A Second Look: BTVS S3D3

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Arbitrar Of Quality

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Jul 10, 2007, 9:04:45 PM7/10/07
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A reminder: In some language, these threads are English.


BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER
Season Three, Episode 9: "The Wish"
Writer: Marti Noxon
Director: David Greenwalt

Described by my ever-quotable brother as "a clusterfuck," this episode
goes heavy on the gimmickry and doesn't do much beyond that. It also
spawned some really drawn-out and not particularly interesting
discussions about whether the whole world or just Sunnydale was all
darked. Elisi had a thing about the difference between "dark" and
"bleak" (although I'd use another word), a framework in which
something like ATS is a truly "dark" show that has a real effect on
one's spirits, while something like "The Wish" is just a bunch of
throwing violence and evil at the camera in copious quantities.
Pretty much. Particular minuses include the fact that it takes a few
hours to actually get going, and the fact that Cordelia is written as
a complete and total moron - no argument can be made otherwise.
Plusses include Gellar giving us yet another fully realized version of
someone who's clearly Buffy on some level (the hopeless one, I guess),
and the extremely well realized ending sequence. Something that
surprised me on re-watching is that Vamp!Willow, viewed by some as the
most blatant emergence so far of Willow's bisexuality, shows no
interest in crawling on or licking in any chicks in this episode - the
girl-lust is strictly a "Doppëlgangland" thing (where she doesn't pay
attention to the boys... there's balance in nature. Or something).
Rating: Decent


Season Three, Episode 10: "Amends"
Writer: Joss Whedon
Director: Joss Whedon

This is many people's least favorite disc of S3. Mine too, actually.
The simple explanation would be that this is the only episode of the
three that has any (and not much) connection to the season's arc,
after S3 displayed (and will again) the potential to get very arc-y if
it wanted to. Basically (thanks to Elisi once again for this), and
the writers have supposedly admitted as much, "Amends" is actually the
first episode of _Angel_. The A-story is built around Dead Boy and
his past, including the parts not directly related to Buffy, and we
see his struggle from his perspective rather than filtered through
Buffy's. Now, remember the way ATS took awhile before it got good?
Yeah. This one seems much slower and duller on re-watching, with way
too much tepid angsting leading up to the unintentionally funny
climax, which should really be the basis for a drinking game. We also
establish the proud tradition of the First's behavior making no sense
at all, and the should-have-been-a-tradition of Buffy mercilessly
mocking its excesses; great to see LaMorte again, though. The stuff
around the side keeps things from getting too dull, such as the
various reconciliations, particularly Willow/Oz. Buffy and Faith's
scenes are also nice, even if how close they come to renewing their
shot at friendship doesn't neatly fit into Faith's arc, since
(supposedly; don't know if it's the real reason) Dushku wasn't
available often enough to have much of an arc for the time being. I
still don't hate, or especially love, the magic snow.
Rating: Decent (down from Good)


Season Three, Episode 11: "Gingerbread"
Writer: Jane Espenson; story by Espenson and Thania St. John
Director: James Whitmore, Jr.

Strong build to a somewhat weak fourth act, this episode is fun
overall, throwing heavy allegories around like anvils without letting
its light tone get bogged down; special props to the Buffy/Angel and
Giles/Cordelia scenes for helping there. After just a taste of Buffy
doubting her "give me something to pummel" approach to life and a
taste of what the series might be like with the addition of a chaotic-
neutral force [am I horribly misusing the lingo here?], "Gingerbread"
reveals itself as a fairly straightforward metaphor show, and I've
always found the conceit of mixing Hansel and Gretel with witch-hunts
kinda brilliant.
Rating: Good


Additional comments on S3D3: Needs more Faith.

Thoughts?

-AOQ

mariposas rand mair fheal greykitten tomys des anges

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Jul 10, 2007, 9:26:50 PM7/10/07
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> Season Three, Episode 9: "The Wish"
>
> Plusses include Gellar giving us yet another fully realized version of
> someone who's clearly Buffy on some level (the hopeless one, I guess),
> and the extremely well realized ending sequence. Something that

in beer bad theres a shot of cave buffy looking feral and angry
and whedon says that a shot of the primitive
the first slayer
we also see the expression in restless

these are glimpses of what a slayer normally is
and how buffy differs
and why buffy differs

> surprised me on re-watching is that Vamp!Willow, viewed by some as the
> most blatant emergence so far of Willow's bisexuality, shows no
> interest in crawling on or licking in any chicks in this episode - the

riley thought sandy was female

> Season Three, Episode 10: "Amends"
>

> This is many people's least favorite disc of S3. Mine too, actually.
> The simple explanation would be that this is the only episode of the
> three that has any (and not much) connection to the season's arc,

hey its a christmas episode

someone somewhere commented that its real easy to convince people
of hell and damnation and devils and internal torment

but suggest theres a benevolent god and they start reaching for remotes

first evil is busy convincing it brought angel out of hell
to do it bidding
but the snowstorm suggests there some other agent at work
which is not interested in pain and fear and destruction

also in season six buffy says she felt loved and protected
but she doesnt say what loved ad protected her

> establish the proud tradition of the First's behavior making no sense
> at all, and the should-have-been-a-tradition of Buffy mercilessly

andrew asks if it is merely the collective subconscious malice of humans
a question that doesnt get answered

> Season Three, Episode 11: "Gingerbread"
>

> Strong build to a somewhat weak fourth act, this episode is fun
> overall, throwing heavy allegories around like anvils without letting
> its light tone get bogged down; special props to the Buffy/Angel and

the mayor is odd here though
is he under the spell or playing the town?

we later learn he is no longer wholly human by this time
and that mightve given him so immunity
but he seems as caught up as anyone

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

Apteryx

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Jul 11, 2007, 6:15:25 AM7/11/07
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"Arbitrar Of Quality" <tsm...@wildmail.com> wrote in message
news:1184115885.1...@22g2000hsm.googlegroups.com...

>A reminder: In some language, these threads are English.


>BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER
>Season Three, Episode 9: "The Wish"
>Writer: Marti Noxon
>Director: David Greenwalt

>darked. Elisi had a thing about the difference between "dark" and


>"bleak" (although I'd use another word), a framework in which
>something like ATS is a truly "dark" show that has a real effect on
>one's spirits, while something like "The Wish" is just a bunch of
>throwing violence and evil at the camera in copious quantities.
>

>Rating: Decent

Dark/shmark, the story doesn't really matter here (apart from setting up
Dopplegangland) -which is just as well, because it's pretty problematic.
Every series that has decent actors and that goes on long enough needs to
give them some time off, so they won't need to leave the series to try their
wings in other roles. Everybody gets to have fun playing at least a little
bit different from their normal roles. Plus, Willow in leather!

So its still Good for me, even though the comment I made last year about
downgrading it every time I watch it continues to be true. It's my 52nd
favourite BtVS episode, 13th best in season 3 (last year was 44th and 12th).

>Season Three, Episode 10: "Amends"
>Writer: Joss Whedon
>Director: Joss Whedon

>mocking its excesses; great to see LaMorte again, though. The stuff


>around the side keeps things from getting too dull, such as the
>various reconciliations, particularly Willow/Oz. Buffy and Faith's
>scenes are also nice, even if how close they come to renewing their
>shot at friendship doesn't neatly fit into Faith's arc, since
>(supposedly; don't know if it's the real reason) Dushku wasn't
>available often enough to have much of an arc for the time being. I
>still don't hate, or especially love, the magic snow.
>Rating: Decent (down from Good)

I think the fringe stuff is the best part of it (loved Willow's big
seduction scene). The main Buffy/Angel story is pretty corny, but it mostly
works OK. It's Good for me, my 43rd favourite BtVS episode, 10th best in
season 3 (last year was 43rd and 11th).


>Season Three, Episode 11: "Gingerbread"
>Writer: Jane Espenson; story by Espenson and Thania St. John
>Director: James Whitmore, Jr.

>neutral force [am I horribly misusing the lingo here?], "Gingerbread"


>reveals itself as a fairly straightforward metaphor show, and I've
>always found the conceit of mixing Hansel and Gretel with witch-hunts
>kinda brilliant.
>Rating: Good

It has lots of good stuff, but the plot initially appears to depend on Joyce
acting absurdly. Later we realise that she is under some form of mind
control and it all falls into place, only some place that isn't here,
because allegories are pretty cheap if you are just going to mind control
characters to act in the required pattern. Still, fun was had, so its a mid
to good Decent for me. It's my 103rd favourite BtVS episode, 22nd best in
season 3 (last year was 102nd and 21st). Despite that, my rating for it
actually improved slightly on this viewing, and it moves down in the
rankings only because DMP improved more. There are no bad episodes in season
3 (or even Weak ones), but for me this happens to be the one that is least
good.


--
Apteryx


Wouter Valentijn

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Jul 11, 2007, 9:14:33 AM7/11/07
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"mariposas rand mair fheal greykitten tomys des anges"
<mair_...@yahoo.com> schreef in bericht
news:mair_fheal-89E46...@sn-ip.vsrv-sjc.supernews.net...

>> Season Three, Episode 9: "The Wish"
>>
>> Plusses include Gellar giving us yet another fully realized version of
>> someone who's clearly Buffy on some level (the hopeless one, I guess),
>> and the extremely well realized ending sequence. Something that
>
> in beer bad theres a shot of cave buffy looking feral and angry
> and whedon says that a shot of the primitive
> the first slayer
> we also see the expression in restless
>
> these are glimpses of what a slayer normally is
> and how buffy differs
> and why buffy differs
>
>> surprised me on re-watching is that Vamp!Willow, viewed by some as the
>> most blatant emergence so far of Willow's bisexuality, shows no
>> interest in crawling on or licking in any chicks in this episode - the
>
> riley thought sandy was female

The Sandy licking was not in The Wish but in Doppelgangland.

>
>> Season Three, Episode 10: "Amends"
>>
>> This is many people's least favorite disc of S3. Mine too, actually.
>> The simple explanation would be that this is the only episode of the
>> three that has any (and not much) connection to the season's arc,
>
> hey its a christmas episode
>
> someone somewhere commented that its real easy to convince people
> of hell and damnation and devils and internal torment
>
> but suggest theres a benevolent god and they start reaching for remotes
>
> first evil is busy convincing it brought angel out of hell
> to do it bidding
> but the snowstorm suggests there some other agent at work
> which is not interested in pain and fear and destruction
>

My theory is that the snow was send there somehow by (or by an agent of)
Jasmine.
She needed Angel to father Connor who in turn would father her.

> also in season six buffy says she felt loved and protected
> but she doesnt say what loved ad protected her

That remains un unknown.

>
>> establish the proud tradition of the First's behavior making no sense
>> at all, and the should-have-been-a-tradition of Buffy mercilessly
>
> andrew asks if it is merely the collective subconscious malice of humans
> a question that doesnt get answered

In which case it would be similar to several beings in the Marvelverse.

>
>> Season Three, Episode 11: "Gingerbread"
>>
>> Strong build to a somewhat weak fourth act, this episode is fun
>> overall, throwing heavy allegories around like anvils without letting
>> its light tone get bogged down; special props to the Buffy/Angel and
>
> the mayor is odd here though
> is he under the spell or playing the town?
>
> we later learn he is no longer wholly human by this time
> and that mightve given him so immunity
> but he seems as caught up as anyone

Or he could have played the typical politician, doing what was popular.

