Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Buffy Rewatch Week 9 Spoiler Forum

After the massive post above, I don't know what else is left to say! As always, here is the spoiler forum where everyone can talk about how this week's episodes paved the way for future ones. There are no n00bs on here, so we can talk freely.

Nikki’s Spoilery Bits
• During the dream sequence in the Bronze, Angel reaches out to Buffy the same way he reaches out to her when Buffy puts the sword through him in “Becoming Part 2.”
• “To kill this girl, you have to love her,” says Angel to Spike. This foreshadows that Spike will fall in love with her.
• The Judge’s comments about Spike having humanity in him is something fans often talk about with Spike – even before he’s re-ensouled at the end of Season 6, he seems to have more soul in him than Angel does. The way he cares for Dru and later loves Buffy, and the way he cares for “the little bit,” shows that Spike is a vampire who retains much of the caring William he used to be.
• Spike stays behind because the Apocalypse at the Mall isn’t exactly wheelchair accessible, but he’s also not on board with what they’re about to do. Spike wants to run Sunnydale, but he doesn’t want to destroy the world.

36 comments:

redeem147 said...

My spoilery observations:

I think it shows Normal Again is a retcon or she wouldn't have said 'saving the world from vampires' that way - not if Buffy had been in a mental institution because of it.

If Angel was in Europe before he was ensouled, how did the Gorch brothers know Angelus?

So Angel can't have kids, eh? That's gonna bite him in the butt.

Sunnydale High should screen it's teachers better - substitute bug ladies, evil sex ed teachers, homicidal lunch ladies, a Principal in the Mayor's back pocket...

In the season 9 comics, is Giles going to come back from the dead and open an office supply store with Buffy?

Angel is blamed for killing the Romany girl's family - but it was really Spike and Dru.

Is Giles so nice about helping with Buffy's 17th birthday party because he knows what he's going to do with her on her 18th?

Buffy and Angel's discussion at the docks reminds me of Cordy and Wes' parody of them. Get out the insulin.

I love Spike's line "No more of this 'I've got a soul crap." And Angel telling him "It made me sick to my stomach, being the Slayer's lap dog." Oh, Spike. Talk about butts being bitten.

Willow catches Xander and Cordy kissing - the situation will be reversed in Lover's Walk.

Page48 said...

Xander asks the soldier-boy if he can give him "a blind eye". Careful what you wish for, X.

Tat said...

I think the thing about Spike and the Judge that I liked the most is Spike's reaction. Yeah, he may have some humanity in him, but he doesn't care, and the Judge backs down.

He may be loves bitch, but Spike still has balls!

Tom D. said...

I had the same thought as redeem147 about Normal Again. That episode, though fascinating, just doesn't make sense in relation to Buffy's earlier years as we're currently revisiting them -- especially her flippant comment about vampires to her mom in the mall.

I guess they did the mall scene in Bad Eggs mostly to establish the existence of the mall so they could more easily put the rocket launcher scene there in Innocence. It's similar to the scenes where Buffy was in Angel's place in What's My Line -- she's there to establish the place so it will be somewhat familiar when they have sex there in Surprise/Innocence.

In the season 9 comics, is Giles going to come back from the dead and open an office supply store with Buffy?

Dammit, I would love to see that. I miss him so much, and it sucks that they never fully reconciled before he died -- especially considering what a great father figure he was in Innocence.

Is Giles so nice about helping with Buffy's 17th birthday party because he knows what he's going to do with her on her 18th?

Great point. Watchers occupy such a weird moral position: to be a close mentor to a young person and basically put them in a position where they're almost certain to die young. If you think about it, there must have been a number of Watchers over the centuries who loved their Slayers enough to break away from the Council over it. But I guess Giles is going to be largely in denial about his role until Buffy's aforementioned 18th birthday.

