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BtVS Episode Endings elimination game

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  • I have two easy favourites out of the ones left, FFL and The Body. I can find reasons to like most of the others enough for them to also be in the top five.

    + FFL
    - The Gift *buried*

    Fool for Love : "Is there something I can do?" - After feeling humiliated by Buffy Spike comes armed with a shotgun to kill her, but seeing her in tears approaches her to try and comfort her instead - 8

    I Was Made to Love You : Buffy comes home to find her mother lying dead on the couch. - "Mommy?" - 9

    The Body : "Where'd she go?" - Dawn is contemplating Joyce's body/her loss and reaches her hand out as if she'll touch her mum's cheek. - 9

    Forever: Having stopped the resurrection Dawn hugs Buffy as Buffy sobs, having gone to the door hoping to see her mother again. Both comfort each other in their grief. - "It's okay." - 3

    Intervention: "I won't forget it." - After kissing him and asserting the robot was gross/obscene but what he did for her/Dawn re: Glory was real, Buffy exits Spike's crypt, leaving him staring after her. - 5

    Spiral: Willow tries to speak to Buffy as she sits tearful and dazed amidst the devastation/death Glory left behind her and having failed to stop her taking Dawn. "Buffy." - 5

    The Weight of the World : "Buffy, the only way is to kill Dawn." - The scene ends with Buffy's dismayed reaction to Giles' suggestion if the portal opens Dawn's death is the only way to stop it. - 7



    Reset at:
    15
    9
    5

    Eliminated:
    07.
    08. The Gift
    09. Buffy vs Dracula
    10. No Place Like Home
    11. Out of My Mind
    12. Checkpoint
    13. Tough Love
    14. Crush
    15. Listening To Fear
    16. Real Me
    17. Triangle
    18. Blood Ties
    19. Family
    20. The Replacement
    21. Shadow
    22. Into the Woods

    Results:
    Season 1 winner: I Robot, You Jane
    Season 2 winner: Innocence
    Season 3 winner: Graduation Day (Pt 1)
    Season 4 winner: Restless
    Season 5 winner:

    Comment


    • + Forever
      - The Weight of the World

      Fool for Love : "Is there something I can do?" - After feeling humiliated by Buffy Spike comes armed with a shotgun to kill her, but seeing her in tears approaches her to try and comfort her instead - 8

      I Was Made to Love You : Buffy comes home to find her mother lying dead on the couch. - "Mommy?" - 9

      The Body : "Where'd she go?" - Dawn is contemplating Joyce's body/her loss and reaches her hand out as if she'll touch her mum's cheek. - 9

      Forever: Having stopped the resurrection Dawn hugs Buffy as Buffy sobs, having gone to the door hoping to see her mother again. Both comfort each other in their grief. - "It's okay." - 4

      Intervention: "I won't forget it." - After kissing him and asserting the robot was gross/obscene but what he did for her/Dawn re: Glory was real, Buffy exits Spike's crypt, leaving him staring after her. - 5

      Spiral: Willow tries to speak to Buffy as she sits tearful and dazed amidst the devastation/death Glory left behind her and having failed to stop her taking Dawn. "Buffy." - 5

      The Weight of the World : "Buffy, the only way is to kill Dawn." - The scene ends with Buffy's dismayed reaction to Giles' suggestion if the portal opens Dawn's death is the only way to stop it. - 6



      Reset at:
      15
      9
      5

      Eliminated:
      07.
      08. The Gift
      09. Buffy vs Dracula
      10. No Place Like Home
      11. Out of My Mind
      12. Checkpoint
      13. Tough Love
      14. Crush
      15. Listening To Fear
      16. Real Me
      17. Triangle
      18. Blood Ties
      19. Family
      20. The Replacement
      21. Shadow
      22. Into the Woods

      Results:
      Season 1 winner: I Robot, You Jane
      Season 2 winner: Innocence
      Season 3 winner: Graduation Day (Pt 1)
      Season 4 winner: Restless
      Season 5 winner:
      You keep waiting for the dust to settle and then you realize it; the dust is your life going on. If happy comes along - that weird unbearable delight that's actual happy - I think you have to grab it while you can. You take what you can get, 'cause it's here, and then...gone.

      Comment


      • Well for me Spiral is my number one. It probably won't win, but I just love that ending. It was terrifying to see Buffy genuinely feel like she was losing.

        + Spiral
        - Fool for Love


        Fool for Love : "Is there something I can do?" - After feeling humiliated by Buffy Spike comes armed with a shotgun to kill her, but seeing her in tears approaches her to try and comfort her instead - 7

        I Was Made to Love You : Buffy comes home to find her mother lying dead on the couch. - "Mommy?" - 9

        The Body : "Where'd she go?" - Dawn is contemplating Joyce's body/her loss and reaches her hand out as if she'll touch her mum's cheek. - 9

        Forever: Having stopped the resurrection Dawn hugs Buffy as Buffy sobs, having gone to the door hoping to see her mother again. Both comfort each other in their grief. - "It's okay." - 4

        Intervention: "I won't forget it." - After kissing him and asserting the robot was gross/obscene but what he did for her/Dawn re: Glory was real, Buffy exits Spike's crypt, leaving him staring after her. - 5

        Spiral: Willow tries to speak to Buffy as she sits tearful and dazed amidst the devastation/death Glory left behind her and having failed to stop her taking Dawn. "Buffy." - 6

        The Weight of the World : "Buffy, the only way is to kill Dawn." - The scene ends with Buffy's dismayed reaction to Giles' suggestion if the portal opens Dawn's death is the only way to stop it. - 6



        Reset at:
        15
        9
        5

        Eliminated:
        07.
        08. The Gift
        09. Buffy vs Dracula
        10. No Place Like Home
        11. Out of My Mind
        12. Checkpoint
        13. Tough Love
        14. Crush
        15. Listening To Fear
        16. Real Me
        17. Triangle
        18. Blood Ties
        19. Family
        20. The Replacement
        21. Shadow
        22. Into the Woods

        Results:
        Season 1 winner: I Robot, You Jane
        Season 2 winner: Innocence
        Season 3 winner: Graduation Day (Pt 1)
        Season 4 winner: Restless
        Season 5 winner:

        Comment


        • Wow, I can't believe The Gift has been eliminated! I was gone for a short while and bam, it's already gone. Oh well.

          eta: I love Intervention's end but I can't bring myself to vote against Spiral or WottW just yet.

