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Angel & Faith # 18 Discussion Thread(full Spoilers)

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  • Originally posted by MikeB View Post
    All caught up


    * The fact is that there was ZERO whitewashing of Spike in BtVS S7. No one said that Spike didn’t try to rape Buffy, no one said that Spike was ever possessed during that, and it wasn’t until 7.08 that Spike was ‘invited’ back into any of the Scoobies’ lives. And attempting to rape Buffy is obviously not comparable to someone wanting to destroy the Earth and all its life except for himself and a girl he’s in love with.
    I guess it just depends on what you mean by whitewashing. I don't see any real way to argue that Season 7 paid the attempted rape short shrift; a touch, a flinch, and a few episode later they are basically back to the meaningful looks and awkward body language that defined the first act of Season 6. Now, I don't think they "whitewashed" it the way Angel has been getting, where the effort has been to redefine his actual actions as having been, if not moral, then marginally reasonable (a position I vehemently reject); with Spike, it was more an effort along the lines of "yeah, so, about the rape thing -- oh, look! Squirrel!"

    * Christos Gage is not the arbiter of canon in the Buffyverse: it’s not his story, its Joss Whedon’s story.
    You really need to groove to the concept of agency a bit more.

    * There is zero way that Car Scene in A&F 9.18 makes any sense. It simply cannot be explained. The one in BtVS S9: Spike 5/5 does make sense, so that’s the one I consider canon and I’m ignoring the Car Scene.
    The two scenes aren't in conflict at all. I've already offered the simplest and most plausible explanation for their phone contact. Call from London = substantial certainty call is from Angel. Doesn't matter what the phone number is (unless Spike has caller ID voodoo, all he would have seen was the phone number)

    * I don’t know why anyone ever complains about Spike’s trip to Africa. We are never told that that or the Trial happened as shown compared to the other scenes. For example, Spike’s Trials could have lasted a few hours or could have lasted months. Spike could have been teleported to Africa for all we know. And, again, Spike being in London when he is makes sense if the scene in BtVS S9: Spike is what actually happened and the Car Scene in A&F 9.18 didn’t happen.
    Two sides of the same phone call, what exactly is the hang-up here?
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    Comment


    • Just did a quick skim of the issue. As they are escaping Eyghon, he tears up the house and Angel and the Slayers make it into Nadira's car. In the car Angel borrows the phone. The drive to Alistair's house. Alistair presumably patches up Angel and then gives the big exposition dump. I don't see how a day would have passed unless Angel and the Slayers decided to stay the night at Alistair's place, which would be pretty weird since none of them know him that well. After the exposition has finished, Spike enters.

      I'm not bothered by this at all, I do understand that characters sometimes need to get from Point A to Point B so that the plot can move forward. I've got no problem shrugging this one off. That said, I did only do a skim, maybe I did miss something where a day may have passed.

      Regarding time being of the essence, somebody does mention the possibility that Eyghon might be on the move again and Faith dismisses it. So I was wrong about that one, Eyghon is not in danger of going into hiding again. However time is of the essence because Angel notes that Eyghon will be interested in building his army. He's got a bunch of Slayers and will soon use them to kill people and knock people out so that his numbers can grow. Also, being possessed by Eyghon causes a body to deteriorate. Although a live body deteriorates slower than a dead one, and even then they might deteriorate at a slower rate if Eyghon is using the bodies as finger puppets instead of the situation previously where Eyghon himself was actually inside the body. It seems like he's possessed Giles (and possibly Ethan) since the funeral with no signs of deterioration. Still, Slayers may not be as magical as Giles or Ethan, so best not to push their luck.

      Originally posted by MikeB
      The fact is that there was ZERO whitewashing of Spike in BtVS S7. No one said that Spike didn’t try to rape Buffy, no one said that Spike was ever possessed during that, and it wasn’t until 7.08 that Spike was ‘invited’ back into any of the Scoobies’ lives. And attempting to rape Buffy is obviously not comparable to someone wanting to destroy the Earth and all its life except for himself and a girl he’s in love with.
      I brought up Spike in season 7 because people seem to think that the A&F writers are shifting the blame off Angel in an attempt to "whitewash" him. People think the story is hand-waving Angel's Twilight actions and shifting the blame onto a big cat instead of Angel. That's simply not true. People are sarcastically saying "oh how convenient, it wasn't Angel's fault since he was possessed, I guess his season 8 crimes don't matter now." I think the Spike storyline in season 7 makes a great juxtaposition because I could just as easily say (with the same sarcastic tone) "oh, Spike went out and got a soul, how convenient, I guess it doesn't matter that he tried to rape Buffy, this new plot makes it okay that he tried to rape her."

      People bring up Nadira as though she's some kind of straw-man for Angel's victims and since she's been depicted as traumatised and crazed, people are saying that this somehow props up Angel and makes him look good. For starters, I completely disagree. Nadira acting irrational and traumatized doesn't mean she can be dismissed as a silly little girl or whatever other misogynistic spin people want to accuse the writers of. But again, if people are going to accuse the writers of inventing Nadira to whitewash Angel, I can use the same argument for Robin Wood being used to whitewahsh Spike. Instead of exploring Wood's legitimate grievance with Spike, the writers instead decide to paint Wood as the @$$hole who goes behind the scoobies backs and tries to murder Spike. We're supposed to be cheering for Spike apparently. Whitewhashing, whitewashing!!!!!

