AOQ Review 3-10: "Amends"

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Arbitrar Of Quality

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Mar 16, 2006, 9:17:57 PM3/16/06
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A reminder: Please avoid spoilers for later episodes in these review
threads.


BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER
Season Three, Episode 10: "Amends"
(or "Yeah, and that holiday you have? Chakka Day or whatever? Well,
I've got news for you: Christmas is making a comeback.")
Writer: Joss Whedon
Director: Joss Whedon

This one is full of flashbacks and hideous sideburns. No Darla this
time, sadly, but instead we get Jenny Calendar (sort of) back into what
could be a major long-term role. How nuts. Crazy show, yo.

I wasn't thrilled upon realizing that BTVS would, at last, get a
Christmas episode. I don't like Christmas episodes as a rule because
they tend towards buckets of forced sap. (Well, that and the fact
that, being a pinkocommieliberal, I'll stop at nothing in my godless
war against Christmas-themed wrapping paper.) If I were a TV producer,
I'd do a Christmas special and try to make it as depressing as
possible - I'm sick that way. This show, though, tries its
damndest to give us some cheer without being saccharine, and mostly
plays its cards right.

Most of the story is about Angel's past coming back to haunt him.
There are some attempts at intense Angel scenes as the voices in his
head (more on a certain one of those voices in a bit) try to turn him
against Buffy. I say "attempts" because I wouldn't call most of
them either successes or failures, just adequate. A little
hallucinating and groaning goes a long way. Once Buffy becomes the
center of the dreams. the extended dose of sex and violence works
pretty well, and I do like how he seems to have lost control, and then
just being near Buffy helps him sort of regain it. The scenes
involving Giles (including the ones without Angel in them - "you
may have to kill him. Again.") are the best in the A-story. He's
got a lot of deep-seated anger, but he limits it to sarcastic quips.
And yes, they're extremely mean-spirited (but funny) things to say,
but all things considered, he's quite the adult about dealing with
Angel, because he knows decency demands it. If I were in his shoes,
it's possible that I wouldn't have "invited" him in at all, and
just made him stand on the porch while we talked.

Cordelia has one scene saying stuff like "I'm thinking of you.
Okay, I'm done." and then leaves. It's like Season One all over
again. Unfortunately (for me), both the character and the situation
have changed enough since those days that I doubt she'll stay away
from our group for long. I'd be disappointed if she forgave Xander
too easily, though.

There's lots of stuff between Willow and Oz here, and I think I'll
trivialize by summing it all up in one word: awwww...

Well, okay, I can't resist the urge to talk. So let me also mention
that I envy Oz's ability to see straight to the core of a situation
and respond in an unconventionally appropriate way. It played a big
part in why Willow (and We The Audience) got to like him so much in the
first place, and it continues to lead to some really sweet scenes.

Early in the episode Xander makes disparaging comments about Angel,
which made me groan inwardly. Dude, do you somehow not realize that
this is exactly what your friend doesn't need? Well, apparently he
does realize it, because the followup scene in which he gets into the
Chanukah spirit is nice. Is he actually learning something from the
events of "Revelations?" What is the world coming to? His crush on
Buffy from S1/2 has become pretty irrelevant this year, but as we've
been seeing for quite some time, there's a real bond between these
two mostest best of friends that can transcend that.

Finally, the most conventional of our holiday-cheer subplots concerns
Faith (the third episode after "Revelations," as predicted. Damn,
I'm good. Although I'd expected her to appear between then and
now) who doesn't have anyone to drink eggnog with. These scenes are
as straightforward as it gets and rest entirely on the script and the
actors to sell them without overplaying things. And "Amends" is
more or less up to the task there. The one false note is Faith's
exaggerated repetition of her party story; the rest tends to be solid
for both the little touches ("work, damn it!") and the sincere
moments ("I'm glad you came"). The joy of knowing that there are
people who want you around is pretty universal.

Mrs. Quality got really annoyed by Boreanaz's constant loud panting.
[She just walked by and told me to add this: "I've noticed it
lately, and I've had enough."]

Is there a better summary of Buffy's attitude towards life than
"find me something I can pummel?"

After they introduced the dead trees, I spent most of the episode
trying to figure out how it'd be relevant. Didn't figure it out
until Buffy did, though. At first I was afraid it'd just be a cursed
Christmas tree or something.

On a strictly plot level, the idea of something that brought Angel back
to become its vessel is pretty good. The thing about the First thing,
though, is that a long-running TV series can only have so many new
mostest great ultimate evils from beyond the palest pale before things
get tiresome (unless Buffy's there to mock the excesses: "Alright,
I get it, you're evil. Do we have to chat about it all day?").
It's only interesting if you put a face on it. So of course that's
what the show does. And what a face. Now, keep in mind again that I
grew up watching _Star Trek_. And yet I was still unprepared for the
ingeniousness that BTVS shows in bringing back dead characters without
cheapening said deaths. First-as-Calendar could be quite a villain if
it sticks around. It has all of Jenny's wit ("I wanna die in bed
surrounded by fat grandchildren, but guess that's off the menu") and
manipulative ways, mixed with what looks like some of Angelus's knack
for hurting people. This has real promise.

The Angel/Buffy conversation towards daybreak doesn't work so well
for me. That's a shame, since it's kinda the climax of the
episode, so it leaves a sour taste in one's mouth and colors the
whole show. I'm not saying that it's a little cheesy. I'm
saying that parts of it positively flow with that neon-orange
"cheez" you see in snack foods. The buildup is there, and the
general talking points are right (Angel's 'weakness' as set up
earlier, all the failed attempts to let go, etc.), but the dialogue
just gets so clunky and unwieldy... "Angel, you have the power to do
real good!" "You can never understand what I've done!" "I
wish that I wished you dead! I don't!" Oh, come ON. After the
whole episode worked so hard to avoid this kind of excess too...

This Is Really Stupid But I Laughed Anyway moment(s):
- "Angel's on top again?"

Well, the snowfall at the end, blocking out the sunlight, pretty much
sums up the episode. Basically, Joss is trying to work a little bit of
magic. I wasn't ensorcelled, but I caught a whiff of it. Also,
although he didn't really say much, I think that the Mutant Enemy
alien was a fan...


So...

One-sentence summary: Tends towards the melodramatic at times, but
pretty okay overall.

AOQ rating: Good

[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
5) "Homecoming" - Good
6) "Band Candy" - Weak
7) "Revelations" - Good
8) "Lovers Walk" - Excellent
9) "The Wish" - Decent
10) "Amends" - Good]

mariposas rand mair fheal greykitten tomys des anges

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Mar 16, 2006, 9:54:10 PM3/16/06
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> On a strictly plot level, the idea of something that brought Angel back
> to become its vessel is pretty good. The thing about the First thing,

evil doesnt always worry about truthfulness
it claims it brought angel out of hell
but that doesnt mean it did

> Well, the snowfall at the end, blocking out the sunlight, pretty much
> sums up the episode. Basically, Joss is trying to work a little bit of
> magic. I wasn't ensorcelled, but I caught a whiff of it. Also,

its pretty easy to convince audiences theres a devil or satan
or first evil or demon

but try to convince an audience thats theres a first good

sea level snow fall in california is rare but not impossible
it certainly wasnt first evil since that was willing to let angel burn
so it could be coincidence and rare but natural snow

arf meow arf - nsa fodder
al qaeda terrorism nuclear bomb iran taliban big brother
if you meet buddha on the usenet killfile him

Mel

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Mar 16, 2006, 10:04:04 PM3/16/06
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Arbitrar Of Quality wrote:


I have always liked this episode but it was only this time re-watching
that I realized the title "Amends" is not just about Angel (and Buffy)
coming to terms with his past, but also the reconciliation between Oz
and Willow. And, just now reading your review, it can also refer to the
relationship between Faith and Buffy, almost but not quite broken at the
end of "Revelations."

[As I watched the end this time, I imagined that Angel and Buffy slowly
made their way back to Casa Summers and had a nice Christmas dinner with
Joyce and Faith, and Buffy made good on her promise to tell Faith
"everything" about what was going on.]

The only thing that's ever bothered me is the fact that they keep saying
"the sun is going to come up any second" and it's still pitch black
everywhere. It's really hard for me to be caught up in the immediate
danger to Angel when it looks like the middle of the night instead of
just before sunrise.

Other than that though, I agree with your assessment. Good, and nice to
see Jenny Calendar again, even if she was evil this time.

Mel

Bill Reid

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Mar 16, 2006, 10:12:05 PM3/16/06
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Arbitrar Of Quality <tsm...@wildmail.com> wrote in message
news:1142561877.1...@i39g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...

> A reminder: Please avoid spoilers for later episodes in these review
> threads.
>
> BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER
> Season Three, Episode 10: "Amends"
>
> This one is full of flashbacks and hideous sideburns.

DON'T FORGET THE BAD ACCENTS!!!

> If I were a TV producer,
> I'd do a Christmas special and try to make it as depressing as
> possible - I'm sick that way.

Ever see the two-part "Married...With Children" Christmas episode
called "It's A Bundyful Life"? Twisted up the whole Dickens thing with
Sam Kinison as the "guardian angel" after Al electrocutes himself putting
up his crappy lights, and Al realizing that if he had never been born,
his entire family would have been much better off (Kelly was a straight-A
virgin, Peggy was married to rich good-looking man, etc.). Al decides
to go back just to make them miserable the way they made him
miserable...