          + Fool for Love
          - Intervention


          Fool for Love : "Is there something I can do?" - After feeling humiliated by Buffy Spike comes armed with a shotgun to kill her, but seeing her in tears approaches her to try and comfort her instead - 8

          I Was Made to Love You : Buffy comes home to find her mother lying dead on the couch. - "Mommy?" - 9

          The Body : "Where'd she go?" - Dawn is contemplating Joyce's body/her loss and reaches her hand out as if she'll touch her mum's cheek. - 9

          Forever: Having stopped the resurrection Dawn hugs Buffy as Buffy sobs, having gone to the door hoping to see her mother again. Both comfort each other in their grief. - "It's okay." - 4

          Intervention: "I won't forget it." - After kissing him and asserting the robot was gross/obscene but what he did for her/Dawn re: Glory was real, Buffy exits Spike's crypt, leaving him staring after her. - 4

          Spiral: Willow tries to speak to Buffy as she sits tearful and dazed amidst the devastation/death Glory left behind her and having failed to stop her taking Dawn. "Buffy." - 6

          The Weight of the World : "Buffy, the only way is to kill Dawn." - The scene ends with Buffy's dismayed reaction to Giles' suggestion if the portal opens Dawn's death is the only way to stop it. - 6



          Reset at:
          15
          9
          5

          Eliminated:
          07.
          08. The Gift
          09. Buffy vs Dracula
          10. No Place Like Home
          11. Out of My Mind
          12. Checkpoint
          13. Tough Love
          14. Crush
          15. Listening To Fear
          16. Real Me
          17. Triangle
          18. Blood Ties
          19. Family
          20. The Replacement
          21. Shadow
          22. Into the Woods

          Results:
          Season 1 winner: I Robot, You Jane
          Season 2 winner: Innocence
          Season 3 winner: Graduation Day (Pt 1)
          Season 4 winner: Restless
          Season 5 winner:
          .
          .

          Comment


          • Originally posted by SpuffyGlitz View Post
            Wow, I can't believe The Gift has been eliminated! I was gone for a short while and bam, it's already gone. Oh well.
            I think it is because the final scene is just on the gravestone. There's a boatload of emotions on that of course, but it isn't as affecting as seeing the character responses in the others.


            + Fool for Love
            - Weight of the World

            Fool for Love : "Is there something I can do?" - After feeling humiliated by Buffy Spike comes armed with a shotgun to kill her, but seeing her in tears approaches her to try and comfort her instead - 9

            I Was Made to Love You : Buffy comes home to find her mother lying dead on the couch. - "Mommy?" - 9

            The Body : "Where'd she go?" - Dawn is contemplating Joyce's body/her loss and reaches her hand out as if she'll touch her mum's cheek. - 9

            Forever: Having stopped the resurrection Dawn hugs Buffy as Buffy sobs, having gone to the door hoping to see her mother again. Both comfort each other in their grief. - "It's okay." - 4

            Intervention: "I won't forget it." - After kissing him and asserting the robot was gross/obscene but what he did for her/Dawn re: Glory was real, Buffy exits Spike's crypt, leaving him staring after her. - 4

            Spiral: Willow tries to speak to Buffy as she sits tearful and dazed amidst the devastation/death Glory left behind her and having failed to stop her taking Dawn. "Buffy." - 6

            The Weight of the World : "Buffy, the only way is to kill Dawn." - The scene ends with Buffy's dismayed reaction to Giles' suggestion if the portal opens Dawn's death is the only way to stop it. - 5



            Reset at:
            15
            9
            5

            Eliminated:
            07.
            08. The Gift
            09. Buffy vs Dracula
            10. No Place Like Home
            11. Out of My Mind
            12. Checkpoint
            13. Tough Love
            14. Crush
            15. Listening To Fear
            16. Real Me
            17. Triangle
            18. Blood Ties
            19. Family
            20. The Replacement
            21. Shadow
            22. Into the Woods

            Results:
            Season 1 winner: I Robot, You Jane
            Season 2 winner: Innocence
            Season 3 winner: Graduation Day (Pt 1)
            Season 4 winner: Restless
            Season 5 winner:
            Last edited by Stoney; 19-06-19, 02:19 PM.

            Comment


            • For me, the season most involves the ethics of intra-relation—

              The way in which the self is far from autonomous, is, rather,
              woven from its relation with others, be those relations of
              love (Buffy/Joyce/Dawn/her friends—and, ultimately, Spike, in
              a strange way, as well as Willow/Tara, Xander/Anya, &c.) and
              violence (Buffy/Dawn/Glory)—

              For this reason, those episodes that end with direct address
              to the other most resonate, especially those whose address
              finds no response or whose address affects a radical change—
              or both...

              Thus, first, I would rank I Was Made to Love You: there,
              Buffy's "Mommy—?"—a word uttered into the abyssal opening
              of death, the space from which there can be no response, enacts
              an utter change in Buffy's (and Dawn's) being, her ability to move
              through the world, to understand it, to relate to others, to even
              understand herself, to even feel, to be open to the future (as we
              see in The Weight of the World, in her inability, until the
              last moment, to understand her gift—

              That no response may come—that absolutely shatters the self
              who utters the call, who awaits the returning word...

              This, too, makes explicit the intertwining of ethics of relation, the
              life they give, with the death, the finitude within which they are
              constitutively bound, a bound that the season end enacts
              ineluctably, setting off ripples through all Buffy loved, died to save—

              After that, I value Fool for Love

              For although it works very differently, it participates in the
              same economy—or in excess of any economy of predictable
              calculation—for there, Spike finds, as I have written at length
              elsewhere, a radically different response to his address to an
              other, to the vulnerability it exposes: unlike Cecily, unlike
              Drusilla, unlike Buffy earlier in the episode, Buffy here does
              not meet him with the devastations of cruel disdain... She may
              not greet him directly, but she opens herself out to him, gives
              him a space in which he may, in turn, offer care—that tentative
              patting of her shoulder, a patting from which she does not
              shrink—care and listening, care and listening that form his
              first experimental step towards something other than the
              bad Spike whom he had portrayed to her that evening or
              the pitiable William whom he had hidden... an other who,
              eventually, will seek not so much to fully cross to line
              between life and death as to enter into the gray area, the
              liminal space in which both Slayers and ensouled vampires
              move, seek to move with grace, obligation to the other, giving...

