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Discussion of 3.06 "Billy" - Aired 10/29/2001 (WB-US)

Flannen

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A wave of unexplained and extreme violence against women is traced back to Billy, the young man that Angel was forced to free from a demonic prison a few weeks earlier. Billy's merest touch can cause an otherwise good man to become violently misogynistic, and the results can be deadly. The crew rushes to prevent another brutal attack, unaware that Wesley has already been infected -- and he's alone in the hotel with Fred.
Source: TV.com

Discuss this episode here!
 

nightshade

Plotting and planning
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Black Thorn
This is on of my favourite season 3 episodes.

- Seeing what happened in That Vision Thing had consequences
- The other side of Wesley (scary)
- Mellodramatic Angel!
- Fred standing up against Wes
- Lilah and Cordelia's conversation
- Then Lilah being the one to shoot Billy
- The Angel and Cordelia training moments
- The creeped out and comforted quote at the end
 
Wesley Pryce
Wesley Pryce
One of the many reasons season 3 is my favorite season :)
AnthonyCordova
AnthonyCordova
my fave Angel episode to this point too
chasesummers
chasesummers
[No message]

kittenpoker

Raising penguins in Guam
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Sineya
I loved this episode... it was very chilling and deeply moving. Loved cordy's speech to lila!! and lila at the end!!!

I was also really impressed with gunn....he exerted a lot of mental control trying to fight the spell once it started to take effect.

and cordy training with angel....i love how strong she's becoming.

and wesley at the end, "I'm so sorry." heartbreaking.
 

caritas08

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I love this episode for all the reasons y'all have mentioned but one of my favorite aspects of it is that Billy is such an awesome villain. From the moment we first see him in "That Vision Thing" he is just so unbelievable scary and sinister and yet so subtle at the same time. Major props to the actor. Although he is a similar character in some ways to Caleb, I just think he was much more effective and truly threatening. I wish we could have had more backstory about him and seen him in more episodes of Angel or Buffy.
 
Wesley Pryce
Wesley Pryce
And he was before Caleb,brilliant villain

PassionBecoming

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Sineya
-LOVE the scene with Angel and Cordy training!! Especially the cheerleader reference. Our training is so underrated.
-Billy is SO FREAKING CREEPY!!
-Awww, Wes is crushing on Fred. Cute! I still hate his hair, though.
-Wow, Cordy just spelled out Buffy's whole problem with guys in a nutshell. "Where else are we going to find someone who can deal with what we have to deal with?" Or meant to be alone. Hmmm.
-Is it wrong to think that Lilah had it coming? I love Angel's chivalrous moment - he hates Lilah, but was concerned when he saw her face.
-Cordelia vs. Lilah. Excellent.
-Wes keeps talking about Billy's demon lineage, but I thought Angel said he wasn't a demon?
-Ut-oh, Wes is going to go bad. :(
-Wes has an axe. Are we going to have a "here's Johnny!" moment?
-Yay for Gunn!
-So, my guess is that Billy's daddy cheated on his mom, broke up the family, and now little Billy is a sociopath. Awesome.
-Huh. Lilah can shoot. Didn't see that coming.
-Cordy is ripped!
-Poor Wesley. :(
 

Jules

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Black Thorn
Poor Wes, finally getting to spend time with Fred and he goes all evil. How very Shinings of Wes' scene with the axe and the door. Poor Gunn as well trying to save Fred and then being all infected. Good for Fred being able to defend herself.

I love Lilah and Cordy talking about fashion in the middle of a serious conversation. I also love that Lilah shot Billy, it was so fitting.

I didnt like the Cordy/Angel training scenes. They reminded me too much of the Buffy/Angel scenes in Revelations.

I liked the twist that Angel wasnt affected by the demon. It was a good episode.

I've listened to the commentary by Tim Minear and Jeffrey Bell and they say a lot of interesting things.

The episode focus' on all the women saving themselves and Cordy learning to fight was the start of showing this. The scene were Lilah gets beat up was originally meant to be a lot more violent but it was cut due to the censour.

This episode is the start of Wesley's dark character arch. The first scene shows how caring, loving and sweet Wes' feelings are for Fred and then they rip the posibility of a relationship away. There was originally a scene were Gunn, Wes and Angel go to get the crime scene photos from an informant (with 3 hands) at a diner. The demon has a gun and pulls it on Wes and Angel, saying that 3 hands are better than 2. Gunn approaches with a crossbow and says that actually 6 are better than 3. The scene was cut due to cost.

There was a lot of controversy over Angel's comment that it wasnt his fault that Billy was free, when in fact it was. The fans thought that Angel should have felt more responsible.

Joss write the Angel/Lilah scene and the Cordy/Lilah scene.

The backstory for Billy was that his dad raped a good demon and his powers come from his father's evilness.

The episode was shot after 9/11 so they didnt know if they would be able to shoot at an airport because all the airports had been closed. Plus they didnt know if people would buy that Cordy was able to get past all that security with a weapon.

