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Discussion of Angel 11.08 - Released 8/30/17 (Dark Horse)

Buffy Summers

Yataro
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Sineya
#1
Their escape from a ship full of pirate zombies leaves Angel and Fred on an uninhabited island. Knowing that their dead shipmates are not far behind, they seek refuge further inland, only to find they aren't actually alone . . .

Source: Dark Horse
 
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#2
Is anyone else reading this? I'm determined to see it through to the bitter end even if I don't have a clue what's going on :)

There are 2 separate pages of 5/6 panels without dialogue. In a more intersting comic I would have said that had meaning, but here I just think the writer couldn't think of anything worthwhile for the characters to say.

Present day Angel and Fred/Illyria are now time jumping through a portal with Angelus and Darla, who they have teamed up with. I don't know what they've achieved here or what they are likely to achieve with another time jump.

There is this dialogue
Angel 'I'm not sure I like where this is going. Are you trying to say we're fated to lose? Where would I be now if I had just accepted vampirism is my fate? Getting my soul back wouldn't have fixed that. I had to fight, still have to fight, against that every day'

Fred says 'You're a good person Angel, the fact that doing good isn't easy for you proves it!'

It doesn't sound like either Angel or Fred and I'm not sure it even makes sense.

The best thing about this comic are the colours, which are beautiful, with lots of purples, pinks and blues and gorgeous reds and oranges inside the volcano
 
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#3
Is anyone else reading this?
Okay - I'm part way through #2. Here's the thing - a) I'm not sure it's actually happening. Rather - it could be the result of a spell etc. but it's easier to see it as being in Angel's unconscious. b) Illyria - I don't think she's just part of Fred. I think (in Angel's unconscious mind) she's also part of Angel. So - the bit in #2 when this exchange happens - I think it's Angel talking to himself about killing his father (the other Demon) and his family. Would that make sense? Let me know and I'll send you my more detailed analysis (it's a bit bizarre).!

upload_2017-9-9_22-55-12.png
 

Grace

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Black Thorn
#4
I'm also sticking with it! Not really getting it, either.

There is this dialogue
Angel 'I'm not sure I like where this is going. Are you trying to say we're fated to lose? Where would I be now if I had just accepted vampirism is my fate? Getting my soul back wouldn't have fixed that. I had to fight, still have to fight, against that every day'

Fred says 'You're a good person Angel, the fact that doing good isn't easy for you proves it!'

It doesn't sound like either Angel or Fred and I'm not sure it even makes sense.
This dialogue also stood out to me as particularly bad. Angelus is not making much of an impression, either.

I have zero theories on the bugs and the flower and why they matter. There's just not really much to work with. I think I'm still coasting along on how gorgeous that cover for #5 was, with Angelus and Darla and the ship.
 
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#5
Yay @TriBel I'm not alone! :) I'd love to read your analysis, though I won't be happy if it ends with Angel waking up in shower . . .
 
Yay @Grace! The Angel/Darla Ship cover was gorgeous, the best in this comic by far. I hate the way Angel has been drawn, like a 50's caricature
 
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#6
@Priceless
Right - bear in mind I've only read #1, part of #2 and painted the living room pink on account of #10 (the last bit was a lie). As I said, I'm not sure whether this is happening in reality. It could be the result of a spell etc. but at the moment it's easier to read it as a dream (or a vision or something similar) - something that gives us access to Angel's unconscious.

The unconscious is a repository for wishes, fears and repressed memories that are unpalatable to the conscious mind. Dreams are the result of dream-work. Dream-work transforms latent or unconscious thoughts. What we "see" is the manifest content (the dream) - a disguised version of those thoughts. The manifest content appears via condensation (lots of different ideas condensed into one); displacement (a bit like allusion. Important things are made to seem trivial - I think BtVS does this all the time - that's why it's important to notice asides, casual remarks etc.). There's also "figureability". Abstract ideas are represented concretely. So "envy" might be represented by Mr Green (green with envy etc.). Finally, there's secondary revision. We reorganise disparate thoughts into a coherent whole - a narrative. Sorry for the schooling!!:oops: If it's not schooling, sorry for oversimplifying. :) See the following for a more comprehensive explanation. https://www.freud.org.uk/education/topic/10576/subtopic/40026/