Looking at Watchers from this perspective, I can appreciate Faith's general rejection of them. The Mayor really is a much more attractive father figure than Giles or Wesley, from Faith's perspective: He does have her committing murder for him, but on the other hand, he doesn't put her in nearly as much danger as the Watchers routinely put Buffy into.

Buffy and Angel's discussion at the docks reminds me of Cordy and Wes' parody of them.

So very true.

Tom D. said...

I have, in the past, found Surprise a bit hard to watch (apart from the wonderful Oz/Willow scene and a few other nice moments) because of the sheer sentimentality of Buffy and Angel's relationship.

Tonight, while rewatching it, I really reached back to how it felt to be a teenager so completely in love with someone that nothing else seemed to matter. I think Surprise works best when seen from that state of mind. But it's kind of antithetical to maintaining critical distance, so I end up not having much analytical stuff to say. I wonder if others experience this episode in this way.

Tom D. said...

Just one more stray thought. At the end of Innocence, when Joyce says "make a wish," the thought I see on Buffy's face is I can never have what I would most wish for. Why wish? So bleak. I can see that train of thought carrying on from that moment right through to her second death, and beyond that...

Lisa(until further notice) said...

I love David Boreanaz as Angelus in Innocence. Later on in Angel, when he's turned back into Angelus on purpose and he's originally locked in the cage, he just doesn't bring it as much as he does here and in future Buffy eps. I think it's brilliant stuff. I left the series a Spuffy, but on this rewatch, I realize that I am also a Bangel. Just like someone else said here previously, that we can like both, just like Kate being with Jack and Sawyer. I did like Kate with Sawyer (because I like Sawyer) but in the end, I am a dyed in the blue Jate is fate camp.

And even though I loved Tara, I really am into Willow and Oz. Oz is wonderful. Question. Wasn't Oz's van painted in Zebra stripes not too many episodes ago?

SenexMacDonald said...

Bad Eggs is not a great ep but as our illustrious writers have mentioned, one that leads the way... to Angelus!

My thoughts: Jonathan! Every time he makes his small appearances, I cannot wait until his BIG ep comes. Love the glimpses into him, how already he (along with the entire student body) is connected to Buffy and Co. and knowing what is to come and how Jonathan is more like the young man with a rifle in the school's tower than what we have glimpsed to date.

I love the two cowboy vamps - they so remind me of the two cowboy brothers from Amazing Race. lol

The one thing I did like about the creature is that it is different in how it takes over humans. Everyone still comes off as themselves while being under the influence - not the norm for possession-themed tv or film usually. And it does not mind eating vamps. In some ways I wish the ep had dealt more with the vamps. They were funny and gave a totally different view of vampire ‘families’.

Hmmmm. Did anyone find it interesting that the Bazoar lives beneath the school? Wouldn’t that be the Hellmouth?

SenexMacDonald said...

Surprise

I have always loved the dream sequences in this ep. :) Insightful and yet fun to watch.

My first question for this ep is: The Watchers know or seem to know everything about Angel/us. So why has Giles not discovered or disclosed info re. the curse that Angel has? We know Jenny knows because she is a gypsey but Giles should have something in his research! You shouldn't have all these people watching Angel for all that time and NOT known that. Small loophole as far as I am concerned but it still bothers me.

Love Willow’s outfits in this ... her purple hat… the sweater with the scotty dog. So cute.

Our first glimpse that Xander still recalls aspects of being 'soldier boy' is during the discussion about Buffy's birthday party and he reaches up to his ear and says, very naturally: "Chet, cancel the spanking." Yes, he could have been miming someone on a headset from anywhere. Because it is his ear, I think army! lol

One of the best moments that speaks to her as a actor and just how Joss' shows can turn on a dime - Dru breaking the glasses of the intellectual vamp (does he have a name??) then putting them back on and patting him on the head. Pure joy to watch and such delicious evil on the part of Juliette. Love watching her. :)

The cladea (sp)ring that Angel is wearing? Did he have that from when we first meet Angel or did he start wearing it when he got the one for Buffy? And did Angel wear it for the remainder of both shows? Knowing Liam, I do not think he would have gotten one as I don't remember there being anyone special in his life - during his life. And Angelus does not strike me as someone who would want that symbol to be part of him. What do you guys think?

