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  • Was it all real?

    in relation to the episode Normal Again, do you think sunnydale etc is real or in Buffys head with justification why.... always wanted to see other peoples opinions in this.

    I forgot to put my own opinions...oops

    I think Sunnydale is real:
    1. they say she snapped out of when she "died". Buffy says she didn't remember where she was but thinks it was heaven
    i) why is a mental institution 'heaven'
    ii) she remembers the rest... why not this
    2. They say that its her 'friends' keeping her in sunnydale but if she is happy in the hospital, why did she go back after her death?
    3. we see multiple scenes throughout the show when buffy is not around.... and she has no knowledge of these events apparently..... how is it all in her head then?
    4. ill be really annoyed if it was 7 years of a dream
    47
    Yes
    48.94%
    23
    Undecided
    29.79%
    14
    No
    21.28%
    10
    Angel: "Oh. I 'm not cheap, I-I'm just old. I-I remember when a few bob got you a good meal, a bottle *and* a tavern wench. - You were saying?"

  • #2
    Sunnydale is real because Ats is there as well in the verse. And Buffy is not part of that series.

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    • #3
      I agree with Nina. That means Buffy would have had to create two universes, one with Angel and his friends and the other with her. Both coinciding with one another. And that's never mentioned any time throughout the episode. It also means she'd have to have created 'Fray' long before they've even got to that stage in season eight.

      ~ Banner by Nina ~

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      • #4
        Hello fellow Aussie
        Yeah i think it may be a landslide here... anyone have any points in favour on the dream? even if you dont believe it?
        Angel: "Oh. I 'm not cheap, I-I'm just old. I-I remember when a few bob got you a good meal, a bottle *and* a tavern wench. - You were saying?"

        Comment


        • #5
          I think the only thing that leaves it ambiguous is that at the end of the episode, we still see the Buffy in the institution. If we look at the dialogue in Sunnydale right at the end:
          BUFFY: No ... I can't. Not until I have the antidote.
          WILLOW: Okay. We-we'll make more, we'll take care of it.
          And then we see Buffy in the institution.
          This means that either we see the institution world before Buffy has taken the antidote (in which case, why does the Doctor declare her 'gone'? She would surely be as active and conscious as we saw her in the episode) or that the world with the institution is the real one, as we still see it after Buffy has taken the antidote, but with Buffy lost inside her head, hallucinating the world of Sunnydale. Without ever really knowing, we can either just go with our gut instincts and pick which world we think is the 'right' one - and I think most of us would go with Sunnydale, just because the scale of imagining Buffy's entire life, plus the life of her friends, of Angel etc. is too huge to comprehend - or we can accept that we don't really know and just leave it, relying on a bit of Negative Capability or whatnot.

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          • #6
            i have one final piece of info in support of the Sunnydale is real view...prob puts it to rest...
            I went back and read the comic which shows buffy in the institution before she moves to sunnydale (mentioned in the episode). Dawn was in the comic (the pre SD comics had dawn in them to show the stories as buffy remembers them) but in the episode Joyce says dawn doesnt exist........
            Angel: "Oh. I 'm not cheap, I-I'm just old. I-I remember when a few bob got you a good meal, a bottle *and* a tavern wench. - You were saying?"

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Nina View Post
              Sunnydale is real because Ats is there as well in the verse. And Buffy is not part of that series.
              Unless AtS is part of the same delusion? It's all happening in Buffy's mind. Mwahahahahaha!


              -- Robofrakkinawesome BANNER BY FRANCY --

              Comment


              • #8
                Oh man I was literally just about to post a topic pretty much the same!

                For me, Soul Asylum helps the thought process along:
                A little out of touch, a little insane.
                Just easier than dealing with the pain.
                I'm undecided which world was real, but I think either one is a possibility, and either one would be a coping mechanism for the other. One of my top 5 episodes!

                Comment


                • #9
                  I'm not sure but I will say that I love that they made either conclusion seem possible by that ending and I have to say this episode is one of my favorites, especially from season 6.

