This site will work and look better in a browser that supports web standards, but it is accessible to any browser or Internet device.

Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
"She-Hulk has the fakest boobs I ever saw."
11944 members | you are not logged in | 31 July 2014












July 25 2006

What might have been - the Faith spin-off series. Marti Noxon chats to iFMagazine.com about what could have happened after Buffy season 7.

Would still love for this to happen
Faith with a side of Spike.... and the “could of beens” just keep on hurting.
Hmm. Intresting. I wonder what kind of stories they would have come with. Especially since TM would have been one of the main writers.

But I am always there for anything with ED.

It would be great to revisit Faith someday.

Makes me want to see what Joss will do in the comic form with Faith, since he obviously had some ideas.

[ edited by Donna Troy on 2006-07-25 04:12 ]
This makes me more sure that BtVS ended at the right time. With both Joss and Marti out of ideas for the show it definitely seems like the time was right.

But..Faith with a side of Spike, I can only imagine just how good that could have been. I enjoyed Spike on AtS but I think they could have done so much more with him and Faith on a whole new show, with fresh new ideas.
The sad thing is that if we ever do get anymore Faith action, there would be no Spike. First of all, because it would just seem ridiculous to shoehorn the character into everything done in the Buffyverse. But also with his commitments to the mission in Angel, it would just be hard for him to justify suddenly roaming the countryside with Faith and Wood.

Still, Faith is definitely one of the top characters I'd like to see get lots of development in the comics. (She's second to Vi.) It'd be nice to know how the Slayer activation effected her life.
Since ED doesn't seem to be doing anything other than v/o for video games and going to parties lately, you wonder why she doesn't try to get Marti to pitch the Faith spinoff to network again.

Isn't Marti's new show's pilot already gone through major overhauls and rumored to be in trouble?
You know I often wondered about that, how Faith would be affected by the mass slayer activation. Near the end of the show, Faith says to Buffy (when she's recuperating from the bomb planted for the potentials, and Buffy comes to show her the special slayer weapon she got from the Old Ladies) that there never was supposed to be more than one slayer, maybe that's why they never got along. And then you get to the finale where they go ahead and create a whole slew of slayers. Faith's line didn't really lead anywhere to a conversation about the rivalry/jealousy/partnership between Faith and Buffy either. What was the point of that dialogue? It felt either unneccessary, or incomplete.

Thoughts?

In general, I was very disappointed that, let alone closure, there was not even one substantial conversation between the Chosen Two who were reunited after having had some seriously disturbing history together.
Well we might see some of the ideas for the Faith spin-off used in the Buffy season 8 comics.
I would say that three movies in the works, a voice over and traveling is not doing nothing. Eliza had a big deal recently in Albania. Something most young people, even stars could only dream of. I also don't think she would go to Marti, but either TM(who was going to be the showrunner) or Joss. He has talked several times about wanting to work again with Eliza and vice versa.

I never bought the Wood relationship. i felt it was a fast fix to give her a happy send -off.long. but Wood had to many creppy Slayer control issue for someone like Faith with her own Watcher issues. Faith has always been the fancy free Slayer. The one, no matter what was said by Giles or Buffy who would never not trust Angel, think he had gone to the darkside, or not try to help him if there was even a inkling it was needed. She would need and wnat to see it for herself. Whatever it was. Damn, I hope this series goes past finding out what happend NFA and we can see her reaction to Wes's death. Now that was a relationship with so much undone and unsaid.

Maybe she would join Spike and travel the road or fight beside both vamps. She always did belong a little more to Angel's world then Buffy's.

As for Faith and her reaction to the Slayer activation, I don't think she would be to happy. She of all people would know what it would be like to be lost, alone, fall through the cracks and suddenly be gifted with enourmous powers. She would understand the strengths of walking the strait line and the darkness of playing god. I have always thought that this line might start to crash in on itself, having been stretch to thin. I mean they say it was because Buffy came back that the First was able to come to power. So a million Slayers activated all at the same time and doubling all the time must do something so cosimically worse. Maybe that is what triggers Fray's world.

Buffy and Faith talks were right up there with the missing Faith/Xander scene and more Giles/Buffy after the Spike sitch. Alot missing that can hopefully be told in the comics.
Hey anytime I get a chance to reference The Justice League cartoons I will do so. There is an episode at the end of season 4 (season 2 of Justice League Unlimited) where they reveal the origins of Batman Beyond. I dont want to give that away, but one of the things they talk about is how, although its hard, although its tough, and although it can suck sometimes, being Batman is an honor for only those that are worthy of being Batman. In other words, you have to have the heart to be Batman. And I totally agree. This may be sacreligious on this site, but Batman has always been my favorite hero, with a close second being Buffy.

Why did I mention that? Well, I see Batman the same way I see Buffy and the Slayer. Being the slayer is an honor, and although its hard, although its tough, and although it can suck sometimes, being the slayer is/should be considered an honor. And its an honor because Buffy is a good person (as is Bruce Wayne) and makes it so, and really, THATS why she is a hero. Not because she can kick my butt, not because she can jump higher than anyone else, its because of who she is and what she did with the slayer persona that made her special. Ive never really been against the slayer empowerment in theory, but if one of the reasons that Buffy did so (and I think this is correct) is because she wanted to escape being the chosen one, then I do have issues with that plan for the reasons Ive laid out here. I dont think being the slayer is something you escape, its something you overcome and embrace, its something good can overcome, its something that good can make their own, and its something that can be remade into something good for both the slayer and the world she is sworn to protect. Let me leave you with this quote from a friend of mine about The Prom:

"But the Class Protector thing...ohh, that cuts me. "We're not friends." Damn what an opener. Makes me weep like a baby. That's what made this show special. Every other hero is sort of out there on a pedestal, you know? Like, Superman's got Jimmy, and Lois, and they're ostensibly "normal", and hey, so is Xander, you know? But still, not really. They're larger-than-life, just by virtue of familiarity, contact with the supernatural, the inevitable heroism they display (usually in their very first episode).

But Jon's not like that. Jon's not a hero. Nameless extra #516's not a hero. The two chicks who tied for Homecoming Queen, they're not heroes. They're never larger than life, no matter how often we see them - they're little, and petty, and scared, and they're the reason Buffy's out there every night. And they know. And the little glittery umbrella - it's the ultimate point of contact, the ultimate proof that Buffy does need them. That it matters if they live or die on her watch. If she has to give up her life - not the breathing, but the living - then at least these people respond to that, at least they're not wasting her sacrifice.

Superman doesn't need us. Spiderman, I love him but he's in it for MJ and his uncle. Angel? Angel doesn't see anything but his guilt. But Buffy... she saves them, and in return, they save her.

Weep like a baby."

Thats why the empowerment spell makes me a little uncomfortable. Buffy is no longer the hero spoken of here, she is the general of an army of ubermensch, who no longer have to overcome anything or accept the mantle of leadership and responsibility they were chosen for. Its the easy way out, paraded as a great feminist message, and im not sure thats such a good thing.

Oh, and Im sorry if this is off topic but the empowerment spell got me thinking!

ETA: For me, being a hero means making the tough choices and sacrificing what's dearest to you for the welfare of others. When Buffy jumps off that tower in The Gift, I cried liked a baby because I knew that her jump encompassed more than just her sacrifice for the world. Its an incredible story built around love, honor, sacrifice, and what makes us special. Its about life, its about why we fight even when it seems hopeless, and in the end, we dont just love Buffy for her sacrifice, we love her as the person she truly became. She made the tough choices, she realized that life matters no matter who or what you are, and that there are things in this life that are worth fighting for. Even if the odds seem hopeless. Thats what makes a hero, a person who rises above, conquers, and does so for those whom they love. In Buffy's case, she loved humanity, and like Bruce Wayne, Buffy fights with the heart of someone who loves her fellow man beyond anything we require of her. She is a hero, not because she is the slayer, but because of the person that became the slayer. And in the end, being the slayer became on honor, one born of her love for humanity and her ability to accomplish the extraordinary. To simply shrug that off, seems less than a happy ending to me.

[ edited by jerryst3161 on 2006-07-25 11:06 ]
" with the missing Faith/Xander scene and more Giles/Buffy after the Spike sitch."

That's exactly the two things I missed in S7, along with no mention of Tara. Especially the Xander/Faith scene, which I'd been waiting for for four years. Biggest disappointment of the whole show for me.
'Ive never really been against the slayer empowerment in theory, but if one of the reasons that Buffy did so (and I think this is correct) is because she wanted to escape being the chosen one, then I do have issues with that plan for the reasons Ive laid out here.'

As Joss has said many a time, it was all about sharing power. Buffy, to some degree, always isolated herself, because she never felt that she could truly share her experience with anyone (except for Kendra and then Faith). It also made her special, yes, and she probably wished more than once that she was just a normal girl, but she would never, ultimately, walk away, not after all she knows and after all she's seen. And ultimately, she must have known that they would lose the battle at the hellmouth if she didn't, for once, willingly and truly share her power. It was both an act of necessity and selflessness.

At least that's how I feel about it. Heh.
They did resolve the Faith/Buffy thing by the empowerment. The musical montage of various young girls across the world looking all glorious and powerful was supposed to be one of those subtexty things that lets you know you're seeing a good thing. Buffy and Faith were no longer chosen ones destined to die alone putting mission before anything, feeling like 'dirty girls'. By series end they had taken back their power, chosen their destiny themselves, and weren't interested in escaping anything. Chosen was all about magnificant fighting women who were free to yield their own power.
"Maybe she would join Spike and travel the road or fight beside both vamps. She always did belong a little more to Angel's world then Buffy's."

