got one didn't mean as much to her as it did to Buffy.

[> [> [> [> Re: We actually have an answer to this question from one of the writers. -- Dlgood, 09:29:30 10/01/03 Wed

However, Buffy knew he didn't mean to hurt her and why it happened from the nature of their relationship, (ie the violent sex and the no means yes crap) which was why she was able to forgive him.
Just like, back in S3, Debbie was able to forgive Pete when he beat her repeatedly and told her he didn't mean to hurt her, and that it happened from the nature of their relationship.

Generally, rapists and abusers have an extremely high rate of relapse into violence.

Buffy does indeed allow Spike to hold her again, but it's notable that she does so at a time when she believes there is no one else she can trust, and also at a time when Spike verbally confirms that her friends aren't worthy of her.

While, in this specific case, it might work out for the best, "Debbies" who go back to their "Petes" are very often at risk of returned violence. And Spike does react violently to seeing Buffy bask in another man's presence. And Pete killed Debbie because her behavior wasn't to his liking.

I'm not entirely certain that Buffy has fully trusted Spike as much as some would like to believe. She allows him to touch her, but her comment "you have a problem with that word (no)" indicates that she may well still have some resentments that she's only putting aside because she's feeling so alienated. Just as we learned that William's mother's gentle rebuke of his smothering affection masked a deeper resentment as well.

Shes forgiven him and trusted him to an extent, but I hardly think she trusts him completely and fully.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: We actually have an answer to this question from one of the writers. -- ECH, 10:22:41 10/01/03 Wed

But, if she only let him touch her because she felt alienated in Touched, then why when she no longer felt alienated, by the time of Chosen, did she still want to cuddle with Spike?

[> [> [> [> [> Re: We actually have an answer to this question from one of the writers. -- Arethusa, 10:53:41 10/01/03 Wed

I don't exactly think we can say Debbie and Pete are analogous to Buffy and Spike. The power balance between the two couples is dramatically different-remember, Spike didn't rape Buffy because she's more powerful than he, and stopped him. Another reason is the difference between Debbie and Buffy emotionally. Debbie had the classic abused girl's mindset-he does it because he loves me, he can't help himself, it's my fault-and Buffy doesn't.

Spike's reaction to seeing Buffy with Angel was to glower and tape up a picture of Angel to punch. That does not support your implication that he is a continuing danger to Buffy. The following exchange occurs after, and as ECH notes, shows little evidence of continued animosity or danger of violence between the two:

(looks at the amulet, then at Spike) Angel said the amulet was meant to be worn by a champion.

Spike looks down, disappointed, but Buffy walks forward and hands it to him.

Been called a lot of things in my time.

(coyly) Faith still has my room.

Well, you're not staying here. You can't buy me off with shiny beads and sweet talk. You got Angel breath. I'm not gonna just let you whack me back and forth like a rubber ball. I've got my pride, you know.

I understand. (turns to walk away)

(cuts her off) Clearly you don't, 'cause the whole "having my pride" thing was just a smokescreen.

(sighs with relief) Oh, thank God.

I don't know what I would have done if you'd have gone up those stairs.

Later, Buffy and Spike are lying together on the cot, fully clothed. Spike has his arm around Buffy and she fondles his hand.

I do agree with your statement that we "would like to believe" colors our interpretation more than we realize, at times.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: We actually have an answer to this question from one of the writers. -- DLgood, 12:14:43 10/01/03 Wed

The power balance between the two couples is dramatically different-remember, Spike didn't rape Buffy because she's more powerful than he, and stopped him.
But, while it makes Buffy different from Debbie, it doesn't make Spike any different from Pete. Pete also knew it was wrong to hurt Debbie, yet he hurt her nevertheless, and promised not to do it again.

And yet, according to Jane E, "he (Spike) didn't mean to hurt her and why it happened from the nature of their relationship" is sufficient for Buffy to forgive and trust him. We'd already seen a case in S3, where that alone wasn't enough - yet Buffy's already advocating such to Dawn in "Him", episode 6 - a time when I would argue it's far too soon to make such pronouncements and to discern whether Spike had really distinguished himself from Pete at enough length to show he was worthy of such trust.

So yeah - I guess Buffy does trust Spike. And I suppose her relationship with Spike in S7 scenes appears far fluffier in the scripts than I framed it. Indeed, her snark about the word "no" aside, there's minimal even-handed examination on Buffy's part (after Him) over whether Spike is actually worth such trust. But - I would argue it's a trust based on wishful thinking (which fortunately panned out) and it makes Buffy a kinder person than most. But, I'm not certain her mindset as of Him, based upon what she's observed out of Spike to that point, is really all that removed in spirit from Debbie's attitude toward Pete. If Spike didn't mean to hurt her, he's got a soul now and knows it's wrong, and it happened because of how the relationship was, then it wasn't really Spike's fault that he sexually assaulted Buffy in her bathroom. So she can't hold it against him and has to forgive and accept him.

And but I certainly wouldn't advocate Buffy's as behavior for anyone to emulate should they be attacked. Spike in S7 makes for a nice story, but all too often, Pete is the reality.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: We actually have an answer to this question from one of the writers. -- Arethusa, 12:55:08 10/01/03 Wed

Pete continued abusing Debbie. Spike left the country to get a soul so he would never hurt her again. Therefore I tend to think they have different mind-sets regarding their reprehensible acts.

I draw a distinct line between souled and unsouled acts, based on Whedon's definition of a soul as moral compass. Buffy did the same thing with Spike that she did with Angel-forgive him for his acts while unsouled. Does giving Spike the benefit of the doubt imply a victim mind-set?* I'm not sure, although of course that can be and often is the case. The problem, perhaps, is that while Buffy knew she couldn't trust unsouled Spike, she didn't really know she could trust souled Spike. Based on her assessment of his character and his post-souled actions, she decided she could, a decision I accept.

Mostly, I guess, I base my view that Buffy isn't like Debbie based on what I've see of her behavior over the past seven years. Buffy is not a victim, not even for Spike. It is the basic premise of the show and is borne out by the vast majority of her actions.

I thorougly agree that one shouldn't base life decisions on a horror show. ;)

*(I would also consider it acceptable if Buffy did hold the attempted rape against him and refused to forgive him, since I don't think she has the obligation to feel emotions such as forgiveness and acceptance.)

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> That's a fair assessment -- Dlgood, 13:54:58 10/01/03 Wed

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: We actually have an answer to this question from one of the writers. -- ECH, 15:20:19 10/01/03 Wed

And but I certainly wouldn't advocate Buffy's as behavior for anyone to emulate should they be attacked. Spike in S7 makes for a nice story, but all too often, Pete is the reality.

I never have and never will use the soul/no soul excuse for the AR because it was not something that becoming a good person would fix. The problem with the AR as framed in SR is that it could just as easily be commited by a good person as it can be a bad or evil person. I have posted about this before, but suffice it to say I have had first hand experience with this can happen in a real confusing S & M relationship where the lines of consent become blurred.

However, I doubt very few Americans at all know anything about this kind of think or want to know. According to JM the scene was completely based on a female writer using sex because that is what she thought he wanted to get her boyfriend back. And, JM also said that he didn't think they thought it through how much different people see it as when its a man doing it. Basically, the writer in question was trying to go for an horrible event that I know all to well about. The problem is I don't think the average viewer knows much at all about it.

It isn't much of a problem at all at least in my case to forgive someone for attacking in that kind of way when you know they really did think you wanted it from your violent past experiences with that person, especially if that person feels at all bad about it. And, that was what I saw Marti going for in Villians when she had Buffy trust Spike to take care of Dawn and then be sad he left town in the exact next episode.

However, I think the writers got scared after the uproar about all of this and thought they had to recon Buffy's feelings about the AR in season 7. I thought Buffy's reaction to the AR was in character in Lessons and even most of BY, however after that point it was a freeking joke. Because, for the next 3 episodes they have Buffy more pissed at Spike then she was in Villians, Lessons, and BY before she learned he went off to the end of the world to get his soul back.

Basically, I think that female writer was going for something very bold, to show how something horrible like AR can happen from a violent confusing S & M relationship. However, what she was trying to go for was not something the vast majority of people have any awareness of leading to more then a few people seeing the events in SR As a stereotypical man wants girlfriend sexually, man tries to take her by force type of situation. In this case it is man is confused with what girlfriend wants, thinks she only wants violent sex from him, he tries to give it to her, it blows up and both of them feel badly about it. Which is pretty much the exact same situation as that female writer and her boyfriend and the same kind of situation I've been in when I was attacked by a girl I had been with for awhile.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Context of S&M -- Dlgood, 16:21:50 10/01/03 Wed

The problem with the AR as framed in SR is that it could just as easily be commited by a good person as it can be a bad or evil person. I have posted about this before, but suffice it to say I have had first hand experience with this can happen in a real confusing S & M relationship where the lines of consent become blurred.
Which would be wonderfully applicable if that Sexual Assault had occured back in the middle of the Season. When they were still having an S&M relationship.

But it occurred at the end, after she'd broken up with him two months prior, and had point blank rejected his sexual overtures on multiple occasions, telling him she didn't love him. On multiple occasions. So where's the current S&M relationship, except for in his head. It's not like they were fooling around and forgot the safety word.

What, pray tell, else is Buffy supposed to do to make Spike understand that he's not permitted inside her body no matter how much he wants to be there? She told him "No" for two months, and then she screamed "No" in that bathroom. And because Spike wanted her so much, he chose not to listen to all her "No's", waiting for *anything* he could construe as a yes. Because he didn't care to listen to what she was actually saying - unless it meant he could have her. She had to kick him all the way across the room to get him to stop.

I'm going to go out on a limb, and say that a good person would have listened to what she said for the past few months, and let her take a friggin' bath in peace.

Maybe we want to believe that Spike's a good guy, but his actions in SR pretty much invalidate that belief.

According to JM the scene was completely based on a female writer using sex because that is what she thought he wanted to get her boyfriend back.
Then perhaps, that female writer doesn't understand how odious her own actions were, and how terrible a thing sexual assault is - particularly if the entire experience is being framed from the perspective of the perpetrator. And framed as an apology for sexual assault.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Context of S&M -- ECH, 16:44:03 10/01/03 Wed

Well this could be the one thing were the soul helps things out.

Spike finally figured out that Buffy was using him in NLM when he says "you used me", Buffy responded by saying "you just figured that out", and he responded by saying "you told me of course, but I never understood it until now"

Thus, you can't say that soulless Spike knew or understood that Buffy didn't love him or want to be with him, however with a soul he figures that out.

This also brings up what Joss himself said about the AR in the NY Times that without a soul Spike couldn't tell the difference between their violent S and M dominance games and outright rape. But, he said with a soul comes a more adult understanding.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Context of S&M -- DLgood, 19:21:17 10/01/03 Wed

That's great - but Whedon also claimed that it was supposed to be a metaphor for the real world circumstances between rapists and their victims.

Whedon argued that rapists shouldn't be demonized, but his excuse is that Spike was a demon and therefore can't be held accountable? Spike's blameless for the rape because he could never have known better? Essentially then, Buffy has to forgive Spike not because he's earned it, and not because she's worked through her feelings - but because she's not allowed to not forgive him. How frustrating must that be, that with this soul she's not allowed to feel angry and indeed is expected to treat him with utmost charity for his plight. All despite having been the target of his attacks.

And again - Whedon has always talked about how his show is relevant because he has an iconic character and metaphor that can be applied to daily life. But Real Life rapists can't use the excuse that "they didn't know better at the time" and they can't run off to Africa to get a soul.

How terrible it must be, to be a real life woman in Buffy's position. To break up with your boyfriend in Real Life, only for him to refuse to listen to your demurrals of his continued affection, whether you are impolite or stern. Over the course of several months. And then, when you finally seem to be getting your life on track, to be violently assaulted because he wants your body and doesn't care that you don't want him. And then to be pressured to forgive him, because he "got a soul just for you" - knowing full well how awful a person you would have to be not to forgive him when he looks at you with such devotion and pathetic wounded pride. And to forever remember that, when you tried to be honest and kind, and tell him that you were not in love with him - he ignored and then violently assaulted you. And yet, to be forced by circumstances to have to depend upon him.

How absolutely terrifying must it be for a real life person stuck in Buffy's position. Without her superpowers. And to be told by Whedon that Buffy's situation for your own, that she is an icon, and that you should learn from what she went through in S7. As he's said in regards to forgiving Spike. How absolutely terrifying to have to deal with those circumstances.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: We actually have an answer to this question from one of the writers. -- DLgood, 12:15:45 10/01/03 Wed

The power balance between the two couples is dramatically different-remember, Spike didn't rape Buffy because she's more powerful than he, and stopped him.
But, while it makes Buffy different from Debbie, it doesn't make Spike any different from Pete. Pete also knew it was wrong to hurt Debbie, yet he hurt her nevertheless, and promised not to do it again.

And yet, according to Jane E, "he (Spike) didn't mean to hurt her and why it happened from the nature of their relationship" is sufficient for Buffy to forgive and trust him. We'd already seen a case in S3, where that alone wasn't enough - yet Buffy's already advocating such to Dawn in "Him", episode 6 - a time when I would argue it's far too soon to make such pronouncements and to discern whether Spike had really distinguished himself from Pete at enough length to show he was worthy of such trust.

So yeah - I guess Buffy does trust Spike. And I suppose her relationship with Spike in S7 scenes appears far fluffier in the scripts than I framed it. Indeed, her snark about the word "no" aside, there's minimal even-handed examination on Buffy's part (after Him) over whether Spike is actually worth such trust. But - I would argue it's a trust based on wishful thinking (which fortunately panned out) and it makes Buffy a kinder person than most. But, I'm not certain her mindset as of Him, based upon what she's observed out of Spike to that point, is really all that removed in spirit from Debbie's attitude toward Pete. If Spike didn't mean to hurt her, he's got a soul now and knows it's wrong, and it happened because of how the relationship was, then it wasn't really Spike's fault that he sexually assaulted Buffy in her bathroom. So she can't hold it against him and has to forgive and accept him.

And but I certainly wouldn't advocate Buffy's as behavior for anyone to emulate should they be attacked - even if I do happen to find Spike likeable and sympathetic. Spike in S7 makes for a nice story, but all too often, Pete is the reality.

[> [> [> Re: Yep. And is that daring or what? -- Claudia, 15:13:09 09/30/03 Tue

[That's not exactly a rhetorical question, by the way. Crossing significant parts of your base and risking ideological excommunication is brave stuff. Or naive and foolhardy. Or completely wrong-headed. Major mileage variance at work here. Killing Tara, having Spike attempt a rape in the first place, and then having Buffy forgive him is driving on quarter-inch thick ice with a mack truck.]

Considering that Buffy had wronged Spike himself, why are you that surprised?

'Primeval' Query -- Finn Mac Cool, 16:29:23 09/27/03 Sat

"You can't comprehend the source of our power," said Uber-Buffy, "but yours is right here."

What did Buffy mean when she said this, and who is the "our" referring to? Most of the interpretations I've seen on this scene go along the line that Buffy was referring to the powers of the Slayer, and how the powers of magic could never be grasped by the technology based Adam. But what if "our power" didn't mean the power of the Slayers, but the power of the four people in Buffy's body: Buffy, Giles, Willow, and Xander? What if the power Adam couldn't understand wasn't magic but the bond of friendship that held these four people together? Any thoughts?


[> Re: 'Primeval' Query -- Rook, 17:07:34 09/27/03 Sat

"But what if "our power" didn't mean the power of the Slayers, but the power of the four people in Buffy's body: Buffy, Giles, Willow, and Xander? What if the power Adam couldn't understand wasn't magic but the bond of friendship that held these four people together? Any thoughts?"

This is what I've alway assumed, not the "Power of the Slayers" thing. Especially considering the heavy emphasis of the scoob's friendship in TYF.

[> [> Re: 'Primeval' Query -- OnM, 20:28:25 09/27/03 Sat

I suppose that I could be accused of merely hedging my bets by saying this, but I honestly think that it was an 'all of the above' situation, and that multi-layered interpretation is what Joss intended.

The spell, as I understand it, called upon the power of the first Slayer, and all of the Slayers who followed her down through history. So on the first hand, the mystically enhanced Buffy was momentarily the avatar of the entire Slayer line.

On the second hand, there is the emotional and spiritual strength gained by the merging of powers of a different sort, namely the bond between Buffy and her friends. As an individual, Buffy fights not merely to hold back the forces of evil because it is 'her job' (which the merging of the Slayer line would represent) but because she identifies serving the cause of good with the welfare and safety of her friends (and by metaphorical extension the rest of humanity).

On the third hand, we now have to take into consideration the change in the Buffyverse enacted in Chosen, which mirrors or balances what the Primeval spell did in gathering the power of the Slayers collectively into Buffy. In Chosen, Buffy's reverses that 'magic' by taking the collective power of the Slayer line (apparently stored mystically within the Scythe) and spreading it out among all the potential Slayers in the world. Once again, Buffy's friends play a crucial role in this process, using Buffy as the focal point, or 'the hand'.

( Here's a thought-- For every Slayer that lived and died throughout history, was another potential gained? Did the number of Slayers enabled in Chosen equal the number of Slayers who have ever lived? I know there's no real evidence for this, but hey! It could happen! )

Some viewers have commented that the appearance of the Scythe was not adequately foreshadowed, but perhaps it was--we just didn't recognize it at the time. The primal power that the Scythe holds might very well be the same power used in the conjoining spell of Primeval, just accessed via a different route.

In any event, Adam would have been clueless to any of these variants. Adam understood magic, but to him it was just another tool, like the human sciences of math or physics. Adam wanted to build a race of entities like himself, but his sense of 'community' had more to do with creating an engine for generating chaos than fellowship.

That's kinda my take.

[> [> [> I think it's a pretty good take on it ! -- jane, 20:43:39 09/27/03 Sat

[> [> [> I agree -- Rufus, 20:59:14 09/27/03 Sat

Season four dealt with power and the forms it comes in. It also gave a solution to dealing with the power that had gone out of control because of the intent of the user. The military was a power that was only as good as those giving the orders. As Maggie Walsh was given too much control over her project there were no checks on what she was up to. Power for Maggie meant the biggest "hand" wins. Adam is the result of power combined from human and demon sources but missing the "heart" that came from authentic human relations and the capacity to love. Adam was very powerful in a physical sense but in the end his power was easily plucked from his chest from the "hand", Buffy under the influence of the joining spell. This fits in well with Chosen as Buffy finally gets it, finally realizes that the source of her power had been around her all along. "Our" power was the joining of the Slayer and her friends, in Chosen the "our" was the Slayer power shared and combined with the human element that the Slayers had been created to protect. The Slayers had been seperated from humanity for far too long resulting in the Slayers that had become nothing more than the "hand" that was used by another instead of being part of a whole that is more powerful because of the value each part gives the other.

[> [> [> [> Power? -- Darby, 07:45:48 09/28/03 Sun

I would have said that the theme of Season Four was Belonging (or not belonging).

Buffy's arc starts with her very much not belonging on campus. She no longer belongs to Angel, then she belongs - but doesn't - to Parker, then she belongs maybe a bit too much to Riley (who has his own belonging arc). She belongs in the Initiative, but doesn't. She belongs with her friends, but separates from them.

Xander no longer belongs completely to the group, as his experiences draw him in different directions.

Giles has no place to belong to through the season.

Anya becomes an appendage to Xander, she belongs so strongly.

Spike is no longer in the realm of the Big Bads, but can't belong to the good guys, either.

Maggie Walsh - who knows? But Lindsay Crouse did not belong on a show run by Joss.

Willow - who knows where that was going when Seth Green left? - But Oz's "belonging" mini-arc was obvious.

Adam was the ultimate non-belonger. Even Forrest and Harmony can be seen to have similar arcs.

And think of some of the subtexts - and texts - of Restless. This segued into Season Five, where the roles of who belonged where (except for Riley) settled out, but the question of Who Are You, Anyway? arose.

Of course, it could have been about power, too - it's All About Power.

[> [> [> [> [> Freedom vs. Captivity? -- Nino, 12:21:52 09/28/03 Sun

I always thought that season 4 paralled the "freedom" of college with the "captivity" of the demons in the Initiative. It was a look at what it really means to have freedom...are we really free when we are on our own, or are we more free in the context of a community? What are the constraints of being a loner, and what are the constraints of being a member of a group...what holds us back, and what lets us grow...

[> [> [> On the Scythe and power... -- Sofdog, 00:07:58 09/28/03 Sun

It hadn't occured to me until reading OnM's post. Just how the Scythe figured in calling all the Potentials made no sense until I read: "...the collective power of the Slayer line (apparently stored mystically within the Scythe)..."

I think the Scythe was foreshadowed in "Get it Done" when Willow and Anya said that you can't just cast a spell, you need a catalyst to channel power. The Scythe was the catalyst by which the Slayer's could be activated. Of course, we aren't told what spell Willow is casting, only that it goes beyond anything she's ever done. (Not surprising that beyond the pure darkness she has wielded lies a benevolent "white" magic. It sort of metaphorizes "evil is easy; good is hard.")

I think the Scythe simply had the power to serve as a catalyst for such a powerful spell.

And I have long loved "Primeval." Action-packed and Buffy's killer lines. "We can. We are forever." - "YOU can never hope to grasp the source of our power!"