      Giles soul is trapped in Eyghon which I guess makes the idea of resurrecting Giles a little more palatable. Again, people accuse the writers of introducing this plot only so that Angel can be excused for violating the natural order of life and death in his resurrection plot. Well, Spike got to murder a whole bunch of people when he had a soul and the writers excused Spike for it by revealing that Spike was possessed by the First Evil.

      On paper, trying to rape a girl isn't as bad as causing the apocalypse. But for the audience watching, an attempted rape is going to be the much more visually disturbing crime. You can argue the statistics all you want. From the audience POV, an attempted rape on the lead character is going to be more visually disturbing than a fantastical apocalypse. On paper, of course an apocalypse is the "greater crime". I don't care. My point is that Spike's attempted rape was kind of glossed over, perhaps not as badly as Angel's Twilight actions, but you're kidding yourself if you think that one was explored and scrutinized in a satisfactory manner, while the other wasn't.

      I'm curious Mike, which movie do you think deserves the more mature rating, "Revenge of the Sith" or "A New Hope"? ROTS depicts Anikin murdering a bunch of children, however ANH depicts Vader standing by while and *entire planet* is blown up. On paper, of course the destruction of a planet is a greater crime. But which do you find more visually disturbing and more worthy of being treated as a serious crime by the people who decide which movies need mature ratings?

      In A&F, – as I’ve already said – Angel’s relationships with people are actually BETTER than they are portrayed in AtS s5.
      False.

      Faith and Angel never interacted in season 5, but she no doubt still had a high opinion of him. Faith now does not seem to like Angel very much and her friendship with him is being tested. She took him in because nobody else would.

      Buffy and Giles wanted nothing to do with Angel in season 5 because he was working for Wolfram and Hart. They didn't have a problem with Angel personally, they had a problem with his W&H position. In BtVS season 8, Buffy mentions that she tried to contact Angel while things were "funky" in LA. Nowadays, in A&F, Buffy wants nothing to do with Angel and can't even bear to look at him. Giles is dead, so we don't know Giles opinion, but I can't imagine that Giles would look upon Angel more favourably after BtVS season 8. For what it's worth, Eyghon-Giles seems like a threat and Giles soul fragments are giving Angel poor eyesight.

      His relationship with Gunn and Connor seem about the same as what they were in AtS season 5.

      Willow could simply not be reached in AtS season 5 because she was in another dimension. Nowadays, she mentions that she can't forgive him and that their relationship will never be the same. She only came to him because she needed something.

      Spike's relationship to Angel now vs how it was in season 5 remains to be seen. He's already insulted Angel a couple of times for what it's worth.

      Xander and Dawn clearly still want nothing to do with Angel.

      Illyria was working alongside Angel in season 5, now she's disappeared and has not let Angel know where she has gone.

      Cordelia was watching Angel from above. That is clearly not the case now with the earth cut off from the other dimensions.

      Harmony's relationship with Angel seemed to have improved slightly maybe? But really, who cares what Harmony thinks...

      Eyghon, Drusilla and Whistler weren't actively trying to hurt Angel in season 5. They are in A&F.

      I disagree with your idea that the characters now are treating Angel more favourably than they were treating him in season 5.

      * In BtVS S8, -- as I’ve already said – Angel wanted Buffy and himself in Twilight and that’s all. He wanted Buffy to let her friends and the Earth and all its life be destroyed merely so that Angel and she could remain in Twilight together.

      That is what actually happened and what Angel admits to Whistler. Angel saying to Willow or whomever that he intended to bring others into Twilight is simply him lying to Willow or whomever because if that were actually true, he would have immediately brought Buffy’s friends into Twilight and would have told Buffy that he intends to bring all the good people into Twilight.
      Gage clarified what Angel's intentions were in season 8 regarding the Twilight apocalypse. Why Angel never told Buffy that he could bring other people over when he had the chance is a plot error. Gage's clarifications have made Angel's actions more believable and in-character. Angel's actions in season 8, even after Gage's clarifications, were still reprehensible. I don't know why you've got such a big problem with this and refuse to accept it so adamantly.


      * Christos Gage is not the arbiter of canon in the Buffyverse: it’s not his story, its Joss Whedon’s story.
      In other words...

      MikeB: I know more about this story than Christos Gage, and my opinion counts more than his.

      Yeah, I'm pretty much done on this point. You can accept Christos Gage's explanation or you can leave it. I think it's ridiculous that you think Joss would be okay with Gage going around misrepresenting his story like this, or that you think Gage -who is in contact with Whedon, somehow doesn't know what he's talking about.

      Spike could still be in contact with Illyria. Again, this is if that stuff in IDW is canon. Illyria’s trying to deal with the Siphon situation, so she wouldn’t be going to London with Spike.
      Your ideas about Spike still being in contact with Illyria are 100% speculation. There is not a shred of evidence to support it.

      Angel’s priority is trying to save Giles. The priority should be the threat Eyghon is. Beck could kill Egyhon; a drone could kill Eyghon, etc.
      Saving Giles and dealing with the Eyghon threat are birds that can be killed with one stone.

      It's been stated that decapitation is the only thing that can kill Eyghon. So no, Beck could not just kill Eyghon by spamming her flame powers. Also, you ignore that Angel and Faith want to kill Eyghon without endangering the innocent Slayers. Beck's powers could actually be detrimental here. Also, if you know anything about zombies you'd know that lighting them on fire is generally a bad idea.

