BSV Forum - General - Episode Discussions

"School Hard"

Feb 11 2008 01:57 am   #1Scarlet Ibis
Okay, this is the official thread for the discussion of this ep.  Just so everyone knows, the other eps from season two that are intended to be discussed are the following:  "Lie to Me," "Ted," "Surprise/Innocence," "Passion," "I Only Have Eyes for You," and "Becoming 1 & 2."  I hope no one minds--if so, give a shout.  Oh, and are two a week plausible--one at the beginning of the week, and one towards the middle?  Is that cool with everyone?

Also, I think that most people participating in these discussions are already well into this season, if not surpassed it already (I was actually on my way to season four).  Anyway, since each thread is for a specific episode, I don't think a start date is really needed anymore.  Anyone can feel free to chime in with their thoughts whenever.  Unless of course, another thread has to unfortunately be shut down due to spamming. 

Anyway--let the discussion begin
"Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly."
https://www.facebook.com/FangirlNovel
Feb 11 2008 05:07 am   #2Immortal Beloved
I'm jumping in on the ep discussions now.  RL has been getting in the way of my BtVS obsession.  Also, I can't resist a chance to talk about Spike   I haven't watched the entire episode yet.  I'm supposed to be getting some shut-eye, but the first five minutes had enough for me to contemplate.

Right on the heels of Xander jinxing everybody by saying that nothing bad will happen, we are introduced to the next Big Bad.  We don't know who he is yet, but there's loud rock music, he's dressed in black, and he's wearing leather.  Thematically speaking, these things almost always mean bad boy...pire.  Immediately, the tone is set for the episode: badness.  He runs over the Welcome to Sunnydale sign; he’s here to take down the town.

I notice something that I don't think ever registered with me before.  The contrast between Spike and Angel is set up immediately.  Spike appears on screen for the first time in vamp face.  Unlike our introduction to Angel in Season One, it's very clearly stated from the beginning that Spike is a vampire.  Angel doesn’t show his vampire face until he kisses Buffy.  Until then, no one knows he’s a vampire.  Buffy doesn’t usually have trouble spotting a vamp.  Why then?  Perhaps the soul throws them off or maybe just her hormones block the vamp signals    The new Big Bad introduces himself to the other vamps as “Spike" a name that does not evoke warm and fuzzy feelings.  The name “Angel” has holy connotations, a good, little cherub from on high.  A "spike," on the other hand, is cold and hard and pointy and sharp.  Spike struts with a swagger.  He’s loud and blustery and boastful ("Who am I kidding?  I love to brag." )  Angel is quiet and broody.  Spike's hair is blindingly white; Angel's is dark.  We’re meant to know he’s no angel/Angel.  We saw Angel throughout Season One as the good vampire with a soul; we were lulled into trusting him.  With Spike, we're not supposed to trust him, and at this point in time, we don't. 

Enter Drusilla: Spike senses her, and immediately his human face shows.  What makes him human again?  A woman (go foreshadowing).  He comes into the factory asking, “Who do you kill for fun around here?”  And as soon as Drusilla appears, Spike’s transforms into a doting lover whose only concern is to take care of his ailing girlfriend: “You shouldn’t be walking around—you’re weak.”  Even killing the Slayer becomes partly to fulfill Drusilla’s wishes: “Kill her for Princess.”  Drusilla says that she's cold, and Spike covers her up with his coat—his coat.  We don’t yet know the significance of the coat, but we will eventually find out that, for Spike to share something as special as his coat with someone, she would have to be just as special to him herself.  Correct me if I'm wrong, but the next time we see someone with Spike's coat is when Buffy’s covered up with it at the beginning of “Wrecked” in the morning after scene.  I’m sure part of it was logistics.  Can’t have Sarah’s boobs peeking out, but I find it interesting to note that both Drusilla and Buffy, the loves of his un-life, are seen with Spike’s coat.

That's it for now.  I'll finish watching the rest of the ep later.

 

Give me Spuffy, or give me death.
Feb 11 2008 05:21 am   #3Scarlet Ibis
he’s here to take down the town.

Takes him a few years...but yeah, he does

I thought the coat bit for Drusilla was interesting because...well, being a vamp, she's room temperature anyway, and he's humoring her, but it's clear how much he cares.  (and I could be wrong, but I think that may have been Buffy's skirt)

My fave line in this eppy?  "If you think you have the biggest wrinklies, step on up."  As soon as he stepped out of the car, yeah, I was enchanted.  But this is episode analysis, not just Spike entrance analysis, and IB covered most of it. 

I got a strong "timeless love" vibe from Spike and Dru.  No, that's not what I want to say...

(goes off to ponder to think of something remotely intelligent to say)

"Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly."
https://www.facebook.com/FangirlNovel
Feb 11 2008 08:15 am   #4nmcil
I positively loved how the first scene with Spike and Drusilla is filmed - the wonderful transition from his Vamp face to human face was perfect timing -
” Recent evolutionary models have demonstrated what politicians have long known: the best way to get people to collaborate and to think like a group is to identify an enemy and charge that “they” threaten “us.”