I agree. I loved Faith's run on Angel and I think she really blossomed among the champions. BTVS was about a slayer and her friends; ATS was about a group of champions struggling to do the right thing ... and always a little bit lonely for a place to call home. Just like Faith.

"As for Faith and her reaction to the Slayer activation, I don't think she would be to happy. She of all people would know what it would be like to be lost, alone, fall through the cracks and suddenly be gifted with enourmous powers."

Yes! So, it was very strange to me that they would treat this issue so blase, as if Faith was just another one of the potentials. She isn't. And in the future process of training all these watcherless slayers, Faith would be a brilliant team member, or a major pain in the ass. She has an insight on slayer power that Buffy doesn't have - Buffy was always surrounded with love, and did not question moral obligation as much as Faith did.

The maturation of Faith was done beautifully on ATVS season 4. Faith's issues with Buffy had a lot to do with sibling rivalry, jealousy, feelings of inadequacy ... She could be Wesley to Buffy's Angel, a general in the battle to reign in the world's slayer power. One thing about Faith is that she's never boring!
"They did resolve the Faith/Buffy thing by the empowerment. The musical montage of various young girls across the world looking all glorious and powerful was supposed to be one of those subtexty things that lets you know you're seeing a good thing. Buffy and Faith were no longer chosen ones destined to die alone putting mission before anything, feeling like 'dirty girls'."

Hmm, I can see that for Buffy, but I got no feeling for if that's what it meant to Faith as well. Just because there's now a whole lot of girls like her doesn't mean she would stop feeling lonely ... she already had somebody like her - Buffy - who she did not feel close to. Also, the choice to activate them all was Buffy's. Faith was not even included in the decision until the time when Buffy announces it to everyone. Even though Faith is now more willing to accept Buffy's leadership and not challenge her position, that doesn't mean that all old feelings have gone away. From Faith's point of view, the mass activation of slayers could mean a world of fellow slayers, or it could mean a world full of Buffys. Hmmm.
Joss and I were so, so, so tired. . . . the BUFFY model felt so tapped out and we were so afraid of the show not staying at the level of quality that we hopefully maintained for most of the seasons.

Yep. That's it. That's the reason why S7 wavered a bit, especially in the middle. (So many Potentials, so little energy to do much with them.) Fatigue had set in, understandably, after 7 grueling years of production. Everyone needed a break.
I don't know Carpeffulgent, I think Faith and Buffy's problems had a common source in their being a slayer. They may have responded to it differently(Faith being hypersexual to keep people at bay and Buffy becoming emotionally frozen) but I think even in the midst of people who loved her, being a Slayer made Buffy just as lonely. Lonely was in the job description. Under the old way there was no way they could ever be close, slayers were supposed to be alone. After the spell it changed for everyone.(I think the scene in the bedroom with Faith and the scythe was to underline this was a problem with the line...not so much the two of them)

But the empowerment spell changed that, it changed the line. And the spell was predicated on choice. Buffy gave the speech, talked about how the line used to be(where the girls stayed girls, powerless weapons to be used and discarded before they became women) and what it could be under Willow's spell....she then gave everyone a choice. Faith was very much a part of the changed line, she's right by Buffy's side and I'm pretty sure the whole thing with Wood was to show that she too had changed. She was going to let someone get close. Like Buffy, Faith was also able to place a life and love above the mission.

And I don't think the point of the spell was to make a whole bunch of Buffy's. In fact, it seemed to me to be about celebrating the freedom to be exactly who you were supposed to be.
I think the empowerment spell will cause alot more trouble then help in the long run. Look at Dana. Look at the lack of Watchers, money, facilities and resources to train and bring these girls to were they need to be.

I feel for all the girls out there who had thier lives ripped about. So many will fall through the cracks. There is just not enough people to catch the many that could be called dailey. So mnay girls will die without really knowing why. Buffy gave the twenty poeple there in that room a choice. The millions she activated and changed life's forever did not get it a say. It was an irresponsible decision. One, many girls will not wantt or be thankful for. Empowering is not being able to fight back with superpowers and chase what goes bump in the night , but having the courage with who you are to do so. Something that would have been in these girls from the start, not because of a spell. I always saw that human Xander represnted this best to the whole show

I also see a civil war coming. Not all these called Slayers are going to want to join Buffy or go evil. Many will want to do it themselves. New ways of slaying will merge that Buffy and Faith will have no control over.I can very easily see that Faith and Buffy after Sunnydale having many confrontations.Especially over unbalanced,angry or just plain hurt slayers. Buffy will try to have them fall in line. Faith will understand what is like to be out there alone, unsure and scared. Faith will also trust these girls alot more. Even the show showed Buffy more as the cold gerneral leading the fight who did not know what they were feeling, their names or even when to back off. But Faith did. The Slayers never will completely trust each other or each other's methods.

But the bottom line will be that if the balance, which we are told, is out of whack now and allowed for the bad guy to come into being, what do you think will happen now? Good and evil have to be always balanced. The universe would fall into disaray if there were more Slayers then vamps. More good then bad. I think this will be the story JW will tell.

Something is going to have to happen to bring this line back from into bloated version know and back to what it was laways intended to be. One girl. We see in Fray that Buffy or someone with blond hair closes the portal. We also see years later that only ONE slayer is called again.

Faith grew but not because of Wood or being intrested in what he offered. She had started her growth a long time ago. By first asking for help, second accepting her punishment and third when being asked to help,being willing to come no questions asked. She has already let people close and trusted them again. Faith might be by Buffy's side in a fight but that does not mean she will follow the rules and be okay with what happened. It is very much like her orpheus trip to save Angel. There was really no other way. She gambled, rolled the dice for him. But that doe snot mean she liked the plan or thought it was the way to go. It was just the best they had at the time.And she almost lost everything. It was the only plan, a dangerous and potentially devistating one, but the one needed to win the day. So was Buffy calling the power of the Slayers. But know their are many problems and the bad out ways the good.
Donna, Joss told us Chosen was a happy ending. If we didn't have his words we'd still have a myriad of subtext that clearly points out that we should view Chosen as a triumphant ending. We have the heroic music, the gasps, Buffy getting her fire back, the montage of all those girls worldwide, we even have Buffy's sad smile and the collapse of the Hellmouth. None of this hints at all to Buffy having created a dangerous or potentially devastating world.

We're shown Dana, but we're also shown the Slayers arriving to take care of one of their own.(In fact, that scene serves more as a wakeup call to Angel than as any pronouncement against Buffy)

More importantly, season 7 showed us time and again examples of the 'way it was always intended' was a failed way that only disempowered the chosen one. From Quentin Travers announcing 'the girl knows nothing', the Shamans chains, to every example of a sit that had a watcher but was woefully untrained and lacking in knowledge(many didn't know what a slayer or vamp was)there is simply not a shred of text or subtext that would support IMO that what Buffy and Willow did was disastrous.
ramses 2 - The events of Chosen can be good and happy and triumphant and empowering and still lead to the events of Fray. If it leads to something horrible, it doesn't have to change or detract from the beauty and power of Chosen.
Absolutely Zeitgeist, and I don't believe I was saying they couldn't. I believe Donna however was suggesting that the events of Chosen were in fact disastrous because they overturned the way things were supposed to be. I was responding to her analysis of those events in Chosen. Obviously something happens that brings the line from empowered back to a single chosen girl, but I disagree that we'll see Joss ever claim that the old ways were the right ones and that Buffy had ended the line, saved the line only to find that she had wrecked the lives of many of girls.

I tend to think we'll discover some of the events of ATS 5 are far more likely candidates for what happens to the line than anything that Buffy did.
Buffy had her fire back way before. It is what made Buffy Buffy that fire. IT came back in the end of season 6. Buffy lead her family , friends and the sits into battle everytime inher life because of her fire. She might fall, but everytime has stoood back up and been who she was always meant to be. Becasue she was Buffy. Nothing else. Because of her own inner strength of character. It is why we can continue to cheer and love her, even if we don't always agree with her chioces.

Happy ending for now.Not ever. Or there would be no need to tell more stories and no need for the new comic. But there is. and it does lead to Fray somehow, someway. But ever battle is win and a happy ending of sorts. You count you lucky stars, mourn your loss and move on to the next one. History repeats.

Balance is how everything works. Good/evil, happiness/sadness, hurt/pain, and love/hate. So for all these millions upon million to be activated daily, it goes to reason that on the other side something just as huge is happening for the other side. That equals another epic confrontation.

I view them living and Buffy and her family making it out as a happy ending.I see Buffy's smile and her and her loved one's bonding as a happy ending. But i also under stand Buffy just did something she has no idea how to control or what it could lead to. We have seen two three types of Slayers in the run of Buffy. Now there are millions of types and not all are going to be Chosen ones. Not all will want to. There will be evil ones, and as much pain and suffering as there is good times and truimphs.

For me Buffy's descion was very much like Angel's too. He went in to stop THIS big bad. Not the whole worlds. We know that neither Angel nor Buffy really could defeat the evils they went up against in the rend. The First was never killed only his uber-vamps and the hellmouth. W&H lives in many demensions and had offices all over the world.Both went into this thinking how to stop it now and not thinking about the after effects or what the cost would be. Not a bad thing. But certainly they could never know what the future would bring. They can only breath and take the happiness the can find now.