                  I thought to myself, how sad and tragic would it be if Buffy ended up being just a very sick girl who could separate her imagination from reality. I just loved it.

                  Did Joss ever say why he did this episode at this time in the series? I just wondered if there was commentary at all about this particular episode.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I think you're reading too much into this. The most probable reason for this episode was to show things from another perspective. It showed that the reality of Buffy's life was vampires and demons but the young/innocent girl in her wanted to believe otherwise, albeit whilst infected by that demon. We see a different side to Buffy her and she's mostly portrayed as a strong-minded young woman so to show her in this way would have fans (including myself) on-edge hoping she'd return to normality, evil everyday stuff lol.

                    EDIT: damn wireless keyboard.
                    The Watcher
                    Hellmouth Tourist
                    Last edited by The Watcher; 09-07-08, 10:29 PM.
                    I can't haz ze siggy pic?

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by The Watcher View Post
                      I think you're reading too much into this. The most probable reason for this episode was to show things from another perspective. It showed that the reality of Buffy's life was vampires and demons but the young/innocent girl in her wanted to believe otherwise, albeit whilst infected by that demon. We see a different side to Buffy her and she's mostly portrayed as a strong-minded young moment so to show her in this way would have fans (including myself) on-edge hoping she'd return to normality, evil everyday stuff lol.
                      um..okay well it could be, and it wouldn't be the first time but again thinking to much (and answering my own question) but it still seemed to stay with the theme of Buffy struggling to connect with the world again so more likely thematically it was a good time for that maybe this is all a dream episode.
                      Boltmaiden
                      Hellmouth Tourist
                      Last edited by Boltmaiden; 10-07-08, 02:33 PM.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by The Watcher View Post
                        I think you're reading too much into this. The most probable reason for this episode was to show things from another perspective. It showed that the reality of Buffy's life was vampires and demons but the young/innocent girl in her wanted to believe otherwise, albeit whilst infected by that demon. We see a different side to Buffy her and she's mostly portrayed as a strong-minded young woman so to show her in this way would have fans (including myself) on-edge hoping she'd return to normality, evil everyday stuff lol.

                        EDIT: damn wireless keyboard.
                        I completely understand where you're coming from here but IMO the episode leaves it completely wide open as to whether the institution is the real world or not.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I love Normal Again. Obviously I think SD is all real, but I geek out over the fact that it ends with the question still open. It's perfect (all the more so for being such a strong episode in a weak season].

                          As for why then, well, it just fits. The issues Buffy's dealing with in S6 are more down to Earth. The doctor even notes how lame her Big Bads are this go-round as evidence that she's deluded. Plus, it's a good fit for her to be forced to examine the life she lives in the middle of trying to figure out how to live it again.
                          Cordially,
                          Amuk

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

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                          • #14
                            Boltmaiden, Normal Again has commentary from the writer Diego Gutierrez.

                            For me, there is no question that Sunnydale was real. Buffy was feeling that way due to the hallucinations caused by the poison and her depression. Really, imo this is the lowest Buffy has ever gotten because she wants to stay in the hallucination world rather than the real one.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by The_Narrator View Post
                              This means that either we see the institution world before Buffy has taken the antidote (in which case, why does the Doctor declare her 'gone'? She would surely be as active and conscious as we saw her in the episode)
                              At the end of the episode she's trying hard to convince herself that Sunnydale is the real world, and focussing on it exclusively instead of interacting with her hallucination of the asylum. She can still see the doctor and her parents in her head, but she knows they're not real and so refuses to acknowledge them.

                              (Or within the terms of the hallucination itself: when she's active and conscious in Sunnydale she's catatonic in the asylum; when she's insane or dead in Sunnydale she's active and conscious in the asylum.)

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                              • #16
                                Originally posted by stormwreath View Post
                                At the end of the episode she's trying hard to convince herself that Sunnydale is the real world, and focussing on it exclusively instead of interacting with her hallucination of the asylum. She can still see the doctor and her parents in her head, but she knows they're not real and so refuses to acknowledge them.
                                That's an interesting take on it, that the last scene is in Buffy's head. It certainly offers a plausible way in which SD could be real (that I hadn't heard before either, in the past three or four years of internet postings about it so, kudos).

