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Discussion of 7.21 "End of Days" - Aired 5/13/03 (UPN-US)

Triss

Andrew's momma
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Ah the cookie dough speech. The perfect cap on later Seasons Buffy and her perpetual immaturity. By that age everyboy knows (except those with less intelligence due to birth defects) you are never done baking. Your life always changes and that's even more true for a slayer than the average person. The only time you are done baking is when you are dead, permanently.
Sorry to nitpick, but "less intelligence due to birth defects"? That's not very polite.
 

TriBel

Scooby
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Alright... It's just that *I* have what could be called "birth defects" and I'm severely disabled, but I'm not stupid.
Hey - you can't be stupid - you love Andrew - I think that shows inordinate good sense and exquisite taste. I wanted to ship him with Anya but it doesn't work because I just get Andrew and he's since come out. Am I allowed to ship a fictional character with my son or is that too weird (mother to mother)?
 

Priceless

Scooby
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For me this episode is about both the beginning and the end. It's nostaligic and reminiscent of so many other seasons, yet is also about the end of everything. There's a definite feel of 'in the end is my beginning'. When asked if there is a plan Buffy replies 'Yeah there's a plan. Get ready. Time's up', which can be read as both the end and the beginning of something.

Buffy appears as the hero, dropping through the ceiling to save the potentials and disptach the Turok Han with ease now she has her brand new scythe. The scythe is tied to the Guardian, who is both new and very very old. (They even include the old joke about 'Buffy' being a riduculous and unbelivable name as they used to in early seasons) The Guardian is both the first and the last. She is 'the last surprise' and that 'can only mean the end is truly near'

Buffy, Willow and Giles talking about the scythe is reminicscent of early seasons, with the women gently teasing Giles, as they used to as girls in the library. There is also a nostalgic feel about Buffy's conversation with Xander, when she tells him 'You're my strength, Xander. You're the reason I made it this far. I trust you with my life'. I wonder if wanting rid of Dawn is also about taking them back to the past, when there was no Dawn? It could also play into early Xander who always wanted to play hero/protector to the girl.

Willow and Giles are back into research mode, he with the books and she on the computer as we have seen in so many earlier seasons. It even feels like Willow is younger, because it is the Watcher that recognises the glottal stop symbol and the meaning of heiroglyphs and Willow reacts as though she doesn't understand, which I find unbelievable for the genius that is Willow.

The Faith/Buffy conversation sounds familiar too. as though they are repeating themselves but are starting anew. Buffy shares her responsibility, the mutual jealousy is discussed and set aside. Once again Faith says she's not looking for forgiveness, which she obviously is, but this time she allows Buffy to give it 'People die. You lead them into battle, they're gonna die. It doesn't matter how ready you are or how smart you are. War is about death. Needless, stupid death', and Faith accepts this. These are the loose threads of their relationship tied up, which is a new beginning for them.

My favourite part of the episode is of course the understairs Spuffy :) As usual they are on the stairs - very Spuffy, they take the long way around to the kitchen, they disagree. They miscommunicat, Spike even uses words Buffy doesn't understand. Buffy wants to speak her truth but Spike cuts her off, he tells her he is terrified. He asks 'where you there with me?' and she replies 'I was', which to me means that whatever he was feeling, she was feeling the same.

Andrew and Anya are paired again. Anya talks about when she ran from an apocalypse, which was several seasons ago. She discusses how she has changed and how her beliefs have changed. Andrew too is not longer considering running away, he is prepared to stay and fight and die.

Most nostaligic of all is Angel appearing out of the shadows, then stepping back in to them to watch Buffy defeat Caleb. Buffy drops the scythe, the weapon that may help her defeat the First, and kisses Angel. The camera pans to Spike and the First is whispering 'That bitch' in his ear :oops:
 

TriBel

Scooby
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There is also a nostalgic feel about Buffy's conversation with Xander, when she tells him 'You're my strength, Xander. You're the reason I made it this far. I trust you with my life'. I wonder if wanting rid of Dawn is also about taking them back to the past, when there was no Dawn? It could also play into early Xander who always wanted to play hero/protector to the girl.
I'm not sure - but it definitely felt valedictory - as though she was saying farewell to part of herself - or marking the end of a life stage.

He asks 'where you there with me?' and she replies 'I was', which to me means that whatever he was feeling, she was feeling the same.
I thought the phrasing was weird but then realised it might fit in with this (Beneath You) BUFFY You thought you would just come back here and... be with me? SPIKE First time for everything.

Again - fits in with the idea of a new beginning.
 

Priceless

Scooby
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I'm not sure - but it definitely felt valedictory - as though she was saying farewell to part of herself - or marking the end of a life stage.
Yes there is definitely a goodbye feel about it. Later she tells Spike that she only has the scythe because 'of the strength you gave me last night'. So she's moving on from Xander (and Giles) to Spike.

