A Second Look: BTVS S2D6

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Arbitrar Of Quality

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Jun 20, 2007, 1:43:29 AM6/20/07
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A reminder: These threads are not spoiler-free.


BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER
Season Two, Episode 21: "Becoming (Part I)"
Writer: Joss Whedon
Director: Joss Whedon

"Becoming I" has an odd allure to it. The bulk of the episode is
setup sans payoff. Long flashbacks that hit and miss, long rituals
with characters standing around spouting mystico-babble. But the
episode eventually gets its build, build, build hat on, and by the
climax, it feels like it's wound so tightly (much like the Scoobies,
who go from warmth and coupling to almost coming to blows in one of
several great arguments the series will produce). The rhythm of Angel
re-enacting a trick from the season premiere, Buffy's panicked sprint
back to the school, Drusilla killing Kendra, and Whistler's words
promising that the big moments will keep coming is spot-on. I dare
anyone (well, anyone who hasn't been through the series five times
already, I mean) not to come away with an elevated pulse rate and a
burning desire to see Part II as soon as possible. Bonus acting
points, once again, to Gellar for making two years' age difference
feel like a lifetime apart.
Rating: Excellent


Season Two, Episode 22: "Becoming (Part II)"
Writer: Joss Whedon
Director: Joss Whedon

So I did give the rating a nudge upward, to Excellent. I don't think
I want to trade in my membership to the "Bec2 is overrated" club just
yet, though. My essential feeling is still that the early parts have
their moments - Buffy and Xander reuniting over what's happening with
Willow, Giles, Spike - but are also littered with far too many scenes
that don't work - the cartoony chase with the cops, Xander with coma-
Willow, and the flat Buffy/Joyce monologue-off. Meanwhile, the ten
minutes in which Buffy confronts and kills Angel are just what they
should be, the only way the season could have ended. As always at
this point in the show's life, the central points are done so well
that I can accept my disappointment with the peripheral details. So,
what's changed? Basically, the important stuff seems more important
on second viewing, and the flaws feel more trivial. Speaking of stuff
that doesn't seem so important compared to how much attention it gets,
any thoughts on Xander's Lie? (Actually, it's a logical extension of
his words from "Becoming I," and his character so far.)
Rating: Excellent (up from Good)

Additional thoughts on S2D6: Good to see some legitimate featurettes
this time around. I'm a bit of a Special Features whore for these
shows, and I'm not normally. Maybe because actors so often appear in
makeup or doing weird accents? Something like fifteen seconds of
seeing, say, Juliet Landau talking in her normal voice seems exciting
to me. Oh, so that's what David Greenwalt looks like. It's like a
chance to get to know everyone.

I'm not going to post the list of ratings again, unless anyone cares
enough, but in the numbers game, Season Two rises to an average of
3.68 (Decent = 3), shooting past S5 (with which it was tied, mean-
wise... on a gut-feeling basis, S5 is my least favorite) and S1 (which
fell from 3.67 to 3.58 this time). S2 is now tied with my initial
ratings for S6 and S7 (tied for second place behind S3); we'll see how
those change. Quite a few Goods turning into Excellents (LTM, WML1,
Pass, Bec2). However, the "Quality Percentage" (% of episodes ranking
Good or higher) falls to a respectable but not great 59%. I think
that's caused solely by "Inca Mummy Girl" slipping across the Good/
Decent boundary; otherwise, the ones I liked I still like, the
lackluster ones are still lackluster. S2 simply doesn't have the kind
of consistency I like in my favorite shows, coming up with duds that
hurt its pacing at regular intervals, not to mention the intense
mediocrity of the opening portion of the year. But the good stuff is
as good or better than ever, and has held up great on second viewing.
It may be the most overrated season of the show, but I'm beginning to
understand why it's so easy to overrate it; it deserves some of those
kudos.

Come back soon!

-AOQ

burt...@hotmail.com

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Jun 20, 2007, 3:06:42 AM6/20/07
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On Jun 19, 9:43 pm, Arbitrar Of Quality <tsm...@wildmail.com> wrote:
> Speaking of stuff
> that doesn't seem so important compared to how much attention it gets,
> any thoughts on Xander's Lie?

I never understood the fuss about this. Watch the fight scene. By the
time Buffy starts fighting Angel, he's already pulled the sword out of
Acathla. At that point, his fate is sealed - either he goes to hell,
or six billion people do. Even if Buffy had known about the spell,
there was nothing she could have done to save him.

Sure, you can argue about Xander's motivations and whatnot, but as far
as the lie's actual effect on what happened? Absolutely nothing.

> But the good stuff is
> as good or better than ever, and has held up great on second viewing.
> It may be the most overrated season of the show, but I'm beginning to
> understand why it's so easy to overrate it; it deserves some of those
> kudos.

I disagree it's overrated, but you already knew that.

My take is this - I'd say season 3 is much more consistent in quality.
Season 2 had both higher peaks and lower valleys.

mariposas rand mair fheal greykitten tomys des anges

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Jun 20, 2007, 6:12:22 AM6/20/07
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> Additional thoughts on S2D6: Good to see some legitimate featurettes
> this time around. I'm a bit of a Special Features whore for these
> shows, and I'm not normally. Maybe because actors so often appear in
> makeup or doing weird accents? Something like fifteen seconds of
> seeing, say, Juliet Landau talking in her normal voice seems exciting
> to me. Oh, so that's what David Greenwalt looks like. It's like a
> chance to get to know everyone.

theres one in angel where you get to see the makeup applied to andy hallet
from himself to lorne

what a change

after that its easy to pick him out on hush

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

Mel

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Jun 20, 2007, 8:45:10 PM6/20/07
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I'd say both Seasons 3 and 4 are more consistent in quality, if you look
at the episodoes individually. But for emotional punch and story arc,
I'll take Seasons 2 and 5 as better overall.


Mel

Arbitrar Of Quality

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Jun 20, 2007, 11:54:10 PM6/20/07
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On Jun 20, 7:45 pm, Mel <melbe...@uci.net> wrote:
> burt1...@hotmail.com wrote:

> > My take is this - I'd say season 3 is much more consistent in quality.
> > Season 2 had both higher peaks and lower valleys.
>
> I'd say both Seasons 3 and 4 are more consistent in quality, if you look
> at the episodoes individually. But for emotional punch and story arc,
> I'll take Seasons 2 and 5 as better overall.

You guys need to have a little bit of Faith.

-AOQ


chr...@removethistoreply.gwu.edu

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Jun 21, 2007, 7:35:52 PM6/21/07
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This is another one of those tried-to-post-earlier, computer-crapped-out,
sorry-if-this-is-a-duplicate dealies.


In alt.tv.buffy-v-slayer Arbitrar Of Quality <tsm...@wildmail.com> wrote:
> A reminder: These threads are not spoiler-free.
>
>
> BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER
> Season Two, Episode 21: "Becoming (Part I)"
> Writer: Joss Whedon
> Director: Joss Whedon

.


> "Becoming I" has an odd allure to it. The bulk of the episode is
> setup sans payoff.

Making it similar to that other big setup episode, Surprise. It's
interesting how their structures are similar and how they're different.
Both Becoming I and Surprise have slow but atmospheric beginnings, with
their dreams and flashbacks, and both continue on to various talky
sections with just a little vampiric action. In the middle Surprise seems
more likely to go beyond setup to payoff, with Drusilla's party and the
rise of the Judge. But in the end it's Bec1 that explodes into dramatic
action. Both episodes close on what's essentially a cliffhanger, but
Bec1's is a cliffhanger because we've scene things happen that put Buffy
into a new and worse situation, while Surprise's cliffhanger is more a
"something big has happened but we aren't sure what type" -- in other
words, it's still all setup. Both episodes are very much intended to set
up their dramatic sequels rather than to be complete in themselves, but
even though it has "part 1" in its title, Bec1 ends up feeling more
complete than Surprise did. (Not that I have anything against Surprise --
in fact I like it more than AOQ does.)