--
Wouter Valentijn

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

Mark Myers

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Jul 11, 2007, 9:54:38 AM7/11/07
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On Tue, 10 Jul 2007 18:04:45 -0700, Arbitrar Of Quality said...

> Season Three, Episode 10: "Amends"
> Writer: Joss Whedon
> Director: Joss Whedon
>
> it wanted to. Basically (thanks to Elisi once again for this), and
> the writers have supposedly admitted as much, "Amends" is actually the
> first episode of _Angel_. The A-story is built around Dead Boy and

I thought, when I rewatched Becoming Pt1 recently, that it, and this,
pretty much constitute the setup for AtS.

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

Arbitrar Of Quality

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Jul 11, 2007, 2:27:42 PM7/11/07
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On Jul 10, 8:26 pm, mariposas rand mair fheal greykitten tomys des
anges <mair_fh...@yahoo.com> wrote:

> > establish the proud tradition of the First's behavior making no sense
> > at all, and the should-have-been-a-tradition of Buffy mercilessly
>
> andrew asks if it is merely the collective subconscious malice of humans
> a question that doesnt get answered

Have you tried watching S7 thinking that way and seeing whether the
plot makes any more sense?

> > Season Three, Episode 11: "Gingerbread"

> the mayor is odd here though


> is he under the spell or playing the town?
>
> we later learn he is no longer wholly human by this time
> and that mightve given him so immunity
> but he seems as caught up as anyone

Maybe the writers hadn't figured out what to do with him yet? His
role seems very jarring here, although I guess he's supposed to be the
stand-in for The Way Things Are in this town he built, where no one
talks about or takes a stand against the demonic element.

-AOQ

Arbitrar Of Quality

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Jul 11, 2007, 3:05:50 PM7/11/07
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On Jul 11, 5:15 am, "Apteryx" <apte...@xtra.co.nz> wrote:

> >Season Three, Episode 9: "The Wish"

> Dark/shmark, the story doesn't really matter here (apart from setting up


> Dopplegangland) -which is just as well, because it's pretty problematic.

Yeah, forgot to mention as a general complain the fact that, if one
wanted to, one could spend a long time dissecting the plot of "The
Wish" and make a list of the myriad of ways in which it's
problematic. Been done, though. It adds to the sense that the
episode is first and foremost a stage-piece for the actors to play
against type and the writers to scratch their "hey, wouldn't it be
kinda cool if..." itches, which apparently turns me off more than some
others.

["Amends"]

> I think the fringe stuff is the best part of it (loved Willow's big
> seduction scene).

Seems like some people hated it, but I think it does a great job with
"painful," which is a particularly hard thing to do well without
becoming an unpleasant thing to watch. Even on the first run through
of these threads people were using this is a prominent example of
Willow's love of the big dramatic gesture that makes everything
better. Hopefully she won't start thinking of her new magical
abilities as a source of quick-fixes like that, because, you know,
that might get dangerous.

["Gingerbread"]


> Still, fun was had, so its a mid
> to good Decent for me. It's my 103rd favourite BtVS episode, 22nd best in
> season 3 (last year was 102nd and 21st). Despite that, my rating for it
> actually improved slightly on this viewing, and it moves down in the
> rankings only because DMP improved more. There are no bad episodes in season
> 3 (or even Weak ones), but for me this happens to be the one that is least
> good.

As I said when I upgraded BC to Decent, for me this is the only
Buffyverse season to contain No Bad Shows.

-AOQ

Arbitrar Of Quality

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Jul 11, 2007, 3:09:02 PM7/11/07
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On Jul 11, 8:54 am, Mark Myers <nos...@see.sig> wrote:
> On Tue, 10 Jul 2007 18:04:45 -0700, Arbitrar Of Quality said...
>
> > it wanted to. Basically (thanks to Elisi once again for this), and
> > the writers have supposedly admitted as much, "Amends" is actually the
> > first episode of _Angel_. The A-story is built around Dead Boy and
>
> I thought, when I rewatched Becoming Pt1 recently, that it, and this,
> pretty much constitute the setup for AtS.

More or less. "Becoming" is more like a self-contained story, though;
it completes Angel's story to the extent that it's relevant to his
role as a supporting character on the first two seasons of BTVS.
"Amends" feels like an attempt to get more mileage out of that setup
and its effect on the present, to the point where a separate series
could be built around it.

-AOQ

Don Sample

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Jul 11, 2007, 3:43:45 PM7/11/07
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In article <1184178462.3...@22g2000hsm.googlegroups.com>,

Arbitrar Of Quality <tsm...@wildmail.com> wrote:
>
> Maybe the writers hadn't figured out what to do with him yet? His
> role seems very jarring here, although I guess he's supposed to be the
> stand-in for The Way Things Are in this town he built, where no one
> talks about or takes a stand against the demonic element.
>
> -AOQ

I have long suspected that the script for this one had been sitting
around for a while, written before they really figured out what the
Mayor was up to. ISTR that at one time the plan was for Trick to turn
on the Mayor, and become the main bad guy for the season.

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

ang...@hotmail.com

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Jul 11, 2007, 6:35:35 PM7/11/07
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'The Wish'
-This season is 'Cordelia's life sucks.' She's been ostracized,
betrayed, humiliated, impaled, and the IRS are starting to ask
questions about her father's taxes. Her wish for a Buffy-less life
backfires with her death. So far, Xander only got spurned, dumped and
his hand broken, while Willow suffered unrequited love, a coma, and
some magical backlash (DMP).
-The episode has a nice 'Psycho' cue for killing off the main
protagonist early without her having a hand in the resolution.
-Interesting that one of the darkest Buffy tales led to one of the
funniest episodes (for those of us not AOQ; no offense).

'Amends'
-Although a good amount of Cordelia's shun is based on Xander and
Willow, the impalement solidifies her long-standing wariness that
association with Buffy is dangerous. This goes back to 'Reptile Boy':
"I've never been so happy to see anyone in my whole...You guys, I just
really...hate you guys, the weirdest things always happen around you!"

This continues to Gingerbread:
"If you're going to hang with them, expect badness, 'cause that's what
you get for hanging with freaks and losers. Believe me I know...That
was a pointed comment about me hanging with you guys."

This does bring up an interesting point about the group's commitment
in fighting the dangerous good fight. Buffy has had her moments of
quitting the gig (WTTH and Anne), but one would think her more
vulnerable, destiny-impaired friends would be more likely throw the
towel. But for most of the Buffyverse Saga, when a friend or
significant other leaves the group, it's for reasons different from
'I'm tired of fighting this dangerous neverending battle between good
and evil'. Only Cordelia is the exception.
-The First's portrayal of that present-day father with the cold
children is a dark moment. It shows that Angelus' rampage wasn't
centered on Buffy and her circle. Remember the ending in IOHEFY, with
Angelus washing off the 'love' after getting 'violated' by Miss
Newman:
ANGEL: Let's get out of here. I need a really vile kill before sun-up
to wipe this crap out of my system.
DRUSILLA: Of course. We'll find you a nice toddler.
Note that we don't know the childrens' age, and two would be better
than one in Angelus' book.

'Gingerbread'
This episode is very important character development for Cordelia.
It seems each of the three Cordelia-Buffy Seasons have a similar
scenario where Cordelia turns her back on the gang, only to come back.
Season 1 had her dumping the gang after the Marcie situation, then
coincidentally coming to Willow and Jenny's rescue in 'Prophecy Girl.'
Season 2 had Cordelia dumping Xander (which probably meant severing
all ties with the losers club), only to dump Harmony and the
Cordettes. Season 3's version of the scenario is probably Cordelia's
most decisive. She has greater reasons to shun the Scoobies this time,
knowing the consequences of going back (last time she didn't seem to
have a full understanding of her actions in BB&B, as seen in her 'I'm
still Queen of Sunnydale High' delusions in 'Homecoming' and 'The
Wish'). Considering Cordelia's ego, asking for Buffy's help again
(which meant associating with Xander and Willow) would have been
number 100 in her priorities. That she does so might have nothing to
do with her complaint of the 'no black dress/scented candle' rule (a
clever girl like Cordelia would have found a way to play around that).
She realizes that things have gone too far with MOOO, so she embraces
the pain, spanks her inner moppet, and gets over it. Whereas her
'Prophecy Girl' rescue was coincidental (she could have missed Willow
and Jenny), Cordelia's 'Gingerbread' rescue really saves the day.
Without her, Giles would still be unconscious, Willow would be
barbecued, and Buffy might have been killed in her escape attempt
(still tied to that stake regardless of its uprootment, and a very
easy target for any of the still-influenced MOOO members), long before
Xander and Oz made their rescue.
After that, Cordelia has no problem dealing with the Scoobies and
monsters again. She still can be cruel to Xander and Willow
(justified), and will never be Buffy's friend, but she'll help her
when it counts. And next year she has no qualms about helping Angel.
On a different note, it's a bit of a shame that Angel and Cordelia
share no time together this Season, leading the way to their beautiful
friendship in the spinoff.

A.Gerard

Arbitrar Of Quality

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Jul 12, 2007, 12:23:34 AM7/12/07
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On Jul 11, 2:43 pm, Don Sample <dsam...@synapse.net> wrote:
> In article <1184178462.330334.223...@22g2000hsm.googlegroups.com>,

> Arbitrar Of Quality <tsm...@wildmail.com> wrote:
>
>
>
> > Maybe the writers hadn't figured out what to do with him yet? His
> > role seems very jarring here, although I guess he's supposed to be the
> > stand-in for The Way Things Are in this town he built, where no one
> > talks about or takes a stand against the demonic element.
>
> > -AOQ
>
> I have long suspected that the script for this one had been sitting
> around for a while, written before they really figured out what the
> Mayor was up to. ISTR that at one time the plan was for Trick to turn
> on the Mayor, and become the main bad guy for the season.

I wish they were more forthcoming on the DVDs about what plans were
rejected, and at what point in the season they changed their minds.
Instead we just get tidbits.

-AOQ

Arbitrar Of Quality

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Jul 12, 2007, 12:34:27 AM7/12/07
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On Jul 11, 5:35 pm, angm...@hotmail.com wrote:

> 'Amends'
> -Although a good amount of Cordelia's shun is based on Xander and
> Willow, the impalement solidifies her long-standing wariness that
> association with Buffy is dangerous.

[snip]


> This does bring up an interesting point about the group's commitment
> in fighting the dangerous good fight. Buffy has had her moments of
> quitting the gig (WTTH and Anne), but one would think her more
> vulnerable, destiny-impaired friends would be more likely throw the
> towel. But for most of the Buffyverse Saga, when a friend or
> significant other leaves the group, it's for reasons different from
> 'I'm tired of fighting this dangerous neverending battle between good
> and evil'. Only Cordelia is the exception.

[Shrug] To me it seems more like the writers, after thankfully having
gotten her out of the thing with Xander, didn't have much to do with
her except keep her mostly off-screen for a few episodes. Which is a
plus in my book. Here she rejects everything about the Scoobies
because she's angry, and I do think that's the primary motivation for
wanting her old life back... the impalement I can buy as a factor in
"The Wish," but the show ignoreds it afterward. Later episodes,
including "Gingerbread" for the reasons you point out, will indeed
sort of quietly nudge her towards making this part of her life
regardless of the people involved, but it's tangled up in the crush on
Wesley and the general lack of screen time this season, so that
transition doesn't really get the full treatment until she spins off
to ATS.

