This is a continuation of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer thread I started over on the “old board” last April. Alan and Mike convinced me that the show’s move from the WB to the UPN and the start of season six is a logical time to move this discussion to the board’s new home. For those of you who might be new to the discussion, I am in the process of watching this series, start to finish, for the first time. I don’t provide much in the way of recap because I’m working under the assumption that most of you reading this thread have at least a passing familiarity with the series. The ground rules of this discussion are simple: I can (and will) spoil anything I want to, but you can’t spoil anything I haven’t seen yet. Ready? Okay, let’s begin.

SEASON SIX: EPISODES 1/2: “BARGAINING—PARTS 1/2”

I actually don’t have much to say about the two-part season opener. Most of it was spent resetting Buffy’s apparent death at the end of season five. Shouldn’t her death have triggered a new Slayer to have been called up? Judging from the opening credits it looks as if Giles is going to be out of the cast on a permanent (or at least semi-permanent) basis. I’m really enjoying the development of the “relationship” between Buffy and Spike thoughout last season and into this one. Apparently even vampires are subject to classical conditioning!

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Jeff of Earth-J said:
SEASON SIX: EPISODE 18: “ENTROPY”
SEASON SIX: EPISODE 19: “SEEING RED”
SEASON SIX: EPISODE 20: “VILLAINS”
SEASON SIX: EPISODE 21: “TWO TO GO”
SEASON SIX: EPISODE 22: “GRAVE”


I had to go out of town for a couple of days at the end of last week, and “Entropy” was the last episode I watched before I left. We finished out season six upon our return, but I’ll get to that presently. I spent some of my downtime contemplating this discussion as I left it, spurred by Alan’s overview of the season. I’m always ready to accept the notion that too often too many people make decisions based on emotion rather than reason, but Alan countered my easy acceptance of Ana’s explanation with a reasoned analysis of what he didn’t like about season six. Now we’re in “horse race” territory. I don’t necessarily agree with Alan’s assessment, but I can accept it.

The response I would have written on Thursday is somewhat different than what I might have written if he’d’ve posted his analysis after I’ve seen the remaining four episodes of season six, but to begin let’s set the WABC machine for August 13.

ALAN: For me it was all about the mood — season six was a major downer.

If Chris, watching season six for the first time, questioned why some fans didn’t like it, I found myself wondering the same thing… until I read Alan’s analysis. I can see it, but the trend of my enjoying each season of the show more than the previous one has continued into the sixth; it is my favorite so far. That may have something to do with it being “in the can” and my watching the entire season in quick succession, I don’t know. As an aside, I’ve been trying to get a co-worker (who likes Buffy) interested in Doctor Who. She watched “Planet of the Dead” but feared she wouldn’t like the regular series because the special was dark enough.

ALAN: Joss Whedon has said that this season was deliberately designed to reflect that period of loss, directionlessness, and bad choices that many of us face in our early 20s, and I can respect that.

Yes, I can absolutely see that.

ALAN: The problem comes, though, in that there was no character who wasn't feeling that in season six.

Willow was my anchor in that respect this season. A favorite character of mine since the beginning, she hit rock bottom but was in the process of pulling herself up and successfully fixing her broken relationship with Tara. Someone once said the key to telling a story with a happy ending, though, is knowing when to stop.

ALAN: There was no reprise; no main character the audience could look to as an island in the sea of tumult. In this season, it seemed that every victory was hollow, and to be hit with that week after week for the better part of a year is...dispiriting.

I know exactly what you mean. I’ve virtually abandoned Marvel Comics for that very reason. I don’t feel that way about Buffy, though, and I find myself very much looking forward to season seven!

Note to Ana: You were definitely right about the metaphor of Spike and Buffy’s relationship. Spike has absolutely fallen out of favor in Tracy’s eyes; she will never forgive him.

Let's see,

1)TheTenth Doctor
2)Clark Kent
3)Spike

Who am I missing?
The Baron said:
Jeff of Earth-J said:
SEASON SIX: EPISODE 18: “ENTROPY”
SEASON SIX: EPISODE 19: “SEEING RED”
SEASON SIX: EPISODE 20: “VILLAINS”
SEASON SIX: EPISODE 21: “TWO TO GO”
SEASON SIX: EPISODE 22: “GRAVE”


I had to go out of town for a couple of days at the end of last week, and “Entropy” was the last episode I watched before I left. We finished out season six upon our return, but I’ll get to that presently. I spent some of my downtime contemplating this discussion as I left it, spurred by Alan’s overview of the season. I’m always ready to accept the notion that too often too many people make decisions based on emotion rather than reason, but Alan countered my easy acceptance of Ana’s explanation with a reasoned analysis of what he didn’t like about season six. Now we’re in “horse race” territory. I don’t necessarily agree with Alan’s assessment, but I can accept it.