I would also have to add that I don't see how anything Angel or crew does will have any effect on the line. This is Slayer line and for all intensive purposes they are out of this story. For now. They had nothing to so with the spell or with how the slayer line was created. nothing they have done has connected them to this story.

Somehow this line will start shrinking or splintering. Everything will have to go back to the begining when the line was first fractured accidently and then back to was fractured on purpose. Maybe Slayers will star losing powers. Maybe if something happens to both Slayers in a ritual it will restart the line back to where it began or give it to who the current line runner is. Which is Faith.

I for one am very intrested to see.

[ edited by Donna Troy on 2006-07-25 22:20 ]
I think I mostly agree with ramses 2 here, Donna Troy though you raise some good points.

One Slayer was the way it was "always intended" to be ? Isn't it more the way 3 old men forced a young girl to accept it to be ? Buffy refuses to accept this, subverts the Slayer mythos and empowers a whole bunch of young women and girls in the process (not that that act won't have its problems and i'd certainly be interested in seeing how the Slayers deal with them, the civil war idea is a really interesting one for example).

The whole point is surely that the young girls and women are now in charge of their own lives and have their futures under their control (I do accept that the empowerment was forced on them but I still think it's to their net gain though the lack of consent still bothers me).

(and to me although Watchers are there to help Slayers they are also a fairly clear analogue to traditional patriarchal male control and so the end of the Watcher's Council isn't necessarily something to be lamented in the Buffyverse. Even if it didn't end it certainly needed to change radically)

Also, Faith knew when to back off when she wasn't leader. As soon as she became leader (after 'General Buffy' was, quite rightly, ousted for being callous and autocratic) she started being colder and more disciplinarian. I think the lesson there was that it's the role of leader which isolates people and unless they take a lot of care they can become distant and uncaring (especially if they're already somewhat separate from humanity by being, y'know, superheroes).

(I think it's made pretty clear that the way Buffy leads towards the end of S7 is the wrong approach and not her natural character but more a result of a kind of battle fatigue arising from isolation and loneliness, as we see when a) the Potentials and the Scoobs refuse to accept Buffy's authority and b) Buffy is only successful against Caleb when she uses her true abilities and wins the scythe 'Not by strength, by guile')
I guess what I am asking is why does becoming a Slayer and having to kill nameless monsters empower them in their futures. Why are they not already empowered by just being themselves? All these girls who might never have been slayer, now are. Their innocence ripped away not by chioce.

Xander was. Gunn was. Kate,Dawn,Cordy.. and so on. Normal people who were empowered to do what was right and join the fight not because of some spell or new powers but because they had the fire already in them. I see empowerment as the morals and strenghth one has in themselves always. Something no one can add to or take away from. But it is up to them and them alone to decide when to fight and when to walk.

Think about Faith. She had the choice to walk to the jail cell and accept her punishment. She choose not to leave once there. And only left because of Angel. It was not because of her powers or being a slayer that made her stay it was because of her own inner will. Faith's empowerment came from her own understanding of how she needed to live her life and what was important in it.

I think that Watchers and guidence is deffinatly needed for all these girls Otherwise you do get to many fractions and way to much ego. We thought Buffy and Faith were bad? Imagine tons of Slayers going through what they did every day but without the guidence of Giles, Wes, a vampire with a soul or a witch. Not pretty. No books to know what they are fighting. no understanding why one hit can kill someone when they are angry. Makes you wonder if the world will finally have to put away it's rose-colored glasses and really look at the many gangs on PCP.

Did Buffy's decion just make the Vampire Slayer and the world they really live in front page news? Seriously how long to the secret is out? That many girls? How long to mother's and father's start trying to find cures for their little girls or abandoning them in fear? I mean the world already ignored the sky going dark only over L.A and Sunnydale falling into a sink hole after it's whole population ran because of the demons.

[ edited by Donna Troy on 2006-07-25 22:45 ]
You know its weird, like I said in the post above, I dont have a problem with the empowerment spell in theory, but everytime I argued about it I had this nagging thought in the back of my head that something didnt seem quite right. When I watched that Justice League cartoon (its funny where you get inspiration isnt it?) it clicked. When Buffy says "I dont want to be the one", I could just see Bruce Wayne saying the same, and in that sense, its not really about being a martyr, is about overcoming it. Its saying "I dont want to be the one, but Ill do it anyway. And Ill learn that my sacrifice is worthy of what I am fighting for." Its an acknowledgement and acceptance of your role as Batman/Buffy, to the point that you are no longer a martyr for the cause, you now have a job you accept because of the good (and isnt that what The Prom is about?).

For Buffy, I think she made the slayer into something worthy of being passed on, she changed the system, she gave us a model for how it could be done and done well. And because she was a good person, she made the mantle of slayer something worthy to be passed on to those who deserve it. In other words, at some point, Bruce Wayne stopped seeing Batman as a curse and began to see it as a blessing, something that I dont get from Chosen. "Buffy you've overcome being the slayer and now you can do what you want for the first time, arent you excited?' Shouldnt overcoming the slayer aspect of her character mean that Buffy now embraces the slayer within her and no longer sees it as a curse? Shouldnt Buffy relish in being the chosen one instead of passing her burden on to others? Thats not being a martyr, thats accepting who you are and what you have done, to the point that you recognize the hardships but accept that your calling was the right number and that, in all actuality, you arent sacrificing anything. Cause guess what? Your love for humanity means that you are doing good in the world, and thats what matters. It just seems that Chosen isnt about this idea, its about shrugging off the slayer as if its a blanket that fails to keep you warm. Forget the men who made the slayer, Buffy made the slayer into something better, and instead of hitting us over the head with the ball-busting feminism of that moment, Buffy took the slayer concept, reshaped it, and made it her own. She shouldnt have to escape anything, she should be able to come to terms with that idea, instead of changing the entire system so that she doesnt have to be the "one" anymore. A hero is one who wants to be the one, not one who casts a spell to escape it.

Its not that Buffy isnt a hero nor is the empowerment spell necessarily a bad thing. Buffy wanted to share her power, but why? I think its because she wanted to escape being the chosen one, and THATS what I have a problem with, not necessarily the empowerment spell itself. Buffy isnt a hero because she shrugged off being the chosen one, she is a hero because she embraced it and made it her own. She is a hero because she fought, when she didnt have to. And now she is choosing not too because she doesnt have too. And you see my dilemma...

[ edited by jerryst3161 on 2006-07-25 23:09 ]
I guess what I am asking is why does becoming a Slayer and having to kill nameless monsters empower them in their futures

I raised the same point myself when I started off on your side of this argument a while back but the fact is they don't have to "kill nameless monsters" now that there are so many of them. There'll always be Slayers willing to fight but their numbers mean lots of them don't have to (and ultimately none of them have to since they have the means to resist coercion).

I see empowerment as the morals and strenghth one has in themselves always

Yes I agree, and all those girls will still have that (if they had it to begin with which, as you point out, is part of the problem with the mass Slayer empowerment in that not all of them will use it well or wisely) with the added bonus that they can also kick ass if required.

Something no one can add to or take away from

Not sure about that, doesn't seem to leave much room for the inspiration gained from a good example (what Anne says to Gunn in 'Not Fade Away' springs to mind) or the corrupting influence of evil forces (the rest of Angel S5).

As you say Faith chose to go to jail and that was noble and good. She also chose to leave jail when Angel needed her. Could she have done that without Slayer strength and agility ? Slayerness also gave her extra options and the ability to fully realise her choices (for good or ill) but it was her own character that formulated the choice to begin with.

We're going to have to agree to disagree on the Watcher issue though ;). The Watchers were controlling and manipulative (I discount individuals like Giles since he was a good man trapped in a bad or at least misguided role which he then chose to leave when he quit/was fired). They saw the Slayers not as young women but as instruments, weapons in the fight against evil. You've voiced concerns about choices being made for the Slayers-in-waiting ? The Watcher's Council was all about removing choices and any help and guidance they gave the Slayers was purely from selfish motives. To me they clearly represent the numerous people (mainly men) down through the ages that have told young women what they can and can't do rather than let them make their own choices. You seem to worry about chaos with the large numbers of free Slayers, well, welcome to freedom ;).

(again though I agree that there are loads of problems inherent in having thousands of superhumans wandering around - including a probable loss of secrecy - and i'd really like to see them addressed either on screen or in the upcoming comics, the possibilities are pretty much endless e.g. will the Slayers police themselves ? How will the government respond when they find out ? How about the general public ? and I can still see it reaching the Fray-like future if that's still Joss' intent)

[ edited by Saje on 2006-07-25 23:11 ]
Saje: ... the lack of consent still bothers me.

Yeah, me too. It's a contradiction that the show doesn't try to resolve. Chosen clearly wants us to see the power transfer as a good thing -- all those oppressed or underestimated girls rising up with strength. And yet ... back in Get It Done, Buffy refuses the grant of additional slayer power because it would make her, as she says, "less than human." Not only that, but the whole scene with the Shadow Men and the chained Buffy is played as a kind of rape. Buffy says, "You think I came all this way to get knocked up by some demon dust?" And even more explicitly: "You violated that girl [the First Slayer], made her kill for you because you're weak, you're pathetic."

So what side are we to take? Are we to see the transfer of slayer power as a welcome elevation of strength or a repugnant violation?
I see your points Saje.

