Angel, Season 2 eps 5-8

24 Sep

Random meandering thoughts. Much of them of the swoony variety.


Dear Boy

How much do I *love and adore* Season 2 of AtS?? The Dargel(us), the Lindsgel, and the Dindsey.

And of course, these were still the days of the little Angel/Cordy/Wes family. Angel playing daddy to his two bickering children, except the only reason he was the daddy was ’cause he was the oldest. He was certainly no less screwed up. More so, actually.

On Cordelia: When I heard Cordelia was going over to the new Angel spin-off, I thought that was the most bizarre thing I’d ever heard. I mean, how much interaction did Cordelia and Angel have on BtVS, other than a little drool escaping Cordelia’s lips from time to time? Never were there two characters more different from each other, other than a shared taste for new clothes.

Which I guess was sort of the point. Angel was a sensitivebutdeep butt-kicking brooder, Cordelia was a tactless and shallow (yet insightful) cheerleader with an aversion to breaking her nails. The way she and Angel clashed like stripes and plaids gave him the metaphorical kick him in the butt he needed, and gave them such interesting chemistry in the first few seasons (and I means as friends. FRIENDS).

And it took an Angel to get Cordelia over her “girlsdon’tfightunlessthey’refreaks” thing and make her pick up an ax. I guess the show was trying to be progressive&all, it being the redheaded stepchild of BtVS, but it would have been *nice* if they’d TRAINED Cordelia first before throwing her into battle. Cordy didn’t learn how to use a sword until Season 3 and how disappointed am I that *that* story line got derailed.

No, Cordelia got invited to all the good brawls when all she was really good for was getting in the way and becoming a potential hostage so the manlymen had to bail her out (First Impressions, Dear Boy).

On Gunn: Is this really the first episode where Gunn finds out Angel is the way he is because he has a soul? Every vampire Gunn’s ever met, including his own sister, had been a vicious predator, but he’s been hanging with the gang for months now, side-kicking for Angel on all his little Darla/W&H sojourns, and he doesn’t know *why* the ‘good guy vampire’ is good? That makes it hard to believe that Gunn *ever* accepted Angel in the first place, no matter how he acted. But of course later (s. 3) we discover Gunn never did entirely accept Angel. He always had his doubts about him in the back of his mind (see thoughts below on Shroud of Rahmon).

On Angel/Angelus: How much do I *adore* Angelus? The first time I ever got lured into writing fanfic, it was to have the opportunity to write Angelus. He’s Angel but he’s not. His head is full of a thousand artistic machinations, and with Darla by his side, even more than that. This is the kind of psycho-sociopathic-head I wanted to wander through, psychoanalytically speaking. To understand Angel completely you need to understand Angelus: Liam’s dark side given free reign.

It’s like that meme we did a long time ago – what kind of Jossverse vampire would you be? What would *you* be like if you lost your soul?

Dear Boy is definitely one of my favorite episodes of Season 2. In one of the most chilling flashbacks of the entire show, they fill in the details of Angel’s confession to Buffy in “Lie to Me”. Drusilla and the convent. It’s where Darla really finally learns that her ignorant boy of “The Prodigal” has become the Grande Artiste of Evil, seeing torment and torture and death as a canvas for him to act out those artistic urges he should have kept to drawings and graphite.

I don’t think Dear Boy is my favoritefavorite of Season 2, having to compete against eps like “Reunion” and “Darla” and “Reprise”, but damn, it’s beautiful. The conversation in the water tank between Angel and Darla about happiness and their 150 years together and Buffy is pulled straight from a conversation between ANY ex-husband and a wife jilted for a younger woman – full of the same angry bitterness and blame.

This was the first episode where I finally realized that M.E. was trying to use these two characters to talk about marriage, to explore all the facets of a relationship between two lover-companions. More on this when I get to “Darla”.

One final thought before I leave Dear Boy. Watching a season in retrospect is a much different experience than watching it in first run. People have been commenting about this with their Angel Season 4 DVDs, especially in relation to the whole “Who is Cordelia?” question, because during Season 4’s run, even before “Calvary”, volumes of pixels were spilled trying to figure out what was going on with Cordelia.

The big mystery of season 2 was trying to figure out what Wolfram and Hart was up to. They’d spent good time and money in Season 1 trying to kill Angel, and now they apparently had changed their minds. Now they didn’t want him dead, they wanted him… dark? distracted (and out of their hair)? It wasn’t quite clear for the longest time, but sicing Darla on him was part of The Plan. And M.E. made it murkier by having some characters claim W&H wanted Angelus back, and other characters claim they just wanted souled Angel dark.