              Finally, The Weight of the World—this, too, takes the form
              of an address; this, too, brings us to the imbrication of life and
              death, the requirement to kill—to kill a human creature—to
              assure to life of the mass of other such creatures, of the world...
              In this, it changes all again, for it shatters the line Buffy has so
              carefully observed in her slaying—shatters it by placing a
              duty at once abstract and palpable against the equally palpable
              but far from abstract, the bodily, sinewy, selfly relation to Dawn—
              abstract duty and the bodily obligation that has moved Buffy
              nightly in her slaying, that moved her to kill Angel, against
              the bodily obligation and bodily sense of being-in-the-world
              beyond her duties as a slayer, the embodied love she lives
              in her relation to Dawn... That such an absolute statement
              comes from Giles—Giles who, much as he loves Buffy, loves
              even Dawn, loves the world more, speaks here from the
              patriarchal order that, as we will later discover, made the
              Slayer in the first place... This, I think, creates a scission
              in their intra-making of each other, one that will play out
              in seasons to come—and prefigures the way in which Dawn's
              call, a call she makes silently (for she will want to jump
              herself), a call that Buffy hears far before Dawn could even
              think to utter it—the way in which that call forms a demand
              that Buffy find another way, a way that brings us, again,
              to the unbearable imbrication of life and death, the
              obligations placed upon us by our finitude...

              (Finally, before I end this over-long post, two last points:

              (In relation to all I have written, I would rank Spiral a
              a close 4th: first, of course, the call to Buffy... and to a
              Buffy lost to herself, absconded—an absconding provoked
              by the loss of that part of herself that Dawn embodies... But
              not only that: that desperate tremor in Willow's call, that
              sense that she, too, has experienced a certain loss in the
              affective force of Buffy's loss (double genitive—what Buffy
              has lost in Glory's theft of Dawn and what of her self has
              fled in response)... Here, again, the relational interweaving
              of self through self, of love and obligation and violence, of
              love and death, that so gives the season its shape...

              (Compared to these four... To me, the others pale... I
              do have a certain affection for Intervention, but it
              but echoes Fool for Love, adds but Buffy's more
              active giving, which is not enough to rank it higher...
              Forever, on the other hand—it has never pulled me,
              has always struck me as fine but also too easy, expected,
              a tad trite: it opens into no future that was not fully given...
              And yes I do bear a certain affection for The Body
              but here, again, it rankles as rather predictable, something
              we've seen coming since the "Negative Space" scene: it
              completes what we have already been given, is moving in
              voicing Dawn's longing, in her sense of the palpability of
              Joyce's absence, of the presence of her absence—but
              that theme, the presence of the absence of the dead,
              carries through the entire episode... Dawn's words express
              a certain poigency, finally give her a voice in this
              problematic, but they do little more, offer nothing new
              to think, enact no new affective force or ideas... )

              But enough...

              Apologies for nattering on so long...

              Insomnia coupled with a rather unpleasant migraine...

              And only a few hours before I see my psychoanalyst,
              a session that will, doubtless, given the intensity of
              our work, only intensify the pain...

              At least I have meds, Derrida and Specters, and this
              forum to comfort...






              + I Was Made to Love You
              - Forever


              Fool for Love : "Is there something I can do?" - After feeling humiliated by Buffy Spike comes armed with a shotgun to kill her, but seeing her in tears approaches her to try and comfort her instead - 9

              I Was Made to Love You : Buffy comes home to find her mother lying dead on the couch. - "Mommy?" - 10

              The Body : "Where'd she go?" - Dawn is contemplating Joyce's body/her loss and reaches her hand out as if she'll touch her mum's cheek. - 9

              Forever: Having stopped the resurrection Dawn hugs Buffy as Buffy sobs, having gone to the door hoping to see her mother again. Both comfort each other in their grief. - "It's okay." - 3

              Intervention: "I won't forget it." - After kissing him and asserting the robot was gross/obscene but what he did for her/Dawn re: Glory was real, Buffy exits Spike's crypt, leaving him staring after her. - 4

              Spiral: Willow tries to speak to Buffy as she sits tearful and dazed amidst the devastation/death Glory left behind her and having failed to stop her taking Dawn. "Buffy." - 6

              The Weight of the World : "Buffy, the only way is to kill Dawn." - The scene ends with Buffy's dismayed reaction to Giles' suggestion if the portal opens Dawn's death is the only way to stop it. - 5



              Reset at:
              15
              9
              5

              Eliminated:
              07.
              08. The Gift
              09. Buffy vs Dracula
              10. No Place Like Home
              11. Out of My Mind
              12. Checkpoint
              13. Tough Love
              14. Crush
              15. Listening To Fear
              16. Real Me
              17. Triangle
              18. Blood Ties
              19. Family
              20. The Replacement
              21. Shadow
              22. Into the Woods

              Results:
              Season 1 winner: I Robot, You Jane
              Season 2 winner: Innocence
              Season 3 winner: Graduation Day (Pt 1)
              Season 4 winner: Restless
              Season 5 winner:
              Last edited by StateOfSiege97; 19-06-19, 02:35 PM.

              Comment


              • + I Was Made to Love You
                - The Body


                Fool for Love : "Is there something I can do?" - After feeling humiliated by Buffy Spike comes armed with a shotgun to kill her, but seeing her in tears approaches her to try and comfort her instead - 9

                I Was Made to Love You : Buffy comes home to find her mother lying dead on the couch. - "Mommy?" - 11

                The Body : "Where'd she go?" - Dawn is contemplating Joyce's body/her loss and reaches her hand out as if she'll touch her mum's cheek. - 8

                Forever: Having stopped the resurrection Dawn hugs Buffy as Buffy sobs, having gone to the door hoping to see her mother again. Both comfort each other in their grief. - "It's okay." - 3

                Intervention: "I won't forget it." - After kissing him and asserting the robot was gross/obscene but what he did for her/Dawn re: Glory was real, Buffy exits Spike's crypt, leaving him staring after her. - 4

                Spiral: Willow tries to speak to Buffy as she sits tearful and dazed amidst the devastation/death Glory left behind her and having failed to stop her taking Dawn. "Buffy." - 6