Dru’s party - do we assume that the ‘punch’ is blood? Of course we do! Justin: "Here comes the judge, here comes the judge." Followed closely by the burning question - did the vamps at the party not hear the door closing when Buffy and Angel entered? How could you not miss it? I could not believe how loud it was. So either got missed by continuity or the guys doing the foley work thought it made sense, except it didn't when one is trying to be quiet and use stealth.

My second big question for this ep is: Since Angel knows the curse - why does he not stop what happens next? Does he believe it would never happen? He, of all people/vamps, should understand the consequences to his actions …

Teebore said...

I have to admit, the contributors to this post have given me a greater appreciation for "Bad Eggs" than before. If not for the plot than at least for the thematic groundwork it laid in introducing the concept of sexual consequences in a light-hearted manner before the devastation of "Surprise/Innocence".

So yay!

Starting with the return of Angelus, you can really start to see the retroactive groundwork for "Heroic Spike" as the slimy, monstrous Angelus starts to make Spike's villainy pale in comparison and point out some of the differences between soulless Spike and soulless Angel.

The scene between Buffy and Giles in Giles' clunky old car is one of my favorite between the two, and one of my all time favorite Buffy scenes. Beautifully acted by both.

Teebore said...

@SenexMacDonald: My second big question for this ep is: Since Angel knows the curse - why does he not stop what happens next?

DOES he know about the curse? I mean, obviously, he knows he had a soul and he received it as punishment, but I always gathered that he didn't know the specific details (moment of pure happiness=loss of soul, moment of happiness=sex with Buffy) and that, as a result, the Romany did a crappy job of cursing him, since they never made the stakes very clear (and thus making it more likely for Angelus to re-appear unintentionally).

SenexMacDonald said...

Innocence

So sex changes you... question: if Cordy and Xander are 'making out', does that mean they also have done the deed? Could explain why they are snapping at each other - just be part of the foreplay?

I am always surprised that Angel had to sense to get away from Buffy so as not to be there when Angelus arrives. But surely she would have woken. He has time to dress, even partially. His place is an open-concept design so she is not sleeping behind closed doors. Most men are like bulls when it comes to getting dressed. Even when trying to be quiet, they can't. C'mon ladies - back me up on this. LOL

Saddest moment - when Willow realizes that Xander is really not interested in her and will only ever see her as a friend. Ah, but there is Oz, honey. He is so understanding of what is happening with Xander and Willow when he and Willow are talking in the van. So insightful - must be because he plays in a band. They make such a cute couple.

Angelus - where David gets to finally prove that he is so much better as an actor. His demeanor changes as does the way he stands, how he speaks (yeah, I know - Joss' words) but...! If Angelus weren't such an ass, he might make someone a great catch. Okay, not really.

The money shot - rocket launcher goes off, the Judge looks at it since he has never encountered one before and everyone else is diving for cover ... including Angelus and Dru! Judge - next time you make an appearance on this Earth, you might want to get brought up to speed on modern technology. Just warning you now.

SenexMacDonald said...

@Teebore said... "DOES he know about the curse? I mean, obviously, he knows he had a soul and he received it as punishment, but I always gathered that he didn't know the specific details..."

I believe he was there through the process but can't be completely sure. If he was, then I am sure once he got the soul, discovered how he felt about all the bad things Angelus had done, they would at some point explain what would happen to bring back that really BAD vamp.

