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Thread: The enemy of my enemy...

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    Default The enemy of my enemy...

    "The truth is, I like this world. You've got dog racing, Manchester United. And you've got people. Billions of people walking around like Happy Meals with legs."

    Spike, "Becoming, Part One".

    Spike has a point. In fact, I find it less surprising that he would try to team up with the Slayer to save the world than that so few other vampires/demons/witches do. Sure, they've got good reason to fight and/or avoid the Slayer when the only thing at stake (why are puns so hard to avoid when you're writing about this show?) is a meal, just as she's got good reason to fight and/or avoid vampires and demons when the only thing at stake is the survival of one or two people. But, roughly once a season (and continuously throughout season 7), they face a threat that goes well beyond that.

    While some of the seasonal Big Bads may have a plan that would benefit, or at least not harm, supernatural creatures, the majority of near-apocalypses that Buffy averts pose as much of a danger to your average demon as they do to humans. Indeed, they arguably pose an even bigger risk to vampires, given that human blood is, overwhelmingly, their preferred food source. If humans went extinct, or even became a threatened species, vampires would suffer a catastrophic famine. It wouldn't be a picnic for other demons, either: No more virgins for Machida, no more skin for the Gnarl, no more cats for Clem. Of the handful of demons that don't literally eat/drink human or animal bodies, most* still rely on mortals for pleasure, power, procreation, and/or purpose.

    That being the case, a team-up to stop, say, the First Evil sounds like an easy sell. Barring that, you'd think that Buffy would occasionally stumble over an independent scheme to stop the Big Bad. After all, most of the demons that we see are, like most of the humans, rather self-centered. The end of humankind would be poor consolation for their own looming demise.




    *Vengeance demons spend a considerable amount of time on human grudges; although "Entropy" suggests that they can fulfill a non-human's wishes, there's not much indication that they want to. The Kindestod and Mok'Tagar consume intangible aspects of a person, like the life force or soul. Moloch thrived on human interaction and worship. Eyghon, and likely some other demons, enjoyed possessing humans. The Bezoar and She-Mantis used humans to reproduce, and it is possible that incubi and succubi do as well.

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    Graveyard Patrol Willow from Buffy's Avatar
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    I don't really see why you count witches, because witches aren't evil. There are witches in the Scoobies and they get help from that coven in England. Ethan also gives some vital information to Giles, before his sense of whimsy gets the better of him and he turns Giles into a demon.

    As for demons, there is Whistler and the demon that Faith kills in S3. Harmony works for the fang gang.

    I guess most demons would just ask, 'Why me?' and get out of doge when there is an apocalypse, like Clem does in S7 and the recently turned human Anya does in S3.

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    I suppose most demons and vampires would generally avoid the Slayer on out of principle. And Buffy doesn't generally socialise with the demonic underworld, so there's not really much chance of a team-up.

    Spike approaching Buffy in season 2 for a team-up seems to be the outlier in these kinds of situations. It was a very risky move on Spike's part, because it would be entirely possible that Buffy wouldn't care what he's got to say and would keep trying to stake him on principle. I think the only reason Buffy was open to the idea of a team-up with Spike is because Giles was being held hostage. If Giles had escaped or was confirmed dead prior to Spike approaching Buffy, then I don't think she'd be interested in a team-up at all, and would have killed him rather than listen to any of his ideas.

    Also, most apocalypse situations kind of happen out of the blue, and the big bads generally don't advertise to the wider demon community that they are about to end the world. And the big bads who are in a position to end the world are generally able to keep other demons/vampires in line through fear. Also, most apocalypses that get described on the show are pretty unclear as to what they will actually entail beyond "it will be really bad."

    But I think the biggest reason of all is that on the whole, most demons are very self-serving. And unless an apocalypse is a threat to their well-being, they are probably going to be more content to just survive rather than put their life on the line trying to stop it. Even Spike walked away when it looked like Angel had Buffy on the ropes. He had what he wanted -Drusilla away from Angel. He thought Buffy was going to lose, and he still left the scene. As he was speeding away in his car, he probably expected the world to end at any moment... but it never did. He would not have preferred the post-Acathla landscape, but he would have still survived.