The response I would have written on Thursday is somewhat different than what I might have written if he’d’ve posted his analysis after I’ve seen the remaining four episodes of season six, but to begin let’s set the WABC machine for August 13.

ALAN: For me it was all about the mood — season six was a major downer.

If Chris, watching season six for the first time, questioned why some fans didn’t like it, I found myself wondering the same thing… until I read Alan’s analysis. I can see it, but the trend of my enjoying each season of the show more than the previous one has continued into the sixth; it is my favorite so far. That may have something to do with it being “in the can” and my watching the entire season in quick succession, I don’t know. As an aside, I’ve been trying to get a co-worker (who likes Buffy) interested in Doctor Who. She watched “Planet of the Dead” but feared she wouldn’t like the regular series because the special was dark enough.

ALAN: Joss Whedon has said that this season was deliberately designed to reflect that period of loss, directionlessness, and bad choices that many of us face in our early 20s, and I can respect that.

Yes, I can absolutely see that.

ALAN: The problem comes, though, in that there was no character who wasn't feeling that in season six.

Willow was my anchor in that respect this season. A favorite character of mine since the beginning, she hit rock bottom but was in the process of pulling herself up and successfully fixing her broken relationship with Tara. Someone once said the key to telling a story with a happy ending, though, is knowing when to stop.

ALAN: There was no reprise; no main character the audience could look to as an island in the sea of tumult. In this season, it seemed that every victory was hollow, and to be hit with that week after week for the better part of a year is...dispiriting.

I know exactly what you mean. I’ve virtually abandoned Marvel Comics for that very reason. I don’t feel that way about Buffy, though, and I find myself very much looking forward to season seven!

Note to Ana: You were definitely right about the metaphor of Spike and Buffy’s relationship. Spike has absolutely fallen out of favor in Tracy’s eyes; she will never forgive him.

Let's see,

1)TheTenth Doctor
2)Clark Kent
3)Spike

Who am I missing?

I find fascinating that both you and Tracy are not big on forgiveness and/or redeption...you screw up once, and you're dead to Tracy...and I've always felt the main themes of Buffy and Angel were forgiveness and redeption.
Yeah, we're funny that way.
Which is why watching you guys watch the series is so fascinating.

Jeff of Earth-J said:
Yeah, we're funny that way.
I ran this by Tracy last night and she thinks some things are unforgivable.

All right! Entering the home stretch!

SEASON SEVEN: EPISODE 1: “LESSONS”

I’m we’re a little bit confused by what (exactly) is going on with Spike. He went through a series of trials last season in order to have the effects of his behavior modification chip negated, and after he successfully passed those trials, the season zinger is that he was granted his soul. Okay, that much I get. He should have known better to bargain in good faith with a demon, but he was desperate. Now he shows up living in the Hellmouth beneath the newly rebuilt Sunnydale High School with all these (apparent) hallucinations. This episode reminds me of one of those “anniversary” issues Marvel used to do with “guest stars galore” but which turn out to be hallucinations or flashbacks or something. Never seen that on TV, though. Kinda cool.

It’s interesting how the show has returned to its roots (in a way) without being derivative or a rehash.
Now I have an image of a homeless vampire - "Hey, buddy, got any spare blood?"
DOC: I find fascinating that both you and Tracy are not big on forgiveness and/or redemption... and I've always felt the main themes of Buffy and Angel were forgiveness and redemption.

ANA: Which is why watching you guys watch the series is so fascinating.

JEFF: I ran this by Tracy last night and she thinks some things are unforgivable.


Redemption notwithstanding, you may find it interesting that I am willing to forgive Spike… out of compassion.
Actually...from what I remember...he wanted a soul...He went off so he could give "Buffy what she deserves" letting fans think it was him trying to get rid of the chip, but no, he meant to get a soul. He could (and has) hurt Buffy in the past, but he can't love her because of the lack of the soul...so he went off to fight for a soul.


but yes...there has been some serious complications (acting bizarre and living near the hellmouth, being just the start), that will take a while to sort out.

