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BtVS Season 7 Rewatch

thetopher

Member of the Church Of Faith
Joined
Dec 23, 2013
Messages
10,315
Location
The Moot, England
Sineya
Hi thetopher.
I notice you say that Spike has no moral compass of his own. And that Buffy acts as his compass.
I would posit that since Spikw became reensouled it’s rather more complicated than that.
I think the story depicts a slow but steady progression since BY. As I think I said in LMPTM, Spike makes his own decision to spare Wood.
Well that just means that Spike thinks that Buffy wouldn't like him killing humans, especially ones he's seen her go on a date with. She arrived in the aftermath so she obviously didn't see it all, didn't see Spike bite Wood for no reason; Spike'd just 'defended himself' and he told Buffy why.

I mean, he attacked Faith 'in defence of Buffy' because- he thought Buffy would appreciate it (and she did), whether it was right or wrong didn't enter into it, Spike did it for Buffy.

My general point is this; when Spike offers to kill Faith for Buffy, and if Buffy had said 'yes' (and we all know that Buffy wouldn't have ever actually said this) I don't know what Spike would've done.
Separate from Buffy Spike doesn't gain his own moral awareness during this season.
His heroism only really begins when he burns up closing the Hellmouth and then goes over to Angel; It's only over on that show he finds his way and makes his own decisions, and becomes a hero- its his seasonal arc.
[automerge]1521586861[/automerge]
@dcai0830 : how about 'Champion?' :p
Nope? 'Strongest warrior'? :cool:

Seriously I actually do think Spike thinking for himself in his main AtS Season 5 arc. Which is really saying something about the character.
 
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Mrs Gordo
Mrs Gordo
Ehh... but "hero" is such a strong word.

debbicles

Music is what makes life amazing
Joined
Oct 7, 2017
Messages
175
Location
United Kingdom
Thought that fight was rigged by Lindsay?
Crazy soulless - don't think Spike would argue with you on that.
Anyway, I never meant to lead the discussion into other territory. I'm off to look again at EoD and Chosen. I take it it's ok to post reviews even if I don't take part in the group viewing?
Cheers.
 
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EarthLogic
EarthLogic
Absolutely! Post away! :)
Mrs Gordo
Mrs Gordo
Yes sorry I didn't see this. Please continue to post.

Mylie

Scooby
Joined
Dec 1, 2016
Messages
2,098
Age
33
Chosen

Just rewatched it and while I feel like a lot of it is rushed, it's a very satisfying series finale, as far as I'm concerned.

While I understand the criticisms about the empowering spell, it still works for me ideologically and it's really the best ending there could have been for Buffy Summers. After having felt so isolated the last 7 years, what she needed above all else was sharing the power and the burden.

What I loved :

I adore the Bangel stuff, it's so amazing to see those 2 interact together again. I feel like they light up my screen! I've said this so many times before and I'll keep saying it, I hadn't seen Buffy smile that way in years and it made me smile. Basically, Angel's "God, I missed watching this" was me with those 2. Buffy's "He had to split" and then seeing her laugh at her own joke is the cutest thing ever! And of course the cookie dough speech is still one of my favorite Buffy moments. It's so very Buffy! I love that we get to see her express herself on this and it works well with where she's at. This time around, I kept thinking about how glad I was that Angel showed up in the finale, for 2 reasons :

1- If it's supposed to be the closest they've ever been to the end of the world, then Buffy can go on fighting knowing she's seen Angel. I think her calling him back and saying that she does sometimes think that far ahead sometimes was definitely her not wanting him to leave thinking they were completely over.

2- The First was Angel's villain first on the show. He played such a big part in his journey so seeing him come back to bring the tool used to destroy it is satisfying and I'm just really glad he played a part in that.

Buffy's realization when she's talking to The First and her speech always gives me chills.

Another scene that really worked for me was Faith's reacting to seeing Buffy on the ground. It's such a meaningful moment. You can tell how much she cares. I love seeing Buffy give Faith the scythe.