Michael Tomasello is co-director of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.
Feb 11 2008 08:42 am   #5TammyDevil666
God, that first scene with them was so hot, and I could never even stand Drusilla.  Hell, I couldn't even stand Spike when he first showed up.  I was a late bloomer when it came to the Spike love.  I don't think I found it until some time in the 5th season, but I love the scene of him seeing Buffy in the Bronze for the first time.  You could definitely notice some sparkage even then.
When I say, "I love you," it's not because I want you or because I can't have you. It has nothing to do with me. I love what you are, what you do, how you try. I've seen your kindness and your strength. I've seen the best and the worst of you, and I understand with perfect clarity exactly what you are. You're a hell of a woman. You're the one, Buffy.
Feb 11 2008 09:23 am   #6Guest
I love early Spike and Dru, before Angelus returns. "School Hard" gives me so much glee as a Spike ep. Can't watch it with the boyfriend around - too much squeeing.

CM
Feb 11 2008 04:06 pm   #7Nika

I don't have much to say yet. Seeing Spike as he was at first again was great, I loved him since the second he walked on the screen. I have a weakness for love struck bad boys, and seeing him with Drusilla *sighs*. JM's English accent wasn't fully constructed yet, he seems to be switching accents.

Did anyone else notice how the Spuffy relationship was unintentionally foreshadowed, not just by Spike's blatant attraction to Buffy in the bronze, but even after when they're fighting at the school. Spike says, "It won't hurt a bit.' That foreshadows what he wants their later relationship to be, not hurtful but romantic. Buffy's reply is 'It's going to hurt a lot.' She didn't know how true those words were, because their relationship does hurt a lot.

In the beginning Angel is showing Spike some measure of respect. When Spike greets him with a hug as part of his ruse, Angel sees nothing wrong with that and hugs him back, implying that they once had a somewhat friendly relationship. Furthermore, Spike seems to show hurt over the fact that Angel has a soul with his whole 'Yoda' speech.

"Perhaps a great love is never returned."

-Dag Hammersjold
Feb 11 2008 05:16 pm   #8goldenusagi
JM's accent does float around quite a bit in the early season 2 eps.  But it must be even harder to try doing an accent with vamp teeth in, and he was in vamp face a lot.
Feb 11 2008 05:26 pm   #9Guest
He said he imitated one of his theatre actor buddies, which wasn't such a good idea, looking back on it.  When Spike's voice becomes more developed, he said it was from studying Tony Head (that's how Tony sounds in real life, apparently).  Also, James said he cringes watching those first few eps.  His most hated line was how he said "You were there?"  I didn't even notice the first time around, actually.  I bought it, and apparently, a lot of people thought he was British for real (raises hand on that one

~Scarlet
Feb 12 2008 02:04 am   #10Quark
Before I say anything I should probably point out that this is the episode that got me watching BtVS in the first place.  I had a co-worker (who I coincidentally couldn't stand) that loved the show and gushed about it constantly thus compelling me to stay far, far away.  Fast forward a year later and I'm doing some mundane household chore and caught sight of the Drusilla and Spike interaction at the very beginning as I passed by the television.  Stopped right then completely unaware of what I was watching and finished out the episode totally annoyed with myself for watching something with such a silly title.  But, I was hooked

I thought the compare contrast between Buffy and Shelia right at the beginning was great.  Giles is very Wesley in this episode, which is definitely fun to see.  Obviously the Spike/Drusilla introduction is very catching and thought provoking.  We get a sense of age on them right from the start with her clothing and his comments about Woodstock, which was both understated and conveyed well (unlike some of the other "stuck in their era" red-shirt vamps that are only on screen long enough to get knocked around and dusted).

My only complaint - Buffy's mom.  The characterization was great throughout, they did a wonderful job of putting the spotlight on the fact she seems to be the only parent on the show that isn't a bad one, she even gets to hit Spike in the head and see that Snyder is a troll.  But all that effort goes to waste when she accepts it was a PCP gang despite the evidence right in front of her eyes that it was otherwise.  She asks about their faces and then buys Snyder's explanation.  It's the same clueless routine from the "Angel" episode, and its starting to seem a bit silly.   She sees her daughter taking charge, fighting gang members and then pats her on the head without really digging into the reasons behind the behavior.  This is especially strange since its only been a year or so since Buffy was an air-headed cheerleader at Hemery who was more concerned about who was dating who than how to jump into the middle of a gang fight.

Oh, and do you think Joyce talking to Buffy through the hole in the door was the inspiration behind her scenes in the dream episode at the end of season four when she's stuck in the wall or just a coincidence?


~ Q
Feb 12 2008 02:17 am   #11Spikez_tart

Above - I think Buffy is holding her leather skirt up to her chest.  She and Spike were wearing his/her outfits during their fight/first sex scene.  Buffy has on a blue jean jacket with a long black leather skirt (and I don't remember her ever wearing anything like that before or after.)  Spike is wearing a dark blue shirt (instead of his standard red) and of course the black coat. 


