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  • Season Four

    Well I'm going to blow open the big double doors. Season Four is probably the single most controversial aspect of AtS and probably the Buffyverse as a whole. So I think it would be great to have a thread about this fan-divider. I'm sure there is probably a dead thread like this and I apologize for this seemingly no-sequitur timing.

    Personally I really like this season. I considered it my favorite for a long time but I now can no longer choose. I will post a more detailed analysis of it when I have a few reactions and am in a better state of mind.

  • #2
    Actually, it's one of the most favorited seasons among many on this board. It always does well on polls.

    It's a love or hate thing, but it does have a lot of fans.

    "If there is no great glorious end to all this, if nothing we do matters, then all that matters is what we do."
    "Nothing in the world is the way it ought to be. It's harsh and cruel. But that's why there's us. Champions."

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    • #3
      I enjoy Season 4 too. I just like other seasons more! Especially as a Cordy fan, Season 4 can be a disappointment. Obviously she's in a coma for a huge chunk, is evil!Cordy for a while, is a PTB for a few episodes, and for everything in between, she's amnesiac and not feeling herself.

      But excluding that the storylines are really strong, both individual episodes and the arcs. I think the Angelus ones are weakest to me. But this season has some of my favorite episodes. I also think this season adds a lot of dimension to Wesley and Gunn's characters.

      I think one of my biggest irritations with S4 is Connor. I just couldn't get into his character. His assumption that he is right and hasn't completely been played by Holtz and that Angel is a bad dad all just kinda drive me batty. Especially considering how evil!Cordy plays him completely to bring forth Jasmine and his blind loyalty to Jasmine.

      Lydia made the punch!

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      • #4
        Ah, I'm the opposite. I LOVE Connor in season 4. I enjoy his twisted, brainwashed and manipulated portrayal.

        I actually prefer evil-Cordy to saint-Cordy, so that's not really an issue for me. I love her black gauzy dress.

        I don't view the Connor/Jasmine union so much as 'eww' but 'tragic'. It certainly worked to show just how messed up Connor was and it was one of Jasmine's ultimate manipulations along with Cordy with the visions and in season 3. The manipulation of Angel's emotions to keep Cordy's body safe during the pregnancy was also brilliant.

        I'm also one of the few whose favorite parts of the season includes Skip's speech about how far Jasmine's manipulations went (and I believe it). Jasmine did all those things, but the end was still a question mark. After she descended, her grand manipulations had to become emotional rather than godly puppeteering.

        It is possibly the most intricate and serialized season in the entire Jossverse.

        And the message of flawed human individuality and our choice to be that way versus a legitimate world peace Utopia that removes choice from individuals (which is world peace by definition) is brilliant and a pretty profound statement that I agree with. I think David Greenwalt and Tim Minear's political leanings showed through there (the opposite of Joss').

        But it also showed that Angel is a champion for all of humanity, both good and flawed. He's not trying to create Candy Land, but rather a place where humanity can decide its own fate and be in charge of themselves--whether to succeed or fail.

        "If there is no great glorious end to all this, if nothing we do matters, then all that matters is what we do."
        "Nothing in the world is the way it ought to be. It's harsh and cruel. But that's why there's us. Champions."

        Comment


        • #5
          I love Skip!!! It about killed me when the show revealed he was evil. I loved that episode as well. But I'm not someone who believes that Jasmine orchestrated it all. She might have put them in front of open doors, but everyone made the choice to walk through those doors. I love Gunn's counter speech about how crossing the street and brushing are teeth might have been the big events, we just don't know.

          I don't think I like what is termed saint-Cordy either. But evil Cordy wasn't as deliciously fun as I would have hoped. I think Cordelia in high school might have been more wicked.

          I agree that the Connor/Cordelia relationship was revealing of how damaged Connor was a person. I recognize it has its strong points, but I'm just never going to love it.

          Yes, the final arc of human harmony vs. individuality is an haunting twist on the universal wish for world peace. It's also brilliant how when Angel saves humanity from Jasmine, W&H honor him for his evilness.