Okay – the bugs could be literal - things from the past that are bugging him - unconscious thoughts (fears, wishes). His psychic defence mechanisms are breaking down (too thin) because he’s close to home (too close to home). Home in the unconscious is often the first home, the mother’s womb.
upload_2017-9-10_9-37-49.png

This - I don't think it's a real memory - I think it's made up of disparate moments. The bridge looks like the bridge over Deeper Well (deeper well was ALWAYS going to come back - "well" often symbolises the vagina). The tower is very phallic. The tree on the right - is this meant to be Galway? Would they have palms in Galway in 1700s? I think the palm is flagging up California. The book could represent his father. IMO, whatever his fear/wish etc. is, it's been following him throughout his existence.

Flowers – often symbolise female sexuality (think or see Georgia O’Keeffe paintings) – girls blossom, bloom (the flower when we first see it reminds me of the one Willow grew in S7 – everything connects?). This (below) could be vagina dentate. The toothed vagina.

upload_2017-9-10_9-51-57.png

It’s a myth to do with the fear of castration (I think the worm in Beneath You is also VD. Tons of the monsters in the comics are the same). Is it a vampire’s mouth? If so, it could be something to do with Darla (his other mother). This from Wiki just to show I haven't made it up! :)"Such folk stories are frequently told as cautionary tales warning of the dangers of unknown women and to discourage rape…In her book Sexual Personae (1991), Camille Paglia wrote: “The toothed vagina is no sexist hallucination: every penis is made less in every vagina, just as mankind, male and female, is devoured by mother nature”. In his book The Wimp Factor, Stephen J. Ducat expresses a similar view, that these myths express the threat sexual intercourse poses for men who, although entering triumphantly, always leave diminished.” I thing this simply means – the moment men are at their most potent – orgasm – is also the moment the penis shrinks. Basically, is it his fears about Buffy? Having sex with her diminishes Angel by making Angelus appear? It's not just Buffy - I'll explain at the end.

Unless you resort to magic, you can’t change the past – the past happened; every moment was unique. You can change history though because history is simply what we know of the past – not the past itself. You change history by recovering lost moments thus revealing new truths about the past, or revisiting and reconsidering what you thought was the truth of the past. That way you change your behaviour in the future. The therapeutic journey is “time-travel” (obviously not literal!).

Illyria’s role: not sure. She’s an old one. She/he/it was in deeper well (see above. I also read deeper well as the unknowable core at the centre of self). Just realised the fact that she doesn’t have a gender MIGHT be significant.

“Scrying has been practised in many cultures in the belief that it can reveal the past, present, or future. Some practitioners assert that visions that come when one stares into the media are from the subconscious or imagination, while others say that they come from gods, spirits, devils, or the psychic mind, depending on the culture and practice”. This is the point I was making about not knowing whether it was actually taking place or not. Most surfaces used for scrying are reflective – bit of a bugger if you’re a vampire. Scrying often involves being in a trance. Could be it’s a more elaborate version of Spike’s LMPTM in 7. I always thought Spike needed a session with a psychoanalyst more than he needed a soul. Reflections have always mattered more to Angel than Spike.

#2 (notes from last night).

Gone too far back in time? Before he was born? Would make sense if he’s in a trance. Retreating from his problems – is he wishing Illyria away because he doesn’t want to know the truth – he’s retreating into the depths of his unconscious? Illyria’s past – I always thought he had a god complex – has he unconsciously become her – become an old one? Shit – Illyria isn’t a she. Okay – I think Illyria is also part of him – his unconscious is condensing the two. Illyria is Fred who wants to help him.
*****************************************************************************************************************************************
The above was mostly written last night. IMO (this might change if I read the whole thing), Illyria is a condensation. She's Fred trying to help him; she's Angel himself, she's possibly Angel's dad; she's also herself. That's why he/she/it is important.

