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  • Villains

    Hello everyone I have been thinking about all the enemies in both Buffy and Angel and thought it could be fun to have an in-depth discussion about them. Not a which is the best contest, though if that comes up so be it but more of the progression of the enemies in each series.

    For example I will use the two first seasons of Buffy:

    1st season- The Master
    He is physically ugly, always looks like a vampire so there is no deception there. His reputation alone frightened Buffy and he did actually kill her.

    Why do you think Joss chose this enemy as her first big battle?

    Do you think his name was a play on a puppetmaster of sorts, having his "children" do most of his dirty work, being in control.

    Did he meet your expectations as the first "major villian" or would you have prefered a different direction?


    2nd season- Angel
    Obviously Spike and Drusilla were major players as well and should be talked about but again just trying to show examples

    Angel is a complete 360 from the Master in season one, visually he is handsome, deceptive, was once on the "good guy" side. He was also the most complex because he ddn't just want to kill the slayer, he wanted to hurt her in everyway he could think of. I think he may be the cruelest villian in the 'verse. Where in the first season the Master was completely focused on Buffy and destroying her literally....Angel's way is more complete he threatens her mom, her friends, her watcher etc.

    Was that part of Joss' total vision or were the two completely seperate and it was simply because Angel would be perfect being a vampire with a soul and being Buffy's boyfriend and it would be great drama for season 2.

    Next up:

    General questions: Why are enemies that are gods female? Glory, Jasmine, Illyria. And why aren't they called goddess'?

    Then there are the enemies yet also allies category: Faith, Connor, Harmoney, Spike etc.
    Are they more compelling because of the fact that they have been both?


    Okay obviously I could go on but that is just a way to start. Below I will list many of the major players from Buffy and Angel. Please add any I miss.



    BVTS
    The Master
    Angel
    The Mayor
    Faith
    Spike and Dru
    Adam/Initiative
    Glory
    Dark Willow
    Warren/Jonathan/Andrew
    The First
    Caleb


    Ats
    Lilah/Lindsey
    Wolfram and Hart
    Darla
    Holtz
    Connor
    Cordelia
    Jasmine
    Eve

  • #2
    I believe a really good villain should have a motive that everybody can understand, such as world domination or some kid of revenge, both designed to gratify the ego, which seems to lie at the root of most villainy.

    The Mayor in Buffy Season 3 was an excellent villain. Not only did he have a recognizable motive, but he had charm and humor and a genuine love for Faith. He spoke truthfully to Angel about the hopeless future he had to offer Buffy, and Angel did listen to him.

    A good villain should be morally subversive, in that viewers or readers could imagine themselves doing the same thing. Here Alfred Hitchcock excelled in films like Notorious and North By Northwest in which Claude Raines and James Mason were obviously intelligent and civilized and attractive as well as being unscrupulous.

    In Season 2 Angelus was a great villain because of the moral dilemma and stress he imposed on Buffy. "Always torture the heroine" was Hitchcock's advice on the construction of thrillers, and in Season 2 Buffy gets the full Monty of emotional torture. The climax, when Angelus became Angel again but Buffy had to kill him for the world's sake, is IMO the most moving scene in modern television drama.

    Seasons 2 and 3 of Buffy are the best and most popular within BtVS because they have the best villains, among other qualities.

    The Master in Season 1 is an old fashioned B movie monster of no interest apart from his Sean Connery accent. Darla was a much more fascinating figure and I thought it was a pity that she was killed so soon. Of course, ways were found to bring her into other Buffy episodes and also in the Angel series. Julie Benz brings great added value to anything she appears in. She is a star.

    After Season 3 in Buffy the villains are just not what they used to be. Adam in Season 4 is a dull and unoriginal variation on the Frankenstein theme, and Glory is just a bore in Season 5. These seasons have many fine episodes but on the whole they do not have the emotional impact of 2 and 3.

    Season 6, which I hated at first now seems excellent to me. It is the most grown up of the BtVS series and the drama between the main characters gives the energy to what we see. The troika of nerdish villains are almost comic relief,for most of the time.

    Season 6 shows that real tragedy lies not in the conflict between the good guys and the bad guys, but between good guys and good guys.

    I am afraid that in Season 7 we have the most empty villain of all. The First Evil is just evil for the sake of being evil which makes no sense at all. Evil in reality always involves perverting or distorting some otherwise normal desire, be it for money, romance, or social position. A good villain must have some virtues such as courage and magnetism is he is to achieve anything.

    I have not yet seen the Angel episodes involving Jasmine, but to judge from what I have read she sounds top flight. The very greatest villain should always appear as a savior--to start with.
    Last edited by Michael; 23-04-08, 06:10 PM.