> climax, it feels like it's wound so tightly (much like the Scoobies,
> who go from warmth and coupling to almost coming to blows in one of
> several great arguments the series will produce).

The argument over re-ensouling Angel reminds me of the Buffy-Angel fight
at the end of Innocence, in that both have so much emotional impact that
you (or at least I) often forget how short and relatively simple they are
compared to other fight scenes and arguments. Note that they play up the
uncertainty of the curse here -- no one is sure if it will work, not even
Willow. This should be kept in mind as part of the background to Xander's
Big Lie. As for Xander himself, IMO he sounds entirely sincere here.
While he isn't free of mixed motivations, they operate on an unconscious
level. It's not a simplistic case of pretending to hate Angelus for his
evil when he's really just jealous of Buffy.

One of those nice little details that Joss's shows are always full of
comes in the scene with the Immolation-O-Gram. Most of the students
scream and run away, even Buffy's friends back up, but Buffy sits there
and calmly watches it happen without moving a muscle. She's been through
so much with Angel that one suicide vamp doesn't faze her anymore. And
she knows Angel well enough to realize immediately that his message is
just a message -- he wouldn't send a flunky to kill her, when he can do it
himself that night.

(BTW, the Immolation-O-Gram also indicates that at least some vampires
besides Angelus are so eager to do evil that they'll go to any lengths
for it, whether it's killing themselves or killing off all their Happy
Meals on Legs.)

I liked Kendra in WML2, but I think I like her a lot more in Bec1. Just
in time for her to die, of course. As I think someone pointed out once,
Joss Whedon is not a nice man.

Apparently the original concept for Angel the Series included Whistler as
Angel's helper, and Doyle was substituted when the actor who played
Whistler was unavailable. Personally I think Whistler works well enough
in Bec1 & 2, but I wouldn't have liked him as well as Doyle on AtS.
Doyle had a vulnerable side (not to mention a slightly goofy side) that
Whistler lacks. Though they could have written Whistler to have been more
Doyle-like, I guess.

> Bonus acting
> points, once again, to Gellar for making two years' age difference
> feel like a lifetime apart.

I want to second you there. I like what you wrote in your original review
about how SMG made the younger, naive and innocent version of her
character still recognizably Buffy.

> Rating: Excellent

I'll say Excellent too.

> Season Two, Episode 22: "Becoming (Part II)"
> Writer: Joss Whedon
> Director: Joss Whedon

.


> So I did give the rating a nudge upward, to Excellent. I don't think
> I want to trade in my membership to the "Bec2 is overrated" club just
> yet, though.

It's good that you recognize that something that is overrated can still be
Excellent. Hopefully your readers will recognize that you recognize it.
Some fans (me) may overrate Bec2 and the whole Angelus arc, but we're only
driven to our over-enthusiasm because the material is really so damn good
to start with.

I'm totally convinced that Snyder, while he figured Buffy was involved
somehow, realized that Buffy wasn't Kendra's killer. He was deliberately
making the police suspect her, so he would have an excuse to expel her,
while being careful not to say anything that he would have to testify
about in court. When they meet again later Buffy assumes that this is
mere personal animus, and responds with that insult about his own high
school years; but when she's gone, Snyder's cell phone call (hey, someone
with a cell phone!) gives us a nice little hint that something more is at
work. Did folks who saw it unspoiled for season 3 pick up on that?

> that don't work - the cartoony chase with the cops, Xander with coma-
> Willow,

Comas *are* too common on TV, but I like this one. I think there's some
nice juicy ambiguity there about what exactly Xander meant by his "I love
you." How much romantic love was in there, and how much of it was the old
friendly/brotherly love? He probably didn't know himself. Perspective
Guy is also Mixed Feelings Guy throughout Bec 1 & 2. As far as his words
waking Willow up goes, I think this testifies to the power of jinxes more
than the power of love. "Oh, he finally says 'I love you'?" the powers
that be laugh. "Fine, then let's have her wake up with Oz's name on her
lips...." Anyway, I really liked Xander's speech about how much he needs
Willow. Maybe it doesn't matter so much what *kind* of love he feels for
her.

> and the flat Buffy/Joyce monologue-off.

I like this too. Well, Joyce's part was a little on the broad side at
first, but once she gets really angry, throwing her drink across the room
and shouting "Don't you talk to me that way!" I think her lines and
performance are spot-on. And Buffy's side was great the whole way
through. Obviously a bad situation is being made worse by pent-up anger
on both sides. On Buffy's side it sounds like she actually resents her
mother for having been able to live in blissful ignorance for so long
while Buffy never had that luxury. I like it. However, sometimes I think
it would have been even better without the manipulative music under
Buffy's "It never stops" speech. Letting her words speak for themselves
and holding the music until the end might have worked better.

> on second viewing, and the flaws feel more trivial. Speaking of stuff
> that doesn't seem so important compared to how much attention it gets,
> any thoughts on Xander's Lie?

No new thoughts, but I definitely agree with Burt that the Lie made no
*practical* difference. Whether or not it made the result even more
painful for Buffy or not is a trickier question. Would going in there
knowing Angel might come back, and then having to kill him, have been
better or worse than the surprise that she actually got? I've gone back
and forth on this a few times. Generally I come back to the view that
killing Angel would be equally painful either way, but the Lie would make
things worse by adding the secondary pain of a friend's deceit, *if* Buffy
realized that he had deceived her. (Years later, Selfless will indicate
that it actually never dawned on her.) As for what XBL says about Xander,
I don't think there can be any real doubt that his motives were mixed.
Saying it was all jealousy-based hatred of Angel is going much too far,
IMO; but that *was* a factor, because it's always made Xander less willing
to give Angel the benefit of the doubt or to see saving Angel as a
priority equal to protecting Buffy and Willow. At the same time, there's
almost an over-abundance of good practical reasons for Xander to keep
quiet about the curse attempt. In addition to those that have already
been mentioned recently, there's the memory of Innocence and Phases, when
Xander has seen Angel or a message from Angel make Buffy hesitate. Going
into the fight hoping to see Angel get reensouled might make her hesitate
even more, with worse results. There's also the uncertainty about whether
or not the spell will actually work -- would Xander really tell Buffy to
stall waiting for something that might never come?

One part of XBL that strikes me as important, in a way I can't quite
articulate, is that he seems to have decided to lie on the spur of the
moment, and afterwards seems uncertain about what he did. That somehow
feels more like a mixed-motives thing than either an all-jealousy thing or
an all-protect-Buffy thing to me.

> Rating: Excellent (up from Good)

Agreed with the Excellent, and I'd call it a higher Excellent than Part I.

About the season as a whole, I still think the second half is far superior
to the first. I rate Surprise, Phases, KBD and obviously BBB higher than
AOQ does, in some cases substantially higher, and I rate WML and Ted
slightly lower. Innocence and Passion are permanent residents in my top
10, and Bec2 is there most of the time too; there is no other stretch of
12 episodes that can boast such high representation there.