>
> Mrs. Quality got really annoyed by Boreanaz's constant loud panting.
> [She just walked by and told me to add this: "I've noticed it
> lately, and I've had enough."]
>

Vampires sure do pant and even sweat a lot on this show, despite
being "dead" with no heartbeat or "breath". I have my own theory
about this...

> Is there a better summary of Buffy's attitude towards life than
> "find me something I can pummel?"
>

Well, you can't win a verbal argument with the devil, unless you're
birthday boy Jesus...

> The buildup is there, and the
> general talking points are right (Angel's 'weakness' as set up
> earlier, all the failed attempts to let go, etc.), but the dialogue
> just gets so clunky and unwieldy... "Angel, you have the power to do
> real good!" "You can never understand what I've done!" "I
> wish that I wished you dead! I don't!" Oh, come ON. After the
> whole episode worked so hard to avoid this kind of excess too...
>

Yeah, you're right. Nice acting though, and you might want to
salvage, "It's not the demon in me that needs killing, it's the man."
A little clunky, but gets at a point they make more fully later on,
that a lot of people miss...

> This Is Really Stupid But I Laughed Anyway moment(s):
> - "Angel's on top again?"
>

Did you like the way Joyce side-stepped inviting Giles to dinner?

---
William Ernest Reid

Mel

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Mar 16, 2006, 10:34:54 PM3/16/06
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mariposas rand mair fheal greykitten tomys des anges wrote:

>>On a strictly plot level, the idea of something that brought Angel back
>>to become its vessel is pretty good. The thing about the First thing,
>
>
> evil doesnt always worry about truthfulness
> it claims it brought angel out of hell
> but that doesnt mean it did


Giles' research seemed to suggest the First had the power to do it, but
that's not concrete evidence it actually did.

Personally, I think the First was lying. I can't imagine it would go
through the trouble to bring Angel back only to be satisfied if he just
offed himself as a result ("that's not the plan, but it'll work"). In
hell, he was already effectively dead anyway. If the First's goal was to
take him away from Buffy, leaving him in hell would be a good way to do
that. Bs pbhefr, jr frr zhpu yngre gung juvyr gur svefg znl or rivy vg
ernyyl vfa'g nyy gung oevtug.


Mel

burt...@hotmail.com

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Mar 16, 2006, 11:21:22 PM3/16/06
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Arbitrar Of Quality wrote:
>
> So...
>
> One-sentence summary: Tends towards the melodramatic at times, but
> pretty okay overall.
>
> AOQ rating: Good

One of the worst episodes of the first three seasons. I was going to
say this was the worst Joss-written episode of the first three seasons,
but then I remembered that he also wrote "Ted." So scratch that. But it
was still awful.

All the Buffy/Angel stuff was so overwrought and melodramatic I could
hardly stand to watch it. I never really cared one way or the other
about the Buffy/Angel 'ship prior to this, but in this episode was
painful. Angel's tortured and suicidal! Can Buffy save him with a big,
inflated speech and the power of her luuuuuuuuuve? Oh no, it's not
working! But wait! What's this? A convienent deus ex machina comes
along to save the day!

Add in Willow's utterly transparent attempt to manipulate Oz, and you
end up with an utterly terrible episode. So to put it succinctly, I
couldn't disagree with you more.

One Bit Shy

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Mar 16, 2006, 11:39:42 PM3/16/06
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"Arbitrar Of Quality" <tsm...@wildmail.com> wrote in message
news:1142561877.1...@i39g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...

> Early in the episode Xander makes disparaging comments about Angel,


> which made me groan inwardly. Dude, do you somehow not realize that
> this is exactly what your friend doesn't need? Well, apparently he
> does realize it, because the followup scene in which he gets into the
> Chanukah spirit is nice. Is he actually learning something from the
> events of "Revelations?" What is the world coming to? His crush on
> Buffy from S1/2 has become pretty irrelevant this year, but as we've
> been seeing for quite some time, there's a real bond between these
> two mostest best of friends that can transcend that.

I don't think I'm going to go deep into this episode. Too much work night
posting lately is wearing me out.

But I did want to mention that his early remarks to Buffy didn't exactly
evoke an encouraging response. And mainly to point out that Xander
overheard Buffy's conversation with Giles before he volunteered to help. So
he heard, for example, "I'm trying to put all this behind me. And I'm not
going to be able to as long as we're doing guest spots in each other's
dreams."

So, from the point of view of stopping the return of Angelus, he has
motivation. Still, it's different than, "Faster Pussycat. Die. Die."
Hearing that conversation (and don't forget Giles part too) may even have
helped him understand a little how hard this is for Buffy. So a little mix
of Revelations lessons and new information (and maybe even some Lovers Walk
lessons). A little mix of still gotta deal with Angel, but smartly, and
more compassionate for Buffy. Lots of potential here. Lets hope it lasts.


> Well, the snowfall at the end, blocking out the sunlight, pretty much
> sums up the episode. Basically, Joss is trying to work a little bit of
> magic. I wasn't ensorcelled, but I caught a whiff of it. Also,
> although he didn't really say much, I think that the Mutant Enemy
> alien was a fan...

I sometimes describe this episode as BTVS finds God. The ending was
literally a miracle. Makes the episode kind of unique.


> So...
>
> One-sentence summary: Tends towards the melodramatic at times, but
> pretty okay overall.
>
> AOQ rating: Good

Good is where I'd put it too. Someday I might explain why.

OBS


kenm47

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Mar 16, 2006, 11:41:10 PM3/16/06
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The first time I saw this episode I mostly hated it for the treacle,
and mainly for the Christmas "miracle." I haven't rewatched it (or this
season) for a long time (I think Buffy was still running the last time
I did).

Yes, there were the Oz/Willow moments, and even a Xander who seemed to
FINALLY be a friend and not just a jealous envious putz. And it was
nice to se a rapproachment between the Slayers.

But DB's bad acting (or so it seemed to me then) except when being
Angelus, and the crummy accents and the whole idea of a First Evil and
some countering cosmic "good" just turned me off.

Time has gone by and for whatever reason SMG's tears while begging
Angel to hide from the sun, and the whole denouement were more
affecting for me in this viewing. Maybe I'm just getting older, or just
plain old.

BTW, I've often nostalgically missed season specific TV episodes. I
remember when they all, or so it seemed, had them and it was a
challenge to come up with something fresh, even Bonanza. I can't
recall the plot now, but by far the most affecting Christmas show I
ever saw was the one on My So-Called Life - I just recall being
seriously weepy at the time it aired and something about a real angel.

I also miss the variety show specials, but then I also miss The Ed
Sullivan Show, and so much more.

I can now go with "Good" for Amends.

Ken (Brooklyn)

jil...@hotmail.com

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Mar 16, 2006, 11:58:04 PM3/16/06
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Mel wrote:
> Bs pbhefr, jr frr zhpu yngre gung juvyr gur svefg znl or rivy vg
> ernyyl vfa'g nyy gung oevtug.

V yngre pnzr gb gur pbapyhfvba gung Gur Svefg qbrfa'g cnegvphyneyl unir
na vffhr jvgu fbhyrq inzcverf, jvgu Fynlref be jvgu Uryyzbhguf. Gur
Svefg unf na vffhr jvgu gur pbawhapgvba bs gur guerr. Vg pbhyqa'g trg
ng Natry hagvy ur jnf rzbgvbanyyl penpxrq. Nsgre vgf snvyher jvgu
Natry, vg svtherq gur orfg jnl jbhyq or gb trg va rneyl. Naq obl, qvq
vg trg vagb Fcvxr....

Don Sample

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Mar 17, 2006, 12:15:01 AM3/17/06
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In article <1142561877.1...@i39g2000cwa.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 10: "Amends"
> (or "Yeah, and that holiday you have? Chakka Day or whatever? Well,
> I've got news for you: Christmas is making a comeback.")
> Writer: Joss Whedon
> Director: Joss Whedon
>

> I wasn't thrilled upon realizing that BTVS would, at last, get a
> Christmas episode. I don't like Christmas episodes as a rule because
> they tend towards buckets of forced sap. (Well, that and the fact
> that, being a pinkocommieliberal, I'll stop at nothing in my godless
> war against Christmas-themed wrapping paper.) If I were a TV producer,
> I'd do a Christmas special and try to make it as depressing as
> possible - I'm sick that way. This show, though, tries its
> damndest to give us some cheer without being saccharine, and mostly
> plays its cards right.

I always wanted them to do a Christmas show in which it would turn out
that Santa Claus was some sort of evil child eating demon. (Naq gura va
'Gur Obql' Naln erirnyf gung Fnagn Pynhf *vf* na rivy puvyq rngvat
qrzba.)


> Mrs. Quality got really annoyed by Boreanaz's constant loud panting.
> [She just walked by and told me to add this: "I've noticed it
> lately, and I've had enough."]

He's a vampire. What's he breathing for?


> Is there a better summary of Buffy's attitude towards life than
> "find me something I can pummel?"

Not really.


> On a strictly plot level, the idea of something that brought Angel back
> to become its vessel is pretty good.