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    • #3
      Season 6, which I hated at first now seems excellent to me. It is the most grown up of the BtVS series and the drama between the main characters gives the energy to what we see. The troika of nerdish villains are almost comic relief,for most of the time.
      What strikes me as so good about the villainy of this season is that the people who cause the most harm in the world often do seem "small" - the little hitler of a boss who makes your life a misery, the loser boyfriend/girlfriend who can still cause you pain, even though they're pretty pathetic by objective standards, but you're too wrapped up in it to realise, the local government official who gets power-hungry and throws their weight around in ways that hurt people.

      But sometimes you don't notice the small hurts, or you don't take them seriously until it's too late. Warren and co go from "pains in my ass" for Buffy to "sucking chest wound" - not to mention the unintended consequences of Tara's death followed by Willow's black rootsification.

      The big bad is "life" in this season, according to Joss (it was Joss that said that wasn't it? Or was it Marti Noxon? Anyway, some mutant enemy person...), but it's not just about the big catastrophic events that life throws us, just as it's not just the Bin Ladens of this world who hurt us. Little misfortunes and little men...the season of little bads? Though with Willow as the catharsis for all that petty, banal evil - a cleansing fire, or possibly scrubbing bubbles? It's only through the almost-end of the world that Buffy can truly exit the grave, and realise that there is joy and opportunity in the world. She doesn't want to protect Dawn from the big bad world, she wants to show it to her.


      -- Robofrakkinawesome BANNER BY FRANCY --

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      • #4
        The Master

        In a show about vampire Slayers, why not have a master vampire as the main villain of the season. In many ways the Master is depicted as the archetype “I want to take over the world” villain. Primarily he was interesting in power. The emotional resonance came with Buffy’s death which is a reminder of Buffy’s mortality. The Master although charismatic, served very little in the way of personal identification with the audience. As convincing as he is, we’d still cheer Buffy on without any disinclination. His lack disassociation and quite frankly disdain of the human race makes him villain far from our hearts

        Angelus

        The demon with a face of an angel. Angelus’ allure comes from his personal connection to Buffy. Even as villain he is obsessed with Buffy beyond his usual impersonal sadism. The vampire who at first liked the world would rather destroy it than live with the torment of his unwanted emotions. Angelus has the classic profile of a deranged narcissist, seething from failed love, which is what we have. Angelus is infuriated that he cannot feel the inclinations his soul once gave him but he feels the passion in kind. It becomes vicious game of cat and mouse. Although Buffy is physically stronger, Angelus uses her feelings to assert dominance over his former lover. His coming into her bedroom while she sleeps is the ultimate personal violation. Joss takes the metaphor of the ‘boyfriend, turned into a jerk’ to the extreme. Of course we have the wonderful visual translation of the metaphor of the world ending on account of failed love.

        The Mayor

        You’ve got love the Mayor. No one has ever made evil look so fun. He is again is the deceptive charming face of nefarious political agenda. What made me curious is that while he advocated things like the mass killing of the inhabitants of town, he seemed to love his wife although it’s not certain whether that was spiel or real. His corruption of Faith was also devilishly calculated, playing on her need for a father but of course his real affection for her was revealed.

        Adam

        Wow, good on paper but when it came down to it, he lacks the charisma of the last three making him seem boring in comparison. His little interest was the pointing out the various perceptions of the different factions, whether they be human, demon or indeed machine. Adam’s interest could have come with an earlier introduction. I would have forgiven the unoriginality and lacklustre portrayal if we could feel some sort sympathy for his crisis of existence and identity. His moment of clarity was neither welcome nor engaging.

        Glory

        I can’t get past Kramer’s performance so, maybe she’s a good villain but I failed to see that due to what seemed to autocue reading. Yes she is the dark version of Buffy, yes we understand the second round of undermining the ancient and established with an ironically vapid persona who ultimately the opposite of what she is supposed to represent, but you know what? I don’t care, the actress is crap. The whole why me parody of Buffy’s circumstances, wasn’t funny nor poignant. Yes ok we get it, the mundane nature of the human condition is accentuated when you used to be all high and mighty, love, but we suffer too. We had to watch your performance.

        Life

        We are our own worst enemies. If ever there was an adult theme to relate to this was it. The ironic thing is that I actually like the character more after their flaws were further brought to life. Their conflicts arise from their choices and emotional consequences of those choices. We really can be our own worst enemies.

        The First

        I agree with Michael, the concept of being evil because your evil makes almost no sense to me. Desires and drives and conflicts that arrive as result are relatable. Then t says it’s not about good and evil, it’s about power. That makes sense for W&H but not Evily, evil thing. Eww, crapness.

        I’ll talk about the Angel villains (my faves) later. Revenge, the destruction of free will, temptation and corruption all lie in waiting.

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        • #5
          For me, a good bad guy must be more than a random person just being evil. That's why Adam doesn't work, nobody cared about him or his story. I can't even remember what he tried to do ... there was no conflict in him or between him and our heroes. Also, his ideas were just evil ... he didn't use evil forces to make lives better or something like that.