Guise Will Be Guise

This is one of those episodes that in retrospect we look to for The Making of Wesley. But at the time it aired, it seemed not only a filler episode, but a comedy episode as well. Oooh, we *all* know Wesley wants to be Angel deep down, or not-so deep down. He played Rogue Demon Hunter in Season 1 all dressed up in big brother’s clothes. And now he’s trying again.

Certainly we all knew at the time that M.E. was trying to develop Wesley more, toughen him up as it were. But Wesley already had a niche (bookman) unique from Angel’s, and it seemed they were just trying to make him more like Angel.

I don’t know where M.E. was trying to take Wesley at the time, but they certainly did not turn him into Angel in the long run. What they eventually succeeded in doing was turning him into Wesley, a character not so much like Angel at all, but more like the Wesley we already knew, only dark and hardened.

The Wesley of seasons 4 and 5 – THAT would have been hard to imagine when GWBG first aired.

And yet in retrospect, it seems such a natural progression.

I suppose at the time they were just beefing Wesley up for the whole Noir Angel arc, when they put Wesley in de facto charge of the Gang. Being forced to play Angel in GWBG and succeeding was a boost to Wesley’s self-esteem.

I have to admit that in the main, Wesley didn’t interest me much in Season 1 or 2. I didn’t spend a whole lot of time thinking about him (especially with all the distractions — Hey! Darla and Angel(us), ooh, shiny!)

So. Question. What would you say are the *key* episodes in making Wesley into the Wesley we knew and worshipped in seasons 4 and 5?

Darla

Yo. Check it out:

http://www.ohbythewaywehavedarlastashedhere.com/

Season four will always be known as the season of the “turgid supernatural soap-opera”, but let’s face it, once M.E. got into the arc-groove with AtS (starting mostly in Season 2), it got soapy. Angel is obsessed with Darla, Lindsey is obsessed with Darla, Darla wants Angel, but really she wants Angelus, *and* she wants to be a vampire again, ’cause that’s all she’s known for 400 years. Meanwhile, Angel and Lindsey have some weird love-to-hate-you-baby thing going on that doesn’t exactly help them with their mutual goal of helping Darla. And Cordelia and Wesley and Gunn and us are the unwitting audience to all this drama.

I love it, but then I love soap opera.

So the episode starts out with Darla finally feeling the weight of her soul. Took her seven episodes, but that’s the nature of Post Traumatic Stress, and 22-episode story lines. It takes time for the wackiness to kick in.

Darla’s crisis has both a moral angle and a metaphysical one. I’m a big time sucker for identity crises (“Who am I?”), which goes a long way to explaining why I adore the Family!Angel (Angel(us), Darla, Connor)–they never know whothefuck they are from one day to the next.

Darla wants to answer both the moral and metaphysical problems she’s facing with a nice vamping. A vampire doesn’t have to deal with the moral issues (“OMG I spent 400 years murdering, pillaging, and torturing!!1!”), and being a vampire is the most familiar, safe identity she’s ever had.

And somehow she imagines Angel’s going to help her with that. That he’s going to understand the torment of a soul (well of course he will) so well that he’ll plainly see the answer is to turn her back into a vicious killer (huh?).

The source of all Darla’s confusion and longing is explained in a series of flashbacks, starting with her first human life as a prostitute, disdained by her society and equally disdaining of them. Then we see her as the rebellious daughter of the Master, running off with the guy Daddy doesn’t approve of.

In the gypsy camp memory, Darla is the abandoned mother. Well, she dumped Angel(us), it’s true, but she did it because she felt she had to — he wasn’t “the man she married” anymore. But that left her as the harried divorced mother with the unruly kids, wanting to have her old love back, but unable to get him back as he was.

Darla is one hundred shining archetypal facets, reflecting so many of the passages of a woman’s life.

And then there’s China.

OMG. *squees*

How much do I ADORE the Fanged Four?

Each of these actors was hired on their own individual merits, so who could know there’d be so much A/Da chemistry, Dr/S chemistry, A/S chemistry, Da/Dr chemistry, and A/Dr chemistry (and probably Da/S chemistry if they’d been given any scenes together). The four of them rocked like a rocking thing.

Souled Angel returns to Darla because, like Darla longing to be a vampire again, Darla is all Angel knows.