--Chris

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

mariposas rand mair fheal greykitten tomys des anges

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Jun 21, 2007, 9:03:53 PM6/21/07
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> compared to other fight scenes and arguments. Note that they play up the
> uncertainty of the curse here -- no one is sure if it will work, not even
> Willow. This should be kept in mind as part of the background to Xander's
> Big Lie. As for Xander himself, IMO he sounds entirely sincere here.
> While he isn't free of mixed motivations, they operate on an unconscious
> level. It's not a simplistic case of pretending to hate Angelus for his
> evil when he's really just jealous of Buffy.

doesnt make xander any better to me

theres a theory of justice currently quite popular in the usa
the purpose of justice is revenge
that you can only have justice when the perpetrator has suffered

sanity or mental competence or even age of the perpertrator are irrelevant
because the sole pursuit is revenge

thats what xander is arguing

angel didnt kill jenny and had no control over the situation
yet xander is so hot on revenge that he wants angel destroyed
regardless of his responsibility

thats a theory of justice i find utterly repugnant

so it doesnt really matter to me whether xander was arguing out of jealousy
or out of justice equals revenge
i find him repugnant in either case

> (BTW, the Immolation-O-Gram also indicates that at least some vampires
> besides Angelus are so eager to do evil that they'll go to any lengths
> for it, whether it's killing themselves or killing off all their Happy
> Meals on Legs.)

in the freshman sunday and the doper dude are staked
and dont exhibit any anxiety as they turn to dust
its not clear whether the demon really fears or understands
death of it body

> about in court. When they meet again later Buffy assumes that this is
> mere personal animus, and responds with that insult about his own high
> school years; but when she's gone, Snyder's cell phone call (hey, someone
> with a cell phone!) gives us a nice little hint that something more is at
> work. Did folks who saw it unspoiled for season 3 pick up on that?

i think it was in i only have eyes for you after the snakes on the cafeteria
that snyder mentions they are on a hellmouth
which revealed two important things
- some people in the city government knew what was really going on
- there has been more than one hellmouth

so this affirmed there was something going on behind the curtain

> > and the flat Buffy/Joyce monologue-off.
>
> I like this too. Well, Joyce's part was a little on the broad side at
> first, but once she gets really angry, throwing her drink across the room

after watching the whole series
this becomes one of many times one person declaring an emergency
and another character rather than accepting that
and defereing discussion till a safer time
instead decides that a long and detailed discussion is in order

> realized that he had deceived her. (Years later, Selfless will indicate
> that it actually never dawned on her.) As for what XBL says about Xander,

it never dawned on her either that willow had nto sent that message
so xander managed to poison a little the relation between buffy and willow

and just because you can get away with a deceit
doesnt make deceit any better

> almost an over-abundance of good practical reasons for Xander to keep
> quiet about the curse attempt. In addition to those that have already

he couldve kept his mouth shut

Apteryx

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Jun 22, 2007, 7:42:04 AM6/22/07
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"Arbitrar Of Quality" <tsm...@wildmail.com> wrote in message
news:1182318209.7...@n60g2000hse.googlegroups.com...

>A reminder: These threads are not spoiler-free.
>
>
> BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER
> Season Two, Episode 21: "Becoming (Part I)"
> Writer: Joss Whedon
> Director: Joss Whedon
>
> "Becoming I" has an odd allure to it. The bulk of the episode is
> setup sans payoff. Long flashbacks that hit and miss, long rituals
> with characters standing around spouting mystico-babble. But the
> episode eventually gets its build, build, build hat on, and by the
> climax, it feels like it's wound so tightly (much like the Scoobies,
> who go from warmth and coupling to almost coming to blows in one of
> several great arguments the series will produce). The rhythm of Angel
> re-enacting a trick from the season premiere, Buffy's panicked sprint
> back to the school, Drusilla killing Kendra, and Whistler's words
> promising that the big moments will keep coming is spot-on. I dare
> anyone (well, anyone who hasn't been through the series five times
> already, I mean) not to come away with an elevated pulse rate and a
> burning desire to see Part II as soon as possible. Bonus acting
> points, once again, to Gellar for making two years' age difference
> feel like a lifetime apart.
> Rating: Excellent

A great set up, although I'd only rate it a low Good. It does raise the
question of what the pay rates are like for immolation-gram vampires. There
seems no shortage of candidates willing to take on the job. It's 29th
favourite BtVS episode, 8th best in season 2. I don't seem to have commented
on your review last year, but in the season wrap up I noted that it was 25th
overall (most likely it was 7th in the season then, but has been overtaken
by When She Was Bad this time around).

> Season Two, Episode 22: "Becoming (Part II)"
> Writer: Joss Whedon
> Director: Joss Whedon
>
> So I did give the rating a nudge upward, to Excellent. I don't think
> I want to trade in my membership to the "Bec2 is overrated" club just
> yet, though. My essential feeling is still that the early parts have
> their moments - Buffy and Xander reuniting over what's happening with
> Willow, Giles, Spike - but are also littered with far too many scenes
> that don't work - the cartoony chase with the cops, Xander with coma-
> Willow, and the flat Buffy/Joyce monologue-off. Meanwhile, the ten
> minutes in which Buffy confronts and kills Angel are just what they
> should be, the only way the season could have ended. As always at
> this point in the show's life, the central points are done so well
> that I can accept my disappointment with the peripheral details. So,
> what's changed? Basically, the important stuff seems more important
> on second viewing, and the flaws feel more trivial. Speaking of stuff
> that doesn't seem so important compared to how much attention it gets,
> any thoughts on Xander's Lie? (Actually, it's a logical extension of
> his words from "Becoming I," and his character so far.)
> Rating: Excellent (up from Good)

Excellent for me too. It's my 10th favourite BtVS episode, 3rd best in
season 2 (last year was 7th and 3rd - it's rating has fallen slightly this
year, but mostly it has been displaced by other episodes moving up).

Spare a thought for poor Alfalfa. He's got to be the unluckiest demon ever.
All he wanted to do was draw the world into hell, and all he had to do to
achieve that was to draw a breath, and yet both times he's tried he's been
foiled in those few seconds required to do that. Third time lucky perhaps.

Season 2 has fallen slightly in my ratings over the past year. A year ago it
was only a hundredth of a point behind the best season (season 1) - I think
it was 4.02 to 4.03. Now it is a whole tenth of a point behind season 1
(3.99 to 4.09) and (at least for now) a hundredth of a point behind season
3. But most of that I think is just due to the fact that I realised when
comparing the movie Serenity (which got its rating in comparison to other
movies) with roughly equally good FF episodes (which got their ratings in
comparison to other TV episodes) just how much more generous I have been to
TV episodes. Pending a systematic review of TV episode ratings, I have
tended to be a little tougher in rating episodes I have seen since then (at
least in the sense that when I felt like adjusting a rating down I did,
whereas when I felt like moving it up I generally thought I'd better wait
till after the systematic review.)


--
Apteryx


Michael Ikeda

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Jun 22, 2007, 5:57:46 PM6/22/07
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> "Arbitrar Of Quality" <tsm...@wildmail.com> wrote in message
> news:1182318209.7...@n60g2000hse.googlegroups.com...
>>A reminder: These threads are not spoiler-free.
>>
>>

>> Season Two, Episode 22: "Becoming (Part II)"


>> Writer: Joss Whedon
>> Director: Joss Whedon
>>

>> Speaking


>> of stuff that doesn't seem so important compared to how much
>> attention it gets, any thoughts on Xander's Lie? (Actually,
>> it's a logical extension of his words from "Becoming I," and
>> his character so far.)

A specific example, in an analogous situation, from "Never Kill A Boy
on the First Date":

(Buffy is fighting a vampire named Andrew who she thinks has just
killed Owen (her date).)

Buffy: You killed my date!