Watching live, I remember being so stressed when Sunnydale is falling apart and everyone's leaving on the bus. I was really worried Buffy wasn't going to make it. Looking back on it, it was a ridiculous fear but it's also very well done so that you're on the edge of your seat the whole time.

Then the last scene... it's so beautiful and hopeful and I love the simplicity of it all. A great ending!

What I'm a bit bitter about :

There isn't really much of a reconciliation between Buffy and Giles. We get that little approval from him and them smiling at each other, but after such a betrayal I think it's far too little.

Anya's death should not have happened. I think it's not far enough after Selfless. I wish Andrew had died instead. I don't hate him or anything, but I think it would have fitted his arc a lot more.

I wish Dawn had had more to do. Her little scene with Buffy was cute, but it wasn't enough.

Finally, I'm not really bitter about it but I find it ridiculous... Why didn't they do the spell before going down into the Hellmouth? It just makes no sense!!!! This was clearly done for dramatic purposes but whatever.

Overall, it's not a perfect episode but it's a very satisfying series finale which I find rare. So as far as I'm concerned, it achieves its goal and I probably love it more than I should because of that. Which puts Chosen... at the very top of my s7 ranking! :)
 

Mrs Gordo

Bangel extremist...
Joined
Jul 11, 2017
Messages
4,043
Location
Texas
Black Thorn
1- If it's supposed to be the closest they've ever been to the end of the world, then Buffy can go on fighting knowing she's seen Angel. I think her calling him back and saying that she does sometimes think that far ahead sometimes was definitely her not wanting him to leave thinking they were completely over.
One of the things they point out in Hellmouthy is how before Angel showed up she probably thought if she died she would never have had a chance to see him again. And I never thought about how this played into her immediately moving into a kiss. It's almost like a relief that she get's to see him one last time before she faces off with something she may not beat.

And @Mylie brought this up but didn't put it in her review so I want to put it down because I kinda love parallels. These are both quotes from Buffy and Angel in their shared scene in the crypt:

ANGEL: No. I don't know nearly enough about this to risk you wearing it.
And just moments later:

BUFFY: 'Cause I can't risk you.
I love Buffy and Angel always trying to protect each other. Warms my bangel heart.
 

crazysoulless

Scooby
Joined
Oct 11, 2009
Messages
1,099
Location
Las Vegas, US
What I imagine Buffy saying to Wood in Lies My Parents Told Me:

"Two years ago, I lost my mom. I came home one day and found her dead on the couch. I understand what you were trying to do. Nikki Wood died twenty-six years ago. I wasn't even born yet. I'm not telling you to get over it. We're all haunted by something. Everybody has their demons and ghosts. Some pains, they never fade, not completely. I mourn my first love and he didn't even stay dead. I miss my dad and he bailed on us. I get it. It's not just what happened, it's losing everything you could've had. But you chose to be a principal mentoring young minds instead of a detective tracking down murderers. You patrol in your spare time. I go to work in mine. You came to my house and you saw the blankets and duffel bags and all those scared girls preparing for battle--just like the ones at the high school. Did you notice what was missing? Every girl there has a mom who is dead or disowned them. It's like I'm running a wayward home for orphans. Except, we're in the middle of a war and they're the soldiers. The First is hunting Potentials. I go to sleep and see them stabbed to death. There isn't a safe place for these girls on this planet. I've had to bury two of them in my own backyard. They're being wiped out and it's not even for something they are, it's because of what they might become, what I am, what she was. The Slayer. The Chosen One. Everything I've said and done these last few months has been to keep them alive. Right now, this is the mission. I'm the Watcher who took them in. I'm all they've got. And it's not enough. I'm not enough. They're the future and if they don't survive then all of the good Slayers have done going back to Sineya ends with me. You're half of your mother's legacy. We're the other half. I'm trying to preserve the line, to save the world. What are you doing? Spike is one of the strongest fighters we've got and we need him if we're going to get out of this alive. We're waging war to prevent genocide. You're waging a war on a man who doesn't exist anymore. You think it's a trick but I was close enough to see the change. I've been here, more than once. Look, you don't have to be friends with him or to believe a soul makes a difference. Just believe me. Trust that what you want to do isn't always what's right. A year ago, there was another bad guy--a human with a soul--who wanted to make a name for himself by killing The Slayer. For months he threw demons and technology and magic at me until one morning he tried bullets. My friend Tara--someone soft and maternal---I sleep in the room she bled out in, the room that before that was my mother's. People wanted him punished for what he did. And after Willow tortured and killed him, her grief and anger didn't go away. Now she has to live with blood on her hands, not just his, but all the lives, the people she betrayed while she was so hellbent on revenge. Hate and vengeance nearly destroyed the world. It's what the First wants. For everyone to be swallowed whole by darkness instead of using it to fight for life. You didn't do this because of the trigger or to protect those girls. It was for you. This isn't justice. Nikki wouldn't want this because Slayers aren't killers. There are things more important than an eye for an eye and sometimes your greatest enemies are your greatest allies. Life isn't black and white and never fair. Killing Spike won't bring her back. Time won't rewind and give you the childhood you deserved. But you know that. So here's something else. If you try to kill Spike again, he'll kill you. And more importantly, I'll let him. I'm trying to win this war and you're plotting behind my back to execute one of only two other members of the team who can hold their own on the frontlines. He has helped me prepare them. And every demon he takes out is one less I have to worry about. If you give in to vengeance, you're siding with The First. I don't have time for vendettas. The mission is what matters."
 