I think in an ep of Angel, they go through this. I remember that in one ep, we see this shot of the four of them (Angel, Darla, Dru and Spike walking through burning streets - Budapest?). We see this shot several times over the seasons of Buffy and Angel. In this particular rendition of it, Darla discovers that Angel is 'wrong', that he has a soul. It could be this ep that shows his 'conversion' and the gypsies explaining the consequences that would lead to Angelus returning. After the confrontation with Darla, Angel then leaves to travel the world - which might also explain why the cowboy vamps know of him. Not sure the time frame for Angel's arrival in the US but it could be that early.

RadianDeveloper said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JavaChick said...

I think at this point Angel had to be unaware of what would happen if he had sex with Buffy. Whether he was completely unaware that the curse could be lifted, I don't know (can't remember if that was ever explained).

I do think that it was a stupid curse. I get that the gypsies wanted revenge and didn't want Angel to ever be allowed happiness, but (especially if he didn't know what would happen) it seems...pointless. Take his soul away again, take away his guilt; how is he suffering now?

Teebore said...

@JavaChick: I do think that it was a stupid curse. I get that the gypsies wanted revenge and didn't want Angel to ever be allowed happiness, but (especially if he didn't know what would happen) it seems...pointless.

Exactly. The flaw in their plan was not being explicit with Angel as to the terms and conditions of the curse.

The only way it works is if he KNOWS he can't ever be happy for fear of unleashing Angelus. That way he suffers doubly: remorse for what he did, and an inability to ever be happy again.

But by not making it clear, the Romany lose out on extra suffering and allow Angelus to return.

@SenexMacDonald: We see this shot several times over the seasons of Buffy and Angel. In this particular rendition of it, Darla discovers that Angel is 'wrong', that he has a soul. It could be this ep that shows his 'conversion' and the gypsies explaining the consequences that would lead to Angelus returning.

It's been awhile since I last saw them, but I do remember those eps, though the details are hazy. I seem to recall that after getting ensouled, Angel was "rescued" by Darla/Spike/Dru before the Romany were able to elaborate on it, or something to that effect. So he never learned the specific details (and they presumably never followed up).

But I could be wrong about that.

Suzanne said...

@Lisa Until Further Notice, I was the one who made the original comment about liking both Bangel and Spuffy in the same way I like Jack/Kate and Sawyer/Kate. I agree with you when you put the emphasis on being able to like both on timing and on personalities. On my first Buffy watch, I became a Spuffy fairly quickly. However, once I watched Angel and saw the heartbreaking episode when they had one chance at pure happiness ruined again, I started to root for Bangel and hated to think of Angel being with any other woman on that show. Now, rewatching Buffy, I am feeling the love for Bangel again. However, I will always adore Spike the most of any Buffy character, so there is always a part of me that wants her to be with Spike. Can't she have both?

As for Willow, my heart is and always was for her an Oz to be together. I love the character of Tara, but Willow and Oz are a match made in heaven , in humble opinion.

Tom D. said...

The only way it works is if he KNOWS he can't ever be happy for fear of unleashing Angelus.

But that only works insofar as Angel genuinely wants to keep the soul with which he has been cursed, despite the pain it causes him. In the early period after Angel had been cursed (depicted particularly in the Angel episode "Darla," and I think there are a couple of later episodes that also deal with this somewhat), Angel had some ambivalence about whether he really wanted the soul or was just stuck with it. If he had known he could get rid of the soul by experiencing perfect happiness, then he might have found a way to rid himself of the soul much sooner, which would have defeated the gypsies' purposes.

The bottom line for me is that the curse makes no logical sense, but it serves as the basis for a plot that makes a lot of dramatic and emotional sense, so . . . nothing I can do except suspend my disbelief as to the illogical part.

Tom D. said...

I love how supportive Willow is in Surprise/Innocence. Giles gets to have the speech at the end of Innocence where he announces how supportive he is, but Willow got there first: She is the first one to have a clue about what happened between Buffy and Angel, and as soon as she gets it, she protects and defends Buffy from Giles's un-clueful interrogation. What an awesome friend!

I guess there aren't a lot of instances of Willow getting to protect Buffy -- well, except that time when she brings her back from the dead, but that one's complicated at best. We mostly see Willow's protective side in relation to Tara and Dawn. But I do recall one earlier scene (in Reptile Boy, I think?) where Willow snaps at Giles and Angel because they're both treating Buffy badly in different ways. It's kind of cool that Willow is at her best when she's protecting her superhero friend.

redeem147 said...

I know that Angel was in the States early in the twentieth century, but even if the Gorches met him, they'd know him as the broody guy, not Angelus.

I'm sorry, but probably because I started watching Angel before Buffy, I find their relationship on BTVS incredibly insipid. I loved him with Cordy.

Tom D. said...

Hey, here's a surprising thing from Joss's DVD commentary on Innocence. He says that in the first few episodes where Oz appeared, the audience was not liking the character, so Joss wrote the scene with Willow and Oz in the van to get the audience to love Oz like they should.

Weird, huh? There was a time when the fandom of this show didn't like Oz?

redeem147 said...

Weird, huh? There was a time when the fandom of this show didn't like Oz?

Because he was getting in the way of Xander/Willow.

They had the same reaction when Tara came on.

And Riley because of B/A. Oh, wait. No, that was more because of Riley.

Verification word 'Oventing' - getting rid of your eggs. Your bad eggs?

Teebore said...

@Tom D. The bottom line for me is that the curse makes no logical sense, but it serves as the basis for a plot that makes a lot of dramatic and emotional sense, so . . . nothing I can do except suspend my disbelief as to the illogical part.

That's pretty much how I approach it, too. Think about it too much and the cracks start to show.

@redeem147 And Riley because of B/A. Oh, wait. No, that was more because of Riley.

Ha! And also, poor Riley. He gets such a bum rap from fans, but I rather like him. He's basically the goodhearted guy who wasn't "cool" or "badass" enough to get the girl because the girl is dumb and wants the bad boy instead of the good guy.

Not the most dramatically exciting character, granted, but relate-able. :)

JavaChick said...

But that only works insofar as Angel genuinely wants to keep the soul with which he has been cursed, despite the pain it causes him. In the early period after Angel had been cursed, Angel had some ambivalence about whether he really wanted the soul or was just stuck with it. If he had known he could get rid of the soul by experiencing perfect happiness, then he might have found a way to rid himself of the soul much sooner, which would have defeated the gypsies' purposes.

I'm wondering how easy that would have been though? All those years and this is the first time it happened?

Tom D. said...

I can imagine a dark comedy/drama where the antihero protagonist has been cursed with a soul and is trying to get rid of it by experiencing perfect happiness, but no matter what he tries to do, perfect happiness always eludes him somehow. That could be a thought-provoking show, or a terrible one...

JS said...

dammit, I do not want to be spoiled I keep coming back... ARGH!

EBethToThePowerOf? said...

Tom D wrote: Tonight, while rewatching it, I really reached back to how it felt to be a teenager so completely in love with someone that nothing else seemed to matter. I think Surprise works best when seen from that state of mind. But it's kind of antithetical to maintaining critical distance, so I end up not having much analytical stuff to say. I wonder if others experience this episode in this way.

Tom, I posted on the nonspoiler threat how these episodes felt so personally real to me in a visceral way. I think you're right--maybe there's not much to say from an analytical standpoint, and yes, the sleep-with-your-boyfriend-then-he-turns-evil aspect is heavyhanded, and the relationship between Angel and Buffy can seem a little too much. But I really think these episodes shine in the light of the "High School is Hell" mission statement of the show. How to take something that is so firmly grounded in the real experiences of many young people, and translating it into this story that takes place using crazy fantastical settings, characters and powers. The show almost never does the horror as a metaphor for life thing better than these two eps, in my humble opinion.

Senex, I did always wonder what happened after she killed the bezoar. Did the mayor have Snyder clean it up? Or did the hellmouth swallow it?