      There is zero way that Car Scene in A&F 9.18 makes any sense. It simply cannot be explained. The one in BtVS S9: Spike 5/5 does make sense, so that’s the one I consider canon and I’m ignoring the Car Scene.
      I see no problem with KingofCretins explanation. Angel borrowed the phone in the car. Maybe tried to call Spike a few times during the car ride. Steps outside for a moment once they reach Alistair's house, finally gets hold of Spike. Spike see's the London caller ID and makes the correct assumption that it must be Angel. I just opened up both scenes side-by-side and see no problem whatsoever.

      Although I do find it a little amusing that when you perceive an inconsistency here: it's the Spike book that gets to be canon rather than the Angel book. Really, which book do you honestly think Joss himself is working with more closely, the Spike miniseries or the A&F ongoing that is basically the sister series to the Buffy title?

      Comment


      • I still get great amusement from the idea that Spike will use hello wanker as a standard greeting. Perhaps MikeB was going with the Spike mini version of events because it was released first?? I don't know, but if I had to pick, which I don't feel we really do Mike we can just roll with it, but if I had to choose I'd go with A&F as it was part of a whole action sequence and Angel being stood outside having a chat seemingly casually then moving on to being inside and stripped off to get bandaged up makes less sense, he was wounded that isn't even showing in the mini.

        The S7 comparison isn't the same imo as the very action of Spike having come back with his soul and him dealing with that is reference to and thusly in part about his feelings about his actions re: the AR. His struggles are therefore related to the AR. His quietened personality relates to the AR. His attempt to change clothes relates to the AR. Him not wanting to fight as eagerly relates to the AR. His uncertainty about staying with Buffy relates to the AR etc etc etc. I personally never understand why people actually needed a blatant conversation to be had repeatedly to be able to relate his story in S7 to dealing with his actions in S6, it loses all depth and subtlety then for me. Personally, as someone who has been assaulted, I thought it was dealt with exceptionally well and not at all brushed off. I'm sure there are others who wouldn't agree, there always will be strongly held opposing viewpoints on this kind of topic.

        In my honest opinion there is never going to be a point where an attempted rape is 'worse' than killing thousands but I really don't want to compare and contrast Spike and Angel's 'worst' moments as it just feels like it feeds into the neverending competition of the souled vamps. I don't even personally think the comparisons work.

        I actually liked the idea that Angel was failing to directly address some of his S8 choices as Allie was saying that sometimes people make the same mistakes and don't have self realisation. I was originally looking forward to him having that introspective moment but I could buy into that not being where his path was going because sure, people do repeat sometimes and don't follow a more predictably progressive path or even simply loop. I am not ecstatic though with the feeling that they are opting instead for retelling the story from a different angle post event. That is different, even to the extent that now there is actually a positive side to gathering Giles' soul. It feels a step too far for me but we'll see how it pans out in the end, I don't feel that from Angel's pov he is having an 'easy' time.
        Last edited by Stoney; 14-02-13, 01:17 PM.

        Comment


        • Originally posted by Stoney View Post
          The S7 comparison isn't the same imo as the very action of Spike having come back with his soul and him dealing with that is reference to and thusly in part about his feelings about his actions re: the rape. His struggles are therefore related to the rape. His quietened personality relates to the rape.
          I tend to think it's the 'fake-out' that confuses issues somewhat. They spent so much time and effort trying to obscure what Spike was trying to accomplish by going to Africa that what actually fueled his choice becomes somewhat lost.

          SPIKE: It's the chip! Steel and wires and silicon. (sighs) It won't let me be a monster. (quietly) And I can't be a man. I'm nothing.

          CLEM: Hey. Come on now, Mr. Negative. You never know what's just around the corner. Things change.

          SPIKE: Yeah, they do.

          ~ Seeing Red
          The scene obscures what it is he's going for, but knowing that what he went for was... well... Spike's words again:

          BUFFY: Why? Why would you do that—

          SPIKE: Why does a man do what he mustn't? For her. To be hers. To be the kind of man who would never-- To be a kind of man.

          ~ Beneath You
          The bolded part helps elucidate what Spike was trying to do.
          "It won't let me be a monster. And I can't be a man. I'm nothing."
          So he chose:
          "To be the kind of man who would never. To be a kind of man."
          It's downright cliche to say it now after it's been said so many times before, but the fake-out was overplayed.

          The poor set-up led to Grave obscuring some important aspects of the CHOICE to go to Africa. "To be the kind of man who would never..." and "to be a kind of man" is the acknowledgement of the monstrosity of his actions in 6. Making the choice to change is the initial act of atonement, placing a foot on the path towards redemption.

          I personally never understand why people actually needed a blatant conversation to be had repeatedly to be able to relate his story in S7 to dealing with his actions in S6, it loses all depth and subtlety then for me.
          Oh, I would have preferred it to be handled rather more bluntly at some point. I would. But I think that they were hesitant to be more blunt because they only belatedly understood what kind of brainfart it was to go along with Marti Noxon's last minute suggestion for what should send Spike off on his quest. (DeKnight was certainly lightning fast to disown it and announce that it hadn't been in his first draft of Seeing Red.)

          Much like much of the damage done to Angel during Season 8, the writers apparently didn't fully think-through their 'shocking moment' to comprehend the magnitude of the transgression they were writing.