Things I noticed in School Hard:

1.  Buffy is having her period when Spike shows up at the Bronze.  (Xander finds a tampon in her bag while he's looking for a stake.)  And, I'm sure that means - nothing.
2.  The cut on Spike's face (made by Drusilla) mirrors the stripe of red paint on Buffy's face.
3.  Drusilla can't "see" the Slayer - because Buffy's already been dead once and in fact, she isn't the official slayer anymore as we will learn shortly.
4.  Spike's vamp face is REALLY ugly - much uglier than Angel's, especially the nasty pinky-red stuff around his eyes.  Also, his accent sucks.
5.  Spike is actually scary - most of the monsters on Buffy aren't all that scary.  Also, he kills for pleasure - which sort of blows out the vampires are like predatory animals and only kill to live theory.  He breaks the necks of a man at the parent teacher conference and of Sheila's two pick up guys.  I don't think you see him bite anyone, which is weird.
6.  Angel, once again, is useless.  First, he runs in to tell the gang how Bad Bad Bad Spike is, then he disappears before giving them any real facts.  Surely, being a famous vampire himself, he must know that Giles is going to figure out that Angel is connected to Spike.  Second, Angel uses Xander in a ruse to trick Spike.  When the trick fails, he runs off!  Why doesn't he stay and fight Spike ?  We learn (many years later) that Spike has never beaten Angel in a fight.
7.  All this business about Joss didn't know what he was going to do Spike is such BS.  Giles calls Spike "our new friend" and says he isn't Orthodox.  Buffy smarts off and says "Maybe he's reform."  Is Buffy Jewish?
8.  Angel is often accused of being pretty much a child molester for having the hots for 16-year old Buffy.  Spike is practically slobbering over her, too.  Also, note the lyrics that are playing while Spike is watching Buffy "I'm one step away from crashing to my knees."
9.  Buffy goes out into the alley where Spike is waiting to trap her and - carries no weapon.  Later, in the school, Buffy offers to fight without weapons and Spike throws down his metal pole. Why why why????
10.  Spike's coat billows out like a Dracula cape when he runs out of the school building after Buffy's mom whacks him on the head.  Nice touch.
11.  High point of the show - when Spike roasts the Annoying One. 


 

If we want her to be exactly she'll never be exactly I know the only really real Buffy is really Buffy and she's gone' who?
Feb 12 2008 03:05 am   #12Eowyn315
Buffy doesn’t usually have trouble spotting a vamp. Why then? Perhaps the soul throws them off or maybe just her hormones block the vamp signals

*giggle* I don't think Buffy had that "sixth sense" thing going yet. Remember when Giles takes her to the Bronze and tells her she should be able to sense vampires, and she can't do it and picks one out by clothing instead? So, as long as Angel didn't dress like he was from the '80s, Buffy wouldn't have been able to tell back in season 1.

Buffy is having her period when Spike shows up at the Bronze. (Xander finds a tampon in her bag while he's looking for a stake.)

Not necessarily. I pretty much always have a tampon in my purse, because I know if I wait until I actually have my period, I'll run out of the house and forget to grab the extra.

When the trick fails, he runs off! Why doesn't he stay and fight Spike ?

Because Spike had a whole gang, and Xander couldn't really defend himself all that well. If Angel got into it with Spike, even if he could beat him one-on-one, it would leave Xander open to be attacked by minions.
Writing should feel easy, like a monkey driving a speed boat.
Feb 12 2008 04:03 am   #13Scarlet Ibis

Above - I think Buffy is holding her leather skirt up to her chest.  She and Spike were wearing his/her outfits during their fight/first sex scene.  Buffy has on a blue jean jacket with a long black leather skirt (and I don't remember her ever wearing anything like that before or after.)  Spike is wearing a dark blue shirt (instead of his standard red) and of course the black coat. 

Good call--the same in OMWF.  Buffy's wearing a leather duster, dark blue jeans, and a red shirt.

As for Drusilla's "I can't see her," I never considered that option before, but it's a good one.  She says "It's dark where she is."  Maybe Dru meant where she was, since that is where she died the first time around.  But in hindsight, especially after s5, I always thought that Dru just wanted Spike to hurry up and get it done, that perhaps she sensed that Buffy would be their downfall.  Afterall, their original reason for even coming to the Hellmouth was to heal her, and not the Slayer. 

Also, Spike's killing of the Annointed one is kind of symbolic (well hell, so is practically everything else he does in that ep).  Anyway, it solidifies the fact that Spike will break every rule their is, and he's no one's Shemp (cept for being Love's shemp).

Oh, and I think this was mentioned on some other thread, but when Spike hugs Angel, and realizes he still has the soul, he looks damn pissed off about it.  Angel, in spite of the fact that Xander was there, wouldn't have killed or attempted to kill Spike, just like he doesn't kill Dru and almost doesn't kill Darla.  I think Angel would have to be literally backed into a corner in order to kill one of those three--like point of no return.  He is not "stake first, ask questions later" kind of guy when it comes to his family.  Family is also proven to be important to Spike, unless you have a soul (at that point) of course.  He's hurt that Angel's soul is still attached, and gleeful at Angelus return (this turns sour quickly, I know, but still).

"Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly."
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Feb 12 2008 04:20 am   #14LindsayH
Not to be gross, but Spike did make that "Fe fi fo fum" comment, which could support the idea that Buffy was on her period. 

This is a small thing, but it's always bugged me.  When Spike tricks Buffy into going into the alley at the Bronze with "Some guy's trying to bite a girl" or whatever he said, the camera cuts to Buffy, she runs out, camera back to Spike.  Notice the people he's just asked about the phone are smiling and still bopping their heads to the music.  I think that, more than Joyce's denial at the end, is proof of the Sunnydale kool-aid at work. 

