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Headscratchers: Buffy Season 1
Headscratchers for Buffy the Vampire Slayer
. Spoilers abound.
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- In 'Out of Mind Out of Sight' Marcy becomes invisible after being constantly ignored by her peers, and moves into the school. Fine, so her classmates don't notice her missing but what about her parents? Surely they would notice her not coming home one day and at least ask the school to announce her disappearance.
- Maybe the school did announce her disappearance, but nobody cared.
- Didn't Willow find her name as one of the most recent teenagers on a 'missing persons' list?
- Also, this is Sunnydale, let's not forget. When the local high school paper has an obituary section, people have come to terms with the high body count and dissapearances.
- This is partially (possibly) addressed in Season 7. She probably didn't simply wake up one morning invisible, instead she probably faded from sight over several days, weeks, months possibly even years. It's directly mentioned by both Willow and Xander that they shared several classes with her and never noticed her and she was constantly trying to involve herself with Cordelia. We don't really know the mechanics of what happened other than it was apparently a frequent enough ocurrance that the Government (Initiative) understood what was going on and had an on going program for when someone with that particular ailment arrived. Knowing that there are either a LOT of Hellmouths or kids turning invisible because too many people ignore them has little to do with the Hellmouth.
Jesse - Lest We Forget
- Why is Jesse never mentioned or even alluded to ever after he dies? I mean, the implication is that he, Xander, and Willow had been best friends for a long time and yet no ever talked about him even a few episodes after his death.
- Sunnydale Syndrome: when you live in that town you get used to putting the random, inexplicable, and/or violent deaths of people close to you firmly in the past.
- They're not gonna grieve forever, eventually they move on. After all, Joyce and Tara weren't talked about for long after their respective deaths. Of course, the real reason he isn't mentioned is because of writing. The audience barely knew him, and thus didn't really care when he died. The characters will care, but having them cry over somebody the audience doesn't care about usually results in Narm. As a Fan Wank, presumably they do all crying off-screen.
- That's a good point, but not really what I was asking. Joyce and Tara were both talked about after their deaths, but Jesse isn't mentioned ever, even as a casual reference. For example, when Angel lost his soul (only a season after Jesse's death) Xander never said anything like "I had to kill my best friend but Angel gets a free pass?" which seems like a pretty in character thing considering he brings up Angelus when Buffy goes to kill Anya.
- Yeah, I was just thinking about this. It's like Jesse has experienced an odd form of Brother Chuck.
- Angst? What angst?
- Every time Xander and/or Willow mentioned something about their pre-Buffy past, it seemed quite odd that they didn't bring up Jesse, given that he should have been a huge part of their past.
- It's possible, (and possibly implied) that while Xander and Willow had been best friends since kindergarten, they'd become friends with Jesse maybe as late as high school. This would explain why he doesn't really feature in their recollections.
- Not really an explanation, but it's worth noting that it's probably because of this that our friends over in L.A. continue to mourn Doyle long after he's dead and gone.
- Doyle isn't comparable. He had several episodes of characterization and a very dramatic send-off. Jesse was written into the pilot solely to be immediately killed.
- There's actually a trope for this: Forgotten Fallen Friend.
- In the first-season episode "The Pack", Giles and Xander reveal to the audience that Xander remembers everything from being possessed by hyenas. Xander wasn't the only one who got possessed— which means the evil clique at school still remembers being turned into hyenas and eating the principal. This is never dealt with.
- If you got possessed and committed cannibalism against your will, would you go around yammering about it all the time?
- Xander has also become immune to Sunnydale Syndrome, the others on the other hand presumably forgot it the way people forget being attacked by vampires and demons
- Except that "The Prom" references "hyena people!" so someone clearly remembered it.
- Since it doesn't seem terribly likely that the events we saw in "The Pack" were connected to hyenas by people other than our heroes, one wonders what happened off-screen in this episode (or between episodes) to lead to that outburst.
- There isn't really a good way to deal with it. Offscreen, those kids are probably going to need massive amounts of therapy for the rest of their lives to come to terms with what they did under the effects of hyena possession. Sucks for them, but short of cutting to scenes of psychiatric treatment in the middle of random episodes later on, there really isn't anything we can do for them.
- There's also the fact that hyenas are matriarchal, and females are sexually aggressive while males are not. So basically, one of the female Bad Kids should have been in charge, not Xander. That, or Xander was possessed by a female hyena spirit.
- Also, female hyenas have a pseudo-penis that they use to have sex with males and females alike (females sexually dominate other candidates for alpha female), so the hyena spirit possessing Xander was probably female and just didn't care what gender the body it was in was. And it was just acting on its natural behavior, knowing that Buffy was alpha female of the "pack" of Buffy, Willow, and Xander.
Does the Master Have a Soul?
- In the second episode of the first season the Master uses strange expression: "My blood is your blood, my soul is your soul." But at every point after this it's made clear that no vampire save for the two special cases has a soul of any kind.