I may have to rethink my views on the COW after reading your post and rethinking about it. The one thing that bothered me in Angel season 5 was the way that Giles and the others passed such a quick and dessive judgement over him and his methods. So much that he was unwilling to try and help in any way with Fred. Sound alot like old COW methods.

Now, hopefully we will see a clear image of what and why, but I find it kinda hypocritical of Giles to pass judgement on Angel's actions when he tried to kill Spike for the same reasons. The Mission. Same with Wood(and another reaosn why I don't see Faith staying with him for very long). Yes, he had reason to hate Spike. But I don't get the feeling he would see angel any diffenent soul or not. In this world where being a demon or vamp no loger means you are evil or a killer, it makes things very grey and it very hard to pass judgement on anyone unless you are walking thier path. I will never believe Faith would eve rthink the worst of angel or his intentions, She would go strait to the sourse. So would Buffy.

Giles, Wood, maybe even Xander and Andrew not so much.

I think in reguards to the power trasfer, it was good thing at the time. It will lead to bad things, but in the end there still be a Slayer. Somehow, someway. We are at only the middle point of the story with the end still far way. Think of Chosen like the first act. We are at intermission now and the comics and everything after is next acts.

I think the idea of policing themselves is intresting. Will they have tribunal for slayers gone wrong? Counciling for all the emotional issues? Is Giles the highest up there is? How are decisions made? Is there a school?

[ edited by Donna Troy on 2006-07-25 23:26 ]
"I guess what I am asking is why does becoming a Slayer and having to kill nameless monsters empower them in their futures."

A few things occur to me.

1. Why assume that all the girls have to kill nameless monsters anymore than they would if they had not been endowed with the Slayer powers? Buffy and Faith and the rest of the line of singleton slayers had to kill demons because they were the only slayer. There was no one else, so all the responsibility fell on them, giving them no choices at all. If the world is full of girls and women with slayer powers doesn't it give all of them more of a choice than what any of them would have had who had been been "chosen" in the old way? Isn't that idea what was being played with in S3 before it was obvious Faith could not handle it?

2. Apparently all of humanity was going to be attacked by these ubervamps and the First if something was not done. So all but one of the girls that received that strength, would have been facing those monsters anyway, only without superpowers. Not to mention that once Faith is killed one of these girls is going to become the one and only and then another and another anyway. They can continue to lay all the responsibility on one or spread it around and help each other.

3. All these girls had been targeted by The First already. They were just lucky they had not been found. Under the old system they got to be slaughtered without the slayer powers to help them fight back.

4. Slayer powers do not empower you in every part of life, but they sure do help if you are attacked by a vampire or monster. Since ordinary women and girls are attacked by vampires and monsters all the time in the Buffyverse, slayer powers certainly empower them in the staying alive department.

5. The feminist messages that go with the above points are integral to the ending and should not be ignored. Using Dana as the prime example of what will happen if a large number of women are given unusual strength does not speak well of the assumption of how women handle strength. I would expect there to be slayers like Dana, but far more who would deal with it well...just like in real life.

ETA: Damn. Saje beat me to it AGAIN. ;-)

[ edited by newcj on 2006-07-25 23:59 ]
I agree Donna Troy, Angel always handled grey a bit better than Buffy (and I mean both the series and the characters). And yeah, re: policing themselves, Slayer college ? Maybe a BA in Slayer Studies ? ;). And what about Slayer prisons ? Previously, someone (might've been Haunt) raised the point about athletics and whether Slayers would be allowed to compete. Would there be Slayer tests before major competitions etc. ? Loads of ways to go with it in future and although (IMO) 'Chosen' was a great way to end the series it also opens up a ton of possibilities.

Yeah, 1starbuckstown it is pretty hard to reconcile. I wonder if the idea is that since the power is being conferred by other women then maybe it's kind of 'purer' (Willow's white witchiness etc.) but then that's not really a message of equality but superiority and doesn't jibe with the way the goodie men (Giles, Xander etc.) are portrayed (which is to say fairly and as genuinely good human beings) ? Or maybe it's just that the motive is pure so the power is untainted ? I accept the necessity of it but it is still, ultimately, a decision made for them, not by them (it's something Mal Reynolds would immediately recognise as 'making people better' which, as we and The Alliance found out, he don't hold with ;).

It just seems that Chosen isnt about this idea, its about shrugging off the slayer as if its a blanket that fails to keep you warm

I like that imagery jerryst3161 but I don't agree with the idea behind it. To me, Buffy isn't shrugging off Slayerdom in 'Chosen' she's re-inventing it. She's basically having her cake and eating it too (and none of it's going to her thighs ;) since she's keeping the good parts and just throwing away the loneliness of being 'The One' (I don't get the impression that she'll totally stop slaying, just that she'll have a bit of help and so can take it a bit easier).

There seems to be this idea that being the only one is inherent in Slayerness. I don't agree. Ask yourself why there's just one Slayer ? Wouldn't the mission (and Cleveland ;) be better served by two or three ? 50 ? IMO, the reason there's one is something Donna Troy's said about the difficulty in controlling hundreds or thousands of Slayers. Basically the Watcher's Council (and the 3 old men before them) were scared. They knew the Slayer has power and they wanted to make sure she was at least outnumbered even if she wasn't outgunned.

Being a hero is about self-sacrifice and accepting danger and loss but it doesn't have to be about being alone (even Batman has Robin and the rest of the Bat-posse).

(and my personal feeling is that Buffy chose the empowerment spell as a way of winning the battle and that saving herself from a life of loneliness was waaay secondary in her considerations if at all. I actually wonder if it didn't even occur to her until the Scoobs mention it at the end of 'Chosen' which would lend even more poignancy to that lovely little bitter-sweet smile in the final frame)

newcj, we should work out a rota or something, give each other days off ;-)
You two are too fraking funny!!!

I wonder if you would run into trouble by trying to test for slayerness in competions or anything else. It is not a drug someone DECIDED to take, it is part of who they are. Their individula DNA. But it also does make the girl faster stronger, ect. So where is the fair line? Seperate but equal?

And what happens now to all these girls and their home lifes? Before COW would come in a try and take the girl from her family or train in her in secret. The sheer number of girls would make that impossible.

Buffy and Faith were about sacrafice. They were scared and yet went to face the danger because theyw ere all there was. Now girls can pick and chooses when to fight and when to not. Not sure the bad guys will see a difference. I am not sure you get that same feeling when their are now hundreds out there and hundreds that can be called whe they die. Does every girl activate anew slayer when she dies? What if she dies and is brought back i.e cpr? Sooner of later would not ever woman or girl be a slayer of some sort?

To many questions..lol.
The guardian of the scythe told Buffy that they had been around forever trying to keep watch over the slayer. They themselves watched the Watchers and for some reason they had to hide.(One might assume then that being a slayer wasn't the problem but how that destiny was thrust on a single girl who could be controlled by a group of men.) Before Buffy speaks to the sits about the empowerment, she discusses her plan with the gang. We see that Giles is terrifically proud of her. And Faith is right there with him.(So Faith is not alienated in the slightest here...no one is suggesting that it would be much better for a powerful ancient creature to be given a watcher to make sure she doesn't date and learns to respect her betters)

We don't get the rest of the speech until much later, right before the power montage.(Where this speech falls in the episode has to be noted, this is turnaround time. Buffy is finishing the transformation, ending her hero's journey. The girl who doesn't open up, doesn't share says:)

"So here's the part where you make a choice: What if you could have that power...now? In every generation, one slayer is born... because a bunch of men who died thousands of years ago made up that rule. They were powerful men. This woman (points to Willow) is more powerful than all of them combined. So I say we change the rule. I say my power...
...should be our power.

Cut to:

26b INT. HELLMOUTH - DAY
Vi, Rona, Amanda close their eyes and breathe in with a start.

BUFFY (V.O.)
Tomorrow, Willow will use the essence of the scythe to change our destiny.

It would appear that Buffy isn't condemning girls to be raped as the First Slayer was, in fact, by totally changing the destiny, by using the scythe that was forged by women to protect a young girl they are changing the very meaning of what a slayer is. Spike has told Wood that slayers must put everything before the mission. In season 5 Giles believes Buffy has failed because she will not sacrifice Dawn. But that was Buffy at her strongest, she used her love as a weapon and saved the world. Chosen simply borrows that theme again, Buffy realizes that strength isn't enough, that only by opening herself up emotionally(which quite literally allows her to empower the line anew) can she break the whole line free. We're right back at the First Slayer's urging that Buffy "Love, give, forgive."
"IMO, the reason there's one is something Donna Troy's said about the difficulty in controlling hundreds or thousands of Slayers. Basically the Watcher's Council (and the 3 old men before them) were scared. They knew the Slayer has power and they wanted to make sure she was at least outnumbered even if she wasn't outgunned."

...which just rings so many bells about the fear that patriarchies have had that if women realize how strong they are they will not be able to be controlled.

"newcj, we should work out a rota or something, give each other days off ;-)"

Hmmm, or tag team. BTW, I'll be gone for two weeks on vacation starting Friday. I'll have little or no access to a computer (I don't think.) so I'll be counting on you to get our opinions on the record here. ;-)
I would say Buffy's hero journey is far from over as evidence by the first Buffy comic. We know she is leading a bunch of slayers. A hero's journey is never done because they are always doing something herioc. Until the end of her extraordinary life Buffy will be on a hero's quest.

Buffy put the mission first and that iwhat lead to her disaterous leadership. When she remembered she had family, a sister slayer,SITs and back-up, she knew she was not alone and could do this with them. But Buffy has never been alone in any of her epic battles. She has always had her family and friends beside her. She just needed to remember that.

She is not the kind to sit by and other young girls risk their lives. She, like Faith will be right in there fighting, bleeding and sacraficing.

As has been stated Buffy has no idea what she is doing to these girls. How could she? All she knows is a plan that might help her and these slayers live. She is not thinking past that mommnet and what her decion could mean to many others. And in the end, all that power was not enough to help them defeat the First. It took the amulet to kill the ubervamps that were slaughtering them.

I also saw Faith. She was not part of the decion but part of the plan. She is a fighter, not a planner and would do anything Buffy asked. That does not ever mean she totally agreed with it or did not have reservations.This in the end was Buffy's plan. Their only plan.Sometimes even good plans with good intentions have unfortunte costs Every action has a reaction. Ying and Yang.

When Damaged aired, Drew Goddard said that the whole purpose was supposed to show the negative side of Buffy activating all the potentials in,"Chosen".That was the whole point of the episode.He also said that just like Angel,this is supposed to show Buffy sacrificing the good of the one for the good of the many.He says that if Buffy knew about Dana and the other Dana's out there,she still would of activated all the slayers because the extreme situation needed a extreme solution .That both Buffy and Angel have the exact same mindset in this type of situation and one of the ways they are similar.

[ edited by Donna Troy on 2006-07-26 01:27 ]
Yep, no problem newcj (normally you'd have to book it at least 7 days in advance but just this once ...). BTW, just to be clear we're still irrationally afraid of the colour orange and the prime numbers up to 19 right ? I wouldn't want to misrepresent us ;-).

ramses 2, oh, that's pretty good. So the demon essence is kind of sieved through the scythe and all that's left is good stuff ? I quite like that. It certainly takes care of the possible violation aspect (though I don't think there's any way around the lack of consent, necessary though it was). I'd totally forgotten that the women forged the scythe to help the Slayer so it wasn't part of the whole Watcher/3 old men/demon apparatus (which is why Giles didn't know about it). Cheers for that ;).
I can't wait for the comics.

To watch Buffy, Faith and the other slayers grapple with the activation. I am excited to see Buffy and her family working together to forge this new world. I can't wait to see the last from past bad guy and feel that scary ride as the new apocolypse comes!

Not mention maybe get some of those missing scenes like Faith/Xander, more B/F Bonding and talking and lots of Buffy/Giles. Plus I can't wait to see how Morty is written. Casanova or new evil boy toy?
Donna I was talking about hero's journey in terms of storytelling.(Structure of myths and all that)Ullyses got home and while I'm sure other stories could have been spun about him, one can trace a pattern in his story. A purpose for the telling of the tale. Beginning, middle and end in the broadest terms, with end just standing in for the dramatic transformation the character goes through so the writer can make his point.(And no, I don't mean dramatic as in suprise! but rather drama in the strictest sense. And oh, is that Joseph Campbell spinning in his grave as I try to simplify the definition:))

Buffy's story began as a young girl with a destiny thrust upon her, and it ended with her transforming that destiny. Her story is a great modern myth, it's a great example of a hero's journey.

Can there be other stories about Buffy? Of course. But I think it's been said at least a couple of times by various writers that Buffy's story was pretty much done. Her story's been resolved. She can have other adventures and figure in other tales(like Fray) but isn't it more likely that season 8 will be about Buffy responding heroically to other characters stories? Why would Joss take an ending he spent seasons earning and make it an unwitting mistake on her part? Where's the strong feminist message in that?

As for the amulet being the thing that saved them, not really. The empowerment really started to take effect after Buffy tells First Buffy to get out of her face.(Important because in the end, Buffy had become her own worst enemy) The amulet chaneled the power of Spike's soul which in turn released the slayer from being the hellmouth guardian. We don't have a clue as to what W&H wanted that amulet to actually do, what we do know that Spike and his soul...and ultimately Buffy and her willingness to forgive and give is what saved them all and changed the line. Spike's sacrifice mirrors her own in 5....the writers talk a lot about Buffy as 'mother' to Spike....and I think we see her creating him as much as she recreates the line. It's a feminist tale all around.
"I like that imagery jerryst3161 but I don't agree with the idea behind it. To me, Buffy isn't shrugging off Slayerdom in 'Chosen' she's re-inventing it. She's basically having her cake and eating it too (and none of it's going to her thighs ;) since she's keeping the good parts and just throwing away the loneliness of being 'The One' (I don't get the impression that she'll totally stop slaying, just that she'll have a bit of help and so can take it a bit easier)."

Well, I guess my point is this: there is a reason they say that you cannot have your cake and eat it too. I do like the idea of empowering the slayers (not the ball busting part--cmon feminism isnt about portraying men as evil patriarchs who employ systems to keep women down-cause we aint all like that!) but when you consider the problems that Buffy faced, she wasnt facing them. She was dodging them, and in that sense, did she really overcome the lonliness or did she change the situation because she couldnt beat that system? Is it more heroic to beat the inherently flawed system or discard that system in favor of one thats more conducive to your own needs? I think its more heroic to beat the inherently flawed system (and newcj and Saje, that part Ill agree with, the watchers council was consistently flawed) and turn that notion from something horrible to something incredible. I think thats what Buffy started to do in Graduation Day and continued to do in Checkpoint, but when it comes to empowerment spell, she wasnt telling off Travers or announcing her freedom from the council she was inherently saying that she couldnt beat the system so she would change it. Instead of one single slayer, we will have many, we will change the way they are trained, but in so doing Buffy is saying that being the slayer as she was in the first six seasons of the show is wrong. And I dont think it is, especially with Buffy being the kind of person she was and the hero she showed herself to be. Buffy showed us that being the slayer was difficult, it was hard and painful at times, but that system can and would do great things. How many times did Buffy and Co save the world within the very system that they called into question by empowering the slayers? I dont know that just seems a little wrong to me, does that make sense?

ETA: Its like in poker, you have to play the cards your dealt. But if I can look at my hand and tell the dealer that I need the king and queen of hearts to make my royal flush, then poker is easy and Ill win everytime. The good poker players are the ones who have bad cards but can still win hands with the manner in which they bet or bluff. Analogously, the good slayer is the one who can overcome the system and still save the world, and thats what Buffy did before the seventh season. She didnt trade in her cards, she played the hand she was dealt, and did it better than any slayer before. But this time, she didnt like the hand she was dealt so she traded them in on better cards, and I dont think you should get to trade in your hand because you dont like the cards you are dealt. To me, thats what it seemed like Buffy did in Chosen.

[ edited by jerryst3161 on 2006-07-26 01:44 ]
We will have to disagree about the whole amulet thing.

Spike went there to fight like each and every other girl and person. His sacrafice while very moving was no different then Anya's, or any SIT who was struck down that day or before. It was a combination Of Buffy leading, Angel bringing the Amulet, Spike wearing it(because it would have done the same to Angel, Buffy, Faith of Spike)Willow's magic, scythe and each and every person's courage to standing up and fight to the end.

I never saw or heard this creation idea. Buffy did not recreate the line by herself. It took magic, the slayer Sythe that belonged to BOTH her and Faith and blood from all of them. So Thye are all mothers then? I also never saw Buffy creat Spike. Give him a hero's quest to follow, yes. I saw Spike make the choice, not Buffy. He made it because it was the right thing to do. Like Faith eventually does. Nothing more. She trusted him, yes, but she also trusted Faith and every other person who walked into that cavern behind her. All who in earlier days had said they would not follow her. This win is not just because of one person but every fighter who stood there and died and survived that day. Buffy's smile is for all of them, family the ones who could not be in the fight and herself.

But for all the good it did, they were dying. They were being cut down and destroyed. Even after Buffy told him to get out of her face, the ubervamps were advancing. The Scythe was whirling but they were still dying and would have. Then the Amulet, which being part of W&H and evil after seeing what it did to Spike on Angel) was not some good thing. It did a good thing. A lucky thing. Without it, Buffy's plan would have failed and they would have died no matter who she trusted or forgave.

As for the comics, It is Buffy's Comic. it will continue to be her story. She is the leader and the one who is with the immortal. They said Buffy was done then. three years later Joss himself is writting her again. I think that says very clearly he has new stories and something to say about Buffy. A chapter in her life is over, but her story resolved...never.

Making it a mistake, no. Making it have long reaching consequences..Oh yeah. And I think it will and No I don't think it will be very good. But Buffy and her group will fight and try to win the day. I do beleive it will start the raod to Fray and that is what Joss is finally going to do. Joss likes heartbreak, pain suffering and rewards. What better then trying repair the slayer line with the ultimate sacrafice..... her life. If it dos end with Buffy in that porthole.

[ edited by Donna Troy on 2006-07-26 01:59 ]
Actually, from a storytelling perspective, the writers had the fight start to turn after the get out of my face. The music gets stronger and the uber vamps become way easy to kill. They also had Buffy tell Spike that they could leave. That he'd done enough. They made a point about Spike really feeling his soul as the amulet worked, and again from a storytelling perspective they had him send her out into the light.(it's a great juxtaposition from season 6) Spike is very much bound up in the imagery of the slayer's transformation. That only happens when a writer is trying to make a point. The imagery of Anna's death was to make a point as well....but it wasn't to equate Anna, Spike and nameless sit number 42. We know that Anna's death had to appear senselessly human. Death comes and we don't get a last minute speech. Spike's death highlighted his own transformation, he'd gone from Love's bitch to the very definition of Agape love.

