Revisiting AOQ Review 1-11: "Out Of Mind, Out Of Sight"

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Apteryx

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Mar 25, 2007, 5:19:40 PM3/25/07
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> From: "Arbitrar Of Quality" <tsm...@wildmail.com>
> Date: Jan 22 2006, 9:42 am
> Subject: AOQ Review 1-11: "Out Of Mind, Out Of Sight"
> To: alt.tv.buffy-v-slayer
>
>
> A reminder: Please avoid spoilers for later episodes in these review
> threads.
>
> BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER
> Season One, Episode 11: "Out Of Mind, Out Of Sight"
> (or "Episode thinks it's invisible")
> Writers: Ashley Gable and Thomas A. Swydon; story by Joss Whedon
> Director: Reza Badiyi
>
> If I were a Sunnydale High student, I'd now know that both locker
> rooms are bad places to be, not just the girls'.
>
> I was considering doing the whole review as a series of random quips
> to
> emphasize the fact that I don't have very many strong opinions about
> anything in "Out Of Mind," but let's at least pretend to do a
> real review here. This show concerns various people, all of whom tend
> to be close to Cordelia, being attacked under mysterious
> circumstances.
> At first it seems like a ghost story,

It actually stays very like a ghost story. Albeit without a ghost...


> and I was thinking it'd be
> cool if the villain were one of the various kids who've been killed
> over the course of the year. But eventually Buffy brushes against
> what's clearly a person and the story takes shape around an invisible
> girl. Maybe I'm more sensitive to it now that a few posters have
> mentioned it, but talk about applying your metaphors with an anvil.
> No
> one really noticed this kid... it was like she was INVISIBLE or
> something! And now she's INVISIBLE! Get it?


Wow! It's like she was INVISIBLE or something! And now she's
INVISIBLE!

> I should mention that
> the flashbacks are a good device to gradually tell Marcie's story.
>
> Marcie's main target is Cordelia, who never really did anything
> malevolent to her, other than the mere crime of being popular and
> shallow. This episode is splattered with the stain of the character,
> and it wouldn't be an AOQ review unless I complained about her some.
> I think I could handle her being a stock character, or being annoying,
> or having her intelligence apparently fluctuate from scene to scene,
> if
> she were less predictable. One of the most appealing things about
> dialogue in BTVS is that characters turn unexpected phrases and the
> viewer never quite knows exactly how someone will frame their next
> line. Whereas Cordelia's jokes are all the same. Ooh, she's
> rambling about Shylock, I wonder if she'll find some way to
> transition into talking about herself? That's her one note, which we
> get to hear sounded over and over throughout OOM/S.

She's not "rambling" about Shylock. Her analyis of him as being
self-absorbed, thinking everything is about him and the injustices
inflicted
on him, is pretty insightful. As well as being very funny that its
her
that's making that analysis.

> There's not a huge amount to say about the tale of Marcie and
> Crodelia, but I'll try to wring a few paragraphs out of it. One line
> that I appreciated the sort of sums things up comes towards the end,
> when Buffy says something to Invisible Girl along the lines of "I was
> feeling bad for you, but now I know you're a psycho." This
> suggests that the episode is able to draw the necessary line between
> sympathizing with Marcie's plight and approving her actions.

As with Cordy and Shylock - well OK, there isn't much sign of sympathy
for Shylock, but then she doesn't really do sympathy, and she is at
least aware Shylock has suffered injustice.

> We do
> feel sorry for her, but she loses our approval once she starts acting
> out her overwrought fantasies (many teens would imagine beating up
> semi-random people and carving up cheerleaders, but very few would
> actually do so). Both the "victim" and "villain" are
> thoroughly unsympathetic; now the nods to _The Merchant Of Venice_
> take
> on a new meaning! (Actually, they don't, I'm just trying to keep
> myself entertained here.)

Yeah they do. Sometime villains have suffered injustice themselves.
They deserve our pity for that, but not necessarily as much pity as
they give themselves, and in any event it has nothing to do with the
need to prevent them inflicting harm on others.

> But then the show lets Marcie off the hook
> at the end, so maybe the writers sympathized with her excessively
> after
> all.


Well, she has been dealt with, and is no longer a danger to anyone
Buffy
cares about.


> Cordelia does contribute one thing to this show: responses from the
> characters that we actually care about. I don't understand Buffy's
> stammering nervousness in the teaser (it should be clear by now that
> no
> one's going to bat at eye at a girl carrying around pointy crosses,
> considering the way this school gets), but the rest of her reactions
> are interesting, as someone who could be popular if life didn't get
> in the way. I mean, maybe _we_ know that popularity is overrated if
> you're not being yourself, but from the perspective of an outcast who
> has the looks and poise to be a May Queen (and once was), it looks
> different. However flippantly it was meant, Xander's "well, nw you
> have us," is not the right thing to say at a time like that,
> especially after he and Willow had just been excluding her by giggling
> over sixth-grade stories. [Mrs. Quality: "I _hate_ it when people do
> that."] I guess that scene is kinda applied with an anvil too when I
> think about it, but it works well anyway.
>
> The Slayer's presence also makes it even more impossible to have any
> sympathy for Cordy; our hero has been popular, she's been a loser,
> and managed not to be intolerable or shallow either way. Actually, if
> you have a certain sense of humor, it's funny how the show repeatedly
> sets things up for Cordelia to display some sort of depth, and then
> keeps backing out. The closet scene is probably the best example;
> Buffy is trying to enact the typical moment in which the two realize
> how much they actually have in common, but her partner in said scene
> steadfastly refuses to play along.
>
> So, Willow really doesn't come off well when Cordelia's around,
> does she? That's one thing I don't like so much about her.
> ([Lemony Snicket]"I don't like" as used here means "I am
> discussing a flawed character, not complaining about the show, in case
> that was unclear."[/Snicket]) She's either intimidated or envious,
> but in any case, think of the scenes in the library. Giles is
> planning, Xander is taking constant verbal swipes at the annoying
> chick, Buffy is doing some of each, and Willow's just kinda sitting
> there. And of course she actually tries to _invite Cordelia to hang
> out with them_ at the end. Bad Willow. You're better than that.
>
> Angel makes a few appearances here for the first time in about a
> month;
> it's kinda interesting that he's avoiding Buffy, which I assume
> can't last. He and Giles start up a book exchange program, which is
> every bit as exciting as it sounds, and he doesn't really have much
> to do with things. Yes, some of his scenes do very superficially tie
> in with the theme of invisibility, but it's quite the forced
> connection. The fact that they're starting up a plot now, though,
> does suggest that something big is in the works for the impending
> season finale. (Then Angel gets to play hero a little, but the whole
> gas-filled room thing seems more like a way to write characters who
> aren't Buffy and Cordelia out of the main story.)
>
> The ending comes rather out of nowhere, with the deadpanning
> suit-wearing types.


One of whom is named Doyle :)


> I think these characters who seem to shown up at
> some point in every TV series (always in pairs) have been used so
> often
> that no one remembers what they were originally a nod to. And by "no
> one" I mean "me." The classroom full of invisible books being
> opened and such makes for a rather cute sight gag to cap off a largely
> forgettable episode.
>
> I think this is the second week in a row where no one dies. The first
> nine episodes all had at least one death, save for "Witch." I
> don't think the show really needs to be killing people constantly
> anyway; save it for when it counts.
>
> Are we meant to buy that a Slayer can be held (however briefly) by
> loosely slacking a rope across her?
>
> Giles has a line I enjoyed that incorporates the word "maudlin,"
> but I have no recollection of the context. Any of you serial quoters
> care to help out?
>
> Shouldn't anyone be thinking about graduation? Or should we just
> forget that "Robot" listed Buffy as a senior since her birth date
> seems to have changed since then too?


I think Buffy had 3 different birth dates in IRYJ alone. Computer
error.


