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Discussion of 7.05 "Selfless" - Aired 10/22/02 (UPN-US)

Joined
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#2
Really? There are no comments here?! Well, as an Anya-lover, I feel it is my duty to say that I just watched this episode for the first time and I really enjoyed it even though I was teary-eyed for about half of it. :p

Right then. Away I go!
 
Wesley Pryce
Wesley Pryce
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Black Thorn
#3
I enjoyed seeing Willow's dark side emerge when she was protecting that girl. I also love the speach Buffy gives about loving Angel and having to kill him and that finally (even though it was brushed aside) Willow confirms she never asked Buffy to ''Kick his ass''.

I think Xander was very hypocritical. In season 2 he just wants Buffy to get over her feelings for Angel and kill him before he kills anyone else. Yet Anya slaughters a house full of people and Xander's all like ''You cant kill her, I love her.''
 
AnthonyCordova
AnthonyCordova
yes, Xander is very hypocritical about that

Jules

Bite Me
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Black Thorn
#4
I've watched the commentary by Drew Goddard and David Solomon.

The Anya episode should actually have been aired as episode 4 but it was pushed back. The whole episode focuses on Anya spending her life defining herself through other people but by the end she realises she doesnt need to. For the Anya and Olaf scene they were told that they didnt need to learn sweedish because the audience wouldnt be able to hear them but they learnt it anyway so the writers kept it in.

The basement scene with Spike was showing Spike acting sane with the Buffy that wasnt there and crazy with the real Buffy. And its to highlight him starting to get better and be a little less crazy.

They only had Sarah for 3 days of filming because she was leaving to get married.

The scene of Anya and Hallie and St Petersburg was originally meant to be the Renaissance but Hallie appears as Cecily in the Fool for Love episode so the time line wouldnt have worked.

The Angel comment was thrown in because the writers were having a hard time justifying Buffy's choice to kill Anya. By mentioning Angel it reminds the audience that there isnt anything Buffy wouldnt do to save people.

The flashback scene for Xander and Anya was meant to have been from the episode Hush, not Once More With Feeling.

D'Hoffren is really upset that Anya wants to leave her demon ways behind, he actually has a fatherly affection for her. So because of his disappointment in her, his punishment is exceptionally hard. Plus he cant bring himself to kill her.

They wanted Hallie to return as the First for Anya but due to scheduling she couldnt appear.
 
Charmander
Charmander
Really interesting stuff

david4wt

We take what we can get.
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#5
I love this episode! One of my favourite! :)
http://images.wikia.com/buffy/images/e/e8/AnyaSelfless.jpg
And to be honest, I was kind wishing Anya would win the fight ;)

Anyway, [MENTION=10175]This Year's Girl[/mention], was the language they spoke in the flashback real understandable swedish?? :D
 
Wesley Pryce
Wesley Pryce
[No message]
Charmander
Charmander
Haha, I was hoping Anya would win too tbh.
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#6
What I like most about this episode is that we finally get to see that Anya is no longer blasé about hurting/killing people.

One of the things about Anya through her years on the show is that (in contrast to Angel) once she became human she didn't really seem to have any regrets about the awful things she did and usually spoke fondly of her days of inflicting pain and suffering. I was always surprised this was never picked up on by any of the other characters.

Anyway in the episodes leading up to this we learn that she has been holding back on delivering any real vengeance and when she finally DOES it in this episode, it seriously scars her. Hallie tells her that it's a reflex and she'll get used to it, but Anya clearly doesn't want to get used to it and it's good to see that living as a human and having the Scooby Gang as friends has taught her what's right and wrong, even if she didn't realise it before now.
 