[> [> [> [> Talisman = Catalyst -- OnM, 09:47:47 09/28/03 Sun

Joss often 'bookends' the season beginning and ending eps, in some fashion or another. Near the end of the S7 opener, Buffy solemnly intones (to Dawn, who represents 'the future') that "There is always a talisman".

It seems logical to me that the Scythe is that talisman, but the word catalyst would be a reasonable synonym. My own take on Chosen is that the Scythe is an incomplete talisman/catalyst by itself-- it requires a special human component to make its mystical potential available (kinda like epoxy?).

What is so interesting to me with this concept is that Willow is the one to channel the Scythe's power, even though when she holds it, she 'feels nothing', unlike Buffy (or Faith) who feels 'that it's mine'.

So, as we have been told, 'everything is connected'. The entire mystical energy of the Slayer line connects to the Scythe, which in turn connects to Buffy, who in turn connects to Willow. This suggests again that Buffy is a human talisman. (Living mystical energy, like Dawn/The Key, molded into human form? -- "The monks made her out of me.")

And who appears in the final shot of the opening episode?

Power, indeed.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Talisman = Catalyst -- Sofdog, 11:58:06 09/28/03 Sun

"There is always a talisman"

Yes! I forgot about that one.

[> [> [> Equating Batteries to 'Heart'... -- Briar, 00:44:05 09/30/03 Tue

Simply my observation, since Primeval has to be my favorite ep of all the seasons combined,(this is saying something because season 4 as a whole was one of my least favorite seasons...) I have considered this ep again and again from many different angles and I tend to go toward that particular line as being "our power" is the heart of the human and especially the human that dares to do what is right.

When I think of "having heart" I think of the power of love in all it's forms. The love of the righteous to give their lives to uphold basic principles of right. The human need to give and recieve love with other living beings, satient and non-satient alike. The ability to express compassion and passion for ideas, theologies and abstract concepts (freedom, art and spiritual pursuits come to mind readily) that causes the "heart" to become totally involved in the experience and moves one to FEEL these things on a deeper level.

Adam was incapable of "heart" because he was created as a machine. His compassion and passion were stunted by the lack of the essence the human language refers to as "having heart"; the ability to be moved, to feel emotion and to use that emotion to propel action.

We saw the "heart" of Adam as it could best discribed when he came to life: He killed his "Mother" whom he "loved" and moved on to try and kill his "Brother" (Riley) whom he also said he loved. No compassion or passion was evident in his emotional make up. Feelings were pretty foreign to his mind, other than some major forms of pain and fear. This put him lower than almost all life forms as even plants can feel pain and fear. Many can obviously feel loyalty, and probably love even if they are termed as "non-human" in human language. Not so Adam.

Adam had no "power" as the combined essences of Willow's spell invoked. He couldn't understand the power they were using because he didn't have the capability of accessing "heart" such as the humans battling him could.

In the comparison between Adam's "Source of Power" at which point she pulls out his battery pack and chip, which the Dr. Frankenstein-ess placed within him to serve as his "heart" to the infinite capacity of "Source of Power" (for lack of a better concept I tend to use Universal Love to define it) combined through Willow's ritual of immersion always spoke to me of the true meanings of "heart" as I already illustrated.

So when the entity Buffy was channeling chose the words, "You can not understand our Power..." it was a literal reference to the fact that Adam was not a living being with "heart" so she pulled his pathetic facsimile out and thus proved that "heart" is a thing made up of more than just a pumping system. It is a balance of body, spirit and mind.

At least this is how I've come to see it and why I love this ep so much. The themes speak directly to the one part of the human existance Whedon and his writers did best: What you do with your power is more important than the source of that power. And nothing that is alive can escape making that choice.

[> correcting the quote, preserving the pun -- anom, 23:02:10 09/27/03 Sat

"'You can't comprehend the source of our power,' said Uber-Buffy, 'but yours is right here.'"

That's not quite right. The actual line is, "You could never hope to grasp the source of our power" (according to the transcript at "Buffy vs Angel"; I didn't remember it exactly right either). Then, as she says the next part, "But yours is right here," she reaches right inside Adam and...grasps it. Sorry to correct you in front of everyone, but as Master of Pun Fu I gotta give the writers props for that one.

As for your actual question, I agree w/OnM: no reason it can't be both of the above. And even a 3rd--that Adam can't understand the origin of the Slayer power. Not too surprising--after Get It Done, a lot of viewers didn't really understand it either! But that's what I thought it meant when I 1st saw Primeval.

And I just want to say I really like both OnM's & Rufus' ideas on this.

OT: Christian Kane in 'Secondhand Lions' -- HonorH, 21:57:25 09/27/03 Sat

He has quite the fun role in this movie, playing the young version of Robert Duvall's character. He gets to ride on horseback and do a lot of swordfighting and romance the girl. However, not much speaking--Caine's character narrates the flashbacks we see him in, so even when you do see him speak, you hear Michael Caine. Except once. Ahh, that sweet little drawl!

Other good things for genre freaks: Anthony DeLongis ("Highlander: the Series") is the swordmaster, which means the swordfights are rather beautiful. Also, the trailer for Return of the King is attached, and it's gaw-geous!! Oh, you *have* to see it on the big screen! I was swooning!


[> Re: OT: Christian Kane in 'Secondhand Lions' -- Cheryl, 16:51:03 09/28/03 Sun

I've been looking forward to seeing this movie, mainly because he's in it. After reading your post, now I'm *really* looking forward to seeing it.

I recently watched the second season of Angel for the first time, and Dead End has to be my favorite episode so far. I really enjoyed Christian's singing so I had to see if he has a CD out - which he does. I just ordered it and can't wait for it to arrive ( The snippets on the website sounded pretty good. His group, Kane, is country-rock, which I love.

Also, just had to rent Summer Catch again once I discovered that he's in it. It was kind of weird to see him and Marc Blucas together, considering CK also auditioned for the Riley role.

What other movies has he been in that people would recommend? I know he was in something with Angelie Jolie, but I'm not a big fan of hers - is it worth renting?

[> [> Re: OT: Christian Kane in 'Secondhand Lions' -- Rendyl, 06:21:37 09/29/03 Mon

He is in 'Crossfire Trail' (a Louis L'Amour western) with Tom Selleck and Virginia Madsen. Simon Wincer ('Lonesome Dove') directed and Selleck produced.

Christian does a great job in it. (but then I like westerns and I like CK-grin)


[> [> [> Thanks! -- Cheryl, 08:46:15 09/29/03 Mon

I'm a big western fan myself, so I'll just have to rent that one.

UK's Channel 4 100 Greatest musicals -- DP, 08:11:17 09/28/03 Sun

Didnt know if you guys had seen this or not -

Check out number 12 on the list!

Happy Voting!


[> No Fair, no fair! This list is a fixed list! -- Vickie, 19:57:51 09/28/03 Sun

A list of the 100 greatest musicals without Les Miserables on the candidate list! Sacrilege!

[> [> Or maybe V is just blind? -- Vickie, 20:00:46 09/28/03 Sun

[> [> Suprisingly little Sondheim though -- Tyreseus, 12:56:36 09/29/03 Mon

If I felt like dialing oversees, I'd tell 'em to include Sweeney Todd, Company, Into the Woods and A Little Night Music.

[> [> [> Re: Suprisingly little Sondheim though -- angel's nibblet, 03:40:59 10/01/03 Wed

im pretty sure A Little Night Music was on that list....

Classic Movie of the Week - September 28th 2003 -- OnM, 20:06:27 09/28/03 Sun


The administration of the law can never go lax where every individual sees to it that it grows not lax in his own
case, or in cases which fall under his eyes.

............ Mark Twain


1st Teacher: "I've only been trying to get across part of the complexity of our situation down here.
Cultures coming together in both negative and positive ways."

Angry Parent: "If you're talkin' about food and music and all, I have no problem with that. But if you start
changing who did what to whom, then..."

2nd Teacher: "We're not changing anything-- we're just trying to present a more complete picture!"

Angry Parent: "And that's what's got to stop!!"

............ from this week's film


It doesn't matter what you believe, as long as you're sincere.

............ Linus Van Pelt


It is a wise child that knows its own father, and an unusual one that unreservedly approves of him.

............ ( that Mark Twain guy again )


It's the opinion of my boss that my fascination with many things computerish stems entirely from the fact that I am
a technically-minded kind of person, and I have never been able to convince him otherwise. I've given up trying,
because over the past ten years or so of my life I have become convinced that you simply can't change some
people's minds about some things, no matter the level of effort that you expend in the attempt. While a time may
one day come when the convincee gains a relevatory moment, it has to be something completely self-engendered.
The reasons for this are many, I would suspect, but mostly I think it's because it's incredibly difficult to free
oneself from the restrictions imposed by personal experience and the inherent physical mindset you got DNA'd
with at birth.

My boss's interpretation of my way of thinking wouldn't be terribly relevant except that it gives him 'valid'
reasons to dismiss something which he doesn't see as important, and which of course I do. What I see as an
excellent potential way to increase the income of his business (and therefore my income) he sees as simply
a toy for me to entertain myself with, using the 'increased income' aspect as an excuse and not a legitimate
reason. In short, while he intellectually recognizes the business potential of computers, he places no real value on
my opinions regarding said technology because he can't seperate what he thinks I think from
what I actually do think.

There is no solution to this dilemma, because sometimes, like when the doctor taps you with the little hammer to
check your reflexes, your knee just goes and jerks of its own accord. You have to accept or reject, and that calls
for a yet another balancing act to be performed, since if you always pick the my-way-or-the-highway
mode of life travels, you'll ultimately end up either in a position of great wealth and power, or drowned in abject
bitterness. Personally I could really go for the wealth and power thing, but then you need to have the type of
personality that makes people love you no matter what kind of a miserable little shit you really are, and I ain't got
that rare and pernicious major mojo workin' for me.

So, my life is full of compromises, as is the life of most terminally average folk, and I (mostly) have learned to live
with that, having checked out the alternatives and found them less than ethically desirable. One of the things that
both helps and hurts me is that I seem to have been gifted (or cursed) with the ability to consider multiple sides of
a divisive or debatable issue and garner an understanding of both. There are exceptions to this, naturally-- cell
phone abuse comes to mind, since I'm of the opinion that the death penalty is severely underused in these cases--
but pretty much I can relate to both sides of most arguments as long as there is some valid logic or even sincere
emotion being applied.

Thus, even though my boss is flat-out wrong in this instance, I understand where he is coming from. The fact of
the matter is that I am not the typical computer geek, and am even less and less so as time goes on. Awhile back
I somehow managed to incur the Wrath of Windows (which I think involves turning one's head to one side while
simultaneously breathing) and ended up with a totally deleted printer port (that's right, the port itself, not
just the driver!) while trying to install a new printer. I wasn't even aware that such a thing was possible! After
several frustrating hours of effort trying to get my port back, I posted to the board in hopes of getting some aid
from someone more computer-tech-savvy then moi. One respondent sorta half-kiddingly wondered how come I
couldn't solve this problem myself, me being an electronics technician by trade and all.

The short answer was, I am an audio tech, not a computer tech. I understand amplifiers and turntables
and tape decks and things, which is difficult enough. I don't have the time to pursue amassing the required
knowledge to grok PC's at the same level. Furthermore, my interest in machines and technology is a casual, not
an obsessive one, sort of an extension of my natural curiousity as to how anything works, people and
gods included. I got into audio as a hobby because I loved music, and audio was the hardware that made the
software happen. The same is now true about video-- what serves the movies (and selected TV shows) serves
my interests, I really have little interest in the technology beyond that demarcation. I want the picture to look
good, the set to be reliable, and that's about it. I want it to serve the art I desire to involve myself with, because
that's what satisfies my soul.

What I love about computers that makes putting up with all their crap worthwhile is that they provide a unique
connection to other people in the world who enjoy the same things that I do. What I love about them is that they
effortlessly connect me to the world's biggest library. What I love about them is that they are interactive, and not
passive machines. This is part of my boss's problem with computers, in that to him they should be just like a
telephone or an adding machine-- you press a button, and something predictably (and simply) happens. Of
course, what computer actually does this? Even my old Commodore 128 didn't do that, it had it's own wacky
proclivities even with only 2Mhz and 8 bits to get by with. Computers in the modern age are a lot like actual
human beings-- simultaneously amazing and inept, brilliant and idiotic, creative and insipid.

Segueing into the subject matter of a post I recently responded to, computers are a sort of talisman, when you
think about it, or maybe a catalyst, or maybe something else we don't have a word for yet. But they can't begin
to replace people, just the same as a changeover from, say, film to digital video shouldn't change what counts
about the movies-- the stories that they have to tell.

And among the many fine storytellers of the modern age of cinema, one who consistently rocks with your humble
movie man is none other than John Sayles, who wrote, directed and edited this weeks' amazing Classic Movie,
Lone Star.

Lone Star is typical of Sayles' films in that it is as much character driven as plot driven, perhaps even
more so. Sayles is obviously fascinated by people, and how they interact with one another in day-to-day life
situations. Even in his efforts with fantasy situations, such as his equally classic flick The Brother from Another
, intelligent dialog rules the roost, with naturalistic language and speech patterns that nevertheless aren't
tiresome or boring. Sayles' films excel at portraying the difficulties that real people have to deal with during the
course of their lives, and how these experiences change them for better or for worse. Sayles is one of those rare
filmmakers who works almost entirely outside the Hollywood mainstream, but is still highly respected by it. Like
Joss, Sayles also has an eye for picking talented actors whose names may not (yet) be household words but who
are extremely skilled at their craft, and a great innate sensibility regarding both visual and sound images. (One of
the artistic/technical highlights of Lone Star is the way the flashbacks to earlier times are handled in a
seamless manner, with the camera panning as opposed to the standard cut or fade. You have to see it to
understand it, I think, it's hard to describe, but it's a wonderfully evocative and graceful technique.)

Lone Star opens with a stationary camera shot of a desert region in Texas, then as the camera slowly
pans rightward we come upon two men, one in the foreground who is holding a booklet that seems to be a guide
to desert flora, and the other off more in the background, sweeping a metal detector over the desert floor. After a
little initial banter between the two (the foreground man is telling his friend that "If you're going to live in an area,
you should try to know something about it."), the man with the metal detector calls out. We see that what has
caught his attention is an obviously human skull half buried in the sand. Cut to the credits, and then we return to
see a police car pulling up to the scene of 'the crime'. A man emerges who we will soon learn is named Sam
Deeds (Chris Cooper), and he's the Sheriff in these parts. He is also the son of one Sheriff Buddy Deeds, who
died several years ago. Buddy Deeds is a virtual legend in the county of Rio, so much so that in just a few days
after we first meet his son Sam, we find that a local building is going to be named for him complete with a
generously-sized memorial plaque at the entrance area.

Like many sons, Sam has mixed feelings about his father, although it takes almost the entire length of the film
before we begin to find out why. Sayles studiously avoids providing us with more than a hint here and a clue
there, not so much for the purpose of building suspense (although that works) but to metaphorically relate that in
real life the reasons people hold for their feelings are often nebulous and unclear even to themselves. In Sam's
case, the earliest clue is also the most obvious one-- about ten or so minutes into the movie, it is revealed that he
has been Sheriff for only about two years now, and was elected more for his name than for any basic belief in his
own law-enforcement abilities.

A large part of what makes Sam uneasy about his famous father must relate to his heroic status, and this concept
is paralleled with several other characters in the film. We have Colonel Delmore Payne (Joe Morton), who has
been estranged from his father, Otis Payne (Ron Canada), for several decades. He in turn has a son, Chet (Eddie
Robinson) who is not exactly happy about his father's plans to have him enter a military career. By the end of the
film, all of these characters have shifted their viewpoints in new and different directions, but the changes come
about logically as each character gains new insights about themselves.

A forensic examination reveals that the skeleton discovered in the desert turns out to be that of a man named
Charlie Wade (Kris Kristofferson), who was Rio County Sheriff back when Buddy Deeds was still very young
and newly returned from the conflict in Korea. Deeds signed up for a job in the Sheriff's department, and was
made a new deputy to Wade. Sheriff Wade was a lawman whose idea of the law was something that existed to
serve his personal interests above all else, and he was greatly despised by most of the local residents. A virulent
racist, he would regularly manipulate the Mexicans or African-Americans in the region into situations where he
could terrorize or even kill them, but in such a way as to make the law always come out 'on his side'. Those
individuals who were lucky or clever enough to realize what was happening before things got that far along still
ended up paying Wade off with substantial parts of their earnings in order to avoid future 'problems'.

Then one day, Wade instructs Buddy to become the regular pickup man for one particular business he's extorting
funds from, and Buddy flat out refuses. Wade is first baffled, then quietly becomes enraged that one of 'his own
men' would engage in such a traitorous act. Buddy doesn't back down, however, and death threats are ultimately
exchanged between the two men-- or at least that's the local legend. Wade disappears only one day later (to no
one's regret) and while it is tacitly assumed that Buddy made good on his promise, there is no proof, and Buddy
begins his new tenure as a proto-heroic figure in Rio.

So Sam must deal with the possibility that his father murdered Sheriff Wade, an idea that he often seems more
willing to embrace than to reject, as we might expect him to. Perversely, Sam's father's seeming perfection in the
eyes of the locals-- whites, blacks, Mexicans, everyone-- grates at him. On the surface, his ardent campaign to
solve the mystery of who killed Charlie Wade is just him doing his job in clearing up a decades-old unsolved
crime, but several of his friends suspect that the emotions involved run far deeper and that 'doing the job' is an
excuse, not a reason.

Meanwhile, the other interlinking stories in Lone Star are unfolding also. Almost everyone in the film is
connected in some way or another to everyone else, as long as we are patient enough for the nature of the
connections to be revealed. In addition to the male characters and their issues, there are several female characters
with theirs. A woman named Pilar Cruz (Elizabeth Peña), who as a teenager was in love with Sam, is now a
teacher at the local high school. Her husband passed away just a short time ago, and a chance meeting with Sam
causes many of her old feelings for him to return. The feeling is very much mutual, and Sam realizes that the
circumstances that forced their previous breakup-- the disapproval of their parents for supposedly racial
reasons-- no longer apply now that they are both adults and unattached to others.

Far easier said then done, of course. Pilar's mother Mercedes (Miriam Colon) is still very edgy about her
daughter getting involved again with Sam, and we get a sense that something beyond the ethnic 'mixing' is a
serious subtext here, but once more there are no immediate answers provided. Mercedes is the owner of a highly
successful Mexican resturant in town, and appears to be the poster woman for the melting pot concept of
immigration-- ready at a moment's notice to inform the relevant authorities of 'illegals' she finds entering the area,
and constantly pestering a young Mexican man she employs to "Speak English! This is the United States!" every
time he slips back into his native tongue. She was one of those who suffered under the reign of Charlie Wade, so
to her Buddy Deeds was a major mensch, anglo or not. Why then does she 'mistrust' Sam, Buddy's son?

This film runs easily over two hours, but never seems long because all of the stories it tells are so compelling and
realistic. We do eventually find out who killed Sheriff Wade, but that isn't the end point of the film, because--
well, because that isn't the real end of the story, which isn't about finding out whodunnit.

Lone Star is billed as a 'mystery', and while indeed it contains one obvious 'alpha'conundrum, what we
think we're trying to solve is a more like a decoy, or at least not as ultimately intriguing as the many more 'beta'
or even 'micro' mysteries that make their presence felt over the course of time. Despite the surprising twist that it
reveals, the ending in particular ever so quietly sums up the common themes of the film, both ending and beginning
a meditation on how people from radically different backgrounds and sets of experiences can find commonality
and a sense of united purpose.

Just like it says-- 'From many, One', be it films, philosophies or people.

E. Pluribus Cinema, Unum,



Technically we're all brothers and sisters from another planet:

Lone Star is available on DVD, the review copy was on laserdisc. The film was released in 1996 and the
run time is 2 hours and 15 minutes. The original cinematic aspect ratio is 2.35:1, which is preserved on the
laserdisc version and presumably also on the DVD.

Writing credits go to the director, John Sayles. The film was produced by Jan Foster, R. Paul Miller, Maggie
Renzi and John Sloss. Cinematography was by Stuart Dryburgh, with film editing by John Sayles. Production
design was by Dan Bishop with art direction by J. Kyler Black, set decoration by Dianna Freas, and costume
design by Shay Cunliffe. Original music was by Mason Daring. The original theatrical sound mix was in Dolby

Cast overview:

Chris Cooper .... Sheriff Sam Deeds
Elizabeth Peña .... Pilar Cruz
Clifton James .... Mayor Hollis Pogue
Kris Kristofferson .... Sheriff Charlie Wade
Matthew McConaughey .... Buddy Deeds
Miriam Colon .... Mercedes Cruz
Ron Canada .... Otis Payne
Joe Morton .... Colonel Delmore Payne
Eddie Robinson .... Chet Payne
Joe Stevens .... Deputy Travis
Stephen Mendillo .... Sgt. Cliff
Stephen J. Lang .... Sgt. Mikey
LaTanya Richardson .... Sgt. Priscilla Worth
Chandra Wilson .... Pvt. Athena Johnson
Oni Faida Lampley .... Celie
Eleese Lester .... Molly
Gonzalo Castillo .... Amado
Richard Coca .... Enrique
Tony Frank .... Fenton
Frances McDormand .... Bunny
Gordon Tootoosis .... Wesley Birdsong


Miscellaneous Department:

John Sayles was born on September 28th, 1950 in Schenectady, New York, which makes him just a few years
older than me, except he's directed a lot more films than I have during that time. Casa de Los Babys, his
newest, should be out sometime very soon. His previous films would be the following ones:

Sunshine State (2002)
Limbo (1999)
Men with Guns (1997)
Lone Star (1996)
Secret of Roan Inish, The (1994)
Passion Fish (1992)
City of Hope (1991)
Eight Men Out (1988)
Matewan (1987)
Brother from Another Planet, The (1984)
Baby, It's You (1983)
Lianna (1983)
Return of the Secaucus 7 (1980)

I haven't seen anything Sayles has done after Lone Star, but I've seen the vast majority of the ones
before, and there's not a loser in the bunch. Brother from Another Planet, Matewan, Passion Fish and
Roan Inish are faves, but like I said-- no losers, which is a truly remarkable feat. Not even Kubrick or
Speilberg holds a record like that. Woody Allen might have, but that was then, and sadly not now. Sayles is a
prolific writer, and has written screenplays for a quite a lot of other films and TV productions, so visit the IMDb if
you're curious as to the rest of his ouevre.