debbicles
debbicles
I can't imagine Buffy being so eloquent because she tends not to be expressive but I'd like to think that's what she'd say

debbicles

Music is what makes life amazing
Joined
Oct 7, 2017
Messages
175
Location
United Kingdom
End of Days



RIP Miss Kitty Fantastico. Poor little mite.

Also: Of shiny beads and scrubbing bubbles.

The First made a mistake in imbuing Caleb with its presence. Caleb is full of the very human frailty that the First despises but also oddly enough seems to find enticing. He is afraid of Buffy, who turns up refreshed and restored to pull the axe out of the stone. As she turns up to save the Potentials from even more carnage I want to cheer.

Thank you, Potential whose name I don't know - it is an axe. Buffy calls it a scythe.
Must. Let. It. Go.

Big Questions: did the USA really have Jaffa Cakes?
How does Willow not know what a glottal stop is? It's how Dru pronounces "pretty", as in "moy pri''y Spoike".
Don't try the taser in the car thing at home. Ok that’s not a question.
This is: did Spike give Dawn driving lessons that summer Buffy was in her grave?

I'm relieved to see the gang working together again. But as I think I said before, the only way I can personally really reconcile their previous mutiny is if the First poisoned their minds gradually. (Fumes from the Hellmouth?). But that Spike, having gone through the wringer already, is now immune to its blandishments. But I'm not too sure that's what we were shown. Granted, the whole group has at time or another individually or maybe in pairs shown doubts before Empty Days. Oh well, we are I suspect meant to see that their longstanding bonds overcome their differences. Whatever the reason, I do feel myself that Buffy has indeed earned their loyalty over the years.
Moving on: Xander and Buffy together are lovely and touching. Xander’s worry that he can’t help is
now augmented a thousandfold. I do feel for him.

But that resurrection joke is a little bit too close to the bone for me. At least Buffy has now realised everyone needs a pep talk.

It's so funny seeing Anya slugging away at Giles' single malt - flash back to Entropy.

I love Buffy and Faith working out their differences. We now finally get to see that the Slayer really does feel alone, even surrounded by friends and family. So Spike was right after all?
Cue Spike - what I find really interesting about this scene is that Buffy comes down the stairs to meet him. Previously in The Gift and Afterlife she has stayed on the stairs so that we are reminded that Spike is beneath her and must look up to her. Now she descends and also offers him a heartfelt apology for ditching him in favour of the mission. Spike is grateful and understands her priorities.

The whole cold comfort/shirty/bonehead/carrot top exchange is incredibly funny, touching and gut-twisting for me. It's also candle-lit, the first time since AYW we have seen a conventionally romantically lit scene for these two. Last time it ended badly. Now they try to work out what their "thing" is but Spike agrees to put off matters of the heart until after the battle. I hear something that sounds suspiciously like a love theme playing, as it also did in Touched. Spike's face shuts down when Buffy asks if it has to mean anything but he still has her back.