          We see the same problem with The First, only worse. The First is being evil because he is evil ... it's all he is. His goal was to make the world more evil, because he was tired of the balance between good and evil. Nobody cared about it, no good-wrong dilemma, no drama ... nothing. What makes is even worse ... he wasn't dangerous. It couldn't touch anything ... all it did was talk. And it was really bad in that after CwDP. You can blame the execution of this Big Bad, and that was the problem for a big part ... The First will always fail because nobody cares about it, he is no danger to the heroes and he has a lame plan.

          Glory had another problem for me, she was introduced too early. She was sitting there the whole season doing nothing but screaming, pulling her hair and sitting in bath. After that, you couldn't take her really serious anymore and she also has the problem the other two have ... there is no conflict or humanity in her ... she is evil, so is her plan and her deeds. It would've been better if she was cut out of her dimension and wanted back because her kid or husband was there ... some drama and less of a 2D character. Even worse is the wasted potential, she is imortal, unbeatable etc. She is a god! She did nothing with it, and in the end they needed a lame ret con and a Deux ex Machina to beat her.

          The Master worked as a bad guy, because he was the first bad guy in a short season. And he was actually dangerous (we saw him killing Buffy three times), was related to Angel and Darla, who are important for the story and there were no Deux ex Machinas needed to beat him. He wasn't very exciting or conflicting ... but that was okay for the first season.

          Season 6 is difficult, who was the big bad? Life? The Trio? Darth Willow?
          But it doesn't matter, they blew it anyway. If it was life; good concept but if you want to use it ... keep it realistic. They went to far with all the bad things in Buffy's life. If it's the trio; Again, great concept but the best part of the Trio was that they are human. If they used that more, there would be an amazing conflict. Instead, Andrew and Jonathan were pathetic idiots and Warren was *BAM* a crazy, evil womanhater who was killed by evil Willow, so Buffy and the scoobies don't have to deal with the evil human thing.
          And Darth Willow; She had the connection with the scoobies and the fandom. But there wasn't time enough to develop her and in the end there didn't happen much interesting things in her arc besides Willow being evil, killing Warren and trying to destroy the world. Again, it could be interesting if they had to deal with Willow's issues ... but they blamed the magic and it was all okay.

          The Mayor worked as a bad guy, because he worked as a character. His story with Faith gave him a connection with the scoobies, he was funny, smart and dangerous ... he was human in his reactions and behavior. His plan wasn't all that, but he was a great character and that made him a great bad guy.

          Angelus is my favourite BtVS bad guy, because he was related to the scoobies and the fandom cared about him. Innocence was shocking and not only for Buffy and friends. Another great thing about Angelus is the fact that he is conflicted himself. He wants to kill buffy but he is also sitting next to her bed while she is sleeping. He could kill her so many times, but he never did it ... and not only because the fun would be over. The only problem with Angelus is that the writers didn't had the guts to make him do really evil things ... and the weird end when he tried to destroy the world, that could be okay if they gave us the reason why he wanted to end the world.


          Angel has to deal with a bunch evil old ones called The Wolf, The Ram and The Hart. We will never see them, but they are always there in one way or another. The people who work for them are good characters because Lilah and Lindsay work as characters. They are flawed, they want things ever human wants, they doubt theirselves and their work and most important, they are human. They won't be defeated at the end of the season like the BtVS bad guys ... you never know how they show up again, when Angel has to deal with them and if they will be defeated. On the other side, there is no real confliction because W&H are evil ... it's all they are and all they want. But as long their workers aren't 100% evil, it will work.

          Holtz, a brilliant bad guy because he isn't evil ... just broken. A beautiful grey area conflict between a broken man and the face who broke him. In the end, he hurted Angel more than any other bad guy ... and Angel couldn't defend himself against this man. And in the end, the monster became a man and the man became a monster.

          Jasmine is a fantastic big bad, because she wasn't evil. She had so many valid points that it was really 50/50. Freedom or peace? Pick one ...
          Besides, she was really creepy and had lots of power over the team and their world.

          And Darla worked very well as the bad girl because the fandom loves her. We meet her as a human girl who doesn't want to die, when she is turned again ... we feel for her and we feel for Angel who failed to save her. Besides, she is dangerous ... and she loves it. Shopping with Dru, toying with Lindsay and trying to take over LA. She is evil, smart and she drives Angel crazy.
          Last edited by Nina; 23-04-08, 07:26 PM.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Boltmaiden View Post
            He is physically ugly, always looks like a vampire so there is no deception there. His reputation alone frightened Buffy and he did actually kill her.

