fajrdrako: ([Buffy] - Spike)
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Buffy - 3x17 - Enemies

We're on a roll. This is another favourite. I love it on a lot of levels; it's a wonderful game of slight of hand and deceptive points of view. It's also an interesting study in the personalities of three of the most interesting characters in season 3: Buffy, Angel, and Faith. AddAngelus as a ghost-image forth. And the structure of the episode - far superior in its pacing, layering, characterization and nuance than most television, including Buffy. And the suspense. Add in the tug on the heartstrings in all the best ways. Everything - whether deception or truth - was based on knowledge we already had, and understanding of the plot and characters. A major twist, with no cheating. Maybe I should try remembering DouglasPetrie's name? I see that his other work has been unmemorable, but he was "Professor Normal". As Faith would say: "Huh."

So many twists of relationships here.... Interrelated triangles. There's the obvious Buffy/Faith/Angel triangle, and it isn't just two women competing for a man. There's Buffy, Faith and Willow. There's Willow as observer and cheerleader for Buffy's relationship with Angel. There's Xander as the reverse of that, the observer anddenigrater of that relationship. There's the Wesley-Giles-Buffy relationship, which Faith ought to fit into in her role as the second Slayer, but consistently does not.
  1. It starts with Angel and Buffy accidentally going to see a sex movie. Artistic. Both feel self-conscious about it. The implication is that it's more of a problem for Buffy than Angel. She explains: "I don't like getting you worked up like that. We can't actually do any of those things. You'd lose your soul. Besides, I don't even own a kimono." I like the way the problem of Angel's soul was mentioned there, without any sense of unnatural exposition, and yet a good set-up for the soul issues later.

  2. Angel tries to explain why it's okay. "It feels nice, just to feel." He seems more-than-perfect here, the loving and romantic man who isn't just sticking to a relationship for the sake of lust. Which is surely difficult for Buffy, who herself isn't exactly lust-free.

  3. Good entrance:
    Angel: [After the kiss] See? Safe as houses.
    Faith: Check out the lust bunnies.
    Brilliant bit of juxtaposition. Faith's cynicism against Angel's sweetness, with Buffy as the fulcrum. Is Faith feeling jealous here, or just trying to make trouble? When she lives for lust and pretends not to feel or believe in love, is she angered to see them as her opposites? Disproving her cynical view of human relations? Or is she just missing the point?

  4. Interesting passage:
    Angel: Council has you back on active duty?
    Faith: Finally.
    This implies a surprising amount of involvement by the Council, and I thought Giles said he planned to not involve the Council in the matter of Faith's murder of Finch. Then Wesley interfered, but failed to send Faith back to England. I guess she used his influence to her back in Council's good graces - ?

  5. Another nice twist, of the kind this episode is so full of:
    Faith: But the close but no cigar thing with Angel. I don't know if I could handle the, you know, the way you're not handling it.
    Buffy:Faith, when it comes to Angel, do me a favour. Duck!
    I love the way Faith's line has double entendres so blatant they are pretty close to graphic single entendres. (People can say those things on TV? It's Faith - she can do anything.) And then the way Buffy's comment twists ninety degrees with the appearance of the demon.

  6. Goofy demon. I don't know if I find the monster-demons better or less than the goofy ones. This one isn't annoying. Just goofy. I rather liked his look. But I... don't like the type, on principle. (Mostly I didn't like the horns.)

  7. I liked the demon's dialogue, though. An entrepreneurial demon. Do we know how he got the Books of Ascension?

  8. I don't really understand this dialogue:
    Buffy: Oh, let him go. I don't think he falls into the 'deadly threat to humanity' category.
    Faith: A demon's a demon.
    First, Buffy has met some mild-mannered demons who turned out to be pretty nasty - is she really such a good judge of demon character to be sure this goofball isn't acting? Second, don't we have plenty of reason to believe that demons do not necessarily resembled each other at all, for good or for bad, and are far from being equally good or dangerous?

