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Buffy (11/27)

Old 11-28-01, 08:40 AM
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Originally posted by das Monkey
If we take the addiction angle, which previous discussions have established to be my preference, this is exactly what must happen. Perhaps we can draw parallels to alcoholism. The average Joe can have a drink with his buddies periodically with no problem, but an alcoholic has to stop completely. He can't have that one "harmless" drink every once in a while. Once you've gone into addiction territory, you can't go back. You're in All or Nothing Land.
Yep. Many have fallen thinking they’re “cured” and can handle “just a drink or two.”

Will Willow have a period of “recovery” where she’s really a mess? Or is the closing scene with her shivering in withdrawal all we get? The next episode (whenever that is) should be interesting.



On the other hand, I enjoyed very much the Buffy/Spike affair [pun intended]. This love/hate relationship is classic and, since there really isn’t anything else going on… Spike has his attitude back, at least as far as the Slayer is concerned. Except for the beginning flashbacks, no mention of the “you came back wrong” thing. I trust they’ll explore that later?

Has anybody else notice that lately Buffy has been dressing less like a teen and more like an adult? The closing scene with Willow, with that black outfit – she looked almost like a mom.
I wish they wouldn't play the lovesick card so much with Spike, because it makes more sense to me that he's using Buffy to feel somewhat alive just as much as she's using him. But they're not going that route it seems.
I don't think Spike is doing "lovesick" at this time. He's doing Macho Stud Spike right now, although it's still a bit pathetic. If/when Buffy convincingly rejects him (which he'll deny), he'll be back to his depressing ways.
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Old 11-28-01, 08:45 AM
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The other thing about Parker is that it's all about the chase with him. Once he gets that notch in the bedpost, he moves on because that girl is no longer as a "mystery" to him. I knew guys like him in high school and college. Once they got what they wanted, basically re-affirmation that they was attractive enough to "get the girl", they drop the girl.

Buffy is a wreck, with her longing for happiness. Perhaps she thought she could get some of that bliss when she did the wild and wooly with Spike, but obviously it's just caused her a lot of regret. But that doesn't change her "targetting" Spike as an easy lay, so in that sense Buffy was a bit of the sexual predator that Parker was.
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Old 11-28-01, 08:49 AM
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W/R/T Buffy, I'd say that Spike got his balls back.

So, was Marsters really butt nekkid when Buffy has sort of sitting on or straddling him when she's trying to cajole him into looking for Dawn with her? He must have spent some long shootings days in the buff (bad pun).
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Old 11-28-01, 08:51 AM
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Originally posted by Patman
He must have spent some long shootings days in the buff (bad pun).


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Old 11-28-01, 09:07 AM
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I sort of agree that Willow's addiction sort of changed course because the problem that Tara had with Willow's magic was more of a puppeteering form of magic (casting the forgetful spells, molding people to her whim), and then Amy leads Willow to a magic crack house, and she gets a dose of magic that makes her euphoric while losing control of her magic (like driving the car via magic).

Willow's addiction went from one of power to one of pleasure in a short time. It seems sort of inconsistent with her power trip, but maybe Willow's power trip was fueled by her desire for pleasure, or feeling good about herself, that Super Willow's control of people allowed her to experience pleasure she didn't find otherwise, but when Rack feeds on her pleaure centers, her attention gets pulled from gaining pleasure through power to just gaining pleasure through whatever form of magic crack Rack was feeding her at his crib. That's the only way last night's episode sort of makes sense. And her talk with Buffy on the bed sort of makes that the crux of why Willow was so attracted to magic, it allowed her to feel pleasure that was not normally offered to or available to Normal Willow.

Now going back to and tying in with "Beer Bad" (it just amazing how the timing of these older episodes shown on FX come back to current day Buffy episodes) where Maggie Walsh was talking about the id and how the id just wants and wants without any restraint of societal convention. In this light, perhaps Willow's id finally was exposed and what Willow saw wasn't a pleasant sight, and her ego and super-ego forced her to come to grips with the wants of her id.
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Old 11-28-01, 09:33 AM
  #31  
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Originally posted by Patman
...
Willow said (and it makes sense) that her magic made her special. It's not about pleasure. It's about "good ol' reliable Willow." Just like Xander's greatest fear is to be useless and Buffy's fear of abandonment, Willow's greatest fear is to be boring. While she has many good qualities, she doesn't see them, so magic has always been her specialty, the thing that makes her unique. Part of what makes this show great is the understanding that everyone who has ever walked the face of the Earth struggles with these things. Like Buffy said to Jonathan in 'Earshot', no one cares about his pain because they're too busy worrying about their own.