During the China scenes, Angel and Darla keep referring to “the whirlwind”. One imagines this is a euphemism for murder and mayhem, but it’s also the term they use for their relationship, their companionship, their shared passion. They don’t dare call it “love”. Not because it *isn’t* love. These two were not sentimental people when they were human, they were cynics, and they’re not going to change now.

Then we get Angel and Darla in the present. Darla cracking up, and therefore becoming useless to Wolfram and Hart as a tool to manipulate Angel. So they plan to kill her. Lindsey wants to help Darla, but Darla runs to Angel. But Angel won’t give her what she wants. And so as Angel once ran out on Darla in 1900, Darla runs out on Angel in 2000. An echo of one hundred years. We see the epicness of these two. EPICNESS, people, EPICNESS.

One final note – This is one of those episodes where the gang is clueless and Gunn cuts right through the crap with common sense. How anyone, especially Gunn, thought he was just the muscle puzzles the hell out of me.

The Shroud of Rahmon

OK, this episode brings up what is probably the single most important issue of Season 2 – Cordelia’s hair.

Honestly, for — How Many Episodes — ? CC used hair extensions to hide her hair cut, which was shorter, but still attractive and yeah! still dark. Then she started lightening it. *shudders* You know, despite what you’ve heard, L.A. is not full of blondes, and CC is probably one of the most gorgeous brunettes on television. So *what* was HER DEAL??!!

The Hair definitely foreshadowed the downfall of Cordy.

On Gunn: This episodes helps reveal the basic distrust Gunn has of Angel. He tries not to show it most days, but it’s under there, and I don’t think I realized that when I watched this season the first time through. Gunn seemed so buddy-buddy with Angel most of the time.

So I found it confusing that Gunn and Angel were sniping at each other in this episode long before they came under the influence of the Evil Cloth. Yeah, some of that has to do with Angel being a paternalistic jerk, and Gunn, who has taken care of himself his whole life, not going for being patronized. But he doesn’t trust Angel-the-vampire, either, and that doesn’t get revealed until the Cloth kicks in.

On Angel: Angel as Jay-Don. You know, one of my pet peeves is when a television or film character gets it into their heads that they’re going to try acting and then does a good job. *Of course* they do a good job, ’cause it’s not the character doing the acting, it’s the ACTOR!

I believe that David Boreanaz could pull off playing a character like Jay-Don, ’cause he did. But I don’t believe Angel could. Or maybe it’s just that we’re so used to the morose, serious Angel that we forget he has other facets to him Angelus that he can draw on when he needs to.

And no one can dispute that Angel’s a great big dork.

My other pet peeve in this episode? They have Angel drink human blood and then hint that this might have ~reprecussions~ (ooooh). But does it really? His Noir period really wasn’t about fighting the blood-thirst within. So maybe that oooooh! was just there to make Wesley and Cordelia more cautious about him, to make them more likely to think he was having trouble (as if they weren’t before).

On Kate: O.K., I can see why people didn’t like Kate. She was cranky, a LOT (which, frankly, turns me on, but that’s just me) and she didn’t give Angel the benefit of the doubt as we do. But she just had her own issues, see? And they didn’t all have to do with her father. She was a cop and that was in her blood, and she was in love with keeping the peace and with justice and the law and due process and official channels. Kate was a gal of the System, and Angel was a (sometimes pretty arrogant) ousider to the System.

And then she discovers that there’s this whole side to crime in L.A. that no other cop is paying attention to. Of course she’s going to become obsessed with it. That that obsession becomes her downfall, the thing that ousts her from the only world she’s ever known, her family in Blue, is a resonance with the similar fates of Angel(us) and Darla and the larger story of Season 2.

40 Responses to “Angel, Season 2 eps 5-8”

  1. cornerofmadness September 24, 2004 at 3:20 pm #

    Here’s me procrastinating too. I NEED to get that story done. Hmm, maybe I’ll just answer part of this now.

    Never were there two characters more different from each other, other than a shared taste for new clothes.” – Snort. Good point. I figured she was the one character they could most easily stand to lose off Buffy because could you really see her hanging around going to SU? Still, they almost seemed to come together a little too easily. Then agian, I suppose it was a matter of survival for Cordy. She’s already seen what being an ‘actress’ gets her. Angel looked like a paycheck and she was always attracted to him.