                The Weight of the World : "Buffy, the only way is to kill Dawn." - The scene ends with Buffy's dismayed reaction to Giles' suggestion if the portal opens Dawn's death is the only way to stop it. - 5



                Reset at:
                15
                9
                5

                Eliminated:
                07.
                08. The Gift
                09. Buffy vs Dracula
                10. No Place Like Home
                11. Out of My Mind
                12. Checkpoint
                13. Tough Love
                14. Crush
                15. Listening To Fear
                16. Real Me
                17. Triangle
                18. Blood Ties
                19. Family
                20. The Replacement
                21. Shadow
                22. Into the Woods

                Results:
                Season 1 winner: I Robot, You Jane
                Season 2 winner: Innocence
                Season 3 winner: Graduation Day (Pt 1)
                Season 4 winner: Restless
                Season 5 winner:
                ................................ Banner by buffylover

                Comment


                • Originally posted by StateOfSiege97 View Post
                  Thus, first, I would rank I Was Made to Love You: there,
                  Buffy's "Mommy—?"—a word uttered into the abyssal opening
                  of death, the space from which there can be no response, enacts
                  an utter change in Buffy's (and Dawn's) being, her ability to move
                  through the world, to understand it, to relate to others, to even
                  understand herself, to even feel, to be open to the future (as we
                  see in The Weight of the World, in her inability, until the
                  last moment, to understand her gift—

                  That no response may come—that absolutely shatters the self
                  who utters the call, who awaits the returning word...

                  This, too, makes explicit the intertwining of ethics of relation, the
                  life they give, with the death, the finitude within which they are
                  constitutively bound, a bound that the season end enacts
                  ineluctably, setting off ripples through all Buffy loved, died to save—
                  ...

                  And yes I do bear a certain affection for The Body
                  but here, again, it rankles as rather predictable, something
                  we've seen coming since the "Negative Space" scene: it
                  completes what we have already been given, is moving in
                  voicing Dawn's longing, in her sense of the palpability of
                  Joyce's absence, of the presence of her absence—but
                  that theme, the presence of the absence of the dead,
                  carries through the entire episode... Dawn's words express
                  a certain poigency, finally give her a voice in this
                  problematic, but they do little more, offer nothing new
                  to think, enact no new affective force or ideas... )
                  I think how you feel for IWMTLY is greatly how I feel about The Body in the relationship between the one asking the question and the meaning drawn around the lack of an answer. I find the sense of loss, absence, so much in the question Dawn raises but especially in the reaching out, the contact that we never see happen. It's a contact that can never happen again of course, even if she touches the body, as the body in itself is absent of its inhabitant in death. But in combination with the literal absence despite seeming physical presence, there is tangible sorrow and the question in itself illustrates that. The wish to work out what is 'now' around the absence of the person is tied strongly to the sense of not wanting to lose them entirely and so beginning to touch on their ongoing presence in the connection and relationship that was. Something that isn't totally eradicated as someone is there missing them, remembering them. The answer is contained literally within the person asking the question, in any that mourn and feel the loss. I think it's one of the most emotional endings in the show.

                  Comment


                  • + Forever
                    - The Weight of the World


                    Fool for Love : "Is there something I can do?" - After feeling humiliated by Buffy Spike comes armed with a shotgun to kill her, but seeing her in tears approaches her to try and comfort her instead - 9

                    I Was Made to Love You : Buffy comes home to find her mother lying dead on the couch. - "Mommy?" - 11

                    The Body : "Where'd she go?" - Dawn is contemplating Joyce's body/her loss and reaches her hand out as if she'll touch her mum's cheek. - 8

                    Forever: Having stopped the resurrection Dawn hugs Buffy as Buffy sobs, having gone to the door hoping to see her mother again. Both comfort each other in their grief. - "It's okay." - 4

                    Intervention: "I won't forget it." - After kissing him and asserting the robot was gross/obscene but what he did for her/Dawn re: Glory was real, Buffy exits Spike's crypt, leaving him staring after her. - 4

                    Spiral: Willow tries to speak to Buffy as she sits tearful and dazed amidst the devastation/death Glory left behind her and having failed to stop her taking Dawn. "Buffy." - 6

                    The Weight of the World : "Buffy, the only way is to kill Dawn." - The scene ends with Buffy's dismayed reaction to Giles' suggestion if the portal opens Dawn's death is the only way to stop it. - 4


                    Reset at:
                    15
                    9
                    5

                    Eliminated:
                    07.
                    08. The Gift
                    09. Buffy vs Dracula
                    10. No Place Like Home
                    11. Out of My Mind
                    12. Checkpoint
                    13. Tough Love
                    14. Crush
                    15. Listening To Fear
                    16. Real Me
                    17. Triangle
                    18. Blood Ties
                    19. Family
                    20. The Replacement
                    21. Shadow
                    22. Into the Woods

                    Results:
                    Season 1 winner: I Robot, You Jane
                    Season 2 winner: Innocence
                    Season 3 winner: Graduation Day (Pt 1)
                    Season 4 winner: Restless
                    Season 5 winner:
                    You keep waiting for the dust to settle and then you realize it; the dust is your life going on. If happy comes along - that weird unbearable delight that's actual happy - I think you have to grab it while you can. You take what you can get, 'cause it's here, and then...gone.

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Stoney View Post
                      I think how you feel for IWMTLY is greatly how I feel about The Body in the relationship between the one asking the question and the meaning drawn around the lack of an answer. I find the sense of loss, absence, so much in the question Dawn raises but especially in the reaching out, the contact that we never see happen. It's a contact that can never happen again of course, even if she touches the body, as the body in itself is absent of its inhabitant in death. But in combination with the literal absence despite seeming physical presence, there is tangible sorrow and the question in itself illustrates that. The wish to work out what is 'now' around the absence of the person is tied strongly to the sense of not wanting to lose them entirely and so beginning to touch on their ongoing presence in the connection and relationship that was. Something that isn't totally eradicated as someone is there missing them, remembering them. The answer is contained literally within the person asking the question, in any that mourn and feel the loss. I think it's one of the most emotional endings in the show.
                      first comment: lack of sleep, too relentless a flow of too-long unexpressed ideas, an
                      ever-creeping migraine... the result: the dyslexia has doubtless done damage, as i have
                      not the energy to revise... fear if i try, the effort will but provoke further flow of words...
                      and that.... oh, great badness....