The crackhouse thing is independent of this. Willow may have enjoyed the pleasure, but the driving force behind her magic is her fear of being average. Her addiction should still be to the power, or there's a very large hole in the story. I'm sure she was also addicted to the pleasure the got from (c)Rack, but it's independent. Like I said, you could replace (c)Rack's magic literally with crack, and it would be the same thing. The only possible connection is the revelation that her actions do have consequences, but like someone else said, the consequences were because she was high, not because she used magic. She still hasn't faced her real problem.

It may be a bad analogy, but it's like an alcoholic getting hooked on drugs and doing something really stupid. He gets a dose of reality and sees firsthand that his actions can have negative consequences. While that's a great learning experience for him, it still doesn't address his drinking problem. Knowing your actions in general have consequences and addressing an addiction are two different things. Willow has only faced her problem in the most superficial sense. She *should* have a long way to go. Hopefully Joss knows that already.

If we're lucky, they set up the Buffy/Willow parallel, so that Buffy can start the road to recovery while Willow falls deeper. But it didn't look that way from the episode. Who knows.

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Old 11-28-01, 09:45 AM
  #32  
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Originally posted by das Monkey


I wish they wouldn't play the lovesick card so much with Spike, because it makes more sense to me that he's using Buffy to feel somewhat alive just as much as she's using him. But they're not going that route it seems.

das
I think that is the route they're going but that Spike doesn't know it. The chip definitely has him messed up but beyond that, his approach to their relationship isn't all that different than his love of Dru. He's brash and cocky when he feels like he's in control of the relationship but even then, it's usually the woman who's actually in control.

As for Willow's story, I'm in the "too heavy-handed" camp but still like the overall direction they're taking. I agree their efforts to make the magic addiction closely parallel drug addiction was inconsistent and confused the whole issue.

It's the power and the use of magic Willow's addicted to, not the euphoria from Rack's recharge. Willow and Amy should've left Rack's feeling great, not ready to sleep, and then Willow could've spent the day using lots of magic where it wasn't required. Then, when taking Dawn out it would make sense that she'd feel drained and in need of another recharge from Rack.

And as others have mentioned, the harm to Dawn should've been the direct result of a spell rather than the side-effect of the euphoria. I thought they were headed in the right direction when Willow was talking about zapping Dawn straight home so the DUI car wreck was that much more of a let down.

No way is Willow going to stop doing magic cold turkey, even though that's obviously what she needs to do. She'll try, of course, especially after hurting Dawn, but I *don't* think she's hit bottom yet. It'll be interesting to see whether her next fall is triggered by her own need to be Super-Willow or by the Scoobs' need for Super-Willow. Wouldn't *that* be an ironic way to create Super-Evil-Willow!
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Old 11-28-01, 09:52 AM
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But being special is what gives Willow pleasure. It is what makes her feel good. That's usally how addicts go down the road of addiction. At first, it seems to be the panacea to their pain, their self-doubts, their problems, but it just masks the root causes. It makes them feel good, albeit temporarily. Sooner or later, they need a bigger and bigger fix. Rack just accelerated that process when he fed her magic crack, which just laid out Willow and totally messed with her self-awareness, and let her id take total control of her, with little regard to anyone else (like Dawn). This is why it's only a slight stretch as to how things came to a head and how Willow comes to grips that her pursuing use of magic as an avenue to make her feel special, and giving her pleasure in the process, will be detrimental not only to her, but to her friends around her. She's already lost the love of her life, and almost killed Dawn due to being out of control while practicing magic (driving the car), which would have definitely alienated Buffy from her if Dawn were to have died with Willow at the wheel high on magic crack. The stakes for too high for Willow and now she's finally coming to grips with that reality.

Perhaps Buffy has hit rock bottom by having sex with Spike. Maybe that's her wake-up call, but she's got to be the adult and help Willow get through this dark spot in her life, while holding her own pain inside, and be strong for Willow. Life's not fair, and Buffy is definitely burning both ends of the candle. That last scene with Buffy sitting on her bed, with the windows plasters with garlic, and her clutching her cross parallels Willow's quiet reflection in the shower and later her shakes while sleeping. They are both in a place of discomfort that will take a long time for them to transistion from in order to gain their mental health.

Plus, at this point in time, who can Buffy really talk to about this problem of hers? Just about no one: Dawn (no), Xander and Anya (no), Willow (no), Giles (not in a practical sense), Spike (ha!). Buffy's issues of abandonment are probably more emotionally driven and heightened at this point in the series, than they are in a physical sense. No one is truly "available" to her for her to unload her problems on and sort through them. And being the slayer just piles on another load of worries on her plate.