D
david4wt
[No message]
Wesley Pryce
Wesley Pryce
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PassionBecoming

Minuscule Redheaded One
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Sineya
#7
-Love Dawn giving Willow social advice. Heh.
-Awww, Xander all concerned about Anya. And all in denial. :/
-Ugh, that frat house scene with Anya sitting there always sticks in my brain and disturbs me.
-Olaf and Aud. :D And bunnehs!!!
-I also love that the directors decided not to make those scenes in the original language, but the actors had already memorized the script so they went with it. Hilarious.
-Spike's imaginary moment with Buffy was so sweet until it clashed with reality. :(
-Nice to see Willow's clothes more Willow-y in this ep. And that's she's getting back to her brainy self!
-Spider demon. Not sure if there's anything grosser than that! And eep! Black-eyed girl makes an appearance!
-"Hide your babies and your beadwork!" "Let us throw fruits and various meats at him!"
-"What did he do?" "Bar matron. A load-bearing bar matron." I heart this ep for these moments. :D
-Love how Anya is all not sure of herself and her vengeance, then is all defiant when Willow confronts her. It sucks what happened to her, but she needs to get over it and move on.
-CGI has come a looong way. :) I really like Buffy's woods patrolling outfit.
-Buffy has come such a long way with her slaying and responsibilities. She has come to just accept what she has to do, no matter how much it hurts now. Kind of sad that she's taken that many knocks to get to that point.
-Anya had a brain for economics even in 1905. :p
-Interesting how Xander immediately jumps to "Willow should use her magic to fix the situation" after everything and all he's thought and said. Obviously he isn't in his right mind and still loves Anya, but really? Reminds me of S2 Xander in "Becoming". :/ Gets all self-righteous when it's his "issues" up for debate. I love that Buffy points out that Anya chose to be a demon twice. Yes, Anya is hurting and going through stuff, but that doesn't give her (or anyone else) an excuse to go killing people. If she chooses to be a demon and go about that business, then yes, the Slayer has an obligation to stop it.
-Love the look on his face during her "I killed Angel" speech. And how was that different exactly, Xander? Plus, I do like seeing Bangel love brought up now and them. Makes me all nostalgic. :)
-Willow is so conflicted. She knows it needs to be done but doesn't want Xander hurt. :(
-D'Hoffryn is all evil, but I kinda <3 him.
-Not sure why Anya is so sure of herself. Buffy has won battles over demons much tougher than her...
-Though I'm kinda thinking Anya had a death wish.
-YAY for singing!!! But also, sad. :(
-Good ol' Buffy. First thought is to slay D'Hoffryn. :)
-So, if they need a life and soul of a vengeance demon, does Anya still have a soul right now?
-"Never go for the kill when you can go for the pain." That line has always stuck with me.
-Anya looks gorgeous while talking to D'Hoffryn.
-Xander and Anya walking away from each other...kind of closure, kind of not.

This is one of the better eps of this season, I do believe.
 
AnthonyCordova
AnthonyCordova
nice detailed observations

Robb Stark

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Sineya
#8
I have kinda mixed feelings about this episode. The moment where Buffy and Xander are arguing about whether or not Buffy should kill Anya was a very powerful, emotional scene, and was one of the best of the season in my books. It had been a while since Angel had been brought up on Buffy (which always kind of bugged me that the shows didn't interact more, even though I get that they were on different networks by that point), and Buffy bringing up how S2 ended, with her stabbing Angel into a hell dimension, made perfect sense.

Despite Angel not being in the episode, it had quite the stellar Bangel moments. Buffy saying that she loved Angel more than she'd ever loved anyone, ever, after it had been so long, was pretty powerful, and I thought it really enhanced that scene and the story of the episode. Plus, Xander, despite being a character I like, has always been one of the bigger hypocrites on the show, so seeing him get put into his place, and totally not know how to handle it, was pretty refreshing.

