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Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
"Oh my god, it's grotesque! Oh, and there's something in a jar."
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September 24 2002

(SPOILER) The long wait is over: BtVS S7x01 airs on UPN today. 'Course the Canucks have already seen it...

...and so have I. There's some very groovy fighting, Buffy's cute and quippy, the sisters vibe is good, Spike didn't annoy me (nice to see Marsters do something else than the trademark head tilt). Oddly, Giles disappointed me, he's got some godawful lines (it has to be bad if even ASH can't make it sound good!) and he's a bit sweet and new agey. Willow made me like her again, though still a bit too much with the heavy breathing.

I'm giving it a good B.

There's a very good vibe going about for this season, I will be watching the premiere when it debuts in the UK on Sky in January.

Glad you enjoyed the episode.
Being one of those Canucks, I saw it last night and very much enjoyed it.

Does anyone know why it airs one day early in Canada?
... watched Lessons again, this time a hi-grade encode. There's some discussion going on at the Stakehouse concerning the footage of the girl being chased in "Istanbul". Why Istanbul? Some theories are being thrown around concerning Istanbul/Constantinople & Byzantium, one of which involves the Holy Grail and the Knight Templars.

I'm pretty sure Dawn's teacher introduced himself as Mr Lohengrin. Lohengrin was Parsifal's son. His home is the temple of the Holy Grail.

As always... food for thought. Are Watchers Templars?
Haven't Templars been known for their knowledge and keeping of histories as well as their fighting abilities? Interesting...
I'm going to assume the spoiler that began this thread is spoiler enough. ...Okay, fine. Just in case, I'm gonna talk about tonight's episode. If you're in a part of the country where tonight's episode was HUSH, please read no further.

It looks to me that Joss is combining elements of the past six seasons while simultaneously chalking together a new plot line. This plot arc's gonna run the entire season. The thing that's haunting Spike? Could be The First Evil. But then that's too easy. It's the same method of operation that was used on Angel in that Christmas episode some years ago. The First Evil was trying to get Angel to take Buffy. His response was to attempt to kill himself. Maybe Spike's weaker, and The First Evil thinks it can get Spike to be its little altar boy. When I read 'mad' in the spoilers in regards to Spike, I assumed it meant he was angry. Nice to see he's that other kind of mad.

As to the opening sequence, I have suggested elsewhere that Joss might revisit the idea of the Watcher's potentials for next Slayer, provided Faith ever kicks the bucket. I thought maybe she was one of those, but that wouldn't explain why she was in Instanbul. One can theorize that if the monks made Dawn, they didn't stop there. Or maybe Dawn wasn't the first Key they made.

I always thought the Knights of Byzantium were pretty cool, and were not used enough. Would be cool to see them coming back. That principal? Robin Wood? I'd assumed Robin was a girl's name. Silly me. What if he turns out to be a knight? Of course, if he was, he'd a tried to kill Dawn. Or maybe he's just biding his time. Why'd he offer Buffy a job? Keep your friends close...

All in all, tonight's episode was a great taste of what's to come. Enough to whet the appetite, but this is just the appetizer.
The Master says at the end: "Right back to the beginning. Not the Bang. Not the Word. The true beginning."

What's before the creation of earth?
What's before the creation? According to some sources, the BuffyVerse operates under an assumption that human beings actually usurped Earth from its original inhabitants: demons. This was a few millenia ago. Vampires are actually remnants of an early attempt by demons to infiltrate human beings from within. Taint them. Turn them evil so demons wouldn't lose their grip on Earth. Naturally it failed, but despite that, vampires still roam the Earth. The after effects of a failed war, like radioactivity.

And it wasn't the Master who said those words, but the thing haunting Spike. When Buffy asked Spike if they were alone, he said, "just the three of us." The First Evil was there even when Buffy was in the room. We just couldn't see it, but he was talking to it. It's why what he was saying while Buffy was there, wasn't making any sense to her.

Too early to tell but I'm, possible foolishly, assuming the thing haunting Spike is The First Evil. It chose each of the various beings it became in that end scene purposefully. First Warren, then Glory, then Adam, then the Mayor, then Dru, then the Slayer. However it's not any of those people. Each time the choice of words in conjunction with that particular entity seemed to coincide. Adam referred to Spike as "Seventeen." Spike's designation in The Initiative when he was captured. Glory talked about being so cool that the english language didn't have a name for it yet. As Warren, The First Evil was bragging. The Mayor talked about souls, Spike getting his back and the Mayor selling his own.

