AOQ Review 3-4: "Beauty And The Beasts"

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Arbitrar Of Quality

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Mar 9, 2006, 12:25:16 AM3/9/06
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A reminder: Please avoid spoilers for later episodes in these review
threads.


BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER
Season Three, Episode 4: "Beauty And The Beasts"
(or "In wildness is the preservation of the world")
Writer: Marti Noxon
Director: James Whitmore, Jr.

Well, this one wasn't what I was expecting. And it's full of all
sorts of stuff, some really cool and some, uh, not. It'll be a bit
of a tough one to write while I sort it all out in my head here.

There are a bunch of beasts running rampant in this episode. There's
Oz, who looks less like a bear and more like a monkey. I guess it's
a slight improvement. There's Angel, who's become a beast (yet he
had the presence of mind to find himself a pair of pants and put them
on properly in the time since F/H/T. Funny, that). And then we get
another beast about midway through too, the one responsible for the
killings we'd considered pinning on our regulars.

It seems that Seth Green hasn't had the chance to do much serious
acting thus far. Well, here's his chance to shine. Watch his
delivery on "get away from me," early on, or the 'I'm a little
scared, but mostly for your sake' vibe he gives off during the
confrontation with Pete. While it may not compare to, say, killing
your boyfriend after finally getting him back, being a werewolf pretty
much sucks. Since the ravaging brutality (and any metaphors for
bad-machismo you want to throw in) are so antithetical to whom Oz is,
he seems so deeply ashamed to let anyone see it (which in itself makes
him act meaner...). Some really nice moments.

Didn't much enjoy Xander's nonchalant attitude towards his Ozwatch,
both before and after it becomes clear that Oz might've escaped.
What's up with that? Why volunteer in the first place if you're
not interested in doing your job?

Buffy runs into Angel again sooner than I'd expected, sees that
he's crazed, and without much explanation to the viewer decides to
break out the bondage gear and keep him isolated. Um, huh. We do get
an explanation for Angel's reappearance, and you know what? It's
a pretty good one. He didn't die, cuz vamps can heal from sword
wounds, and he's fought his way out Hell... after several hundred
years. The events of "Becoming" have been kinda undone, but they
can't be brushed aside, and things can't go back to the way they
were before Angelus and Alfalfa. I think my sense of moral outrage can
stay muted here.

Not much to say about the stuff with the counselor; too much
pop-psychology for my tastes, and I was groaning at Buffy spilling her
guts to him when he was clearly dead.

With the reemergence of Angel, it looks like the guy Buffy's been
hanging out with, Scott, is in danger of being left by the wayside.
This episode suggests that he's a worthwhile character in his own
right. Or just that the writers are interested in giving him good
lines like "that's what I stopped you for, basically -
'hey,'" and "I hope you realize that I don't actually know
these people, I just thought you'd like me better if I had
'friends.'"

And out of nowhere this episode becomes a story about Debbie and Pete.
After maybe two minutes of screentime, they become the most important
players in the last twenty minutes of the show. It's enough to make
you go "wha?"

This plot, in which Pete is driven to turn himself into a violent
monster, is one of BTVS's most overt metaphors ever. That's not
even the best word choice, since stuff like a guy tearfully telling his
girlfriend that he didn't mean to hurt her (he's so sorry, he just
loves her, it'll be different from now on) or Debbie putting on
makeup to disguise a black eye aren't actually metaphorical at all.
It seems people think that Marti Noxon has a pattern of idealizing
twisted or abusive relationships, but this particular episode does the
opposite: by denying that there's a problem, Debbie only achieves the
deaths of several people, and ultimately herself. Pretty
straightforward. If anything, people like Pete (or the monster he's
become) need help, but they're dangerous individuals who absolutely
do not deserve our sympathy or our tolerance.

So is it a good thing that the episode is so direct? A bad thing? By
itself, neither; it depends on the execution. And here it struck me as
a fairly pedestrian story about a couple of characters I have no real
reason to care about. I think there was also probably an attempt to
reflect things on Buffy (i.e. the irony of Buffy being the one to
preach about abusive boyfriends), but this time I really can't go
along with that. Totally different situation in every relevant way.

But then the episode makes things interesting at the end and throws a
wrench into the basic morality play. Angel, a creature of pure
violence, kills in the name of protecting someone to show that he's
civilized and capable of love. Well, that complicates our analogies.
If I can throw in a dash of pretension, it's more _White Fang_ than
_Call Of The Wild_. Both Boreanaz and Gellar do a tremendous job with
the mostly nonverbal scene.

Some short takes:
1) Our heroes generally seem pretty smart this week, rationally
considering the various candidates for killer early on, and rationally
dismissing Debbie and focusing on Pete at the end based on the
evidence.

2) I'm sorry, but Pete's transformation ritual is hilarious,
funnier than both incarnations of the Ozwolf costume combined.

3) Nice to see that someone can tear apart the library cage like the
cheap-looking stuff it is, even if our regulars are wusses.

This Is Really Stupid But I Laughed Anyway moment(s):
- Faith listening to her discman while on Ozwatch

All right, I've worked it out. BATB isn't such a great episode as
a whole, but certain individual scenes are quite good, enough to make
the whole thing at least worth a look. That's my story and I'm
sticking with it.


So...

One-sentence summary: A weaker episode bolstered by some strong
moments.

AOQ rating: Decent

[Season Three so far:
1) "Anne" - Decent
2) "Dead Man's Party" - Excellent
3) "Faith, Hope, and Trick" - Good
4) "Beauty And The Beasts" - Decent]

Don Sample

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Mar 9, 2006, 1:11:36 AM3/9/06
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In article <1141881915....@i40g2000cwc.googlegroups.com>,

"Arbitrar Of Quality" <tsm...@wildmail.com> wrote:

> A reminder: Please avoid spoilers for later episodes in these review
> threads.
>
>
> BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER
> Season Three, Episode 4: "Beauty And The Beasts"
> (or "In wildness is the preservation of the world")
> Writer: Marti Noxon
> Director: James Whitmore, Jr.
>
> Well, this one wasn't what I was expecting. And it's full of all
> sorts of stuff, some really cool and some, uh, not. It'll be a bit
> of a tough one to write while I sort it all out in my head here.
>
> There are a bunch of beasts running rampant in this episode. There's
> Oz, who looks less like a bear and more like a monkey. I guess it's
> a slight improvement. There's Angel, who's become a beast (yet he
> had the presence of mind to find himself a pair of pants and put them
> on properly in the time since F/H/T. Funny, that).

Ah yes, Angel's magic pants. He managed to get them on, back at the end
of 'Surprise', when he was losing his soul too.


> Not much to say about the stuff with the counselor; too much
> pop-psychology for my tastes, and I was groaning at Buffy spilling her
> guts to him when he was clearly dead.

He was a smoker. Smokers rarely come to a good end on Buffy. (Amy the
spontaneously combusting cheerleader was a smoker. The girl who got
beat up in the school basement by the ugly man was a smoker. The lady
smoking in the alley had her throat torn out by Angel, the smoker at the
DMP had his neck broken...)

--
Quando omni flunkus moritati
Visit the Buffy Body Count at <http://homepage.mac.com/dsample/>

William George Ferguson

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Mar 9, 2006, 1:36:13 AM3/9/06
to
"Arbitrar Of Quality" <tsm...@wildmail.com> wrote:

>A reminder: Please avoid spoilers for later episodes in these review
>threads.
>
>
>BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER
>Season Three, Episode 4: "Beauty And The Beasts"
>(or "In wildness is the preservation of the world")
>Writer: Marti Noxon
>Director: James Whitmore, Jr.
>
>Well, this one wasn't what I was expecting.

Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!

>And it's full of all
>sorts of stuff, some really cool and some, uh, not. It'll be a bit
>of a tough one to write while I sort it all out in my head here.

My take, not a very good episode as an episode, but with sparkling bits,
pretty much the same as your take.

>There are a bunch of beasts running rampant in this episode. There's
>Oz, who looks less like a bear and more like a monkey. I guess it's
>a slight improvement. There's Angel, who's become a beast (yet he
>had the presence of mind to find himself a pair of pants and put them
>on properly in the time since F/H/T. Funny, that).

Oh yes, the magic pants. I think the newsgroup finally agreed that Angel
has the mystic ability to summon pants (he also used this ability at the
end of Surprise, remember?).

>It seems that Seth Green hasn't had the chance to do much serious
>acting thus far. Well, here's his chance to shine. Watch his
>delivery on "get away from me," early on, or the 'I'm a little
>scared, but mostly for your sake' vibe he gives off during the
>confrontation with Pete. While it may not compare to, say, killing
>your boyfriend after finally getting him back, being a werewolf pretty
>much sucks. Since the ravaging brutality (and any metaphors for
>bad-machismo you want to throw in) are so antithetical to whom Oz is,
>he seems so deeply ashamed to let anyone see it (which in itself makes
>him act meaner...). Some really nice moments.

The two best ones, "I may be a cold blooded jelly donut, by my timing is
impeccable." and "Times up, rules change"

>With the reemergence of Angel, it looks like the guy Buffy's been
>hanging out with, Scott, is in danger of being left by the wayside.
>This episode suggests that he's a worthwhile character in his own
>right. Or just that the writers are interested in giving him good
>lines like "that's what I stopped you for, basically -
>'hey,'" and "I hope you realize that I don't actually know
>these people, I just thought you'd like me better if I had
>'friends.'"
>
>And out of nowhere this episode becomes a story about Debbie and Pete.
>After maybe two minutes of screentime, they become the most important
>players in the last twenty minutes of the show. It's enough to make
>you go "wha?"

The aggravating thing is that, while you might not know or figure the
specific details, you pretty much know that Pete is the bad guy behind the
killings within literally seconds of him being introduced.