I agree with Andrew - Anya was the perfect woman. I forgive her for her rant at Buffy with her gorgeous little discourse on humanity. And the wheelchair fight looks like fun.

Both the former and the current demons want to pretend they aren't connected to humanity. They both threaten Andrew to keep him quiet about their embarrassing secret.

Ok, once upon a time Buffy would have rolled her eyes at the Guardian, who reminds me of the sisterhood in The Brain of Morbius - classic Dr Who. I’ve seen a better Deus ex machina on a 99 cone.
Angel shows up, thank goodness, before Buffy gets wiped out.

Yes, Angel, Buffy is indeed glad to see you. I'm not at all surprised that they kiss and embrace - her feelings for Angel have always been shown to be uncomplicated, free from the ambivalence she has, until comparatively recently, displayed towards Spike. (Apart from that brief moment in Lie To Me when she tells Angel that she loves him but doesn't trust him). And aside from the relief that he has saved her, we have seen this season that he is very much on her mind. So it's an emotional reunion.

But I don't buy for one nanosecond that Spike is going to turn evil. Not much of a cliffhanger.







Chosen

"I wanna see how it ends."
And so here we are, at last the last ever onscreen episode of Buffy. Sure to be a tearjerker.
Buffy gazes soulfully (sorry no bad joke intended) into Angel's eyes. Then she snaps into brisk business mode. Nonetheless she is worried for his sake and urges him to get the heck out of Dodge.

I have to say, I think Angel seems awfully chipper for someone who has just mind-wiped his whole crew and taken over an evil law firm. I know he did it to save Connor but it seems a very high price to pay. I suppose he is relieved that his son isn't tormented by all the crap Jasmine put them all through. And all the other bad stuff that went before, too. Ah well, answers will be forthcoming at some point, just not here. And where does Jasmine, or for that matter, do the Senior Partners, stand in relation to the First Evil? Can’t remember if we get this clarified.

Angel is here with something else to help in the fight but Caleb gets up again and hits him before we get the lowdown. Ouch.
Buffy's little "he had to split" snigger was not funny for me, it felt yucky.
Purifying, cleansing powers. Hmm.
Yay, Angel! It is an axe. Thank you! Ok, I really will let it go now.
I didn't expect any clarity from Buffy about her actual feelings for Spike, especially not here and now. Not on the eve of battle and certainly not in front of her first love. However, she makes the astonishing admission to Angel that Spike is "in her heart". Angel hears only part of what she says about Spike's soul and her feelings for his grandson(?).

But really, while Buffy is contemplating her emotional development, couldn't Joss have come up with something better than the cookie-dough analogy? (Even if I do have a very amusing flashback to Something Blue.)

The two say farewell. It is rather sweet. Buffy says she does think that far ahead, but she can't guarantee anything. Angel says he'll take what he can get. Bless you, Angel cakes, you may not be getting any older, or more mature, but Buffy is going to be baking. Still, who knows what the future holds? Certainly not I.

I so love Anya standing protectively behind Xander and stroking his hair.

Having seen Spike's sketches on his Buffy shrine and further back in S2 Angel's pictures of Joyce and Buffy, I do wonder how the famed Aurelian talent for drawing has now deserted Spike.

He again does his best to hide his hurt feelings - he does that a lot now, he never used to bother - and I was pleased to see that oddly enough Buffy is keen to reassure him. Even if I find that peek into her fantasy world a bit unnecessary. Not to mention Spike's. So funny that Spike wants to have a smoke. He's clearly tense.

Spike knows the amulet is dangerous but volunteers to wear it. The moment Buffy gives it to him we focus on their hands. The lady has given her knight her favour. The knight knows he goes to his death.

"I've been called a lot of things in my time." Yeah, I think I've called you a lot of them, myself, dearie.

Spike has no pride where the love of his unlife is concerned. It's good to see that Buffy is tentative with him and relieved that he actually still doesn't mind being the rubber ball. Emotionally speaking. Argh! Sometimes I shouldn't say words.