          If someone wants to compare that aspect of Seeing Red to Season 8, I'll agree. Both were clumsy overreaches and I think the primary problem with both is that the writers didn't adequately anticipate the gravity of the mistakes they chose for the characters to make, nor did they seem to plan ahead to consider what would need to be done to deal with what they had written.

          That said, paint me as thankful the writers were never so stupid in Season 7 as to try to manufacture a line characters rationalizing how not only was what he did in Season 6 'not wrong' but was actually HEROIC instead!" At least we were spared that and Seeing Red's crime remains a transgression. One that was perhaps forgiven (and one can argue forgiven too lightly) but still treated as an actual transgression.

          In my honest opinion there is never going to be a point where an attempted rape is 'worse' than killing thousands
          I hate to compare crimes because each are wrong in pretty egregious ways, so seeing either as an unanswerable offense is an understandable reaction.

          What tends to bother me is people sloughing off that unsouled Angel murdered Jenny, raped Dru (yeah over 150 years ago, but the implication of that scene was absolutely rape), raped Holtz's wife repeatedly. (He bragged as much), and threatened to rape Fred 'to death', but that's all slipped down the memory hole because Angel was soul-free at the time. But different rules apply to Spike. If Spike is unforgivable, then Angel is too.

          If you set up rules for why one is okay, you have to use the same rule stick with the other, even if you don't particularly wish to. Changing the rules based on bias is just that -- bias.

          (Twangel is a slightly different case because that wasn't soulless. At least not until relatively recently. For months, Allie was going around saying that this was 'different' from Season 2, this was 'more mature' because Angel wasn't soulless or possessed... up until the A&F comics began backtracking with 'he was possessed' more or less whenever Twangel was shown doing something wrong rather than just the one time that he was shown being possessed, which was limited to the murder of Giles. (Personally, I've always said Giles's murder was the crime he was least guilty of -- because he was shown as being possessed during that. It was the rest of the stuff that was the real issue.) Now, it's become 'whenever'. So I guess we're left to guess? Or is it just whenever it's anything demonstrably wrong? They have never given any rules for how we could know when he was possessed and when he wasn't, and it's in direct contradiction to what Allie was saying at the time, when people were asking whether Twangel wasn't simply a redux of Season 2.)

          So -- *sigh*. I'll accept the rationale that it's all weak writing. (pick a case. All three cases -- the AR, Twangel, the 'oh, he was possessed all the time and not just that one time.' All three suffer due to lack of subtlety and finesse and maybe... maybe they were never great ideas to begin with.) Weak writing is explanation I most readily accept.

          Still, I feel the need to take on board that Angel spent years psychologically and emotionally undermining Buffy so as to (intentionally) "torture" her... and that that is a 'bad thing to have done.' (So was ordering soldiers back into a fray, despite the fact they were retreating, because more Slayers needed to die because Buffy needed to be torn down further. So was launching a missile at Slayer headquaters, killing 8 girls, etc.) Just allow it to be bad. It doesn't have to be 'unforgivable'. It doesn't have to 'damn him forever.' It doesn't mean he can't change or atone. Just don't tell me that it was heroic or that 'he meant well' makes it any less catastrophic. Just allow that Angel's blind spot led him to do actual. bad. things. And then let him learn from it without claiming that in actuality what he did was 'good.' That makes the writing seem even weaker. I just wish they wouldn't try to hard in the wrongheaded way (and not try so hard in the way that would have made a more interesting story.)

          He screwed up. His blind spots got people killed. Now, let him reflect on that and try to learn from his screw-ups rather than writing him frantically hitting 'undo! undo! UNDO!'

          The thing about mistakes is that you can't undo them.

          That's the angst and the tragedy. You wish you could recall a mistake. You WISH you could make it so that it never happened... but you can't. All you can do is try to learn from it and do better in the future. Unfortunately, Angel's stuck at "undo! undo!" rather than the 'learn from it" and "don't repeat it."

          I crave the "I realized something from my mistake -- I don't want to repeat it!' Rather than rationalizing a convenient "let's erase the mistake!" button.

          I know Spike-haters will choke and deny Spike's soul quest. I get it. I understand. I do. I understand disliking it. I understand, if you don't like the character, resisting the quest's rationale. I'd never tell someone that they have to like it. And I know what it feels like to have a character work your every 'do not want!' last nerve.* But the writer-meta (even on the night that Grave aired when they were interviewed online) and the story-follow-up, establish that Spike screwed up in Season 6 and he chose: 'I don't want to be the person who would do that that. Not again. And I'll do something to change.' Hence, going to Africa:
          "To be the kind of man who would never..."
          Because, as Spike said to Clem about things changing:
          "Yeah, they do. If you make them."
          I just want Angel to recognize that that his blind spots made his mistakes possible and I want him to try to learn from them rather than the story using his blind-spots to rationalize "I can undo it all!"

          Maybe it's just a story preference of my own. That's a distinct possibility. It's just, I really thought that there was a lot of story for Angel post-Twangel that could have been challenging and interesting. Instead they seem to have chosen the least challenging option. I guess, it frustrates the reader in me. He wouldn't have to go as existential as the narrating zombie in the book (I haven't seen the movie) "Warm Bodies". But I do wish Angel were allowed to brood a few minutes before someone rushed to tell him not to be so hard on himself. It's okay to brood a moment. Sometimes, it's okay to be hard on yourself... especially, if like the lead of Warm Bodies, you ate your girlfriend's last boyfriend for dinner.