-AOQ

chr...@removethistoreply.gwu.edu

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Jul 12, 2007, 8:17:52 PM7/12/07
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In alt.tv.buffy-v-slayer Arbitrar Of Quality <tsm...@wildmail.com> wrote:

> BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER
> Season Three, Episode 9: "The Wish"
> Writer: Marti Noxon
> Director: David Greenwalt
.

> Described by my ever-quotable brother as "a clusterfuck," this episode
> goes heavy on the gimmickry and doesn't do much beyond that.

The centerpiece of The Wish is obviously the look at our beloved
characters in the alternate universe, so the episode's success hinges
mostly on how much that interests the viewer. This viewer loves it.
That allows me to ignore such weaknesses as, for example, the Master's
"mass production" scheme that doesn't produce any more blood than the
old-fashioned method. It also allows me to forget that the alternate
universe, fun though it is, doesn't add much to the season's overall plot
and tells us little that we didn't already know about the characters.

> Plusses include Gellar giving us yet another fully realized version of
> someone who's clearly Buffy on some level (the hopeless one, I guess),

Agreed on that. In addition, Buffy was the character whose AU version
gave us the most insight into the "real" version. She's not *just*
hopeless. Unlike Giles, she doesn't even care about the hopelessness.
This Buffy literally doesn't care if she lives or dies. Apparently this
is the result of not having people like Willow, Xander and Giles to tie
her to human life. (I imagine Joyce is also out of the picture, either
dead or alienated from Buffy.)

I like the Masterverse versions of all the other characters too, even
though they aren't as significant. Vampire Willow steals the show, of
course (even though compared to Doppelgangland this is just a warmup).
No need for elaboration there. VampXander is good too, combining the cool
of suave Xander in The Replacement with just a hint of the old emotional
silliness (in his sincerely moved "golden age" line). I'd be interested
in seeing NB play a real villain sometime.... Love that scene where
Willow and Xander kill Cordy, from "You're a Watcher, huh? Well watch
this" to Xander stroking Willow's head as they both drink to Willow's
triumphant little smirk at Giles as she tosses the key over her shoulder.
Great stuff.

> and the extremely well realized ending sequence.

Loved that too. Everyone remembers Oz staking VampWillow, but did you
catch that Buffy walks right *through* Angel's ashes after he's killed?
Also, great music.

I wonder if Anyanka's curse superseded the old prophecy from PG, or did it
still come true? Was there an Annointed One lurking around? The Master
did rise, and the Slayer did indeed die.

That nasty trick on Cordelia required more patience and subtlety than I'd
normally expect from Harmony.

> Rating: Decent

I'd call it solid mid-range Good. (And I'm as fond of it as some
Excellents.)

> Season Three, Episode 10: "Amends"
> Writer: Joss Whedon
> Director: Joss Whedon

No really strong feelings about this one. (I guess this is my least
favorite disc of the season too; but to be fair, it only has three
episodes.) It is mildly amusing that militant atheist Joss Whedon wrote
what I think is the only unambiguous miracle of the whole series.
Obviously this is setup for Angel the Series: the Powers That Be save
Angel's life now so they can use him in LA starting next year. In light
of AtS S4, it's interesting to speculate that it was specifically the
Power Later to Be Known As Jasmine who saved Angel. But while that's a
neat idea to toy with, I usually lean against it, preferring to minimize
Jasmine's machinations. Instead, I usually picture the Powers as a group
deciding to save Angel, with Jasmine being only one of those Powers.

But however I interpret it, neither the miracle itself, nor the big
Buffy-Angel confrontation before it, really excite me. There are however
other parts of the episode that I like a lot: the First as Jenny Calendar;
Xander getting the Hannukah spirit; the Willow-Oz reconciliation scene
(more than the seduction scene, which ends in a semi-replay of the van
scene from Innocence); Faith showing up at the Summers house; and the
Angel-Giles scene. I love the way Angel says "Sorry to bother you" and
Giles bursts into entirely humorless laughter. These bits are good enough
to remind you that this is a Joss Whedon product, miracles
notwithstanding.

Random detail that struck me as Jossian: Willie the snitch getting the
holiday spirit, even complimenting Xander on his lame intimidation act.

I think it would have been really funny if a couple of years later, on
AtS, Cordelia mentioned that she went to Aspen for Christmas 1998 and
there was absolutely no snow.

> climax, which should really be the basis for a drinking game. We also
> establish the proud tradition of the First's behavior making no sense
> at all, and the should-have-been-a-tradition of Buffy mercilessly
> mocking its excesses;

I never liked the First as a name, nor the concept of an original source
of all evil. (It really begs for a discussion of what, exactly, the show
means by "evil.") However, multiple viewings of S7 have made it so
familiar that I no longer notice it very much.

> Rating: Decent (down from Good)

Yeah, Decent is fair enough.

> Season Three, Episode 11: "Gingerbread"
> Writer: Jane Espenson; story by Espenson and Thania St. John
> Director: James Whitmore, Jr.

I'm reminded of AOQ's complaints about the inconsistent way Joyce is
written, because in the teaser Joyce is *really* dumb. Following Buffy on
patrol, without even asking/warning her first, and bringing a frigging
*snack* for her? Please. Joyce actually acts a lot smarter during the
early stages of her demonic enthrallment.

This is another one that I don't have many really strong feelings about.
The ending is kind of silly, with the indoor witch-burning and all. But
the earlier stages of witch-hunt fever were pretty effective. And while
the message is obvious, I don't see it becoming irrelevant anytime
soon....

Good moments: I like Willow's "A doodle. I do doodle. You, too. You do
doodle, too" and Buffy's "Mom, dead people are talking to you. Do the
math!" And yes, I find the acronym MOO amusing. Maybe it's because of
Snyder's line about who made it up, or maybe I just have a thing for
bovine-based humor.... I also liked Xander and Oz's halting
reconciliation, and Willow having friends outside of the Scooby Gang.
And Buffy's discussion with Angel about the fruitlessness of Slayage was
nice.

One thing Buffy and Willow have in common: They're both significantly
shorter than their mothers.

> After just a taste of Buffy
> doubting her "give me something to pummel" approach to life and a
> taste of what the series might be like with the addition of a chaotic-
> neutral force [am I horribly misusing the lingo here?],

I'm not sure which force you're referring to.

> Rating: Good

I might only give it a Decent. This might be my third least favorite
episode of the season (ahead of BatB and Homecoming). But it's still far
from bad, and does have some really nice moments.

> Additional comments on S3D3: Needs more Faith.

There could be more Faith. This could be Faithier.


--Chris

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

Don Sample

unread,
Jul 12, 2007, 8:32:15 PM7/12/07
to
In article <139dh5g...@corp.supernews.com>,
chr...@removethistoreply.gwu.edu wrote:

> In alt.tv.buffy-v-slayer Arbitrar Of Quality <tsm...@wildmail.com> wrote:
>
> > BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER
> > Season Three, Episode 9: "The Wish"
> > Writer: Marti Noxon
> > Director: David Greenwalt
> .
> > Described by my ever-quotable brother as "a clusterfuck," this episode
> > goes heavy on the gimmickry and doesn't do much beyond that.
>
> The centerpiece of The Wish is obviously the look at our beloved
> characters in the alternate universe, so the episode's success hinges
> mostly on how much that interests the viewer. This viewer loves it.
> That allows me to ignore such weaknesses as, for example, the Master's
> "mass production" scheme that doesn't produce any more blood than the
> old-fashioned method.

The old fashioned method probably leaves half the blood in the body.

But still, a truly efficient system wouldn't take enough blood to kill
the person. Keep 'em alive, and "milk" them of a couple pints every
couple of weeks.

(Harmony) Watcher

unread,
Jul 12, 2007, 8:53:44 PM7/12/07
to

"Don Sample" <dsa...@synapse.net> wrote in message
news:dsample-8D7FBC...@news.giganews.com...
Epiphany! That's what they mean by "cows"?

--
==Harmony Watcher==


mariposas rand mair fheal greykitten tomys des anges

unread,
Jul 12, 2007, 10:05:28 PM7/12/07
to
> > Season Three, Episode 9: "The Wish"

> I wonder if Anyanka's curse superseded the old prophecy from PG, or did it


> still come true? Was there an Annointed One lurking around? The Master
> did rise, and the Slayer did indeed die.

it looks like the master got loose during the harvest
some eight months before prophecy girl would have occured

> That nasty trick on Cordelia required more patience and subtlety than I'd
> normally expect from Harmony.

and we are to forget that cordelia was on a date with jonath-n
at the end of reptile boy

> > Season Three, Episode 10: "Amends"

> I never liked the First as a name, nor the concept of an original source


> of all evil. (It really begs for a discussion of what, exactly, the show
> means by "evil.") However, multiple viewings of S7 have made it so
> familiar that I no longer notice it very much.

i suspect first is always exaggerating its power and knowledge

> > Additional comments on S3D3: Needs more Faith.
>
> There could be more Faith. This could be Faithier.

and more cowbell

mariposas rand mair fheal greykitten tomys des anges

unread,
Jul 12, 2007, 10:07:03 PM7/12/07
to
In article <dsample-8D7FBC...@news.giganews.com>,
Don Sample <dsa...@synapse.net> wrote:

which appeared in blade iii
which is less dramatic but nastier'

Mark Myers

unread,
Jul 13, 2007, 8:49:03 AM7/13/07
to
On Wed, 11 Jul 2007 12:09:02 -0700, Arbitrar Of Quality said...

Some other things about Amends.

One of the central mottos of AtS is 'We have to fight'. I've simplified
it perhaps, but you know what I mean. It comes up in quite a lot of AtS
episodes. And Buffy explains all this to Angel on the cliff top in
Amends.

And it has its own unique Urgh! Argh! (a christmassy one, but it still
marks the episode as special).

Marc Espie

unread,
Jul 13, 2007, 3:53:15 PM7/13/07
to
>silliness (in his sincerely moved "golden age" line). I'd be interested
>in seeing NB play a real villain sometime.... Love that scene where

Judging where he was going during the last Buffy Season, he could soon
play _the blob_.

Arbitrar Of Quality

unread,
Jul 14, 2007, 2:09:27 AM7/14/07
to
On Jul 12, 7:17 pm, chr...@removethistoreply.gwu.edu wrote:

> The centerpiece of The Wish is obviously the look at our beloved
> characters in the alternate universe, so the episode's success hinges
> mostly on how much that interests the viewer. This viewer loves it.
> That allows me to ignore such weaknesses as, for example, the Master's
> "mass production" scheme that doesn't produce any more blood than the
> old-fashioned method. It also allows me to forget that the alternate
> universe, fun though it is, doesn't add much to the season's overall plot
> and tells us little that we didn't already know about the characters.

Well, I wasn't going to mention those flaws again, but since you bring
them up...

> Everyone remembers Oz staking VampWillow, but did you
> catch that Buffy walks right *through* Angel's ashes after he's killed?