          The season is definitely a great ride.

          Lydia made the punch!

          Comment


          • #6
            Season 4 is my least favourite season, unlike most people on here it seems. The only episodes I really like are Deep Down, The house Always wins, Supersymmetry, Spin the Bottle, Salvage and Orpheus. Most of these I find quite humourous which I love but I found this season quite serious a lot of the time and I found it quite boring.

            I really didn't like evil Cordy, I found it quite cheesy to be honest the way she acted and I hated it when she kissed the Beast it was so cringey. I also hated the Jasmine arc in this season I found it quite boring. I think because this season was less funny than the others is the main reason I was quite dissappointed by it. I think the only character I really liked this season was Faith.
            sigpic

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            • #7
              I think that season 4 (which is my favourite season) has the most good episodes and almost no bad epsodes. It has an epic feeling that I love very much, I love the feeling of the season. I'm not a big Connor fan, but he fits perfectly in this season. The same for dark Wesley. And Angelus was great when he was in the cage, really freaky. But besides Angelus, Angel was not dark or beige or whatever. Which is something I like as well, I'm a bit tired of the 'is Angel evil?'/'unethical Angel' story that is returning almost every season.


              I'm a bit disappointed in evil Cordy, it was clearly a last minute idea and it just didn't work. I never got why they went that way. Especially a year after the whole dark Willow story which also failed IMO.

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              • #8
                I don't like S4 very much. There are good things about it, but many problems as well.
                First thing I really really hated was Jasmine!Cordy. It really was so bad idea. Jasmine without Cordy I probably would have liked but this Cordy giving birth to Jasmine thing annoys me too much. Also Nina is completely right - evil Cordy was indeed very disappointing. I would have expected her to be much less lame and much more evil, you know.
                Also, Angelus should never have escaped the cage because when in cage he was really cunning but the second he got out he really was not the great evil Angelus we all expected. Perhaps the writers didn't know what to do with him out there - and that's why maybe he should have been left in the cage.
                I didn't mind messed up Connor. He had every reason to be messed up. But the thing with Cordy was very very icky and that ruined everything.

                Of course there were some good things in Season 4 as well. For example episodes like Awakening, Soulless, Salvage, Release, Orpheus and Home.
                There's Wes and Lilah, a pairing that I just love.

                To my mind, S4 could have been a great season, but the writers ruined it with Lame Evil Cordy and Cordy+Connor. These two things just irk me too much.
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                banner by litzie avatar by diane

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by carousel_girl8 View Post
                  Season 4 is my least favourite season, unlike most people on here it seems. The only episodes I really like are Deep Down, The house Always wins, Supersymmetry, Spin the Bottle, Salvage and Orpheus. Most of these I find quite humourous which I love but I found this season quite serious a lot of the time and I found it quite boring.
                  I LOVE Supersymmetry and House Always Wins. They'd each go in my top 20 list.

                  The seriousness and tension is also a detractor as to why I rank other seasons above S4. I love contrast of happy and dark which polarizes each and creates more of an emotional rollercoaster. With S4, it's all shades of darkness with only a little light and chances to breathe. It's an exciting ride, but the emotional weight makes me a little fearful to enter into rewatching it.

                  I'm also not much on the Angelus arc. I enjoyed the End of Days events leading up to it: Apocalypse Nowish, Habeus Corpses, and especially the Indiana Jonesish, Long Days Night because it was so happy and I really had hoped it was all true (me = sappy dreamer ). I also preferred the Jasmine arc for the way everything was flipped upside down. I really enjoyed Fred all alone against the world in the Magic Bullet.

                  Originally posted by carousel_girl8
                  I really didn't like evil Cordy, I found it quite cheesy to be honest the way she acted and I hated it when she kissed the Beast it was so cringey.
                  So true. It was the cheese factor more than the fact she was evil.