I don't recall anything being said about the First wanting Angel to be
its vessel? Where did you get that from?

(Oh yeah, just cause the First takes the credit for bringing Angel back,
doesn't mean it did it. It's evil. It may lie sometimes.)

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

kenm47

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Mar 17, 2006, 12:17:50 AM3/17/06
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OT PS: You want evil Santa? Catch the Invader Zim Xmas special.

Ken (Brooklyn)

Don Sample

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Mar 17, 2006, 12:21:07 AM3/17/06
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In article <121kfci...@news.supernews.com>,

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

>
> I sometimes describe this episode as BTVS finds God. The ending was
> literally a miracle. Makes the episode kind of unique.
>

But was the miracle from anything a Christian (or Jew or Muslim) would
recognize as their God?

Daniel Damouth

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Mar 17, 2006, 2:28:19 AM3/17/06
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"kenm47" <ken...@ix.netcom.com> wrote in
news:1142570470.5...@i39g2000cwa.googlegroups.com:

> BTW, I've often nostalgically missed season specific TV episodes.
> I remember when they all, or so it seemed, had them and it was a
> challenge to come up with something fresh, even Bonanza. I can't
> recall the plot now, but by far the most affecting Christmas show
> I ever saw was the one on My So-Called Life - I just recall being
> seriously weepy at the time it aired and something about a real
> angel.

Loved that episode of MSCL. As you probably know, Buffy was described
early on as some sort of combination of My So-Called Life and The X-
Files. Both great shows.

There was also some connection between the episode "I Only Have Eyes
For You" and the weird 50's influenced flashbacks episode of MSCL.

-Dan Damouth

eli...@gmail.com

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Mar 17, 2006, 5:49:23 AM3/17/06
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I have a theory about the miracle, but it's spoilery! If AOQ keeps
watching I'll be happy to tell.

eli...@gmail.com

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Mar 17, 2006, 6:02:13 AM3/17/06
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>I'm not saying that it's a little cheesy. I'm
>saying that parts of it positively flow with that neon-orange
>"cheez" you see in snack foods.

Definitely. But - it doesn't work. It was snow that saved Angel's life,
not overwrought exclamations of love. Still annoying though.

Stephen Tempest

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Mar 17, 2006, 6:32:58 AM3/17/06
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Mel <melb...@uci.net> writes:

>Personally, I think the First was lying. I can't imagine it would go
>through the trouble to bring Angel back only to be satisfied if he just
>offed himself as a result ("that's not the plan, but it'll work").

Maybe. But if you're an immortal, incredibly powerful entity, exactly
how much trouble is it to bring Angel back from Hell? Maybe The First
didn't have some grand plan - maybe It was just bored, and decided to
see what would happen if It moved a few pieces around on the board.
It could cause some heartbreak and suffering either way.

Ultimate Evils just wanna have fun...

Stephen

Stephen Tempest

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Mar 17, 2006, 6:59:55 AM3/17/06
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"Arbitrar Of Quality" <tsm...@wildmail.com> writes:

>(Well, that and the fact
>that, being a pinkocommieliberal, I'll stop at nothing in my godless
>war against Christmas-themed wrapping paper.)

If it helps, bear in mind that Joss Whedon apparently holds similar
views to you himself... So bear that in mind when watching a
Christmas episode written by him.

>The one false note is Faith's
>exaggerated repetition of her party story;

Faith's a bad liar. And her first reaction to any emotionally
challenging situation is to lie about it and push people away.

>The Angel/Buffy conversation towards daybreak doesn't work so well
>for me. That's a shame, since it's kinda the climax of the
>episode, so it leaves a sour taste in one's mouth and colors the
>whole show. I'm not saying that it's a little cheesy. I'm
>saying that parts of it positively flow with that neon-orange
>"cheez" you see in snack foods. The buildup is there, and the
>general talking points are right (Angel's 'weakness' as set up
>earlier, all the failed attempts to let go, etc.), but the dialogue
>just gets so clunky and unwieldy... "Angel, you have the power to do
>real good!" "You can never understand what I've done!" "I
>wish that I wished you dead! I don't!" Oh, come ON. After the
>whole episode worked so hard to avoid this kind of excess too...

I liked it, if only for the quality of desperation SMG's acting
brought to the role. And maybe because I like cheesiness from time to
time. It's certainly brought to a head all the on-again, off-again
aspects of their relationship this season - so what happens next?

Also, I'd say that this line sums up Buffy's (and Joss's) attitude to
life the best:

"Strong is fighting. It's hard and it's painful and it's every day.
It's what we have to do and we can do it together"

Or, to put it another way:
"Gur uneqrfg guvat va guvf jbeyq vf gb yvir va vg."
Or even:
"Vs abguvat jr qb znggref, gura nyy gung znggref vf jung jr qb."

>Well, the snowfall at the end, blocking out the sunlight, pretty much
>sums up the episode.

Notice how the first flakes of snow began to fall just as Buffy said
"If I can't convince you you have a place in the world, then I don't
know what will."?

Plus, I think this is the second time we've seen direct evidence of a
Higher Power apparently working for Good in the world - the first
being Whistler's role in Becoming. And both examples were for
Angel's benefit. And the name 'Angel' means 'Messenger of a Higher
Power'. Coincidence? Blatant misdirection? Set-up for his own
spin-off series? Stay tuned...

Although, of course, please note the use of the word "apparently". We
have no way of knowing, as yet, whether the power that sent Whistler
to get Angel off his ass and persuade him to help Buffy in 'Becoming
1', and then sent a snowfall to save him from a fiery death in
'Amends', is actually 'Good' in any sense humans would recognise...

A final point - note that Xander sleeps outside to avoid his family
arguments over Christmas. I can't remember how much has been
established so far about his family, but this indicates that they are
even more dysfunctional than the average family gets at this time of
year. And his response is to avoid confrontation and clear out.
Interesting...

Stephen

hopelessly devoted

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Mar 17, 2006, 7:13:59 AM3/17/06
to
Arbitrar Of Quality wrote:

> Season Three, Episode 10: "Amends"

Sorry, not on my list. I don't hate it. It's just a little bit too
much of...............

> This one is full of flashbacks and hideous sideburns. No Darla this
> time, sadly, but instead we get Jenny Calendar (sort of) back into what
> could be a major long-term role. How nuts. Crazy show, yo.

Angel seems to have been a very bad boy, but a bad boy in which
country. It's a little hard to tell by his accent which is all I seem
to be able to listen to.

Seeing Jenny. Both wonderful and painful. The roses. The candles.
The music. Ahhhhh!

> I wasn't thrilled upon realizing that BTVS would, at last, get a
> Christmas episode. I don't like Christmas episodes as a rule because
> they tend towards buckets of forced sap. (Well, that and the fact
> that, being a pinkocommieliberal, I'll stop at nothing in my godless
> war against Christmas-themed wrapping paper.) If I were a TV producer,
> I'd do a Christmas special and try to make it as depressing as
> possible - I'm sick that way. This show, though, tries its
> damndest to give us some cheer without being saccharine, and mostly
> plays its cards right.

> Well, okay, I can't resist the urge to talk. So let me also mention
> that I envy Oz's ability to see straight to the core of a situation
> and respond in an unconventionally appropriate way. It played a big
> part in why Willow (and We The Audience) got to like him so much in the
> first place, and it continues to lead to some really sweet scenes.

Oz seems to have a true balance in the heart head dept. It would have
surprised me had he simply broken it off. Willow still has to deal
with her (past and present) relationship with Xander, but at least Oz
is willing to try. Of course had he been impailed....

> Is he actually learning something from the
> events of "Revelations?" What is the world coming to? His crush on
> Buffy from S1/2 has become pretty irrelevant this year, but as we've
> been seeing for quite some time, there's a real bond between these
> two mostest best of friends that can transcend that.

On first viewing and still today, it is a wonderful moment. All bark
and no bite, he's a big teddy-bear. As for the rest.........

> Finally, the most conventional of our holiday-cheer subplots concerns
> Faith (the third episode after "Revelations," as predicted. Damn,

> I'm good. ........................The joy of knowing that there are


> people who want you around is pretty universal.

Oh, that one's too easy so I won't go there.

I actually expected her to show up. After everything that happened, at
least for me, it was the highlight of the ep. The rest have a history
together and she's still new girl in town with no where else to go.
Although I don't believe the repitition to be one of character or
writing flaw, but rather the obvious lie that sends a message. It's
evasive and a little hurtful for B but in the end, it's also a little
revealing and vulnerable. But that's just me.

> Mrs. Quality got really annoyed by Boreanaz's constant loud panting.
> [She just walked by and told me to add this: "I've noticed it
> lately, and I've had enough."]

Again, I knew he was getting his own show, I just wasn't sure how he
was going to pull it off.

> though, is that a long-running TV series can only have so many new
> mostest great ultimate evils from beyond the palest pale before things
> get tiresome

Define tiresome.

> The Angel/Buffy conversation towards daybreak doesn't work so well
> for me. That's a shame, since it's kinda the climax of the
> episode, so it leaves a sour taste in one's mouth and colors the
> whole show. I'm not saying that it's a little cheesy. I'm
> saying that parts of it positively flow with that neon-orange
> "cheez" you see in snack foods. The buildup is there, and the
> general talking points are right (Angel's 'weakness' as set up
> earlier, all the failed attempts to let go, etc.), but the dialogue
> just gets so clunky and unwieldy... "Angel, you have the power to do
> real good!" "You can never understand what I've done!" "I
> wish that I wished you dead! I don't!" Oh, come ON. After the
> whole episode worked so hard to avoid this kind of excess too...