Part of the whole pathos thing, I guess, to give him a fairly
meaningless death and have Buffy appear totally indifferent to it.

["Amends"]


> I love the way Angel says "Sorry to bother you" and
> Giles bursts into entirely humorless laughter. These bits are good enough
> to remind you that this is a Joss Whedon product, miracles
> notwithstanding.

Strangely enough, this time through there are times when Giles seems
like a dry run for Wesley.

["Gingerbread"]


> I'm reminded of AOQ's complaints about the inconsistent way Joyce is
> written, because in the teaser Joyce is *really* dumb. Following Buffy on
> patrol, without even asking/warning her first, and bringing a frigging
> *snack* for her? Please. Joyce actually acts a lot smarter during the
> early stages of her demonic enthrallment.

Well... it's an early Jane Espenson episode. Do the math.

> > After just a taste of Buffy
> > doubting her "give me something to pummel" approach to life and a
> > taste of what the series might be like with the addition of a chaotic-
> > neutral force [am I horribly misusing the lingo here?],
>
> I'm not sure which force you're referring to.

Those who oppose both the mythos's heroes and villains.

> > Additional comments on S3D3: Needs more Faith.
>
> There could be more Faith. This could be Faithier.

Guess what? I got a fever, and the only prescription...

-AOQ

David L. Burkhead

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Jul 14, 2007, 6:50:36 PM7/14/07
to
mariposas rand mair fheal greykitten tomys des anges wrote:

>> I never liked the First as a name, nor the concept of an original
>> source of all evil. (It really begs for a discussion of what,
>> exactly, the show means by "evil.") However, multiple viewings of
>> S7 have made it so familiar that I no longer notice it very much.
>
> i suspect first is always exaggerating its power and knowledge

That reminds me of a pet peeve of mine. Why is it that so many
people--characters and viewers alike--take what bad guys say about what they
have/have not done, what they can/cannot do, and so forth as gospel truth?
They're villians. They engage in rape, murder, and rampant destruction. Is
it so great a stretch to suppose that they may also lie?


--
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

One Bit Shy

unread,
Jul 14, 2007, 8:05:19 PM7/14/07
to
"Arbitrar Of Quality" <tsm...@wildmail.com> wrote in message
news:1184115885.1...@22g2000hsm.googlegroups.com...

> BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER
> Season Three, Episode 9: "The Wish"

> Elisi had a thing about the difference between "dark" and


> "bleak" (although I'd use another word), a framework in which
> something like ATS is a truly "dark" show that has a real effect on
> one's spirits, while something like "The Wish" is just a bunch of
> throwing violence and evil at the camera in copious quantities.
> Pretty much.

I don't know if Elisi was referring to this episode, but I like "bleak" as a
description of the Wishverse. As a single throw away episode it's probably
difficult for the universe it describes to have an impact upon the viewer on
par with AtS. But within the episode, what it depicts is a universe without
spirit - without hope. Bleak. So I think it's a little more thought out
than throwing violence and evil at the camera. I'm not going to claim great
depth though. It's not creating a full alternate universe - just the
impression of one.


> Particular minuses include the fact that it takes a few
> hours to actually get going, and the fact that Cordelia is written as
> a complete and total moron - no argument can be made otherwise.

And so Cordelia is set free to be Queen C again. Abandoned from my way of
looking. There are some might have beens with Cordy this episode - hints at
possible character and story development. I wouldn't have minded, for
example, if Cordy blaming it all on Buffy were used to hone a nice edgy
ongoing battle between them. But, no, it seems mostly the vehicle for
getting Cordelia out of the clique and mostly back to her old ways so that
real character development can occur in AtS.


> Plusses include Gellar giving us yet another fully realized version of
> someone who's clearly Buffy on some level (the hopeless one, I guess),

I like the odd way she walks.

It's a terrific depiction. It also advances season themes by exploring
another way Buffy might be a Slayer. Goes to her sense of identity. The
distinguishing characteristic here is the lack of Willow, Xander and Giles.
She doesn't have their friendship and how they keep her in touch with living
for more than slaying. The hope for something more than being Slayer. This
Buffy has no hopes, but still is driven to slay.

She also doesn't have Angel. Within the Wishverse it seems to focus on that
in particular as her lost opportunity. Perhaps Angel, for all the anguish
he has brought her, has been particularly effective at instilling the notion
that what she does matters. (Angel will share his new philosophy on that
with Buffy in a couple of episodes. I don't think this and Gingerbread are
particularly linked. But they do share a little of that theme.)

> and the extremely well realized ending sequence.

Fantastic ending sequence. The dreaminess of it. The music. The tragic
inevitability of it. The emotional lurches of seeing Oz kill Willow. Buffy
kill Xander. Buffy having no emotional response whatsoever to Angel turning
to dust. And finally the Master breaking Buffy's neck. Knowing what the
true Buffyverse alternative was, that really helps fill in the nature of the
Wishverse by so starkly contrasting the pointless wasted lives within it.
And makes the simple bright happy ending scene of the episode so much more
warm and appreciated by the audience.

Rating: Decent

Watching it this time I was especially struck by the emphasis on the fully
restored friendships of Willow, Xander and Buffy - mainly in the opening and
closing scenes that wrap the episode. While Amends is yet to come to
complete the work between Xander and Buffy, it seems finally clear here that
the rift in trust between them that made itself known in DMP has closed. At
the start we see Buffy once again rescued by her friends - something that
hasn't been featured as much this year as in the past. (I'm quite amused at
mixing demon hunting with a picnic.) And then the sweet ending where the
three simply exult in their companionship. Every once in a while the series
pauses to let them be happy and content on the simplest level. It's rare
enough to want to pause and drink it in deeply.

Last time I chose not to argue your rating without really giving mine. This
time I'll rate it as a low Good. It's not a great episode, but the tragic
Wishverse ending really brings it up a notch, while none of its little
glitches concern me that much. It also sneaks in the first appearance of
one of my favorite characters of the series. And I rather like the
construct of the self destructing alternate universe.

Maybe mostly I like it because it's memorably unique.

> Season Three, Episode 10: "Amends"

> This is many people's least favorite disc of S3. Mine too, actually.
> The simple explanation would be that this is the only episode of the
> three that has any (and not much) connection to the season's arc,
> after S3 displayed (and will again) the potential to get very arc-y if
> it wanted to.

I suppose it would be my least favorite too - though I think that's largely
because it only has three episodes. I do like all three and give them high
ratings, but as I said at the time, it's a period that feels disconnected to
the season to me. Not just in an arc sense. The themes seem more distant
to me too. Your remarks about this episode being a prelude to AtS may have
helped clarify that for me. The AtS influence isn't just this episode. The
Wish served to position Cordelia in anticipation of moving to AtS. And
Gingerbread spent a fair amount of time on a theme of questioning whether
the battle actually matters. That's a notion that can be applied to BtVS
(and sometimes is to some extent), but is far more prominent in AtS.
Angel's big scene that episode presents a new attitude - even a slightly
different personality - that encapsulates his core attitude throughout the
run of AtS.

So that's 3 episodes in a row with significant nods to a series that didn't
exist yet.


> Basically (thanks to Elisi once again for this), and
> the writers have supposedly admitted as much, "Amends" is actually the
> first episode of _Angel_. The A-story is built around Dead Boy and
> his past, including the parts not directly related to Buffy, and we
> see his struggle from his perspective rather than filtered through
> Buffy's.

I believe it serves the function of being an intro to AtS. We get a much
more sophisticated look into Angel's inner turmoil than we have before. The
notion that it's the man that needs killing rather than the demon - because
the man is so weak - is a nice addition. But mostly it starts seriously
looking at the question of what Angel's going to do with his life and how he
needs to seek redemption from within, not just by gazing at Buffy. A lot of
foundational stuff for AtS. Plus, of course, the early hint of the Powers
That Be and that Angel may have been chosen by them as champion.

Even so, the episode hangs in there pretty well I think as a BtVS episode
too. There's a lot of good non-Angel relationship work going on, and
Angel's part is very impactful on Buffy, Giles and the relationship between
Buffy and Giles. In the final argument on the hill, when Buffy tearfully
asks, "What about me?" she continues with a fantastic summation of what
Angel/Angelus meant to her - I think the only time Buffy really lets that
out to Angel.

Buffy: I love you so much. and I tried to make you go away. I killed you
and it didn't help. And I hate it! I hate that it's so hard. and that you
can hurt me so much. I know everything that you did because you did it to
me. Oh, god! I wish that I wished you dead. I don't. (whispers) I can't.

Part of what's going on with the move to AtS is finally bringing closure to
what happened in S2. I really don't care for the together/not together
waffling in the long goodbye. But the elements that really bring closure to
S2 - like here and Buffy giving her blood to Angel at the end of the
season - are among my favorite Angel story elements ever.

I think it's also fortunate that the PTB concept is so ill defined at this
point (or so deliberately obscured) that it doesn't unduly intrude upon
BtVS. The miracle ending of this episode doesn't play like AtS to my mind.
It's not the heavy hand of an intrusive, even selfish PTB. Here it comes
across as the Christmas episode that it is with, for once, the promise of a
benevolent God that literally saves souls. As we know, that kind of direct
intervention doesn't repeat. At least not in so obvious a fashion. But it
is about retaining hope with tangible success that I think is more a BtVS
quality than an AtS one.

> Now, remember the way ATS took awhile before it got good?
> Yeah. This one seems much slower and duller on re-watching,

I approached watching the episode this time with some trepidation, for I
didn't think I was in the mood for it. To my great surprise, I loved it.
More than ever. For me it moved up a notch to Excellent, even as it fell a
notch for you. You never know.

> with way
> too much tepid angsting

The only angsting that wears me down is that final argument between Buffy
and Angel. As I believe I've said before, I think Joss simply tried to
squeeze too much into one high emotion exchange. It climaxes too many times
and ends up wheezing.

But the messages in it I believe are quite powerful and prove to be useful
reference points throughout AtS.

Plus, it's just one exchange in a pretty rich episode - itself substantially
redeemed by the miracle IMO.


> leading up to the unintentionally funny
> climax, which should really be the basis for a drinking game.

OK. I'll bite. What does that mean?


> We also
> establish the proud tradition of the First's behavior making no sense
> at all,

Seems to make more sense to me than S7. Broadly speaking I see this as a
Christmas Eve battle for Angel's soul. There is some obscurity about why
exactly Angel has been returned from Hell. (I don't believe The First did
it - if for no other reason than it would be pointless for him to do that if
he's going to be satisfied with Angel then killing himself.) Angel's
question never gets answered. But whatever it is, it's a big deal, the kind
of thing to attract The First's notice, and presumably not to The First's
liking. Looking ahead to AtS, one might assume that he's been returned in
order to be the PTB's champion - which I don't suppose The First would be in
favor of. We wouldn't know that at this point, though, but we can still
guess that it represents something vaguely "good". Also not to The First's
liking.

So... What The First appears to me to be doing is attempting to corrupt
Angel's soul. While he speaks of Angel losing his soul as he did with Buffy
before (probably a satisfactory result), the actual content appears to be
aimed at turning souled Angel evil by getting him to kill even with his
soul. (That would sort of match up to what was done with Spike in S7.)
He's recruiting Angel to his side. When that doesn't work, he's still
satisfied with suicide since it denies Angel to the forces of good.

