A Second Look: BTVS S3D2

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Arbitrar Of Quality

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Jul 5, 2007, 7:34:18 PM7/5/07
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A reminder: These threads know why someone would want to kiss
rocks.


BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER
Season Three, Episode 5: "Homecoming"
Writer: David Greenwalt
Director: David Greenwalt

And now, a joke... This one pretty much is what it is, and as Mike
articulated best last time (despite having a "bad English day"), it
lets the audience chuckle at how silly this high school ritual is
without outright laughing at the characters who're swept up in it. As
much as I complain about repetition in TV shows, it makes sense for
Buffy to periodically try to do something normal. Wilkins was less
annoying this time around, although I don't think he starts to click
perfectly as a character until "Bad Girls" or so. Still love the
fluke (or, as I like to call it flippantly based on a line from
_Daria_, That Soap Opera Crap), and how the actors actually manage the
incredibly difficult (for me) task of making cheating on a faithful
partner seem so adorable. I understand the show's reasoning, but feel
a little disappointed nonetheless that we only get these four episodes
of W/X stuff. Not much else to say - most of "Homecoming" makes me
grin, and consciously ignore any thoughts of how stupid it is or what
deeper meaning it might have and enjoy the show - the same reaction I
sometimes have to Harmony episodes, actually. As has surely been
trivia'd to death before, this is David's final writing credit of the
series, although comments elsewhere on the S3 DVDs suggest he remained
a major force behind the curtain until _Angel_ actually started.
Rating: Good


Season Three, Episode 6: "Band Candy"
Writer: Jane Espenson
Director: Michael Lange

And on to more comedy, although I've always remembered the strange
discussion about whether the episode should be classified as a comedy;
I think how one takes it is based on how funny the jokes were. Me,
I've never seen the big deal one way or the other, one of those times
where I'm just confused by the fanbase reactions. It takes one basic
joke and runs it into the ground, lets a few characters cut loose in
mildly interesting ways, and seems pretty thin on the subtextual level
no matter how many times people try to make the case otherwise. Extra
boo points for bringing back Ethan Rayne and then not doing anything
with him. BC was previously my only Season Three episode to rank
below Decent. On re-watching, it's inoffensive enough that an
entertaining performance from Tony Head is enough bring it over the
line and make S3 into the only Buffyverse season that, like _Firefly_,
contains No Bad Shows.
Rating: Decent (up from Weak)


Season Three, Episode 7: "Revelations"
Writer: Douglas Petrie
Director: James A. Contner

Much like the characters, the show is forming into its later identity,
with a few of its most prolific writers signing up fairly close
together. "Revelations" is slightly frustrating for me, because I
feel like it should be a masterpiece, but it's not, and I don't
entirely know why. Some major shit that's been building gets a
partial release here, while other paths get laid that'll influence the
rest of S3. And our friends are pitted against each other and
actually try to kill each other in a way that feels surprisingly
organic, and leads to perhaps my favorite fight sequence in the entire
series. It's certainly an exciting episode. But instead of a list of
complaints of why it doesn't rock my world to the extent I want it to,
I think I'll make an attempt at articulating what may be my main
complaint, which is the lack of resonance. Things move so quickly
from point A to point B that the show doesn't have time to let us soak
up the significance of what happened at point A.5. Xander in
particular is forced to call a few things about himself into question
(an overall statement about this part of the year, really), but it's
all in tiny snippets or off-screen. All around, I feel like there's a
lot of character movement that can only be appreciated, and not fully,
if one is hunting for it, and that's a shame.
Rating: Good


Season Three, Episode 8: "Lovers Walk"
Writer: Dan Vebber
Director: David Semel

Wow, do I ever love this episode. It's one of those where I imagine
that its outstanding-ness should be self-explanatory, although I don't
think it's as unanimous an opinion as some of the others. Highlights
include the way the writers make perfect use of Spike, charming love-
whipped guy who's liable to tear your throat out at a moment's
provocation, or the way it manages to build perfectly-timed comedic
scenes into a gloriously depressing ending which I always think of as
the show "punishing" viewers who were so enamored with the Willow/
Xander fluking. But for me, it's mostly highlights.
Rating: Excellent


Additional comments on S3D2: I'd like to specifically respond to OBS,
who (if I'm paraphrasing correctly) thinks that S3 isn't as focused it
could have been, lacking direction during its middle period and having
a few of its themes related to growing up appear towards the end of
the year with no real buildup. Well, the way I see it, Season Three
is about identity in general, but specifically the way identity is
shaped by the choices made, and vice versa. There's even an episode
called "Choices." This is the year that the characters find their
identities that'll carry them through the next few years, and make the
choices that set them on that path. What would be more appropriate
than a tour through the roads not taken on the way to that place?
Throughout Season Three, but particularly early on, we see some of the
other choices that our heroes could have made, in another time or
another place or another context. The most obvious example would be
the That Soap Opera Crap arc that dominates S3D2, as Willow and Xander
take a look backward and explore what could have been. They'll each
get their own "identity" episodes later in the year. Elsewhere, Buffy
toys with becoming more like Guacamole Queen Buffy again (and more
like Faith, of course), Giles toys with becoming more like Ripper
again, Cordelia toys with going back to her old persona, and Angel
toys with becoming a whiny bitch again (well...). Sometimes you have to
go back to go forward. I recognize the "theme of growing up and paths
traveled" throughout the year.

Thoughts?

-AOQ

mariposas rand mair fheal greykitten tomys des anges

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Jul 5, 2007, 8:19:40 PM7/5/07
to
also check out the picture sections of the dvds
some of them contain floorplans of summers house and elsewhere
which makes some of the sequences more sensible

> BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER
> Season Three, Episode 5: "Homecoming"
> Writer: David Greenwalt
> Director: David Greenwalt

> Buffy to periodically try to do something normal. Wilkins was less


> annoying this time around, although I don't think he starts to click
> perfectly as a character until "Bad Girls" or so. Still love the
> fluke (or, as I like to call it flippantly based on a line from

if willow was really gay wouldnt the fluke involve willow and faith?

> Season Three, Episode 6: "Band Candy"
> Writer: Jane Espenson
> Director: Michael Lange
>
> And on to more comedy, although I've always remembered the strange
> discussion about whether the episode should be classified as a comedy;
> I think how one takes it is based on how funny the jokes were. Me,
> I've never seen the big deal one way or the other, one of those times
> where I'm just confused by the fanbase reactions. It takes one basic

aoq you write like a spaz

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

David L. Burkhead

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Jul 5, 2007, 11:40:06 PM7/5/07
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BTW, in one of the earlier threads I mentioned only having been as far as
"Redefinition" (Season 2) in Angel. Well, I just finished the series to
considerable disappointment--but more on that some other time.

I'm afraid I didn't care much for this episode. To much of it just seemed
so forced from the "lets force Buffy and Cordelia together to work out their
problems" to the tied vote of the two contestants who _weren't_ Buffy and
Cordelia. As for "Slayerfest" were these some kind of "high bidders" or
were they the best Trick could find? Ye gods what an incompetent bunch. I
figure it was supposed to be funny, but I was too busy cringing to laugh.

Then there was characterization. Okay, I can see why Xander would feel he
has to support Cordelia in her bid but Willow? "She needs it so much more
than you do?" I mean, before writing this I stuck the disk into the player
again to see if it made any more sense if I watched it again and it didn't.

> Season Three, Episode 6: "Band Candy"
> Writer: Jane Espenson
> Director: Michael Lange
>
> And on to more comedy, although I've always remembered the strange
> discussion about whether the episode should be classified as a comedy;
> I think how one takes it is based on how funny the jokes were. Me,
> I've never seen the big deal one way or the other, one of those times
> where I'm just confused by the fanbase reactions. It takes one basic
> joke and runs it into the ground, lets a few characters cut loose in
> mildly interesting ways, and seems pretty thin on the subtextual level
> no matter how many times people try to make the case otherwise. Extra
> boo points for bringing back Ethan Rayne and then not doing anything
> with him. BC was previously my only Season Three episode to rank
> below Decent. On re-watching, it's inoffensive enough that an
> entertaining performance from Tony Head is enough bring it over the
> line and make S3 into the only Buffyverse season that, like _Firefly_,
> contains No Bad Shows.
> Rating: Decent (up from Weak)

Another one I didn't care for.

--
David L. Burkhead "Dum Vivimus Vivamus"
mailto:dbur...@sff.net "While we live, let us live."
My webcomic Cold Servings
http://www.coldservings.com -- Back from hiatus!
Updates Wednesdays

David L. Burkhead

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Jul 6, 2007, 12:12:21 AM7/6/07
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Hit "send" too early.

If, BTW, some of this is rambling and incoherant, I think some of my own
feelings about things in the Buffyverse, its characters, and its events are
in flux and hasn't really gelled yet.

Didn't much care for it the first time and the second time didn't improve it
for me. I didn't care for the use of Ethan Rayne. The "gimmick" fell flat
for me. Mostly just a big "eh" for me.

As an episode, I liked this one a lot, although much of the time I
really wanted to smack the most of the characters. Xander, especially,
stuck in my craw, but mostly because I've now seen how he reacted several
seasons later when the tables were turned ("Selfless").

The part that was hardest to take was watching Buffy's "friends" in that
intervention _nobody_ was making the slightest effort to understand Buffy
and what she's going through. Willow comes off best in that at least she
wasn't deliberatly trying to hurt Buffy. (And that, is why I have the
"friends" up above in quotes.) Willows "this is serious and you need help"?
She's not going to get it from this bunch.

That said, none of that was bad characterization or inappropriate (from
a writing/acting perspective) for the people and events given their
historie, especially when the situation is just sprung on them and they
haven't had time to sit down and think about it. (Which is really why this
is the _wrong_ time to hold an intervention.)

Incidentally, on a side note, I would really have liked to see at some
point this season Angel and Buffy talk about the end of Becoming--presuming
Angel remembered the events well enough to realize why Buffy had to kill
him, for Buffy's sake she should have had a chance to talk to him, explain
why she had to do it, and have him forgive her. I presume such an event
happened offscreen, but it really should have been an on-screen event.


>> Season Three, Episode 8: "Lovers Walk"
>> Writer: Dan Vebber
>> Director: David Semel
>>
>> Wow, do I ever love this episode. It's one of those where I imagine
>> that its outstanding-ness should be self-explanatory, although I
>> don't think it's as unanimous an opinion as some of the others.
>> Highlights include the way the writers make perfect use of Spike,
>> charming love- whipped guy who's liable to tear your throat out at a
>> moment's provocation, or the way it manages to build perfectly-timed
>> comedic scenes into a gloriously depressing ending which I always
>> think of as
>> the show "punishing" viewers who were so enamored with the Willow/
>> Xander fluking. But for me, it's mostly highlights.
>> Rating: Excellent

I really liked this one too. To me, it sets up the key conflict of the
season. To me, what makes Buffy work is her relationships with the people
around her rather than the Big Bad of the year. The mayor is a sideshow.
Buffy's relationship with Angle is center ring, with Cordial/Xander and
Willow/Oz taking the flanking rings. All of them involve growing, powerful,
feelings. And all of them involve various forms of painful losses with
greater or lesser degrees of lingering wounds.

Arbitrar Of Quality

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Jul 6, 2007, 12:07:50 AM7/6/07
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On Jul 5, 10:40 pm, "David L. Burkhead" <dburkh...@sff.net> wrote:
> BTW, in one of the earlier threads I mentioned only having been as far as
> "Redefinition" (Season 2) in Angel. Well, I just finished the series to
> considerable disappointment--but more on that some other time.

The whole series (that was quick!) or just what the Britons would call
Series 2? I was also quite disappointed by the latter part of S2,
with the difference between us being that I loved the first half. S3
is my favorite year of that show, particularly towards the end, so if
you were disappointed by that, well, I'm sad. Anyway, we will indeed
get there eventually with the in-depth episode discussions.

> Then there was characterization. Okay, I can see why Xander would feel he
> has to support Cordelia in her bid but Willow? "She needs it so much more
> than you do?" I mean, before writing this I stuck the disk into the player
> again to see if it made any more sense if I watched it again and it didn't.

I had that same complaint in my original review of the episode (my old
reviews can be Google'd if interest exists), and an estimated fifteen
people pointed out why it makes sense - guilt. Willow and Xander are
both trying to in some way make amends for their fluking without
actually addressing it. (Oz isn't running for Homecoming Queen, so
Cordelia's the dubious beneficiary of being cheated on.)

-AOQ

David L. Burkhead

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Jul 6, 2007, 12:28:30 AM7/6/07
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Arbitrar Of Quality wrote:
> On Jul 5, 10:40 pm, "David L. Burkhead" <dburkh...@sff.net> wrote:
>> BTW, in one of the earlier threads I mentioned only having been as
>> far as "Redefinition" (Season 2) in Angel. Well, I just finished
>> the series to considerable disappointment--but more on that some
>> other time.
>
> The whole series (that was quick!) or just what the Britons would call
> Series 2? I was also quite disappointed by the latter part of S2,
> with the difference between us being that I loved the first half. S3
> is my favorite year of that show, particularly towards the end, so if
> you were disappointed by that, well, I'm sad. Anyway, we will indeed
> get there eventually with the in-depth episode discussions.


A number of rather marathon sessions after I finished my second
run-through of Buffy.

My main problem with the series was that the characters got less and
less sympathetic as time went on, especially in season 4. By the end of
Season 4, the only characters I cared about were Cordelia (but....) and
Lorne. In season 5, I regained some caring about Fred but....

By the time of the "Big Reveal" in Power Play, I just didn't care about
these people enough for it to have any real impact.

>> Then there was characterization. Okay, I can see why Xander would
>> feel he has to support Cordelia in her bid but Willow? "She needs
>> it so much more than you do?" I mean, before writing this I stuck
>> the disk into the player again to see if it made any more sense if I
>> watched it again and it didn't.
>
> I had that same complaint in my original review of the episode (my old
> reviews can be Google'd if interest exists), and an estimated fifteen
> people pointed out why it makes sense - guilt. Willow and Xander are
> both trying to in some way make amends for their fluking without
> actually addressing it. (Oz isn't running for Homecoming Queen, so
> Cordelia's the dubious beneficiary of being cheated on.)

mariposas rand mair fheal greykitten tomys des anges

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Jul 6, 2007, 12:23:52 AM7/6/07
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> > Season Three, Episode 8: "Lovers Walk"
> > Writer: Dan Vebber
> > Director: David Semel

something i just realized is hell hath no fury
like whedon when a lover is reconciled

make up from a split and get killed

giles breaks up with jenny and when they reconcile jenny dies
angel loses his soul and breaks up with buffy then they reconcile and angel dies
tara breaks up with willow and when they reconcile tara dies
spike tries to rape buffy and when they reconcile spike is incinerated
angel kills darla and she is resurrected they reconcile and darla is vamped

spike is lucky dru didnt take him back

David L. Burkhead

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Jul 6, 2007, 12:49:35 AM7/6/07
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mariposas rand mair fheal greykitten tomys des anges wrote:
>>> Season Three, Episode 8: "Lovers Walk"
>>> Writer: Dan Vebber
>>> Director: David Semel
>
> something i just realized is hell hath no fury
> like whedon when a lover is reconciled
>
> make up from a split and get killed
>
> giles breaks up with jenny and when they reconcile jenny dies
> angel loses his soul and breaks up with buffy then they reconcile and
> angel dies tara breaks up with willow and when they reconcile tara
> dies
> spike tries to rape buffy and when they reconcile spike is incinerated
> angel kills darla and she is resurrected they reconcile and darla is
> vamped
>
> spike is lucky dru didnt take him back

You know, the needs of story requires you make things tough for the
"heroes" in fiction, but after a while the everpresent gloom and doom,
particularly in relationships, gets to me.