            Why do you think Joss chose this enemy as her first big battle?
            I think the point here was to set up the basic pattern of the show. Cute blonde girl walks into an alley at night, gets attacked by a monster... but when the dust settles, it's the girl who walks out of the alley and the monster who's dead. In order to subvert the basic horror/fantasy tropes, first you have to set them up. The show needs its recognisable monsters and heroes first before you can start confounding our expectations by having them do unexpected things.

            So, Buffy slays vampires, which means the main villain needs to be a powerful vampire in the classic Hammer Horror gothic style. Except the show also has its comedy side, so the Master gets to make smart-ass comments just as Buffy herself does.

            During the first couple of seasons, they definitely seemed to make a point of throwing in all the horror film clichés one by one and then giving us their own unique spin on them. In fact, when I first watched "School Hard" I remember thinking "All right, one thing they haven't done yet is the crazy-sexy-dangerous goth vampire chick in a floaty white dress...so here she is at last." As for Spike, I was thinking he was to the Master what Buffy was to Giles: the new generation, young and irreverent and breaking convention.

            Later, of course, they started developing plots that arose from the characters' own interactions and characters rather than being 'horror movie cliché of the week #32". Angel as Buffy's boyfriend turned evil was perhaps the first big move in that direction.

            General questions: Why are enemies that are gods female? Glory, Jasmine, Illyria. And why aren't they called goddess'?
            Sexism. Maybe there was a fear that the audience wouldn't take a female villain seriously enough unless she was given godly powers? Although on the other hand, it could be as simple as "Joss and Tim wanted to give Amy Acker and Gina Torres different roles to play because they were impressed by their talent, and this is the storyline they came up with")

            Mind you, these days female actors seem to be called 'actors', not actresses, so calling female gods 'gods' matches that. And certainly in the case of Illyria, the original Old One was a non-gendered huge squirmy mass of tentacles: we only refer to It as 'she' because It chose to inhabit a female body. (And, possibly, has now absorbed enough of Fred's character and personality that referring to her as female is valid).
            Last edited by stormwreath; 23-04-08, 07:30 PM.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Nina View Post
              What makes is even worse ... he wasn't dangerous. It couldn't touch anything ... all it did was talk.
              I really disagree with this. The First was creepy exactly because all It did was talk. There was no physical monster for Buffy to pummel: "all" the First could do was make her despair, stir up distrust, make her friends turn on her, make them try to kill each other... How do you fight that? Because ultimately, you're fighting yourself.

              Granted, the execution of this concept was lacking on the show; they could have done it a lot better. I'd even suggest that a villain like The First would work much better in a novel, where you can get all introspective on the characters, rather than on TV. But the basic idea was great.

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              • #8
                For me, a good bad guy must be more than a random person just being evil. That's why Adam doesn't work, nobody cared about him or his story. I can't even remember what he tried to do ... there was no conflict in him or between him and our heroes.
                Quite! The person who did the most harm to the Scoobies and had the most conflict with them in season 4 was probably Spike!

                I might've been more intrested in Maggie as a Big Bad, if they'd continued with her, especially if they'd built up her relationship with Buffy for longer - if we'd seen her try to get Buffy around to her way of thinking, perhaps trying to do to Buffy what she was planning for Riley? To program Buffy, literally and figuratively, into the Initiative's way of doing things? But when Buffy proved resistant, then she has to destroy her and her friends. Perhaps by turning other official people against her (Buffy versus the police etc).


                -- Robofrakkinawesome BANNER BY FRANCY --

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                • #9
                  I think Adam is a rather underrated villain actually, he could have been executed better, but the concept behind him was pretty great.

                  I think he was portrayed best in Whedon's 'Who Are You,' when it became very clear that his greatest assets were his words. When we're introduced to the three vampires, "they're scavengers, they crawl about in our filth, living like rats" and by the end of the episode they're so much more. They've faced their fears, captured the attention of the media and the slayer, they've been raised onto a different scale. As the leader says;

                  "I have strength you couldn't dream of, Adam has shown me the way and there's-"

                  And he's actually beating Faith in the fight. Here's a woman who had no strength, no set goal. She was stronger than this vampire but so unclear in her motivations and feelings and as a result the vampire overpowered her. Adam did all of this, just through the power of his words.

                  And we this with Spike as well, he captures Spike's attention, like the vampires before him Spike's completely enthralled in Adam as he manages to capture exactly what Spike's feeling. If they'd kept this concept going, also shown in ?Where the Wild Things Are' when the vampires and demons begin working together, it could have been great. They lost it though.

                  The Master and Glory were unique in making Buffy literally afraid of them, but the Master was more unique. She was afraid of Glory because Glory could overpower her, Buffy was forced to run because she knew she couldn't fight her. But the Master made Buffy fear him before they even met, he represented her greatest fears and insecurities, he didn't even have to fight her and he brought her to tears. It was very interesting how she dreamed of him, how she was prophesised to die at his hands.