I thought the phrasing was weird but then realised it might fit in with this (Beneath You) BUFFY You thought you would just come back here and... be with me? SPIKE First time for everything.
It is similar, although of course in Beneath You Buffy is being far more severe. Here she is accepting on the fact that they are together, and she doesn't know what that means, and they are at war anyway so they should discuss it later. They both seem to accept that they just 'are'
 

TriBel

Scooby
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They both seem to accept that they just 'are'
It's a good job I'm not relying on your icon to tell me what they "are" because it's changed - again!:) I like the "first" reference - particularly since there's a first evil. I also like the fact that if it's "first" there's nothing to compare it to and since meaning is relational what they have is unique. Feeds into the idea that they simply "are". If fact, if I was being a real brat - I'd say they occupy the position of the copula verb - "to be" and I'd quote R.D.Laing “is” is the condition of possibility of all things...that no-thing whereby all things are". I quite like the idea he/they have gone from a "thing" to a "no-thing" beyond language. :)

This is a REALLY clever text!
 

telperion66

Potential
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Can I please just point out this ludricrous gaff by the writers

When Spike says that watching Buffy sleep and holding her was the best night of his entire life, do you buy it? Call me crazy but he's lived an awfully long time... are you telling me that William the Bloody can't recall a single night that was better than that?

Maybe he only perceives his real "life" starting after he got his soul.
 

Puppet

You rocks think you're so smart.
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Black Thorn
Can I please just point out this ludricrous gaff by the writers

When Spike says that watching Buffy sleep and holding her was the best night of his entire life, do you buy it? Call me crazy but he's lived an awfully long time... are you telling me that William the Bloody can't recall a single night that was better than that?

Maybe he only perceives his real "life" starting after he got his soul.
For me, the fact that he's lived that long is what gives credence to the words; literally that makes it so powerful. I assume it makes non-Spuffies roll their eyes, though :p
 

thetopher

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Sineya
When Spike says that watching Buffy sleep and holding her was the best night of his entire life, do you buy it? Call me crazy but he's lived an awfully long time... are you telling me that William the Bloody can't recall a single night that was better than that?
You have to remember Spike's highly unreliable view of himself and his past- see all the discrepancies in FFL for ample evidence- and just accept that, in that moment, he truly believed what he was saying, because he's never try to manipulate Buffy's emotions in any way this season. Whether he'll believe the 'best night of my life' stuff in a year or six months from now is another matter.
And yes, it is entirely eye-rolling, not for its contents but for what it cost to get us to this scene in the first place.
 

telperion66

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Whether he'll believe the 'best night of my life' stuff in a year or six months from now is another matter.
Part of me believes that he really did "change" when he got his soul, so its more a question of attributing the quote to the Spike of season 7, rather than to the Spike we know and love the rest of the time, the "old" Spike as it were.

The old Spike would never in a million years say what he said here. I much prefer the old Spike anyway, especially Season 2.
 

thetopher

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Sineya
Part of me believes that he really did "change" when he got his soul, so its more a question of attributing the quote to the Spike of season 7, rather than to the Spike we know and love the rest of the time, the "old" Spike as it were.
Spike often says that he 'got a soul' for Buffy and remarks on things like he 'reformed' way before Faith, etc.
When Spike talks about his positive qualities he doesn't make any distinction between his souled and unsouled state.

The old Spike would never in a million years say what he said here.
Well, in S5 'Fool For Love' Spike tells Buffy that killing the Chinese slayer was one of the best nights of his life, and it seems like he's trying to impress her.
One thing that doesn't change about Spike is that he's a romantic, and that ultimately effects how he views himself, with or without a soul.
 

katmobile

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Can I please just point out this ludricrous gaff by the writers

When Spike says that watching Buffy sleep and holding her was the best night of his entire life, do you buy it? Call me crazy but he's lived an awfully long time... are you telling me that William the Bloody can't recall a single night that was better than that?

Maybe he only perceives his real "life" starting after he got his soul.
His feelings have got deeper since then it's not just about a rush and validation but it's a real profound connection and actually being needed.
 
r2dh2
r2dh2
Lovely said :D

r2dh2

Never go for the kill when you can go for the pain
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165
Omg, the mystery of what happened to miss kitty fantastico was just answered for me. In this episode, Dawn and Xander are looking for Dawn's crossbow in his car:

DAWN. Xander, my crossbow is not out here. I told you, I don't leave crossbows around all willy-nilly. Not since that time with Miss Kitty Fantastico.
 

TriBel

Scooby
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Can I please just point out this ludricrous gaff by the writers

When Spike says that watching Buffy sleep and holding her was the best night of his entire life, do you buy it? Call me crazy but he's lived an awfully long time... are you telling me that William the Bloody can't recall a single night that was better than that?

Maybe he only perceives his real "life" starting after he got his soul.
Why on earth is it a gaff (let alone a ludicrous one)? There's nothing complicated about it. His previous best night was the night he killed Xin Rong (FFL - "That was the best night of my life"). The point the writers are making is obvious to me. Combine it with his remark in Wrecked: "I knew the only thing better than killing a slayer would be f- ". Contrast what's happening between Buffy/Spike and the other couple in the montage (who are f-). Take note of the non-diegetic music (it's Heather Nova - Only Love). I'd hazard a guess that what he's (they're both) experiencing is jouissance (an extreme type of pleasure) - as opposed to the "little death" experienced by the other couples. It's a supplementary jouissance...a jouissance of the body which is...beyond the phallus". This feminine jouissance is ineffable, both women and men may experience it, yet know nothing about it. It's ineffability is the reason they can't give what happens meaning. It's not that it doesn't "mean" - it means something that's transcendent - outside language.

Yeah...I buy it.
 
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