A Second Look: BTVS S3D5

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Arbitrar Of Quality

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Jul 26, 2007, 2:24:48 AM7/26/07
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A reminder: These threads make Godot look punctual.


BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER
Season Three, Episode 16: "Doppelgängland"
Writer: Joss Whedon
Director: Joss Whedon

I tend to part ways with the consensus here. It seems like a clever
construct (until it falls apart about halfway through). Bringing back
Anya is a good choice, many of the scenes are deftly written
(including the broken-cross/group-hug bit and the Willow-vs.-Willow
sequences, definitely *not* including the banana and Angel's double-
take), and Wesley is much funnier than I remembered. The thing is,
I'm not seeing much of a point. Aimless comedy for its own sake is
fun for a little, but doesn't make for a masterpiece. And I like
Willow too, but for a Willow-centric episode, DGL tells us much less
about her than one would think. It comes across as a chance for Joss
to indulge in his love for the character, and even more so for
Hannigan to indulge in playing her vampire caricature. We've already
had an "actor indulgence" episode this year in "The Wish;" how much
indulging in the same things can one do before it gets old? I laugh
enough at "Doppelgängland" to bump it up to Good this time around, but
I'm unlikely to ever understand what y'all are so excited about.
Rating: Good (up from Decent)


Season Three, Episode 17: "Enemies"
Writer: Douglas Petrie
Director: David Grossman

This one's fast-paced, full of twists, and most of all, full of Angel/
Faith scenes, Angel/Faith/Wilkins scenes, and Faith/Wilkins scenes.
The latter relationship really takes shape for me here (although the
basic template was actually introduced the week before); apparently
Faith grinning at the suggestion of mini-golf wasn't scripted, but
it's one of those accidents that happily leads to TV brilliance.
There was a fair amount of talk about whether or not there should be
clues if a show is going to pull out a plot twist like the one in this
episode. I firmly believe that dropping hints for the audience is
less important than whether the episode makes sense in retrospect
(answer: mostly, a few quibbles), and whether it's interesting both
before knowing the real story (answer: yes) and after (answer: yes).
So I'm quite happy.
Rating: Good


Season Three, Episode 18: "Earshot"
Writer: Jane Espenson
Director: Regis B. Kimble

In the DVD world, "Earshot" is finally assured of being placed in the
proper position, now and forever. Okay. First let's get the
obligatory (because they're worth saying) good points listed. There
are a fair number of good jokes to be had here. It contains a few of
the very best Buffy/Angel moments of the series, as they get
tantalizingly close to being a couple with legs. The premise is an
oldie-but-goodie, and leads into a speech that, however preachy it may
be, deserves to be given, especially with Gellar doing everything
actorly possible to sell it. That being said, this episode annoys
me. It's the ultimate "triumph" of the kind of idiot plotting and
idiot characters that make it hard to let the show be accepted as the
kind of Serious Drama it often tries to be; this is one of the more
dissonant and less successful of the series's many attempts to mix
drama with dumb fun. "Earshot" has no problem with borderline
character assassination as long as it leads to a joke (I guess I'm
being redundant, since I already listed Jane Espenson as the writer).
Buffy is completely unable to imagine the possible drawbacks to
uncontrolled thought reception. Giles tries to lie to a telepath.
Willow and the Buffy-less Scoobies fall into the role of bumbling
morons who're useless without their protagonist. And in the episode's
crowning moment, Xander is distracted from an attempt to prevent a
mass murder by the irresistible allure of jello. I feel like I should
repeat the previous sentence in all capital letters or something.
Would it kill you to at least pretend to respect your characters as
something other than cheap-joke fodder, show? That scene alone would
ensure that "Earshot" is not, and never will be, one of the all-time
greats in my book.
Rating: Decent


Season Three, Episode 19: "Choices"
Writer: David Fury
Director: James A. Contner

Certain episodes leave me very little to say about them. This is one
of them. "Choices" is an early example of a Whedonverse heist story,
in the most easily infiltrated government building this side of CTU.
It's a placeholder episode for me. Which sounds like a pejorative
term, but I mean that it fills a niche in the overall season and does
the role it was designed for. It's fun, and it stands mostly alone;
it keeps things more or less at status quo but quietly gives the
characters a last nudge to roll into their final paths for the end of
the year and beyond. All in all, the right episode to air as #19.
Now that we've had the setup, choices start getting made here (the
emotionally-charged decision to trade Willow for postponement of the
apocalypse is the big one, of course, but I always focus on Willow
committing to the magical world over the daytime one), as they will
throughout the final block of high school episodes.
Rating: Good


Additional comments on S3D5: I remember that it was interesting,
amidst my general S3 love, to find myself breaking with the general
consensus on a couple of its most beloved episodes in such quick
succession. Just when we were finishing one "your sense of humor and
taste are really weird" discussion, it was on to another (and none of
this was too far removed from "The Zeppo," since I was between labs at
the time and posting reviews at what I now see was a ridiculously fast
pace). I was a little unsure back then about where my ratings would
settle with persepctvie and re-watching, but now I'm more convinced
than ever that "Earshot" in particular isn't as good as you probably
think it is.

Thoughts?

-AOQ

mariposas rand mair fheal greykitten tomys des anges

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Jul 26, 2007, 4:11:38 AM7/26/07
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> Season Three, Episode 16: "Doppelgängland"

> take), and Wesley is much funnier than I remembered. The thing is,


> I'm not seeing much of a point. Aimless comedy for its own sake is
> fun for a little, but doesn't make for a masterpiece. And I like

its like the idea that its easy to do a story
that requires people accept the existence of a hell and devil
but not a heaven and benevolent god

and dramas win oscars not comedies

> indulging in the same things can one do before it gets old? I laugh
> enough at "Doppelgängland" to bump it up to Good this time around, but
> I'm unlikely to ever understand what y'all are so excited about.

what some fans are so excited about hannigan in leather
discovering cleavage

> Season Three, Episode 17: "Enemies"

> This one's fast-paced, full of twists, and most of all, full of Angel/


> Faith scenes, Angel/Faith/Wilkins scenes, and Faith/Wilkins scenes.
> The latter relationship really takes shape for me here (although the
> basic template was actually introduced the week before); apparently

perhaps its for the little things i despise wilkins for
while he wants a daughter and that reminder of human contact
the way he manipulates faiths need for a father for his own ends is disgusting

when faith wakes up in a year wilkins could have left her something
to try to get her reintegrated into human society
instead he goads her to go out in a blaze of his glory

more immediately he is willing to prostitute his daughter
and teach her to become a torturer for his own purposes

> Season Three, Episode 18: "Earshot"

> morons who're useless without their protagonist. And in the episode's


> crowning moment, Xander is distracted from an attempt to prevent a
> mass murder by the irresistible allure of jello. I feel like I should
> repeat the previous sentence in all capital letters or something.

the plot required xander enter the kitchen to see the cook with the poison
the moment wasnt to ridicule xander
but to get him to the necessary information to prevent mass murder

i dont know whether they couldve plotted an alternative way
to get xander in the kitchen looking for jonath-n
but thats what it was about

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

Rowan Hawthorn

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Jul 26, 2007, 10:05:03 AM7/26/07
to
Arbitrar Of Quality wrote:
> A reminder: These threads make Godot look punctual.
>
>
> BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER
> Season Three, Episode 16: "Doppelgängland"
> Writer: Joss Whedon
> Director: Joss Whedon
>
> I tend to part ways with the consensus here.

Blasphemer.

> It seems like a clever
> construct (until it falls apart about halfway through). Bringing back
> Anya is a good choice, many of the scenes are deftly written
> (including the broken-cross/group-hug bit and the Willow-vs.-Willow
> sequences, definitely *not* including the banana and Angel's double-
> take),

IMO, less to do with the writing than Boreanaz' acting. Some actors
could have pulled that off. He didn't.

> and Wesley is much funnier than I remembered. The thing is,
> I'm not seeing much of a point. Aimless comedy for its own sake is
> fun for a little, but doesn't make for a masterpiece. And I like
> Willow too, but for a Willow-centric episode, DGL tells us much less
> about her than one would think. It comes across as a chance for Joss
> to indulge in his love for the character, and even more so for
> Hannigan to indulge in playing her vampire caricature. We've already
> had an "actor indulgence" episode this year in "The Wish;" how much
> indulging in the same things can one do before it gets old? I laugh
> enough at "Doppelgängland" to bump it up to Good this time around, but
> I'm unlikely to ever understand what y'all are so excited about.

Well, there's that humor thing that's been discussed previously... One
thing to keep in mind: for myself, as well as some others that posted
here in the past, "Favorite Episodes" and "Best Episodes" are not
necessarily the same list, although there may be considerable overlap.

> Rating: Good (up from Decent)

Heretic. (up from Blasphemer...)

>
> Additional comments on S3D5: I remember that it was interesting,
> amidst my general S3 love, to find myself breaking with the general
> consensus on a couple of its most beloved episodes in such quick
> succession. Just when we were finishing one "your sense of humor and
> taste are really weird" discussion, it was on to another (and none of
> this was too far removed from "The Zeppo," since I was between labs at
> the time and posting reviews at what I now see was a ridiculously fast
> pace). I was a little unsure back then about where my ratings would
> settle with persepctvie and re-watching, but now I'm more convinced
> than ever that "Earshot" in particular isn't as good as you probably
> think it is.
>
> Thoughts?

I have to agree with you on "Earshot." Not one of my favorites, and
certainly not on my "Best of Buffy" list (if I actually *had* such a list.)

--
Rowan Hawthorn

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

Mark Myers

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Jul 26, 2007, 9:32:53 AM7/26/07
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On Wed, 25 Jul 2007 23:24:48 -0700, Arbitrar Of Quality said...

>
> Season Three, Episode 18: "Earshot"
> Writer: Jane Espenson
> Director: Regis B. Kimble
>
> In the DVD world, "Earshot" is finally assured of being placed in the
> proper position, now and forever. Okay. First let's get the
> obligatory (because they're worth saying) good points listed. There
> are a fair number of good jokes to be had here. It contains a few of
> the very best Buffy/Angel moments of the series, as they get
> tantalizingly close to being a couple with legs. The premise is an
> oldie-but-goodie, and leads into a speech that, however preachy it may
> be, deserves to be given, especially with Gellar doing everything
> actorly possible to sell it. That being said, this episode annoys
> me. It's the ultimate "triumph" of the kind of idiot plotting and
> idiot characters that make it hard to let the show be accepted as the
> kind of Serious Drama it often tries to be; this is one of the more
> dissonant and less successful of the series's many attempts to mix
> drama with dumb fun. "Earshot" has no problem with borderline
> character assassination as long as it leads to a joke (I guess I'm
> being redundant, since I already listed Jane Espenson as the writer).
> Buffy is completely unable to imagine the possible drawbacks to
> uncontrolled thought reception. Giles tries to lie to a telepath.