    Anya left town when the Mayor's stuff went down because her own safety was more important. D'Hoffryn knew what the First Evil was up to and didn't give a shit. Harmony not giving a shit has become a character trait.

    W&H helping out against the First Evil's apocalypse (by giving Angel the amulet) is one of the very few times another evil group had enough forewarning that an apocalypse was about to go down and they were in a position to actually do something about it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vampire in Rug View Post

    But I think the biggest reason of all is that on the whole, most demons are very self-serving. And unless an apocalypse is a threat to their well-being, they are probably going to be more content to just survive rather than put their life on the line trying to stop it. Even Spike walked away when it looked like Angel had Buffy on the ropes. He had what he wanted -Drusilla away from Angel. He thought Buffy was going to lose, and he still left the scene. As he was speeding away in his car, he probably expected the world to end at any moment... but it never did. He would not have preferred the post-Acathla landscape, but he would have still survived.
    Yeah, I think there is more than enough to support the notion that Spike's little talk was just a sales pitch. If he had managed a way to get Dru, get rid of Angel(us) and get out of SD without saving the world, he likely would have. Just a handful of eps prior he was planning to burn all those happy meals on legs out of the world himself.

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    I guess I am the only one who saw the title of the thread and immediately flashed to:

    ANGEL
    Think I'm joking?

    LILAH
    Not unless you've conjured up a sense of humor to go with that soul. Look, you got it straight from the weasel's mouth. Whatever Lorne gleaned from reading Wonder Girl—it's protected. Try and unlock it—ka-blooey. Thanks for stopping by. (walks behind desk)

    ANGEL
    You're trying to hide it. I can smell it on you?

    LILAH
    (sits at desk) Chanel?

    ANGEL
    (stands) Fear.

    LILAH
    Well, you are very imposing in this light.

    ANGEL
    (walks around to stand by Lilah) You're not afraid of me, Lilah. You're afraid of what's coming. Maybe we can help each other, huh. The enemy of my enemy—

    LILAH
    Can kiss my ass too. You wanna play hero? Go find another sandbox.
    Can we agree that the writers made everyone do and say everything with a thought to getting good ratings and being renewed. This includes everything we love as well as everything we hate.

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    Hardly There:
    Just a handful of eps prior he was planning to burn all those happy meals on legs out of the world himself.
    That little plot twist never made sense to me. By the way, Spike leaving Buffy to be killed by Angel doesn't make sense either because what would Spike gain by driving three or four miles and then getting sucked into the Acathla hell with his DeSoto and an unconscious Dru on thepassenger seat? Dru would scamper back to Angel - who has also ended up in the Acathla Hell - as soon as she comes to and Spike would be off worse than before because he wouldn't even have ManU and dog racing anymore.

    But let's talk about the judge. The judge burns every being that has left some humanity in them to ashes. That means the judge will slowly one after one burn every human to ashes.

    Which means Spike and Dru will subsequently starve.

    But not only humans have humanity in them. Vampires - except for soulless Angel - can have some residual humanity inside them too. That means Spike and Dru's minions will be turned to ashes. And finally Spike and Dru have humanity in them as well. They are an endangered species! The judge will come upon them!

    Oops - he spared them. But why ? Because of a sudden sensation of humanity on the judge's side? I mean, I know that Spike argues he and Dru have brought the judge back. But what difference does that make to the judge? Did Spike expect the judge to be grateful? Isn't gratefulness a human emotion?

    I have a nagging feeling that this whole judge business was necessary for no tother purpose but to show that Angel had lost his soul and had no humanity left inside him.

    If someone could explain this in any other way that makes sense, I would be very grateful (as long as there is no judge around).