However, despite how much I loved that scene, Anya and the way everything was dealt with (or, well, not dealt with) bugged me a bit. I mean, Angel and Spike get ridden on all the time by a number of characters for all the evil they've committed, but virtually all of it was done when both of them were soulless. And yet, Anya, with a soul, chooses to become a vengeance demon again, totally out of free will, murders a house full of frat guys on a whim, and because D'Hoffren can magically fix it, everyone just forgets what she did. Now, to be fair I've never been an Anya fan, but if Faith can have a seasons-long redemption storyline that includes quite a bit of jail time for an accidental death, Anya should have been locked up with the key thrown away. I get with all television there has to be a certain degree of suspension of disbelief, but this was a pretty massive stretch. I just didn't get why anyone in the Scoobies (except Xander) would have forgiven her. Didn't make sense to me.
 

PassionBecoming

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Sineya
#9
Now, to be fair I've never been an Anya fan, but if Faith can have a seasons-long redemption storyline that includes quite a bit of jail time for an accidental death, Anya should have been locked up with the key thrown away. I get with all television there has to be a certain degree of suspension of disbelief, but this was a pretty massive stretch. I just didn't get why anyone in the Scoobies (except Xander) would have forgiven her. Didn't make sense to me.
I never thought of it along those lines. Tehre was kind of a "Oh, Anya isn't a demon anymore, so she's fine now" attitude, where everyone else that did any evil was constantly reminded of it. Though Anya was always a little different from the beginning with the ljoking about horrors she comitted and just kind of blase about it.
 
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#12
However, despite how much I loved that scene, Anya and the way everything was dealt with (or, well, not dealt with) bugged me a bit. I mean, Angel and Spike get ridden on all the time by a number of characters for all the evil they've committed, but virtually all of it was done when both of them were soulless. And yet, Anya, with a soul, chooses to become a vengeance demon again, totally out of free will, murders a house full of frat guys on a whim, and because D'Hoffren can magically fix it, everyone just forgets what she did. Now, to be fair I've never been an Anya fan, but if Faith can have a seasons-long redemption storyline that includes quite a bit of jail time for an accidental death, Anya should have been locked up with the key thrown away. I get with all television there has to be a certain degree of suspension of disbelief, but this was a pretty massive stretch. I just didn't get why anyone in the Scoobies (except Xander) would have forgiven her. Didn't make sense to me.
I think it was more to do with the fact that she knew she had done wrong and genuinely wanted to make it right (ok it wasn't handing herself into the police it was more final), she gave D'Hoffryn the ok to sake her life and soul, knowing she wouldn't be going to Heaven, just to take back what she did. It wasn't her fault D'Hoffryn found another way and took away her only friend for centuries and made her live knowing she had done that to Hallie. I think that reason why she was given a pass by the scoobies. There was genuine repentence there and the spell was reversed.
 

AnthonyCordova

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Sineya
#13
Whoa, wait a minute, since when did Anya know how to fight that well? She goes toe to toe with the slayer and holds her own. And her utter confidence in herself before the fight...where was this Anya all of those countless times the scoobies were in trouble and could have used the extra muscle? Am I missing something here?!?
 

thetopher

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Sineya
#14
I have kinda mixed feelings about this episode. The moment where Buffy and Xander are arguing about whether or not Buffy should kill Anya was a very powerful, emotional scene, and was one of the best of the season in my books. It had been a while since Angel had been brought up on Buffy (which always kind of bugged me that the shows didn't interact more, even though I get that they were on different networks by that point), and Buffy bringing up how S2 ended, with her stabbing Angel into a hell dimension, made perfect sense.

Despite Angel not being in the episode, it had quite the stellar Bangel moments. Buffy saying that she loved Angel more than she'd ever loved anyone, ever, after it had been so long, was pretty powerful, and I thought it really enhanced that scene and the story of the episode. Plus, Xander, despite being a character I like, has always been one of the bigger hypocrites on the show, so seeing him get put into his place, and totally not know how to handle it, was pretty refreshing.