                  But at the end of the day Angelus was the best villain. The problem with seasonal villains is that, as others have pointed out, it becomes unbelievable that a) Buffy wouldn't have killed them already or b) they wouldn't have killed Buffy already. Especially with Glory. They had a great concept with Glory coming to her house and giving her a chance to tell her where the key is, but when it became clear to Glory that Buffy wasn't going to play by her rules, why wasn't she the one to kill Joyce as Xander suggested? Glory just sat there and did nothing, she was so physically dominating and un killable and yet she didn't make advancements until ?Spiral.' Angelus worked on two different levels. We had a solid real reason as to why Buffy didn't kill Angelus, because she was still in love with Angel, and then when ready she didn't learn his whereabouts until ?Becoming II.' We could identify with why she couldn't do it, and of course for Angelus, sure he could have slit her throat when she was sleeping as Cordy proposes, but that's not his style. It was far more creepy and *believable* that he'd rather torment her instead. And when finally he's had enough and is willing to kill her, and nearly succeeds in ?Becoming II' he can't because she defeats him, and she's able to kill him at that heartbreaking moment. So we never doubted it like with the other villains.

                  ~ Banner by Nina ~

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                  • #10
                    Some random questions, but I don't want to buy the season 7 box to rewatch it because of these questions.

                    What was the First doing in season 7?

                    Why did Spike kill/sire those people? Why didn't he just kill Buffy and Spike when he could? Why didn't he just blow up the house? Why did he send Buffy to the Scyth?

                    And another point, The First was free/stronger when there were two slayers instead of one ... does that mean that 2000 slayers make him much stronger ... you know, because some kind of balance between good and evil thing? Because if that's the case, I can understand why the first did those things. But I doubt that this is the case.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Nina View Post
                      What was the First doing in season 7?
                      Trying to wipe out the Slayer line and tip the balance between good and evil so that It could take corporeal form.

                      Assumption: the First needs its Harbingers to even focus on a place and influence the people there. (We saw that in 'Amends'). The more Harbingers, the more powerful its manifestation. If half the world starts worshipping Evil and the champions of Good are sufficiently weakened, it will have enough power to actually materialise.

                      Why did Spike kill/sire those people? Why didn't he just kill Buffy and Spike when he could? Why didn't he just blow up the house? Why did he send Buffy to the Scyth?
                      Because the First isn't really interested in killing for the sake of it. It wants to cause betrayal and mistrust and hatred and despair. It wants friends to turn on each other. It wants people to give up the fight and run away or kill themselves. It wants the man Buffy once trusted most in the world to attempt to kill the man she now trusts most. It wants the people who once would have followed Buffy into the mouth of Hell to reject her and kick her out of her own house.

                      The First isn't evil, it's the thing that created Evil. It wants more evil in the world, not just more dead people.

                      As for the Potentials, there's something more specific going on there. New Potentials are presumably being born at a steady rate, so just killing them won't end the Slayer line. It has to kill every single one still currently alive, then kill Buffy and Faith immediately afterwards, before a new Potential can be born to carry on the line.

                      As for the Scythe, the First didn't send Buffy to it; she worked that out for herself. The First did tell Caleb not to risk attacking her while she was holding it, but I assume It thought that she would see it only as a weapon, and not work out what else it could do. Or maybe the First didn't actually know that Itself - It seems to have been aware of the Scythe only through vague prophecies. My own assumption is that the prophecy said something about the Scythe being instrumental in "permanently changing" the Slayer line, and Caleb and the First wondered if that meant "ending it" and decided to experiment.

                      And another point, The First was free/stronger when there were two slayers instead of one ... does that mean that 2000 slayers make him much stronger ...
                      Maybe, but I don't think so. My own personal theory (based on what Beljoxa's Eye said, among other things) is that the spells that the Shadowmen placed on the Slayer spirit all those thousands of years ago became unstable when there were two Slayers alive. That gave The First the opportunity to end the spell forever if it was able to kill all living Potentials simultaneously. However, it also gave Willow the opportunity to break through the enchantments a different way and empower all the Potentials instead of just the Chosen One. That made the First's task far harder, because It was now dealing with fully empowered Champions of Good, not just scared little girls, so It suffered a major defeat.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by stormwreath View Post
                        Trying to wipe out the Slayer line and tip the balance between good and evil so that It could take corporeal form.

                        Assumption: the First needs its Harbingers to even focus on a place and influence the people there. (We saw that in 'Amends'). The more Harbingers, the more powerful its manifestation. If half the world starts worshipping Evil and the champions of Good are sufficiently weakened, it will have enough power to actually materialise.
                        The First tell us that "I know why they grab at each other. To feel. I want to feel. I want to wrap my hands around an innocent neck and feel it crack." in Touched. The First also wants to rule the world. "It's about power." from Lessons. And, we learn from Beljoxa's Eye that "The mystical forces surrounding the chosen line have become irrevocably altered, become unstable, vulnerable." "The First Evil did not cause the disruption, only seized upon it to extinguish the lives of the chosen forever." in Showtime. The First saw an opportunity to wipe out the Slayer line AND take over the world in one neat swipe. In Dirty Girls, we hear "For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours, now and forever. You show up, they'll get in line." The First saw a never-before-presented opportunity and decided to take advantage of it. From End of Days, we get additional insight that "Look, when this is all over and our armies spring forth and our will sweeps the world, I will be able to enter every man, woman and child on this earth, just as I enter you."