William George Ferguson

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Jul 6, 2007, 12:43:28 AM7/6/07
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On Thu, 05 Jul 2007 17:19:40 -0700, mariposas rand mair fheal greykitten
tomys des anges <mair_...@yahoo.com> wrote:

>also check out the picture sections of the dvds
>some of them contain floorplans of summers house and elsewhere
>which makes some of the sequences more sensible
>
>> BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER
>> Season Three, Episode 5: "Homecoming"
>> Writer: David Greenwalt
>> Director: David Greenwalt
>
>> Buffy to periodically try to do something normal. Wilkins was less
>> annoying this time around, although I don't think he starts to click
>> perfectly as a character until "Bad Girls" or so. Still love the
>> fluke (or, as I like to call it flippantly based on a line from
>
>if willow was really gay wouldnt the fluke involve willow and faith?

Not Faith, ever. Willow had by this point formed an extreme dislike for
Faith's intestines, primarily out of jealousy over Buffy.

>> Season Three, Episode 6: "Band Candy"
>> Writer: Jane Espenson
>> Director: Michael Lange
>>
>> And on to more comedy, although I've always remembered the strange
>> discussion about whether the episode should be classified as a comedy;
>> I think how one takes it is based on how funny the jokes were. Me,
>> I've never seen the big deal one way or the other, one of those times
>> where I'm just confused by the fanbase reactions. It takes one basic
>
>aoq you write like a spaz

"Why would anyone want to kiss rocks?"


--
"Oh Buffy, you really do need to have
every square inch of your ass kicked."
- Willow Rosenberg

One Bit Shy

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Jul 6, 2007, 1:11:05 AM7/6/07
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"Arbitrar Of Quality" <tsm...@wildmail.com> wrote in message
news:1183678458....@w5g2000hsg.googlegroups.com...

I think it's a very well constructed episode - some of David's best writing.
It's well paced, with good variety and a light tone well suited to the type
of comedy it is. More importantly, it consistently uses its elements
(comedy and all) to propel the characters and story. It doesn't wallow in
its clever ideas and jokes.

Along the way it provides some very nice moments. Buffy's wistful monologue
in the cabin about just wanting to be home coming queen is one of the best
expressions of what the Slayer trap means to Buffy that we see throughout
the series. And the fluke may be the one moment in the series that I
really, really wanted to see Willow and Xander be a couple. It's the
perfect mix of hormones and deep life long friendship. (Willow's reactions
at the end of that scene are hysterical too.)

And then there's Cordy - probably my favorite Cordelia of the season. We
get her in full queen mode - including the stupendous dress down of the
remaining Gorch - and we get her falling for Xander. I was re-reading my
earlier comments and was reminded that here was when I was finally getting
Cordelia/Xander. There's a fair amount they have in common. (Especially
with the early S3 version of Xander.) Blunt. Rash. Misconstruing things.
Love for the good insult. Neither of them are quite as shallow as sometimes
made out to be, but they both surely do have a strong tendency to get to the
surface of the matter. Maybe a few other nuances, but the point is that
here I am finally beginning to get how Cordelia could really have an
affection for Xander and - wham - he starts cheating on her. Damn.

Alas, liking Cordelia here also serves to remind me of how wasted I feel she
becomes this season. Putting Cordy and Buffy together this episode feels
like it ought to result in something. Probably not a true reconciliation -
there would always have to be tension between them. Still, the ending
suggests some kind of higher level of understanding, maybe respect, surely
some equal standing. But by the end of the season does it feel like there's
even a relationship - of any kind - between them? Not to me. Nor with
anybody except Xander. Cordelia spends three seasons on BtVS and it's like
it never mattered to anybody except one character. Oh, she'll get dragged
in for a few more big (and mostly good) moments. But it's not lasting.
Better hurry and get her over to AtS where she can finally matter. I think
I'll leave that as my sum of what ultimately was done with that character in
BtVS. I think it's a shame, 'cause I really like the concept of her and the
raw outlines of the story they seemed to be aiming at - when they got around
to it.

But I won't lay that onto this entertaining episode. It earns a pretty
solid Good from me.

> Season Three, Episode 6: "Band Candy"
> Writer: Jane Espenson
> Director: Michael Lange
>
> And on to more comedy, although I've always remembered the strange
> discussion about whether the episode should be classified as a comedy;
> I think how one takes it is based on how funny the jokes were. Me,
> I've never seen the big deal one way or the other, one of those times
> where I'm just confused by the fanbase reactions. It takes one basic
> joke and runs it into the ground, lets a few characters cut loose in
> mildly interesting ways, and seems pretty thin on the subtextual level
> no matter how many times people try to make the case otherwise. Extra
> boo points for bringing back Ethan Rayne and then not doing anything
> with him. BC was previously my only Season Three episode to rank
> below Decent. On re-watching, it's inoffensive enough that an
> entertaining performance from Tony Head is enough bring it over the
> line and make S3 into the only Buffyverse season that, like _Firefly_,
> contains No Bad Shows.
> Rating: Decent (up from Weak)

That's funny, because this watching sent it down to Weak for me. I think
it's specifically the contrast in watching it right after Homecoming - a
well constructed comedy. Band Candy suffers from too many flaws. The
comedy is very hit or miss. There are some nice hits, but way too many lame
flops. It also spends way too much time wallowing in its one big joke -
frequently doing nothing whatsoever to advance plot or characters beyond
repeating that same joke. And then there's the wretched ending with a lousy
fight, lousy CGI monster, and lousy monster slaying. (So you've got a
burning gas main now - and you just toss it aside?) Hmmm. I don't have a
list of her episodes at hand, but this might be Jane's worst in my eyes.


> Season Three, Episode 7: "Revelations"
> Writer: Douglas Petrie
> Director: James A. Contner
>
> Much like the characters, the show is forming into its later identity,
> with a few of its most prolific writers signing up fairly close
> together. "Revelations" is slightly frustrating for me, because I
> feel like it should be a masterpiece, but it's not, and I don't
> entirely know why. Some major shit that's been building gets a
> partial release here, while other paths get laid that'll influence the
> rest of S3. And our friends are pitted against each other and
> actually try to kill each other in a way that feels surprisingly
> organic, and leads to perhaps my favorite fight sequence in the entire
> series.

It's a good one isn't it. The hand to hand fighting in S3 is frequently
superb. There are a few clunkers, but on the whole is the best of the
series to my mind. This is one of the good ones, albeit a little brief.
Anne's fight in Hell is excellent too. As is the final fight with Faith in
Graduation Day. I'm probably leaving something big out, but I think my
favorite is next episode's fight with the Mayor's vampire "committee" out to
get Spike. It's use of available props is outstanding. I especially like
the rolling ladder in the magic shop.

> It's certainly an exciting episode. But instead of a list of
> complaints of why it doesn't rock my world to the extent I want it to,
> I think I'll make an attempt at articulating what may be my main
> complaint, which is the lack of resonance. Things move so quickly
> from point A to point B that the show doesn't have time to let us soak
> up the significance of what happened at point A.5. Xander in
> particular is forced to call a few things about himself into question
> (an overall statement about this part of the year, really), but it's
> all in tiny snippets or off-screen. All around, I feel like there's a
> lot of character movement that can only be appreciated, and not fully,
> if one is hunting for it, and that's a shame.
> Rating: Good

That's interesting, because this is one of those episodes where the hunt may
be what I love most about it. The straight play of it is awfully good in
itself, but I would agree that it's not to the level of most of the truly
great episodes. However, the ideas beneath the play grab me as very few
other episodes do. On that level, this episode does for me what DMP seems
to do for you. Indeed, I commonly think of this episode as the payoff to
DMP. And I adore it.

Betrayed trust runs amok this episode to a nearly disastrous result. That
makes for an abundance of awful excitement, and some heavy pondering over
Buffy's tendency for keeping secrets.

Imagine what would have happened to the gang if Buffy had arrived a moment
later - after Faith killed Angel - and then saw Post's perfidy. Would Faith
have survived the night? Would the Scooby friendships have survived. It's
an episode riding a thread.

Dealing with an awful secret will, of course, later become a mighty big deal
again when Faith makes her human kill. Does the experience of Revelations
influence Buffy then? Does it influence Faith? That's just one of the
lasting impacts the episode has. It's general shaping of the Faith to be,
alone makes Revelations an episode of unusually lasting power.

That future for Faith also rode a thread this episode. Early on, Faith -
still completely loyal to Buffy and eager to be her total friend - did her
best to open up to her and draw the same from Buffy. Faith is inadvertently
not very good at it, and Buffy is understandably reluctant to go into the
Angel story, but Faith was still quite sincere and also understandably put
off by Buffy's resistance. Now imagine if Buffy relented - she surely needs
to talk to *someone* about Angel - and spilled the beans to Faith. At that
point, one would imagine that Faith would totally be on her side and that
Buffy opening up would have created a little critical slayer bonding. More
to the point, nothing would have worked so badly after. In Revelations or
the season. That's the kind of thread everything hangs on this episode.
I'm always kind of thrilled looking at them.

But it's not limited to Faith. Xander is brought up short this episode, and
his late S2 and early S3 nastiness fades away as he learns that maybe he's
better off trusting Buffy after all. It's really a transformative episode
for him, though it does leave him needing The Zeppo to construct a more
sensible self identity. In the meantime he has to go through the awful
experience of betraying Buffy himself, having that go all wrong, and then
having to face Buffy. There's an inherent drama to those scenes that is
chilling. I'm oddly reminded of Xander's fear of standing naked before the
class.

Much of the episode plays as a kind of morality play about keeping secrets -
especially Buffy's secret about Angel. There is indeed much in favor of
that view. Buffy's tendency to withdraw and keep secrets truly is a problem
for her - as we will see too often again. And there can be little doubt
that this scenario would have played out much better if she had been more up
front about Angel from the start.

Yet the truly great thing about this episode IMO, is that it didn't settle
for that. As true as all that is, we as viewers can all see how hard the
situation was for Buffy, and how her heart was trying to do the best thing
even as she was beginning to trap herself in lies. Our sympathies are very
much with Buffy. And so another layer was placed on the episode as most
everybody involved is forced to realize that as bad an error as Buffy made,
it still didn't justify the response given to her. Xander, Willow and Giles
especially should have known the kind of heart Buffy has and had more faith
in it. In her.

In the end I suspect this may be most strongly reflected in Giles. Xander
was the obvious Buffy foe this episode, but I think Giles's slam at Buffy
hurt her the most. Giles has mighty powerful reasons for feeling as he
does - and I sympathize with him a whole lot - I don't think I would have
done better. Even so, this is where I think we see Giles's judgment with
regards Buffy seriously falter. (Looking ahead, his harshness towards Buffy
here regarding trust will probably make his own betrayal in Helpless all
that much worse.) This turns out to be a brutal episode for Giles. Post
played him like a drum, making him miss the real danger while expending his
efforts on a false one. Maybe Buffy should have told him about Angel, but
methinks he must wonder now whose judgment was truly better. He certainly
is subdued about Angel at the end.

Xander may have screwed up with Faith. But it's worth remembering that
Giles effectively sent Post to Angel and the glove. Just as he gave the
secret of Acathla to Angelus. Neither are truly his fault, but would that
make him feel all that much better about it? I don't think his confidence
as a Watcher has been broken. But I sense some cracks developing. And a
big whopping crack with Buffy.

This is one of my all-time favorite episodes. A very easy Excellent.
Somewhere around #10 for the series.


> Season Three, Episode 8: "Lovers Walk"
> Writer: Dan Vebber
> Director: David Semel
>
> Wow, do I ever love this episode. It's one of those where I imagine
> that its outstanding-ness should be self-explanatory, although I don't
> think it's as unanimous an opinion as some of the others. Highlights
> include the way the writers make perfect use of Spike, charming love-
> whipped guy who's liable to tear your throat out at a moment's
> provocation, or the way it manages to build perfectly-timed comedic
> scenes into a gloriously depressing ending which I always think of as
> the show "punishing" viewers who were so enamored with the Willow/
> Xander fluking. But for me, it's mostly highlights.
> Rating: Excellent

I'm pretty satisfied with your evaluation - was first time around too. I
think you grasped the essence of Spike here better than I. As a bridge to
future Spike, it's wonderful. It really settles a character balance not
quite there in S2 - though I think a lot of progress was made in Becoming.

I mentioned how much I like the fight, so I'll end there and agree with the
Excellent. Very solid Excellent. (Revelations and Lovers Walk make for one
of the strongest pairs of the series. Especially considering that they're
not very related.)

> Additional comments on S3D2: I'd like to specifically respond to OBS,
> who (if I'm paraphrasing correctly) thinks that S3 isn't as focused it
> could have been, lacking direction during its middle period and having
> a few of its themes related to growing up appear towards the end of
> the year with no real buildup. Well, the way I see it, Season Three
> is about identity in general, but specifically the way identity is
> shaped by the choices made, and vice versa. There's even an episode
> called "Choices." This is the year that the characters find their
> identities that'll carry them through the next few years, and make the
> choices that set them on that path. What would be more appropriate
> than a tour through the roads not taken on the way to that place?
> Throughout Season Three, but particularly early on, we see some of the
> other choices that our heroes could have made, in another time or
> another place or another context. The most obvious example would be
> the That Soap Opera Crap arc that dominates S3D2, as Willow and Xander
> take a look backward and explore what could have been. They'll each
> get their own "identity" episodes later in the year. Elsewhere, Buffy
> toys with becoming more like Guacamole Queen Buffy again (and more
> like Faith, of course), Giles toys with becoming more like Ripper
> again, Cordelia toys with going back to her old persona, and Angel
> toys with becoming a whiny bitch again (well...). Sometimes you have to
> go back to go forward. I recognize the "theme of growing up and paths
> traveled" throughout the year.
>
> Thoughts?

I note that my original commentary on Revelations introduced the discontent
I had with the season. I don't recall now exactly what I was going for
then, but I note that it referenced the sense of drifting starting then.
That's true, but that's looking ahead more than back. From here until Bad
Girls I have this very odd sense of really liking the episodes but getting a
little bored with the season.

It's not that big a deal, though. Notable more for its contradiction than
as a serious problem. There's some very good episodes in there, and the
season does get very much on track after.

I don't think my problem is thematic - though I very much like your notion
of exploring what could have been. That's an idea that I don't recall
occurring to me before. Kudos. Rather, I think it's probably more due to
the big gaps in Faith's story and filling Angel's story with the long
good-bye. (I really do dislike that long good-bye.) In a broader sense
this is just a theme rich season with a lot of care given to *all* the
characters. (Well, not as much care with Cordy as I might prefer.) With
everybody getting their personal episodes, and a few mini-arcs and just so
much to fit in, well, the season probably couldn't avoid meandering a bit
with its ongoing narrative.