However, despite how much I loved that scene, Anya and the way everything was dealt with (or, well, not dealt with) bugged me a bit. I mean, Angel and Spike get ridden on all the time by a number of characters for all the evil they've committed, but virtually all of it was done when both of them were soulless. And yet, Anya, with a soul, chooses to become a vengeance demon again, totally out of free will, murders a house full of frat guys on a whim, and because D'Hoffren can magically fix it, everyone just forgets what she did. Now, to be fair I've never been an Anya fan, but if Faith can have a seasons-long redemption storyline that includes quite a bit of jail time for an accidental death, Anya should have been locked up with the key thrown away. I get with all television there has to be a certain degree of suspension of disbelief, but this was a pretty massive stretch. I just didn't get why anyone in the Scoobies (except Xander) would have forgiven her. Didn't make sense to me.
This. 100%.

I'm in two minds about this episode. I love the Buffy/Xander/Willow interactions- really powerful stuff. And Xander, although a complete hypocrite, genuinly loves Anya and is trying to be all galant, I get that.

But the Anya stuff...am I really supposed to feel sorry that now, after all these years of doing horrible stuff and then feeling pride about it, she suddenly feels really bad. Sorry, even though EC acted well in this episode I didn't feel much for her character.
As Xander once said. Faster Pussycat Kill Kill!

Plus the fight at the end, since when could Anya go up against a slayer in any way?
My answer, Buffy wasn't even trying to kill Anya to begin with, maybe she felt conflicted at first and was holding back. Then did her what she had to. Way to go Buffy. :)

Angel, Spike and Faith get crapped upon for doing less evil stuff and showing way more remorse on their road to redemption! :mad:
 

tkts

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#15
Whoa, wait a minute, since when did Anya know how to fight that well? She goes toe to toe with the slayer and holds her own. And her utter confidence in herself before the fight...where was this Anya all of those countless times the scoobies were in trouble and could have used the extra muscle? Am I missing something here?!?
For most of that time, she didn't have any demon powers.
 

Cordy_Chase

Tact is just not saying true stuff. I'll pass.
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Sineya
#17
I just had my first viewing of this episode yesterday and for the most part found it annoying yet at the same time, intriguing.

The Xander/Buffy argument over how to respond to Anya's violence was very powerful and well done, easily the best scene of the season thus far (I'm guessing probably period but I can't rightfully judge yet as I'm still working my way through it). Buffy playing the Angel card was absolute poetry, that impressed me the most. Not only was the reference nice after he'd dropped off the BTVS radar for a while but it was a very appropriate and strong statement:

"I loved Angel more than anyone in this life and I shoved a sword into him because it was what had to be done."

The fact that Xander had actually wanted that outcome just further invalidates him and makes him a douchebag here. First of all he doesn't get to expect sympathy for being hung up on Anya after he dumped her, at the alter no less and it's kind of irritating that no one ripped him a new one for that. What really crossed the line however was that he had the gull to imply that she was more entitled to be saved than Angel had been.
"This is different!"
Damn straight it is. The key word is 'choice'. Angel reverted back to Angelus by no control of his own and is a vampire in the first place by trickery. While Anya chose to return to being a vengeance demon, even the first time (when she was Aud) it was an offer she could have turned down. She chose to execute that girl's wish literally when having your heart ripped out is a metaphor! Which brings me to my next point.

To think this was a valid redemption of Anya's character is just as much bullshit as Xander's behavior was. To my memory she's always been shallow, sociopathic and condoned violence for the wrong reasons with no thought process. Do correct me if I'm wrong. Now suddenly out of nowhere she managed to conjure up remorse for the first time and that's supposed make everything ok? Nope, don't buy it. That sacrifice she'd made to undo her crime, typical Anya, she didn't pay attention! Stupid bitch! It was never specified in the agreement that it was her life being traded! So of course she got screwed over and ended up sacrificing her friend. FAIL! Redemption attempt cancelled out in my book! Then in the very next episode she's suddenly a Scooby again? Uh EXPLAIN! Wait, was the slaughter undone in everyone's memory as well?

