A Second Look: BTVS S2D5

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Arbitrar Of Quality

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Jun 14, 2007, 9:37:01 AM6/14/07
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A reminder: These threads are not spoiler-free.


BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER
Season Two, Episode 17: "Passion"
Writer: Ty King
Director: Michael Gershman

And now we (momentarily) get down to the big stuff, building to
another climax a few shows after "Innocence." "Passion" is one of
those relatively few episodes whose impact didn't decrease with
familiarity. The first thing one thinks of is character death ZOMG,
but it actually keeps getting better and more intense to the end. I'm
impressed with the staging of pretty much everything. Scenes are
composed particularly well this week - highlights include the opening
montage with the friends being friends while doom approaches, Angel
doing another of his characters whilst menacing Joyce towards the
door, Calendar's extended death sequence, Giles on the war-path, and
the climax-end with the factory burning and Buffy's response to
Giles's recklessness. The rock-solid quality allows one to ignore the
fact that it's one of BTVS's forays into pretty straight conventional
horror and conventional melodrama; it tends to save that for special
occasions and do it stylishly at such times. Oh, this is also one
where I got some grief from the more rabid faithful about not loving
it gushingly "enough" - well, such is life. And I did end up deciding
to upgrade the stupid rating now, so hopefully such agitators will be
satisfied.
Rating: Excellent (up from Good)


Season Two, Episode 18: "Killed By Death"
Writers: Dean Batali and Rob Des Hotel
Director: Deran Sarafian

And then we have this. I understand the use of protracting an arc by
taking a sick day, but it doesn't do much to change my opinion that
Season Two has pacing issues. (Someone who cares about the episode
can handle any analysis about what it means for Buffy to fight "death"
at this point, but my stance is that any contribution to the emotional
arc is vague at best and pointless at worst.) KBD do what it do.
Even without knowing that it's a recycled script from a more innocent
era of the show, it feels like it should be a S1 episode. Main plot
is blah, screaming kids are annoying, bad medico-babble is annoying
(this is my first of several admonitions to the writers to stop
setting episodes in hospitals until they get some accuracy consultants
or something), but it's decorated throughout with enough good
character moments to keep it watchable. Other than Angel hanging like
a cloud over the story, not much I'll remember tomorrow. It's always
been at the very edges of the Weak/Decent boundary, and I think I'm
feeling generous today.
Rating: Decent


Season Two, Episode 19: "I Only Have Eyes For You"
Writer: Marti Noxon
Director: James Whitmore, Jr.

Here's an example of an a thematic episode that's not so much "subtle"
as "hopelessly muddled." How exactly being possessed by a dead kid
who's hot for teacher is supposed to help Buffy forgive herself for
turning Angel dark and/or not killing him still doesn't make a
tremendous deal of sense to me. Nor does how having her kiss and wake
up with her eyes closed, quietly breathing "Angel..." represents
understanding what has to be done, or whatever. So, failure on that
count; I mostly watch IOHEFY as just an unusual ghost story with a few
of our stars playing against type a little. Fortunately, said ghost
story is done well enough to hold one's interest, by a comfortable
margin. Despite interesting things going on throughout, including the
first mention of the Mayor and a look into a shaken Giles not on his
analytical game, it's very much an act-four episode. The deserted
school pulsating with mystical insects or whatever is one of the
nicest visual backdrops in the series, particularly when the extremely
tender denouement is set against it. Contrary to later statements,
this episode contains Willow's first spell.
Rating: Good


Season Two, Episode 20: "Go Fish"
Writers: David Fury and Elin Hampton
Director: David Semel

Oh, yes, Season Two has pacing issues. Presumably intended as one
last bit of bubbly fun before the show gets its dark on, "Go Fish"
seems very poorly placed from a character continuity standpoint.
After "Innocence" kicked the second half of the year into high gear,
"Passion" elevated it beyond recourse, and IOHEFY moved us
(theoretically) into finale territory, do we want an over-the-top
wacky school story involving Buffy trying to get comfortable around
guys again and Xnader and Cordy exploring their feelings? Not
really. Okay, enough space on that. Because if one works to put that
aside, "Go Fish" is a delightful little episode. It doesn't go for
laugh-out-loud funny so much as low-key absurdity, from the blatant
movie homage to the rampaging stock characters to a steroid metaphor
that's "Beer Bad"-caliber in its blunt (intentional) stupidity. Then
it throws in a distinctly dark edge too; the sexual harassment angle
totally "should" clash horribly with the tone of the story but somehow
doesn't. As far as simple episodes about the Scoobies fighting as a
team (go Xander!) while wisecracking like mad go, this is a nice one.
Those who don't find it funny just aren't team players. BTW, as a
microcosm for the feel-good aspects of the series, how about Buffy
having her way with the guy who doesn't want her leaving his car?
Rating: Good


Additional thoughts on S2D5: That Angel[us] is kind of a dick, huh?
Also, Season Two has pacing issues.

Thoughts?

-AOQ

mariposas rand mair fheal greykitten tomys des anges

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Jun 14, 2007, 12:29:28 PM6/14/07
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> BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER
> Season Two, Episode 17: "Passion"
> Writer: Ty King
> Director: Michael Gershman

one of the things ive noticed is you have angelus doing this running commentary
about the importance of feeling emotions

and we watch our humans laughing fighting doing all those emotions
and most of the shots of the angelus watching the humans from the outside
only reacting when the humans react

angelus is not only a blood parasite but also a emotion parasite
unable to create any passion by himself within his dead soulless existence
he can feel by feeding off the feelings of others


> Season Two, Episode 19: "I Only Have Eyes For You"
> Writer: Marti Noxon
> Director: James Whitmore, Jr.
>
> Here's an example of an a thematic episode that's not so much "subtle"
> as "hopelessly muddled." How exactly being possessed by a dead kid
> who's hot for teacher is supposed to help Buffy forgive herself for
> turning Angel dark and/or not killing him still doesn't make a
> tremendous deal of sense to me. Nor does how having her kiss and wake

the episode appears to present the typical male violence on female
and buffy is very much on the party line of no mercy
and while giles is droning on and on in the background
that the situation may be more subtle than that
buffy is having none of that

and it also reflected on buffys own situation
that she is being abused by the bad exboyfriend angelus

but then its the abusive male that locks on to buffy
as the person closest to him
reversing the notion of who is the victim and who is abuser

from that buffy realizes that she blames herself for killing angel
and she can sort out her own issues

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

burt...@hotmail.com

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Jun 14, 2007, 1:47:10 PM6/14/07
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On Jun 14, 5:37 am, Arbitrar Of Quality <tsm...@wildmail.com> wrote:
> Additional thoughts on S2D5: That Angel[us] is kind of a dick, huh?
> Also, Season Two has pacing issues.

Well, in the same place as "Killed by Death" and "Go Fish," season 3
has "Earshot" and "The Prom," neither of which have anything to do
with the Mayor's Ascension storyline. So, if season 2 has pacing
issues, doesn't season 3 have exactly the same kind of pacing issues?

Michael Ikeda

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Jun 14, 2007, 5:53:18 PM6/14/07
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Arbitrar Of Quality <tsm...@wildmail.com> wrote in
news:1181828221.5...@i38g2000prf.googlegroups.com:

Or everyone can start agitating for you to up the rating to
Superlative...

One interesting little scene (which I may have mentioned the first
time around) is when Buffy receives the call about Jenny. Buffy just
silently implodes. And so Joyce tries to comfort the more visibly
upset Willow.

>
> Season Two, Episode 19: "I Only Have Eyes For You"
> Writer: Marti Noxon
> Director: James Whitmore, Jr.
>
> Here's an example of an a thematic episode that's not so much
> "subtle" as "hopelessly muddled." How exactly being possessed
> by a dead kid who's hot for teacher is supposed to help Buffy
> forgive herself for turning Angel dark and/or not killing him
> still doesn't make a tremendous deal of sense to me.

What it does is force her to confront an issue that she's been
avoiding: that she HASN'T forgiven herself and that she needs to.

> Nor does
> how having her kiss and wake up with her eyes closed, quietly
> breathing "Angel..." represents understanding what has to be
> done, or whatever.

It's not a matter of understanding anything. It's Buffy reacting to
the kiss etc., almost feeling for a moment as if she has Angel back.

--
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

Arbitrar Of Quality

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Jun 14, 2007, 6:46:42 PM6/14/07
to

Not at all. Having to do with the main threat-arc isn't the only way
to be relevant to the story of the season. I'll leave off "Earshot"
for the moment, since I have issues with it (TBD in another half-dozen
of these posts), except to say that I do think it fits thematically
into S3, at least more so than KBD does for S2. That's even more true
of "The Prom," as out heroes leave high school behind and assess who
they've become after the identity-shaping events of Season Three and
the series as a whole. The episode is in large part about Buffy
receiving the Class Protector award, and all the symbolism that goes
with it, which the season has been setting up. Even the lightweight
tone of TP makes sense from an arc perspective, since the Mayor's
quietly being invincible until Ascension, and the kids have
consciously chosen to treat the Prom as one last night to celebrate
being alive before the final march to Graduation Day and its
accompanying shit-storm. By contrast, as much as I like "Go Fish" (in
some ways, although not all, it's a better individual episode than
"The Prom"), it's in large part about swimmers turning into fish.

-AOQ

One Bit Shy

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Jun 15, 2007, 4:15:03 PM6/15/07
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"Arbitrar Of Quality" <tsm...@wildmail.com> wrote in message
news:1181828221.5...@i38g2000prf.googlegroups.com...

Nothing much to add to that. (I also rate it Excellent.) I do want to note
the guilt piled onto Buffy here. Largely internally applied - Buffy feels
guilty for creating Angelus, failing to kill him & for everything he does as
a result. But while that's true initially, Jenny's death also spreads the
consequences of Angelus to Buffy's circle of friends, who sometimes also
harbor the thought that Buffy shares blame. This will be a particular bone
of contention for Xander, though it will also effect Giles and generally
hang over Buffy's relationships deep into S3. One presumes that it will
forever be a defining moment for all of our heroes.


> Season Two, Episode 18: "Killed By Death"
> Writers: Dean Batali and Rob Des Hotel
> Director: Deran Sarafian
>
> And then we have this. I understand the use of protracting an arc by
> taking a sick day, but it doesn't do much to change my opinion that
> Season Two has pacing issues. (Someone who cares about the episode
> can handle any analysis about what it means for Buffy to fight "death"
> at this point, but my stance is that any contribution to the emotional
> arc is vague at best and pointless at worst.) KBD do what it do.
> Even without knowing that it's a recycled script from a more innocent
> era of the show, it feels like it should be a S1 episode. Main plot
> is blah, screaming kids are annoying, bad medico-babble is annoying
> (this is my first of several admonitions to the writers to stop
> setting episodes in hospitals until they get some accuracy consultants
> or something), but it's decorated throughout with enough good
> character moments to keep it watchable. Other than Angel hanging like
> a cloud over the story, not much I'll remember tomorrow. It's always
> been at the very edges of the Weak/Decent boundary, and I think I'm
> feeling generous today.
> Rating: Decent

I think I like the monster story better than you, but I'm not going to
expend effort on that. I still rate it a Decent.

The most interesting part for me is Xander. While he doesn't have much to
do with the A story, I sense that the episode is a great deal about him.
His ballsy standing up to Angel is impressive any way that you look at it.
While he doesn't overtly rescue Buffy this episode as he did in Phases, he
does participate in a group effort to save Buffy at the start, chases off
Angel in the middle, and helps Buffy out at the end, while standing watch
ceaselessly in between. Add to this the private moments between himself and
Buffy the last few episodes and one can see a rapidly growing obsession.

But it's not quite the same love sick obsession from the end of S1, though I
think he himself hasn't been certain about that. I think Cordelia serves to
clear that up. She pretty much accuses Xander of wanting Buffy more than
her, yet somehow ends us seeming to commit herself to Xander more thoroughly
than ever. The subtext around this gets a bit blurry, but I tend to take it
as Cordy realizing that it's more than Xander's hormones at work and that
his determined dedication is kind of attractive and worthy. (Cordy's part
seems to
involve some maturing on her part and letting go of jealousies and so on.)
Likewise I sense that his exchanges with Cordelia help him distinguish the
girlfriend (a role adequately filled by Cordy) from the duty. What really
kicks in this episode for Xander is his sense of responsibility for
protecting Buffy.

He does that very well here. It's impressive and kind of sweet. But it's
also obsessive. The seeds are planted for that to become destructive.
Which it will.

The curious thing is that Buffy doesn't know about any of this. She was too
sick
to really comprehend how she had been saved at the start, and Xander's hall
watch and confrontation with Angelus are out of her sight.


> Season Two, Episode 19: "I Only Have Eyes For You"
> Writer: Marti Noxon
> Director: James Whitmore, Jr.
>
> Here's an example of an a thematic episode that's not so much "subtle"
> as "hopelessly muddled." How exactly being possessed by a dead kid
> who's hot for teacher is supposed to help Buffy forgive herself for
> turning Angel dark and/or not killing him still doesn't make a
> tremendous deal of sense to me.

I went back and read the old review and comments again - including my own.
And, you know, it does get confusing. Indeed, I'm now not certain that it's
widely understood. What you briefly reference above is in the episode, but
I believe you've missed the biggest guilt.

The guilt of killing Angel.

Which, of course, hasn't happened yet. But it's what Buffy fears she will
have to do and she's already consumed with a kind of advance guilt.

In keeping with the season long theme I referred to as the trouble with
killing, death gets revisited one last time, this time with Buffy killing
Angel just as she fears. Then from Angel's own mouth she gets forgiveness.

Angelus: Shhh. I'm the one who should be sorry, James. You thought I
stopped loving you. But I never did. I loved you with my last breath.

Change "James" to "Buffy" and you have the emotional heart of the
experience.

Whatever Buffy has to do, Angel would understand and forgive her because he
genuinely loved her. Believing that, Buffy can forgive herself and move on.


> Nor does how having her kiss and wake
> up with her eyes closed, quietly breathing "Angel..." represents
> understanding what has to be done, or whatever.

I wasn't aware that it was supposed to. For me, that part is mostly
foreshadowing.

Nor does the experience in general offer any clarity as to what must be
done. She's known for quite a while that, barring a miracle, she's going to
have to kill Angelus. Her problem has been a kind of paralysis. Her sense
of guilt has been part of that. Releasing it makes it easier to act. When
we get to Becoming we will see Buffy quite focused on getting Angelus, which
suggests that this little exercise helped.


> So, failure on that
> count; I mostly watch IOHEFY as just an unusual ghost story with a few
> of our stars playing against type a little. Fortunately, said ghost
> story is done well enough to hold one's interest, by a comfortable
> margin. Despite interesting things going on throughout, including the
> first mention of the Mayor and a look into a shaken Giles not on his
> analytical game, it's very much an act-four episode. The deserted
> school pulsating with mystical insects or whatever is one of the
> nicest visual backdrops in the series, particularly when the extremely
> tender denouement is set against it. Contrary to later statements,
> this episode contains Willow's first spell.
> Rating: Good

The problem with the forgiveness angle - the bitter truth - is that it
doesn't work in the end. The aftermath of killing Angel (as she thought she
had done) will nearly destroy Buffy. Several things will contribute to
that, but her guilt and shame over the killing will be a big part.

There *are* other things about this episode. The ghost story itself is
fucking great. One of the best BtVS will offer. The haunting music. The
really clever solution to breaking the death cycle. The gender swap. I
loved the locker monster grabbing Xander. It pretty much all works.

Then there's Giles. It's so sad to see him still so consumed - haunted
even - by Jenny's memory. Here it takes away his ability to be an effective
watcher. Alas, it proves much worse as a portent for things to come.
Jenny's memory is his weakness that will be exploited to devastating effect
in Becoming. BtVS emphasizes how Buffy's calling prevents her from having
normal relationships. But it's not just her. Everybody around her suffers
some of the same. Most especially Giles - and for very much the same
reasons as Buffy. He's deadly to be around. Attachments interfere with his
ability to be watcher.

Willow hints at having looked deeper into the dark arts than previously
realized. Though I'm not sure that an exorcism counts as a spell. And it
should be noted that she didn't cast it any more than the other three did.
Hell, Buffy was at the focal point.

As James/Grace and Buffy/Angel overlay each other in the scene they play
act, their stories overlay with a neat mix of past present and future common
grounds. I especially like the following three times repeated line.

Buffy: No. A person doesn't just wake up and stop loving somebody! Love is
forever.

It directly points to the Innocence experience. It also points to the
obsessive and naively romantic view of love that fills the whole Buffy/Angel
story. This episode foreshadows Buffy sending Angel to hell, but it also
foreshadows the long breakup in S3 where Angel ultimately leaves Buffy.
From The Prom:

Joyce: ...when it comes to you, Angel, she's just like any other young woman
in love. You're all she can see of tomorrow.

Angelus this episode has a traumatic experience, being violated with love
and all. He had actually indicated earlier on that he was getting tired of
the Buffy drama and was finally ready to finish her off. Well, that didn't
work so well. Next stop apocalypse. It's periodically suggested that
Angelus is going mad. That his own obsession with Buffy just curdles within
him rather than thrilling him like it's supposed to. (As with Drusilla.)
So he goes postal instead and tries to destroy the world. I don't know.
Maybe. I think the series just hadn't worked out the nuances of monster and
vampire motivation yet and was still a little too much in love with evil for
evil's sake. Fortunately Spike will start offering an alternative viewpoint
in a couple of episodes.

Which leaves us with Spike in a great Bwa-ha-ha conclusion. One of the
little fun things to do has been watching Spike gradually healing these past
several episodes without anybody seeming to notice. And here he is in full
peroxide beauty. Has there ever been a pretty boy quite like Spike.

I adore this episode - it's my second favorite of the season and one of the
great ones in the BtVS pantheon.


> Season Two, Episode 20: "Go Fish"
> Writers: David Fury and Elin Hampton
> Director: David Semel
>
> Oh, yes, Season Two has pacing issues. Presumably intended as one
> last bit of bubbly fun before the show gets its dark on, "Go Fish"
> seems very poorly placed from a character continuity standpoint.
> After "Innocence" kicked the second half of the year into high gear,
> "Passion" elevated it beyond recourse, and IOHEFY moved us
> (theoretically) into finale territory, do we want an over-the-top
> wacky school story involving Buffy trying to get comfortable around
> guys again and Xnader and Cordy exploring their feelings? Not
> really. Okay, enough space on that. Because if one works to put that
> aside, "Go Fish" is a delightful little episode. It doesn't go for
> laugh-out-loud funny so much as low-key absurdity, from the blatant
> movie homage to the rampaging stock characters to a steroid metaphor
> that's "Beer Bad"-caliber in its blunt (intentional) stupidity.

So the stupidity of the following is intentional?

Coach Marin: After the fall of the Soviet Union, documents came into light
detailing experiments with fish DNA on their Olympic swimmers.

I don't know. Maybe it is intentionally over the top even though I struggle
to see the intentional part. But either way, at least Beer Bad made me
giggle a lot.


> Then
> it throws in a distinctly dark edge too; the sexual harassment angle
> totally "should" clash horribly with the tone of the story but somehow
> doesn't. As far as simple episodes about the Scoobies fighting as a
> team (go Xander!) while wisecracking like mad go, this is a nice one.
> Those who don't find it funny just aren't team players. BTW, as a
> microcosm for the feel-good aspects of the series, how about Buffy
> having her way with the guy who doesn't want her leaving his car?
> Rating: Good

Though it never occurred to me to consider the episode Good, I was
previously more or less in line with your thoughts of it not being so bad if
only it were placed somewhere else in the season.

This watching, however, the episode just stuck in my craw with its
annoying stupidity and abuse of characters. A part of me wants
to trash it all and give the episode my first and only Bad rating in the
BtVS run. But a few redeeming moments - Speedo Xander (which earns a
genuine howl of laughter), Willow cracking Jonathan, and an assortment of
little moments like Xander pondering grape soda or orange - limit the damage
to a mere Weak rating. Still, right now Go Fish has fallen below Bad Eggs
to become the worst BtVS episode ever by my personal ratings.

So I guess I haven't taken in enough aroma therapy to be a proper team
player. But I can't help it if I think I might have muttered an objection
to being locked up in the library cage and can't quite convince myself that
the little mild humor offered makes up for putting Cordelia so out of
character when she offers to keep dating the fish. And, oh yeah, there's
that pacing thing you've been harping on. Worst placed episode evah!


OBS

David L. Burkhead

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Jun 15, 2007, 10:31:03 PM6/15/07
to

For me the most poignant part of the episode was not Jenny's death, but the
tableau Angelus (I generally use the convention more or less set up in the
"Angel" TV series where "Angelus" is the one without the soul and "Angel" is
the one with the soul) set up for Giles. Seeing Giles walk through the
house, his own anticipation of a romantic evening heightening while I knew
(having seen Jenny's death) what he was going to actually find that made it
almost too painful to watch. But it was an "empathy with the characters"
kind of pain. I'm too new to the group here to get a feel for the "break
points" of your rating system, but I consider this maybe one of the top five
episodes of the whole series, certainly in the top ten.

One thing I have always wondered is if the "Ritual of Restoration" that
Jennie was researching really was the same spell as the curse originally
placed on Angel with the same "escape clause." When Angel comes back later,
everyone assumes that it is (and may well be right to so assume even if the
spell is different--given the consequences of guessing wrong, better to be
cautious than risk it) but none of the living characters have any firsthand
knowledge of the original curse so that assumption could well be wrong.
Nothing I've seen yet (I've only got as far as "Redefinition" in the Angel
series) really confirms the issue one way or the other.

> Season Two, Episode 18: "Killed By Death"
> Writers: Dean Batali and Rob Des Hotel
> Director: Deran Sarafian
>
> And then we have this. I understand the use of protracting an arc by
> taking a sick day, but it doesn't do much to change my opinion that
> Season Two has pacing issues. (Someone who cares about the episode
> can handle any analysis about what it means for Buffy to fight "death"
> at this point, but my stance is that any contribution to the emotional
> arc is vague at best and pointless at worst.) KBD do what it do.
> Even without knowing that it's a recycled script from a more innocent
> era of the show, it feels like it should be a S1 episode. Main plot
> is blah, screaming kids are annoying, bad medico-babble is annoying
> (this is my first of several admonitions to the writers to stop
> setting episodes in hospitals until they get some accuracy consultants
> or something), but it's decorated throughout with enough good
> character moments to keep it watchable. Other than Angel hanging like
> a cloud over the story, not much I'll remember tomorrow. It's always
> been at the very edges of the Weak/Decent boundary, and I think I'm
> feeling generous today.
> Rating: Decent

I'd put this one a bit higher, mainly for Xander's standing up to
Angelus. I also like the way that Cordelia walked out on Xander but later
came back and supported him. It showed a _lot_ of growth on her part (and
is part of the reason I absolutely detest her treatment in Season 3, which,
I assume, we'll get to in due course).

> Season Two, Episode 19: "I Only Have Eyes For You"
> Writer: Marti Noxon
> Director: James Whitmore, Jr.
>
> Here's an example of an a thematic episode that's not so much "subtle"
> as "hopelessly muddled." How exactly being possessed by a dead kid
> who's hot for teacher is supposed to help Buffy forgive herself for
> turning Angel dark and/or not killing him still doesn't make a
> tremendous deal of sense to me. Nor does how having her kiss and wake
> up with her eyes closed, quietly breathing "Angel..." represents
> understanding what has to be done, or whatever. So, failure on that
> count; I mostly watch IOHEFY as just an unusual ghost story with a few
> of our stars playing against type a little. Fortunately, said ghost
> story is done well enough to hold one's interest, by a comfortable
> margin. Despite interesting things going on throughout, including the
> first mention of the Mayor and a look into a shaken Giles not on his
> analytical game, it's very much an act-four episode. The deserted
> school pulsating with mystical insects or whatever is one of the
> nicest visual backdrops in the series, particularly when the extremely
> tender denouement is set against it. Contrary to later statements,
> this episode contains Willow's first spell.
> Rating: Good

Again, I don't know where my feelings about this episode would fall on your
rating scale but I think I may have enjoyed it more than you did. For one
thing, I never interpreted the kiss bit and her reaction to it as having
anything to do with "realizing what she has to do" but rather for that one
moment, she had Angel back--only to "lose" him again an instant later. This
is the second play on that theme with her and Angel, first time, she
"gained" him in Surprise (although I still have a bit of trouble with the
"squick" factor of a 200+ year old vampire having sex with a 17 year old
girl) only to lose him, painfully, in Innocence. And we see it again in
Becoming where, this time, after she regains him (Willow's curse worked),
_she_ is the one who initiates the loss.

> Season Two, Episode 20: "Go Fish"
> Writers: David Fury and Elin Hampton
> Director: David Semel
>
> Oh, yes, Season Two has pacing issues. Presumably intended as one
> last bit of bubbly fun before the show gets its dark on, "Go Fish"
> seems very poorly placed from a character continuity standpoint.
> After "Innocence" kicked the second half of the year into high gear,
> "Passion" elevated it beyond recourse, and IOHEFY moved us
> (theoretically) into finale territory, do we want an over-the-top
> wacky school story involving Buffy trying to get comfortable around
> guys again and Xnader and Cordy exploring their feelings? Not
> really. Okay, enough space on that. Because if one works to put that
> aside, "Go Fish" is a delightful little episode. It doesn't go for
> laugh-out-loud funny so much as low-key absurdity, from the blatant
> movie homage to the rampaging stock characters to a steroid metaphor
> that's "Beer Bad"-caliber in its blunt (intentional) stupidity. Then
> it throws in a distinctly dark edge too; the sexual harassment angle
> totally "should" clash horribly with the tone of the story but somehow
> doesn't. As far as simple episodes about the Scoobies fighting as a
> team (go Xander!) while wisecracking like mad go, this is a nice one.
> Those who don't find it funny just aren't team players. BTW, as a
> microcosm for the feel-good aspects of the series, how about Buffy
> having her way with the guy who doesn't want her leaving his car?
> Rating: Good

In this case, I think you enjoyed this episode more than I did. I consider
it one of the low points of the entire series. Virtually nothing in this
episode "worked" for me. As just one example, if they'd invoked magic as a
reason for the transformations, I would have accepted it, but they invoked
"science" and did it horribly badly (DNA doesn't work that way). While I
enjoyed some of the humor ("just what my reputation needs....") other
attempts at humor fell flat to me. The ending, in particular, left me cold:
do the fish men still retain their minds and souls? If they do, then
they're guilty of the murder of the school nurse and should not be allowed
to go free. If they don't, then the humans they once were are effectively
dead and there's even less excuse to let these monsters/animals go free
after they've already been established as "maneaters." I know we're
supposed to feel sympathy because they didn't ask to feel transformed, and I
do, but that is mitigated by the fact that they were cheaters to begin with
(steroid use is cheating), and had already killed one person. A rabid dog
is also not responsible, but that doesn't change what must be done.


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

Mel

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Jun 15, 2007, 10:54:33 PM6/15/07
to

>
>>Season Two, Episode 20: "Go Fish"
>>Writers: David Fury and Elin Hampton
>>Director: David Semel

>

Worst placed episode evah!
>
>
> OBS
>
>


I think that distinction goes to the Rome scenes of "The Girl In Question."

At least "Go Fish" has Wentworth Miller in it.

Mel

One Bit Shy

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Jun 15, 2007, 11:18:34 PM6/15/07
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"David L. Burkhead" <dbur...@sff.net> wrote in message
news:LoCdnR1Udd7F1O7b...@giganews.com...

> Arbitrar Of Quality wrote:
>> A reminder: These threads are not spoiler-free.
>>
>>
>> BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER
>> Season Two, Episode 17: "Passion"
>> Writer: Ty King
>> Director: Michael Gershman

> For me the most poignant part of the episode was not Jenny's death, but

> the
> tableau Angelus (I generally use the convention more or less set up in the
> "Angel" TV series where "Angelus" is the one without the soul and "Angel"
> is
> the one with the soul) set up for Giles. Seeing Giles walk through the
> house, his own anticipation of a romantic evening heightening while I knew
> (having seen Jenny's death) what he was going to actually find that made
> it
> almost too painful to watch. But it was an "empathy with the characters"
> kind of pain.

That's one of the great moments. The third great one that I can recall off
hand is Buffy and Willow receiving the news. Their reaction (plus the way
Joyce consoles the wailing Willow without yet seeing how crushed Buffy is by
the news) is great in itself, but what makes it exquisite is watching it
through the window along with Angel - experiencing the ecstasy of the moment
that he finds in it. It's a fabulous juxtaposition of emotions.


> I'm too new to the group here to get a feel for the "break
> points" of your rating system, but I consider this maybe one of the top
> five
> episodes of the whole series, certainly in the top ten.

It's a great episode, and in the sense of importance to the series, I think
it's definitely top 10. It's one of those episodes that matters to
everybody for a very long time. Yet most of this episode isn't any better
than quite a few other terrific BtVS episodes. Right now it's only my 6th
favorite of the season - maybe 5th. It's roughly tied with When She Was Bad
in my eyes.


> One thing I have always wondered is if the "Ritual of Restoration" that
> Jennie was researching really was the same spell as the curse originally
> placed on Angel with the same "escape clause." When Angel comes back
> later,
> everyone assumes that it is (and may well be right to so assume even if
> the
> spell is different--given the consequences of guessing wrong, better to be
> cautious than risk it) but none of the living characters have any
> firsthand
> knowledge of the original curse so that assumption could well be wrong.
> Nothing I've seen yet (I've only got as far as "Redefinition" in the Angel
> series) really confirms the issue one way or the other.

As far as I can tell, the continuation of the escape clause is never
questioned. Absent even a hint that it might not be there, I tend to assume
it really must be there.

My personal fanwank about that (and why the clause exists to begin with) is
that Gypsies knew of no other way for the spell to work. (In other words,
they had no choice.) In some fashion the possibility of release is part of
the magic that binds. Such as, perhaps, the agony of perpetual guilt being
the mechanism that binds the soul to his dead body. Without that agony, the
soul is no longer bound and naturally exits the dead body.

However, whatever that story is, Willow probably is not in a position to
know. This isn't a spell she constructed from her own research. It was
just presented to her whole, and she performed it largely by rote without
certainty of what would happen. Personally I think it's important that the
spell be Angel specific and largely beyond Willow's understanding. The
series probably wouldn't want Willow running around willy nilly thrusting
souls back into vampires.


OBS


One Bit Shy

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Jun 15, 2007, 11:28:21 PM6/15/07
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"Mel" <melb...@uci.net> wrote in message
news:1cidncGshvDZze7b...@uci.net...

I'm one of those strange people that actually kind of liked The Girl In
Question. Gypsies! <spit> We will speak of them no more!

Be that as it may, for purposes of placement, it seeks to settle the Buffy
issue between Spike and Angel before the grand finale. Sort of the last
piece of unfinished business. There's logic to that. I fail to see any in
Go Fish.

OBS


mariposas rand mair fheal greykitten tomys des anges

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Jun 15, 2007, 11:32:31 PM6/15/07
to
> One thing I have always wondered is if the "Ritual of Restoration" that
> Jennie was researching really was the same spell as the curse originally
> placed on Angel with the same "escape clause." When Angel comes back later,
> everyone assumes that it is (and may well be right to so assume even if the

its the same
angel season four has angelus return after one moment of perfect happiness
and twoo love

> I'd put this one a bit higher, mainly for Xander's standing up to
> Angelus. I also like the way that Cordelia walked out on Xander but later
> came back and supported him. It showed a _lot_ of growth on her part (and
> is part of the reason I absolutely detest her treatment in Season 3, which,
> I assume, we'll get to in due course).

i was also thinking remember that cordelia willow and xander
had been going to school together possibly since kindergarten
and they would know cordy before her queen phase
when she was still a mere spoiled brat

there was onme comment about cordy trying to hard
that never got explained
but it shows a long history of these three before the series beings

> is the second play on that theme with her and Angel, first time, she
> "gained" him in Surprise (although I still have a bit of trouble with the
> "squick" factor of a 200+ year old vampire having sex with a 17 year old
> girl) only to lose him, painfully, in Innocence. And we see it again in
> Becoming where, this time, after she regains him (Willow's curse worked),
> _she_ is the one who initiates the loss.

vampires sort of freeze in time
so its more like liam at the age of his death
which was about 17 for season 1 angel
or late twenties for not fade gently angel

Apteryx

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Jun 16, 2007, 1:00:01 AM6/16/07
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"Arbitrar Of Quality" <tsm...@wildmail.com> wrote in message
news:1181828221.5...@i38g2000prf.googlegroups.com...

Well it's a start. But the episode is Superlative for me. It's great from
Angel's opening voiceover to Buffy's closing one, but the real highlight (if
you can call it that) is the scene where Giles's discovers Jenny's body, and
his shattered look immediately after when interviewed by the police. Still
makes time to move along the Angel-Dru-Spike story, and just a little
humour, mainly from Willow with her authority anxiety when Jenny asks her to
fill in for her, her associated chaos theory, and 5 hours of lesson
planning. It is my 3rd favourite BtVS episode, best in season 2 (unchanged
since last year).

> Season Two, Episode 18: "Killed By Death"
> Writers: Dean Batali and Rob Des Hotel
> Director: Deran Sarafian
>
> And then we have this. I understand the use of protracting an arc by
> taking a sick day, but it doesn't do much to change my opinion that
> Season Two has pacing issues. (Someone who cares about the episode
> can handle any analysis about what it means for Buffy to fight "death"
> at this point, but my stance is that any contribution to the emotional
> arc is vague at best and pointless at worst.) KBD do what it do.
> Even without knowing that it's a recycled script from a more innocent
> era of the show, it feels like it should be a S1 episode. Main plot
> is blah, screaming kids are annoying, bad medico-babble is annoying
> (this is my first of several admonitions to the writers to stop
> setting episodes in hospitals until they get some accuracy consultants
> or something), but it's decorated throughout with enough good
> character moments to keep it watchable. Other than Angel hanging like
> a cloud over the story, not much I'll remember tomorrow. It's always
> been at the very edges of the Weak/Decent boundary, and I think I'm
> feeling generous today.
> Rating: Decent

Decent for me too, and although it has reasonable clearance from the
Decent/Weak boundary, it is certainly below mid-Decent. It is my 123rd
favourite BtVS episode, 22nd in season 2 (last year was 121st and 22nd -
although it is not permanently locked into last place in the season; I know
when I watched selected episodes last November, it overtook SAR, but got
overtaken again this time around).

> Season Two, Episode 19: "I Only Have Eyes For You"
> Writer: Marti Noxon
> Director: James Whitmore, Jr.
>
> Here's an example of an a thematic episode that's not so much "subtle"
> as "hopelessly muddled." How exactly being possessed by a dead kid
> who's hot for teacher is supposed to help Buffy forgive herself for
> turning Angel dark and/or not killing him still doesn't make a
> tremendous deal of sense to me. Nor does how having her kiss and wake
> up with her eyes closed, quietly breathing "Angel..." represents
> understanding what has to be done, or whatever. So, failure on that
> count; I mostly watch IOHEFY as just an unusual ghost story with a few
> of our stars playing against type a little. Fortunately, said ghost
> story is done well enough to hold one's interest, by a comfortable
> margin. Despite interesting things going on throughout, including the
> first mention of the Mayor and a look into a shaken Giles not on his
> analytical game, it's very much an act-four episode. The deserted
> school pulsating with mystical insects or whatever is one of the
> nicest visual backdrops in the series, particularly when the extremely
> tender denouement is set against it. Contrary to later statements,
> this episode contains Willow's first spell.
> Rating: Good

Good for me too. And for me the thematic elements, while it is possible to
figure them out to explain the odd way people are behaving, aren't
compelling. It is my 68th favourite BtVS episode, 13th best in season 2
(last year was 69th and 13th, although it did get higher in November).


> Season Two, Episode 20: "Go Fish"
> Writers: David Fury and Elin Hampton
> Director: David Semel
>
> Oh, yes, Season Two has pacing issues. Presumably intended as one
> last bit of bubbly fun before the show gets its dark on, "Go Fish"
> seems very poorly placed from a character continuity standpoint.
> After "Innocence" kicked the second half of the year into high gear,
> "Passion" elevated it beyond recourse, and IOHEFY moved us
> (theoretically) into finale territory, do we want an over-the-top
> wacky school story involving Buffy trying to get comfortable around
> guys again and Xnader and Cordy exploring their feelings? Not
> really. Okay, enough space on that. Because if one works to put that
> aside, "Go Fish" is a delightful little episode. It doesn't go for
> laugh-out-loud funny so much as low-key absurdity, from the blatant
> movie homage to the rampaging stock characters to a steroid metaphor
> that's "Beer Bad"-caliber in its blunt (intentional) stupidity. Then
> it throws in a distinctly dark edge too; the sexual harassment angle
> totally "should" clash horribly with the tone of the story but somehow
> doesn't. As far as simple episodes about the Scoobies fighting as a
> team (go Xander!) while wisecracking like mad go, this is a nice one.
> Those who don't find it funny just aren't team players. BTW, as a
> microcosm for the feel-good aspects of the series, how about Buffy
> having her way with the guy who doesn't want her leaving his car?
> Rating: Good

Only Decent for me. In part perhaps because it is so oddly placed. It is my
111th favourite BtVS episode, 19th best in season 2 (last year it was 111th
overall, and I don't seem to have said where it rated in the season, but
most likely it was also 19th. There has been some movement around it though,
at least with season 1's OOSOOM which I said last year was on place behind
it, has overtaken it to reach 107th place).

--
Apteryx


Don Sample

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Jun 16, 2007, 3:06:19 AM6/16/07
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In article <f4vqok$kgt$1...@aioe.org>, "Apteryx" <apt...@xtra.co.nz>
wrote:

This episode is one of my guilty pleasures. Sure, it has its problems.
It's a MotW episode following grand events, that should have some sort
of grand followup, and the medical talk makes no more sense than Star
Trek techno-babble, but it's got a sick Buffy, rising to conquer a
monster that's targeting children. It's got the wonderful face-off
between Xander and Angel. It's got children who are *not* just sitting
by to be victims: some of them are trying to save themselves. Ryan may
not have come up with the best plan, but he tried. It also has the
quintessential Cordelia line: "Tact is just not saying true stuff...I'll
pass."

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

Michael Ikeda

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Jun 16, 2007, 6:45:20 AM6/16/07
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"One Bit Shy" <O...@nomail.sorry> wrote in
news:1376lkn...@news.supernews.com:

>> Arbitrar Of Quality wrote:
>>> A reminder: These threads are not spoiler-free.
>>>
>>>
>>> BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER
>>> Season Two, Episode 17: "Passion"
>>> Writer: Ty King
>>> Director: Michael Gershman

(Discussion of Angel's curse)

>
> As far as I can tell, the continuation of the escape clause is
> never questioned. Absent even a hint that it might not be
> there, I tend to assume it really must be there.

And "Awakening" definitely suggests that the escape clause remains
similar.

>
> However, whatever that story is, Willow probably is not in a
> position to know. This isn't a spell she constructed from her
> own research. It was just presented to her whole, and she
> performed it largely by rote without certainty of what would
> happen.

And while Jenny DID research the spell, it looks like it was
"presented whole" to her as well. It's something Jenny discovered,
not something she invented herself.

Arbitrar Of Quality

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Jun 16, 2007, 12:39:39 PM6/16/07
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On Jun 15, 3:15 pm, "One Bit Shy" <O...@nomail.sorry> wrote:
> "Arbitrar Of Quality" <tsm...@wildmail.com> wrote in messagenews:1181828221.5...@i38g2000prf.googlegroups.com...

[KBD]


> The most interesting part for me is Xander. While he doesn't have much to
> do with the A story, I sense that the episode is a great deal about him.
> His ballsy standing up to Angel is impressive any way that you look at it.
> While he doesn't overtly rescue Buffy this episode as he did in Phases, he
> does participate in a group effort to save Buffy at the start, chases off
> Angel in the middle, and helps Buffy out at the end, while standing watch
> ceaselessly in between. Add to this the private moments between himself and
> Buffy the last few episodes and one can see a rapidly growing obsession.
>
> But it's not quite the same love sick obsession from the end of S1, though I
> think he himself hasn't been certain about that. I think Cordelia serves to
> clear that up. She pretty much accuses Xander of wanting Buffy more than
> her, yet somehow ends us seeming to commit herself to Xander more thoroughly
> than ever. The subtext around this gets a bit blurry, but I tend to take it
> as Cordy realizing that it's more than Xander's hormones at work and that
> his determined dedication is kind of attractive and worthy. (Cordy's part
> seems to
> involve some maturing on her part and letting go of jealousies and so on.)
> Likewise I sense that his exchanges with Cordelia help him distinguish the
> girlfriend (a role adequately filled by Cordy) from the duty. What really
> kicks in this episode for Xander is his sense of responsibility for
> protecting Buffy.
>
> He does that very well here. It's impressive and kind of sweet. But it's
> also obsessive. The seeds are planted for that to become destructive.
> Which it will.

That's one of the more interesting parts among the character moments
for me too. This whole idea of being a self-appointed guardian goes
back to "The Harvest," but his motivations were always a little mixed
(as they still are through The Lie). What we're seeing in "Phases,"
"Killed By Death," and "Go Fish" (which is a particularly prominent
chance to see woud-be-protector Xander in action) is a mix of just
getting better at knowing where and how he can contribute, and some of
the stuff you summarize above, particularly finding room for both
Buffy and Cordelia in distinct relationships. It's hard to say
exactly when he loses the horniness and where the hero-worship of
later seasons becomes a dominant factor, but the sexual attraction
just gets lost somewhere around here. If it were a cheesier show, "I
love you" to Willow in BecII would be the exact moment at which he
stopped being interested that way in Buffy, but given the nature of
BTVS, we don't really need to assign a specific point.

[IOHEFY]


> > Here's an example of an a thematic episode that's not so much "subtle"
> > as "hopelessly muddled." How exactly being possessed by a dead kid
> > who's hot for teacher is supposed to help Buffy forgive herself for
> > turning Angel dark and/or not killing him still doesn't make a
> > tremendous deal of sense to me.
>
> I went back and read the old review and comments again - including my own.
> And, you know, it does get confusing. Indeed, I'm now not certain that it's
> widely understood. What you briefly reference above is in the episode, but
> I believe you've missed the biggest guilt.
>
> The guilt of killing Angel.
>
> Which, of course, hasn't happened yet. But it's what Buffy fears she will
> have to do and she's already consumed with a kind of advance guilt.

Okay, given that no one can even agree on what exactly Buffy needs to
be forgiven for, I'm going to take the strange and outlandish stance
that it's a really confusing message, and one not conveyed
particularly well by IOHEFY. Joss himself uses the past rather than
future tense in his brief comments about the episode on the DVD (i.e.
"Buffy realizes that other people have done what she has...").

That being said, it might be worth thinking about your viewpoint in
the past tense too. One thing touched on several times is the
equivalence in Buffy's mind (and not so wrong, given the characters'
limited information) between taking Angel's soul and killing him. To
her, I'd argue that it has already happened, and each arc episode
serves to make her more convinced that it's permanent. As with James,
it was an accident, but understanding that doesn't immediately let one
forigve oneself.

> > Nor does how having her kiss and wake
> > up with her eyes closed, quietly breathing "Angel..." represents
> > understanding what has to be done, or whatever.
>
> I wasn't aware that it was supposed to. For me, that part is mostly
> foreshadowing.
>
> Nor does the experience in general offer any clarity as to what must be
> done. She's known for quite a while that, barring a miracle, she's going to
> have to kill Angelus. Her problem has been a kind of paralysis. Her sense
> of guilt has been part of that. Releasing it makes it easier to act. When
> we get to Becoming we will see Buffy quite focused on getting Angelus, which
> suggests that this little exercise helped.

[snip]


> The problem with the forgiveness angle - the bitter truth - is that it
> doesn't work in the end. The aftermath of killing Angel (as she thought she
> had done) will nearly destroy Buffy. Several things will contribute to
> that, but her guilt and shame over the killing will be a big part.

So it just helps her put it aside long enough to do what she has to
do? I guess? We'll have to talk about the issue of guilt (as opposed
to simply heartbreak and such) when re-visiting her pseudo-suicide
attempt at the beginning of S3.

> Willow hints at having looked deeper into the dark arts than previously
> realized. Though I'm not sure that an exorcism counts as a spell.

It's got rituals and magic bones. Spell enough for me.

> Angelus this episode has a traumatic experience, being violated with love
> and all. He had actually indicated earlier on that he was getting tired of
> the Buffy drama and was finally ready to finish her off. Well, that didn't
> work so well. Next stop apocalypse. It's periodically suggested that
> Angelus is going mad. That his own obsession with Buffy just curdles within
> him rather than thrilling him like it's supposed to. (As with Drusilla.)
> So he goes postal instead and tries to destroy the world. I don't know.
> Maybe. I think the series just hadn't worked out the nuances of monster and
> vampire motivation yet and was still a little too much in love with evil for
> evil's sake. Fortunately Spike will start offering an alternative viewpoint
> in a couple of episodes.

Possible. One thing that Clairel pointed out that I've always kept in
mind is that Angel here has or develops an annihilistic (ha) streak
that doesn't appear to be part of the version of the Angelus character
we see in flashback. While it's also true that the series was still
working out the vampire motivation, it's possible that the 20th-
century version of Angelus is informed by also being Angel in a way
that pushes him over the edge. And though he hates everything about
his souled self, the intensity of his love/obsession with Buffy is
what the show keeps coming back to. (I'm still not quite sure what
the show was going for with him being the only vampire untainted by
humanity, though.)

["Go Fish"]


> So the stupidity of the following is intentional?
>
> Coach Marin: After the fall of the Soviet Union, documents came into light
> detailing experiments with fish DNA on their Olympic swimmers.

You're gonna think about that later, mister, and you're gonna laugh.

> Though it never occurred to me to consider the episode Good, I was
> previously more or less in line with your thoughts of it not being so bad if
> only it were placed somewhere else in the season.
>
> This watching, however, the episode just stuck in my craw with its
> annoying stupidity and abuse of characters. A part of me wants
> to trash it all and give the episode my first and only Bad rating in the
> BtVS run. But a few redeeming moments - Speedo Xander (which earns a
> genuine howl of laughter), Willow cracking Jonathan, and an assortment of
> little moments like Xander pondering grape soda or orange - limit the damage
> to a mere Weak rating. Still, right now Go Fish has fallen below Bad Eggs
> to become the worst BtVS episode ever by my personal ratings.

Abuse?

Anyway, that comparison raises the question of whether (perceived)
failed attempts at humor (GF) are better or worse than failed attempts
at who-the-hell-knows-what-they-were-trying-for (BE). Reactions to
bad comedy tend to be, as mentioned last thread, disproportionately
intense, maybe because one knows that someone's enjoying it so much.
Sorry about your lack of taste, but then again, I don't expect you to
like my new choice for worst episode of the series either (we'll get
to it), which is one that you rated Excellent.

-AOQ

Arbitrar Of Quality

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Jun 16, 2007, 12:46:42 PM6/16/07
to
Hey, given that he said he hasn't seen all of ATS yet (you do, OF
COURSE, plan to, yes, David?), let's try to limit the specific
references.

-AOQ

One Bit Shy

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Jun 16, 2007, 3:54:53 PM6/16/07
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"Arbitrar Of Quality" <tsm...@wildmail.com> wrote in message
news:1182011979.4...@q75g2000hsh.googlegroups.com...

> On Jun 15, 3:15 pm, "One Bit Shy" <O...@nomail.sorry> wrote:
>> "Arbitrar Of Quality" <tsm...@wildmail.com> wrote in
>> messagenews:1181828221.5...@i38g2000prf.googlegroups.com...
>
> [KBD]

> If it were a cheesier show, "I


> love you" to Willow in BecII would be the exact moment at which he
> stopped being interested that way in Buffy, but given the nature of
> BTVS, we don't really need to assign a specific point.

Gawd, that Willow moment has enough emotional baggage as it is. Anyway, to
the extent that reflects romantic interest by Xander, it would appear to be
played out as a Willow vs. Cordelia issue.

Oh, I agree that she thinks of herself having destroyed Angel, and feels
guilty about it. There are multiple sources of Buffy guilt at work - all of
which should be affected by this experience. It's just that I believe the
pending kill of Angelus is the biggest. That is, after all, where her
hang-up is. The deed that she's been unable to perform.

Take a look at the construct of this episode. It's a very blatant parallel
to her situation with Angel. The kid fallen (obsessively) for the older
lover. That lover rejecting James/Buffy - denying their love in the
process. The struggle James/Buffy has grasping and accepting that. Then
James does what Buffy has resisted (but will do soon) - he kills his lover.
(If Buffy kills Angelus, is it merely a lover's revenge? We know it's not
that, but wouldn't Buffy fear it?) And then Grace - in Angel's body no
less - forgives James and takes the blame onto herself - for the real kill.

As a parallel it's seriously weakened if the sequence of events - and
emotions - are changed to place Buffy's "symbollic" killing of Angel prior
to his rejection. It becomes far harder for James and Buffy to identify
with each other. It seems clear to me that James and Buffy's stories both
hinge on the actual kill. That's where the real decision occurs. (Buffy
certainly didn't take away Angel's soul by her own volition.) It's what the
whole season has been about. Should Oz be killed? Was Kendra right about
souled Angel? Did Ted earn death? Would it have been right to kill
possessed Jenny? And so on.

This episode is no exception. It's not the rejection that's played over and
over again. It's the kill. That's what consumes James with guilt, and I'm
pretty well convinced that it's the main guilt facing Buffy - the thing most
of all stopping her from acting. She's contemplating killing her lover and
has thus far been unable to go that far.


>> The problem with the forgiveness angle - the bitter truth - is that it
>> doesn't work in the end. The aftermath of killing Angel (as she thought
>> she
>> had done) will nearly destroy Buffy. Several things will contribute to
>> that, but her guilt and shame over the killing will be a big part.
>
> So it just helps her put it aside long enough to do what she has to
> do? I guess? We'll have to talk about the issue of guilt (as opposed
> to simply heartbreak and such) when re-visiting her pseudo-suicide
> attempt at the beginning of S3.

Remember how she avoided telling anybody that Angel had returned before she
skewered him.


>> Willow hints at having looked deeper into the dark arts than previously
>> realized. Though I'm not sure that an exorcism counts as a spell.
>
> It's got rituals and magic bones. Spell enough for me.

OK. I'm not invested in any particular first time. I figure she's been
secretly playing with it for a while anyway.

I appreciate that viewpoint and would really like to go there. I remember
somebody else pointing out the parallel of Angelus remembering what his
souled self had done to Angel remembering the depraved deeds of old Angelus.
They both would be driven - and in some senses warped - by those memories.
It's entirely possible that Angelus could no more return to his old self
than Angel could return to his pre-vampire self. There's a lot of logic to
that and emotional resonance. I could see how Angelus's inability to shake
the presence of Buffy within his own head could send him off the deep end.

But I don't see real consistency in the presentation of such a notion. And
I can't help but note that Spike and Dru were quite ready on their own to go
the apocalyptic route with The Judge. (Albeit a rather slow motion
apocalypse.) I sense the comic book notion of the ultimate bad guy
expression invariably involving world destruction.


> ["Go Fish"]

> Anyway, that comparison raises the question of whether (perceived)
> failed attempts at humor (GF) are better or worse than failed attempts
> at who-the-hell-knows-what-they-were-trying-for (BE). Reactions to
> bad comedy tend to be, as mentioned last thread, disproportionately
> intense, maybe because one knows that someone's enjoying it so much.
> Sorry about your lack of taste, but then again, I don't expect you to
> like my new choice for worst episode of the series either (we'll get
> to it), which is one that you rated Excellent.

I await with baited breath. (No, wait. Let me guess. It has to be the
Yoko Factor.)

Now, see, I actually like fish jokes. "Get in touch with their inner
halibut," and, "I wouldn't break out the tartar sauce just yet," deserve to
be heard. But... something needs to be better about this. It's so damned
irritating.

OBS


Michael Ikeda

unread,
Jun 16, 2007, 6:26:05 PM6/16/07
to
"One Bit Shy" <O...@nomail.sorry> wrote in
news:1378g0q...@news.supernews.com:

> "Arbitrar Of Quality" <tsm...@wildmail.com> wrote in message
> news:1182011979.4...@q75g2000hsh.googlegroups.com...
>> On Jun 15, 3:15 pm, "One Bit Shy" <O...@nomail.sorry> wrote:
>>> "Arbitrar Of Quality" <tsm...@wildmail.com> wrote in
>>> messagenews:1181828221.5...@i38g2000prf.googlegroups.c
>>> om...
>>

>

> But I don't see real consistency in the presentation of such a
> notion. And I can't help but note that Spike and Dru were quite
> ready on their own to go the apocalyptic route with The Judge.
> (Albeit a rather slow motion apocalypse.)

Or Dru was ready on her own (but she's been insane since before she
was turned). Spike probably just wanted to please Dru. And may have
figured that it wouldn't actually reach the point of a full
apocalypse.

One Bit Shy

unread,
Jun 16, 2007, 6:40:16 PM6/16/07
to
"Michael Ikeda" <mmi...@erols.com> wrote in message
news:tO2dnYrEwp7g_unb...@rcn.net...

> "One Bit Shy" <O...@nomail.sorry> wrote in
> news:1378g0q...@news.supernews.com:
>
>> "Arbitrar Of Quality" <tsm...@wildmail.com> wrote in message
>> news:1182011979.4...@q75g2000hsh.googlegroups.com...
>>> On Jun 15, 3:15 pm, "One Bit Shy" <O...@nomail.sorry> wrote:
>>>> "Arbitrar Of Quality" <tsm...@wildmail.com> wrote in
>>>> messagenews:1181828221.5...@i38g2000prf.googlegroups.c
>>>> om...
>>>
>
>>
>> But I don't see real consistency in the presentation of such a
>> notion. And I can't help but note that Spike and Dru were quite
>> ready on their own to go the apocalyptic route with The Judge.
>> (Albeit a rather slow motion apocalypse.)
>
> Or Dru was ready on her own (but she's been insane since before she
> was turned). Spike probably just wanted to please Dru. And may have
> figured that it wouldn't actually reach the point of a full
> apocalypse.

Again, I'd really like to go there, but I'm struggling to see that in the
actual play of the episodes. Spike's relationship with The Judge seems
mainly to be goading him to start killing people already.

OBS


(Harmony) Watcher

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Jun 16, 2007, 6:52:56 PM6/16/07
to

"mariposas rand mair fheal greykitten tomys des anges"
<mair_...@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:mair_fheal-42FF5...@sn-ip.vsrv-sjc.supernews.net...

> > One thing I have always wondered is if the "Ritual of Restoration" that
> > Jennie was researching really was the same spell as the curse originally
> > placed on Angel with the same "escape clause." When Angel comes back
later,
> > everyone assumes that it is (and may well be right to so assume even if
the
>
> its the same
> angel season four has angelus return after one moment of perfect happiness
> and twoo love
>
> > I'd put this one a bit higher, mainly for Xander's standing up to
> > Angelus. I also like the way that Cordelia walked out on Xander but
later
> > came back and supported him. It showed a _lot_ of growth on her part
(and
> > is part of the reason I absolutely detest her treatment in Season 3,
which,
> > I assume, we'll get to in due course).
>
> i was also thinking remember that cordelia willow and xander
> had been going to school together possibly since kindergarten
> and they would know cordy before her queen phase
> when she was still a mere spoiled brat
>
I don't recall where it was mentioned that Cordy, Willow and Xander all went
to the same grade school. Kindly illuminate.

Incidentally Harmony might have gone to the same school as Willow and
Xander, or at least they grew up being close play-pals (until one day Willow
made Harmony's crayons all bendy) ... my own fanfic in parentheses.

--
==Harmony Watcher==


Don Sample

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Jun 16, 2007, 9:04:27 PM6/16/07
to
In article <cRZci.33165$1i1.11324@pd7urf3no>,

Willow had known Harmony for at least 10 years, when they graduated from
high school ("She picked on me for ten years, the vacuous tramp") so
they went back to at least grade 2. (Though I suppose it's possible
that they knew each other from something other than school. Maybe they
were both in the same Brownie troop, or something.)

There was also the whole "We Hate Cordelia Club" of which Xander was the
treasurer. Not really something I can see high school kids forming.

Horace LaBadie

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Jun 16, 2007, 11:53:53 PM6/16/07
to
In article <cRZci.33165$1i1.11324@pd7urf3no>,
"\(Harmony\) Watcher" <nob...@nonesuch.com> wrote:

Well, Xander, Willow, and Cordy knew each other at least since sixth
grade, as they said in OoMOoS.

Xander: Cordelia, man, she does love titles!

Willow: Oh, God! Remember in sixth grade with the field trip?

Xander: Right! Right! The guy with the antlers on his belt!

Willow: Be my Deputy!

Xander: And remember the...the hat?

Willow: Oh God! The hat!

Buffy: Gee, it's fun that we're speaking in tongues.

George W Harris

unread,
Jun 17, 2007, 12:42:36 AM6/17/07
to
On Sat, 16 Jun 2007 15:54:53 -0400, "One Bit Shy" <O...@nomail.sorry>
wrote:

:Now, see, I actually like fish jokes. "Get in touch with their inner

:halibut," and, "I wouldn't break out the tartar sauce just yet," deserve to
:be heard. But... something needs to be better about this. It's so damned
:irritating.

The funniest bit is "that doesn't make any sense...the
skin's the best part!" "We have to find a demon with high
cholesterol."
:
:OBS
:
--
e^(i*pi)+1=0

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

(Harmony) Watcher

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Jun 17, 2007, 2:39:55 AM6/17/07
to

"Horace LaBadie" <hwlab...@nospam.highstream.net> wrote in message
news:hwlabadiejr-9AFF...@news.isp.giganews.com...
Ah, yes, Thanks! http://bdb.vrya.net/bdb/clip.php?clip=2818

Since Cordy, Willow and Xander all went on a field trip together in grade
six, it does suggest that the three of them all belonged to the same grade
school.

--
==Harmony Watcher==


Arbitrar Of Quality

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Jun 17, 2007, 3:04:14 AM6/17/07
to
On Jun 16, 2:54 pm, "One Bit Shy" <O...@nomail.sorry> wrote:
> "Arbitrar Of Quality" <tsm...@wildmail.com> wrote in messagenews:1182011979.4...@q75g2000hsh.googlegroups.com...

James didn't mean to shoot Grace either. As with Buffy, he was in
love, went nuts with it (recall that Buffy appears to accept Joyce's
suggestion that sleeping with Angel was irresponsible), and in the
process accidentally caused his lover's death. I continue to fail to
see what's "very clear" about the similarity between unintentionally
popping a bullet in an innocent teacher and having one's vampire
boyfriend turn into a demon, go on a killing spree, and stopping him
in defense of humanity. Where the parallel is weakened by changing
the order of events, it's strengthened by making the kills more
similar - and the kill is the most important part of the construct,
after all.

ANGEL: Don't do this.
BUFFY: But-but I killed you.
ANGEL: It was an accident. It wasn't your fault.
BUFFY: Oh, it *is* my fault. How could I...

(As those familiar with the scene may argue, this is somewhat
selective quoting, but it's necessary to do that either way, because
it's not a very clear parallel in the first place.)

I don't see Buffy seeing too much guilt in killing an unsouled Angel
(after all, Joss realized he could go for way more pain than that in
"Becoming II," and that's not the part of the story she's so reluctant
to share in S3). She couldn't bring herself to do it in "Innocence,"
but I thought part of the point of "Passion" was to make her realize
that it was her duty, and something she'd have to do. At this point
in the show's life, I see Buffy still mostly buying into the dogma
about nothing being left of a person without his soul. It's certainly
what people have been telling her, including the self-proclaimed
experts on the topic:

BUFFY: Angel, there must be some part of you inside that still
remembers who you are.
ANGEL: Dream on, schoolgirl. Your boyfriend is dead. You're all
gonna join him.
- "Innocence"

As far as Buffy knows at this point, the man she loved is dead, any
chance of bringing him back gone with Jenny Calendar, and it was her
actions that killed him.

It's what the
> whole season has been about. Should Oz be killed? Was Kendra right about
> souled Angel? Did Ted earn death? Would it have been right to kill
> possessed Jenny? And so on.

That's true also, but it's generally been expressed on moral terms
rather than emotional ones, so "Passion" seems to hit that side of the
topic much more directly than IOHEFY does.

Those are fair comments. I'm inclined to go with Michael in noting
that it's only when Dru takes over that Spike shows any interest in
apocalyptic stuff, and, being love's bitch, is reluctant to stand up
for the world until her affections are at stake. Part of being a
demon is, according to Spike in "Becoming II," talking the talk about
destroying the world while knowing it can never happen. You're right
that fully developing the idea goes outside of what's shown on
screen. I still think it's good enough to think about, particularly
having seen both shows all the way through, even if the writers hadn't
fully worked it out at this point.

> > Sorry about your lack of taste, but then again, I don't expect you to
> > like my new choice for worst episode of the series either (we'll get
> > to it), which is one that you rated Excellent.
>
> I await with baited breath. (No, wait. Let me guess. It has to be the
> Yoko Factor.)

So much for that bit of suspense. Shouldn't have cast it as a
mystery, perhaps.

-AOQ
~yes, I've got reel issues with TYF, but we'll tackle them another
time~

mariposas rand mair fheal greykitten tomys des anges

unread,
Jun 17, 2007, 6:49:09 AM6/17/07
to
> James didn't mean to shoot Grace either. As with Buffy, he was in
> love, went nuts with it (recall that Buffy appears to accept Joyce's
> suggestion that sleeping with Angel was irresponsible), and in the
> process accidentally caused his lover's death. I continue to fail to
> see what's "very clear" about the similarity between unintentionally
> popping a bullet in an innocent teacher and having one's vampire
> boyfriend turn into a demon, go on a killing spree, and stopping him

if you accept the premise of a soul
then when you kill someone you cleave soul and flesh
james killed grace from obession rather than malice
and buffy had already killed angel from love rather than malice

its not about whether she is going to kill angel
she has already done that
what she has to cope with is the permanency of his death
and to deal with burying the animated corpse (angelus) he left behind

through james she recognizes her own feelings of guilt
(whether she deserves to feel guilty is not the issue
she does feel guilty - she does believe she killed angel)

buffy initially identifies with grace
the abused woman victim of an obsessed exlover
and she takes a rather simple moral stance that james must suffer
because thats the obvious lesson-of-the-week from this motw
about male abuse of women (james abusing grace and angelus abusing buffy)

meanwhile giles keeps repeating the real lesson of the week
that justice without mercy is beyond human endurance

then when james possesses buffy
buffy is forced to confront her own guilt and her own need for forgiveness

perhaps liam does briefly return with grace in angeluss body
in any case buffy gets the opportunity to say goodbye to angel
to accept that he is indeed dead
that she can be forgiven for her part in his death
and that she can finally confront angelus
not as her victim or victimizer or her lover
but simply as yet another animated corpse she has to deal with

then willow screws it all up
and this time she really does intentionally kill angel

> that it was her duty, and something she'd have to do. At this point
> in the show's life, I see Buffy still mostly buying into the dogma
> about nothing being left of a person without his soul. It's certainly

dont confuse your beliefs for the premises of the show
i doubt whedon himself believes there is anything like an immortal soul
but one of the premise of the show is jewish-christian notions
are mostly absolutely true

you should evaluate the show based on premises of the story
not on the premises of your own beliefs

there are stories i enjoy that start with the premises
that greek or germanic gods are true
that there really is a god named zeus or odhin

i reject these religions utterly
but that doesnt interfere with my enjoyment of the stories
nor do i have to constantly interpret these stories
with the imposition of my beliefs

i can enjoy these stories with the temporary acceptance of their religions
and not feel contaminated

it seems over and over and over other people cannot cope
with whedons version of the christian concept of the soul
and that to accept that premise for the sake of the show
somehow contaminates them in real life

sarah michelle gellar is not buying into some dogma
nor is buffy not buying into some dogma
she accepting the premises of the series
the reality of her fictional universe

> what people have been telling her, including the self-proclaimed
> experts on the topic:
>
> BUFFY: Angel, there must be some part of you inside that still
> remembers who you are.
> ANGEL: Dream on, schoolgirl. Your boyfriend is dead. You're all
> gonna join him.

this about a grieving person clasping a corpse or coffin
denying the absolute severance of death

you can see it in real life
unfortunately you yourself may someday experience it
the only difference is that in real life the corpse cannot sit up and taunt us
(instead in our dreams and nightmares they stand up and taunt us)

> Those are fair comments. I'm inclined to go with Michael in noting
> that it's only when Dru takes over that Spike shows any interest in
> apocalyptic stuff, and, being love's bitch, is reluctant to stand up
> for the world until her affections are at stake. Part of being a
> demon is, according to Spike in "Becoming II," talking the talk about

also the judge gets a scent of humanity from spike and dru
and leaves open the possibility that his touch might burn them as well