AOQ Review 3-11: "Gingerbread"

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Arbitrar Of Quality

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Mar 18, 2006, 1:02:54 AM3/18/06
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A reminder: Please avoid spoilers for later episodes in these review
threads.


BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER
Season Three, Episode 11: "Gingerbread"
(or "If you don't support my rating for this episode, the
terrorists have already won.")
Writer: Jane Espenson; story by Espenson and Thania St. John
Director: James Whitmore, Jr.


After Joyce tags along with Buffy on a Slaying (guess Xander and/or
Faith don't help anymore?) and sees a couple dead kids, she starts
trying to get involved. That's usually not a good sign on this
series. And this episode proves no exception. What's so fun,
though, is how it eases us into that by means of the gradual steps in
Joyce's Descent Into Villainy. Each one kinda makes sense at the
time to a viewer who doesn't know that she's possessed.

>From the beginning: "I'm gonna find whatever did it." "I guess.
It's just you can't... you can't make it right." Well, dead kids
stay dead.

Next: "Mr. Mayor, you're dead wrong. This is *not* a good town...
silence is this town's disease." Well, it's hard to argue with
that. Finally someone takes a stand against Sunnydale Forgettyitis.
To those who're paying attention, her mention of "Slayers" should
be a huge warning sign that not all is well, but it's easy enough to
rationalize away if you're watching the episode for the first time
- Joyce doesn't like that her daughter has to be the one to stand
alone against the nasty things.

During the confrontation with Buffy: "I mean, you patrol, you slay.
Evil pops up, you undo it. And that's great! But is Sunnydale getting
any better?... You don't have a plan. You just react to things. It's
bound to be kind of fruitless." As Buffy is quick to point out,
that's a little more dismissive of her work than seems appropriate.
But as she also realizes, there's a healthy dose of truth in there.
The road to the episode's climax of prejudice and hysteria is paved
with what could easily be mistaken for good intentions and adult
thought.

There's a rather obvious red herring here involving Willow and her
spells. Not happy about the ominous attempts to make us think she's
involved in anything that's not innocent. I do like how she tries to
hide things for a little but then quickly explains the situation to
Buffy as soon as it's clear how serious things are getting.

Xander and Oz have a little subplot together during all this, which
basically leads to a comedy anti-climax. Not much to say here, but
Xander's behavior both makes sense conceptually and is
overplayed/annoying. We get that a lot with this character. One
exchange I liked is with Buffy ("You are guilty" and "Cuz he's
usually such a chatterbox").

Meanwhile, the mob mentality soon turns ugly and the obvious targets
are weirdoes like Michael and Amy (whose new hair looks good).
Naturally, someone ends up turning into a rat. Well, it looked more
like a mouse to me, actually. Although it's revealed in a bit of a
hackneyed way (the newspaper articles), I find the premise of a villain
who manufactures tragedy to turn people against each other very
appealing. It's creepy because it's true. Tying it into Hansel
and Gretel gives things just the right combination of mysticism too.
One of the show's most intriguing premises overall, even given the
sometimes lack of subtlety.

Long-term planning kudos: Joyce's speech about Reactive Buffy
mentioned above is set up not only by the early parts of this episode,
but also by the series as a whole, and "The Wish" and "Amends"
("give me something to pummel!") in particular.

And speaking of setup, Angel's brief scene doesn't just settle for
providing a little comfort/voice of reason for Buffy while also
inadvertently giving a clue to the solution of the puzzle. It also has
to turn up the coolness by heavily playing off the themes from the
previous episode - "But I do know it's important to keep fighting.
I learned that from you." (And never 'winning' is a good
description of life too.)

So Buffy and Giles try to face down the mob, and can't do things
alone. Re-enter Cordelia, whom I (and probably many viewers) had
totally forgotten about, to save the day, or at least to hold the hose.
The Giles/Cordelia heroics give the ending sequences both some
adrenaline and some comedy, spicing up the show still more.

Random comment: Didn't the cafeteria line used to move in the other
direction?

So I enjoyed this episode a lot, and was considering going all out with
an "Excellent" rating, but a few flaws did substantially mar
things. To wit:

1) Despite a general attempt to not force the message, some of the
mid-show witch hunt sequences are overdone (well, plus the fact that
they're literally hunting witches... I'm guessing that some of you
dislike this episode because there be anvils 'ere). The
locker-searching stuff tips the episode's moral hand too early for my
tastes. And the pyres made out of banned books, well...

2) The acronym MOO is too silly, and any attempts at humor that spring
from it feel inappropriate, hurting any scene they're in.

3) Mrs. Rosenberg. She has that rare-for-BTVS problem of being a
thoroughly ridiculous one-note caricature. (Yeah, I know she was under
the influence at the time, but that didn't stop Joyce from having
herself a good episode.)

4) Any reason the mob just kinda leaves Giles lying around
unrestrained other than that the plot demands it? He consorts with
suspected witches and possesses forbidden tomes...

5) The ending scene hits many of the wrong notes. Sunnydale
Forgettyitis is back and seems as implausible as ever. Even the
intriguing reference to the forgetting "that your mom *used to be* so
good at" annoyed me because, well, I wanted to actually see Buffy and
Joyce interact afterward. Yes, I'm being impatient, but it's
because this show has shown a history of having Joyce disappear for a
month so we can forget about any major events in her life (remember her
regression in "Bad Episode")?

6) Ending note #2: What's with the abrupt un-resolution of the thing
with the Amy-mouse? Is this the writers' way of killing her off?
Are we just supposed to assume that Willow will eventually get the
spell right? This isn't the kind of mystery that says "tune in
next week!", it just makes me want to say "um, what were they
trying for here?"

The TIRSBILA section is pretty long today (and could've been longer,
but I had to draw the line somewhere), since this episode does an
impressive job of throwing in little jokes at just the right times.
Keeps things from getting too heavy-handed.

This Is Really Stupid But I Laughed Anyway moment(s):
- "That was a pointed comment about me hanging with you guys."
"Yeah, I got that one."
- "I'm a rebel! I'm having a rebellion!"
- "Like the boy that stuck his finger in the duck." "Dike."
[Confused look.]
- Giles having fun on the computer (but did they have to bring back the
dumb "computer voice" from IRYJ?)
- The "wake up in a coma" exchange.
- Both the idea of Buffy impaling the demon with that thing tied to her
back, and her sheepish reaction afterward when she can't stand up.

And I wouldn't call it "stupid," but still a great line -
"and in some language, that's English?"


So...

One-sentence summary: Sometimes there's nothing like a good
allegory-show.

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
11) "Gingerbread" - Good]

Arbitrar Of Quality

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Mar 18, 2006, 1:05:05 AM3/18/06
to
I'm out of town this weekend, but I figured since I'd written a
"Gingerbread" review, I'd go ahead and post. I assume you folks can
handle maintaining an interesting and animated thread until Sunday
night? See you then.

-AOQ

Don Sample

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Mar 18, 2006, 1:47:28 AM3/18/06
to
In article <1142661774.0...@g10g2000cwb.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 11: "Gingerbread"
> (or "If you don't support my rating for this episode, the
> terrorists have already won.")
> Writer: Jane Espenson; story by Espenson and Thania St. John
> Director: James Whitmore, Jr.

> And never 'winning' is a good description of life too.

It's the first law of thermodynamics:
1) You can't win.
2) You can't even break even.
3) You can't get out of the game.

> 3) Mrs. Rosenberg. She has that rare-for-BTVS problem of being a
> thoroughly ridiculous one-note caricature. (Yeah, I know she was under
> the influence at the time, but that didn't stop Joyce from having
> herself a good episode.)

At least she remembered Willow telling her she's dating a musician.


>
> 4) Any reason the mob just kinda leaves Giles lying around
> unrestrained other than that the plot demands it? He consorts with
> suspected witches and possesses forbidden tomes...

They only had three stakes? These people weren't exactly overflowing
with rationality at that point. (See my point 7)

>
> 6) Ending note #2: What's with the abrupt un-resolution of the thing
> with the Amy-mouse? Is this the writers' way of killing her off?
> Are we just supposed to assume that Willow will eventually get the
> spell right? This isn't the kind of mystery that says "tune in
> next week!", it just makes me want to say "um, what were they
> trying for here?"

V guvax vg jnf zber n pnfr bs "Jr zvtug jnag gb hfr ure ntnva fbzrqnl,
ohg jr unira'g tbg nal fgbel vqrnf gung pna hfr ure evtug abj, fb yrg'f
chg ure va n pntr sbe n juvyr." Jr jvyy pbagvahr gb trg erzvaqref gung
cbbe Nzl vf n fghpx nf n eng sbe fbzr gvzr.

I think it was also meant to be a reminder to the audience that magic
can be just as dangerous to the wielder as the target. It isn't
something that anyone should be casually messing around with.

And 7) The absolute silliness of holding a book/witch burning *indoors*.
The rationality of that mob hadn't just left the building. It had left
the planet.

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

hopelessly devoted

unread,
Mar 18, 2006, 4:15:03 AM3/18/06
to

Arbitrar Of Quality wrote:
> Season Three, Episode 11: "Gingerbread"

I have mixed feelings about this ep, On First Viewing as well as today.
The Witch Hunt subject in this ep has always led me to do "more
research" when ever the subject comes to light. The mechanics involved
in the setup are, IMO, excellent. The only downside being the role and
dialogue of the not-so-dead children.

> After Joyce tags along with Buffy on a Slaying (guess Xander and/or
> Faith don't help anymore?) and sees a couple dead kids, she starts
> trying to get involved. That's usually not a good sign on this
> series. And this episode proves no exception. What's so fun,
> though, is how it eases us into that by means of the gradual steps in
> Joyce's Descent Into Villainy. Each one kinda makes sense at the
> time to a viewer who doesn't know that she's possessed.

The opening scene with Buffy patrolling alone seemed a little odd.
After the almost mending of the way between her and Faith, it was very
odd that the two weren't doing synchronized slaying. Mom is still
trying too hard to be a part of every aspect of her daughter's life.
Making up for lost time. Although Mr. Sanderson from the Bank was a
nice touch, the discovery of the first dead children of the series was
unnerving. And close up of the all important symbol.

With the Police photos and questions, we seemed to be getting a lot
more of the real world action than the two previous seasons combined.
And in the library with Giles, drawing the symbol: "The cops are
keeping it quiet." Everybody, knowingly or unknowingly, has a role to
play in keeping Sunnydale's forgettyitis in check.

> To those who're paying attention, her mention of "Slayers" should
> be a huge warning sign that not all is well, but it's easy enough to
> rationalize away if you're watching the episode for the first time
> - Joyce doesn't like that her daughter has to be the one to stand
> alone against the nasty things.

Interesting about the statement "It belongs to the monsters and the
witches and the slayers." The all encompassing statement demonizes all
as one. Anything at all with a "name", outside of the "normal", is now
as evil.

Locker Search: ofv, Xander and Cordelia both not grasping the severity
of the situation was a little disturbing. Although very interesting
that they both seemed to not only not get it, but also be concerned
only about themselves.

The harvesting of the books. The control of information The silencing
dissidents. This ep really did get under my skin.

> During the confrontation with Buffy: "I mean, you patrol, you slay.
> Evil pops up, you undo it. And that's great! But is Sunnydale getting
> any better?... You don't have a plan. You just react to things. It's
> bound to be kind of fruitless." As Buffy is quick to point out,
> that's a little more dismissive of her work than seems appropriate.
> But as she also realizes, there's a healthy dose of truth in there.

Later....

> The road to the episode's climax of prejudice and hysteria is paved
> with what could easily be mistaken for good intentions and adult
> thought.

One of the most interesting aspects of this ep is that it actually
required very little imagination, but instead pulled from cold hard
facts of centuries past. This, in a very simple way, IS how it's done.

The possession of the adults was an nice twist, but a lot more
interesting when they were "suppsedly" under their own control. At
least for me. Again it could be just the midget's dialogue. Flashes
of them lying dead every so often would have been enough for me. Then
do the possession / talking children thing later.

> There's a rather obvious red herring here involving Willow and her
> spells. Not happy about the ominous attempts to make us think she's
> involved in anything that's not innocent. I do like how she tries to
> hide things for a little but then quickly explains the situation to
> Buffy as soon as it's clear how serious things are getting.

Interesting and I'm sure a lot of other people will say the same.
However for me, seeing that W could possible be part of the problem was
no where near as bad as seeing her possibly "marked" as part of the
solution.

> Xander and Oz have a little subplot together during all this, which
> basically leads to a comedy anti-climax. Not much to say here, but
> Xander's behavior both makes sense conceptually and is
> overplayed/annoying. We get that a lot with this character. One
> exchange I liked is with Buffy ("You are guilty" and "Cuz he's
> usually such a chatterbox").

As part of an ongoing discussion, I will save my comments for then.
Although ofv, the overplayed/annoying description is pretty accurate.

> Meanwhile, the mob mentality soon turns ugly and the obvious targets
> are weirdoes like Michael and Amy (whose new hair looks good).

Watching the decline in mentality and the growing prejudice (again, too
much information and study time on the subject matter) with the
exception of "hurt the bad girls", I was completely enthralled.

> I find the premise of a villain
> who manufactures tragedy to turn people against each other very
> appealing. It's creepy because it's true. Tying it into Hansel
> and Gretel gives things just the right combination of mysticism too.

It took me a few viewings to really understand this melding of ideas.
I'm still not sure why it took me that long, but it did.


manufactures tragedy to turn people against each other

Hansel and Gretel


manufactures tragedy to turn people against each other

Hansel and Gretel


manufactures tragedy to turn people against each other

Hansel and Gretel

Yeah, I know.

> 1) Despite a general attempt to not force the message, some of the
> mid-show witch hunt sequences are overdone (well, plus the fact that
> they're literally hunting witches... I'm guessing that some of you
> dislike this episode because there be anvils 'ere). The
> locker-searching stuff tips the episode's moral hand too early for my
> tastes. And the pyres made out of banned books, well...

While my opinion would be exactly the opposite. Instead of the slow
reveal, I actually preferred knowing and watching it unravel as it
conceivably could happen in modern day times.

> 2) The acronym MOO is too silly, and any attempts at humor that spring
> from it feel inappropriate, hurting any scene they're in.

Except one.
Buffy: And who came up with that lame name?
Snyder:That would be the founder. I believe you call her Mom.

> 3) Mrs. Rosenberg. She has that rare-for-BTVS problem of being a
> thoroughly ridiculous one-note caricature. (Yeah, I know she was under
> the influence at the time, but that didn't stop Joyce from having
> herself a good episode.)

I think there is a comment here, but I will save that for a later date
if someone doesn't bring it up.

> 4) Any reason the mob just kinda leaves Giles lying around
> unrestrained other than that the plot demands it? He consorts with
> suspected witches and possesses forbidden tomes...

Vagrerfgvat lbh fubhyq nfx gung dhrfgvba pbafvqrevat vg sbyybjf ba gur
urryf bs nzraqf naq gur crbcyr jub jrer gnxra, ohssl naq jvyybj zber
cerpvfryl, jrer gur fnzr crbcyr gb fgbc gur svefg va frnfba ivv.

> 6) Ending note #2: What's with the abrupt un-resolution of the thing
> with the Amy-mouse? Is this the writers' way of killing her off?
> Are we just supposed to assume that Willow will eventually get the
> spell right? This isn't the kind of mystery that says "tune in
> next week!", it just makes me want to say "um, what were they
> trying for here?"

If and when you make it to the S4, the above will, well, not make
sense, but should be a little more clear to you.

Zber rk znva punenpgref guna znva punenpgref. naq Qba'g rire nffhzr
gung gurl ner rire ernyyl, gehryl, pbzcyrgryl tbar.

> - "Like the boy that stuck his finger in the duck." "Dike."

are we sure about the SAT scores?

> - Giles having fun on the computer (but did they have to bring back the
> dumb "computer voice" from IRYJ?)

???????????????????

> - Both the idea of Buffy impaling the demon with that thing tied to her
> back, and her sheepish reaction afterward when she can't stand up.

>From the moment the children hugged until the " did I get it?" routine
- Ugh!!!!
Another thing keeping me from loving this ep.

The only saving grace at all was Oz and Xander crashing down from the
ceiling with "We're here to save you."

I don't know how to rate this ep. IMO, it could have been truly
remarkable, but they didn't want to go there. Not on my list despite
the "right up my alley" theme. But then again, I tend to lean toward
the darker eps.

Jeff Jacoby

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Mar 18, 2006, 4:38:48 AM3/18/06
to
On 17 Mar 2006 22:02:54 -0800, Arbitrar <tsm...@wildmail.com> wrote:
> A reminder: Please avoid spoilers for later episodes in these review
> threads.
>
>
> BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER
> Season Three, Episode 11: "Gingerbread"
> (or "If you don't support my rating for this episode, the
> terrorists have already won.")
> Writer: Jane Espenson; story by Espenson and Thania St. John
> Director: James Whitmore, Jr.


[snip]

> Meanwhile, the mob mentality soon turns ugly and the obvious targets
> are weirdoes like Michael and Amy (whose new hair looks good).
> Naturally, someone ends up turning into a rat. Well, it looked more
> like a mouse to me, actually. Although it's revealed in a bit of a
> hackneyed way (the newspaper articles), I find the premise of a villain
> who manufactures tragedy to turn people against each other very
> appealing. It's creepy because it's true.

I find it boring. Twilight Zone did it constantly (as I'm
sure every other sci-fi or semi-into-the-weird-and-mystical
show has done also) and by now it's a tired cliche.

> Tying it into Hansel
> and Gretel gives things just the right combination of mysticism too.
> One of the show's most intriguing premises overall, even given the
> sometimes lack of subtlety.

[snip]

> 2) The acronym MOO is too silly, and any attempts at humor that spring
> from it feel inappropriate, hurting any scene they're in.

Maybe the writers thought MOTTO (Mothers Opposed To
The Occult) was too clunky. But, really...you didn't
like MOO?? What's a MOTTO with MOO?

(Sorry. It's really late and I should be asleep now)


[snip]


Part of that minor sub-plot that annoys me (on top of
everything else) is the most abused TV cliche ever
invented (IMHO): The perfectly sized (and clean!!) air
vent that takes you whereever you need to go. ARRGGHH!!

> The TIRSBILA section is pretty long today (and could've been longer,
> but I had to draw the line somewhere), since this episode does an
> impressive job of throwing in little jokes at just the right times.
> Keeps things from getting too heavy-handed.
>
> This Is Really Stupid But I Laughed Anyway moment(s):

[snip]

How about Willow's 'doodle' line? That's about the
best thing in the show!!

Jef (<--See? I really should be in bed!)

Kevin

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Mar 18, 2006, 5:33:44 AM3/18/06
to

Great music from Chris Beck in this one (I didn't want to forget to say
that). But isn't that always the case? He's damn good.

Arbitrar Of Quality wrote:
> 3) Mrs. Rosenberg. She has that rare-for-BTVS problem of being a
> thoroughly ridiculous one-note caricature.

One-note and ridiculous, but perhaps not unrealistic! I've met some
professor-types who could play Mrs. R. with no coaching. Willow
mentions that their last long conversation (evidently many years
earlier) was about the patriarchal bias in Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood --
and her mom *immediately* enters diatribe mode: "Well, with King Friday
lording it over all the lesser puppets..." Heheheheh I love it.

We've never seen any of the gang's parents before now, except
Buffy's, and the introduction of Willow's mom worried me a lot. I
thought the families were better left offscreen, lest their portrayals
leave a bad taste and prevent their recurrence; lest the manifestation
weaken a character better left to the imagination. Here I thought
Hannigan and the actress playing Sheila did a good job, at least, of
making the relationship believable... And the plot needed her... I
still wish Mrs. R. had somehow never materialized. For me it's the
most off-putting thing about Gingerbread.

> 5) The ending scene hits many of the wrong notes. Sunnydale
> Forgettyitis is back and seems as implausible as ever.

This ep has gotten much criticism for having a weak fourth act: the
story builds strongly as you described, and then degenerates into a
large helping of Burning-at-the-Stake with a side of Reset Button.

> 6) Ending note #2: What's with the abrupt un-resolution of the thing
> with the Amy-mouse? Is this the writers' way of killing her off?

At the time, I suspect it was just Jane being funny. The presence of
ROT13 has already suggested, however, that it ain't over till it's
over.

I just *knew* your TIRSBILA section would be long this time. So many
quotables in Jane's episodes! How about:

* Snyder making us hate him even more: "This is a glorious day for
Principals everywhere."
"I love the smell of desperate librarian in the morning."

* Willow gettin' feisty with her Mom, leading to:
"I'm dating a musician!" -- and her mom's disgusted reaction.

* Buffy trying to say "Cordel--" and Cordelia interrupting and going on
with her rant. An unusual bit of scripting, I liked it here.

* Giles on the computer: "You stupid, useless fad!"

* All the Giles/Cordelia stuff is classic.
Giles: "We need to save Buffy from Hansel and Gretel."
Cordelia: "Now, let's be clear: the brain damage happened before
I hit you."

* Buffy at the stake, pretending to be a powerful witch:
"You will all be turned into vermin! And... Some of you will be
fish. Yeah, you in the back - will be fish!"
"Mom, dead people are talking to you. Do the math!"


--Kevin

KenM47

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Mar 18, 2006, 5:54:21 AM3/18/06
to
"Arbitrar Of Quality" <tsm...@wildmail.com> wrote:

>A reminder: Please avoid spoilers for later episodes in these review
>threads.
>
>
>BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER
>Season Three, Episode 11: "Gingerbread"
>(or "If you don't support my rating for this episode, the
>terrorists have already won.")
>Writer: Jane Espenson; story by Espenson and Thania St. John
>Director: James Whitmore, Jr.
>
>

<SNIP>

>
>So...
>
>One-sentence summary: Sometimes there's nothing like a good
>allegory-show.
>
>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
>11) "Gingerbread" - Good]

I pretty much fully agree this time.

I do note:

That's NOT a Jewish mother (and yet another missing unaccounted for
father), and

"and found you all unconscious... again. How many times have you been
knocked out, anyway?", and

Terrific teaser opening.

Ken (Brooklyn)

Stephen Tempest

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Mar 18, 2006, 7:42:42 AM3/18/06
to
"Arbitrar Of Quality" <tsm...@wildmail.com> writes:

>This Is Really Stupid But I Laughed Anyway moment(s):

My favourite was:

"Do you see any goats anywhere? No! Because I sacrificed them!"

I *so* want to find a way of working that into my own conversation
someday...

Stephen

Eric Hunter

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Mar 18, 2006, 8:03:03 AM3/18/06
to
Arbitrar Of Quality wrote:
> A reminder: Please avoid spoilers for later episodes in these review
> threads.
>
>
> BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER
> Season Three, Episode 11: "Gingerbread"
> (or "If you don't support my rating for this episode, the
> terrorists have already won.")
>
> 4) Any reason the mob just kinda leaves Giles lying
> around unrestrained other than that the plot demands
> it? He consorts with suspected witches and possesses
> forbidden tomes...

He's a librarian, not one of the "bad girls". The demon's
approach was always the same, show up "dead", convince
the populace that witches were responsible, and have
them hunt down the bad girls. Middle-aged men don't
fit the profile. The mob attacked Michael, who was
actually a warlock, but they didn't hunt him down and
tie him to a stake, presumably because the demon was
focused on girls.

Eric.
--

BTR1701

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Mar 18, 2006, 9:58:42 AM3/18/06
to
In article <mJOdnQVESZC...@comcast.com>,
Jeff Jacoby <jja...@not.real.com> wrote:

> On 17 Mar 2006 22:02:54 -0800, Arbitrar <tsm...@wildmail.com> wrote:

> > Meanwhile, the mob mentality soon turns ugly and the obvious targets
> > are weirdoes like Michael and Amy (whose new hair looks good).
> > Naturally, someone ends up turning into a rat. Well, it looked more
> > like a mouse to me, actually. Although it's revealed in a bit of a
> > hackneyed way (the newspaper articles), I find the premise of a villain
> > who manufactures tragedy to turn people against each other very
> > appealing. It's creepy because it's true.
>
> I find it boring. Twilight Zone did it constantly (as I'm
> sure every other sci-fi or semi-into-the-weird-and-mystical
> show has done also) and by now it's a tired cliche.

Yep. Stephen King did a whole book about it-- Needful Things.

Carlos Moreno

unread,
Mar 18, 2006, 10:07:58 AM3/18/06
to
Don Sample wrote:

>>6) Ending note #2: What's with the abrupt un-resolution of the thing
>>with the Amy-mouse? Is this the writers' way of killing her off?
>>Are we just supposed to assume that Willow will eventually get the
>>spell right? This isn't the kind of mystery that says "tune in
>>next week!", it just makes me want to say "um, what were they
>>trying for here?"
>
> V guvax vg jnf zber n pnfr bs "Jr zvtug jnag gb hfr ure ntnva fbzrqnl,
> ohg jr unira'g tbg nal fgbel vqrnf gung pna hfr ure evtug abj, fb yrg'f
> chg ure va n pntr sbe n juvyr." Jr jvyy pbagvahr gb trg erzvaqref gung
> cbbe Nzl vf n fghpx nf n eng sbe fbzr gvzr.

I wonder what the point of writing that was -- those that did see
the rest of the show know, and AOQ is simply not supposed to unrot13
it; although in my opinion, except for the very last phrase, you
could have said that in plain unrot13ed text, and it's not really
a spoiler (not an important one anyway).

When AOQ asks those questions, you should know by now that the only
answer we can give him is: "Ah, shut up! We can't answer that for
you!" :-)

Carlos
--

Carlos Moreno

unread,
Mar 18, 2006, 10:18:11 AM3/18/06
to
Arbitrar Of Quality wrote:

> So I enjoyed this episode a lot, and was considering going all out with
> an "Excellent" rating, but a few flaws did substantially mar
> things. To wit:
>

> [...]

Well, yeah, but then, the "one of these days you're gonna wake up in a
coma" compensates for all those other flaws, so my rating remains at
Excellent :-)

In fact, I rate this episode as "top 10 material" -- my definition of
"top 10 material" is those episodes that are extraordinary enough as
to make it to the top 10 list, but that don't usually make it because
there are about 40 other episodes that are also top 10 material and
more than 10 of those are better than this one.

In other words, in any normal tv series, an episode as good as this
one would stand out as extraordinary and would definitely make it to
the top-10 or possibly top-5 list; but BtVS is brilliant beyond the
imaginable, so an episode as good as this one merely makes it to the
top-25 or top-50 list. (the bad news, from your perspective, is that
Band Candy and BBB and The Wish are also in this status :-))

Carlos
--

vague disclaimer

unread,
Mar 18, 2006, 10:40:36 AM3/18/06
to
In article <mJOdnQVESZC...@comcast.com>,
Jeff Jacoby <jja...@not.real.com> wrote:

>
> > Meanwhile, the mob mentality soon turns ugly and the obvious targets
> > are weirdoes like Michael and Amy (whose new hair looks good).
> > Naturally, someone ends up turning into a rat. Well, it looked more
> > like a mouse to me, actually. Although it's revealed in a bit of a
> > hackneyed way (the newspaper articles), I find the premise of a villain
> > who manufactures tragedy to turn people against each other very
> > appealing. It's creepy because it's true.
>
> I find it boring. Twilight Zone did it constantly (as I'm
> sure every other sci-fi or semi-into-the-weird-and-mystical
> show has done also) and by now it's a tired cliche.

Not to mention Arthur Miller.
--
A vague disclaimer is nobody's friend

Mike Zeares

unread,
Mar 18, 2006, 2:07:10 PM3/18/06
to

Arbitrar Of Quality wrote:
>
> Next: "Mr. Mayor, you're dead wrong. This is *not* a good town...
> silence is this town's disease." Well, it's hard to argue with
> that. Finally someone takes a stand against Sunnydale Forgettyitis.
> To those who're paying attention, her mention of "Slayers" should
> be a huge warning sign that not all is well, but it's easy enough to
> rationalize away if you're watching the episode for the first time
> - Joyce doesn't like that her daughter has to be the one to stand
> alone against the nasty things.

I was deeply shocked the first time. I'm pretty sure I turned bright
red. I felt like I was Buffy and that was my mother and she had just
called me out in front of everyone. Kudos to Kristine for pulling me
into the moment that deeply. Giles and Buffy also looked pretty
shocked that Joyce had actually said the word "Slayers." It's still
supposed to be a secret.

> There's a rather obvious red herring here involving Willow and her
> spells. Not happy about the ominous attempts to make us think she's
> involved in anything that's not innocent.

That scene of the "coven" before the act break was one of the clunkiest
bits of misdirection I've ever seen. It's only purpose is to screw
with the audience's minds.

> 1) Despite a general attempt to not force the message, some of the
> mid-show witch hunt sequences are overdone (well, plus the fact that
> they're literally hunting witches... I'm guessing that some of you
> dislike this episode because there be anvils 'ere).

Actually, I dislike the episode because of the INDOOR WITCH BURNING. I
can't get past it. Everyone in that room should have suffered from
smoke inhalation (if not dead from it), or wet from the building
sprinklers. Continuing my theme of "the ep was written around one
joke," this one was written around Xander and Oz falling out of the
ceiling. Yes, I'm writing off the entire episode as a waste of time
because of this. When my suspenion of disbelief is offended, it's
REALLY offended. After this ep aired, my response re: Jane Espenson
was "strike two."

> 6) Ending note #2: What's with the abrupt un-resolution of the thing
> with the Amy-mouse? Is this the writers' way of killing her off?
> Are we just supposed to assume that Willow will eventually get the
> spell right? This isn't the kind of mystery that says "tune in
> next week!", it just makes me want to say "um, what were they
> trying for here?"

Just an episode-ending joke, I'd say. It's one of the things I like
about the ep.

-- Mike Zeares

Don Sample

unread,
Mar 18, 2006, 4:10:37 PM3/18/06
to
In article <1142673302.9...@i39g2000cwa.googlegroups.com>,
"hopelessly devoted" <cry...@cinstall.com> wrote:

> Arbitrar Of Quality wrote:
> > Season Three, Episode 11: "Gingerbread"
>

> The opening scene with Buffy patrolling alone seemed a little odd.
> After the almost mending of the way between her and Faith, it was very
> odd that the two weren't doing synchronized slaying. Mom is still
> trying too hard to be a part of every aspect of her daughter's life.
> Making up for lost time. Although Mr. Sanderson from the Bank was a
> nice touch, the discovery of the first dead children of the series was
> unnerving. And close up of the all important symbol.

The Annoying one was the first dead child of the series, but we never
saw him dead-dead.

>
> > The road to the episode's climax of prejudice and hysteria is paved
> > with what could easily be mistaken for good intentions and adult
> > thought.
>
> One of the most interesting aspects of this ep is that it actually
> required very little imagination, but instead pulled from cold hard
> facts of centuries past. This, in a very simple way, IS how it's done.

What past? It's the present. Only the witches being hunted are called
"Terrorists."

hopelessly devoted

unread,
Mar 18, 2006, 4:21:24 PM3/18/06
to

Don Sample wrote:
> In article <1142673302.9...@i39g2000cwa.googlegroups.com>,
> "hopelessly devoted" <cry...@cinstall.com> wrote:
>
> > Arbitrar Of Quality wrote:
> > > Season Three, Episode 11: "Gingerbread"
> >
> > The opening scene with Buffy patrolling alone seemed a little odd.
> > After the almost mending of the way between her and Faith, it was very
> > odd that the two weren't doing synchronized slaying. Mom is still
> > trying too hard to be a part of every aspect of her daughter's life.
> > Making up for lost time. Although Mr. Sanderson from the Bank was a
> > nice touch, the discovery of the first dead children of the series was
> > unnerving. And close up of the all important symbol.
>
> The Annoying one was the first dead child of the series, but we never
> saw him dead-dead.

Ah, I forgot about him. So now we have The Annoying One and The
Annoying Two.

> > > The road to the episode's climax of prejudice and hysteria is paved
> > > with what could easily be mistaken for good intentions and adult
> > > thought.
> >
> > One of the most interesting aspects of this ep is that it actually
> > required very little imagination, but instead pulled from cold hard
> > facts of centuries past. This, in a very simple way, IS how it's done.
>
> What past? It's the present. Only the witches being hunted are called
> "Terrorists."

Scary isn't it?

Don Sample

unread,
Mar 18, 2006, 4:39:42 PM3/18/06
to
In article <1142678024....@z34g2000cwc.googlegroups.com>,
"Kevin" <kl...@ucsc.edu> wrote:

> * Snyder making us hate him even more: "This is a glorious day for
> Principals everywhere."
> "I love the smell of desperate librarian in the morning."

Znqr rira shaavre ol uvf ebyr va 'Erfgyrff.'

--

One Bit Shy

unread,
Mar 18, 2006, 4:40:40 PM3/18/06
to
"Arbitrar Of Quality" <tsm...@wildmail.com> wrote in message
news:1142661774.0...@g10g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...

> BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER
> Season Three, Episode 11: "Gingerbread"
> (or "If you don't support my rating for this episode, the
> terrorists have already won.")
> Writer: Jane Espenson; story by Espenson and Thania St. John
> Director: James Whitmore, Jr.
>
>
> After Joyce tags along with Buffy on a Slaying (guess Xander and/or
> Faith don't help anymore?)

Who knows. The Slayer has always gone out alone sometimes. The obvious
reason is an excuse for Joyce to be with her without anybody else. Which I
very much enjoyed. Mothers can be so exasperating.


> and sees a couple dead kids, she starts
> trying to get involved. That's usually not a good sign on this
> series. And this episode proves no exception. What's so fun,
> though, is how it eases us into that by means of the gradual steps in
> Joyce's Descent Into Villainy. Each one kinda makes sense at the
> time to a viewer who doesn't know that she's possessed.

I would describe it as in thrall to a demon rather then possessed.


>>From the beginning: "I'm gonna find whatever did it." "I guess.
> It's just you can't... you can't make it right." Well, dead kids
> stay dead.
>
> Next: "Mr. Mayor, you're dead wrong. This is *not* a good town...
> silence is this town's disease." Well, it's hard to argue with
> that. Finally someone takes a stand against Sunnydale Forgettyitis.
> To those who're paying attention, her mention of "Slayers" should
> be a huge warning sign that not all is well, but it's easy enough to
> rationalize away if you're watching the episode for the first time
> - Joyce doesn't like that her daughter has to be the one to stand
> alone against the nasty things.

She may be in the early stages of demon control, but her knowledge, and that
of her audience, is still their own. It's made pretty clear here that
everybody knows people are dying and disappearing. Everybody goes into
denial again at the end, but now it's clear that it is denial, not genuine
unseeing.


> During the confrontation with Buffy: "I mean, you patrol, you slay.
> Evil pops up, you undo it. And that's great! But is Sunnydale getting
> any better?... You don't have a plan. You just react to things. It's
> bound to be kind of fruitless." As Buffy is quick to point out,
> that's a little more dismissive of her work than seems appropriate.
> But as she also realizes, there's a healthy dose of truth in there.
> The road to the episode's climax of prejudice and hysteria is paved
> with what could easily be mistaken for good intentions and adult
> thought.
>
> There's a rather obvious red herring here involving Willow and her
> spells. Not happy about the ominous attempts to make us think she's
> involved in anything that's not innocent. I do like how she tries to
> hide things for a little but then quickly explains the situation to
> Buffy as soon as it's clear how serious things are getting.

Did you know before that Willow was in a coven with Amy? Did you know that
she dressed up creepy like that? It's somewhat a red herring for the story,
but it's also a peak into the part of Willow's life we haven't been seeing a
lot of. It's also part of the setup for the witch hunt. Remember, the
people going after them are misdirected too. Part of what makes the witch
hunter's actions seem reasonable to people not under control of the demon
is that they are shown that there really are high school covens performing
real magic.

I didn't know what was going to happen when I saw this scene. It was played
up to make Willow appear especially creepy - even though nothing
identifiably wrong was actually occurring. But mainly, seeing the symbol
knocked me for a loop. I didn't know what that portended. So, for me
anyway, it wasn't obvious. Especially since, at that point, we didn't know
it would turn into a witch hunt. I had no idea this would lead to a false
accusation.

It gets kind of silly then. There doesn't seem to be a lot of thought going
into the staging. Maybe they were short of time. But if you enjoyed it,
good for you.

I'd like to know what kind of ventilation system they had, though. It would
solve the problem of smokers and non-smokers co-existing and make somebody a
whole lot of money.


> Random comment: Didn't the cafeteria line used to move in the other
> direction?
>
> So I enjoyed this episode a lot, and was considering going all out with
> an "Excellent" rating, but a few flaws did substantially mar
> things. To wit:
>
> 1) Despite a general attempt to not force the message, some of the
> mid-show witch hunt sequences are overdone (well, plus the fact that
> they're literally hunting witches... I'm guessing that some of you
> dislike this episode because there be anvils 'ere). The
> locker-searching stuff tips the episode's moral hand too early for my
> tastes. And the pyres made out of banned books, well...

I think the locker searching was well placed myself.

The "moral" plays out as problem (dead kids), then false association
(witches did it), then false abstract solution (Joyce's speach
indiscriminately blaming whole classes of beings - monsters, witches,
slayers), then escalating real consequences (locker search onwards to
burning at the stake), and then the truth brings the moral home.

I don't think the locker search played the moral hand any more than anything
else did. It was just the next stage when consequences started getting
serious.


> 2) The acronym MOO is too silly, and any attempts at humor that spring
> from it feel inappropriate, hurting any scene they're in.
>
> 3) Mrs. Rosenberg. She has that rare-for-BTVS problem of being a
> thoroughly ridiculous one-note caricature. (Yeah, I know she was under
> the influence at the time, but that didn't stop Joyce from having
> herself a good episode.)

I enjoyed her in the episode myself. She reminds me of people I've known -
mainly around colleges. But I doubt I'd want to see too much of her.


> 4) Any reason the mob just kinda leaves Giles lying around
> unrestrained other than that the plot demands it? He consorts with
> suspected witches and possesses forbidden tomes...

He's not a target of the demon.


> 5) The ending scene hits many of the wrong notes. Sunnydale
> Forgettyitis is back and seems as implausible as ever. Even the
> intriguing reference to the forgetting "that your mom *used to be* so
> good at" annoyed me because, well, I wanted to actually see Buffy and
> Joyce interact afterward. Yes, I'm being impatient, but it's
> because this show has shown a history of having Joyce disappear for a
> month so we can forget about any major events in her life (remember her
> regression in "Bad Episode")?

This isn't truly a solvable problem. If people acted aware the town would
probably be under marshal law with troops patrolling the street and it would
be a different show. I kind of like how the series lets us know its aware
of the issue and then just plays with it - makes stories out of its
foolishness. The general practice of forgetting is one of the premises this
episode is founded on.


> 6) Ending note #2: What's with the abrupt un-resolution of the thing
> with the Amy-mouse? Is this the writers' way of killing her off?
> Are we just supposed to assume that Willow will eventually get the
> spell right? This isn't the kind of mystery that says "tune in
> next week!", it just makes me want to say "um, what were they
> trying for here?"

Hmmm. Maybe there had to be a lasting consequence to the witch hunt? Or
maybe it's Amy paying for dabbling with the witchcraft that destroyed her
mom. Or maybe they just thought it was funnier this way.


> The TIRSBILA section is pretty long today (and could've been longer,
> but I had to draw the line somewhere), since this episode does an
> impressive job of throwing in little jokes at just the right times.
> Keeps things from getting too heavy-handed.
>
> This Is Really Stupid But I Laughed Anyway moment(s):
> - "That was a pointed comment about me hanging with you guys."
> "Yeah, I got that one."
> - "I'm a rebel! I'm having a rebellion!"
> - "Like the boy that stuck his finger in the duck." "Dike."
> [Confused look.]
> - Giles having fun on the computer (but did they have to bring back the
> dumb "computer voice" from IRYJ?)
> - The "wake up in a coma" exchange.
> - Both the idea of Buffy impaling the demon with that thing tied to her
> back, and her sheepish reaction afterward when she can't stand up.
>
> And I wouldn't call it "stupid," but still a great line -
> "and in some language, that's English?"
>
>
> So...
>
> One-sentence summary: Sometimes there's nothing like a good
> allegory-show.
>
> AOQ rating: Good

That works for me.

OBS


BTR1701

unread,
Mar 18, 2006, 5:00:32 PM3/18/06
to
In article <dsample-1D0885...@news.giganews.com>,
Don Sample <dsa...@synapse.net> wrote:

The difference is that there are no good or benign terrorists.

Eric Hunter

unread,
Mar 18, 2006, 5:41:57 PM3/18/06
to


Tell that to the Israelis who have elected three of them
as Prime Ministers.

Eric.
--

BTR1701

unread,
Mar 18, 2006, 6:46:06 PM3/18/06
to
In article <LISdnQD7rP2fEYHZ...@comcast.com>,
"Eric Hunter" <hunt...@comcast.invalid> wrote:

If they're terrorists, it doesn't matter what the Israelis say or who
they elect.

mariposas rand mair fheal greykitten tomys des anges

unread,
Mar 18, 2006, 9:18:56 PM3/18/06
to
> I'd like to know what kind of ventilation system they had, though. It would
> solve the problem of smokers and non-smokers co-existing and make somebody a
> whole lot of money.

tv and movies are usually widely inaccurate about smoke in structure fires
even movies about firefighters usually show some visibility for such fires

> > 5) The ending scene hits many of the wrong notes. Sunnydale
> > Forgettyitis is back and seems as implausible as ever. Even the
> > intriguing reference to the forgetting "that your mom *used to be* so
> > good at" annoyed me because, well, I wanted to actually see Buffy and
> > Joyce interact afterward. Yes, I'm being impatient, but it's
> > because this show has shown a history of having Joyce disappear for a
> > month so we can forget about any major events in her life (remember her
> > regression in "Bad Episode")?
>
> This isn't truly a solvable problem. If people acted aware the town would
> probably be under marshal law with troops patrolling the street and it would

we know the mayor and some of city government is on it
maybe they know someone able to cloud peoples mind

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

mariposas rand mair fheal greykitten tomys des anges

unread,
Mar 18, 2006, 9:20:53 PM3/18/06
to
In article <btr1702-767093...@news.giganews.com>,
BTR1701 <btr...@ix.netcom.com> wrote:

those are called green berets or contras or loyal afghan forces

BTR1701

unread,
Mar 18, 2006, 9:22:51 PM3/18/06
to
In article
<mair_fheal-35E10...@sn-ip.vsrv-sjc.supernews.net>,
mariposas rand mair fheal greykitten tomys des anges
<mair_...@yahoo.com> wrote:

Ah, so it's your opinion that the US Army special forces purposes
targets children and other civilians?

When was the last time the Green Berets hijacked a civilian airliner and
flew it into a building?

Eric Hunter

unread,
Mar 18, 2006, 9:52:53 PM3/18/06
to

Does it matter if the Nobel Committee gave one of them,
Menachem Begin, the Nobel Peace Prize in 1978?

Eric.
--

mariposas rand mair fheal greykitten tomys des anges

unread,
Mar 18, 2006, 10:11:22 PM3/18/06
to
In article <btr1702-94F7F2...@news.giganews.com>,
BTR1701 <btr...@ix.netcom.com> wrote:

uninformed about afghanistan?

> When was the last time the Green Berets hijacked a civilian airliner and
> flew it into a building?

hypocritical bullshit
this is where you come up with two lists
list one are ways the usa kills innocent people
list two are ways al qaeda kills innocent people
and then carefully explain
list one is a list of morally acceptable ways to kill humans
but list two is the workings of evildoers

whereas an sane human would note both lists are equally reprehensible


when was the last time al qaeda called in a air strike on a restaurant

mariposas rand mair fheal greykitten tomys des anges

unread,
Mar 18, 2006, 10:15:58 PM3/18/06
to
In article <5qednaUlXPVPW4HZ...@comcast.com>,
"Eric Hunter" <hunt...@comcast.invalid> wrote:

how about kissinger

Don Sample

unread,
Mar 18, 2006, 10:16:45 PM3/18/06
to

The folks who burned witches at the stake said the same thing about them.

Don Sample

unread,
Mar 18, 2006, 10:30:18 PM3/18/06
to
In article <btr1702-94F7F2...@news.giganews.com>,
BTR1701 <btr...@ix.netcom.com> wrote:

They don't need to employ such inefficient methods.

American civilian's killed by terrorists this century: 3,000
Iraqi civilians killed by the American war on terrorism: 30,000

GW's "war on terroism" has almost managed to kill more Americans than
the terrorists killed. Give him another year, and he might catch up.

One Bit Shy

unread,
Mar 18, 2006, 10:52:58 PM3/18/06
to
"mariposas rand mair fheal greykitten tomys des anges"
<mair_...@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:mair_fheal-3C7F2...@sn-ip.vsrv-sjc.supernews.net...

>> I'd like to know what kind of ventilation system they had, though. It
>> would
>> solve the problem of smokers and non-smokers co-existing and make
>> somebody a
>> whole lot of money.
>
> tv and movies are usually widely inaccurate about smoke in structure fires
> even movies about firefighters usually show some visibility for such fires
>
>> > 5) The ending scene hits many of the wrong notes. Sunnydale
>> > Forgettyitis is back and seems as implausible as ever. Even the
>> > intriguing reference to the forgetting "that your mom *used to be* so
>> > good at" annoyed me because, well, I wanted to actually see Buffy and
>> > Joyce interact afterward. Yes, I'm being impatient, but it's
>> > because this show has shown a history of having Joyce disappear for a
>> > month so we can forget about any major events in her life (remember her
>> > regression in "Bad Episode")?
>>
>> This isn't truly a solvable problem. If people acted aware the town
>> would
>> probably be under marshal law with troops patrolling the street and it
>> would
>
> we know the mayor and some of city government is on it
> maybe they know someone able to cloud peoples mind

Yes, I suppose there's always that. If anybody knows who or how, it would
be the mayor.

OBS


Apteryx

unread,
Mar 19, 2006, 12:50:48 AM3/19/06
to
"Arbitrar Of Quality" <tsm...@wildmail.com> wrote in message
news:1142661774.0...@g10g2000cwb.googlegroups.com...
>A reminder: Please avoid spoilers for later episodes in these review
> threads.
>
>
> BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER
> Season Three, Episode 11: "Gingerbread"
> (or "If you don't support my rating for this episode, the
> terrorists have already won.")
>
> One-sentence summary: Sometimes there's nothing like a good
> allegory-show.

I'd just change that summary only slightly - this is nothing like a good
allegory-show. This is yet another mid Season 3 that leaves me feeling
ambivalent. On the one hand, the heavy handed metaphor (done much better
over 40 years ago in The Twighlight Zone's "The Monsters Are Due on Maple
Street") and inappropriate fire-safety messages. On the other hand there are
some great dialogue and situations. I loved the duck, the goat, MOO, and the
sheepish reaction "Did I get it?".

But I guess in the end the terrorists have won, because for me the Good and
the Bad only average out to Decent. I rate it as the 102nd best BtVS
episode, 21st best in Season 3.

--
Apteryx


BTR1701

unread,
Mar 19, 2006, 1:22:55 AM3/19/06
to
In article <dsample-1A32C9...@news.giganews.com>,
Don Sample <dsa...@synapse.net> wrote:

But you're saying their goals are the same. That those soldiers
purposely plan and target children. That they actually *prefer* to kill
children and civilians.

Nice.

BTR1701

unread,
Mar 19, 2006, 1:23:39 AM3/19/06
to
In article <5qednaUlXPVPW4HZ...@comcast.com>,
"Eric Hunter" <hunt...@comcast.invalid> wrote:

Well, either you're wrong or they are, wouldn't you say?

BTR1701

unread,
Mar 19, 2006, 1:25:01 AM3/19/06
to
In article <dsample-9C040D...@news.giganews.com>,
Don Sample <dsa...@synapse.net> wrote:

The difference is they were wrong.

Of course, it seems you have a contrary opinion. You seem to hold out
the possibility that there *are* good, decent terrorists.

hopelessly devoted

unread,
Mar 19, 2006, 2:45:49 AM3/19/06
to

Arbitrar Of Quality wrote:
> A reminder: Please avoid spoilers for later episodes in these review
> threads.
>
>
> BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER
> Season Three, Episode 11: "Gingerbread"
> (or "If you don't support my rating for this episode, the
> terrorists have already won.")
> Writer: Jane Espenson; story by Espenson and Thania St. John
> Director: James Whitmore, Jr.
>
>
> After Joyce tags along with Buffy on a Slaying (guess Xander and/or
> Faith don't help anymore?) and sees a couple dead kids, she starts

> trying to get involved. That's usually not a good sign on this
> series. And this episode proves no exception. What's so fun,
> though, is how it eases us into that by means of the gradual steps in
> Joyce's Descent Into Villainy. Each one kinda makes sense at the
> time to a viewer who doesn't know that she's possessed.
>
> >From the beginning: "I'm gonna find whatever did it." "I guess.
> It's just you can't... you can't make it right." Well, dead kids
> stay dead.
>
> Next: "Mr. Mayor, you're dead wrong. This is *not* a good town...
> silence is this town's disease." Well, it's hard to argue with
> that. Finally someone takes a stand against Sunnydale Forgettyitis.
> To those who're paying attention, her mention of "Slayers" should
> be a huge warning sign that not all is well, but it's easy enough to
> rationalize away if you're watching the episode for the first time
> - Joyce doesn't like that her daughter has to be the one to stand
> alone against the nasty things.
>
> During the confrontation with Buffy: "I mean, you patrol, you slay.
> Evil pops up, you undo it. And that's great! But is Sunnydale getting
> any better?... You don't have a plan. You just react to things. It's
> bound to be kind of fruitless." As Buffy is quick to point out,
> that's a little more dismissive of her work than seems appropriate.
> But as she also realizes, there's a healthy dose of truth in there.
> The road to the episode's climax of prejudice and hysteria is paved
> with what could easily be mistaken for good intentions and adult
> thought.
>
> There's a rather obvious red herring here involving Willow and her
> spells. Not happy about the ominous attempts to make us think she's
> involved in anything that's not innocent. I do like how she tries to
> hide things for a little but then quickly explains the situation to
> Buffy as soon as it's clear how serious things are getting.
>
> Random comment: Didn't the cafeteria line used to move in the other
> direction?
>
> So I enjoyed this episode a lot, and was considering going all out with
> an "Excellent" rating, but a few flaws did substantially mar
> things. To wit:
>
> 1) Despite a general attempt to not force the message, some of the
> mid-show witch hunt sequences are overdone (well, plus the fact that
> they're literally hunting witches... I'm guessing that some of you
> dislike this episode because there be anvils 'ere). The
> locker-searching stuff tips the episode's moral hand too early for my
> tastes. And the pyres made out of banned books, well...
>
> 2) The acronym MOO is too silly, and any attempts at humor that spring
> from it feel inappropriate, hurting any scene they're in.
>
> 3) Mrs. Rosenberg. She has that rare-for-BTVS problem of being a
> thoroughly ridiculous one-note caricature. (Yeah, I know she was under
> the influence at the time, but that didn't stop Joyce from having
> herself a good episode.)
>
> 4) Any reason the mob just kinda leaves Giles lying around
> unrestrained other than that the plot demands it? He consorts with
> suspected witches and possesses forbidden tomes...
>
> 5) The ending scene hits many of the wrong notes. Sunnydale
> Forgettyitis is back and seems as implausible as ever. Even the
> intriguing reference to the forgetting "that your mom *used to be* so
> good at" annoyed me because, well, I wanted to actually see Buffy and
> Joyce interact afterward. Yes, I'm being impatient, but it's
> because this show has shown a history of having Joyce disappear for a
> month so we can forget about any major events in her life (remember her
> regression in "Bad Episode")?
>
> 6) Ending note #2: What's with the abrupt un-resolution of the thing
> with the Amy-mouse? Is this the writers' way of killing her off?
> Are we just supposed to assume that Willow will eventually get the
> spell right? This isn't the kind of mystery that says "tune in
> next week!", it just makes me want to say "um, what were they
> trying for here?"
>
> The TIRSBILA section is pretty long today (and could've been longer,
> but I had to draw the line somewhere), since this episode does an
> impressive job of throwing in little jokes at just the right times.
> Keeps things from getting too heavy-handed.
>
> This Is Really Stupid But I Laughed Anyway moment(s):
> - "That was a pointed comment about me hanging with you guys."
> "Yeah, I got that one."
> - "I'm a rebel! I'm having a rebellion!"
> - "Like the boy that stuck his finger in the duck." "Dike."
> [Confused look.]
> - Giles having fun on the computer (but did they have to bring back the
> dumb "computer voice" from IRYJ?)
> - The "wake up in a coma" exchange.
> - Both the idea of Buffy impaling the demon with that thing tied to her
> back, and her sheepish reaction afterward when she can't stand up.
>
> And I wouldn't call it "stupid," but still a great line -
> "and in some language, that's English?"
>
>
> So...
>
> One-sentence summary: Sometimes there's nothing like a good
> allegory-show.
>
> 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
> 11) "Gingerbread" - Good]

Whoa! Talk about a turn.

#1 - The witch hunts was never about the discovery of witches but the
persecution of "them". We can sit and argue about "them" until the
cows come home but until they actually start tatooing it on their
foreheads the simple truth is "us against them" no matter time zone you
happen to sit.

It is that same mentality.

SOMEONE is the enemy and must be discovered at all costs and weeded out
by any means necessary. And if a few people get hurt in the process,
Oh Well. The problem is "them" are saying the same thing about "us"
and vice verse. And it is when that type of mentality takes over that
the witch hunt begins.

There is no safe solution. There is only the downward spiral. When
fear, animosity and irrationality takes over, everyone becomes the
enemy. And suddenly no one, anywhere is safe.

The more the discussion goes on, the more I believe this ep deserves an
excellent. This IS how it happens. Starting off slowly. Step One:
Identification. Building right in front of our eyes. Until all that's
left is the knowledge that you are fighting for the side of RIGHT.
Leaving anyone who does not "believe as you do" fighting ultimately for
the side of "WRONG".

I may be full of crap, but no matter where you sit, the witch hunt is
on. Both sides. Right and wrong. Pick your stance.

#2 - I voted for Gore simply because there was no way to get Clinton
back in the WH. And yes, I'm still bitter.

Eric Hunter

unread,
Mar 19, 2006, 6:01:12 AM3/19/06
to

Or, here's a concept for you, perhaps YOU might be wrong?
In December 1943, Begin was chosen as Commander of the
Irgun Zvai Le'umi, and the Irgun immediately declared that
an armed struggle against the British Mandatory government
had to be launched without delay. They bombed the King
David Hotel, and assassinated Lord Moyne, Minister of State
for the Middle East, and the Irgun was proclaimed a terrorist
organization by the Jewish Agency. And yet, partially as a
result of Irgun's acts of terrorism, Israel became an independent
state in 1948, Begin served as Prime Minister from 1977
until 1982, and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1978
for achieving peace with Egypt.

Eric.
--

Don Sample

unread,
Mar 19, 2006, 6:32:53 AM3/19/06
to
In article <btr1702-A24184...@news.giganews.com>,
BTR1701 <btr...@ix.netcom.com> wrote:

And the American "War on Terrorism" is sweeping up the innocent, along
with the guilty too. But the innocent are "suspected terrorists," so
that's okay.

Case in point:

Ahmad El Maati:

A driver for a courier company, stopped at the Canada/US border for the
crime of Driving While Arab. When US customs officials searched his
truck they found a "Suspicious Map" that showed the locations of an
Atomic Energy Canada research lab, and a Health Canada virology lab.
Mr. Maati denied any knowledge of the map. It wasn't his usual truck. He
figured that the map belonged to one of the other drivers who worked for
the same company.

Mr. Maati was released, but he soon learned that he was being
investigated by various security forces. He contacted the
investigators, and co-operated with them, giving them all the
information they requested, and he figured that the matter was closed.

A bit later he made a trip to Syria, to get married. On arriving in
Syria, he was arrested. The American government had tagged him as a
"Suspected Terrorist." He spent a couple of years in a Syrian prison,
until a "confession" was tortured out of him. US officials held a press
conference claiming that Yet Another Terrorist Plot had been averted.

Mr. Maati was eventually released and returned to Canada. He recanted
his confession: he only did it to stop the torture.

The only evidence against Mr. Maati was the "Suspicious Map" found in
his truck. There are few of interesting things about this map:

1) It is a map of "Tunney's Pasture" in Ottawa: an area that has a lot
of Government of Canada offices: AEC, Health Canada, DoD, Stats Canada
and others.
2) Any visitor to Tunney's Pasture who asks will be handed a copy of
this map, so they can find their way around.
3) The AEC lab, and the Health Canada virology lab that the were the
supposed "Terrorist Targets" had both been moved elsewhere a year before
the map was found in Mr. Maati's truck.

Don Sample

unread,
Mar 19, 2006, 6:45:11 AM3/19/06
to
In article <btr1702-20521D...@news.giganews.com>,
BTR1701 <btr...@ix.netcom.com> wrote:

When the Americans shoot down a civilian airliner, full of children and
civilians they just say "oops" and continue doing business as usual.

As I mentioned earlier:
American civilian casualties: 3,000
Iraqi civilian casualties: 30,000

Is there something that makes killing an American more than ten times
worse than killing an Iraqi?

(And US military casualties from the War on Terrorism is 2,000 and
climbing. It won't be much longer before it's killed more than the
Terrorists managed.)

BTR1701

unread,
Mar 19, 2006, 9:19:32 AM3/19/06
to
In article <AoidnYvenKrZpIDZ...@comcast.com>,
"Eric Hunter" <hunt...@comcast.invalid> wrote:

> BTR1701 wrote:
> > In article <5qednaUlXPVPW4HZ...@comcast.com>,
> > "Eric Hunter" <hunt...@comcast.invalid> wrote:
> >
> >> BTR1701 wrote:
> >>> In article <LISdnQD7rP2fEYHZ...@comcast.com>,
> >>> "Eric Hunter" <hunt...@comcast.invalid> wrote:
> >>>
> >>>> BTR1701 wrote:
> >>>>> In article <dsample-1D0885...@news.giganews.com>,
> >>>>> Don Sample <dsa...@synapse.net> wrote:
> >>>>>>
> >>>>>> What past? It's the present. Only the witches being hunted are
> >>>>>> called "Terrorists."
> >>>>>
> >>>>> The difference is that there are no good or benign terrorists.
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>> Tell that to the Israelis who have elected three of them
> >>>> as Prime Ministers.
> >>>
> >>> If they're terrorists, it doesn't matter what the Israelis say or
> >>> who they elect.
> >>
> >> Does it matter if the Nobel Committee gave one of them,
> >> Menachem Begin, the Nobel Peace Prize in 1978?
> >
> > Well, either you're wrong or they are, wouldn't you say?
>
> Or, here's a concept for you, perhaps YOU might be wrong?

I'm not the one who made an assertion of fact here. You asked me a
question. How could I be wrong?

BTR1701

unread,
Mar 19, 2006, 9:32:56 AM3/19/06
to
In article <dsample-FA47F6...@news.giganews.com>,
Don Sample <dsa...@synapse.net> wrote:

You seem to have a problem with the "purposely targeting" part of the
discussion. Unless of course it's your position that the captain of the
Vincennes walked into the CiC of his ship that day and said to his crew,
"Pick me out a civilian target. Let's see how many kids we can kill
today."

Terry

unread,
Mar 19, 2006, 10:08:39 AM3/19/06
to
Don Sample <dsa...@synapse.net> wrote in
news:dsample-FA47F6...@news.giganews.com:

> When the Americans shoot down a civilian airliner, full of children
> and civilians they just say "oops" and continue doing business as
> usual.

I'm just wondering what *any* of this has to do with AOQ's review of
Gingerbread.

Really.

If I wanna read political arguing, I'll go elsewhere.

*sigh*

Terry

Eric Hunter

unread,
Mar 19, 2006, 10:36:43 AM3/19/06
to
BTR1701 wrote:

>>>>>> BTR1701 wrote:
>
>>>>>>> The difference is that there are no good or benign terrorists.
>
> I'm not the one who made an assertion of fact here.

Yes, you are, but I'm obviously not going to change
your world-view, and this is off-topic for the group,
so I'll stop, now.

Eric.
--

Mel

unread,
Mar 19, 2006, 12:45:38 PM3/19/06
to

I'm with you in the "Decent" camp. I'm actually surprised so many people
like this one so much. It never really did much for me. Some funny stuff
(Oz: "we're here to save you"; Cordelia: "One of these days you're going
to wake up in a coma" and "I hate you."; and Willow's doodle lines) but
nothing special.


Mel

BTR1701

unread,
Mar 19, 2006, 2:47:46 PM3/19/06
to
In article <4M6dnQEiE61L5IDZ...@comcast.com>,
"Eric Hunter" <hunt...@comcast.invalid> wrote:

> BTR1701 wrote:
> >>>>>> BTR1701 wrote:
> >
> >>>>>>> The difference is that there are no good or benign terrorists.

> >>>> Tell that to the Israelis who have elected three of them


> >>>> as Prime Ministers.
> >>>
> >>> If they're terrorists, it doesn't matter what the Israelis say or
> >>> who they elect.
> >>
> >> Does it matter if the Nobel Committee gave one of them,
> >> Menachem Begin, the Nobel Peace Prize in 1978?
> >
> > Well, either you're wrong or they are, wouldn't you say?
>
> Or, here's a concept for you, perhaps YOU might be wrong?

> > I'm not the one who made an assertion of fact here.
>
> Yes, you are

No, I'm not. You brought up the Israelis, called them terrorists, then
asked how they could still win the Nobel Peace Prize.

All I said was that either you're wrong about them being terrorists or
the Nobel committee is wrong for calling them pacifists.

How does that suddenly translate to ME being wrong about the whole deal?

mariposas rand mair fheal greykitten tomys des anges

unread,
Mar 19, 2006, 3:59:34 PM3/19/06
to
In article <btr1702-7EA229...@news.giganews.com>,
BTR1701 <btr...@ix.netcom.com> wrote:

now the nobel prize committee is an authority beyond all dispute?
that must warm the heart of conservatives everywhere

John Briggs

unread,
Mar 19, 2006, 4:14:17 PM3/19/06
to

Will Rogers III was widely regarded by his colleagues as an accident waiting
to happen - if anyone was going to shoot down a civilian airliner, it would
be him.
--
John Briggs


John Briggs

unread,
Mar 19, 2006, 4:15:23 PM3/19/06
to

Did you happen to notice the Witch-hunt theme in the programme?
--
John Briggs


Eric Hunter

unread,
Mar 19, 2006, 4:25:34 PM3/19/06
to

Because you started this with your assertion that
there are no good or benign terrorists. Hell, Yasser
Arafat, who was also called a terrorist, won the Nobel
Peace Prize in 1994. So, either all of the sources that
have called Begin and Arafat terrorists are wrong, the
Nobel Committee gives the Peace Prize to bad people,
or your assertion is incorrect. It seems pretty obvious
that your simplistic assertion is the one that is wrong.
Bored Now, and definitely done.

Eric.
--

Eric Hunter

unread,
Mar 19, 2006, 4:29:50 PM3/19/06
to
John Briggs wrote:
> Terry wrote:
>> Don Sample <dsa...@synapse.net> wrote in
>> news:dsample-FA47F6...@news.giganews.com:
>>
>>> When the Americans shoot down a civilian airliner, full of children
>>> and civilians they just say "oops" and continue doing business as
>>> usual.
>>
>> I'm just wondering what *any* of this has to do with AOQ's review of
>> Gingerbread.
>>
>> Really.
>>
>> If I wanna read political arguing, I'll go elsewhere.
>
> Did you happen to notice the Witch-hunt theme in the programme?

The embarrassing thing is, that until I read the review
thread, I thought the episode was about a demon getting
the townsfolk to hunt down witches. The allegory went,
*WHOOSH*.

Eric.
--

BTR1701

unread,
Mar 19, 2006, 5:40:29 PM3/19/06
to
In article <75-dnXIGl7MHVoDZ...@comcast.com>,
"Eric Hunter" <hunt...@comcast.invalid> wrote:

There aren't. If they're terrorists, they're no benign. By definition.

> Yasser Arafat, who was also called a terrorist, won the Nobel
> Peace Prize in 1994.

Then someone was wrong. Either he wasn't a terrorist or he wasn't a
pacifist.

BTR1701

unread,
Mar 19, 2006, 5:41:07 PM3/19/06
to
In article
<mair_fheal-52E55...@sn-ip.vsrv-sjc.supernews.net>,

mariposas rand mair fheal greykitten tomys des anges
<mair_...@yahoo.com> wrote:

> In article <btr1702-7EA229...@news.giganews.com>,
> BTR1701 <btr...@ix.netcom.com> wrote:
>
> > In article <4M6dnQEiE61L5IDZ...@comcast.com>,
> > "Eric Hunter" <hunt...@comcast.invalid> wrote:
> >
> > > BTR1701 wrote:
> > > >>>>>> BTR1701 wrote:
> > > >
> > > >>>>>>> The difference is that there are no good or benign terrorists.
> >
> > > >>>> Tell that to the Israelis who have elected three of them
> > > >>>> as Prime Ministers.
> > > >>>
> > > >>> If they're terrorists, it doesn't matter what the Israelis say or
> > > >>> who they elect.
> > > >>
> > > >> Does it matter if the Nobel Committee gave one of them,
> > > >> Menachem Begin, the Nobel Peace Prize in 1978?
> > > >
> > > > Well, either you're wrong or they are, wouldn't you say?
> > >
> > > Or, here's a concept for you, perhaps YOU might be wrong?
> >
> > > > I'm not the one who made an assertion of fact here.
> > >
> > > Yes, you are
> >
> > No, I'm not. You brought up the Israelis, called them terrorists, then
> > asked how they could still win the Nobel Peace Prize.
> >
> > All I said was that either you're wrong about them being terrorists or
> > the Nobel committee is wrong for calling them pacifists.
>
> now the nobel prize committee is an authority beyond all dispute?

Ummm... no. Never said that. Read it again more slowly.

BTR1701

unread,
Mar 19, 2006, 5:42:41 PM3/19/06
to
In article <JQjTf.7320$KF3....@newsfe6-win.ntli.net>,
"John Briggs" <john.b...@ntlworld.com> wrote:

Key word: accident. As opposed to "purposely targeting" as I've said
about five times now.

mariposas rand mair fheal greykitten tomys des anges

unread,
Mar 19, 2006, 6:07:25 PM3/19/06
to
In article <btr1702-111789...@news.giganews.com>,
BTR1701 <btr...@ix.netcom.com> wrote:

the purpose is to control a group of people by scaring the crap out of them

you havent disputed the usa does that
instead you focus on this specific method of scaring people
or that specific method

if the usa uses a method then you pronounce it morally acceptable
if an enemy of the usa uses a method then you pronounce it evil

thats hypocritical bullshit

its better to let groups of people go free
or to prosecute them for specific crimes they have committed


and you still havent said anything about contras or afghan warlords
which have been usa terrorists by proxy

mariposas rand mair fheal greykitten tomys des anges

unread,
Mar 19, 2006, 6:08:18 PM3/19/06
to
In article <btr1702-736A13...@news.giganews.com>,
BTR1701 <btr...@ix.netcom.com> wrote:

then why mention them?

John Briggs

unread,
Mar 19, 2006, 6:32:50 PM3/19/06
to

If it can be predicted, is it still an accident? And how does "recklessly
targetting" differ from "purposely targetting"?
--
John Briggs


Don Sample

unread,
Mar 19, 2006, 6:52:04 PM3/19/06
to
In article <btr1702-35A416...@news.giganews.com>,
BTR1701 <btr...@ix.netcom.com> wrote:

Since when has the Nobel Peace Prize for "pacifists"? While it has
gone to one or two pacifists over the years, that's more or less been
accidental.

Don Sample

unread,
Mar 19, 2006, 7:02:32 PM3/19/06
to
In article <btr1702-111789...@news.giganews.com>,
BTR1701 <btr...@ix.netcom.com> wrote:

Well, then there are all those Afghan and Iraqi civilians killed by
American bombs and bullets purposely targeted at their towns and cities.

BTR1701

unread,
Mar 19, 2006, 7:15:32 PM3/19/06
to