This episode also shows the potential for the Gunn/Fred relationship. Gunn is able to be more heroic because he knows and has seen what has happened to Wes.

The ending brings up a good point - Angel says that Billy brought out something in humans but Fred says its something that was done to him. Its up to the audience to chose.
 

Anca

Potential
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I liked the twist that Angel wasnt affected by the demon. It was a good episode.
I didn't kike this twist because as you said
The ending brings up a good point - Angel says that Billy brought out something in humans...
it implies that Angel has nothing human in him. They should have affected (less but still) Angel as well

The Judge in BtVS affected soulless vampires
 

FuzzyHandcuffs

USS Bangel Captain
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Sineya
Billy was creepy as hell.
I loved this music choice for that party scene with Billy and his cousin. Gorillaz I think? Feel Good Inc, anyone? Great '00s song.
I love that the demon didn't affect Angel at all.
Gunn is so brave having Fred knock him out so he wouldn't turn on her.
Wesley was scary as a bad guy.
 

Athena

I'm not what you think I am
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Black Thorn
My heart absolutely broke for Wesley at the end, to see him face the stark realisation that the disgusting misogynistic being is somewhere within him. So much shame & torture etched on his face. Alexis Denisof knocked that scene out of the park for me.

Echo this with Gunn, who fought the hatred so admirably and did everything he could to protect Fred before he turned.
 

Give Us A Kiss

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Sineya
I like how Angel is teaching Cordy how to fight, but they have no romantic chemistry together.

Angel, cheerleading helps with things like fighting.

Gavin has gone crazy :eek:

Wes is right, coupling is not good...

Vision :(

Fred, TMI...

Cordy, it's the boy Angel saved from hell...

Poor Lilah :(

Lilah, why are you protecting him ??? o_O

Angel has a point, Billy is not human.

He touches people and makes them abusive towards women...:mad:

Wes :eek:

Fred forgot what an errand is :(

Lilah, look at your face...

Lilah :mad:

Cordy, may I give you a medal ???

Billy, don't :mad:

Fred, Wes and Cordy were a thing for a bit back when you were in Pylea...

I'm a bit scared of Wes right now...

Poor Fred :(

Wes, please stop, this isn't like you...

Wes, are you talking about Snow White ??? o_O

Cordy, send him back to hell :D

Billy... :rolleyes:

Even more poor Fred :(

Lilah :eek:

Angel, would you like some of my anger towards life ???

Poor Wes :(

Next time: Darla drops by.
 
thrasherpix
thrasherpix
Yeah, I'd be happy to hand over some of my anger to Angel, too :-D

Out for a walk

5 Words Or Less...
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Creepy episode. I actually feel bad for Lilah for the first time. I am glad she got her revenge at the end.


It is crazy watching this and watching the Handmaid's tale...realizing that in the Handmaid's tale there is no demon or magic. They just treat women that way because they can....Scary thought!
 

PaulParmar1

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Sineya
I really enjoyed this episode!
I hated watching whenever the women got beat up but it showed how powerful a badass woman can be.
Cordelia training and learning how to fight was so heroic and it was such a great moment for her character.
Lilah was great this episode too. She's a strong businesswoman who does whatever she needs to get ahead and shooting Billy at the end was great.
Fred was amazing too. I loved her using her smarts to get away from the dark Wesley.
Lilah and Cordelia's scene together was amazing too.
#strongwomenforever
 

Meliza

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"What if you were the guy I had to fight" I like it, forward thinking and Angelus forshadowing.

"I'd save you" This is sweet Angel, it shows your love for Cordelia but also undeniably and unbearably naive, it doesn't ring true to me that a how ever many year old vampire who has seen countless tragedies would still be that sentimental.

I accept it could be a sweet gesture after what Cordelia has been through. Is Angel usually portrayed as a romantic or more cynical then vice versa? I mean, we know that Angel loves his friends but you can demonstrate that in a way that is more jaded then naive.

  • Was not expecting that before the opening credits. I know what the episode is about, hmmm, really really not looking forward to more of what is coming.
  • Cordelia take Wesley's advice about office romances and spare us, I am preferring Cordy & Wesley here.
I like them hanging out together having fun (playing video games!?)

  • Angel "Maybe you shouldn't be looking at that" to Cordelia, the lady who has the bloody nightmare visions, considering the theme of episode, is this chivalry along with Angel's"I will protect you" not anachronistic? we will see how it ends, guess maybe I am the "jaded" one.
I think Angel should be treating Cordelia as his equal. "You might be the one I need protecting from" I hear this episode leans with a feminist message, we will see!

The suspense is creeping me out, probably more then if I had not watched and known the characters before hand as well as I do.