The Question of the Week:

OK, earlier this week we were talking about the layers of possible meanings to the conjoining spell in
Primeval. The following question is in a related vein, but assumes that you have seen this week's flick:

How many different meanings can you think of for the title Lone Star as it applies to the movie?

Elaborate as to whether you think these meanings are direct or ironic in nature, and of course bonus points (which
are not like green stanps and aren't redeemable for anything except a sense of personal satisfaction for a job well
done) for all posited similarities to our Buffster and her pals.

Once again, thanks for visiting my brain, and please close the door softly on the way out, because something
might shake loose if you slam it. I have just one more film to go here in 'theme month', and then that will wrap up
this session of Classic Movie of the Week for a while. As you all are certainly aware, the season premiere of
Angel awaits us this Wednesday night (at least here in the States), and I'm looking forward to getting
back (which may be like "put the seat back forward") to All Things Philosophical in the Angelverse.

Post 'em if you've got 'em, and I'll see you Wednesday night. Oh, and next week too.

Take care!



[> Re: Classic Movie of the Week - September 28th 2003 -- Rendyl, 11:06:46 09/29/03 Mon

Once more OnM has made me cry. (okay, so maybe 'cry' is a bit much, 'whine' would be a better word.) He reminds us all that "Angel" premieres this Wed night. Which is all well and good OnM except the installation guy for our new satellite dish won't be here until THURSDAY...Aghhh.

(insert much whining and moaning)- okay, done now.

I haven't seen "Lone Star" but after reading your review and some of the comments by the director I think it will be our next rental. (it helps that I can tell my hubby, 'hey, it is a Kristofferson movie)

Answer to the QotW --

Lone Star is also (she says, blushing) a beer. There is even a song about it, 'Lone Star Beer and Bob Wills Music'. (Red Steagall w/Sonny Garrish on the steel guitar-grin)

Okay,okay...there are several songs about it. (Apparently the 'Swing guys liked Lone Star beer.) And yes this fits.

Sayles talks about the movie being about borders. Not just the actual one but also emotional, physical, racial, etc borders between people. Beer tends to either break down borders or reinforce them.

(Yes, it is reaching but at the very least it will keep OnM's review up till people who have seen the movie can comment.)

Ren - pity me for I have no Angel until next week -

[> Lone Star -- mamcu, 12:05:03 09/29/03 Mon

Actually I really want to underline eveything OnM said about the brilliance of John Sayles. It doesn't hurt that he sees the world the way I do, but I can't decide whether I admire more his wise artistic choices--see OnM's comments on the flashbacks and casting (and perhaps I'm alone, but I really loved the use of languages and the shifting levels of reality in Men with Guns)---or the fact that he manages to remain morally clear and committed without being simplistic.

But to try the questions:

Lone Star is

A sheriff's badge
A single star, either in the sky or in the movie
somebody who lends a lot of money?
a star only on loan?
A badge on lone?
The possibility that only one of the sheriff's badge's was valid
a lonester?

[> [> Re: Lone Star is also a one act play -- Brian, 13:49:25 09/29/03 Mon

[> John Sayles. [fangirl sigh] -- Ponygirl, 12:39:32 09/29/03 Mon

I do so love John Sayles. He's unique among filmmakers in that his movies are informed entirely by place. He seems to find an area or region that interests him, researches it and lets the story come to him.

It's been a while since I've seen Lone Star so I won't speculate on the meanings of the title. I do believe that the film suggests that while the past informs our actions and who we are, we cannot allow it to trap us. "Forget the Alamo" is a line that's at the end of the film and I think in that there's a hope for the future, the same hope at the end of Chosen. That sometimes history needs to be forgotten and something new allowed to emerge.

[> [> Except in Sunshine State -- mamcu, 11:12:48 09/30/03 Tue

I really agree about the importance of place in his work, and about the past in many of his movies. But Sunshine State (about Florida developers) seems to be partly about what happens when you dump the past and try to bury it with a trashy future.

[> Re: Classic Movie of the Week - September 28th 2003 -- Arethusa, 18:00:14 09/29/03 Mon

As mamcu says, Texas is the Lone Star State. There is one lone star on the Texas flag; it is said that the lone star represents Texas' independence from the United States and Mexico. That's a very interesting quote about borders; the border between the Rio Grande Valley and Mexico is the difference between life and death for so many people. It represents two very different cultures, but there is so much traffic between the two, both physically and culturally. The borders in the movie show that no matter hows much you seem to know someone, how close you might be, there's a border there that often can't be crossed. It might be ethnicity or race, culture or religion, law or transgressor, or just the gulf between two people who want to love each other. Another theme of Sayles' films seems to be when two opposites meet and clash, whether it's the past and present (Return of the Secaucus Seven), labor and management and immigrant and native (Matewan) or alien and human (Brother from Another Planet). Or even civilisation and undeniably wild nature (Alligator, a hoot of a horror film Sayles wrote).

And that takes us to the Buffyverse, where armies clash by night. Sam and Pilar might be Buffy and Spike, kept apart by a bridge that Sam, at least, can't let himself cross because it violates everything he believes in. Rahael wrote of the liminal space the slayer occupies, between dark and light, good and evil, living and dead. The borderlands between the characters in the movie also keep them apart. Can they be broken down? Should they be?

[> Re: Classic Movie of the Week - September 28th 2003 -- sdev, 22:50:32 09/29/03 Mon

Great review of a wonderful movie. Add me to the Sayles fan list. Loved the ones you mentioned except haven't seen Brother From Another Planet. Haven't seen this film in a long while.

I always thought the Lone Star was the sheriff's badge but it could also be the lone star of this movie, acting against the tide of opinion. And that connects up with Buffy, the lone star, the Chosen One having to act alone.

I always liked the quiet emotion of Sayles movies. They are no less moving for their reserve, in fact more so.

And I agree with Ponygirl about the the contribution of place-- like the Bayou in Passionfish.

Angel vs Darla -- JBone, 20:14:12 09/28/03 Sun

See? No matter how good a boy you are, God doesn't want you... but I still do.

The Regional Semi-Finals are zooming right along, and this week's Tiebreakers are Diana, MaeveRigan and d'Herblay. I'm re-considering my polling for the last two weeks. If someone out there is thinking about cheating, I'll go by email votes only if I have to. But I sure don't want to. Keep the voting clean, and throw all your dirty tricks in the comments. I do need more comments, especially if they are full of lies.

Post comments here, at the voting site, or email me.


[> That link should bring you -- Jay, 20:17:12 09/28/03 Sun


[> Hate this contest. -- HonorH, 20:36:47 09/28/03 Sun

Okay, love Darla, but I think Angel's demonstrated that he can take her. Several times, and with great passion. Not that she hasn't handed him his share of defeats, but he tends to come out on top.

Darnit, there's just no way to not make this dirty! Angel wins.

[> Dear boy up against Mummy dearest -- deeva, 20:43:55 09/28/03 Sun

Sure, Angel dusted her, in the back no less, way back in S1 without so much as a boo hoo but Darla sure didn't let him forget it when she came back. Which is why I think that when the chips are down, Darla will win the day and Angel will be recoverin' from a whuppin' by going into extra brood mode.

[> Re: Angel vs Darla -- Celebaelin, 20:48:04 09/28/03 Sun

Angel vs Spike must happen. The blood, the gore, the mayhem, the screams of the dead and dying, and that's just the posters. In anticipation of a protracted, bitter and bloody battle I'm voting for Angel. And so is Darla.

[> [> LOL -- Arethusa, 07:24:56 09/29/03 Mon

The carnage will be spread to the farthest corner of cyberspace. It's Poster Smackdown time.

[> Pretty Dead Boy -- Apophis, 21:39:46 09/28/03 Sun

(Guess where I got that heading and win a prize!) Anyway, Angel's killed Darla before, and he really wanted to when she was pregnant. Not to mention the fact that he beat her when she was all enhanced from said pregnancy. At the end of the day, Angel's just more of a fighter than Darla. Darla worked with deception, seduction, and manipulation; Angel solves problems with his fists. All Darla's stuff takes time and planning, whereas Angel can just walk up to anyone and hit them. It's just more efficient. Also, I, too, want to see Angel vs. Spike.

[> Re: Angel vs Darla -- sdev, 22:11:55 09/28/03 Sun

This is a clear case of the student surpassing the teacher:

DARLA: You can do anything, have anyone in the village. Who will it be?

ANGELUS: Any *one*? I thought I'd take the village.

[> Angel, of course. But what a battle it would be... -- cjl, 22:40:40 09/28/03 Sun

Hour after hour of vicious physical combat, followed by a short break filled with mutual recriminations (and maybe some hot, angry sex), followed by mind games, followed by more violence, then more sex, until finally, Angel finishes her off once and for all. Why Angel? Same reason it's been since Buffy Season 1: part of Darla (human, vampire or whatever) will always love Angel--but Angel never loved her back. (Dead Boy's biggest advantage.)

[> This is a tough one.. -- jane, 23:02:59 09/28/03 Sun

but in the end, Angel is the one standing. Darla tries all of her little mind games, but this time Angel won't play. In bitter frustration, Darla stakes herself - Again!

[> Daddy or Mommy.... -- Masq, 06:50:07 09/29/03 Mon

Let's see...




You don't make a boy choose between his dad and mom! That's just wrong!

[> Re: Angel vs Darla -- MaeveRigan, 07:40:13 09/29/03 Mon

I hate to see these two meet again...or do I? But as others have noted, Angel has proven that he has what it takes to overcome Darla. She may have made him, but he's way beyond her now. Fists, fangs, or moral philosophy, Angel wins this round.

strength level, of buffy -- curious, 21:11:22 09/28/03 Sun

exactly how strong is buffy anyway. they never explain that through out the series. how strong is a slayer. in fact how strong is a vampire.


[> Re: strength level ,of buffy -- Night, 23:27:27 09/28/03 Sun

They show her fight her hardest; strength is a hard thing to gauge, anyway; there are so many other factors involved beyond how hard you can punch someone.

[> It Varies -- Majin Gojira, 04:33:36 09/29/03 Mon

By when it takes place, how strong the vamp was when alive, how old they are/how much experience they have.

general range of a vamp is about from the higher end of the human scale up until maybe 1,000lbs lifting power (based off of various examples throughout both series)

Slayers are a little stronger than this (Buffy's gone up to 1,200lbs, and that was in Season 3), but also range around that. Also, Slayers are generally more agile than Vampires and tougher, but only a little.

[> [> Re: Buffy's strength is linked to her confidence level -- Brian, 06:11:37 09/29/03 Mon

Each year until Season 7, the first episode always had Buffy needing to renew her belief in herself. When that happened, nothing could stop her.

Follow up to dmw and anom -- Sophist, 07:54:48 09/29/03 Mon

The thread got archived just after dmw posted, so I couldn't reply there.

dmw made exactly the point I would have made. I agree entirely.

I also agree with Pathfinder's posts on Willow's motives.


[> Re: Follow up to dmw and anom -- sdev, 09:22:51 09/29/03 Mon

First a compliment for dmw. You found a way of defining this disagreement that was much better than I was able to in numerous posts.

But having defined it, I question your working hypothesis. As a practical matter I do not consider all possible solutions prior to ruling some out based on their morality. For instance theft and murder are really not something I ever consider even when they would be possible and physically "doable" solutions. I believe that the definition of morality as internalized precepts of right and wrong behavior means the moral screen is there before consideration of all possible solutions. Grey or less clearly immoral solutions, however, are often considered prior to weighing their morality.

So then the question to me becomes, how clearly wrong was this possible solution of Willow's?

[> [> A fair question -- Sophist, 09:55:55 09/29/03 Mon

My answer, which supplements dmw's post, is that we frequently use expressions such as "I coulda killed him" even when we don't mean them literally. Willow was referring to the past. She was not making plans for the future, not saying "I should get better at magic so I can make Oz come back to me." She was deliberately and intentionally identifying something she could not do, something physically impossible, not listing a possible "solution". She was expressing the strength of her emotions in the same way we do when we say "I was so mad I could have killed him." I don't consider the making of such a statement to reflect on the morality of the speaker.

Not to belabor a point previously made, but that's why Buffy ended the conversation by saying "You're being too hard on yourself." Buffy understood that Willow's emotion was the real issue, that there was no real suggestion of immorality.

[> [> [> Re: A fair question -- shambleau, 11:20:38 09/29/03 Mon

But she wasn't saying "I was so mad I could kill him." She was saying "I was too weak to control him." That would be more troubling to me coming from a friend than the first statement. I wouldn't take the first one literally, but the second one I might think DID indicate something, depending on the friend. If it was a friend I thought I knew well, I might blow it off. And I might be wrong.

So as far as Buffy's statement, it seems possible to me for Buffy to be both wrong and right in hearing Willow's statement as beating up on herself. For Buffy, there's cognitive dissonance in thinking that Willow could be morally blind in some ways. It simply wouldn't occur to her that Willow is both beating up on herself and exhibiting a troubling outlook. So she focuses on just the one.

I do remember at the time being startled by Willow's statement and thinking that it was bad writing, because Willow wasn't like that. When everything turned out okay, I forgot about it, figured D'Hoffryn was talking through his hat and was just there for plot reasons and comic relief, forgave Willow for the zaniness that ensued and figured she'd learned her lesson. Just like Buffy did, in fact.

And, for the record, I rule out some actions a priori, and I think most people do.

[> [> [> [> Re: A fair question -- Sophist, 12:55:59 09/29/03 Mon

So as far as Buffy's statement, it seems possible to me for Buffy to be both wrong and right in hearing Willow's statement as beating up on herself. For Buffy, there's cognitive dissonance in thinking that Willow could be morally blind in some ways. It simply wouldn't occur to her that Willow is both beating up on herself and exhibiting a troubling outlook. So she focuses on just the one.

But Buffy didn't "focus on just the one". She first started to rebuke Willow ("You wouldn't want Oz to stay that way"), then switched to sympathy ("you're being too hard on yourself"). She first was shocked at what she thought Willow was suggesting, then realized that Willow wasn't suggesting that at all.

I don't understand your mention of D'Hoffryn in this context. He didn't summon Willow because of the Willow/Buffy conversation, but because of (a) her pain, and (b) the consequences (unintended) of her spell.

Now that you mention it, his appearance is somewhat odd. He should have appeared in WaH when Willow actually started to do a vengeance spell. The spell in SB was not intended as a vengeance spell, nor was there any reason for her to seek vengeance on her friends.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: A fair question -- Pathfinder, 17:20:02 09/29/03 Mon

Now that you mention it, his appearance is somewhat odd. He should have appeared in WaH when Willow actually started to do a vengeance spell. The spell in SB was not intended as a vengeance spell, nor was there any reason for her to seek vengeance on her friends.

As I think you stated in a prior post above, Willow's emotions were the issue. What was it D'Hoffryn said? "Your magic is strong, but your *pain*... it's like a scream piercing dimensional walls." It wasn't an actual intentional act of vengeance that got his attention, as was the case with Anya. Rather, he seemed to recognize the incredible depth of Willow's pain as the psychological foundation for some top notch, or 'water cooler' vengeance in the future. I suppose you might think of it as a talent scout or corporate head hunter excited at finding a diamond in the rough who just needed the right guidance and training. At least that was my take on it.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Seems like a good explanation -- Sophist, 18:35:54 09/29/03 Mon

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: A fair question -- sdev, 18:58:08 09/29/03 Mon

I've got to admire D'Hoffryn's perceptive eye for budding talent.

Willow was actually angry at everyone before she did the SB spell. She felt everyone was ignoring her pain and expecting her to get passed it already. And Giles had warned her about her emotions effecting spells. I think he called it lack of focus. Maybe that is why it became a vengeance spell. Her anger leached into the spell, although it was not her conscious intention.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: A fair question -- Pathfinder, 19:32:58 09/29/03 Mon

Yep, that thorny emotional control issue and the resulting wreaking of unintentional havoc did seem to be a running theme for poor Willow.

I really enjoyed your season 6 analysis, by the way. Reminded me why I found myself bouncing back and forth between being mesmerized by season 6 and desparately wanting to just look away (most frequently during Spuffy scenes, but perhaps that was just me).

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> I'm really enjoying this discussion -- Rahael, 09:52:53 09/30/03 Tue

and Sdev's great analysis of Season 6 drew me back into checking the board more regularly.

It's not just you - your comments about Season 6 pretty much nail on the head my reactions. I must confess that I haven't rewatched a single Season 6 or 7 episode (except OMWF, and that was a very long time ago, just after it aired). And yet, Season 6 discussion still makes me think about and enjoy the Buffyverse. I still can't say why I haven't felt impelled to re-watch the eps.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> That's the thing about s6... -- dmw, 13:23:37 09/30/03 Tue

I'm not interested in watching it all again either, though I still have most of it on my TiVo for reference. As you likely know from this discussion, I didn't enjoy watching most of the season. However, the season involved so many ideas and possibilities which had great potential that it's entertaining to discuss, and it also prompted me to start writing fan fiction.

The quality of fan fiction, especially Willow-centric fanfic which is much of what I read, improved tremendously over the course of s6 because it inspired many people other than myself who otherwise wouldn't have written fan fiction to do so. I think it's the combination of intriguing ideas and poor execution that inspired this improvement: people saw the potential, but were disappointed by how it wasn't fulfilled on screen.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: I'm really enjoying this discussion -- sdev, 18:08:05 09/30/03 Tue

Thanks Pathfinder and Rahael. I'm enjoying this discussion too.

S6 was very raw and painful. For me best tolerated when my mood is right. Maybe if you are still thinking of it the mood will strike you too to rewatch.

Did as Malandanza suggests D'Hoffryn see a potential convert to be seduced to vengeance or did he spy a disciple?

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: I'm really enjoying this discussion -- Pathfinder, 21:05:05 09/30/03 Tue

You know, I thought perhaps I reacted to season 6 the way I did because I tend to be somewhat Willow-centric in how I view the show, and I suppose most people don't exactly enjoy watching their favorite character's psyche being popped into a blender set to 'puree'. I remember feeling almost physically ill watching the season finale, and thinking how odd that was because I'd never really even become emotionally invested in a tv show at all before. But at the same time I was just astounded by the depth of the performances, as I was through much of the season.

There was sort of an omnipresent gloom that seemed to hang over even somewhat comedic eps like Tabula Rasa that just made it hard to watch sometimes. But it was usually even harder to look away...sort of like staring at an Edvard Munch painting. Still, I haven't really rewatched many season 6 eps either. I have rewatched more season 7 eps, if only because it was a relief to see the characters in some form of recovery.

And there were some great episodes. I really liked the experimental feel of "Conversations with Dead People" and the nod to Bergman in "Selfless" (Though I suppose all of season 6 was sort of a nod to Bergman), as well as the far sillier but no less inspired homage to hopelessly cheesy 70s tv shows everywhere in "Him". And then some ep's kind of hit me from out of left field, like "Help" (Surprisingly affecting - I don't think I've ever become so invested in a one shot character as I was in poor little tragic Cassie's story). Or maybe I was just finally getting nostalgic as it hit me that Mr. Whedon's Wild Ride was about to come to an end.

All that said, it would've been nice to see greater focus placed on the relationships between the core characters who'd been there from the start. Some of their story lines ended up feeling sort of amputated, because there simply wasn't enough time to give them the weight they deserved, what with the pitter patter of all those little potential slayer feet from central casting.

And sdev, I definitely saw D'Hoffryn as working Willow to seduce her into the Vengeance fold. Or, as he did in "Selfless", trying to convince her that she had already essentially gone to work for him when she flayed Warren Meers, so she should at least be getting dental. So much potential, if only he could've lured her back to the dark side for more than a day trip...

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Stand alone versus Arc -- Rahael, 08:31:03 10/01/03 Wed

I find that when I rewatch past seasons, I tended not to watch the plot extending, arc heavy episodes, but the stand alone ones. I love stand alone eps, the little inconsequential details that add so much to a fictional world. I have a feeling that the stand alone eps in Season 6 have weaknesses. I caught a little bit of 'Over the hills and far away' the other day, flicking through the tv channels. I found myself dismayed: was it really this flat, this uninvolving?. I flicked onwards and watched something else instead. If I had had the good fortune to run into a re-showing of Bargaining (both parts), Tabula Rasa or any of the eps in the early part and the late part of the season, I'd probably have kept watching.