Last edited by Patman; 11-28-01 at 09:56 AM.
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Old 11-28-01, 09:54 AM
  #34  
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Originally posted by dfinney
I think that is the route they're going but that Spike doesn't know it. The chip definitely has him messed up but beyond that, his approach to their relationship isn't all that different than his love of Dru. He's brash and cocky when he feels like he's in control of the relationship but even then, it's usually the woman who's actually in control.
I hope so ...

No way is Willow going to stop doing magic cold turkey, even though that's obviously what she needs to do. She'll try, of course, especially after hurting Dawn, but I *don't* think she's hit bottom yet. It'll be interesting to see whether her next fall is triggered by her own need to be Super-Willow or by the Scoobs' need for Super-Willow. Wouldn't *that* be an ironic way to create Super-Evil-Willow!
I hope so ...

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Old 11-28-01, 10:11 AM
  #35  
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Originally posted by Patman
In this light, perhaps Willow's id finally was exposed and what Willow saw wasn't a pleasant sight, and her ego and super-ego forced her to come to grips with the wants of her id.
I may need a diagram for that one, but I think I know where you're going. Maybe you're making it more complicated than it needs to be.

Willow can continue along with her magic addiction in spite of how she sees it until something tragic happens to prove to her that something's wrong with what she's doing. My problem is that 1) we never got to examine the depths of her depression (because she never went through that period) and 2) the “tragic event” was never quite that tragic. On the second point, I think that had Dawn been unconscious and in really bad shape it might have sold it better. But it seemed that she got a worse beating from the demon than from the car accident. That was a mistake, IMO.

I don't think it makes a difference whether Dawn gets hurt as a direct result of magic, or because Willow was "high." But this could be a rationalization used for Willow's period of denial (next episode?). While I'll try to keep an open mind waiting for what comes next, I'll feel very cheated if her "instant recovery" is a done deal.
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Old 11-28-01, 10:12 AM
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Spike's troubles with girls comes from his "William" persona, where he never does think that he's good enough for the girls, and always sabotages his relationships.

He's destined to never know true love, only obsessive lust.
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Old 11-28-01, 10:32 AM
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I thought it was also funny that Dawn asked who was the Big Bad (asking about Buffy's patrol when she stayed out all night with Spike).
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Old 11-28-01, 11:06 AM
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Originally posted by Patman
I thought it was also funny that Dawn asked who was the Big Bad (asking about Buffy's patrol when she stayed out all night with Spike).
Do you think they're mocking us??
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Old 11-28-01, 11:07 AM
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Originally posted by Wizdar
Do you think they're mocking us??
Nah ... they say "Big Bad" as often as they say "Scooby Gang."

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Old 11-28-01, 12:06 PM
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Kinda late getting into this one, but I'm torn between the two opinions that seem to be dominating the posts - not so good and rushed, or good episode that hit the nail on the head, so to speak. I'm back and forth about it - liked the episode (that's not saying much as I've never seen one that I DIDN'T like ), but I guess I'll admit that Willow's supposed turn around seems way too sudden. That looked to be one of the main story arcs this season, so how can it be over so quickly? I'm with the people who are saying that it's not over yet...she'll succumb to the temptation.

The only other comment I had was, what do you think about the scene the morning after where Buffy goes to leave, Spike grabs her, says "that's not quite what I had in mind" (or something like that) and...well, I'm sure I'm not the only one who noticed SMG's face. Sex scenes are one thing but that was, in my opinion, really OMG. Uh, is it just me or is that getting a little risqué for prime time television? Or am I just not watching the right shows? LOL

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Old 11-28-01, 03:52 PM
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Well, loved the Buffy-Spike interaction. Have no idea which one is right, Spike thinking Buffy likes the Big Bad and could grow to love him- Buffy saying its shallow hormones and shes ashamed- Maybe both are somewhat right? Maybe both are completely wrong? Dont know, dont care, just cant wait to see how it plays out.