"The name Winifred is a Welsh name. In Welsh the meaning of the name Winifred is:Reconciled; blessed. Historically Winifred was a martyred Welsh princess; traditionally the patron saint of virgins." Here's the thing (my thing). I read his love for Buffy as being a displacement of the love he had for his sister, Kathy (which most websites say means pure). It's the reason Angelus kills nuns (we've had this conversation). Look for descriptions of Kathy and look for the reason Angel was attracted to Buffy in the first instance. Possibly what we're seeing in Fred is another condensation - Fred is herself and Buffy and Kathy. What I'm guessing is - he'll emerge from this story with some knowledge that pertains to Kathy (in the same way Spike emerged from LMPTM with knowledge of his mother). This awareness might mean he can have sex with Buffy without turning into Angelus (the time he spent with Kathy represented perfect happiness - not Buffy). Where that leaves us then is anybody's guess. :mad:

Talking of guessing - I'm fairly secure with the Freudian bits (VD, Deeper Well etc.). The names I looked up - it's not coincidence. Putting them all together?...I made up all that sh*t up. It's guesswork...and I've oversimplified. :( I'd stand by it based on what I've read so far but reserve the right to change my mind if I read further.:)

I hate the way Angel has been drawn, like a 50's caricature
If it's Angel's unconscious, perhaps that's how he thinks of himself?

Fred says 'You're a good person Angel, the fact that doing good isn't easy for you proves it!'
Might not sound like Fred - does it sound like Buffy?

PS - volcanoes. Often connected with dragons (the dragon in Buffy 11 - also Cordy?). Also - was there a reference to Twilight in #2?
 

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#7
This - I don't think it's a real memory - I think it's made up of disparate moments. The bridge looks like the bridge over Deeper Well (deeper well was ALWAYS going to come back - "well" often symbolises the vagina). The tower is very phallic. The tree on the right - is this meant to be Galway? Would they have palms in Galway in 1700s? I think the palm is flagging up California. The book could represent his father. IMO, whatever his fear/wish etc. is, it's been following him throughout his existence.
This makes absolute sense. I never even noticed that was actually a palm tree :oops: I really have to go back and re-read the whole season, and really look, then it might make more sense to me.

So I hate the idea that all this takes place in Angel's brain. If it ends like that, I will feel that I have been robbed as a reader. I don't mind if Angel wants to get psychoanalysed, but I don't want to read about it. Unless it has some sort of effect on Buffy, Spike etc.

I like that Illyria may mean several different things to Angel. In some places Angel calls for Illyria to come forth and in others he wants Fred, which he says is due to the situation they are in e.g that Fred wouldn't be able to withstand a volcano erruption, but maybe it's more to do with how he's actually feeling at the time, rather than what's happening on the page.

Hope you are wrong about Angel finding the knowledge he needs to be able to sleep with Buffy without turning into Angelus. Does this mean he will figure out how to anchor his soul? Or just how to restrain Angelus, and is that the same thing? If he can anchor his soul, he could find happiness with anyone . . . personally I'm hoping Cordelia (not the dragon) shows up and we can get to see some real Cangel . . . and leave Buffy and Spike happy together :)
 
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#8
So I hate the idea that all this takes place in Angel's brain.
It doesn't necessarily it is - it just seemed that way from the little I'd read. TBH - that sort of conceit is difficult to sustain for a whole series (although I've seen it happen in novels). You can explain the similarity with Illyria (the over determination) via shadowing, unconscious slips etc. I'd have to read more and it's a slow process on line (clunky). The flower allusion may seem OTT but it's a very common motif. The Kathy / Buffy thing I'm sure is right. I'm sure I read somewhere he was attracted to her purity.
Does this mean he will figure out how to anchor his soul? Or just how to restrain Angelus, and is that the same thing?
Not necessarily anchor it - just he wouldn't be at risk from losing it with her (and I'm not Whedon - I'm making all this up!). He could - for instance - find extreme happiness in winning the lottery - then he'd lose it (I'm being facetious now). But...if it's not directly related to sex and the aftermath then he could sleep with anyone. That aside, we don't know what the attraction to Buffy was - if it was simply that he was initially attracted to her because she reminded him of Kathy, it would surely be a different love than the one he experienced after. We also don't know how she feels. In addition - there's Faith to consider. There's also Fred - and Cordy. I do think it's to do with revelations about his relationship with his family but the rest I'm guessing at. The Cordy/Dragon thing - I remember a comment in this episode (I think Illyria makes it) about some "crust" or other giving way (I had to look it up). It's to do with there being empty chambers in volcanoes after the magma has gone. I was wondering whether they'd fall through or whether there was something underneath. Also - Spike mentioned the "Shanlong ?" Dragon - which is a real myth and it seems to have a heavenly counterpart - Cordy Dragon made sense. I'm going to stop wondering - I could end up looking a right d**k! :(