                      My dearest Stoney

                      While I think our ideas resonate, they do so from asymmetrical positions:

                      My focus upon endings that contain an address to the other and the
                      affective force of those utterances works athwart your statement that
                      The answer is contained literally within the person asking the question,
                      in any that mourn and feel the loss


                      A thematic central to S5, as an outgrowth of S4 and a development of the S4—S7
                      exploration of the ethics of power, lies in the relational structure of identity: the self
                      is never autonomous, never self-organizing and self-making—she always becomes in
                      and through her relations to others and the world, through the weaving of their touch,
                      a touch that gives space and time themselves, gives them as she gives her self in
                      her obligation to the others who make her, whom she makes in turn, through the
                      imbrications of their obligations. In this sense, as Levinas says, ethics precedes
                      ontology, obligation precedes being. There can be no "inside" the self if there first
                      be no relation to the other, the one seemingly outside the self—otherwise, one would always
                      be simply and ever the same, would experience nothing, would be given no time,
                      would be closed off to change. Thus the self is porous, her boundaries shifting,
                      dissolving, resetting, and altering again at the touch of the world's alterity...

                      This is why I find it so fascinating that so many of the episodes of S5, a season that
                      ends with Buffy's death as a response, a gift, to the call of both Dawn and the world,
                      and with apostrophes, with lines of direct address to the other—

                      Some carry more affective force than others, but their very proliferation underlines
                      the constitutive role address, call-and-response (to refer to the African American
                      religious/musical tradition), the intra-action of self and other play throughout
                      across the season's arc—

                      Hence my focus upon those episodes, as I explained above, where the address
                      affects an irreversible change in the world of the characters—

                      To take the two episodes with which we are so engaged:

                      Buffy's "Mommy" is an address, a call to the one person in the world
                      with, through she is most deeply woven, to whom she is most deeply
                      obligated—and that call is fated to find no response, fated to fall into
                      the void of death, a silence beyond all silences, one that cannot even
                      be thought in opposition to sound in its extremity... To that absolute
                      silence Buffy can find no answer within herself, for it invades her,
                      threading its way along the lines woven by her mother's living voice—

                      Such invasion shatters—

                      Tearing Buffy not simply from her mother but from her self, all she
                      knows her self to have become—

                      Hence her vomiting, as if she were seeking to expel a suddenly
                      inhabiting violation—

                      And Dawn experiences the same in the school hallway in The Body:
                      she slides down, clutches herself, closes herself off, as if to ward off
                      the invasion of the negative space knowledge of her mother's death,
                      the presence of her absence, would bring—

                      And ward it off she does for most of the episode, ward it off as she does
                      the world and those who would care for her, comfort her: we see this
                      in the way she holds herself so tensely, the way she speaks in either
                      clipped monotones or adolescent petulance, modes that precisely
                      do not address the others to whom she speaks—modes that reject,
                      foreclose, before they begin to utter a word, any response they
                      may seek to make—

                      Here, Dawn is seeking to be autonomous, to have no relation to
                      others, to bear to shaping intra-action with them or the world,
                      fearing its damage... She does go after her mother's body, but
                      she does so alone, and in doing so, she is going after that which
                      cannot, can only give her muteness in return...

                      None of which is to say that I do not find that final image moving—
                      I very much do, but what I find moving is that it performs precisely
                      the reversal of the ending of IWMTLY: instead of the fall of
                      Buffy's voice into a silence beyond silence, instead of the shattering
                      that we hear beginning in the quaver of her voice, we are given,
                      in the final scene of The Body, Dawn's thawing, her first
                      opening again toward the world, her first call to it, her first
                      gesture toward a reweaving within it:

                      First, where she had been resistant to touch (she suffered the
                      comforting touch of others, but she was clearly shrinking away),
                      here, she reaches toward her mother... In this—and here I am
                      refining something I said above—she is not finding the negative
                      space of the art class, nor is she seeking to ward it off as she
                      did in the hallway, seeking to bar the alterity of her now-dead
                      mother from becoming part of her. Instead, she is, in reaching
                      out, seeking to bridge that negative space—not to find her
                      living mother but to touch the presence of her absence in
                      its trembling palpability, no longer bar its becoming-her...

                      Their hands do not meet, but this is and is not important: is
                      and is not because that failure to make the crossing makes
                      the present-absence yet more palpable, more real, thus
                      imbued with a greater affective power to partake in her
                      becoming, in her future to-come...

                      At the same time, Dawn speaks, and she speaks in a different
                      voice, in a voice suffused with yearning, in a call that seaks
                      response—and in a call addressed not to the dead, to that
                      absolute silence, but to Buffy, to the living: she does not
                      say "Where'd you go?" Does not address Joyce. She
                      says "Where'd she go?"—addressing Buffy. That Buffy
                      does not answer matters little. That question may have
                      no answer, not one that would weave Dawn back into
                      the self she knew... What matters here is that Dawn
                      calls out, longingly, to the living—and even Buffy's
                      silence is not absolute: it remains open to a possible
                      response someday, in some words, some way, carries
                      care, obligation. It receives Dawn's call, begins the
                      reweaving of the world, the remaking, each in relation
                      to the other and to the dead alterity become part of them—

                      (A dead alterity that Buffy, in Normal Again, will discover
                      to be far from dead, given that the Unconscious knows no
                      negation, thus no death... But that is another matter... )

                      All of which is to say, too, that Dawn finds no answers within
                      herself—I would argue that, at this point, she finds no answers
                      at all... She is making but the first experimental step in
                      a new way of moving through the world... After all, if she
                      had answers, she would not end up cutting school, lying to
                      Buffy, feeling so alienating and incapable of relation with
                      either Buffy or the world...

                      (It is for this reason, as well, that the ending of Forever
                      much as it resonates with me on a sentimental level, given
                      how much I doubt I would be here were it not for my sister—
                      fails to resonate strongly within me: at the best, it is simply
                      redundant, performing a closer, more embodied touch, an
                      actual embrace, between Buffy and Dawn, combined with
                      the words of comfort they could not speak—although I
                      think they echoed through the silence of Buffy's attentive
                      presence, her care—that the end of The Body
                      adumbrates in a more complex, less cloying fashion...
                      None of which is to say that I loathe it, just that in
                      comparison to the episodes I have listed above, episodes
                      that offer true events, events that enact radical, irreversible change*

                      Indeed, to extend this thought for just a moment, if the
                      end of Forever, in a sense, completes Dawn's call
                      and Buffy's silent response at the closing of The Body,
                      it completes them only to the extent that it performs
                      an actual physical embrace, an embrace woven through
                      with words of reassurance...