What I always thought was interesting is how well Spike and Buffy fought against each other.  This fight is a lot more graceful and dance-like than most of the other fights Buffy had with a MotW.  In fact, I would say the only other people Buffy fought as well against were Angel and Faith.

I'm also watching "Angel" as it airs on TNT, and watching this ep with season 3 of Angel is...wow.  Cordy especially grew so much as a character in those years.  The broom closet scene is still funny and one of my favorite Willow and Cordelia scenes.   Tied with the scene in "Doppelgangland" when Cordelia sits down for a talking to with vampWillow locked in the library cage.
"Do you like my mask?  Isn't it pretty?  It raises the dead!"--Giles, "Dead Man's Party'
Feb 12 2008 04:44 am   #15Guest
This has to do with camera-work more than the actors, but I didn't know if anyone else noticed. Outside in the alley Buffy is fighting the vampire and he calls for Spike's help. We get a close up of Buffy's face as she turns around to look, a little confused. Then the vamp rushes her and she spins her hair back to face him and shove a stake in his heart. Then the clapping starts when she's turned, facing the wrong way, and has to turn back... I dunno, it just looked like they didn't have the stage set up properly and had to guess where to look.

I know Spike was meant to be a foil for Buffy but I'm not sure what that means. The slash of red blood and paint on the cheek was definitely noticeable. But personality-wise and how they treat what they do I don't see exact opposites or really similar; they're just their own people. Maybe it's because they both shun convention and improvise and don't follow authority?

I thought it was funny to see a dark wall as doomed, dark chanting rises up and swells like an unholy chorus as the vampires prepare for the Feast of St Vigeous and the camera begins to move... And we see a television set. It would've been great if they had a show like Passions playing or some lame commercial instead of static. At the end of the episode when Spike takes Dru's hand and they walk around the unconscious minion after the Annoying One's fried and Spike remarks, "Let's see what's on TV " is just hilarious, especially the sweet little music added.
Feb 12 2008 04:44 am   #16Immortal Beloved
I think Buffy is holding her leather skirt up to her chest. She and Spike were wearing his/her outfits during their fight/first sex scene. Buffy has on a blue jean jacket with a long black leather skirt (and I don't remember her ever wearing anything like that before or after.) Spike is wearing a dark blue shirt (instead of his standard red) and of course the black coat.

I checked the screencaps earlier, but it's impossible to tell if Buffy's holding her skirt or Spike's jacket.  I tried looking around for his jacket on the ground, but all I see is one boot and his button-down shirt.  It probably is the skirt, though, and you're right, I've noticed that Buffy never wears anything else like that.  I'm sure it must have been logistical: easy access.  If the writers were smart, they would have used the coat   But, yes, key Spuffy scenes often do have matching outfits, kind of like in the old Shakespearean days when the love interests' costumes matched so that the audience could tell everyone apart.

I'm sure Joyce is simply in denial of the supernatural as is almost everyone in Sunnydale.  If they knew what really went on, nobody would live there.  Maybe the mayor put something in the water...

Buffy's period: You know, I always assumed that Xander finding the tampon in Buffy's purse was for comedic effect.  It is funny, and now that I think about it, if it had a cardboard applicator, it might have been a nifty way of staking a vamp   But, Spike does say "Fe, fi, fo, fum, I smell the blood of a nice, ripe slayer."  I know that a woman ovulates prior to her period, but the ripe could be referring to being fertile.  I'm sure they were just using the phrase, but when coupled with the tampon, could be analyzable.

Drusilla's non-seeing of the slayer is very interesting.  She and Spike did only come to Sunnydale to find a cure for her.  They only overhear of the slayer from the other vamps.  I always thought that Drusilla was so hell bent on Spike killing Buffy because she must have sensed that something would happen between the two.  She is, of course, the first to know that Spike's covered in sunshine.

I, too, have notice the music playing when Spike's watching Buffy dance.  Forgive me for errors, for I'm typing the lyrics from memory:

I did a stupid thing last night
I called you
A moment of weakness
No, not a moment,
More like three months of weakness

I'm one step away
From crashing to my knees
Once step away
From spilling my guts to you

Watching Buffy dance was the first time he ever saw her, and I believe the beginning of his obsession and falling in love with her.  Eventually, she does bring him to his knees, but she also led to his redemption.  Watching her, studying her, was the both the stupidest and smartest thing he ever did.
Give me Spuffy, or give me death.
Feb 12 2008 05:03 am   #17Guest
It was her skirt. She's pulling it on right away as soon as she realizes where she is. And yeah, she usually doesn't wear skirts that long, though she has had suede skirts before. I had to chuckle at Buffy having a long leather skirt, though, because hello? She was broke! I know on TV people can't wear the same thing twice, but they always put her in clothes that were waaaaay beyond her price range post-Joyce.

Yeah, JM breaks into Southern words at times in this. They'd asked him to do both Southern and English accents in the audition, but the rougher English obviously wasn't something he was experienced with enough not to think about it. He was probably better at the posh theater bit at the time.

And Spike in vamp face is HOT.