Deeper Well - I always knew Deeper Well would come back! I know Whedon said it was important that Spike made the following remark: "This goes all the way through to the other side. So, I figure, there's a bloke somewhere around New Zealand standing on a bridge like this one, looking back down at us. All the way down. There's a hole in the world. Feels like we ought to have known."

Also - this (Hole in the World)


SPIKE: Back to the mother country. Hey, after we save Fred, we should hit the West End, take in a show.
ANGEL
I've never seen Les Mis.
SPIKE
(scoffs)
Trust me, half way through the first act, you'll be drinking humans again.
ANGEL
Can't lose her, Spike.
SPIKE
We won't.
ANGEL
I lost Cordy.
 

Grace

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Black Thorn
#9
I like all the analysis! More interesting than the actual comics! :)

One thing I've been wondering about this season is if we're basically getting Angel back to his Amends experience. It seems like he's regressed in the comics, so maybe he has to go back to the beginning and start over. I think Amends was truly Angel's "Becoming" moment, when he started on his path not as a creature of Darla's creation or of Buffy's but of his own. So if in this season, he goes back to the time of his siring, and considers preventing it, it's almost like his decision to attempt suicide in Amends. Only this time, instead of having the First as the little demonic cheerleader on his shoulder, he'll have Fred as the angelic one. He'll decide that, despite everything that's happened, preventing his own siring wouldn't be a net good to the world.

Unless you resort to magic, you can’t change the past – the past happened; every moment was unique. You can change history though because history is simply what we know of the past – not the past itself. You change history by recovering lost moments thus revealing new truths about the past, or revisiting and reconsidering what you thought was the truth of the past. That way you change your behaviour in the future. The therapeutic journey is “time-travel” (obviously not literal!).
This seems dead-on to me. I think the time travel is literally happening in the comics but it's meant to be a way of Angel reclaiming his past in a therapeutic way.

I read his love for Buffy as being a displacement of the love he had for his sister, Kathy (which most websites say means pure). It's the reason Angelus kills nuns (we've had this conversation). Look for descriptions of Kathy and look for the reason Angel was attracted to Buffy in the first instance. Possibly what we're seeing in Fred is another condensation - Fred is herself and Buffy and Kathy. What I'm guessing is - he'll emerge from this story with some knowledge that pertains to Kathy (in the same way Spike emerged from LMPTM with knowledge of his mother).
This is an interesting take. I've always thought of Darla and Buffy as being essentially the mother of his evil and his good, respectively, who both damn Angel in some way, while the sister love is associated with all the brunettes - especially Drusilla, Cordelia and Fred, who are doomed to greater or lesser extent through their association with Angel, the way Kathy was. But I'll think about your interpretation as well.
 
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Sineya
#10
This discussion is making me wonder whether the writers are sitting at their keyboards with a book of names and their meanings or if the names are taken at random or from people they know. When you wade into the murky waters of symbolism, you may be faced with the fact that the name doesn't have Freudian significance or any other significance you could think of. I have mentioned it before, but Sharon Stone was cast as Catherine Trammell in Basic Instinct and she was proud of herself for having found that a trammel was a medieval Scottish burial shroud. Writer Joe Eszterhas (who was paid $3,000,000 for the screenplay) told her he was a baseball fan and the name came from one of his favourite players, Alex Trammell of the Tigers.
 

Grace

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Black Thorn
#11
Now a volcano is in play again! To end the beetle/zombie plague, Fred realizes they need to make the volcano erupt.

As Illyria says: "Fred thought it important to close the loop. We stopped an eruption in the past. Now, ages later, that tension is released. And our enemies die in the process. Unless you have a more workable plan?"