  9. This made me laugh:
    Wilkins: What exactly did this demon look like?
    Faith: Demonic.
  10. Wilkins makes his 'I wish you'd pull your hair back, you've got such a nice face' speech, which sounds utterly parental to me. Followed (for emphasis) by 'you worry too much for a girl your age', and he gives her a glass of milk. Something in this conversation suddenly gave me insight into why Faith trusts the Mayor when she trusts no one else: it's because she absolutely and completely can't understand him. She thinks she has everyone else figured out, but she doesn't get the Mayor at all. So she takes him at face value - and more than that, he amuses her. She doesn't know what he'll do or why he'll do it, but she does believe he'll help her and stick by her.

  11. I like Wilkin's line 'find this demon, kill the heck out of him.'

  12. Lovely Giles line: "Demons after money. Whatever happened to the still-beating heart of a virgin? No one has any standards any more."

  13. Willow shows a little knowledge she shouldn't have. Just a hint, perhaps, of stronger things to come? Or perhaps a reminder that her theoretical knowledge far surpasses her practical knowledge.

  14. Cordelia comes in and speaks to Wesley.
    Cordelia: I have something important to ask you.
    Xander: Important? Let's start calculating those odds, people.
    I don't understand his joke. Odds of what? Cordelia having something important to say?

  15. But Xander goes get a great line a moment later: "And on the day the words 'flimsy excuse' were redefined, we stood in awe and watched."

  16. So Cordelia is chasing after Wesley pretty openly now.

  17. Though I don't usually like the fight scenes in Buffy, least of all the fight scenes with demons, I really like Faith's battle with the demon here. Just as I like the fight between Buffy and Faith, coming up. There are so many things in this episode that I like more than usual.

  18. One of them being Faith's looks. I don't know quite why she looks better than usual to me here, but she does. Attractive. Sometimes even sexy. In an interesting way. I don't usually think that at all. I also think ElizaDushku's acting is better than usual. (Unlike Joss Whedon, I am not usually impressed by her style.)

  19. I love the demon's emulation of a book dealer, both plea and satire: "Original editions and everything. Great condition. Okay, it;s a little worn on one spine, some slight foxing, but otherwise, perfect."

  20. Faith stares at the blood on her hands after killing the demon and I can't help thinking of Lady Macbeth, except that I don't believe Faith feels any remorse or distress.

  21. Then Faith goes to Angel and I totally love this scene. I have not believed at any point that Faith really has any interest in Angel's attempts to help her; I don't trust Faith at any point. No more than I would trust the Mayor. But here... this scene... Faith was very convincing. Beautifully so. Even though in the very previous scene I believed she felt no remorse about killing, here, I almost believed her. Good acting on several levels - he fear, the remorse, the falsity of it. Good bit:
    Faith: I'm scaring myself.
    Angel: I know the feeling.
  22. Then he says: "You can't do this alone." Do what? Deal with guilt issues? Deal with the temptation and desire to kill?

  23. So she comes onto him, then deals with it perfectly:
    Faith: I didn't mean it like that. Maybe I did, but I wouldn't press it. You love her, don't you?
    Angel: I love her.
    And for all my problems with David Boreanaz, I love Angel in this episode. Both sides of the coin, the sweet, loving Angel (who seems to have no limits) and the dangerous, nastyAngelus (who also seems to have no limits).

  24. So Faith pushes again, but oh so plausibly:
    Faith: I know I shouldn't be asking this, but do you think if things were different that things between you and me would be different, too?
    Angel: We'll never know.
    Faith: Right. How could we?
    Angel: Take care of yourself.
    Faith: Lifetime of practice.
    ...Could that almost be taken as a warning? Taking care of herself is what Faith is best at.

  25. So Buffy sees Faith and Angel almost-kiss. Jealousy would be natural, given how much Buffy knows about Faith. But... would sex without love be okay for Angel? No threat to his soul? How much does Buffy trust his judgement?

  26. One of the Mayor's best lines: "There's more than one way to skin a cat. And I happen to know that's factually true." [And of course it makes me think of a robe made of cat fur, from cats in a Cypriot monastery...]