Buffy looks protectively towards Spike when First Caleb mentions him. She is actually afraid the First will mess with him again.

Spike's drowning in footwear dream I think is connected to Buffy's wicked shoe craving later on. I just don't know how. Or it’s a misdirect to see if I’m paying attention.

I'm irritated that Willow is still having control issues. You can do this, girl. Willow saying Buffy is not that bright? Take that back, Will.

Faith and Wood's exchange is an interlude I could have done without, except I found Wood's reference to isolationist Slayer crap interesting - looks like he has taken on board Spike's lesson except with a dash of understandable bitterness. However, it would be nice to think he and Faith could be good together.

Giles having to contact the dead for intel is very funny. I feel sad that I can't be absolutely sure he and Buffy have made up, but his pride in her speaks volumes to their bond and love.
The D&D game is adorable. Xander is so affectionate with Anya. Why on earth did these two never get married? I don't understand.

We don't find out what Buffy has planned until nearer the end, but it seems the (sigh) scythe - clearly I need therapy for this - has mystical properties. We catch a glimpse of another inspirational speech but this time everyone is rapt with attention.

Buffy stands on her back porch gazing out thoughtfully. It's the last night before the big fight. We next see Spike holding the amulet, contemplating his own destruction. We hear Buffy's footsteps before we see her. She and Spike stand at opposite ends of the cellar. Cue fade out.

They play checkers. I'm convinced of it.

Next morning everyone takes the school bus to face the Apocalypse, which is very funny. Xander's warning to everyone to go to the bathroom first is very endearing. He's become very good at planning over the years and he is still in dad frame of mind to the Potentials. Wood has one final stab at being a principal. That's funny too.

Giles and Wood will fight together and I love Dawn's little speech to Buffy. Anya and Andrew make a lovely team and I wish they could both survive.

Finally we are left with the original four. They may never see each other again, and I love Giles' reference to when they all first got together. They part affectionately.

Everyone except Spike opens their veins and descends into the cavern.

Oh, Spike, you are so vain. As Faith says, does it really matter that you look like Liz Taylor? As I recall, she had nothing but the very best. So stop grumbling. You'll find out soon enough what happens.

Buffy is worried. Rona is funny. Spike is scared.

We see Buffy talking again the previous day and find out that Willow is going to release the power of the scythe - I still hesitate - to empower Slayers the world over. We see a montage of girls and young women around the world suddenly acquiring this supernatural strength and Vi in particular has a wonderful personality transformation. Willow is white-haired, channeling the white magic. That was nifty is classic Willow and for once doesn't jar.

But the fight doesn't go well. Amanda dies, as does Chao-An. Buffy is wounded and I love the look of concern on Faith's face as she takes the weapon from Buffy.

But Buffy tells the First to get lost as it tries to demoralise her one last time. At that point Spike realises the amulet is working as well.

Upstairs Dawn is kicking Mega Vamp arse. It's great stuff. But I'm horrified to see Anya spliced.

Spike is pinned against the cavern wall as he starts to channel the sunlight and thank goodness Willow manages to roll out of the way in the office. Faith leads everyone out as the vamps start to dust and the cavern quakes.

Buffy tries to persuade Spike to leave, but he needs to stay and do the clean up. Buffy hesitates when she sees he is adamant, then takes his right hand. As they clasp hands, there is clearly some sort of mystical bond as the flames form.

And so finally the prophecy of the princess seer Cassandra, whose utterances were doomed never to be believed, comes about. Buffy finally delivers the three little words that Spike has been longing to hear for ages. But his reply is almost identical to hers in Dead Things, except that he is grateful for her saying it. He orders her to go. I have to say, I do love it that they have both now said "I love you." "No you don't" to each other. It feels right.

Spike has never been afraid of the battle and now he is consumed by the flame. The cavern collapses, the earth trembles and like Mylie I feel tense as I think Buffy might not make it out.

It's a really nail biting run but she makes it to the top of the bus with Dawn looking out for her. The town disappears into a massive chasm.

I love Vi taking charge and Faith being in control. And Andrew being devastated.