Wrapping it all up as the end of the growing up journey known as high school
(the graduation theme) does tend to catch me by surprise - seem a bit
jarring. But I'm not sure even that is exactly bad. It brings to mind my
own feelings approaching graduation from high school. That was jarring to
me too - I didn't internalize it in a meaningful fashion until it was nearly
upon me. Youth isn't used to looking ahead. So even predictable moments
tend to jump out at you.

The net effect of these "criticisms" leans more to academic interest than a
real problem. S3 is my second favorite season in a series I love. Mostly I
think it's great.

OBS


Stephen Tempest

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Jul 6, 2007, 6:57:00 AM7/6/07
to
"David L. Burkhead" <dbur...@sff.net> writes:

> Incidentally, on a side note, I would really have liked to see at some
>point this season Angel and Buffy talk about the end of Becoming--presuming
>Angel remembered the events well enough to realize why Buffy had to kill
>him,

He did - well kind of. Since you've now seen Angel S5 this isn't a
spoiler any more:

ANGEL: I stopped Acathla. That saved the world.

SPIKE: Buffy ran you through with a sword.

ANGEL: Yeah, but I made her do it. I signaled her with my eyes.

SPIKE: She killed you. I helped her! That one counts as mine.

Stephen

David L. Burkhead

unread,
Jul 6, 2007, 8:40:58 AM7/6/07
to

Yeah, that scene makes clear that Angel knew the reasons, but that's not
quite what I was getting at. It's less an "Angel needed to hear" type vibe
than a "Buffy needed to say." Something similar to the way Giles got Buffy
to come clean that Angel had been "cured" right before she killed him.

Michael Ikeda

unread,
Jul 6, 2007, 6:16:44 PM7/6/07
to
"David L. Burkhead" <dbur...@sff.net> wrote in
news:_eGdnbM8hMmQIhDb...@giganews.com:

>>
>> Arbitrar Of Quality wrote:
>>> A reminder: These threads know why someone would want to kiss
>>> rocks.
>>>
>>>

>

>>> Season Three, Episode 7: "Revelations"
>>> Writer: Douglas Petrie
>>> Director: James A. Contner
>>>

>

> The part that was hardest to take was watching Buffy's
> "friends" in that
> intervention _nobody_ was making the slightest effort to
> understand Buffy and what she's going through.

Except that they're basically right in what they're saying even
though they get carried away in how they say it.

And they do understand Buffy. That's why they're upset.

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

David L. Burkhead

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Jul 6, 2007, 8:01:00 PM7/6/07
to
Michael Ikeda wrote:
> "David L. Burkhead" <dbur...@sff.net> wrote in
> news:_eGdnbM8hMmQIhDb...@giganews.com:
>
>>>
>>> Arbitrar Of Quality wrote:
>>>> A reminder: These threads know why someone would want to kiss
>>>> rocks.
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> Season Three, Episode 7: "Revelations"
>>>> Writer: Douglas Petrie
>>>> Director: James A. Contner
>>>>
>
>>
>> The part that was hardest to take was watching Buffy's
>> "friends" in that
>> intervention _nobody_ was making the slightest effort to
>> understand Buffy and what she's going through.
>
> Except that they're basically right in what they're saying even
> though they get carried away in how they say it.
>
> And they do understand Buffy. That's why they're upset.

I don't think that they are so "right" as all that. Yeah, Angel might turn
bad and go on another rampage. And Willow might turn evil, flay a guy
alive, and come within a hair of destroying the world. And Xander might
find himself defending a demon who gruesomely murders a whole fraternity.
And Cordelia might go out and get possessed, schtup Angel's son, and give
birth to a people-eating demon/god.

As for understanding, one of the things I notice about the show is how much
Buffy is willing to give others the benefit of the doubt--and how little
anyone else is willing to return the favor.

Michael Ikeda

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Jul 6, 2007, 9:10:09 PM7/6/07
to
"David L. Burkhead" <dbur...@sff.net> wrote in
news:8-2dnfEzEYg6SBPb...@giganews.com:

> Michael Ikeda wrote:
>> "David L. Burkhead" <dbur...@sff.net> wrote in
>> news:_eGdnbM8hMmQIhDb...@giganews.com:
>>
>>>>
>>>> Arbitrar Of Quality wrote:
>>>>> A reminder: These threads know why someone would want to
>>>>> kiss rocks.
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> Season Three, Episode 7: "Revelations"
>>>>> Writer: Douglas Petrie
>>>>> Director: James A. Contner
>>>>>
>>
>>>
>>> The part that was hardest to take was watching Buffy's
>>> "friends" in that
>>> intervention _nobody_ was making the slightest effort to
>>> understand Buffy and what she's going through.
>>
>> Except that they're basically right in what they're saying even
>> though they get carried away in how they say it.
>>
>> And they do understand Buffy. That's why they're upset.
>
> I don't think that they are so "right" as all that. Yeah, Angel
> might turn bad and go on another rampage. And Willow might turn
> evil, flay a guy alive, and come within a hair of destroying the
> world. And Xander might find himself defending a demon who
> gruesomely murders a whole fraternity. And Cordelia might go out
> and get possessed, schtup Angel's son, and give birth to a
> people-eating demon/god.

They're right about the main point of debate. Which is that Buffy
has been seriously irresponsible by not telling them about Angel's
return. And basically "playing with fire" when it comes to her
relationship with Angel.

>
> As for understanding, one of the things I notice about the show
> is how much Buffy is willing to give others the benefit of the
> doubt--and how little anyone else is willing to return the
> favor.
>

They usually give her the benefit of the doubt and defer to her
judgement. That's one reason why their arguments with Buffy get so
explosive, they tend to be about a whole bunch of things all coming
out at once.

(They also tend to occur at the end of a period when Buffy has
isolated herself from the rest of the Scoobies.)

One Bit Shy

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Jul 6, 2007, 10:00:02 PM7/6/07
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"David L. Burkhead" <dbur...@sff.net> wrote in message
news:8-2dnfEzEYg6SBPb...@giganews.com...

Buffy didn't give them the benefit of the doubt. She decided on her own
that they couldn't handle the truth about Angel and kept him secret. Lied
about what she was doing. Giving them the benefit of the doubt would be
trusting them with the knowledge of Angel's return. Don't misunderstand, I
have scads of sympathy for Buffy's situation, and believe her friends did
indeed inappropriately fly off the handle with accusation before
understanding. But the episode is showing a two way street here where
neither side was giving the credit to the other that had been earned.

At the end of the episode, everybody - Buffy and her friends both - are very
subdued, seeming to recognize their own failures in that incident. (Faith's
situation is a little more complicated, but she's not part of the core
group.) Buffy appears to recognize that her secret made it hard for the
others and she's out to mend things because of that. But the others are
looking inward themselves. The big part there is Xander admitting he went
postal and saying he trusts her. Giles too appears to have let go of his
anger at Buffy and is more open to the notion of accepting Angel.

This will get expanded upon some in Amends, but even now you can see that
the resolution is different than it was in DMP. In DMP they vented and put
the incident behind them - but not the submerged distrust. The essential
failing in DMP and again in Revelations isn't a question of who was right.
They all had good reasons for acting and feeling the way they did. The
problem was that they were all stuck in their own self centered sides of the
problem. They weren't giving proper credit to the other side's position,
nor trusting in them like they should have. But now Xander and Giles aren't
feeling quite so self righteous, and Buffy is realizing that her secrets
make for trouble. (Not that she'll ever be able to stop having them.)

OBS


David L. Burkhead

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Jul 6, 2007, 10:26:26 PM7/6/07
to

Like she could really expect them to react rationally to the
information? Yeah, we really see evidence of that here.

The way they behave here, particularly Xander . . . well, if they're
wanting to give her incentive to keep things from them, they'd have a hard
time coming up with a better one.

I mean, had she told them what, exactly, could they have done. Oh,
wait, they could have killed Angel. And there's the bright side of that:
they never would have had to worry about the First. The Beast and Jasmine
would have seen to that.

Telling everyone when she first learned that Angel was back had, so far
as I can see, had no benefit and the way everyone reacts when they do find
out underscores the negative that would come from telling. Do you really
think Xander, or Cordelia, or even Giles, would have behaved any differently
than they did here if she had come to them from the first? I don't.

Her error wasn't in not telling them. Her error was in not being more
careful to keep the secret.

And at the end of the day it's Buffy's judgement that is upheld--again.

>> As for understanding, one of the things I notice about the show
>> is how much Buffy is willing to give others the benefit of the
>> doubt--and how little anyone else is willing to return the
>> favor.
>>
>
> They usually give her the benefit of the doubt and defer to her
> judgement.

In small things, maybe. But in the larger things involving more complex
moral and ethical issues? Not so much that I see. Xander, Willow, Giles.
All of them at some point, not only failed to support Buffy, but actively
betray her sometime in the series. "Kick his ass." "Bored now." "A general
must make difficult decisions for the greater good."

> That's one reason why their arguments with Buffy get so
> explosive, they tend to be about a whole bunch of things all coming
> out at once.
>
> (They also tend to occur at the end of a period when Buffy has
> isolated herself from the rest of the Scoobies.)

Which usually comes after a period of Buffy being driven away--not
necessarily by the Scoobies (although that happens too). Case in point
bridge between season 2 and 3. When Buffy went out to face Angel, the only
ally she had was an enemy. Even her own mother had abandoned her (so far as
Buffy knew). She had been expelled, she was wanted for murder, her mother
had thrown her out, she had been hurt more than anybody should ever have to
be hurt and there wasn't even a shoulder she could go and cry on. Leaving
town didn't isolate her it just finalized something that was already a fact.
Then when she comes back and Willow throws that party. Talk about "alone in
a crowd." A bunch of people Buffy doesn't even know. Nobody having time for
her. Packing to leave again was just putting a period on the end of a
sentence that had already been written.

Apteryx

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Jul 6, 2007, 10:37:57 PM7/6/07
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"Arbitrar Of Quality" <tsm...@wildmail.com> wrote in message
news:1183678458....@w5g2000hsg.googlegroups.com...
>A reminder: These threads know why someone would want to kiss
> rocks.
>
>
> BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER
> Season Three, Episode 5: "Homecoming"
> Writer: David Greenwalt
> Director: David Greenwalt
>
> And now, a joke... This one pretty much is what it is, and as Mike
> articulated best last time (despite having a "bad English day"), it
> lets the audience chuckle at how silly this high school ritual is
> without outright laughing at the characters who're swept up in it.

Most of the objectives most people spend most of their time striving for are
objectively stupid. There's not much point in singling out any one of those
objectives as any sillier than the rest.

> As
> much as I complain about repetition in TV shows, it makes sense for
> Buffy to periodically try to do something normal. Wilkins was less
> annoying this time around, although I don't think he starts to click
> perfectly as a character until "Bad Girls" or so. Still love the
> fluke (or, as I like to call it flippantly based on a line from
> _Daria_, That Soap Opera Crap), and how the actors actually manage the
> incredibly difficult (for me) task of making cheating on a faithful
> partner seem so adorable. I understand the show's reasoning, but feel
> a little disappointed nonetheless that we only get these four episodes
> of W/X stuff.


W/X are potentially right for each other. Whedon doesn't do "right" couples.
That might lead to happiness, and happiness is never interesting.


> Not much else to say - most of "Homecoming" makes me
> grin, and consciously ignore any thoughts of how stupid it is or what
> deeper meaning it might have and enjoy the show - the same reaction I
> sometimes have to Harmony episodes, actually. As has surely been
> trivia'd to death before, this is David's final writing credit of the
> series, although comments elsewhere on the S3 DVDs suggest he remained
> a major force behind the curtain until _Angel_ actually started.
> Rating: Good

Good fun. And Good for me too. It's my 40th favourite BtVS episode, 9th best
in season 3 (last year was 39th and 9th).


> Season Three, Episode 6: "Band Candy"
> Writer: Jane Espenson
> Director: Michael Lange
>
> And on to more comedy, although I've always remembered the strange
> discussion about whether the episode should be classified as a comedy;
> I think how one takes it is based on how funny the jokes were. Me,
> I've never seen the big deal one way or the other, one of those times
> where I'm just confused by the fanbase reactions. It takes one basic
> joke and runs it into the ground, lets a few characters cut loose in
> mildly interesting ways, and seems pretty thin on the subtextual level
> no matter how many times people try to make the case otherwise. Extra
> boo points for bringing back Ethan Rayne and then not doing anything
> with him. BC was previously my only Season Three episode to rank
> below Decent. On re-watching, it's inoffensive enough that an
> entertaining performance from Tony Head is enough bring it over the
> line and make S3 into the only Buffyverse season that, like _Firefly_,
> contains No Bad Shows.
> Rating: Decent (up from Weak)

I can see where the humour would be an obstacle for you, but its still funny
for me. Not just funny though. This is the clearest statement to date of
Buffy's need to outgrow her actual and metaphorical parents. It's my 21st
favourite BtVS episode, 3rd best in season 3 (last year was 22nd and 4th).


> Season Three, Episode 7: "Revelations"
> Writer: Douglas Petrie
> Director: James A. Contner
>
> Much like the characters, the show is forming into its later identity,
> with a few of its most prolific writers signing up fairly close
> together. "Revelations" is slightly frustrating for me, because I
> feel like it should be a masterpiece, but it's not, and I don't
> entirely know why. Some major shit that's been building gets a
> partial release here, while other paths get laid that'll influence the
> rest of S3. And our friends are pitted against each other and
> actually try to kill each other in a way that feels surprisingly
> organic, and leads to perhaps my favorite fight sequence in the entire
> series. It's certainly an exciting episode. But instead of a list of
> complaints of why it doesn't rock my world to the extent I want it to,
> I think I'll make an attempt at articulating what may be my main
> complaint, which is the lack of resonance. Things move so quickly
> from point A to point B that the show doesn't have time to let us soak
> up the significance of what happened at point A.5. Xander in
> particular is forced to call a few things about himself into question
> (an overall statement about this part of the year, really), but it's
> all in tiny snippets or off-screen. All around, I feel like there's a
> lot of character movement that can only be appreciated, and not fully,
> if one is hunting for it, and that's a shame.
> Rating: Good

Yeh, its OK, but could do better. A lowish Good for me. It's my 72nd
favourite BtVS episode (ie, the worst episode in the top half of BtVS
episodes), 17th best in season 3 (last year was 64th and 15th)


> Season Three, Episode 8: "Lovers Walk"
> Writer: Dan Vebber
> Director: David Semel
>
> Wow, do I ever love this episode. It's one of those where I imagine
> that its outstanding-ness should be self-explanatory, although I don't
> think it's as unanimous an opinion as some of the others. Highlights
> include the way the writers make perfect use of Spike, charming love-
> whipped guy who's liable to tear your throat out at a moment's
> provocation, or the way it manages to build perfectly-timed comedic
> scenes into a gloriously depressing ending which I always think of as
> the show "punishing" viewers who were so enamored with the Willow/
> Xander fluking. But for me, it's mostly highlights.
> Rating: Excellent

A great Spike episode - but that's only enough to get it a Good from me.
It's my 28th favourite BtVS episode, 7th best in season 3 (same as last
year).


--
Apteryx


Arbitrar Of Quality

unread,
Jul 6, 2007, 10:51:15 PM7/6/07
to
On Jul 6, 9:26 pm, "David L. Burkhead" <dburkh...@sff.net> wrote:
> Michael Ikeda wrote:

> > They're right about the main point of debate. Which is that Buffy
> > has been seriously irresponsible by not telling them about Angel's
> > return. And basically "playing with fire" when it comes to her
> > relationship with Angel.
>
> Like she could really expect them to react rationally to the
> information? Yeah, we really see evidence of that here.