  27. Wonderful, wonderful Giles line - gad, I love the dialogue in this episode.
    Wesley: Find anything?
    Giles: Six course banquet of nothing with a scoop of sod-all as a palate cleanser.
    And the word 'banquet' maybe brings to mind the Banquetd'Amelie at the beginning of the episode, where Angel and Buffy were surrounded by images of lust but when it comes to sex got "a six course banquet of noting" for themselves.

  28. I like the bit of interplay when Wesley says "the Council isn't entirely happy that I'm letting you work for me [gets a look from Giles] - um, with me."

  29. Great Buffy line: "The girl makes Godot look punctual." It might be a tad too intellectual for her, or it could just be that she sometimes lets her depths show.

  30. Nice juxtaposition again:
    Wesley: This demon could be anywhere.... Finding him is going to be extremely difficult.
    Xander: [Entering] Found your demon.
    So he bribed information out of Willy. For Xander, that's really smart. I like the way his story progression goes - from "I applied some pressure" to "I asked politely" to "I bribed him". Even though it's the kind of braggart-lie that I dislike Xander for.

  31. When Faith comes in, there's no end of flirting with Buffy. Xander says, "Is it me or did it just get really cold in here?" I don't understand why he said that. Was it was because Buffy was (partly) unresponsive to Faith's approaches? Or because Faith snubbed the others?

  32. So Buffy fishes about what Faith was doing last night (with Angel, and otherwise) - we're set up to think Buffy has sexual jealousy on her mind, but is it more than that?

  33. The Mayor summons the Mage. I like the Mage. No pointy horns. Is he mortal? He doesn't seem mortal, but he could be. He's like some of the strange occult characters who used to turn up in Doctor Strange when SteveDitko was drawing it. (I have no doubt that Joss Whedon read those comics, too.)

  34. The bit with the low calorie mints was a good touch.

  35. So Willow and Buffy discuss Faith and Angel. I love this: Willow as she ought to be. Especially counselling Buffy to talk to Angel. Loved Willow's line: "Faith would totally do that. Faith was built to do that. She's the do that girl."

  36. What does Buffy think Faith and Angel have in common?

  37. Oh dear. I never thought I'd ever like to look at David Boreanaz. But standing there in that undershirt... Kind of sexy. Sexy in an ugly-David-Boreanaz kind of way.

  38. When Faith came back to 'apologize' to Angel I totally disbelieved her. Scary.

  39. The Mage chants. Angel transforms. He kisses Faith. Worse and worse! Okay, so I didn't believe it, but I wasn't sure what or where the scam was. It had to be a set-up to trap Faith, but I didn't figure that both theMage and Buffy were in on it with Angel.

  40. Angel's "bad to the bone" dialogue is wonderful. I especially liked "You summoned back the true Angelus because you need a new boy toy. Doesn't work that way." I also like: "Funny thing about vampires, Faith. We don't establish meaningful dialogue with Slayers." The levels of irony in that are delightful.

  41. The dialogue in all of this is much sexier than usual.
    Angel: I should have known you'd like it on top.
    Faith: You want to listen or you want to die?
    Angel: As long as you're there, I mostly want you to wriggle.
  42. Then Angel gets exactly what he wants: a lead to Faith's new boss.

  43. Cordelia practises making Faith look subtle in comparison, saying to Wesley, "You have the greatest voice. Have you ever thought about doing books on tape?" I can't help sympathising with her here: Wesley does have a nice voice. He has adorkishness that reminds me of Xander, but he doesn't have any of Xander's annoying self-centredness or attempts to deceive. And he looks good in a suit. (Obligatory Captain Jack Harkness quote there.)

  44. Good Buffy line: "I'll go home and... slip into something a little more break-and-enterish."

  45. Willow says she couldn't get into the Mayor's files - he'd emptied them. We know it's because Faith told him Willow was trying to get into his computer. I like the continuity there. Subtly put in, but easy to catch, easy to follow.