> Director Reza Badiyi is the second prominent person (after Shimerman)
> in this series who was also working on _Deep Space Nine_. It makes me
> with I were watching DS9 instead of writing this. Of course, that
> show
> also had its share of blah episodes during its first season, and look
> how good it ended up getting...
>
> I struggled a little with coming up with a rating for this one (the
> perils of the five-point scale, I guess)... it doesn't seem right to
> imply either that OOM/S is as good as, say, "The Puppet Show," or
> that it's as bad as IRYJ. In the end, episodes like this (or
> "First Date") that are pleasant enough but fail to thrill are by
> definition ranked as "Decent." Shows can be middle-of-the-road for
> different reasons.
>
> So....
>
> One-sentence summary: A fairly invisible episode.
>
> AOQ rating: Decent

I think I pretty much agree on the rating. Its sort of OK. Subtle as a
brick
in its main metaphor. Cordelia starts to warm to the gang (or at least
needs
them) and is even occaisionally insightful. Giles teeters on the edge
of the
generation gap. But it's pretty dull. It doesn't make me feel like I
needed
to see it, but I don't mind that I did. So Decent. It's my 107th
favourite
BtVS episode, 12th best in season 1


Apologies for what I assume are line-wrapping problems with this post
- they are not evident in the window as I post, but they have turned
up in the past when, as here, my newserver has died in between
composing and posting my comments, so that I have had to cut and paste
from an OE window to a Google Groups window to make the post

--
Apteryx

One Bit Shy

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Mar 25, 2007, 10:55:52 PM3/25/07
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"Apteryx" <Apte...@gmail.com> wrote in message
news:1174857580.5...@y80g2000hsf.googlegroups.com...

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

>> BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER


>> Season One, Episode 11: "Out Of Mind, Out Of Sight"

>> At first it seems like a ghost story,


>
> It actually stays very like a ghost story. Albeit without a ghost...

The ghost story aspect is one of the things I like about the episode. As
usual, I enjoy BtVS's take on classic scary motifs. I'm especially fond of
the melancholy flute echoing in the distance - then itself used to set a
trap.


>> and I was thinking it'd be
>> cool if the villain were one of the various kids who've been killed
>> over the course of the year. But eventually Buffy brushes against
>> what's clearly a person and the story takes shape around an invisible
>> girl. Maybe I'm more sensitive to it now that a few posters have
>> mentioned it, but talk about applying your metaphors with an anvil.
>> No
>> one really noticed this kid... it was like she was INVISIBLE or
>> something! And now she's INVISIBLE! Get it?

OK. How about, "This is all about me! Me, me, me!" The hellmouth factor is
working more than one way this episode. What's done to Marcie is most of
all generated by Cordelia. In other words, Marcie is Cordelia's monster -
the thing she fears most of all. At core, the episode is about Cordelia,
not Marcie. And with that extra layer, not quite so heavy handed as often
perceived.


>> Marcie's main target is Cordelia, who never really did anything
>> malevolent to her, other than the mere crime of being popular and
>> shallow. This episode is splattered with the stain of the character,
>> and it wouldn't be an AOQ review unless I complained about her some.
>> I think I could handle her being a stock character, or being annoying,
>> or having her intelligence apparently fluctuate from scene to scene,
>> if
>> she were less predictable. One of the most appealing things about
>> dialogue in BTVS is that characters turn unexpected phrases and the
>> viewer never quite knows exactly how someone will frame their next
>> line. Whereas Cordelia's jokes are all the same. Ooh, she's
>> rambling about Shylock, I wonder if she'll find some way to
>> transition into talking about herself? That's her one note, which we
>> get to hear sounded over and over throughout OOM/S.
>
> She's not "rambling" about Shylock. Her analyis of him as being
> self-absorbed, thinking everything is about him and the injustices
> inflicted
> on him, is pretty insightful. As well as being very funny that its
> her
> that's making that analysis.

I really like centering on Shylock as the background description for the
story.

"If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you
poison us, do we not die? And if you wrong us, shall we not revenge?"

Cordelia's analysis is both good and funny as you say. It also effectively
points towards both Marcie and herself - linking them as two sides of the
same coin.


>> There's not a huge amount to say about the tale of Marcie and
>> Crodelia, but I'll try to wring a few paragraphs out of it. One line
>> that I appreciated the sort of sums things up comes towards the end,
>> when Buffy says something to Invisible Girl along the lines of "I was
>> feeling bad for you, but now I know you're a psycho." This
>> suggests that the episode is able to draw the necessary line between
>> sympathizing with Marcie's plight and approving her actions.

The episode can also be seen as a piece of theater for Buffy's benefit. She
sympathizes with Marcie because she feels much the same thing. Cut off from
her desire to belong - the idea of belonging represented by "popular"
Cordelia. (It's funny. Just this morning I was listening to a Studio 360
segment about a "popular" girl that reminded me a lot of Cordelia.)
However, Marcie shows how defining her self worth by that standard is a dead
end. Self destructive. Buffy's realization at the end that Marcie is just
nuts is also a message to herself not to obsess about missing out on the
"popular" gig. As weird as her own life is, it might rest on more stable
ground than Cordelia's.


>> Both the "victim" and "villain" are
>> thoroughly unsympathetic; now the nods to _The Merchant Of Venice_
>> take
>> on a new meaning! (Actually, they don't, I'm just trying to keep
>> myself entertained here.)
>
> Yeah they do. Sometime villains have suffered injustice themselves.
> They deserve our pity for that, but not necessarily as much pity as
> they give themselves, and in any event it has nothing to do with the
> need to prevent them inflicting harm on others.

The Shylock reference is good. I like the way this episode is crafted.


>> But then the show lets Marcie off the hook
>> at the end, so maybe the writers sympathized with her excessively
>> after
>> all.

The ending seems to move off in its own direction for the sake of a fun
twist. I don't get the impression that it has much to do with the episode's
theme. I'm not sure I'd describe it as Marcie getting off the hook though.
I'd call it cynical exploitation.

>> I don't understand Buffy's
>> stammering nervousness in the teaser (it should be clear by now that
>> no
>> one's going to bat at eye at a girl carrying around pointy crosses,
>> considering the way this school gets),

Ah, but she's carrying a flail! Even by Sunnydale standards that ought to
attract attention.


>> However flippantly it was meant, Xander's "well, nw you
>> have us," is not the right thing to say at a time like that,
>> especially after he and Willow had just been excluding her by giggling
>> over sixth-grade stories. [Mrs. Quality: "I _hate_ it when people do
>> that."] I guess that scene is kinda applied with an anvil too when I
>> think about it, but it works well anyway.

I had missed that subtext until you pointed it out. I guess I was too
distracted by Willow's horse's whinny of a laugh. Boy that was extreme...
Oddly infectious though.


>> The Slayer's presence also makes it even more impossible to have any
>> sympathy for Cordy; our hero has been popular, she's been a loser,
>> and managed not to be intolerable or shallow either way. Actually, if
>> you have a certain sense of humor, it's funny how the show repeatedly
>> sets things up for Cordelia to display some sort of depth, and then
>> keeps backing out. The closet scene is probably the best example;
>> Buffy is trying to enact the typical moment in which the two realize
>> how much they actually have in common, but her partner in said scene
>> steadfastly refuses to play along.

The episode is largely about the perils of Cordy's self centeredness, so
she's got to show that in spades. But I think that's a bit unfair to the
sympathetic side shown. However poorly expressed her plea for help was, the
fear was genuine, and just going to them had to be difficult for her - at
odds with everything she had trained herself to believe. There are some
other subtleties worthy of consideration, but most of all there's Cordy's
heartfelt appreciation at the end for what Buffy - all of them - did for
her. Her final departure with snide comment didn't represent a repudiation
of decent behavior. It represented the trap she herself was in. She didn't
believe she had a choice but to walk away then. One imagines that inside,
Cordy wonders if she should have taken the chance of accepting Willow's
offer.


>> So, Willow really doesn't come off well when Cordelia's around,
>> does she? That's one thing I don't like so much about her.
>> ([Lemony Snicket]"I don't like" as used here means "I am
>> discussing a flawed character, not complaining about the show, in case
>> that was unclear."[/Snicket]) She's either intimidated or envious,
>> but in any case, think of the scenes in the library. Giles is
>> planning, Xander is taking constant verbal swipes at the annoying
>> chick, Buffy is doing some of each, and Willow's just kinda sitting
>> there. And of course she actually tries to _invite Cordelia to hang
>> out with them_ at the end. Bad Willow. You're better than that.

I don't think I understand this paragraph. Willow doesn't come off well
because she offered welcome to Cordelia?


