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Canon, Consistency and of course, Inconsistencies!!!!!!!

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  • #31
    Originally posted by Nina View Post
    I don't ignore that at all, I acknowledge Spike's victory quite a few times in our last two discussions. But I also think it's directly linked to Angel's depression; I also run faster than somebody with a broken leg, even if that person is usually faster. Spike being the mentally stronger one in that episode is an obvious result of Angel's state. Also I really like what Local Maximum wrote, that Angel wasn't sure about this cup and had a different mindset. I don't really see it that way because that cup stood not so much for a destiny as for a dream; Angel's big dream, becoming human. Angel not being able to go all the way for that is more than just doubt about the prize he has to pay for the cup I think. But I think it's very well possible that Angel is less angry with Spike than the other way around, and thus less prepared to go all the way to hurt the other.
    Hmm, well I definitely agree that the cup also represented the dream of becoming human. I think the question for me is, does Angel still want that in season five? I mean -- as a dream, I think Angel still wants it, but I think he also isn't sure he deserves it anymore (he sold everyone out to join W&H), and he's already lost or given up so much. Very recently Cordy's died and he's given up Connor forever -- those are the two people he would most want to share a human life with. And in addition to that, Buffy being in a relationship with Spike hurts him, too, because he can no longer count on the possibility of having a human life with her either, for sure -- she may have moved on from him, and we know that's one of his fears since it comes up a few times (e.g. in the dream in Soul Purpose where Spike and Buffy are having sex). He's not as close to his friends anymore because they don't remember Connor and Angel chose that. This all contributes to his depression itself, of course -- but it's also, well, many of the specific reasons he has to want to be human have been taken away.

    I agree with your later point that Angelus was more human than is given credit for. In season two, he even tries to destroy the world partly out of love -- because he can't get rid of his attachment to Buffy, which he associates with his soul which he hates. (I wonder why Angelus hates the soul so much? On some level, of course, he suffered big time with it, but I also think he associates it with rejection -- his father always disapproved of him, and Darla tossed him out for having a "filthy soul" the moment Angel came in with one.)

    I do agree with Stoney though that of the two, Spike even while soulless seems more attached to human society than Angelus does, and that makes it easier for him to transition from soulless to soulful and harder for Angel to integrate his demon self. The soulless/demon part of Spike doesn't hate his soul the way Darla (initially) sees hers as a cancer or Angelus wants to end the world to be rid of traces of it. I don't think it is because Spike or Angel or Darla (or Harmony, etc.) are totally unique for supernatural reasons; they just have different possibilities, experiences, making their stories all interesting for different reasons.

    I do also think that Angel is ultimately more...susceptible to his demon "taking over" than Spike is. The only time in which Spike's demon side itself seems to me to be his biggest problem is in s7 when the First triggers him to vamp out and he goes through blood withdrawal in Never Leave Me. Even in Seeing Red, I attribute Spike's low point not to having a demon side to him but to being soulless. I mostly see Spike's dark side as having human urges with a narcissistic side to it without having a soul/conscience to reign them in. (I think "soullessness" and "demonhood" are different things.) Whereas Angel's demon, and his thirst for blood and difficulty controlling that demonhood, comes up many times -- his difficulty putting down Joyce in Angel (the episode), his staring at the blood on the woman's forehead in City Of, his freaking out when being given his son's blood in season three, etc. I think most of Spike's hedonistic traits are actually part of his identity as counterculture badass; I think Angel (and Liam) really likes pleasures of the flesh, which is part of the reason why he stays away from them. In that sense, I think it makes sense that StB focuses more on Angel's fear of his own demon than Tabula Rasa does with Spike -- because Spike, ultimately, likes pleasure but is much more about whatever identity he gives to himself. I don't think this is because there is some supernatural difference in their demons, or whatever; I think it's more that Angel's core personality has a bit of a hedonistic streak (which he tries to shut down) more so than Spike's does, which goes back to "drinking and whoring" Liam vs. "withdrawn nerdy poet" William.