Jeff of Earth-J said:
I ran this by Tracy last night and she thinks some things are unforgivable.

All right! Entering the home stretch!

SEASON SEVEN: EPISODE 1: “LESSONS”

I’m we’re a little bit confused by what (exactly) is going on with Spike. He went through a series of trials last season in order to have the effects of his behavior modification chip negated, and after he successfully passed those trials, the season zinger is that he was granted his soul. Okay, that much I get. He should have known better to bargain in good faith with a demon, but he was desperate. Now he shows up living in the Hellmouth beneath the newly rebuilt Sunnydale High School with all these (apparent) hallucinations. This episode reminds me of one of those “anniversary” issues Marvel used to do with “guest stars galore” but which turn out to be hallucinations or flashbacks or something. Never seen that on TV, though. Kinda cool.

It’s interesting how the show has returned to its roots (in a way) without being derivative or a rehash.
I ran this by Tracy last night and she thinks some things are unforgivable.

Some things? I think you mean a lot of things.
Chris Fluit said:
I ran this by Tracy last night and she thinks some things are unforgivable.

Some things? I think you mean a lot of things.


See, I'm starting to get nervous that anytime I see Jeff and Tracy, I might accidentally do something on the list of unforgivable things. I can't handle that kind of pressure! AAAAAAGH!
CHRIS: Some things? I think you mean a lot of things.

No, just some things (attempted rape, for example). I ran this by her over lunch and she actually considers herself a very forgiving person. As proof, she even forgives you for making that comment (although she phrased it a bit differently). Having said that, though, she added that, had she been a more forgiving person, she might still be with the “r*t b*st*rd” instead of me. [In the case of the10th Doctor, it’s not really a case of “forgiveness”; she just doesn’t like him… because he reminds her of the r*t b*st*rd, admittedly, but cheating is another one of those unforgivable offences.]

BOB: See, I'm starting to get nervous that anytime I see Jeff and Tracy, I might accidentally do something on the list of unforgivable things. I can't handle that kind of pressure!

I think you’re safe, Bob. If she can forgive you for introducing me to Doctor Who she can forgive you for anything.

ANA: Actually...from what I remember...he wanted a soul...He went off so he could give "Buffy what she deserves" letting fans think it was him trying to get rid of the chip, but no, he meant to get a soul. He could (and has) hurt Buffy in the past, but he can't love her because of the lack of the soul...so he went off to fight for a soul.

Ah! A classic case of misdirection and I missed it! Even after Spike was granted a soul I still didn’t get it (until you pointed it out), but I see it now. I had assumed (as I was intended to) that giving Buffy “what she deserved” meant revenge for how she treated him. Well played, Mr. Whedon! (I’m not usually that thick.)
That is why the attempted rape is such a important moment. For Buffy, she is finally taking a stand for something better, saying no and meaning it and for Spike it inspires a self-revulsion that spurs him toward change.

Jeff of Earth-J said:
CHRIS: Some things? I think you mean a lot of things.

No, just some things (attempted rape, for example). I ran this by her over lunch and she actually considers herself a very forgiving person. As proof, she even forgives you for making that comment (although she phrased it a bit differently). Having said that, though, she added that, had she been a more forgiving person, she might still be with the “r*t b*st*rd” instead of me. [In the case of the10th Doctor, it’s not really a case of “forgiveness”; she just doesn’t like him… because he reminds her of the r*t b*st*rd, admittedly, but cheating is another one of those unforgivable offences.]

BOB: See, I'm starting to get nervous that anytime I see Jeff and Tracy, I might accidentally do something on the list of unforgivable things. I can't handle that kind of pressure!

I think you’re safe, Bob. If she can forgive you for introducing me to Doctor Who she can forgive you for anything.

ANA: Actually...from what I remember...he wanted a soul...He went off so he could give "Buffy what she deserves" letting fans think it was him trying to get rid of the chip, but no, he meant to get a soul. He could (and has) hurt Buffy in the past, but he can't love her because of the lack of the soul...so he went off to fight for a soul.

Ah! A classic case of misdirection and I missed it! Even after Spike was granted a soul I still didn’t get it (until you pointed it out), but I see it now. I had assumed (as I was intended to) that giving Buffy “what she deserved” meant revenge for how she treated him. Well played, Mr. Whedon! (I’m not usually that thick.)

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