- "Of any kind" is a bit of a presumption. Presumably, what the Watchers and the Kalderash call a "soul" is a slightly different thing to what an ancient vampire calls a soul. Clearly the vampire has some kind of animus, defined by most in-show sources as a demon but doing the exact same job as a human soul. The Master could have said "my demonic spiritual essence is your demonic spiritual essence", but "soul" rolls off the tongue better and is, from his perspective, just as accurate.
- Wouldn't "spirit" be just as good?
- Spirit comes from Latin for "breath", so no.
- IIRC, the official Whedonverse definition of a vampire is a human whose soul has been kicked out and then had their corpse possessed by a specific type of demon. Presumably, that demon is the soul and he doesn't have his human soul anymore. OTOH, it would be pretty interesting to find out that, at some point, someone tried to neuter him by giving him back his mortal soul... only to find out that it didn't even slow him down for a second.
- He could simply be referring to the soul he once had.
- Both of these last two fall through, though, because he says this line while painting a symbol on Luke's forehead that allows the Master to absorb the power Luke gains from those he feeds on. Even if someone had resouled the Master, the odds are pretty far against the same thing having been done to Luke. And there just doesn't seem to be any point in talking about joining souls that are no longer part of them.
- By the way, the "re-ensouling-not-giving-a-nice-guy" kind of happened in Angel, season 1, episode 14 "I've Got You Under My Skin".
- Although, it would explain the oddities of his line like higher immunity to sunlight (seen with a few of them), keeping their humanity (Spike, even if he tries to bury it alot), unmatched evilness (Angelus) and more.
- Given the way the vampire demon thing seems to bond with the corpse it's possessing, basing its personality on it and so forth, it's likely that the vampire considers the vampire demon thing to be its soul, separate from the body, but they still refer to the body as themselves. Like we do, we consider our soul and body together to be us. I mean, you could make the case that people are bags of meat possessed by a human soul thing. It only makes sense for a vampire to call the part of him that is his metaphysical self his soul.
- The Master and his Order are basically a weird vampire cult. The bit about souls is just flowery language.
- He's not just speaking prose; he's incanting his ritual. The joining he's performing is a spell, and there's no reason to assume that the spell was written explicitly for vampires. "My blood is your blood, my soul is your soul," is a pretty vague incantation that could potentially mean any number of things apart from the "When I drink blood, you get stronger" usage the Master and Luke performed. The wording actually sounds like a lower-scale version of the Captain Planet spell for defeating Adam. It might just be that the Master recited "My soul is your soul" because that line is simply part of the incantation, and nothing more.
- However, as someone above pointed out, it would explain a bit. After all, when Angel sired a guy, things turned out weird due to his own soul. Perhaps The Master, in life, was an evil emperor who got sired and just just kept being an evil emperor. One of his subjects tried to put the soul back in, maybe thinking the soul and the demon would kill each other due to overloading the body, and instead, The Master just continued being the exact same guy as before. After all, how would somebody know what a soul would do to a vampire without trying it beforehand? The gypsies knew it wouldn't kill Angel(us), so it had to have been done before.
Continuity in "Angel"
- Several continuity puzzles in "Angel" (i.e. Buffy episode 1:7):
- The first time Buffy sees Giles after fighting The Three, he has just spent hours reading up on them; why?
- She probably called him from home while Joyce wasn't listening.
- They're three of the Master's known followers, and apparently dangerous ones. He's just got to their entry in The Big Book of Vampires.
- That same day, why does everyone expect Angel to spend all day in Buffy's house, rather than slipping out when there's no chance of meeting vampires?
- He can't go out between sunrise and sunset. The rest of the day, Joyce is around.
- Yeah, but no one but him knew that. They didn't find out he was a vampire until he left that night.
- Also, they probably figured that the dude's infatuated with Buffy, enough to either wait for her or to spend all day going through her stuff.
- Or that he's in danger of retaliation from the Masters's followers, so hiding at the Slayer's house is the safest bet, especially for a wounded guy.
- Why does Darla change from a blue CHSGU to a red CHSGU on her way from Angel's apartment to The Bronze?
- Maybe she stopped for a bite to eat, then went, "You know, I like your shirt. Yoink!"
- Why does Buffy change from a black coat to a blue coat on her way from the hospital to The Bronze?
- In season 1 "The pack" why to they have a jail cell in the school?
- The shooting script refers to it as a "steel-mesh book return cage".
- Yeah, it's a cage typically used for storage. Naturally meant for storing books and inanimate objects, but in Sunnydale it has other uses. It comes in quite handy further in the series.
- Besides, no one goes into the school library; Giles was shocked when Owen came in to check out a book.
- Actually, my question is, how did Buffy manage drag Xander unconscious through the school without anyone noticing?
- Whether or not anyone noticed isn't the problem, whether or not they actually bothered to report it to a teacher is. Given the usual level of good order and discipline in that madhouse, the answer is "they probably didn't".