That's a circular argument, since what they're reacting so harshly to
here is that she doesn't trust them (or, as Giles sees it, respect
him) enough to let them in. The episode is all about lack of trust
begetting more lack of trust. OBS covered this topic well in his
response, so I won't inferiorly paraphrase it here, but suffice to
say, "Revelations" is about more than who's "right."

> > That's one reason why their arguments with Buffy get so
> > explosive, they tend to be about a whole bunch of things all coming
> > out at once.
>
> > (They also tend to occur at the end of a period when Buffy has
> > isolated herself from the rest of the Scoobies.)
>
> Which usually comes after a period of Buffy being driven away--not
> necessarily by the Scoobies (although that happens too). Case in point
> bridge between season 2 and 3. When Buffy went out to face Angel, the only
> ally she had was an enemy. Even her own mother had abandoned her (so far as
> Buffy knew). She had been expelled, she was wanted for murder, her mother
> had thrown her out, she had been hurt more than anybody should ever have to
> be hurt and there wasn't even a shoulder she could go and cry on.

You do say that she's driven away "not necessarily by the Scoobies" in
this case, so this is more of a generalized comment than a
response... I've never understood the "no allies" thing. At the
moment she faces off with Angel, she's indeed alone, but she's not
that way in life. Giles was busy getting his face rearranged while
protecting the world. Willow was basically risking her own life for
Angel's, and Cordelia and Oz were by her side. Xander followed her
into the heart of the fire, and left because he was carrying out her
orders. These are the people who didn't let her down, who stayed
loyal while her life was falling apart. (The one thing that I can
think of that even remotely resembles failure is Xander's omission,
and he honestly believes that he's looking out for Buffy's best
interests and keeping her alive.) But Buffy can't seem to let them in
when they need each other the most.

-AOQ

David L. Burkhead

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Jul 6, 2007, 11:03:59 PM7/6/07
to
This one's going to ramble a bit again since I'm still working out my own
views in my own mind.

And they demonstrated that her judgement was right.

> Lied about what she was doing. Giving them the benefit of
> the doubt would be trusting them with the knowledge of Angel's
> return.

The "benefit of the doubt" I was referring to was towards an ensouled
Angel.

> Don't misunderstand, I have scads of sympathy for Buffy's
> situation, and believe her friends did indeed inappropriately fly off
> the handle with accusation before understanding. But the episode is
> showing a two way street here where neither side was giving the
> credit to the other that had been earned.

But the situation isn't a two-way street. It's a triangle.

> At the end of the episode, everybody - Buffy and her friends both -
> are very subdued, seeming to recognize their own failures in that
> incident. (Faith's situation is a little more complicated, but she's
> not part of the core group.) Buffy appears to recognize that her
> secret made it hard for the others and she's out to mend things
> because of that. But the others are looking inward themselves. The
> big part there is Xander admitting he went postal and saying he
> trusts her. Giles too appears to have let go of his anger at Buffy
> and is more open to the notion of accepting Angel.
>
> This will get expanded upon some in Amends, but even now you can see
> that the resolution is different than it was in DMP. In DMP they
> vented and put the incident behind them - but not the submerged
> distrust. The essential failing in DMP and again in Revelations
> isn't a question of who was right. They all had good reasons for
> acting and feeling the way they did. The problem was that they were
> all stuck in their own self centered sides of the problem. They
> weren't giving proper credit to the other side's position, nor
> trusting in them like they should have. But now Xander and Giles
> aren't feeling quite so self righteous, and Buffy is realizing that
> her secrets make for trouble. (Not that she'll ever be able to stop
> having them.)

Buffy's situations make for trouble. Whether she keeps them secret or
not has at most a second order effect. Sometimes they make things worse
(which may be the case here, but I'm far from convinced considering how fact
the "intervention" turned from Buffy's secret keeping to the very existence
of Angel). Sometimes they may mitigate things.

There's also the question about why she keeps the secrets. Buffy kept
the secret of where she was while she was dead to protect her friends from a
pretty awful truth. Other times she keeps secrets because she's hurt, or
confused, or scared. The few times she has more selfish reasons to keep
secrets--say, the details of her relationship with Angel from Riley--they
don't tend to last very long.

The thing is, secrets are not necessarily bad things. Sometimes secrets
should be kept. There are things even your closest friends don't need to
know. There are things even, perhaps especially, your closest friends
probably shouldn't know. One of the hardest things in human interaction is
knowing what things fall into which category, particularly since everything
changes continually. The "secret" of Angel's return is, IMO, a matter of
judgement call. On the one hand, the secret was going to come out
eventually and keeping it only delayed the inevitable explosion. On the
other hand, sometimes delaying the inevitable is the best you can do
("perhaps the horse will learn to sing").

I happen to think that Buffy made the right call in keeping Angel's
presence secret. Had she revealed it as soon as she became aware of it
(Beauty and the Beasts), the explosion would likely have been just as
severe--possibly worse since some of the wounds reopened by it (Gile's
torture, JC's death) would have been that much fresher--and, coming as
closely as it did on the heals of Anne and DMP, that explosion would likely
have irrevocably wrecked the friendships involved, particularly since who do
you think would have been first suspect once Oz was cleared--for that matter
at that point they don't even know that there is another suspect. Angel
gets staked _then_ they find the real culprit?

George W Harris

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Jul 6, 2007, 11:07:40 PM7/6/07
to
On Fri, 6 Jul 2007 23:03:59 -0400, "David L. Burkhead"
<dbur...@sff.net> wrote:

: Buffy's situations make for trouble. Whether she keeps them secret or


:not has at most a second order effect.

You've completely misread the situation. It was
precisely keeping it a secret that made for trouble, and
that upset all of her friends.
--
"If you take cranberries and stew them like applesauce, they taste more like
prunes than rhubarb does" -Groucho Marx

George W. Harris For actual email address, replace each 'u' with an 'i'

David L. Burkhead

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Jul 6, 2007, 11:17:29 PM7/6/07
to
Arbitrar Of Quality wrote:
> On Jul 6, 9:26 pm, "David L. Burkhead" <dburkh...@sff.net> wrote:
>> Michael Ikeda wrote:
>
>>> They're right about the main point of debate. Which is that Buffy
>>> has been seriously irresponsible by not telling them about Angel's
>>> return. And basically "playing with fire" when it comes to her
>>> relationship with Angel.
>>
>> Like she could really expect them to react rationally to the
>> information? Yeah, we really see evidence of that here.
>
> That's a circular argument, since what they're reacting so harshly to
> here is that she doesn't trust them (or, as Giles sees it, respect
> him) enough to let them in.

How much time did they actually spend on that and how much on the mere
fact that Angel's alive?

I was writing from Buffy's viewpoint. She doesn't know about Willow.
Also, I don't understand this "Willow risking her life." It wasn't the spell
that had hurt her, it was a bookcase getting knocked on her. From all I
could see, the spell didn't lay a finger on her (metaphorically speaking).
Also, I was using "ally" above in a more restrictive sense. I certainly do
not mean to belittle Giles' contribution. Had he not held out long enough,
it would have been too late when Buffy did arrive. Nor would I want to
belittle Willow's effort, even though, in the end, it only made things
harder and more painful for Buffy. (Sometimes life turns out that way.)

> (The one thing that I can
> think of that even remotely resembles failure is Xander's omission,
> and he honestly believes that he's looking out for Buffy's best
> interests and keeping her alive.)

It wasn't an "omission" it was a flat-out lie. And given his attitude
toward Angel from the very beginning, I have a hard time believing that he
had Buffy's interests at heart (although he may have convinced himself of
that, making your statement above technically true).

> But Buffy can't seem to let them in
> when they need each other the most.

Who is Buffy supposed to "let in"? The person who told her (so far as
Buffy knows--Neither in Becoming nor Revelations, the two episodes currently
on the table, does Buffy know yet that Xander lied to her) "Kick his ass."
The person who hated Angel even _before_ he lost his soul? The person who's
love was killed by Angel and then who was tortured by him? The person who
told her "if you go out that door, don't bother coming back"? Just who was
she supposed to let in? I mean, given what she knew at the time.

Arbitrar Of Quality

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Jul 6, 2007, 11:16:48 PM7/6/07
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On Jul 6, 12:11 am, "One Bit Shy" <O...@nomail.sorry> wrote:
> "Arbitrar Of Quality" <tsm...@wildmail.com> wrote in messagenews:1183678458....@w5g2000hsg.googlegroups.com...

["Band Candy"]


>
> That's funny, because this watching sent it down to Weak for me. I think
> it's specifically the contrast in watching it right after Homecoming - a
> well constructed comedy.

It's like an hands-on demonstration of the difference between good and
lackluster comedy, yet fans flock to the latter. I don't get it.

["Revelations"]


> But it's not limited to Faith. Xander is brought up short this episode, and
> his late S2 and early S3 nastiness fades away as he learns that maybe he's
> better off trusting Buffy after all. It's really a transformative episode
> for him, though it does leave him needing The Zeppo to construct a more
> sensible self identity.

"The Zeppo" opens with him concerned about making friends with the
jocks. You'll have to forgive me if I don't see much coherence in the
progression.

> In the meantime he has to go through the awful
> experience of betraying Buffy himself, having that go all wrong, and then
> having to face Buffy. There's an inherent drama to those scenes that is
> chilling. I'm oddly reminded of Xander's fear of standing naked before the
> class.

Which goes back to my original issue, which is that "Revelations"
could have been a central event in Xander's life in the series. And
maybe it even is. But the viewer would be hard-pressed to see it.
The moment when Xander's made to realize how badly he's hurt the
situation and the people involved is strong, but it's also quickly
brushed aside because, in big-episode fashion, there's not time to
milk the moment for more than fifteen seconds or so while there's
stuff to kill. The next time Xander has any dialogue of note is at
the very end of the episode, when he's still speaking bluntly and
crudely ("well, as long as she and Angel don't get pelvic..."). I
assume the idea is supposed to be that he's much more vulnerable than
he cares to admit, which will then come out a bit when he affirms his
trust in Buffy and begs for her acceptance, but that's not what I get
from the delivery of the line itself. Still, the end is a good moment
that could suggest him as a stealth target of the episode. Exceot
that before we see him getting to the point where he'll apologize for
his behavior three episodes later, we don't see him go through
anything else with regard to being shaken up here. Indeed, the
primary concern of the Xander of "Lovers Walk" and "The Wish" is the
ongoing drama with Willow and Cordelia, with no sign of being
particularly transformed in his interactions with Buffy.

> This turns out to be a brutal episode for Giles. Post
> played him like a drum, making him miss the real danger while expending his
> efforts on a false one. Maybe Buffy should have told him about Angel, but
> methinks he must wonder now whose judgment was truly better. He certainly
> is subdued about Angel at the end.
>
> Xander may have screwed up with Faith. But it's worth remembering that
> Giles effectively sent Post to Angel and the glove. Just as he gave the
> secret of Acathla to Angelus. Neither are truly his fault, but would that
> make him feel all that much better about it? I don't think his confidence
> as a Watcher has been broken. But I sense some cracks developing. And a
> big whopping crack with Buffy.

Again, makes sense if you trace it, but given that the idea of this
progression has never come to mind before, how effective can it really
be?

> This is one of my all-time favorite episodes. A very easy Excellent.
> Somewhere around #10 for the series.

> I don't think my problem is thematic - though I very much like your notion


> of exploring what could have been. That's an idea that I don't recall
> occurring to me before. Kudos. Rather, I think it's probably more due to
> the big gaps in Faith's story and filling Angel's story with the long
> good-bye. (I really do dislike that long good-bye.) In a broader sense
> this is just a theme rich season with a lot of care given to *all* the
> characters. (Well, not as much care with Cordy as I might prefer.) With
> everybody getting their personal episodes, and a few mini-arcs and just so
> much to fit in, well, the season probably couldn't avoid meandering a bit
> with its ongoing narrative.

We're used to the ongoing narratives of the later seasons, but S3
still makes each episode distinct. That being said, I do feel the
urge to employ hyperbole about how inexcusable it is that we only see
Faith once (and pretty briefly) between "Revelations" and "The Zeppo,"
and so on. They do continue to mention her in the dialogue, but
still... Also, Wilkins's role in "Gingerbread" especially doesn't
work for me.

-AOQ

David L. Burkhead

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Jul 6, 2007, 11:33:06 PM7/6/07
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George W Harris wrote:
> On Fri, 6 Jul 2007 23:03:59 -0400, "David L. Burkhead"
> <dbur...@sff.net> wrote:
>
>> Buffy's situations make for trouble. Whether she keeps them
>> secret or not has at most a second order effect.
>
> You've completely misread the situation. It was
> precisely keeping it a secret that made for trouble, and
> that upset all of her friends.

I disagree. It started as being about keeping secrets, but almost
immediately turned to the fact of Angel being alive. By far the bulk of the
argument wasn't "you kept this secret from us" but "Angel's alive and he's a
mass murderer." All that "coming clean" immediately would have accomplished
is getting to that without about five seconds of "you kept this secret from
us."

I mean, look at the parting words of the most rational, experienced
member of the group. It wasn't. "You should have trusted us and talked to
us so we could figure out how to handle this together." It was "he tortured
me."

The only thing that Buffy could have done that would have avoided the
row would be to have staked Angel on sight.

Arbitrar Of Quality

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Jul 6, 2007, 11:42:55 PM7/6/07
to
On Jul 6, 10:17 pm, "David L. Burkhead" <dburkh...@sff.net> wrote:
> Arbitrar Of Quality wrote:
> > On Jul 6, 9:26 pm, "David L. Burkhead" <dburkh...@sff.net> wrote:
> >> Michael Ikeda wrote:
>
> >>> They're right about the main point of debate. Which is that Buffy
> >>> has been seriously irresponsible by not telling them about Angel's
> >>> return. And basically "playing with fire" when it comes to her
> >>> relationship with Angel.
>
> >> Like she could really expect them to react rationally to the
> >> information? Yeah, we really see evidence of that here.
>
> > That's a circular argument, since what they're reacting so harshly to
> > here is that she doesn't trust them (or, as Giles sees it, respect
> > him) enough to let them in.
>
> How much time did they actually spend on that and how much on the mere
> fact that Angel's alive?

Giles's dialogue is all about the fact that she hid it. The others
spend a lot of time on Angel being back, but that's not the only thing
going on. They would have the same concerns about Angel if they'd
found out earlier, but here they're panicked about it. They
specifically don't give Buffy the trust she deserves, and conclude
that her judgment is clouded, because they see her kissing him, after
who-knows-how-long of him being back. She wasn't doing that back in
B&TB.

"Just seeing the two of you kissing after everything that happened, I
leaned toward the postal." - Xander

> > You do say that she's driven away "not necessarily by the Scoobies" in
> > this case, so this is more of a generalized comment than a
> > response... I've never understood the "no allies" thing. At the
> > moment she faces off with Angel, she's indeed alone, but she's not
> > that way in life. Giles was busy getting his face rearranged while
> > protecting the world. Willow was basically risking her own life for
> > Angel's, and Cordelia and Oz were by her side. Xander followed her
> > into the heart of the fire, and left because he was carrying out her
> > orders. These are the people who didn't let her down, who stayed
> > loyal while her life was falling apart.
>
> I was writing from Buffy's viewpoint. She doesn't know about Willow.
> Also, I don't understand this "Willow risking her life." It wasn't the spell
> that had hurt her, it was a bookcase getting knocked on her. From all I
> could see, the spell didn't lay a finger on her (metaphorically speaking).