  • Wow to Lilah saying the entirety of what I am thinking " A bit hypocritical"
I know Angel isn't a mob boss, he is a vampire on a quest for redemption and blah blah, don't they all have this line? I have to revenge my twin brother, get my daughter back, fill in the blank but it is women victimized by men and hypocritically, not to mention erroneously implying answer to violence against women is more male violence! Feel free to disagree but why and how actually is the cause of women's problems also the answer? I never saw that.

I am thinking of Cordelia's "What if your the one I need protecting from" so much for Mr. Romeo, let me protect you, uh, most women are killed by their male partner. Why Buffy is a different show and message to what is out there.

  • Close call, for a minute I thought Kate was showing up, I forgot about early season LAPD plot contrivance showing up. Oh no, Angel is going to leave affected?
  • I thought Billy was going to effect the men in the hold jail tank in order to be released later that night.
  • Nice Speech Cordelia , unfortunately I have to disagree, appealing to Lilah's sense of justice (what?) or female solidarty is not a slam dunk....life would be less complicated if it were.. lots of people would galdly betray others to benefit themselves.
I have to say this episode shows its time period, with its cute, annoying, on the nose, simplistic feminism, it's interesting for that alone.

  • Wesley, doing a good job giving me the heebie jeebies, that feeling when you realize your not all that safe and making up a excuse about somebody expecting you or being on there over... also "We wll have a problem?" lol ok so there is your exit sign Fred.
Oh, poor Wesley. Also, I shouldn't laugh.

Keep him away from your pets?

I see why Fred has some bad associations after this, I wouldn't be able to be attracted to him..although she eventually is...it was demon...to be a stickler though.....is this the best way to address the misyogny theme? it's not just personal...men possessed by "demons" as metaphor...it can be a belief system...a wide ranging societal issue....is it "very special episoding" something that could be made a part of the shows entire message, although again, is that Buffy.


  • Gunn is here it looks like..to "save the day?" I swing back and forth on this...men can be the good guys, I believe in egalitarianism, its supposed to be feminism...but prince charming coming to rescue you is not the real world...it is a (sexist) fantasy. I don't like or condone the rape revenge plot device, that glamorizes retributive violence well making the man the protagonist, the active one and the female passive ...its a fantasy, perhaps a understandable one but its not a great one...I do not particularly care for making the women James Bond either...longer then I can explain here.

Jesus H Christ, I take it all back about this episode being dated, it's very modern, Billy is every scared little boy online almost word for word.

Finally some realism with Angel stepping in to solve Cordelia's problem and making it worse...lol

It is predictable enough that Angel comes out smelling like roses....not that he always does but like Buffy it is his show after all.

Not sure what I think about demon as metaphor for misogyny. The show isn't so usually so on the nose with black and white morality which I feel demonizing this issue does...as if to commit a heinous act of violence one needs to be "possessed" and "not really themselves" I mean the metaphor stuff usually works, not sure how well it works here.

The message wasn't "Men will sometimes abuse you and then cry , so forgive them, because they feel really bad about it" and yet....

Yes, my heart hurts for the way Wesley was violated and yet....there is that message, hmmm?? I think the hero format of the show just plays to similarly
to that male revenge hero scenario that sucks and is not real life. Yes the audience is Buffy, Buffy is universal yet on some level, for the audience, super heroes are about when life gets to much to bear, wanting somebody to sweep down and save peopke and make everything all better. And you know, perhaps that is ok, sometimes when you need it and its also the reason why Buffy was a revelation at the time in the feminist sphere, telling women in particular that we can be strong enough to save ourselves, it was very positive.
 
Last edited:

thrasherpix

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Sorry, some URL is out of control and I don't think I can fix it in the time limit I have
 
Liked the start, it's cute. And as Cordy say, men-folk aren't always around. Surely Angel would know that. He adjusts. I like how he can be a sweetie underneath that brooding exterior. (Speaking of which, I'm suddenly remembering that last episode where Billy was brought out of Hell and Angel kills the psychic with a thrown rebar, makes me think of how Angel pretending to be Angelus slung a letter opener at the Mayor...he's a softie and hardcore at the same time. I also can't forget how Cordelia fell on a rebar herself.)

Btw, I believe the mother was a good demon raped by an evil human, and it's the human that seems to shape Billy's abilities (or was that his upbringing?). It's actually a nice twist that the evil comes from a human. Frankly, I'd consider humanity just another demon species (keeping in mind that not all demons are bad, especially if they're more comfortable by keeping a low profile, and at least a few actively fight for the Powers), based both on behavior (when compared to demons in similar social circumstances) and the fact that humans and demons can breed. Or (assuming Buffyverse reality of demons rather than the real world) maybe too many humans have at least a few drops of demon blood in them by these days given thousands of years of depredation, strange cults and breeding programs, and the usual stuff (from wars to seduction), which can be used to explain that which is demonic in humanity (behavior wise, but that just makes us another demon breed, the dominant one for this Hell dimension).