Finally they screech to a halt. Dawn and Buffy hug, which is lovely to see. Giles is baffled. Buffy tells him Spike did this. Well, more accurately her last words are "I love you, Spike." Does she mean it? Who knows? Does she even know? I'd like to think she doesn't just say it out of pity for a dying man.

I suppose it seems odd that in a show supposedly about female empowerment, it is a man wielding an amulet who buries the villain. But I think it's not as straightforward as that. For one thing, Spike to me has always seemed to personify more traditionally female traits, and his inspiration is drawn from love of a woman. That's a gross oversimplification as well, but gentle reader I sense you are asleep. I will spare the thematic ramble for another occasion. I'll just say I find it powerful stuff.

So all over the world Slayers are waking up. Trust Giles to pour cold water. The Welcome to Sunnydale sign topples over one last time. Thanks, Spike!

Buffy has the world at her feet. What will she do now?



Anyway that is it. It's really over. Someone pass me a hanky.
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TriBel, you are right - my mind certainly didn't cope with that abstract concept. I didn't think in those terms, I actually thought Shanshu/sand shoes? That doesn't make sense, but your explanation does.
I feel like a bit of a twit posting these additional comments after the full reviews, but after I posted I realised I forgot to include something in Touched which might just might explain the mutiny and Buffy's utter demoralisation in Empty Places and Touched. Remember when Spike finds Buffy in Touched and says how the town really has been taken over, as he can enter the house without an invitation? What if the exodus of the townspeople could be explained by the outpouring of bad vibes from the First increasing in strength? After all, we do find out in S2 that Sunnydale has an inordinate number of churches. Maybe I'm being too fanciful here, stretching a tenuous point to breaking? It's just there doesn't seem to be any overt sign of an impending apocalypse compared to previous seasons and nobody left then.
Also re scythe/axe - ok, I really will stop yammering about this now, I promise. It's the running gag about Buffy getting names wrong all the time, isn't it. Except the wrong name sticks. Can't believe I didn't grasp that before now.
Ok, leaving quietly. But I'd like to know what anyone else thinks about the Hellmouth vibe. Including whether I'm grasping at straws!
Thank you for reading my summaries and your kind comments. I do so appreciate feedback.
Xx
 
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TriBel
TriBel
"Spike's drowning in footwear dream I think is connected to Buffy's wicked shoe craving later on". The unconscious doesn't cope well with abstract concepts - I tend to read it as soles/souls. :)
SunnydaleGlitz
SunnydaleGlitz
Great reviews of both episodes, really enjoyed reading these! Can't believe I never noticed the footwear connection, whoa!
W

WillowFromBuffy

Guest
Lessons

Season 7 has a very heavy and tired feel to it. It is what I like to call a hangover story, because it feels like a hangover from more intense and colourful stories. The bright colours from S4 through 6 are gone. It's very bright in the high school, but it is not the same rainbow of strong colours you would have in S6.

This episode works decently as a prologue. We catch up with all the Scoobies. However, the obligatory MOW-plot feels shoe-horned in and completely redundant. This must be the least ambitious Whedon episode ever. The writing is stellar, but this is no Restless, Doppelgangland or Once More With Feeling.

My favourite scene is the scene with Anya and Halfrek. I love it when they can make the absurd relatable. They sound like two old friends talking. Anya looks like a nun, underscoring how she has not let loose with the vengeance yet. "You made him French."

I love the scenes of the three remaining Scoobies trying to get by. They're like their own little nuclear family unit.

My heart goes out to Willow. She thought she would be killed, tortured or locked in a dungeon. She's so alone and being alone isn't something she tends to be very good at.

Robin is immediately a very likable character. He is not as camp and colourful as the principals from the previous school, which helps give this season that sobering post-party feeling. Still, he is both charming and funny.

I like insane Spike. I love this line: "The thing is...I had a speech. I learned it all." His soul does not fit. Angel spent a long time creating a persona that could incorporate his soul. It is difficult enough for a normal person to maintain that sense of unity of self.
 