GILES: W-Willow... channeling... such potent magicks through yourself,
it could open a door that you may not be able to close.
BUFFY: I don't want you putting yourself in any danger, Will.
WILLOW: And I don't want danger. Big 'no' to danger, but I may be the
best person to do this.
- "Becoming, Part I"

And Bec2 makes is clear during the spell-casting how worried the
others are about her, especially in her post-bookcase condition.

> > (The one thing that I can
> > think of that even remotely resembles failure is Xander's omission,
> > and he honestly believes that he's looking out for Buffy's best
> > interests and keeping her alive.)
>
> It wasn't an "omission" it was a flat-out lie. And given his attitude
> toward Angel from the very beginning, I have a hard time believing that he
> had Buffy's interests at heart (although he may have convinced himself of
> that, making your statement above technically true).

You should look harder at Xander, then. One of the defining traits of
his character in the first two seasons is that motivations mix in a
way such that it's hard to tease out whether the selfish or selfless
one is more prominent. Is he going into the hyena house to take a
stand for his fellow victims of bullying, or to impress the girls?
That kind of thing. By this point in the show, yes, I very much
believe that his primary interest was in keeping Buffy alive and
fighting her hardest, and that his dislike of Angel is just a bonus.

> > But Buffy can't seem to let them in
> > when they need each other the most.
>
> Who is Buffy supposed to "let in"? The person who told her (so far as
> Buffy knows--Neither in Becoming nor Revelations, the two episodes currently
> on the table, does Buffy know yet that Xander lied to her) "Kick his ass."

It's certainly true that the others do more than their fair share in
putting up those barriers that keep Buffy from using them as
shoulders. I think you're selling Giles short, though; he's the one
who tries to shout down Xander and Cordelia when they get nasty in
BecI, and tries to think practically about Willow's plan despite what
Angel's done to him. And with Willow in particular and what she
allegedly said, well, those are just words of encouragement. As far
as Buffy knows, Willow's lying in a hospital bed, having given up on
ever bringing Angel back, and wishing her luck. So I don't see any
basis for Buffy to conclude that Willow wouldn't be there for her.
Willow's her best friend; it's what she's there for. (Let me
emphasize that I don't blame Buffy for being a wreck and not thinking
clearly after Bec2. I'm just thinking that people make too big a deal
out of those three words allegedly cutting Buffy off.)

-AOQ

David L. Burkhead

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Jul 7, 2007, 12:31:27 AM7/7/07
to

Okay, they think she's in big danger. Stipulated. However, I do note
that the perceived risk does appear to be overblown.

My main point was that when Buffy goes out to face Angelus, she doesn't
know that Willow is trying the spell again. The "was the spell really that
dangerous" bit was a side observation.

>>> (The one thing that I can
>>> think of that even remotely resembles failure is Xander's omission,
>>> and he honestly believes that he's looking out for Buffy's best
>>> interests and keeping her alive.)
>>
>> It wasn't an "omission" it was a flat-out lie. And given his
>> attitude toward Angel from the very beginning, I have a hard time
>> believing that he had Buffy's interests at heart (although he may
>> have convinced himself of that, making your statement above
>> technically true).
>
> You should look harder at Xander, then. One of the defining traits of
> his character in the first two seasons is that motivations mix in a
> way such that it's hard to tease out whether the selfish or selfless
> one is more prominent. Is he going into the hyena house to take a
> stand for his fellow victims of bullying, or to impress the girls?
> That kind of thing. By this point in the show, yes, I very much
> believe that his primary interest was in keeping Buffy alive and
> fighting her hardest, and that his dislike of Angel is just a bonus.

I have looked very hard at Xander. Certainly his motives can be very
mixed. Xander has never really made as much of the distinction between
Angel with soul and other vamps. Understandable given the Jesse situation
at the start of the show, but understandable does not necessarily equal
right.

>>> But Buffy can't seem to let them in
>>> when they need each other the most.
>>
>> Who is Buffy supposed to "let in"? The person who told her (so
>> far as Buffy knows--Neither in Becoming nor Revelations, the two
>> episodes currently on the table, does Buffy know yet that Xander
>> lied to her) "Kick his ass."
>
> It's certainly true that the others do more than their fair share in
> putting up those barriers that keep Buffy from using them as
> shoulders. I think you're selling Giles short, though; he's the one
> who tries to shout down Xander and Cordelia when they get nasty in
> BecI, and tries to think practically about Willow's plan despite what
> Angel's done to him. And with Willow in particular and what she
> allegedly said, well, those are just words of encouragement. As far
> as Buffy knows, Willow's lying in a hospital bed, having given up on
> ever bringing Angel back, and wishing her luck. So I don't see any
> basis for Buffy to conclude that Willow wouldn't be there for her.
> Willow's her best friend; it's what she's there for. (Let me
> emphasize that I don't blame Buffy for being a wreck and not thinking
> clearly after Bec2. I'm just thinking that people make too big a deal
> out of those three words allegedly cutting Buffy off.)

I don't think its too big a deal when added to everything else. Context
is everything. Had Xander put words more like "do what you have to" in her
mouth, that might have softened it enough to separate it out of the overall
misery of the situation.

And then there's this whole murder charge thing. Even if Buffy does
believe that Willow would be there for her (and, given all, she's got more
than enough reason to doubt that anyone would be there for her), could she
put Willow in that kind of position? Even if she could go to her friends,
she can't, if you take my meaning.

I think there may be less disagreement than might first appear. More a
matter of emphasis than anything else. I give certain elements of the
stories more weight, you give other elements more weight. What's left, is
probably well into "agree to disagree" territory by now.

mariposas rand mair fheal greykitten tomys des anges

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Jul 7, 2007, 12:25:49 AM7/7/07
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In article <1183778208....@o61g2000hsh.googlegroups.com>,

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

> On Jul 6, 12:11 am, "One Bit Shy" <O...@nomail.sorry> wrote:
> > "Arbitrar Of Quality" <tsm...@wildmail.com> wrote in
> > messagenews:1183678458....@w5g2000hsg.googlegroups.com...
>
> ["Band Candy"]
> >
> > That's funny, because this watching sent it down to Weak for me. I think
> > it's specifically the contrast in watching it right after Homecoming - a
> > well constructed comedy.
>
> It's like an hands-on demonstration of the difference between good and
> lackluster comedy, yet fans flock to the latter. I don't get it.

some of us can enjoy -much ado about nothing- and -bugs bunny-
rather than either-or

i can talk about shoes for industry shoes for the dead
and most people just go duh
even though others of us regard that as part of well crafted comedy

go figure - i think we are all bozos on this froup

> ["Revelations"]

> Which goes back to my original issue, which is that "Revelations"
> could have been a central event in Xander's life in the series. And
> maybe it even is. But the viewer would be hard-pressed to see it.
> The moment when Xander's made to realize how badly he's hurt the
> situation and the people involved is strong, but it's also quickly
> brushed aside because, in big-episode fashion, there's not time to

i dont think xander every really gets it

i dont recall him holding on to feelings of legal guilt of himself or others
more of sort of emotional reactive carooming
he is jealous of oz and angel until anya fulfills his need to breed
and after that he doesnt really seem to hang onto anger or guilt

> still makes each episode distinct. That being said, I do feel the
> urge to employ hyperbole about how inexcusable it is that we only see
> Faith once (and pretty briefly) between "Revelations" and "The Zeppo,"
> and so on. They do continue to mention her in the dialogue, but

externalities perhaps
that dushku wasnt available
or wasnt available at their budget

mariposas rand mair fheal greykitten tomys des anges

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Jul 7, 2007, 12:35:51 AM7/7/07
to
> Telling everyone when she first learned that Angel was back had, so far
> as I can see, had no benefit and the way everyone reacts when they do find
> out underscores the negative that would come from telling. Do you really
> think Xander, or Cordelia, or even Giles, would have behaved any differently
> than they did here if she had come to them from the first? I don't.

she shouldve told giles
if not as a friend or parent substitute
then as a watcher it is something he should know about

giles had shown his ability to control himself
that she could trust him not to attack angel without cause

One Bit Shy

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Jul 7, 2007, 12:57:34 AM7/7/07
to
"Arbitrar Of Quality" <tsm...@wildmail.com> wrote in message
news:1183778208....@o61g2000hsh.googlegroups.com...

> On Jul 6, 12:11 am, "One Bit Shy" <O...@nomail.sorry> wrote:
>> "Arbitrar Of Quality" <tsm...@wildmail.com> wrote in
>> messagenews:1183678458....@w5g2000hsg.googlegroups.com...
>
> ["Band Candy"]
>>
>> That's funny, because this watching sent it down to Weak for me. I think
>> it's specifically the contrast in watching it right after Homecoming - a
>> well constructed comedy.
>
> It's like an hands-on demonstration of the difference between good and
> lackluster comedy, yet fans flock to the latter. I don't get it.

Well maybe it's the growing up element that Apteryx points to. Though that
doesn't particularly send me either. I also seem to remember Scythe
questioning whether it was a comedy.


> ["Revelations"]
>> But it's not limited to Faith. Xander is brought up short this episode,
>> and
>> his late S2 and early S3 nastiness fades away as he learns that maybe
>> he's
>> better off trusting Buffy after all. It's really a transformative
>> episode
>> for him, though it does leave him needing The Zeppo to construct a more
>> sensible self identity.
>
> "The Zeppo" opens with him concerned about making friends with the
> jocks. You'll have to forgive me if I don't see much coherence in the
> progression.

I don't think the two are really connected except in the sense that this is
what's left when Xander gives up trying to be superior to Buffy.
Revelations (and a brief scene in Amends) deals with his screwed up largely
self-constructed personal relationship with Buffy where he thinks it's his
job (with superior moral clarity) to put Buffy on the "right" path and gets
all pissed off when she doesn't meet the standards he's assigned her.
Essentially it finally occurs to him that he really sucks at that and is way
better off trusting her judgment over his. And he's a hell of a lot nicer
when he doesn't take on the burden of running other people's lives. (Except
when they're named Anya. But she's special.)

Zeppo is something else. It's his identity story for the season, dealing
with his broader series long self esteem issue. It flows from Revelations
only as necessary sequence because the Buffy issue needs to be out of the
way first. I suppose one might also argue that he gave up his biggest
source of self esteem when he decided that maybe he shouldn't be telling
Buffy what to do.


>> In the meantime he has to go through the awful
>> experience of betraying Buffy himself, having that go all wrong, and then
>> having to face Buffy. There's an inherent drama to those scenes that is
>> chilling. I'm oddly reminded of Xander's fear of standing naked before
>> the
>> class.
>
> Which goes back to my original issue, which is that "Revelations"
> could have been a central event in Xander's life in the series. And
> maybe it even is. But the viewer would be hard-pressed to see it.

Which I discovered in my conversations last time around. It always hit me
as I describe - but then maybe that's just the weird sequence I originally
saw the series. I already knew where he was headed. Then again, I didn't
like this episode as much then as I do now either. This is one that has
grown upon me, I think because it's so much fun to analyze and because it
keeps feeling more pivotal to the series. Maybe it is hard to see. I'm not
sure I care. We may be bumping into different tastes in what we like about
episodes.


> The moment when Xander's made to realize how badly he's hurt the
> situation and the people involved is strong, but it's also quickly
> brushed aside because, in big-episode fashion, there's not time to
> milk the moment for more than fifteen seconds or so while there's
> stuff to kill. The next time Xander has any dialogue of note is at
> the very end of the episode, when he's still speaking bluntly and
> crudely ("well, as long as she and Angel don't get pelvic..."). I
> assume the idea is supposed to be that he's much more vulnerable than
> he cares to admit, which will then come out a bit when he affirms his
> trust in Buffy and begs for her acceptance, but that's not what I get
> from the delivery of the line itself. Still, the end is a good moment
> that could suggest him as a stealth target of the episode.

Yes, and I tried to emphasize this last time - albeit mixed in with the
gobbledy-gook of avoiding spoiling - but didn't really get to this time.
It's not entirely clear at the end of this episode how much this has or will
affect Xander. He could still go either way. He's been shook hard, but
hasn't yet had time for it all to sink in and resolve into whatever it does.
I'm approaching this now with the foreknowledge that tension between Buffy
and Xander is going to redede mightily. We won't see something close to
this scale until Seeing Red. (Appropriately over another lover vampire.)
Even The Yoko Factor is a side show in comparison over a much narrower
issue. So I definitely am including a retrospective understanding of the
episode's significance - not just what is seen within the episode.


> Exceot
> that before we see him getting to the point where he'll apologize for
> his behavior three episodes later, we don't see him go through
> anything else with regard to being shaken up here. Indeed, the
> primary concern of the Xander of "Lovers Walk" and "The Wish" is the
> ongoing drama with Willow and Cordelia, with no sign of being
> particularly transformed in his interactions with Buffy.

I agree. I'm not sure that much more worrying over the issue would have
helped. Volunteering to help Angel in Amends may be a sufficient statement.
But the gap between episodes and his mind elsewhere probably does diminish
the impact and even lose touch with the issue at least some. Perhaps this
is a small example of the sense of wandering I had with the series at this
time. They're just squeezing so much into the season that important
connected ideas sometimes end up placed awfully far apart from each other.


>> This turns out to be a brutal episode for Giles. Post
>> played him like a drum, making him miss the real danger while expending
>> his
>> efforts on a false one. Maybe Buffy should have told him about Angel,
>> but
>> methinks he must wonder now whose judgment was truly better. He
>> certainly
>> is subdued about Angel at the end.
>>
>> Xander may have screwed up with Faith. But it's worth remembering that
>> Giles effectively sent Post to Angel and the glove. Just as he gave the
>> secret of Acathla to Angelus. Neither are truly his fault, but would
>> that
>> make him feel all that much better about it? I don't think his
>> confidence
>> as a Watcher has been broken. But I sense some cracks developing. And a
>> big whopping crack with Buffy.
>
> Again, makes sense if you trace it, but given that the idea of this
> progression has never come to mind before, how effective can it really
> be?

For Giles? Not very IMO. It's been a long tortured path for me personally
to pull together a Giles narrative that makes any kind of sense to me. To
be honest, for a terribly long time I wasn't aware that there really was a
Giles narrative. He created the illusion of being a constant. Revelations
is a great example of that. He really is a big part of the episode. His
words are the most hurtful to Buffy. He's the primary target of Post's con.
And he's nearly killed to boot. But it took ages for the impact of any of
those things to really get through to me. It's always Xander, Buffy & Faith
first. Giles is just stuffy as usual and gets knocked out as usual.

But, that's also the perfect illustration of why I've been willing to watch
this series so many times. I keep finding other layers to explore.
Revelations has proven to be one of the richer mines to dig into.


> We're used to the ongoing narratives of the later seasons, but S3
> still makes each episode distinct. That being said, I do feel the
> urge to employ hyperbole about how inexcusable it is that we only see
> Faith once (and pretty briefly) between "Revelations" and "The Zeppo,"
> and so on. They do continue to mention her in the dialogue, but
> still...