    “but it would have been *nice* if they’d TRAINED Cordelia first before throwing her into battle.” – No kidding. I would have liked the let’s train her scenes from S3 to have been here. ANd no, to whomever decided all kinesthetic movements are the same. Just because she can get dance/cheers down pat with one try does not mean she’ll have the hand/eye for sword fighting without practice.

    “On Gunn: Is this really the first episode where Gunn finds out Angel is the way he is because he has a soul? Every vampire Gunn’s ever met, including his own sister, had been a vicious predator, but he’s been hanging with the gang for months now, side-kicking for Angel on all his little Darla/W&H sojourns, and he doesn’t know *why* the ‘good guy vampire’ is good? That makes it hard to believe that Gunn *ever* accepted Angel in the first place, no matter how he acted. “

    Boy did this ever bother the crap out of me (notice, they never really tell Connor why Angel’s good either. Maybe it happened off screen or something but he had to be sitting there wondering about how they’re turning Angel into ANgelus and how this works). Gunn came around way too easily especially given his history. I would have wanted more about him and his sister, not necessarily him crying on and on about Alonna but at least acknowledging later that she did exist and have an impact on his life.

    And I did wonder about W&H going from trying to kill ANgel to wanting him dark. I guess later they ‘found’ a prophecy or something that changed their direction. I do wonder if W&H were meant to be the big bad consistantly or not. If so, you’d think they’d have known Angel from Sunnydale because I don’t buy they didn’t know there was a) a hellmouth b) a Slayer within a two hour drive. Not a group known throughout dimensions as evil as they were…ah, the problems of not having your main players mapped out from the get-go (or someone meant to be small becoming huge and you weren’t set up for it, Angel, Spike, I’m looking at you two).

  2. neshaffer September 24, 2004 at 4:02 pm #

    They definitely planned to send CC over to Angel and did a big build-up for that in Season 3 of BtVS, breaking her up with Xander, having her dad lose all his money, forcing her to go to L.A. to seek her fortune rather than going to some expensive East Coast college. This put her in a position to need to rely on someone in L.A., and someone familiar comes along. Yeah, it was all a little manipulated, story-line-wise, but it worked out well. For a couple years, anyway. *ack*

    Although W&H no doubt new where the Slayer lived and all, I doubt Angel was a blip on their radar until he moved to L.A. He was sewer-boy for so long, and they didn’t actually find and/or interpret the prophecies about the VWaS in terms of Angel until the end of Season 1. I think the Shanshu prophecy and the prophecy about the Vampire with a Soul’s role in the final Apocalyptic battle being murky were part of the same prophecy. I have this whole thing worked out about how those two prophecies don’t contradict each other, but I don’t have it near me at the moment. It will be relevent during the Noir Angel episodes, so I guess I’ll talk about it then.

  3. buffyannotater September 24, 2004 at 4:20 pm #

    So. Question. What would you say are the *key* episodes in making Wesley into the Wesley we knew and worshipped in seasons 4 and 5?

    Hmm…GWBG, as you said…definitely Billy…the Pylea arc, particularly when he chooses to sacrifice some of the men…the season 3 Connor arc, of course.

    Also, although it didn’t develop Wesley into the man we know in S4 and 5, the battle-hardened, world-weary and scarred Wesley from Birthday does foreshadow it.

  4. neshaffer September 24, 2004 at 4:29 pm #

    Wow, haven’t thought about the alterno-verse of Birthday in a while, but that’s no doubt because I haven’t watched Season 3 in over a year and a half. I’m chomping at the bit to get to Season 3, because I have Connor essays to write and other stuff to do.

    In my reviews so far, I’ve been interested in the development of Gunn, how he gets from the Gunn we meet in War Zone to the “I’m just the muscle” Fang Gang Gunn of Season 4. I’ve been less interested in the development of Wesley because so much more has been said about Wesley. And, because frankly, the real meaty Wesley development episodes are yet to come.

    But watching Guise Will Be Guise, there’s almost a surrealness about remembering my initial reaction to that episode and my perception of Wesley back then. Because even though Gunn changed quite a bit, he still “felt” like Gunn, even in War Zone. But Wesley? Wesley became almost a completely different person. And yet at the same time, he’s just a twisted photocopy of himself back then (S. 2 AtS), or in Season 3 of BtVS.