    In addition to that, Tabula Rasa has the gang lose their memories but it doesn't push them back to teenagers; they remain adults. Part of the reason Angel/Liam vamps out is because he's...a teenager, and the metaphor of Spin the Bottle is that he's horny for Cordelia and can't control it, and is convinced he's going to get killed for that. Spike is also "randy" (lol) but it's not the same type of "hormonal imbalance" story that StB is. Angel's losing control of his demon in some ways in StB is not that dissimilar to Connor walking around a rage machine from sexual frustration because the encounter with Cordelia and later the prostitute, or Wesley being unable to control his collapsible swords because of how hot Fred makes him. And I think this ties into the season by suggesting that while Angel, Wesley et al. are more grown up now, they are still motivated by teenage urges, that are just more deeply buried -- Angel's jealousy of Connor sleeping with Cordelia clouds his judgment, Wesley/Gunn/Fred get trapped in their petty resentments and love triangle rather than being able to see the bigger picture, Jasmine!Cordelia manipulates everyone by using their immaturity. While it's fun to compare TR and Spin the Bottle, they really are episodes about different things, and I don't think it's really fair to draw too global a conclusion about Angel vs. Spike from how they react to the memory spells, which, remember, are different in both cases anyway.

    Actually, going back above to what Stoney said: I don't actually think it is canon that Spike "wanted it more" -- that is Angel's interpretation of what happened. I mean, I agree that he did want it more, but the only thing that's canon and that we can be sure about (unless it was a dream sequence! which, yeah, it wasn't, let's not go nuts) about that exchange is that Angel told Gunn that he thought Spike wanted it more.
    Last edited by Local Maximum; 11-01-13, 08:48 PM.

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    • #32
      Originally posted by Nina View Post
      Spike being the mentally stronger one in that episode is an obvious result of Angel's state.
      See I think that is where we differ because I don't think it is fair to totally attribute Spike's strength to Angel's weakness, that makes no sense to me.

      You know that Angelus isn't the general standard for vampires? Just because he shows more love than Angelus doesn't mean that Spike is special... Actually I've trouble with all theories concerning [insert character] being more special than the others. We're talking different kind of personalities here, and they all did different kind of impressive and less impressive things, often because of those different kind of personalities. I don't see why you need to bend backwards to make your favorite character more special than the other characters. By example; The semi-soul theory. Spike has no semi-soul, and I don't understand why you would want that? Does that make Spike better? More interesting? Is it important that Spike is more special than any other vampire? I love Angel to pieces but see no reason to crown him as the special vampire! Angel is unique because of his personality, that's enough I would say.
      I think that Spike is special because he chose to fight for a soul as a soulless demon. Not that he is the 'most special' compared to a.n.other character because all characters have their things that make them significant. I wasn't meaning it like that and I have certainly never been one to speak about any semi-soul with Spike.

      Originally posted by Local Maximum View Post
      ...or Wesley being unable to control his collapsible swords because of how hot Fred makes him.
      Not knowing the context to that is great.

      Actually, going back above to what Stoney said: I don't actually think it is canon that Spike "wanted it more" -- that is Angel's interpretation of what happened. I mean, I agree that he did want it more, but the only thing that's canon and that we can be sure about (unless it was a dream sequence! which, yeah, it wasn't, let's not go nuts) about that exchange is that Angel told Gunn that he thought Spike wanted it more.
      See I think that is one of those times where I feel that the writers had Angel say it and we saw Spike do it so we generally accept that for whatever reason at that moment it was true for Spike.
      Last edited by Stoney; 11-01-13, 09:35 PM.