Probably my favorite and least favorite part of the show. Again, maybe
just DB's delivery at times. I thought SMG did great and I really felt
for her. Which is interesting because Angel was about to become pile
of man sand. My initial thoughts, "OK. So Angel dies." Nothing.
Zip. Zilch. Of course for B, everything was right on target.

> Well, the snowfall at the end, blocking out the sunlight, pretty much
> sums up the episode. Basically, Joss is trying to work a little bit of
> magic. I wasn't ensorcelled, but I caught a whiff of it.

Having grown up in the snow, my suspended belief system tends to come
crashing back to earth Hollywood tries to do snow. I'll just simply
say NO WAY IN HELL! Snow in California - Sure. 6 inches in 5-10-15-20
min and let's go for a stroll down Main St. - NO WAY IN HELL! It was a
very nice moment on the surface, everyone coming out to see, Xander
pulling the sleeping bag over his head, but NO WAY IN HE HE HE HELLLLL!

Probably the finest moment in the whole ep was Beck's Magic Snow. It's
not my favorite piece but does a incredible job of capturing that
Chanukah spirit of peace.

Arbitrar Of Quality

unread,
Mar 17, 2006, 7:32:19 AM3/17/06
to
Stephen Tempest wrote:

> If it helps, bear in mind that Joss Whedon apparently holds similar
> views to you himself... So bear that in mind when watching a
> Christmas episode written by him.

If you haven't seen the "Objects In Space" commentary, Joss gives a
borderline-incomprehensible summary of his religious/spiritual
philosophy.

> >The one false note is Faith's
> >exaggerated repetition of her party story;
>
> Faith's a bad liar. And her first reaction to any emotionally
> challenging situation is to lie about it and push people away.

Yeah, I liked the scene, it's just that the she was pretty obviously
lying the first time, in a not-over-the-top way. It only gets a little
excessive when she says the same thing again two seconds later.

> Also, I'd say that this line sums up Buffy's (and Joss's) attitude to
> life the best:
>
> "Strong is fighting. It's hard and it's painful and it's every day.
> It's what we have to do and we can do it together"

It's also the kind of line that's really hard to deliver in a
conversation scene and have it sound remotely convincing.

> Plus, I think this is the second time we've seen direct evidence of a
> Higher Power apparently working for Good in the world - the first
> being Whistler's role in Becoming.

Not only does the "working for good" deserve an "apparently," but so
does the "Higher Power." The vagueness here is kind of nice:
hopelessly devoted's objections aside, there's no concrete proof that
it's magic snow or anything, although the circumstantial evidence is
very suggestive. If it's a miracle, it's a quiet enough one to fit the
modern world. it supports belief in a Higher Good Power in the
Buffyverse for those who have it, but it doesn't prove it.

-AOQ

Arbitrar Of Quality

unread,
Mar 17, 2006, 7:34:36 AM3/17/06
to

Bill Reid wrote:

> > If I were a TV producer,
> > I'd do a Christmas special and try to make it as depressing as
> > possible - I'm sick that way.
>
> Ever see the two-part "Married...With Children" Christmas episode
> called "It's A Bundyful Life"? Twisted up the whole Dickens thing with
> Sam Kinison as the "guardian angel" after Al electrocutes himself putting
> up his crappy lights, and Al realizing that if he had never been born,
> his entire family would have been much better off (Kelly was a straight-A
> virgin, Peggy was married to rich good-looking man, etc.). Al decides
> to go back just to make them miserable the way they made him
> miserable...

Funny stuff.

-AOQ

Rowan Hawthorn

unread,
Mar 17, 2006, 7:55:59 AM3/17/06
to
hopelessly devoted wrote:

> Arbitrar Of Quality wrote:
>
>
>
>>Well, the snowfall at the end, blocking out the sunlight, pretty much
>>sums up the episode. Basically, Joss is trying to work a little bit of
>>magic. I wasn't ensorcelled, but I caught a whiff of it.
>
>
> Having grown up in the snow, my suspended belief system tends to come
> crashing back to earth Hollywood tries to do snow. I'll just simply
> say NO WAY IN HELL! Snow in California - Sure. 6 inches in 5-10-15-20
> min and let's go for a stroll down Main St. - NO WAY IN HELL!

If by that you mean that you're not going to *get* that much in 20
minutes, don't be too sure. Back in '85, we had a freak snowstorm here
in SE Kentucky that resulted in 8+ inches in about an hour. By the next
morning, we had around 24 inches on the ground, and the drifts were
*over the hood* of my '75 Chevy Malibu. That's definitely *not normal*
for us.

--
Rowan Hawthorn

"Occasionally, I'm callous and strange." - Willow Rosenberg, "Buffy the
Vampire Slayer"

Apteryx

unread,
Mar 17, 2006, 7:46:42 AM3/17/06
to
"kenm47" <ken...@ix.netcom.com> wrote in message
news:1142570470.5...@i39g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...

> The first time I saw this episode I mostly hated it for the treacle,
> and mainly for the Christmas "miracle." I haven't rewatched it (or this
> season) for a long time (I think Buffy was still running the last time
> I did).
>
> Yes, there were the Oz/Willow moments, and even a Xander who seemed to
> FINALLY be a friend and not just a jealous envious putz. And it was
> nice to se a rapproachment between the Slayers.
>
> But DB's bad acting (or so it seemed to me then) except when being
> Angelus, and the crummy accents and the whole idea of a First Evil and
> some countering cosmic "good" just turned me off.
>
> Time has gone by and for whatever reason SMG's tears while begging
> Angel to hide from the sun, and the whole denouement were more
> affecting for me in this viewing. Maybe I'm just getting older, or just
> plain old.
>
> BTW, I've often nostalgically missed season specific TV episodes. I
> remember when they all, or so it seemed, had them and it was a
> challenge to come up with something fresh, even Bonanza. I can't
> recall the plot now, but by far the most affecting Christmas show I
> ever saw was the one on My So-Called Life - I just recall being
> seriously weepy at the time it aired and something about a real angel.

My feelings about that episode of MSCL (So-Called Angels) are even more
mixed than they are about Amends (although my rating for it is very similar
to Amends, just very slightly higher). Everything about the angel (the
departed spirit of a homeless girl) is way schmaltzier than anything in
Amends (except the initial scenes where you think she is a living homeless
girl who sneaked into the school to keep warm). OTOH there is some genuinely
moving stuff with Angela's friend Ricky becoming homeless that gets me weepy
when I watch it (I have MSCL on DVD). It is not the religious sentiment that
keeps me from rating that episode higher than I do (Ricky is portrayed as a
genuine believer, who lights candles for people he wants to help; the other
characters are less so, but drawn to it at Christmas) - its just the damned
angel!

I don't have as strongly atagonistic feelings about the Angel in Amends, but
it doesn't have anything as good as Ricky being homeless and pretending not
to be either. Like you and AOQ, I'd call it good. Its my 43rd favourite BtVS
episode, 11th best in Season 3

--
Apteryx


Apteryx

unread,
Mar 17, 2006, 7:55:34 AM3/17/06
to
"Bill Reid" <horme...@happyhealthy.net> wrote in message
news:9OpSf.611$bn3...@bgtnsc04-news.ops.worldnet.att.net...

>
>
> Ever see the two-part "Married...With Children" Christmas episode
> called "It's A Bundyful Life"? Twisted up the whole Dickens thing with
> Sam Kinison as the "guardian angel" after Al electrocutes himself putting
> up his crappy lights, and Al realizing that if he had never been born,
> his entire family would have been much better off (Kelly was a straight-A
> virgin, Peggy was married to rich good-looking man, etc.). Al decides
> to go back just to make them miserable the way they made him
> miserable...

Maybe they had the knack for Xmas specials. I didn't see that one, but the
only Married With Children episode I remember fondly is the Xmas one where
they have to deal with a dead skydiving santa (never actually shown) after
his parachute fails.

--
Apteryx


hopelessly devoted

unread,
Mar 17, 2006, 7:57:57 AM3/17/06
to

St. Louis, MO. Freaky cold front and lots of snow - Yes. Walk down
Main Street going ooooh aaaaaah - No! Running for the nearest
thermostat while repeatedly telling yourself, I'm Moving to California
would be more like it.

Rowan Hawthorn

unread,
Mar 17, 2006, 8:14:21 AM3/17/06
to

Ah. Gotcha.

Arbitrar Of Quality

unread,
Mar 17, 2006, 8:02:15 AM3/17/06
to
Apteryx wrote:

> My feelings about that episode of MSCL (So-Called Angels) are even more
> mixed than they are about Amends (although my rating for it is very similar
> to Amends, just very slightly higher). Everything about the angel (the
> departed spirit of a homeless girl) is way schmaltzier than anything in
> Amends (except the initial scenes where you think she is a living homeless
> girl who sneaked into the school to keep warm). OTOH there is some genuinely
> moving stuff with Angela's friend Ricky becoming homeless that gets me weepy
> when I watch it (I have MSCL on DVD). It is not the religious sentiment that
> keeps me from rating that episode higher than I do (Ricky is portrayed as a
> genuine believer, who lights candles for people he wants to help; the other
> characters are less so, but drawn to it at Christmas) - its just the damned
> angel!