I liked all some of the most unpopular parts of Season Six (Bargaining, DMP, Life Serial, the whole Troika storyline, even the Willow storylines - excepting the middle parts, Seeing Red etc etc). But I really think that the production/editing just wasn't up to the quality of previous years. It's the one season that I've thought most about. It's the seaon, excepting Season 7 that I've watched least of. Since the whole thinking thing is so important to me, I'd probably say that it's still one of my favourite seasons - but I may need some time before I can sit and watch it for entertainment, rather than watch it to write a post for the board.

I'd probably love to watch it with my cousins - everyone else I know hates Season 6. And because it's such a polarizing season (along with Season 7), that even people who love the Season really really hate my reading of it.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Stand alone versus Arc -- Pathfinder, 15:23:00 10/01/03 Wed

The production values did seem spotty in season 6 - maybe they blew the entire season's budget on "OMWF". But look at an ep like "OAFA" and compare it with "Restless." Not really a fair comparison I suppose, since "Restless" continues to stand in a class by itself across the board - beautifully written, acted, shot - at least in my decidedly unobjective opinion.

I don't know that much about the behind the scenes work of the show...perhaps they lost some key production staff in season 6 with all the shifting about for "FireFly" and such. Or could it have even been to some degree intentional? The characters - at least certainly Buffy and Willow - were so mired in their own personal miasma of depression and despair for much of the season. Could it have been meant to reflect the flatness and apathy they felt within themselves, how uninvolved they had become with the world around them? Or am I reaching?

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Stand alone versus Arc -- sdev, 21:04:25 10/01/03 Wed

"Could it have been meant to reflect the flatness and apathy they felt within themselves, how uninvolved they had become with the world around them? Or am I reaching?"

Excellent observation. I think some episodes were meant to have a flat affect, like Buffy's response to being back. OAFA, as Rahael mentions, is a great example, as well as DP, which several posters discussed recently. Buffy, aside from the sex, is kind of dead inside, "just going through the motions." She probably was not in a very celebratory mood about her birthday considering she longed to be "free of this life."

Also, I liked your take below on Willow and the change between her destructiveness at the end of S6 and her reversal at the end of S7:

"Doing the spell and empowering Potentials around the world, Willow is able to use her power in a profound act of creation rather than destruction. "That was nifty" indeed."

I'm less sure how I see Buffy at the end of S7 and her surrender of power and whether that made her less alone or any further towards self-actualization.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Stand alone versus Arc -- Pathfinder, 17:39:20 10/02/03 Thu

I'm less sure how I see Buffy at the end of S7 and her surrender of power and whether that made her less alone or any further towards self-actualization.

But was sharing her power the same as surrendering it? I suppose the question was left pretty open ended with her enigmatic little smile in the closing shot, but she had effectively chosen to remove the last great excuse for what I guess Wood might've termed that "isolationist Slayer crap." Or, as Faith commented in the closing moments as the gang looked out over the ruins of their home - their hell - "you just gotta live like a person now."

Of course nothing is ever that simple or black and white in the JossVerse. Perhaps we'll get more of an answer if SMG actually does a guest shot on Angel this season. Maybe she'll still be cookie dough...

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> you're teasing me -- sdev, 20:39:20 10/01/03 Wed

"even people who love the Season really really hate my reading of it"

Now I have to know. Do I have to scour the archives or are you telling?

Why do you think your cousins see it the same way? Familial, cultural, or coincidence?

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: you're teasing me -- Rahael, 03:51:49 10/02/03 Thu

I shall admit to being a little mischievous!

Well, as per usual, it's my view of Spike that's the most controversial. I found Spike very interesting in Season Six, but I don't think I saw the same character that many others saw.

IMHO Spuffy was a mutually self destructive relationship that contained little love but a lot of desperation on both sides. (O Rose, thou art sick....), and Buffy and Spike were making a hell in heaven's despite. I would have appreciated it even more had I not read the writers views of the relationship - that it was romantic, redemptive, and Buffy was ultimately complicit in the events of Seeing Red. I think Buffy was complicit in taking part in a damaging relationship with questionable power dynamics. I think, to adopt KdS' phrase it was one part of a broader theme in Season 6: "random experiments in non-consensuality". But I don't think Buffy ever asked for or consented to an attempted rape - as evidenced by her complete shock and surprise. She thought Spike was tame, beneath her, powerless, but still with enough of an element of danger to make it worthwhile. That was Buffy at her lowest hour, as far as behaving with integrity goes.

But I will say that I found the chipped Spike of Season 6 (and Season 4 & 5) a far more likable, witty, complex character than the Spike of S7. Perhaps the lesson of Season 'it's all about power' Seven is that as you ascend the Scooby power hierarchy, you start losing the attractive underdog quality (for me, he switched places with Xander - I really did not like Xander in S5&6 - in 7, he was one of my favourite characters.

I thought Dead Man's Palace was a really interesting ep, and that Seeing Red and Dead Things really lifted up the season, showing that one can show horror and alienation while engaging the audience (and that SdK was a bloody good writer). I thought Buffy looking down at the torn body of the Buffybot was an incredible scene. Affecting both in the literal and metaphorical level and, no doubt, unintendedly, reminding me of Michael Henchard, in Thomas Hardy's Mayor of Casterbridge, staring down at his own effigy, which the angry villagers had just destroyed.

I never found depressed Buffy a turn off. I thought SMG gave her a heartbreaking fragility combined with some cold iron in the soul.

I especially loved After Life, where the writers and the cast seemed to depict what it might be like to be an undead thing in a living world, with so much tenderness, and compassion. It was an ep that worked brilliantly both in a metaphorical and in a literal level.

I disliked Wrecked, but loved the whole Willow Arc. Of all the Willows that have been depicted, Season 1, Season 6 and Season 7 Willow have been my favourites.

I wouldn't bother scouring the archives to find my previous posts on S6, but I would urge you to find KdS's comparative essay of Warren and Spike, which is one of my favourite commentaries on S6.

I'd say that despite my being 25, and my cousin and her younger brother being 16 and 15, I respect both their opinions on a wide variety of things, that when we watch something together, that their opinions infect mine and vice versa. I watched the first part of Season 6, Bargaining to Tabula Rasa with them on New Years Day.

My cousin actually said to me last night: "Can we watch S6? Cos I haven't seen any episodes at the end". But as I still haven't purchased the DVD, we watched the first two eps of AtS S2. Following the last couple of days, I am tempted to go and buy them, so that we can watch it over the weekend.

She too is someone who combines fragility with an iron that I don't have, and she has more personal experience than I of what it is like to have a relationship (not a romantic one, I hasten to add) with a man who expresses his damaged nature in a violent way towards the woman he loves/hates. It is an incredibly sad lesson for a such a young girl to learn, and in her tough, independent stance, her no nonsense relationships with boys, and her inward vulnerability, I can see she has a very definite set of opinions independently formed. It is a compassionate, but disillusioned, unforgiving, uncompromising stance. Despite the fact that he has never been other than loving and respectful of her.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: you're teasing me -- sdev, 16:47:21 10/02/03 Thu

Thank you for the revelations. Losing childhood too soon can be devastating, but it sounds like your cousin may have built character instead.

I will look for the KDS post you recommended. I think I saw mention of it in a misogyny thread which compared Spike and Warren. I can see The Sick Rose (originally about syphillis I think)in there but what about its Song of Innocence counterpart? Do you see nothing of that? Its a very apt analogy on another front as well-- the secrecy. I often wonder what would have been if Buffy had disclosed. Would that have changed anything?

I tend to disregard most of what the writers write after the fact. I'm very cynical on that subject. They put it out there now its as much mine as theirs (copyright excepted of course).

I see Buffy the same way as you described, much pathos. Her performance in Dead Things I found astonishing.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: A fair question -- Malandanza, 09:57:07 09/30/03 Tue

"What was it D'Hoffryn said? "Your magic is strong, but your *pain*... it's like a scream piercing dimensional walls." It wasn't an actual intentional act of vengeance that got his attention, as was the case with Anya. Rather, he seemed to recognize the incredible depth of Willow's pain as the psychological foundation for some top notch, or 'water cooler' vengeance in the future."

Of course, it's also possible that D'Hoffyrn was lying. As Sdev mentions above, Willow was unhappy because she felt that her friends were ignoring her pain -- big time, legitimate pain. D'Hoffryn appears and flatters her, appeals to her vanity and need for attention -- her pain is so strong it pierces dimensional walls. He understands her, even if her selfish friends do not. He's sympathetic to her suffering and wants to help, while her friends are just sick of the whining. He understands that she doesn't really care about the suffering, she cares about the sympathy she gets because she is suffering -- she's the center of attention and a part of her (the sidekick part) loves it.

D'Hoffyrn's approach to Willow is different from his approach to Anya, certainly, but Willow is different form Anya -- a blatant appeal to vengeance would not have worked with Willow. She needed to be seduced, and so his approach is more like his second claiming of Anya.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: A fair question -- Pathfinder, 16:41:59 09/30/03 Tue

D'Hoffyrn's approach to Willow is different from his approach to Anya, certainly, but Willow is different form Anya -- a blatant appeal to vengeance would not have worked with Willow. She needed to be seduced, and so his approach is more like his second claiming of Anya.

Oh, he was certainly wooing her. I personally thought he honestly recognized the intensity of her pain and saw the building blocks for great vengeance in her future. But he probably also realized she wouldn't get there without some further cataclysmic events in her life and/or the right guiding hand, which he was only to happy to lend.

He seems to take a slightly different tack when Willow summons him in "Selfless" in an attempt to save Anya and stop Buffy from killing Anya.

"The Flaying of Warren Meers? Oh, truly inspired. *That* was water cooler vengeance. Lloyd has a sketch of it on his wall."

Aside from the fact that that line still makes me laugh, D'Hoffryn is appealing to Willow's overachiever nature, complimenting her on a job well done and implying that she's already something of a legend in the halls of the Vengeance Demon Division. He all but offers her the corner office with the great view and the keys to a company Lexus.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Eryines and Eumenides: Vengeance Demons in Modern Myth -- dmw, 06:43:25 10/01/03 Wed

Do the vengeance demons remind you a bit of Neil Gaiman's The Kindly Ones? Both stories draw on the Greek myth of the furies, though Neil Gaiman's work is closer to the deeper nature of the original than the shallow treatment of VD's in BtVS. In both stories, it requires a woman who has been wronged (or at least thinks she has) to take up the mantle of vengeance and become one of the furies.

However, in Gaiman's work, the mantle is gained through a quest on the part of the woman, whereas in the supposedly feminist world of BtVS, the power of the furies is dispensed by an apparently male demon, d'Hoffryn. In both cases, the Erinyes myth is succeeded by the myth of Eumenides as it is in Aesychlus play, with Daniel forgiving Lyta Hall for her vengeance on Dream and with Anya herself forgiving Xander, the man who wronged her, and eventually giving up her power of vengeance to become human again.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Oresteia -- Rahael, 08:06:32 10/01/03 Wed

Great points. Vengeance transformed into Justice transformed into Mercy/Peace. I just finished reading the Oresteia (English translation, not Greek - is it just my boss who assumed that one naturally reads the original?) and was struck at what great resonance one could have given Anya after Selfless. I believe there was an interview where an ME writer said that they had 'lost' Anya after Selfless.

Anyway I found the Oresteia marvellous, and regretted that I had read Gaiman's Kindly Ones before reading the original source - I'd probably have liked it more.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Eryines and Eumenides: Vengeance Demons in Modern Myth -- Pathfinder, 15:49:05 10/01/03 Wed

I loved the myth of the furies, but I haven't read The Kindly Ones. Perhaps I should pick it up.

And I agree with Rahael that Anya's storyline could've been vastly improved through some deeper reflection on the mythology. Her storyline was just sort of abandoned after "Selfless."

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> The Kindly Ones -- dmw, 09:22:42 10/02/03 Thu

I loved the myth of the furies, but I haven't read The Kindly Ones. Perhaps I should pick it up.

It's an amazing book, though you really should read its predecessor first. The final three Sandman books--Brief Lives, The Kindly Ones, and The Wake--are the best work of fantasy since LotR IMO. Those three are his best and they can be read alone. Check out Sandman Annotations as well for all the references to literature and mythology in the books.

And I agree with Rahael that Anya's storyline could've been vastly improved through some deeper reflection on the mythology. Her storyline was just sort of abandoned after "Selfless."

I agree here too. I became interested in Anya in HB and Selfless left me quite excited, then eventually disappointed when the potential which seemed so obvious to me was abandoned. Oh well, I'm working with Anya and the myth of the furies in my WIP fanfic, so their abandonment gives me something to write.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: The Kindly Ones -- Pathfinder, 17:44:02 10/02/03 Thu

Thanks for the link. And I trust you'll be posting a link to this Anya/Furies fanfic when it's complete? Sounds interesting.

[> [> [> [> [> Watched the relevant scene -- shambleau, 21:50:54 09/29/03 Mon

just now after getting home. Guess we're just going to have to agree to disagree. I see a sympathetic Buffy, in Supporto-Gal mode throughout. I see and hear no "shock" about what Willow said, no Buffy in "because it's wrong" mode.

I'm not even sure I see a rebuke. Buffy's taking off her jacket when Willow makes the Oz remark, and walks over to her, saying "You wouldn't have wanted Oz to stay because..." , kneels down to face her and is interrupted by Willow talking about Veruca and then Amy. Buffy looks over at Amy while Willow's talking, then turns back and makes with the "You're being too hard on yourself" comment.

The walking over to Willow and the VERY slightly stronger tone Buffy uses look to me like, at most, and I'm being generous here, slight exasperation that Willow's pushing it even further. Willow wasn't listening when Buffy told her, in an even stronger tone, that she was a good witch and Buffy's going to face her, talk some sense into her, and give her the empathy she needs face to face. To me, that's how the speech about how Willow wouldn't want Oz like that is given-in exactly the patient, lets-be-reasonable tone you use when a friend's being silly and self-pitying and you want to snap them out of it. It's followed by the being-too-hard-on-yourself remark, which I see as being of a piece with what went before.

So, I see a Buffy who is blind to the deeper import of Willow's words throughout. Because the words don't fit with Buffy's image of Willow, she writes them off as Willow being hard on herself, but she does it from the beginning of the scene.

This means that it still works,for me, at least, to interpret the scene as foreshadowing. Obviously doesn't work for you. It's interesting. Even though I recognize intellectually that someone can eat something I love, like gizzards, say, and hate them, there's always a part of me that's a little surprised. Same with viewing a scene, I guess. That's not going to stop me debating, though. It's just very enjoyable to cross swords here, whether we come to a consensus or not.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Taste -- dmw, 08:16:26 09/30/03 Tue

Even though I recognize intellectually that someone can eat something I love, like gizzards, say, and hate them, there's always a part of me that's a little surprised.

Taste, both literal and metaphorical, can be puzzling in its subjectivity. I can't understand people who don't like sushi once they've tried it; on the other hand, I dislike bitter foods and thus hate coffee, which everyone else seems to adore.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Taste -- sdev, 16:56:30 09/30/03 Tue

I can do something with this coffee thing. Coffee drinking like Willow's spell casting has many motives. Vengeance or control or addiction? Coffee-- is it the taste (vengeance) or the energizing properties (control) or is it simply habit forming with accompanying withdrawal symptoms (addiction)?

As a serious coffee drinker and eschewer of sleep, I can say coffee is a lot like magic.

I am however on the sushi fence.

[> [> Re: Follow up to dmw and anom -- dmw, 08:29:44 09/30/03 Tue

But having defined it, I question your working hypothesis. As a practical matter I do not consider all possible solutions prior to ruling some out based on their morality. For instance theft and murder are really not something I ever consider even when they would be possible and physically "doable" solutions. I believe that the definition of morality as internalized precepts of right and wrong behavior means the moral screen is there before consideration of all possible solutions. Grey or less clearly immoral solutions, however, are often considered prior to weighing their morality.

Thanks for the compliment. Now let me move onto the clarifications.

I'm not saying that everyone considers what's possible before what's ethical, but that some people do, while others consider what's ethical before what's possible. As you suggest our decision process is generally more complex than that, probably applying both rules in a series of steps, eliminating obviously impossible actions (your consideration of time travel as a solution is generally limited to "if only I could do that over again..." rather than serious deliberation) as well as high priority unethical courses of action (such as criminal activities) first, then moving on to eliminate actions that are difficult and greyer moral issues as you suggest.

All of us have different orders and priorities in which we apply these rules. Personally, I am more likely to consider possibilities first rather than ethical issues. Returning to BtVS, my decision process is more like that of Giles than Buffy in The Gift. I would examine killing Ben as a means to stop Glory, instead of ignoring the possibility as Buffy did.

[> [> [> Re: Follow up to dmw and anom -- sdev, 21:16:15 09/30/03 Tue

The Ben analogy is a good one. In one sense though Ben was a very grey area because of the potential world threatening down side of leaving him extant.

What was the grey area in either Willow controlling Oz with magic or mind wiping Tara with magic?

[> [> [> [> What are we discussing? -- dmw, 06:34:03 10/01/03 Wed

Your question makes me think that we're not talking about the same thing here, because I'm not talking about morality. In fact, that's my point--that some people think about capabilities first, then ethics, and thus Willow saying that she couldn't mind control Oz doesn't imply anything about her ethics, because that may not have been a consideration at that point in her thought process.

Perhaps the Ben example is a bad one for expressing my point if you can think of that action as possibly ethical, and thus you see Giles as applying an ethical filter to his actions first and deciding that killing Ben was the right course of action. Whereas I see Giles as examining all possibilities first, including killing Ben, without regard for ethics. I think Giles is more pragmatic than ethical, and thus willing to do the wrong thing if it achieves the results he believes are necessary.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: What are we discussing? -- sdev, 09:52:59 10/01/03 Wed

Apparently I did misunderstand you. I thought you agreed in your last post that "high priority" unethical conduct is screened out before any consideration whereas greyer options are considered before the ethical screen is applied.

And yes I do consider Ben an ethical dilemma (grey), not just wrong. But I believed you used it as an example of Buffy applying ethics first in all situations and Giles, as you say, being more pragmatic and applying the screen more selectively in grey situations. The implication being that Ben was a grey area to you.

Where did I misunderstand you?

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: What are we discussing? -- dmw, 09:10:17 10/02/03 Thu

I thought you agreed in your last post that "high priority" unethical conduct is screened out before any consideration whereas greyer options are considered before the ethical screen is applied.

No, what I was trying to say in my last post was that people apply possibility and ethical filters in a series according to the priorities. While some people may follow the order you suggest below with the filter on top being applied first:

  1. High priority ethical
  2. High priority possible
  3. Low priority ethical
  4. Low priority possible

others follow the filters in this order:

  1. High priority possible
  2. High priority ethical
  3. Low priority possible
  4. Low priority ethical

There are probably more than two levels in actual decision making, but I think this illustrates my point. I follow the second order, and I suspect you follow the first from yor posts. I think Willow's likely to follow the second order too, and thus her statement about Oz implies nothing about her ethics. There's also the issue of how people assign priorities to various ethical principles, so anyone's decision process will differ in at least slight ways from anyone else's.

Let's return to the example of Ben. For Buffy, killing a person is at the highest ethical level and she applies ethics first, thus preventing her from contemplating killing Ben, whereas Giles applies the possibility filter first and thus considers killing Ben. Alternately, you could support your point that Giles does apply ethics first, but argue that killing a person is a lower level ethical priority for him and so not eliminated when applying high priority filters first. I don't think that's Giles's reasoning process, but either method is consistent with the result.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: What are we discussing? -- sdev, 10:39:50 10/02/03 Thu

Your clarification is noted. But I remain unconvinced that
model two does not represent an ethical flaw in Willow's morality.

I need to clarify my Ben and Giles position. I don't see Giles ethics this way:

"killing a person is a lower level ethical priority for him"

Although if you meant in the comparative sense, as compared to Buffy's views on killing a person regardless of surrounding circumstances, yes. Giles puts a lower priority than Buffy on killing in the sense that he looks at the totality of the circumstances. Buffy's views on this are quite black and white, consistently in all situations, including unintentional killing. Slayer backlash?

Otherwise I don't know what you meant. Lower than what?
In the absolute sense I believe Giles puts an enormously high ethical value on preservation of human life. So high than Ben presents an ethical quandary ab initio since Ben's continued existence threatens many human lives. Ben's death is the greyest of greys and thus first Giles examines the possibles. He asks Ben, Can you move? Thus I think Giles could follow the first model too since killing Ben does not constitute an absolutely unethical course of conduct.

In contrast, although forcing people to do things against their will (hypothetically using magic to make Oz stay) or mind wiping (Tara forget spell) is a lesser evil than killing, there is no grey. Those actions were purely selfish, intruded on others free will, and benefited no one but Willow. So I see them as "high priority" unethical in the black and white sense.

And you are right. I think my personal thinking goes per your first model.

[> Re: Follow up to dmw and anom -- Pathfinder, 17:09:21 10/01/03 Wed

This discussion and sdev's season 6 analysis got me thinking about the parallels between Buffy and Willow in the last seasons of the series. Forgive me if none of this is exactly plowing new ground. Just my thoughts...or perhaps insanely disjointed rambling...I'm not sure.