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      • #33
        Originally posted by Stoney View Post
        Not knowing the context to that is great.
        It's the moment on the commentary that makes Joss say "subtlety is for little men". Honestly, I'd go watch the episode totally out of context just to absorb it. Really, there's nothing wrong with watching a series out of order. When I caught up on "Buffy" in its entirety leading up to and into Season 6, I was basically watching the prior seasons in episodic order, but reverse season order. Gives you an interesting perspective. Sort of an MC Escher perspective, to make another "Angel" reference
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        • #34
          Just to make myself clear, I wasn't talking about Spike not being special in the way anyone is special, personality wise. Nor do I mean that he didn't do remarkable things. I was really talking about the Spike being a special case, physical. That he has feelings and can do things no other vampire can do, breaking the laws of nature/the mythology. Like the semi-soul theory. It's a theory that quite often pops up (at least it did in the past, no idea if it recently showed up.) and one that annoys me to no end. Just like the Angelus has no humanity nonsense, I know that the Judge said so but I think the Judge was kaput. ~super special~ characters remind me of Mary Sues in fanfiction written by young childeren, and it seems to be a strange desire to wish that upon a character you like. Especially because most Buffyverse characters are already everything but ordinary. I can only think of Xander as an ordinary guy in both tv shows, and Kate perhaps.

          To me we're just talking about different kind of personalities, perhaps opposites of eachother even, but all good and well within the spectrum. Angel and Darla perhaps more on the one side and Harmony and Spike on the other. The only real special case I can think of is Lawson, because he seems to have some sort of echo of a soul.

          About Angel having more trouble controling himself; the fanwank is indeed his alcoholic past. But that looks to me more like the metaphor became the fanwank, but it could work even if Angel shows little to no addictive behavior in pretty much any other area or episode (minus those 4 where it's a big deal). In the early seasons the solution was that Angel should be around humans to get rid of the bloodthirst. So it also could just be his introvert character. Or Spike has it as well but we simply didn't notice it. We usually don't notice it with Angel either.

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          • #35
            Originally posted by Stoney View Post
            EDIT: I haven't seen Spin The Bottle. I had a major sulk on when I didn't get AtS for Christmas. I may just order it regardless and 'pay back' my account forcing my husband to accept it as a fait accompli!!
            Yes! Just buy it!

            I've been rewatching a lot of early AtS lately (S1/S2) and I'm REALLY in the mood to talk about it. I just watched Are You Now Or Have You Ever Been which has always been one of my absolute favourites and the final scene of Judgment which, well, I won’t spoil the surprise for you but it’s amazing and just perfect.

            But I’m kind of on an Angel binge in general, which you may not be able to understand I just rewatched “Angel” (from BtVS S1) and I’ve always loved that episode. So underrated even by S1’s standards.

            Hurry up and get the DVDs! I’d be happy to even start a rewatch thread to coincide with you watching the episodes for the first time. I’ll never love AtS as much as BtVS but it does do a lot of things well and when you’re in the right mood for it, it’s a fantastic show to watch
            "The earth is doomed!" - Banner by Nina

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            • #36
              Originally posted by vampmogs View Post
              Yes! Just buy it!

              I've been rewatching a lot of early AtS lately (S1/S2) and I'm REALLY in the mood to talk about it. I just watched Are You Now Or Have You Ever Been which has always been one of my absolute favourites and the final scene of Judgment which, well, I won’t spoil the surprise for you but it’s amazing and just perfect.

              But I’m kind of on an Angel binge in general, which you may not be able to understand I just rewatched “Angel” (from BtVS S1) and I’ve always loved that episode. So underrated even by S1’s standards.

              Hurry up and get the DVDs! I’d be happy to even start a rewatch thread to coincide with you watching the episodes for the first time. I’ll never love AtS as much as BtVS but it does do a lot of things well and when you’re in the right mood for it, it’s a fantastic show to watch
              Ha! Got to love the enthusiasm! I was actually just saying to my husband that if they have it in the shops when we head out today that I am going to spend our joint xmas gift vouchers on them and if he won't watch them I'm going to watch them during the day anyway. So fingers crossed, I will have them by this afternoon, yey!!! The downside if he decides he wants to see them too will be bullying him into watching them quickly enough but I would definitely discuss in a rewatch thread.

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              • #37
                Originally posted by kana View Post

                Inconsistencies????

                This is where the problem starts. The two methods for analysis is the Doylist and Watsonian approach. The problem is, with a TV show with multiple writers, one will see inconsistencies. Joss has actually admitted this, so how can we have a meaningful discussion knowing that fanwanking is inevitable? Again hopefully in this debate we'll look at that.

