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Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
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July 20 2002

Catherine Madison wasn't killed, just trapped in the cheerleading trophy. This is disturbing, but potentially revealing. Could Whedon be this heinously ingenious?

Back in "The Witch", our intrepid Scoobies trapped Amy's mother in a cheerleading trophy. In the episode "Phases" Oz noted that the trophy's eyes seemed to follow him, indicating that Catherine Madison was still in there. The school was destroyed in Graduation 2 at the end of season three. It was never revealed what happened to that trophy, or if Catherine is still trapped in there. Witch Catherine's powers involved no incantations or potions. Furthermore, her eyes turned black. Sound familiar? Is it possible that Willow's been possessed by Catherine? Perhaps Willow's actions in the finale of season six were not fully hers?

Or perhaps Amy, after she was de-ratted? She seemed intent on getting Willow to Rack or Rax or whatever his name was ("Wrecked"), AND she was in no hurry to contact her father---hmmm, Joss, hmmm---
It was never revealed what happened to that trophy, or if Catherine is still trapped in there.

Actually, when the Scoobys had to go back to the ruins of Sunnydale High in S4, the trophy was seen on the floor of a hallway. If memory serves, the eyes were still glowy.
Can I just say that this is one of the most chilling things I've ever read regarding Buffy?

Came at me out of left field, which is exactly where Joss tends to come from, and spooked the hell out of me. I can't wait to see if it has any merit. :)
Though it is an interesting idea, I would really hate it if something like this was the case. First it was the "Hey, I can't help it, I was addicted", and then now "Hey, I can't help it, I was obsessed"? It would feel like a cop-out, an easy way for not having to deal with the consequences of what Willow has done.
I never understand why people have a problem with the drug metaphor. Willow was addicted to the power. How else was Joss Whedon supposed to convey that than to use the drug metaphor? Makes perfect sense to me. At least she wasn't saying "The Devil made me do it." =) And personally I wouldn't find the "I was obsessed" angle a cop-out. I'd think it was ingenious if Whedon worked Catherine Madison back into the picture. I like it when a writer ties up loose ends in creative ways, and Catherine Madison is one major loose end. Just like the whole "rat Amy" thing which stretched for two or three seasons. That was cool.
I think the problem most people had with the drug metaphor was how out-of-nowhere it was. Up until the very episode where Willow met Rack, there was never any hint that a person could become 'addicted' to magic. The metaphor was originally magic-as-sexual-substitute (check out those spells Willow and Tara did in S4), and then gradually evolved into a simple magic-as-power type thing. The comparison to a drug habit had no precedent in the Buffyverse.

I didn't have as much of a problem with it as a lot of people did, but I certainly see why they did.
I'm ok with the drug metaphore. Pity they didn't play it more subtle. Anvil, anvil, anvil. We're not stupid. To coin a Scooby phrase: "I get that." But perhaps we have to take into account the demographic (teenage boys) they got (or aimed for) on UPN this year.
I don't understand this 'drug metaphor' thing at all. Magic is addictive, just like power, just like drugs... and anything else that's addictive. And magic is power, pretty much. No metaphor there. It's addictive, plain and simple.
'Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men'.
- Lord Acton, in a letter to Bishop Mandell Creighton, 1887.

Perhaps the drug metaphor was an attempt at sleight of hand on the part of Whedon; hocus pocus to distract us from where he was really going with it. Dark magic wasn't killing Willow, it was corrupting her. Not the same thing.
sufficiently creeped out just thinking about the eyes in that cheerleading trophy and what the implications COULD be----brrrrrr.

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