It's a smoke screen. By unsuccessfully lying about one subject, he
manages to completely hide another. Specifically regarding himself and
Joyce.

> Willow and the Buffy-less Scoobies fall into the role of bumbling
> morons who're useless without their protagonist. And in the episode's
> crowning moment, Xander is distracted from an attempt to prevent a
> mass murder by the irresistible allure of jello. I feel like I should
> repeat the previous sentence in all capital letters or something.
> Would it kill you to at least pretend to respect your characters as
> something other than cheap-joke fodder, show? That scene alone would
> ensure that "Earshot" is not, and never will be, one of the all-time
> greats in my book.
> Rating: Decent

It gets a higher rating from me if only for:
"You slept with Giles? TWICE?!"

I won't disagree with your other comments, except to say that whilst
true I think you've exaggerated their importance. I don't see any need
to use capital letters, though from your expressed depth of feeling on
the matter I expect to agree to differ.

--
Mark Myers
usenet2 at mcm2002 dot f9 dot co dot uk
I call that a radical interpretation of the text.

Wouter Valentijn

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Jul 26, 2007, 1:08:40 PM7/26/07
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"Arbitrar Of Quality" <tsm...@wildmail.com> schreef in bericht
news:1185431088.6...@x40g2000prg.googlegroups.com...

A reminder: These threads make Godot look punctual.


BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER
Season Three, Episode 16: "Doppelgängland"
Writer: Joss Whedon
Director: Joss Whedon

I tend to part ways with the consensus here. It seems like a clever
construct (until it falls apart about halfway through). Bringing back
Anya is a good choice, many of the scenes are deftly written
(including the broken-cross/group-hug bit and the Willow-vs.-Willow
sequences, definitely *not* including the banana and Angel's double-
take), and Wesley is much funnier than I remembered.

Thoughts?

***

Funny thing is the banana thing is in my eyes a classic.
The Angel doubletake was *the* moment I started to like that character.
Before that I almost hated him.

--
Wouter Valentijn

www.wouter.cc
www.nksf.nl
http://www.nksf.scifics.com/Nom20072008.html
www.zeppodunsel.nl
liam=mail

One Bit Shy

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Jul 27, 2007, 8:06:23 PM7/27/07
to
"Arbitrar Of Quality" <tsm...@wildmail.com> wrote in message
news:1185431088.6...@x40g2000prg.googlegroups.com...

> A reminder: These threads make Godot look punctual.

Ah, so the primary function of your posts is to be waited for.

Let's all sing together, "Anticipation..."


> BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER
> Season Three, Episode 16: "Doppelgängland"
> Writer: Joss Whedon
> Director: Joss Whedon

That Joss wrote this tends to make me take Willow nuances a bit more
seriously. Perhaps that's my fantasy, but somehow I think Joss wanted his
hands on this one for more than dressing AH in leather.


> I tend to part ways with the consensus here. It seems like a clever
> construct (until it falls apart about halfway through).

Is there some particular point that you think it falls apart?


> Bringing back
> Anya is a good choice,

Does this episode count as the root of Anya/Willow hostility? I think I
could make a case for the possibility, but I struggle to recognize this
event resonating in the future. Not consciously anyway. Maybe they're just
naturally opposed in any time.

I suspect bringing Anya back was a lucky choice - something that just
naturally piggy-backed on bringing back vampire Willow. But this time,
unlike in The Wish, she got a part able to show how good she could be.
Woo-hoo!


> many of the scenes are deftly written
> (including the broken-cross/group-hug bit and the Willow-vs.-Willow
> sequences, definitely *not* including the banana and Angel's double-
> take),

I like the banana. It makes me laugh. (Bananas are innately fun. One big
happy yellow smile.) That Willow would choose such a ridiculously trivial
item to rebel over is also representative of how stifled she really is by
her established identity that she wants to break free from. I think it's a
good choice.


> and Wesley is much funnier than I remembered.

I'm not sure if it's on purpose, but the physical setup for Wesley saving
Cordelia pretty much requires him to have been hiding in the bathroom when
Cordy and vamp-Willow came in. The notion tickles my funny bone. In any
case, that brief scene is very nicely done. Much better than his Graduation
Day flops IMO.


> The thing is,
> I'm not seeing much of a point.

It's Part I of Willow's two part identity story. Here is where Willow
decides to break from her old identity. Choices is where she finds her new
identity.


> Aimless comedy for its own sake is
> fun for a little, but doesn't make for a masterpiece.

Depends how much you think of the comedy. Within some circles, Porky's is a
masterpiece because of how exquisitely it presents its form of comedy -
sophomoric humor. Obviously, if you don't like sophomoric humor, that's not
a selling point. But if you do, then chances are that you'd recognize it as
a classic.

Doppelgängland isn't a humor masterpiece IMO, though I do laugh a lot. But
I don't think it's aimless either.


> And I like
> Willow too, but for a Willow-centric episode, DGL tells us much less
> about her than one would think. It comes across as a chance for Joss
> to indulge in his love for the character, and even more so for
> Hannigan to indulge in playing her vampire caricature. We've already
> had an "actor indulgence" episode this year in "The Wish;" how much
> indulging in the same things can one do before it gets old? I laugh
> enough at "Doppelgängland" to bump it up to Good this time around, but
> I'm unlikely to ever understand what y'all are so excited about.

I think you're missing some fairly straight forward character development
parts, but then that seems to be the norm for the episode. The appeal
mostly goes to the humor, the innuendo, and "Gosh, look at those." Indeed,
everybody is looking at those - even Giles. (Shame on you Rupert!)

Props for the nice Faith/Wilkins scene. One can sometimes forget that
Wilkins seduction of Faith was a process that takes a couple episodes to
take hold. Faith doesn't get him yet and still isn't quite ready to be the
killer the Mayor wants. But he's reeling her in beautifully and ruthlessly.
I really like the "sugar daddy" moment. It's a convincing rejection of the
notion by Wilkins (who really is repelled by such an arrangement) that
serves to emphasize that it's a real daddy that he's offering Faith. It
just occurred to me that this is quite the contrast to Buffy, who
effectively has lost her real father and is on the path to losing that
surrogate connection with Giles. I'm not sure where to take that, but there
you have it. At the least, the desire for a father figure makes for one
more connection between Buffy and Faith.


> Rating: Good (up from Decent)

It's been curious going through this season now. When you did your earlier
reviews of S3 I learned all sorts of things from the insights of other
responders, but my general feeling towards the episodes didn't change much.
This time I'm finding some episodes really lagging (Band Candy took a nose
dive) and others suddenly and unexpectedly fresh and tantalizing (Amends
went way up). I've always enjoyed Doppelgängland, but never to the extent
that many do. This time, however, I was totally engaged. A joyful romp
that made me kind of fall in love with the episode and raise its rating to
Excellent.

OK. About Willow.

There are a few little things done to set up Choices and help connect this
episode to it. The floating pencil. Emotional control as key to her magic.
Demonstrating her heightened emotions about Faith. Not terribly big at the
moment, but they do directly play into the later episode. Willow's bad
feelings about Faith will persist into S4 too, as she's quite ready to take
a whack at Faith then, and seems to actively dislike Faith more than Buffy
at that moment. (As I write this, I realize that I'm disappointed Willow
retrieved Faith from L.A. as easily as she did in S7. Seems like a missed
opportunity.) Willow's issue with emotional control in her magic will, of
course, become a more prominent theme for her in later seasons.

The term "emotional control" is kind of interesting. In this episode's
pencil scene it comes across as a question of staying on an emotional even
keel or not. But control speaks to harnessing emotions, not necessarily
suppressing them. In Choices, is Willow keeping a lid on her emotions when
she drives the pencil home? Or was she instead using her heightened
emotions to do the work?

That's a sidelight. The big lifting this episode is about identity,
starting with Willow's discontent and how stifling her current self identity
really is. Oz has a terrific line with the radical interpretation of the
text, but he really did take it for granted that Willow would rather study
than go on a road trip with his band. Then, even as Willow complains about
that, she just goes and confirms the perception by having to study rather
than watch his band that night. Least there is any confusion about what
Willow "needs" to do, we've just had Snyder make it abundantly clear that
she's got no real study pressures whatsoever. Willow makes her own
pressure.

The idea is largely repeated with Xander and Buffy and the banana. (Along
with good laughter over Old Faithful and Old Yeller, and then again with the
problem about coming along with someone storming off.)

Then the discontent moves to action when Anya shows up and Willow says
something just a little startling.

Willow: (eagerly) So, tell me, is it dangerous?
Anya: Oh, no.
Willow: (disappointed) Well, could we pretend it is?

This little exchange says a lot about future Willow. I don't believe we've
seen before or quite so blatantly the reckless thrill seeking side of
Willow. There have been hints, but it's also been balanced by a lot of
timidity - especially about danger. Here she's eagerly ready to leap
without caution. (She'll also display her inability to see that in herself
as she shortly there after lectures Anya on magic being dangerous and not
something to toy with.)

On a more short term basis it points towards Choices. Not just the magic -
which is the obvious direction for her to choose - but the danger. Even
before she responds so well to her thrill ride in City Hall, Buffy entices
her to go by telling her that'll it be dangerous.

So we see discontent with where Willow is at and we see her reach for danger
as alternative to it.

Then the spell goes wrong (which itself points to future problems, since it
appears that Willow screwed it up by pouring the powder onto her own hand
instead of the dish) and the Sunnydale effect comes into play by bringing a
version of her desires to life - er - unlife.

Vamp-Willow is an alternative to Willow in much the same sense that Faith is
to Buffy - or Wishverse Buffy is to Buffy. One of those trial identities
that you spoke of earlier. Indeed, it gets pretty blatant when she actually
impersonates the leather queen. As it turns out this version doesn't quite
fit Willow - just as the leather outfit was a little too tight. (Yep, I'm
saying that's symbolic.) But she still got jazzed trying, and was generally
fascinated with vamp-Willow even as she was weirded out by her. It's funny
and a little telling that Buffy's dominatrix remark so immediately sends
Willow to "Mistress of Pain". The exchange about a vampire's personality
not coming from the human actually serves to confirm the opposite - that
vamp-Willow would owe much of who she is to human Willow. A variety of
little things to establish a connection between Willow and this wild
creature that looks like her.