Same opinions here, albeit a little lesser (no weepiness and less
hatred of the angel. But yeah, loved the stuff with Ricky, not so wild
about Angela's mom and the angel.

-AOQ
~I've only seen a few episodes of MSCL~

Carlos Moreno

unread,
Mar 17, 2006, 8:18:36 AM3/17/06
to
Arbitrar Of Quality wrote:

> This Is Really Stupid But I Laughed Anyway moment(s):
> - "Angel's on top again?"

And no "yeah, yeah, I get it, you're evil, do we have to
chit chat about it all night?" ?? :-)

> One-sentence summary: Tends towards the melodramatic at times, but
> pretty okay overall.

I normally tend to feel extreme dislike for the melodramatic
moments -- to the point that I rank that scene of the snow
at the end (well, all the pre-snow scene) the *worst* of the
series. If it weren't for that, I'd probably rank the episode
"Excellent", since I *really* have a soft spot for the
flashbacks (that's one of the foremost reasons why I so
deeply love Becoming, which is the episode that introduces
the flashbacks in the series); in this case [Amends], I
loved the detail that Buffy and Angel's dreams crossed.

Also, I feel 250% exactly as you about christmas and
christmas themes and christmas episodes!!!!

Pretty good stuff, pretty written-and-directed-by-JW-worthy,
except for the melodramatic ending, I find.

Carlos
--

kenm47

unread,
Mar 17, 2006, 8:36:09 AM3/17/06
to

(More OT thoughts brought on by the forced nostalgia of "Amends")

Me too. Just a few AFAICR. I just happened to catch that Xmas episode -
just that once, and never saw it again. You guys are refeshing little
bits of my recollection about it. I remember that Ricky and the mom
were big factors, exactly how remains a blur but that homelessness
current does sound familiar.

Mostly I just remember what a pleasant surprise it was in a show that
seemed to otherwise be so grounded in "reality" of the horror of the
teenage years, and how well it was done. At this point I would rather
keep my vague memory of it being affecting than see it again and now,
as I've become even more jaded and cynical, just find it trite.

Sometimes it's best not to try to go home again.

On the other hand, I would still hope that SciFi channel picks up and
reruns ALL the Doctor Who they can get their hands on. :-)

Ken (Brooklyn)

lpad...@voicenet.com

unread,
Mar 17, 2006, 9:29:15 AM3/17/06
to
"Amends" has never been one of my favorites. I've never been a fan of
the whole Buffy-Angel relationship. Call me a heretic, but this
episode, especially the treacly, literal deus-ex-machina ending, brings
out the worst in the chemistry between the two characters and probably
between DB and SMG. One of the big reasons I'm not a big fan of the
earlier seasons.

Don't get me wrong, I don't dislike either SMG or David Boreanaz (I
also happen to be from the Philadelphia area where David Boreanaz
Senior, aka Dave Roberts, is a local TV icon and elder statesman) or
the character of Angel. But that episode and particularly the ending
left a bad aftertaste in my mouth. I can't think of any other
deus-ex-machina occurrence in BtVS, at least to that extent. It's made
worse in light of the way that Buffy remains so agnostic for the rest
of the series. The whole thing was so heavy-handed and inconsistent.

Message has been deleted

Jeff Jacoby

unread,
Mar 17, 2006, 9:37:23 AM3/17/06
to
On Fri, 17 Mar 2006 00:15:01 -0500, Don <dsa...@synapse.net> wrote:
> In article <1142561877.1...@i39g2000cwa.googlegroups.com>,
> "Arbitrar Of Quality" <tsm...@wildmail.com> wrote:

[snip]

>> Mrs. Quality got really annoyed by Boreanaz's constant loud panting.
>> [She just walked by and told me to add this: "I've noticed it
>> lately, and I've had enough."]
>
> He's a vampire. What's he breathing for?

Breathing is a reflex that doesn't go away?

However, that still doesn't explain how a cold-blooded
vampire can make clouds of vapor with its breath.


Jeff

gree...@gmail.com

unread,
Mar 17, 2006, 9:39:02 AM3/17/06
to

Arbitrar Of Quality wrote:

> The Angel/Buffy conversation towards daybreak doesn't work so well

> for me. [...] I'm not saying that it's a little cheesy. I'm


> saying that parts of it positively flow with that neon-orange
> "cheez" you see in snack foods.

For me, the entirety of the Buffy and Angel "romance" is one big cheese
ball. This is just more of the same.

> Well, the snowfall at the end, blocking out the sunlight, pretty much
> sums up the episode.

Magic snow. Good times, good times.

> AOQ rating: Good

I realy didn't like the episode when first I saw it. Boreanaz just
wasn't up to the requirements, and that dragged it all down. Plus,
well, B/A is boring. There are great scenes here, Giles confronting
Angel at his apartment being the best of them, but overall, meh.

But as time went by, and I could overlook the cheese and get past
Boreanaz's attempt at acting, I've come to appreciate the story a bit
more. Naq, jryy, gur frnepu sbe erqrzcgvba qvq, nsgre nyy, sbez gur
ragver onfvf bs _Natry_. Ng yrnfg gur orggre cneg bs _Natry_.

-- Terry

kenm47

unread,
Mar 17, 2006, 9:45:04 AM3/17/06
to

There is that.

ROT13:
Naq V jbhyq fnl sbe zr, gung'f ubj V sryg nobhg vg hagvy abj. Abj V pna
or n gnq zber sbetvivat xabjvat jurer gurl hygvzngryl gevrq gb tb jvgu
obgu frevrf. Gura, vg whfg frrzrq n jnl gb cevzr gur nhqvrapr sbe gur
fcva-bss, jul jbhyq Natry tb bss gb qb "tbbq" ba uvf bja. Va n jnl vg
fhpprrqrq, ng yrnfg, VZB, sbe n juvyr sbe obgu frevrf.

V unq cerivbhfyl orra naablrq ol Juvfgyre orvat "frag," ohg, vg ghearq
bhg, gung jnf nyfb fhccbfrq va gur freivpr bs NgF, ohg qvqa'g o/p gur
npgbe unq fbzr qeht vffhrf (vebavp, ru?).

Besides, it was still nice to see Robia.

Ken (Brooklyn)

Jeff Jacoby

unread,
Mar 17, 2006, 9:49:35 AM3/17/06
to
On 17 Mar 2006 04:13:59 -0800, hopelessly <cry...@cinstall.com> wrote:

[snip]

> Having grown up in the snow, my suspended belief system tends to come
> crashing back to earth Hollywood tries to do snow. I'll just simply
> say NO WAY IN HELL! Snow in California - Sure. 6 inches in 5-10-15-20
> min and let's go for a stroll down Main St. - NO WAY IN HELL! It was a

For coastal California, absolutely. But if you've never
seen it snow in Donner Pass (near Lake Tahoe), well...it's
pretty damn impressive!


Jeff

Lord Usher

unread,
Mar 17, 2006, 10:30:03 AM3/17/06
to
"Apteryx" <apt...@extra.co.nz> wrote in
news:TcySf.6803$JZ1.2...@news.xtra.co.nz:

> My feelings about that episode of MSCL (So-Called Angels) are even
> more mixed than they are about Amends (although my rating for it is
> very similar to Amends, just very slightly higher). Everything about
> the angel (the departed spirit of a homeless girl) is way schmaltzier
> than anything in Amends (except the initial scenes where you think she
> is a living homeless girl who sneaked into the school to keep warm).
> OTOH there is some genuinely moving stuff with Angela's friend Ricky
> becoming homeless that gets me weepy when I watch it (I have MSCL on
> DVD). It is not the religious sentiment that keeps me from rating that
> episode higher than I do (Ricky is portrayed as a genuine believer,
> who lights candles for people he wants to help; the other characters
> are less so, but drawn to it at Christmas) - its just the damned
> angel!

Yikes, you guys are way more generous than I was. That damned angel was the
deal-breaker of all deal-breakers for me. So dreadfully earnest and weepy
and full of OPRAH-grade faux-spirituality. I can't even think about the
phrase "How did you die?" without wanting to throw myself out the freaking
window.

Now, a Christmas angel who comes down to tell you what a heinous monster
you were and how you'll never be anything else... that's something new and
compelling. Which is to say, I've always liked "Amends" way more than most
people.

--
Lord Usher
"I'm here to kill you, not to judge you."

Lord Usher

unread,
Mar 17, 2006, 10:35:03 AM3/17/06
to
Don Sample <dsa...@synapse.net> wrote in news:dsample-1A79A3.00150117032006
@news.giganews.com:

>> On a strictly plot level, the idea of something that brought Angel back
>> to become its vessel is pretty good.
>
> I don't recall anything being said about the First wanting Angel to be
> its vessel? Where did you get that from?

"This is what you are. This is why we brought you back."

> (Oh yeah, just cause the First takes the credit for bringing Angel back,
> doesn't mean it did it. It's evil. It may lie sometimes.)