  46. Does Giles at this point know what's going on? Has the Mage already spoken to him? The next time we see Buffy, she knows what's going on, even though we don't know she knows. But the timeline isn't entirely clear. Giles could have spoken to her at any time between here and there. But... no, they must already have talked, because she wanted to be alone to be vulnerable to being ambushed or abducted by Angel and Faith. So they must already have had the necessary conversations. My assumption: theMage told Giles what was going on, he told Buffy, Buffy (or Buffy and Giles together) told Angel and brought him into the plan to find out what was going on with Faith, her new boss, and the meaning of the Ascension.

  47. Another twist of dialogue I love:
    Wilkins: Now, then, Angelus, may I call you Angel?
    Angel: Well, actually, I'm thinking more along the lines of you calling me Master.
    And then Angel gets sinister with the letter-opener. Love it. Another good exchange:
    Wilkins: No problems with the transition? No side effects?
    Angel: Had a soul, now I'm free.
    But he pushes Wilkins to get to the point.

  48. Wilkins and Angel talk about what to do with Buffy:
    Wilkins: Torture Buffy. Killingher's fine, just make it a slow one.
    Angel: My favourite kind.
    Is it just me, or is this whole episode full of double entendres and sexual nuances?

  49. Why does Wilkins say of Faith, "She's not a little girl any more"?

  50. Xander is (in totally annoying fashion) making fun of Cordelia's crush on Wesley. Angel hits Xander. I wanted to cheer. Angel says, "That guy just bugs me." Love it.

  51. Scary: Angel and Faith come to see Joyce. Presumably Buffy hasn't kept her mother up to date on who to invite in. Or maybe she's set this up all the way, expecting them to come to her there. Yes, presumably she's making herself easy to find, and vulnerable.

  52. Faith says, "I think strength in numbers is the way to go." I'm not even sure what she means - does she expect Buffy to think she's hesitant to face Giles alone? or with Angel? Maybe she's just babbling to set Angel up to make his revelation to Buffy.

  53. Good Angel line to Buffy: "You know, I never properly thanked you for sending me to hell."

  54. Great acting on Sarah Michelle Geller's part when she says, "No."

  55. The scene in which Oz finds a photo of the Mayor from long ago reminded me directly of the scene in Torchwood in which Ianto compares two pictures ofBilis, one from 1941 and one from the present, and show them to Owen.

  56. So very Xanderish: "You know how some people hate to say I told you so? Not me. I told you so." Some writers and some episodes make Xander less obnoxious than others. This is pretty close to Xander at his worst. He's practically crowing about being right about something that would break Buffy's heart, if it were real. And then he blames Wesley. But I like the last line:
    Willow: Faith and Angel? Together?
    Xander: Imagine the possibilities.
    Hmm. Sexy.

  57. Angel says to (chained) Buffy: "You know what I just can't believe? All of our time together and we never tried chains." Which is of course a huge tip-off to the viewers that this is all fake because all of their time together was just a few hours in bed, once. But Faith doesn't know that. No wonder I didn't quite fall for the trick, but it's so artful, I almost doubted myself.

  58. So we get Faith's point of view on things, and her jealousy of Buffy, and her resentment at have a drunken and unloving mother, and I still get the feeling that as much as anything Faith mostly hates Buffy for not putting her first. My favourite bit of dialogue from Buffy:
    Faith: Do you think you're better than me? Do you? Say it, you think you're better than me.
    Buffy: I am. I always have been.
    I love her for that. And her comeback to Faith's taunt "Angel's with me" -
    Buffy: In the real world,ANgel would never touch you and we both know it.
    And then she taunts Faith with the word she hates most: loser.

  59. Then we reach a climax:
    Buffy: I never knew you had so much rage in you.
    Faith: What can I say? I'm the world's best actor.
    Angel: Second best.
    Is it rage that Faith is full of? I'd say it was accidie, or bitterness and distrust and disillusionment.

