Post by Wedgied Unconscious on Feb 3, 2004 21:51:59 GMT -5
I did love the comment someone made about Spike being all in white at the end. Anybody have more comments on that? That hadn't really registered with me. I guess I was just finding it odd to see a vampire as a patient in the hospital!
Glad that someone noticed that too. Like Gandalf, bwa!
I liked this episode and thought it was a brilliant follow up to "Soul Perpose". This season just keeps getting better and better and better! A couple of things I did notice was that there was more Matrix style fighting (the sweeping kick before dana threw spike out the window, the dodging of Andrews bullet). Also to me Spike seemed almost unsouled in the episode, enjoying "egging on" his victim or who he thought was his victim. It was almost like season 2 Spike in my eyes. Especially with the reference to the boxer rebelion slayer "I don't speak chinese". His facial expressions were near enough exactly the same.
Roll on 100th Episode!
Excellent review, Nan, as usual. I really have nothing to add to it, but I wanted to acknowledge it.
On Dev's comment; I didn't see Spike as being Season 2-ish during his first attempt to battle Dana. He THOUGHT that he was facing a demon who had possessed an innocent young woman; and it was the demon he was egging on, goading it to try to make it leave ITS victim. I remember him challenging the demon by saying it was 'hiding behind a little girl', which implies a certain scorn for an entity that would misuse a child/helpless woman in that way.
The Duster... When Dana pulled it off I thought exactly what others have thought...The slayer is taking it back! Yes, Robin tried to strip him of it as well and that didn't work so well. Not sure how I feel about whether he should give it up for good. To me, I see it as a symbol of his strength and power, not just a symbol of his "evil" or as a trophy.
The Hands... This was my take: All I could think of was Shakespeare, "Out Damn spot!." Basically I saw it as Spike can't wash the blood off his hands even if you take his hands away. (totally didn't catch the forearm thing). As was discussed before he was forced to see his victims for perhaps the very first time as real people.
Two things I didn't see the same way. The first was that I never for an instant thought that Spike was the one who tortured Dana. As soon as they showed his face in her "memory" I immediately just assumed she was mixing her reality and her dementia. I think that was based solely on knowing that would be out of character for Spike to do the long drawn out torture thing.
The other was Spike's comment at the end: "More’n I’d like. But not as much as you would [like me to be in]. Just what I deserve." When I watched that scene I took it as Spike implying that Angel would want to suffer even more: "But not as much as you would [want to suffer]." I thought he was commenting on Angel's self punishment. Now I think "But not as much as you would [like me to be in]." makes more sense.
I also found it interesting that Andrew stuck with Spike. Was it because he doesn't trust Angel & Co., simply because he "knows" Spike but not the others, because he was more sure of who could find the girl or some other reason?
Just my two cents on all of it! My favorite ep this season so far. I think they've really hit a good stride.
Well thought out and laid out comments. Thanks
I think we all agree that the duster has some symbolic value but (beating a dead horse here) I'm ready for Spike to move on from it as much as from Buffy. Be his own man--without relying (superstitiously?) on the "power of the duster". Find an identity for himself that goes beyond it. I mean, he literally wraps himself in it half the time. It hides him from the world--helps keep it at bay. It's a costume for the "Big Bad" persona and he needs to move beyond that.
It wasn't until I rewatched the ep that I realized what people were talking about with regard to believing that Spike had actually totured her. It never, never even occurred to me--I had the exact same reaction as you.
As for the "pain" comment. I thought I was having a big revelation when, on 2nd viewing I saw the ["but more than you would like me to be"] interpretation. Then, on 3rd viewing I again became uncertain, thought maybe he did me [" more than you would want to suffer"]. So--I think it is a very cleverly written line--could go either way.
Andrew--I think he follow Spike a) because--hey, it's Spike, but also b) because Spike was out actively looking for Dana. The others were still back at W & H.
"Yes, well, I, uh, I appreciate your thoughts on the matter, I, in fact I... well, I encourage you to, to always, uh, challenge me, uh, when you feel it's appropriate. You should never be cowed by authority. Except, of course, in this instance, when I am clearly right and you are clearly wrong."
I'm with you here. I know lots and lots of folks disagree, but I would be insanely happy not to hear bugger all about sodding Buffy.