                Such subjects that have come up on this forum are:

                1)Strength, fighting skills of characters etc

                2)The Buffyverse metaphysics
                I wanted to return to the original topic because I thought about this and I'm not sure if there is a good way of 'dealing' with inconsistencies. In my first post I said that canon isn't holy and that I've no trouble ignoring lines that are inconsistent with logic, the mythology or canon events.

                But I'm not sure if 'ignoring' or 'pick what you like best' is the best way to deal with big canon events, inconsistencies or not. But at the same time is there another option? Sometimes there are too many inconsistencies to cover up with a fanwank.

                I think two examples are the soul (what is it?) and the big differences between BtVS!Darla/Angel and Ats!Darla/Angel. You can't just gloss it over but at the same time whatever you choose to believe, it's always inconsistent with some canon events. And while talking about it (especially about the soul/mythology) is facinating and fun, it's also frustrating because whatever you come up with, there is always somebody who comes up with strong arguments against it. The best would of course be a writer (yes I know the author is dead, but at the same time if the mess is as big as it is concerning the soul. A word from the author would be nice.) who finally makes up his mind and tells us what is going to be the (consistent) mythology from that moment on. Which we can accept and use for discussions about certain characters. But as long we don't have that I'm afraid we all have to come up with a theory that we like most and ignore the arguments against it, no matter how canon those contra-arguments are.

                And while you're theory fits/is based on certain canon events, I don't think I would call a theory canon.

                About the other example; I think it's easier to ignore certain moments/episodes when we're talking characters instead of mythology. Angel & Darla in BtVS season 1 is just as canon as Angel & Darla in Ats season 2, but it's obvious that there was more energy and thought put into them during Ats. So I don't see much reason to bend backwards to put these two versions together if the writers didn't know what to do with them in BtVS season 1. It felt like the Ats writers just threw the old Angel/Darla in the bin and rewrote their relation, so in that case I just go for the second version. Especially because that one fits the characters and the story better.

                But this is just how I think I deal with it, and I can imagine others to have more trouble 'ignoring' big events that are canon. So perhaps they prefer fanwanking to fit it all together. I don't think there is a right or a wrong way to deal with inconsistencies, which can cause rather huge debates where two people of groups don't come an inch closer to a workable answer how to deal with a certain topic, like the soul.

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                • #38
                  No box sets of AtS in store so I just came home and ordered it, hooray!!!! I'll let you know when it comes through mogs, should be good to start next week.

                  Nina what would you bullet as the inconsistencies with the soul?

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                  • #39
                    Great stuff! It's a pity you couldn't get it in store but hopefully it doesn't take too long to arrive
                    "The earth is doomed!" - Banner by Nina

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                    • #40
                      Originally posted by Nina View Post
                      I think two examples are the soul (what is it?)
                      This really is the problem I've always had. In fact I think it's one of the most important issues seen as a few major storylines within the show involve the soul. I was kind of pissed off that Joss more or less said it was a plot convenience.

                      I'll dig out my response to this when I have more time, but I try to keep speculation down to minimum and use quotes and examples from the show to try and support my theory.


                      and the big differences between BtVS!Darla/Angel and Ats!Darla/Angel. You can't just gloss it over but at the same time whatever you choose to believe, it's always inconsistent with some canon events.
                      I know what you mean, but these I can overlook more easily than the soul thing. Again, when I have time, I'll look at my personal fanwanks for these.

                      And while talking about it (especially about the soul/mythology) is facinating and fun, it's also frustrating because whatever you come up with, there is always somebody who comes up with strong arguments against it.
                      For me, the only arguments I hate are when people talk about their theories as facts and call other people's counterarguments 'silly' (naming no names). I like looking at different possible theories and being as objective as possible (rather than making character X look morally superior/super strong/like sex God(dess)/ etc).

                      The best would of course be a writer (yes I know the author is dead, but at the same time if the mess is as big as it is concerning the soul. A word from the author would be nice.)
                      We have it. It's a plot convenience. It's the same thing with the ubervamps. Fanwanking or simply ignoring it, are the only options unless Joss gets off the fence.

                      who finally makes up his mind and tells us what is going to be the (consistent) mythology from that moment on.
                      We could try and force Joss at gun point to give us an explanation, but I was told that was illegal. jk.