It may also tell the truth, if that suits its purpose. And Giles certainly indicates
that the First's acolytes *could've* brought Angel back from hell.

That's one of the most interesting parts of the episode, the idea that we just don't
know whether Angel was brought back for good or ill. Seems a shame to just dismiss
the question out of hand.

Don Sample

unread,
Mar 17, 2006, 11:15:38 AM3/17/06
to
In article <KNednafrs5w...@comcast.com>,
Jeff Jacoby <jja...@not.real.com> wrote:

He doesn't change temperature instantly. If he moves from someplace
warm to someplace cold, his body will be warmer than its surroundings.

And "cold blooded" doesn't mean the body is at ambient temperature. It
means that the body doesn't try to maintain a constant temperature. Any
sort of activity on the part of a vampire will cause its body to warm
up. (Maybe that's why they pant after exertion: they don't sweat
efficiently any more, so they pant to shed excess body heat, just like a
dog.)

Don Sample

unread,
Mar 17, 2006, 11:17:57 AM3/17/06
to
In article <vc7l12lsffbl30mef...@4ax.com>,
Stephen Tempest <steph...@stempest.demon.co.uk> wrote:

The First on its own doesn't seem to be all that powerful. It's power
lies in what it is able to convince others to do on its behalf.

Mike Zeares

unread,
Mar 17, 2006, 11:18:06 AM3/17/06
to

Arbitrar Of Quality wrote:
>
> Well, the snowfall at the end, blocking out the sunlight, pretty much
> sums up the episode. Basically, Joss is trying to work a little bit of
> magic. I wasn't ensorcelled, but I caught a whiff of it. Also,
> although he didn't really say much, I think that the Mutant Enemy
> alien was a fan...

Ah, good, you saw the Santa hat. I was disappointed that we didn't get
Buffy in a Santa hat, but we can't have everything.

> One-sentence summary: Tends towards the melodramatic at times, but
> pretty okay overall.

I did a mid-season review at this point in S3 where I gave this
episode 4 stars. What can I say, I was swept away by the magic snow.
Call me a sap.

Now, however, I can barely stand to watch it. Actually, I can't. I
pretty much just watch the magic snow scene, and that's only for Chris
Beck's music. I've gotten the same way about "The Wish," and about the
next epside, "Gingerbread." Next time through I might skip this disc
altogether (the special features on it are forgettable too). It's odd
-- I think S3 at this point is kind of spinning its wheels a bit. And
yet there's been a lot of really good stuff. I'd say I've watched
these eps too many times, but I've watched S1 and S2 more and almost
never FF through them. There's something in the first half of S3 that
bothers me that I've never been able to put my finger on. It doesn't
seem to work as well in a straight-through marathon as some of the
other seaons do. For me, anyway.

I was very curious to see your reaction to the magic snow. Some people
hate it so much they can barely find the words. I've seen "Amends" on
a lot of worst episode lists. And on a lot of best.

Mrs. Quality is not the only one annoyed by the heavy panting.
Boreanaz never could do that kind of thing very well. He tended to
look like he was constipated.

-- Mike Zeares

Don Sample

unread,
Mar 17, 2006, 11:28:13 AM3/17/06
to
In article <cj7l12la7eoc97ei9...@4ax.com>,
Stephen Tempest <steph...@stempest.demon.co.uk> wrote:

> I can't remember how much has been established so far about his
> family
>

> Stephen

Two parents, still together (maybe shouldn't be.) A cousin Rigby from
the side of the family that has money. An Uncle Rory, who's a
taxidermist by day, and a whoring drunk by night.

Don Sample

unread,
Mar 17, 2006, 11:31:14 AM3/17/06
to
In article <FbWdneSCYsX...@giganews.com>,
Rowan Hawthorn <rowan_h...@hotmail.com> wrote:

> hopelessly devoted wrote:

> > St. Louis, MO. Freaky cold front and lots of snow - Yes. Walk down
> > Main Street going ooooh aaaaaah - No! Running for the nearest
> > thermostat while repeatedly telling yourself, I'm Moving to California
> > would be more like it.
> >
>
> Ah. Gotcha.

You will not that Buffy and Angel were alone on Main Street.

kenm47

unread,
Mar 17, 2006, 11:45:13 AM3/17/06
to

Mike Zeares wrote:
> Arbitrar Of Quality wrote:
> >

<SNIP>

> There's something in the first half of S3 that
> bothers me that I've never been able to put my finger on. It doesn't
> seem to work as well in a straight-through marathon as some of the
> other seaons do. For me, anyway.
>

Creuncf vg jnf bss orpnhfr bs gur arrq gb perngr gung sbbgvat sbe gur
fcva-bss. Gung'f zl gurbel.

V gubhtug V ernq whfg nf Fcvxr jnf fhccbfrq gb ohl vg va Frnfba 2, fb
jnf Natry nf bevtvanyyl pbaprvirq. Gur Fcva-bss, fhccbfrqyl jnf abg
svanyvmrq va rkcrpgngvba hagvy WJ jnf fb vzcerffrq jvgu QO'f "npgvat"
va VBURSL. Gung zhfg unir erdhverq fbzr erjevgrf bs Frnfba 3.

Ken (Brooklyn)

Espen Schjønberg

unread,
Mar 17, 2006, 11:47:28 AM3/17/06
to
On 17.03.2006 03:17, Arbitrar Of Quality wrote:
> A reminder: Please avoid spoilers for later episodes in these review
> threads.
>
>
> BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER

> Season Three, Episode 10: "Amends"

Comments: this episode is again a shift downwards: it's a real DEM
episode, Buffy is saved by the Powers That Be.

Not that I hate this one. I must admit, I love this one. (Didn't you get
the memo? I swear, it was a memo. You are supposed to either hate this,
or to love this. )

Anyhow, it is linked with The Wish: Buffy talking about the world not
been any better for all her fighting. But we so know it is.

> Most of the story is about Angel's past coming back to haunt him.
> There are some attempts at intense Angel scenes as the voices in his
> head (more on a certain one of those voices in a bit) try to turn him
> against Buffy.

Didn't you like the interleaved dream-sequence?

> The scenes
> involving Giles (including the ones without Angel in them - "you
> may have to kill him. Again.") are the best in the A-story. He's
> got a lot of deep-seated anger, but he limits it to sarcastic quips.
> And yes, they're extremely mean-spirited (but funny) things to say,
> but all things considered, he's quite the adult about dealing with
> Angel, because he knows decency demands it. If I were in his shoes,
> it's possible that I wouldn't have "invited" him in at all, and
> just made him stand on the porch while we talked.

I think he is kind of slow. It wasn't Angel who killed his girlfriend,
but the demon using Angels face. He knows this intellectually. So he
should either be able to cope (more cope with stuff you cannot cope), or
not. If he can cope, he should try to hide this for Angel, if he cannot
cope, well, then he cannot.


> The one false note is Faith's
> exaggerated repetition of her party story;

I think this is good. Not in a good way, but in a "no way they could
make this more painful"-good way.

(Dang. Please no comments on this;-))

> ("I'm glad you came"). The joy of knowing that there are


> people who want you around is pretty universal.

Buff and Faith do need to make amends. I hope Buff was true to Faith
this night, telling her how much she regretted how she not told the only
other Slayer in the world about the only (known) ensouled vampire in the
world. Faith has every right to feel like she should have been the first
to be told.

> Mrs. Quality got really annoyed by Boreanaz's constant loud panting.
> [She just walked by and told me to add this: "I've noticed it
> lately, and I've had enough."]

This get even more annoying when you realize as a vampire, he shouldnæt
have trouble breething at all, cause he doesn't even need to breath.

(Sorry. really, sorry;-))

>
> Is there a better summary of Buffy's attitude towards life than
> "find me something I can pummel?"
>
> After they introduced the dead trees, I spent most of the episode
> trying to figure out how it'd be relevant. Didn't figure it out
> until Buffy did, though. At first I was afraid it'd just be a cursed
> Christmas tree or something.


>
> On a strictly plot level, the idea of something that brought Angel back

> to become its vessel is pretty good. The thing about the First thing,


> though, is that a long-running TV series can only have so many new
> mostest great ultimate evils from beyond the palest pale before things

> get tiresome (unless Buffy's there to mock the excesses: "Alright,
> I get it, you're evil. Do we have to chat about it all day?").

So good. And it makes the enemy gloat over what will happen, hence it
gives the hero a chance to save the day.

> It's only interesting if you put a face on it. So of course that's
> what the show does. And what a face. Now, keep in mind again that I
> grew up watching _Star Trek_. And yet I was still unprepared for the
> ingeniousness that BTVS shows in bringing back dead characters without
> cheapening said deaths. First-as-Calendar could be quite a villain if
> it sticks around. It has all of Jenny's wit ("I wanna die in bed
> surrounded by fat grandchildren, but guess that's off the menu") and
> manipulative ways, mixed with what looks like some of Angelus's knack
> for hurting people. This has real promise.


>
> The Angel/Buffy conversation towards daybreak doesn't work so well

> for me. That's a shame, since it's kinda the climax of the
> episode, so it leaves a sour taste in one's mouth and colors the

> whole show. I'm not saying that it's a little cheesy. I'm


> saying that parts of it positively flow with that neon-orange
> "cheez" you see in snack foods.

Well, it gets to me. There are times for small words, and there are
times for bigger words.

And this is the time for the biggest words. Cause it is all about
looking at what you can do, and not at looking at what you have done,
and you never can fix, anyway. Never give up, never surrender!

Oh, that's Galaxy Quest. But anyway: I so do like the moral here.

> This Is Really Stupid But I Laughed Anyway moment(s):
> - "Angel's on top again?"

I kind of think that is sore.

> AOQ rating: Good

You are weird.

--
Espen

vague disclaimer

unread,
Mar 17, 2006, 12:03:50 PM3/17/06
to
In article <dsample-EC295A...@news.giganews.com>,
Don Sample <dsa...@synapse.net> wrote:

> In article <cj7l12la7eoc97ei9...@4ax.com>,
> Stephen Tempest <steph...@stempest.demon.co.uk> wrote:
>
> > I can't remember how much has been established so far about his
> > family
> >
> > Stephen
>
> Two parents, still together (maybe shouldn't be.) A cousin Rigby from
> the side of the family that has money. An Uncle Rory, who's a
> taxidermist by day, and a whoring drunk by night.

And the lack of familiarity with a stove's instruction manual.
--
A vague disclaimer is nobody's friend

Stephen Tempest

unread,
Mar 17, 2006, 12:17:05 PM3/17/06
to
"hopelessly devoted" <cry...@cinstall.com> writes:

>St. Louis, MO. Freaky cold front and lots of snow - Yes. Walk down
>Main Street going ooooh aaaaaah - No! Running for the nearest
>thermostat while repeatedly telling yourself, I'm Moving to California
>would be more like it.

Where I live (London) if it starts snowing heavily enough to settle,
everybody rushes to the windows to watch it.

Actually going outside in it voluntarily is a little rarer, but not
unknown. :)

Stephen

Rowan Hawthorn

unread,
Mar 17, 2006, 12:35:49 PM3/17/06
to
Don Sample wrote:
> In article <FbWdneSCYsX...@giganews.com>,
> Rowan Hawthorn <rowan_h...@hotmail.com> wrote:
>
>
>>hopelessly devoted wrote:
>
>
>>>St. Louis, MO. Freaky cold front and lots of snow - Yes. Walk down
>>>Main Street going ooooh aaaaaah - No! Running for the nearest
>>>thermostat while repeatedly telling yourself, I'm Moving to California
>>>would be more like it.
>>>
>>
>>Ah. Gotcha.
>
>
> You will not that Buffy and Angel were alone on Main Street.
>

Yup. I'll also note that I used to quite frequently get out and walk
around during pretty heavy snowfalls, and would often go out for a short
time in below-freezing temperatures wearing a T-shirt and no jacket.

rrh...@acme.com

unread,
Mar 17, 2006, 12:34:59 PM3/17/06
to

The whole point of Married With Children was that the Bundys were the
anti-Bradys. They weren't willing to take this all the way. They all
would pull together in times of extreme necessity and,as I recall,
there was no consumated sexual infidelities for Al or Peggy. The
producers weren't willing to cross that line. (This is an interesting
commentary on American society. The Bundys' daily abuse of one another
was exaggerated for comic purposes. But sexual infidelity, which
occurs every day in the real world, was a line that couldn't be
crossed.)

The Christmas episode, on the other hand, was fair game. They could
freely take all the cliches of television holidays and turn them back
on themselves. Good stuff.

Richard R. Hershberger

William George Ferguson

unread,
Mar 17, 2006, 3:46:37 PM3/17/06
to
On 17 Mar 2006 09:34:59 -0800, rrh...@acme.com wrote:

>
>Apteryx wrote:
>> "Bill Reid" <horme...@happyhealthy.net> wrote in message
>> news:9OpSf.611$bn3...@bgtnsc04-news.ops.worldnet.att.net...
>> >
>> >
>> > Ever see the two-part "Married...With Children" Christmas episode
>> > called "It's A Bundyful Life"? Twisted up the whole Dickens thing with
>> > Sam Kinison as the "guardian angel" after Al electrocutes himself putting
>> > up his crappy lights, and Al realizing that if he had never been born,
>> > his entire family would have been much better off (Kelly was a straight-A
>> > virgin, Peggy was married to rich good-looking man, etc.). Al decides
>> > to go back just to make them miserable the way they made him
>> > miserable...
>>
>> Maybe they had the knack for Xmas specials. I didn't see that one, but the
>> only Married With Children episode I remember fondly is the Xmas one where
>> they have to deal with a dead skydiving santa (never actually shown) after
>> his parachute fails.
>
>The whole point of Married With Children was that the Bundys were the
>anti-Bradys.

This is wandering off-topic, but just a minor correction: The Bundys
weren't the anti-Bradys, they were explicitly the anti-Andersons. Just to
drive that home, on Father Knows Best Jim Anderson (Robert Young) called
his son (Jim Jr. played by Billy Gray) "Bud", and his younger daughter
Kathy (Lauren Chapin) "Kitten" (we don't have a "Princess" [Elinor
Donahue] equivalent).


--
HERBERT
1996 - 1997
Beloved Mascot
Delightful Meal
He fed the Pack
A little
--
http://NewsGuy.com/overview.htm 30Gb $9.95 Carry Forward and On Demand Bandwidth

Kevin

unread,
Mar 17, 2006, 4:29:23 PM3/17/06
to

hopelessly devoted wrote:
> Arbitrar Of Quality wrote:
> > Well, the snowfall at the end, blocking out the sunlight, pretty much
> > sums up the episode. Basically, Joss is trying to work a little bit of
> > magic. I wasn't ensorcelled, but I caught a whiff of it.
>
> Having grown up in the snow, my suspended belief system tends to come
> crashing back to earth Hollywood tries to do snow. I'll just simply
> say NO WAY IN HELL!


*My* suspended belief system sent me into convulsions of laughter when
I first saw Amends, because the cornstarch (or whatever they used) on
the street looks nothing like fallen snow! I guess it couldn't be
faked accurately, but snow settles evenly in a flat blanket, and that
street scene looks more like the aftermath of an explosion at a
whipped-cream factory. And the soaring shot begins just as the
swelling music reaches its climactic release... Oh, man. Sadly, this
sours Joss' magic a bit.

On the crazy-weather topic, we had a freak thunderstorm in Santa Cruz,
CA last week, which dumped an inch of hail at sea-level. Maybe Angel &
Buffy getting showered with ice pellets wouldn't have been any better,
though...

mariposas rand mair fheal greykitten tomys des anges

unread,
Mar 17, 2006, 4:36:44 PM3/17/06
to
> On the crazy-weather topic, we had a freak thunderstorm in Santa Cruz,
> CA last week, which dumped an inch of hail at sea-level. Maybe Angel &
> Buffy getting showered with ice pellets wouldn't have been any better,
> though...

snow levels have been down to a mere five hundred feet

arf meow arf - nsa fodder
al qaeda terrorism nuclear bomb iran taliban big brother
if you meet buddha on the usenet killfile him

hopelessly devoted

unread,
Mar 17, 2006, 5:03:40 PM3/17/06
to

Probably not. But the more important question - Would it have worked
with the same music?

hopelessly devoted

unread,
Mar 17, 2006, 5:14:02 PM3/17/06
to

There must have been a strange Power at work in Santa Ana. Although I
did hear about it the next day.

Scott Lurndal

unread,
Mar 17, 2006, 5:42:27 PM3/17/06
to
mariposas rand mair fheal greykitten tomys des anges <mair_...@yahoo.com> writes:
>> On the crazy-weather topic, we had a freak thunderstorm in Santa Cruz,
>> CA last week, which dumped an inch of hail at sea-level. Maybe Angel &
>> Buffy getting showered with ice pellets wouldn't have been any better,
>> though...
>
>snow levels have been down to a mere five hundred feet
>

Last weekend, we had snow on the ground in downtown San Jose. Just
for a bit, at 0200 hours, but still; not since the 70's have we had
snow at basically sea level here.

scott

vmac...@yahoo.com

unread,
Mar 17, 2006, 5:58:48 PM3/17/06
to
>OT PS: You want evil Santa? Catch the Invader Zim Xmas special.

Or the SantaBot in Futurama - nobody comes up to his standard of nice,
so Christmas is a time of retribution and terror for everyone.

VMacek

Bill Reid

unread,
Mar 17, 2006, 6:48:58 PM3/17/06
to

William George Ferguson <wmgf...@newsguy.com> wrote in message
news:gj7m121jbhv5iks52...@4ax.com...

> On 17 Mar 2006 09:34:59 -0800, rrh...@acme.com wrote:
> >Apteryx wrote:
> >> "Bill Reid" <horme...@happyhealthy.net> wrote in message
> >> news:9OpSf.611$bn3...@bgtnsc04-news.ops.worldnet.att.net...
> >> >
> >> > Ever see the two-part "Married...With Children" Christmas episode
> >> > called "It's A Bundyful Life"? Twisted up the whole Dickens thing
with
> >> > Sam Kinison as the "guardian angel" after Al electrocutes himself
putting
> >> > up his crappy lights, and Al realizing that if he had never been
born,
> >> > his entire family would have been much better off (Kelly was a
straight-A
> >> > virgin, Peggy was married to rich good-looking man, etc.). Al
decides
> >> > to go back just to make them miserable the way they made him
> >> > miserable...
> >>
> >> Maybe they had the knack for Xmas specials. I didn't see that one, but
the
> >> only Married With Children episode I remember fondly is the Xmas one
where
> >> they have to deal with a dead skydiving santa (never actually shown)
after
> >> his parachute fails.
> >
Didn't they show the paramedics taking "Santa"'s body out on a
stretcher covered in a sheet?