>> Angel makes a few appearances here for the first time in about a
>> month;
>> it's kinda interesting that he's avoiding Buffy, which I assume
>> can't last. He and Giles start up a book exchange program, which is
>> every bit as exciting as it sounds, and he doesn't really have much
>> to do with things.

I really like the conversation between Angel and Giles. There's a nice
tentative quality to it as they gingerly feel each other out, knowing that
they're supposed to be mortal enemies, but sharing a common bond through
Buffy that demands finding a common ground. At this point in the series I
think it's fascinating that the common ground turns out to be arcane lore.
This is the first time we see this side of Angel really step forth. In time
it will become an important element of his character - though it will
continue to surprise when it pops up. I guess it's Angel's innate modesty
at work. It doesn't jar though, for it actually explains some of Angel's
prior behavior. We should have known that his knowledge of mystical events
surrounding The Master had more basis than merely keeping his ear to the
ground.

There isn't a lot of Angel this episode, but I think what there is really
improves his character. Adds more depth to it. The depiction also brings a
better tone to it. I think everyone has a better handle on what kind of
character he should be. Maybe they were working on that during his absence
since Angel (the episode).

>> Yes, some of his scenes do very superficially tie
>> in with the theme of invisibility, but it's quite the forced
>> connection.

As I briefly mentioned a year ago, I like the way that's filmed. I also
like the feel of the words. Poetic. It's a little piece of what
strengthens his character this episode.


>> The fact that they're starting up a plot now, though,
>> does suggest that something big is in the works for the impending
>> season finale. (Then Angel gets to play hero a little, but the whole
>> gas-filled room thing seems more like a way to write characters who
>> aren't Buffy and Cordelia out of the main story.)

Maybe. Dead ends are part of ghost stories too. Their part may not have
affected the outcome, but I found a good amount of tension with it.

I'd also forgotten about Angel saving them - especially the way he saves
Willow. That must have really reinforced her approval of Angel.


>> So....
>>
>> One-sentence summary: A fairly invisible episode.
>>
>> AOQ rating: Decent
>
> I think I pretty much agree on the rating. Its sort of OK. Subtle as a
> brick
> in its main metaphor. Cordelia starts to warm to the gang (or at least
> needs
> them) and is even occaisionally insightful. Giles teeters on the edge
> of the
> generation gap. But it's pretty dull. It doesn't make me feel like I
> needed
> to see it, but I don't mind that I did. So Decent. It's my 107th
> favourite
> BtVS episode, 12th best in season 1

This episode doesn't seem to generate much enthusiasm from BtVS followers.
I've never understood why. I'm very fond of it myself. It doesn't have the
weight of importance that the episodes before and after it do, but that's
about as much criticism as I can generate. I think it's spooky. I'm on the
edge of my seat for much of it. It's one of the best looks at Cordelia that
this series will ever show. It uses a clever literary link to support it's
base story which itself operates on a couple of levels. (Have we had that
kind of literary link yet? I don't remember one. That will be done some
more in the future.)

The filming at times is very nice. My favorite is a nice shadow effect when
Buffy is searching for the invisible girl, followed by a wonderfully
composed scene of Cordelia being dressed by her ladies in waiting. The
color balance is excellent too. (Though I don't know if that's just good
digital rendering.) Previous daytime intensive episodes have tended to
overdo color saturation.

The episode uses melancholy more than most. Quite effective I think - and
not overdone.

A very high Good for me, just barely below Excellent.

OBS


mariposas rand mair fheal greykitten tomys des anges

unread,
Mar 26, 2007, 12:17:03 AM3/26/07
to
> > She's not "rambling" about Shylock. Her analyis of him as being
> > self-absorbed, thinking everything is about him and the injustices
> > inflicted
> > on him, is pretty insightful. As well as being very funny that its
> > her
> > that's making that analysis.
>
> I really like centering on Shylock as the background description for the
> story.

i dont have any sympathy for cordelia starting with her analysis of shylock

the flashbacks show that cordelia didnt just ignore marcy
she attacked marcy when marcy tried to join the conversation

shylock was subject to attack assault and robbery not for any wrong he did
but for the mere crime of existing
and when he finally had enough of it and demanded justice
someone like cordelia would notice him
ignore what she had done and then blame him for her mistreatment of him

cordelia then rants about a bicyclist she ran down
perhaps you have to be a bicyclist to truly understand
how loathsome cordelias rant was

so yeah it wouldnt bother me if marcy had been a little quicker with knife
and give cordy the unforgettable appearance she deserved


also if i remember aright this is also
this is when cordelia talks about a twinkie defense
a phrase that always pisses me off

it goes back to the dan white trial
depressives tend to have off kilter serotonin levels
which is made in the intestines and can be partially controlled
by avoiding or consuming sugar
hence whites twinkie obsession could be a symptom of low serotonin depression

the public bigotry is that you can only be insane if youre drooling
in a strait jacket like an old marx brother movie

(there is a point to this aside)

so youve got a minority with no choice in their desires
constantly attacked for things they cannot control
if they dare express their difference
thats gays im talking about

so youve got another minority with no choice in their actions
constantly attacked for things they cannot control
if they dare expose their real lives
thats mentally ill now

and so when one minority kills another minority
the gay community could be sympathetic to fellow sufferers of societys prejudice
instead they show they are just as vicious and bigotted as everyone else
they demand white be killed just to satisfy their blood lust

anyway thast one of the thigns that leads to widespread changes to law
so that prisons are now full of the insane
as we revert to medieval torture as the treatment of choice for mentally ill

not sure why gays are still so unhappy
after all dan white did get the death penalty

(aside ended)
so cordelia mentioning twinkie defense really does piss me off


> >> Both the "victim" and "villain" are
> >> thoroughly unsympathetic; now the nods to _The Merchant Of Venice_
> >> take
> >> on a new meaning! (Actually, they don't, I'm just trying to keep
> >> myself entertained here.)
> >
> > Yeah they do. Sometime villains have suffered injustice themselves.
> > They deserve our pity for that, but not necessarily as much pity as
> > they give themselves, and in any event it has nothing to do with the
> > need to prevent them inflicting harm on others.
>
> The Shylock reference is good. I like the way this episode is crafted.

shylock was not the villian he was all victim
he was ill treated and denied justice
and the play ends with everyone laughing at how they tricked the jew

shakespeare was not relaying a history but constructing a story
he didnt craft a play about ultimate justice against a greedy jew
but ultimate injustice against a victim asks nothing but equality before the law
and in the end loses everything for the crime of egaltarianism

> The ending seems to move off in its own direction for the sake of a fun
> twist. I don't get the impression that it has much to do with the episode's
> theme. I'm not sure I'd describe it as Marcie getting off the hook though.
> I'd call it cynical exploitation.

depends if the students understand they are being used
if society denies them justice in one way
but allows them justice in another they just might take
accepting the risk

> As I briefly mentioned a year ago, I like the way that's filmed. I also
> like the feel of the words. Poetic. It's a little piece of what
> strengthens his character this episode.

i dont know if they were thinking about it this early
but maybe angel was wondering if he were invisible
to the justice and mercy of liams god

was angel a vilian or victim in the game of cosmic justice?

> The episode uses melancholy more than most. Quite effective I think - and
> not overdone.

currently watching the nature episode on wrecks in the south pacific
becoming reefs
violence into life

all the hatred and war and complaints of justice and treachery
(and quietly ignoring ones own side perverting of justice)
and life goes on forgettiing the crap
and making beauty where there was ugliness

meow arf meow - they are performing horrible experiments in space
major grubert is watching you - beware the bakalite
impeach the bastard - the airtight garage has you neo

bookworm

unread,
Mar 26, 2007, 10:45:39 AM3/26/07
to

>
> This episode doesn't seem to generate much enthusiasm from BtVS followers.
> I've never understood why. I'm very fond of it myself.

This was the episode for which I fell in love with the series. It was
the first time that I found myself in the story. Neglected, no one
paying attention at me and acting out because of it. my high-school-life
wasn't as clear-cut as Marcie's, but I was definitely no Buffy, Willow,
Cordy or Xander. I was Marcie, Jonathon, Tucker: the suicidal headcase,
that hurt her classmates the most on their prom-night by putting a sheet
of insults against the popular ones in the yearbook which was sold that
night to their parents

and I often envied Buffy for having friends. And Xander and Willow.

and I understood Buffy's reaction so much, about the feeling sorry part,
and calling her out on being a psych...

and I think, this ep. was the one which made me be interested in Angel...