In a another sense, The First represents facing the evil within oneself. He
could be viewed as the Sunnydale manifestation of Angel's crisis within.
Turning directly to the demon with Angel would be a win for The First.
Running away from the confrontation through suicide isn't as satisfying, but
still would be a plus to The First.


> and the should-have-been-a-tradition of Buffy mercilessly
> mocking its excesses;

That sure would have been a nice S7 touch.


> Rating: Decent (down from Good)

"If I can't convince you that you belong in this world, then I don't know
what can."

Then right at that moment the snow starts to fall. Buffy's lament is taken
as a kind of Christmas Eve prayer, and the prayer is answered.

Everybody is moved in different ways I suppose. The moment could seem
stupid or overblown or whatever to some. But I've always been on board with
the moment. I'm not terribly religious. I don't think I'm responding to
anything within my own faith. I think it's just an awesome dramatic
expression of a miracle saving of a soul on Christmas Eve. It works. The
wonder and sense of hope generated by it is palpable. It's also a
beautifully constructed literal deus ex machina.

I am also genuinely touched by the spirit of Joss's big Christmas episode.
For one beautiful night it bridges the gulfs between its characters,
bringing peace and harmony to them in ways that feel true to the characters.
With weight and meaning. One of the better Christmas shows I've seen.

Although I am a little miffed at Joyce for refusing to invite Giles over.


> Season Three, Episode 11: "Gingerbread"

> Strong build to a somewhat weak fourth act, this episode is fun


> overall, throwing heavy allegories around like anvils without letting
> its light tone get bogged down; special props to the Buffy/Angel and
> Giles/Cordelia scenes for helping there. After just a taste of Buffy
> doubting her "give me something to pummel" approach to life and a
> taste of what the series might be like with the addition of a chaotic-
> neutral force [am I horribly misusing the lingo here?], "Gingerbread"
> reveals itself as a fairly straightforward metaphor show, and I've
> always found the conceit of mixing Hansel and Gretel with witch-hunts
> kinda brilliant.

Well, I already remarked how much I thought the Angel scene and general
theme questioning whether Buffy is doing any good mostly speaks to the
future AtS.

This episode shows that Willow and Amy have been hanging out - at least for
doing magic. (Willow also mentions Amy in The Wish.) Some things I'm slow
at getting. It finally occurred to me that it actually makes sense for Amy
to immediately look to Willow to hang out with when she's finally restored
in S6.

I don't have anything fresh to say now. I do like the episode and am
content with your response. I'd rate it Good too.


> Rating: Good

Oh, I watched the Mayor. I don't see this episode as advancing his
character at all, which would probably be a good reason to keep him out of
it. But I don't think it hurts the character either - or means anything at
all. He's all sorts of evil things, but he's got a job too. And some days
he just has to be the politician and offer platitudes to those annoying
citizen groups that keep popping up.


> Additional comments on S3D3: Needs more Faith.

Prolly. I do like Faith's small part in Amends. Very nice performance.
Alas, that little touch of family doesn't appear to have had a lasting
(good) effect.

Oh, as to the season's identity theme, Amends would likely be Angel's
identity episode. Perhaps The Wish was Cordelia's identity episode. I'd
rather point to Homecoming, but that was still Xander loving Cordelia.

OBS


Michael Ikeda

unread,
Jul 15, 2007, 6:06:18 AM7/15/07
to
"One Bit Shy" <O...@nomail.sorry> wrote in
news:139ip61...@news.supernews.com:

>
> The only angsting that wears me down is that final argument
> between Buffy and Angel. As I believe I've said before, I think
> Joss simply tried to squeeze too much into one high emotion
> exchange. It climaxes too many times and ends up wheezing.
>
> But the messages in it I believe are quite powerful and prove to
> be useful reference points throughout AtS.

And some of it for S6 BtVS...

"Strong is fighting! It's hard, and it's painful, and it's every
day. It's what we have to do."

Which I tend to think of as the theme of Buffy's (the character)
plotline in S6.

>
> Although I am a little miffed at Joyce for refusing to invite
> Giles over.
>

But he wouldn't want to spend Christmas with a bunch of girls...

:-)

--
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

unread,
Jul 15, 2007, 9:33:01 AM7/15/07
to
On Jul 14, 7:05 pm, "One Bit Shy" <O...@nomail.sorry> wrote:
> "Arbitrar Of Quality" <tsm...@wildmail.com> wrote in messagenews:1184115885.1...@22g2000hsm.googlegroups.com...

> > Particular minuses include the fact that it takes a few


> > hours to actually get going, and the fact that Cordelia is written as
> > a complete and total moron - no argument can be made otherwise.
>
> And so Cordelia is set free to be Queen C again. Abandoned from my way of
> looking. There are some might have beens with Cordy this episode - hints at
> possible character and story development. I wouldn't have minded, for
> example, if Cordy blaming it all on Buffy were used to hone a nice edgy
> ongoing battle between them. But, no, it seems mostly the vehicle for
> getting Cordelia out of the clique and mostly back to her old ways so that
> real character development can occur in AtS.

Below you suggest that "The Wish" is the closest thing she gets to her
own "identity" episode. TW doesn't really tell us much about her,
though; consciously avoiding having her learn a valuable lesson about
reckless wishes (although for some reason Dawn did end up getting that
mini-story) also means that most of what she goes through here is
rendered irrelevant. I don't see "The Wish" as a successful return to
her Queen C ways, because of how anxious Harmony is to demonstrate
that things can't be the same again. Even with her attraction to
Xander eliminated, she's been changed by both internal and external
forces, and is back fighting evil again within a few episodes. And
since she doesn't have the ability to instantly teleport to Africa,
she has to look for her soul in L.A.

Seriously, though, I don't disagree with the general notion that the
character's in something of a holding pattern for the rest of the
year, but I don't think that "Queen C" really accurately describes
what she reverts to. Others have talked about what a big episode
"Gingerbread" is to Cordy, to their way of thinking. I don't know if
I'd go so far, but there is something to be said for the way she
returns to the fold even without its previous appeal. See also her
treatment of Buffy in "Helpless," like she's come to terms with these
being her people rather than her enemies. Cordelia is a Scooby again
by the end of the year despite the fact that she's not really friends
with any of them, and appears to actively harbor a grudge against
Willow ("Doppelgangland") as well as Xander. Maybe because she's
marked for spin-off land, this is all almost in isolation of the other
characters, but what does one make of the fact that she doesn't have
any notable interactions with Angel either?

I may have lost the thread of what I was trying to say somewhere in
there. The point I'm attempting to build to is the point that
Cordelia rediscovers her commitment to the fight against evil
post-"Amends." And the question I'm attaching to that is whether,
fundamentally, she goes back to it as a matter of principle, or as a
matter of her not having anywhere else to go. (Think of a certain
late-season mini-arc...) Without going into it further, I'm going to
just state that as far as I'm concerned, the latter is the closest I
can get to a consistent motivating factor for the character during her
time on BTVS, and getting her to transition from that to the former is
reserved so it can be a major agenda for _Angel_, Season One.

> > with way
> > too much tepid angsting
>
> The only angsting that wears me down is that final argument between Buffy
> and Angel. As I believe I've said before, I think Joss simply tried to
> squeeze too much into one high emotion exchange. It climaxes too many times
> and ends up wheezing.

I have a limited tolerance for Angel lying on the ground panting while
the First takes multiple scenes to tell him the same things. As for
the hill, I agree with the assessment of the pacing ("wheezing" is a
good way to put it), and the notion that there're some good ideas
being thrown around, but the dialogue itself doesn't work at all for
me - way too ponderous and weighty to pass for anything resembling a
conversation. I wonder whether Gellar might have been able to salvage
it if the actor opposite her had been having more of an "on" day, but
in any case, the whole mess just thuds for me.

> > leading up to the unintentionally funny
> > climax, which should really be the basis for a drinking game.
>
> OK. I'll bite. What does that mean?

Just an offhand comment that a drinking game should probably be based
on this episode. Drink when Angel annoys you with his panting. Drink
when a line of dialogue makes you cringe; chug when it's two
uninterrupted cringe-worthies from the same character. That kind of
thing.

> > We also
> > establish the proud tradition of the First's behavior making no sense
> > at all,
>

> There is some obscurity about why
> exactly Angel has been returned from Hell. (I don't believe The First did
> it - if for no other reason than it would be pointless for him to do that if
> he's going to be satisfied with Angel then killing himself.) Angel's
> question never gets answered.

Now I'm wondering whether the fact that we never get a direct answer
about why he's here, unless we believe the First (which, again,
requires it to make no sense at all). He's still asking the question
in ATS S1, but it's dropped soon into the series. That could be
treated as just a writing oversight, or as part of some elaborate
point about why he's back not being as important as what he does with
it.

> In a another sense, The First represents facing the evil within oneself. He
> could be viewed as the Sunnydale manifestation of Angel's crisis within.

[shrug] Yeah, sure, why not? When not directly mimicking its
audience, the First speaks to Spike as Drusilla (when Landau's
available), to Faith as Wilkins, to Andrew as Warren, and to Angel as
the people he killed... it could be seen as a reminder of where
they've been and what they can't deny is still in them.

> I am also genuinely touched by the spirit of Joss's big Christmas episode.
> For one beautiful night it bridges the gulfs between its characters,

Except Cordelia. (Not that I'm complaining.)

> Oh, as to the season's identity theme, Amends would likely be Angel's
> identity episode. Perhaps The Wish was Cordelia's identity episode. I'd
> rather point to Homecoming, but that was still Xander loving Cordelia.

I'm also still into the idea that a part of the approach that S3 takes
to identity is by exploring the possibilities that the characters have
in the first half of the season, so we can see what choices they make
in the second. "The Wish" is obviously all about what might have
been, both with Cordelia and with, well, everyone else. "Gingerbread"
touches on what things might be like if Joyce were generally more
observant, and indulged her sometimes-intense discomfort with her
daughter's lifestyle, and on whether Buffy should be doing something
different than she is.

-AOQ

David L. Burkhead

unread,
Jul 15, 2007, 4:44:46 PM7/15/07
to

As a "stand alone" episode, I kind of liked The Wish. But then I like
alternate reality/alternate history/contrafactuals/etc. as a genre.
However, as part of the series IMO, TW falls short. It might have been
different had Cordelia remembered at least the part of the alternate world
up to her "death," but nope. Nobody but Anya (and D'Hoffryn?) remember.
The episode thus only serves to set up Dopplegangland and introduce Anya,
with whom nothing is done for some time.

My own question about this episode: it seems an awfully short time
between Giles' call to Cleveland asking for Buffy to come help and her
actually showing up.

I have to agree with this being the weakest disk of the season. I don't
really have much to say about this episode. To be fank, I found it rather
tedious. One thing I did like on a second watching is that this first
appearence of The First is at least consistent with S7 in that it only
appears as dead people. Of course, the S8 comic thoroughly destroys that
bit of consistency anyway.

As for the "magic snow," I actually liked it. With all the gloom and doom
and evil powers in the show, it's nice, once in a while, to see that there
is some kind of "higher power" for "good" that will at least occassionally
take a hand. Of course, from a writing perspective you don't want to get in
the habit of rescuing your characters with that kind of deus ex machina too
often (once per fairly long running series is probably about right), but the
occassional reminder that sometimes somebody _is_ on the good guys' side is
nice.