                      But as long we don't have that I'm afraid we all have to come up with a theory that we like most and ignore the arguments against it, no matter how canon those contra-arguments are.
                      Can you come up with any examples? I just want to know exactly what you mean when you say "no matter how canon those counter-arguments are"

                      And while

                      you're theory fits/is based on certain canon events, I don't think I would call a theory canon.

                      Agreed. I mean, on a basic level, canon is 'event' or 'works' based. For example, canon would be "Spike beat Angel in Destiny' but inferring he's a better fighter because of it would be interpretation.

                      About the other example; I think it's easier to ignore certain moments/episodes when we're talking characters instead of mythology. Angel & Darla in BtVS season 1 is just as canon as Angel & Darla in Ats season 2, but it's obvious that there was more energy and thought put into them during Ats. So I don't see much reason to bend backwards to put these two versions together if the writers didn't know what to do with them in BtVS season 1. It felt like the Ats writers just threw the old Angel/Darla in the bin and rewrote their relation, so in that case I just go for the second version. Especially because that one fits the characters and the story better.
                      This is where the Doylist perspective has an advantage, but it depends on what we are discussing. Darla was called pathetic on Btvs, but seemed more competent and confident on Ats. Arguably these are just appearences rather than canonical facts. Arguably people can change their behaviour in real life, but we may not know the explanation. From a Watsonian perspective, we can just say "I don't know, we can only speculate".

                      But this is just how I think I deal with it, and I can imagine others to have more trouble 'ignoring' big events that are canon.
                      For me, it depends on how it affects the story and how biased the theory is or how far removed it is from established canon. I suppose can start looking at specific examples and examine how we look at each one. When I have more time, I'll try to address the 'soul' issue and the Angel/Darla on Ats and Btvs respectively.


                      So perhaps they prefer fanwanking to fit it all together. I don't think there is a right or a wrong way to deal with inconsistencies, which can cause rather huge debates where two people of groups don't come an inch closer to a workable answer how to deal with a certain topic, like the soul.
                      Well in regards to you and me, I don't think we are million miles aways in our opinions. I don't mind looking at some inconsistencies you have issues with and I'll have a look at how I deal with them and vice versa. Certainly I look at my old posts in regards to the soul.

                      Most of the issues I have with how to deal with Spike are on other forums, I'll have a look at those too.

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                      • #41
                        Oh I'll have to dig up old threads, I just remember that my theory wasn't 100% fitting.
                        But let's see what I still remember, perhaps that I'll add other stuff later when I remember/searched it up.

                        My idea is that the soul (as the one Spike and Angel got back and Connor's soul influencing Darla) is a blanco something that functions as a moral compass. I don't think that the soul has anything to do with personality/essence of a person. Despite the huge influences on the behavior. Not sure if it's a moral compass only because of that huge influence, perhaps it has some more functions. By example I have the feeling that soulless vampires can't really grow as people.

                        This is mostly based on the personality of the soulless vampires being a lot like their human/soulled counterpart. That it makes little to no sense that Angel (and later on also Spike) feel guilt for their crimes as soulless vampires if they aren't the same person, it also makes no sense that Darla wanted to become a vampire to prevent dying, if becoming a vampire means that your essence leaves your body anyway and of course her pregnancy where she felt human emotions and guilt because she shared a soul with Connor, but she obviously didn't become Connor-like.

                        About the counter-arguments;

                        I think the main trouble comes from the 'soul' being described as the essence of a person (Fred's soul being destroyed, Buffy's soul in heaven.) vs the blanco soul in the vampire mythology. It's like the Buffyverse is both dualist and monist at the same time. This could be fanwanked, by example; The Demon copies the personality of the soul and takes over in a vampire. But this is based on nothing. This confusion in combination with Angel and Angelus being treated as two different persons by the characters, this includes Angel who sometimes uses 'he'/'him' when he talks about Angelus, makes a case for people who do believe that the soul is the whole essence of a person and that in theory Angelus and Angel (also soulless Spike/Darla and soulled Spike/Darla.) are different people. Also it's hinted that everybody has a personal soul, the vampires get their soul back, which is pointless if the soul is blanco and thus impersonal.