                  Originally posted by carousel_girl8
                  I think the only character I really liked this season was Faith.
                  While I had love for a lot of characters (this season increased my appreciation for Gunn and Fred), this is the season where I grew to like Faith rather than hate her. I never liked her in S3 Buffy. BTVS S4/AtS S1 made me accept her, but this season is where I actually did like her. I think she had grown a lot.

                  Lydia made the punch!

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                  • #10
                    For me, I liked Season 4 *after* I knew what the seasonal arc was (Cordy was possessed, Jasmine, Connor's ultimate emotional breakdown). On the first watch, I had trouble escaping the "WTF is going on?" reaction to the story. But once I knew what was happening, I greatly enjoyed the season.

                    Verdict: Better on the re-watch than first time around.
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                    Banner Set by thedothatgirl

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                    • #11
                      Especially the secod half of Season Four seemed somewhat over-the-top for me, but that does not make me dislike it altogether. It also does not make me hate the Jasmine episodes. I just like others more.
                      What irked me was the whole Cordelia/Connor thing, and the trouble it caused. I don't blame Connor - yes, he is a "bothersome" character, but I can understand what broke him so much inwardly that he cannot trust and lashes out like that.

                      What I really liked about Season Four, on the other hand, was the whole Beast and Angelus thing, and Faith's role in it.
                      Sin is what I feast upon
                      I'm forging my crematorium
                      Your tomb is waiting here for you
                      Welcome to my ritual

                      -Judas Priest, Death

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                      • #12
                        I agree, S4 is love or hate situation. Aside the whole Cordelia and Connor thing, I realy love it. I love Wesley and Lilah, I love how all the relationships are screwed and how the season has a sense of doom throughout the season, really scary. There are things that could be done better, for example I didn?t like Angelus very much here, at least in 2 or 3 episodes.
                        But there is a lot to love and I like it more than S3.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Emmie View Post
                          For me, I liked Season 4 *after* I knew what the seasonal arc was (Cordy was possessed, Jasmine, Connor's ultimate emotional breakdown). On the first watch, I had trouble escaping the "WTF is going on?" reaction to the story. But once I knew what was happening, I greatly enjoyed the season.

                          Verdict: Better on the re-watch than first time around.
                          I agree, I still like this season least out of all of them but I agree that it is a lot easier to understand on second viewing. I found this season the most confusing, it's the same with Season 5 of Buffy at the very beginning when I was like 'Where has Dawn come from????' but I find this season harder to fathom, I felt a lot of it was pointless to be honest to the whole series. Seeing as Jasmine was in the show for such a short amount of time I don't see why they needed to make nearly the whole season about this tiny thing.
                          sigpic

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                          • #14
                            Count me among S4's detractors. I love Deep Down, THAW, and all things Gwen Raiden, but that's about it. I realize that some of it was caused by circumstances out of the creators' control, but the whole Cortdy arc is a poorly explained mess. Skip rocks, but there's just too much Handwavium included in the support structure of Jasmine's emergence. I rank AtS S4 at the bottom of all 12 years' of Buffyverse seasons.
                            Cordially,
                            Amuk

                            I didn't jump. I took a tiny step, and there conclusions were.
                            Addicted to Buffy

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                            • #15
                              I would rank it at the very top, at least in the top 3 favourite seasons. I loved the arc - yes, there were some questionable moments along the way (Evil!Cordy..yes, we all knew that one already) - but as a whole, just a brilliant season. So much was going on and they really made the most of a massive story-arc - a lot more impressively than BtVS S7! Not an episode was wasted.

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                              • #16
                                I really liked the Beast arc.
                                When watchign it for the first time, Cordelia's behaviour unsettled me too - until her letting Angelus out and stabbing Lilah revealed that she was either possessed or not Cordelia at all, which was rather soothing to know.
                                I'm currently re-watching it with a group of friends, so I'll have an opinion on second viewing soon.
                                Sin is what I feast upon
                                I'm forging my crematorium
                                Your tomb is waiting here for you
                                Welcome to my ritual

                                -Judas Priest, Death

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