Willow and Xander appear at the door. Willow sees Owen wake up as
Buffy and Andrew fight.

Willow: Buffy! Owen's...

Xander: (pulls Willow back) J-just give her a sec!

--
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

chr...@removethistoreply.gwu.edu

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Jun 22, 2007, 5:58:13 PM6/22/07
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In alt.tv.buffy-v-slayer mariposas rand mair fheal greykitten tomys des anges <mair_...@yahoo.com> wrote:
>
> so it doesnt really matter to me whether xander was arguing out of jealousy
> or out of justice equals revenge
> i find him repugnant in either case

The validity of revenge is ultimately a personal judgement, one that I
don't want to debate. (Especially since I'm not sure exactly what I think
about it. I'd probably wind up disagreeing with both you and Xander, just
because I'm contrary like that.) But my intent was not to argue that
Xander was *right*. I'm just arguing against one interpretation that we
sometimes hear, that Xander's "real" motivation was just jealousy of Buffy
and/or a cynical plan to get rid of a rival.

>> (BTW, the Immolation-O-Gram also indicates that at least some vampires
>> besides Angelus are so eager to do evil that they'll go to any lengths
>> for it, whether it's killing themselves or killing off all their Happy
>> Meals on Legs.)
>
> in the freshman sunday and the doper dude are staked
> and dont exhibit any anxiety as they turn to dust
> its not clear whether the demon really fears or understands
> death of it body

But we also see other vampires flee for their unlives when confronted by
Buffy and other vampire killers. They might not have the same attitude
towards bodily death that a human does, but they generally seem to have
*some* instinct for self-preservation. Suicide missions are not standard
vampire practice. (I always attributed Sunday's and the stoner dude's
reactions to their individual personality quirks. Sunday is too annoyed
at being defeated by her supposed social inferior to feel anything else,
while the doper is amazed by the truly unique new sensation of a stake
through the heart.)

>> I like this too. Well, Joyce's part was a little on the broad side at
>> first, but once she gets really angry, throwing her drink across the room
>
> after watching the whole series
> this becomes one of many times one person declaring an emergency
> and another character rather than accepting that
> and defereing discussion till a safer time
> instead decides that a long and detailed discussion is in order

Joyce deserves a pass here because she doesn't yet believe that all this
nonsense about vampires and demons is true. It's worse when other people,
who know perfectly well that these emergencies are real, do it anyway.
(For example, in AOQ's new least-favorite episode (which I actually
like)).

> and just because you can get away with a deceit
> doesnt make deceit any better

True. I'll be sure to mention that to anyone who says that getting away
with a deceit makes that deceit better.

mariposas rand mair fheal greykitten tomys des anges

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Jun 22, 2007, 6:59:43 PM6/22/07
to
> > and just because you can get away with a deceit
> > doesnt make deceit any better
>
> True. I'll be sure to mention that to anyone who says that getting away
> with a deceit makes that deceit better.

dont you think scooter libby has suffered enough?

mariposas rand mair fheal greykitten tomys des anges

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Jun 22, 2007, 7:03:04 PM6/22/07
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In article <a9GdnS0a_NhH2OHb...@rcn.net>,
Michael Ikeda <mmi...@erols.com> wrote:

> > "Arbitrar Of Quality" <tsm...@wildmail.com> wrote in message
> > news:1182318209.7...@n60g2000hse.googlegroups.com...
> >>A reminder: These threads are not spoiler-free.
> >>
> >>
>
> >> Season Two, Episode 22: "Becoming (Part II)"
> >> Writer: Joss Whedon
> >> Director: Joss Whedon
> >>
>
> >> Speaking
> >> of stuff that doesn't seem so important compared to how much
> >> attention it gets, any thoughts on Xander's Lie? (Actually,
> >> it's a logical extension of his words from "Becoming I," and
> >> his character so far.)
>
> A specific example, in an analogous situation, from "Never Kill A Boy
> on the First Date":

theres usually a distinction between
passively letting a person believe somethin you know to be false
and actively getting a person to believe something you know to be false

also not only did xander lie
but he entangled willow in his lie

Michael Ikeda

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Jun 22, 2007, 8:11:44 PM6/22/07
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mariposas rand mair fheal greykitten tomys des anges
<mair_...@yahoo.com> wrote in
news:mair_fheal-8257A...@sn-ip.vsrv-sjc.supernews.net:

> In article <a9GdnS0a_NhH2OHb...@rcn.net>,
> Michael Ikeda <mmi...@erols.com> wrote:
>
>> > "Arbitrar Of Quality" <tsm...@wildmail.com> wrote in message
>> > news:1182318209.7...@n60g2000hse.googlegroups.com...
>> >>A reminder: These threads are not spoiler-free.
>> >>
>> >>
>>
>> >> Season Two, Episode 22: "Becoming (Part II)"
>> >> Writer: Joss Whedon
>> >> Director: Joss Whedon
>> >>
>>
>> >> Speaking
>> >> of stuff that doesn't seem so important compared to how much
>> >> attention it gets, any thoughts on Xander's Lie? (Actually,
>> >> it's a logical extension of his words from "Becoming I," and
>> >> his character so far.)
>>
>> A specific example, in an analogous situation, from "Never Kill
>> A Boy on the First Date":
>
> theres usually a distinction between
> passively letting a person believe somethin you know to be false
> and actively getting a person to believe something you know to
> be false
>

In this case, the distinction is simply that in Becoming II Xander
didn't figure out that telling Buffy was an incredibly stupid thing
to do until after he started to tell her.

One Bit Shy

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Jun 23, 2007, 2:22:10 AM6/23/07
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"Arbitrar Of Quality" <tsm...@wildmail.com> wrote in message
news:1182318209.7...@n60g2000hse.googlegroups.com...
>A reminder: These threads are not spoiler-free.
>
>
> BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER
> Season Two, Episode 21: "Becoming (Part I)"
> Writer: Joss Whedon
> Director: Joss Whedon
>
> "Becoming I" has an odd allure to it. The bulk of the episode is
> setup sans payoff. Long flashbacks that hit and miss, long rituals
> with characters standing around spouting mystico-babble. But the
> episode eventually gets its build, build, build hat on, and by the
> climax, it feels like it's wound so tightly (much like the Scoobies,
> who go from warmth and coupling to almost coming to blows in one of
> several great arguments the series will produce). The rhythm of Angel
> re-enacting a trick from the season premiere, Buffy's panicked sprint
> back to the school, Drusilla killing Kendra, and Whistler's words
> promising that the big moments will keep coming is spot-on. I dare
> anyone (well, anyone who hasn't been through the series five times
> already, I mean) not to come away with an elevated pulse rate and a
> burning desire to see Part II as soon as possible. Bonus acting
> points, once again, to Gellar for making two years' age difference
> feel like a lifetime apart.
> Rating: Excellent

I can't say how many times I've seen these two episodes. (Certainly more
than five.) But whatever the number is, it must be the right number, for
this time through I appreciated both parts more thoroughly than any time
before. Just awesome. I think I like Part II slightly better because
everything is so emotional, and the sense of Buffy's world collapsing around
her is played out more thoroughly. (It just gets going in Part I.) But
this first part is still stellar. I love the flashbacks - even the weakest
have something interesting to offer. And, of course, the dreadful run to
the ambush at the library is one of the peak dramatic moments of the series.
There are way too many moments that I love to list now, but I'll mention an
arbitrary few.