I’ll give a rousing. BOO!, HISS!, for magic as a drug metaphor. How lame... While everyone’s pro-con talk has been good about this, here is why I think it is wrong> Willow's previous actions, snapping, having an ego-superiority, a temper, and a callousness towards the repercussions of her magic- IN no way seemed to point towards magic as an emotional and physical "addiction". It seemed for me to be a spiritual thing, a malevolence taking over, being drawn in by power, not physically jonesing for it. This episode suddenly turns the whole Dark Willow business over, her threatening Giles, brainwashing Tara, why, because she’s addicted? I think its so after school special to turn Willow's magic plight into a physical-empathetic thing, instead of a pure spiritual-ego corruption. Hey, Alyson’s acting was great, her big breakdown, but steering the DarkWillow plot into Less than Zero territory is cheap. Playing it up to be a matter of self worth and physical pleasure is just too easy and frankly, a little idiotic (at least from what I’ve come to love about Buffys writing).
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Old 11-28-01, 04:54 PM
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Maybe this season will end with Willow turning evil and lead to an eventual showdown with Buffy next season in which Willow bites the dust.
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Old 11-28-01, 04:55 PM
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Mark another check down in the "severely disappointed" column. I've been watching Buffy since the beginning and this might very well be my least favorite episode. It wasn't terrible (no Buffy is), but I felt beat down by the drug metaphor. Every single drug cliche was used and in an obvious fashion. Plus, it unfolded in a predictable manner. This paint by numbers approach was very unBuffy. I want to believe this was done intentionally and for a reason. I have know idea what the purpose might be, but I hope the creative forces don't think the audience needs things presented so blatantly. Time will tell.

PS. I noticed the lack of Xander screen time as well.
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Old 11-28-01, 05:11 PM
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Fist and bluedevil, I think many of us were looking forward to see what new approach the “magic as drug” thing might bring. At least I was, and I am very disappointed. Maybe it’s too early to say, and something unexpected will make me eat my words.

Could happen.
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Old 11-28-01, 05:23 PM
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Yep, I think they definitely over did the drug addiction metaphor. I don't think that even the thickest of fans could've missed that.

A very dark episode. I liked it for the most part. I just don't think I need to see that much of James Marsters again in my life, though! Puts some pants on.

Keep in mind that they stipulated that BLACK magic was like that. Willow has been using black magic for awhile, that's where her sudden burst of power came from, and she's been using it for totally selfish reasons. I think she'll back off and then eventually do only 'good magic' but not this season.
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Old 11-28-01, 07:07 PM
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Originally posted by Breakfast with Girls
I just got hit with the big Blatant Analogy Mallet
Yep. It was pretty arse
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Old 11-29-01, 11:53 AM
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"Hi, I'm Willow and I'm a Magiholic."

The more I think about it, the more I hate this episode, more so than any of the other clunky (1st season) or kinda stupid (Beer Bad) ones Buffy has done... so one more rant...

So, whats next, are Anya and Giles now dope pushers and The Magic Box a crack house? "Dude you gotta' give me some wolvesbane."... I cannot stand the thought, knowing there will be a scene, prob next episode, where Willow must go into the Magic Box and face all the spells and such shes itching to use but cant. 'Ick'. Its going to be horrible.

Even if it turns into a minor plotline (which I doubt), it was just such a preachy, heavy handed, stupid, Lifetime movie, Degrassi Jr High move on the writers behalf. They took a dump on her behavior so far- Something Blue, wanting to curse Oz, resurrecting Buffy, going midevil on Glory, Tara brainwashing, and every time a bad guy looked at Willow (like Glory, the demon biker, the Something Blue vengeance demon) and said "She's got power", steering the viewers towards Dark Pheonix territory, which was great- complete spiritual takeover, darkness- now we get Refer Madness instead. Ugh, get back on track.
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Old 11-29-01, 12:32 PM
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Well, there's no way that it's 'over' for Willow. She just can't 'stop' what she's been doing. Maybe it is just to allay the Scoobies suspicions for awhile.

More 'neked' Spike!--it completely diffuses Buffy's defenses
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Old 11-29-01, 05:44 PM
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I was actually under the impression that Willow's magic drug trip created the demon, not her resurrection of Buffy, as someone stated.
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Old 11-29-01, 10:59 PM
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Originally posted by Smutman769
I was actually under the impression that Willow's magic drug trip created the demon, not her resurrection of Buffy, as someone stated.
I'd like to amend my stance on the Creepy DemonThing Of Doom to 'I have absolutely no idea where he came from.'

I figured he was a side effect of Buffy-raising because of the whole way she saw him (appearing from a rip in space, with Anonymous Blonde Chick in his arms--though, now I think that might be Tara, and not Buffy). Plus, I'd figured having him after Dawn because she's made of Buffy would make Dawn somewhat relevent to the story again.

But then, having him as a side-effect of Willow's trip at least explains how he 'died'. She sobered up, he went poof.

So, now I'm entirely at a loss.
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