Too bad you missed "It's A Bundyful Life"...the "Skydiving Santa" episode
was pretty funny, but "Bundyful" was about billion times better...

> >The whole point of Married With Children was that the Bundys were the
> >anti-Bradys.
>
> This is wandering off-topic, but just a minor correction: The Bundys
> weren't the anti-Bradys, they were explicitly the anti-Andersons.

Yeah, because Al Bundy wasn't secretly gay like Mr. Brady...

> Just to
> drive that home, on Father Knows Best Jim Anderson (Robert Young) called
> his son (Jim Jr. played by Billy Gray) "Bud", and his younger daughter
> Kathy (Lauren Chapin) "Kitten"

Al called Kelly "Pumpkin", so BZZZZZZZT!!!

(we don't have a "Princess" [Elinor
> Donahue] equivalent).
>

We did have a "Chuck Cunningham" equivalent when they brought
in "Seven" to freshen up the aging cast with a moppet, then just forgot
about him after a few episodes cuz the kid was so creepy...

---
William Ernest Reid

Bill Reid

unread,
Mar 17, 2006, 6:49:06 PM3/17/06
to

Don Sample <dsa...@synapse.net> wrote in message
news:dsample-E8BDFC...@news.giganews.com...
> In article <121kfci...@news.supernews.com>,
> "One Bit Shy" <O...@nomail.sorry> wrote:
>
> > I sometimes describe this episode as BTVS finds God. The ending was
> > literally a miracle. Makes the episode kind of unique.
> >
> But was the miracle from anything a Christian (or Jew or Muslim) would
> recognize as their God?
>
Of course not, that would make rabid irrational atheists like you
COMPLETELY FREAK OUT, so out of respect for YOUR "religious"
beliefs they made their "Christmas" episode non-sectarian...

If it will make you feel better, it was a "pagan god" that caused the
miraculous snow...and for the Jews, it was "Hannukah Harry"...

---
William Ernest Reid

One Bit Shy

unread,
Mar 17, 2006, 7:47:36 PM3/17/06
to
"Don Sample" <dsa...@synapse.net> wrote in message
news:dsample-E8BDFC...@news.giganews.com...
> In article <121kfci...@news.supernews.com>,
> "One Bit Shy" <O...@nomail.sorry> wrote:
>
>>
>> I sometimes describe this episode as BTVS finds God. The ending was
>> literally a miracle. Makes the episode kind of unique.
>>
>
> But was the miracle from anything a Christian (or Jew or Muslim) would
> recognize as their God?

I didn't mention a religion did I? ;-)

It's an interesting question. On the one hand it's a kind of deus ex
machina. But very literal - harking back to Greek theater and a final scene
intervention by the gods. (I gather that Joss's classical education made
him well versed in such things and that he has retained an interest. After
all, we've already seen Oedipus performed in BTVS.) Classically, such
scenes aren't merely devices to unravel an impossible situation (thought
they might serve that function too), but also speak to a greater universal
truth of the fundamental banality of man's existence, and how people's true
fate is determined by powers greater than them.

I think it's pretty clear that the snow isn't just a device to solve the
problem. It's the conclusion the show was aiming for all along. Since it
corresponds so well to that ancient theatrical tradition, the form would not
imply a judeo-christian god.

However, other elements really do point that direction. Doing it on
Christmas for one thing. The use of a great miracle from an unseen God (as
opposed to the more tangible walking talking gods of Greece and Rome) I
think suggests the same. I also note Angel's question about being a
"righteous man". But especially, the use of the First as nemesis points
that way. Not your ordinary demon. The very source of evil. Very satanic
sounding. The benevolent intervention by god in opposition to the first
evil has a judeo-christian feel to me. I imagine that's deliberate, but
still vague enough to be taken other ways.

There's also the question of metaphor - something that's been known to be
used once or twice in this series. I'm not sure I really have a handle on
it here, but I observe that the great Buffy/Angel drama isn't the only thing
going on in this episode. Amends are being made on a number of fronts.
Willow/Oz. Angel/Giles. Faith/Buffy. Xander/Buffy. Maybe even a general
touch of Willow/Xander/Buffy/Giles just in having them back working the
books into the wee hours - all for the sake of Angel. Is there a kind of
miracle at work in all of that?

Or perhaps the greatest miracle can be found in Angel's very existence. The
ensouled vampire. Who here survives the greatest attack upon his human
soul. (Previously, it was merely the soul's removal. Now the attack seeks
to corrupt the soul.) And leaves armed with new philosophies and purpose
arising out of the long exchange with Buffy. (This, incidentally, might
explain why the First would be satisfied with his death. He preferred
corruption, but destroying the miracle would be sufficient.) The First,
after all, only showed him what he already knew. And Angel said it wasn't
the demon that needed killing. It was the man. Was the miracle that man
realizing how to make amends, to become the righteous man he wanted to be?

One more thing. The First claims to have brought Angel back - a point of
some dispute in discussion. Well, the problem with his claim is that it
doesn't fit easily with what we all saw - Buffy laying the ring down where
he departed. The ring that by all appearances served as the catalyst to his
return. So how might that fit with Buffy's remark on the hill, "If I can't
convince you that you belong in this world, then I don't know what can."
Right then, the snow began to fall.

The last three paragraphs suggest no religion at all, or even a hidden hand.
The miracle(s) came from within.

So, in usual BTVS fashion it's ambiguous. I don't believe the allusions to
god are any accident - including the more judeo-christian ones. That's a
possible explanation. But there are others as well.

OBS


BTR1701

unread,
Mar 17, 2006, 9:54:06 PM3/17/06
to
In article <1142597639.5...@z34g2000cwc.googlegroups.com>,
"hopelessly devoted" <cry...@cinstall.com> wrote:

> Having grown up in the snow, my suspended belief system tends to come
> crashing back to earth Hollywood tries to do snow. I'll just simply

> say NO WAY IN HELL! Snow in California - Sure. 6 inches in 5-10-15-20
> min and let's go for a stroll down Main St. - NO WAY IN HELL! It was a

> very nice moment on the surface, everyone coming out to see, Xander
> pulling the sleeping bag over his head, but NO WAY IN HE HE HE HELLLLL!


It is a show about magic and the supernatural, after all. I'm always
amazed how people will accept the premise of vampires, teenage girls
with superpowers, witches and all the rest but a couple of inches of
snow in California... well, that's just too bizarre to accept.

Daniel Damouth

unread,
Mar 18, 2006, 1:06:01 AM3/18/06
to
At the top I'd like to say how impressed I am by almost everyone in the
group in these threads. So many speculations and expectations are
expressed by AOQ that practically beg for a spoiler, and yet very
rarely does anyone here succumb to the temptation. Onward...

"Arbitrar Of Quality" <tsm...@wildmail.com> wrote in
news:1142561877.1...@i39g2000cwa.googlegroups.com:
[...]

> The Angel/Buffy conversation towards daybreak doesn't work so well
> for me. That's a shame, since it's kinda the climax of the
> episode, so it leaves a sour taste in one's mouth and colors the
> whole show. I'm not saying that it's a little cheesy. I'm
> saying that parts of it positively flow with that neon-orange

> "cheez" you see in snack foods. The buildup is there, and the
> general talking points are right (Angel's 'weakness' as set up
> earlier, all the failed attempts to let go, etc.), but the
> dialogue just gets so clunky and unwieldy... "Angel, you have the
> power to do real good!" "You can never understand what I've done!"

You didn't like Buffy's response to that? "I know everything that you
did, because you did it to me."

Other things I love about the episode:

Willy giving Xander a Christmas present by pretending to be intimidated
by his act in the bar.

"Find me something I can pummul." (which you mentioned).

Buffy: "A child shall be born of man and goat, and have two heads, and
the first shall speak only in riddles. No wonder you like reading this
stuff. It's like reading the sun."

Buffy: "I don't have time to explain this. You just have to trust me.
That thing that was haunting you... ANGEL: It wasn't haunting me. It
was showing me. BUFFY: Showing you? ANGEL: What I am. BUFFY: Were.
ANGEL: And ever shall be."

-Dan Damouth

Don Sample

unread,
Mar 18, 2006, 1:18:27 AM3/18/06
to
In article <Xns9789E0CF8F5B...@66.75.164.119>,
Daniel Damouth <dam...@san.rr.com> wrote:

> Buffy: "A child shall be born of man and goat, and have two heads, and
> the first shall speak only in riddles. No wonder you like reading this
> stuff. It's like reading the sun."

And what Giles found immediately after that: "More posturing, I'm
afraid. 'For they are the Harbingers of death. Nothing shall grow above
or below them. No seed shall flower, neither in man nor...' They're
rebels and they'll never ever be any good."

(Ant that of course holds the vital clue.)

hopelessly devoted

unread,
Mar 18, 2006, 1:49:32 AM3/18/06