Grace
Grace
Hmmm, so that’s what you really mean by “hangover story”? Interesting... ;)
Bluebird
Bluebird
Season 7 is like a harsh fluorescent light
W

WillowFromBuffy

Guest
Beneath You

I think this episode is very underrated. I found it a joy to watch.

I love the interactions between Nancy and the three remaining Scoobies. It feels strange to hear them introduce themselves as monster fighters. It is almost like we're in a world now where those types of fantasy heroics feel inappropriate.

Anya is dazzling. She looks very different from her last episode. Her look implies that she has committed fully to her demon persona. I don't think any other actor could make Anya work so well as a character. She's just so wonderfully expressive.

One could ask whether it is a good idea to spend so much time on the story of a repentant rapist. I don't know. For me, the great thing about being a consumer rather than a creator is not having to answer that type of questions. I guess you still have to choose what to consume ... but whatever ... I am like a sluggoff demon when it comes to the consumption of fiction.

I will say this, I do find Spike's story interesting as a hypothetical. BtVS and AtS has a long tradition of allowing men to be cruel to women and then exonerating them through some supernatural contrivance, so that really isn't anything new.

Spike reminds me of Darla, especially when she wonders who she is, as she is neither the nameless human or the infamous vampire. The idea of the self is one of the most controversial concepts of modern thinking. I think most of the people who belive in a self will agree that it has to be composted of several elements that need to exist in some sort of unifying harmony to each other. If one piece is out of touch, it creates what psychologists call cognitive dissonance, which they mostly agree is bad and causes stress. Spike's soul cannot be assimilated into his existing self. It needs to be integrated somehow, but this process will require time and willingness to change. In the meantime, his self fragments into dissonant pieces.

When Spike puts on the blue top, he is playing a role. Spike has been playing a role ever since he became a vampire, but he is no longer comfortable in that role. However, acting like his old self allows him to hide his inner turmoil from view. Most of us would not want to be seen in a state where we are not in control of our faculties. When Anya sees his soul, Spike retreats into a different role to keep Anya from exposing him.

When Spike inadvertently hurts the boyfriend, it becomes too much and his facade crumbles. It sends him back into chaos. When Buffy goes to find him in the church, he says many different things. What is clear is that he had no idea of the kind of effect the soul would have on him. He thought it would be a quick fix to make himself "good," but instead it has broken him.

@Grace By using the search function, I was able to determine that I originally started talking about hangover-stories in relation to S7. The original post is here, but I cannot quote it directly because the thread is closed. It is from way back in August 2017.
Season 7 has a lot going for it. However, it does feel like an ending. It is almost like a hangover from all the trauma in season 6. Things remain dark and bleak almost until the very end. The character all feel much older. Sometimes it feels like they are setting up a reboot with Dawn. I would say they knew.
My story for the IWRY-marathon was a hangover-story. I think it is mostly about a tone and a feeling, but really it could be used about most stories where characters are trying to sort themselves out after harrowing events. I invite everyone to start using it.
 
Grace
Grace
I was just surprised to see the dark/bleak part because you had used it for Inescapable. But I like the broader usage. :)
W

WillowFromBuffy

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@Grace

Ah, I see. Compare scenes like the arguments in "Reptile Boy" and "Amends" to the hot tub scene in "Inescapable." The two former ones are really intense and direct. The latter is ... weighted ... ambiguous ... sober (even if Buffy was drunk). I'm kinda grasping here. It is not necessarily an uncomfortable feeling. It is not the high drama of the show, though there was some hangoverness to Bangel in several S3 episodes. "Inescapable" also had the part where all the Scoobies are parting ways. I didn't read it as an unhappy story, but melancholy in a way.

I had a line in "Surface Tension" that I felt was super clever, where Buffy says that when you sit down and try to put words to things, it suddenly becomes impossible to say what you mean. I think that sums up a lot of what I mean about hangoverness. It is the paradox of an unclear clarity. :p
 
Grace
Grace
Yes, it definitely did have some melancholy / weighted parts, for sure. I just think of it primarily as the story where Buffy wears a hot dress. Hahahahahaha....And I also liked that line in Surface Tension very much!
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