                        Originally posted by stormwreath View Post
                        Because the First isn't really interested in killing for the sake of it. It wants to cause betrayal and mistrust and hatred and despair. It wants friends to turn on each other. It wants people to give up the fight and run away or kill themselves. It wants the man Buffy once trusted most in the world to attempt to kill the man she now trusts most. It wants the people who once would have followed Buffy into the mouth of Hell to reject her and kick her out of her own house.
                        Exactly! Much more satisfaction in *human* exploitation. "Oh, my name will be on everyone's lips, assuming their lips haven't been torn off. But not just yet. .......It's not about right, not about wrong....it's about power."

                        Originally posted by stormwreath View Post
                        As for the Potentials, there's something more specific going on there. New Potentials are presumably being born at a steady rate, so just killing them won't end the Slayer line. It has to kill every single one still currently alive, then kill Buffy and Faith immediately afterwards, before a new Potential can be born to carry on the line.
                        Which is one of my own nit picks about the whole Potential story arc. I find it incredible, just short of impossible, to believe that Buffy is bunking *every single potential alive* in her HOUSE! But that soapbox is for another thread!

                        Originally posted by stormwreath View Post
                        As for the Scythe, the First didn't send Buffy to it; she worked that out for herself. The First did tell Caleb not to risk attacking her while she was holding it, but I assume It thought that she would see it only as a weapon, and not work out what else it could do. Or maybe the First didn't actually know that Itself - It seems to have been aware of the Scythe only through vague prophecies. My own assumption is that the prophecy said something about the Scythe being instrumental in "permanently changing" the Slayer line, and Caleb and the First wondered if that meant "ending it" and decided to experiment.
                        The First didn't exactly send Buffy to the Scythe, more it used the Scythe as a lure to gather The Slayer and the Potentials in one place to mass murder tham all at once. In Dirty Girls, the First sends Buffy a message, "I have something of yours." And later in Empty Places, "Reckon she got the message, even if she doesn't know it yet. So now the big strong slayer goes back to those girls... she's just so ready to walk them right into it. And all we have to do is give her that one final gentle nudge." But, it seems that The First was well aware of the power of the Scythe, because in Touched, we hear "You realize what will happen if the Slayer and her girls get it, don't you?" But we don't hear the exact details of "what will happen". There are only very vague references to The Scythe backstory and even the Guardian tells Buffy in Chosen "We hid, too. We had to until now. We're the last surprise." It seems reasonable to me that The First has *some* knowledge of the Scythe, because the First is next to ageless - "That's because it predates any written history, and it rarely shows its true face. The only record I know was in the Council Library." Giles, in Bring On The Night. (And since, the Watcher's Council evolved from the Shadow Men who created the Slayer in the first place, this also seems credible) All the way back in Amends, "Evil. Absolute evil, older than man, than demons." In case we didn't get it the first few times, we hear it again from Beljoxa's Eye in Showtime, "The First Evil has been and always will be. Since before the universe was born, long after there is nothing else, it will go on." Since no Slayer has actually *posessed* the Scythe, even the First can't know exactly what might happen - it can only guess!

                        Originally posted by stormwreath View Post
                        Maybe, but I don't think so. My own personal theory (based on what Beljoxa's Eye said, among other things) is that the spells that the Shadowmen placed on the Slayer spirit all those thousands of years ago became unstable when there were two Slayers alive. That gave The First the opportunity to end the spell forever if it was able to kill all living Potentials simultaneously. However, it also gave Willow the opportunity to break through the enchantments a different way and empower all the Potentials instead of just the Chosen One. That made the First's task far harder, because It was now dealing with fully empowered Champions of Good, not just scared little girls, so It suffered a major defeat.
                        Well, it seems clear that there wasn't any disruption in the line while there were two slayers alive, it was when Buffy died then came back to life. In Showtime, Beljoxa's Eye reveals "The mystical forces surrounding the chosen line have become irrevocably altered, become unstable, vulnerable." And further, "The First Evil did not cause the disruption, only seized upon it to extinguish the lives of the chosen forever." Giles specifically says "It's not because she died. The Beljoxa's Eye was quite clear about that in its enigmatic way. It's because she lives. Again. Buffy's not responsible for that." So, it's because Buffy LIVES that the First is able to implement his plan, not because she died.

