Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Buffy Rewatch Week 24: Spoiler Forum

Once again, here is the place where you can post freely on Buffy and Angel from a spoilery perspective, ahead of where we are in the rewatch on both shows. I decided to refrain from mentioning Tara too much in the above post, at least until New Moon Rising...


Dusk said...

The opening Anya conversation in Hush made me slide back into the Hate Anya Died Camp.

Plus I just have to say how much the dialogue was begging for an Anya line in a certain point in Season 8 that I hated. Have you read the 8th arc yet Nikki?

Colleen/redeem147 said...

Did that involve public displays of flying, Dusk?

Wicca is used as a metaphor for lesbianism - Tara always knew, but Willow is discovering and exploring.

Ah, Spike in that shirt. When you hit rock bottom, you can only go up.

Buffy mentions Faith - foreshadowing?

Riley tells Buffy she wants to stay in the dark place - something Spike will tell her in season six.

Spike can beat up demons - and so he, with many a major bump ahead, is on the road to being a Champion.

Giles is dismayed when he finds out about the Initiative. "Spike knew?" Maybe this is why he helps Robin in season 7 (talk about holding a grudge.) ;)

Giles toasts "to magic" and is almost instantly cursed. Magic as a negative force (and related to alcohol) - more explored in season six.

EBethToThePowerOf? said...

I will be very interested to see the thoughts/perspectives of the first-time viewers as it relates to Tara and Willow's "reveal" in "New Moon Rising." To me it seems so obvious but maybe this was less commonly portrayed in the media then so people were surprised when it went from subtext/implied to actual confirmed? i can't separate out my own socially liberal views and knowledge going into the show (I knew Willow ended up the series as a lesbian before watching for the first time) from what is revealed and how. I can't help but thinking of Joss' commentary for Hush about how he sees the scene where Tara and Willow move the soda machine together and he was so surprised at how surprised people actually were when he "went there" with Willow's story arc. I guess he felt it was obvious from this episode.

Dusk said...

@Colleen; Why yes it did.

I knew about Willow being a lesbian too, but I guess some people could have thought Tara would be evil or a rival for Willow in the beginning, especially after she messed up that demon locator spell.

Amy wasn't really evil in her pre-rat days and even by the end of Season 7 I wouldn't call her "evil" she was more like Anya when she troll-ized that cheater.

Dusk said...

Oh yeah, anyone whose done the comics search "buffy issue 40" on Youtube to see a guy talk about S8 ending and the story as a whole, and I agree with many of his points.

JS said...

It is always presented as Tara always knew she was a lesbian, but in Where the Wild Things Are, Tara runs from Willow when she makes her first move and says, “that’s disgusting!” I can’t reconcile that. Did she always know, but Willow was her first?

I choked up when Willow and Tara moved the soda machine. The first time I saw it, I knew there was something special there. The second time I got choked up. It was beautiful.

And, yes, my first time I had some suspicions that there was something between Tara and Willow but I couldn't put my finger on it. I didn't understand why she was held apart from the scoobies for so long and was surprised when they actually became a couple. It was subtle.

Witness Aria said...

"What's this? Sitting around watching the telly while there's evil still afoot? That's not very industrious of you. I say we go out there and kick a little demon ass! What, can't go without your Buffy, is that it? Too chicken? Let's find her! She is the Chosen One after all. Come on! Vampires! Grrr! Nasty! Let's annihilate them. For justice - and for - the safety of puppies - and Christmas, right? Let's *fight* that evil! - Let's *kill* something!
Oh, come *on*!"

One of my favorite moments ever. Used to have an avatar someone made with pics and quotes from it. Hilarious.

Also: Tara!!!

Page48 said...

IMDB lists the wonderful Andy Hallett as an 'uncredited' cast member in "Hush". In my first go 'round with BtVS, I hadn't met Lorne yet, so it never occurred to me to try to spot AH in "Hush".

Even armed with the knowledge that he supposedly appears in this episode, his presence isn't obvious. I'm thinking he might be the guy two rows behind Buffy in Walsh's lecture. but I can't be sure. He would be a helluva lot easier to spot with green skin and horns.

Colleen/redeem147 said...

I found Andy on my old DVD player, but the new one doesn't have zoom. You can see him, though.

@Dusk - I tried to describe that certain comic book story to some friends, one of whom is a Bangel. Appalled, she said, "Does Joss know?" :)

Efthymia said...

Why does Marc Blucas get a regular cast member promotion and has a place in the opening credits but Emma Caulfield is still considered a guest star? Did they not know they were going to keep her for that long yet?

Lisa(until further notice) said...

Ok...I need help with the season 8 comic book discussion going on here. I've read them, but can't place what you're referencing. Don't tell me here, but maybe give me the comic book number...I.e. 35, 30, etc.


Dusk said...

@LIsa: #34the title has a bleeped out word. Pretty much everyone tok this seriously, I couldn't since any show wit in that time, as i said if Anya was there then maybe that ould change.

Dusk said...

Gah! Ok I slept bad last night. I know the differents between since and sense, and my other little errors there.