          I don't hate Angel. I don't damn him forever. I just wish the writing were better. And I wished the exact same thing re: Season 6 fallout (with virtually every character!) in Season 7.

          I actually liked the idea that Angel was failing to directly address some of his S8 choices as Allie was saying that sometimes people make the same mistakes and don't have self realisation.
          But there's a difference between a character not having a realization and the writing not recognizing it. It's actually possible for writing to allude to a character's failure to learn from a mistake while still having the character not learn from the mistake. That hasn't been clear to me from the story. Hence, my thinking that there's some weakness in the writing.

          That is different, even to the extent that now there is actually a positive side to gathering Giles' soul. It feels a step too far
          .
          Yeah, me too. I find it problematic since Angel the character has focused almost exclusively Giles's murder as being where he most screwed up (Psst! Angel, it was waaaaaaaay before then). So undoing Giles's death while great for Giles, seems a bit too easy for Angel. If Angel actually gets to 'undo!' the one thing he felt was screwed-up, it'll feel like waste of time.

          The thing about when you mess up is that you can learn from it, atone for it, overcome it, or never repeat it... but you can't UNDO it.

          Except, apparently Angel maybe can. So not only no lesson learned, but reinforcing that no lesson was needed.

          Sigh. It just feels kinda hollow.



          * On the other hand having different standards of 'what merits forgiveness' on the basis of "Angel was soulless when he murdered Jenny, raped Holtz's wife, and threatened to rape Fred to death" versus Spike's crimes while soulless just make me roll my eyes. If second isn't forgivable, neither can be.
          Last edited by shipperx; 14-02-13, 05:57 AM.
          Learning Experience: "...one of those things that says, "You know that thing you just did? Don't do that.”
          ~Douglas Adams

          Comment


          • I think people are missing the point Vampire In The Rug is trying to make. His point is that if one tries hard enough, Spike's arc in S7 can easily be spun as "whitewashing" too. The comparisons he made between Robin/Nadira were apt;

            One of the most common complaints about Nadira's character is that she's depicted as being "crazy" and reckless, thus undermining any legitimate grievances she has with Angel. Now, I personally think the issue is more with the reader than the writer because I don't see why one would dismiss PTSD or think it makes Nadira any less legitimate, but it's a standard complaint nonetheless. But Wood? Wood has every reason to hate Spike but they have him align himself with the Big Bad, deceive Buffy, and then get personally beat down Spike and lectured about how wrong he is to blame Spike and that nobody has time for his vendetta. Oh and Buffy ~the heroic protagonist~ takes Spike's side and tells Wood that she'll allow Spike to kill him if he ever tries anything again. And yet S7 isn't accused of whitewashing Spike and using one of Spike's victims to do it.

            If *any* of that happened with Nadira A&F would be blasted for whitewashing Angel and undermining Nadira's character. Without question.

            Another complaint is that Angel 'conveniently' gets hated for the things he had no control over (killing Giles) but now the things he did of his own free will. The same thing could be said about S7 when nobody wanted to dust Spike for the AR or because of his horrible past, but because of his "trigger" which he also had no control over. You could say that it was terrible whitewashing to have Giles hate Spike for the trigger instead of the AR which is never even addressed between the two characters (does Giles even know? Who knows? The writers don't tell us! How convenient! Whitewashing! yada yada, yada). The same thing could be said about the Potentials who fear Spike because of the trigger and *not* his 120+ years of murderous mayhem, or Anya equating Spike's trigger with her crimes in Selfless when it would have been far more appropriate to make a comparison with all the people he murdered when not possessed/brain washed.

            Now, I *don't* think the writers were trying to whitewash Spike in S7. For the most part, I actually quite like his arc and consider it one of the few things written well that season. But Vamprie In The Rug isn't wrong that a lot of the complaints made towards A&F can be made about S7 if one really wants to. The only major difference is that Spike did something wrong (the AR) and sought to rectify that by getting himself a soul, but even that can just be spun as a convenient way to save Spike's character and create a situation when no character, including the victim, can really stay angry at him. Spike's story was about a man who learns from his mistakes and evolves because of that. Angel's story (as confirmed by the people behind the book) is that he's repeating the same mistakes again which could end in disaster. Both are valid ways of taking a character after they've messed up but I remain puzzled that it's the latter that is accused of whitewashing when the former is clearly more crowd-pleasing and makes a character more endearing in the eyes of the viewer/reader.

            That's what Vampire in the Rug is saying and I agree with him. He's not even necessarily saying he thinks that about Spike's arc in S7, only that you could easily spin it to be appear that way. And I’m sure that ‘back in the day a lot of people were disgusted and outraged that Spike was allowed anywhere near Buffy again after the AR and that he had it too easy in S7. I’m personally ok with it. I *don't* think they were trying to whitewash him.

