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Was Jasmine really a poor big bad?

katmobile

Scooby
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Jasmine had all the trappings of the Anti-Christ. She was attractive. She would right long-standing wrongs. She consumed people but in a lesser quantity than the wars of the world. She would accrete power all to herself. For an avowed atheist, Joss had a very good representation of a true Anti-Christ, probably better than most Christians (who should know better). She was one of the most dangerous Big Bads because everyone (at least everyone else) aided and abetted her every move.

And let's face it - having the BMW driver stop cheerfully for a pedestrian? That takes some of the darkest mojo right there.
I thought she was really scary but I think seeing people be emotionally manipulated gets to me.
 
Joined
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Black Thorn
Not particularity, when she was Cordy, she only really focused on causing a rift between Angel and Connor and then birthing herself.
I also think a big issue was that the character still felt like Cordy - but just a bit off, and the Connor thing was just gross. It's really hard to tell when Cordy started to be Jasmine. Playing the undercover big bad didn't suit Charisma Carpenter's acting either and she works much better as the funny character. I think if it was clear to the audience from the beginning that is was not Cordy and she had done some more morally questionable things besides the weird borderline-incest, Jasmine might have been better.
 

Cohen

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Not particularity, when she was Cordy, she only really focused on causing a rift between Angel and Connor and then birthing herself.
I also think a big issue was that the character still felt like Cordy - but just a bit off, and the Connor thing was just gross. It's really hard to tell when Cordy started to be Jasmine. Playing the undercover big bad didn't suit Charisma Carpenter's acting either and she works much better as the funny character. I think if it was clear to the audience from the beginning that is was not Cordy and she had done some more morally questionable things besides the weird borderline-incest, Jasmine might have been better.
But then, the whole point of the first part of the season is watching Cordy make these out of character decisions, not understanding why she is doing it. And then it being revealed that it wasn’t Cordy making those decisions at all—it was another entity entirely, which was possessing her. Post-STB Cordy is a completely different person immediately starting from the “wake up”. I’m trying to decide if the “vision” was really even a vision at all, or if it was a plan being set in motion, and presented to the audience as a vision. I think Cordy becomes disconnected with the PTB after her reappearance in “The House Always Wins”.
 
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Black Thorn
But then, the whole point of the first part of the season is watching Cordy make these out of character decisions, not understanding why she is doing it. And then it being revealed that it wasn’t Cordy making those decisions at all—it was another entity entirely, which was possessing her. Post-STB Cordy is a completely different person immediately starting from the “wake up”. I’m trying to decide if the “vision” was really even a vision at all, or if it was a plan being set in motion, and presented to the audience as a vision. I think Cordy becomes disconnected with the PTB after her reappearance in “The House Always Wins”.
I get that we were meant to be wondering why she was doing it, but it was too subtle it kin of felt like Buffy being slightly out of character in season 6. It just made me not like Cordelia, because it's so difficult to see when it stopped being her. What I mean is it would have been better if her out-of-character actions were clearer not just grooming Connor which was just weird and just no longer being fun, if it was going to be subtle, it had to seem more than just out of character for us. As viewers we see a lot of out of character moments when it was just the character being changed a bit to fit the episode, I felt like it needed to be clearer to the viewers and other characters that something was really up with her, not just 'Cordy is dealing with seeing all of Angelus'. It felt like Jasmine didn't really have much of her own personality either - Cordelia's character had changed so much over the seasons, I just kind of felt 'oh so we are doing this, again?', she was rather boring. It's hard to explain, it just really didn't sit well with me.
 

Cohen

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I would challenge you to rewatch. I’m rewatching with an intent to see how Cordy’s Character is changed, and it’s quite clear “Apocalypse, Nowish” is NOT Cordy. I am currently in the middle of “Habeas Corpses” and her interactions in this episode is also clearly not Cordy. It’s there. Its subtle for the first-time viewer, but it’s quite obvious.
 
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Cordy is the big issue of that season. The writers didn't know what to do with her anymore, then charisma became pregnant and the writers really didn't know what to do with her.