                      But—

                      As I pointed out above, nothing actually happens here: Buffy
                      and Dawn go through the motions, even, perhaps, seek to
                      weave themselves into each other—but the "It's okay" makes
                      nothing okay: Dawn skips school and lies, Buffy's dread of
                      Glory and conviction of her certain failure to stop her build,
                      indicating that all is out of joint between them, that they
                      can but speak past each other without hearing... Moreover,
                      I would argue, this gesture, beginning with Dawn's
                      call in The Body but only fully given shape in Forever,
                      sets up a certain pattern of approach and shrinking away,
                      of longing and refusal, that will continue, in shifting forms,
                      throughout S6, up until that point at which Buffy claws her
                      way, again, out of a grave—and helps Dawn do so as well.
                      Thus the seeming promise of Forever, its seeming event—
                      that remains a pale, if thickened, delusion: the call, the response,
                      the nearing, the attempting to attend, to take up for each
                      other the obligation—all these things Dawn and Buffy will do
                      again, again, again, in different shapes, with different words
                      and gestures and tones, until, as I said, the final moments
                      of S7. Until Grave. Until they both give themselves
                      to fall into the space of death and find not answers within
                      themselves
                      but a possibility of living (for, arguably, neither
                      had truly been living much over the course of the season) in
                      their relation to each other, their obligation to each other, their
                      gift to each other—in the place of death, the womb-like space
                      of their mother...


                      Thus Forever merely repeats The Body and foreshadows
                      the repeated failures to truly touch each other, the impossibility of
                      doing more than speaking either past each other or in cliche phrases
                      ("My most important job is taking care of you"—OaFA), even
                      though they may embrace...

                      Conversely, briefly:

                      Fool for Love enacts an epochal change in Spike, as I elaborated
                      fully above, in his relation to the William who never died, the Spike
                      he sought to become, the world in which he (non)lives, the
                      future in which he finally, souled, becomes able to move... (The chip
                      stopped him from biting, so, perhaps, on a mechanical level, it
                      began certain movements [but suspicious of absolute origins as I
                      am, I would also point out that William's failure to die played
                      a role as well... ])—although the affective force of Buffy's opening
                      to him, of her acceptance of his awkward pats of care, of his
                      listening—that turning toward of her silent, tear-strewn face will
                      open possibility without determining its end: that turn leads not
                      directly to Spike's soul-gaining, but it wedges for him a slippage
                      out of the same self-containment that constitutes vampire life
                      to another way of being in the world, a way of care—not fully
                      obligation to the other, for vampires lack what that requires
                      (see my review of Normal Again for more of that... )—but
                      a slippage even in his experience of self, memory, body, touch,
                      that gives, if not the future, if not the temporality and finitude
                      of obligation, as least the faint, dissonant, irregular echo of
                      it that will jaggedly, unpredictably unfold into care—

                      Conversely—

                      Giles' words to Buffy at the end of The Weight of the World, the
                      violence they do to the lines, tangled as they can be, that she has taken
                      to set a certain limit to her power and obligation as a Slayer—the violence
                      they do to crucial shaping dimensions of self and world and, not least,
                      the man who has taken the place of her father (I was so sure... I don't
                      have that any more... I don't know how to live in the world if these are
                      the choices...
                      )—Giles's pronouncement enacts the first break, I would
                      argue, in the bond between them, laid bare their ethical differences, the
                      differences that shape the ways in which they move through the world...
                      Again, the implications will take years to unfold, years in which neither
                      the full break near the end of S7 nor the subsequent reconciliation are
                      determined by what happens here... Both of them could have... Similarly,
                      the scissions performed by Giles' words, the violences they do to Buffy, to her
                      relation to her self and others—these tears will not be closed by her
                      understanding of her Spirit Guide's message (an understanding that, again,
                      is not something that Buffy finds within herself, is, rather, something that
                      she finds in the inhabiting alterity of the Guide's words): ressurection,
                      that crossing of what had seemed to be another secure boundary, the one
                      between life and death, will delve and drag any certainty granted by her giving
                      out from the most hidden crevices of her bones... And as the violence
                      of her unsought return to life submits her once more to the violent cuts
                      of self, relation, world, understanding that her giving may have soothed,
                      so, too, do they awaken older traumas... Submits her to multiple
                      dimensions of time and the sufferings they bear throughout S6.... Again, such
                      suffering was not directly caused by the words of Giles—we are not
                      in a Newtonian world any more—but those words were an event, irreversible,
                      a charge that set off multiple possibilities, many of the worst, for endless
                      reasons, many involving, too, the dynamics within and between her friends,
                      came to shape Buffy's movement and stasis, foreclose her becoming for so long...


                      So—

                      We differ first in how we see the subject, you deeming her self-contained, holding
                      all within herself (gathered, I suspect, from your other posts, at least in part, through
                      her experiences), I deeming her becoming to be only in her relations with others and
                      the world, to which she is obligated, such that all answers, if answers there be, arrive
                      only through the self exposing herself, giving herself to alterity, to the other, its
                      shaping forces, giving herself over in obligation, in care, being made even as she makes
                      in turn...

                      And with regard to the endings, you most prize those that hold a self-contained affective
                      moment, one in something occurs to the self, occurs in a way that she finds something
                      within essential—

                      While I value most the address to the other, most especially those apostrophes that
                      constitute an event, inerradicably alter the world—even though, much as the call shakes
                      characters' foundations at the time, the full reverberations may not sound for years
                      to come.... Most of all, events that engage matters of power and ethics, as these, to
                      me, are fundamental to the workings of the final seasons, shape their unique gift, a
                      gift sometimes imperfectly shaped yet, to my knowledge, not yet matched in television....



                      Heavens——!

                      I have nattered on so long...

                      This comes from having had no sleep, from having a host of
                      ideas building up and no time to post them, from knowing
                      a mass of complex poetics—ideas that, again, have been building
                      up and now demand a working through—are sitting a few
                      inches away from me, knowing that my head lacks the full
                      brain to do so responsibly, knowing my body refuses to nap....