            My only problem with Spike’s arc is that it’s great as long as you focus on Spike, but less so if you focus on what it means for Buffy’s character and the unintended messages it might be sending. To be blunt; Buffy was nearly raped so Spike could become a hero. That was great for Spike’s story but less so for Buffy and as much as I like how it all unfolded that will always make me somewhat uncomfortable. The Twilight story line actually has a slight advantage in that respect because as horrendous as it was for Angel to terrorise Buffy, it was still about Buffy. I get why "stripping her of her moral certainty" was hugely significant to her arc that season. The rape really didn't serve Buffy's story arc in any way and was pretty much all about Spike. Which is unfortunate as there's a long history of rape being used to further a male character's story line instead of the story line of the female character who was raped/almost raped.
            Last edited by vampmogs; 14-02-13, 07:32 AM.
            - "The earth is doomed" -

            Comment


            • Originally posted by vampmogs View Post
              His point is that if one tries hard enough, Spike's arc in S7 can easily be spun as "whitewashing" too. The comparisons he made between Robin/Nadira were apt.
              But you do have to spin to get that comparison because a direct one to what they are upset about with their relevant vamp doesn't work. Spike was never put forward in anyway as being anything other than a brutal killer for what he did to Nikki, Wood himself wants to meet the monster. How he assesses Wood's emotions towards his mum etc is not about how Wood sees him as the killer of his mum. There is no attempt to make us actually feel better about Spike killing Nikki, whereas what Nadira is upset is Angel's culpability for the deaths in S8 and they are trying to reduce the fairness of Angel getting the blame because of how they are explaining his real intentions to us and the vague when he was/wasn't possessed aspect.

              Wood has every reason to hate Spike but they have him align himself with the Big Bad, deceive Buffy, and then get personally beat down Spike and lectured about how wrong he is to blame Spike and that nobody has time for his vendetta.
              I really don't think anyone tried to take the blame of Nikki's death away from Spike, he doesn't deny killing her or try to say he wasn't in control or it wasn't what he intended or any other excuse. In many ways his retaining the coat stops that very thing happening because it is linking him inextricably to his monstrous actions even in the present.

              Another complaint is that Angel 'conveniently' gets hated for the things he had no control over (killing Giles) but now the things he did of his own free will. The same thing could be said about S7 when nobody wanted to dust Spike for the AR or because of his horrible past, but because of his "trigger" which he also had no control over.
              Again they aren't properly comparable. I agree that Angel shouldn't be 'hated' for killing Giles but for getting himself in that situation and the choices he made he should be called on. Spike sought his soul in response to the equivalent to this and that is why he shouldn't be dusted for the AR. The trigger is an entirely separate scenario because it is people's fear of him being unpredictably a danger and out of control that leads them to wanting to dust him. The only comparison there would be wanting to dust Angel before the seed was broken and he was in the same position where he could be overtaken/possessed. That just isn't the case now.


              You could say that it was terrible whitewashing to have Giles hate Spike for the trigger instead of the AR which is never even addressed between the two characters (does Giles even know? Who knows? The writers don't tell us! How convenient! Whitewashing! yada yada, yada).
              Giles wants Spike removed because he feels that he compromises the safety of the others and that Buffy doesn't think about him dispassionately and is making the wrong choice. The AR is irrelevant here because it is totally legitimate that Giles may not know about that event and I think it would be awful writing if they had felt they needed to have each character address it with Buffy. I also think it is highly unlikely she would have wanted to discuss it with them all and one of the least likely people is Giles. In fact him being out of the loop as to the intensity of what is going on for Buffy/Spike in S7 is part of the issue of the gap of understanding between him and Buffy so I doubt he did know personally.

              The same thing could be said about the Potentials who fear Spike because of the trigger and *not* his 120+ years of murderous mayhem, or Anya equating Spike's trigger with her crimes in Selfless when it would have been far more appropriate to make a comparison with all the people he murdered when not possessed/brain washed.
              I think the focus on the trigger comes because of the fact that Spike has made the direct reaction to his S6 action in intentionally going and fighting for his soul. That is why the writing moves us beyond it in terms of what he is answering because him adjusting to his soul is him answering for that. That was the point I was making that everything that happens to Spike in S7 is around gaining his soul and gaining his soul is dealing with the attempted rape so comparisons to it are redundant, he has made the move required as a direct response to his actions. Likewise essentially for the Potentials focussing on the trigger and not the murderous past. In a pretty direct comparison to how Angel is treated in the show, Spike is presented to them with a soul and in the verse that is indicative, particularly with him having gained it himself, with a new phase for him, that we are to accept that the soul addressing/acknowledges his guilt for presoul actions.

              But Vamprie In The Rug isn't wrong that a lot of the complaints made towards A&F can be made about S7 if one really wants to.
              But that is why I don't agree, it has to be if you really want to and you have to ignore the fact that getting the soul is the equivalent step that people are sat waiting for Angel to make now. Comparing how things were handled afterwards doesn't work until Angel makes that decisive step to change what it was about himself that caused S8.

              The only major difference is that Spike did something wrong (the AR) and sought to rectify that by getting himself a soul, but even that can just be spun as a convenient way to save Spike's character and create a situation when no character, including the victim, can really stay angry at him.
              But you could then say that about any character that ever does anything wrong and tries to put it right. If we are going to dismiss people trying to correct their own mistakes and chalking that towards any sense of whitewashing how are any characters supposed to better themselves after they make a mistake. Spike took the action to prevent the same happening and changed himself to do it. It isn't like all the Scoobs were suddenly hugging him when he came back and they found out he was souled as if it just put everything right.