In a sense, Willow's apocalyptic actions at the end of season 6 darkly mirror Buffy's own actions at the end of season 5. In The Gift, Buffy is put in a position where her death can save Dawn - her inner child on a metaphorical level at least. As Buffy tells Giles in The Gift, during an argument about whether to even consider sacrificing Dawn to thwart Glory's plan:

Giles: "She's not your sister."

Buffy: "No. She's not. She's more than that. She's me... Dawn ... is a part of me. The only part that I-"

She stops at that point, unable to finish the thought aloud. What was she going to say? Was Dawn the only part of Buffy that she could still love...the only part not tainted by her Slayer calling, not touched by the darkness Buffy had to accept to do her job?

As noble as Buffy's sacrifice at the end of The Gift is, it is also in a sense suicide. Or metaphorically, it could be seen as Buffy giving into the deep depression she'd been steadily sliding into as she faced the prospect of having to accept her mother's death and being thrust into an adult world of responsibilities she was not prepared to face. A world where, as she tells Giles in The Gift, everything and everyone she loves just keeps getting "stripped away":

Buffy:"I don't understand. I don't know how to live in this world if these are the choices. If everything just gets stripped away. I don't see the point."

In season 6, Willow is faced with the loss of the person she loves the most. Like Dawn in Buffy's season 5 arc, Tara seems to have come to personify all that is good in the world to Willow, everything she has fought to save, while perhaps being touched and changed by the darkness a little more with each battle.

Willow isn't given the choice of giving her life to save Tara's, but the loss drives her to a sort of suicide of the soul - murder. Again, on a metaphorical level, her attempt to end the world seems more an attempt to end her connections to the world, giving in to the depression she had sunk further and further into through season 6.

But just as the Scoobies won't let Buffy take the easy out of death, bringing her back from her grave in "Bargaining", they won't let Willow take the easy out of nihilism, instead forcing her back into the world at the end of Grave and on into season 7.

In both cases, it is Buffy and Willow's friends - their self-created family or community - that pulls them to move beyond their depression and again become part of the world - to live again.

At the end of season 7, both Buffy and Willow seem to make their peace with their power through the essence of the scythe spell. Doing the spell and empowering Potentials around the world, Willow is able to use her power in a profound act of creation rather than destruction. "That was nifty" indeed.

Willow's spell also removes the curse of aloneness from Buffy's power, essentially rewriting the text that has held Slayers apart from the world that they fought and killed and died for through the ages.

Season 7, after all, was all about power. How an individual's own power can keep them prisoner or, used in the right way, make them free. In the ultimate act of self realization, each Potential has to choose whether to accept their power, as Buffy and Willow make their choices to finally live with their power on their own terms.

[> [> Good post. I agree with your analysis. -- jane, 17:36:28 10/01/03 Wed

Last 3 Seasons of Buffy -- Brian, 13:51:13 09/29/03 Mon

While musing over the last three seasons of Buffy, I realized that Season 5 was about the mind. Buffy had to battle a god, come to grips with having a little sister who had the power to destroy the entire universe, lose her mother, and find the strength to become a thinking adult.

Season 6 was about the body. Buffy had to get use to being back in her body, understand a friend's addiction, experience the consequences of the lure of sex, and realize the need to let her little sister grow up, and finally, become a feeling adult.

Season 7 was about the soul. Buffy had to find the core of her identity, her "slayerness,"
and discover that by sharing that power she was on the road to becoming an adult.


[> all 7 seasons? -- Miyu tVP, 14:35:50 09/29/03 Mon

I've seen many theories as to what the "theme" of each season is. Of course it would be difficult to map out the series as a whole while we were still in it and uncertain as to how many more seasons there would be and where Joss might take us next... now that it's all in hindsight, I'd be curious how you guys would broadly define the themes of all 7 seasons.

In response to your analysis above, my only digression would be that Season 5 didn't feel like a "mind"ful one to me. It's seemed deeply spiritual and emotional... any thoughts? Buffy rejects the rational, utilitarian morality of her friends, and follows her own feelings (in not killing Dawn).

I can't make heads or tails of season 7 just yet. ;)

[> [> themes -- btvsk8, 15:33:01 09/29/03 Mon

Season One- an introduction to the themes of the show in general- feminism, choseness, friendship, heroism

Season Two- Change. The first shocks of adolecence, loss of innocence, becoming.

Season Three- Endings. shadow selves.

Season Four- New beginnings, self discovery

Season Five- Family, love, duty, identity, death

Season Six- Depression, darkness, rediscovery, fear

Season Seven- Power, Choice, Feminism, self acceptence

Written down very quickly with little thought. I'm sure someone can improve/give a different perspective.

[> [> Seasons 1-7 -- Nino, 16:56:52 09/29/03 Mon

Season 1: Intro, basic idea of "high school as hell," growing up/responsibilities...almost encompasses all of the themes in a "mini" of the series.

Season 2: Romantic Love, how it affects your relationships with those around you...who will you be more committed to: family, friends, lover or self.

Season 3: Shadow selves (Buffy/Faith, Giles/Mayor, Giles/Wesley, Willow/Vamp Willow, Bizarroland/Reality), Community Action Vs. Self Action. Disects Buffy's relationships with the loner and a group...or "Faith" vs. "Will"...Which is more effective Self Action (Faith, the Mayor at Grad. Day) or Community Action (The Scoobs/Sunnydale High at Grad. Day).

Season 4: Freedom vs. Captivity, how free are we in the context of a group. How do we hold each other back, and how do we support each other's growth.

[This season was a transition...the first 3 seasons were spent buliding character develpment. Season 4 would point out the qualities of the characters (ie, the "Primeval"/"Restless" reference to the hands, mind, spirit, and heart). The next 3 seasons would be spent analyzing whether the characters were living up to their "role" ie, Willow's "spirit" was tainted when Tara died, and she killed people. Buffy's "hands" were not working right, when she became the lead of a patriarchal system, and misused her power with the potentials.]

Season 5: Family. Who are we in the context of a family? What is our role? What makes a family? Sacrifice, familial love.

Season 6: Not just depression, but loss of self, and questioning the very core of who we are, what we've become, and where we must go.

Season 7: Power. "Who's got it, and who knows how to use it." Patriarchy vs. Matriarchy. When Buffy falls into the Patriarchal leader, she looses touch with what made her special in the first place: her sense of community. This progressed until her friends could no longer trust her, just as, in season 3, she could no longer trust the patriarchal Watcher's Council. It wasn't until she adopted a system of Matriarchy, sharing her power instead of using it to control others, that she was able to defeat the enemy, and be an effective leader. The most blatantly feminist season....which is why i love it, despite its shortcomings.

[> Had much the same thought -- Anneth, 12:13:48 09/30/03 Tue

I don't know where I wrote it down, but I had the same brain-wave as you, Brian. S5 is filled with images and storylines that revolve around 'the mind' - Glory's brain-sucking, Tara's insanity, and Buffy's catatonia are three major examples. There are more obscure, less-easily arguable examples as well, from Spike's obsession to Joyce's brain tumor and death by aneurism.

Season 6, I agree, is about the body. One of the major themes of the season is about human weakness and human strength - the big bad is actually a trio of evil humans, Willow's problems with magic being written as an addiction, Xander's fears of turning into his father, etc. More importantly, however, is the S6 emphasis on the physical - the intense physical relationship between Buffy and Spike being the primary example.

Season 7 is murkier, but again, I agree that one can argue it's 'about the soul.' But I'm tempted to argue that S7 is about the heart, in keeping with the 4 parts established in Primeval and Restless. (In which case, S6 would be about 'the hand' rather than 'the body' but as the idea I'm pushing for is 'the physical,' what we call it is only important if I wish to make it fit in the Primeval/restless paradigm.) (did that make any sense at all?)

Anyway, S7 is about the soul, or heart. Again, Spike provides the primary example of this, but there are other 'soul- or heart-related' issues that are batted about during the season. For example, love, both eros and agape, forgiveness, and redemption become very important in the final few episodes of the series. And over the season as a whole, Xander and Anya, Willow and Kennedy, Buffy and Spike, Buffy and Giles, Buffy and Faith, and Buffy and Dawn all have essentially new relationships to explore and develop.

Anyway, gotta run; can't expend any more time on this. Hope it makes sense!

[> [> Makes good sense to me. I concur. -- jane, 21:37:18 09/30/03 Tue

Orpheus Revisited, or Who Fell Asleep? -- LittleBit, 19:41:28 09/29/03 Mon

After rewatching "Orpheus" I found that I was looking again at how the Orpheus myth fits with the events in this episode of Angel, especially with the end of the season behind us. It seems that the question that kept reappearing in other analyses was "where is the failure?" At what point did the episode parallel the failure of Orpheus when he turns to view Eurydice at the last moment. Many explanations have been offered, and I find them to be unsatisfying and something of a stretch to make them fit. It occurred to me that there was a failure, often overlooked, that fits the mythology: evilCordy.

Orpheus descends into the underworld while evilCordy 'returns from a higher plane.' Cordy was given the opportunity to become a higher being, but finds herself returned to this plane because she sought to assist Angel. We learn later that she returned because she was needed to release Angelus, among other things.

Then Orpheus petitions Hades to release Eurydice and evilCordy manipulates Angel about releasing Angelus. Cordy knew exactly what type of argument would get Angel to think that removing his soul was the right thing to do. She insinuates that Angelus is smarter than Angel, that being evil makes him more ingenious, lets him stay one step ahead.

As Hades agrees to release Eurydice so does Angel agrees to release Angelus. Angel takes the bait that Cordy dangles by saying that Angelus is smarter. He attempts to put conditions on the release by having the cage built but nevertheless he agrees to the de-souling.

Next, Orpheus leads Eurydice out of hell to freedom; evilCordy clears the way to freedom for Angelus. Once Angelus is released, by the removing of Angel's soul, it's Cordy who actually opens the cage for him and leaves the way clear for him to escape. Cordy has not only accomplished the release of Angelus from the hell of the soul, but has led him to freedom as well.

But Orpheus fails when he looks away from his goal just as evilCordy fails when she looks away from her goal of keeping Angel's soul captive. Cordy finds herself struggling to keep Angel's soul from him. She steals it from its hiding place and uses it to attempt to control him, but in the end she must engage in a battle of will with Willow. She must prevent Willow from breaking the container holding the soul but when distracted she glances away and loses the soul.

Eurydice is pulled back into hell just as Angelus is pulled back into his hell, namely the psyche of Angel. Once Willow has released the soul into the ether, she is able to repeat the spell and return the soul to Angel, once again imprisoning Angelus within.

Finally, Orpheus dies in a grisly death, torn apart in the aftermath of his failure as he wandered bereft and lacking in will while Cordy lies in a coma (which was an alternative to perhaps being torn apart in the birth process) after giving birth to a fully-adult Jasmine. One could even consider that Cordy's mind was torn apart, a result of the loss of the will that had driven her..

Curious to know what others think of this.


[> Re: Orpheus Revisited, or Who Fell Asleep? -- LadyStarlight, 19:56:01 09/29/03 Mon

Interesting interpretation.

This makes quite a bit of sense, especially the parallels with Orpheus's death and Cordelia's pseudo-death.

Thanks for this!

[> A fascinating angle and very convincing -- Dead (so where's that freakin' Orpheus, already?) Soul, 20:05:00 09/29/03 Mon

[> Re: Orpheus Revisited, or Who Fell Asleep? -- Celebaelin, 20:54:07 09/29/03 Mon

I've been mulling this over and the first question I have is about the birth parallel. This must be circumstance interfering with art if the intention was to enact a version of the Orpheus myth. The tragedy of Orpheus does not sit well with this area of the plot I feel. What we have here is a more Pandora-like metaphor, if you accept that comparison.

Is there actually a Greek play 'cos Offenbach's 'Orpheus in the Underworld' is all I can find? And in his version Orpheus sets out to rescue Euridice in response to public opinion! Could still hold up I suppose depending on the pressure applied for the return of Angelus, not that it wasn't always a possibility.

The tragedy of course is that Orpheus and Euridice are forever parted by his inability not to look at her beauty, sing to her, or perhaps, as the synopsis in the link below would have it, show her his latest lick on the lyre. Not even if it's only until they have escaped the confines of Hades, although in fairness we don't have any certain knowledge of how long a journey that is. In the sense that (evil)Cordy has already 'looked back' from becoming a higher being then this may still hold up in comparison to Orpheus looking back behind him deeper into Hades to see Euridice.

Angelus (Euridice) is a better survivor than Angel (Pluto) is? Not so sure about that but that's not really the point I suppose, the question is whether Angel can be convinced of that and how that enables evilCordy to achieve her goals.


[> [> Where'd the link go? Address below -- Celebaelin, 21:10:24 09/29/03 Mon

[> [> [> Where the records of the myth come from -- Diana, 10:55:14 09/30/03 Tue

Two ancient references I know of to Orpheus are in Ovid's Metamorphoses and Diodorus Siculus' The Library of History .

[> [> [> [> Re: Where the records of the myth come from -- Celebaelin, 12:08:35 09/30/03 Tue

But alas I find that both these sources date from around the time of the birth of Christ. Ovid 43BC-17AD and Diodorus Siculus I learn was 1st Century BC. Also neither are Greek, Ovid being Roman and Diodorus Siculus being Sicilian. The Orpheus legends have been traced back to the 6th or 7th century BC.

I got as far as this

"The beliefs in Orpheus were not Greek, but originated in Thrace and Scythia, where the local Shamans practised an ecstatic religion which included soul travel. Their doctrines became attached to the name Orpheus (and other mythic sages). The myths of Orpheus, particularly his journey to the underworld, are very similar to the concepts of Shamanistic soul journeying, and they entered Ionia in this form and largely under the name of Opheus in the 7th or 6th century BC.

By the 6th century BC, the Greeks had also come into contact with beliefs from the East about the cosmos being born from an egg, and that time was the God who generated the world - and these too became associated with Orpheus.

Others have speculated that Orpheus was related to the original Cretan religion, and that its ultimate source, or at least was heavily influenced, by Egypt, or as Herodatus puts it 'perfumed Ethiopia' where a hundred perfumes emanate and the divine child Dionysus was born."

but interestingly no play recounting the story. Perhaps Orpheus' reputation as poet, bard and god was such that no-one dared invoke his name in association with their own work? Certainly another source has 'Orpheus and the other poet Homer' both going to Egypt to teach Greek Law. Somewhat strangely to my mind Homer's writing dates from the 8th century BC, predating the myths of Orpheus.


[> Re: Orpheus Revisited, or Who Fell Asleep? -- Random, 21:59:59 09/29/03 Mon

Fascinating, Bit. So you're arguing for a shift of the Orphic metaphor from the rather more-obvious allusion to Faith and Angel to a paradigm that fits more neatly with the original myth. I think that, considering Cordy's role in the latter part of the season, it would be prudent to examine the possible links to the underworld metaphor in context of what she was doing, and would do. She returns to the light...but loses everything in doing so. It is as much, if not more, of a classical redemption/failure myth as anything Angel/Faith/Wes do. Perhaps ME is subverting the expectations of the viewer...and, in doing so, redefine the traditions of the series.

[> When we become gods -- Diana, 10:33:29 09/30/03 Tue

Orpheus, next to Psyche and Cupid, was my favorite myth growing up. As a child, I didn't know why they enthralled me so much. Now I have more of a clue. Most myths try to explain something mundane. The gods themselves are forms the archtypes took, but they are also personifications of the world around us. Orpheus and Psyche took me somewhere else, not to the world around us, but to the world within us. The stories were dreams about dreams. Eurydice was that dream that we have that we lose as we come back to consciousness. Orpheus, son of Calliope, was the dreamer, was me.

Seeing EvilCordy, who is Jasmine, as Orpheus turns me from a hero to a Goddess and makes the myth even more mythic. EvilCordy didn't just "return from a higher plane." The Goddess became woman. Just as Orpheus descends to the underworld to speak with the gods to beg for Eurydice back, just as we enter the dreamworld/unconsious to see the gods ourselves and beg for what we hold dear, EvilCordy comes from heaven to earth, not to see the gods, but to see Man and begs us for what she wants, namely world peace. When Angel reveals her name, she does in fact beg.

Is Angelus Eurydice or is world peace? To me, Evilcordy/Jasmine's failure is to maintain world peace. Her mojo would be Orpheus' musical ability and Angel/us would be the lyre, the instrument she played to attain her goal.

Hades would be all of us, because we are the ones her mojo moved. The Goddess became the mortal and we became that god in "Orpheus." Typical ME spin on things, where the Gods are depowered and human are empowered in the angry atheist existentialist world that Joss Whedon created.

Just another spin. I really liked what you said and it got me thinking. Thanks. Now back to thoughts of suicide.

Giles vs Dawn -- JBone, 20:10:16 09/29/03 Mon

I don't think Buffy's Watcher likes me too much. I think its 'cause he's just so... old. I'm not sure how old he is, but I've heard him use the word "newfangled" one time, so he's got to be pretty far gone.

I expect to have the Angel v Darla results up later tonight, so check that out. Post comments here, at the voting site, or email me.


[> *BAWL!* -- HonorH, 21:00:44 09/29/03 Mon

You're gonna make me choose? You meanie! *whimper*

Quit sniveling, or I'll do your voting for you.

Shut up, H. Besides, we'll end up voting the same anyway.

Do my eyes deceive me? Would you really vote against your favorite brat?

Here's how I figure it'd go down: Giles knows Buffy will kill him if he goes up against Dawn and harms her in any way. Therefore, he makes a few arrangements. On the appointed day, as Dawn (having researched her brains out and utterly ready to take on the Old Guy) makes her way to Thunderdome, she has a little run-in with a really cute guy who's moping over having lost to Lilah. Teenage hormones do the rest of the work, and Giles wins by default when Dawn fails to show up at the appointed hour.

Niiice fanwank!

I thought so.

[> Re: Giles vs Dawn -- Celebaelin, 21:03:26 09/29/03 Mon

They spend their allotted fight time making cookies and talking about boys. Towards the end of that time rakish Uncle Rupert has to become really rather stern. Dawn is banished to her room and the cookies get slightly burned, they're still edible though.

[> Re: Giles vs Dawn -- Apophis, 21:25:01 09/29/03 Mon

Despite the fact that I'm pretty equal in favor of both characters, I went with Dawn; Giles is cool, but he's not as pretty. Anyway, I figure whoever wins is gonna lose to Willow, so I may as well do the right thing. Dawn wins by using her linguistics skills and the magic shadow puppets to send Giles into the past. Giles uses the opportunity to get in some quality research and comes back wiser and happier.

[> A calamity. A confrontation too horrible to contemplate. -- cjl, 21:38:42 09/29/03 Mon

But even worse--I've known who would win the second I saw the match-up posted. I think it has been well-established that if he felt he absolutely had to do it, Giles would have killed Dawn at the end of Season 5, as cleanly and efficiently as he killed Ben. Dawn, even though she's displayed signs of hardcore Watcher mentality, could never hurt Giles. Of course, Buffy would kill him in a blind rage immediately afterward--and Giles would welcome death. Wow, I'm all sunshine and lollipops here, ain't I? Anybody got some puppies I can run over with my car?

[> [> Here boy! Chase the ball! Noooo! -- Ponygirl, feeling very eveeel this morning, 06:47:27 09/30/03 Tue

[> Ripper versus former shiny green energy ball -- deeva, 22:36:30 09/29/03 Mon

Giles is the get-it-done dude. He gave Buffy the "Dawn or the world" speech. He snuffed out Ben/Glory. Has some secret mysterious minion torture techniques that are quite effective (dd he learn that from Angelus?) Dawnie doesn't stand a chance in this showdown. Unless you count being kicked in the shins as something. Nah.

[> Re: Giles vs Dawn -- Dead (stuck a bobby pin in the outlet) Soul, 22:52:05 09/29/03 Mon

Dawn pulles out the taser, but layers of tweed are not only better than Kevlar, they're grounding (probably makes no sense - I know nothing about the physics of electricity).

So, in the end, the tweed stands alone.

[> Re: Giles vs Dawn -- Caira, 04:50:36 09/30/03 Tue

Dawn just can't bring herself to kill Giles. Giles, however, can bring himself to kill Dawn. Eventually, he gets her stunned, laid flat on the magic shop roof, and lifts his axe, nerving himself up for the final blow... when Dawn's head rolls onto its side, and her shiny, shiny hair reflects a flash of sunlight right into his face. Giles staggers back, blinded, trips and falls off the roof onto the street. Out for the count. Winner: Dawn.

[> Watcher Junior shows her stuff -- MaeveRigan, 06:25:23 09/30/03 Tue

It's a thrilling research-off between Giles and Dawn! Giles's Japanese is rusty, but he pulls ahead because of his knowledge of ancient Hittite and Proto-Hungarian. When the contest moves on to the computer and internet-database phase, however, Giles is utterly flummoxed by the infernal machines, remaining convinced that "Knowledge comes from crafted bindings and pages [...], not ones and zeros" (LMPTM). Dawn, well-tutored by Willow in the intricacies of computer assisted searches, quickly decodes the Scroll of Urgoch-Mykelos, and wins this round, vindicating the new generation. Giles is so proud!