                      Apologies and thanks to all who have born with me to the end...


                      Comment


                      • I don't think I expressed myself as well as you're able as it isn't that I think that the 'answer' is something that Dawn knows or becomes immediately aware of then and there. In saying the answer is within herself I meant that the memories that she holds of her mum are how Joyce lives on and her connection to her remains a part of who Dawn herself is. I find that notion a moving one, that those left behind contain part of the people that they knew/loved that they have lost. She is reaching out for Joyce but Joyce is a part of her and can't be lost in that sense. It's not a notion with as much profundity perhaps as the unanswered call, and I really do love how you write about the impact of that, but the visual of the reaching touch that doesn't arrive (as far as the viewer sees) when what is being yearned for is a connection that is lost but now the emphasis falls to a different one that can't be taken away, really touching. I see your point that the question is to Buffy and not Joyce but it is the beginning of reconfiguring I agree but that is also what really moves me about it. Life goes on and changes, but some things stay with you that once were because you hold them within you. The importance of memories, what came and the impact of them is something that we talked about around Normal Again and this is something of what I see there. Joyce can't be taken away entirely. I don't think it is either specifically what Dawn is because of her experiences or what she is becoming too that may be years away from seeing for me. Any and all, both, I don't know. Aside from this and FFL which I love very much too, I find all the endings here affecting and I do definitely appreciate IWMTLY far more because of what you have said about the unanswered call, but still Dawn's question/moment emotionally hits a spot for me harder I'm probably not self aware enough to reason fully why.

                        And I've only just registered that I can actually vote again already, ooops. As we've filled the page a bit with discussion I'll just say for reference, the last voters were flow, TTB, stoney.

                        + The Body
                        - Intervention

                        Fool for Love : "Is there something I can do?" - After feeling humiliated by Buffy Spike comes armed with a shotgun to kill her, but seeing her in tears approaches her to try and comfort her instead - 9

                        I Was Made to Love You : Buffy comes home to find her mother lying dead on the couch. - "Mommy?" - 11

                        The Body : "Where'd she go?" - Dawn is contemplating Joyce's body/her loss and reaches her hand out as if she'll touch her mum's cheek. - 9

                        Forever: Having stopped the resurrection Dawn hugs Buffy as Buffy sobs, having gone to the door hoping to see her mother again. Both comfort each other in their grief. - "It's okay." - 4

                        Intervention: "I won't forget it." - After kissing him and asserting the robot was gross/obscene but what he did for her/Dawn re: Glory was real, Buffy exits Spike's crypt, leaving him staring after her. - 3

                        Spiral: Willow tries to speak to Buffy as she sits tearful and dazed amidst the devastation/death Glory left behind her and having failed to stop her taking Dawn. "Buffy." - 6

                        The Weight of the World : "Buffy, the only way is to kill Dawn." - The scene ends with Buffy's dismayed reaction to Giles' suggestion if the portal opens Dawn's death is the only way to stop it. - 4


                        Reset at:
                        15
                        9
                        5

                        Eliminated:
                        07.
                        08. The Gift
                        09. Buffy vs Dracula
                        10. No Place Like Home
                        11. Out of My Mind
                        12. Checkpoint
                        13. Tough Love
                        14. Crush
                        15. Listening To Fear
                        16. Real Me
                        17. Triangle
                        18. Blood Ties
                        19. Family
                        20. The Replacement
                        21. Shadow
                        22. Into the Woods

                        Results:
                        Season 1 winner: I Robot, You Jane
                        Season 2 winner: Innocence
                        Season 3 winner: Graduation Day (Pt 1)
                        Season 4 winner: Restless
                        Season 5 winner:
                        Last edited by Stoney; 20-06-19, 05:45 AM.

                        Comment


                        • Most dear Stoney ---

                          So many thanks for your responsive thoughts:

                          I better now grasp our consonance, despite
                          our base divergence....

                          What you have given deserves much more than
                          I can now write---in a cafe for an afternoon of
                          concentrated work, then an evening out--

                          To a marvelous drag show entitled "The Queer
                          Intifada"---

                          And, luddite that I be, extended posts from
                          my phone remain beyond me----

                          But I promise more this evening....

                          At the moment, I just want to vote, so
                          as to keep the game moving.)...

                          ❤️

                          + The Weight of the World
                          - Intervention

                          Fool for Love : "Is there something I can do?" - After feeling humiliated by Buffy Spike comes armed with a shotgun to kill her, but seeing her in tears approaches her to try and comfort her instead - 9

                          I Was Made to Love You : Buffy comes home to find her mother lying dead on the couch. - "Mommy?" - 11

                          The Body : "Where'd she

                          go?" - Dawn is contemplating Joyce's body/her loss and reaches her hand out as if she'll touch her mum's cheek. - 9

                          Forever: Having stopped but the resurrection Dawn hugs Buffy as Buffy sobs, having gone to the door hoping to see her mother again. Both comfort each other in their grief. - "It's okay." - 4

                          Intervention: "I won't forget it." - After kissing him and asserting the robot was gross/obscene but what he did for her/Dawn re: Glory was real, Buffy exits Spike's crypt, leaving him staring after her. - 2

                          Spiral: Willow tries to speak to Buffy as she sits tearful and dazed amidst the devastation/death Glory left behind her and having failed to stop her taking Dawn. "Buffy." - 6

                          The Weight of the World : "Buffy, the only way is to kill Dawn." - The scene ends with Buffy's dismayed reaction to Giles' suggestion if the portal opens Dawn's death is the only way to
                          stop it. - 5


                          Reset at:
                          15
                          9
                          5

                          Eliminated:
                          07.
                          08. The Gift
                          09. Buffy vs Dracula
                          10. No Place Like Home
                          11. Out of My Mind
                          12. Checkpoint
                          13. Tough Love
                          14. Crush
                          15. Listening To Fear
                          16. Real Me
                          17. Triangle
                          18. Blood Ties
                          19. Family
                          20. The Replacement
                          21. Shadow
                          22. Into the Woods

                          Results:
                          Season 1 winner: I Robot, You Jane
                          Season 2 winner: Innocence
                          Season 3 winner: Graduation Day (Pt 1)
                          Season 4 winner: Restless
                          Season 5 winner:

                          Comment


                          • - Forever
                            + Fool for Love

                            Fool for Love : "Is there something I can do?" - After feeling humiliated by Buffy Spike comes armed with a shotgun to kill her, but seeing her in tears approaches her to try and comfort her instead - 10

                            I Was Made to Love You : Buffy comes home to find her mother lying dead on the couch. - "Mommy?" - 11

                            The Body : "Where'd she

                            go?" - Dawn is contemplating Joyce's body/her loss and reaches her hand out as if she'll touch her mum's cheek. - 9

                            Forever: Having stopped but the resurrection Dawn hugs Buffy as Buffy sobs, having gone to the door hoping to see her mother again. Both comfort each other in their grief. - "It's okay." - 3

                            Intervention: "I won't forget it." - After kissing him and asserting the robot was gross/obscene but what he did for her/Dawn re: Glory was real, Buffy exits Spike's crypt, leaving him staring after her. - 2

                            Spiral: Willow tries to speak to Buffy as she sits tearful and dazed amidst the devastation/death Glory left behind her and having failed to stop her taking Dawn. "Buffy." - 6

                            The Weight of the World : "Buffy, the only way is to kill Dawn." - The scene ends with Buffy's dismayed reaction to Giles' suggestion if the portal opens Dawn's death is the only way to
                            stop it. - 5


                            Reset at:
                            15
                            9
                            5

                            Eliminated:
                            07.
                            08. The Gift
                            09. Buffy vs Dracula
                            10. No Place Like Home
                            11. Out of My Mind
                            12. Checkpoint
                            13. Tough Love
                            14. Crush
                            15. Listening To Fear
                            16. Real Me
                            17. Triangle
                            18. Blood Ties
                            19. Family
                            20. The Replacement
                            21. Shadow
                            22. Into the Woods

                            Results:
                            Season 1 winner: I Robot, You Jane
                            Season 2 winner: Innocence
                            Season 3 winner: Graduation Day (Pt 1)
                            Season 4 winner: Restless
                            Season 5 winner:

                            Comment


                            • - The Weight of the World
                              + Forever

                              Fool for Love : "Is there something I can do?" - After feeling humiliated by Buffy Spike comes armed with a shotgun to kill her, but seeing her in tears approaches her to try and comfort her instead - 10

                              I Was Made to Love You : Buffy comes home to find her mother lying dead on the couch. - "Mommy?" - 11

                              The Body : "Where'd she go?" - Dawn is contemplating Joyce's body/her loss and reaches her hand out as if she'll touch her mum's cheek. - 9

                              Forever: Having stopped but the resurrection Dawn hugs Buffy as Buffy sobs, having gone to the door hoping to see her mother again. Both comfort each other in their grief. - "It's okay." - 4

                              Intervention: "I won't forget it." - After kissing him and asserting the robot was gross/obscene but what he did for her/Dawn re: Glory was real, Buffy exits Spike's crypt, leaving him staring after her. - 2

                              Spiral: Willow tries to speak to Buffy as she sits tearful and dazed amidst the devastation/death Glory left behind her and having failed to stop her taking Dawn. "Buffy." - 6

                              The Weight of the World : "Buffy, the only way is to kill Dawn." - The scene ends with Buffy's dismayed reaction to Giles' suggestion if the portal opens Dawn's death is the only way to stop it. - 4


                              Reset at:
                              15
                              9
                              5

                              Eliminated:
                              07.
                              08. The Gift
                              09. Buffy vs Dracula
                              10. No Place Like Home
                              11. Out of My Mind
                              12. Checkpoint
                              13. Tough Love
                              14. Crush
                              15. Listening To Fear
                              16. Real Me
                              17. Triangle
                              18. Blood Ties
                              19. Family
                              20. The Replacement
                              21. Shadow
                              22. Into the Woods

                              Results:
                              Season 1 winner: I Robot, You Jane
                              Season 2 winner: Innocence
                              Season 3 winner: Graduation Day (Pt 1)
                              Season 4 winner: Restless
                              Season 5 winner:
                              You keep waiting for the dust to settle and then you realize it; the dust is your life going on. If happy comes along - that weird unbearable delight that's actual happy - I think you have to grab it while you can. You take what you can get, 'cause it's here, and then...gone.

                              Comment


                              • - The Weight of the World
                                + Forever

                                Fool for Love : "Is there something I can do?" - After feeling humiliated by Buffy Spike comes armed with a shotgun to kill her, but seeing her in tears approaches her to try and comfort her instead - 10

                                I Was Made to Love You : Buffy comes home to find her mother lying dead on the couch. - "Mommy?" - 11

                                The Body : "Where'd she go?" - Dawn is contemplating Joyce's body/her loss and reaches her hand out as if she'll touch her mum's cheek. - 9

                                Forever: Having stopped but the resurrection Dawn hugs Buffy as Buffy sobs, having gone to the door hoping to see her mother again. Both comfort each other in their grief. - "It's okay." - 5

                                Intervention: "I won't forget it." - After kissing him and asserting the robot was gross/obscene but what he did for her/Dawn re: Glory was real, Buffy exits Spike's crypt, leaving him staring after her. - 2

                                Spiral: Willow tries to speak to Buffy as she sits tearful and dazed amidst the devastation/death Glory left behind her and having failed to stop her taking Dawn. "Buffy." - 6

                                The Weight of the World : "Buffy, the only way is to kill Dawn." - The scene ends with Buffy's dismayed reaction to Giles' suggestion if the portal opens Dawn's death is the only way to stop it. - 3


                                Reset at:
                                15
                                9
                                5

                                Eliminated:
                                07.
                                08. The Gift
                                09. Buffy vs Dracula
                                10. No Place Like Home
                                11. Out of My Mind
                                12. Checkpoint
                                13. Tough Love
                                14. Crush
                                15. Listening To Fear
                                16. Real Me
                                17. Triangle
                                18. Blood Ties
                                19. Family
                                20. The Replacement
                                21. Shadow
                                22. Into the Woods

                                Results:
                                Season 1 winner: I Robot, You Jane
                                Season 2 winner: Innocence
                                Season 3 winner: Graduation Day (Pt 1)
                                Season 4 winner: Restless
                                Season 5 winner:
                                .
                                .

                                Comment

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