CM
Feb 12 2008 05:57 am   #18Scarlet Ibis
On wearing clothes twice--that's not exactly true.  When Willow is kidnapped by the Mayor and Faith, she has this long, velvet dress on.  We see it again on her in s5, when Tara is brain sucked by Glory.  And though it's not the same show...The dress Anya is wearing in "Crush" in the Bronze scene--the pink, shimmery thing, is later worn by Harmony on Angel s5 in the ep where Lorne's dreams manifest themselves.

Also, I thought he was hot too in vamp face.  Totally enthralled before I actually saw JM's wonderful face
"Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly."
https://www.facebook.com/FangirlNovel
Feb 12 2008 08:58 am   #19goldenusagi
She is, of course, the first to know that Spike's covered in sunshine.

When is the first time Dru mentions sunshine?

Yeah, JM breaks into Southern words at times in this. They'd asked him to do both Southern and English accents in the audition


Does anyone think Spike wouldn't have been as popular if he'd had a Southern accent?  Not bashing them, cause I live in Oklahoma, but just wondering....
Feb 12 2008 10:30 am   #20Guest
Well, he wouldn't have sounded as bad-ass as a Southern Gentleman. Which is why they abandoned the idea. You would have had to change his whole look and demeanor, too.

She doesn't mention the sunshine until Lover's Walk in S3 because it's after Spike betrayed Angelus.

LoL, Scarlet, it wouldn't be the exact same dress from Anya - Harmony would never get her boobs in it!! I meant more in reference to Buffy, though. The lead woman never wears the same clothes twice unless she's supposed to be a frugal mom or something.

CM
Feb 12 2008 04:50 pm   #21Guest
Yeah, that's true Caro.  They'd have to add a lot more extra material  

As for Drusilla mentioning sunshine, well, she does give him that dog to eat in s2, and its name is Sunshine.  Also, when she first sees him, she says "I know what you want--something glowing, glistening...effulgent."  Making someone a vampire and taking them away from the sunshine is kind of backwards if you want to give them sunshine.  Oh, and in FFL, she tells him he tastes like ashes--definite forshadowing.
Feb 12 2008 04:50 pm   #22Guest
That was me--Scarlet.
Feb 12 2008 07:24 pm   #23nmcil
4. Spike's vamp face is REALLY ugly - much uglier than Angel's, especially the nasty pinky-red stuff around his eyes. Also, his accent sucks. 5. Spike is actually scary - most of the monsters on Buffy aren't all that scary. Also, he kills for pleasure - which sort of blows out the vampires are like predatory animals and only kill to live theory. He breaks the necks of a man at the parent teacher conference and of Sheila's two pick up guys. I don't think you see him bite anyone, which is weird. 6. Angel, once again, is useless. First, he runs in to tell the gang how Bad Bad Bad Spike is, then he disappears before giving them any real facts. Surely, being a famous vampire himself, he must know that Giles is going to figure out that Angel is connected to Spike. Second, Angel uses Xander in a ruse to trick Spike. When the trick fails, he runs off! Why doesn't he stay and fight Spike ? We learn (many years later) that Spike has never beaten Angel in a fight.

Showing Spike in that ugly vamp face, yet very human face, I think was meant to show the great contrast between his physical human face beauty and the demon monster that lives inside.  Later in the series his vamp make changes and I think he does look more like the Angelus face. 

Spike is most definitely a cold blooded killer vamp but with all the capacity to love his dark princess  this emphasis on Spike Vamp brings out the contrast of Angel and it also set a great foundation for all the cycle of Angel-Angelus  and the questions of Vampire nature - plus it is established as well that Angel was the teacher of Spike, the model for Spike the Vampire.

The reason that Angel does not fight Spike, the Big Bad of the episode, is that this establishes Buffy as Jefe Hero of Sunnydale and it is  the set-up for the summation of the episode and the series - Buffy is a wonderful, competent, take charge young woman, duty is more important than the real world rules, i.e. Principal Snyder, and that Buffy is made stronger by The Scoobies and family.   Angel-Angelus will bring her world crashing down but in the end, she will ultimately accept her role as  The Slayer above all else.

It was great seeing this episode again - at one time I really disliked how the filmed Spike's exit - now it seems just fine - wonderful how time allows for change.

How could the viewers not like Drusilla and Spike right from the start - they were a wonderful and needed new perspective for the series - great contrast of lovers to Angel-Buffy beautiful new characters but also very interesting -  beautiful, intelligent, interesting, black comics, ruthless, romantic and crazy; all wrapped up in a deadly package. 

Dru's "it's dark where she is" could also be a reference to the Slayer's original essence  -  I like the metaphor in contrast to William's effulgent and sunshine.  Plus, this slayer is formidable, she has already killed the head of their family, Buffy is the define Black Cloud to the Aurelian Family and the storm will arrive soon.
” Recent evolutionary models have demonstrated what politicians have long known: the best way to get people to collaborate and to think like a group is to identify an enemy and charge that “they” threaten “us.”