[> Chatterbox versus Fussbudget -- Anneth, 11:51:56 09/30/03 Tue

The thing about Giles and Dawn is, they can both talk piffle like nobody's business. In the final analysis, though, Dawn, with her pixie-stix-fueled pop-culture-teenaged-girl warblings can out-babble Giles any day of the week. He'll lose like a man, then wander off to teh equivalent of the Bronze in whatever town/city they're in and croon his discontent. Mmm, Giles crooning...

slayer strength -- steppin, 21:00:18 09/29/03 Mon

my mistake let me rephrase my question and be more specific. buffy has the strength of how many men and a vampire has the strength of how many men and glory has the strength of how many men, and are we sure the slayer has more strength than the vampire.


[> Re: slayer strength -- Rook, 02:55:29 09/30/03 Tue

It's never made explicit in the series exactly how strong Slyers/Vampires/etc are, and it appears to vary from episode to episode.

The only time anyone actually talked about the relative physical strength of vamps vs. slayers that I can recall is in Sanctuary when Angel tells Buffy that she's stronger than him.

[> [> Vampire strength is very variable -- Finn Mac Cool, 04:47:56 09/30/03 Tue

There are some who are only a little stronger than their human predecessors, and, if these predecessors weren't too strong to begin with, a well trained human might very well surpass them in strength. But then there are others, like Spike, Angel, or the Master, who seem to rival Slayers in strength. We really can't be sure how strong Buffy is. At one point she says she has the endurance of ten men, but the context suggests she was just using a standard catch phrase, not giving an honest evaluation of her abilities.

Though, really, saying how many times stronger than a normal Slayers are isn't likely to give you accurate results. After all, humans vary widely in how strong they are. There are many people who are two or three times stronger than some others; as such, even if we knew exactly how strong Buffy was, we can't say how many humans it equals, since humans vary in their strength so much.

[> [> [> Strength - Does it Really Matter? -- Claudia, 14:46:35 09/30/03 Tue

Since Buffy, Spike, Angel and other Slayers and vampires tend to use martial arts in their fighting - does it really matter who is stronger than whom? Their fighting techniques should depend upon skill, not strength.

[> [> [> [> Simple facts -- Celebaelin, 14:58:30 09/30/03 Tue

If you don't get hit you won't get hurt.


If you do get hit (Buffy got hit way too much and I always feared that it would cost her dearly) then the stronger your opponent is (or really the more force he can put into his strike, but all other things being equal that's an identical proposition) the more damage he/she will do.

So in many ways you're right, but there are other considerations, particularly with regard to not using potentially lethal blows.


[> [> [> [> [> It's a misconception... -- Random, 09:22:20 10/01/03 Wed

...can lead to a lot of pain. For years, we've heard the parroted "size doesn't matter" (in fighting, people, get your mind out of the gutter) and "a small opponent has an advantage over a larger one." It's the rationale behind much of the drive of martial arts and self-defense classes. Unfortunately, it's a flawed thesis. It's quite true that a few basic self-defense techniques can stop an unskilled opponent on his/her tracks, especially if the opponent doesn't expect them. And a smaller but quicker opponent can be dangerous to a larger, slower opponent. But as I discovered well before I ever reached the higher levels of martial arts, size and strength are extremely effective. In a matchup between two skilled martial artists, the larger or, more importantly, stronger one (let's keep them separate in honor of those 5'3" built-like-a-tank people I sparred against and nursed deep bruises for weeks afterwards) definitely has the advantage, all other things being at least somewhat equal. The weaker opponent may be quicker and get in more strikes, but the second the stronger one lands a blow, the other one feels it much more acutely. It's the George Foreman philosophy of fighting, but with the addendum that the stronger one also has a certain level of quickness -- a necessary element of any martial arts training. Speed can be learned to a certain extent. So strength not only matters, it matters a lot in such a context. The unarmed victim of a mugger can easily do a lot of damage to the attacker if the mugger isn't trained or ready. But that's a far cry from going up against a skilled, cautious opponent. The best solution in such a case is to run if your opponent is measurably stronger than you. Else, you might find yourself being overborne, even immobilized in a way that prevents effective retaliation. The second we think strength doesn't matter, we're in a lot of trouble.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Strength is even more important in the Buffyverse -- Gyrus, 12:49:31 10/01/03 Wed

In the real world, there is a certain trade-off between strength and mobility. Generally speaking, stronger people tend to be bigger, and therefore less light on their feet. When it comes to agility, their added strength doesn't quite compensate for the increase in mass -- hence the different body types of gymnasts and weight-lifters. Nonetheless, the larger, stronger person tends to have the advantage in a fight in terms of delivering a more forceful blow and having longer reach.

In the Buffyverse, however, Slayers, vampires, and demons have additional strength that is not related to their body mass. This means that they do not have to trade agility for power. As a result, a professional kickboxer of Buffy's height, weight, and level of training would have no chance against Buffy in a fight because the kickboxer could neither hit as hard nor move as fast as Buffy (since the kickboxer would have a much lower thrust-to-weight ratio). To an observer, Buffy would appear to be the more skilled fighter because she would have superior speed and footwork, even though the kickboxer may have had the same level of training.

My point is that strength and skill (or apparent skill) are not independent of each other, especially when body mass is removed from the equation.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Strength is even more important in the Buffyverse -- Claudia, 16:08:14 10/01/03 Wed

[In a matchup between two skilled martial artists, the larger or, more importantly, stronger one (let's keep them separate in honor of those 5'3" built-like-a-tank people I sparred against and nursed deep bruises for weeks afterwards) definitely has the advantage, all other things being at least somewhat equal. The weaker opponent may be quicker and get in more strikes, but the second the stronger one lands a blow, the other one feels it much more acutely. It's the George Foreman philosophy of fighting, but with the addendum that the stronger one also has a certain level of quickness -- a necessary element of any martial arts training. Speed can be learned to a certain extent. So strength not only matters, it matters a lot in such a context. The unarmed victim of a mugger can easily do a lot of damage to the attacker if the mugger isn't trained or ready. But that's a far cry from going up against a skilled, cautious opponent.]

There are too many variables to consider for one to make such an assumption. One also has to deal with the present condition of the two fighters, their will to fight or win, each fighter's ability to exploit the weaknesses of his or her opponent, the ability to catch one's opponent by surprise and a fighter's ability to learn and exploit an opponent's fighting style and skill to his or her advantage.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: It's a misconception... -- Claudia, 16:11:15 10/01/03 Wed

[In a matchup between two skilled martial artists, the larger or, more importantly, stronger one (let's keep them separate in honor of those 5'3" built-like-a-tank people I sparred against and nursed deep bruises for weeks afterwards) definitely has the advantage, all other things being at least somewhat equal. The weaker opponent may be quicker and get in more strikes, but the second the stronger one lands a blow, the other one feels it much more acutely. It's the George Foreman philosophy of fighting, but with the addendum that the stronger one also has a certain level of quickness -- a necessary element of any martial arts training. Speed can be learned to a certain extent. So strength not only matters, it matters a lot in such a context. The unarmed victim of a mugger can easily do a lot of damage to the attacker if the mugger isn't trained or ready. But that's a far cry from going up against a skilled, cautious opponent.]

There are too many variables to consider for one to make such an assumption. One also has to deal with the present condition of the two fighters, their will to fight or win, each fighter's ability to exploit the weaknesses of his or her opponent, the ability to catch one's opponent by surprise and a fighter's ability to learn and exploit an opponent's fighting style and skill to his or her advantage.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Sigh... -- Random, 11:24:16 10/02/03 Thu

...I was speaking in general terms, just as you were with your assertion that strength mattered less than skill:

"Since Buffy, Spike, Angel and other Slayers and vampires tend to use martial arts in their fighting - does it really matter who is stronger than whom? Their fighting techniques should depend upon skill, not strength." ~ Claudia, 2003.

If I had taken the time to analyze ever damned factor, I'd be doing this until judgment day. Rather self-evident. So I stand by my original thesis that all other things being relatively equal, strength matters a great deal. If you'd care to analyze every factor, compare it to strength, do the mass-to-size ratios, make certain assumptions about the specific fighters in question (likely have to pick an exact pair of fighters and an exact, recorded circumstance and then make sure to account for topography, amount of sleep each fighter has gotten in recent days, relative humidity, personal family issues that prevent focus, names of beloved pets, favorite food and whether he/she has a craving at that exact moment, et cetera, ad nauseum), discuss physiological factors such as oxygen transport and neuron efficiency, perhaps account for issues such as whether the moon is low on the horizon and whose back is turned to it, and maybe take into account whether one of them will have the 17th Cavalry riding in to save the day, and, oh, don't forget, fallen leaves are slippery, so the one with sticky feet will stay standing more easily than the one with Crisco rubbed all over his/her feet...once you get all these factors in, I suppose the simplistic discussion of strength will no longer be valid. I'm sorry for not discussing everything more thoroughly, but I trust you will help enlighten me.

[> [> Plus / minus roll for emotional state, etc. -- cjc36, 06:35:37 10/02/03 Thu

We've seen in the show Buffy cleaning out a room of vamps one week and having problems with a few run o' mill vamps the next. This usually has to do with her emotional state. The Freshman (4.1) shows this very well; Buffy was uncertain in her new college surroundings, and got totally demoraliazed by Sunday. The flip side of this coin is that she can regain her will and come back even stronger than her 'average' ability.

I always felt, for simplicity sake if anything else, that Buffy was 10x average human strength/skill. An average vamp would be about 4x or 5x, Spike 7x, Angel 8x or 9x.

One thing they never really showed was Buffy running really fast. Considering her strength, she should be able to run a bit faster than the fastest Olympic runner.

[> [> [> Buffy running -- Gyrus, 08:01:19 10/02/03 Thu

One thing they never really showed was Buffy running really fast. Considering her strength, she should be able to run a bit faster than the fastest Olympic runner.

As far as we know, they have showed it; we just couldn't tell how fast she was going. Nonetheless, I think it's safe to assume that Buffy is a hell of a sprinter.

[> Physiscs is your friend, even if I never did well in the class... -- Majin Gojira, 05:55:23 09/30/03 Tue

Vamps: Newbie Vamps range from Well Above average human (think average high-school sports person) to Superhuman (over 1,000lbs)

Slayers range from Peak Human to superhuman on a slightly higher scale.

But the numbers are never set in stone: Buffy herself has gotten much stronger in her tenure. going from strainging to bend a gun barrel (which actually isn't that hard to do because it is hollow after all) to bending prison bars in only a few seconds.

If you want solid numbers, find an example to use, go to a board like and ask the very smart people there to help figure out how much energy/strength is required to do what is needed (be able to provides the time taken to accomplish the task)

Example: Buffy once punched spike clear across a room (approx 20ft) in Season 5. using a basic forumula...I was able to calculate how strong Buffy was if she just sent him straight across the room (he arced in the air, so this would be a low end estimate).

Thankfully, I saved the document:

Vertical Height = y
Acceleration = a
Velocity = V

Instance: Crush, Buffy punches Spike and sends him approx 40ft across a room.

Earths Gravity = 9.8m/s/s

Using SI units

Falling Time for an Object Y meters off the ground

T = sqrt (2y/9.8)
T = approx. 3s y unknown due to camera angle

In order to throw a person X meters in Time T, the velocity must be

V =12.2/3
V = 4.06 m/s

In order to impart v to victim with distance x that the punch contacts the victim's body, the acceleration must be:

A=sqrt (v^2 /2x)
A = sqrt (4.06^2/2(12.2))
A = 6.76

Finally, the force required to accelerate an object with mass m to acceleration a is defined by:

F=459.342 Newtons
Or, 103.26 lbs

This is only an approximation and does not take into account Air resistance, Friction with the floor (e.g. if the victims feet drag), the slope of the floor, or when the target becomes airborne.

In other words, this is an extremely conservative number, if anything.

Aside from which, against a normal person, if the person is not killed immediately or fatally injured by the punch indicates that it is a non-physics situation: the force required for the correct ballistic arc would kill a man. Thankfully, Spike is already dead.

Buffy does have a compulsion against killing humans, now you really know how easy it would be for her...

[> Re: slayer strength -- Celebaelin, 07:59:39 09/30/03 Tue

By my caclculations (60kg man thrown 3 metres verticaly and 7 m horizontally, ie to the high point of the arc, in 1s by a one handed punch) total F is 1194.3 N (268lbf 122Kgf) one handed.

The man is a bit light, you're looking at about double that initial figure to do the same thing to me for instance.

Assuming all that F comes from her arms I infer that Buffy would be likely to cope with bench pressing about 1600lbs or roughly three-quarters (0.731) of a metric tonne.

My calculations, like Majin Gojira's, also assume perfect energy transfer and no air resistance. This will not happen. As a wild guess based on biological efficiency and not a lot else roughly triple the figure for the 'hitting squishy-breaky thing' losses, as a nod to the Wright brothers and to keep the thermodynamicists off your back.


Howdy All -- Spike Lover, 09:10:57 09/30/03 Tue

Hope everyone had a decent summer.

Are we meeting back here tomorrow or Thursday to discuss new Angel eps or shall a find a new discussion group?

And did you notice that Charisma Carpenter is not listed among cast members for the new season?


[> Charisma will be in an upcoming episode of MisMatch! -- neaux, 09:13:16 09/30/03 Tue

dont watch the show but I might watch to see Cordy!

[> [> I've seen one ep. -- Spike Lover, 09:15:51 09/30/03 Tue

I think it might have promise for Friday night entertainment.

[> [> [> Re: I give Miss Match a big thumbs up - very entertaining -- Brian, 10:59:27 09/30/03 Tue

Of course, look forward to seeing CC. Is she going to be a semi-regular?

[> [> 'Darla' was on last episode of Peacemakers (new western on USA) -- Spike Lover, 09:18:55 09/30/03 Tue

I kept yelling at the tv: Watch out! She is a vampire!! (It would have fit in almost perfectly with the plot...)

[> [> [> I had the same reaction!! -- Amkath, 08:53:26 10/01/03 Wed

[> [> Re: Charisma will be in an upcoming episode of MisMatch! -- leslie, 16:47:40 09/30/03 Tue

This must be somewhat mind-bending for her, since Miss Match is shot in the same studio where they used to shoot Buffy.

Viewing early Angel - Angel has started on TNT - Season 1 at 5 pm EDT -- Brian, 11:10:34 09/30/03 Tue

Ah, the pleasure of revisiting Queen C - long-headed, witty, and taking no prisoners...

"no mirrors, heavily draped windows..You're a vampire!"

"No, I'm not..."

"Yes, you are. I'm from Sunnydale. We have our own hellmouth. Oops, wacky me."


[> Re: Viewing early Angel - Angel has started on TNT - Season 1 at 5 pm EDT -- Brian, 11:13:28 09/30/03 Tue

Very bad news for 'Ripper' (but good news for SF in general) -- KdS, 11:31:29 09/30/03 Tue

It was recently announced in the UK that the BBC is making serious plans to revive Doctor Who, with scripts by Russell T Davies, author of the original UK Queer as Folk and The Second Coming, previously praised on this board by myself and Rahael.

Unfortunately, this may well be the final nail in the coffin of Ripper.

For those of you in the US, it is well known that most decision makers in British terrestrial TV have an extreme disdain for SF/fantasy. If they didn't, adult series from the US wouldn't be shown in kiddies' teatime slots and slashed to ribbons (BtVS, AtS, Babylon 5, Farscape, Alias...). Now it's a surprise that the BBC is willing to spend money on fantasy at all, and I would be very surprised if they would be willing to spend money on two fantasy series at once. So I have a feeling that the Who announcement may be the sign that the Beeb has finally abandoned the idea of Ripper completely, unless Mutant Enemy and any US channel partners cough up a seriously large proportion of the cost.

In addition, for UK media/political reasons too complicated to explain in depth, the BBC is in a delicate position at present and it would be far more advantageous for them to revive a home-grown concept than to create what would be seen as mainly a spin-off from a US show, even if the central character, actor, settings and hopefully most of the writers were British.

Of course, the perfect compromise would be if they did Who, but cast ASH, who has occasionally reacted favourably to the idea when asked about it and appeared in a commercial Who audio drama (as a villain, not the Doctor).


[> Giles Who? -- mamcu, knitting a scarf, 10:23:38 10/01/03 Wed

I would LOVE to see ASH as the Doctor in a new series. I'd go to England just to see it. Hope they'd also revive the cheesy special effects though--that was one of my favorite things.

[> Speculative. -- ZachsMind, 18:12:52 10/01/03 Wed

That's assuming Ripper is a scifi oriented series. It's not. It's more of a horror suspense mystery kinda thing, focusing mostly on ghosts but also it would focus on the little inner demons inside Giles. Ghosts from his past and his future.

This would be a series that competes more with the great mysteries of history than with Doctor Who.

[> [> I don't think UK TV executives make those sort of fine distinctions -- KdS, 01:44:49 10/02/03 Thu

You Can't Always Get What You Want: Suicide in Reprise/Epiphany and others -- Diana, 12:42:10 09/30/03 Tue

Suicide is one teen issue that ME has not directly addressed. It has skirted the issue and used it in "Earshot," but other than teen pregnancy, it is probably the one issue about growing up, that ME felt was too hot for even them to deal with head on. It is an important issue. This is a very real and important issue facing teens. According to the National Institute of Mental Health using data gathered from the 2000 Census, suicide was the 3rd leading cause among young people 15 to 24 years of age, following unintentional injuries and homicide. The rate was 10.4/100,000 or .01%. 300 children between 10-14, 1,621 teens between 15-19 and 2,373 young adults between 20-24 years of age actually succeeded in killing themselves. The statistics on attempted suicide are not as concrete, but it is believed that an estimated 8-25 attempts happen for every successful suicide. That's a serious and growing problem in America.

That isn't to say that it isn't a problem in the adult population as well. Overall suicides outnumber homicides by 5 to 3. There were twice the number of suicides as there were deaths caused by HIV/AIDS. It is the 8th leading cause of death in men and the 19th in females, 11th overall. The total number of suicide deaths in 2000 was 29,350 or 25,056 adults. We saw Angel admittedly try to kill himself in "Amends." In the episode that bears his name, he tried to goad Buffy into killing him, which can be considered suicide or at the very least shows a strong desire to die. Same thing with Darla in the episode that bears her name. Angel's depression is a classic risk factor for suicide. So is his battle with his bloodlust (substance abuse), significant problems with parents, withdrawal from friends and family, no longer interested in or enjoying activities that were once pleasurable and impulsive, aggressive behavior or frequent expressions of rage.

In the gray worlds of the Buffyverse and what we consider our own realities, terms need to be set down. In order to discuss suicide and how the two series deal with it, I am going to distinguish between suicide that is born out of desires for yourself and self-sacrifice that is born out of the desire to help others. The desire to actually die, to no longer exist has to be there for it to be suicide. Dying cannot just be the result of protecting others, even when that is the only way to protect them and the person willingly dies to do this. There are instances such as "The Gift" where we can debate what an act is motivated by. In the gray world of the Buffyverse things are rarely just one or the other, however, things tend to be more one than the other.

Rather than deal with teen suicide directly, ME addressed the issues that lead one to feel such despair that ending your life seems to be the only way to end the pain without going all the way to suicide. A person who commits suicide feels that such a drastic step is the only way out. They are hopeless and feel helpless. Committing suicide is their final act to take control of the situation. AtS isn't about teens. It is a bit darker than Buffy and deals mainly with the feelings of being hopeless and helpless. It does deal with suicide.

AtS dealt with it first in "Five by Five." Faith actually wants Angel to kill her. That was pretty non-gray. "I'm evil! I'm bad! I'm evil! Do you hear me? I'm bad! Angel, I'm bad! I'm ba-ad. Do you hear me? I'm bad! I'm bad! I'm bad. Please. Angel, please, just do it." In this case, Faith felt helpless over her own evil impulses and because of this, her last ditch effort to control them, since she couldn't control herself, was to die. She wanted to actually end her existence. That's a pretty straightforward case of suicide.

That can be contrasted with Buffy's quiet admittance to Willow, "I wanted it over. This is...all of's too much for me. I just wanted it over." Five by Five/Sanctuary focuses on Faith's suicide attempt and recovery/redemption whereas "Weight of the World" transitions into Buffy fighting and later dying to save Dawn. It can be debated whether "The Gift" is suicide, but it isn't handled like that. It is a beautiful sacrifice that Buffy made to save the world a lot, yet again. There may or may not be a death wish demonstrated here, but that isn't the focus. Faith's cry for help is more direct than Buffy's beautiful sacrifice.

The Slayer's death wish, which may have its roots in suicide, is handled in "Fool for Love," but it is more of a quiet resignation, not an active process. Faith goaded Angel into killing her. She tortured Wesley to get Angel "in the game." Nikki just quietly gives up when she sees that Spike can beat her. Same thing with Buffy at the beginning of the episode. Even in "Earshot" where Jonathan goes up to the tower with a rifle to kill himself (a stupid choice for suicide), the despair that Jonathan feels is not the focus of the episode, but rather just a reaction to the pain we all feel. It isn't about despair, but empathy and communication.

Contrast Jonathan in "Earshot" to what we saw with Kate on "Reprise/Epiphany." We see and hear Kate's despair. "That's what they're gonna say. Then you're gonna feel all bad - or you won't care. But then, then I won't care either. I won't feel a thing." In Epiphany, Kate was supposed to throw up the pills she had taken, but because it aired on the same night as "The Body" Joss decided that was too much. Given the choice between Buffy vomiting or Kate, Buffy gets to toss her cookies. In Reprise/Epiphany we do focus on the total despair of Kate and Angel. We see vividly what leads up to it and the action itself as Angel brings Kate into the shower to revive her.