Lisa(until further notice) said...

Ok, got it, I thought that might be the story line you were referring to. ACK. I have some SERIOUS questions about that one....it defies common sense, decency, AND character history.

Thanks, Dusk.

Kathleen said...

re: the comment about fashions on this show... everyone needs to read the Buffy Fashion Roulette posts on The Bitter Buffalo blog:[SPOILER alert -- she chooses episodes at random so there are plenty here that we haven't gotten to yet, and spoilery commentary] http://en.wordpress.com/tag/buffy-fashion-roulette/

She doesn't always update on a regular basis, but read the archives... her commentary is usually dead on, and if you are lucky enough to catch a new post you can vote for best and worst dressed!

Colleen/redeem147 said...

I'd be interesting to explore the costumes as costumes - and what they say about the development of the characters.

Tom D. said...

Some commenters have previously pointed out inconsistencies in Sunnydale's geography, such as whether it has a coastline. We've seen the Sunnydale docks before, but at the end of season 7, Sunnydale will just be a big hole in the ground without any sea to be seen anywhere.

In that vein, notice the map that Giles has during the first conversation between him and Buffy in Doomed. He's been sticking red pins into it, apparently indicating places where the Initiative soldiers have been seen. The map also seems to show that Sunnydale does indeed have a nearby coastline. So at least that's consistent with what we've seen in prior episodes.

Tom D. said...

A theme in Buffy/Angel that I really like is the role that sheer luck and circumstances play in determining whether a person is good or evil. Probably the two biggest examples of this are Spike and Faith.

I believe it's in The Freshman that Willow says something about Professor Walsh's work on "operant conditioning." I don't know much about psychology, but I think the term basically describes what the chip does to Spike: inflicts pain on him when he tries to hurt people, and thereby modifies his behavior. And by modifying his behavior, the chip starts to modify his personality too. We see a little bit of this at the end of Doomed, with Spike having realized he can still enjoy fighting demons, and enthusiastically talking about going out and fighting for the safety of puppies and Christmas or whatever. Obviously that's still very shallow on his part (hilariously so), but it's going to get deeper in time.

My point being: Spike eventually becoming a good guy isn't just caused by the fact that somewhere deep down, he loves Buffy. Without the chip in his head, he'd never have had the chance to be anything more than obsessed with trying to kill her. Professor Walsh doesn't get enough credit -- despite her many flaws and mistakes, she successfully uses operant conditioning to get a notorious evil vampire to become a hero. That's a pretty good achievement, albeit a posthumous one.

It's also worth noting that Spike himself doesn't deserve all the credit for becoming a champion. He will make the hard and brave choices to go get his soul back, and to sacrifice himself in Chosen. But it all starts with conditioning, something he surely didn't choose.

Tom D. said...

Faith's character arc illustrates some similar themes about luck and circumstances and conditioning determining whether a person is good or evil. As with Spike, she starts to turn from evil to good in season 4. What seems to make the difference for Faith is the extraordinary experience of switching bodies with Buffy and thereby having people relate to her the way they relate to Buffy. Suddenly people trust her, care about her, admire her, love her. She gets to feel what that's like, for a little while, and it messes with her whole outlook on life.

Faith went evil because of some pretty terrible luck -- rough childhood, then she accidentally killed the deputy mayor, then the mayor became this great father figure that she desperately needed -- as well as the choices that she made in response to those things. And later she's going to come back to the good side because of the body-switching experience, and because of Angel's compassion for her, and then because of the choices she makes in response to those moments of better luck.

Maybe all I'm saying, in the end, is that I like the way these shows explore (but don't ultimately answer) the question of whether we really choose who we're going to be, or whether things that look like choices are really mostly dictated to us by circumstances and luck.

Colleen/redeem147 said...

I wonder how well the conditioning would have gone with Spike if he hadn't been a good person to start with (pre-vampire.)

I think also that having people no longer be a viable food source forces him to see them as people.

We're all the products of our environment. We're seeing Faith and Spike at a particular point in their growth. Who would Buffy had been if she hadn't been called? Who would Giles have been if he hadn't been fired?

Who would I have been if I'd never found Buffy? I shudder to think. ;)

Witness Aria said...

"Who would I have been if I'd never found Buffy? I shudder to think. ;)"

Well said. Right there with you.

Tom D. said...

I wonder how well the conditioning would have gone with Spike if he hadn't been a good person to start with (pre-vampire.)

Was he a good person originally? How do we know? I may well be forgetting something, but I don't recall seeing pre-vampire William doing anything particularly noble or selfless. My general impression is that he was a rather self-obsessed bloody awful poet with an unhealthy attachment to his mother, all of which I would say are morally neutral characteristics at best.

Colleen/redeem147 said...

I think loving your Mom is a good thing. He's gentle and rather sweet. How many of us are actually noble and selfless? The people at the party - they weren't good people.

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The map also seems to show that Sunnydale does indeed have a nearby coastline. So at least that's consistent with what we've seen in prior episodes.
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