Most especially, I think, in one of the few slightly sad moments in the
episode.

Evil Willow: (to Willow, sadly) This world's no fun.
Willow: (surprised, empathetically) You noticed that, too?

Which brings it back to Willow's original discontent with her life, that now
can be seen to parallel vamp-Willow's motivation throughout the episode to
bring the fun to this boring world.

So, vamp-Willow is sent back (to die), the adventure ends, and Willow
retreats back to her boring, but safe self. But then foolish Percy steps in
as the final catalyst to change. The point of Percy all along is to
validate the bad girl in Willow. It was vamp-Willow that changed him, but
he's left as an award to real Willow and as a kind of promise of better
things for Willow if she abandons her safe ways. So the episode ends with
the reverse of how it began for Willow. She decides to forsake her studies
and go out instead. Bye, bye old Willow. She'll never be quite the same
again. Next stop, Choices, where she brings some focus to where she's going
to go instead.


> Season Three, Episode 17: "Enemies"

> This one's fast-paced, full of twists, and most of all, full of Angel/


> Faith scenes, Angel/Faith/Wilkins scenes, and Faith/Wilkins scenes.
> The latter relationship really takes shape for me here (although the
> basic template was actually introduced the week before); apparently
> Faith grinning at the suggestion of mini-golf wasn't scripted, but
> it's one of those accidents that happily leads to TV brilliance.
> There was a fair amount of talk about whether or not there should be
> clues if a show is going to pull out a plot twist like the one in this
> episode. I firmly believe that dropping hints for the audience is
> less important than whether the episode makes sense in retrospect
> (answer: mostly, a few quibbles), and whether it's interesting both
> before knowing the real story (answer: yes) and after (answer: yes).
> So I'm quite happy.
> Rating: Good

It only gets a Decent from me. I spent a lot of time in the previous round
explaining why the structure of the episode properly leaves out recognizable
clues. It's not a mystery. It's a scam. And the classic form of
dramatization is to deceive the audience in the same fashion as the mark is
deceived. For example, look at how Lindsay Crouse (for a nice BtVS
connection) is played in House of Games. The classic example is how Robert
Redford is played in The Sting.

Both examples are worlds better than Enemies, however. The episode is
entertaining enough in many ways, but the scam of Faith by Buffy et al has a
pretty unimpressive plot IMO.

There is one redeeming factor, though. On the face of it, the big outcome
is the reveal of Faith's betrayal to Buffy and friends. However, I think
the bigger outcome is Wilkins getting the grip on Faith that he didn't quite
have the prior episode. He doesn't seem terribly concerned about failing to
turn Angel at the end. And why should he? The Books of Ascension were the
only real threat to him - and he got those. Otherwise the 100 days is
merrily ticking down and, well, he's invincible. What mattered to him was
getting Faith to see only him as being there for her.

I don't think it's exactly a scam that he performed on Faith, though by
appearing in this episode, one could take this as the one extra layer to
deception. But what Wilkins does do - without regard to whether Faith
succeeds in getting Angel or Buffy - is push Faith into situations that will
emphatically close the door on any last chance for Faith to turn back to
them. He also gives Faith a second taste of killing. Granted, with a
demon. But this demon kill surely felt a lot more like murder than it did
slaying. A really nice way of breaking down Faith's resistance to killing
that she still evidenced in the prior episode. After this, Faith is quite
ready to be the Mayor's assassin.

Wilkins is sneaky and ruthless in his corruption of Faith this episode. But
there's a penalty too as we come to see that he can't help believing in his
twisted idea of being father to Faith.

He did much the same in Nightmares. Some might call that continuity.
<shrug> It obviously offends your sensibilities more than mine.

> Would it kill you to at least pretend to respect your characters as
> something other than cheap-joke fodder, show? That scene alone would
> ensure that "Earshot" is not, and never will be, one of the all-time
> greats in my book.
> Rating: Decent

I like Earshot and rate it Good, but don't consider it great.

I do like how Buffy taking out the cook in full view of everybody in the
cafeteria serves as a kind of proof that she would be noticed by her
classmates, thereby giving substantive foundation to her award in The Prom.


> Season Three, Episode 19: "Choices"
> Writer: David Fury
> Director: James A. Contner

> Certain episodes leave me very little to say about them. This is one
> of them. "Choices" is an early example of a Whedonverse heist story,
> in the most easily infiltrated government building this side of CTU.
> It's a placeholder episode for me. Which sounds like a pejorative
> term, but I mean that it fills a niche in the overall season and does
> the role it was designed for. It's fun, and it stands mostly alone;
> it keeps things more or less at status quo but quietly gives the
> characters a last nudge to roll into their final paths for the end of
> the year and beyond. All in all, the right episode to air as #19.
> Now that we've had the setup, choices start getting made here (the
> emotionally-charged decision to trade Willow for postponement of the
> apocalypse is the big one, of course, but I always focus on Willow
> committing to the magical world over the daytime one), as they will
> throughout the final block of high school episodes.
> Rating: Good

I seem to like this episode more than most and rate it Excellent. It
reminds me a little of S7's Get It Done in that it's a bit of a thriller,
more narrative driven than usual and generally feels different than the
usual BtVS story. In a simple refreshing way.

That's not to say that there isn't substance. The biggest thing is probably
completing the second part of Willow's identity story. She turns into a bit
of a danger junkie this episode - boy is she jazzed when tells her story
back in the library. Her face down with Faith is amazing. The biggest
element of that may be the simple, "I'm not afraid of you." Likely a
revelation to herself as much as it was to Faith. I wonder what would have
happened to Willow if she had stuck with her old ways instead and gone off
to Oxford.

Nearly as big was the transformation of Buffy from subordinate to commander.

Giles: What's your plan?
Buffy: I gotta have a plan? Really? I can't just be proactive with pep?
Giles: No. You want to take the fight to them? I suggest the first step
would be to find out exactly what they're up to.
Buffy: Oh. I actually knew that. I thought you meant a more specific plan,
you know, like with maps and stuff.

That's a tenuous moment. She had just overridden Wesley, but then didn't
quite know how to direct action and still required the gentle prod from
Giles to get started. But then she doesn't merely find out what they're up
to - she comes back with maps and stuff. I really like that touch. From
there on she's in charge - no matter how much Wesley bitches about it.
(Side note. I think Wesley's part this episode is actually pretty decent -
the most effective tough minded watcher side of him we see. Curiously,
though, I find this characterization to be especially out of synch with
AtS.)

The third big thing for me is Wilkins lecture to Angel. Again I notice how
he talks past Buffy. I've always thought that must burn her inside. Today
it occurs to me that Joyce does essentially the same thing when she goes to
Angel. Already the decision to split up has been framed as Angel's to
make - not Buffy's. The content of Wilkin's scolding is simply devastating.
Impossible to refute. A similar message was delivered to Buffy in the
parallels of BATB and at the intervention in Revelations. But Buffy refuses
to hear it. Maybe that's why it has to be delivered to Angel instead.
Joyce seems to think so.

The last really big thing to me is Buffy's decision put Willow first, before
the world saving (maybe) alternate action. That's the element that I think
has the most lasting importance. It is, IMO, one of the great character
defining moments for Buffy. She's shown the inclination before - in a sense
all the way back to going after Willow in WTTH. But never with such a stark
decision. I see it as Buffy finally drawing the line in response to the
personal disaster that impaling Angel had been last season. It leads to her
decision with Angel in a couple episodes. Ultimately it will lead to her
sacrifice for Dawn. And it speaks directly to what Buffy's heart brings to
the Slayer equation. For me, much of the essence of BtVS is distilled into
the confrontation over saving Willow.

OBS


Don Sample

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Jul 27, 2007, 8:48:04 PM7/27/07
to
In article <13al245...@news.supernews.com>,

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

> "Arbitrar Of Quality" <tsm...@wildmail.com> wrote in message
> news:1185431088.6...@x40g2000prg.googlegroups.com...
>
> > A reminder: These threads make Godot look punctual.
>
> Ah, so the primary function of your posts is to be waited for.
>
> Let's all sing together, "Anticipation..."
>
>
> > BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER
> > Season Three, Episode 16: "Doppelgängland"
> > Writer: Joss Whedon
> > Director: Joss Whedon

> > Bringing back


> > Anya is a good choice,
>
> Does this episode count as the root of Anya/Willow hostility? I think I
> could make a case for the possibility, but I struggle to recognize this
> event resonating in the future. Not consciously anyway. Maybe they're just
> naturally opposed in any time.

They do try to get each other killed. That's the sort of thing that I
think can start a mutual grudge.

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

One Bit Shy

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Jul 27, 2007, 10:05:46 PM7/27/07
to
"Don Sample" <dsa...@synapse.net> wrote in message
news:dsample-06117F...@news.giganews.com...

Well, yeah sure. Definitely grudge material. It's just... well, they seem
to be more hung up over Xander and who knows more about magic and stuff in
the future.

Oh, and thanks to you for bringing it to my attention, I now always notice
Buffy's quick reactions to not stake vamp-Willow after real Willow cries
out, "Buffy, no!" Unlike Faith's failure to stop in matching circumstances
in the alley. What a great detail. It really raises my estimation of this
episode.

OBS


Apteryx

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Jul 27, 2007, 10:23:48 PM7/27/07
to
"Arbitrar Of Quality" <tsm...@wildmail.com> wrote in message
news:1185431088.6...@x40g2000prg.googlegroups.com...

>Season Three, Episode 16: "Doppelgängland"

>take), and Wesley is much funnier than I remembered. The thing is,


>I'm not seeing much of a point. Aimless comedy for its own sake is
>fun for a little, but doesn't make for a masterpiece.

Why not? People who need everything to make a serious point can find one
easily enough in comedies like Dr Strangelove, but really, they are still
missing the point. And serious points are a bit hard to come by in great
comedies like Monty Python. Not that Doppelgangland is without serious
points (in character development), but it's funny enough that to not need
them.

>indulging in the same things can one do before it gets old? I laugh
>enough at "Doppelgängland" to bump it up to Good this time around, but
>I'm unlikely to ever understand what y'all are so excited about.
>Rating: Good (up from Decent)

Excellent for me. It is my 9th favourite BtVS episode, and best in season 3
(last year 10th and 1st).


>Season Three, Episode 17: "Enemies"
>Writer: Douglas Petrie
>Director: David Grossman

>There was a fair amount of talk about whether or not there should be
>clues if a show is going to pull out a plot twist like the one in this
>episode. I firmly believe that dropping hints for the audience is
>less important than whether the episode makes sense in retrospect
>(answer: mostly, a few quibbles), and whether it's interesting both
>before knowing the real story (answer: yes) and after (answer: yes).
>So I'm quite happy.
>Rating: Good

Feeding clues to a twist is really only essential in the detective genre.
And the Mayor and Faith prove even bad guys can be fun. My 46th favourite
BtVS episode, 12 best in season 3 (last year 42nd and 10th).