Not that I don't love her. I do. But her story is over, for now at least, and her constant haunting of Angel stands in danger of damaging the show's independence.
I did, however, appreciate the "Scoobie update", and wouldn't mind if there was an occasional (like, say, once a season) cameo by a Scoobie. . .but honestly, I don't want any season to revolve around it.
But in the writers' defense, I'm pretty sure they're of the same mind, but they need to give the fans what they want (need?) on some level, and lots of the fans need some closure on the Buffy story. More closure, that is. We got a lot of that last week, and what's left (that's likely to be addressed) is the big ole' Buffy and Spike bugaboo. Which will need to be dealt with on some level.
Phone call? I mean, really - pick up the phone, have a Lineage-like one-way phone call, and then we're out.
I completely agree with everything you said. I'm so ready to move on and see what our guys can be without their wondering "WWBD." There is just so much more to them than Buffy. But, like you, I was glad for the Scoobie update, but I am very saddened that Andrew did not make mention of Anya's death. But maybe that is one of the things he's in therapy for, and still can't discuss it.
Nan, as usual, I loved your Nanalysis. This was such a complicated episode and you did a great job of breaking it down and giving me more to think about.
Great review, Nan. I have not read all the other comments, so I am probably repeating what has already been said. I liked the focus on the head, heart and hands. If I remember my Trixie Beldon books correctly there is an American (?) group called 4H (Head Heart and Hands with a missing H that I cannot recall). It seems appropriate to link an organisation dedicated to helping people with this ep because this ep seemed to be on focusing on helping the damaged and the best way to do it. The theme seemed to be recurring to me. The Psychiatric Institution. The medicine. Andrew receiving counselling. Spike in a type of hospital. It could be that it is just the flip side of damage (i.e. healing), however there was a couple of incidents that made me less sanguine. First the Psychiatric Nurse had a cousin who was already working at W&H (what does that say about the cousin?) who wanted to get a job at W&H because of the shakeup. This would suggest that traditional "goodies" like nurses want to work at W&H and want to heal widespread evil. This seems well and good if one accepts that psychiatry is an effective method of healing and doesn't make the situation worse or just maintain the status quo. The instruments of torture have also been used in psychiatry (lobotomies). Ditto for drugs and isolation. The drugs are still being used to sedate patients. This suggests that maintaining the status quo is important to the nurse and now she wants to work at W&H. I think she would fit right in. Like Gunn.
I will repeat what I said on Patti's review thread. Gunn urging Angel to do nothing about Eve reminded me very strongly of Mother Courage singing the song of Grand Capitulation (from Brecht's "MOther Courage and her Children") whereby she urges a soldier(?) to do nothing. He follows her advice to his own and her detriment. I cannot really remember the story in more detail - it has been nearly 20 years since I read it.
Edit. I quickly looked at my copy of "MOther Courage". The soldier wanted to talk to the Captain (TPTB) because he wanted his reward. He was dissuaded by Mother Courage. Brecht describes this as Mother Courage's lowest act. I found this interesting even if no-one else does or did.
On another issue I also looked up where I thought the Gandalf reference might be. I thought it was Sam when he first saw Gandalf after destroying the ring. It is not. Although the quote I thought might be it was relevant. "Gandalf!: I thought you were dead! But then I thought I was dead myself. Is everything sad going to come untrue? What's happened to the world?" On this issue I will also say that at first I thought Angel taking over W&H was a bit like Frodo taking on the ring as a quest. Now I am beginning to see that Angel may have made Boromir's decision and wants the power of the ring for a good reason, but doesn't apprecite that he cannot control it and that it will cause dissention in the ranks.
Just another belated two cents. I suspect I am going to be adding to this for a while even if no-one is reading it. Writing clarifies my thoughts.
In fact, I was inspired....or perhaps some might think, possessed, to work the ideas a bit more. Be warned.
I’m launching out without the benefit of the connections to the posts that prompted these thoughts, so forgive me. It concerned the problem that it seemed out of character for Spike to think he deserved to suffer.