  60. Love the fight that ends with Buffy and Faith holding knives to each other's throats. And she kissed Buffy before leaving. Whew. Hot.

  61. So the Mage has a chummy conversation with Giles, who, it seems, was practically best man at his wedding. I love this. This is my favourite bit of the occult to turn up in Buffy yet. (Except for any occult moment that might have included Spike.) I love it that they wish each other peace.

  62. And Wesley storms off to 'tell the Council' while giving the impression that he's really just miffed because Giles didn't tell him what was going on. Shouldn't they be more concerned about Faith being still on the loose?

  63. And Xander is still feeling sorry for himself because Angel hit him. You can probably tell that I have no fondness nor sympathy for Xander in this episode.

  64. Faith denies that she was betrayed by friends by claiming they weren't. The Mayor charms her with promises to "make all the pain go away" with "miniature golf". This is so goofy that it charms her. I think she loves it that he keeps surprising her.

  65. So: I don't really understand the last scene between Angel and Buffy. She needs "a bit of a break" from him. Had he scared her so badly? Even though she knew it was deception? Is their platonic romance harder on her than she's admitting? Or is she really having trouble trusting him? I found the last two lines particularly interesting:
    Angel: You still my girl?
    Buffy: Always.



Date: 2008-11-15 11:27 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sparklebutch.livejournal.com
Here's one thing I don't get: how did Faith fall for it... if Angel never really slept with her.

Date: 2008-11-15 02:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fajrdrako.livejournal.com
I have two answers to this.

(1) Maybe Angel did have sex with her. Why not? My interpretation of his problem is that it it isn't orgasm that causes the soul-change but the combination of orgasm with true love. So it wouldn't trigger the change whatever he does with Faith to convince her.

Okay, the 'why not' there might be fidelity issues with Buffy, but I suspect he's way more pragmatic than that. And that, given the Armageddon-like stakes in the matter, she would agree it was the right thing for him to do.

(2) Alternately, I think Faith is gullible and not nearly as smart as she thinks she is. She doesn't understand hoe good people think and act; she just can't figure it out. This makes her fairly easy to manipulate, as long as she doesn't know she's being manipulated, or misunderstands the motives.

Date: 2008-11-15 03:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sparklebutch.livejournal.com
1. No.

2. Under the Joss equation of sex=evil, Faith should have realised Angelus isn't around if he didn't go for it.

Oh well. Let that be the smallest problem of any show, huh.

Date: 2008-11-15 03:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fajrdrako.livejournal.com
Faith may have just thought Angel was tormenting her.

Date: 2008-11-15 03:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sparklebutch.livejournal.com
Huh. Interesting angle.

Date: 2008-11-15 04:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fajrdrako.livejournal.com
Seems to me it's the way Faith would think. She wouldn't understand why anyone wouldn't go for the self-serving or pleasurable choice, and wouldn't be able to see beyond that.

To the invisible person.

Date: 2008-11-23 02:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sparklebutch.livejournal.com
Dear person who left a comment I can't reply to:

I didn't mean "why did Faith think Angel lost a soul if there was no sex", not at all. The spell was the soul thing, yes. What I mean is, once he's there and she assumes he has no soul, what's his excuse to not having sex?

The tormenting reply below has potential.

:)

1 of ...

Date: 2008-11-15 03:28 pm (UTC)
ext_6615: (Default)
From: [identity profile] janne-d.livejournal.com
I love this episode - I completely agree about the pacing and nuance and the way they play with all the characters and what we know about them.

Angel and Buffy accidentally going to see a sex movie

I like Angel's line: "It's been awhile since I've been to the movies. They've changed."

You made an interesting comment about it being more diffcult for Buffy than Angel. That's not something I'd considered before but it makes sense, and fits in with the way I've always kind of seen this episode as the beginning of the end for their relationship.

First, Buffy has met some mild-mannered demons who turned out to be pretty nasty - is she really such a good judge of demon character to be sure this goofball isn't acting? Second, don't we have plenty of reason to believe that demons do not necessarily resembled each other at all, for good or for bad, and are far from being equally good or dangerous?