Drusilla. Oh, how I have loved that character this season. There's lots
more of her odd character affectations - largely centered around Acathla
itself. She may be the most successful at imparting a sense of its power as
she speaks of it whispering to her and later of it filling her head and
still later at the terrible disappointment of Angel's initial failure to
pull out the sword. That would be fine by itself, but Drusilla reaches new
heights here as we finally see her in full power taking down Kendra. It is
impressive. One better understands how this mad woman has survived so
long - and will continue to survive.

It's not a big Spike episode, but his taunting of Angel might be my favorite
moment of his this season. "Someone wasn't worthy."

I've always suspected that Buffy's pathetic early attempt at vampire slaying
was Joss's attempt to bring continuity to the terrible physical work back in
S1's The Harvest. See? She was just lousy at it early on. She got better.
However, the real winning element of that scene is the ridiculous outfit
that she was wearing. She's a walking hazzard sign - the better for
vampires to see her in the dark I suppose.

The flashbacks focus on Angel's vampire story - seeming to be all about him
at first. But then his life runs into Buffy, and suddenly it's all in
parallel with her. We really get the impact of Angel's break out coinciding
with Buffy's. Even in spite of the unspoken stalker aspect of it, we feel
how the significance of their relationship really does extend beyond the
schoolgirl crush. I don't have more to say about this now, but I'm prompted
to think now some more about how much Angel shaped Buffy's character and
contributed to what makes her special as a Slayer. In any case, it's also
some really nifty story telling in the way it draws Angel's back story into
the central story around Buffy.

Yes, I'm left gasping at the end - yet still compelled to leap forward to
Part II. (It's truly rare for me not to watch them in tandem.) Even so, I
think of these two episodes as genuinely distinct. I think this pair makes
for the most successful two parter of the series - both in the sense of
maintaining high quality across both, and in the sense of each having its
own distinctive quality.

This has now lept from 6th favorite of the season to 3rd. Part II has gone
from 5th to 2nd. I don't know if that makes them top 10 candidates for the
series. I don't think so. But they are surely closer.

> Season Two, Episode 22: "Becoming (Part II)"
> Writer: Joss Whedon
> Director: Joss Whedon
>
> So I did give the rating a nudge upward, to Excellent. I don't think
> I want to trade in my membership to the "Bec2 is overrated" club just
> yet, though. My essential feeling is still that the early parts have
> their moments - Buffy and Xander reuniting over what's happening with
> Willow, Giles, Spike - but are also littered with far too many scenes
> that don't work - the cartoony chase with the cops, Xander with coma-
> Willow, and the flat Buffy/Joyce monologue-off.

None of those bother me at all. Xander/Willow works very well for me. And
Buffy/Joyce is a genuine highlight for me. Regarding the latter, nothing
this episode does can truly make up for the erratic use of Joyce during the
season and the silliness of her blindness - though this episode does give it
the old college try. But once one puts that past behind and accepts that
Joyce has simply been in denial, then the play between Joyce and Buffy
crackles. When Buffy tells Joyce to get another drink I'm right with her
throwing the glass at the wall and exploding at Buffy. But I'm also with
Buffy for the impossibility of the situation. Then the final element that
always gets me - Buffy deliberately leaves the door open when she leaves.
Alas, in the end, Buffy can't follow through with the gesture and leaves
Joyce, Sunnydale and everybody.


> Meanwhile, the ten
> minutes in which Buffy confronts and kills Angel are just what they
> should be, the only way the season could have ended. As always at
> this point in the show's life, the central points are done so well
> that I can accept my disappointment with the peripheral details. So,
> what's changed? Basically, the important stuff seems more important
> on second viewing, and the flaws feel more trivial. Speaking of stuff
> that doesn't seem so important compared to how much attention it gets,
> any thoughts on Xander's Lie? (Actually, it's a logical extension of
> his words from "Becoming I," and his character so far.)

My personal opinion of "The Lie" is that it exists primarily as a story
device to rationalize Buffy having no hope for Angel's restoration even as
it progresses. It's extremely well done, though, in that it is so true to
everybody's character. It's true to Willow's character that she would want
Buffy to know what she's doing. It's true to Xander's character that - for
a multitude of reasons - he would impulsively conceal the truth from Buffy.
Meanwhile, Buffy has steeled herself to the task before her and the
decidedly odd words attributed to Willow come across as simple
encouragement.


> Rating: Excellent (up from Good)

One of the little interesting side points in this issue is how the meaning
of Angel's blood establishes a piece of continuity for the future. Acathla,
after all, is a kind of portal to a hell dimension. We'll see blood control
such a portal again in S5. It's always about the blood after all. (This
isn't a portent. It's continuity. And I appreciate it for that.)

----

While much is thrilling about this episode, it's the scenes of Spike working
out a deal with Buffy that continually fascinate me above all. There is
much in this that could be taken as a kind of foreshadowing - like Spike's
joking desire to save the world. On that front, the element that hits me
most is the following:

Buffy: I hate you.
Spike: And I'm all you've got.

God, what a summary of the twisted dynamics of their future relationship.

But it's not the sense of some kind of prophecy that strikes me about this.
It's much more the natural chemistry of the characters. It doesn't predict
the future so much as it establishes the baseline for how they would
interact over anything. (And some of how Spike would act in his own right.)
I liked Spike early this season, but for me this is the episode his
personality really comes alive. There are several Spike characteristics put
on display this episode - a particularly fine example is the weirdly polite
exchange with Joyce.

Joyce: Have we met?
Spike: Um... you hit me with an ax one time. Remember?

The best part of all for me is the looks Buffy gives Spike. (Nice work by
SMG adjusting the looks to the context. There's about a half dozen
situational versions.) Spike somehow instantly insinuates himself into
Buffy's subconscious so that she is automatically shifting her looks from
deep suspicion to shared understanding to looking for help. It's one of the
most amazing bits of unspoken communication that we get to see in this
series.

When I see this I realize that the series didn't have to invent the dynamics
of their later relationship. Nor does this moment imply any kind of
prediction. It's so much more organic. The natural product of who they
are. The future situations allowing the opportunity were, of course,
manufactured. But after their scenes together this episode, the way they
act in those future situations seem so much less manufactured.

----

Oh, god, I almost forgot. Looking back on the season long look at the
ambiguous morality surrounding death choices (A few of which were the choice
to spare death), we come to the final death that was supposed to be of
Angelus, but turns out to be of the restored Angel. The pain of this is
self evident - perfect melodrama. But buried down there is another end of
innocence for Buffy as the truth about being Slayer that she hadn't truly
understood before is brought home in the most devastating fashion. There's
a reason she's called Slayer. She kills. And being The Slayer inevitably
means killing the innocent for a greater good.

Buffy fought her emotional bond to Angel so that she could carry out her
duty - be the good Slayer - and it betrayed her. It made her kill her
greatest love. She'll never look on the death decision quite the same way
again - indeed her determination to resist the expedient death will become
one of her hallmarks - and continual sources of conflict. Even so, she will
face an interesting variation in S7's Selfless - an episode that consciously
mirrors Becoming through much of it. Selfless can be taken a few ways I
think, but the way I take this particular element is that it is part of S7's
demonstration that Buffy is still caught in the Slayer trap no matter how
hard she's fought against it. And, yes, Slayer as killer is part of the
trap.

Slayer as killer is what I take as S2's greatest lesson for Buffy's epic
journey across these seven seasons.

I've maintained that there's a pretty good rationale for each one of the
seven seasons to be considered the best. If you focus on the downside, S2
has too many weak spots (and continued production limitations) to be
considered the best. Yet it has the single most memorable story. It's
BtVS's great gothic romance with all the gushing intensity that implies -
and the heart breaking tragedy. Love and oh, so much death. Jenny, Kendra
and then, appallingly, Angel. (Seemingly to the latter of course, but the
seemingly part is next season's story.) The melodrama of it can seem a bit
out of control - but it's the kind of melodrama that sweeps you up in spite
of itself. When passions cool and one can look at this story from a
distance, it becomes clear that several of the later seasons have much
deeper and subtler stories than this one does. But none are more hotly felt
as they occur. To my mind, this season, far above all others, defines the
quality BtVS aspires to.