Michael Tomasello is co-director of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.
Feb 13 2008 01:00 am   #24Eowyn315
The reason that Angel does not fight Spike, the Big Bad of the episode, is that this establishes Buffy as Jefe Hero of Sunnydale and it is the set-up for the summation of the episode and the series

Well, metaphorically, yes... but I think we were talking more in terms of character logic - which really shouldn't be sacrificed for a metaphor.
Writing should feel easy, like a monkey driving a speed boat.
Feb 13 2008 01:36 am   #25Spikez_tart
nmcil - what you said - ditto

Buffy's period: You know, I always assumed that Xander finding the tampon in Buffy's purse was for comedic effect.  It is funny, and now that I think about it, if it had a cardboard applicator, it might have been a nifty way of staking a vamp   But, Spike does say "Fe, fi, fo, fum, I smell the blood of a nice, ripe slayer."  I know that a woman ovulates prior to her period, but the ripe could be referring to being fertile.  I'm sure they were just using the phrase, but when coupled with the tampon, could be analyzable.

Yes - the tampon is not by chance - in writing nothing is - so after more consideration (that would be drinking large amounts of coffee) I think it's a signal to the boys (Angel-Spike-Xander) that Buffy is ready for mating - that sounds crude, but I think that JW meant it that crudely.  Willow seems like a little girl - she hasn't joined the ranks of eligible females (hence why Xander doesn't follow up on that kiss?)  Cordelia is in the closet promising G-d that she'll never be mean again, except at that time of month and later offers one of her bitchy friends a Midol, so we know she's reached physical maturity.  (And, possibly that's why Xander always seems to be sniffing around Coredelia, too.)  Later in S2, Phases, Willow tells Oz "three days out of the month I'm not much fun to be around either."  So, she's finally grown up, too. 

Okay, and that was disgusting.

If we want her to be exactly she'll never be exactly I know the only really real Buffy is really Buffy and she's gone' who?
Feb 13 2008 01:46 am   #26nmcil

But, Spike does say "Fe, fi, fo, fum, I smell the blood of a nice, ripe slayer." I know that a woman ovulates prior to her period, but the ripe could be referring to being fertile. I'm sure they were just using the phrase, but when coupled with the tampon, could be analyzable.

Another obvious connection is just ripe for picking or plucking  - which is a phrase that is applied to a victim - a wonderful Buffyverse inversion.  And of course there is the added real phrase - or at least the phrase I know as "I smell the blood of an Englishman."

from Old Fairy Tales, re-told by Capt. Edric Vredenberg and others, illus. Frances Brundage, E. J. Andrews and others, London: Raphael Tuck & Sons, Ltd., [before 1919]. 25 x 19 cm. Uncatalogued

"Fee, Fi, Fo, Fum,
I smell the blood of an
Englishman, let him be
alive, or let him be dead,
I'll grind his bones to
make my bread," sang
the Giant, and his voice
sounded like the wind
among the trees on a
very stormy day, or like
lions in a menagerie at
feeding time, and he
walked all around sniffing
and snuffing, and peep-
ing and prying into all
corners and places where
he thought anyone might
be hidden; then at last
” Recent evolutionary models have demonstrated what politicians have long known: the best way to get people to collaborate and to think like a group is to identify an enemy and charge that “they” threaten “us.”

Michael Tomasello is co-director of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.
Feb 13 2008 02:27 am   #27Eowyn315
Yes - the tampon is not by chance - in writing nothing is

Actually, plenty of things in writing are just chance. And I'm gonna play the "overanalysis" card on this one. I think the tampon is purely for comedic value. 
Writing should feel easy, like a monkey driving a speed boat.
Feb 13 2008 02:40 am   #28Scarlet Ibis
I definitely think the tampon was also for comedic value--Nic just does it so well (Alexis too, with similar situations).  However, what makes me kind of think it was a tad on purpose is that Spike instantly notices her.  His back is turned, and he's about to follow the other vamps out to beat up Angel ("Come on people--this isn't a spectator's sport." ), but then he stops, and I could be imagining him inhaling deeply, but he does pause, and looks up, and then goes into his "...I smell the blood of a nice, ripe girl," and then he turns and looks at her.  He certainly didn't hear her back there, at any rate.
"Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly."
https://www.facebook.com/FangirlNovel
Feb 13 2008 03:24 am   #29Spikez_tart
I think the tampon is purely for comedic value. 
 
 

I admit Xander's reaction to touching a deadly tampon was damn funny.  Just wanted to see how far we could go with it.  As it turns out - pretty far.
If we want her to be exactly she'll never be exactly I know the only really real Buffy is really Buffy and she's gone' who?
Feb 13 2008 03:24 am   #30Immortal Beloved
"Fee, Fi, Fo, Fum, I smell the blood of an Englishman, let him be alive, or let him be dead, I'll grind his bones to make my bread,"

I just remembered that there is also a reference to this in "When She Was Bad."  Xander says that Buffy's grinding the Master's Bones to make her bread.  The fairy tale references are interesting.  I wonder if there are more...

Actually, plenty of things in writing are just chance. And I'm gonna play the "overanalysis" card on this one. I think the tampon is purely for comedic value.

Idon't think that things always come out the way a writer intended them.  Afterall, presumably, Spike was intended as a throw-away villain, and look how that turned out   Once the proverbial pen leaves the paper, everything is open for interpretation.

I could be imagining him inhaling deeply

It's not your imagination.  He does inhale, but I chalked that up to Spike being a vampire and being used to sniffing out his prey. 
Give me Spuffy, or give me death.
Feb 13 2008 04:22 am   #31Scarlet Ibis
Ah, he does...Well, technically, his prey was Angel, then he gets distracted.  It's debateable and open to interpretation, sure, but...it's enough to sway me, now that I've thought it over.  Especially since the series has presented a number of subtle undertones that you probably wouldn't get right away, which leads me to mention the "Little Miss Muffet" reference presented twice in regards to Dawn--once in s3 by Faith in the dream sequence, and again by the crazy guy in s5 (if I'm recalling all that correctly, that is).  I don't recall any other fairy tale-ish sayings, or things of that nature.  The only other thing that comes to mind is Angel mentioning Escher in his s4, and then s5 pretty much symbolizing a painting of the artist, and yeah, that isn't Buffy or about fairy tales, so never mind.
"Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly."
https://www.facebook.com/FangirlNovel
Feb 13 2008 04:30 am   #32Guest
Season 3 eppie Gingerbread was obviously about Hansel and Gretel and Helpless involved little red riding hood references, as well as season 4 when Buffy dressed up as little red riding hood for halloween with a basket of weapons.
Feb 13 2008 05:33 am   #33Eowyn315
The fairy tale references are interesting. I wonder if there are more...

Giles refers to the Gentlemen as fairy tale monsters... although it's not one I've ever heard. Pretty creepy-ass story for a fairy tale, even the original Grimm's versions.

s5 pretty much symbolizing a painting of the artist

Really? What symbolism was that? Granted, the only Escher I know is the never-ending staircase thing...
Writing should feel easy, like a monkey driving a speed boat.
Feb 13 2008 05:36 am   #34Scarlet Ibis
There was this whole essay about it at Tea at the Ford--someone posted the link months ago.  I think it was JoJo.

But the references really start in s4 (according to essay, if I'm recalling it correctly).  Something about up is down and down is up.  I'll try to find the link for you, cause there's no way I can explain it properly
"Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly."
https://www.facebook.com/FangirlNovel
Feb 13 2008 05:41 am   #35Scarlet Ibis

http://www.teaattheford.net/conversation.php?id=1501#20921
 andhttp://www.teaattheford.net/conversation.php?id=247#20927
"Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly."
https://www.facebook.com/FangirlNovel
Feb 13 2008 06:41 am   #36nmcil
But the references really start in s4 (according to essay, if I'm recalling it correctly). Something about up is down and down is up. I'll try to find the link for you, cause there's no way I can explain it properly

One thing that is connected with Escher and Fairy Tales is the Minotaur and The Labyrinth - no escape an and endless loop -  Also, your phrase reminded me of "Up The Down Staircase"  novel.

There is no better site for Buffyverse and Angel analysis than TatF - those ladies and gentlemen know the stuff - I love the other scholarly sites as well.

The tampon was used for comedic purpose, but it works with the connection to smell of blood -  The fairy tale reference, IMO, is used primarily to connect all the hide and seek going on between Buffy and Spike  and it acts as an inversion of the fairy tale and the results at Sunnydale- plus the giant from this story feeds on humans as do the vampires. 

Good point (sorry I forget which post)  on the connection between Xander's going through Buffy's purse and Cordelia's prayer - I loved that part of the episode.

Another point is the contrasts used in the Yoda reference - Where Angelus was the mentor and guide to Spike, Buffy can now be seen as the mythic guide for Angel - as a matter of fact, he states  himself that things were easier  with his world view they had before they cross paths - I think he said this in "Lie To Me"  Watched 3 different episodes tonight and can't remember where this comes out.

One thing about this chapter is how Spike and Dru, well Spike anyway, is shown as having the capacity  to love, just like Buffy & Angel; "Lie To Me" also has all three characters, Buffy, Angel and Spike as being jealous - from the start these three are connected - Buffy and Spike are both shown as being insecure about their partners in love.
” Recent evolutionary models have demonstrated what politicians have long known: the best way to get people to collaborate and to think like a group is to identify an enemy and charge that “they” threaten “us.”

Michael Tomasello is co-director of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.
Feb 14 2008 03:14 am   #37Spikez_tart
The tampon was used for comedic purpose - I admit it's funny, but it's too big of a setup for a throw away joke:
  • Spike sets up Buffy to run out to the alley
  • Buffy 'forgets" to grab a stake or a pool cue or a chair leg (admittedly, she is frequently without her stake when any sensible person would have it in their hand.)
  • She fights the vampire while Spike watches from the shadows.  If he really wanted to kill her, what a perfect opportunity.
  • Xander and Willow come running out - without weapons in spite of the fact that they know there's a vampire in the alley.  Maybe they were expecting Buffy to have a stake in her pants (ahem).
  • There are some very nice wooden pallets laying around the alley, instead of grabbing whatever comes to hand, Buffy sends Xander and Willow back inside to find a stake
  • Xander doesn't grab a pool cue or whatever either, instead he finds Buffy's purse and roots through it (okay Freudians, step right up). 
  • Xander finds, first the tampon, then the phallic stake and Buffy kills the vampire by penetrating his heart with her stake.
Then, (the following night?) Spike gets bored - why?  He wants to tangle with the Slayer.  He can't wait!  Then, there's the Fi Fi Fo Fum line, followed by Buffy offerinig to fight (or what?) without weapons.  Spike throws his down first.  No one gets seriously injured and everyone goes home frustrated.

