January 21st, 2003


buffy thoughts

Some random Buffy thoughts from last night.

Buffy/Angel shipping. Never thought about it much before, but they really were going for the storybook romance with these two. It's not something we learn about right away--it's only filled in with backstory after the fact, at a very critical time in the arc--but Angel was turned back when he was still a callow youth, loutish and untempered by love. I mean, I don't think it's every stated outright (though I could be wrong, especially since I'm not familiar with early A:tS canon), but when we see young Liam, he gives off the doofish air of a guy who has never had his heart broken. So, then fast forward, he's been a vampire for a few hundred years, and he's had his soul back for about half that time, and it's not until he sees Buffy that the strings of his heart go zing. That was his *first* love. (That's my big epiphany, by the way--I'm not too ashamed to spell it out.) Kinda wacky.

Xander's arc. Was thinking--not for the first time in this case--how sad Xander's decline is. Yeah, maturity and marriage and manpain, blah blah wondercakes. But when I think back to how he used to be in high school, all rabbity energy and motor-mouthy, I just wonder: where did all that anxious zest go? His brain was clearly firing on a million cylinders back then. He was sharp and quick to speak and he often wandered off into funny, goofy, free associative rambles--he was Joss's fictional avatar, it's clear. But he didn't seem to retain those qualities. The biggest decline came beginning in season six, I think.

Vampire vs. human strength. I was trying to convince myself of the possibility that M.E. had set up this entire hierarchy of vamps, and that even though they'd never said so in so many words, some vamps were weak enough for non-slayers to take down, and others were so strong that only a slayer was fit to kill them. But barring any arcane lore about an elevated lineage of Darwinially derived vamp royalty or "super-vamps" whose blood is more potent, the most logical progression for strength building is age (newly turned vamps = weak, old vamps = strong) and we've seen plenty of evidence that this is not the critical factor in whether or not one of the Scooby gang--or Buffy--can take a vamp down easily. So screw it. These guys are right--the continuity sucks.

buffy thought no. 4

Why the current Spike resoulment bugs me. (Y'all never thought I'd say that, did you?) Because, so far, all his angst is so annoyingly non-specific. The madness of King Spike would be far darker and more captivating if it was mixed with liberal recriminations and nightmares drawn from his past.

Last year before the soulification, I scribbled a bit of X/S fantasy (X/S, oddly, which nonetheless originally sprug from a B/S thread), in which Spike got his soul back in a rather unusual way, through motification of the flesh--starvation; I never thought it through very closely, but I think my idea was that it would starve the demon, exhausting it, forcing it to sleep for its own survival, and allow a Williamy essence to come out.

Anyway, here's a snippet of that. It's more like story notes or synopsis than actual story, and everyone is in a kind of Pylea-like alt universe:

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Anyway. That's kind of what I was hoping for from Souled!Spike. Of course, being more or less taken over by the First changes things. Not necessarily for the better. The more I think about it, for instance, the more befuddled I am by what they were trying to accomplish with "Sleeper." WTF?

Also, the structure of this season is distracting. I thought I'd like it, how almsot *every* ep is part of the big arc. But now we've got no room to highlight individual characters. When I think of, say, season two or three, when one-off eps were paced with arc eps, blended so perfectly--well. I don't know. It seems such a different dynamic now, like everything has been pared down to relationship angst and big bads, with no greater context--no campus, no old friends from the past, no classmates, no mother, no other characters at *all* really except a bunch of ninny slayerbees, no magic shop, no career anxiety (e.g., Buffy) or existential doubt (e.g., Giles).

I still look forward to tonight's ep. Hope springs and all that. And *don't* spoil me in my own comments! Don't even hint! Or I will keeel you.

My god.

Noir. Is. Done.

Now must tidy and edit and post and fall to the ground weeping.

And I have *not* seen tonight's ep. Seattle, people! West coast! Spoilerphobe! Stop teasing me!