>Season Three, Episode 18: "Earshot"
>Writer: Jane Espenson
>Director: Regis B. Kimble

>me. It's the ultimate "triumph" of the kind of idiot plotting and


>idiot characters that make it hard to let the show be accepted as the
>kind of Serious Drama it often tries to be;

I agree the show often tries to be Serious Drama (and often tries way too
hard, especially in the latter seasons). But what it more often succeeds at
being is Comedy Drama. As here.

>morons who're useless without their protagonist. And in the episode's
>crowning moment, Xander is distracted from an attempt to prevent a
>mass murder by the irresistible allure of jello.

Absolutely. We have the super hero title character cruelly incapacitated,
dramatically saved by her undead boyfriend, back on the job, identifying the
problem and setting about dealing with it with her usual energy, verve, and
determination. Only it's the wrong problem (except for those of us who are
currently Jonathon). The real problem is solved by Xanders taste for jello.
This is what those of us who appreciate this style of thing describe by the
technical term "funny". It makes us laugh. And laughing is enjoyable, so we
like it.

>Rating: Decent

Excellent for me. It is my 17th favourite BtVS episode, 2nd best in season 3
(unchanged from last year). The difference between what I like from the show
and what you like is probably rendered clearest by season 3, and this disc
in particular. My favourite 3 season 3 episodes - 1 Doppelgangland, 2
Earshot, 3 Band Candy.

>Season Three, Episode 19: "Choices"

>the role it was designed for. It's fun, and it stands mostly alone;
>it keeps things more or less at status quo but quietly gives the
>characters a last nudge to roll into their final paths for the end of
>the year and beyond.

Funny, I'd have said the exact opposite, that its a pretty important episode
that just isn't that much fun. As the title suggests, there are vital life
choices here, especially for Faith, Willow, and Angel. Granted, the choices
of Faith and Willow have been so plainly foreshadowed that they could be
said to be just reiterated here, and Angel hasn't yet been clearly shown to
have made his choice (to leave) yet, but this where those choices all
converge to be referenced all together in a choices smorgasbord.

>Rating: Good

My rating isn't greatly changed since last year, but it is enough to have
the episode slip just over the border from Good to Decent. No great problems
with it, it's just a bit too serious for me :)

It is my 85th favourite BtVS episode, 19th best in season 3 (last year was
77th and 17th).


--
Apteryx


Wouter Valentijn

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Jul 28, 2007, 6:11:58 AM7/28/07
to

"One Bit Shy" <O...@nomail.sorry> schreef in bericht
news:13al93v...@news.supernews.com...

Well, that alley was on the dark side and Faith was in full combat mode. I
would call that an honost, yet tragic mistake.
It's the aftermath she didn't handle well.

One Bit Shy

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Jul 28, 2007, 2:27:16 PM7/28/07
to
"Wouter Valentijn" <li...@valentijn.nu> wrote in message
news:46ab1670$0$237$e4fe...@news.xs4all.nl...

Buffy was in full combat mode - and saving Willow's life to boot.

I don't think the point is that Faith's kill wasn't a mistake. Just that
Buffy is more aware of what goes on around her and is better able to adapt
to information. That has already been shown a number of times, but here it
is shown to imply that had roles been reversed, Buffy wouldn't have killed
the guy.

OBS


Rowan Hawthorn

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Jul 28, 2007, 5:10:23 PM7/28/07
to
One Bit Shy wrote:
> "Arbitrar Of Quality" <tsm...@wildmail.com> wrote in message
> news:1185431088.6...@x40g2000prg.googlegroups.com...
>
>> A reminder: These threads make Godot look punctual.
>
> Ah, so the primary function of your posts is to be waited for.
>
> Let's all sing together, "Anticipation..."
>
>
>> BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER
>> Season Three, Episode 16: "Doppelgängland"
>> Writer: Joss Whedon
>> Director: Joss Whedon
>
> That Joss wrote this tends to make me take Willow nuances a bit more
> seriously. Perhaps that's my fantasy, but somehow I think Joss wanted his
> hands on this one for more than dressing AH in leather.

*Lots* of us wanted to get our hands on AH Dressed In Leather -

Oh, wait, um... that wasn't what you said, was it? Nevermind...

>> many of the scenes are deftly written
>> (including the broken-cross/group-hug bit and the Willow-vs.-Willow
>> sequences, definitely *not* including the banana and Angel's double-
>> take),
>
> I like the banana. It makes me laugh. (Bananas are innately fun. One big
> happy yellow smile.) That Willow would choose such a ridiculously trivial
> item to rebel over is also representative of how stifled she really is by
> her established identity that she wants to break free from. I think it's a
> good choice.

Yup. Her chains, they are seriously a-chafin' (and not in the good,
Mistress of Pain way, either.)

>> And I like
>> Willow too, but for a Willow-centric episode, DGL tells us much less
>> about her than one would think. It comes across as a chance for Joss
>> to indulge in his love for the character, and even more so for
>> Hannigan to indulge in playing her vampire caricature. We've already
>> had an "actor indulgence" episode this year in "The Wish;" how much
>> indulging in the same things can one do before it gets old? I laugh
>> enough at "Doppelgängland" to bump it up to Good this time around, but
>> I'm unlikely to ever understand what y'all are so excited about.
>
> I think you're missing some fairly straight forward character development
> parts, but then that seems to be the norm for the episode. The appeal
> mostly goes to the humor, the innuendo, and "Gosh, look at those." Indeed,
> everybody is looking at those - even Giles. (Shame on you Rupert!)

Damn straight. Of course, just because that's a major part of the
appeal doesn't *necessarily* mean that the serious parts get overlooked.
This episode really is a turning point for Willow.

>
>
>> Rating: Good (up from Decent)
>
> It's been curious going through this season now. When you did your earlier
> reviews of S3 I learned all sorts of things from the insights of other
> responders, but my general feeling towards the episodes didn't change much.
> This time I'm finding some episodes really lagging (Band Candy took a nose
> dive) and others suddenly and unexpectedly fresh and tantalizing (Amends
> went way up). I've always enjoyed Doppelgängland, but never to the extent
> that many do. This time, however, I was totally engaged. A joyful romp
> that made me kind of fall in love with the episode and raise its rating to
> Excellent.

<snipped a bunch of good stuff>

It's pretty much always been in my top three Favorites. Maybe not that
high in my Best Of, but still ranking.

Wouter Valentijn

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Jul 28, 2007, 5:41:00 PM7/28/07
to

"One Bit Shy" <O...@nomail.sorry> schreef in bericht
news:13an2k9...@news.supernews.com...
>> I would call that an honest, yet tragic mistake.

>> It's the aftermath she didn't handle well.
>
> Buffy was in full combat mode - and saving Willow's life to boot.
>
> I don't think the point is that Faith's kill wasn't a mistake. Just that
> Buffy is more aware of what goes on around her and is better able to adapt
> to information. That has already been shown a number of times, but here
> it is shown to imply that had roles been reversed, Buffy wouldn't have
> killed the guy.
>

She didn't. She even tried to warn Faith. Her perspective was slightly
better.
And Buffy of course had more experience.

Wouter Valentijn

unread,
Jul 28, 2007, 5:43:49 PM7/28/07
to

"Rowan Hawthorn" <rowan_h...@hotmail.com> schreef in bericht
news:G4OdnbQSOIL...@giganews.com...

> One Bit Shy wrote:
>> "Arbitrar Of Quality" <tsm...@wildmail.com> wrote in message
>> news:1185431088.6...@x40g2000prg.googlegroups.com...
>>
>>> A reminder: These threads make Godot look punctual.
>>
>> Ah, so the primary function of your posts is to be waited for.
>>
>> Let's all sing together, "Anticipation..."
>>
>>
>>> BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER
>>> Season Three, Episode 16: "Doppelgängland"
>>> Writer: Joss Whedon
>>> Director: Joss Whedon
>>
>> That Joss wrote this tends to make me take Willow nuances a bit more
>> seriously. Perhaps that's my fantasy, but somehow I think Joss wanted
>> his hands on this one for more than dressing AH in leather.
>
> *Lots* of us wanted to get our hands on AH Dressed In Leather -
>
> Oh, wait, um... that wasn't what you said, was it? Nevermind...

So... /No/ leather? You want to get your hands on AH without the Leather?

Rowan Hawthorn

unread,
Jul 28, 2007, 9:21:28 PM7/28/07
to
Wouter Valentijn wrote:
> "Rowan Hawthorn" <rowan_h...@hotmail.com> schreef in bericht
> news:G4OdnbQSOIL...@giganews.com...
>> One Bit Shy wrote:
>>> "Arbitrar Of Quality" <tsm...@wildmail.com> wrote in message
>>> news:1185431088.6...@x40g2000prg.googlegroups.com...
>>>
>>>> A reminder: These threads make Godot look punctual.
>>> Ah, so the primary function of your posts is to be waited for.
>>>
>>> Let's all sing together, "Anticipation..."
>>>
>>>
>>>> BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER
>>>> Season Three, Episode 16: "Doppelgängland"
>>>> Writer: Joss Whedon
>>>> Director: Joss Whedon
>>> That Joss wrote this tends to make me take Willow nuances a bit more
>>> seriously. Perhaps that's my fantasy, but somehow I think Joss wanted
>>> his hands on this one for more than dressing AH in leather.
>> *Lots* of us wanted to get our hands on AH Dressed In Leather -
>>
>> Oh, wait, um... that wasn't what you said, was it? Nevermind...
>
> So... /No/ leather? You want to get your hands on AH without the Leather?

With, without; hey, I'm nothing if not adaptable...

Wouter Valentijn

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Jul 29, 2007, 7:57:02 AM7/29/07
to

"Rowan Hawthorn" <rowan_h...@hotmail.com> schreef in bericht
news:0dudnfgI-tW...@giganews.com...

I cannot disagree here.