That's my argument anyway. I have one for each season. Ultimately it loses
the argument in my mind and usually is only the 5th best season in my
ranking. (Top to bottom - 6,3,5,4,2,1,7)

OBS

One Bit Shy

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Jun 23, 2007, 2:54:43 AM6/23/07
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<chr...@removethistoreply.gwu.edu> wrote in message
news:137m2qo...@corp.supernews.com...

> No new thoughts, but I definitely agree with Burt that the Lie made no
> *practical* difference. Whether or not it made the result even more
> painful for Buffy or not is a trickier question. Would going in there
> knowing Angel might come back, and then having to kill him, have been
> better or worse than the surprise that she actually got? I've gone back
> and forth on this a few times. Generally I come back to the view that
> killing Angel would be equally painful either way, but the Lie would make
> things worse by adding the secondary pain of a friend's deceit, *if* Buffy
> realized that he had deceived her. (Years later, Selfless will indicate
> that it actually never dawned on her.)

The difference is in what's taken away from Buffy.

Angelus: Now that's everything, huh? No weapons... No friends... No hope.

The spell represents hope to Buffy. The lie assures that there is no hope.


> As for what XBL says about Xander,
> I don't think there can be any real doubt that his motives were mixed.
> Saying it was all jealousy-based hatred of Angel is going much too far,
> IMO; but that *was* a factor, because it's always made Xander less willing
> to give Angel the benefit of the doubt or to see saving Angel as a
> priority equal to protecting Buffy and Willow. At the same time, there's
> almost an over-abundance of good practical reasons for Xander to keep
> quiet about the curse attempt. In addition to those that have already
> been mentioned recently, there's the memory of Innocence and Phases, when
> Xander has seen Angel or a message from Angel make Buffy hesitate. Going
> into the fight hoping to see Angel get reensouled might make her hesitate
> even more, with worse results. There's also the uncertainty about whether
> or not the spell will actually work -- would Xander really tell Buffy to
> stall waiting for something that might never come?

Back at the hospital we had seen Xander hugging Buffy sincerely. And then
hugging her again to hide her from the police. I believe that little moment
matters because it demonstrates first that he's not mad at Buffy (like he
had been in the season opener and in the prior episode when first discssing
the spell). Perhaps more importantly, it demonstrates that his Buffy
protecting instincts were still working full force. I think the protective
instinct is one of the multitude of influences that led to the lie. He
genuinely thinks she'll fight better without the hope of Angel's return -
that she'll be more likely to survive.

He could be right too. There's certainly a serious risk of getting herself
killed by holding back. In the false skirmish before the library ambush
last episode, Angel observes that Buffy doesn't seem to have her heart in
it.

We'll never know what would have happened - the lie was made. But I don't
agree with Burt that it couldn't matter. We don't know that Buffy would
have started the fight the same way if she had a different objective in
mind. Maybe she would have gone straight to Dru and tried to take her
hostage like she did in Lie To Me as a way to buy time. (Hell, that might
have made Spike's attack more effective since Dru wouldn't be around to
knock Spike off of Angel.) There's no way of knowing what an alternate time
line would have produced.

There is one possible consequence to the lie that I don't recall being
mentioned before. While Xander surely is nervous about having made the lie,
he probably comes to believe that it proved to be the right thing to do.
Buffy won. Buffy lived. The world was saved. The visible results are
likely to be self affirming to him - and unfortunate encouragement to his
early S3 behavior. For a little while, Xander deludes himself into
believing that he knows better than Buffy what's right for her.

OBS

chr...@removethistoreply.gwu.edu

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Jun 23, 2007, 5:25:51 PM6/23/07
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In alt.tv.buffy-v-slayer One Bit Shy <O...@nomail.sorry> wrote:

> Back at the hospital we had seen Xander hugging Buffy sincerely. And then
> hugging her again to hide her from the police. I believe that little moment
> matters because it demonstrates first that he's not mad at Buffy (like he
> had been in the season opener and in the prior episode when first discssing
> the spell). Perhaps more importantly, it demonstrates that his Buffy
> protecting instincts were still working full force. I think the protective
> instinct is one of the multitude of influences that led to the lie. He
> genuinely thinks she'll fight better without the hope of Angel's return -
> that she'll be more likely to survive.

That reminds me of something else: one factor in Xander's protective
instinct is his self-conception as Buffy's right hand man. Helping the
Slayer has brought meaning and importance to his previously prosaic
teenage life. It's become central to his self-image, his very identity.
As a result protectiveness is not *just* the natural concern he feels for
his best friends. It's also the closest thing to a purpose in life that
Xander has.

> We'll never know what would have happened - the lie was made. But I don't
> agree with Burt that it couldn't matter. We don't know that Buffy would
> have started the fight the same way if she had a different objective in
> mind. Maybe she would have gone straight to Dru and tried to take her
> hostage like she did in Lie To Me as a way to buy time. (Hell, that might
> have made Spike's attack more effective since Dru wouldn't be around to
> knock Spike off of Angel.) There's no way of knowing what an alternate time
> line would have produced.

I can't say it's *impossible* that the fight could have turned out
differently, but it feels very unlikely to me. As soon as Angel pulled
the sword out of Acathla, killing him became unavoidable. When Buffy
arrived the ritual was already almost complete, the sword was ready to be
pulled out, and Angel did so the second he was able to. I don't see what
else Buffy could have done that would have stopped the sword-pulling.
She couldn't totally preoccupy Angel, since he was almost as strong as her
and she also had to defend herself against the other vamps; Angel only
needed a second free to grab the sword hilt; and since (as far as Angel
knew) pulling the sword made his complete Acathla-based victory
inevitable, it was both the smartest and most satisfying move he could
make.

> There is one possible consequence to the lie that I don't recall being
> mentioned before. While Xander surely is nervous about having made the lie,
> he probably comes to believe that it proved to be the right thing to do.
> Buffy won. Buffy lived. The world was saved. The visible results are
> likely to be self affirming to him - and unfortunate encouragement to his
> early S3 behavior. For a little while, Xander deludes himself into
> believing that he knows better than Buffy what's right for her.

Interesting idea. I'm sure Xander would still have had the same
differences with Buffy in DMP and Revelations; but if he thought that he'd
been wrong in Bec2, maybe he would have been less dogmatic about their
differences, more willing to consider Buffy's point of view? (Unless, of
course, feelings of guilt from Bec2 just made him even more moody and
prone to lashing out....)

Arbitrar Of Quality

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Jun 23, 2007, 6:59:07 PM6/23/07
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On Jun 21, 6:35 pm, chr...@removethistoreply.gwu.edu wrote:

> Apparently the original concept for Angel the Series included Whistler as
> Angel's helper, and Doyle was substituted when the actor who played
> Whistler was unavailable.

The story I've heard is that they were worried about the actor's
reliability, given problems with certain, well, "demons" (that's the
tactful term, right?) he was battling. Hence the replacement actor
and replacement character. If that's true, well, irony can be so
ironical.

Personally I think Whistler works well enough
> in Bec1 & 2, but I wouldn't have liked him as well as Doyle on AtS.
> Doyle had a vulnerable side (not to mention a slightly goofy side) that
> Whistler lacks. Though they could have written Whistler to have been more
> Doyle-like, I guess.