                                However, the directorly choice of leaving it at that, rather than showing Buffy once more in SD, to make it clear that that was her seeing the hallucination from the "outside", rather than being in the head of hallucination Buffy, skews things towards an emotional sense (from a viewer point of view) that the hospital reality is the real one. That unsettling feeling is wonderful... and as people said above, very much in keeping with the tone and themes of the season.


                                -- Robofrakkinawesome BANNER BY FRANCY --

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                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by buffyholic View Post
                                  Boltmaiden, Normal Again has commentary from the writer Diego Gutierrez.

                                  For me, there is no question that Sunnydale was real. Buffy was feeling that way due to the hallucinations caused by the poison and her depression. Really, imo this is the lowest Buffy has ever gotten because she wants to stay in the hallucination world rather than the real one.
                                  Thanks, even though I have season 6, i have never watched it so I didn't know about the special features...and now that I am rewatching Buffy again I will check it out when I get to season 6. Thanks again!

                                  And I think that either way Buffy was struggling to find her place in the world again (as I said above in my other post) and either way is struggling to find herself again...but I love them for that open ending because I love that it messes with the audience.
                                  Boltmaiden
                                  Hellmouth Tourist
                                  Last edited by Boltmaiden; 10-07-08, 02:38 PM.

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                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by Wolfie Gilmore View Post
                                    That's an interesting take on it, that the last scene is in Buffy's head. It certainly offers a plausible way in which SD could be real (that I hadn't heard before either, in the past three or four years of internet postings about it so, kudos).
                                    Thanks! I did actually only think of it as I was replying...

                                    Thing is, most people (including me, before) treat 'Normal Again' as a parallel universes story - there's the Buffyverse and the NormalAgainverse, or whatever - and try to explain it in those terms. But within the episode itself, it's not like that at all: Buffy is simply having a hallucination that's so vivid, she can't tell which is the real world and which is her fantasy.

                                    At some points during the episode she engages with the people in her hallucination, talks to them as if they were actually there. At the end, she's trying to ignore them - but in her head she's still seeing them, and they're reacting the way her imagination expects them to react...

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                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by stormwreath View Post
                                      Thing is, most people (including me, before) treat 'Normal Again' as a parallel universes story - there's the Buffyverse and the NormalAgainverse, or whatever - and try to explain it in those terms.
                                      Up until you posted that, I genuinely thought that the Normalagainverse is the real world - the only "verse" within the fiction - and the Buffyverse was just a hallucination that was boldly embraced and that we all agree to keep afloat, because, as Giles implied in the Wish, we have to believe in it, because the idea of Buffy in an asylum is just too dreadful. Like...the fiction of meaning in a meaningless universe.

                                      But the approach that Buffy engages with the hallucination on several levels - both from a first person perspective that accepts it as reality, and from a more distanced perspective, when she stil hears the voices/sees glimpses of it in her head perhaps, but is no longer THAT girl in the asylum, she sees that girl from the outside - works in a way that means I can breathe easy and have some grounds to believe that the Buffyverse is real (on its own terms).

                                      Though, still grounds to doubt it if I'm feeling paranoid


                                      -- Robofrakkinawesome BANNER BY FRANCY --

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                                      • #20
                                        What I like about this episiod is how they leave it open at the end. As to whether she should know what's going on while she's away if it is all in her head, those unconsious memories could be repressed into her subconcious, as would be the memory of her spending 147 days there while dead. The replacement of heaven for that missing time also makes sense. Her mind makes up her world and she is in that world so certain parts of herself, like her memories, could also be made up. I'm not saying that the normal world is necessarally the real world, I am only saying that it is just as likely to be true. It is one of my favorite and most creepy episoids of the entire series mostly because it leaves things undecided so we might have this conversation later. I think it is meant to be sort of undecided.

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