Hmmm...powers give a vision of a week old murder. Billy (his family frantic) has been gone 3 days which means he did this BEFORE he vanished.. I guess that means Billy has some protection from the Powers that they're a bit off, and I don't recall any vision being of Wolfram & Hart ever in the series (maybe the law offices are technically in another dimension that exists simultaneously in this one and "somewhere else" cut off from the Powers? That would make some sort of sense). It has already been shown that psychics can hack the Powers "transmissions" so blocking them should be even easier, and they'd have other weaknesses as well which I'm sure the Blim family can pay for, if necessary. 'Course I'm assuming they're also pointing out what happens when you make deals with a devil, but still, they're slow on the uptake, and it makes me wonder why (as explained in-universe).

Ah, demon biology in the show raises so many questions for me. If they can study demon blood under a microscope and whatever else they have (I'll even assume some of it was stolen from a medical lab) to figure out how demonic powers work then surely there are black ops unit (maybe even Wolfram & Hart) working to make those changes in humans through experimentation with far more advanced equipment...maybe that's ultimately where Gwen and Beth come from, genetic experimentation in the womb. I'd speculate on alien DNA and how it's incompatible with human, but Billy is at least partially human (probably more than half so), his demon mother was close enough to human to conceive a child from a human, and even the more weird aliens like the telepathic demons could impart their telepathic abilities into Buffy (granted, that didn't work out well for her, but maybe it could with the right genetic tinkering and training--hey, Billy's power is transmitted by blood just as the telepathic ability of the demons was!). Hmm, I wonder what would happen if a vampire drank from a telepathic demon...But anyway, enough on that. As you can see, alternate universes, alien biology, and the like interest me, and that's a big draw of the show to me.


Nice try, Cordelia, but no matter how "Queen Bitch" you were, you were never like Lilah, even without counting the kindness that came through at times when even most nice people wouldn't have done anything, let alone standing up to Gorch for Buffy.. But good job at distracting Lilah with fashion instead, and then appealing to Lilah's ego and desire for personal revenge (and focusing on the revenge rather than the justice, Cordy knows her audience).


Ah, "primordial misogyny." Now there is a disturbing concept. I don't buy it (at least I see it as a function of society more than biology), but part of me wonders. Like in the movie Cloud Atlas, there's this guy that has a "demonic conscience" he frequently struggles with, some of it similar to Billy's blood, only he wrestles with it all the time. It doesn't particularly control him (though it does affect his behavior), but could be part of that "primordial misogyny." Here, a sample (about a minute long from where I start it that includes a particularly misogynistic, racist aspect, though the "demon" does demand the man protect his daughter by killing this Jezebel, the strange woman that brings strange ideas and thus doom onto his people):



Given that the English language has morphed (it's in the far future), I'll share the dialog here to help make out what's being said:

(2321 – as Zachry watches Meronym trying to get the network up and working in the Satellite Communication Center, Old Georgie appears behind him)
Old Georgie: You ain’t let go that rope cause you’ a lustin’ for that darkly, sweet’meat. I cogg it all now. This whore, with her cokeynut skin, and her slywise mask, smilin’ n’ wormin’ her way so you trust and bring her here, scavin’ n’ sivvin’ for what? For what, fool? They want the island. The Prescients want it all. You judasin’ your kin for a piece of ass! She ain’t your tribe, she ain’t even your color. This jezebel ignores you your yarns n’ ways, spinnin’ n’ spoutin’ her whoahsome lies, and you lap it up, like a dog in heat!

Zachry: That ain’t truth.

Old Georgie: Ain’t it? Then do sumthin’ to stop her! Take your spiker an’ slit her throat! Protect your tribe, protect your sister, little Catkin, kill her now, before it’s too late!
While I don't believe in innate, hardwired primordial misogyny, I do believe in innate tribal instincts that are hardwired (and can be twisted to create primordial misogyny as well as a host of other nasty things), and it's a scary thought. I think the tribal instincts of the human brain are arguably the most demonic aspects of our species, even more than out of control rage and the like, because it seeks validation and domination (and with domination, the dehumanization of others), and can even compel evil through feelings of righteousness, and even create guilt when one refrains from evil (dependent upon tribal morality/conformity, which is not inspired by religion, rather religion is adapted into the tribal mentality, and probably grew out of tribal instincts, which is part of why the religion part of the brain is so tied to the sports section of the brain).

Luckily, even people with strong tribal instincts have other aspects that can mitigate it, and tribal instincts come in varying srength. No one aspect of the brain defines us completely, but society (and survival conditions) affect which parts of the brain become stronger (and I could go on about this, including why I believe my own tribal instincts are weaker than most, which also makes it nearly impossible for me to feel patriotism, bond through religion, get too wrapped up in identity politics, or even enjoy team sports--I can form pragmatic alliances and have strong friendships, but the "tribe" isn't a powerful force in my brain). I do believe there's a bit of "Old Georgie" in all of us (me included), though the exact form varies person to person.


Good gods, Wes is creepy as hell. The cold, calm rage scares me more than the out of control rages.