But again, I just can't see how Joss would have planned to end Buffy's story on a lucky chance that an evil amulet worn by just anyone would have saved the day and the line.

The little bit of spoilers we have for season 8 comics mention more than a few other characters beside Buffy. We're told it runs along side of ATS 5 and Joss mentioned that it could have led to a Spike movie(with a Fray tie in) You seem utterly convinced that it's not going to deal with any of the events in 5 and yet you mention Morty will be there. Have you thought that perhaps the time wonkiness surrounding Spike's freedom from the amulet could have caused a certain goddess to make a reappearance?
Well jerryst3161, to me totally subverting a system which has been in place for thousands of years and bending it to your will is beating the system but...

OK, say Buffy 'beats the system' without changing it and wins all kinds of concessions from the Council about better treatment and a more equal partnership etc. Great right ? Mission accomplished.

Except what happens when Buffy dies ? And she would die and probably quite soon. All Slayers do eventually (when there's only one of you the Vamps just need 'one good day' after all). The Council is under no obligation to uphold any of their agreements with the next Slayer. Return to status quo. Council 1 - Buffy (and all following Slayers) 0. But totally dismantle the existing system and put control back where it belongs (i.e. with the Slayers themselves) ? Well, that's pretty hard to take back, whether the Council's all blowed up or not.

cmon feminism isnt about portraying men as evil patriarchs who employ systems to keep women down-cause we aint all like that!

No it's not about that and Buffy doesn't portray 'men' like that (as can be seen by the countless positive male role models we see on the show) and I don't think i've claimed it did. It portrays some men like that (Travers for instance) because though we aren't all like that, some of us kind of are (and more of us were in the past).

To go with your Poker analogy, it's more like someone forced Buffy to play a hand of Poker and then said 'You can't ask for different cards'. She's simply saying 'Well, i'm not playing your game anymore'. See what I mean ? Everyone sitting at a card table chose to be there. Buffy didn't, she had it thrust upon her. Why should she accept the rules as laid down thousands of years ago by a bunch of old guys that thought they knew better than her ? Why not just get up from her seat ?

(and though she played the hand she was dealt, she didn't like it. From as far back as 'Prophecy Girl' she's accepted it as her burden and done her best to carry it - and as you say, she was the best there ever was at doing so - but that's not the same as liking it and by the end of S7 we're really starting to see the toll it's taken)

Donna Troy, yep, we'll have to disagree about the amulet ;). Maybe i'm unrealistic about this but (legally) download the Chosen Theme (long) from here , listen and at about 1 minute 10 feel the blood rise and the little hairs stand up and your heart beat faster and tell me then with total commitment that those girls weren't kicking just about every different shade of arse there is. I really think battles aren't always won on numbers. Sometimes turning the tide just needs someone to take a stand against evil.

(I also don't buy the deus ex-ish nature of everyone being saved by the amulet ramses 2)
He said it could have. Might have. But not just the dead Spike movie, but all of them. No movies now. Only Comics and Fray. Which we do know is how the Buffyverse ends sometime in the future.We know it will run concuurent with Angel season 5. The first issue will have Buffy leading the Slayers. Faith will not be in the first 4. Not so much Wills. Xander, Dawn and Giles are featured alot. We know the immortal will be there too.

I never said it was not going to deal with anything that happened with Angel. BUT they can not use, talk or show Angel or Spike. IDW and DH have no intrest at this time in any crossovers I think we might get some vague hints of stuff going on in L.A. without names being mentioned. But no I don't see why in any way Glory would be able to come back, especailly since Ben is dead, because of Fred freeing Spike.

The writer and artist said Dawn will be experinceing growing pains. Maybe her own hidden powers open a portal for Glory. Maybe it is Ethen Rayne. Who knows. Dawn is the link to Glory.

To each their own. I did not see any of that imagery or read anything more into anything but what I saw on screen. (i loved watching the Vamos beat Faith down and then her jump a few mintes later) You opinion is intresting but I will have to disagree. I am never going to see Spike as the only reason they won that day or or any other. No more important then Anya, Doyle, Wes, Gunn, Fred or Cordy 's deaths ,who all died in the line of duty. As hero's with the music and light and great last scenes and emotion.All who at one point turn the tide in some battle and saved that particular day. Infact every hero on these shows have. and have grown form that moment. Look at faith and her great moment. She was down for the count and Angel reminded her they never stop fighting. It is never over. And she stood up and faught again. Winning the day. And then went on to Sunnydale for another day.

The amulet was brought by Angel. He had every intention to wear it. We know he is a champion. He was worthy. We know from what he tells Buffy only a champion can. If Buffy could then so could Faith. All their souls pure now. As Spike was also able to. Thus me saying ONLY those four. Not just any random person. Spike did not have anything to do with the line being saved and deffiantly did not save the day on his own. Without Willow's magic there would be no spell. Without the scythe, no vessel. Without the blood from the slayers, no catalyst and without Faith and Buffy no one to take the power from to share. Everyone had a part. Equal. Spike could not use the amulet if Angel did not rush to Bufy's side with it. But the fact he wore it was pure chance, as first Angel was, then Buffy and then Spike.

I think I am going to walk away from this conversation with you. I have no real intrest in only talking about Spike in thread about Faith, Buffy and the slayers. He is one character in this universe , but not everything is connected to him or should be. Nor do I want to continue to go back and forth with you twisting my words or just ignoring what I say. These are opinions. Only Joss knows for sure and so far I like what I am seeing and hearing.

[ edited by Donna Troy on 2006-07-26 02:59 ]
Great post Saje and excellent thought about just listening to the music. There is simply no way that music is to score a random bit of luck.(Am I confessing too much to admit I play that while I clean the house? It frightens the kitties a bit:))

You know New Drew discusses in the Dirty Girl commentary that Joss and he set up the various shots to show the objectification of women. I don't think they were saying men=bad. The shot with Xander's fantasy certainly is just a really begnign example. But Travers sneer about the girl knowing nothing wasn't. I think we were to get that things had to change over all, because people's views regarding others and themselves are always influenced overall. Giles and Xander were wonderful men but as long as the Council believed he was a bad watcher, Giles had to have doubts about himself and Buffy. If Buffy had accepted the shahman's offer, it would have been the equivalent of a woman being told that if she just played the working game according to the male world's rules then she could get ahead like a male. That's not equality, that's accepting someone else's rules who doesn't think what you can bring to the table on your own is any good. Buffy spends much of 7 trying to be a Watcher's council slayer, it gets her less power and respect.

I also think the empowerment spell speaks to the feminist notion that women need to help one another out. The first one up the ladder mentors, gives back and lends a helping hand. The thought that multiple slayers bothers people maybe speaks to why Joss felt a need to end the series as he did.
I'm not much for the multiple slayers storyline either but I do realize it was a great series ending statement for Buffy. Notice that I didn't say it was a nice end to Buffy because obviously it wasn't. Joss is going forward with Buffy's story in the comics that he will write himself.

I think Joss chose to end the series because he had too much on his plate. The guy deserves a life too. He has a wife and a family. That being said, I am seriously looking forward to the day when Joss cleans up his plate and delivers a Buffy return big enough to blow our socks off. Yes, I do mean Big screen with SMG. Some might believe it isn't going to happen but because of his interest in Buffy season 8 and writing it himself, I think it is VERY likely. Joss rocks, SMG rocks, DB rocks. What happens when you mix lightening in a bottle with the brilliant mind of Joss Whedon? Lots of people become wealthy and countless fans thank the Gods above.

I agree with you Donna. The be all end all of the Buffy Universe will always be Buffy herself. I LOVE all the other characters but what Joss gave us in Buffy Anne Summers will never be recreated with another character. IMO.
"I dont think you should get to trade in your hand because you dont like the cards you are dealt. To me, thats what it seemed like Buffy did in Chosen."

Well, I guess it depends on how you define the cards in your analogy. I consider her cards to include her brain, the team she has built and any forces she can control and rally to her side. She used those cards to change her circumstances and the circumstances of the people she was trying to protect. (...and what Saje said about the card game too when looked at from another perspective.)

She worked with the system she was given for as long as it worked and then she changed it. She realized that it was not going to work anymore and that there was another option. The fact that they survived as long as they did, does not make the traditional slayer system the right one, it make it the best one they had at the time. Walking is not the right way to travel long distances just because it was used since things started walking. The fact that people rode horses for so long does not make using motorized transportation cheating. The world changes.

I guess I'm kind of in the middle on the whole amulet thing because the way I see it, Spike and the amulet were the reason the battle was won that day, and in that way though he did not do it alone. However, the reason for sharing the power was so that if (and my guess is Buffy thought it would be when, not if) they got killed at the Hellmouth, there would now be an indefinite number of slayers out there to fight the monsters that they could not get. The world might look like the monster version of the Terminator future, but the new Slayers would make the possibility of humanity's survival possible.

"cmon feminism isnt about portraying men as evil patriarchs"

It was probably my statement that brought this statement up. If it was, you are right and that was not what I was saying. It is not that men are evil patriarchs but instead that many patriachs (both the social system and the individuals who take on the role) have displayed every sign of being afraid of women understanding their own strengths. Restrictive laws supposedly designed to protect women are a common example.