>Some short takes:
>1) Our heroes generally seem pretty smart this week, rationally
>considering the various candidates for killer early on, and rationally
>dismissing Debbie and focusing on Pete at the end based on the
>evidence.

And didn't you love Willow's Scooby lunchpail forensic kit?

>This Is Really Stupid But I Laughed Anyway moment(s):
>- Faith listening to her discman while on Ozwatch

Oh come on. You also laughed at "Bloody priceless.", admit it.

>All right, I've worked it out. BATB isn't such a great episode as
>a whole, but certain individual scenes are quite good, enough to make
>the whole thing at least worth a look. That's my story and I'm
>sticking with it.

And a final meta- commment, it generally isn't good when the characters
themselves comment on the plotholes.
Cordelia: "Where have I been?"


--
HERBERT
1996 - 1997
Beloved Mascot
Delightful Meal
He fed the Pack
A little

hopelessly devoted

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Mar 9, 2006, 2:42:21 AM3/9/06
to

Arbitrar Of Quality wrote:

> Season Three, Episode 4: "Beauty And The Beasts"

> Well, this one wasn't what I was expecting. And it's full of all


> sorts of stuff, some really cool and some, uh, not. It'll be a bit
> of a tough one to write while I sort it all out in my head here.

I have been trying to keep everything on a "on first viewing" level and
will do my best here as well.

First off I loved Willows expression on the "part about rabbits".
Never could figure out why the mention of rabbits drove wolfOz nuts but
the whole discussion including the full monty was a nice opening.

The slayer bonding and the "all men are beasts" speech turned out to be
a nice setup for the story.

> It seems that Seth Green hasn't had the chance to do much serious
> acting thus far. Well, here's his chance to shine. Watch his
> delivery on "get away from me," early on, or the 'I'm a little
> scared, but mostly for your sake' vibe he gives off during the

> confrontation with Pete......

Loved Oz response to Giles suggestion to have a slayer watch him. Seth
does indeed shine. At this moment in the series, I realized how
perfect he and Willow are together, the easy and comfortable way it
happened starting mid S2.

> Didn't much enjoy Xander's nonchalant attitude towards his Ozwatch,
> both before and after it becomes clear that Oz might've escaped.
> What's up with that? Why volunteer in the first place if you're
> not interested in doing your job?

Along with pure adolescent testosterone filled bravado, this girl
obsessed teenage boy is also the typical slacker at times. More about
Xanman when it becomes relevant.

> Not much to say about the stuff with the counselor; too much
> pop-psychology for my tastes, and I was groaning at Buffy spilling her
> guts to him when he was clearly dead.

I love it when shows can introduce us to new people and don't feel that
they have to play it safe. Counselor worked for me on that respect.
Also, this gives Buffy someone to trust at this point in her suddenly
confused world. Also seemed to me that along with Principle Flutie,
Buffy doesn't have a whole lot of luck with positive authority figures.

I also had a problem with the dead part. First boy was ripped apart by
a big wild animal but the counselor was "instantly" killed and didn't
drop his cigarette. Bullet in the head and no reaction would be hard
for me to believe, but those wounds, I'm not buying it for one second.

> With the reemergence of Angel, it looks like the guy Buffy's been
> hanging out with, Scott, is in danger of being left by the wayside.

> "I hope you realize that I don't actually know
> these people, I just thought you'd like me better if I had
> 'friends.'"

> (yet he had the presence of mind to find himself a pair of pants and put them


> on properly in the time since F/H/T. Funny, that).

The Pants and the growling were, and still are, the two most irritating
things about this ep, IMO. The pants I can't explain but it felt like
Angel was sucked into the K9 Hell dimension and bit his leash off to
escape.

> And out of nowhere this episode becomes a story about Debbie and Pete.
> After maybe two minutes of screentime, they become the most important
> players in the last twenty minutes of the show. It's enough to make
> you go "wha?"

My first response to them appearing was whoa!!!!! After the big
reveal, there was a kind of Aha!!!! Felt like old school Star Trek to
me.

W was a big whao in the morgue. Very in control, business first, faint
later. Very nice switch from the usual meek and mild.

> This plot, in which Pete is driven to turn himself into a violent
> monster, is one of BTVS's most overt metaphors ever. That's not
> even the best word choice, since stuff like a guy tearfully telling his
> girlfriend that he didn't mean to hurt her (he's so sorry, he just
> loves her, it'll be different from now on) or Debbie putting on
> makeup to disguise a black eye aren't actually metaphorical at all.
> It seems people think that Marti Noxon has a pattern of idealizing
> twisted or abusive relationships, but this particular episode does the
> opposite: by denying that there's a problem, Debbie only achieves the
> deaths of several people, and ultimately herself. Pretty
> straightforward. If anything, people like Pete (or the monster he's
> become) need help, but they're dangerous individuals who absolutely
> do not deserve our sympathy or our tolerance.

Pretty much sums it up. I did think the "He does love me" "He does
love me" "He does love me" part was a bit much.

> So is it a good thing that the episode is so direct? A bad thing? By
> itself, neither; it depends on the execution.

The Giles/Buffy scene discussing Angel's "possible" return. ASH gave
me chills. Each time I watch the scene, I can't take my eyes off of
his face, his searching eyes. The many emotions, questions. 1000
volumes. Discussing the two types of demon that are in fact one in the
same: Angel/Angelus. And ASH's slowly coming out of his own personal
hell. He's clearly still suffering from Angelus many forms of torture.

Also, this scene was the only explanation I had to justify the Hell
dimension in Anne.

> Some short takes:
> 1) Our heroes generally seem pretty smart this week, rationally
> considering the various candidates for killer early on, and rationally
> dismissing Debbie and focusing on Pete at the end based on the
> evidence.

I felt that the jump to the boyfriend as the monster a bit of a
stretch, but hey, tiime's short and we got to get this wrapped up the
old fashioned way. Check the shirt.

Nice to see the teamwork of the scoobs and slayers before (and
especially after Giles is shot in the tush) LOL. W/F on Oz, Buffy on
the vericose man.

> This Is Really Stupid But I Laughed Anyway moment(s):
> - Faith listening to her discman while on Ozwatch

Still more responsible than Xander.
Faith: "What are you doing here?"
Buffy: "Bleeding internally"

The ending segment of Cordy just there all of a sudden was a little
interesting. However I did love the on-screne theories, especially
about the 8 iced cafe mochas. The Angel drop the knees and final scene
of poor tortured A were a little much. Not my favorite, but still
better than my "not my favorites" from S1 and S2.

hopelessly devoted

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Mar 9, 2006, 2:43:36 AM3/9/06
to

Hadn't considered that about the smokers. However that doesn't explain
Spike. Great! Now I'm going to be stuck with serious thoughts all day.

Apteryx

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Mar 9, 2006, 3:04:15 AM3/9/06
to
"Arbitrar Of Quality" <tsm...@wildmail.com> wrote in message
news:1141881915....@i40g2000cwc.googlegroups.com...

>A reminder: Please avoid spoilers for later episodes in these review
> threads.
>
>
> BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER
> Season Three, Episode 4: "Beauty And The Beasts"
> (or "In wildness is the preservation of the world")
> Writer: Marti Noxon
> Director: James Whitmore, Jr.
>
>
> Didn't much enjoy Xander's nonchalant attitude towards his Ozwatch,
> both before and after it becomes clear that Oz might've escaped.
> What's up with that? Why volunteer in the first place if you're
> not interested in doing your job?

Men are beasts. Although Buffy falls asleep the 2nd night after volunteering
to stand in for Faith, so maybe women are too. Or Slayers.

>
> So...
>
> One-sentence summary: A weaker episode bolstered by some strong
> moments.

Pretty much. Not much to see here. If it had to stand on its main story,
this would be one of the worst ever epidodes. But there is the getting to
know Faith bits, the whatever happened to Angel bits, and some good dialogue
(my vote goes to "Great. Now I'm gonna be stuck with serious thoughts all
day.") Overall, my 101st favourite BtVS episode, and 20th best in Season 3.

--
Apteryx


shuggie

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Mar 9, 2006, 3:39:44 AM3/9/06
to

Arbitrar Of Quality wrote:

>
> There are a bunch of beasts running rampant in this episode. There's
> Oz, who looks less like a bear and more like a monkey.

Yeah, werewolves on a TV budget? not really gonna look good.

>I guess it's
> a slight improvement. There's Angel, who's become a beast (yet he
> had the presence of mind to find himself a pair of pants and put them
> on properly in the time since F/H/T. Funny, that).

Yep again. Well it is TV.

>And then we get
> another beast about midway through too, the one responsible for the
> killings we'd considered pinning on our regulars.
>
> It seems that Seth Green hasn't had the chance to do much serious
> acting thus far. Well, here's his chance to shine. Watch his
> delivery on "get away from me," early on, or the 'I'm a little
> scared, but mostly for your sake' vibe he gives off during the
> confrontation with Pete. While it may not compare to, say, killing
> your boyfriend after finally getting him back, being a werewolf pretty
> much sucks. Since the ravaging brutality (and any metaphors for
> bad-machismo you want to throw in) are so antithetical to whom Oz is,
> he seems so deeply ashamed to let anyone see it (which in itself makes
> him act meaner...). Some really nice moments.
>

Yes. It's interesting because the character of Oz relies on him not
doing very much most of the time, but when he is required to do
something, Seth brings it.

> Didn't much enjoy Xander's nonchalant attitude towards his Ozwatch,
> both before and after it becomes clear that Oz might've escaped.
> What's up with that? Why volunteer in the first place if you're
> not interested in doing your job?
>

Teenage attention span?