OTOH, I do love that same cold, calm rage (or is that just determination) from Cordelia with a crossbow...


"Why do you make me do this?"

And he says women are weak when he pulls that line. If she made him, then he's even weaker than her. It's a favorite line of abusers, though, be they child abusers, spousal abusers, or what have you. I bet even nurses that abuse the elderly in their hellish mercy use that line. It's a phrase that can really bring out the hate in me, and not much does, as does the expectation that men can't control themselves that he went on about earlier (anyone who essentially admits to having the self control of a toddler as Wes did when he talked about Fred "dressing provocatively" should have essentially forfeited all rights of an adult and be placed under adult supervision, preferably in a locked up facility, and in any case, is a sign of weakness, not strength). Luckily, I can remember this is all acting, and I'm glad the years of PTSD therapy I went through (that sometimes made certain shows and movies hard for me to watch) paid off.



The cat and mouse through the Hyperion is scary enough...this time I'm wondering why some doors are locked. Okay, part of the whole horror vibe, but story wise, I wonder how it would be explained...something best left undisturbed in that room still, or some terrible memory Angel doesn't want to experience again by looking within? (There I am, getting distracted by the story, though I know it's just a dramatic effect. If I were the writer I'd invent some reason for it, though, because I also like to know what makes people tick.)

'Course Charles turning is another wonderful horror moment, so scary...though I'd think if they weren't going for horror then they'd open it and Gunn would attack Wes while Fred ran, Gunn challenging his growing rage into Wes for the moments he had left...it could still be scary, but I do like the nightmare feel here. The psychology of horror, able to experience and somewhat master our fears in a safe environment so they're (hopefully) not so paralyzing in the future, and as a bonus that charge of adrenaline can give a rush similar to a roller coaster ride, and it evokes this in me. I could see this being too much for some people, though.



So...Billy is stronger than Angel. That makes me wonder, why doesn't he touch women? Most demons have a weakness. Maybe female blood is his weakness...possibly a curse of his mother's? Or just innate.

Gotta love Lilah in that scene. I figure the Senior Partners, while disappointed, figured there'd be other opportunities for mayhem, and Billy was being something of a wild card. As Mesektet said, "I like trouble, but I hate chaos.. In any case, they can respect what Lilah did. And the evil that exists in me can as well (I may see it as putting down a rabid dog, but I enjoy Billy getting gunned down by Lilah way too much to not say there is something savage in me there as well).

'Course Fred comes through as well.


(insight into my perspective on it)

As I was invited to comment on this in the Hollywood Sleaze thread and feel that more depth was desired than just talking about the story and my surface reaction to it, I've added a bit more here and there, and am about to add a lot more on why I think my perspective tends to be a bit different from most here.

I learned I had to save myself, not count on men to save me. It's why I survived why my BFF did not. Don't particularly feel like sharing the details of that, but it makes me empathize with women who save themselves (though even as a child I wrote of girls who saved themselves in stories, perhaps inspired by Dorrie the Little Witch I read over and over back then), and I don't see it as victim blaming to say people, including women, should learn ways to defend themselves, but potentially victim saving.

If they still get hurt, this doesn't make it their fault, but it can make for a lot less hurt people, especially as the focus should be on the mind that is prepared for danger (not to be confused with paranoia). I could also go into how society tried to deprive me of any sense of inner power, sometimes without even meaning to (because certain assumptions were so ingrained socially), and feel that for some tough breaks I got, I also got some lucky breaks, one of them being that the girls shunned me almost completely from age 6-10 (I believe because, at least in part, their mothers didn't want them "exposed" to what went on in my family, gotta protect the little darlings and thus keep them weak and fragile so they think they need a man for their safety, security, and power--not that it's consciously done, it's more instinctive, a reality breathed that is as invisible as air, and unquestioned as long as it seems to be working for you). It's more indirect, though, the media I got into as a result, among other things while my brain was still rapidly adapting to the world around me, though rough housing with boys did help somewhat, and make them less mystifying and scary to me (and perhaps combined with my low sex drive, lesbian orientation, and raised on stories in which women were equal to men for the most part with romances no more important to them than the men--if anything it was more important to the male characters--also helped, which would've been quite different for me had I been raised on the same media as the girls who shunned me).

Also, coming from a lower class deprives us somewhat of "I had it bad, so someone owes me something." Justice is not something we expect. There was a joke I heard in more than one way that roughly goes how do (white people, the rich, even adults, pick one) say "justice"? "Just us."