> Season Three, Episode 11: "Gingerbread"
> Writer: Jane Espenson; story by Espenson and Thania St. John
> Director: James Whitmore, Jr.
>
> Strong build to a somewhat weak fourth act, this episode is fun
> overall, throwing heavy allegories around like anvils without letting
> its light tone get bogged down; special props to the Buffy/Angel and
> Giles/Cordelia scenes for helping there. After just a taste of Buffy
> doubting her "give me something to pummel" approach to life and a
> taste of what the series might be like with the addition of a chaotic-
> neutral force [am I horribly misusing the lingo here?], "Gingerbread"
> reveals itself as a fairly straightforward metaphor show, and I've
> always found the conceit of mixing Hansel and Gretel with witch-hunts
> kinda brilliant.
> Rating: Good

This, I think, is my least favorite episode of the seaon. While the demon,
in the guise of Hansel and Gretel stirring up witch-hunts was clever, I
thought it was far too heavy handed. Witch trials and hangings were
appropriate in old Salem (given the mores and beliefs of the time), but less
so in 20th/21st century California. Had the "witch hunt" taken the form of
deprogramming, mental institutions, psychoactive drugs and the like it would
have been far more plausible--and far scarier, IMO. Good idea with rather
weak execution.

Still, none of these really rates anything I'd call "bad." The worst I'd
rate any episode of Buffy that I've seen yet is an "eh."

Don Sample

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Jul 15, 2007, 5:00:06 PM7/15/07
to
In article <XoidndqkGoSBGAfb...@giganews.com>,

"David L. Burkhead" <dbur...@sff.net> wrote:
>
> My own question about this episode: it seems an awfully short time
> between Giles' call to Cleveland asking for Buffy to come help and her
> actually showing up.

At no time in "The Wish" does anyone say anything about Buffy being in
Cleveland, or that her Watcher is there. Giles says "I'm aware there is
a great deal of demonic activity in Cleveland," but that could mean that
Buffy's watcher had just told him that she was supposed to be going
there next. She might have been in L.A.

David L. Burkhead

unread,
Jul 15, 2007, 5:40:14 PM7/15/07
to
Don Sample wrote:
> In article <XoidndqkGoSBGAfb...@giganews.com>,
> "David L. Burkhead" <dbur...@sff.net> wrote:
>>
>> My own question about this episode: it seems an awfully short
>> time between Giles' call to Cleveland asking for Buffy to come help
>> and her actually showing up.
>
> At no time in "The Wish" does anyone say anything about Buffy being in
> Cleveland, or that her Watcher is there. Giles says "I'm aware there
> is a great deal of demonic activity in Cleveland," but that could
> mean that Buffy's watcher had just told him that she was supposed to
> be going there next. She might have been in L.A.

Could be, I suppose. However, on looking at it again, I see there's a bit
more time between the call and Buffy's arrival than I had thought.

Never mind.

Arbitrar Of Quality

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Jul 15, 2007, 6:13:40 PM7/15/07
to
On Jul 15, 3:44 pm, "David L. Burkhead" <dburkh...@sff.net> wrote:

> One thing I did like on a second watching is that this first
> appearence of The First is at least consistent with S7 in that it only
> appears as dead people. Of course, the S8 comic thoroughly destroys that
> bit of consistency anyway.

S8 has generated a fair amount of discussion about the technicalities
of what consttutes being kept alive versus dying and being brought
back or magically preserved. Everyone's favorite lovable boyfriend
does refer to the "end of my human life," whatever that means.

-AOQ

mariposas rand mair fheal greykitten tomys des anges

unread,
Jul 15, 2007, 7:12:20 PM7/15/07
to
> As a "stand alone" episode, I kind of liked The Wish. But then I like
> alternate reality/alternate history/contrafactuals/etc. as a genre.
> However, as part of the series IMO, TW falls short. It might have been
> different had Cordelia remembered at least the part of the alternate world
> up to her "death," but nope. Nobody but Anya (and D'Hoffryn?) remember.
> The episode thus only serves to set up Dopplegangland and introduce Anya,
> with whom nothing is done for some time.

giles says breaking the gem will undo the wish she grants
but doesnt say it undoes all the wishes ever made

later on we see anya start the russian revolution in 1905
i wonder if breaking the gem in the wish reset that back to actual date of 1923

> My own question about this episode: it seems an awfully short time
> between Giles' call to Cleveland asking for Buffy to come help and her
> actually showing up.

it felt to me like anyanka didnt change the entire world
rather like she created a reality distortion field around sunnydale
and as people entered it they went to the altered reality

so buffy would be in like a little pocket in real reality
until she was called into anya reality
at which point she was mapped into the alternate buffy
and started plauying in that reality

> tedious. One thing I did like on a second watching is that this first
> appearence of The First is at least consistent with S7 in that it only
> appears as dead people. Of course, the S8 comic thoroughly destroys that
> bit of consistency anyway.

they dont have to stay dead to be used
the first was buffy because buffy had been dead twice
so buffy could meet buffy

if warren had been dead even if only for seconds
theres nothing to say the first could not use his form

David L. Burkhead

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Jul 15, 2007, 7:41:39 PM7/15/07
to
"Arbitrar Of Quality" <tsm...@wildmail.com> wrote in message
news:1184537620.8...@m3g2000hsh.googlegroups.com...

My objection is that, depending on whether the explanation given in S8
is "accurate" or not (I do always tend to take "explanations" given by
characters in story with a grain of salt, and explanations given by the "bad
guys" with a whole shaker) Warren never died. Buffy "died" so even though
she was currently alive the First could appear as her. I would also include
vamps and the like in that. Warren, however, per the retcon, never died.
Ergo, the first should not have been able to appear as him.

--
David L. Burkhead "Dum Vivimus Vivamus"

mailto:dbur...@asmicro.com "While we live, let us live."

Michael Ikeda

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Jul 15, 2007, 7:54:08 PM7/15/07
to
"David L. Burkhead" <dbur...@sff.net> wrote in
news:ftSdnVkFkaAFMgfb...@giganews.com:

> "Arbitrar Of Quality" <tsm...@wildmail.com> wrote in message
> news:1184537620.8...@m3g2000hsh.googlegroups.com...
>> On Jul 15, 3:44 pm, "David L. Burkhead" <dburkh...@sff.net>
>> wrote:
>>
>> > One thing I did like on a second watching is that this first
>> > appearence of The First is at least consistent with S7 in
>> > that it only appears as dead people. Of course, the S8 comic
>> > thoroughly destroys
> that
>> > bit of consistency anyway.
>>
>> S8 has generated a fair amount of discussion about the
>> technicalities of what consttutes being kept alive versus dying
>> and being brought back or magically preserved. Everyone's
>> favorite lovable boyfriend does refer to the "end of my human
>> life," whatever that means.
>
> My objection is that, depending on whether the explanation
> given in S8
> is "accurate" or not (I do always tend to take "explanations"
> given by characters in story with a grain of salt, and
> explanations given by the "bad guys" with a whole shaker) Warren
> never died. Buffy "died" so even though she was currently alive
> the First could appear as her. I would also include vamps and
> the like in that. Warren, however, per the retcon, never died.
> Ergo, the first should not have been able to appear as him.
>

Buffy also "died" in Prophecy Girl. We know this because Kendra
was called. If the definition of "death" used by the First is
similar to the definition used by the Slayer spell, I have no
difficulty believing that Warren could have met the definition at
some point after he was skinned.

Rowan Hawthorn

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Jul 15, 2007, 9:04:47 PM7/15/07
to
David L. Burkhead wrote:
> "Arbitrar Of Quality" <tsm...@wildmail.com> wrote in message
> news:1184537620.8...@m3g2000hsh.googlegroups.com...
>> On Jul 15, 3:44 pm, "David L. Burkhead" <dburkh...@sff.net> wrote:
>>
>>> One thing I did like on a second watching is that this first
>>> appearence of The First is at least consistent with S7 in that it only
>>> appears as dead people. Of course, the S8 comic thoroughly destroys
> that
>>> bit of consistency anyway.
>> S8 has generated a fair amount of discussion about the technicalities
>> of what consttutes being kept alive versus dying and being brought
>> back or magically preserved. Everyone's favorite lovable boyfriend
>> does refer to the "end of my human life," whatever that means.
>
> My objection is that, depending on whether the explanation given in S8
> is "accurate" or not (I do always tend to take "explanations" given by
> characters in story with a grain of salt, and explanations given by the "bad
> guys" with a whole shaker) Warren never died. Buffy "died" so even though
> she was currently alive the First could appear as her. I would also include
> vamps and the like in that. Warren, however, per the retcon, never died.
> Ergo, the first should not have been able to appear as him.
>

I suspect this is one of those occasions where the bad guy's words
should be taken with a whole *can* of salt. In one sentence, Warren
says that Willow's "Bored now" were the "last words of my human life,"
then in another he says that Amy had a four-second window "before I died
from shock alone." Nowhere in there does he say anything about *not*
dying at *some* point during the process (Buffy has died twice and was
once physically resuscitated and once mystically resurrected.) Nor does
he say anything about actually surviving the experience at all; for all
we know at this point, he may be re-animated entirely through Amy's magic.

--
Rowan Hawthorn

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

chr...@removethistoreply.gwu.edu

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Jul 15, 2007, 9:35:25 PM7/15/07
to
In alt.tv.buffy-v-slayer mariposas rand mair fheal greykitten tomys des anges <mair_...@yahoo.com> wrote:

> giles says breaking the gem will undo the wish she grants
> but doesnt say it undoes all the wishes ever made
>
> later on we see anya start the russian revolution in 1905
> i wonder if breaking the gem in the wish reset that back to actual
> date of 1923

I assume this date is a subtle joke about alternate universes, and not
just a mistake? ;-)

mariposas rand mair fheal greykitten tomys des anges

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Jul 15, 2007, 9:49:54 PM7/15/07
to
In article <139liqt...@corp.supernews.com>,
chr...@removethistoreply.gwu.edu wrote:

> In alt.tv.buffy-v-slayer mariposas rand mair fheal greykitten tomys des anges
> <mair_...@yahoo.com> wrote:
>
> > giles says breaking the gem will undo the wish she grants
> > but doesnt say it undoes all the wishes ever made
> >
> > later on we see anya start the russian revolution in 1905
> > i wonder if breaking the gem in the wish reset that back to actual
> > date of 1923
>
> I assume this date is a subtle joke about alternate universes, and not
> just a mistake? ;-)

are you still in halfreks reality?