It could be that The First Evil is able to take on the persona of anything that's evil. If that's the case, it becoming Buffy at the very end can be quite telling. Or maybe its manifestations are limited to the mind it haunts. In this case, Spike. I don't recall Spike ever meeting The Mayor in person. If so it was very brief. I also don't recall Dru actually being, y'know, DEAD dead. I thought The First Evil could only become the spirits of those its haunted victim had killed. That's how it operated when it was Angel, which gives evidence that it might be something other than The First Evil that we're dealing with here.

However if it's The First Evil, it would want to go back to The Real Beginning, so it could do it 'right' this time and take back the world.

"It's about power. Who's got it. Who knows how to use it. Who's got the power?"

...Giles looked pretty damn cool on that horse, eh?

[ edited by ZachsMind on 2002-09-25 04:22 ]
I think "just the three of us" refers to the demon, the soul and the man in Spike.

Giles did look cool. But I think it was those brown leather riding boots he was wearing that did it for me, more than the horse.
Anyone else remember "The First Evil" who showed up as people Angel had killed in season 3? How he was all bad and threatening Buffy, and then just disappeared and was never heard from again? In the Xmas episode.

I think he's back. It's not like Joss to just leave something hanging like that. The First Evil appeared to Angel mostly as Ms. Callendar, but also others. So here we have something big, bad and evil that appears as other people.

Pretty sure it's the same guy. I've been waiting for Joss to pick up on that thread again.
The name of that episode was "Amends" and yes I remember. I mentioned it in an earlier post to this thread. The Big Bad for season seven is most probably The First Evil. I'm almost certain of that now.
I thought the premier totally lacked "buffy" zing.
Don't get me wrong, I'm excited for the new season, but nothing from the premier has my hypped up for anything. I don't understand Xanders new look of success either. When did he move up in the world without a higher education? Willow, you think after the love of her life dying, she would have atleast mentioned something about Tara, but I'm hoping that will soon come. And What's with Spikes hair? Never mind..what's with Spike? He looks like a wannabe Angel with N'Sync hair.
The only power I saw in this episode was from Buffy herself.
She had the true classic character and even a little change but for the better. Her comments were quick and cute and she hasen't let her guard down. Dawn I can see with new energy but nothing to get excited about yet. But overall, I think the premier lacked classic Scoobie power, humor and I hope to see better in the weeks to come.
Xander's been making money as a builder, rebuilding Sunnydale High.
I agree with Midnight_Faith. The episode just lacked something. I think this was the worst season opener of the series.
WARNING: Spoilerish, Fanciful and LONG!

One voice of reason here, about the would be nice if he had a degree in building science from a University, especially if he is in charge of building things like, oh, High Schools over Hellmouth's...ok, 'nuff said about reason (and reality).

I enjoyed last night's episode, because OH, it gave me so much food for thought. Hmmmm, Templar Knights and Watchers, could be they were once one and the same. I had the thought that Principal Wood is either a very good Good Guy or a very bad Bad Guy (deep Pele, I know). His office located over the Hellmouth, hmmm, could he be guarding it? The 'school board' suggested he read Buffy's files---Dawn's new friends, could one of them or both be in succession for Slayer? (after Faith, I mean?)---Since Dawn is made of Buffy, could that somehow put her (in the Jossverse) in a wacky line of succession, further down the line?

And Spike, in the basement (I AM beneath you)---we never really KNEW Angel, when his soul was first returned. We saw a glimpse of how tortured he was, BUT could he have gone through much of the same thing as Spike is now? And we never really knew much of Spike, except that he was a 'bloody awful poet', perhaps he was also a bit unbalanced? ps: I kept thinking about the 'dreams' episode, where Xander comes across Giles and Spike (in 'Randy' costume) on the swingset and Spike says that Giles is training him to become a Watcher for some reason---could just be a red herring, though AND yes, Giles looked SPECTACULAR on horseback and Bath looked lovely too!

I dunno, I got millions of questions and a 'theory' or two, but I'm so glad to have new episodes of BtVS to ponder upon, and peeps to discuss it with, too. ;)
" would be nice if he had a degree in building science from a University.."