I know I'm easy to impress, but the hell with it...

bookworm

William George Ferguson

unread,
Mar 26, 2007, 12:29:39 PM3/26/07
to
On Sun, 25 Mar 2007 21:17:03 -0700, mariposas rand mair fheal greykitten
tomys des anges <mair_...@yahoo.com> wrote:

>> > She's not "rambling" about Shylock. Her analyis of him as being
>> > self-absorbed, thinking everything is about him and the injustices
>> > inflicted
>> > on him, is pretty insightful. As well as being very funny that its
>> > her
>> > that's making that analysis.
>>
>> I really like centering on Shylock as the background description for the
>> story.
>
>i dont have any sympathy for cordelia starting with her analysis of shylock
>
>the flashbacks show that cordelia didnt just ignore marcy
>she attacked marcy when marcy tried to join the conversation
>
>shylock was subject to attack assault and robbery not for any wrong he did
>but for the mere crime of existing
>and when he finally had enough of it and demanded justice
>someone like cordelia would notice him
>ignore what she had done and then blame him for her mistreatment of him

Have you either read or seen Merchant of Venice? Shylock was specifically
targeting Antonio because Antonio had criticized him for charging too high
a rate of interest, and had undermined Shylock's profits by making interest
free loans to his (Antonio's) friends. For this horrible mistreatment,
Shylock connived to find a way to legally kill Antonio.

Shylock was not seeking either justice or revenge for the Christian's
treatment of him as a Jew, he was seeking to destroy someone who had
interfered with his profits.

The play is, of course, problematic in modern times because of its
treatment of Shylock's (and Jessica's) Jewishness, and as a result Shylock
is played far more sympathetically in modern presentations, but, like
Marcie, the real wrongs done against him do not justify his attempt to
legally kill Antonio, who has not really wronged him because of his
Jewishness, but only because of his interest rates. The other Jewish
moneylenders do not side with Shylock, and do not come off as badly in the
play.


--
... and my sister is a vampire slayer, her best friend is a witch who
went bonkers and tried to destroy the world, um, I actually used to be
a little ball of energy until about two years ago when some monks
changed the past and made me Buffy's sister and for some reason, a big
klepto. My best friends are Leticia Jones, who moved to San Diego
because this town is evil, and a floppy eared demon named Clem.
(Dawn's fantasy of her intro speech in "Lessons", from the shooting script)

mariposas rand mair fheal greykitten tomys des anges

unread,
Mar 26, 2007, 1:33:13 PM3/26/07
to
> Have you either read or seen Merchant of Venice? Shylock was specifically
> targeting Antonio because Antonio had criticized him for charging too high
> a rate of interest, and had undermined Shylock's profits by making interest
> free loans to his (Antonio's) friends. For this horrible mistreatment,
> Shylock connived to find a way to legally kill Antonio.

what you may be unaware of but shakespeare wouldve known
is that christians were forbidden to charge interest on loans
and jews were generally restricted for other professions
giving them little choice but to be lenders

jews were in this position because of christians
and christians reviled jews for being in this position

when a christian defaulted on a loan there was rarely legal recourse for jews

youve been tricked by shakespeare
he was writing a play that on the surface
was good christians triumphing over evil moneylenders
but was really an exposition of the injustice of his society

> legally kill Antonio, who has not really wronged him because of his
> Jewishness, but only because of his interest rates. The other Jewish
> moneylenders do not side with Shylock, and do not come off as badly in the
> play.

ivanhoe was written later when a christian writer
could more freely write about injustice to jews
so you get a similar story more explicit about the ill treatment of isaac

William George Ferguson

unread,
Mar 26, 2007, 2:38:34 PM3/26/07
to
On Mon, 26 Mar 2007 10:33:13 -0700, mariposas rand mair fheal greykitten

tomys des anges <mair_...@yahoo.com> wrote:

>> Have you either read or seen Merchant of Venice? Shylock was specifically
>> targeting Antonio because Antonio had criticized him for charging too high
>> a rate of interest, and had undermined Shylock's profits by making interest
>> free loans to his (Antonio's) friends. For this horrible mistreatment,
>> Shylock connived to find a way to legally kill Antonio.
>
>what you may be unaware of but shakespeare wouldve known
>is that christians were forbidden to charge interest on loans
>and jews were generally restricted for other professions
>giving them little choice but to be lenders

Catholics were forbidden usury (charging interest on loans) by doctrine, as
handed down by a pope that was in debt. While the Catholic church was
pretty much 'Christianity' at the time of Merchant of Venice, it wasn't
'Christianity' at the time of Shakespeare (Liz's dad had split the Church
of England from the Catholic church over divorce, Liz finalized the split
and made it illegal to be Catholic, and Martin Luthor had already been
nailing documents to cathedral doors). Elizabethan England was officially
Protestant, and Protestants weren't necessarily forbidden moneylending. (I
won't get into the debate over whether Shakespeare was a recusant
Catholic).

That being said, nothing you have said addresses Shylock's vendetta against
Antonio. That vendetta is personal and is fueled not by religion but by
business.

>youve been tricked by shakespeare
>he was writing a play that on the surface
>was good christians triumphing over evil moneylenders
>but was really an exposition of the injustice of his society

And you have been tricked by modern, more politically correct,
presentations of the play. That there was injustice towards the Jews is
very clearly presented in the play, and is shown to be injustice, but
Shylock's motive is not that injustice, which he uses as justification, but
avarice, and Shakespeare takes care to show that it is Shylock's individual
avarice, not a generic Jewish avarice.

>> legally kill Antonio, who has not really wronged him because of his
>> Jewishness, but only because of his interest rates. The other Jewish
>> moneylenders do not side with Shylock, and do not come off as badly in the
>> play.
>
>ivanhoe was written later when a christian writer
>could more freely write about injustice to jews
>so you get a similar story more explicit about the ill treatment of isaac

Well, that and Scott wrote a secondary charater that flat-out stole the
story out from under his hero and heroine (even back when it was published,
it was acknowledged that Rebecca dominated the story, she is arguably the
true hero).

But that has nothing to do with Shylock's motivation.

One Bit Shy

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Mar 26, 2007, 3:30:00 PM3/26/07
to
"mariposas rand mair fheal greykitten tomys des anges"
<mair_...@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:mair_fheal-16594...@sn-ip.vsrv-sjc.supernews.net...

>> > She's not "rambling" about Shylock. Her analyis of him as being
>> > self-absorbed, thinking everything is about him and the injustices
>> > inflicted
>> > on him, is pretty insightful. As well as being very funny that its
>> > her
>> > that's making that analysis.
>>
>> I really like centering on Shylock as the background description for the
>> story.
>
> i dont have any sympathy for cordelia starting with her analysis of
> shylock

Please don't misunderstand. I don't believe Cordy's analysis represents the
sum of Shylock and Shakespeare's story. But it is one fairly intelligent
perspective allowed for by the play - a play that allows for multiple
perspectives. Isn't part of the point of it to compel thought about
ambiguous morality?

Be that as it may, I appreciate it as an avenue into the story. It's not
hard to see Shylock in Marcie I think - right down to exacting a pound of
flesh. What's interesting is that the particular attributes that Cordelia
picks up on within Shylock (and by extension Marcie) are actually attributes
within herself. Marcie is the sum of Cordelia's fears. By Cordelia's own
analysis, she herself could be that should she lose her precious status.
(Fortunately she meets Angel when that actually happens. But that's another
story.)

I don't believe anything in that analysis was intended to evoke sympathy for
her.

Where some sympathy arises is seeing her pulled down to humanity by facing
real fear, reaching out for help, and actually appreciating it in a decent
sense. And seeing enough of a crack in her facade to recognize how she's
trapped herself in it.

A long ways from atonement, yes. But there's potential. She's finally a 16
year old girl who doesn't know what she's doing either.


> so yeah it wouldnt bother me if marcy had been a little quicker with knife
> and give cordy the unforgettable appearance she deserved

Shylock's story is also about notions of mercy, albeit as confused and
questionable as everything else. I don't know where true justice or mercy
could be found, but somehow I don't think it was in the pound of flesh. I
don't think it is for Cordy either.