> Buffy runs into Angel again sooner than I'd expected, sees that
> he's crazed, and without much explanation to the viewer decides to
> break out the bondage gear and keep him isolated. Um, huh. We do get
> an explanation for Angel's reappearance, and you know what? It's
> a pretty good one. He didn't die, cuz vamps can heal from sword
> wounds, and he's fought his way out Hell... after several hundred
> years. The events of "Becoming" have been kinda undone, but they
> can't be brushed aside, and things can't go back to the way they
> were before Angelus and Alfalfa. I think my sense of moral outrage can
> stay muted here.
>

Hmm. You took that better than expected. I was still asking questions
at this stage.

> Not much to say about the stuff with the counselor; too much
> pop-psychology for my tastes, and I was groaning at Buffy spilling her
> guts to him when he was clearly dead.
>
> With the reemergence of Angel, it looks like the guy Buffy's been
> hanging out with, Scott, is in danger of being left by the wayside.
> This episode suggests that he's a worthwhile character in his own
> right. Or just that the writers are interested in giving him good
> lines like "that's what I stopped you for, basically -
> 'hey,'" and "I hope you realize that I don't actually know
> these people, I just thought you'd like me better if I had
> 'friends.'"
>

BtVS isn't stingy with the good dialogue. You can't judge who's a minor
character based on that. One of my favourite lines was given to a
one-shot villain.

("Qbrf guvf fjrngre znxr zr ybbx sng?"/"Ab gur snpg gung lbh'er sng
znxrf lbh
ybbx sng, gung fjrnere whfg znxrf lbh ybbx checyr")

> And out of nowhere this episode becomes a story about Debbie and Pete.
> After maybe two minutes of screentime, they become the most important
> players in the last twenty minutes of the show. It's enough to make
> you go "wha?"
>

Is it? As long as the villain isn't introduced in the final few minutes
then I'm ok.

> So is it a good thing that the episode is so direct? A bad thing? By
> itself, neither; it depends on the execution. And here it struck me as
> a fairly pedestrian story about a couple of characters I have no real
> reason to care about. I think there was also probably an attempt to
> reflect things on Buffy (i.e. the irony of Buffy being the one to
> preach about abusive boyfriends), but this time I really can't go
> along with that. Totally different situation in every relevant way.
>

I'd probably agree. I must admit I've been waiting to see your take on
this. A couple of years back I spent some time arguing with a guy who
thought that all three relationships were in some way abusive. I have a
hard time seeing Oz as abusive but substitute the word 'dangerous' for
abusive and it starts to make a case. I mean Pete may be the extreme
example but both Oz and Angel need to be restrained to protect their
women from their violent inner nature. I'd dismiss this if I didn't
happen to know that the working title for this ep was "All Men Are
Beasts". (naq gura bs pbhefr gurer'f "Ovyyl")

Of course they changed the title so someone in ME decided to pull back
from that radical a statement. Still it leaves me uncomfortable. One of
BtVS's main strengths for me is that it gives a positive image of
female empowerment without (usually) denigrating men.

> But then the episode makes things interesting at the end and throws a
> wrench into the basic morality play. Angel, a creature of pure
> violence, kills in the name of protecting someone to show that he's
> civilized and capable of love.

Yes. Well I think it's also an opportunity to show that he's slowly
recovering from his time in Hell and getting back to something like his
former self.


> AOQ rating: Decent

That's fair. I might give it more for some nice Oz moments and various
bits of dialogue etc.

KenM47

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Mar 9, 2006, 4:32:21 AM3/9/06
to
"hopelessly devoted" <cry...@cinstall.com> wrote:


Evil vampire. Short story.

Ken (Brooklyn)

KenM47

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Mar 9, 2006, 4:42:54 AM3/9/06
to
"Arbitrar Of Quality" <tsm...@wildmail.com> wrote:

>A reminder: Please avoid spoilers for later episodes in these review
>threads.
>
>
>BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER
>Season Three, Episode 4: "Beauty And The Beasts"
>(or "In wildness is the preservation of the world")
>Writer: Marti Noxon
>Director: James Whitmore, Jr.
>

<SNIP>

>
>One-sentence summary: A weaker episode bolstered by some strong
>moments.
>
>AOQ rating: Decent
>
>[Season Three so far:
>1) "Anne" - Decent
>2) "Dead Man's Party" - Excellent
>3) "Faith, Hope, and Trick" - Good
>4) "Beauty And The Beasts" - Decent]

OK. I have not yet rewatched yet. My memory is that "Decent" is right.

What everyone still seems to miss is this is another homage episode.
(or I'm the only one who thinks so because I never see anyone else
pick up on this). I don't know how much of this is Marti projecting,
but I'm guessing her assignment was to watch the old "House of ....."
movies (Frankenstein, Dracula, etc.), show that it's really Angel not
Angelus, and otherwise given carte blanche. Maybe it's a leftover idea
from season 1?

Everything is set up for the big battle at the end with the wolfman,
vampire and Mr. Hyde (I guess they could not figure how to bring a
Frankenstein monster in).

Looked at from that angle, I remember the ep as harmless enough fun
with a bunch of great little moments. In retrospect, yes it does seem
that Marti herself had relationship issues.

Maybe more later. I have to rewatch it now.


Ken (Brooklyn)

Kevin

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Mar 9, 2006, 5:50:28 AM3/9/06
to

AOQ wrote:
> Buffy runs into Angel again sooner than I'd expected.....
> .....The events of "Becoming" have been kinda undone, but they

> can't be brushed aside, and things can't go back to the way they
> were before Angelus and Alfalfa. I think my sense of moral outrage can
> stay muted here.


Angel's return came way too soon for many critics here. However, given
that they had to bring him back into the story before long -- with
spinoff in the works -- this episode does do a nice job of holding him
at a distance from Buffy. The final scenes leave her situation
unresolved, with appropriate fear and confusion, and the episode is
neither a bland uneventful placeholder nor a hasty
let's-get-Angel-back-to-normal whirlwind. Either of those options
would have been reviled; as it is, other major aspects of BATB already
repel many fans.

I quite liked the voiceover at the end, and the accompanying images of
B/A in the dark mansion; a good way to cadence this tense chapter. I
wonder if these voiceovers strike the same nerve with fans as did those
in Passion -- the technique seems to earn strong reactions. Curiously,
not only Boreanaz but Gellar too is far less convincing as a
voice-performer than as an actor in general... I'm right on board with
every positive comment about SMG's marvelous skill in performing her
role, right from the series premiere (excepting only her
18th-century-lady in Halloween, which was almost as distracting as
Julie Benz' patently American voice in every single !@#$^% flashback on
TWO series)... but maybe the youthful voice just isn't cut out for
audio-only. Still liked this ending, though.


--Kevin

KenM47

unread,
Mar 9, 2006, 5:52:04 AM3/9/06
to
KenM47 <Ken...@ix.netcom.com> wrote:

>"Arbitrar Of Quality" <tsm...@wildmail.com> wrote:
>
>>A reminder: Please avoid spoilers for later episodes in these review
>>threads.
>>
>>
>>BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER
>>Season Three, Episode 4: "Beauty And The Beasts"
>>(or "In wildness is the preservation of the world")
>>Writer: Marti Noxon
>>Director: James Whitmore, Jr.
>>
>
><SNIP>
>
>>
>>One-sentence summary: A weaker episode bolstered by some strong
>>moments.
>>
>>AOQ rating: Decent
>>
>>[Season Three so far:
>>1) "Anne" - Decent
>>2) "Dead Man's Party" - Excellent
>>3) "Faith, Hope, and Trick" - Good
>>4) "Beauty And The Beasts" - Decent]
>

<SNIP>


>
>Maybe more later. I have to rewatch it now.
>Ken (Brooklyn)


OK. Rewatched. All-in-all, I still think decent, maybe decent plus.

Yes, heavy handed re abusive men, but hey, it was just the one
episode.

A few things noted:

1. When Buffy returns to the mansion to chain Angel, she knocks Dru's
dolls off the chest.

2. Giles approach to sleeping Oz-watch Buffy a lot different than when
he heard how Xander fell asleep.

3. Angel's "Buffy" toward the end mirrors the reensouling in Bec2. SMG
gets to nail another moment.

4. In the F,W and wolfman scene, Willow gets "Ox" off Faith by pulling
his tail - funny in the midst of tense.

5. I think Willow's "super mas macho" comment at the end referred to a
bit that was running in those days on SNL "Quien es mas macho?"

6. Everyone talks about Angel's pants, but no one mentions the
magically appearing socks (in Buffy's first run in in the woods) or
the magically appearing shoes on chained Angel.

As for the pants, we're still talking about a show that aired at 8
p.m., that attracted a young audience, that pushed the censors in
various ways, and you can't have Angel running around nude. I say, cut
them some slacks!

Lots of great lines, great Scooby lunchbox, nice monster fights, a
decent plus "Buffy" (and SMG looked healthy).

Ken (Brooklyn)

BTR1701

unread,
Mar 9, 2006, 6:25:20 AM3/9/06
to
In article <dsample-1408ED...@news.giganews.com>,
Don Sample <dsa...@synapse.net> wrote:

Snvgu fzbxrq naq fur pnzr bhg bxnl.

kenm47

unread,
Mar 9, 2006, 7:21:15 AM3/9/06
to

Zhpu, zhpu yngre, jura fur ab ybatre fzbxrq be ng yrnfg jnf abg fubja
fzbxvat VVEP.

Ken (Brooklyn)

shuggie

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Mar 9, 2006, 7:38:31 AM3/9/06
to

KenM47 wrote:

> As for the pants, we're still talking about a show that aired at 8
> p.m., that attracted a young audience, that pushed the censors in
> various ways, and you can't have Angel running around nude. I say, cut
> them some slacks!

Heh. Nicely done.

Mike Zeares

unread,
Mar 9, 2006, 7:53:59 AM3/9/06
to

Arbitrar Of Quality wrote:
> A reminder: Please avoid spoilers for later episodes in these review
> threads.
>
>
> BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER
> Season Three, Episode 4: "Beauty And The Beasts"
> (or "In wildness is the preservation of the world")
> Writer: Marti Noxon
> Director: James Whitmore, Jr.
>
> Well, this one wasn't what I was expecting. And it's full of all
> sorts of stuff, some really cool and some, uh, not. It'll be a bit
> of a tough one to write while I sort it all out in my head here.

