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Hands in "Chosen"



When Buffy handed the amulet to Spike in "Chosen", did anyone else want her to linger her hand there just a bit?

I wouldn't quibble about it so much, but I feel like SMG kind of rushed it a bit, almost acting like James's hand was poison. It just feels like a perfect opportunity for their hands to linger just a half second longer than necessary. James looks like he was trying to do that, but her hand was just not responding. It would have been so easy too, as she had to put more effort into hovering her hand away from his, as opposed to keeping the connection and sliding the amulet easily out of her fingers. They do connect briefly, but she snatches her hand away really quickly, like she's just touched hot coals. It's a small thing, but it was an otherwise lovely shot and it bugs me. Any thoughts on the matter?


May 4, 2020
I guess I didn’t notice too much, whatever that moment may have lacked was made up for by her holding his face/cheek and looking at him lovingly a couple of minutes later.


Jan 25, 2016
Buffy and Spike and Hands are a definite thing in the show, the camera focus on their hands so often.

I wonder, in Chosen if Whedon didn't want their hands to linger, in case it was read that Buffy was having second thoughts about giving him the amulet? I also think the moment was then not about Buffy allowing Spike to be a champion, but Spike wanting it for himself.

I also agree with @AstridDante that Buffy touches his face, and that makes it more about two people connecting on a human level, then as 'champions' or super heroes handling a magical artifact.


Jun 25, 2017
did anyone else want her to linger her hand there just a bit?

No. 🙂 (I agree with @Priceless ). Go back to Beneath You when her hand retracts involuntarily. It's as though her mind is making seemingly rational arguments to work with Spike while her body is warning her away. It's a mind (spirit, soul)/body split...a dyad or binary opposition fundamental to Western thought. Before this, she allows Spike to touch her face - I think because her mind hasn't had time to absorb what she's seeing. Compare with Showtime when his hand to her face reveals neither a reality or an imaginary but the real - her actual presence. Then onto Potential where her hand moves unconsciously out of concern for his welfare. He takes control of the situation, shows his agency, by clasping her hand and moving it away (I think he's wary of repeating their mistakes of the past). There's a subject/object thing happening here: the hand scene puts him in control, prior to this she's directing him. Later, in conversation with Amanda, we see her trying to control what happened through reason. Then we have the scene in the crypt, which repeats the torch scene in BY...but they don't notice - it "feels" natural.

Hands are an important signifier in the series. An implication of the enjoining spell done in Primeval is that Buffy’s hand “serves repeatedly as a synecdochic representation of herself” (Wilcox). At the beginning of S6, a hand pushing through the grave-bed (usually the sign of an emerging monster) confirms her resurrection. At the end of the season, a similar shot announces her rebirth. For Aristotle the hand is the "instrument for instruments” for Galen, they are “compensation for the relative weakness of humans”.* Explicating from Galen, Rowe explains the hand not only “typifies all parts of the human body” but, “in particular, typifies the humanity of that body.” She writes,

“As instrument of reason, obviously voluntary in its motion, the hand serves as the physical link between intention (or volition) and act. It is peculiarly both object and body, inhabiting a liminal space between the object world (that of the tools and weapons that Galen imagines it as employing) and (as the physical metonym for those tools) the world of interiority, intentions, and inventions-that of the self. Living in these two worlds, the hand defines a relation between intention and act and gives this relation a physical locus, naturalizing personal agency in the human form”.

Don't start me on the hands in Touched (which also takes place in a liminal space). IMO, it's an absolutely stunning piece of television, which takes us beyond what is possible in terms of the subject. It's a sort of "There are more things in heaven and earth...than are dreamt of in your philosophy" moment and it's why they can't say what the moment means.

I should have just said ...I'm more than happy with the representation of hands in S7. 😄

also think the moment was then not about Buffy allowing Spike to be a champion, but Spike wanting it for himself.
Yeah...it could be that she doesn't want to give it to him since she knows it's dangerous but she has no choice - he deserves the right. The scythe might be her "Holy Grail" but for Spike, the amulet's a poisoned chalice.

*For confirmation, see this exchange between Knox and Illyria in Shells.

ILLYRIA: “Your breed is fragile. How is they came to control this world?”
KNOX “Opposable thumbs. Fire. Television”.
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