Jasmine had a lot of potential but was executed badly. Had there been no link between Jas and Cordy, i think the jasmine story line could have been a lot better.
 

Anyanka Bunny Slayer

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Black Thorn
Jasmine had a lot of potential but was executed badly. Had there been no link between Jas and Cordy, i think the jasmine story line could have been a lot better.
Absolutely agree with this. If Jasmine had just appeared out of nowhere, without "assistance" from Cordy, it would have been sooooo much better. We could've avoided the gross "Cordy"/Connor hump fest, first of all. But also, I would've been more accepting of Jasmine as a legitimate big bad. (Though it must be said, Gina Torres did a spectacular job despite the crappy circumstances)
 

telperion66

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They should have let Angel and Cordy get together for the rest of the season after Angel killed the beast in his fantasy with the sword. Then they could have gone back to a happy place in the season, and started with a great foundation for the rest of season four. The whole thing leading to Jasmine and her appearance tainted the whole season massively and was a disaster.

Whether they couldn't do this due to Charisma's pregnancy, we'll never know.

The season up to that point was gripping and engaging, with some truly memorable episodes.

While the plot twist of Angel's soul being removed by the shaman was exciting and unexpected, the season went downhill after the first couple of Angelus episodes.
 

katmobile

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They should have let Angel and Cordy get together for the rest of the season after Angel killed the beast in his fantasy with the sword. Then they could have gone back to a happy place in the season, and started with a great foundation for the rest of season four. The whole thing leading to Jasmine and her appearance tainted the whole season massively and was a disaster.

Whether they couldn't do this due to Charisma's pregnancy, we'll never know.

The season up to that point was gripping and engaging, with some truly memorable episodes.

While the plot twist of Angel's soul being removed by the shaman was exciting and unexpected, the season went downhill after the first couple of Angelus episodes.
It had Faith and Willow which was cool.
 

Cohen

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They should have scrapped evil Cordy altogether and just hid her pregnancy like with other shows. But I am enjoying this rewatch examining Jordy, and watching her make completely out of character decisions. I love how they had Cordy be at the hotel while they dealt with the Beast during Habeas Corpses. They really did a good job of making Cordy conveniently absent when the beast was doing things.
 

spikenbuffy

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I would challenge you to rewatch. I’m rewatching with an intent to see how Cordy’s Character is changed, and it’s quite clear “Apocalypse, Nowish” is NOT Cordy. I am currently in the middle of “Habeas Corpses” and her interactions in this episode is also clearly not Cordy. It’s there. Its subtle for the first-time viewer, but it’s quite obvious.
Cordelia's hair also becomes black and darker as the season goes on.
 
Cohen
Cohen
I noticed that! Like the apocalypse is happening... but she has time to darken her hair? Definitely Jasmine! 😂😂

DeepBlueJoy

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I would challenge you to rewatch. I’m rewatching with an intent to see how Cordy’s Character is changed, and it’s quite clear “Apocalypse, Nowish” is NOT Cordy. I am currently in the middle of “Habeas Corpses” and her interactions in this episode is also clearly not Cordy. It’s there. Its subtle for the first-time viewer, but it’s quite obvious.
It IS NOT clear if it's only clear in hindsight and reexamination. The season could have been amazing with just Jasmine... If Cordelia had simply been left out and Jasmine had emerged from the ground where Connor was born, with the beast as her herald. Jasmine born of the blood of the child formed from two of the most evil vampires ever to exist... that would have been profoundly disturbing and created one heck of an arc for Connor.

Or, if we the audience had been in on the joke, and/or Cordelia had been inside her own body, screaming to get out, (and trying to subvert Jasmine) but unheard....

It could have been the best season, instead of the death knell for both the character and the actor's career, and a contribution to the cancellation of the series. It also made people loathe Connor.

At the start of Buffy, Charisma was actually a better actor than David. She too could have grown and had a successful career, even if it was just as a character actor, (but who would want her playing someone's mom unless she was playing a psycho?), instead she's mostly sunk without a trace. Meanwhile the one episode vampire got a Jason Bourne movie...
 