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    Yes it is there for the purpose of drawing a clear line that Angel is not now as he was. But I do try to always find some way to make sense of what we are given. Saying Angel has no humanity in him when he is unsouled doesn't make sense to me. He rejects human emotions that he feels weaken him, but he does have them, as warped as they are when sired, and a personality, strengths and weaknesses that connect him to his human origin. As Darla points out to him in The Prodigal, killing his father was still connected to the love that he held for him and that link to wanting approval that made him try to prove he'd bettered him finally ("What we once were informs all that we have become. (Angel looks at his father’s body) The same love will infect our hearts – even if they no longer beat."). So despite still having human emotions quite literally, Angel does try to dampen and reject what he sees as emotional responses that weaken him.

    So really I think it depends what exactly you take to be meant by what the judge does and why/how the judge sees these things as weaknesses to be damned/eradicated. Angel tells them: the legend of The Judge was "of a demon brought forth to rid the Earth of the plague of humanity... separate the righteous from the wicked... and to burn the
    righteous down." So it doesn't sound like it has to be all humans even necessarily, not if you're separating righteous from wicked. Perhaps just reducing the numbers would be enough to be deemed as stopping the plague on Earth. Damning so many but not all. And it isn't ever clear how he's judging them, but just that he does. Giles also gives details in Surprise saying: "The more I study the Judge, the less I like him. His touch can literally burn the humanity out of you. A true creature of evil can survive the process. No human ever has." Firstly, 'can literally burn', not 'will'. I don't think it means that having humanity within you in any sense means that you would burn automatically. Everything about him, his name and how he responds to people, senses things about them, makes it clear that he is subjectively judging them and choosing whom to kill. Vampires are creatures of evil as they are animated by demons. Holden outright stated the sense of that connection being there ("Like I'm connected to a powerful all-consuming evil that's gonna suck the world into a firey oblivion.") and Jesse talked of something similar I think. So I can see why the Judge might choose to spare two that, despite openly admitting they hold some degree of emotional regard for each other which could be seen to weaken them (affection and jealousy), he sees are still cruel and evil enough to put him together in the first place and murder for decades for fun too. Dalton didn't try to defend himself and let's face it, The Judge seems to enjoy terrorising, attacking and killing, so was happy to just damn him for reading/feeling. Hardly 'righteousness'. The objectivity of his judgements I think is fairly questionable. Too much weight is perhaps put on his sensing 'nothing' in Angel he'd deem as humanity (possibly just Angel's very open rejection of emotions) but sensing emotions between Spike and Dru that bothered him enough to remark on them but not to simply burn them for.

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    Stoney

    He rejects human emotions that he feels weaken him, but he does have them, as warped as they are when sired, and a personality, strengths and weaknesses that connect him to his human origin.
    I agree but I (genuinely*) don't know whether I'd call them "warped" as such. What he does is - literally - cede to the Oedipal desire to kill his father. Seems to me that this is where Spike differs - he doesn't fulfill the child's unconscious wish to sleep with the mother. Perhaps this ability to show "restraint" explains why Spike's not entirely evil even without a soul? IDK.

    * on reflection, maybe warped or perverse is the right term.

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    But Angel does have emotions, so that can't be the line of humanity. He takes great joy in the pain of others. He shows signs of happiness, schadenfreude, anger, desire, etc. It's the genesis of these emotions that is inhumane. It's not even inhuman given the wholesale slaughter of humans by humans. So perhaps the judge simply decided that the feelings Dru and Spike shared were a sign of humanity because they shared them for each other. Angel had no humanity because he was lacking in goodwill for any other being. The judge also never seemed to be a threat to anyone out of the Americas, unless Big Blue was able to arrange transport to other continents after he killed all the humane humans.