I'm not sure I get what you don't understand there - I think Buffy is being pragmatic and wants the information. She can always kill him later, after all. And yes, the point is that demons are not all alike and not always evil. Buffy knows that, Faith doesn't care - or is pushing it because of the Mayor's interests.

She thinks she has everyone else figured out, but she doesn't get the Mayor at all. So she takes him at face value - and more than that, he amuses her. She doesn't know what he'll do or why he'll do it, but she does believe he'll help her and stick by her.

Ooh, interesting. I like that analysis.

"Demons after money. Whatever happened to the still-beating heart of a virgin? No one has any standards any more."

One of my favourite Giles lines.

Faith was very convincing. Beautifully so. Even though in the very previous scene I believed she felt no remorse about killing, here, I almost believed her. Good acting on several levels - he fear, the remorse, the falsity of it

I love that scene so much. Because I kind of do believe that Faith is a little shocked by the brutality of killing that demon, so to start with she does convince me. It isn't until the "Don't worry about me. You've been a big help" that I can hear the falsity come through it - it's very well done. And I love the cut to Faith saying "It's not like I wasn't trying" to the Mayor and how the plot is set up then - she wasn't just manipulating Angel for the hell of it, she was trying to take his soul. Dum, dum, duuum.

he bribed information out of Willy. For Xander, that's really smart

I liked Giles asking if he got a receipt when Xander wanted to be reimbursed.

"Is it me or did it just get really cold in here?" I don't understand why he said that. Was it was because Buffy was (partly) unresponsive to Faith's approaches?

Huh, I wouldn't have said Buffy was even partly responsive to Faith - she doesn't want Faith touching her and she is very aloof. I always thought that was what Xander meant.

we're set up to think Buffy has sexual jealousy on her mind, but is it more than that?

I don't think she has anymore on her mind at this point - she's still very bothered by jealousy when she talks to Willow.

So Willow and Buffy discuss Faith and Angel. I love this: Willow as she ought to be. Especially counselling Buffy to talk to Angel.

I've always liked how she gets Buffy to talk just by looking at her. and I love "I too know the love of a taciturn man".

Re: 1 of ...

Date: 2008-11-22 04:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fajrdrako.livejournal.com
That's not something I'd considered before but it makes sense, and fits in with the way I've always kind of seen this episode as the beginning of the end for their relationship.

Sniff. I don't like the end of the relationship. I wanted them to manage to be together somehow. Sort of like Mal and Inara. How is it that Joss manages to create these totally impossible romantic relationships?

I think Buffy is being pragmatic and wants the information.

Yeah. Demons come in all types. I don't understand what the Buffy mythology definition of a 'demon' is.

I liked Giles asking if he got a receipt when Xander wanted to be reimbursed.

Giles has some of the best lines ever.

I wouldn't have said Buffy was even partly responsive to Faith - she doesn't want Faith touching her and she is very aloof.

But she lets Faith go with her.

I always thought that was what Xander meant.

Yes. I think Xander was responding to Buffy's lack of friendliness with Faith, while what I was reacting to was the cooperation.

"I too know the love of a taciturn man"

So very cute.

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2 of 3

Date: 2008-11-15 03:30 pm (UTC)
ext_6615: (Default)
From: [identity profile] janne-d.livejournal.com
The Mage chants. Angel transforms. He kisses Faith. Worse and worse! Okay, so I didn't believe it, but I wasn't sure what or where the scam was.

See, the very first time I saw this, I did believe it!

Angel's "bad to the bone" dialogue is wonderful.

I always liked "No, really. Don't get up." when he kicks her. And I like the sense that Faith wasn't quite ready for Angelus (even pretend Angelus) because she's only seen sweet Angel.

Angel: As long as you're there, I mostly want you to wriggle

Heee. They get away with a surprising amount in Buffy sometimes. Wait until you see some of the hand gestures in Hush.