In that first arc, past Illyria and future Illyria had to work together. In this arc, Fred and Illyria are the ones who work together to solve the problem. Angel also gets Angelus' help to hold off the zombies. So everyone's working with the other version of themselves (except poor Darla, who is doppelgänger-free).

Earlier in the issue, Fred was doubting the efficacy of their time travel (in a section of extra-clunky dialogue that @Priceless noted above):
Fred: "It's just that we keep seeing, I don't know, echoes of past events. Illyria's volcano in the deep past, and this? Like, you remember Angelus and Darla killing the crew. But we saved them, and then they died anyway... Which is odd, because they were killed by bugs. The very thing that started all this, and that we're trying to avoid in the future... It's like we can change events easily enough, but changing the course of history is harder."
Angel: "I'm not sure I like where this is going. Are you trying to say that we're fated to lose? Where would I be now if I had just accepted vampirism as my fate? Getting my soul back wouldn't have fixed that. I had to fight, still have to fight, against that every day." ...
Fred: "Well maybe it's the same. You're a good person, Angel. The fact that doing good isn't easy for you proves it! Maybe history wants to take the easy path. It's up to us to push hard enough to force it to take the hard one. And by noticing patterns we might be able to figure out where to apply pressure."
(I actually don't remember Angel ever saying that Angelus and Darla killed the Galene's crew. He said Angelus killed the creepy sailor, and he and Darla got away from the Galene during the pirate battle, boarded the pirate ship and then ate the pirate ship's cook. But I doubt it's important.)

At the end of the issue, Illyria, Darla, Angel and Angelus are all headed into a portal (so if Angelus and Darla had any remaining doubts about Angel and Fred/Illyria being time-travelers from the future, those are gone!). Illyria says: "This will be ... uncomfortable. There are limits to even what I can do...And bringing both of you, together, through this may cause it to react as angrily as the caldera."
 

thetopher

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#12
Eh, I'm struggling to care about all this. This part was less fun, the interactions between Angel and Angelus/Darla was utterly devoid of charm, wit, realism or anything interesting. So much potential- a good idea- completely fluffed.
- I'm glad I was wrong about Illyria saving them from the zombies...in the water. But she saved them from the zombies on the island! So I'm half right. Also volcano-theme.
- The artist knows that clothing doesn't protect vampires from the sun, right? I mean one little wooden shield doesn't protect Angel's legs of lower torso from sunlight at all...
- Angel and Fred talking about the difference between changing events and changing history would've been interesting or clever but instead it came across as clunky as hell. I would've liked to see a PHYSICIST as smart as Fred really shine here, she's supposed to be off-the charts smart and I'm not getting that at all. She's just...there.
- And...Angelus and Darla are now jumping into the future with them. This is probably gonna play merry havoc with the time steam. I wouldn't care if it were in the service of a better realized plot.
 
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#13
- The artist knows that clothing doesn't protect vampires from the sun, right? I mean one little wooden shield doesn't protect Angel's legs of lower torso from sunlight at all...
- Angel and Fred talking about the difference between changing events and changing history would've been interesting or clever but instead it came across as clunky as hell. I would've liked to see a PHYSICIST as smart as Fred really shine here, she's supposed to be off-the charts smart and I'm not getting that at all. She's just...there.
I know! It's like I am reading these comics over your shoulder because I've got Ilyria to time leap me two months into the past for that to happen obviously!
The way they drew it as well, the shadow was clearly only over Angel's head, has he become such a tough vamp that his body doesn't even singe anymore? Plus when he jumped into the sea unless there was a mass of pollution and resulting algae bloom, the sunlight would go through the sea...

And, yes, Fred is genius level physicist who does not have one interesting or informed thing to say about time travel, it's almost like words were being given to her by a writer who couldn't be bothered to do a basic google about the various real but mad as hell physic theories on how time travel would/could work.

Though I still love the very intelligent comments on this post and live with the hope that something interesting might be done with all the pieces they've thrown together.
 
thetopher
thetopher
Ah, I remember when I was that optimistic...;)
Mrs Gordo
Mrs Gordo
Mmm ^ same.
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#14
hmmm I'm thinking by your comments that my hopes will die like random swimming zombie pirate #13
 
Mrs Gordo
Mrs Gordo
This really was “the best” arc ... I thought.
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