Doyle's the new and improved version. 2.0. Having him turn to fire
off a rapid hot dog order in the middle of chatting to Angel about
destiny is exactly the kind of thing I can see as proto-Doyle. If I
ever had occassion to, say, write a massive serialized story with
Faith in Buffy's place (no, I won't. Probably. But only some can say
that they haven't idly considered attempting that one), I'd consider
retconning Doyle into the back-story in Whistler's place.

> > and the flat Buffy/Joyce monologue-off.
>
> I like this too. Well, Joyce's part was a little on the broad side at
> first, but once she gets really angry, throwing her drink across the room
> and shouting "Don't you talk to me that way!" I think her lines and
> performance are spot-on.

Ugh. Not for me at all. I can appreciate the intention - all the
denial and avoiding the topic means that Joyce's need for an
explanation can't wait a second longer, at exactly the moment Buffy
doesn't have a second to spare, and things run out of control from
there. The show will employ the same device again in "Dead Man's
Party," with more success in my mind. The problem is that the
depiction doesn't seem to resemble any conversation between human
beings. "A little on the broad side" is an understatement - Joyce's
dialogue and behavior resembles an over-the-top caricature of the
Cluelessly Malevolent Parent type that can be found in any fantasy
story aimed at ten-year-olds. It doesn't help that the inconsistent
way she's been portrayed throughout the year, emphasizes the arbitrary
character of the whole sequence - she throws Buffy out specifically
because the plot at this point demands that Buffy feel most alone.
And Gellar's performance has one of her very rare non-shiny moments
for me... and as much as a I love what she does with the Buffy role,
when she's trying to deliver an emotionally-packed speech but isn't
doing it justice (or the script is letting her down - the end of
"Forever" comes to mind), the results are not pretty.

> One part of XBL that strikes me as important, in a way I can't quite
> articulate, is that he seems to have decided to lie on the spur of the
> moment, and afterwards seems uncertain about what he did. That somehow
> feels more like a mixed-motives thing than either an all-jealousy thing or
> an all-protect-Buffy thing to me.

Definite spur of the moment. As Michael points out, he starts (after
almost simply doing the lie-of-omission thing) to tell her about what
Willow really said, then changes his mind again.

-AOQ

Arbitrar Of Quality

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Jun 23, 2007, 7:03:21 PM6/23/07
to

One Bit Shy wrote:

> I've maintained that there's a pretty good rationale for each one of the
> seven seasons to be considered the best. If you focus on the downside, S2
> has too many weak spots (and continued production limitations) to be
> considered the best. Yet it has the single most memorable story. It's
> BtVS's great gothic romance with all the gushing intensity that implies -
> and the heart breaking tragedy. Love and oh, so much death. Jenny, Kendra
> and then, appallingly, Angel. (Seemingly to the latter of course, but the
> seemingly part is next season's story.) The melodrama of it can seem a bit
> out of control - but it's the kind of melodrama that sweeps you up in spite
> of itself. When passions cool and one can look at this story from a
> distance, it becomes clear that several of the later seasons have much
> deeper and subtler stories than this one does. But none are more hotly felt
> as they occur. To my mind, this season, far above all others, defines the
> quality BtVS aspires to.

I know some people would argue that things get more interesting from
an intellectual standpoint when one's an adult, but are never as
intensely felt as when one is seventeen.

-AOQ

peachy ashie passion

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Jun 24, 2007, 12:40:26 PM6/24/07
to
Arbitrar Of Quality wrote:

In my experience, the clueless parent that's done virtually no
discipline does exactly what Joyce does here... they do no discipline at
all, and then they suddenly explode and go over the top and discipline
too harshly. I thought it was perfectly in character.

Additionally, it is consistent with her not really expecting Buffy
to go for good, because she just SAID that, she didn't really mean for
Buffy to leave. That brings in her reaction to Buffy having been gone
as being totally consistent as well.

Horace LaBadie

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Jun 24, 2007, 3:13:35 PM6/24/07
to
In article <_7xfi.918$YS.433@trnddc03>,

Plus, Joyce has been operating from the wrong playbook all this time,
thinking that the experts on "troubled teens" were what she needed to
sort out Buffy, and then she has this dumped on her. It's no wonder that
she fell back on the hackneyed advice to be really firm in the midst of
total confusion. She knew immediately that it was the stupid thing to
say. She had similar parental lapses of judgment in other episodes, only
not at such a critical moment. She didn't have the advantage of knowing
that she was living a metaphor.

HWL

One Bit Shy

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Jun 24, 2007, 3:36:39 PM6/24/07
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"Horace LaBadie" <hwlab...@nospam.highstream.net> wrote in message
news:hwlabadiejr-DE45...@news.isp.giganews.com...

> She didn't have the advantage of knowing
> that she was living a metaphor.

It's the oldest story there is.

Adam (to God): I didn't know I was living in a damned allegory. A little
heads up would have been nice!

(From the collection of bits edited from the Bible.)

OBS


chr...@removethistoreply.gwu.edu

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Jun 25, 2007, 1:18:04 PM6/25/07
to
In alt.tv.buffy-v-slayer Arbitrar Of Quality <tsm...@wildmail.com> wrote:

>> Apparently the original concept for Angel the Series included Whistler as
>> Angel's helper, and Doyle was substituted when the actor who played
>> Whistler was unavailable.
>
> The story I've heard is that they were worried about the actor's
> reliability, given problems with certain, well, "demons" (that's the
> tactful term, right?) he was battling. Hence the replacement actor
> and replacement character. If that's true, well, irony can be so
> ironical.

Now that you remind me, I've heard the same story. (Possibly we both read
it during your AtS review discussions.) Joss and David must have really
started to think they were cursed, huh?

> destiny is exactly the kind of thing I can see as proto-Doyle. If I
> ever had occassion to, say, write a massive serialized story with
> Faith in Buffy's place (no, I won't. Probably. But only some can say
> that they haven't idly considered attempting that one), I'd consider
> retconning Doyle into the back-story in Whistler's place.

If this theoretical story was ever written, theoretically I would
definitely read it! But it might require some alterations to either the
Whistler scenes or Doyle's powers -- Whistler seems to have a lot more
specific info about Angel and the Slayer than Doyle ever got in his
visions.

> beings. "A little on the broad side" is an understatement - Joyce's
> dialogue and behavior resembles an over-the-top caricature of the
> Cluelessly Malevolent Parent type that can be found in any fantasy
> story aimed at ten-year-olds. It doesn't help that the inconsistent
> way she's been portrayed throughout the year, emphasizes the arbitrary
> character of the whole sequence - she throws Buffy out specifically
> because the plot at this point demands that Buffy feel most alone.

Well, yeah; but even so that part still works for me. (More so than "have
you tried not being the Slayer", even!) I can understand how throwing
Buffy out might be hard to swallow for you; but the way I see it Joyce
isn't rejecting Buffy, she's making an ultimatum in an attempt to *keep*
her. It's not so much "if you carry on with this foolishness I don't want
you in my house" as "I'm grabbing for the worst threat I can think of to
make you step back from this foolishness." She never thought Buffy would
actually keep going. Of course it wasn't the smartest thing Joyce could
have said. But given how angry and desperate she was, it feels entirely
believable to me.

bookworm

unread,
Jun 26, 2007, 5:11:06 AM6/26/07
to
Arbitrar Of Quality schrieb:

> On Jun 21, 6:35 pm, chr...@removethistoreply.gwu.edu wrote:
>

>
>>> and the flat Buffy/Joyce monologue-off.
>> I like this too. Well, Joyce's part was a little on the broad side at
>> first, but once she gets really angry, throwing her drink across the room
>> and shouting "Don't you talk to me that way!" I think her lines and
>> performance are spot-on.
>
> Ugh. Not for me at all. I can appreciate the intention - all the
> denial and avoiding the topic means that Joyce's need for an
> explanation can't wait a second longer, at exactly the moment Buffy
> doesn't have a second to spare, and things run out of control from
> there. The show will employ the same device again in "Dead Man's
> Party," with more success in my mind. The problem is that the
> depiction doesn't seem to resemble any conversation between human
> beings.