Does Giles at this point know what's going on? Has the Mage already spoken to him? The next time we see Buffy, she knows what's going on, even though we don't know she knows. But the timeline isn't entirely clear

I've always assumed he and Buffy have the plan all sorted at that point and that is what the "Be careful" line and the look between them at the end of the scene is about. The way I think it went is Buffy went to the mansion after talking to Willow meaning she got there before Faith. The Mage had either looked up Giles already and they were there with Angel when she got there, or they arrived after Buffy. I think at that point Angel was probably already suspicious of Faith because she gave herself away a little at the end of their conversation, he told them about it and they cooked up the plan between them then. Buffy then lies to the gang about Angel not being there later on.

Angel gets sinister with the letter-opener. Love it.

Angel and the Mayor together are great. I like Angel pegging the Mayor's aversion to germs and the expression on his face when he talks about torturing, maiming and killing Buffy.

Why does Wilkins say of Faith, "She's not a little girl any more"?

Maybe because she's now ready to kill Buffy when she wouldn't have been before? Either that or it's a comment on her and "Angelus" being an item.

Re: 2 of 3

Date: 2008-11-22 04:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fajrdrako.livejournal.com
the very first time I saw this, I did believe it!

Woo, scary!

I like the sense that Faith wasn't quite ready for Angelus (even pretend Angelus) because she's only seen sweet Angel.

I like that too. There are so many levels (some real, some pretend) that Faith didn't understand about the situation.

I agree with your interpretation of the sequence of events.

I like Angel pegging the Mayor's aversion to germs and the expression on his face when he talks about torturing, maiming and killing Buffy.

Brilliant scene. My favourite of the Mayor's scenes, I think. Mostly we see him with lightweights, or people with a vested interest in flattering him. Angel remains himself.

Either that or it's a comment on her and "Angelus" being an item.

Yes. I think he likes the results of their schemes.


3 of 3

Date: 2008-11-15 03:30 pm (UTC)
ext_6615: (Default)
From: [identity profile] janne-d.livejournal.com
I think strength in numbers is the way to go." I'm not even sure what she means - does she expect Buffy to think she's hesitant to face Giles alone

Strength in numbers in case they are attacked by the Mayor's guys on the way, I think is the idea, not that Faith doesn't want to see Giles alone.

Good Angel line to Buffy: "You know, I never properly thanked you for sending me to hell."

Great acting on Sarah Michelle Geller's part when she says, "No."


I adore that whole scene. Especially Angel taunting Buffy with the idea that "Maybe there's still some good, deep down inside of me, that still remembers, and loves you". Proper Angelus nasty there.

"You know how some people hate to say I told you so? Not me. I told you so." Some writers and some episodes make Xander less obnoxious than others. This is pretty close to Xander at his worst. He's practically crowing about being right about something that would break Buffy's heart, if it were real

Argh, yes. Much dislike of Xander there - and the fact that no-one even questions why Angel didn't simply kill him if he'd gone bad again.

"You know what I just can't believe? All of our time together and we never tried chains." Which is of course a huge tip-off to the viewers that this is all fake

I never caught that, actually. I thought it was just a typical Angelus sexual taunt and that he was referring to relationship length.

we get Faith's point of view on things, and her jealousy of Buffy, and her resentment at have a drunken and unloving mother, and I still get the feeling that as much as anything Faith mostly hates Buffy for not putting her first

I love all the dialogue between them here. And on rewatches I can see Buffy's comments about Faith not wanting to do this as her testing to see how far gone Faith really was rather than trying to save her own life, which is fun. Can she reach Faith at all, or is Faith really bad now? And gets the answer and how: "Before we get started, I just want you to know: if you're a screamer? Feel free".

And then Buffy takes the gloves off. I love her calm "I am", the line about Angel never touching Faith, and I really love "You had to tie me up to beat me" because that really gets Faith where it hurts.

Buffy: I never knew you had so much rage in you.
Faith: What can I say? I'm the world's best actor.
Angel: Second best.