"just to be clear we're still irrationally afraid of the colour orange and the prime numbers up to 19 right ? I wouldn't want to misrepresent us ;-)."

Oops. Sorry Saje, I got therapy for that years ago. It really helped, so you should probably leave me out of those particular discussions. ;-)
"OK, say Buffy 'beats the system' without changing it and wins all kinds of concessions from the Council about better treatment and a more equal partnership etc. Great right ? Mission accomplished."

Hey I didnt say it would be easy, but neither was killing The Mayor or beating Angelus. Its the ultimate idea of good overcoming evil, Buffy overcoming the destiny that was forced upon her, Buffy overcoming an inherently incorrect system, and the scoobies and Buffy turning the notions and methods of the slayer on its head. And I dont have the answer for that, Ill fully admit, but then im not the slayer or the hero. In the end, Buffy's manner of overcoming her destiny was to completely rid herself of that destiny, but I think thats incorrect because I feel like she should embrace it. I dont think being the slayer is a bad thing, like I do not believe that being Batman is a bad thing.

"It was probably my statement that brought this statement up. If it was, you are right and that was not what I was saying. It is not that men are evil patriarchs but instead that many patriachs (both the social system and the individuals who take on the role) have displayed every sign of being afraid of women understanding their own strengths. Restrictive laws supposedly designed to protect women are a common example."

Oh no, I simply meant that from the events in Chosen. Thats what the shadowmen respresented, the evil male patriarch who employs rules and systems to keep women down, and now women are going to band together to take those men down and show them how to do it right. I simply dont think thats what feminism is about, its about equality, and thats never a bad a thing.

"Maybe i'm unrealistic about this but (legally) download the Chosen Theme (long) from here , listen and at about 1 minute 10 feel the blood rise and the little hairs stand up and your heart beat faster and tell me then with total commitment that those girls weren't kicking just about every different shade of arse there is. I really think battles aren't always won on numbers. Sometimes turning the tide just needs someone to take a stand against evil."

But I will agree with that Saje, thats the one moment in Chosen I absolutely love. Its not Spike, the amulet, Buffy, Angel, W&H, or the potentials alone, its a joint effort between them all, one that would never have succeeded without the gang working together. Buffy beat them back and came up with a plan, Spike and the amulet cleaned it up, the potentials fought, the gang fought those who escaped the hellmouth, and Willow performed the spell. Im not sure the plan should have worked (because sometimes the side that wins battles are really products of numbers--and ubervamps that nearly killed Buffy one on one in Bring on the Night are suddenly mowed down) but it did, so good on Buffy. I adore Rob Duncans Chosen, and I think its possibly the best instrumental song on BTVS, even better than Sacrifice by Beck.


"No it's not about that and Buffy doesn't portray 'men' like that (as can be seen by the countless positive male role models we see on the show) and I don't think i've claimed it did. It portrays some men like that (Travers for instance) because though we aren't all like that, some of us kind of are (and more of us were in the past)."

Uh countless male role models? The only ones that I can think of are Xander and Giles, and in season 7 Giles was taken out of that equation. The way the show portrayed men (and mostly fathers--was there a good one on BTVS?--we never saw Willow or Giles', Xander's was possibly abusive physically and definately abusive mentally, and lets not get in to Buffy's dad) was always something interesting (especially in season 7). But thats for another debate for sure...

[ edited by jerryst3161 on 2006-07-26 07:49 ]
In the end, Buffy's manner of overcoming her destiny was to completely rid herself of that destiny, but I think thats incorrect because I feel like she should embrace it.

To do that wouldn't she have to no longer being a slayer? Buffy didn't dump her destiny on others so she would be free. She shared her power, in the hope that in the future no 'one girl in all the world' will ever have to bear that burden alone. I've plenty of quibbles about "Chosen" but I don't see the empowering of the other slayers as Buffy ridding herself of her destiny by any means.
Uh countless male role models? The only ones that I can think of are Xander and Giles, and in season 7 Giles was taken out of that equation

This probably is better saved for another time (especially given that we're about due to slide off into non-front-page semi-oblivion ;) but i'd say Xander, Giles, Angel, Spike (later on but not necessarily just post-soul), Riley and Wood were pretty positive male role models (and Buffy's first science teacher but I can't remember his name ;). Not perfect, they all had their flaws (Wood had mother issues, Spike used to eat people ;) but they were basically good men. I don't agree Giles lost this status in S7, I think he made a serious but forgiveable mistake in trying to kill Spike since he was basically being patriarchal (by making Buffy's decisions for her) for the best of reasons i.e. concern for her safety and the mission's success. It also let them show Buffy stepping out from under the shadow of his tutelage.

(OK, 'countless' was going a bit far cos look there's 7 ;) but still more than just Xander and Giles I think)

True, fathers weren't well represented (though I don't get the impression Buffy's Dad was a bad man, just absent) but then neither were mothers particularly (Joyce excepted and even she had her bad moments) and in fact i'd say most adults were presented as either being cluelessly ineffectual, woefully misguided or evil.

In the end, Buffy's manner of overcoming her destiny was to completely rid herself of that destiny

Though I realise that in hero stories destiny normally has a more positive meaning let's not forget that Buffy's 'destiny' as a Slayer is to die. That's what every single one of them has done before, normally very young and normally very brutally. Given the choice I reckon i'd rid myself of that destiny too ;).

I guess I just don't defer to destiny in the same way. To me pre-destination is the enemy of choice and if Buffy can rid herself of the 'shackles' of destiny then I see that as being ultimately heroic (part of heroism, to me, is NOT accepting the world in its current flawed state and instead acting to change it). Her strategy allows her to form her own destiny, not the one decreed by 3 old dead dudes.

Well, I guess my point is this: there is a reason they say that you cannot have your cake and eat it too

Just to pop back to this, there's a reason they say we (you and me) can't have our cake and eat it. As you point out, we're not heroes. Buffy is though, so if she's clever enough and brave enough and tough enough she can.

ETA: (cos it's not quite totally way too long already ;) Oz ! How could I forget the Oz-man as positive role model ?

[ edited by Saje on 2006-07-26 11:44 ]
"I guess I just don't defer to destiny in the same way. To me pre-destination is the enemy of choice and if Buffy can rid herself of the 'shackles' of destiny then I see that as being ultimately heroic (part of heroism, to me, is NOT accepting the world in its current flawed state and instead acting to change it). Her strategy allows her to form her own destiny, not the one decreed by 3 old dead dudes."

Amen.

I remember getting a fortune cookie once that gave some advice about giving into fate. People thought I was crazy because a rather vehement "Like hell!" just popped out of my mouth. (I'm told it is not the usual response to a fortune cookie.) There are things in this world out of our power to change. IMO, our own lives and individual futures do not fall into that category. Every character on BtVS chose a different path than the one originally laid out for them. In some cases it was subtlle, in some more dramatic. BtVS was at its heart about choosing who you want to be. They each changed their own "destiny" over the 7 seasons. What kind of hero would Buffy be if she among them all remained passively accepting of someone else's vision for her life and the lives in her care...especially if that vision was going to kill her and fail to protect the world?
Thats's great about Buffy's destiny, but what about all those girls whose destiny she now altered? Many who would never be called and have their lives changed, now will. They did not get a choice. Their lives have changed and some not for the good. What about those who are pregnant and want to have children, but now are forced into this life?

It may be empowerment because they now can defend themselves physically , but that does address all the issues that being a slayer really brings up. Issues that no matter how many others there are now still makes these girls different.

This was Buffy's and Faith's destiny. They chose to share it with others because of this battle. Not because it was wrong the way the slayer line was before, but because they needed more power. When does Buffy descion start resmbling that of those three old dudes who forces it on the first girl all for the greater good? If they were wrong, why is Buffy not?

[ edited by Donna Troy on 2006-07-26 14:42 ]
"The first issue will have Buffy leading the Slayers. Faith will not be in the first 4. Not so much Wills. Xander, Dawn and Giles are featured alot. We know the immortal will be there too."

Donna Troy, can I ask, how do you know this? I have looked alot for possible spoilors, but haven't found anything.
The nonconsensual slayer activation is one of several contradictions or, if you will, internal logic lapses, that fog up S7. It has always seemed to me that S7 had arguably more -- or at least more pronounced -- inconsistencies and contradictions than other seasons. Perhaps the most troubling contradiction is the one we're discussing here: Buffy has activated slayer powers in untold numbers of women, most without their knowledge or consent, even though Buffy previously (in Get It Done) had condemned the very same action as a violation.

Other S7 problems, ranging from inconsistencies to logic lapses to awkward contrivances, include:

* The strangely fluctuating power of the ubervamps. It took Buffy two episodes to kill one, but dozens of them seem rather easily swept away in Chosen.

* The strangely fluctuating power of The First. The First was pretty destructive in CWDP, attacking Dawn and Willow simultaneously. If The First could unleash poltergeists on the Summers house as it did against Dawn in CWDP, why couldn't it do that, like, all the time?

* The strangely idle army of thousands of ubervamps all loitering around a pit near the Hellmouth entrance waiting for something to do. If The First had that many ubervamps at its disposal, what was it waiting for? Why not overwhelm Sunnydale at the first opportunity?

* The mysterious role of Spike in The First's plan. What exactly did The First have in mind by converting Spike into a sleeper?