Kate's attempted suicide is very clear. What about Angel's actions though? Was Angel's attempt to lose his soul an attempted suicide? It wasn't self-sacrifice. It would put the world in jeopardy, not save anyone. Was it a selfish desire to end his existence though? His motivations were selfish, borne out of the despair that resulted from his elevator ride with Holland. Did he want to die though? We may see it that way, if we see Angel and Angelus as distinct individuals, but did Angel? If he didn't, then what was he trying to do when he decided to lose his soul by sleeping with Darla? Why didn't he lose his soul?

The show presents two ideas about the relationship of vampire to human. The first human we see turned is Jesse. He doesn't feel that being vamped killed him. Giles may believe "You listen to me! Jesse is dead! You have to remember that when you see him, you're not looking at your friend. You're looking at the thing that killed him." Jesse doesn't. What matters in answering our questions isn't what is "right" but how the characters see things.

There is another vamping that is pertinent to these questions. In season 2 of BtVS in "Lie to Me," Ford wants be vamped. If we consider vamping to be a death, Ford wants to die. We could call it suicide. Does Ford see it that way? He is dying...of brain cancer. He doesn't want to die. He sees being vamped as his only chance at life. That isn't suicide. Suicide involves the desire to actually die. Even if we see what he desires as death, if the character doesn't, then it isn't a suicide. It can be misguided or downright idiotic, but it isn't suicide.

Kate did try to commit suicide. She wanted to no longer care or "feel a thing." This contrasts with Angel's motivation. "I just want to feel something besides the cold." If you are dead, how can you feel anything, let alone "something besides the cold"? Angel's intent is to feel something. That isn't a desire to die. That is a desire to really live. Losing his soul isn't like Kate swallowing a fist full of pills. It is like Ford who sees vamping as the only way he can go on living. We may see it as death, as suicide, but does the character? If he doesn't, there is no intent to die.

Angel has attempted suicide. In those times, he tried to get either Darla, Buffy or the sun to kill him. What was different about this time? In "Darla," "Angel" "Amends" and "Reprise," Angel is at a point of intense despair. In "Darla" that despair is driven by not being able to have what he once did. If Darla won't take him back, he sees death as the only alternative. He wants Darla to "release that filthy soul" by killing him if she won't give him back the view, the whirlwind. In "Reprise" he knows a different way to release his soul and doesn't have to resort to death. The difference is in "Darla" he is like someone who feels despair, so they want to die. In "Reprise" he is like someone who feels despair, so he tries to get totally drunk/high.

On another thread, someone mentioned that the difference between getting drunk and losing his soul is that losing his soul is permanent. When an alcoholic who understands that he is an alcoholic decides to fall off the wagon, they don't think it is temporary thing. They want to stay drunk. Because alcohol wears off, an alcoholic may sober up. When that happens, it is right back to the bottle for a fix. Angel isn't a social drinker. He's the drunk that falls off the wagon hard and can't just get back on easily. He knows this. Some alcoholics are in denial. They think they can have just one drink or that they can get drunk and then go back on the wagon. Angel isn't in denial about his problem. He knows and accepts what will happen if he drinks/loses his soul. He knows that he can't control his problem. In "Reprise" he no longer wants to control it.

His soul is one big AA meeting. His friends are his sponsors. He stops seeing his sponsors at the end of "Reunion." This causes him to act wiggy. He hasn't quite fallen of the wagon yet. He still has his meetings to help keep him sober. After the elevator ride with Holland, he wants to get drunk. He can't if he is still attending meetings, so he decides to stop going to them. He is going to lose his soul in Darla. Then he can get rip roaring drunk and can feel what he wants to and not feel what he doesn't want to. He can be jolly, happy, drunk Angelus once again.

In "Angel" the problem is with his vamp desires. He wants "it finished" and he wants Buffy to "get it done" for him. He can't deal with being a vampire and the only way he knows out of that is an arrow to the heart. He really wants a drink (metaphorically and literally) and sees wanting one as a sign that he will get drunk. Buffy shows him there is more to him than his vamp desires. This more can keep him in check. She gives him the opportunity to feed and he doesn't take it.

This is enough for him until "Amends" when he questions whether he can keep the demon in check. In one of Joss' favorite lines he tells Buffy, "Look, I'm weak. I've never been anything else. It's not the demon in me that needs killing, Buffy. It's the man." Angel feels this way now "Because I wanted to! Because I want you so badly! I want to take comfort in you, and I know it'll cost me my soul, and a part of me doesn't care." Angel's character, his brooding and his guilt rests in his desires. Souled or unsouled he has the same desires. It is the expression of those desires that changes with the status of his soul. It isn't what Angel has done that makes him brood as much as what he still wants to do.

This is shown in the opening sequence of "City of." He saves the girl, but boy does he still want to feed. When he goes back to his apartment, he finds no solace in what he just did. Instead he is upset. Doyle knows exactly what button to push. "When was the last time you drank blood?... Left you with a bit of a craving, didn't it? Let me tell you something, pal, that craving is going to grow and one day soon one of those helpless victims that you don't really care about is going to look way too appetizing to turn down. And you'll figure hey! what's one against all I've saved? Might as well eat them. I'm still ahead by the numbers!"

When Angel dreams, he feels bad that he enjoys them. There are plenty of examples of this. Every time Angel even wants to do something wrong, he feels bad about it. He tries to keep himself from wanting bad things, which is why he takes on the mission. Angel, since getting his soul, has been trying to find some motivation to act. He can't act on his vamp desires, so what can he do? He tries to help people in AYKOHYEB, but they turn on him. He needs to find something to believe in again. He didn't really believe in anything beyond his own pleasure when he was a human. In "Consequences" he tells Faith what he believes in now.

Time was, I thought humans existed just to hurt each other. But then I came here. And I found out that there are other types of people. People who genuinely wanted to do right. And they make mistakes. And they fall down. You know, but they keep caring. Keep trying. If you can trust us, Faith, this can all change. You don't have to disappear into the darkness.

It is this belief in good people that keeps Angel from disappearing into the darkness. He is not only trying to make amends for being a monster, but he believes that people are worth it. If they weren't worth it or you aren't making a difference, why bother. That is the despair that Holland sends Angel to.

"Why fight?" The question that drives Angel's existentialist existence and basically the series. Holland tells Angel there aren't good people and bad people. Good and evil are intertwined. Evil exists in the hearts and minds of everyone. Before this, Angel had a bit of the Madonna/Whore complex, though instead of being about female sexuality it was about good and evil in general. People in general tried to hurt each other, but there were others out there, like Buffy and the Scoobies, that genuinely wanted to do right.

Angel can't beat evil. There isn't this grand battle of good versus evil. He's not some soldier/champion in some mythic contest. In "Hero" he tells Doyle, "I feel something coming, Doyle. I don't know what, but I know we're a part of it....It's all the same thing. Fight the good fight - whichever way you can." Holland's words take that away temporarily.

The actions that some perceive to be a suicide attempt are sandwiched in between Holland's words and Angel's epiphany. They lead into each other and cannot be taken out of context. In order to determine whether Angel was trying to kill himself we have to see what he was trying to do and how this leads to his epiphany. I wrote about how Holland's words relate to what Angel figures out in the thread I did on Wolfram and Hart season 2. I will copy what I said there.

From Holland:

Point 1) what's the point. "Of course all those people you save from that apocalypse would then have the next one to look forward to, but, hey, it's always something, isn't it?"
Point 2) It isn't about winning. Even though Wolfram and Hart does have an apocalypse planned (and Angel figures into those plans) "We have no intention of doing anything so prosaic as 'winning.'"
Point 3) There is no fight. Wolfram and Hart don't have to fight. "We - go on - no matter what. Our firm has always been here. In one form or another. The Inquisition. The Khmer Rouge. We were there when the very first cave man clubbed his neighbor."
Point 4) Evil is everywhere. "See, we're in the hearts and minds of every single living being. And *that* - friend - is what's making things so difficult for you."
Point 5) Evil is necessary. "See, the world doesn't work in spite of evil, Angel. - It works with us. - It works because of us."
Point 6) The Home Office is this dimension.
Point 7) People suck. "You see, if there wasn't evil in every single one of them out there why, they wouldn't be people. - They'd all be angels."

From Angel:

Point 1 becomes: "It doesn't...Mean anything. In the greater scheme or the big picture, nothing we do matters. There's no grand plan, no big win."
Point 2 becomes: "Well, I guess I kinda - worked it out. If there is no great glorious end to all this, if - nothing we do matters, - then all that matters is what we do. 'cause that's all there is. What we do, now, today. "
Point 3 becomes: "I fought for so long. For redemption, for a reward - finally just to beat the other guy, but... I never got it....All I wanna do is help."
Point 4 becomes: "I don't think people should suffer, as they do."
Point 5 becomes: "Because, if there is no bigger meaning, then the smallest act of kindness - is the greatest thing in the world."
Point 6 becomes: Angel going back to his gang. This might be the Home Office, but it is also Angel Investigations.
Point 7 becomes: I don't want you to come back and work for me....I wanna work for you."

What Holland says leads into Angel's epiphany. It can't just be seen as the source of his despair. It is also the source of his epiphany. Holland's words don't cause Angel to want to die. They cause him to reevaluate what he has been doing the last 5 years. In that reevaluation he decides that it isn't worth it to him to fight any more. He just wants to feel something other than the cold. His epiphany is just what that something is.

He thinks that becoming Angelus again will allow him to feel something other than the cold. When he talks about his days as Angelus, often he reminisces about it. From "Blind Date" he tells Cordy, Wesley and no in particular, "It's still their world, Wesley. Structured for power - not truth. - It's their system, and it's one that works. - It works because - there is no guilt - there is no torment, no consequences. - It's pure. - I remember what that was like. - Sometimes I miss that clarity." Angel isn't trying to die. He is trying to get back to that feeling.

That is why I don't view what happened in "Reprise" to be a suicide. Angel isn't trying to die. He is trying to live. He doesn't view Angelus to be another creature. He views it to still be him. They have the same desires. Angel just wants to be able to act on them. "Why fight?" He can't come up with an answer. There is no real fight, no greater scheme or big picture. Humans aren't really worth saving. He doesn't want to take himself out of the world. He just wants to feel, to live again.

That is how I see it. Kate's actual attempted suicide is to no longer feel, to die. Angel's attempt to lose his soul is to feel, to live. As such, Angel is not attempting suicide. ME dealt with suicide head on through Kate, not Angel in Reprise/Epiphany. Too bad that the actress then left the show. It would have been interesting to see her recovery after it.


[> Fascinating. Not sure I agree with all, but preserving until I'm awake enough for coherent reply -- Random, 13:27:03 09/30/03 Tue

[> Re: You Can't Always Get What You Want: Suicide in Reprise/Epiphany and others -- RJA, 14:01:25 09/30/03 Tue

Firstly, great post, its so comprehensive and impressive, that I just liked reading it on its own merits, whether or not I agree. Very in depth and skilled.

However, I dont quite agree with your conclusion, although I mainly agree with the paramters you have set.

On both shows, there seems to be three types of situation where death or impulses for such exist. The first is suicide, wanting to die. I would say that Faith and DMW probably most easily fit into this category (although not completely, the only person we have eve seen actively go to take their own life was Chloe the potential, and of course Kate). Angel at times has wanted this too, althoug was passive in execution.

Then there is the passive acceptance of death, that we see in Nikki and Buffy. Not so much suicidal, but an acceptance of 'fate' based on an essential willingless to leave this world.

And I think the third is what concerns Angel the most, specifically in Reprise. To me, this is something different from the above situations. However, I'm not sure that this is because Angel wants to live or feel - to me its the opposite. Here, IMO, Angel was feeling self-destructive impulses. Not so much suicidal, more involving that passive acceptance of death, but in the sense that he neither cared whether he lived or died. If at this point they were still working with the metaphor of an alcoholic (and even if this wasnt intentional, I think it works), it seems to me te situation is such that things have gotten too much and he wants to go back to something that will take the pain and uncertainty away. So he goes to the bottle after year or so to obliterate himself. It may lead to his death, or it may not, but either way he doesnt care.

You mention that Angel misses the clarity of being evil, but yet you say that he becomes Angelus so as to feel. I think that its rather the opposite. Things are messy and uncertain when he is Angel. Life isnt simple, and he has no answers. Being Angelus would take that away since life would be simple, evil is good, and that is all he would care about. There would be no moral ambiguities, no uncertainties as to the point of life or his place in it. Life is about feeling, but we cant always control how we feel.

I think that he thinks being Angelus will make life easy for him, will take away the confusion that living essentially is. Its a way of not feeling, taking the pain away. Much like an alocholic, he turns to something to remove pain, doubt and feeling. And thats not suicidal, but destructive in the sense that he no longer cares what becomes of himself.

As to why the ephiphany happens? I'm not entirely sure, maybe someone else can argue that.

[> [> Will the real Angel please stand up -- Diana, 18:43:03 09/30/03 Tue

I think that he thinks being Angelus will make life easy for him, will take away the confusion that living essentially is. Its a way of not feeling, taking the pain away. Much like an alocholic, he turns to something to remove pain, doubt and feeling. And thats not suicidal, but destructive in the sense that he no longer cares what becomes of himself.

I think it may even go beyond this. He is Angelus. It isn't that being Angelus will make life easy for him, it is more that being Angel makes life hard for him. What Holland says leads him to feel that it isn't worth going through the pain of being Angel.

To carry this through with the alcoholic metaphor, people tend to need a reason not to drink. Angel lost his reason. It isn't suicidal or maybe even self-destructive from his perspective. He was giving in to who he was. Angelus in "Orpheus" accuses Angel of hiding from who he was. In "Reprise" he gives in to who he thinks he is.

Thing is, he isn't just that, so he doesn't lose his soul. He finds himself because he surrendered completely. When we do that, what is left is who we really are. Angel discovered that he couldn't take that drink and lose his soul. Instead he comes up with his epiphany. Why fight? Angel is now able to answer it and discovers that there is more to him than Id Boy

[> Teen suicide did happen once on 'Buffy' -- Finn Mac Cool, 14:03:25 09/30/03 Tue

"I Only Have Eyes For You". That kid from the flashback killed the teacher he was having an affair with and then killed himself.

Also, there are the iffy-attempted suicides in "Bargaining II" and "Once More With Feeling". Lastly, in "Grave", Willow was technically trying to kill herself, although taking the rest of the world with her probably overshadowed that.

[> [> Re: Teen suicide did happen once on 'Buffy' -- RJA, 14:24:19 09/30/03 Tue

And of course, Chloe in Get It Done, which was explicit teen suicide, although perhaps not for traditional reasons.

[> [> [> And don't forget Dawn on the RR tracks in Him -- Diana, 19:11:32 09/30/03 Tue

I said it was something they didn't hit head on. They skirted the issue rather well. If anything "Him" shows it the closest. It shows how Dawn feels leading up to the act. It shows Dawn committing the act and it shows how Buffy reaches her.

Then the spell is broken and as usual with magick on the show, the issue is swept under the carpet.

[> Contradicted Yourself -- Claudia, 14:26:24 09/30/03 Tue

By mentioning "Lie to Me", you've just contradicted yourself. As far as I'm concerned, teen suicide played a part in this episode.

[> [> It's not a contradiction... -- LittleBit, 14:49:21 09/30/03 Tue

...when the reason for exclusion is clearly spelled out.

There is another vamping that is pertinent to these questions. In season 2 of BtVS in "Lie to Me," Ford wants be vamped. If we consider vamping to be a death, Ford wants to die. We could call it suicide. Does Ford see it that way? He is dying...of brain cancer. He doesn't want to die. He sees being vamped as his only chance at life. That isn't suicide. Suicide involves the desire to actually die. Even if we see what he desires as death, if the character doesn't, then it isn't a suicide. It can be misguided or downright idiotic, but it isn't suicide.

You may disagree with the interpretation, certainly. But it's not a contradiction within its context. As it is, I happen to agree that Ford's motives, while selfish and unethical (considering he knew full well that everyone else would die) weren't the motives of a suicide, but quite the opposite. He already knew he was dying; he wanted to continue life. As he saw it, the fact that vampires walked, talked and lived in the world was a he chose over death and permanent burial. He didn't "want it all to be over," he wanted "it" to continue. There's a much stronger case for Ford with conspiracy to murder than to commit suicide.

Just my opinion.

[> [> Re: Contradicted Yourself -- RJA, 14:51:51 09/30/03 Tue

But none of those teens considered they were killing themselves. Is it really suicide when someone believes that they will carry on living?

Clearly Max or whoever believed that it was a way for him not to die, because if he really wanted to die he would have let the illness take its course. It wasnt even a way of overcoming the illness (i.e. overdosing to avoid its worst points). He just didnt want to die. And by that fact he didnt understand what being a vampire really involved, and wasnt suicide.

[> Re: You Can't Always Get What You Want: Suicide in Reprise/Epiphany and others -- sdev, 15:54:20 09/30/03 Tue

Provocative and interesting thoughts.

You began by addressing teen suicide. I see Angel's actions in Amends and Faith's in Five by Five as somehow much more adult.

The episodes that I think were more about teen suicide were as you mentioned Lie to Me. But I agree on giving Ford a pass on the suicide. Chanterelle's behavior seemed much more the teen suicide model and there was follow up on that in Anne.

Also Help, prior to realizing that Cassie was having premonitions, examined the problem of teen suicide.

[> And what is suicide, really...? -- Random, 18:36:27 09/30/03 Tue

This is an excellent analysis, but I think that you understate the role of persona. If Angel sublimates Angelus, he nevertheless seeks to remove the persona that has brought him the pain. There is a certain facileness in wanting to feel again -- the deadening that occured was a direct result of feeling, the fact that he cares and hopes and dreams. All of this is either ripped from him or shown -- apparently -- to be meaningless. He teeters on the edge of despair for several episodes, and despair, like any other emotion, is an outgrowth of who Angel is. Angelus doesn't feel despair. Angelus doesn't feel regret (except in the most cursory, I-regret-not-killing-Buffy-when-I-had-the-chance way). Angelus doesn't feel loss and sadness and the pain of caring. You can argue that Angelus is Angel, but he clearly lacks several characteristic elements of Angel. So Angel comes to Darla, filled with despair, and seeks to destroy those elements. Effectively, Angel as a persona will cease to exist. How can that not be considered suicide in some form? Just because Angel states that he just wants to feel again doesn't mean we must accept this at face value any more than we have to accept his "epiphany" at face value (I still consider his epiphany somewhat facile and contradictory because it's logically unsound, but that's a discussion for another day). Critically speaking, we can examine the nature of his descent and fall and note that it wasn't the lack of feeling that was the problem -- that was merely a result, not a cause. The root issue was, quite frankly, the overabundance of feeling. And that is what Angel fails to realize on a conscious level yet somehow strikes at with deadly accuracy on a subconscious one when he goes to lose his soul

[> [> Re: And what is suicide, really...? -- Diana, 20:08:15 09/30/03 Tue

And I think you overstate the importance. Until this epiphany, Angel really didn't see himself as that different from Angelus. He was constantly fighting who he thought he was, trying hard not to be him. Angel's epiphany leads him to believe that he really is more than a monster. It culminates in Pylea when he is able to regain control over the pure form of the demon and not kill Groo or be killed by him.

As much as you don't like how facile his epiphany was, the key part for Angel is he finds out why fight. It starts with "Well, I guess I kinda - worked it out. If there is no great glorious end to all this, if - nothing we do matters, - then all that matters is what we do. 'cause that's all there is. What we do, now, today. - I fought for so long. For redemption, for a reward - finally just to beat the other guy, but... I never got it."

Angelus and Angel would both agree with that for the most part. There is no difference there. The difference comes with the next part, what Angel "got." "Not all of it. All I wanna do is help. I wanna help because - I don't think people should suffer, as they do. Because, if there is no bigger meaning, then the smallest act of kindness - is the greatest thing in the world." I will admit that Angelus wouldn't think that, let alone say that.

We disagree on what the soul is, so it is difficult to get into whether Angel feels things more than Angelus. They both feel things. They just react to those feelings differently. Angel feels love for Buffy and the makes him tender. Angelus feels it and exfoliates.

I'll write more tomorrow.

[> I think the way I see it comes from viewing Reprise/Epiphany as all of a piece -- KdS, 03:04:12 10/01/03 Wed

When Angel gets into the elevator in Reprise I don't think he really believes he has a hope of destroying the Partners. I think at that point he definitely does want to die, but he thinks that it will be OK if he has some kind of facade of self-sacrifice. And it's the desire to die in the first part of Reprise that makes me think he saw sleeping with Darla as suicidal.

[> [> Agreed. -- Arethusa, 04:43:15 10/01/03 Wed

Angel: "Well, can anyone use this ring?"
Denver: "How do you mean?"
Angel: "Will it get me back to the home office or where ever it came from?"
Denver: "Might... if you're insane! - You realize what this home office probably is?"
Angel: "I think I have a pretty good idea."
Denver: "Hell! Why the heck do you wanna go to hell? (Angel doesn't answer) You're gonna try and go down there and destroy the whole lot of them, aren't you? Well, that'd certainly make up for the time that... (Angel looks up at him and Denver trails off) Still, not a terrific idea. It's suicide, really."
Angel: "Look, will the ring get me there or not?"

Angel: "Okay. Home office. (He slides on the ring.) Let's finish this."