Yep. It's a bit sloppy, but what a glorious result.

By contrast, this element is precisely what S5 is spectacular with. There
are a lot of stories and ideas dealt with in that season. (I think S7 is
the only one more packed. But then, S7 couldn't stand the load.)
Frequently overlapping with assorted climaxes timed through the length of
the season. It goes after them with a relentless precision of sequence and
timing that's awesome in its way. (I sometimes imagine that Joss spent all
of S4 mapping this out onto a chart covered with yellow stickies.) It gets
kind of harsh and cold sometimes, but it never gets derailed. Never stops
pressing forward.

> Also, Wilkins's role in "Gingerbread" especially doesn't
> work for me.

Ok. I'll watch for that. But I'll probably be out of town the start of
next week, so it may take a bit before I get to your next DVD.

OBS


David L. Burkhead

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Jul 7, 2007, 1:06:59 AM7/7/07
to
mariposas rand mair fheal greykitten tomys des anges wrote:
>> Telling everyone when she first learned that Angel was back had,
>> so far as I can see, had no benefit and the way everyone reacts when
>> they do find out underscores the negative that would come from
>> telling. Do you really think Xander, or Cordelia, or even Giles,
>> would have behaved any differently than they did here if she had
>> come to them from the first? I don't.
>
> she shouldve told giles
> if not as a friend or parent substitute
> then as a watcher it is something he should know about
>
> giles had shown his ability to control himself
> that she could trust him not to attack angel without cause

As I recall (although I don't remember when this exactly was), she did
start to broach the subject with her hypothetical "what if" someone had come
back from such a hell dimension. His response about anything coming back
being a monster may have frightened her off from coming clean until she knew
more about the situation and then with one thing and another....

mariposas rand mair fheal greykitten tomys des anges

unread,
Jul 7, 2007, 1:07:19 AM7/7/07
to
> Buffy didn't give them the benefit of the doubt. She decided on her own
> that they couldn't handle the truth about Angel and kept him secret. Lied
> about what she was doing. Giving them the benefit of the doubt would be

i tend to have a more legalistic view of life
and i see the beginning of the season with xander and willow and others
making claims on buffy they just dont have standing to make
buffy is not responsible for them or to them
and does not have to explain herself to them
(she can choose to extend those rights out of freindship
but she can also withdraw them)

the only two people i would consider her responsible to
are her mother and giles
and even her mother had abandoned claim by throwing her out
(and if that was hyperbole and not a serious threat
its her mothers responsibility to show she does want her daughter back)

so i feel xanders an ass
and while willow is less judgemental i feel she is perhaps a bunny

giles makes no claim on buffy on her return
desiring only to kill the fatted calf on the return of the prodigal daughter
and i feel this even strengthens his claim on her loyality

i do agree with giles
that he had done nothing to merit buffy hidiing such important information
ive no doubt he would welcome any excuse to destroy angel
but he is not given an excuse and with his loyality to buffy defers to her

so dead mans party and the library confrontation in revelatins are to me
what mcdonalds coffee lawsuits are to others

even the great betrayal is season seven is entirely sensible to me
buffy was total denial of danger spike posed to others
and giles was at divided loyalities to the slayer line and one slayer
- so he chose the greatest good for the greatest number

i wouldve like some statement at the end of that episode from giles
whether he still wanted to destroy spike (that would be the betrayal to me)
or with spike cured giles accepted him (which appeared to be hthe case)

> subdued, seeming to recognize their own failures in that incident. (Faith's
> situation is a little more complicated, but she's not part of the core

it was chilling that faith had accepted posts comments about spartan
traumatize people and sometimes they end up sympathizing with their oppressor

as betrayed faith was at that moment by post and beaten by buffy
(buffy is unbruised but faith is still a mess)
she is so desperate for a parent that she still hangs on to post
i can understand in that final scene the loneliness of the little girl within
that drives faith to wilkins

mariposas rand mair fheal greykitten tomys des anges

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Jul 7, 2007, 1:31:44 AM7/7/07
to
In article <Wt6dnSKWWoDGgBLb...@giganews.com>,

"David L. Burkhead" <dbur...@sff.net> wrote:

> mariposas rand mair fheal greykitten tomys des anges wrote:
> >> Telling everyone when she first learned that Angel was back had,
> >> so far as I can see, had no benefit and the way everyone reacts when
> >> they do find out underscores the negative that would come from
> >> telling. Do you really think Xander, or Cordelia, or even Giles,
> >> would have behaved any differently than they did here if she had
> >> come to them from the first? I don't.
> >
> > she shouldve told giles
> > if not as a friend or parent substitute
> > then as a watcher it is something he should know about
> >
> > giles had shown his ability to control himself
> > that she could trust him not to attack angel without cause
>
> As I recall (although I don't remember when this exactly was), she did
> start to broach the subject with her hypothetical "what if" someone had come
> back from such a hell dimension. His response about anything coming back
> being a monster may have frightened her off from coming clean until she knew
> more about the situation and then with one thing and another....

in beauty and the beasts he finds buffy studying acathala in the morning
and they talk about it a bit
in the vein that the beast is in all of us
and what matters is whether you can control it or it controls you

he doubts someone escaped from hell they could ever be healed
but he doesnt say its impossible

One Bit Shy

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Jul 7, 2007, 1:39:15 AM7/7/07
to
"David L. Burkhead" <dbur...@sff.net> wrote in message
news:eLadnUdyzrUbnRLb...@giganews.com...

GILES: You must’ve known it was wrong seeing Angel or you wouldn’t have
hidden it from all of us.

That's the way it came across. Giles had been nothing but supportive
towards Buffy when dealing with the Angelus crisis. He never blamed her for
any of it. Not even for failing to have killed Angelus before Angelus got
to Jenny. Nor for running away after. He even clearly expressed his
understanding that Angel was a very different man than Angelus.

Buffy surely had reasons to fear revealing Angel's return, but she also had
lots of reasons to trust the people that had stood by her.

This episode focuses on the trust element, but Buffy's behavior has more
implications than that. You say that her judgment was shown to be right.
Only in the sense of predicting the reaction of her friends. (Though I
think that's a self fulfilling prophecy.) But have you forgotten that she
is dealing with Angel alone? An Angel that is still confused himself about
what is going on. We're being shown how she's falling in love again.
Falling in his arms again. Is now kissing him. This is the path that led
to Angelus. She's taking a huge risk. And taking it all alone without
friends to lean on. Are you really sure that her judgment is so sound?


>> Don't misunderstand, I have scads of sympathy for Buffy's
>> situation, and believe her friends did indeed inappropriately fly off
>> the handle with accusation before understanding. But the episode is
>> showing a two way street here where neither side was giving the
>> credit to the other that had been earned.
>
> But the situation isn't a two-way street. It's a triangle.

I have no idea what you mean by that. I only meant that trust doesn't flow
just one way. You have to trust to earn trust.


> I happen to think that Buffy made the right call in keeping Angel's
> presence secret. Had she revealed it as soon as she became aware of it
> (Beauty and the Beasts), the explosion would likely have been just as
> severe--possibly worse since some of the wounds reopened by it (Gile's
> torture, JC's death) would have been that much fresher--and, coming as
> closely as it did on the heals of Anne and DMP, that explosion would
> likely
> have irrevocably wrecked the friendships involved, particularly since who
> do
> you think would have been first suspect once Oz was cleared--for that
> matter
> at that point they don't even know that there is another suspect. Angel
> gets staked _then_ they find the real culprit?

You're still hung up on adjudicating who's right. Nobody's clearly right or
wrong. The teeniest changes in circumstance could wildly change the results
and the determination of what path is best. Don't look for moral certainty
in BtVS. It's positively obsessive about leaving judgments gray. Other
than Post, the one true evil figure, the real victim of this story is Faith.
Faith - the one person furthest removed from the Angel issue. The one with
the least stake in its outcome. Angel existed only as a legend to her prior
to this episode. But it's Faith who ends up with her trust truly shattered.

Life is filled with arbitrary results. BtVS is merciless in using them. In
this series, how one chooses matters more than the results. For even the
best results carry elements of doom with them. Life is a fatal proposition
after all.

So, honest, this episode is about mutual failure of trust. Not who's right.
Nobody really knows who's right. But they all can see that their lack of
mutual trust has them working against each other instead of in concert.

OBS


Don Sample

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Jul 7, 2007, 2:45:46 AM7/7/07
to
In article <eLadnUdyzrUbnRLb...@giganews.com>,

No, Buffy's judgement was wrong. Her friends were understandably upset
to learn that Angel was back, but they got over it. Buffy lying about
it was the bigger issue with them.

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

Michael Ikeda

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Jul 7, 2007, 5:42:11 AM7/7/07
to
"David L. Burkhead" <dbur...@sff.net> wrote in
news:ZsqdnTuLbb3FmhLb...@giganews.com:

> George W Harris wrote:
>> On Fri, 6 Jul 2007 23:03:59 -0400, "David L. Burkhead"
>> <dbur...@sff.net> wrote:
>>
>>> Buffy's situations make for trouble. Whether she keeps them
>>> secret or not has at most a second order effect.
>>
>> You've completely misread the situation. It was
>> precisely keeping it a secret that made for trouble, and
>> that upset all of her friends.
>
> I disagree. It started as being about keeping secrets, but
> almost
> immediately turned to the fact of Angel being alive. By far the
> bulk of the argument wasn't "you kept this secret from us" but
> "Angel's alive and he's a mass murderer."

But what's driving all of this is their anger (and fear) over Buffy
lying to them and keeping a secret that endangers all of them.

Keeping Angel's return a secret in "Beauty and the Beast" was
understandable. Although it's still Buffy doing her best imitation
of Debbie...

Keeping Angel's return a secret past BaTB is plain foolish.
Especially since (as OBS points out) she's already falling in love
with him again.

David L. Burkhead

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Jul 7, 2007, 11:34:01 AM7/7/07
to
Michael Ikeda wrote:
> "David L. Burkhead" <dbur...@sff.net> wrote in
> news:ZsqdnTuLbb3FmhLb...@giganews.com:
>
>> George W Harris wrote:
>>> On Fri, 6 Jul 2007 23:03:59 -0400, "David L. Burkhead"
>>> <dbur...@sff.net> wrote:
>>>
>>>> Buffy's situations make for trouble. Whether she keeps them
>>>> secret or not has at most a second order effect.
>>>
>>> You've completely misread the situation. It was
>>> precisely keeping it a secret that made for trouble, and
>>> that upset all of her friends.
>>
>> I disagree. It started as being about keeping secrets, but
>> almost
>> immediately turned to the fact of Angel being alive. By far the
>> bulk of the argument wasn't "you kept this secret from us" but
>> "Angel's alive and he's a mass murderer."
>
> But what's driving all of this is their anger (and fear) over Buffy
> lying to them and keeping a secret that endangers all of them.

Sorry, but I do not see that, particularly in the case of Xander and
Cordelia.

> Keeping Angel's return a secret in "Beauty and the Beast" was
> understandable. Although it's still Buffy doing her best imitation
> of Debbie...

Nor do I see this "Debbie" connection that you draw.

> Keeping Angel's return a secret past BaTB is plain foolish.
> Especially since (as OBS points out) she's already falling in love
> with him again.

Both points of this, I have to disagree with. First, there are
arguments both ways on revealing/keeping secret. I happen to think the
arguments one way weigh more heavily. Others think the other way. It's a
subject over which reasonable people can disagree. Second, she cannot
possibly be "falling in love" with Angel again since she never fell _out_ of
love with him.

David L. Burkhead

unread,
Jul 7, 2007, 1:28:34 PM7/7/07
to

So Giles can't see any other reason she might have kept it secret.
Like, say, accurately predicting Xander's reaction.

The assumption that the only reason to keep a secret is that the thing
you're keeping secret is wrong is itself wrong.

> That's the way it came across. Giles had been nothing but supportive
> towards Buffy when dealing with the Angelus crisis. He never blamed
> her for any of it. Not even for failing to have killed Angelus
> before Angelus got to Jenny. Nor for running away after. He even
> clearly expressed his understanding that Angel was a very different
> man than Angelus.

And had recently said that someone returning from a Hell dimension, as
Angel did, would be a monster.

> Buffy surely had reasons to fear revealing Angel's return, but she
> also had lots of reasons to trust the people that had stood by her.

Never said there weren't reasons on both sides. I just happen to think
the reasons on one side outweigh the reasons on the other. "Reasonable men"
and all that.

One thing to remember though, is that Buffy is not that far away from
coming out of a situation where (from everything she had seen) the one
person she should _most_ have been able to count on standing by her had
completely abandoned her. "If you go out that door, don't even think of
coming back" and "It would be better if she hadn't even come back." It takes
time to recover from that kind of wound and rebuild trust in anyone. I
don't think, especially given events that have happened between then and
"now" (story now), that there's been near enough time for that.

> This episode focuses on the trust element, but Buffy's behavior has
> more implications than that. You say that her judgment was shown to
> be right. Only in the sense of predicting the reaction of her
> friends. (Though I think that's a self fulfilling prophecy.)

Predicting her friends reaction is _exactly_ what I meant by the
judgement being right. As for self-fullfilling prophecy, the only thing
that might be a factor in this is in Willow's case. The first words out of
Xander's mouth were "I hope not, because I think you're harboring a viscious
killer." He's not thinking about betrayal of trust but the very fact of
Angel's being alive. Given his history of expressed feelings about Angel, I
just don't see him as reacting any different had Buffy come clean at the
very first. Giles had already (when Buffy had started to work herself
towards telling him) told her that he thought that whatever came back from a
hell dimension such as where Angel went would be a monster (which put the
kibosh on her telling him then). That really leaves Willow (I don't think
Oz and Cordelia are major factors at this point), the one person at this
point that she doesn't have good reason to believe won't go instantly "kill
angel" on her. But what could Buffy expect to be the results of telling
Willow individually. On the one hand, Willow could reveal things to the
others--either intentionally or by simply letting something slip. And that
brings us back to the lynch mob. Another possibility is that Willow tries
to help in dealing with Angel. But what could Willow really do except put
herself at risk? At this point in the story she's not uberwitch yet. To
set against those risks, the only real benefit is the possibility of
emotional support from Willow.

> But
> have you forgotten that she is dealing with Angel alone?

No, I haven't forgotten that. I just happen to think that dealing with
Angel and the MOTW is probably easier than dealing with Angel, MOTW, _and_ a
lynch mob.

> An Angel
> that is still confused himself about what is going on. We're being
> shown how she's falling in love again.

As I said uptopic, she can't be falling in love with him again since she
never fell out of love with him in the first place.

> Falling in his arms again. Is
> now kissing him. This is the path that led to Angelus.

Difference this time is that she knows where the path leads and is
actively seeking detours. Her feelings for Angel are a problem she's going
to have to deal with regardless of whether she brings the others on board.
There are going to be times she's alone with Angel unless the others either
dust him immediately or keep a 24/7 guard over one or the other of Buffy
and Angel.

Now, one can take the position that having the active support of her
friends can make it easier for her to resist temptation. That's certainly a
valid possibility and, I presume, the one you are taking. However, it is
also quite possible that the well-intentioned "support" of people who don't
really understand what you're going through can come across as "attacks" and
drive you right in the direction you shouldn't go. It's a difficult call
where either side could end up being "right" or "wrong."