Arbitrar Of Quality

unread,
Jul 29, 2007, 11:29:16 AM7/29/07
to
On Jul 26, 3:11 am, mariposas rand mair fheal greykitten tomys des
anges <mair_fh...@yahoo.com> wrote:

> perhaps its for the little things i despise wilkins for
> while he wants a daughter and that reminder of human contact
> the way he manipulates faiths need for a father for his own ends is disgusting
>
> when faith wakes up in a year wilkins could have left her something
> to try to get her reintegrated into human society
> instead he goads her to go out in a blaze of his glory
>
> more immediately he is willing to prostitute his daughter
> and teach her to become a torturer for his own purposes

I think that's one of the most interesting things about Wilkins as a
villain - like all the most successful politicians, he's capable of
using and discarding people like Faith in reprehensible ways, but the
sincerity he affects in his love for her is so convincing because,
well, it's mostly or completely genuine. Pulling off the doublethink
to that extent takes some skill.

> > morons who're useless without their protagonist. And in the episode's
> > crowning moment, Xander is distracted from an attempt to prevent a
> > mass murder by the irresistible allure of jello. I feel like I should
> > repeat the previous sentence in all capital letters or something.
>
> the plot required xander enter the kitchen to see the cook with the poison
> the moment wasnt to ridicule xander
> but to get him to the necessary information to prevent mass murder
>
> i dont know whether they couldve plotted an alternative way
> to get xander in the kitchen looking for jonath-n
> but thats what it was about

There are ways to get a character to enter a room, particularly if
they're on the lookout for a potential mass murderer, without jello
being involved. Trust me.

-AOQ

Arbitrar Of Quality

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Jul 29, 2007, 11:35:35 AM7/29/07
to
On Jul 26, 8:32 am, Mark Myers <nos...@see.sig> wrote:
> On Wed, 25 Jul 2007 23:24:48 -0700, Arbitrar Of Quality said...

> > Giles tries to lie to a telepath.


>
> It's a smoke screen. By unsuccessfully lying about one subject, he
> manages to completely hide another. Specifically regarding himself and
> Joyce.

I don't think that's clear at all. It's just as likely that it's more
important (or simply foremost in her mind, while Giles has had more
stuff happen since BC) to Joyce. Your explanation requires that he be
*much* more worried about Buffy finding out about him and Joyce than
he is about the concern that her ability to function is running on
very borrowed time. I don't buy it.

-AOQ

Arbitrar Of Quality

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Jul 29, 2007, 12:32:39 PM7/29/07
to
On Jul 27, 7:06 pm, "One Bit Shy" <O...@nomail.sorry> wrote:
> "Arbitrar Of Quality" <tsm...@wildmail.com> wrote in messagenews:1185431088.6...@x40g2000prg.googlegroups.com...

> > I tend to part ways with the consensus here. It seems like a clever


> > construct (until it falls apart about halfway through).
>
> Is there some particular point that you think it falls apart?

Plot-wise, mostly with the confusion over whether the Mastersville
universe exists in parallel or as a replacement for the real world.
The answer, of course, being whichever one the scene in question
demands.

> > and Wesley is much funnier than I remembered.
>
> I'm not sure if it's on purpose, but the physical setup for Wesley saving
> Cordelia pretty much requires him to have been hiding in the bathroom when
> Cordy and vamp-Willow came in. The notion tickles my funny bone. In any
> case, that brief scene is very nicely done. Much better than his Graduation
> Day flops IMO.

Tell me about it. I'm most amused by his reaction to Cordelia tapping
him on the shoulder. That's gold.

>
> > And I like
> > Willow too, but for a Willow-centric episode, DGL tells us much less
> > about her than one would think. It comes across as a chance for Joss
> > to indulge in his love for the character, and even more so for
> > Hannigan to indulge in playing her vampire caricature. We've already
> > had an "actor indulgence" episode this year in "The Wish;" how much
> > indulging in the same things can one do before it gets old? I laugh
> > enough at "Doppelgängland" to bump it up to Good this time around, but
> > I'm unlikely to ever understand what y'all are so excited about.
>
> I think you're missing some fairly straight forward character development
> parts, but then that seems to be the norm for the episode. The appeal
> mostly goes to the humor, the innuendo, and "Gosh, look at those." Indeed,
> everybody is looking at those - even Giles. (Shame on you Rupert!)

Most episodes try for both humor and significance, even if it's in
different proportions. I think people's emphasis on the former in
this case is appropriate, given what DGL offers.

> I really like the "sugar daddy" moment. It's a convincing rejection of the
> notion by Wilkins (who really is repelled by such an arrangement) that
> serves to emphasize that it's a real daddy that he's offering Faith. It
> just occurred to me that this is quite the contrast to Buffy, who
> effectively has lost her real father and is on the path to losing that
> surrogate connection with Giles. I'm not sure where to take that, but there
> you have it. At the least, the desire for a father figure makes for one
> more connection between Buffy and Faith.

Probably the best synopsis I heard was here on the NG. In valuing her
family and adult confidantes and seeking a father figure, Buffy ends
up ditching the Council and standing alone as an adult. Whereas
through rejecting authority of any kind as well as any form of
"innocence," Faith ends up as daddy's little girl.

> It's Part I of Willow's two part identity story. Here is where Willow
> decides to break from her old identity. Choices is where she finds her new
> identity.

[snip]

[snip again]


> A variety of
> little things to establish a connection between Willow and this wild
> creature that looks like her.
>
> Most especially, I think, in one of the few slightly sad moments in the
> episode.
>
> Evil Willow: (to Willow, sadly) This world's no fun.
> Willow: (surprised, empathetically) You noticed that, too?
>
> Which brings it back to Willow's original discontent with her life, that now
> can be seen to parallel vamp-Willow's motivation throughout the episode to
> bring the fun to this boring world.
>
> So, vamp-Willow is sent back (to die), the adventure ends, and Willow
> retreats back to her boring, but safe self. But then foolish Percy steps in
> as the final catalyst to change. The point of Percy all along is to
> validate the bad girl in Willow. It was vamp-Willow that changed him, but
> he's left as an award to real Willow and as a kind of promise of better
> things for Willow if she abandons her safe ways. So the episode ends with
> the reverse of how it began for Willow. She decides to forsake her studies
> and go out instead. Bye, bye old Willow. She'll never be quite the same
> again. Next stop, Choices, where she brings some focus to where she's going
> to go instead.

You're attaching more significance than I do. "Doppelgängland" is a
nudge of validation, but it's not as if Willow's been unchanged since
S1 before this. Not after the end of S2, and not after the way she's
developed this year. "Doppelgängland" only feels like a major
upheaval in her life if one believes that she's still safe and boring,
after the year S3 has gone about proving otherwise. Think of the
character who thinks relationships are sexier when they're against the
rules, the one who's occasionally callous and strange.

That's why the stupid banana is so annoying. It's a dumb joke to
being with, given that it makes the character seem more alien; there's
no eighteen-year-old who exists in this country who thinks eating a
banana before lunchtime is an act of rebellion. None. And the
expisode (By the way, anyone who responds with anything incorporating
the phrase "emotional truth" will be glared at. I'm "emotional truth"-
ed out. Some people [probably including Scythe, if he were
participating as much as he once did] would say that my resistance to
accepting BTVS's affinity for supposed "emotional truth" moments has
been one of the more consistent obstacles limiting my appreciation of
the series as a whole. Well, guilty as hypothetically charged. The
way I see it, if one can't be bothered to pay attention to literal
continuity, sooner or later, that excuse just stops working.)

Anyway, the main point of all that was I think "Choices" is much more
important as a Willow episode than DGL is.

> > And in the episode's
> > crowning moment, Xander is distracted from an attempt to prevent a
> > mass murder by the irresistible allure of jello. I feel like I should
> > repeat the previous sentence in all capital letters or something.
>
> He did much the same in Nightmares. Some might call that continuity.
> <shrug> It obviously offends your sensibilities more than mine.

I don't. "Nightmares" is acceptable because it's part of the
construct of the episode, with everyone quickly getting sucked into
their nightmares. The nature of the story requires that each dream
seem real and important once one slips into it. That's consistent
across everyone.

> Nearly as big was the transformation of Buffy from subordinate to commander.
>
> Giles: What's your plan?
> Buffy: I gotta have a plan? Really? I can't just be proactive with pep?
> Giles: No. You want to take the fight to them? I suggest the first step
> would be to find out exactly what they're up to.
> Buffy: Oh. I actually knew that. I thought you meant a more specific plan,
> you know, like with maps and stuff.

How about from lone agent to commander? She's never been much for
taking orders, but the planning and incorporation of others rather
than running out to pummel something is kinda new to her.

> (Side note. I think Wesley's part this episode is actually pretty decent -
> the most effective tough minded watcher side of him we see. Curiously,
> though, I find this characterization to be especially out of synch with
> AtS.)

Really? The Watcher mentality is there when something's improtant
enough for him to stop worrying about his ego, and surfaces only on
occasion, but more and more often during the early years of ATS. This
is one of the character threads that connects most clearly for me.

> The last really big thing to me is Buffy's decision put Willow first, before
> the world saving (maybe) alternate action. That's the element that I think
> has the most lasting importance. It is, IMO, one of the great character
> defining moments for Buffy. She's shown the inclination before - in a sense
> all the way back to going after Willow in WTTH. But never with such a stark
> decision. I see it as Buffy finally drawing the line in response to the
> personal disaster that impaling Angel had been last season. It leads to her
> decision with Angel in a couple episodes. Ultimately it will lead to her
> sacrifice for Dawn. And it speaks directly to what Buffy's heart brings to
> the Slayer equation. For me, much of the essence of BtVS is distilled into
> the confrontation over saving Willow.

Mind returning to this point in late S7 when Buffy talks about how
things have changed on that front since "The Gift?"

-AOQ

Arbitrar Of Quality

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Jul 29, 2007, 12:50:30 PM7/29/07
to
On Jul 27, 9:23 pm, "Apteryx" <apte...@xtra.co.nz> wrote:
> "Arbitrar Of Quality" <tsm...@wildmail.com> wrote in messagenews:1185431088.6...@x40g2000prg.googlegroups.com...

> >morons who're useless without their protagonist. And in the episode's


> >crowning moment, Xander is distracted from an attempt to prevent a
> >mass murder by the irresistible allure of jello.
>
> Absolutely. We have the super hero title character cruelly incapacitated,
> dramatically saved by her undead boyfriend, back on the job, identifying the
> problem and setting about dealing with it with her usual energy, verve, and
> determination. Only it's the wrong problem (except for those of us who are
> currently Jonathon). The real problem is solved by Xanders taste for jello.
> This is what those of us who appreciate this style of thing describe by the
> technical term "funny". It makes us laugh. And laughing is enjoyable, so we
> like it.