    As for Acathla - it never occurred to me that Spike left assuming Angel would kill Buffy. I think that's purely a moment of "Uh, wait a minute. Didn't think of that." as the world is sucked into Acathla's hell. Of course, Spike never seems to have wondered why the world wasn't sucked into hell. His deal with Buffy wasn't to save the world. It was to team up against Angel because they couldn't fight both together.
    Can we agree that the writers made everyone do and say everything with a thought to getting good ratings and being renewed. This includes everything we love as well as everything we hate.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TriBel View Post
    Perhaps this ability to show "restraint" explains why Spike's not entirely evil even without a soul? IDK.
    I don't think Spike is any different to any other vampire in how he is made so any 'goodness' in him is just about what aspects of the personality of William were thrown in that motivates who Spike then is. I think he's still as connected to that call consuming evil as the next vamp. The focus on his wish for love that he has is still 'warped' () by being a demon and the limitations on his capacity to feel emotions and restricted by his lack of morality.

    Quote Originally Posted by bespangled View Post
    But Angel does have emotions, so that can't be the line of humanity. He takes great joy in the pain of others. He shows signs of happiness, schadenfreude, anger, desire, etc. It's the genesis of these emotions that is inhumane. It's not even inhuman given the wholesale slaughter of humans by humans. So perhaps the judge simply decided that the feelings Dru and Spike shared were a sign of humanity because they shared them for each other. Angel had no humanity because he was lacking in goodwill for any other being. The judge also never seemed to be a threat to anyone out of the Americas, unless Big Blue was able to arrange transport to other continents after he killed all the humane humans.
    Yes the connections to human emotions is undeniably there in them all and whilst the Judge lists 'feelings' as one of Dalton's failings, he's clearly 'judging' what they are and whether he sees wickedness etc. It would make sense if the plague of humanity, rather than humans themselves (despite there being no belief one survived the touch of the judge), actually was referring to care/regard for others. The goodwill towards other beings you suggest. The Judge could still have been happy/willing to disregard what he sensed in Spike/Dru because of whatever level was there, or just that their demonic evil drives he also judged to be evident still slotted them into the wicked category. Dalton really just struck me as him being satisfied he was someone he could stretch his muscles out killing. There's nothing that makes me feel that his judgements had to be objective and 'fair'.
    Last edited by Stoney; 05-06-19 at 05:20 AM.

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    A few thoughts:

    Dalton reads—

    It is this activity of his that draws the attention of the Judge:

    And in line what others have said above, reading evokes empathy,
    a feeling with a for others—they may not be actual people, may
    be representations of people, but they are representations that
    connect to human emotions and desires, sufferings and losses—
    especially if Dalton reads Romantic poetry, something I have always
    suspected he did...

    That makes him very different from Spike and Dru, whose affection
    and jealousy, as others have pointed out, center only upon each other,
    never prevent them from doing massive violence, evil, to humans—

    And from Angel, whose emotions, again as others have pointed out,
    direct themselves towards the pleasure to be found in doing pain to
    others—human and nonhuman (such as his treatment of Spike)... I
    am reminded here of LocalMax's marvelous analysis of the end of
    S2, where he argued that the experience of IOHEFY, Angelus'
    experience of love again, this time without a soul—remember Giles'
    comment that Angelus was most likely to strike out against those
    who had made him feel most human, Angelus' comment about
    Buffy that indicated the same—but making him feel again ensouled,
    if just for a few moments... That it was this, LocalMax showed, that
    drove Angelus to awaken Acathala and end the world, to go apocalyptic—

    Love, the feeling for the other, the care for the other, the forgiveness
    of the other, the obligation to the other—

    Such emotion, as opposed to the pleasure in causing pain, the pleasure
    we saw so explicitly in Passions, in the way he looked in on Buffy
    and Willow as they heard about Jenny's death, in the way he set up
    Giles' apartment, in his daily tormenting of Spike, in the torture of
    Drusilla before he turns her, in...

    Such emotion he finds unbearable, so unbearable he seeks to scrub
    it out of himself but finds that gesture insufficient, for it seems to
    force to the surface something in his souled self, something he
    cannot rid himself of without not simply killing Buffy, the one he
    had loved, that the souled self in him still loves, but by ending
    the world itself—

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    Quote Originally Posted by flow View Post
    Hardly There:

    That little plot twist never made sense to me. By the way, Spike leaving Buffy to be killed by Angel doesn't make sense either because what would Spike gain by driving three or four miles and then getting sucked into the Acathla hell with his DeSoto and an unconscious Dru on thepassenger seat? Dru would scamper back to Angel - who has also ended up in the Acathla Hell - as soon as she comes to and Spike would be off worse than before because he wouldn't even have ManU and dog racing anymore.