IOW, it's an unfair world, and a harsh one to boot for those not lucky enough to be born somewhere decent (though everyplace has problems). Society won't coddle us, and neither will our peers (close friends might, but that's different, and not to be expected of society). Settling in court typically means the criminal justice system, not lawsuits, which is to say the idea that people owe us something for being victims is a strange one as the system isn't seen as a friend, nor can we hire lawyers to sue those who wrong or cheat us. You whine about being a victim to people you don't know and you encourage others to treat you as a victim because you're showing you can't or won't do much about it, and though some men offer to protect (and avenge) you, they're not always around, and they may be the ones to be especially worried about. I actually trust the men more who have asked me how to help them say convince the women they care about to learn to use a gun as they know it's a dangerous world for women and they can't be around all the time, and it also implies they don't ever expect to be a threat she'll ever have to defend herself from (ideally, she can help watch his back as he does hers).

And it was an incredibly empowering experience when I put a would-be rapist down on his knees, him shrieking like a baby. Because then I felt less afraid, less helpless to the vagaries of fate, that not everything I did was futile where I was as helpless in real life as I can be in nightmares. And that is empowering, more than getting others to act on my behalf. And yet that did not make me cocky, feeling invincible, going out looking for the thrill of danger, let alone looking for a fight. The system was still not my friend back then and I barely trust it even today even though I'm now a respectable citizen. And there's also so many factors, some that will be completely random, that can change the outcome. Self-defense is a fall back option for me and most of those (at least female) I know, not us making quips like Buffy while punching people in the face who menace us or raising hell like Faith in the club. And self-defense is more about using your brain, and avoiding those situations in the first place, though not to the point of being scared to go out.

As a runaway I did run into middle and upper class kids with a much more naive attitude who went bitter fast (assuming they stuck around, possibly because they didn't have a choice or the alternative really was worse, like those gay and lesbian who'd get sent to camps to "make them straight" through horrific "therapy" if they went back) when they came to no longer believe in social or divine justice. They were forced to adapt fast. (Generally speaking, of course. Some from higher classes knew life wasn't fair, though they tended to be more bitter about it as they were raised on the lie that the world is just, and yet I also knew one 13-year-old boy raised really poor and in dysfunctional, abusive homes selling his body on the streets who still believed that God wouldn't let anything happen to him if he slept by a church, such as in a stairwell. What a contrast to boys in safe homes fearing the monster under the bed where a boy living a life of depressing horror that makes season 6 Buffy look cheerful in comparison believing in some great guardian angel, even if it could only be on church grounds!)

But when I ran into that behavior (the attitude that if you're treated bad or victimized then "justice" means you get special treatment or compensation, all you had to do is shame the world into doing it) is not a concept I was raised with, nor that it was the duty of others to protect me while I was a maiden in distress, and if I had that attitude then I would not have survived to adulthood. From my perspective, accepting that the world is unfair and will always be so in one way or another so one has to take precautions and sometimes get cruel right back is learning to live in the real world, not pretending to live in a better world than we actually do. And it blows my mind when some talk about the heavy "rape culture and violence against women" that even I think is excessive (though I'll agree that it's bad, just not THAT bad) and yet at the same time say that to promote common sense measures in one's own behavior or learning self-defense (though none of this is a guarantee that nothing bad can happen to you, of course) is somehow "victim blaming." I'd think genuine serial rapists would appreciate the indulgent attitude that you don't practice common sense and expect the world to take care of you or those who WANT to harm you to just not because it's wrong and should be ashamed of themselves (they're not) rather than you learning ways to take care of yourself as that attitude helps them more than it helps their prey (typically women).

I'm sure my perspective is as difficult for many here to understand as many of the attitudes here (and online in general) are hard for me to understand. I believe the very core difference is that they believe in a just world, whereas I do not, and more importantly they think someone "innocent" cannot be harmed, with someone "innocent" being helpless, because to assert your own right to exist in a manner sometimes necessary, and to stand up for yourself, is being an "evil bitch" or some such (guys get hit with this to, but in a different way, this gets onto a different topic regarding the state and power, and how it needs a population that can be controlled, but I don't want to expand to that, even though that reality I see is affecting women's behavior in this regard as well). You're to depend on a higher power, be it God or the State or some other authority that you are to submit to as anything else is suspicious at best, and thus not innocent, and thus in danger of being punished by a divinely inspired universe (be it karma or whatever), or at the very least, cast out/shunned/condemned by the system/tribe, which of course makes one more vulnerable as they no longer have the protection of the tribe.

Another experience I personally had was nearly ran over by a carload of men who then made very lewd comments to me. This was in broad daylight and everyone (men and women) pointedly turned away, and if anyone called the cops on my behalf then the cops never showed up (at least not until I was long gone). I bet many of those who left me to my fate would've condemned me for having a gun as I did at the time (though I didn't do more than get ready to pull it should they leave their car to abduct me), but I don't care, because I grew up KNOWING they would not help, whereas I think many here wrongly assume such people will.