- Mr. Gregory and the principal died and their bodies were found in school. You'd think that that would be enough to close the school for at least a few days. But no, the bio teacher's death results in bio being cancelled for a period and the principal being eaten in his office results in a teacher's meeting, while the school should have been immediately evacuated and at least closed for the rest of the day if there's some kind of man-eating group of something on campus. That's gross negligence.
- They pretty thoroughly cover in season three that Sunnydale has a very literal disease where they block and just charge forward. Considering how much stuff goes down in plain sight, like the attacks at the Bronze, in the Harvest and again in Dopplegangland, and a troll later than that. Zombies at Buffy's party. Whether it's just that people have trained themselves to accept death and charge forward or if it's a spell cast by Mayor Wilkins similar to Glory's, it's established very quickly that in Sunnydale dead people happen.
- To quote Snyder: "Nobody's died at my school! ...This week!"
- To quote Oz talking about the school paper: "I usually go straight to the obits."
- I always figured that much of Sunnydale's population was quietly aware of the supernatural, but just kept going about their everyday lives because hey, what else are you gonna do (especially when the Mayor and Wolfram & Hart can suppress any sensational news stories)? After the fiftieth inexplicable death, anyone who hasn't already left town would keep on going with their daily lives.
- In episode two, a Friday, the Bronze is stated to have no cover on Fridays. So why is the bouncer shown receiving and counting cash from patrons as they enter?
- Bribes for letting underage kids in?
- Even without a cover, there could still be an entry fee.
- ... that's exactly what a cover is. Who said it, by the way? Could have meant "no cover for us" if, say, Willow was speaking to Buffy and Friday is Ladies' Night or something.
- Entry fee =/= cover. The former will only get you into the building. The latter will get you entry, beverages, and a flowering onion (before it got remodeled right off the sodding menu, anyway).
- If Buffy actually died, how was Xander able to revive her just using CPR?
- Also, wasn't it implied that the revival somehow powered Buffy up a bit? She certainly has a lot less trouble fighting the Master and other vampires from that point forward.
- The simple answer is that prophesies lie. The Master puts it rather well when he tells Buffy that if she hadn't come he couldn't rise. Literally her original plan of screw that send someone who isn't prophesied to die plan would have at worst gotten someone else killed but wouldn't have let him rise. Whatever the parameters of the prophesy were apparently being unconscious and not breathing was sufficiently close to death to satisfy the spell.
- OP here. Apparently "sufficiently" close to death is enough to call up the next slayer (Kendra) then?
- Clearly it was. It's possible that the Slayer Spell might activate from certain near death situations. It wouldn't surprise me in the least to find out that Faith's coma qualified as close enough to dead to have activated a third slayer someplace. I know if I was a Shadow Man I wouldn't want there to be no Slayer because the one fell asleep and couldn't be awakened, which without modern technology is pretty much death anyway.
- Presumably, the state of death required for the awakening of a new Slayer was clinical death (the stopping of the heart), which was, as someone pointed out before, "dead enough" for people who don't have advanced medical knowledge.
- There's a fan fiction that mentions this, somewhere, where Xander is treated spoken of as an Eldritch Abomination by other demons for being able to do this. On a more pertinent note, though, maybe there's a prophecy about Buffy coming back somewhere that we never heard about.
- Anyhow, the prophecy says "The Chosen One will meet the Anointed, and she will not know him." But when it happened she knew perfectly well who he was.
- Out of Universe I always assumed that part of the prophesy was met when Buffy and the gang screwed up and went after the Preacher instead of the child. In-Universe prophesies are tricky things as the Master tells us. Buffy didn't KNOW the Anointed in a Biblical way, it frankly wouldn't the last time that exact wording was important in these things.
What the hell is a techno-pagan?
- It has to be asked, and it never really was explained. In I robot, you Jane Jenny Calendar states that she a techno-pagan. She never really elaborates on what powers/abilities that grants her, how, why or when she became one, or what that even means. It's only ever brought up in passing twice ever again, and Jenny is the only character we've seen throughout the entire buffyverse who seems to study it. What exactly is technopaganism?
- It seems to be someone who practices magic but isn't strong enough on their own to be a full witch so they form spell casting circles online. So they perform spells over the net instead of in person.
- It's true that Technopaganism is only directly mentioned a few times but it seems to have been fairly well defined in I Robot, you Jane. A technopagan is someone who blends modern science and ancient magics. As Jenny says: Bad ole science didn't make the magic go away. It's clearly demonstrated that for the purposes of a spell that must be read scanning it into a computer satisfies the spell. (Which considering Xander was able to set a book on fire later by speaking Latin in front of the books makes you wonder how often this must happen and how Giles didn't know better.) I imagine that the majority of spells that only involve verbal components and perhaps a 'circle' of allies can be cast over the internet just as easily as they can be cast by a physical circle. Further considering Warren was good enough to make a robot that could confuse Willow when she was homing in on his soul, Professor Walsh made a Frankenstein monster so powerful that it was able to IGNORE a world altering spell I think they may have never mentioned the term Technopagan again because they weren't really clear on why Willow tapping into the internet didn't qualify.