  5. cornerofmadness September 24, 2004 at 4:44 pm #

    The only problem I have with this is well I problem I had with the show. EVERYONE seemed to know Angel, especially as we went on. He’s recognized on sight by 90% of L.A’s demon population as the vampire with the soul. I guess he would be a cautionary tale for vampires after all (as Spike later whined about being) So, if the demons knew him so well, it’s hard to see how W&H didn’t. Maybe they just didn’t consider him a player until the prophecy came to light. After all, Angel was pretty toothless until Buffy picked him up out of the muck. Even in the first season of Buffy he spends most of his time giving her cryptic messages and doing his best not to engage the Master

  6. neshaffer September 24, 2004 at 4:55 pm #

    I don’t see the problem here. Angel didn’t start being recognized by demons in L.A. until he set up his business and started making life hard for Wolfram and Hart. I mean, which demons were recognizing him as the VWaS until W&H did?

    Angel started getting a rep by running around town killing demons, and in particular, by running around town killing vampires. I guess I see the demon underworld of L.A. as sort of being like a small town, like perhaps the Gay “underworld” of New York City or L.A. was back in the early part of the 20th century, where, because everyone had to go to the same bars and faced the same persecution, people tended to know each other and gossiped a lot. Angel would get a reputation pretty fast, being a demon who set up a business whose business it was to kill other demons, and who made an enemy of W&H, who demons in L.A. went to for protection and favors.

    OK, now my imagination is spinning with this demon underworld stuff. I smell a fic.

  7. cornerofmadness September 24, 2004 at 5:28 pm #

    See to me it was a huge problem, especially as the series rolled on. There was no one who didn’t know and that’s not a good thing to be known. And again, we have an organization that has fingers in several dimensions, how could they NOT know? Even the Watchers knew Angel up to a point until he got souled. W&H should have had a clue and they didn’t and of course really they couldn’t have because they didn’t come in until S4 of BUffy otherwise they wouldn’t be setting up so close to someone who could put a real monkey wrench in their plans. Again here comes in the logistics of what do you do when you suddenly go a different direction than what you have planned and can’t retcon anything that much.

  8. hankat September 24, 2004 at 5:41 pm #

    Comment on Darla

    I’ve always written a fair bit about Darla as she is a character that never had a chance and instead of taking shit decided to dish some out….look out pious families with kiddies. As a character Darla came in the Whore and left the Madonna…who would have quessed that could or would happen?

    Rufus

  9. dlgood September 24, 2004 at 8:18 pm #

    I guess the show was trying to be progressive & all (snip) but it would have been *nice* if they’d TRAINED Cordelia first before throwing her into battle. (snip) Cordelia got invited to all the good brawls when all she was really good for was getting in the way and becoming a potential hostage so the manlymen had to bail her out

    This, essentially, is the same device ME used so frequently with Xander on BtVS. In this case, having him be the damsel so the KickButt Women could bail him out. Xander goes into fight after fight alongside Buffy for seven years, and it never occurs to anyone on the writing staff that it might make some sense to show him working out or training? Often, units and teams are limited by the weakest member, and it makes all concerned look dumb for never paying attention to skill development.

    And so as Angel once ran out on Darla in 1900, Darla runs out on Angel in 2000. An echo of one hundred years. We see the epicness of these two. EPICNESS, people, EPICNESS.

    This is a device ME really liked to use, and when done right it works really well. Consider the parallels they use regarding Liam and Buffy’s stories in Becoming – and the numerous parallels they’ll use with Buffy and Faith.

    This episodes helps reveal the basic distrust Gunn has of Angel. He tries not to show it most days, but it’s under there, and I don’t think I realized that when I watched this season the first time through. Gunn seemed so buddy-buddy with Angel most of the time.

    Given Gunn’s background, it’s sort of tough to imagine him really trusting people that aren’t from his neighborhood. (and even those) As tight as he’ll get with them, and even as he identifies with the mission, he’s always got a sense of separation in the back of his mind because of those race/class/species/socio-economic background differences.

  10. neshaffer September 24, 2004 at 10:37 pm #

    One reason I’m glad I write novels and not television! You can always go back to make the beginning consistent with the ending. ; )

  11. neshaffer September 24, 2004 at 10:43 pm #

    Re: Comment on Darla

    Yes, I’m struggling a bit with her Madonna ending. Saved through her sacrifice for her child. It’s a little old-fashioned in its sentiments, but I think if you look at Darla through her entire story line, through everything they explored with her, which really was 100 different archetypes of coupledom and a woman’s experience, real motherhood was about the only thing left they hadn’t done with her.