By the way, that incident was in my early 20s, but when I was a 15-year-old runaway, a man did try to abduct me in broad daylight on orders of a pimp. I fought back with 2 butterfly knives long enough for my Krew to come to my aid so that the guy jumped back into his car and yelled at the driver to drive. That's why I survived while my BFF (caught by the same pimp later) did not. Broad daylight and no one other than my Krew helped, and no cops came. And it's not unusual. Such scenes even get recorded by the video vigilante. Here, a few seconds of such footage of it happening in broad daylight:


(NOTE: while that show talks of child prostitution and sex slaves, they aren't shown because that's illegal, a law I actually agree with. I mention it because some believe that children are rare or there'd be more on the news, when that's not the case. And I roll my eyes when people talk about how bad child sex slavery is in third world countries and glad they live in nations like the USA where that does not happen.) THAT is the world that shaped me and my perceptions, and what shapes my own feminism and how I perceive Buffy and Angel. Pretending that can't happen and trying to shame those who would do that is foolish in the extreme to me, and that is what got my BFF killed (among other horrible things). But I'm sure if I was raised in a rich area that was patrolled, the system was my friend, I could go to a nice college, could sue, and raised on false messages (which are probably more implied that explicitly stated) of "the world is just, and the innocent cannot be harmed" then I would have a different attitude, but my life did not allow me that luxury, not even as I was a child and my brain was still being formed to live in the world I was growing up in.

Though don't get me wrong, I'm not saying life is all good for those who were raised in what I consider a bubble. It doesn't matter where you were raised, you can be a victim, and it's just a vagary of fate. Sometimes you can do everything right and it's still not enough. That doesn't mean you deserve it, it's just how the world is.

Though come to think of it, Joss Whedon has an existentialist, absurdist view despite his seemingly rich upbringing. Odd, but maybe that's why his shows can appeal to me (though I've seen people who were nice who dropped the facade in which the "vamp faces" can have a lot of meaning for me as well).

I know that's too scary for some people, but if something really bad happens to someone with such beliefs then it seems worse to me, and I say that having gone to a PTSD support group for years as well as having talked to others. One of the worst was a woman brutally raped (as in she lost teeth and required multiple surgeries) by a serial rapist right after her apartment was blessed...and she wondered what she did that God would do that to her so that she blamed herself. Her friends who believed God protected people like them wouldn't talk to her or support her when she needed them the most. Her priest interrogated her on what she did because this was challenging his own faith. And, perhaps most of all, she had a bat that she almost used as the rapist climbed in her window, but she didn't, partially out of fear, but mostly because she felt is showed a lack of faith and "good girls don't do that, and good girls don't get raped."

This is why I think it's very harmful to say "you must act as if you live in a perfect world with the expectation on others to be decent people, and saying otherwise is victim blaming" is harmful, not only because it's wrong for the kind of world we actually do live in, but because it adds to the burden of trauma as they think of the things they could've done that might've prevented it. Of course doing something doesn't give someone else the green light to victimize someone else, but that doesn't mean people should be encouraged to be reckless.

You can bet after her incredibly traumatic experience--which includes what happened after (medical, legal, social, church, and even told not to tell her mother who "wouldn't be able to handle it") in addition to the rape itself--she changed hard, begin learning martial arts and taking more direct self-defense classes, and trained herself in firearms. As her rapist didn't even get properly charged (he forced her to shower, among other things, and then stuck the phone by her as if mocking her), she had to wonder what other good girls didn't bash his head in when they had the chance, and how many more good girls were going to be raped because she just prayed. She no longer depends on any god or angel or human to protect her, and your hugs mean nothing to her, not anymore. If anything like that ever happens again, she's going to do everything in her power to kill, and she tries to keep multiple options for doing so. She doesn't victim blame herself anymore, and neither will she hold back should she ever find herself in that situation again, not only for herself, but for other innocents, rather than pretend she lives in a much better world in which others are morally obligated to pretend. Sure, abusers and rapists should NOT do what they do, and yet they ARE, unless they're stopped. If society fails her again, she hopes she won't fail herself, and that even if she's crucified for it by the system (because say he's the son of some big shot) then at least she'll had done the job the system wouldn't of protecting women. (This doesn't mean she's slavering to kill, she's just prepared, because she knows the baffling way that's promoted "or it's victim blaming" doesn't work, and it hurts more than those who actually try to live by that baffling philosophy. I'd call her a realist who had adjusted to a harsh, unfair world.)

I wonder how she'd react to this episode? I bet she'd think both Cordelia and Lilah took too long, and saw Lilah as the good one, even if she saved other lives for her own selfish revenge, that's better than being all sweet and "taking the high road" to allow that to happen again.

(Anyway, back to the show.)



Heh, creeped out and comforted at the same time.

Poor Wes. Of course I'm seeing the story here. As Fred said, it was done to him. I suppose I could reflect that it's a metaphor of social conditioning rather than a demonic mind control power which would change things considerably, because Wes acting under the influence of Billy's blood is someone I can trust when that blood is not a factor, but if that's always within him, able to come out at any time, then of course that's far more disturbing because it could come out again, and thus I could not be around him. I'm seeing it as a temporary power as supernatural as when the telepathic demons making Buffy telepathic. Just glad they didn't have to feed the victims a piece of Billy's heart to cure them. :eek:


Hmmm...wonder what would happen if Billy touched Warren...would that have a really big effect, or is enough of the misogyny already present that it only makes a small difference? :confused: It would totally depend on how it works, if it amplifies misogyny (in which case, full on criminally insane for Warren) or just suppresses the restraining urges (in which case probably not much of a difference, though still noticeable).
 