I have basically nothing to add, detract, or challenge in your review.
I usually skip this ep when I have my marathons, and if I do watch it I
FF through all the Pete/Debbie scenes. The continuing character
subplots are strong (something S3 does well in general), but the A plot
is total dullsville. Well, moving on. You're about to get to the good
stuff now.

Something to watch for: S2 was built around some long storylines that
played out over the whole season. S3 has those too, but also has some
shorter "mini-arcs" that play out over 2-3 episodes, especially in this
early part of the season. These subplots are often more important (or
at least more interesting) than whatever the MOTW is, and tie episodes
together in a more serial-like manner.

-- Mike Zeares

Mike Zeares

unread,
Mar 9, 2006, 8:07:40 AM3/9/06
to
I did want to comment on one thing:

Arbitrar Of Quality wrote:
>
> Buffy runs into Angel again sooner than I'd expected, sees that
> he's crazed, and without much explanation to the viewer decides to
> break out the bondage gear and keep him isolated. Um, huh.

Easy explanation. Marti Noxon wrote this episode. It is odd that
Buffy knew where to find the chains, or even that there were chains at
the mansion. "Huh," indeed. But, we can't let logic get in the way
of a chained-up shirtless Angel. Full speed!

> It seems people think that Marti Noxon has a pattern of idealizing
> twisted or abusive relationships, but this particular episode does the
> opposite: by denying that there's a problem, Debbie only achieves the
> deaths of several people, and ultimately herself. Pretty
> straightforward.

For what it's worth, I don't think she idealizes such relationships.
She likes to write them because she likes the angst and horror they
bring. Also, she just likes kinky imagery. She's pretty much admitted
as much, and Joss has given her the credit for bringing that to the
show. Weird chick, but she seems nice enough. Also, she's kind of
hot.

-- Mike Zeares

Mike Zeares

unread,
Mar 9, 2006, 8:13:35 AM3/9/06
to

Kevin wrote:
>
> I quite liked the voiceover at the end, and the accompanying images of
> B/A in the dark mansion; a good way to cadence this tense chapter. I
> wonder if these voiceovers strike the same nerve with fans as did those
> in Passion -- the technique seems to earn strong reactions.

I was annoyed by the VO in "Passion," but I liked it here. Maybe
because I've always liked _Call of the Wild_. Although I don't know
that it really fits, wrt Angel.

-- Mike Zeares

kenm47

unread,
Mar 9, 2006, 8:17:48 AM3/9/06
to
"It is odd that Buffy knew where to find the chains, or even that there
were chains at the mansion. "Huh," indeed. But, we can't let logic
get in the way of a chained-up shirtless Angel. Full speed! "

This is the mansion where the vamps were "living," where she fought
Angelus, where Giles was tortured. She might not have known exactly
what she would find in Dru's chest (at least one doll on top of the
chest was gagged a la Ms. Edith), but it was reasonable to think she
would find something.

"For what it's worth, I don't think she [Marti] idealizes such
relationships."

Fixated or obsessed might be better words.

"Weird chick, but she seems nice enough. Also, she's kind of hot."

IMO: Yes, no opinion, not all that much.

Ken (Brooklyn)

kenm47

unread,
Mar 9, 2006, 8:19:52 AM3/9/06
to

I liked the voiceovers in both, although I thought DB's reading in
Passion a little stiff.

Ken (Brooklyn)

Scythe Matters

unread,
Mar 9, 2006, 8:41:16 AM3/9/06
to
Kevin wrote:

> Julie Benz' patently American voice

Jnfa'g fur Nzrevpna jura gur Znfgre ghearq ure? V nqzvg V qba'g erzrzore
gur eryrinag NGF rcvfbqr jryy rabhtu, naq V'z gbb ynml gb purpx.

shuggie

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Mar 9, 2006, 8:41:39 AM3/9/06
to
Ken,

I hope you don't mind me mentioning this but I've noticed (from looking
at headers etc) that like me, you sometimes post from Google and
sometimes not (using Agent in that case). On the occasions when you
post from Google you quote using a simple " at the beginning and end of
the quoted block - which to be honest I find hard to read. However, the
fact that when you post using Agent you use a more standard form of
quoting (">" at the beginning of each line) leads me to think that this
is not preference on your part but the perceived limitations of Google.

Perhaps you didn't realise but it is possible to do the same kind of
quoting on Google. Instead of clicking the Reply link at the bottom of
a post, first click "more options" at the top, then click the (newly
revealed) "Reply" link at the top. This will generate a form in which
you can type your reply and which already has the replied-to post text
inserted with ">" quoting.

If you were already aware of this and simply prefer the " method then
feel free to ignore this post.

cheers
Shuggie

kenm47

unread,
Mar 9, 2006, 8:56:22 AM3/9/06
to

Hi Shuggie,

Pretty much I forget about the other way to do it through Google
sometimes. Other times I'm just looking to quote a short snatch out of
a longer post and the blank "Reply" box seemed simpler. I'll try to
remember to do as you suggest in the future - I was unaware that the
other way made things difficult to follow at times.

Least I can do for someone who appreciates any of my feeble jokes (or
puns) :-)

Ken (Brooklyn)

vague disclaimer

unread,
Mar 9, 2006, 9:30:32 AM3/9/06
to
In article <1141906875.3...@e56g2000cwe.googlegroups.com>,
"kenm47" <ken...@ix.netcom.com> wrote:

> Xra (Oebbxyla)

Fur jnf zbfgyl qrsvavgryl fzbxvat jura pbmlvat hc gb Fcvxr va Qvegl
Tveyf.
--
A vague disclaimer is nobody's friend

Scythe Matters

unread,
Mar 9, 2006, 9:43:32 AM3/9/06
to
We agree on the rating. The episode is...fine. But boy, did you miss the
more important of the two allegories.

Arbitrar Of Quality wrote:

> There's Angel, who's become a beast (yet he
> had the presence of mind to find himself a pair of pants and put them
> on properly in the time since F/H/T. Funny, that).

Here's something else you missed: did you notice that Hell apparently
has a really good supply of razors and styling gel?

> It seems that Seth Green hasn't had the chance to do much serious
> acting thus far. Well, here's his chance to shine. Watch his
> delivery on "get away from me," early on, or the 'I'm a little
> scared, but mostly for your sake' vibe he gives off during the
> confrontation with Pete.

Green, as others noted, "brings it" when necessary. It's not often
necessary, but when it is, it really stands out. Green absolutely
inhabits that character...though from what I understand, it's not that
far afield from his actual personality. Werewolfing aside. I think.

> Didn't much enjoy Xander's nonchalant attitude towards his Ozwatch,
> both before and after it becomes clear that Oz might've escaped.
> What's up with that? Why volunteer in the first place if you're
> not interested in doing your job?

Imagine that...Xander doing or saying something impulsive and selfish
without considering the consequences. We've never seen *that* before.

> We do get
> an explanation for Angel's reappearance, and you know what? It's
> a pretty good one.

No we don't. He didn't fight his way out of Hell. I'm not saying whether
or not there will be an explanation, but we didn't get one in this episode.

> Not much to say about the stuff with the counselor; too much
> pop-psychology for my tastes, and I was groaning at Buffy spilling her
> guts to him when he was clearly dead.

The interesting part about the scenes were how "correct" they play even
though Buffy and the counselor are inhabiting two completely different
universes. What she's talking about is not what he's talking about, yet
the advice is good (albiet, as you say, pop-psych). This is interesting
because it fairly clearly shows how the mystical problems of the
Buffyverse really *are* metaphors for real problems; it's a peek behind
the curtain, if you will.

> And out of nowhere this episode becomes a story about Debbie and Pete.
> After maybe two minutes of screentime, they become the most important
> players in the last twenty minutes of the show. It's enough to make
> you go "wha?"

They're not the most important players in the show, even in the last
twenty minutes, which is why it's not important to make them important
from the beginning. That's the metaphor that you missed. But more in a bit.

> This plot, in which Pete is driven to turn himself into a violent
> monster, is one of BTVS's most overt metaphors ever.

Yes, but there's a bigger one lurking in the background.

> It seems people think that Marti Noxon has a pattern of idealizing
> twisted or abusive relationships

I don't agree that she idealizes them, but this was the point where I
started to be very wary of the Noxon influence.

BTW, did you notice the continuity -- when Buffy got the chains -- of
Dru's dolls? Miss Edith, and such. I've often wondered if the chains
were actually Drusilla's.

> Pretty straightforward. [...] So is it a good thing that the episode
> is so direct? [...]

> I think there was also probably an attempt to
> reflect things on Buffy (i.e. the irony of Buffy being the one to
> preach about abusive boyfriends), but this time I really can't go
> along with that. Totally different situation in every relevant way.

It's not. Let's look at a few things:

----

Faith: All men are beasts, Buffy.

[...]

Faith: It's not cynical. I mean, it's realistic. Every guy from...
Manimal down to Mr. I-Love-The-English-Patient has beast in him. And I
don't care how sensitive they act. They're all still just in it for the
chase.

----

This is the surface metaphor, which as you note is painfully obvious.
Pete is a beast, Oz is a beast, Angel is a beast. But there's much more
here, and it relates -- big surprise -- to the Buffy/Angel relationship:

----

Buffy: He was my first... I loved him, and then he...

Mr. Platt: ...changed.

She looks up at him, surprised again.

Buffy: Yeah.

Mr. Platt: He got mean.

Buffy: Yes.

Mr. Platt: And you didn't stop loving him.

----

Bringing in the "Surprise"/"Innocence" metaphor, which is a clue that
this episode isn't really about Pete or Oz, it's about Buffy and Angel.
Or, more correctly, it's about all those things.