DeepBlueJoy

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I would challenge you to rewatch. I’m rewatching with an intent to see how Cordy’s Character is changed, and it’s quite clear “Apocalypse, Nowish” is NOT Cordy. I am currently in the middle of “Habeas Corpses” and her interactions in this episode is also clearly not Cordy. It’s there. Its subtle for the first-time viewer, but it’s quite obvious.
You cannot watch it now without already knowing. You know it isn't her. So it's easy to start seeing the oddness.

To my mind, Cordelia stopped being fully in control the minute that demon gave her the essense of demon... that SAME demon ascended her... because he'd been working for Jasmine all along. So, IMO, Cordelia either never came back, or the Cordelia that came back was like a Goa'uld host -- completely overwhelmed by the parasite inside even though she was fully aware.

Suppose, at the beginning of the arc, or at some point BEFORE she starts killing people and sleeping with virgin boys who might as well be her child, we had seen her doing something Jasmine-like... Behind her door, she is shown with a somewhat altered face, eating raw meat or worms or something else equally gross... maybe her eyes glow or something? And for those who weren't watching the first episode where this happened, maybe sometime before she kills Lilah, her eyes glow red... same when she starts to seduce Connor... she's shown holding him, and we get an over the shoulder where here eyes are clearly glowing... then she blinks.

That sort of signalling would be a way to show the audience that this is NOT their Cordelia. We could even have her later on complain that she'd been trying to tell Angel she wasn't herself by choosing those horrible close (when she woke up at the beginning of the new season because Willow was able to come and work with Wes to clear all the demonic/Jasmine from her cells) Of course, we would forgive her! Because it would be OUR Cordelia, totally rejecting the vileness... yes, even Connor comshuck vileness. Frankly, there would not be anything to forgive.

Alternately, her ascension could have been all the impregnating she needed and she didn't need to have sex with Connor at all... but sadly (not a direction I would have gone with his special skills) it makes sense that he was magically engineered for Jasmine because he obviously is magical.

As for the forgiveness of Angel: When Angelus became Angelus, we were keyed into that within the one episode. It was easy (for the audience, anyway) to forgive Angel later on, and yet, some people (Xander and Giles, & I think even Joyce) never trusted him again AND his relationship with Buffy was never the same, could never be the same... as Spike says, there are ALWAYS consequences. Yes, he was able to be redeemed, but no, things did not ever go back to 'normal'.

The point? If you wanted to take over Cordelia AGAIN, impregnate her AGAIN, (because, that is what we do with women, right?) there were much better ways to do it! The point of the exercise was to destroy the character... and the actress, IMO. You only have to look at how the Fred-Illyria transformation was handled to understand the difference. Fred was really gone, yet, we found ourselves getting attached to an ancient demon! One that was initially more powerful and dangerous than Cordelia. Cordelia was mostly dangerous as a Trojan horse. As I said before, just having the audience know that would have made it possible for her to come back unscathed, or at least 'rebuildable'.

Bottom line? The writing in the rest of both series (yes, even at its nadirs) is too well thought out for what they did to her to be any kind of accident of bad writing. It was intentional bad writing.
 

AstridDante

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I really hated the pregnancy arc with Cordelia and Connor in general. Gave me the major ick. I didn’t like Jasmin as a villain. She didn’t have enough charisma to empathise with her nor was she was scary enough to be truly threatening.
 

SpikeOrAngel

Townie
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Oct 8, 2020
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25
One issue I had with Jasmine being a Big Bad who creates Paradise on earth using heroes as thralls is that it's from comic books I read as a kid: The Korvac Saga (1978), Squadron Supreme (1985), Emperor Doom (1990), and more so in The Infinity Crusade (1993) since it was a radiant woman named Goddess, i.e. an oddly specific plot.

Evil Cordelia was more intriguing (I was shocked she stabbed Lilah), but getting manipulated to giving birth to an entity is also from The Avengers and Star Trek: The Next Generation.

All this said, Jasmine was scary to me.
 
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