If the characters become the joke itself, a show loses its credibility
with me when it wants to make me feel for the character as a human
being. As far as "Earshot" is concerned, Xander is more interested in
eating jello than in trying to stop dozens of people from being
killed. And this is one of our alleged heroes, one of the people
we're expected to be attached to and follow his life. As a viewer, I
almost take it personally, as someone who's been made to care about
this imbecile in the past. It's shit writing, among the most damaging
moments of the series.

For a contrasting example of when the episode gets it right, consider
the timing surrounding Buffy attacking the lunch lady. Buffy has
found the person she thinks is the killer, and speaks to his heart,
brushing away attempts to avoid the topic, eloquently conveying what
she's learned in this episode and over the past three seasons, and
weaving an utterly convincing case against the violence he's
planning. Then she meets the lunch lady and her ranting. Buffy's
response? "I don't see this being settled with logic. [wham]" See?
Funny. And no mythology or character portrayals were hurt in the
process.

> As the title suggests, there are vital life
> choices here, especially for Faith, Willow, and Angel. Granted, the choices
> of Faith and Willow have been so plainly foreshadowed that they could be
> said to be just reiterated here, and Angel hasn't yet been clearly shown to
> have made his choice (to leave) yet, but this where those choices all
> converge to be referenced all together in a choices smorgasbord.

I'm just going to leave that in because it deserves the quotation.

-AOQ

mariposas rand mair fheal greykitten tomys des anges

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Jul 29, 2007, 1:19:37 PM7/29/07
to
> > Is there some particular point that you think it falls apart?
>
> Plot-wise, mostly with the confusion over whether the Mastersville
> universe exists in parallel or as a replacement for the real world.
> The answer, of course, being whichever one the scene in question
> demands.

i never really have a problem with it
i just picture it as a reality distortion bubble around sunnydale
it could expand to rest of the world or not

i recently saw mirrormask
and early on helena comments that this is just her fream
(or her mothers dream)
but that doesnt stop her struggle or feeling that what she does matter


> > I'm not sure if it's on purpose, but the physical setup for Wesley saving
> > Cordelia pretty much requires him to have been hiding in the bathroom when
> > Cordy and vamp-Willow came in. The notion tickles my funny bone. In any
> > case, that brief scene is very nicely done. Much better than his
> > Graduation
> > Day flops IMO.
>
> Tell me about it. I'm most amused by his reaction to Cordelia tapping
> him on the shoulder. That's gold.

they have wesley at point a and then need him at point b
with no door on the path from a to b

theyve plotted their way into this jam before and just hope nobody notices
i think they did something similar in inca mummy girl

> Probably the best synopsis I heard was here on the NG. In valuing her
> family and adult confidantes and seeking a father figure, Buffy ends
> up ditching the Council and standing alone as an adult. Whereas
> through rejecting authority of any kind as well as any form of
> "innocence," Faith ends up as daddy's little girl.

buffy also had a stabler start with her father present until lately
and a mother that didnt hit her (regardless of joyces other faults)

> That's why the stupid banana is so annoying. It's a dumb joke to
> being with, given that it makes the character seem more alien; there's
> no eighteen-year-old who exists in this country who thinks eating a
> banana before lunchtime is an act of rebellion. None. And the

actually

no youre right

One Bit Shy

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Jul 29, 2007, 3:31:25 PM7/29/07
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"Arbitrar Of Quality" <tsm...@wildmail.com> wrote in message
news:1185726759.9...@x40g2000prg.googlegroups.com...

On Jul 27, 7:06 pm, "One Bit Shy" <O...@nomail.sorry> wrote:
> "Arbitrar Of Quality" <tsm...@wildmail.com> wrote in
> messagenews:1185431088.6...@x40g2000prg.googlegroups.com...

>> > I tend to part ways with the consensus here. It seems like a clever
>> > construct (until it falls apart about halfway through).
>>
>> Is there some particular point that you think it falls apart?
>
> Plot-wise, mostly with the confusion over whether the Mastersville
> universe exists in parallel or as a replacement for the real world.
> The answer, of course, being whichever one the scene in question
> demands.

Oh, you really were referring to the construct. I find some academic
interest in it, but don't see that kind of question much mattering to the
story. That's probably good, because I don't think the construct stands up
well to scrutiny. Especially when you try to add in things like the working
of Anya's wishes, the role of her power center, & tracking the physical
location of the necklace. (Or are there multiple necklaces.) I think ME
got in a little over its head with this one. Fortunately they're not
expected to rationalize it on a Star Trek level.


>> I really like the "sugar daddy" moment. It's a convincing rejection of
>> the
>> notion by Wilkins (who really is repelled by such an arrangement) that
>> serves to emphasize that it's a real daddy that he's offering Faith. It
>> just occurred to me that this is quite the contrast to Buffy, who
>> effectively has lost her real father and is on the path to losing that
>> surrogate connection with Giles. I'm not sure where to take that, but
>> there
>> you have it. At the least, the desire for a father figure makes for one
>> more connection between Buffy and Faith.
>
> Probably the best synopsis I heard was here on the NG. In valuing her
> family and adult confidantes and seeking a father figure, Buffy ends
> up ditching the Council and standing alone as an adult. Whereas
> through rejecting authority of any kind as well as any form of
> "innocence," Faith ends up as daddy's little girl.

Yeah, that rings a bell - and it's really good. I need to ponder that some
more and incorporate it into my view of the Buffyverse.


>> It's Part I of Willow's two part identity story. Here is where Willow
>> decides to break from her old identity. Choices is where she finds her
>> new
>> identity.
> [snip]

<way more snippage>

> You're attaching more significance than I do.

This may be a semantic subtlety, but I think it's Joss that's attaching the
significance. The point of my walking through the elements was to show how
the concept was built into the story. How worthy it is... that's another
question. But it's there, and the primary purpose - apart from the
adventure for its own sake.


> "Doppelgängland" is a
> nudge of validation, but it's not as if Willow's been unchanged since
> S1 before this. Not after the end of S2, and not after the way she's
> developed this year. "Doppelgängland" only feels like a major
> upheaval in her life if one believes that she's still safe and boring,
> after the year S3 has gone about proving otherwise. Think of the
> character who thinks relationships are sexier when they're against the
> rules, the one who's occasionally callous and strange.

Doppelgängland doesn't come out of nowhere. Willow's expressed attitudes
and behavior are definitely the product of her character development over
the three seasons. They're not meant to be a surprise - except possibly the
degree. What this episode does is pull that development together into
Willow's active awareness - especially the part about disliking her normal
safe self. That she's actually unhappy with her life is what's news. It's
no accident that the only thing she and her vampire alter ego actively agree
on is not liking it here.

You give a couple example of Willow being drawn to adventure. Well, there's
tons of them. This is one of the many story elements that goes right back
to the start of the series. Buffy rescues Willow in WTTH/TH, but not just
from vampires. Buffy is who opened the door to the kind of exciting life
that Willow could only dream of before. When Willow first shows her
"naughty" side by hacking into city computer systems, her naughtiness is
only part of the message. The part that really hits Willow is that she can
bring that side of herself out into the open and be rewarded by it. She'd
always hid it before. (Psychologically, I think Willow came to believe that
it's not really naughty if nobody knows about it.) So, yeah, this has
always been an aspect of her, growing stronger over time, and something that
would inevitably define her character growth.

But her timid, safe, bookworm side has always been part of her too. It's
been shown repeatedly as well. It's shown as the place she naturally
retreats to under stress. The adventurous side is something she either has
to work herself up to or impulsively act on (in other words avoid thinking
of consequences), and treated as a departure from her normal self. Her safe
responsible side is a pretty stubborn part of her too. Willow, the thrill
seeker, is also Willow, the girl who struggles to step off campus during
school hours even when it's permitted. It's the Willow who beats herself
silly for a less than perfect SAT score. And it's the Willow whose dominant
day to day personality default is studying relentlessly and following the
rules.

These two aspects of Willow have been at battle since we met her. But only
now, late in S3, does she actively bring the battle to the fore of her mind
and choose. Here she rejects her old self. In Choices she gives substance
to her new self.


> That's why the stupid banana is so annoying. It's a dumb joke to
> being with, given that it makes the character seem more alien; there's
> no eighteen-year-old who exists in this country who thinks eating a
> banana before lunchtime is an act of rebellion. None. And the
> expisode (By the way, anyone who responds with anything incorporating
> the phrase "emotional truth" will be glared at. I'm "emotional truth"-
> ed out. Some people [probably including Scythe, if he were
> participating as much as he once did] would say that my resistance to
> accepting BTVS's affinity for supposed "emotional truth" moments has
> been one of the more consistent obstacles limiting my appreciation of
> the series as a whole. Well, guilty as hypothetically charged. The
> way I see it, if one can't be bothered to pay attention to literal
> continuity, sooner or later, that excuse just stops working.)

Well, emotions aren't generally noted for their rationality. But emotional
truth isn't exactly how I'd approach this. Let me return to an earlier
sentence of yours. "'Doppelgängland' only feels like a major upheaval in
her life if one believes that she's still safe and boring." The problem
with that framing is that the story is about Willow, not us. It's not what
we believe. We know quite well that she's not safe and boring. Willow,
however, feels differently. Indeed, she's always going to feel deep inside
that her real self is exactly that. It's kind of the point of her Restless
segment.

The banana is a reflection of that. Yes, it's true that virtually nobody
would view eating a banana before lunch as rebellion. But this is
compulsive behavior we're dealing with - something routinely applied to the
trivial. I don't know why the proper time for eating would be a big deal
for Willow. Perhaps it's a routine drummed into her by her mother. Perhaps
there's a school rule against eating in the courtyard before lunch. Perhaps
it's just something she concocted herself to bring structure to her day. It
doesn't matter. It's just some dopey compulsion of hers. It could easily
be something else. Her "rebellion" could have been choosing a different
route to walk to school or sitting at a different desk than usual in one of
her classes.

The point is that she is so totally bound by her old ways that even her idea
of rebellion is safe. Not truly a rebellion.


> Anyway, the main point of all that was I think "Choices" is much more
> important as a Willow episode than DGL is.

Well, I like Choices a lot. I don't think I want to assign relative
importance. The two shows do something connected, but different.


>> Nearly as big was the transformation of Buffy from subordinate to
>> commander.
>>
>> Giles: What's your plan?
>> Buffy: I gotta have a plan? Really? I can't just be proactive with pep?
>> Giles: No. You want to take the fight to them? I suggest the first step
>> would be to find out exactly what they're up to.
>> Buffy: Oh. I actually knew that. I thought you meant a more specific
>> plan,
>> you know, like with maps and stuff.
>
> How about from lone agent to commander? She's never been much for
> taking orders, but the planning and incorporation of others rather
> than running out to pummel something is kinda new to her.