* The curious plan to enter the Hellmouth first and THEN have Willow try the spell that may, or may not, activate the slayer powers. I understand it works nicely for suspense purposes to arrange all the vulnerable Potentials at the edge of the den of ubervamps, but it might have been wiser to have waited for slayer activation safely aboveground, in the sun, before breaking the seal and charging in.
You know, comments like the ones that I am about to make, have, in the past, been known to hurt Joss's feelings and although I'd rather stick a metal object in my eye than hurt his feelings I am going to say this anyway.

The inconsistent story themes and messages of season 7 happened for one reason and one reason only. Lack of Joss Whedon in BTVS season 7. Joss always takes the heat for what happened in the latter seasons and although that is VERY noble of him and done to protect his writers, imo, you would have had to have never lay witness to the brilliance of season 1-3 to believe he was responsible. I know he doesn't like it and I apologize for saying it, but COME ON. Joss has a writing style that you can't mistake while viewing and one that you also can't mistake the absence of. He is the heart and soul of the Universe and nobody did it like him. Nobody.
Gosh Cheryl, I really, really wish Joss would respond to you. Until then, why don't you watch the end of Beneath You and Chosen back to back and judge again, inconsistent story themes and messages? Not so much. Of course, there are some that think the show went on a little further than season 3 in it's brillance and actually see Joss's hand in the story as it moves to a conclusion where the chosen girl redefines her fate and empowers other girls without thinking empowerment is a horrible fate instead of a shared gift.
I can see where my words might upset a die hard fan of the latter seasons but that wasn't my intentions Ramses. I was instead adding to the ongoing discussion of inconsistent storylines in season 7. Offering my 2 cents like everyone else.

I could watch BY and Chosen back to back easily for I love both those eps but Ramses, two episodes a season does not make.
FTR, the show did go on after the brilliance of season 1-3. That is a fact. It even had spectacular moments again but it just wasn't the same as when Joss was there full time. IMO. That was my only real point.
Many can talk the talk but only one can walk the walk. Mr. Joss Whedon.

And I really wish Joss would respond to me too. My thoughts on this subject are meant with the upmost respect a person could have for the man. With all the inconsistent talk of season 7, I felt compelled to defend him.
Cheryl, I'm actually a fan of the show. The whole show. I never broke the show in two. I got right from the start that this was no soap or melodrama of two hearts torn asunder, it was a coming of age story. I understood that while the earlier seasons were a metaphor for the girl, I also got that the later seasons had the girl become the metaphor(if you will) for the Slayer.(In the end they both 'come of age')

I mentioned BY and Chosen because while there's a lot of quibbling about inconsistencies, sometimes those quibbling are actually missing or ignoring the themes, the text, the subtext and all the other underpinnings of the show.(To put it simply, you don't watch all shows the same...this was a show you watched with your brain) No one, not even Joss ever wanted the audience to sit around and decry the fact that they never explained why Clem was able to get a driver's license or choose a bug to drive. If you tear the story apart looking for the reason why they didn't peel the roof off the school to let the sun in to kill the ubervamps than you are very simply, watching the show wrong.(It's like watching Rashoman and complaining that the director was confused)

And yes, your post did make me grumpy. Do you really think Cheryl that Joss would love to hear that you found his work brillant almost ten years ago...and that you're sure he could be brillant again? He's said over and over that he was responsible every step of the way, he and everyone else tell us again and again that he did a lot of rewrites that were never credited...and your post inasmuch called him a liar.

Cheryl, how could you hear or read Joss's Equality Now speech and not see his brain matter all over season 6 and 7? His girl was no longer stuck in forever, his girl had broken free into the light...she grew up and became a woman and a legend.
Ramses 2, I appreciate your passion for Buffy and for Whedon's work in general, and I think it's a safe assumption that just about everyone who posts here shares that passion to some extent (I can't imagine why they would spend time here if they didn't). Your defense of Joss verges on the overzealous, however, when you say that Cheryl's comments imply Joss is a liar for claiming creative responsibility for the final 2 seasons. I can see why her initial comment might give you that impression, but she clarified her opinion in her follow-up response: "[I]t just wasn't the same as when Joss was there full time ... That was my only real point."

I think that's a fair statement. Joss was not as involved in the show in S6 and S7 as he was for the first five. That's not to say he had no involvement, just less in comparision to the first five seasons. Did he continue overseeing every script, planning season arcs, rewriting scripts, and writing and directing full episodes occasionally? Yes, but not to the extent that he did in the previous seasons.

Also, I would caution you not to be too quick to assume that some who "quibble" about inconsistencies in S7 are "missing or ignoring the themes, the text, the subtext and all the other underpinnings of the show." I see no basis for that assumption in any of the comments here. My comment about inconsistencies went to problems with certain important plot elements, and not irrelevant details like Clem's choice of car, as your comment suggested. To be sure, the inconsistencies I catalogued were merely minor distractions, not fatal flaws. But they did signal, to me at least, a certain waning of discipline, if you will, in keeping all the plot elements and concepts coherent. I don't know why that strained discipline seemed more pronounced in S7 than in other seasons, although it's very possible that fatigue, as Marti herself says in the interview posted to this discussion, played a part.
1starbucktown, I think it's quite apparent there's zealots of every stripe here.

As far as plot inconsistencies, I would suggest that the strength of the ubervamps or the logistics of the last battle, exist in the plot as devices to help show Buffy's transformation from girl slayer bound by tradition to put the mission before everything, to woman whose taken back the power. Lessons showcased the three dead people who complained and tried to guilt the slayer by telling her that she let them die while she was with her boyfriend. They want her kept away from Spike.(And if I had to guess, the First plan for Spike had something to do with guilt...perhaps it knew that as long as Buffy followed her instincts regarding Spike, she'd feel so guilty that she dig in and be the best Watcher's slayer as she could)

Guilt plays a huge role in season 7 from Lessons on, and the battle looks bleak for Buffy in Chosen until she tells First Buffy(the real BB, Buffy being her own worst enemy)) to get out of her face. Immediately afterward, the ubies get easy to kill.(That's not an inconsistency...that's symbolism. The sits, the ubies...they're all there in the season to represent all the guilt and responsibility piling up on Buffy's shoulders. This is Buffy's internal struggle as Slayer becoming an external hell.)

When I mentioned the end of BY and the end of Chosen I was using those scenes as an example, if you notice they contain similar elements, a variation on theme, if you will. In BY, Buffy reacts to Spike's soul in a manner that makes it clear that 'soul' has lost a lot of meaning for her. She has tears but she's fairly emotionless. Spike talks about his soul being worse from lack of use and how it hurts him. Spike talks about love and forgiveness and drapes himself on a cross. Buffy runs away.

After that powerful moment in Chosen where Buffy tells First Buffy to get out of her face, we see Buffy emotionally open, she feels Spike's soul even as he does, there is love and forgiveness and when Buffy runs, she runs to the light and freedom that Spike gives her as he takes care of the Hellmouth. Lessons learned about themselves. And as strong a continuation of theme as anything we saw in previous seasons.

Now, why did they go into the hellmouth to start the plan? Because again, we had to see the hellmouth as the last battlefield. Chosen is chock full of iconic moments...and that doesn't happen in a season where Joss is only there in name only.(And as far as story inconsistencies...you know, when Angel discovered Buffy was up against the first he could have reminded her that the First was all about destroying through guilt and self loathing. He could have told Buffy to buck up, forgive herself, open herself up emotionally and move forward. Then they wouldn't have needed the amulet, the battle at the hellmouth, the empowerment spell, the flaming hands or the collapse of the hellmouth.

But it doesn't work that way. Throughout every dramatic piece throughout history, one finds 'inconsistencies'. And it's a good thing. Drama would be a total bore if things played out like real life. Oedipus wouldn't have slept with his mom or used her brooch to poke out his eyes. He would have realized he made a mistake and gone to see a pastor.

My point is that people often look for inconsistencies when the story doesn't end the way they wanted it to.(Not saying this is about you) They'll say it's crap writing because they were promised something in an early season and that 'mistakes were made' because they didn't get their ending. But people need to realize that things like declarative sentences exist dramatically to be overturned. Subtext exists to help the audience understand something 'else' is going on. When a writer like Joss is at the helm(and like it or not, he has said he was) then your(not you) on unstable ground if you think he's going to sweat the details instead of going big picture. Big powerful picture that has people gathered years later discussing it's themes.
Just for clarification Ramses, I think Joss is as brilliant now as he was 10 years ago. I don't know how you came to that conclusion but to set the record straight...you're mistaken in your perception of what I said.
Anything else between us might be better off handled via email as this isn't the place for where I can see this conversation being steered. You know how to reach me if you have the inclination.

1starbuckstown...thanks for "getting" the message I was trying to convey.
There's an old Carly Simon song that sums up my feelings for Joss pretty well.

"Nobody does it better, makes me feel sad for the rest.
Nobody does it half as good as you.
Baby you're the best. "
Right, steering a thread towards discussing why the later seasons may not be so inconsistent after all is a bad thing, we may even get back to why a Faith spinoff might make sense:)
Folks, just a reminder to stop and think about the language we use when discussing hot topics or issues that we feel a passionate connection to. I haven't read through this whole thread yet, but I've gotten more than one heads up about it. Remember that there are people on the other end reading what you are writing who are just as passionate about our shared love of the 'verse. Be good to one another.

You need to log in to be able to post comments.
About membership.



joss speaks back home back home back home back home back home