    And of course, I did like the results of her motherhood story. ; )

  12. neshaffer September 24, 2004 at 10:50 pm #

    Consider the parallels they use regarding Liam and Buffy’s stories in Becoming – and the numerous parallels they’ll use with Buffy and Faith.

    Examples? Esp in the Liam / Buffy case.

  13. neshaffer September 24, 2004 at 10:59 pm #

    Oh, nice icon, btw. I didn’t even notice you weren’t “blinking”. ; )

  14. cornerofmadness September 24, 2004 at 11:26 pm #

    yes it’s one that just sits there and looks pretty.

  15. cornerofmadness September 24, 2004 at 11:29 pm #

    Yes! Then again I tend to write series of novels and I find myself running into the same damn problem…like the brat who just insists he’s the main character’s bastard son. So where were YOU when I wrote book #1 Oh I was with my mentor, you remember, the other main character’s occasional gay lover whom you thought was a toss off character. Think again. Go back and rescript. Argh.

    At least I excised the latest Connor story from my brain onto ‘page’ now to clean it up before he changes his mind about the details again

  16. neshaffer September 25, 2004 at 5:32 am #

    Ah! Characters who change their minds about the details in mid-story. I know them well! The little scoundrels. I love the hell out of them for taking over the story, but they make rewriting HELL.

  17. cornerofmadness September 25, 2004 at 7:59 am #

    Yes indeed they do so I should be more forgiving of ME from time to time when this obviously happens to them.

    As a side note on the other discussion, I usually fanwank W&H knowing where BUffy was just to be sure what she wasn’t in their way and for that matter inmy stories not ALL the Watchers died in S7 because while I can buy that London was the main branch I will not believe it was the only place Watchers could be found. Surely they had to have had branch offices. Nothing else really makes sense to me.

    I had thoughts on your other stuff but the computer kept backing up mid typing and I got mad. Will try again in Word then paste it…

  18. neshaffer September 25, 2004 at 8:05 am #

    Of course not all the Watchers died in season 7. That just makes sense. A lot of their power was taken away in the destruction of the main branch, but, yeah.

    I guess I see less problems than you do in the ME story lines because I assume certain Wank going in. I’m a plot-hole filler by nature, I don’t like having to be overly critical of a show, it takes the fun out of it for me, so I fill in as many holes as I can before I say, “OK, this part really IS a problem.” And interestingly, a little Wank goes a long with with ME. I’ve rarely come across something that was such a big problem I couldn’t Wank it no matter how hard I tried (about the only example I can think of at the moment of the un-Wankable: Buffy being able to stand in for Dawn in closing Glory’s Key-portal in The Gift).

  19. cornerofmadness September 25, 2004 at 8:13 am #

    Oh yes, you very much hit one of the holes that I can’t just deal with. Granted its a very angsty ending and much of the time I wish that’s where the series would have ended but there is just no way that would work. None, not even if Dawn was made from Buffy’s DNA.

    I tend to be a little critical, my nature really that I try hard to curb lest I turn into my grandmother who is well beyond ciritcal into the realm of utter bitch most of the time.

  20. neshaffer September 25, 2004 at 8:18 am #

    much of the time I wish that’s where the series would have ended

    Yeah, during Seasons 6 and 7 I was pretty much out to lunch on what was going on on BtVS. I watched the eps, I taped them. I did my episodes analyses for my website. But I was so enamored of AtS at that point (Seasons 3 and 4) that AtS was pretty much all I wanted to talk about, fandom-wise. And the aggravating thing was that over at the discussion board of my website, no one wanted to talk about AtS. They all wanted to talk about BtVS (this was especially true during Season 6). Every new thread was about BtVS. Every OTHER thread was about Spike.

    I never cared one way or another about Spike, didn’t love him, didn’t hate him, didn’t much care. But over the course of that year I came to loathe him just because I got so sick of seeing his name!

  21. cornerofmadness September 25, 2004 at 8:33 am #

    so you can imagine how I felt. I LOVED Spike. Much of my fanfic is SPike/Dru historical fic. I didn’t like where they went with Buffy/Spike. Had it been a short interlude of her going dark I could have handled it (which is what it was meant to be but got so dragged out that even JM and SMG were trying to stop it). I got so sick of SPike and then they put him on Angel. As much as I love the character I burned out. Ihaven’t written him outside of a supporting character since S6.