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Meliza

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Thank you for sharing your perspective, you are really good writer with some really interesting insights. I don't think there is anything I truly disagree with you on, although agreeing or disagreeing is besides the point, its seeing life through another perspective, so thank you.

In the second episode of the series, Giles establishes the mythology by reiterating that the Earth started out as its own hell dimension, where demons roamed the earth, before a new creature, man emerged, the demons fled and man eventually pushed the weakest of their kind underground. To me it works with Glory's "The Old Ones" who use to rule the earth, before a battle took place between them. The "Good Gods" fleeing this dimension might have become the "Powers That Be" (or at least the ambiguously good Gods) I do not remember TPB warning Angel of Jasmine's coming (Actually, they had a enemy demon of Angel's spill the exposition for some reason) was it ever explained if TPB were aware of Jasmine's coming?


It is interesting to consider humans as another species of demon. I think they touch on this a bit in the comics, with Buffy having to defend her population of Slayers as 'impure humans'. Considering what we saw on Angel, with multi dimensions containing universes that parallel our own society with that of a species of demon like Lorne who is obviously good . "Demon" would be our verision of what "Barbarbian" was to the ancient Greeks, another word for not of our kind but still of our species, since admixture is even possible. With the exemption that there are still also purely evil species of demons, ones with parasitic genotypes and malicious possessions (vampires, etc) some species are pure evil but otherwise are not. The demon mythology may work on a Star Trek level too, as opposed to the only a metaphor for evil we are accustomed too.

Also similar to Angel signing away the Shanshu Prophecy, I like the idea of The Powers That Be, as not as omniscient as they are selling themselves to be. That there could rebellion coming their way lead by the likes of Buffy & Angel. Perhaps there was plot point to this effect in the comics? I haven't read them yet.

Without a doubt W&H would be interested in having Gwen and Beth on their side, we've seen them try and their desire to get their hands on Connor touches on what your talking about with human experimentation. Nefarious intervention is not necessary for the creation/existence of Gwen and Beth, as we have seen in universe with Drusilla and witches like Tara.

If we got more episodes, I would have liked to have seen Vampires with unique abilities like Drusilla. The ability to conjure hallucincations, mind reading and hypnotic attraction...just fun traditional vampire lore stuff that was played with a little within the Dracula moment.

Reviews of "Billy" seem to take to my view, that it was a unusually black and white portrayal of our human foibles or inner demons, added through the use of metaphor, can and usually is rendered more complex, at least on Buffy and Angel.

It is clear that contextually we are suppose to agree with Fred, it was infection, in which case it makes sense to take the word "primordial"as a shorthand for brutish but it implies hatred/violence against women in men is something ancient and natural. I guess the ending where Fred claims it was something done to Wesley is suppose to juxtaposed with Angel claiming it was something brought out in humans, as cliffhanger for the audience to choose? any ways, if that indeed is the point of the episode, I missed it, it went over my head, so I don't think it worked.
 
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Mr Trick

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A truly disturbing and powerful episode. I do wonder if the theme was a bit too meaty for a self-contained 42 minutes of TV. It's a one for Cordy and I love the scene with Lilah. I'm not so keen on her training with Cordy just because it mirrors the relationship with Buffy too much. The ending and Fred's speech to Wes is very touching.

Impressive episode, but one that is so uncomfortable I'm not sure I would re-watch it too often.
 

Meliza

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The episode closes with a focus on Wesley's trauma instead of Fred's, it's a misfire, perpetuating female characters in peril to further male stories, even more egregious that they enjoy equal cast status and Wes was the perpetrator of Fred's unaddressed trauma, Realistically it is more harrowing that Fred knows the real Wesley, not like being attacked by a demon. And though it is not a given that Fred would be in pieces, she is tough and resilient, it still ends on Wesley in a episode ostentatiously about sexism, Fred is a afterthought.
 
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telperion66

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Great episode. Love the pacing of this season. 'Fredless' acts as a buffer between the lighter episodes that start the season to this episode that becomes the germination for the rest of the season. The shot of Wesley sitting at his table with screwed up pieces of paper that were probably his failed attempts to write an apology letter to Fred - absolutely priceless. Love Gunn when the whammy starts to affect him: "Give me the damn chair leg!' Am I right in saying this was the first time ever in the franchise that we see Wes show a dark side? I think so if I'm not mistaken. How poetic that ultimately given how the subsequent seasons panned out that it was all to do with his feelings for Fred and how they unfolded and manifested.
 
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