Angel and Holland are standing side by side in the elevator as the lights from the floors it is passing flash by and typically annoying elevator music plays in the background.
Holland: "Well, this is exciting, isn't it? (Smiles) Going straight to the source. - So, what's the big plan, Angel? Destroy the Senior Partners, smash Wolfram and Hart once and for all?"
Angel: "Something like that."
Holland: "Hm-mm, now tell me just what do you think that would accomplish? In the end, I mean."
Angel: "It'll be - the end."
Holland: "Well, the end of you, certainly. But I meant in the larger sense."
Angel: "In the larger sense I really don't give a crap."

Angel: "Don't you feel the cold?"
Angel grabs her by the shoulders and pulls her up.
Darla: "What're you doing?"
Angel: "It doesn't matter. (Strokes the side of her face) None of it matters."

Darla: "What? - What is it?"
Angel: "You saved me."
Darla: "Yes. - But I *was* going to kill you tonight. Take you out of this world the same way I brought you into it. But I didn't have to. You gave yourself over so completely, Angelus. I felt you surrender."
Angel shaking his head slightly: "I gave you everything I had left."
Darla with a smile: "Yes."
Angel: "I am - so sorry."
Darla: "You don't have to be."
Angel: "But I am. (Takes her hand and lifts to lay against the side of his face) I am sorry."
Darla shaking her head slightly: "What?"
Angel: "I am sorry, Darla."
Darla shaking her head harder: "No..."
Angel: "You saved me. Sorry I couldn't do the same for you."
Quotes from

[> [> Kamikaze -- Diana, 07:00:15 10/01/03 Wed

I don't know if Angel ever actually wanted to die, season 2 AtS. His existence has been trying to answer the question: Why fight? I don't think he answered it with "so I can die a heroic death" at any time. He told Kate in "Epiphany," "I fought for so long. For redemption, for a reward - finally just to beat the other guy." That is why he got into the elevator. He wasn't using self-sacrifice as some facade, but was willing to do anything to beat the other guy.

That is what Dark Angel was about, he was willing to do anything to beat the other guy. He is willing to even go dark in order to do this. Bringing the fight to the Senior Partners themselves is just the culmination of ""I'm not on their level. But I can get there. And when I do, I'll be right up close. I'll bring the fight to them." (Redefinition)

Holland refers to Angel's "Kamikaze mission." We see it as suicide, because there is no chance of survival, but that isn't what Kamikaze means. It means "divine wind" and the term was used to evoke the typhoons that saved Japan from invasion by Kublai Khan's fleet. We can see it as men who wanted to die or we can see it as men willing to die. Men who wanted to die would be a clear-cut case of suicide. Recruitment would have gone "Want to die? Why not take out a few American ships with you in a blaze of glory?" They didn't refer to themselves as "suicide bombers." That is how the American media/propaganda machine dubbed them. They refered to themselves as "special attack pilots."

Angel's question of why fight, like that of many of the Japanese kamikaze pilot's, was translated into why die. He needed a raison d'etre. That reason, to beat the other guys, led him to not desire death so much as be willing to see his cause to that end. His death would have been a testement to how strongly he believed and he needed to believe in something strongly.

Was going to the Senior Partners suicide? Depends on how you see suicide. He desired to take his cause/belief as far as he could. He desired to beat the other guy through whatever means necessary. He desired to bring the fight to them. I don't think that is a facade.

As I said in the beginning, few if anything in the Buffyverse is black or white. That is why there is evidence for various interpretations and most interpretations are equally valid (there are some really far out ones that are little more than fan wanks that I won't include with the well thought out ones that I come to the boards to see). Thank you for sharing yours.

[> [> [> Point of honour and Kamikaze -- Celebaelin, 12:36:56 10/01/03 Wed

It struck me from your earlier post how inefficient the Americans were at suicide compared with the Japanese. It's a cultural thing I guess.

It means "divine wind" and the term was used to evoke the typhoons that saved Japan from invasion by Kublai Khan's fleet. We can see it as men who wanted to die or we can see it as men willing to die.

Or we can see it as a manipulation of the national sense of identity in order to instill a sense of the divine into a last ditch attempt to defend a supposedly indefatigable and indefeasible holy emperor.


Tara in S7 -- Miyu tVP, 15:21:59 09/30/03 Tue

In the chat last night I mentioned how cool it would have been if Tara had been in S7 of Buffy, and I mentioned an alternate story... and then I was worried I'd lost my mind and made the whole thing up, so... I poked around and here is an interview with AB re: S7.

Can you tell us why you chose not to return for season seven?

I wish that we could have worked it out but there were extenuating circumstances that I don't really want to go into.

I would love to have come back but sometimes there are things in your life that you have to stand up for and to tell you the God's honest truth, I really didn't want Tara to be bad, and that would have been a component of me coming back.

As much as I wanted to come back - and I almost did - that was something that was dogging my not wanting to come back. I just felt like people really loved that character and for her to be bad would just destroy people. So that was one of the reasons I didn't go back.

Not to knock Kennedy, but I think it would have been much more mind-blowing to have Tara around. Even if only as the First.

The rest of the interview is at:


[> Re: Tara in S7 -- Pathfinder, 21:35:13 09/30/03 Tue

Now when she says that going bad would have been a component of Tara coming back, is she referring to her doing a turn as The First in "Conversations with Dead People", as she was originally slated to confront Willow in that ep. Or was she supposed to actually come back as Tara and be bad?

It would be interesting to hear the full backstory on this, since Joss Whedon commented in an interview a while back on his plan to bring Tara back as some sort of regular character in season 7 and reunite her with Willow. Joss said he pitched it to all his writers, and it was going to be heartbreaking and uplifting and leave not one dry eye in the home of any Willow/Tara shipper in the land, ect. But according to him AB just didn't want to come back, so they scrambled to come up with the "Willow moves on with Kennedy" story.

Ah, well. Maybe it'll all come out in the E! True Hollywood Story one day...

[> [> Re: Tara in S7 -- skeeve, 08:05:27 10/01/03 Wed

Had he wanted it bad enough, Joss could have recast Tara.
I can hear the line now: "I'm a witch, not a slayer. Being dead changes witches."
Maybe Tara could have turned into her mother.

Here's a challenge for Joss's writers: Do a season 8 with Buffy, but without SMG or a replacement.
We'd see the effects she has on others, vampires flying out of alleys, half of telephone conversations (consult Bob Newhart), and the exasperation of would-be boyfriends.

[> [> [> recasting -- Miyu tVP, 10:17:22 10/01/03 Wed

I kinda wish they had proceeded with the plan, even w/o Amber. They would have the option of just recasting her without addressing the change in the show itself (like they did on Roseanne) or since it is a sci-fi show, they would always have the option of having Tara's spirit inhabit another form. Certainly there would be resistance to any change by the audience, but as long as it was handled well I think it would float.

oh well... :(

[> [> Joss's comments -- Miyu tVP, 10:10:49 10/01/03 Wed

I would *love* to hear the full story that Joss had planned out. Since it was Joss's orignal plan, and Kennedy was sort of a last minute patch... I'm sure it would have been a vast improvement to the season.

Finally found the Joss quote I (and you) was talking about:

WHEDON: Amber didn't want to do it. She wanted to do other things. I had a whole - I used to tell people, "Here's what we're going to do. We're going to have her in a couple of flashbacks, keep her alive, and then at the end ..." I had a whole show figured out that ended with the return of Tara. I used to cry every time I pitched it. It was going to be Tara's her one true love, people are going to be blown away, they'll never see it coming - except on the Internet - and it's going to be just about the biggest thing. Quite frankly, Amber just didn't want to do it - which is her decision. I was like, "Okay, the thing where I cried, and we all cried, and I told you about? That's gone. So, instead, we're going to go out and find somebody really hot, and we're going to make this about moving on, because that's the only option we have. I don't want Willow stuck in typical gay celibacy on TV. I'm interested in where her heart will go once she's lost her true love, so let's do that instead." So, you know, hence Kennedy.

Just goes to show how much of what ends up on the screen is tied to real world concerns and not just writer's intent.

[> [> [> Re: Joss's comments -- MaeveRigan, 10:59:31 10/01/03 Wed

"Just goes to show how much of what ends up on the screen is tied to real world concerns and not just writer's intent."

Hm. Seems to me that the story we got was still the writer's (& writers') intent. Maybe partly influenced by "real world" circumstances, but the key statement seems to be "I don't want Willow stuck in typical gay celibacy on TV." If that goal couldn't be accomplished one way, he'd accomplish it another, but it was still Joss's choice as to how to tell the story.

And the fact remains that the story that appeared on the screen is the canonical story. Write all the fanfic you want; officially, no other story exists.

Except in the Wishverse, and the World without Shrimp ;-)

[> [> [> [> Wishverse -- Miyu tVP, 14:26:27 10/02/03 Thu

yes, I'm definitely in Wishverse here.

I don't mean to imply that the Kennedy story wasn't Joss's. But the idea that it was his Plan B makes me wonder what it would have been like if he could have executed his Plan A.

Wouldn't mind a world without shrimp either. (hubby's allergic)


[> [> Re: Tara in S7 -- skeeve, 07:59:26 10/02/03 Thu

Judging from the AB quote, it wasn't that AB just didn't want to come back, it was that she didn't like the storyline.

[> Re: Tara in S7 -- Claudia, 15:48:44 10/01/03 Wed

[Not to knock Kennedy, but I think it would have been much more mind-blowing to have Tara around. Even if only as the First.]

Why? I see no point in keeping Tara around, when she had served her purpose in Season 6. Is this because you disliked Kennedy?

Was the whole Joyce in year 7 thread ever explained? -- Ray, 15:57:37 09/30/03 Tue

Maybe I missed something.


[> Re: Was the whole Joyce in year 7 thread ever explained? -- Robert, 19:18:25 09/30/03 Tue

>>> Maybe I missed something.

It wasn't explicitly explained, though I believe that the clues are there. We saw Joyce in a couple different places.

Dawn saw a vision of Joyce in Conversations with Dead People. I think it was pretty clear that the First Evil was directly involved with this one, especially since the First was rather active throughout this episode. The visits from the First Evil were all about deception and sowing fear and doubt. The scenario presented to Dawn was hardly more elaborate than Willow's visit by Cassie or the potentials' visit by Eve or the First's visit on Angel in Amends.

Later in Bring on the Night, Buffy sees Joyce in a couple dreams. In this case, I do not believe that the First Evil was involved, rather I think they were prophetic dreams. Buffy has a history of prophetic dreams going back to the first season. Also, we never saw any where else an invasion of one's dream by the First Evil. Finally, Joyce's advice in these dreams was true and beneficial. The advice consisted of two parts; evil cannot be killed and Buffy needed to sleep. In Chosen the minions of evil (ie. the Turokhan) were destroyed, but the First Evil remained intact. In Touched Buffy was able to develop her final effective strategy once she received a good night of sleep.

[> [> but the poltergeist aspect seems out of place -- Ray, 19:41:00 09/30/03 Tue

The first has never used such tactics. The wind, the "get out," the tv, the body, the dark form over Joyce. The First has never shown these abilities or tactics. It wasn't a matter of just appearing as Joyce.
It seems odd.

[> [> [> Re: but the poltergeist aspect seems out of place -- Tymen, 23:32:50 09/30/03 Tue

Perhaps the poltergeist aspect was Joyce trying to stop the First from getting to Dawn.

[> [> [> Why should the essence of evil limit it's tactics? -- Sofdog, 16:58:18 10/01/03 Wed

The First is evil, the very force of nature that influences all forms of evil. It showed a lot of different tactics along the way. It used all manner of persuasion, manipulation, intimidation, abuse, threats.

The CWP scene was an aspect of manipulation. By putting Dawn through that siege It played on her desire to see her mother. The First made Dawn 'want' to see Joyce. It planted a seed and watched it grown. The vague flashes of joice and that thing on the couch just strengthened Dawn's resolve to receive a message from her mother. She fought to hear it and was strongly motivated to believe it when her mother appeared in such an ideal vision (glowing white light, white robes). It was one of the many set-ups meant to fracture the group from within.

Dawn's insecurities are so easy to play on. It was a good ploy.

Cordy vs Fred -- JBone, 20:16:26 09/30/03 Tue

Do you ever think their relationship is maybe a little bit. . . icky?

Post ye comments here, at the voting site, or email me. And check out all this round's results here.


[> I'm voting Fred -- Finn Mac Cool, 20:31:01 09/30/03 Tue

I would have voted Cordelia, except her superior performance in most seasons is tarnished by Season 4. So I have to give Fred the win.

[> Fang Gang Alpha Female Past versus Alpha Female Future -- cjl, 21:12:21 09/30/03 Tue

Coma, huh? As much I loved Queen C (and the wear-and-tear on my ANGEL Season 2 DVD proves it), Seasons 3 and 4 ruined the character. The St. Cordelia/Cordelius arc was a slow-motion disaster, and the best Cordelia fans could hope for is a brief re-appearance and a dignified exit. The future is Fred's. After waiting in the wings for over two years (and enduring a couple of shaky plotlines of her own), she's now the top girl in a boys' playground. Let's see what Amy Acker can do. (Don't bogart that joint, Fred.)

[> [> 'Course she's the alpha female if she's the only female -- Masq, 05:43:34 10/01/03 Wed

[> [> [> Fred's the alpha because there are a number of betas... -- cjl, 06:38:06 10/01/03 Wed

...mainly, Eve and Harmony. She may be the only regular, but if the estrogen quotient on the show got TOO low, I think the guys (on the show and in the audience) would get cranky.

[> [> [> [> But poor Amy can't fill Charisma's cups. The jiggle quotient will be drastically down -- Diana, 07:03:49 10/01/03 Wed

[> [> [> [> [> The spoiler police are back!! (new AtS ep spoilers within) -- Masq, 10:16:43 10/01/03 Wed

They have Harmony as bimbo insurance. Good enough for me. (NT) -- cjl, 07:05:34 10/01/03 Wed (sa-

Tsk. And I seem to remember an NT post earlier in the summer that insinuated that Gunn was a lawyer. I didn't erase it, though, 'coz of course I have no way of knowing if it was an actual spoiler or not. ; )

[> [> [> [> [> [> Whoops. Brain freeze. -- cjl, 10:19:01 10/01/03 Wed

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> bad habit, cjl! you've been doing that since... (spoiler for angel premiere) -- anom (too late, got spoiled), 22:08:26 10/01/03 Wed

...Joyce vs. Gunn, haven't you? It wasn't an NT post, Masq:

"JOYCE: Such a nice young man. [Drapes a blanket over Gunn's shoulders.] And a lawyer, too. But my beautiful daughter doesn't seem to appreciate anything with a pulse..."

But it wasn't labeled for spoilers, either!

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: bad habit, cjl! you've been doing that since... (spoiler for angel premiere) -- Masq, 11:41:13 10/02/03 Thu

But he posted an NT post below it saying "I couldn't resist making a lawyer joke".

OK, let's stop picking on cjl now. Those cats are out of the bag...

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> not picking on him! i can't make a spoiler joke? -- anom, 23:46:53 10/02/03 Thu

At the time, I just figured it was about Gunn's working for a law firm. Does it even count as a spoiler if you don't take it seriously enough to know you've been spoiled? Or if the spoiler spiller doesn't know (which I strongly suspect) & then it turns out to be true? I was just teasing, not picking on anyone.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> anom, masq--it's okay. Not feeling picked on. (Thanks for the concern, though.) -- cjl, 07:44:00 10/03/03 Fri

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Spoilers and spoiling are tricky business -- Masq, 11:30:19 10/03/03 Fri

Sometimes, someone will put a spoiler in a subject line, and unspoiled people won't even realize it's a spoiler. Like last year, someone wrote about "Angelus" in their subject line (pre-Angel losing his soul in "Awakening"), worded in a way that a spoiler trollop would have immediately recognized as a spoiler for upcoming eps, but that a non-spoiled person would have assumed was a thread about season 2 of BtVS.

Then some well-intentioned person posted underneath the post "Spoiler above!!! Masq erase this!!!" and let every unspoiled person know that something was up with Angel in Season 4, possibly some soul-losing.

My point is that it's impossible to prevent everyone who wants to remain unspoiled from being that way. Short of kicking them all off the internet and banning them from all magazines that talk about the show(s). All we can do is our best to try to avoid spoiling each other.

That's my philosophy, anyway ; )

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> ok--don't think i did that (the spoiler was inside, & i marked it) -- anom, 13:09:49 10/03/03 Fri

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: ok--don't think i did that (the spoiler was inside, & i marked it) -- Masq, 19:45:36 10/03/03 Fri


[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> yeah, I didn't realize it, (spoilers for AtS 5.1 and Road2Apocalypse) -- Jay, 14:03:16 10/03/03 Fri

actually, until it was re-posted. Initially I thought that since Gunn was now at Wolfram & Hart, that Joyce was suppose to be confused into thinking Gunn was a lawyer. As I was eventually spoiled (not sure when or where,) to Gunn actually becoming a lawyer, I had forgotten about the matchup comments.

[> *Sigh* -- HonorH, 21:31:55 09/30/03 Tue

Okay, okay. Cordy used to be my favorite, but I just haven't been able to emotionally connect with her since the becoming-part-demon thing. Therefore, I'm going with Fred, who's been steadily growing on me ever since her first appearance. The physicist is too much of a survivor to go down even to Queen C at her best.

[> Fred for sure.. -- jane, 21:53:53 09/30/03 Tue

Anyone who can survive 5 years in a demon dimension without going totally gaga should have no trouble taking down a comatose ex-higher being!

[> Oh, Jiminy Crickets! -- deeva, 22:57:30 09/30/03 Tue

Is this even real!? There's no question about it. Cordy all the way. Sure, Fred's been with AI long enough to pick up a few things and she's a survivor. But for a moment, wayyyy back when, Angel was teaching Cordy a move or two.

[> [> But Fred is one mean mamma with a gun -- Diana, 07:11:25 10/01/03 Wed

Look at the shot she made in "Magic Bullet." How many people do you know that could make that shot with that gun? Fred had the gumption and composure to handle Angelus' insults. Wesley wouldn't fight back. Gunn got all riled up, but Fred's "You're a pig" was perfect. Also, Fred is the one that brought in Willow while the rest of AI ran around like chickens with their heads cut off crying "The sky is falling."

And most importantly, Fred looks much better than Cordy when she kisses Angel. So does Angel.

[> [> [> Well, sexual chemistry was not a factor -- deeva, 08:17:34 10/01/03 Wed

And I much prefer hand to hand combat than the use of guns. Something more honorable in that.

[> Anyone who can get Lilah all lathered up deserves my vote...;) -- Rufus, 02:37:45 10/01/03 Wed

I will always remember Lilah for her "Texas twig" comment....and I owe that to she gets my vote.

[> Re: Cordy vs Fred -- Celebaelin, 05:30:06 10/01/03 Wed

The writing is on the wall for Cordelia, particularly since Fred's extra-mural activities are on the increase. Quite apart from anything else her plan to open a totally retro W&H headshop on the mezzanine floor turned out to be a real winner. Order some more combination ouija board-rolling mats and call an ambulance, oh and make sure they bring a straight jacket this time.

[> Bitchy vs. Brainy -- MaeveRigan, 06:56:16 10/01/03 Wed

You know, I had hopes for Cordelia. She was really making progress there, for almost three seasons. I wouldn't have minded if she and Angel had become an item--they could have worked something out. But I guess Giles was right, "In the end, we all are who we are, no matter how much we may appear to have changed" ("Lessons"), and vanity was the heart of Cordelia. So, half-demon visions, higher-being perspective, possession by "Jasmine"--whatever version of Cordelia meets Fred, Fred's inner toughness, her brilliant mind, her intuition, and her ability to really love others and to wield a variety of weapons in a pinch bring her out on top. Besides, Cordelia, shallow as ever, underestimates Fred because of her appearance.

[> I love Fred, but I'm voting for Cordy for old time's sake... -- Masq, 11:37:37 10/01/03 Wed

'Cause we all remember the old times with Cordy.


She was never my favorite character, but whenever I spontaneously used a line from "BtVS" or "AtS" in conversation, it always ended up being a Cordy line. Not sure what that says about me.

[> Holy Cow! Cordy's getting walloped! -- Anneth, 11:45:53 10/01/03 Wed

Seasons 1 and 2 of Angel have turned me into a rabid Cordy fan. I don't care about Pod Cordy, or the wierd "I'm in love with Angel" thing, or the sleeping with Connor thing, or the evil thing, or the coma thing. Cordy Cordy Cordy! Fred wouldn't stand a chance against Queen C at her most imperious, anyway.

[> Fred -- monsieurxander, 12:46:14 10/01/03 Wed

"There's conspiracies n stuff... Ya'll don't even know."

Fred makes me warm and fuzzy inside. She wins my vote.

[> RE: Cordy vs. Fred -- Majin Gojira, 15:05:21 10/01/03 Wed

Fred tears Cordy appart in her dreams...wait, wrong Fred.

Fred's just too durable for Cordy to take down and she KOs herself trying to take Fred down. Why? Fred's A) From Texas, B) Survived a demon dimension for 5 years

[> I completely forgot about this last night... -- Apophis, 17:19:51 10/01/03 Wed

so this is a late entry. I voted for Cordy. I'm not gonna go into why, but rest assured, I have at least two reasons.

Current board | October 2003