I think the main difference in the acting between Angel and Angelus is that Angelus is HAVING FUN, and that is really something we never or hardly ever get to see Angel doing. And so we get to see Boreantz joking, smiling, all things we never get to see him do as Angel, really. Sure, he's evil, but damned if he isn't enjoying the hell out of life. Angel does not enjoy life:)

EBethToThePowerOf? said...

Senex, I don't know if this is also "retcon" but we find out later when Xander sleeps with Faith that he is a virgin. Faith is his first. I always figured he and Cordy skirted the fine line of the technical definition of "virgin".

Page48 said...

Marcie Ross (the Invisible Girl) and Tara's Dad were both dispatched in unceremonious fashion on "The Event" last night. Rough night for the Buffyverse.

Blam said...


@JavaChick: I do think that it was a stupid curse. I get that the gypsies wanted revenge and didn't want Angel to ever be allowed happiness, but (especially if he didn't know what would happen) it seems...pointless.

@Teebore: Exactly. ... The only way it works is if he KNOWS he can't ever be happy for fear of unleashing Angelus. That way he suffers doubly: remorse for what he did, and an inability to ever be happy again.


Yeah. 8^) I know I'm late to the game and just echoing here, but it bears repeating.

@Suzanne: Can't she have both [Angel and Spike]?

I don't mean to speak for everyone who's conflicted about this, but I tend to think it breaks down in terms of, if not the guy you want to date and the guy you want to marry, then certainly the right-now vs. the eternal — which is complicated because Buffy has no certain future and both of these guys are theoretically immortal vampires. Via the love theme and the claddagh rings and the cookie-dough scene, the storytellers have set up Buffy and Angel as eventual soulmates (a particularly loaded term here), which means that due to the requirements of serial narrative they can't live happily ever after while the story's still in progress; that same, expected "happily ever after" of theirs precludes Spike being anything other than a fulfillment of Buffy's transient wants and needs, however. We root for Angel to be with Buffy in part because they're destined to keep failing to connect now, so we have faith that they get together one day and lastingly. We thrill to Spike being with Buffy in the moment in part because we know that they're destined to not make it, but only have now, for however long now lasts.

VW: agamsee — Edward G. Robinson pointing out some dame's leg.

Blam said...


@TomD.: Weird, huh? There was a time when the fandom of this show didn't like Oz?

I wonder how much of it had to do with Seth Green's deadpan detachment. While he and the writers were obviously going for "too cool for school" — and I definitely appreciated how he conveyed amazement at being introduced to the Hellmouth happenings (as well as his own heritage) while simultaneously taking it all in stride — often I got no real vibe from him beyond "aloof". Much as some viewers have said about Buffy and Angel in the early days, I kind-of feel like I was told that Oz and Willow were a thing more than shown it, Alyson Hannigan's expert depiction of swoonage notwithstanding.

VW: fieriz — Somnambulant arson?

Teebore said...

We root for Angel to be with Buffy in part because they're destined to keep failing to connect now, so we have faith that they get together one day and lastingly. We thrill to Spike being with Buffy in the moment in part because we know that they're destined to not make it, but only have now, for however long now lasts.

Very well reasoned and said, Blam. I'm definitely going to remember those relationships in those terms.

funny forum said...

Marcie Ross (the Invisible Girl) and Tara's Dad were both dispatched in unceremonious fashion on "The Event" last night. Rough night for the Buffyverse.

cosplay costume said...

As i go through your post, which seems to be really excellent. Its really funny. I really enjoyed a lot.

website design company said...

interesting things to read about a variety of subjects, but I manage to include your blog among my reads every day because you have interesting

David Schrock said...

My mom back in Singapore wanted to scrap her old car when I was visiting her last time. I was Guys if anyone needs to scrap an old car in Singapore http://www.carexport.sg/ will do the job for you, almost hassle free. I had this old Buick that was a massive pain and they got rid of it in a jiffy.