    But let's talk about the judge. The judge burns every being that has left some humanity in them to ashes. That means the judge will slowly one after one burn every human to ashes.

    Which means Spike and Dru will subsequently starve.

    But not only humans have humanity in them. Vampires - except for soulless Angel - can have some residual humanity inside them too. That means Spike and Dru's minions will be turned to ashes. And finally Spike and Dru have humanity in them as well. They are an endangered species! The judge will come upon them!

    Oops - he spared them. But why ? Because of a sudden sensation of humanity on the judge's side? I mean, I know that Spike argues he and Dru have brought the judge back. But what difference does that make to the judge? Did Spike expect the judge to be grateful? Isn't gratefulness a human emotion?

    I have a nagging feeling that this whole judge business was necessary for no tother purpose but to show that Angel had lost his soul and had no humanity left inside him.

    If someone could explain this in any other way that makes sense, I would be very grateful (as long as there is no judge around).

    flow
    There are plenty of nonsensical plot elements and wacky character motivations in the so-called Golden Years. You're just not allowed to discuss them. That kind of talk must be confined to 5-7.

    Even the notion of "humanity" doesn't add up. The Judge burns Dalton because he likes to read, which is hardly a human-specific trait, yet Angel has passions of his own. Somehow he's devoid of humanity anyway.

    Why did Angelus suddenly want to destroy the world anyway? He was around for 200 years before going non-evil. He never bothered then. Spike's speech is 100% accurate if insincere. What exactly would vampires eat if all the humans died or were sucked into hell, where they would die?

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    Quote Originally Posted by HardlyThere View Post
    There are plenty of nonsensical plot elements and wacky character motivations in the so-called Golden Years. You're just not allowed to discuss them. That kind of talk must be confined to 5-7.

    Even the notion of "humanity" doesn't add up. The Judge burns Dalton because he likes to read, which is hardly a human-specific trait, yet Angel has passions of his own. Somehow he's devoid of humanity anyway.

    Why did Angelus suddenly want to destroy the world anyway? He was around for 200 years before going non-evil. He never bothered then. Spike's speech is 100% accurate if insincere. What exactly would vampires eat if all the humans died or were sucked into hell, where they would die?
    I don't know that Angelus hated the world his first time 'round. In flashbacks, he seems to feel that he's gone beyond the pains of human relationships, meaning that they aren't a threat to him. It's only after he discovers that he hasn't permanently and irrevocably lost his ability to love that his attitude toward the world shifts from (mostly) callous indifference to utter hatred. I think it's a hatred borne of fear: He says in "Innocence" that making him feel love is "not the kind of thing you forgive," and describes himself as "violated" by the love of the ghost that had possessed him (instead of just, y'know, by virtue of being possessed). Soulless!Angel in 1753 considered himself a predator of humanity, both in the sense of human beings and in the sense of emotions like love. Soulless!Angel in 1998 considers himself prey to the latter, and possibly, given that he inherits his soulful self's obsession with one human girl, the former as well.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by HardlyThere View Post
    There are plenty of nonsensical plot elements and wacky character motivations in the so-called Golden Years. You're just not allowed to discuss them. That kind of talk must be confined to 5-7.

    Even the notion of "humanity" doesn't add up. The Judge burns Dalton because he likes to read, which is hardly a human-specific trait, yet Angel has passions of his own. Somehow he's devoid of humanity anyway.

    Why did Angelus suddenly want to destroy the world anyway? He was around for 200 years before going non-evil. He never bothered then. Spike's speech is 100% accurate if insincere. What exactly would vampires eat if all the humans died or were sucked into hell, where they would die?