    I did the same thing, tape them and for the most part NOT watch them. Ditto with S3 of Angel as you already know my loathing for that. I’ll eventually have a collection that goes Ats 12,4… but S7 of BUffy bored me and I had S4 of Angel to concentrate on. I tend to stay off the boards with a few exceptions to keep away from arguing bitterly which I knew would happen with those who rationalize the rape scene etc etc.

  22. neshaffer September 25, 2004 at 8:37 am #

    All that Spike stuff during Season 6… so glad it’s of the past now. Got so so tired of it all.

    People will rationalize anything to keep their image of a favorite character. You know, I love Connor, but I don’t excuse the things he did. Maybe in canon he never had to face the consequences of helping kill that girl in Inside Out, but I think that kind of stuff will come back to haunt him. I’m sure it does in fic somewhere.

  23. cornerofmadness September 25, 2004 at 8:49 am #

    Yep and yes, what Connor did does come back to haunt him (or at least make him hide it) in my future fic. In Like Stone, it’s turned him into a very cold man. In Hyperion’s Son where he’s just remembering it, it’ll have dire effects. In others, I’ve wanked it that Jasmine had total control over his mind (I contend that she did to an extent. after all, who gets on their knees to worship their child? That ain’t normal.)

    For that matter, I STILL want to do a fic with Giles living with killing Ben no matter how necessary and I do have one of Giles making Xander face the deaths his demon summoning with Sweet cost. Somewhere is one of my few essays crime and punishment in buffyland where I look at just how much people get away with. It was spawned from Inside Out when the hoards of Connor haters went nuts about how irredeemable he was now…okay then, let’s have a look at how many murderers we have on both shows…

  24. neshaffer September 25, 2004 at 9:23 am #

    Pick a character, there are always fans who say she or he is “irredeemable”. I get so tired of fandom sometimes. I don’t think any M.E. character is irredeemable, at least in theory, but it’s all a matter of choices–the choices the characters make, the choices the writers make, the demands of the larger story line.

    I get that fans want to see these characters as real people with flaws, etc, that’s the fun of enjoying a TV show or a novel or whatever. But people’s own inner issues really fuel their opinions, and they fuel the debates, and it all becomes sort of a pointless war of Rorschach inkblots after a while. That’s in part why I don’t read much fan fic at all. More Rorschach inkblots. If I could cut to the chase and find just the fics that reflected my own inner interpretation, that’d be cool, but slogging through everything, I don’t have the patience. ; )

  25. cornerofmadness September 25, 2004 at 10:35 am #

    To be honest, that’s why I pick a select few to read. Author’s I know and trust. Now I’ll branch off and look at stuff I wouldn’t normally for these guys and if I see someone I don’t know and the summary sounds good I’ll give it a whirl but for the most part i’m fast on the delete button.

    I also try to feedback people who do the same for me but that can be a trial. I’ve got a few who love to bash. I hate fic’s that do that. Occasionally I’m hard on a character but I have no tolerance for seeing characters written out of character just because the author hates them and wants to ridicule them.

  26. neshaffer September 25, 2004 at 10:51 am #

    I’m not really part of the whole fanfic subculture, so I don’t know a whole lot about it. Me and some of my website friends are working on writing a Season 6 for Angel (we’ve got some good original fic writers and a built-in audience, so hopefully it will be interesting, and not be too repetitive of other efforts). It’s like my second attempt to write fan fic, ever (the other was the Fanged Four thing mentioned above).

    I’ve tried to read fanfic, but it’s never really caught on with me. People talk about how they get addicted to it, but it doesn’t seem to have that effect me. I can take it or leave it. Some people tell me I just haven’t read the right fanfic, but their recommendations haven’t changed my reaction. Not sure why.

  27. cornerofmadness September 25, 2004 at 11:55 am #

    Some people just don’t get into it, no matter how much they love it. I’ve been doing it since I was 10 so that’s what 27 years of this? My addiction comes and goes, mind you. And I’ve always been more a writer than a reader (which makes me feel guilty)

    What is cool about it is, I’ve made lifelong friends thru fanfic back in the paper day and now, I do have a broad group of correspondents that keep me sane. AND if I get that dumb novel sold I have a built in audience like you mentioned. NOT a bad thing.

  28. neshaffer September 25, 2004 at 12:03 pm #

    And I’ve always been more a writer than a reader (which makes me feel guilty)

    That’s what I’ve been feeling. I’ve enjoyed my experiences writing it, but I don’t read it at all, and that makes me feel like a hypocrite.