              Spike's story was about a man who learns from his mistakes and evolves because of that. Angel's story (as confirmed by the people behind the book) is that he's repeating the same mistakes again which could end in disaster. Both are valid ways of taking a character after they've messed up but I remain puzzled that it's the latter that is accused of whitewashing when the former is clearly more crowd-pleasing and makes a character more endearing in the eyes of the viewer/reader.
              I have actually said that I think that the latter is a valid forward progression. Although I had been looking forward to Angel realising what flaws led to his actions him not doing so isn't whitewashing it is the sense that they are changing what happened, or having to retell it to change the intentions/angle. Sure, that can be about bad storytelling in the first place that they are trying to correct but it isn't the same as Angel just not getting it if we are being told that there is less for him to 'get' than it appeared by the end of S8. The saver for me on that front is that Angel is clearly not acting whitewashed I don't think. He isn't saying that the only thing he did wrong was Giles he just isn't directly thinking through what got him into the situation and that works for me in the context that Allie has put it. It doesn't however stop an eye roll if even the resurrection plan is now 'for the best'. But if we are maintaining that Angel is failing to look at his personal flaws that led him into agreeing to Twilight it still holds validity for me that he is on a repeat.

              That's what Vampire in the Rug is saying and I agree with him. He's not even necessarily saying he thinks that about Spike's arc in S7, only that you could easily spin it to be appear that way.
              But as I say, the fact that the soul has been attained by the end of S6 stops S7 being comparable. That stage hasn't happened for Angel yet.

              My only problem with Spike’s arc is that it’s great as long as you focus on Spike, but less so if you focus on what it means for Buffy’s character and the unintended messages it might be sending. To be blunt; Buffy was nearly raped so Spike could become a hero. That was great for Spike’s story but less so for Buffy and as much as I like how it all unfolded that will always make me somewhat uncomfortable.
              I don't agree. The attempted rape was a final note to the very mutually destructive relationship that Spike and Buffy had built together. The tender support that he offered/provided at the beginning of the season was torn apart and turned into his selfish and blindly violent actions by the end. There was an involvement in that process from Buffy where it related to her own violent reaction to living and wanted to pull and tear down anything good as she didn't seek to nurture but to destroy herself. I personally don't think you can separate Buffy's story from the attempted rape and make it just about Spike. The action is 100% his error but the path that got them there they both walked. Seeing the extent of the darkness and how totally destructive it had all become is what helps Buffy want to come back out of it all properly and embrace showing Dawn the world etc, to take her own advice and live in it again.



              EDIT: If we stop trying to compare the content for a moment and just take that the AR was a significant event for Spike to continue on from and S8 was a significant event for Angel to carry on from then whether they choose to show the character actively seeing their faults or they choose to show them not seeing their faults, both are completely valid story options to continue on with.

              If you take Spike in his crypt trying to work out in front of Clem what he did and why as that moment of self awareness then Angel isn't there yet, S7 is irrelevant. They didn't try to 'change' what Spike did at all because his actions had directly addressed it within S6, the AR from Spike's pov was not whitewashed. Angel at the moment is between that moment in the crypt and the moment in the bathroom when he saw what he had just done. Angel is trying to move forward and has admitted culpability and ownership of some of the events of S8 I feel, the thing he hasn't done (that I have noticed) is work out why he allowed himself into the situation in the first place. That is the bit that then pushes him forwards onto his bike and towards a change in himself hopefully for the better. They are the comparative points in the two character arcs.

              I only reacted and joined in the debate not because I have the issue with Angel's story that MikeB has but because I don't think the details of the two arcs can be compared because of this difference, S7 is irrelevant for Spike in terms of his personal reaction, his resulting action, to committing the AR and therefore as a comparison to where Angel is now. If some people feel that as a general example of whitewashing the responses from other characters to the AR can be addressed, I don't agree, but that is different. But a direct comparative between Angel and Spike on this one doesn't work because Spike addressed his actions in that initial sense. I just feel a little wary I suppose when it seems the two vamps are compared when there isn't a direct comparable visible to me because I think it just fuels the character war rather than aids character analysis and I often feel the AR is raised because it is emotive rather than necessarily a fair comparison.
              Last edited by Stoney; 14-02-13, 02:50 PM.

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              • I had a response in my head concerning the long debate about 'whitewashing' and the issues re: comparing soullessness (which was established way back at the beginning of the series. Season 7 would be rather late to start changing the rules) versus "it's more mature because he's not possessed!" ...until they decided the next year that he there are no rules about it possession.

                Also comparing Robin to Nadira is less convincing to me when I think he's more analogous to -- though in no way as villainous as -- Holtz. It's not about the degree of wrongness done against them (all three were legitimately wronged) and it's not about invalidating their anger, resentments or their grudges (all three characters are justified in their anger, resentment, and grudges.) In that they are all alike. Where they differ is in what compromises they were willing to make to exact revenge. The compromises you make are your own. Holtz went the furthest over the line (and I don't call that Angel whitewashing.) Robin -- metaphorically holding hands with The First -- also trangressed (though not as lengthily or as egregiously). Nadira is different from the first two because Nadira hasn't transgressed boundaries in the same way. She's just hasn't been given much of a story and there's a distinct possibility that in the near future she'll be thanking Angel for 'saving her' from the zompocalypse. If it doesn't turn out that way, I'll be a bit surprised. YMMV.

                Still, generally speaking, pointing to the weaknesses of another story doesn't relieve the weaknesses of this one. All the stories have their weaknesses, the degree to which the specific weakness of each annoys you is going to be subjective. In the end, no matter how many bullet point responses we each make, I suspect no one's mind is going to substantially change. Since it's kind of ridiculous to try to shut down someone else's opinions just because they don't match our own or they disagree with you... yeah. Letting go now. We can disagree. It's good. It happens. Not really a problem.

                Next topic?
                Last edited by shipperx; 15-02-13, 04:23 AM.
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                • * I made a thread on this: whitewashing in the case of A&F would be something like saying that Angel was never Twilight.

                  And, again, it is simply outrageous, offensive, and inaccurate to try to equate Spike attempting to rape Buffy with what Angel did in BtVS S8. And for that matter, Angel did rape Buffy. In 2.13, it was statutory. And obviously in 8.34 she was glowified into having sex with him.

                  And the fact is that Spike was never whitewashed.

                  As for BtVS S7, if anything, they made Spike worse by having Spike tell Buffy that he raped girls and that he had raped girls who were Dawn’s age. And the Wood situation simply made Spike worse because it showed that Nikki Wood had a son.


                  * All the Nadira and Co. stuff does is make it seem as if Nadira and Co. are the only Slayers alive who wanted to dust Angel. And for all we know, after this Eyghon business is done with, they may end up not even wanting to kill Angel.


                  * It’s called the Whedonverse for a reason. Christos Gage is not the arbiter of canon. Whatever he says in interviews are merely his opinions unless his words are from Joss Whedon.


                  * The Car Scene in A&F 9.18 is impossible and the reasons are simple. Spike would have had to go from Easter Island to Alastair’s house in minutes more than the time it took Angel, Faith, Nadira, and Co. to drive to Alastair’s house. Plus, Faith didn’t know that Angel was bringing anyone – the phone call in the Car Scene would have informed her that (at the least) Angel had called someone and wanted that someone’s help.


                  * My quote: "In A&F, – as I’ve already said – Angel’s relationships with people are actually BETTER than they are portrayed in AtS s5."

                  Faith in AtS s5 apparently had no contact with Angel. She was off doing whatever she was doing. In A&F, Angel is living in her house and Faith is like Angel’s current closest friend and ally and she’s risking her life for Angel.

                  His relationships with the Scoobies are about the same as they were in AtS s5 with the exception of Giles (because he’s dead and therefore can’t answer a phone call). Willow used Angel, Faith, and Connor to get her magic back but unless we see future scenes of Willow’s interactions with Angel, her words and hug could simply be aftereffects of her being happy that she has magical powers again.

                  And Angel had enemies in AtS s5 as well.

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                  • I have to ask... just to be clear... had he been given the opportunity, Mike, would you say that there is simply no way that Spike would have had sex with Buffy in Season 2? Since it would have been teh rapezorz?

                    I figure if the site got a dollar for every time the phrase "not the arbiter of canon" was used in reference to any writer on the series who said something that disputes what you think, the hosting fee would be settled for the next five years or more.

                    Yes, only Joss is in charge. No, that does not mean that where a writer speaks where Joss is silent, they are automatically wrong just because they disagree with you. The concept is agency. Where Joss has not spoken, those he has delegated to realize his idea are logically in their capacity to explain what they are doing. In short, if Joss is silent, and Christos Gage and fan on website disagree, Christos Gage gets the benefit of the doubt.
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                    • Just renewing my prediction that Spike will be written as a dufus for this crossover (no one gets to upstage Angel in his own comic, not even Faith who in theory is supposed to be a co-lead. Spike will basically be written to be general fail, an ineffectual dumb buddy-cop so as to make Angel look good, because what else is important...

                      Just renewing the prediction so that I can get proper "Yeah, I thought so" privileges when the issue comes out.

                      ('Cause I'm going to be right.)
                      Last edited by shipperx; 27-02-13, 02:34 AM.
                      Learning Experience: "...one of those things that says, "You know that thing you just did? Don't do that.”
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                      • KingofCretins

                        * I consider Spike would have sired Buffy in “Halloween” (B 2.06). He’s watching ‘Buffy porn’ and Drusilla is concerned enough that Dru wants to know/reaffirm that Spike also loves Dru’s “insides, the parts [he] can’t see”, meaning that Spike loves more than Drusilla’s physical appearance.

                        Spike first sees Buffy in a ‘nightclub’, learns she’s dating “Angel”, and then sees her sexily dance. He becomes attracted to her because of her sexuality. Buffy’s 16 years old.

                        Angel first sees a ‘Lolita’ Buffy who’s likely 14 years old and she’s in pigtails sucking on a lollipop.

                        Anyway, if Spike had sex with Buffy when she was underage, I’d mention that Spike statutorily raped her.

                        I figure if the site got a dollar for every time the phrase "not the arbiter of canon" was used in reference to any writer on the series who said something that disputes what you think, the hosting fee would be settled for the next five years or more.
                        I remember Tim Minnear said that Buffy was merely a Darla substitute for Angel. That’s clearly opposed to canon.

                        Posters simply pick and choose writers’ quotes that fit what the poster wants to believe. Posters were doing the same with shooting scripts.

                        Joss Whedon is the arbiter of canon of the Buffyverse outside of something cannot be canon if it cannot be canon (that last part has to be applied because of Season 10 and after). There is no ‘the writer gets the benefit of the doubt’ if Joss hasn’t spoken on a subject.

                        Moreover, Christos Gage is writing Buffyverse comics that, in my opinion, it seems Joss Whedon is not relatively much involved with. Trying to take Gage’s words as canon is around as silly as those who tried to take Scott Allie’s words as canon.

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