                        Originally posted by Nina View Post
                        Why did Spike kill/sire those people? Why didn't he just kill Buffy and Spike when he could? Why didn't he just blow up the house?
                        Because the First was controlling Spike, he didn't have any free will or control over his actions. And that was part of the plan to cause chaos and dissent among the Scoobies. The First says in Never Leave Me "You'll have to excuse the spectacle, but I've always been a bit of a sucker for the old classics." And ".......I wanted to do this more subtle-like. My Harbingers have a tendency to call attention to themselves."

                        Originally posted by Nina View Post
                        And another point, The First was free/stronger when there were two slayers instead of one ... does that mean that 2000 slayers make him much stronger ... you know, because some kind of balance between good and evil thing? Because if that's the case, I can understand why the first did those things. But I doubt that this is the case.
                        I've been thinking about that very thing. We've had the whole concept of *balance* rammed down our throats repeatedly in the Jossverse (as well as in other fandoms!). Even Spike, who is usually blissfully ignorant, says in Afterlife "That's the thing about magic. There's always consequences. Always!" And even The First acknowledges this concept in CDWP, "Fact is, the whole good-versus-evil, balancing the scales thing, I'm over it."
                        We also see this idea taking shape in S8,

                        Spoiler:
                        That maybe Willow's empowerment spell wasn't all goodness and light. We're seeing seeds of more evil because there is more good. Voll, in The Long Way Home, Part IV, Voll says "Evil? Demons? Where do you think your power comes from? Oh, wait, *you already know*. You’ve upset the balance, girl. Do you really think we were going to sit by and let you create a master race?"


                        So there's plenty of room for future plot development with the whole *consequences/balance* issue.
                        Last edited by Cinderela; 26-04-08, 06:37 PM.
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                        • #13
                          Thanks both for the replies and answers/thoughts.
                          I had to reply on some points, but the most things are more clear for me now. And I can go on with hating the execution of season 7.

                          Originally posted by stormwreath View Post
                          Trying to wipe out the Slayer line and tip the balance between good and evil so that It could take corporeal form.
                          I remeber that one, which leaded me back to one of my questions. Why didn't he blow up casa Summers? If he believed that the last living potentials were there he could blow up the house and all the potentials would be dead. But I guess that this is part of the stupid execution of the plots.

                          Because the First isn't really interested in killing for the sake of it. It wants to cause betrayal and mistrust and hatred and despair. It wants friends to turn on each other. It wants people to give up the fight and run away or kill themselves. It wants the man Buffy once trusted most in the world to attempt to kill the man she now trusts most. It wants the people who once would have followed Buffy into the mouth of Hell to reject her and kick her out of her own house.
                          But what's the point? He doesn't get any better of it ... is he just enjoying it? Why not killing the person who inspires the others ...


                          Maybe, but I don't think so. My own personal theory (based on what Beljoxa's Eye said, among other things) is that the spells that the Shadowmen placed on the Slayer spirit all those thousands of years ago became unstable when there were two Slayers alive. That gave The First the opportunity to end the spell forever if it was able to kill all living Potentials simultaneously. However, it also gave Willow the opportunity to break through the enchantments a different way and empower all the Potentials instead of just the Chosen One. That made the First's task far harder, because It was now dealing with fully empowered Champions of Good, not just scared little girls, so It suffered a major defeat.
                          Nice theory, but I'm afraid that is also a very optimistic one. Because the First wants chaos, and 2000 slayers is chaotic. There is a big chance that there will be evil slayer armies, or at least many corrupted slayers. I'm not sure if the First did lose. I think that Cinderela has a good point with the balance between good and evil, and the concequences of spells.

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                          • #14
                            Angelus was a great villain, he knew all of Buffy?s weaknesses, so he started attacking her and her friends. He used mental torture on her, a thing much worse than using weapons or something else. Angelus said it himself:"To kill this girl, you have to love her".

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Nina View Post
                              Thanks both for the replies and answers/thoughts.
                              I had to reply on some points, but the most things are more clear for me now. And I can go on with hating the execution of season 7.
                              Yep, me too! I think the slayer spell was an amazing idea, neatly setting up S8, but the *execution* of that arc was so, so bad.

                              Originally posted by Nina View Post
                              Nice theory, but I'm afraid that is also a very optimistic one. Because the First wants chaos, and 2000 slayers is chaotic. There is a big chance that there will be evil slayer armies, or at least many corrupted slayers. I'm not sure if the First did lose. I think that Cinderela has a good point with the balance between good and evil, and the concequences of spells.
                              I'm afraid it's a little optimistic too, Nina - agree with you there. Also, I don't recall us knowing *how* they are tracking all these new slayers created by Willow's spell. We already know

                              Spoiler:
                              not every girl who received slayer powers has the "goodness and light" personality. Some are using the power for their own ends.