One difference in the characters of Angel and Spike lies in their view of redemption. Whether ME intends it or not, their views nicely parallel the ideas in Christian history over the past few centuries. One great debate in the last 500 years concerned how one reached Heaven. Theologians recognized that there were two major arguments : the “good works” theory and the “justification” theory. Obviously, the good works theory puts a huge emphasis on the idea that one “earns” the right to enter Heaven. The theory of justification says that one is saved by faith alone; good works are irrelevant. In other words, if one has the right attitude (in the Christian faith, belief in Christ) then one will reach Heaven. This synopsis is a bit heavy on the Christian theological terminology in wording, but accurate. www.presenttruthmag.com/aof-noframes/art8.htm
It’s complicated a bit* by the idea that true justification inevitably results in a changed character, but let that slide for now. The example I use to explain this: There is nothing Hitler could do in all of eternity to wipe out his evil actions. No matter how much good he does, he’s damned. But, according to a Christian who believes in “justification” if Hitler, with his dying thoughts, repented of his evil and professed his faith, he would be redeemed and enter Heaven. Some Christian theologians even posit that everyone, at the moment of death or at some point thereafter, will be given a chance to “choose” the path of Heaven. Some say it also calls for a specific commitment to Jesus, others suggest in may be more simply a choice for “good.” In this case, one’s life is about learning to recognize the choice between good and evil. This philosophy neatly bypasses the various competing Christian/non-Christian religions. One of the greatest Christian apologists, C.S. Lewis, suggested this might be true.
If you think it’s too “easy” to “get away with a life of evil” by just choosing at the last moment and enter Heaven, then you have the old fashioned** view that past crimes deserve punishment. However, many theologians think that the choice for good is actually hard to make when one has a background of evil. Witness Spike’s comments about “it was a party” and Angel’s “evil was art.” So in that view a life of evil does not prepare one to make a choice to enter Heaven, though it could theoretically happen. Even though the Jossverse isn’t Christian, the same ideas resonate, IMO. Angel nicely reflects the old fashioned “good works” theory. One gets into heaven if one does enough good in life, or if the good outweighs the bad. The idea is that your actions are what matters. Spike nicely represents the “justification” angle. You are redeemed by your “state of being.” Spike is “in the moment”, he has “turned a corner” and is now justified, fighting for good, a “hero.”
Angel is busy trying to make up for all the evil he’s done, while Spike knows that there’s nothing her can ever do to change what was. Instead, he sees his defining moment as the choice he made to recover his soul. That decision made the difference in who and what he is.
IMO, the issue is both more complex and more simple. Angel is wrong in thinking that any amount of good works can “balance” his past evil. Time and again we’ve seen stories in the Jossverse that emphasize that point of view. Yet, somehow it seems right to think that Angel can be redeemed. But if it isn’t through good works, then how? IMO, it’s by choosing, every day, to fight the good fight. It’s not the good works, it’s the soul recognizing the rightness of good action. In Hellbound, when Spike and Angel talk about the fact that they are “gonna fry” they don’t realize it but they are already on the path of justification. Spike wonders why they are bothering to do the right thing, trying to make a difference, if Hell is waiting. Angel responds, “What else are we gonna do?” Well, they both take it for granted that doing good is it’s own reason for being.
Thus the danger of being at Wolfram and Hart is that it may cloud Angel’s ability to see the choices of right action. It’s important to see that right choice is not the same as good intentions. Angel may have good intentions to fight evil, yet fall into the classic trap of paving his way to Hell with good intentions because he can’t see that good can’t be achieved using W&H. Someone commented that his approach to dealing with Dana was very close to how the COW dealt with Faith. He knew once that the COW made the wrong choice, yet at W&H he and the FG are perilously close to thinking the end justifies the means, and that thinking will lead to hell.
It reminds me of the old Vietnam quote, “In order to save the village we had to destroy it.” Maybe Gunn will next be telling Fred that, "In order to save those people we had to destroy them."
*Well, maybe not a bit...
**old fashioned here is not a value judgment – it could be correct....
okay, this post is even longer and more esoteric than the last... be nice....
Great post. I have wondered about these issues too.
But, not this time even though they are more relevant. This time I just wondered whther Spike's transformation was part of Spike's cross-over from BtVS to AtS. I have previously unsuccessfully argued that as a broard generalisation BtVS is more about heroics whilst AtS is more about redemption. In BtVS, Spike went for the heroics rather than the redemption. On AtS he is finally interested in redemption. There will be no other BtVS spin-off.