----

Mr. Platt: Look, lots of people lose themselves in love. It's, it's no
shame. They write songs about it. The hitch is, you can't stay lost.
Sooner or later, you... you have to get back to yourself.

Buffy: (considers) And if you can't?

Mr. Platt: If you can't... (inhales) Well, love becomes your master,
and you're just its dog.

----

We know Buffy's not over the whole Angel experience, even after the
"goodbye" that ended the last episode, and in "BatB" we see that Giles
doesn't think she's over it either. But what sort of relationship is
Platt describing here? Co-dependency at best. And possibly emotionally
abusive? Well, there's a physically abusive relationship portrayed in
the episode, but there's also an emotionally abusive one: Buffy and Angel.

Some of it is Buffy's self abuse, but there's a very real and carefully
drawn parallel between the Pete/Debbie relationship and the Buffy/Angel
relationship. First of all, Debbie's dominant reaction is to hide what's
going on from everyone:

----

Buffy: What's going on, Debbie? I'll bet the farm you know.

Debbie: (shakes her head) You're wrong. I don't know anything.

----

When Angel returns, what's Buffy's reaction? That's right, hide it from
everyone...except Platt, who doesn't know what's *really* going on
(separate universes, etc.) and thus can't interfere:

----

Buffy: There's something going on. (her voice shakes) I mean, th-this
whole entire story is probably gonna convince you that I'm loony-bin
material, but... (shrugs) there's nobody else that I can talk to.
(inhales nervously) Not Willow and... not Giles. Nobody. (starts to pace
again) [...]

----

What's Debbie's big concern? That "they" will take Pete away:

----

Debbie: Would they take him someplace?

Buffy: Probably.

Debbie: (shakes her head, sobbing) I could never do that to him.
(Willow sighs) I'm his everything.

----

And what's Buffy's big concern?

----

Buffy: (con't) If they, if they found out, they'd freak on me or they'd
do something, and... [...]

----

Now, what's the lesson Buffy learned from "Passion"? That despite her
love for Angel, her inaction led rather directly to people dying. So
what does she tell Debbie?

----

Buffy: Normally, I'd say, you wanna play 'I have a secret'? Fine. But
people are dying here.

Debbie looks at her and Willow.

Debbie: It... it's not his fault. I mean, he's not himself when he gets
like this.

----

"Not himself"...just like Angelus, in Buffy's confused-by-love heart,
last season. And, probably, now. First love is (in stories) like a fairy
tale, and that's what the Buffy/Angel relationship was, to Buffy. But
what's her advice to Debbie?

----

Buffy: (disgusted) Great. So what, you two live out your Grimm fairy
tale? Two people are dead.

Debbie just shakes her head and says nothing.

Buffy: Who's gonna be next?

----

The same could certainly have been said to Buffy many times last season.
And, actually, *was*...by Xander.

So: Debbie doesn't want to tell anyone, wants to protect Pete from
consequences, and wants to help him *herself*. Buffy doesn't want to
tell anyone, wants to protect Angel from consequences, and wants to help
him *herself*. Like I said, parallel stories. And this is the *real*
metaphor at work in this episode.

There's even a visual component to it. We see Debbie actually getting
hit and physically abused. We also, initially, see animal-Angel hitting
Buffy (and vice-versa, of course). But watch Buffy's reactions when
she's chained Angel and he growls and lunges at her...or in the final
confrontation at the end. She *flinches* and *winces*...just as if she
were being struck. Just like Debbie.

At one point, Buffy shows Debbie the way out of her troubles:

----

Buffy: It's tricky, covering a fresh shiner like that. You know what
works?

Debbie: What? (puts away her makeup)

Buffy: Don't get hit.

[...]

Buffy: You have to talk to us. (Debbie shakes her head) We can't help
you until you do.

Debbie: I didn't ask for your help!

Willow: Well, when are you going to? I mean, if Pete kills you, it'll
pretty much be too late.

[...]

Buffy: Look at yourself. Why are you protecting him? Anybody who really
loved you couldn't do this to you.

----

But back in her own grim (or Grimm) fairy tale, Buffy doesn't say
anything to anyone (that matters, and now Platt's dead anyway).

Anyway, it's not as straightforward and direct as you first thought.
There's much more going under the surface. And the two abusive
relationship most definitely *do* resonate with each other.

I'm not saying that the entirety of Buffy's relationship with Angel is
about abuse. Certainly, it's not. There's real love there, or at least
there was, and on Buffy's part it's rather obviously never gone away.
Pre-"Surprise" Buffy/Angel were, aside from the age and vampire issues,
a pretty good couple (NB: I'm not taking a position on *liking* them or
not, so the anti-B/A faction should hold off on the angry retorts),
without any of this sort of abuse. But now, knowing what we know from
"Surprise" and knowing what desouled Angel has done, things are
different. They *have* to be different. The question is, will Buffy see
that?

Jeff Jacoby

unread,
Mar 9, 2006, 9:43:53 AM3/9/06
to

Fur jnf sebz 17gu praghel Ivetvavn. Ohg V unir ab vqrn
jura na Nzrevpna npprag qrirybcrq naq qviretrq sebz Ratyvfu.


Jeff

Scythe Matters

unread,
Mar 9, 2006, 9:47:39 AM3/9/06
to
Jeff Jacoby wrote:

> Fur jnf sebz 17gu praghel Ivetvavn.

Thanks.

kenm47

unread,
Mar 9, 2006, 9:50:59 AM3/9/06
to

Gurer lbh tb. V'z oybpxvat frnfba frira ntnva!


Ken (Brooklyn)

kenm47

unread,
Mar 9, 2006, 10:01:17 AM3/9/06
to

Scythe Matters wrote:

<BIG SNIP>

> The interesting part about the scenes were how "correct" they play even
> though Buffy and the counselor are inhabiting two completely different
> universes. What she's talking about is not what he's talking about, yet
> the advice is good (albiet, as you say, pop-psych). This is interesting
> because it fairly clearly shows how the mystical problems of the
> Buffyverse really *are* metaphors for real problems; it's a peek behind
> the curtain, if you will.
>

<BIGGER SNIP>

Something occurred to me, literal me, as I rewatched those scenes,
possibly taking me back to my mindset when first run: it wasn't that
Buffy's adventures were a metaphor for the real non-Buffy world, as
much as those in that "real" world, like the psychologist, could not
help dealing with "real" life situations (a "real" world that could not
tolerate the idea that things like vampires existed) which were the
metaphors for what Buffy was going through.

That's probably not as clearly stated as I would like. It's a looking
glass view.

Ken (Brooklyn)

EGK

unread,
Mar 9, 2006, 10:20:04 AM3/9/06
to
On 9 Mar 2006 04:53:59 -0800, "Mike Zeares" <mze...@yahoo.com> wrote:

>
>Arbitrar Of Quality wrote:
>> A reminder: Please avoid spoilers for later episodes in these review
>> threads.
>>
>>
>> BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER
>> Season Three, Episode 4: "Beauty And The Beasts"
>> (or "In wildness is the preservation of the world")
>> Writer: Marti Noxon
>> Director: James Whitmore, Jr.
>>
>> Well, this one wasn't what I was expecting. And it's full of all
>> sorts of stuff, some really cool and some, uh, not. It'll be a bit
>> of a tough one to write while I sort it all out in my head here.
>
>I have basically nothing to add, detract, or challenge in your review.
>I usually skip this ep when I have my marathons, and if I do watch it I
>FF through all the Pete/Debbie scenes. The continuing character
>subplots are strong (something S3 does well in general), but the A plot
>is total dullsville. Well, moving on. You're about to get to the good
>stuff now.

That's basically my view of this episode. The heavy-handed metaphor with
Pete and Debbie was pretty poor, in my opinion and made this episode my
least favorite of season 3. The ongoing character sub-plots are what saved
episodes like this for me.

--
----------------------------------------------------------------------------

"There would be a lot more civility in this world if people
didn't take that as an invitation to walk all over you"
(Calvin and Hobbes)

One Bit Shy

unread,
Mar 9, 2006, 1:16:38 PM3/9/06
to
"kenm47" <ken...@ix.netcom.com> wrote in message
news:1141916477.2...@u72g2000cwu.googlegroups.com...

Ken, I think that's something really important to remember when you get to
that place you hate so much.

OBS


One Bit Shy

unread,
Mar 9, 2006, 1:18:28 PM3/9/06
to
"Scythe Matters" <sp...@spam.spam> wrote in message
news:j8udncvFYuq...@rcn.net...

> We agree on the rating. The episode is...fine. But boy, did you miss the
> more important of the two allegories.

Really, really good analysis. Kudos.

But after all that, I'm curious why you leave it so low rated.

OBS


kenm47

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Mar 9, 2006, 1:20:49 PM3/9/06
to


I'll probably forget, if we do ever get there. :-) You'll remind me,
right?

Ken (Brooklyn)

One Bit Shy

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Mar 9, 2006, 1:30:26 PM3/9/06
to
"shuggie" <shu...@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:1141893584....@v46g2000cwv.googlegroups.com...

> I'd probably agree. I must admit I've been waiting to see your take on
> this. A couple of years back I spent some time arguing with a guy who
> thought that all three relationships were in some way abusive. I have a
> hard time seeing Oz as abusive but substitute the word 'dangerous' for
> abusive and it starts to make a case. I mean Pete may be the extreme
> example but both Oz and Angel need to be restrained to protect their
> women from their violent inner nature. I'd dismiss this if I didn't
> happen to know that the working title for this ep was "All Men Are
> Beasts". (naq gura bs pbhefr gurer'f "Ovyyl")
>
> Of course they changed the title so someone in ME decided to pull back
> from that radical a statement. Still it leaves me uncomfortable. One of
> BtVS's main strengths for me is that it gives a positive image of
> female empowerment without (usually) denigrating men.

Well, Beauty and the Beast is a story of taming the beast - which hardly
denies that it exists in all men to begin with. It's probably a better
title simply because it goes to the relationship between the women and the
men, and because here the taming sometimes works and sometimes doesn't.
Faith's philosophy is a nice challenge, but insufficient in the end.

As for the denigration of men, I think the show rides the edge of that
sometimes. It's hard not to with the empowerment theme. But it usually
restrains itself from the extreme. However, I think the greater restraint
is in not over-glorifying the empowerment. It wouldn't be hard to convert
the show into a feminist polemic. Thank heavens it didn't go there.

OBS


One Bit Shy

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Mar 9, 2006, 1:34:37 PM3/9/06
to
"hopelessly devoted" <cry...@cinstall.com> wrote in message
news:1141890140.9...@e56g2000cwe.googlegroups.com...


> The Pants and the growling were, and still are, the two most irritating
> things about this ep, IMO. The pants I can't explain but it felt like
> Angel was sucked into the K9 Hell dimension and bit his leash off to
> escape.

Maybe he spent the last couple hundred odd years running with a pack of
Hellhounds.


One Bit Shy

unread,
Mar 9, 2006, 1:36:06 PM3/9/06
to
"kenm47" <ken...@ix.netcom.com> wrote in message
news:1141928449.9...@u72g2000cwu.googlegroups.com...

One way or the other, I'm sure. heh-heh

OBS


Scythe Matters

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Mar 9, 2006, 1:42:33 PM3/9/06
to
One Bit Shy wrote:

> Really, really good analysis. Kudos.

Thanks.

> But after all that, I'm curious why you leave it so low rated.

A good question. ;-)

The effects for the Pete transformation are ridiculous. The notion that
Pete's capable of the potion isn't set up, but only referred to after
the fact. Pete's too cartoony, and the Pete/Debbie relationship is a
little too cliché for me. Buffy covers for Angel far too smoothly; given
the shock of his return, it shouldn't be so easy to fool her friends
(though there's a suggestion that Giles may suspect). Even after all the
stuff I've just written about the Buffy/Angel metaphor, there's not even
the slightest hint that Buffy's realizing any of it. And finally, I
generally find it a little tiresome to watch...and occasionally
unpleasant (I'm not fond of the Pete/Debbie violence).

It's an example, for me, of an episode that gets us where we need to go,
but does it in a somewhat ham-fisted way. As a piece of the Buffyverse
and the greater arc, and as metaphor, it's at least "good" on AoQ's
scale. As a self-contained work, it's less good.

Don Sample

unread,
Mar 9, 2006, 1:42:50 PM3/9/06
to
In article <1141890216.2...@z34g2000cwc.googlegroups.com>,
"hopelessly devoted" <cry...@cinstall.com> wrote:

> Don Sample wrote:

> > He was a smoker. Smokers rarely come to a good end on Buffy. (Amy the
> > spontaneously combusting cheerleader was a smoker. The girl who got
> > beat up in the school basement by the ugly man was a smoker. The lady
> > smoking in the alley had her throat torn out by Angel, the smoker at the
> > DMP had his neck broken...)
>

> Hadn't considered that about the smokers. However that doesn't explain
> Spike. Great! Now I'm going to be stuck with serious thoughts all day.

Smokers generally fall into one of three categories:
1) Victims (see above)
2) Evil guys (Spike, Angel without his soul, Wbanguna, nsgre ur
wbvarq gur gevb.)
3) People under the influence of mind altering magic (Tvyrf naq
Wblpr va Onaq Pnaql.)

--
Quando omni flunkus moritati
Visit the Buffy Body Count at <http://homepage.mac.com/dsample/>

Don Sample

unread,
Mar 9, 2006, 1:44:15 PM3/9/06
to

Jr qba'g frr ure fzbxr hagvy nsgre fur'f pbzr onpx sebz gur qnex fvqr,
va frnfba 7.

Don Sample

unread,
Mar 9, 2006, 1:45:22 PM3/9/06
to
In article <btr1702-45990A...@news.giganews.com>,
BTR1701 <btr...@ix.netcom.com> wrote:

> In article <dsample-1408ED...@news.giganews.com>,
> Don Sample <dsa...@synapse.net> wrote:

> > He was a smoker. Smokers rarely come to a good end on Buffy. (Amy the
> > spontaneously combusting cheerleader was a smoker. The girl who got
> > beat up in the school basement by the ugly man was a smoker. The lady
> > smoking in the alley had her throat torn out by Angel, the smoker at the
> > DMP had his neck broken...)
>
> Snvgu fzbxrq naq fur pnzr bhg bxnl.

Hence the "rarely" instead of a "never."

kenm47

unread,
Mar 9, 2006, 1:50:52 PM3/9/06
to

Don Sample wrote:
> In article <1141906875.3...@e56g2000cwe.googlegroups.com>,
> "kenm47" <ken...@ix.netcom.com> wrote:
>
> > BTR1701 wrote:
> > > In article <dsample-1408ED...@news.giganews.com>,
> > > Don Sample <dsa...@synapse.net> wrote:
> > >
> > > > He was a smoker. Smokers rarely come to a good end on Buffy. (Amy the
> > > > spontaneously combusting cheerleader was a smoker. The girl who got
> > > > beat up in the school basement by the ugly man was a smoker. The lady
> > > > smoking in the alley had her throat torn out by Angel, the smoker at the
> > > > DMP had his neck broken...)
> > >
> > > Snvgu fzbxrq naq fur pnzr bhg bxnl.
> >
> > Zhpu, zhpu yngre, jura fur ab ybatre fzbxrq be ng yrnfg jnf abg fubja
> > fzbxvat VVEP.
>
> Jr qba'g frr ure fzbxr hagvy nsgre fur'f pbzr onpx sebz gur qnex fvqr,
> va frnfba 7.
>
> --

OK. I stand corrected, and don't know what else to say about it now,
bgure guna shegure cebbs bs vapbafvfgrag onq jevgvat va frnfba frira
:-)

Ken (Brooklyn)

Don Sample

unread,
Mar 9, 2006, 2:06:07 PM3/9/06
to
In article <1141890140.9...@e56g2000cwe.googlegroups.com>,
"hopelessly devoted" <cry...@cinstall.com> wrote:

> First off I loved Willows expression on the "part about rabbits".
> Never could figure out why the mention of rabbits drove wolfOz nuts but
> the whole discussion including the full monty was a nice opening.

Ozwolf: predator. Rabbits: prey.

I've often wondered about this exchange in 'Phases':

Giles: Several animal carcasses were found mutilated.
Willow: You mean, like bunnies and stuff? No, don't tell me.
Oz: Oh, don't worry. I mean, they might not look it,
but bunnies can really take care of themselves.

Did Oz have some subconscious recollection of attacking a bunny, and did
that bunny put up such a strong defence that from then on, the Ozwolf
carried a deep down hatred/fear of bunnies? (Znlor Naln xarj jung fur
jnf gnyxvat nobhg.)

Don Sample

unread,
Mar 9, 2006, 2:13:46 PM3/9/06
to
In article <1141893584....@v46g2000cwv.googlegroups.com>,
"shuggie" <shu...@gmail.com> wrote:

> I'd probably agree. I must admit I've been waiting to see your take on
> this. A couple of years back I spent some time arguing with a guy who
> thought that all three relationships were in some way abusive. I have a
> hard time seeing Oz as abusive but substitute the word 'dangerous' for
> abusive and it starts to make a case. I mean Pete may be the extreme
> example but both Oz and Angel need to be restrained to protect their
> women from their violent inner nature. I'd dismiss this if I didn't
> happen to know that the working title for this ep was "All Men Are
> Beasts".
>

> Of course they changed the title so someone in ME decided to pull back
> from that radical a statement. Still it leaves me uncomfortable. One of
> BtVS's main strengths for me is that it gives a positive image of
> female empowerment without (usually) denigrating men.

Buffy episodes titles were never generally available to the public.
They aren't included as part of the broadcast version. If you weren't
one of the people cruising the Internet looking for Buffy information,
you'd never know that the episodes had titles at all. For the first
couple of years they were really only there so the production people
could have something other than a number to call an episode. Hence the
run of ...Girl/Boy episode titles.

Stephen Tempest

unread,
Mar 9, 2006, 2:10:24 PM3/9/06
to
Jeff Jacoby <jjaco...@yahoo.com> writes:

>Fur jnf sebz 17gu praghel Ivetvavn. Ohg V unir ab vqrn
>jura na Nzrevpna npprag qrirybcrq naq qviretrq sebz Ratyvfu.

From what I remember, it's the other way around. 400 years ago,
people in England spoke with what we'd think of today as an American
accent. The home country dialect changed while the colonials went
right on speaking in the old-fashioned way... :)

Stephen

Don Sample

unread,
Mar 9, 2006, 2:26:17 PM3/9/06
to
Another nice little bit of acting that I liked in this episode was SMG's
private little smile in the background when Willow is celebrating the
news that it's a "kill in the day" monster that they're looking for,
because it means that Angel's off the hook, too.

cry...@panix.com

unread,
Mar 9, 2006, 2:52:48 PM3/9/06
to
Don Sample <dsa...@synapse.net> wrote:

> I've often wondered about this exchange in 'Phases':
>
> Giles: Several animal carcasses were found mutilated.
> Willow: You mean, like bunnies and stuff? No, don't tell me.
> Oz: Oh, don't worry. I mean, they might not look it,
> but bunnies can really take care of themselves.

My reaction to this line has always been "Awww, he knows just what
to say to make her feel better. That's sweet." :-)

-Crystal

One Bit Shy

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Mar 9, 2006, 3:03:15 PM3/9/06
to
"Arbitrar Of Quality" <tsm...@wildmail.com> wrote in message
news:1141881915....@i40g2000cwc.googlegroups.com...


> We do get
> an explanation for Angel's reappearance, and you know what? It's

> a pretty good one. He didn't die, cuz vamps can heal from sword
> wounds, and he's fought his way out Hell... after several hundred
> years.

You got something I didn't. I'm still back with the ring and some kind of
mystical power of slayer love doing the trick.


> Some short takes:
> 1) Our heroes generally seem pretty smart this week, rationally
> considering the various candidates for killer early on, and rationally
> dismissing Debbie and focusing on Pete at the end based on the
> evidence.

Speaking of smart. One little moment I like is Giles's curt, "Buffy," to
stop her from walking away when he finds her studying up on Angel's death.
A kind of continuation of the sharpness he exhibited in the prior episode.
He's not going to let Buffy avoid things that easily. (Leads into a really
poignant little conversation too.)


> 2) I'm sorry, but Pete's transformation ritual is hilarious,
> funnier than both incarnations of the Ozwolf costume combined.

I like it. Absoulutely the best thing about Pete/Debbie

> This Is Really Stupid But I Laughed Anyway moment(s):
> - Faith listening to her discman while on Ozwatch

My favorite moment of humor is Giles being shot by the tranquilizer dart.
What a great fall!


> All right, I've worked it out. BATB isn't such a great episode as
> a whole, but certain individual scenes are quite good, enough to make
> the whole thing at least worth a look. That's my story and I'm
> sticking with it.
>
>
> So...
>
> One-sentence summary: A weaker episode bolstered by some strong
> moments.

Ok. Scythe has done a stupendous job of exploring metaphors, so I'm not
going to touch that other than to note that Buffy shows often are positively
obsessive about creating sneaky links. The device of having Buffy say to
Debbie what could be said to Buffy is often repeated. As is the general
variation of saying one thing, but really talking about something else.
(And no, I'm not being S3 centric here. No hint. Just a general
observation about the series and what to keep an eye out for.)

Beauty and the Beasts is extremely obvious, touching on trite, in a number
of areas. Mainly the whole Pete and Debbie story. On my DVD, when they
first appear on screen the word "EXPENDABLE" flashes across their faces.
(Well, it might as well have. Yes, very Star Trek.) And, well, all the
other stuff you already noted.

How much that does or doesn't bother you probably largely decides how much
you like the show. Or are willing to like it.

But there's something else about that part of the story that strikes me. By
itself, it's very much in line with all of the MOTW episodes of the past two
years. Same structure. Same obvious use of metaphor. Same. Same. Same.

But it's not the same. Because it's not by itself. The old MOTW episodes
always filled with good character development and bits of arc movement, but
the MOTW part mostly ran its own course. Here, it's all integrated.
There's all the metaphor stuff talked of elsewhere. But there's also the
straight plot interplay. The exploration of Oz's werewolf aspect is a
pretty important sub-plot of its own, and its built out of Pete's murders
and plays through the Pete/Debbie relationship, serving as trigger to Pete's
final rampage. Likewise Pete provides the physical means for Angel to find
his way back to Buffy. At one point, all 3 monsters are simultaneously on
the loose. Even poor Scott gets to be emotionally buffeted around by both
Pete/Debbie and Buffy and to deliver final lines about Pete/Debbie that
really are about Buffy.

Is this really a MOTW episode? If it is, then was DMP MOTW too? How about
Anne? Hell, even FH&T has MOTW elements to it.

I mention this now, because it becomes more obvious in this episode. S3
does things really differently than S1 and S2. Not just the new story and
the new characters. The whole way things are presented. There's a lot of
continuity too. It's not a new series. But it's something else about how
the series keeps you guessing. Makes it hard to find that comfort zone of
expectations.

----

Anyway, I'd give this show a good rating because I don't think the
obviousness of Pete/Debbie matters and otherwise the show is very nicely
constructed. The lighting gets a little funky at times, but otherwise
there's some very nice camera work. Really good shot composition. (I like,
for example, how the cage is used to accent the separation between Oz and
Willow when he tells her to get away - close shots of both their faces
through the cage wires. The opening sequence of moon and run through the
forest to the narration of Call of the Wild is nicely handled. Tons of
interesting foreground/background contrasts - kind of the signature look of
the episode - and even a couple of complex foreground/midground/background
interactions. The series is getting more sophisticated in its production.)

The action scenes are nicely paced and edited. The choreography I think is
more mixed, but has some good moments. Giles fall and Willow pulling
were-Oz's tail are both hysterical. And it's also a very packed episode. A
lot of things happen. You're essentially interweaving 3 mini-stories
together with side trips to the morgue and the psychologist and time with
Scott. I think it's all done remarkably seamlessly.

One more really good thing about the show is how effectively it uses humor
to keep the tone from tumbling too deep into the many sad, painful and
downright ugly places available to it. That's something also to note about
the Marti Noxon question. None of the three mini-stories are easy. They
all go to scary places. But the overall choice of the episode was not to
dwell there, but rather to move fast, keep the humor coming, and to find the
positive places amidst the pain.

Lastly, I'll say, that though I'm not an Angel fan, this is one of my
favorite spots in that whole arc. I really like the idea of him coming back
as the wild beast who somehow instinctively follows Buffy's scent to
metaphorically find his way home.

OBS


kenm47

unread,
Mar 9, 2006, 3:16:56 PM3/9/06
to

One Bit Shy wrote:
> "Arbitrar Of Quality" <tsm...@wildmail.com> wrote in message
> news:1141881915....@i40g2000cwc.googlegroups.com...
>
>


<BIG SNIP FOR LENGTH>


> One more really good thing about the show is how effectively it uses humor
> to keep the tone from tumbling too deep into the many sad, painful and
> downright ugly places available to it. That's something also to note about
> the Marti Noxon question. None of the three mini-stories are easy. They
> all go to scary places. But the overall choice of the episode was not to
> dwell there, but rather to move fast, keep the humor coming, and to find the
> positive places amidst the pain.

I've got $10 that says the humor was coming from Joss not Marti. I
don't know how to prove it, but I remain steadfast in lack of doubt
about that.

>
> Lastly, I'll say, that though I'm not an Angel fan, this is one of my
> favorite spots in that whole arc. I really like the idea of him coming back
> as the wild beast who somehow instinctively follows Buffy's scent to
> metaphorically find his way home.
>
> OBS

Well, he's back in any event. That's a nice way of putting it though.

Ken (Brooklyn)

One Bit Shy

unread,
Mar 9, 2006, 3:17:04 PM3/9/06
to
"Scythe Matters" <sp...@spam.spam> wrote in message
news:jNqdncX39pq...@rcn.net...

Personally I don't care about the Pete/Debby problems - it's kind of
incidental to me. But the criticism is clearly valid.

I hadn't really thought about Buffy's failure to recognize those
connections. But it's interesting you point that out, because I felt much
the same way about Buffy not seeming to hear herself when berating Faith in
the motel room in FH&T. Of course she did come clean about Angel at the
end. Maybe that was enough getting it. Something I'll have to ponder more.
So maybe these are things for Buffy to live, but for us (the audience) to
understand.

OBS


Scythe Matters

unread,
Mar 9, 2006, 3:24:53 PM3/9/06
to
One Bit Shy wrote:

> I hadn't really thought about Buffy's failure to recognize those
> connections. But it's interesting you point that out, because I felt much
> the same way about Buffy not seeming to hear herself when berating Faith in
> the motel room in FH&T. Of course she did come clean about Angel at the
> end.

That's sorta what I mean, though. There's no "lesson learned," or any
indication that there will be one. Naq, va snpg, gurer arire vf. Fur'f
sbhaq bhg ol bguref, naq vg'f Natry jub svanyyl unf gur fgeratgu gb
oernx vg bss.

Don Sample

unread,
Mar 9, 2006, 3:25:23 PM3/9/06
to
In article <12112g5...@news.supernews.com>,

"One Bit Shy" <O...@nomail.sorry> wrote:

> Beauty and the Beasts is extremely obvious, touching on trite, in a number
> of areas. Mainly the whole Pete and Debbie story. On my DVD, when they
> first appear on screen the word "EXPENDABLE" flashes across their faces.
> (Well, it might as well have. Yes, very Star Trek.) And, well, all the
> other stuff you already noted.

It is yet another example of Ebert's Law of the Conservation of
Characters: you don't introduce new characters into the story if you're
not going to use them. It's a variation of Chekhov's gun rule: if you
show a gun in Act I, you have to use it by Act III.

Scythe Matters

unread,
Mar 9, 2006, 3:37:10 PM3/9/06
to
One Bit Shy wrote:

> I mention this now, because it becomes more obvious in this episode. S3
> does things really differently than S1 and S2. Not just the new story and
> the new characters. The whole way things are presented. There's a lot of
> continuity too. It's not a new series. But it's something else about how
> the series keeps you guessing.

I think it started in season two, after "Surprise"/"Innocence," but the
reason it wasn't as obvious is that they didn't have as much meaty
material to work with as they do now...largely thanks to the arc that
those episodes started. After which, they must have said to themselves,
"hey, this is *good*!" and continued along those lines.

hopelessly devoted

unread,
Mar 9, 2006, 3:45:04 PM3/9/06
to

Xvaq bs gur rdhviryvag bs pbzrqvrf gung pbafgnagyl eha bire pngf. Vf
gurer fbzr uvqqra ungerq sbe enoovgf ba gur fubj, be whfg n trareny
qvfyvxr bs gur sybccl rnerq inezragf. Ln whfg tbggn jbaqre.


:-}

One Bit Shy

unread,
Mar 9, 2006, 4:00:24 PM3/9/06
to
"kenm47" <ken...@ix.netcom.com> wrote in message
news:1141935416.9...@i40g2000cwc.googlegroups.com...