Xander has his position in his job and is advancing quickly up the corporate ladder for a similar reason to why Buffy got a job with the school. Xander's dependable in a city where people tend to die or disappear a lot. Principal Wood made it clear he's not there because he asked to be. He's the lowest guy on the totem pole among principals in the state, so he got the worst school in the state. Sunnydale's not a prime piece of real estate, in case you haven't figured that out by now. It's got a high crime rate and death toll, and those in any line of work who don't die, generally don't stick around for long.

With such a high turnover rate in business, it's no small wonder Xander is getting promoted quickly, since he has this curious tendency not to die (or be afraid & run away) regardless of what happens around him.

Ironically, the bad demons are actually helping our friends out in this regard. Because they make the place unsuitable for comfortable living, those who stand defiant and don't move tend to get easier job advancement, as their peers either become the undead or vacate Sunnydale for a more secure life elsewhere. So Xander wearing a suit and going to 'client meetings' is completely logical to me.

If that explanation doesn't help you suspend disbelief, "just repeat to yourself it's just a show, you should really just relax." =)
LOL---my new mantra "it's just a show, you should really just relax."

Can you tell I'm a contractors wife??? ;)

Of course, with Buffy getting promoted with no degree, and Xander getting promoted with no degree---I wonder who will be the new Mayor? (not that our US politicians necessarily NEED to be college educated) ;) I vote for Clem.

Oh, just a thought, now that I have chanted said mantra several times. You know, we just don't know what's going on with Amy, or her mother, encased in a trophy all this time [The Witch]---hmmm.

Can't decide if Robin is a 'goodfellow' or not---
Technically, Buffy not much more than a glorified volunteer. She's not an actual counselor. More of a 'peer advisor.' People with Buffy's new job do exist at some schools. I would think considering Sunnydale's 'issues' the kids growing up there surrounded by death would need all the help they could get in terms of coping with what's around them.
I thought it was an interesting development to show Dawn making new friends- the new scoobie doo gang. Which might seem trite in another show, but seems natural in this one. After all, they are all grownups now. They can't live in a neverending high school universe like 90210!

I am glad Anya was not forgotten- nice to know she's become a big vengeance softie. I see the physical changes in Spike (especially his hair!) as showing him as the "soft, weak" human he now is. Poor thing. The only thing I was surprised about was that Buffy didn't realize all that was wrong with Spike instantly and then go rescue him. But maybe that's the next episode?

Off to buy the soundtrack...
A quick post about Spike's hair.

It makes total sense. He's mad, so he's not really able to keep up with the normal routine of bleaching it and slicking it back. So what do we get? Curly Spike, with three months' worth of dark roots peeking through under the bleached ends.

Wait. Maybe it doesn't make sense. Does the hair of vampires grow?
I don't think dead hair grows after a few hundred years. I always thought that once he bleached it that he never had to touch it up---sooooooo, is there more than a soul here or did Joss not think that relative? Overthinking much? :D
Anyone notice the great improvement in the score? I loved the drama in the last few minutes. There's a new composer on the show, someone called Douglas Romayne.
About Xander, Contracters make a lot of money and most don't have a college degree. I know several who make hundreds of thousands a year and I don't think one has a degree. Besides, since when did carpenters and contruction workers need college degrees? Try to get a house built and see what kind of fancy car your contractor drives. Sure, he has a beat up truck, but he'll have a sportscar, too.
I think the hair of vampires grows. Otherwise wouldn't it all fall out over time? I put it in the same category with the healing of small wounds, etc.

Sorry about the topic drift.
I'm loving the speculation about Robin Wood/the Puck. "Robin Wood" is also the name of a prominent horror critic/theorist (whom Joss seems to be aware of).
... and also the name of a Tarot cards artist.
Nice touch in the end-credits with all the names of the "big bads" of previous seasons lined-up on one page.
Xander bothered me. He seemed to be a zombie, and how did he get to be supervisor all of a sudden- the Willow story line, that femminst coven- womens knowledge as healer might be interesting-but I am upset that the sex=evil thing that permated the last few seasons may be continuing.
What do you mean? There was no sex, was there? (Although, it is 20-odd hours since I saw the episode, so my memory's beginning to fade...)

And I know I'll never get a reply, because no one ever reads the archives, but hey, I know it's here.
I saw it lol.

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