                        I can't really explain the monism/dualism combo, I often fanwank it with them using the same word for two different things (which is not allowed in logic.); that both the blanco moral compass and the spirit of a person are both called 'soul'. And Angel treating Angelus as a different person I fanwank with him doing that because his friends refuse to make the difference and he just goes with the flow despite knowing better. But again, it's a pretty weak fanwank because it's based on nothing.



                        edit:
                        Concerning Darla/Angelus and the difference between Ats and BtVS. My main issue is how they tried to underplay the relation in BtVS; Angel spend 150 years with Darla and there was no real connection. Angel staked her like she was random vampire #2, Darla came off as a pathetic ex thinking that it all meant more while Angel wasn't interested etc. Also the "Angelus doesn't care/love about anybody" stuff (vs Darla loving him) in season 2 rubbed me wrong. But like I said I've little problem ignoring BtVS season 1 when we're talking Darla and also Angel. Both characters didn't got to shine until Ats when Angel became the star of the show.
                        Last edited by Nina; 12-01-13, 06:39 PM.

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                        • #42
                          Originally posted by Nina View Post
                          Concerning Darla/Angelus and the difference between Ats and BtVS. My main issue is how they tried to underplay the relation in BtVS; Angel spend 150 years with Darla and there was no real connection. Angel staked her like she was random vampire #2,
                          No, he stakes her at the end of the episode, to prevent her from killing Buffy. If Darla was some random vamp, Angel would have staked her during one of their previous interactions (they interact several times throughout the episode prior to their last scene where Angel stakes her). And whatever connection Angel and Darla might have had totally doesn't trump the lives of innocent people (I'm looking at you, AtS!Angel).

                          Darla came off as a pathetic ex thinking that it all meant more while Angel wasn't interested etc.
                          Of course she comes across as a pathetic ex, she has no way of understanding what it means to have a soul. Still, I'm not really seeing the pathetic part all that much. When seduction doesn't work, she quickly starts to mess with Angel: first leaving Angel no choice by tricking Buffy into thinking he hurt Joyce and then literally with guns blazing. Then again, I'm probably biased since I can't stand the Darla of AtS whereas I enjoyed her on BtVS...

                          Originally posted by vampmogs View Post
                          Fans come up with their own interpretations anyway but canon is a guideline to what stories "really happened" and what stories didn't. Without it, discussions about the Buffyverse would be incredibly difficult and the characters would cease to exist as they do now. If I wrote a fanfic where Buffy is secretly anti-semitic she wouldn't be the same character as Joss wrote her, would she? But if no concept of canon existed then Buffy the Anti-Semite would be just as real as Buffy the Vampire Slayer. And nobody could tell me I was wrong because "I wrote a story about her and in my story she hates Jews."
                          Now THAT would be an interesting story. It even has in-built conflict with Willow.

                          (Just kidding, obviously.)


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                          • #43
                            The soul mythology isn't ever pinned down I agree. I don't agree with those who think that a vampire is pure demon and only gains the memories of the human so I suppose I would, like you, separate the soul from the essence of a person's personality etc. I think that Spikelus/Angelus were demons that inhabited with the essence of the original human still firmly in place. To me it makes no sense otherwise that they would care about their memories react to their families, tormentors etc. So yeah, soul does not equal person for me either.