    Well, it's possible that some humans would survive Acathla, they'd just be miserable. After all, the Hell dimension in "Anne" utilizes human slaves. The Judge, Glory, the Sisterhood of Jhe, Dark Willow, the First Evil, etc. are harder to explain. We could argue a lot of points about the nature of humans in the Buffyverse, but they all do, by definition, possess humanity, meaning that they're all vulnerable to the Judge-- bad news for any vamp who doesn't like pigs' blood. The others are even more omnicidal and would probably kill nonhuman animals as well, meaning that there would be nothing left for vampires to eat.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by bespangled View Post
    I guess I am the only one who saw the title of the thread and immediately flashed to:

    ANGEL
    Think I'm joking?

    LILAH
    Not unless you've conjured up a sense of humor to go with that soul. Look, you got it straight from the weasel's mouth. Whatever Lorne gleaned from reading Wonder Girl—it's protected. Try and unlock it—ka-blooey. Thanks for stopping by. (walks behind desk)

    ANGEL
    You're trying to hide it. I can smell it on you?

    LILAH
    (sits at desk) Chanel?

    ANGEL
    (stands) Fear.

    LILAH
    Well, you are very imposing in this light.

    ANGEL
    (walks around to stand by Lilah) You're not afraid of me, Lilah. You're afraid of what's coming. Maybe we can help each other, huh. The enemy of my enemy—

    LILAH
    Can kiss my ass too. You wanna play hero? Go find another sandbox.
    Yet, when push comes to shove, Lilah does team up with AI. Wolfram & Hart is rooting for him to stop Jasmine's mind-control apocalypse. A greedy law firm could not thrive in a society without the possibility for greed. No, Lilah doesn't want to be a hero, but she doesn't want to be some demigod's slave, either. I'd expect more MOTW- and minion-level antagonists to share that perspective.

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    Hardly There:
    What exactly would vampires eat if all the humans died or were sucked into hell, where they would die?
    It's another thing that never gets explained or even mentioned. How exactly did Angel spent his hundred years in the Acathla hell dimension. What did he feed on? Where there pigs? He never talks about it (which might be understandable) but no one ever bothers to ask him. He comes back feral and a couple of episodes later he is doing Tai Chi as if nothing ever happened.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ghoststar View Post
    I don't know that Angelus hated the world his first time 'round. In flashbacks, he seems to feel that he's gone beyond the pains of human relationships, meaning that they aren't a threat to him. It's only after he discovers that he hasn't permanently and irrevocably lost his ability to love that his attitude toward the world shifts from (mostly) callous indifference to utter hatred. I think it's a hatred borne of fear: He says in "Innocence" that making him feel love is "not the kind of thing you forgive," and describes himself as "violated" by the love of the ghost that had possessed him (instead of just, y'know, by virtue of being possessed). Soulless!Angel in 1753 considered himself a predator of humanity, both in the sense of human beings and in the sense of emotions like love. Soulless!Angel in 1998 considers himself prey to the latter, and possibly, given that he inherits his soulful self's obsession with one human girl, the former as well.
    He didn't have anything more than a passing interest in anything other than Buffy until Acathla showed up. There are a million ways to end the world (apparently).

    Well, it's possible that some humans would survive Acathla, they'd just be miserable. After all, the Hell dimension in "Anne" utilizes human slaves. The Judge, Glory, the Sisterhood of Jhe, Dark Willow, the First Evil, etc. are harder to explain. We could argue a lot of points about the nature of humans in the Buffyverse, but they all do, by definition, possess humanity, meaning that they're all vulnerable to the Judge-- bad news for any vamp who doesn't like pigs' blood. The others are even more omnicidal and would probably kill nonhuman animals as well, meaning that there would be nothing left for vampires to eat.
    Any survivors would soon be et. There are numerous hell dimensions. In this particular one, Angel was tortured for a 100 years. No reason to believe any human would fair better.

    I do not mind it. The story isn't about Angel or Angelus. It's about Buffy. My only gripe is that there's no way this would be accepted later even though these apocalyptic always turn on the hero's struggle, not the sensibility of the big bad's plan.

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