> (aside ended)
> so cordelia mentioning twinkie defense really does piss me off

I see. It's an interesting story worthy of discussion. But I don't think
I'll go there here. Cordelia would only know the pop understanding of the
twinkie defense.


>> >> Both the "victim" and "villain" are
>> >> thoroughly unsympathetic; now the nods to _The Merchant Of Venice_
>> >> take
>> >> on a new meaning! (Actually, they don't, I'm just trying to keep
>> >> myself entertained here.)
>> >
>> > Yeah they do. Sometime villains have suffered injustice themselves.
>> > They deserve our pity for that, but not necessarily as much pity as
>> > they give themselves, and in any event it has nothing to do with the
>> > need to prevent them inflicting harm on others.
>>
>> The Shylock reference is good. I like the way this episode is crafted.
>
> shylock was not the villian he was all victim
> he was ill treated and denied justice
> and the play ends with everyone laughing at how they tricked the jew

I think it's a little more complicated than that. He was, after all,
offered double what he was owed, and the justice he sought projected all of
his life's hurt upon Antonio.


> shakespeare was not relaying a history but constructing a story
> he didnt craft a play about ultimate justice against a greedy jew
> but ultimate injustice against a victim asks nothing but equality before
> the law
> and in the end loses everything for the crime of egaltarianism

That would be his argument - with much to say for it. It's just that having
it represented by a contract exacting a pound of flesh is kind of
problematic.


>> As I briefly mentioned a year ago, I like the way that's filmed. I also
>> like the feel of the words. Poetic. It's a little piece of what
>> strengthens his character this episode.
>
> i dont know if they were thinking about it this early
> but maybe angel was wondering if he were invisible
> to the justice and mercy of liams god
>
> was angel a vilian or victim in the game of cosmic justice?

Did he die in the end?


>> The episode uses melancholy more than most. Quite effective I think -
>> and
>> not overdone.
>
> currently watching the nature episode on wrecks in the south pacific
> becoming reefs
> violence into life
>
> all the hatred and war and complaints of justice and treachery
> (and quietly ignoring ones own side perverting of justice)
> and life goes on forgettiing the crap
> and making beauty where there was ugliness

I read that - and your comments about the Twinkie defense - and am confused
by your harshness towards Cordelia. Does she really deserve to be
disfigured?

OBS

mariposas rand mair fheal greykitten tomys des anges

unread,
Mar 26, 2007, 4:27:33 PM3/26/07
to
> > so yeah it wouldnt bother me if marcy had been a little quicker with knife
> > and give cordy the unforgettable appearance she deserved
>
> Shylock's story is also about notions of mercy, albeit as confused and
> questionable as everything else. I don't know where true justice or mercy
> could be found, but somehow I don't think it was in the pound of flesh. I
> don't think it is for Cordy either.

in true justice there is no mercy

in fairy tales and stories which really speak to a childs notion of justice
there is no mercy
there are the rules
and unwavering imposition of penalties for violating the rules

mercy is a concept for adults
who realizing just how often they transgress the rules
and who also develop sympathy for others
are willing to set aside or reduce the harshness of the rules

nobody shown marcy sympathy or tempered her trangressions of their social rules
so marcy has become an instrument of merciless justice

(i suspect in the final scene marcy understands that she will be exploited
and that she is okay with that because she thinks she will be dispensing justice)

> I think it's a little more complicated than that. He was, after all,
> offered double what he was owed, and the justice he sought projected all of
> his life's hurt upon Antonio.

remember a moneylender or pawnbroker never demands people take their money
they offer a service others can take or leave

at that time there was no rule against christians lending money
only for charging interest for lending money
so the money couldve been borrowed from amongst the christians of the city
if they were willing to forego profit from interest

they could also raise money by forming a corporation
with christian investors (this was also allowed by the pope)
but that would require sharing the profits with others

> >> As I briefly mentioned a year ago, I like the way that's filmed. I also
> >> like the feel of the words. Poetic. It's a little piece of what
> >> strengthens his character this episode.
> >
> > i dont know if they were thinking about it this early
> > but maybe angel was wondering if he were invisible
> > to the justice and mercy of liams god
> >
> > was angel a vilian or victim in the game of cosmic justice?
>
> Did he die in the end?

everybody dies in the end

by angel season five its clear angel believes he is irredeemably damned
and that is part of his characters motivation

i dont know if whedon had already decided that this early
or if it started with buffy season three

> I read that - and your comments about the Twinkie defense - and am confused
> by your harshness towards Cordelia. Does she really deserve to be
> disfigured?

cordelia in the story is more the wicked stepsister
not a complete character beyond a budding sociopath
so its hard to feel any sympathy toward her plight

at the end of angel season one when cordelia has really seen
how crappy other peoples lives can be
shes hardly a saint but she has sympathy and she deserves sympathy
and thats where mercy comes

relating that back to real world issues
germans acknowledged their crimes of the thirties and forties
and made amends for those
so while they remain flawed humans like everyone else
they laregely have the trust of their neighbors

japan has never really acknowledged what they did
and still portray themselves mostly as the victim
and to this day china and surrounding countries do not trust japan
and do not like the usa letting japan rearm

mariposas rand mair fheal greykitten tomys des anges

unread,
Mar 26, 2007, 5:38:33 PM3/26/07
to
> Catholics were forbidden usury (charging interest on loans) by doctrine, as
> handed down by a pope that was in debt. While the Catholic church was
> pretty much 'Christianity' at the time of Merchant of Venice, it wasn't
> 'Christianity' at the time of Shakespeare (Liz's dad had split the Church

nor did shakespeare write the merchantmen of london

he created the story and set it in a place of religious intolerance
by that time holland had important merchants
and london was developing their own
holland was also more tolerant than catholic countries

> That being said, nothing you have said addresses Shylock's vendetta against
> Antonio. That vendetta is personal and is fueled not by religion but by
> business.

shylock never forced anyone to borrow money from him
shakespeare wouldve known that in turn jews were forced to loan money

shylock could not force anyone to agree to the collateral
that was a choice made by the borrower
and when he defaulted on the loan
rather than accepting justuce he demanded the mercy
that the christian community had never shown to the jews

and that this was the story shakespeare created and wrote
not some history he was relating


in the episode cordelia is not merely a passive observer to marcys problem
cordelia is shown herself to attack marcy and she is partly the cause

we get another version of that when cordelia rants about the bicycle she ran over
bicyclists do not flign themselves under cars
and we do get to see later what kind of driver cordelia is
cordelia recklessly attacked and injured perhaps even crippled another human
and not only does cordelia take no responsibility for that
she actually turns it around and demand the victim be responsible


willow figures it out
that it wasnt something marcy did
it was something done to marcy
it was something willow help do to marcy

you can argue whether marcys revenge was excessive
but it was with cause

chr...@removethistoreply.gwu.edu

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Mar 26, 2007, 7:27:23 PM3/26/07
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Apteryx <Apte...@gmail.com> wrote:
>> From: "Arbitrar Of Quality" <tsm...@wildmail.com>
>> Date: Jan 22 2006, 9:42 am
>> Subject: AOQ Review 1-11: "Out Of Mind, Out Of Sight"
>> To: alt.tv.buffy-v-slayer

.


>> BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER
>> Season One, Episode 11: "Out Of Mind, Out Of Sight"
>> (or "Episode thinks it's invisible")
>> Writers: Ashley Gable and Thomas A. Swydon; story by Joss Whedon
>> Director: Reza Badiyi

.


>> I was considering doing the whole review as a series of random quips
>> to
>> emphasize the fact that I don't have very many strong opinions about
>> anything in "Out Of Mind," but let's at least pretend to do a
>> real review here.

By coincidence, I'm not in the mood for writing anything more than brief,
disconnected comments in reply. (Admittedly this isn't much different
from what I usually post.)

>> girl. Maybe I'm more sensitive to it now that a few posters have
>> mentioned it, but talk about applying your metaphors with an anvil.
>> No
>> one really noticed this kid... it was like she was INVISIBLE or
>> something! And now she's INVISIBLE! Get it?

And Buffy defeats her in the end because she starts LISTENING to people!
Get it? This is pretty anvilly too. It doesn't actually bother me much,
but yeah, technically that's an anvil. Maybe it would work better if it
had been directly contrasted to an earlier scene where Buffy fails to
listen to someone. No, on second thought, that would just make it a
longer anvil.

>> Marcie's main target is Cordelia, who never really did anything
>> malevolent to her, other than the mere crime of being popular and
>> shallow.

She does actually attack Marcie in a couple of the flashbacks. Of course
she only does it when Marcie tries to join in to one of her conversations,
so if asked, Cordelia would probably consider it a defensive malevolence,
merely chasing away the losers after avoiding them has failed. But I
think anyone who isn't Cordelia herself would still think her behavior is
malevolent. I really liked the play of expressions on Marcie's face at
the end of the restroom scene.

Despite Buffy and Giles's later insight that invisibility was a handicap
Marcie developed, rather than a superpower, I still agree with Giles's
earlier comments about how heady invisibility must have been for her.
Now poor Marcie has the power to take her revenge! I think that that
power and the temptation it brought surely played a role in Marcie's
becoming a thundering loonie, right alongside the loneliness and constant
exile.

How important is society to a healthy human psyche? Would being invisible
like Marcie inevitably lead to madness? Couldn't she have befriended a
volleyball?

Random moment where Cordy displays some self-knowledge: "She's evil, okay?
Way eviler than me."

Favorite line: "I think I speak for everyone here when I say 'Huh?'"

>> But then the show lets Marcie off the hook
>> at the end, so maybe the writers sympathized with her excessively
>> after all.

Or maybe they didn't sympathize with her as much as it looked earlier, if
they think she'd be happy about going to assassin school. But I doubt
this tells us anything about the writers' attitude to Marcie. I think they
just liked the cheap thrill at the end. ("Cheap" because it has little or
nothing to do with the theme of the episode or any larger Buffyverse
theme.) At least it was an efficient way to avoid either having Buffy
kill Marcie, or having some heartwarming scene where Marcie is cured by
the Slayerettes paying attention to her.

>> So, Willow really doesn't come off well when Cordelia's around,
>> does she? That's one thing I don't like so much about her.
>> ([Lemony Snicket]"I don't like" as used here means "I am
>> discussing a flawed character, not complaining about the show, in case
>> that was unclear."[/Snicket]) She's either intimidated or envious,
>> but in any case, think of the scenes in the library. Giles is
>> planning, Xander is taking constant verbal swipes at the annoying
>> chick, Buffy is doing some of each, and Willow's just kinda sitting
>> there. And of course she actually tries to _invite Cordelia to hang
>> out with them_ at the end. Bad Willow. You're better than that.

Willow had her moments of scriptwriters' attention earlier in the episode,
so they focus on other characters in that scene. And she does still dish
out some quiet snark. At the end, Willow only invites Cordelia to hang
out with them because Cordy has, dropped the hostility and dominance games
and thanks them sincerely. In fact she goes beyond thanking them to
acknowledge that they helped her when they didn't have to, implicitly
admitting that they are better people than she is. Willow would have
merited the Bad Willow if she hadn't tried to be nice in return.

About the attic scenes: Dusty air with isolated shafts of light shining
through louvers and slowly-rotating fan blades *always* looks good. I
think it was _Blade Runner_ that taught us that.

>> Are we meant to buy that a Slayer can be held (however briefly) by
>> loosely slacking a rope across her?

And are we really meant to believe that skinny little Marcie was strong
enough to pull Cordelia up into the attic? Does invisibility make you
stronger, or did she just have winch up there? And wouldn't Cordelia have
trouble talking clearly while her face is all numb?

>> in this series who was also working on _Deep Space Nine_. It makes me
>> with I were watching DS9 instead of writing this. Of course, that
>> show
>> also had its share of blah episodes during its first season, and look
>> how good it ended up getting...

I only watched the first season of DS9, then drifted away, by all accounts
shortly before the show got really good. I'm not sure why; I didn't
dislike the first season or anything. Maybe I'll Netflix it someday.

>> AOQ rating: Decent

I'd give it a high Decent, close to Good. I like it, but nothing in it
really grabs me to the same extent as more solid Goods like Nightmares or
The Puppet Show.

--Chris

______________________________________________________________________
chrisg [at] gwu.edu On the Internet, nobody knows I'm a dog.

mariposas rand mair fheal greykitten tomys des anges

unread,
Mar 26, 2007, 7:39:06 PM3/26/07
to
> How important is society to a healthy human psyche? Would being invisible
> like Marcie inevitably lead to madness? Couldn't she have befriended a
> volleyball?

isolation - solitary confinement - etc are indeed very difficult
and do drive people insane

this is one of arguments against prisons like pelican bay
or the federal prison in colorado
that such extraordinary isolation of prisoners is cruel and unusual punishment
and will drive them insane

Arbitrar Of Quality

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Mar 26, 2007, 9:16:50 PM3/26/07
to

I don't have anything to add to this post beyond the usual "thanks for
sharing."

-AOQ
~and "that explains the handle"~

Arbitrar Of Quality

unread,
Mar 26, 2007, 9:53:21 PM3/26/07
to
On Mar 25, 4:19 pm, "Apteryx" <Apter...@gmail.com> wrote:
> > From: "Arbitrar Of Quality" <tsm...@wildmail.com>

> > Marcie's main target is Cordelia, who never really did anything


> > malevolent to her, other than the mere crime of being popular and
> > shallow. This episode is splattered with the stain of the character,
> > and it wouldn't be an AOQ review unless I complained about her some.
> > I think I could handle her being a stock character, or being annoying,
> > or having her intelligence apparently fluctuate from scene to scene,
> > if
> > she were less predictable. One of the most appealing things about
> > dialogue in BTVS is that characters turn unexpected phrases and the
> > viewer never quite knows exactly how someone will frame their next
> > line. Whereas Cordelia's jokes are all the same. Ooh, she's
> > rambling about Shylock, I wonder if she'll find some way to
> > transition into talking about herself? That's her one note, which we
> > get to hear sounded over and over throughout OOM/S.
>
> She's not "rambling" about Shylock. Her analyis of him as being
> self-absorbed, thinking everything is about him and the injustices
> inflicted
> on him, is pretty insightful. As well as being very funny that its
> her
> that's making that analysis.

This is kind of typical of the kind of humor that does nothing for me,
which explains my lack of appreciation of S1-Cordy. The level of self-
centeredness is pure caricature, and the moment she opened her mouth,
I knew that her speech was going in that direction. Yes, we get the
irony. Next slide please. Even when she's insightful, she's boring.

> > Both the "victim" and "villain" are
> > thoroughly unsympathetic; now the nods to _The Merchant Of Venice_
> > take
> > on a new meaning! (Actually, they don't, I'm just trying to keep
> > myself entertained here.)
>
> Yeah they do. Sometime villains have suffered injustice themselves.
> They deserve our pity for that, but not necessarily as much pity as
> they give themselves, and in any event it has nothing to do with the
> need to prevent them inflicting harm on others.

This is a funny comment to re-read a year later given how dismissive
it is, because, yes, of course the nod to Shylock is anything but
coincidence. This one I can attribute to not being synched into the
way BTVS uses things like this.

Re-watching, I'd forgotten how funny the banter was in the early
stages, while our heroes are still working out what's going on. ("Oh,
hey, do you wanna come to our
place tonight for dinner? Mom's making her famous phone call to the
Chinese place.")

It's often stylishly done, but the story with regard to the heroes
(Marcie's part is fine) doesn't do a whole lot for me. Any lessons
that Buffy learns or conveys about popularity seem trite to me. There
are The Popular and The Not Popular, and it's almost like the show is
trying to suggest that it isn't worth sacrificing oneself to join the
former, although it's very subtle about it. No compelling reason is
given to motivate the cruelty of those on top, which is what would
help the show achieve what it's attempting. Cordelia's punchline
about how "it beats being alone all by yourself" rings particularly
false given that we've been seeing that Buffy has this tightly knit
group around her. She's already worked out an answer to this issue
that negates the either-or framework that it's presented as. There's
also the implication that everyone who's popular is either a moron or
secretly wants to be one of the weird kids. It seems to be a very
simplified Hollywood view of teenage angst. I kinda think of it as
kind of a rough-draft version of the climax of "Earshot," which has
much more success handling similar themes (although I do have some
serious issues with the rest of that episode that... well, we'll get
there eventually).

Also notice, that this episode is a big part of why we've been forced
to endure Cordelia this year - so that Joss can then turn around and
have her reveal something unexpected. I say "Out Of Mind" fails in
its attempts to make the character compelling, or to reflect anything
useful onto Buffy in the process.

I really like the music in OOM/S, which plays a big part in its
drifting, melancholy feel.

Overall, the episode has its moments. But its biggest crime for me,
as for you, isn't offending my viewer sensibilities or anything, but
just not being particularly compelling. Still Decent, and one in
which my general opinion is pretty much where it was the first time
'round.

-AOQ

One Bit Shy

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Mar 26, 2007, 11:29:20 PM3/26/07
to
"Arbitrar Of Quality" <tsm...@wildmail.com> wrote in message
news:1174960401....@b75g2000hsg.googlegroups.com...

> Cordelia's punchline
> about how "it beats being alone all by yourself" rings particularly
> false given that we've been seeing that Buffy has this tightly knit
> group around her. She's already worked out an answer to this issue
> that negates the either-or framework that it's presented as.

You're getting it, yet somehow don't see it. Buffy having worked out the
answer is a huge part of the point. This is probably the thinnest episode
of the season as regards Buffy and gang's development, but here's the
essence. We see Buffy early yearning for her popular days and envying
Cordy. And we see her uncertain about Xander and Willow really being the
solution. The little play put on by Cordy and Marcie show her the
bankruptcy of their choice. And then Cordelia's punchline you quote and her
departure at the end highlight how Buffy's friends are for real and how
Buffy is in the stronger place. So in the end she rejects one more element
of her past desires and futher embraces her new strength.

Cordy's line rings false because it is false. Buffy proves it. Alas, Cordy
is trapped by her own construct and cannot grasp more than that lousy coping
mechanism that she describes in that line. The one thing she does get,
however, is a glimpse of Buffy's alternative. That's too far for her to go
to today, though she might wonder if she should have accepted Willow's
offer. It does give her something to remember and think about in the
future. Maybe next time or the time after she'll be more receptive.

Looking much further down the road, Cordy's thought could be seen as
suggesting one more layer for Buffy. There will be times when Buffy feels
alone - disconnected from her friends, even though she's around them. Is
not being alone by herself what she's doing then?

OBS


Arbitrar Of Quality

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Mar 27, 2007, 2:42:48 AM3/27/07
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On Mar 25, 9:55 pm, "One Bit Shy" <O...@nomail.sorry> wrote:

> >> So, Willow really doesn't come off well when Cordelia's around,
> >> does she? That's one thing I don't like so much about her.
> >> ([Lemony Snicket]"I don't like" as used here means "I am
> >> discussing a flawed character, not complaining about the show, in case
> >> that was unclear."[/Snicket]) She's either intimidated or envious,
> >> but in any case, think of the scenes in the library. Giles is
> >> planning, Xander is taking constant verbal swipes at the annoying
> >> chick, Buffy is doing some of each, and Willow's just kinda sitting
> >> there. And of course she actually tries to _invite Cordelia to hang
> >> out with them_ at the end. Bad Willow. You're better than that.
>
> I don't think I understand this paragraph. Willow doesn't come off well
> because she offered welcome to Cordelia?

Comes off badly in a pathetic sense rather than a moral one. In an
episode that's in part about defining oneself independently of social
castes and such, she sees Cordelia as royalty. The show goes back and
forth on whether Xander's confortable with himself or just wishing the
cool kids would talk to him, but his animosity towards Cordy makes him
unihibited around her. But Willow totally buys in to the popularity
system, and to a degree defines her own and others' (see: WTTH) status
by what Cordelia thinks of them. If at the end she's just a kind soul
willing to drop old grudges, cool, but knowing Willow as I do, I'd say
there's also a fair share of desperation for acceptance, and letting
how others treat her shape her self-image.

-AOQ

Arbitrar Of Quality

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Mar 27, 2007, 2:56:17 AM3/27/07
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On Mar 26, 10:29 pm, "One Bit Shy" <O...@nomail.sorry> wrote:
> "Arbitrar Of Quality" <tsm...@wildmail.com> wrote in messagenews:1174960401....@b75g2000hsg.googlegroups.com...

>
> > Cordelia's punchline
> > about how "it beats being alone all by yourself" rings particularly
> > false given that we've been seeing that Buffy has this tightly knit
> > group around her. She's already worked out an answer to this issue
> > that negates the either-or framework that it's presented as.
>
> You're getting it, yet somehow don't see it. Buffy having worked out the
> answer is a huge part of the point. This is probably the thinnest episode
> of the season as regards Buffy and gang's development, but here's the
> essence. We see Buffy early yearning for her popular days and envying
> Cordy. And we see her uncertain about Xander and Willow really being the
> solution. The little play put on by Cordy and Marcie show her the
> bankruptcy of their choice. And then Cordelia's punchline you quote and her
> departure at the end highlight how Buffy's friends are for real and how
> Buffy is in the stronger place. So in the end she rejects one more element
> of her past desires and futher embraces her new strength.

She ends the previous episode satisfactorily en-cliqued in a Losers'
Club of sorts, starts vaguely lusting after popularity, and ends the
episode satisfied with her group again. This isn't the stuff of
legendary episodes. You're the one who said "thinnest," but I'd agree
with the adjective. I find OOM/S to be a pretty hollow show on the
levels of lessons and of character develop.

> Cordy's line rings false because it is false. Buffy proves it. Alas, Cordy
> is trapped by her own construct and cannot grasp more than that lousy coping
> mechanism that she describes in that line.

Well, she's not too bright (though she tests well). She gets no
sympathy from me here, and I do think the show was atempting to get us
to feel her hurt, just a little.

I did actually just notice something, though. The new viewer doesn't
have any reason to suspect that the ending is anything more than a
reset button for Cordelia. But it's worth noting that after "The
Harvest," she does the selective ignoring routine, but in "Prophecy
Girl," we see a different reaction to these evenets. I'm trying to
overcome my disdain for this conceit that only a few rare individuals
amongst The People are willing to be strong, but Joss appears to be
using Forgettyitis as a barometer to show non-Slayerettes' mental
state.

-AOQ

bookworm

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Mar 27, 2007, 4:22:11 AM3/27/07
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Arbitrar Of Quality schrieb:
you're welcome ;)

bookworm

Message has been deleted

bookworm

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Mar 27, 2007, 7:54:22 AM3/27/07
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Arbitrar Of Quality schrieb:

you're welcome...
... btw if you look at this ep. rationally, in a csi-like manner, it is
nothing better than average...

One Bit Shy

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Mar 27, 2007, 7:02:15 PM3/27/07
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"Arbitrar Of Quality" <tsm...@wildmail.com> wrote in message
news:1174978576.9...@y80g2000hsf.googlegroups.com...

In terms of Buffy's story, absolutely. I don't think it's necessary at all
for her development. While it wasn't exactly the theme, she none the less
let go of the status thing way back in The Witch. I don't mind touching on
it one last time in the mildly wistful way that Buffy does here, but it's
not necessary. Likewise the friendship affirmation in The Puppet Show is
the real deal that matters.

That isn't the main part of OOMOOS, nor what I like best about it. I only
emphasized it here because you dismissed Buffy's contribution as a flaw in
the Cordy story when it's actually the point being made. Buffy shows the
alternative - the way out. But it's only a glimpse that Cordy isn't ready
for yet. The core of the story is Cordy facing the consequences of her
manner in the form of a Shylock like pound of flesh. This episode is
Cordy's story much more than it is Buffy's.

I don't think there's a whole lot of lesson here that isn't self evident.
Which is true for most of the high school as hell episodes. Was there
anything deep about the lesson in The Pack? It's the telling that's
interesting. The way the problem manifests with hellmouth input. I love
using Merchant of Venice as the framework. Just using a literary model of
revenge for injustices suffered is neat. But look at the way Merchant does
it. The pound of flesh Shylock seeks is symbollic justice. It is payment
in kind only in the metaphoric sense of the injustices done to Shylock
feeling like people ripping his very self from him. The play is a prototype
for the way Joss is telling his stories - taking the anguish of life and
transforming it into physical representation. The pound of flesh is a
symbollic penalty, but Antonio would bleed no less for that. The same with
Cordelia and the blade set to disfigure her.

Then Joss goes and emphasizes the sense of poetic justice in kind by not
merely relying on vengeance by disfigurement. (Which would be pretty good
by itself.) He adds to it the notion that the failings of Marcie (as
summarized by Cordy's analysis of Shylock) are actually the failings of
Cordy herself. So Cordy's behavior is in large part responsible for
creating Marcie, and the thing created has Cordy's self centered nature, but
is denied the status she craves. In a metaphoric sense, Cordy faces
disfigurement from herself. Marcie is in large part a mirror for Cordelia.
I think that's pretty neat story telling.

As for character development, this is Cordy's first story of substance.
Prior to this she's mostly served as generic mean "popular" girl with only a
few hints of personal identification. A little Cordy logic here. A little
Queen C there. If you look really close in retrospect you can also find
some hints of a growing Cordy envy of Buffy and recognition of her as rival.
The main character aspect has obviously been - self centered. None of this
near enough to make her a real person. So the function of this episode
isn't so much to develop her as to reveal her. Show that she's human. The
point isn't to change her. Just understand her a little better.

I think the episode does a pretty good job at that. It humanizes her
without altering or denying what we've already seen and probably can expect
to see again. It also dangles an alternative in front of her that maybe
will make a difference sometime in the future.

Or to put it another way, perhaps one shouldn't be looking for an instant
change in Cordy today, but rather wonder what will happen when Cordy's
status falters in the future, as eventually it must. I think Joss tries to
treat character development as a long term venture that doesn't come easily.


>> Cordy's line rings false because it is false. Buffy proves it. Alas,
>> Cordy
>> is trapped by her own construct and cannot grasp more than that lousy
>> coping
>> mechanism that she describes in that line.
>
> Well, she's not too bright (though she tests well). She gets no
> sympathy from me here, and I do think the show was atempting to get us
> to feel her hurt, just a little.

Maybe it's seeking understanding more than sympathy. And potential more
than actual. Cordy has been genuinely nasty. (Remember her threat to Amy
in The Witch?) She may not deserve being cut up, but she's earned some kind
of penalty, which I suppose starts with minimal sympathy.


> I did actually just notice something, though. The new viewer doesn't
> have any reason to suspect that the ending is anything more than a
> reset button for Cordelia. But it's worth noting that after "The
> Harvest," she does the selective ignoring routine, but in "Prophecy
> Girl," we see a different reaction to these evenets. I'm trying to
> overcome my disdain for this conceit that only a few rare individuals
> amongst The People are willing to be strong, but Joss appears to be
> using Forgettyitis as a barometer to show non-Slayerettes' mental
> state.

I don't recall now if it's from episode commentaries or articles or posts or
what, but I've developed the impression that the writers found the whole
Forgettyitis issue a damned nuisance. Yes, they were aware of it. Yes,
they tried to play with it some - especially S3. But mostly they wish it
could be ignored. (I think they were relieved at the move to college in S4
so they could just revert to nobody knowing anything again.) It's just one
of those parts of what's obviously an implausible story of magic and
monsters that doesn't bear scrutiny. Like the way death follows Jessica
Fletcher around in Murder She Wrote. A character like her in the real world
would be a pariah with people fleeing from her the moment she appeared. The
premise in BtVS is that society doesn't realize the danger lurking beneath.
Which is fine as part of a greater metaphor, but doesn't survive well the
parade of literal monsters. It can't be helped. Bringing the rest of
society into the battle turns it into a story they don't want to tell.

OOMOOS does carry over into Prophecy Girl, represented early on by Cordy's
willingness to be with Willow. I attribute that mostly to lingering
gratitude. Cordy's human enough to know she owes something. (She's had her
life saved before, but this was so much more personal, so much more a
conscious effort on her behalf.) There may also be a touch of envy for what
Buffy's group has, and wanting some for herself. That's hard to say with
the brief amount we see in this episode. I'm guessing that choosing Willow
as the entry point is a mix of knowing her so long, finding her way less
intimidating than Buffy (or as annoying as Xander), and Willow's gesture of
welcome last episode. The much greater bond, however, comes later with the
shared experience of finding the bodies in the TV room.

In the context of Prophecy Girl maybe being the last episode ever, that's
probably OK. From an ongoing perspective, however, I personally think Joss
went too far with Cordelia. He just had to reset her in S2 so that her
connection could develop differently.

OBS


Arbitrar Of Quality

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Mar 27, 2007, 11:53:58 PM3/27/07
to
On Mar 27, 6:02 pm, "One Bit Shy" <O...@nomail.sorry> wrote:

> As for character development, this is Cordy's first story of substance.
> Prior to this she's mostly served as generic mean "popular" girl with only a
> few hints of personal identification. A little Cordy logic here. A little
> Queen C there. If you look really close in retrospect you can also find
> some hints of a growing Cordy envy of Buffy and recognition of her as rival.
> The main character aspect has obviously been - self centered. None of this
> near enough to make her a real person. So the function of this episode
> isn't so much to develop her as to reveal her. Show that she's human. The
> point isn't to change her. Just understand her a little better.

I don't particularly disagree with this assessment of the intent, all
I can say is that it doesn't do its job for me.

> In the context of Prophecy Girl maybe being the last episode ever, that's
> probably OK. From an ongoing perspective, however, I personally think Joss
> went too far with Cordelia. He just had to reset her in S2 so that her
> connection could develop differently.

Hmm. Well, Cordelia is certain written inconsistently, but I'm not
sure what exactly needed to be reset. Maybe the signs of human
decency, which come out more strongly in times of apocalypse? But in
some ways she never goes back after "Prophecy Girl." Early-S2
Cordelia has moments in which she's both insightful and concerned
about Buffy (WSWB) and genuinely grateful for her local monster-
fighters (SAR).

-AOQ

One Bit Shy

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Mar 28, 2007, 1:15:07 AM3/28/07
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"Arbitrar Of Quality" <tsm...@wildmail.com> wrote in message
news:1174977768.1...@b75g2000hsg.googlegroups.com...

> On Mar 25, 9:55 pm, "One Bit Shy" <O...@nomail.sorry> wrote:
>
>> >> So, Willow really doesn't come off well when Cordelia's around,
>> >> does she? That's one thing I don't like so much about her.
>> >> ([Lemony Snicket]"I don't like" as used here means "I am
>> >> discussing a flawed character, not complaining about the show, in case
>> >> that was unclear."[/Snicket]) She's either intimidated or envious,
>> >> but in any case, think of the scenes in the library. Giles is
>> >> planning, Xander is taking constant verbal swipes at the annoying
>> >> chick, Buffy is doing some of each, and Willow's just kinda sitting
>> >> there. And of course she actually tries to _invite Cordelia to hang
>> >> out with them_ at the end. Bad Willow. You're better than that.
>>
>> I don't think I understand this paragraph. Willow doesn't come off well
>> because she offered welcome to Cordelia?
>
> Comes off badly in a pathetic sense rather than a moral one. In an
> episode that's in part about defining oneself independently of social
> castes and such, she sees Cordelia as royalty. The show goes back and
> forth on whether Xander's confortable with himself or just wishing the
> cool kids would talk to him, but his animosity towards Cordy makes him
> unihibited around her.

Knowing what comes, I always think of those moments as foreplay. Hee.


> But Willow totally buys in to the popularity
> system, and to a degree defines her own and others' (see: WTTH) status
> by what Cordelia thinks of them. If at the end she's just a kind soul
> willing to drop old grudges, cool, but knowing Willow as I do, I'd say
> there's also a fair share of desperation for acceptance, and letting
> how others treat her shape her self-image.

OK. Thanks. I understand a lot better what you're saying. That's true to
her nature. In her own way she seeks status too. I don't remember Willow's
manner in the scene where Cordy asks for help. (I was more following
Cordy's awkwardness.) There may have been some of that there. The end,
though, in its context following a pretty nice thanks by Cordy, really came
across to me as Willow just being gracious.

I'm not sure that's important to the story though. It would be the
impression made upon Cordy that counts.

OBS

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