Hmmm. There's an element of that, yes. But too much of this moment
involves rejecting Wesley and the WC for it to be just that. Next time
she'll flat out fire them.


>> (Side note. I think Wesley's part this episode is actually pretty
>> decent -
>> the most effective tough minded watcher side of him we see. Curiously,
>> though, I find this characterization to be especially out of synch with
>> AtS.)
>
> Really? The Watcher mentality is there when something's improtant
> enough for him to stop worrying about his ego, and surfaces only on
> occasion, but more and more often during the early years of ATS. This
> is one of the character threads that connects most clearly for me.

I realized after I wrote it that you'd likely take it this way. As to the
substance of his part this episode, you're absolutely right. The watcher
mentality. The pompous aspect. And so on. It's all part of AtS later on.
It's the performance itself that felt off key for me. Well, actually dead
on for this episode. Just not quite the tone I get in AtS. I believe the
acting interpretation of the role was refined next season, coming across a
little differently.


>> The last really big thing to me is Buffy's decision put Willow first,
>> before
>> the world saving (maybe) alternate action. That's the element that I
>> think
>> has the most lasting importance. It is, IMO, one of the great character
>> defining moments for Buffy. She's shown the inclination before - in a
>> sense
>> all the way back to going after Willow in WTTH. But never with such a
>> stark
>> decision. I see it as Buffy finally drawing the line in response to the
>> personal disaster that impaling Angel had been last season. It leads to
>> her
>> decision with Angel in a couple episodes. Ultimately it will lead to her
>> sacrifice for Dawn. And it speaks directly to what Buffy's heart brings
>> to
>> the Slayer equation. For me, much of the essence of BtVS is distilled
>> into
>> the confrontation over saving Willow.
>
> Mind returning to this point in late S7 when Buffy talks about how
> things have changed on that front since "The Gift?"

If one of us remembers - sure. Broadly speaking, I think that part of S7's
crisis of confidence within Buffy is trying to distance herself from her
feelings - her heart - so that she can make the hard decision. I think it
was a good idea, but the fixing of it gets a little muddled - especially as
to how it actually made any difference.

A lot of S7 Buffy is her forgetting or giving up on what had got her there.

OBS


mariposas rand mair fheal greykitten tomys des anges

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Jul 29, 2007, 3:57:53 PM7/29/07
to
In article <13apqok...@news.supernews.com>,

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

> of Anya's wishes, the role of her power center, & tracking the physical
> location of the necklace. (Or are there multiple necklaces.) I think ME
> got in a little over its head with this one. Fortunately they're not
> expected to rationalize it on a Star Trek level.

we are living on a hellmouth you know

One Bit Shy

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Jul 29, 2007, 4:25:28 PM7/29/07
to
"mariposas rand mair fheal greykitten tomys des anges"
<mair_...@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:mair_fheal-A5661...@sn-ip.vsrv-sjc.supernews.net...

> In article <13apqok...@news.supernews.com>,
> "One Bit Shy" <O...@nomail.sorry> wrote:
>
>> of Anya's wishes, the role of her power center, & tracking the physical
>> location of the necklace. (Or are there multiple necklaces.) I think ME
>> got in a little over its head with this one. Fortunately they're not
>> expected to rationalize it on a Star Trek level.
>
> we are living on a hellmouth you know

I live in Cleveland. I'm sure there's not one of those around here.

OBS


chr...@removethistoreply.gwu.edu

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Jul 29, 2007, 5:19:33 PM7/29/07
to
In alt.tv.buffy-v-slayer Arbitrar Of Quality <tsm...@wildmail.com> wrote:
> A reminder: These threads make Godot look punctual.
.
> BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER
> Season Three, Episode 16: "Doppelgängland"
> Writer: Joss Whedon
> Director: Joss Whedon
>
> I tend to part ways with the consensus here.

Dude, if you keep this up, we'll never teach you the secret handshake.
(And the tattoo is right out.)

> Anya is a good choice, many of the scenes are deftly written
> (including the broken-cross/group-hug bit and the Willow-vs.-Willow
> sequences, definitely *not* including the banana and Angel's double-
> take),

IMO, the point of the banana isn't that Willow thinks it's really
rebellious. Instead, the first time around it's Willow mocking herself
because jumping the gun on lunch is the most rebellious thing she ever
does, and the second time around it's Willow grabbing for any rebellion at
all to fling at Buffy and Xander.

As for Angel, I'll agree that his double-take isn't as good as it good
have been. However, it's mixed up with another problem: given the
characters' positions, it really looks like Angel should have seen Willow
before telling the others that she's dead. So I'm not sure if it's DB's
work on the double-take or the disappearance of Angel's peripheral vision
that does more to weaken that moment. Doesn't matter, though -- the scene
is strong enough to withstand it. Of course the earlier scene, with the
Mistress of Pain, is even better. I particularly love Giles's frown when
the concept is introduced and his little gesture when Xander asks who else
went to a scary visual place.

> The thing is,
> I'm not seeing much of a point.

Point, shmoint. Doppelgangland might not be the most significant episode,
but what's there is done brilliantly well. I might even say *exquisitely*
well. And then again, it's not totally unpointy, either. It makes real
progress on Willow's journey, even if it doesn't contain a life-changing
turning point.

The only important problem I have with DGL is Faith's place in it. I'd
expect more tension from her towards Wesley -- or better yet, hints of
tension suppressed in the interests of spying for the Mayor. And I'd also
expect more tension from the gang towards her, though at least we get a
few hints from Xander and Willow (notice Will's annoyed look when Faith
tries to make conversation with her). Did the Watchers' Council
officially call off its inquest into Faith's killing the deputy mayor, or
did Wesley just give up on it as a lost cause?

During the final assault on the Bronze, Buffy and Angel cover the front
door while Xander and Giles take the rear. IMO it would have made more
sense to have one character with superhuman strength in each group. Maybe
this is a tiny example of Buffy letting her feelings get in the way of
efficient slayage?

Re: the discussion of Earshot below, I'd point to Xander in his last scene
as an example of how to write a *good* buffoonish Xander scene. Joss
lets him act like a dork for a moment, all proud that his evil version in
the alternate universe is a badass, without going too far by having him,
say, get distracted in the very middle of a life-or-death crisis.

Was this episode what made ME decide to add Emma Caulfield to the cast for
next season?

> Rating: Good (up from Decent)

Oh, definitely an Excellent for me. I think I said that Consequences was
likely to be in my top ten, but Doppelgangland is even more likely to be
there. Oddly, though S3 is my pick for best overall season, it doesn't
have any definite, no-question-about-it spots in the list, whereas lesser
seasons like 1 and 4 do (PG and Hush, of course). But since my "top ten
list" remains mostly mythical, I've never bothered to make a decision on
the quality vs. affection question.

> Season Three, Episode 17: "Enemies"
> Writer: Douglas Petrie
> Director: David Grossman

This is a good episode, but I don't have much to say about it. I think
part of its purpose is to remind us of the possibility of Angelus
returning and what he's like, another little bit of setup for AtS. It
also gives us I think the first not (too) evil demon since Whistler,
foreshadowing the not-evil-at-all varieties of demon to be seen both on
AtS and later seasons of BtVS. And it introduces a lot of weird tension
into the Buffy-Angel romance -- "weird" in that it seems serious at the
time, but doesn't ultimately seem to play much of a role in their breakup.

> clues if a show is going to pull out a plot twist like the one in this
> episode. I firmly believe that dropping hints for the audience is
> less important than whether the episode makes sense in retrospect
> (answer: mostly, a few quibbles), and whether it's interesting both
> before knowing the real story (answer: yes) and after (answer: yes).

I'd agree with you there. I also like OBS's point that the plot is not a
mystery but a scam, which is traditionally told by deceiving the audience
much as the mark is deceived. (I was spoiled OFV, so I can't say if I
would have believed Angelus was truly back or not. But I'm sure I would
have expected soulful Angel back by the end of the episode, no matter
what.)

> Rating: Good

Good enough.

> Season Three, Episode 18: "Earshot"
> Writer: Jane Espenson
> Director: Regis B. Kimble

.


> obligatory (because they're worth saying) good points listed. There
> are a fair number of good jokes to be had here.

More than a fair number, IMHO. Some of my absolute favorites include
Willow's "Was it a boy demon?" and Buffy's reaction; Buffy getting Giles's
attention to yell "Infect?!"; Joyce's secret; and the cat thing. Also the
whole final scene. The last five seconds of the episode comprise one of
my favorite jokes of the entire series.

> oldie-but-goodie, and leads into a speech that, however preachy it may
> be, deserves to be given, especially with Gellar doing everything
> actorly possible to sell it.

I especially like Buffy's reaction (both words and expression) when
Jonathan sneers "Oh right. Cuz the burden of being beautiful and athletic,
that's a crippler." If lives weren't at risk, I think Buffy would have
been tempted to respond with a good smacking.

> drama with dumb fun. "Earshot" has no problem with borderline
> character assassination as long as it leads to a joke (I guess I'm
> being redundant, since I already listed Jane Espenson as the writer).

I'm afraid I agree. The jello part was most annoying. Unnecessary, too.
If she absolutely *had* to have a joke before Xander saw the cook
poisoning the food, the writer could have had him despair about finding
Jonathan in time and gloomily grab some jello as comfort food, instead of
having him forget about the search entirely. None of the other Xander
moments were quite *as* bad, and some were quite funny, but on the whole
there were too many buffoonish moments.

Same with Cordelia, actually, thought it's not as obvious since she gets
less attention. If they had been willing to sacrifice a joke or two, they
could have taken the opportunity to give Cordy more depth, showing her to
be slightly less selfish and more concerned than she appears on the
outside. But I'll admit that being the only one whose thoughts exactly
match her words was *totally* in character for Cordy.

> Buffy is completely unable to imagine the possible drawbacks to
> uncontrolled thought reception.

Oh, she was just a little slow to see the potential downside, not totally
oblivious to it. She was also too excited by the real possibilities at
first. This part doesn't descend to character assassination in my book.

> Giles tries to lie to a telepath.

Fan-wankable as his need to say something reassuring (or maybe just the
habit of doing so) overcoming his common sense for a moment. He probably
wasn't thinking about what he was saying anyway.

Wesley was at Buffy's house when Angel arrived with the demon heart. Is
this the only time he ever meets the Slayer's mother?

> Rating: Decent

Despite its flaws, I can't give it less than a Good.