                              I do believe there will be *consequences* to come from that spell. Great point about wondering if The First actually *lost* that battle. I think we'll see in future S8 or S9 eps. (assuming we get them) I think Joss knows we are rabid fans and will never *let* him stop spinning the story - we'll always want more!
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                              • #16
                                Warren

                                So after posting a whole big post on Warren on another thread I thought I would follow up over here.

                                I find Warren to be the most vile and disgusting of all the villains. I hate him, there is not one part of him that I kinda like or feel bad for. I see him as pathetic and Ihate that he was able to cause so much pain and havic on the scoobies.

                                Yet I think bring him in as a villain was brilliant it was away to get back to just hating a villain, yet his being just a human yet in many way being much more evil than other non-human villains and using a weapon that we all either see or hear about all the time (gun) to injure Buffy and kill Tara...it threw us back into the harsh reality of how dark, evil, and scary HUMANS can be. And it made me more angry because I felt he wasn't worthy to do that kind of damage..does that make sense...I felt like he was a spoiled brat who was throwing a tantrum because he didn't get what he needed, even with the way he treated people..including his "friends"...it was so petty, so pointless...and that is what made him, as a villain...so important. Does that make any sense at all?

                                Spoiler:
                                I think it is kind of disappointing that they brought him back...one it takes away from what I posted above and honestly I was hoping ot never have to reintroduce myself to the creep.

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                                • #17
                                  I thought Angelus s2 was the best big bad, but my 2nd favorite is Holtz.
                                  What an amazing story, chasing Angelus and Darla over Europe, going 200 years in the future, kidnapping Connor and killing himself. great story.

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                                  • #18
                                    Okay so I was thinking about the villians I love because they keep switching sides and thought I would talk about their lowest points vs. their highest points while in villian mode.

                                    For example Faith...i love her, always have found ways to forgive her but for me her lowest moment was her torture of Wesley, I know it arguable but that is mine.
                                    High point? I love her switching bodies with Buffy, talk about being able to get revenge, if not for Tara she could have really hurt or killed everyone close to Buffy and the last thing they would have seen is Buffy's face. Brutal.

                                    Has any of your favorites just finally crossed the line where you just can't enjoy them the same?

                                    Or even just the always bad villians you love like Dru. For me her lowest and highest point are the same...killing Kendra. I hated her for taking her out yet she was so bad ass on how cool and efficent she was disposing of her. My respect for her went up many levels

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                                    • #19
                                      I think that Angelus was a big let down after he escaped his cage in Ats season 4. He was not the creep he was in the cage or season 2, but a vampire with a big mouth and without his cruel games. Angelus being the 'slave' of evil!Cordy was really the lowest point of Angelus. His highest point is of course Passion where he enjoys the pain of others.

                                      another one;
                                      Lindsay was very low in season 5 with his lame plan and his power hunger. I know that he always loved power, but his return because he decided that he hates Angel was very stupid. His highpoints were his moments when he tried to do good, but returned to W&H anyway.

                                      Like I said in another thread, villians are as dangerous and strong as the writers want them to be. In the end, they need the heroes beating the bad guys, or in the case of Spike ... they needed to make him harmless so he could play with the scoobies. Some villians had very lame low points, just because they needed to be beaten. The First and his stupid plan was one, Angelus another one, or Lindsay.

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                                      • #20
                                        The best Big Bads fit the show's overarching metaphor wherein the demons of growing up become externalized. Some are easier than others to do this with (of course, these are just short versions of my takes on each one; YMMV):

                                        Angelus - obviously the easiest - the show even hangs a lampshade on it in Passion. As already mentioned: Sleep with a guy and he changes into an a**.

                                        The Master - metaphorically, The Master stands for the things about adulthood that scare teenagers the most: He's old, extremely traditional, believes in heirarchy, and is very set in his ways.

                                        The Mayor - like The Master, represents adult responsibility. But the Scoobies are older now, and about to assume some of them, so he's not so much the scary things as a perversion of them.

                                        Adam - isn't really that easy to fit within the metaphor; which is one reason he always seems out of place. But, if one must, he represents the dangers of unchecked power.

                                        Glory - Buffy's "Dark Reflection", what Buffy is in danger of becoming if she continues down the road of self-absorption that uniqueness and supernatural power set her on. Her sacrifice at the end proves she learned this lesson.

                                        The Trio - the banality of S6 evil represents the ordinariness of most adult problems. Also kinda hung with a lampshade in Normal Again.

                                        Dark Willow - the subtext (addictive, obsessional use of mind altering substances is bad for you) is rapidly becoming, um, text....

                                        The First - also don't really fit the metaphor, having been chosen to be the Biggest Bad for series ending purposes more than narrative ones. The avatar, Caleb, does stand in nicely for the patriarchical forces that the Buffy concept was meant to puncture from the beginning.
                                        Cordially,
                                        Amuk

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

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