You never heard me and my mother fight while seventeen to twenty.

"A little on the broad side" is an understatement - Joyce's
> dialogue and behavior resembles an over-the-top caricature of the
> Cluelessly Malevolent Parent type that can be found in any fantasy
> story aimed at ten-year-olds.

Or in the real world, when she knows something is wrong, doesn't want to
admit it to herself or ask for ages, and is forced to take it in all at
once, when so much more is at stake.

It doesn't help that the inconsistent
> way she's been portrayed throughout the year, emphasizes the arbitrary
> character of the whole sequence - she throws Buffy out specifically
> because the plot at this point demands that Buffy feel most alone.

I can't remember how often my mother threw me out of the house, because
she was incapable of doing anything else... and I always felt at my most
alone.

>> One part of XBL that strikes me as important, in a way I can't quite
>> articulate, is that he seems to have decided to lie on the spur of the
>> moment, and afterwards seems uncertain about what he did. That somehow
>> feels more like a mixed-motives thing than either an all-jealousy thing or
>> an all-protect-Buffy thing to me.
>
> Definite spur of the moment. As Michael points out, he starts (after
> almost simply doing the lie-of-omission thing) to tell her about what
> Willow really said, then changes his mind again.
>

a question on my part: I thought Buffy knew in season 7 (selfless), that
Willow didn't want Xander to deliver the message to Kick Angel's ass,
and was accusing Xander on being rude and insensitive in the cruelest/
most difficult moment in her life...

Horace LaBadie

unread,
Jun 26, 2007, 8:30:17 AM6/26/07
to
In article <4680d82b$0$18955$91ce...@newsreader01.highway.telekom.at>,
bookworm <book...@no-log.org> wrote:

>
> a question on my part: I thought Buffy knew in season 7 (selfless), that
> Willow didn't want Xander to deliver the message to Kick Angel's ass,
> and was accusing Xander on being rude and insensitive in the cruelest/
> most difficult moment in her life...

BUFFY
I killed Angel! Do you even remember that? I would have given up
everything I had to be with-- I loved him more than I will ever love
anything in this life. And I put a sword through his heart because I had
to.

WILLOW
And that all worked out OK.

BUFFY
Do you remember cheering me on? Both of you. Do you remember giving me
Willow's message: Kick his ass.

WILLOW
I never said that--

Not that anybody was listening.

Mark Myers

unread,
Jun 26, 2007, 8:43:41 AM6/26/07
to
On Tue, 26 Jun 2007 11:11:06 +0200, bookworm said...

>
> a question on my part: I thought Buffy knew in season 7 (selfless), that
> Willow didn't want Xander to deliver the message to Kick Angel's ass,
> and was accusing Xander on being rude and insensitive in the cruelest/
> most difficult moment in her life...

Oh no. The whole joy of Xander's Big Lie is that he never gets to pay.
One of the reasons BtVS is an unusually good show is that the bad things
that people do usually come back and bite them, but not this time. It is
the exception and all the better for it.

In Selfless Buffy brings up 'Xander and Willows' message, and Willow
starts to say that she didn't say that. But then the conversation, which
is very heated and emotional, moves on and the moment is lost as they
continue talking about Anyanka. Buffy and Xander are too caught up in
what they are saying to each other to perceive the ramifications of what
Willow said. And it is never spoken of again.

--
Mark Myers
usenet2 at mcm2002 dot f9 dot co dot uk
I have all the specs and diagrams at home.

David L. Burkhead

unread,
Jul 1, 2007, 11:54:38 AM7/1/07
to
Arbitrar Of Quality wrote:
> A reminder: These threads are not spoiler-free.
>
>
> BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER
> Season Two, Episode 21: "Becoming (Part I)"
> Writer: Joss Whedon
> Director: Joss Whedon
>
> "Becoming I" has an odd allure to it. The bulk of the episode is
> setup sans payoff. Long flashbacks that hit and miss, long rituals
> with characters standing around spouting mystico-babble. But the
> episode eventually gets its build, build, build hat on, and by the
> climax, it feels like it's wound so tightly (much like the Scoobies,
> who go from warmth and coupling to almost coming to blows in one of
> several great arguments the series will produce). The rhythm of Angel
> re-enacting a trick from the season premiere, Buffy's panicked sprint
> back to the school, Drusilla killing Kendra, and Whistler's words
> promising that the big moments will keep coming is spot-on. I dare
> anyone (well, anyone who hasn't been through the series five times
> already, I mean) not to come away with an elevated pulse rate and a
> burning desire to see Part II as soon as possible. Bonus acting
> points, once again, to Gellar for making two years' age difference
> feel like a lifetime apart.
> Rating: Excellent

I found the extensive back and forth between the present and the past
annoying in this episode. Also, here and elsewhere further along (Becoming
II and several eps in Season 3), I found Xander's "kill Angel" bit and his
utter unwillingness to hear anything else quite annoying. I didn't realize
why for a while until I reached "Selfless" in my second run though: The
first time, I hadn't seen Selfish and seen Xander's utter hypocrisy. The
second time I had.

On the whole, though, I agree with the above. Perhaps the annoying bits
bothered me more than AOQ in that I wouldn't call this "Excellent" but would
give it a "Pretty damn good."

> Season Two, Episode 22: "Becoming (Part II)"
> Writer: Joss Whedon
> Director: Joss Whedon
>
> So I did give the rating a nudge upward, to Excellent. I don't think
> I want to trade in my membership to the "Bec2 is overrated" club just
> yet, though. My essential feeling is still that the early parts have
> their moments - Buffy and Xander reuniting over what's happening with
> Willow, Giles, Spike - but are also littered with far too many scenes
> that don't work - the cartoony chase with the cops, Xander with coma-
> Willow, and the flat Buffy/Joyce monologue-off. Meanwhile, the ten
> minutes in which Buffy confronts and kills Angel are just what they
> should be, the only way the season could have ended. As always at
> this point in the show's life, the central points are done so well
> that I can accept my disappointment with the peripheral details. So,
> what's changed? Basically, the important stuff seems more important
> on second viewing, and the flaws feel more trivial. Speaking of stuff
> that doesn't seem so important compared to how much attention it gets,
> any thoughts on Xander's Lie? (Actually, it's a logical extension of
> his words from "Becoming I," and his character so far.)
> Rating: Excellent (up from Good)

I don't know; the cop chase worked for me. I was also disturbed about
Xander's flat out lying to Buffy about what Willow said. After Joyce for
all intents and purposes threw Buffy out, Xander's lie meant that Buffy had
_nowhere_ to go after the personally devastating finale (so she thinks) with
Angel. Buffy knows what Xander thinks, and what Giles thinks. And now she
thinks Willow agrees with them. It's no wonder that she left Nor that she
was right on the edge of leaving again in DMP. And the most we ever get
(that I can remember) that anyone acknowledges that a lot of the situation
around Buffy's leaving is their fault is Joyce's half-hearted "I handled
that badly" in DMP. I had more to say on that subject in my comments on
S3D1.

--
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

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