> Season Three, Episode 19: "Choices"
> Writer: David Fury
> Director: James A. Contner

Just a couple of quick comments:

Buffy is willing to let Willow (and her other friends) *risk* their
lives, especially in battles where the situation is usually fluid, but
she's UNwilling to do something that will almost certainly get Willow
killed. She'll trade the Mayor's box to get Willow back, but she won't
try to keep her out of combat afterwards.

This is one of the best BtVS episodes for Wesley. He's a dork (and a
panicky one too, when he thinks Faith is about to throw her knife at him),
but it isn't exaggerated. He makes a better case for destroying the box
than you'd expect for someone so socially maladroit.

The Mayor's speech is a classic. Neither Buffy nor Angel can muster a
better reply than sheer denial. But my favorite part of Choices is the
Willow-Faith confrontation. My favorite part of *that* is Faith's
reaction to Willow's calm "It's way too late." She's disconcerted that
Willow is departing from the script Faith had in her head, annoyed that
Willow isn't cowed or begging, and perhaps a little hurt that Willow isn't
still trying to win her over. She doesn't want to be "saved," but it
would have soothered her ego if the Scooby gang still *wanted* to save
her.

> Rating: Good

I'd give it a high Good.


--Chris

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

Wouter Valentijn

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Jul 29, 2007, 6:07:25 PM7/29/07
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"mariposas rand mair fheal greykitten tomys des anges"
<mair_...@yahoo.com> schreef in bericht
news:mair_fheal-A5661...@sn-ip.vsrv-sjc.supernews.net...

> In article <13apqok...@news.supernews.com>,
> "One Bit Shy" <O...@nomail.sorry> wrote:
>
>> of Anya's wishes, the role of her power center, & tracking the physical
>> location of the necklace. (Or are there multiple necklaces.) I think ME
>> got in a little over its head with this one. Fortunately they're not
>> expected to rationalize it on a Star Trek level.
>
> we are living on a hellmouth you know

Rationalizing on a Star Trek level....
Hmm.... the necklace as her powercentre...
If I would draw a parallel with a Star Trek story several items come to
mind:
- 'The Squire of Gothos': Trelane's mirror.
- 'Who mourns for Adonais': Apollo's temple.
- 'Cat's Paw': The transmuter devices.

As for the Wishverse itself. I think it was first a replacement universe
which after the destruction of the powercentre became a spliced of pocket
universe existing parallel to the regular Buffyverse, but very much limited
of course in time.

One Bit Shy

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Jul 29, 2007, 6:21:15 PM7/29/07
to
"Rowan Hawthorn" <rowan_h...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:G4OdnbQSOIL...@giganews.com...
> One Bit Shy wrote:

>> That Joss wrote this tends to make me take Willow nuances a bit more
>> seriously. Perhaps that's my fantasy, but somehow I think Joss wanted
>> his hands on this one for more than dressing AH in leather.
>
> *Lots* of us wanted to get our hands on AH Dressed In Leather -
>
> Oh, wait, um... that wasn't what you said, was it? Nevermind...

You're incorrigible.

In a good way of course.

I will point out that I suggested hands on dressing her in leather - not
merely once dressed. A small distinction that somehow seems terribly
important right now.


> Yup. Her chains, they are seriously a-chafin' (and not in the good,
> Mistress of Pain way, either.)

What confused me was this scary visual place they talked about going to. It
didn't seem all that scary to me. Hmmm. Maybe they were visualizing Oz.

OBS


Rowan Hawthorn

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Jul 29, 2007, 9:05:12 PM7/29/07
to
One Bit Shy wrote:
> "Rowan Hawthorn" <rowan_h...@hotmail.com> wrote in message
> news:G4OdnbQSOIL...@giganews.com...
>> One Bit Shy wrote:
>
>>> That Joss wrote this tends to make me take Willow nuances a bit more
>>> seriously. Perhaps that's my fantasy, but somehow I think Joss wanted
>>> his hands on this one for more than dressing AH in leather.
>> *Lots* of us wanted to get our hands on AH Dressed In Leather -
>>
>> Oh, wait, um... that wasn't what you said, was it? Nevermind...
>
> You're incorrigible.

And I would need very *little* incorrigement in that situation...

>
> In a good way of course.
>
> I will point out that I suggested hands on dressing her in leather - not
> merely once dressed. A small distinction that somehow seems terribly
> important right now.

Heh. Puttin' 'em on, takin' 'em off - I'm easy.

>
>
>> Yup. Her chains, they are seriously a-chafin' (and not in the good,
>> Mistress of Pain way, either.)
>
> What confused me was this scary visual place they talked about going to. It
> didn't seem all that scary to me. Hmmm. Maybe they were visualizing Oz.

Which brings up a thought: would that come under Domestic Violence or
Animal Cruelty?

Arbitrar Of Quality

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Jul 29, 2007, 8:54:56 PM7/29/07
to
On Jul 29, 2:31 pm, "One Bit Shy" <O...@nomail.sorry> wrote:
> "Arbitrar Of Quality" <tsm...@wildmail.com> wrote in messagenews:1185726759.9...@x40g2000prg.googlegroups.com...

> Doppelgängland doesn't come out of nowhere. Willow's expressed attitudes
> and behavior are definitely the product of her character development over
> the three seasons. They're not meant to be a surprise - except possibly the
> degree. What this episode does is pull that development together into
> Willow's active awareness - especially the part about disliking her normal
> safe self. That she's actually unhappy with her life is what's news. It's
> no accident that the only thing she and her vampire alter ego actively agree
> on is not liking it here.

I don't see that as much of a revelation either. We've known that
Willow was ashamed of her self-concept since WTTH.

> But her timid, safe, bookworm side has always been part of her too. It's
> been shown repeatedly as well. It's shown as the place she naturally
> retreats to under stress. The adventurous side is something she either has
> to work herself up to or impulsively act on (in other words avoid thinking
> of consequences), and treated as a departure from her normal self. Her safe
> responsible side is a pretty stubborn part of her too. Willow, the thrill
> seeker, is also Willow, the girl who struggles to step off campus during
> school hours even when it's permitted. It's the Willow who beats herself
> silly for a less than perfect SAT score. And it's the Willow whose dominant
> day to day personality default is studying relentlessly and following the
> rules.
>
> These two aspects of Willow have been at battle since we met her. But only
> now, late in S3, does she actively bring the battle to the fore of her mind
> and choose. Here she rejects her old self. In Choices she gives substance
> to her new self.

The thing is that Willow still acts like Willow. I have a hard time
seeing DGL as a major revelation for her, because she was the more
adventurous but still geeky S3 version of Willow both before and
after. The only reason why S3 (as opposed to S1) Willow choosing to
hang out with friends rather than study for one night seems like such
a big deal is because the beginning of the episode unconvincingly
backslides her to the point where it is. Post-DGL, she still doesn't
want to be an ordinary misfit, and she still feels like that's who she
is from time to time. Whereas "Choices" is an important moment for
her. Both Oxford and UCSD (sorry, RRH) are on the table as serious
options at the beginning of the episode, and she makes a choice
between them at the end... you've already done a good job framing
where her quality time with the villains ties in to this story.

> >> (Side note. I think Wesley's part this episode is actually pretty
> >> decent -
> >> the most effective tough minded watcher side of him we see. Curiously,
> >> though, I find this characterization to be especially out of synch with
> >> AtS.)
>
> > Really? The Watcher mentality is there when something's improtant
> > enough for him to stop worrying about his ego, and surfaces only on
> > occasion, but more and more often during the early years of ATS. This
> > is one of the character threads that connects most clearly for me.
>
> I realized after I wrote it that you'd likely take it this way. As to the
> substance of his part this episode, you're absolutely right. The watcher
> mentality. The pompous aspect. And so on. It's all part of AtS later on.
> It's the performance itself that felt off key for me. Well, actually dead
> on for this episode. Just not quite the tone I get in AtS. I believe the
> acting interpretation of the role was refined next season, coming across a
> little differently.

Don't really see it that way, but okay. Moments like that are bound
to crop up from time to time on a show where characters sometimes end
up sticking around way past what was once imagined as their expiration
date.

-AOQ

Mark Myers

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Jul 30, 2007, 9:02:35 AM7/30/07
to
On Sun, 29 Jul 2007 08:35:35 -0700, Arbitrar Of Quality said...

Not much more, only a bit more will do. And the stuff she does over hear
is really to her benefit. Buffy doesn't like being kept in the dark,
even if the news is bad.

Anyway, when he eventually finds out that Buffy knows he walks into a
post. It's not proof, but I think it holds water.

--
Mark Myers
usenet2 at mcm2002 dot f9 dot co dot uk
I call that a radical interpretation of the text.

Arbitrar Of Quality

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Jul 30, 2007, 9:17:43 PM7/30/07
to
On Jul 30, 8:02 am, Mark Myers <nos...@see.sig> wrote:

> Anyway, when he eventually finds out that Buffy knows he walks into a
> post. It's not proof, but I think it holds water.

Or he's just surprised, as if he hadn't thought about it recently.

-AOQ

Michael Ikeda

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Aug 1, 2007, 5:58:14 PM8/1/07
to
"One Bit Shy" <O...@nomail.sorry> wrote in
news:13al245...@news.supernews.com:

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

> news:1185431088.6...@x40g2000prg.googlegroups.com...


>
>> A reminder: These threads make Godot look punctual.
>

> Ah, so the primary function of your posts is to be waited for.
>
> Let's all sing together, "Anticipation..."
>
>

>> BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER
>> Season Three, Episode 16: "Doppelgängland"
>> Writer: Joss Whedon
>> Director: Joss Whedon
>

> That Joss wrote this tends to make me take Willow nuances a bit
> more seriously. Perhaps that's my fantasy, but somehow I think
> Joss wanted his hands on this one for more than dressing AH in
> leather.

As others have noted, dressing AH in leather would seem to be a
sufficient reason by itself...



>
>> and Wesley is much funnier than I remembered.
>

> I'm not sure if it's on purpose, but the physical setup for
> Wesley saving Cordelia pretty much requires him to have been
> hiding in the bathroom when Cordy and vamp-Willow came in. The
> notion tickles my funny bone. In any case, that brief scene is
> very nicely done.

Thought it was neat that Wesley seems to be the only person in
Sunnydale prepared enough to routinely carry crosses and holy water
around with him...

--
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

Wouter Valentijn

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Aug 2, 2007, 1:42:51 PM8/2/07
to

"Michael Ikeda" <mmi...@erols.com> schreef in bericht
news:yJydnQcbRoBrnCzb...@rcn.net...

Preparation.
Preparation.
Preparation.


--
Wouter Valentijn

Angel: if nothing we do matters, then all that matters is what we do.

Angel, Epiphany


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