Honestly I was all for her being slayed though I'm glad it didn't happen in the school building scene, that was not climactic enough. While I was never Xander's biggest fan he pretty much lost me here. Even if the memory of Anya's actions were erased that response is still in him until he can get over her.

 
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#18
I think this is a really good episode, so many emotional moments and we really get to see Emma's acting skills.

Loved Spike's reminiscence of Dru, even though for such a great scene, he wasn't talking to the real Buffy. :(

It must be so horrible for Willow to be back at college without Tara there.

That CGI spider makes the special effects in Attack of the Clones look like something from Avatar. :p

The whole mystical deaths thing is strange. Surely the frat boys still technically had natural deaths? I could understand if their hearts were automatically ripped out as soon as Anya granted the wish, but her wishes tend to just create demons that go on killing sprees.

I'm quite torn over the Anya thing. Yes, throughout her earlier seasons she'd constantly make witty references about the torture she did to people, which while funny for the show didn't make her a good person, especially once she'd been turned human, I agree. But these remarks were barely ever responded to other than Buffy widening her eyes or Xander half-heartedly telling her off. I also agree that Xander is hypocritical about Angel, however I do think that the two cases differ from each other. Angelus had knowingly killed someone close to the scoobies, was torturing Giles and more importantly was hell-bent on destroying the world, so there really wasn't much choice other than to stop him. (And typically Willow gets ignored when she states that she never said she wanted him dead)
And yes, I can accept Buffy's reasoning that Anya had knowingly returned to being a vengeance demon, but she did seek redemption for it, and was willing to sacrifice herself for it. That doesn't make her act okay, but considering what's been forgiven in the past, whether it's Spike, or Angel, or Dark Willow, there are a lot of grey areas over what other people have done, and I think Buffy was too eager to kill Anya right in front of Xander. I think that they'd all be hypocrites in some way if they didn't accept her back into the group and allow her to redeem herself.
 
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#19
This episode is the definitive "explanation" of Buffy's love.
Simply, it is just Buffy to say that Angel is her only true love. Indeed, actually she says a lot more.
“I loved him more than I will ever love anything in this life.”
Any comment is superfluous.
Obviously she uses the past tense because she refers to a time in the past, and because at that time they are not longer together, but it is clear, even from the way as they "leave" in the final episode, that it is him and him alone.
But also wanting to forcibly interpret the verb in the past as a finished thing, it remains a statement of the person concerned, in all its clarity: “I loved him more than I will ever love anything in this life.” Even if at that moment, or in the future, she loved someone else, etc. etc. etc.
On the other hand:
1. Spike already was in her life with the soul and everything, and it is ridiculous think that that love comes suddenly because he sacrifices himself for her
2. Also because the greatest sacrifice, the one that makes A vampire great, is not the one of Spike, made essentially to conquer Buffy, but those of Angel made as a result of suffering that his soul creates, those really done thinking to the whole humanity (and not just to Buffy)
3. Why should Buffy lie when he says that thing, if for 7 seasons the character was presented as a girl completely sincere?
4. When you say something like that, you know that there are many kinds of love, so this is included in the package, otherwise she would have talked about "romatic love"
5. And it's the story itself that makes Angel the perfect partner, for being so special, in appearance and behavior: let's ignore later, when he becomes fat, but in the first two seasons he is breathtaking, physical and face, not to mention the attitude that bewitches (and not the one as a buffoon), which seems more suitable for a not frivolous girl as Buffy is
6. No sense supposing hate towards Spike or Riley: Spike is very likeable (I laugh each time he speaks!) and Riley is so sweet! BUT they are not Angel.
 
Fuffy Baith
Fuffy Baith
You do know this is an Anya episode right? lol. But yes, team Bangel all the way! I do love that little speech she gives to them.
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#20
I'm sorry if this is not the right place for this post.
Actually... I thought about this post after reading a page with lots of comments on that Buffy's speech, and, before publishing here, I seeked around to find the page again, but I couldn't find it anymore...
 
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