                            So I think working on the basis that something is missing which can be gained back makes sense and the obvious missing element tends to lead into areas of moral integrity. I find it hard to reconcile this still though as a determinant of worth, good v evil etc because Warren had no moral integrity. This is where I think the biggest gaps in the verse around the soul's relevancy lie. So I look to the actions of the person/demon for their right to survive. I don't think it is fair to say that Angelus should die and Warren should live as a comparative simply because Warren is human so I just accept that Warren falls into someone else's remit to judge. Even if he didn't, do I think he should die as that is how a demon would be treated? If we accept that the soul gives moral integrity and without it demons will choose to do evil eventually how can we reconcile seeing a demon choose to fight for a soul? How can we reconcile evil humans? For me it starts to seem wrong to condemn demons to death as an automatic. If humans are not the remit of the slayer then what of witches etc, those who are part of the supernatural and could take actions to destroy the world? Do you just need to see the error of your ways for that to be passed over? Or do you need to be friends with the slayer to get away with it? Is a vampire who has murdered thousands then stops killing by choice as we currently have in the new society still OK to dust? Is it any different to a vampire who has killed two and then stops? As it stands we simply assume that as they emerge from the grave they will have bloodlust and will choose to be killers. Mostly that is what we see, out of the grave followed by attacking and yet Holden stopped to have a philosophical discussion. There is no substantiated mythology on the merit of soul vs no soul I don't think. There isn't for me a valid, no holed argument to the role/actions of the slayer as we are constantly presented with exceptions. This side of the verse I don't think will ever make sense and we are supposed to just roll with the story accepting the general principle that demons are inherently bad and it is necessary to remove the potential threat to keep the world/innocent beings safe. It is unsatisfactory for me but I accept the truth that I shouldn't scrutinise because it won't hold up.
                            Last edited by Stoney; 13-01-13, 09:58 AM.

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                            • #44
                              Originally posted by Artea View Post
                              No, he stakes her at the end of the episode, to prevent her from killing Buffy. If Darla was some random vamp, Angel would have staked her during one of their previous interactions (they interact several times throughout the episode prior to their last scene where Angel stakes her). And whatever connection Angel and Darla might have had totally doesn't trump the lives of innocent people (I'm looking at you, AtS!Angel).
                              I don't say that Angel should've let her kill Buffy, not even close. I meant that he could've shown some extra emotions, he is passive the whole episode. Not once you have the feeling that Darla meant anything to him. It's Darla who goes on and on about how much they meant to eachother and how much they loved eachother.

                              Of course she comes across as a pathetic ex, she has no way of understanding what it means to have a soul. Still, I'm not really seeing the pathetic part all that much. When seduction doesn't work, she quickly starts to mess with Angel: first leaving Angel no choice by tricking Buffy into thinking he hurt Joyce and then literally with guns blazing. Then again, I'm probably biased since I can't stand the Darla of AtS whereas I enjoyed her on BtVS...
                              The whole little girl schtick is something I find pathetic and nothing like the Darla we know from the flahbacks or Ats. Not only the clothes but mostly her behavior with the Master, she is an adult woman who will soon be older than 400 years old and she dresses and behaves like she is 10. Also Darla knows what a soul means, she already gave Angel a chance and she is the one who left him because of it. But BtVS really plays with the idea that Darla loves Angelus and Angelus loves nobody (see: BtVS season 2). And it's always sad when one person gives a relation a lot of status while the other doesn't rate the relation nearly as high. Especially because Darla had so much time to figure it all out and move on. But she still waits for this guy who doesn't really care about her.

                              In Ats it all looks different; the relation meant a lot to the both of them. Actually it's one of the rare relations in the Buffyverse where you have the feeling that both people are equals. There is not one who cares more about the other, or one that is more important in the relation. And in this 'version' it's not as pathetic that she went back to the Master and lived as a widow for a century, because she still mourns the love of her life. At least she mourns a true and good (well in their own way) relation now.