I love that moment more than any other in the whole episode - the way they go slow on Faith's double take so you can see the realisation before Buffy and Angel even talk to each other. I like Faith's fury and shock at being played as well - I don't think she ever thought that Buffy or Angel could deceive like that or could manipulate her because she sees herself as the player, not them. They've taken her role and done it better.

So: I don't really understand the last scene between Angel and Buffy. She needs "a bit of a break" from him. Had he scared her so badly?

I think that having Angel play Angelus has (a) brought back lots of bad memories and (b) seeing Angel play Angelus so easily has rocked Buffy badly. I think she's having a harder time drawing that nice, thick dividing line between Angel and Angelus at the end of this episode - if Angel can do all that, how much of Angelus was from his personality originally? And she also has to deal with the things Angel said when he was faking. Okay, it was pretence, but it was still Angel who thought those up and said them because he knew they were what would hurt. Not an easy place for either of them to be.

Re: 3 of 3

Date: 2008-11-15 03:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fajrdrako.livejournal.com
Strength in numbers in case they are attacked by the Mayor's guys on the way

Right. That makes sense.

Especially Angel taunting Buffy with the idea that "Maybe there's still some good, deep down inside of me, that still remembers, and loves you". Proper Angelus nasty there.

Yes, beautifully. Especially since we know after the fact that he's reminding her that he is good, and loves her. It works on several levels. He might even be hinting that he loved her even at his most evil, as I think he did, because of his sense of obsession over her.

Much dislike of Xander there - and the fact that no-one even questions why Angel didn't simply kill him if he'd gone bad again.

Yup. Xander should count himself lucky.

on rewatches I can see Buffy's comments about Faith not wanting to do this as her testing to see how far gone Faith really was rather than trying to save her own life, which is fun.

I think so.

I like Faith's fury and shock at being played as well - I don't think she ever thought that Buffy or Angel could deceive like that or could manipulate her because she sees herself as the player, not them.

And she equals 'good' with 'stupid'.

They've taken her role and done it better.

Such fun to see. And she is furious. She really thought they wouldn't be deceptive.

I think that having Angel play Angelus has (a) brought back lots of bad memories and (b) seeing Angel play Angelus so easily has rocked Buffy badly.

It makes sense. I can perfectly understand that even knowing it was fake, Buffy would be emotionally upset as if it were true. Her feelings are contradicting her knowledge. I'd think it would be a good thing to draw closer to Angel rather than to draw away, but I know Joss doesn't want the course of love to be smooth or happy.

And Angel has similar things to deal with, I think - he knows how much he loves Buffy, he can't bear to stay away from her, but he knows he's bad for her and he shouldn't let her waste her life being obsessed with him when he can't give her much at all.

Re: 3 of 3

Date: 2008-11-21 06:27 pm (UTC)
ext_6615: (Default)
From: [identity profile] janne-d.livejournal.com
Especially since we know after the fact that he's reminding her that he is good, and loves her. It works on several levels.

It's funny, but I can never see it like that. For me, it's always such a cruel line - I think because it references an exchange she had with Angelus:

Buffy: Angel... there must be some part of you inside that remembers who you are.
Angelus: Dream on, schoolgirl. Your boyfriend is dead.

So I can see how it could work as reassurance - but when I watch it, it comes off as a kick in the teeth.

Re: 3 of 3

Date: 2008-11-22 04:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fajrdrako.livejournal.com
I can see how it could work as reassurance - but when I watch it, it comes off as a kick in the teeth.

Maybe that's how she took it. Maybe that's why she backed off, later.

Date: 2008-11-15 08:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] monsieureden.livejournal.com
Random:
http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/showbiz/tv/article1933925.ece

Cause he always makes me think of you ;)

Date: 2008-11-16 12:10 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fajrdrako.livejournal.com
Barrowman not macho enough to be Bond? Bring it on - I'd love to see it!

He'd be good in the role.

Though I might rather see movies about Captain Jack Harkness. A really well-written, high-tech thing... Nice idea.

Date: 2008-11-16 02:08 am (UTC)

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