Now, I don't think that Buffy sat down and reasoned any of this out.
Far from it. I just offer it up as one of the reasons why the call she did
make, whatever her reasons were, could well have been the "right" one.

> She's taking
> a huge risk.

Anything she does will be a huge risk.

> And taking it all alone without friends to lean on.

The only one she could probably count on leaning on is Willow. She's
got every reason to believe that the others would, far from helping, further
complicate the matter.

> Are you really sure that her judgment is so sound?

You sound like this is an either/or situation with one "good" and one
"bad" decision. My point is that it's a lot more complicated and that
instead of being black and white we've got two very close shades of gray.

>>> Don't misunderstand, I have scads of sympathy for Buffy's
>>> situation, and believe her friends did indeed inappropriately fly
>>> off the handle with accusation before understanding. But the
>>> episode is showing a two way street here where neither side was
>>> giving the
>>> credit to the other that had been earned.
>>
>> But the situation isn't a two-way street. It's a triangle.
>
> I have no idea what you mean by that. I only meant that trust
> doesn't flow just one way. You have to trust to earn trust.

There's not just Buffy and her friends. There's Buffy, her friends, and
Angel. On the trust issue (which, really, is only one part of the larger
picture) Buffy is set on a dilemma. She can trust her friends or she can
trust Angel.

As for earning trust, remember, this is a second time through. I have a
lot less sympathy for Giles' position because I've seen "Helpless" and
LMPTM. And Xander can certainly be trusted to take the position of "Angel
alive? Kill angel." a "trust" that he has definitely earned. That really
only leaves Willow, and even that's not so cut and dried as I explain above.

>> I happen to think that Buffy made the right call in keeping
>> Angel's presence secret. Had she revealed it as soon as she became
>> aware of it (Beauty and the Beasts), the explosion would likely have
>> been just as severe--possibly worse since some of the wounds
>> reopened by it (Gile's torture, JC's death) would have been that
>> much fresher--and, coming as closely as it did on the heals of Anne
>> and DMP, that explosion would likely
>> have irrevocably wrecked the friendships involved, particularly
>> since who do
>> you think would have been first suspect once Oz was cleared--for that
>> matter
>> at that point they don't even know that there is another suspect.
>> Angel gets staked _then_ they find the real culprit?
>
> You're still hung up on adjudicating who's right.

Not quite. My position has been that "right" and "wrong" in terms of
whether Buffy should have told the others right away or kept the secret as
actually happened is a very close thing. Also, as I'm using it "right" is
merely shorthand for "works out best in the end."

> Nobody's clearly
> right or wrong. The teeniest changes in circumstance could wildly
> change the results and the determination of what path is best.

I don't see any "teeniest change" that could lead to keeping the secret
being such a bad end result. What would we really need? We'd need Buffy
and Angel actually ending up sleeping together--both knowing the bad result
that could come from that. To actually change Angel, that has to be a
moment of perfect happiness. (Although Buffy and Angel don't know this, we
see in Angel that orgasms alone aren't enough), and given the guilt and fear
they'd likely be feeling, would that actually be likely?

The worst _likely_ result is a loss of trust that wasn't there in the
first place. Had the trust been there to start with, the "intervention"
would have been more along the line of trying to understand why Buffy did
what she did rather than a series of rather viscious attacks (pretty much
all from Xander, but it certainly took a while for anyone else to slap him
down). Even Willow, the closest Buffy had to support in that group
(although that "nobody's here to blame you" came across to me as pretty
facetious), just automatically assumed that Buffy was in the wrong. No "we
need to understand" but simply "this is serious. You need help."

> Don't
> look for moral certainty in BtVS. It's positively obsessive about
> leaving judgments gray. Other than Post, the one true evil figure,
> the real victim of this story is Faith. Faith - the one person
> furthest removed from the Angel issue. The one with the least stake
> in its outcome. Angel existed only as a legend to her prior to this
> episode. But it's Faith who ends up with her trust truly shattered.

Not only Angel existed only as a legend, but as a legend about Angelus.
It's entirely natural for Faith to see the situation as completely clear
cut. Angel/Angelus bad. Kill Angel/Angelus. I do, however, see this as an
important step toward Faith's turning. First Post, then Wesley, pretty much
destroyed any chance of her having any faith (I didn't intend the pun here,
but I bet Joss did) in the "good guys".

You know, I've seen some discussion before about "slayer's instincts" on
this board and IIRC, the main concensus was that it was mainly a line of BS
cooked up by the Watcher's Council. Frankly, I'm not so sure. Had Buffy
done the only thing that really would have "kept trust" with the Scoobies,
which would be either to stake the resurected Angel on sight or to tell the
others and then go out to stake him, would mean that there was no Angel to
set the stage for Faith's eventual redemption, no Angel to complete that
redemption in his own series, no reformed Faith to help with The First.

One thing I seem to see from the show is that Buffy has a strong
tendency to make decisions with her heart rather than through cold logic,
and the results of those decisions echo down generally to good effect. Not
to say she doesn't make mistakes, but when in doubt, my own inclination
would be to bet on Buffy's heart over most people's heads.

> Life is filled with arbitrary results. BtVS is merciless in using
> them. In this series, how one chooses matters more than the results.
> For even the best results carry elements of doom with them. Life is
> a fatal proposition after all.
>
> So, honest, this episode is about mutual failure of trust. Not who's
> right. Nobody really knows who's right. But they all can see that
> their lack of mutual trust has them working against each other
> instead of in concert.

That there is a mutual failure of trust is something I would completely
agree with. I just happen to think the Scoobies, particularly Xander and to
a lesser extent Giles, have earned that lack of trust more than Buffy has.

The only thing I ever intended about "right" was that I believed--and
still do--that had Buffy gone the other way and told them from the start,
the results would have been no better and quite possibly would have been
worse, not any moral "rightness" or "wrongness." Xander's highly poisonous
attack on Buffy was far more damaging to Buffy's relationship with the
Scoobies than any betrayal of trust on Buffy's part, and I remain convinced
it would have been just as poisonous had Buffy done anything other than
stake Angel on sight. Giles had as much as said that he didn't believe that
some hypothetical being (a stand-in for Angel in the conversation) would be
a monster on return from the hell dimension. If told before Angel had
recovered his sanity, I just can't bring myself to believe he would not have
been fully in Xander's court. On reflection, I think Willow probably would
have taken Buffy's part to see if Angel could be saved, but would Xander +
Giles against Willow + Buffy really have been any less divisive than
everybody against Buffy?

David L. Burkhead

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Jul 7, 2007, 1:29:25 PM7/7/07
to

All I can say is read what else I have had to say about this rather than
having me repeat it again here.

chr...@removethistoreply.gwu.edu

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Jul 7, 2007, 10:17:35 PM7/7/07
to
In alt.tv.buffy-v-slayer Arbitrar Of Quality <tsm...@wildmail.com> wrote:
> A reminder: These threads know why someone would want to kiss
> rocks.

So are these reminders replacing the old alternate episode titles?

> BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER
> Season Three, Episode 5: "Homecoming"
> Writer: David Greenwalt
> Director: David Greenwalt

I have the same sort of problem with Homecoming that other people have
with, for example, Phases or Band Candy: the MOTW storyline is so
annoyingly silly that it partially overshadows the good stuff in the rest
of the episode, dragging the whole thing down in my mind. Of course there
other episodes with similar problems -- for example, Phases and Band Candy
-- where I have no trouble focusing on the good stuff. Oh, well, there's
a reason my middle name isn't Consistency. That's just the way things
are, and if I'm judging Homecoming unfairly, I'll just have to take
comfort in knowing that it doesn't have feelings to be hurt.

So, what are the good parts? The fluking, first and foremost. Beautiful
scene. The actual homecoming dance is pretty good too, with Xander and
Willow's guilt-ridden gloom and Faith and Giles's little jokes. Speaking
of Faith's joke, Scott got a date for the dance awfully quick, didn't he?
I suspect he had this other girl lined up the whole time, and that the
reason he broke up with Buffy is not just that she was becoming less fun,
but that she was becoming less fun at the exact same time that someone
else was becoming more fun. There's no textual evidence for this, but it
does make Faith's trick more satisfying....

And speaking of Scott, I like the scene where Buffy bumps into him while
campaigning and he offers her his vote. She seems honestly moved. And
then she snaps back into campaign mode and marks Scott's name down in her
list of potential voters. Heh.

And speaking of the campaign, there's been some discussion of why Willow
would help Cordelia. In support of the theory that it was fluke-related
guilt, note her lines justifying herself to Buffy: "No, I'm not a friend.
I'm a rabid dog who should be shot! But there're forces at work here!
Dark, incomprehensible forces." Those are clearly the forces of fluking.
Later she gets even more explicit, telling Xander that they
overcompensated for their guilt in helping Cordelia.

But enough free-associating. Overall, Homecoming is tolerable, with a few
excellent parts, but I'd rank it with BatB as the weakest of the season.
Season 3 got its low points out of the way quickly, and even those low
points aren't all *that* low.

> Rating: Good

I'd only give it a Decent. But if they ever come out with a Director's
Cut that eliminates all the Slayer-hunters, I'd probably give it a Good.
(Except Mr. Trick -- I like him.)

> Season Three, Episode 6: "Band Candy"
> Writer: Jane Espenson
> Director: Michael Lange
>
> And on to more comedy, although I've always remembered the strange
> discussion about whether the episode should be classified as a comedy;
> I think how one takes it is based on how funny the jokes were. Me,

The comedy works for me. In its second half it becomes one of those
episodes from the _Airplane!_ school of humor (or maybe the Xander school
of humor), which holds that if you make a joke every three seconds, then
even if only a fraction of the jokes work you'll still do pretty good.
In this case, ASH's and KS's great performances ensure that a fairly large
fraction of the teenage-adult jokes work for me, even when the other candy
victims get tiresome.

Well, Snyder is funny too; I like the way he makes a big show of his
opinion that eating babies is wrong, apparently to impress Joyce. But one
thing about him keeps bothering me: why does he attach himself to Buffy
and Willow? No one actually loses their memories, so he should remember
that he, you know, HATES Buffy. You can fanwank that he latches on to
them because everyone else has already ditched him, but it still kind of
bothers me.

I wonder if it was Snyder himself who painted "Kiss Rocks!" on the
lockers?

The candy victims apparently only get the lustiness and irresponsibility
of teenagers. It would have been less of a comedy if they had gotten the
mood swings and bouts of depression and self-esteem issues and peer
pressure and so on. One "teen" suicide could have put a whole different
spin on the episode. Would BC have been better or worse if it had painted
a more balanced picture of the teen/adult dichotomy?

Amusing wardrobe detail: Giles's t-shirt features a couple of burn holes.
I guess he was out of practice at strutting around with a cigarette.

> Rating: Decent (up from Weak)

I'd give it a high Decent, maybe a low Good. (And its Giles/Joyce section
deserves credit for setting up some great payoff in Earshot, and even a
nice little moment in The Body.)

> Season Three, Episode 7: "Revelations"
> Writer: Douglas Petrie
> Director: James A. Contner

Ah, yes. Now *this* is the kind of stuff I love. Fortunately it
resonates for me better than it does for AOQ. And I think we can all
agree that the more Faith, the better.

Note the early scene where Faith tries to get Buffy to talk about Angel,
only to have Buffy cut her short. Faith's feelings are clearly hurt, but
she actually takes it pretty well. Despite her awkward initial approach,
she basically has good friend instincts and a real willingness to get
along. This is one of the little signs that Faith was not doomed to go
bad; she could have been great friends with Buffy, if circumstances hadn't
led to mistakes on both sides.

Love the intervention scene. High on the list of all-time great BtVS
arguments, it tops the one in DMP in part because no one loses their
temper completely or breaks down. Even when Xander, Cordelia, Giles and
Buffy make wickedly cutting remarks, it's not because they've just lost
control. They know exactly what they're saying. And as in all the great
arguments, both sides have a good deal of truth to them. It looks like
this was already well debated while I was slacking yesterday, so I won't
list all the pluses and minuses of both sides. There is one aspect to
Buffy's deceit that I don't think got enough emphasis: once exposed, it
made it almost impossible for Buffy to convince the others of anything
Angel-related. If she had come clean right away, or at least right after
BatB, then sure, her friends might have immediately wanted to kill Angel.
But in that case, Buffy would at least have been in a good position to
tell the others to back off and trust her judgement. Instead, Buffy's
(quite understandable) deceit undercut whatever authority she had with her
friends. After it's revealed that Buffy has been lying to them all for
weeks, despite the quite legitimate concerns and issues they would have
about Angel, none of them has nearly as much respect for her judgement as
they did before. At this point her arguments that Angel is safe now will
have much less effect. So in my opinion it's not just a question of Buffy
lying vs. Angel dying. In fact, Buffy's lie made it *harder* for her to
... hmm, how can I keep the rhyme going? ... not let Angel die. Telling
the truth would have been the better way to protect him.

(Also, on a more pragmatic note, if Buffy had told the truth herself, she
could have controlled the circumstances under which it was revealed. Thus
she could have kept Angel's location a secret, giving her time to get him
out of there if she was unable to stop a lynch mob from forming.)

Some have speculated that Giles was less than reasonable with Buffy
because Gwendolyn has already rattled him. I don't see it, myself.
Giles isn't hasty, never loses his temper or says anything that doesn't
sound very well-considered. I don't think he's been rattled here by
anything but Angel's return and Buffy's deception.

I find Willow's part in all this interesting. During the intervention
scene, she doesn't get angry at Buffy the way everyone else does (except
maybe Oz -- hard to tell with him), but she's definitely in the "Buffy,
you have a problem" camp. In their next scene together, without any
apparent transition, Willow has shifted to treating Buffy's
relationship-resumption with Angel as a fait accompli. she never actually
says that she now thinks Buffy was right, or that she accepts Angel, or
that Xander was being an [unheard obscenity]. It seems that Willow is
*still* wigged out by the Angel thing, yet she's *acting* like she's cool
with it, either out of guilt over her own secret or out of an overwhelming
urge to talk to Buffy about that secret, other considerations be damned.
It's actually, well, kind of deceitful. Not only do lies beget lies, but
Willow is just as capable as anyone else (if not more so) of putting her
own emotional concerns ahead of everything else.

In the end Angel saves Willow's life, proving to her and the others that
he really is good again. It's a good thing he got the chance to make this
practical demonstration; if he had been forced to rely solely on Buffy's
advocacy, Angel would have been toast.

What was the turning point for Xander? I have a vague thought, which I
haven't fleshed out yet, but no doubt someone else has already made the
point first. My thought is that Faith's bad example made Xander realize
his own mistake. He recognizes that Giles's injuries indicate a different
attacker than Angel, but Faith is bound and determined to kill the
infamous Angelus and won't listen to reason. Looking into this disturbing
mirror wakes Xander up about what he did to Buffy earlier, refusing to
consider her point of view sincerely because he's already made up his mind
about Angel. However, if this is the turning point for Xander, it's only
a turning point and not a total epiphany. When he next sees Buffy he
still lashes out at her about Angel, even though he knows Angel probably
wasn't to blame. Apparently he still needed to vent his feelings a little
more. After that we don't see what he's thinking until the process is
complete, but no doubt Angel's saving Willow's life was another big
factor. As threatening Willow is the surest way to anger Xander, so
saving her must be a good way to mollify him.

Revelations' chick fight gets a lot of praise, deservedly so. The one in
Graduation Day I means more to me, since it has so much more weight of
character history behind it: the friendship gone bad between the Slayers,
Buffy going in planning to actually kill Faith in order to save Angel, and
so on. But this one has a fair amount of emotional weight itself, and on
technical points its probably ahead of the one in GDI.

Double entendre of the week: Angel's "It's hard."

> Rating: Good

I'd give it an Excellent. It's the S3 episode with the second-highest
chance of making it into my top 10 list. (No prizes for guessing the
first.)

> Season Three, Episode 8: "Lovers Walk"
> Writer: Dan Vebber
> Director: David Semel
>
> Wow, do I ever love this episode. It's one of those where I imagine
> that its outstanding-ness should be self-explanatory, although I don't

I'll give you outstanding-ness. Any episode that can have a character
threaten to shove a broken bottle into Willow's face, *without* destroying
every last shred of sympathy I have for that character, is an outstanding
achievement indeed. If I hadn't seen it myself, I would never have
believed it was possible.

Spike is great in this episode, and as AOQ says it also uses him in a way
that feels right. He's both a love-whipped romantic *and* a monster, and
the script balances the two aspects better than almost any others, maybe
even FFL and Seeing Red.

The rest of the cast gives great performances too, but as usual I choose
to single out AH for special praise. She's great in the extremely
upsetting bottle-in-face conversation. Look at her nervously watching
Spike, but looking away whenever he meets her eyes, or the perfectly
Willowy way she stands up for herself when Spike gets to the rather
disturbing bit about "having" a woman. AH really needs to find another
vehicle that lets her blend comedy and drama the way BTVS did.

Nice attention to detail: they took the trouble to paint the dried blood
on Xander's face according to the way it would have flowed when he was
lying face-down in the lab, even though when we see it he's already lying
face-up.

So now that everyone knows Angel is back, we start a veritable parade of
people telling them why they just can't be together: Spike, the Mayor,
Joyce.... The message takes a while to sink in, though.

The final montage is really rather a lot like the one in Tabula Rasa,
isn't it? The big difference is that the final contrasting shot in LW is
mostly a humorous comment on Spike's character, while the final
contrasting shot in TR is a non-humorous major plot development.

This is also the episode when the gang get their SAT scores back.
Buffy's high scores, combined with the presence of a second Slayer, give
her something new to worry about: the future. Apparently, she might have
one after all. The nagging fear that she might not live long enough to
enjoy that future is not entirely gone, but at this point it's being
shoved to the background (maybe a little too much so IMO). Right now the
emphasis is on possibilities for the future ... so that they can be closed
off later. Buffy's SAT scores also serve a fairly basic plot purpose:
they make it more plausible that, despite her checkered past, Buffy will
wind up going to a college good enough that Willow could possibly consider
enrolling in it.

You gotta love something as audaciously over-the-top as the funeral
mislead.

Spike sees Angel reading Sartre's _Nausea_, world-famous as the book that
inspired Joss when making Objects in Space.

Pez!

> Rating: Excellent

Agreed. Revelations means more to me, but Lovers Walk may match it as far
as objective quality is concerned. (We'll find out for sure as soon as I
perfect that objective quality meter I've been working on.)


--Chris

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

Don Sample

unread,
Jul 8, 2007, 2:46:36 AM7/8/07
to
In article <1390i9v...@corp.supernews.com>,
chr...@removethistoreply.gwu.edu wrote:

> In alt.tv.buffy-v-slayer Arbitrar Of Quality <tsm...@wildmail.com> wrote:

> > Season Three, Episode 6: "Band Candy"
> > Writer: Jane Espenson
> > Director: Michael Lange
> >
> > And on to more comedy, although I've always remembered the strange
> > discussion about whether the episode should be classified as a comedy;
> > I think how one takes it is based on how funny the jokes were. Me,
>

> The candy victims apparently only get the lustiness and irresponsibility
> of teenagers. It would have been less of a comedy if they had gotten the
> mood swings and bouts of depression and self-esteem issues and peer
> pressure and so on. One "teen" suicide could have put a whole different
> spin on the episode. Would BC have been better or worse if it had painted
> a more balanced picture of the teen/adult dichotomy?

I've always thought that people put too much emphasis on the "behaving
like teenagers" angle. That was a simile that the characters came up
with to try to explain the behaviour that they were seeing, not the
literal truth of it. It was an analogy, and like all analogies, it is
not perfect. The adults were all acting much less responsibly than your
typical teenager. I doubt if teenage Joyce ever had sex on top of a
police car with anyone.

(Harmony) Watcher

unread,
Jul 8, 2007, 4:26:29 AM7/8/07
to

"Don Sample" <dsa...@synapse.net> wrote in message
news:dsample-914B48...@news.giganews.com...
It would probably depend on whether Joyce believed in "flower" power like
Giles did.

--
==Harmony Watcher==


Arbitrar Of Quality

unread,
Jul 8, 2007, 2:04:05 PM7/8/07
to
David L. Burkhead wrote:

> And then there's this whole murder charge thing. Even if Buffy does
> believe that Willow would be there for her (and, given all, she's got more
> than enough reason to doubt that anyone would be there for her), could she
> put Willow in that kind of position? Even if she could go to her friends,
> she can't, if you take my meaning.

Absolutely; I'm not trying to suggest that Buffy doesn't have reasons
that are either valid or feel like they are.

> I think there may be less disagreement than might first appear. More a
> matter of emphasis than anything else.

Probably.

-AOQ

Arbitrar Of Quality

unread,
Jul 8, 2007, 2:17:40 PM7/8/07
to
On Jul 7, 9:17 pm, chr...@removethistoreply.gwu.edu wrote:
> In alt.tv.buffy-v-slayer Arbitrar Of Quality <tsm...@wildmail.com> wrote:
>
> > A reminder: These threads know why someone would want to kiss
> > rocks.
>
> So are these reminders replacing the old alternate episode titles?

Heh, I was waiting for someone to notice that. I just got tired of
the "not spoiler-free" disclaimer given that no one cares at this
point, and realized it would be a good place to work in quotes from
the episodes in a hopefully amusing manner.

> So, what are the good parts? The fluking, first and foremost. Beautiful
> scene. The actual homecoming dance is pretty good too, with Xander and
> Willow's guilt-ridden gloom and Faith and Giles's little jokes. Speaking
> of Faith's joke, Scott got a date for the dance awfully quick, didn't he?
> I suspect he had this other girl lined up the whole time, and that the
> reason he broke up with Buffy is not just that she was becoming less fun,
> but that she was becoming less fun at the exact same time that someone
> else was becoming more fun. There's no textual evidence for this, but it
> does make Faith's trick more satisfying....

I always forget about Giles's joke, so it entertains... plus, of
course, something bad really is going on, so... Anyway, Faith cutting
down Scott also becomes more satisfying years later when we learn how
he treats his ex-girlfriends, even when he was the one who initiated
the breakup. Doesn't seem like anyone really bothered to sit down and
figure out who Scott was, what with the transient nature of his
relevance to anything.


>
> I'd only give it a Decent. But if they ever come out with a Director's
> Cut that eliminates all the Slayer-hunters, I'd probably give it a Good.
> (Except Mr. Trick -- I like him.)

They're just there to be hired guns for the action set-pieces (and for
Trick to mock a little).

>
> Ah, yes. Now *this* is the kind of stuff I love. Fortunately it
> resonates for me better than it does for AOQ. And I think we can all
> agree that the more Faith, the better.

No disagreement.

> There is one aspect to
> Buffy's deceit that I don't think got enough emphasis: once exposed, it
> made it almost impossible for Buffy to convince the others of anything
> Angel-related. If she had come clean right away, or at least right after
> BatB, then sure, her friends might have immediately wanted to kill Angel.
> But in that case, Buffy would at least have been in a good position to
> tell the others to back off and trust her judgement. Instead, Buffy's
> (quite understandable) deceit undercut whatever authority she had with her
> friends. After it's revealed that Buffy has been lying to them all for
> weeks, despite the quite legitimate concerns and issues they would have
> about Angel, none of them has nearly as much respect for her judgement as
> they did before. At this point her arguments that Angel is safe now will
> have much less effect. So in my opinion it's not just a question of Buffy
> lying vs. Angel dying. In fact, Buffy's lie made it *harder* for her to
> ... hmm, how can I keep the rhyme going? ... not let Angel die. Telling
> the truth would have been the better way to protect him.

We can't be sure how it would have turned out or definitively say what
the "better" course of action was, but on everything else, well said.

> I find Willow's part in all this interesting. During the intervention
> scene, she doesn't get angry at Buffy the way everyone else does (except
> maybe Oz -- hard to tell with him), but she's definitely in the "Buffy,
> you have a problem" camp. In their next scene together, without any
> apparent transition, Willow has shifted to treating Buffy's
> relationship-resumption with Angel as a fait accompli. she never actually
> says that she now thinks Buffy was right, or that she accepts Angel, or
> that Xander was being an [unheard obscenity]. It seems that Willow is
> *still* wigged out by the Angel thing, yet she's *acting* like she's cool
> with it, either out of guilt over her own secret or out of an overwhelming
> urge to talk to Buffy about that secret, other considerations be damned.
> It's actually, well, kind of deceitful. Not only do lies beget lies, but
> Willow is just as capable as anyone else (if not more so) of putting her
> own emotional concerns ahead of everything else.

I think her own secret is probably meant to be the biggest catalyst
for that change... seriously, though, I don't want to dwell on it, but
Willow's dialogue seems "off" to me pretty much all episode.

> What was the turning point for Xander? I have a vague thought, which I
> haven't fleshed out yet, but no doubt someone else has already made the
> point first. My thought is that Faith's bad example made Xander realize
> his own mistake. He recognizes that Giles's injuries indicate a different
> attacker than Angel, but Faith is bound and determined to kill the
> infamous Angelus and won't listen to reason. Looking into this disturbing
> mirror wakes Xander up about what he did to Buffy earlier, refusing to
> consider her point of view sincerely because he's already made up his mind
> about Angel.

No contradiction there. The fact that Faith is there to be the
impulsive and judgmental one frees him up to be the rational (by
contrast) one, and thus take the first steps towards doubting himself.

> You gotta love something as audaciously over-the-top as the funeral
> mislead.

Or roll one's eyes in a vigorous manner. I loved it, though.

-AOQ

Arbitrar Of Quality

unread,
Jul 8, 2007, 2:30:08 PM7/8/07
to
On Jul 7, 12:28 pm, "David L. Burkhead" <dburkh...@sff.net> wrote:
> One Bit Shy wrote:
> > "David L. Burkhead" <dburkh...@sff.net> wrote in message

> >news:eLadnUdyzrUbnRLb...@giganews.com...
> >> This one's going to ramble a bit again since I'm still working out
> >> my own views in my own mind.
>
> >> One Bit Shy wrote:
> >>> "David L. Burkhead" <dburkh...@sff.net> wrote in message

> >>>news:8-2dnfEzEYg6SBPb...@giganews.com...
> >>>> Michael Ikeda wrote:
> >>>>> "David L. Burkhead" <dburkh...@sff.net> wrote in

The point that seems to consistently be getting lost here is that the
way the other characters react to Buffy isn't just based on the
fundamental disagreements about Angel's nature, although that's part
of it, but also how they find out about it. It's a reasonable
assumption to think that Xander would still have the same strong
misgivings if Buffy had told him about it right away. But is it
really so outlandish to think that they might have been able to trust
her judgment more (a major theme in Willow's words, at least) if
they'd found out about it some way other than having Xander report
seeing them kissing? What if Buffy had been the one to initiate the
discussion, presenting her case first? What if she'd told her friends
in one-on-one conversations, thus at the very least eliminating the
"room full of people yelling at Buffy" setup? What if she'd talked to
Giles, alone, and the two of them had pondered what to do next and how
to present the situation to the others? In any of those situations,
the results certainly might have been less explosive, even if the
characters still weren't all on the same page. I don't see why it
seems to be so controversial an idea that the way "Revelations" plays
out is exacerbated by the lack of trust going around.

-AOQ

peachy ashie passion

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Jul 8, 2007, 7:40:06 PM7/8/07
to
Arbitrar Of Quality wrote:

>
> The point that seems to consistently be getting lost here is that the
> way the other characters react to Buffy isn't just based on the
> fundamental disagreements about Angel's nature, although that's part
> of it, but also how they find out about it. It's a reasonable
> assumption to think that Xander would still have the same strong
> misgivings if Buffy had told him about it right away. But is it
> really so outlandish to think that they might have been able to trust
> her judgment more (a major theme in Willow's words, at least) if
> they'd found out about it some way other than having Xander report
> seeing them kissing? What if Buffy had been the one to initiate the
> discussion, presenting her case first? What if she'd told her friends
> in one-on-one conversations, thus at the very least eliminating the
> "room full of people yelling at Buffy" setup? What if she'd talked to
> Giles, alone, and the two of them had pondered what to do next and how
> to present the situation to the others? In any of those situations,
> the results certainly might have been less explosive, even if the
> characters still weren't all on the same page. I don't see why it
> seems to be so controversial an idea that the way "Revelations" plays
> out is exacerbated by the lack of trust going around.
>
> -AOQ
>

Frankly, I've always thought if she'd had a cell phone in her pocket
and called Giles the instant she found Angel; "Giles, it's him, in
body.. he's not all there mentally, oh my gosh I did this to him, what
do I do, help help!!!!"

Everyone would have been on her side then.

Mel

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Jul 9, 2007, 11:21:17 PM7/9/07
to

Arbitrar Of Quality wrote:

>
>
> The point that seems to consistently be getting lost here is that the
> way the other characters react to Buffy isn't just based on the
> fundamental disagreements about Angel's nature, although that's part
> of it, but also how they find out about it. It's a reasonable
> assumption to think that Xander would still have the same strong
> misgivings if Buffy had told him about it right away. But is it
> really so outlandish to think that they might have been able to trust
> her judgment more (a major theme in Willow's words, at least) if
> they'd found out about it some way other than having Xander report
> seeing them kissing?

Or how about if Xander had confronted Buffy with what he saw *before*
telling all the others? It would have been nice for him to give her the
chance to tell them instead of going behind her back so they could all
gang up on her at once.

But that would have made him less of an ass, so I guess not.


Mel

chr...@removethistoreply.gwu.edu

unread,
Jul 10, 2007, 12:39:03 PM7/10/07
to
In alt.tv.buffy-v-slayer Mel <melb...@uci.net> wrote:

> Or how about if Xander had confronted Buffy with what he saw *before*
> telling all the others? It would have been nice for him to give her the
> chance to tell them instead of going behind her back so they could all
> gang up on her at once.
>
> But that would have made him less of an ass, so I guess not.

Knowing only what Xander knew, would anyone but a saint have gone to Buffy
first? Angel's return seemed like a *major* problem to Xander, not
something to take chances with. And the realization that Buffy had been
hiding Angel, and the sight of Buffy making smoochies with Angel, seemed
like signs she would not handle the situation rationally. So Xander went
straight to Giles instead, and he and Giles decided together that an
intervention by Buffy's friends as a group was the way to go. Maybe this
wasn't the best approach, but it was reasonable given what they knew, and
none of it requires Xander to be especially assy.

Now, refusing to listen to other's points of view and nasty remarks during
the ensuing argument are another matter. But while Xander was the worst
offender on those points, he wasn't the *only* offender.

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