Fairy tales - the show is full of them - Jack and the Beanstalk - Hansel and Gretel (Gingerbread - S3)- Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad (Wolf) make numerous appearances - Beauty and the Beast(s) (title of one of the S3 episodes) as well as the story of Spike and Buffy - Goldilocks (Spike's nickname for Buffy) and the Three Bears - (Daddy Bear - Angel, Honey Bear - Riley and Blondie Bear - Spike).  There are some Alice in Wonderland references (which is not a fairy tale but similar in feeling as well as Huckleberry (Riley) Finn.)

I need to get out more.
If we want her to be exactly she'll never be exactly I know the only really real Buffy is really Buffy and she's gone' who?
Feb 14 2008 03:44 am   #38Immortal Beloved
first the tampon, then the phallic stake

Ooo!  Good point about the tampon and the stake.  The tampon represents the female.  Only women menstruate.  The stake is quite obviously phallic, and, therefore, male.  The contrast kind of brings the idea of female power and female/male role reversal that we see in the show at times.  Buffy has a very traditionally male role as the slayer.  She's the protector, a role that is often represented as the male role.  But not for Buffy.  She's a girl, but she's also a warrior.  The irony that Xander, a boy, hands over the masculine stake to Buffy, a girl?  Not lost on me.

Goldilocks is definitely a fairytale that I noticed.  Someone who's name I cannot remember right now wrote a fic entitled "Goldilocks and the Three Hairs."  The three being Angel, Riley, and Spike.  I kind of see it as Angel being too hard (not that way), Riley being too soft, and Spike being just right

Jack and the Beanstalk: would someone please point out the reference(s) to that one?  IB is clueless sometimes...
Give me Spuffy, or give me death.
Feb 14 2008 04:08 am   #39Eowyn315
Thanks for the links, Scarlet.

Jack and the Beanstalk: would someone please point out the reference(s) to that one?

The "fee fi fo fum" bit.
Writing should feel easy, like a monkey driving a speed boat.
Feb 14 2008 04:19 am   #40Immortal Beloved
The "fee fi fo fum" bit.

See?  I knew fe fi fo fum was from Jack and the Beanstalk and that Spike says it, but my synapses weren't firing
Give me Spuffy, or give me death.
Feb 14 2008 07:40 am   #41nmcil

I belong to the group that thinks there is nothing that is just coincidence in this show, or any creative endeavor.  I am sure that writers are extremely deliberate with their choice of words and environment they are creating, same as a painter, every portion of their paintings, or sculpture, drawings are considered - so The Tampon, as Spikes_tart states, is specifically used and symbol and for comedy.  Another item connected to picking and plucking fruit and victims is Buffy's skirt - all flowers with leaves looking much like illustrations of vines and illustrations from Jack and the Beanstalk or the Jack the Giant Killer.

Pinocchio is also referenced in The Puppet Master -

I loved Principal Synder's line about the poor window victim in the  Police Scene -

” Recent evolutionary models have demonstrated what politicians have long known: the best way to get people to collaborate and to think like a group is to identify an enemy and charge that “they” threaten “us.”

Michael Tomasello is co-director of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.
Feb 14 2008 09:44 am   #42SpikeHot
Oh, no, I missed this discussion. I love the whole tampon discussion.
Feb 15 2008 02:41 am   #43Spikez_tart
Not to late to wade in S Hot.

Jack and the Beanstalk - I think in S1 (maybe) Xander says he's going to trade his cow in for some beans, or something like that.  Naturally I can't find it now.

NMcil - I agree that there's no coincidence in art.  Even if you have the benefit of the serendipitous good accident, you still have to determine to leave it in. 

Stake in Buffy's purse.  Okay, I missed that one.  Ew.
If we want her to be exactly she'll never be exactly I know the only really real Buffy is really Buffy and she's gone' who?
Feb 15 2008 03:49 am   #44Eowyn315
Even if you have the benefit of the serendipitous good accident, you still have to determine to leave it in.

Not necessarily - not if you don't realize it's serendipitous until after the work has been published. Look at all the analyzing we're doing of Buffy - we could easily come up with something that never occurred to Joss when he was writing it. But since the show is long over, he'd have no say in whether or not the image gets left in - it's there, he just didn't intend it to mean what we got out of it.

I've had readers point out themes or symbols in my stories that I never intended - and at the point where other people are reading my fics, it's too late to determine whether or not to leave it in. The insights are often very good ones, but not something I was conscious of while writing. I'd call that a coincidence.
Writing should feel easy, like a monkey driving a speed boat.
Feb 15 2008 10:30 pm   #45Spikez_tart
Too true - I'm a painter and people are always coming up with weird stuff that never occurred to me, which is mostly good.  Stuff like that is more subtle usually.  Maybe.
If we want her to be exactly she'll never be exactly I know the only really real Buffy is really Buffy and she's gone' who?
Feb 21 2008 04:23 pm   #46JoJoBird
This is off topic when it comes to the nature of the discussion but on topic School Hard.

Ha snayone been able to find that clip of Buffy willow and xan dancing to "stupid thing" the first time spike sees her, in the bronze. Youtube is nowadays so litterd by fanvids real clips are really hard to find.
Oh and if possible at all, the scene where faith is in buffys body, shes at the bronze and the play up until she delivers the "pop like warm champagne" line to spike.