Don Sample

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Jul 15, 2007, 10:23:36 PM7/15/07
to

> In alt.tv.buffy-v-slayer mariposas rand mair fheal greykitten tomys des anges
> <mair_...@yahoo.com> wrote:
>
> > giles says breaking the gem will undo the wish she grants
> > but doesnt say it undoes all the wishes ever made
> >
> > later on we see anya start the russian revolution in 1905
> > i wonder if breaking the gem in the wish reset that back to actual
> > date of 1923
>
> I assume this date is a subtle joke about alternate universes, and not
> just a mistake? ;-)

There was a revolt that started in St Petersburg, in 1905. The Tsar
managed to suppress the revolt, but only after nearly a year of strikes
and rioting that spread across Russia. Lenin referred to the 1905
revolt as "the great dress rehearsal." It sowed the seeds for the
Russian Revolution of 1917 (not 1923).

chr...@removethistoreply.gwu.edu

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Jul 15, 2007, 10:47:28 PM7/15/07
to
In alt.tv.buffy-v-slayer mariposas rand mair fheal greykitten tomys des anges <mair_...@yahoo.com> wrote:

>> > giles says breaking the gem will undo the wish she grants
>> > but doesnt say it undoes all the wishes ever made
>> >
>> > later on we see anya start the russian revolution in 1905
>> > i wonder if breaking the gem in the wish reset that back to actual
>> > date of 1923
>>
>> I assume this date is a subtle joke about alternate universes, and not
>> just a mistake? ;-)
>
> are you still in halfreks reality?

Nope, I'm in the reality where Russia had revolutions in 1905 and 1917.
Halfrek's is the reality where the Crimean War took place sometime after
1880.

mariposas rand mair fheal greykitten tomys des anges

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Jul 16, 2007, 12:26:36 AM7/16/07
to
In article <139ln20...@corp.supernews.com>,
chr...@removethistoreply.gwu.edu wrote:

> In alt.tv.buffy-v-slayer mariposas rand mair fheal greykitten tomys des anges
> <mair_...@yahoo.com> wrote:
>
> >> > giles says breaking the gem will undo the wish she grants
> >> > but doesnt say it undoes all the wishes ever made
> >> >
> >> > later on we see anya start the russian revolution in 1905
> >> > i wonder if breaking the gem in the wish reset that back to actual
> >> > date of 1923
> >>
> >> I assume this date is a subtle joke about alternate universes, and not
> >> just a mistake? ;-)
> >
> > are you still in halfreks reality?
>
> Nope, I'm in the reality where Russia had revolutions in 1905 and 1917.
> Halfrek's is the reality where the Crimean War took place sometime after
> 1880.

yes i still remember the newspaper headlines of the charge of the light brigade

Scythe Matters

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Jul 17, 2007, 2:11:29 PM7/17/07
to
One Bit Shy wrote:

> It climaxes too many times

Yeah, that can hurt you.

One Bit Shy

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Jul 18, 2007, 12:04:37 AM7/18/07
to
"Scythe Matters" <sp...@spam.spam> wrote in message
news:6YedndfkLN3TmwDb...@rcn.net...

> One Bit Shy wrote:
>
>> It climaxes too many times
>
> Yeah, that can hurt you.

Ask Nelson Rockefeller


One Bit Shy

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Jul 18, 2007, 12:29:07 AM7/18/07
to
"Arbitrar Of Quality" <tsm...@wildmail.com> wrote in message
news:1184506381....@22g2000hsm.googlegroups.com...

Oh, you're right. This is the product of my wanting to say something about
Cordy, but skim through it because it annoys me. So I end up with mush.
No, she can't return to full Queen C because of the reasons you mention.
But she can't exactly grow either, because that's now been relegated to
another show. So they give up on the status part. (Which is fine since
she's going to be impoverished.) And focus on the traditional self
centered, vapid & enjoying the insult. Your idea of commiting to the fight
is interesting, but I tend to go more with your earlier notion of her having
nowhere else to go. But remembering that she's not outright evil - there is
supposed to be a heart in there that comes up for air every once in a while.

Consciously avoiding have her learn a lesson in The Wish is actually why I
say it's probably her identity episode. The Wishverse she never remembers
would represent the road she could have taken - but didn't. The identity
that she actually took on was expressed in her final words of the episode.
And she does put her bitch on sometimes. Just look at The Zeppo. Now,
obviously, this isn't an identity episode on par with The Zeppo for Xander.
But I think it's the closest I see. Homecoming might have been, but things
changed.


>> Oh, as to the season's identity theme, Amends would likely be Angel's
>> identity episode. Perhaps The Wish was Cordelia's identity episode. I'd
>> rather point to Homecoming, but that was still Xander loving Cordelia.
>
> I'm also still into the idea that a part of the approach that S3 takes
> to identity is by exploring the possibilities that the characters have
> in the first half of the season, so we can see what choices they make
> in the second. "The Wish" is obviously all about what might have
> been, both with Cordelia and with, well, everyone else. "Gingerbread"
> touches on what things might be like if Joyce were generally more
> observant, and indulged her sometimes-intense discomfort with her
> daughter's lifestyle, and on whether Buffy should be doing something
> different than she is.

It's a good thought. It helps flesh out the theme as a season long thing.

I do want to put in a word for the trust theme though. Identity is the
stated one from Anne. But trust, violation of trust and faith were really
big parts of the early season and are about to rear their heads again in the
episodes coming soon.

OBS


One Bit Shy

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Jul 18, 2007, 1:33:51 AM7/18/07
to
<chr...@removethistoreply.gwu.edu> wrote in message
news:139dh5g...@corp.supernews.com...
> In alt.tv.buffy-v-slayer Arbitrar Of Quality <tsm...@wildmail.com> wrote:

> the Willow-Oz reconciliation scene
> (more than the seduction scene, which ends in a semi-replay of the van
> scene from Innocence)

It does parallel the van scene. A lot actually - right down to it being
Xander induced. But I think the difference is interesting. Willow's action
in the van really does seem to be partly prompted by a desire to get back at
Xander. I could probably make a case for how sex with Oz might be construed
as some kind of dig at Xander. But I don't think so really. This feels
pure. So Oz's response IMO, while still Oz cool, isn't as impressive.
Willow is trying as hard as she can to commit. And she wants to.

A related scene is Willow/Buffy when Buffy gives Willow the idea by telling
her to let Oz knows he comes first. Buffy also tells her then that Oz is
right - that there are things between Willow and Xander that Oz can never
touch. (A rare moment of relationship insight and advice among Scoobies
that's actually good.) That's a pretty good scene too.

Anyway, what I find neat about the whole process is how smartly directed
Willow's solution is. Some people like to point out that it's Willow trying
to fix everything with a grand gesture. True enough. But I can't think of
anything else that works - or should work quite so well. The problem -
stated by Oz himself - is that he's not confident that it can ever truly be
over between Willow and Xander. Buffy's suggestion is to let Oz know that
he comes first. Giving Willow's virginity to Oz is a perfect solution - not
just because it's big - but because it both symbolically and very physically
puts Oz first. That's one of the great dividing lines in one's life - and
if she does it with Oz - then it's something Xander can never be first at.
I kind of love it.

But Oz kind of screws it up. Yeah, he gets the point. But he doesn't get
the deed. He's not first. (Not yet.)

Very shortly we're going to see Willow break down in tears when she finds
out that Xander lost his virginity to Faith. Obviously, Willow isn't as
over Xander as she pretends or wants to be. (Oz was right about that.) But
would she have felt the same way - reacted the same way - if she and Oz had
done it this episode? I don't think so.

Past and future are deeply linked in BtVS. But it was somewhere in the
middle of S3 that it really hit me how much.

OBS


mariposas rand mair fheal greykitten tomys des anges

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Jul 18, 2007, 3:26:22 AM7/18/07
to
In article <139r9i4...@news.supernews.com>,

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

> <chr...@removethistoreply.gwu.edu> wrote in message
> news:139dh5g...@corp.supernews.com...
> > In alt.tv.buffy-v-slayer Arbitrar Of Quality <tsm...@wildmail.com> wrote:
>
> > the Willow-Oz reconciliation scene
> > (more than the seduction scene, which ends in a semi-replay of the van
> > scene from Innocence)
>
> It does parallel the van scene. A lot actually - right down to it being
> Xander induced. But I think the difference is interesting. Willow's action
> in the van really does seem to be partly prompted by a desire to get back at
> Xander. I could probably make a case for how sex with Oz might be construed
> as some kind of dig at Xander. But I don't think so really. This feels
> pure. So Oz's response IMO, while still Oz cool, isn't as impressive.
> Willow is trying as hard as she can to commit. And she wants to.

willow is still using sex for power
rather than as two equals sharing an experience

the first time was to humiliate xander
this time is to buy forgiveness

next time is two people finding mutual comfort

perhaps oz is waiting for her to become an equal partner
interested in him as an equal partner

Arbitrar Of Quality

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Jul 20, 2007, 1:22:50 AM7/20/07
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On Jul 18, 12:33 am, "One Bit Shy" <O...@nomail.sorry> wrote:
> <chr...@removethistoreply.gwu.edu> wrote in message
>
>
> Anyway, what I find neat about the whole process is how smartly directed
> Willow's solution is. Some people like to point out that it's Willow trying
> to fix everything with a grand gesture. True enough. But I can't think of
> anything else that works - or should work quite so well. The problem -
> stated by Oz himself - is that he's not confident that it can ever truly be
> over between Willow and Xander. Buffy's suggestion is to let Oz know that
> he comes first. Giving Willow's virginity to Oz is a perfect solution - not
> just because it's big - but because it both symbolically and very physically
> puts Oz first. That's one of the great dividing lines in one's life - and
> if she does it with Oz - then it's something Xander can never be first at.
> I kind of love it.
>
> But Oz kind of screws it up. Yeah, he gets the point. But he doesn't get
> the deed. He's not first. (Not yet.)

Not seeing Oz screwing anything up (unless you mean for Willow, but
even there I don't see it to the extent that you're arguing). Oz
doesn't think they're ready for sex that way - which is his choice -
but he sees and verbally recognizes the underlying good intentions.
The way "Amends" plays it, what could have been a painfully awkward
wrench thrown into their already damaged relationship ends up bringing
them closer together.

-AOQ

One Bit Shy

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Jul 20, 2007, 3:34:06 AM7/20/07
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"Arbitrar Of Quality" <tsm...@wildmail.com> wrote in message
news:1184908970.2...@w3g2000hsg.googlegroups.com...

Poor choice of words on my part. I don't mean that Oz did something wrong -
though I suppose that it could conceivably turn out that way with the wrong
sequence of subsequent events. He handles his position pretty deftly - pure
Oz cool as usual. You described it well.

Rather, I was simply pointing out that the literal substance of putting Oz
first didn't occur. (That's what got screwed up.) Losing one's virginity
is a tangible event of some note (at least to Willow - and I think it would
mean something to Oz) that will only happen with one person. If it's Oz, it
can't be Xander. That matters because it creates something forever between
Oz and Willow that Xander can never touch - balancing what's between Xander
and Willow that Oz can never touch.

Oz handles the situation well, but recognizing and acknowledging the
significance of the gesture still isn't the same thing, still doesn't carry
the same level of significance, as actually doing it.

Now we all know that it'll happen between them later and render this thought
moot. But for this moment it's still not settled. Less settled than either
one of them probably realize at this moment. I believe we can see that when
we're shown Willow sobbing at the news that Xander ended his virginity with
Faith. Why is she crying? Would she have cried like that if she'd had sex
with Oz? I don't think so. To me she's crying because she's finally lost
her dream with Xander and doesn't yet have the replacement for it.

I don't think Willow's offer to Oz is just a device to win him - as it's
sometimes suggested to be. It's also Willow's way of bringing final closure
to Xander. Or, absorbing both and more, it's Willow's stab at taking a big
step forward for herself - committing herself to womanhood and a
relationship. Affirmation by deed, not just words.