                              Originally posted by Stoney View Post
                              So I think working on the basis that something is missing which can be gained back makes sense and the obvious missing element tends to lead into areas of moral integrity. I find it hard to reconcile this still though as a determinant of worth, good v evil etc because Warren had no moral integrity. This is where I think the biggest gaps in the verse around the soul's relevancy lie. So I look to the actions of the person/demon for their right to survive. I don't think it is fair to say that Angelus should die and Warren should live as a comparative simply because Warren is human so I just accept that Warren falls into someone else's remit to judge. Even if he didn't, do I think he should die as that is how a demon would be treated? If we accept that the soul gives moral integrity and without it demons will choose to do evil eventually how can we reconcile seeing a demon choose to fight for a soul? How can we reconcile evil humans? For me it starts to seem wrong to condemn demons to death as an automatic. If humans are not the remit of the slayer then what of witches etc, those who are part of the supernatural and could take actions to destroy the world? Do you just need to see the error of your ways for that to be passed over? Or do you need to be friends with the slayer to get away with it? Is a vampire who has murdered thousands then stops killing by choice as we currently have in the new society still OK to dust? Is it any different to a vampire who has killed two and then stops? As it stands we simply assume that as they emerge from the grave they will have bloodlust and will choose to be killers. Mostly that is what we see, out of the grave followed by attacking and yet Holden stopped to have a philosophical discussion. There is no substantiated mythology on the merit of soul vs no soul I don't think. There isn't for me a valid, no holed argument to the role/actions of the slayer as we are constantly presented with exceptions. This side of the verse I don't think will ever make sense and we are supposed to just roll with the story accepting the general principle that demons are inherently bad and it is necessary to remove the potential threat to keep the world/innocent beings safe. It is unsatisfactory for me but I accept the truth that I shouldn't scrutinise because it won't hold up.
                              You really should start Ats. Angel struggles with this the whole time because he deals with W&H employees. Some horrible people work there and Angel has to deal with those quite often; evil lawyers (I mean really evil lawyers, people who don't care if they kill some innocent kids or plan an apocalypse.) who can't be judged by the law because they are too sneaky and most of their crimes are not acknowledged by human society. But because they are human he is not allowed to get rid of them. Ats blurs the lines between demons and humans anyway, we meet quite some good demons in Ats. Some are even better than any human could be (Groo). So it's less black & white.

                              I think the difference between a human and a soulless demon is that a human has the chance to redeem himself/herself, they do have the quality to learn of their horrible mistakes and become better people. A soulless demon does not, what Spike did was so unique (everything just clicked; his personality in combination with his love for Buffy, her refusing him in 'Seeing Red', the chip in his head which seperated him from his normal life and having the example of Angel as a soulled vampire.) that we can't take soulless vampires doing something good just to be good, as a serious option. They have the freedom to make choices, but lack the morality to make the right choice. So like Harmony showed, vampires always fall back in evil behavior, even if they were trying not to.

                              But I do agree that some cases are just frustrating, I wouldn't even call Warren one because he can go to jail. He shot people, the police can arrest him. But a Lilah (who does care about her mother by example, so she can love.) or a Holland are extremely bad people who get away with their horrific crimes and don't ever change, that is frustrating.
                              Last edited by Nina; 13-01-13, 05:41 PM.

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                              • #45
                                I must say on the Darla/Angel side I am really interested in seeing AtS because it wasn't until I joined the board and heard people talking about them as a couple that I really took any note of them as mattering much to each other. I went back and rewatched S1 of BtVS to see if he even mentioned her as his sire because I hadn't noticed particularly that he was bothered about her when I first ever watched it. The very little bits that I know of the Angel/Darla/Connor storyline shows that isn't true and the bits I saw in flashbacks too so I agree, BtVS 1/2 made it look like Angel didn't really care one way or the other about Darla. And yeah, the schoolgirl outfit was just creepy and weird, even the schoolgirls didn't dress like that.

                                The circumstances that built up to lead Spike seeking and fighting for his soul I'm sure you are right are unlikely to be seen again and we are supposed to see it as extraordinary/unique. Harmony manipulates situations to suit herself, as she is doing currently, so I again see your point with what we see in her story she lends weight to the argument that a soulless demon will become evil again when it suits them.

                                How then do we balance what happened with Willow post her murdering Warren? I understand that she was too powerful to be contained by prison, but so arguably was Faith. Is what happened with Willow equal to Angel/Spike being left to redeem themselves whilst living with their crimes? Surely that is then a situation where we have to raise our hands and point out/admit to accepting plot armour/protagonist privilege-esque favouritism to keep three of our main characters in the story but give them the depth of dealing with what they have done? What about Buffy chasing down and stabbing Faith? Purely plot armour there as she is never held accountable at all really for doing that with her shiny Chosen One soul intact.

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