>
> One Bit Shy wrote:
>> "Arbitrar Of Quality" <tsm...@wildmail.com> wrote in message
>> news:1141881915....@i40g2000cwc.googlegroups.com...
>>
>>
>
>
> <BIG SNIP FOR LENGTH>
>
>
>> One more really good thing about the show is how effectively it uses
>> humor
>> to keep the tone from tumbling too deep into the many sad, painful and
>> downright ugly places available to it. That's something also to note
>> about
>> the Marti Noxon question. None of the three mini-stories are easy. They
>> all go to scary places. But the overall choice of the episode was not to
>> dwell there, but rather to move fast, keep the humor coming, and to find
>> the
>> positive places amidst the pain.
>
> I've got $10 that says the humor was coming from Joss not Marti. I
> don't know how to prove it, but I remain steadfast in lack of doubt
> about that.

I fully expect you'd win that bet... which is why I won't take it. But even
if it's true, the end result is still far less dark than it could have been
even though Marti had a big hand in it.


>> Lastly, I'll say, that though I'm not an Angel fan, this is one of my
>> favorite spots in that whole arc. I really like the idea of him coming
>> back
>> as the wild beast who somehow instinctively follows Buffy's scent to
>> metaphorically find his way home.
>>
>> OBS
>
> Well, he's back in any event. That's a nice way of putting it though.

Don't misunderstand. I'd have been content if he'd stayed dead. But if he
has to be back, this is an ok way to do it.

OBS


One Bit Shy

unread,
Mar 9, 2006, 4:52:19 PM3/9/06
to
"Scythe Matters" <sp...@spam.spam> wrote in message
news:z6ednV7yVPd...@rcn.net...

Looked at that way, I think it could be argued the style existed in rough
cut at least as far back as Never Kill A Boy On The First Date. And
Prophecy Girl was woven about as complex as was available at the time. But
I think you're right that Surprise/Innocence was illuminating to the writers
and does foretell this.

However, I don't think it fully takes hold until this year... And that
aspect isn't the only change in feel to S3. This is just the 4th episode.

Va n qvssrerag jnl OO&O zvtug or nf ovt na vasyhrapr.

OBS


BTR1701

unread,
Mar 9, 2006, 5:27:10 PM3/9/06
to

> BTR1701 wrote:
> > In article <dsample-1408ED...@news.giganews.com>,
> > Don Sample <dsa...@synapse.net> wrote:
> >

> > > In article <1141881915....@i40g2000cwc.googlegroups.com>,
> > > "Arbitrar Of Quality" <tsm...@wildmail.com> wrote:
> > >
> > > > A reminder: Please avoid spoilers for later episodes in these review
> > > > threads.
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER
> > > > Season Three, Episode 4: "Beauty And The Beasts"
> > > > (or "In wildness is the preservation of the world")
> > > > Writer: Marti Noxon
> > > > Director: James Whitmore, Jr.
> > > >
> > > > Well, this one wasn't what I was expecting. And it's full of all
> > > > sorts of stuff, some really cool and some, uh, not. It'll be a bit
> > > > of a tough one to write while I sort it all out in my head here.
> > > >
> > > > There are a bunch of beasts running rampant in this episode. There's
> > > > Oz, who looks less like a bear and more like a monkey. I guess it's
> > > > a slight improvement. There's Angel, who's become a beast (yet he
> > > > had the presence of mind to find himself a pair of pants and put them
> > > > on properly in the time since F/H/T. Funny, that).
> > >
> > > Ah yes, Angel's magic pants. He managed to get them on, back at the end
> > > of 'Surprise', when he was losing his soul too.
> > >
> > >
> > > > Not much to say about the stuff with the counselor; too much
> > > > pop-psychology for my tastes, and I was groaning at Buffy spilling her
> > > > guts to him when he was clearly dead.


> > >
> > > He was a smoker. Smokers rarely come to a good end on Buffy. (Amy the
> > > spontaneously combusting cheerleader was a smoker. The girl who got
> > > beat up in the school basement by the ugly man was a smoker. The lady
> > > smoking in the alley had her throat torn out by Angel, the smoker at the
> > > DMP had his neck broken...)
> >
> > Snvgu fzbxrq naq fur pnzr bhg bxnl.
>
> Zhpu, zhpu yngre, jura fur ab ybatre fzbxrq be ng yrnfg jnf abg fubja
> fzbxvat VVEP.

Fur jnf funevat pvtnerggrf qbja va gur onfrzrag jvgu Fcvxr evtug gurer
arne gur raq bs gur frevrf.

Arbitrar Of Quality

unread,
Mar 9, 2006, 6:42:09 PM3/9/06
to
Scythe Matters wrote:

> > I think there was also probably an attempt to
> > reflect things on Buffy (i.e. the irony of Buffy being the one to
> > preach about abusive boyfriends), but this time I really can't go
> > along with that. Totally different situation in every relevant way.
>
> It's not. [MASSIVE SNIP] Anyway, it's not as straightforward and direct as you first thought.
> There's much more going under the surface. And the two abusivee relationship most definitely > *do* resonate with each other.

Well, let me rephrase that to say that I can see the writers clearly
trying to draw a connection, especially given the dialogue you quoted.
I just don't entirely buy it. Call it literal-mindedness, but the fact
is that all of Debbie's abuse basically comes from Pete. She's with a
bad guy. Whereas Buffy's emotional abuse is caused largely by
circumstances: really stupid curses, self-blame, hell dimensions and so
on. Although it's not unambiguous or anything, it's possible to view
Angel as a total innocent in the situation. Buffy's problem is that
she's in a bad world.

An interesting point that came up in your response:

> Now, what's the lesson Buffy learned from "Passion"? That despite her
> love for Angel, her inaction led rather directly to people dying. So
> what does she tell Debbie?
>
> Buffy: Normally, I'd say, you wanna play 'I have a secret'? Fine. But
> people are dying here.

Huh. Buffy's not really crusading for an end to abusive situations,
only the ones that huirt outsiders.

-AOQ

Michael Ikeda

unread,
Mar 9, 2006, 6:49:22 PM3/9/06
to
"Arbitrar Of Quality" <tsm...@wildmail.com> wrote in
news:1141881915....@i40g2000cwc.googlegroups.com:

> A reminder: Please avoid spoilers for later episodes in these
> review threads.
>
>
> BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER
> Season Three, Episode 4: "Beauty And The Beasts"
> (or "In wildness is the preservation of the world")
> Writer: Marti Noxon
> Director: James Whitmore, Jr.
>
> Well, this one wasn't what I was expecting. And it's full of
> all sorts of stuff, some really cool and some, uh, not. It'll
> be a bit of a tough one to write while I sort it all out in my
> head here.

For me, on the other hand, this is one of my favorite episodes of the
season. A solid excellent rating.

> Didn't much enjoy Xander's nonchalant attitude towards his
> Ozwatch, both before and after it becomes clear that Oz might've
> escaped. What's up with that? Why volunteer in the first place
> if you're not interested in doing your job?

Also my one minor problem. Doesn't bother me too much because I like
the rest of the episode so much. I suppose one explanation is that
he didn't really see much point in actually keeping watch as long as
the cage was solid. And he didn't exactly volunteer, Willow called
him because she had a test to study for so he agreed to "watch" Oz as
a favor to her.

So what do I like about this episode? Practically everything except
for the one minor point just above. More specifically...

1) The way it interweaves the three relationships (Willow/Oz,
Buffy/Angel, Debbie/Pete) to illustrate both the similarities and the
differences among them.

Note Buffy's lecture to Debbie near the end of the episode. As has
been pointed out by another poster the lecture is more than a little
ironic, given that Buffy is doing something uncomfortably similar to
what Debbie is doing.

(Although one does grant that Buffy is much more capable of
physically defending herself than Debbie is.)

2) Angel's return and Buffy's reaction to it. From the first
encounter where she knocks him out instead of staking him. Her
desperate grasping-at-straws conversation with Giles and her panicky
speech to (the dead) Mr. Platt. Her mix of concern and fear at
Angel's seeming mindless fury. To Angel sobbing into her jacket
after he saves her from Pete. And finally to Buffy watching over him
as he rests.

(Of course, Buffy has a choice now that it seems clear that Angel is
both sane and still ensouled. She can promptly tell the other
Scoobies (including Giles) and her mom that Angel is back. Or she
can try to hide the fact of his return for as long as possible.
Future episodes will reveal what she does...)

3) Ozisms, Ozisms everywhere. And some neat Willow/Oz moments as
well.

4) All sorts of other little moments. Some examples being:
Willow's celebration when Oz is exonerated. Buffy's quietly happy
reaction to Angel's exoneration. Willow in the morgue. Mr. Platt's
"We're not gonna be friends." scene.

5) Assorted Gilesisms. One in particular I'd like to mention is his
remark about the two types of monsters: one that wants to be
redeemed, and the other that can't respond to reason or love.

6) Without being too spoilery, this episode also helps set up some
things that are going to be important in the general plot arc of the
season.

7) And all of this fitting together into a greater whole.

--
Michael Ikeda mmi...@erols.com
"Telling a statistician not to use sampling is like telling an
astronomer they can't say there is a moon and stars"
Lynne Billard, past president American Statistical Association

mariposas rand mair fheal greykitten tomys des anges

unread,
Mar 9, 2006, 6:58:49 PM3/9/06
to
In article <1141946610.1...@j52g2000cwj.googlegroups.com>,

"Arbitrar Of Quality" <tsm...@wildmail.com> wrote:

> Scythe Matters wrote:
>
> > > I think there was also probably an attempt to
> > > reflect things on Buffy (i.e. the irony of Buffy being the one to
> > > preach about abusive boyfriends), but this time I really can't go
> > > along with that. Totally different situation in every relevant way.
> >
> > It's not. [MASSIVE SNIP] Anyway, it's not as straightforward and direct as
> > you first thought.
> > There's much more going under the surface. And the two abusivee
> > relationship most definitely > *do* resonate with each other.
>
&g