But it's postponed. She's left in a state of limbo. Oz wasn't ready for
it, and he need not apologize for that. He does a mostly fine job of
handling that, but he also asserted that they should only do it when they
want to for the same reasons. As it turns out, impending death will fit
that bill. (How ironic that the proximate motive matches that of
Willow/Xander when Oz walked in.) That's for the future. In the meantime,
where does that thought really leave Willow? Must she really align her
motives with Oz - or expect him to align his with hers? Would she think
that's even possible? Oz isn't a virgin. (And yes, I'm assuming that
Willow remains ready to have sex with Oz from here on.)

Obviously all of this gets into realms of speculation that the series
doesn't reveal. It's one of those areas where the series lets us work out
our own ideas. But I can't imagine Willow not thinking and worrying about
these things in the interlude between now and Graduation Day. And we are
tantalized by Willow's reaction to Xander's loss of virginity in the
meantime. So this is where I go with those thoughts.

OBS


One Bit Shy

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Jul 20, 2007, 3:57:06 AM7/20/07
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"mariposas rand mair fheal greykitten tomys des anges"
<mair_...@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:mair_fheal-3969A...@sn-ip.vsrv-sjc.supernews.net...

> In article <139r9i4...@news.supernews.com>,
> "One Bit Shy" <O...@nomail.sorry> wrote:
>
>> <chr...@removethistoreply.gwu.edu> wrote in message
>> news:139dh5g...@corp.supernews.com...
>> > In alt.tv.buffy-v-slayer Arbitrar Of Quality <tsm...@wildmail.com>
>> > wrote:
>>
>> > the Willow-Oz reconciliation scene
>> > (more than the seduction scene, which ends in a semi-replay of the van
>> > scene from Innocence)
>>
>> It does parallel the van scene. A lot actually - right down to it being
>> Xander induced. But I think the difference is interesting. Willow's
>> action
>> in the van really does seem to be partly prompted by a desire to get back
>> at
>> Xander. I could probably make a case for how sex with Oz might be
>> construed
>> as some kind of dig at Xander. But I don't think so really. This feels
>> pure. So Oz's response IMO, while still Oz cool, isn't as impressive.
>> Willow is trying as hard as she can to commit. And she wants to.
>
> willow is still using sex for power
> rather than as two equals sharing an experience
>
> the first time was to humiliate xander
> this time is to buy forgiveness

You're so mercenary about this. I can't help but be reminded of the notion
that marriage is just institutionalized prostitution.

There surely are transactional elements in what's going on, but one can make
that case for most anything people do in life - or in evolution for that
matter.

But it denudes it of its heart and, falsely IMO, denies the quality of
Willow's feeling towards Oz and genuine desire to commit herself wholly to
him.


> next time is two people finding mutual comfort

Like Willow and Xander in their impending death situation. Same thing,
right?


> perhaps oz is waiting for her to become an equal partner
> interested in him as an equal partner

Oz can be very cool - and mostly is in this scene - but he's also something
of a space cadet that likes to drift through life. The philosophy he
proposed to Willow for when to have sex could easily be taken as waiting on
serendipity. Being equal partners doesn't really mean wanting everything
for the same reason.

Though, personally, I take that remark as Oz's rationalization to Willow -
and to himself. I think he just wasn't ready to commit to their
relationship at the level Willow was. Perhaps a little scared of it. He
may also have instinctively felt - perhaps correctly - that Willow had
pushed herself further ahead than she was really ready for herself. I don't
know. They're both confused teens in their own ways - over dramatizing
everything.

But I do believe the feelings were sincere. Much more than cold
calculation.

OBS


mariposas rand mair fheal greykitten tomys des anges

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Jul 20, 2007, 9:15:53 AM7/20/07
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> > willow is still using sex for power
> > rather than as two equals sharing an experience
> >
> > the first time was to humiliate xander
> > this time is to buy forgiveness
>
> You're so mercenary about this. I can't help but be reminded of the notion
> that marriage is just institutionalized prostitution.

the problem is willow was being mercenary
she wanted oz to say she was forgiven
she was willing to prostitute herself for that

i think oz recognized that and thats why he defered

> > next time is two people finding mutual comfort
>
> Like Willow and Xander in their impending death situation. Same thing,
> right?

i dont have a problem with that
its not like willow and oz had done the whole forsaking all others
until death do them part thing

Arbitrar Of Quality

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Jul 20, 2007, 12:24:27 PM7/20/07
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On Jul 20, 8:15 am, mariposas rand mair fheal greykitten tomys des

anges <mair_fh...@yahoo.com> wrote:
> > > willow is still using sex for power
> > > rather than as two equals sharing an experience
>
> > > the first time was to humiliate xander
> > > this time is to buy forgiveness
>
> > You're so mercenary about this. I can't help but be reminded of the notion
> > that marriage is just institutionalized prostitution.
>
> the problem is willow was being mercenary
> she wanted oz to say she was forgiven
> she was willing to prostitute herself for that
>
> i think oz recognized that and thats why he defered
>
> > > next time is two people finding mutual comfort
>
> > Like Willow and Xander in their impending death situation. Same thing,
> > right?
>
> i dont have a problem with that
> its not like willow and oz had done the whole forsaking all others
> until death do them part thing

Am I reading incorrectly, or are you arguing that Willow cheating on
her long-term boyfriend isn't a problem but her wanting to have sex
with any self-serving motivation in any way involved is?

-AOQ

Arbitrar Of Quality

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Jul 20, 2007, 12:41:17 PM7/20/07
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On Jul 20, 2:34 am, "One Bit Shy" <O...@nomail.sorry> wrote:

> Rather, I was simply pointing out that the literal substance of putting Oz
> first didn't occur. (That's what got screwed up.) Losing one's virginity
> is a tangible event of some note (at least to Willow - and I think it would
> mean something to Oz) that will only happen with one person. If it's Oz, it
> can't be Xander. That matters because it creates something forever between
> Oz and Willow that Xander can never touch - balancing what's between Xander
> and Willow that Oz can never touch.
>
> Oz handles the situation well, but recognizing and acknowledging the
> significance of the gesture still isn't the same thing, still doesn't carry
> the same level of significance, as actually doing it.
>
> Now we all know that it'll happen between them later and render this thought
> moot. But for this moment it's still not settled. Less settled than either
> one of them probably realize at this moment. I believe we can see that when
> we're shown Willow sobbing at the news that Xander ended his virginity with
> Faith. Why is she crying? Would she have cried like that if she'd had sex
> with Oz? I don't think so. To me she's crying because she's finally lost
> her dream with Xander and doesn't yet have the replacement for it.

We'll never know, but I do think so. What that scene says to me is
that Willow can be ready to put Oz first and so on while still
carrying these confused feelings for Xander that had not gone away at
this point in time, no matter what she'd done to "move on." I don't
think having had sex would have made as much of a difference as you
do. If forced to tie it into a larger character portrait, my emphasis
would be on her possesiveness of the people she loves that shows up
from time to time.

We're in mostly-speculation territory here. Basically, the best way
to sum it up would be to say that...


> all of this gets into realms of speculation that the series
> doesn't reveal. It's one of those areas where the series lets us work out
> our own ideas.

-AOQ

One Bit Shy

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Jul 20, 2007, 5:06:04 PM7/20/07
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"Arbitrar Of Quality" <tsm...@wildmail.com> wrote in message
news:1184949677....@w3g2000hsg.googlegroups.com...

I agree that her natural possesiveness is a factor. That also shows up in
Consequences with her line, "I kind of have an issue with Faith sharing my
people." My people. What a way to put that.

I don't think that's sufficient to explain the scene about Xander. The
weeping suggests more to me. Possesiveness would seem to point more towards
anger as response.

Be that as it may, the possessive motive would also likely have been reduced
had she had sex with Oz. Part of the problem for Willow in Consequences is
that it feels like she's being left behind. She's the only virgin in that
room now. Her closest friends have hopped that train. I find it difficult
to imagine that it doesn't occur to her then that her attempt to get aboard
was rejected. If she'd had sex with Oz, that sense of being left behind
wouldn't exist. And she would have an alternative to "possess" as
mitigation for the feeling of finally having lost Xander.

The Xander incident prompted me to re-examine the sex with Oz story.
(Parallel loss of virginity stories would seem to demand some kind of
connection, this being BtVS with its obsession for parallels.) But what
really intrigued me was the way she went about it. The attempt at seduction
itself was weirdly unnatural. Her clothes and manner. The music. The
physical setting. So non-Willow. It's comical in a way - young timid
Willow doesn't know how to do this. But it's also a little creepy. A
lesser man than Oz would take one look and run.

In spite of that, Willow's ernestness really comes through as she pleads
with Oz. That part was pure Willow. The way I look on the seduction
process now is as a manifestation of Willow's coping mechanism for her
natural timidity and avoidance of confrontation. She really has to work
herself up to do something big (hmmm, exactly opposite of Faith, but I can't
go there now), put on her determined face, and try to overwhelm her
objective. I think that's one of the underlying reasons for her big
gestures - though she also uses those to avoid. In a situation like this, I
think part of what she's doing is forcing herself past her own uncertainty.
She's determined to change herself, to not just show Oz that he's first, but
to truly make himself first.

As such, the seduction is constructed as almost ritual, aimed at the deed as
the ultimate affirmation of her commitment - of her change. The particular
quality of having sex that matters to this is that it's irretrievable. It
can't be taken back. That's what makes it powerful as an affirmation.

Also, don't forget that the flip side of putting Oz first is leaving Xander
behind. That's an implicit element of this moment - arguably as important
as the positive element of reaching for Oz. The deed irretrievably closes
the door on the dream she's had for Xander for years. That's a very big
reason why I believe what happened impacts how she reacted to Xander/Faith.
As it turns out, that door hadn't been closed - until Xander closed it.

Lastly - kind of an extension of the mariposa exchange - this isn't merely a
production to convince Oz of something, though certainly that's part of it.
Willow's sense of guilt is built out of the knowledge that she really had
let Oz down, that she really could put someone else first. I think that
this act was intended to fix that within herself, to purge her moral failure
with an act of devotion. There's a lot about that that's foolish teenage
dramatics. But she's a foolish teenager and it would emotionally resonate
with her on those terms. Oz would never see it this way - it's funny how
different their personalities are. I think Willow would.


> We're in mostly-speculation territory here. Basically, the best way
> to sum it up would be to say that...
>> all of this gets into realms of speculation that the series
>> doesn't reveal. It's one of those areas where the series lets us work
>> out
>> our own ideas.

I have to chuckle a little. I think mostly this is evidence that I've
watched this season too many times. I'm obsessing on the tiniest of threads
now. But, hey, as long as it's still fun...

OBS


mariposas rand mair fheal greykitten tomys des anges

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Jul 20, 2007, 8:30:25 PM7/20/07
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In article <1184948667.7...@n2g2000hse.googlegroups.com>,

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

its not a question of right or wrong
but of decisions and consequences

oz has no claim to make willow faithful
thats a decision she makes herself
depending on what is more important to her

oz also makes decisions

what interests me is not being moral judge of oz willow xander etc
but understanding why they choose what they choose

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