  29. cornerofmadness September 25, 2004 at 1:06 pm #

    Trust me, I know the feeling. So I do tend to stick to reading the stuff by my friends (i.e. people I know who handle characters much as I might) and my more feverent fans and I wish I could do more but that’s just not possible or I’d never write anything at all. Something I keep prodding my co-writer about. Time to quit reading and time to get to work.

  30. neshaffer September 25, 2004 at 1:12 pm #

    I guess there are plenty of good readers to go around, but not as many good writers. Guess I’ll try not to feel guilty about that. ; )

  31. cornerofmadness September 25, 2004 at 2:30 pm #

    there, now that’s a good way to look at it.

    Well I’m off to hike to Spur Lake

  32. neshaffer September 25, 2004 at 2:36 pm #

    Have fun and hike for me!

    *misses nature*

  33. cornerofmadness September 25, 2004 at 3:13 pm #

    Hike got cut short. Duck season. I do NOT trust their aim. WIll hike in the opposite direction (which is far less fun).

    Ah well, back to writing up my lecture on the penis

  34. neshaffer September 25, 2004 at 3:25 pm #

    From ducks to penises. An interesting afternoon. ; )

  35. cornerofmadness September 25, 2004 at 3:49 pm #

    yes. ANd now there’s guns going off all over. it’s like nearly 6 pm. Now I went out around 4:30…there hadn’t been shotguns all day and NOW it’s like world war three. Wish I had heard that before heading out. I do not want hit by duck shot.

    ANd penises yes, I’m waiting for the inane questions on monday.

  36. neshaffer September 25, 2004 at 3:52 pm #

    Maybe the duck hunters will all shoot each other. Could have amusement value.

  37. cornerofmadness September 25, 2004 at 4:29 pm #

    Well given how some of them position themselves like morons on the lake it can happen.

    Hey two ducks just flew by my window…go duckies.

  38. dlgood September 26, 2004 at 5:22 pm #

    I’m looking back, and most of what I’m thinking about is more a case of parallel storytelling over time, rather than the direct parallel as with Angel & Darla in “Darla”.

    The way Buffy beating Spike in Dead Things is the echo of Faith-in-Buffy from S4. (And probably would have worked just as well had it been Buffy sleeping with Faith and pummeling her instead of Spike had the casting been swapped…)

    Th Liam-Buffy parallel comes in retrospect as we learn more of Liam’s life in S1-AtS. The flashback scenes in Becoming take on some extra significance. Knowing more about his youth and his family, the scene of him eavesdropping on the argument in the Summers has a different significance.

    Buffy being told not to come back by her mother preceding the event that defines what her life is as a slayer means as much as anything else does. Liam being cast out by his father before his turning by Darla, which, IMHO, defines for Angel what his life as a human was.

    This is stuff ME likes to do, and it’s really cool when it works. (Like all the ways in which Becoming is a refrain on all sorts of elements from “When She Was Bad” — or how the sewer breakup in “The Prom” is an echo of Buffy leaving Angel in “Lover’s Walk”.

  39. neshaffer September 27, 2004 at 5:08 am #

    I was very aware of the Faith S. 3/Spike S. 6 parallels, lots of people were. Less so about the other ones.

    Buffy being told not to come back by her mother preceding the event that defines what her life is as a slayer means as much as anything else does. Liam being cast out by his father before his turning by Darla, which, IMHO, defines for Angel what his life as a human was.

    This is stuff ME likes to do, and it’s really cool when it works. (Like all the ways in which Becoming is a refrain on all sorts of elements from “When She Was Bad” — or how the sewer breakup in “The Prom” is an echo of Buffy leaving Angel in “Lover’s Walk”.

    Obviously the parallels of leaving between Angel and Darla in “Darla” were deliberate, but I wonder if some of the other parallels (both Buffy and Liam getting “kicked out”, etc, or the Spike/Fatih parallels in lecturing Buffy) were. As a writer, I’ve noticed that I end up writing about the same themes again and again because they have personal meaning to me. Parallel events happen to the same characters (in different stories or in the same story), not so much because I intended it that way, but because I’m one person and I tend to write about the same themes again and again.

    It ends up having a really cool effect sometimes if it’s in the same story. And sometimes I just cringe because I’m just being repetitive and not imaginative enough.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Angel, Season 2 eps 9-11 « Infinite Doorways - May 16, 2012

    […] the episode “Darla”, Wolfram and Hart appeared to drag Darla off to kill her (Holland’s, “We’re […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: