f/f, antidrug
I Blame the Dutch mpoetess
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Spoilers for ep only, and non-spoilery spec. Er, and for the final season of Forever Knight, because god knows there's someone out there who will complain about me spoiling a show that's been off the air for 8 years.



Er, first, my reaction: Asfafdsksak;;. Damn. Fine ep, despite: a few anvilly lines, the Fred-Sue-ness not on the part of Fred but on the part of the people around her, and the fact that no matter how much you tousle Eve's hair, you still can't make me see what the fuck the POINT was to her. Her demonstrated personality, wheher it's Lilah Jr. (not) or cowering-in-Lindsey's-bed-worrying-about-her-boyfriend is so non W&H and non-Liason-to-the-SP that I say again, WTF? Why? (Assuming she is not, as many speccers wish, another character in disguise, which seems sadly more unlikely every ep.) What was I saying? Oh, right. Fine ep. Spike/Angel banterhandholdingtheyaresomarriedcakes. Wes/Gunn banter and Gunn *totally* had me going at the beginning in the "I thought it was Wes' nightmare" way. Even the Wes/Fred did not make me want to spork my eyes out, though granted some of that was because I knew what was coming. Gunn getting the actions-have-consequences kick in the ass, oh yes. Spike's hole-in-the-world speech made me shiver; it's one of two that I made audio bites for and will undoubtedly replay several times. (The other being Wes reading A Little Princess.) Despite being spoiled out the wazoo, Fred's death scene got to me, and the fact that she never found her bunny was just.... wahhhh! And like many other people, I think Illyria!Fred = tehHott. I however think that she looks more like a 3-D rendered Final Fantasy character than a Farscape extra. She has anime eyes.

Then, my concession to plotholeness: The big obnoxious plothole as pointed out by many is, why don't they just fly Fred there, or teleport her, along with the box, so there's no one between her and the sarcophagus, and nobody has to choose to screw Fred (ow ow ow disturbing Supersymmetry flashbacks ow ow ow ow spork) or the world? Not too big of a fanwank for me: a) they don't think they have time, or b) they don't think she could stand the trip. If a), then why Spike and Angel think they have time to stand around angsting and looking at the pretty hole, I do not know, but I'm perfectly willing to buy b), though it would've been nice if they'd *said* so.

Now, about other people's reactions: why am I seeing people saying, here and there, some variation on "Angel chose the world over Fred?" Were we, er, watching different shows, in a completely non-subjective sense of the phrase? He didn't - Knox thought he would, but he chose to screw the world. Hence the phrase "Screw Hell with the world." He just didn't do it in time. What's more, as of yet, he doesn't know he didn't do it in time. In Angel And Spike's Angsty Tunnel Of Sarcophagi, Fred is still alive and they need to arrange for that casket to be shipped over pronto. Right after they finish angsting. Yes? Right? Or did I misinterpret something?

[obspoilerho nod -- earlier script spoilers showed that Angel did choose the world over Fred, but that changed, very late in the day, to include the "Screw the world" line.]

[obpollyannaglasses -- Keep in mind that I am apparently the only person in the world to honestly and without wishful thinking interpret the Forever Knight episode where Janette (apparently, according to several epguides and Wolfling, who of all people would know if there were a non-tragic way of seeing the ep) dies as "No, after they cut away, he vamped her. That *was* the tragedy, because she *wanted* to die as a human, and she will never forgive him, and the people killed by vamps at the end were killed by her, before she left town never to return." ]

(Deleted comment)

mpoetess

2004-02-27 06:01 am (UTC) (Link)

After having rewatched teh scene about 5 times, I'm seeing what otehrs saw, I think -- which is that Angel says "Hell with the world" and rushes off to follow Drogan -- but w don't see him get completely offscreen before it cuts to Fred and Wes. Then when it cuts back, Angel is standing in the tunnel with his back to Spike, as if he'd stopped there - and her turns around and says "Spike" and we get the portentous sppech from Spike, and SadAngelFace. Part of my problem when watching it originally is that I was watching my vhs recording, through my tv card, on my computer screen, and the fact that it's the tunnel entrance that Angel is standing in, isn't immediately evident. And the fact that it's the tunnel entrance he's standing in with his back to Spike, is sort of the linchpin of realizing that he stopped, as opposed to time having passed and they're now back at the hole waiting for something to happen. And again I say pah, because I dislike having to work that hard to be sure what happened. Intentional ambiguity is fine when it's something like Normal Again, but when it seems like a straightforward narrative and I have to pick up clues that subtle, I get cranky. Mostly because I hate being wrong.

wesleysgirl

2004-02-26 02:08 pm (UTC) (Link)

Hence the phrase "Screw the world." He just didn't do it in time. What's more, as of yet, he doesn't know he didn't do it in time.

Thank you. This was my interpretation as well. :-)

marguerite_26

2004-02-26 02:14 pm (UTC) (Link)

But isn't Angel's indecision, a decision in and of itself?

That was my interpretation - he had a chance to save her and his inaction (though contrary to his words) was his choice.

mpoetess

2004-02-26 02:33 pm (UTC) (Link)

I'm not seeing that - or if I'm supposed to be seeing that, they needed to make it a hella lot more anvilly. Indecision isn't a choice, it's a lack thereof. It's an *action* in its way, which resulted in the same effect -- Fred dying -- as choosing the world would have -- but stalling to think about it isn't the same as deliberately choosing that result. Any more than [horrible analogy] accidentally hitting someone with your car while you're distracted because you're trying to decide whether or not to murder them, is the same as choosing to murder them.

mpoetess

2004-02-26 04:44 pm (UTC) (Link)

I think I misunderstood you -- you're saying that his indecision wasn't actually indecision, it was him choosing the otehr option and just not saying so aloud, right? In that case, yes, that would be his choice. And (see reply to Kita) I actually had no problem when I thought via spoilers that this was going to be the case. Then the spoilers about the "hell with the world" line as a last minute addition came out, and I watched the ep, and didn't see him changing his mind. Thus I R not so much upset/confused with Angel choosing to save the world vs. Fred, as I am with apparently misinterpreting what was on the screen.

marguerite_26

2004-02-26 02:11 pm (UTC) (Link)

Ok - now I'm confused.

Did you think Janette wanted to die a human? Cause that's what I always thought too... If so what were we supposed to think?


mpoetess

2004-02-26 03:04 pm (UTC) (Link)

When I saw it (I have it on tape but I don't think I've rewatched it more than once since and in a way I don't want to now, as I can preserve my fucked up interpretation, if I don't ;-) ) I saw Janette wanting to die as a human. He says "I can bring you across!" all angstyNickconstipationface and she says no, or shakes her head, or the like, and then ... something. He bends over her and cries? Not sure. At any rate, when I watched it, I had the distinct thought that what I was supposed to have gotten from everything that followed was: he disobeyed her wishes, and brought her across. She left the painting of herself (or them as a group? Been a *while*) to remind him of what he'd done, and the people who Natalie mentions as having been killed by vamps (the people who'd been involved in Janette's boyfriend's murder) were killed by re-vamped Janette. LaCroix mentions having lost a daughter but gained a son, and I took it as Janette not wanting anything to do with being a vampire anymore, and Nick having vamped her against her will.

What I gather I was *supposed* to get from the ending was that he let her die, then went off and killed the bad guys himself, in revenge, and LaCroix's comment was more literal in Janette's case, and more about Nick going dark, than about Nick bringing someone across and thus siding with vampirism over humanity.

I mean, I thought the ep was very dark and tragic for Nick either way, so I wasn't trying desperately to see her surviving. I considered it worse and darker for him to have done what she didn't want, and gone against everything he was trying to do for himself, than the apparently correct interpretation of him letting her die.

stakebait

2004-02-26 02:17 pm (UTC) (Link)

I had the same *blink* moment when I was on the phone with batyatoon, about thinking that Angel had chosen Fred over the world, but it was explained to me by her and sdelmonte that Angel had started to choose Fred over the world, then changed his mind and came back, which is when and why Spike gave that gorgeous hole in the world speech.

Mer

byrne

2004-02-26 02:24 pm (UTC) (Link)

Yeah, I thought that when he came back that signalled that he wasn't going to try to save her. *blinks and blinks again*

I'll have to watch the episode again. Plus? I think I'm missing the beauty of the Spike speech, 'cause frankly I don't even remember it.

mpoetess

2004-02-26 02:36 pm (UTC) (Link)

I didn't see that at all, and I'm really confused now. I saw him come back, and say "Spike" and Spike give a big old speech, but I'm not getting why Angel coming back to the bridge implies that he changed his mind. I mean, Spike is there. He kind of had to come back for Spike, one would think.

byrne

2004-02-26 02:37 pm (UTC) (Link)

You could very well be right. I *really* have to see it again, I think. I tend not to watch as closely as everyone else. ;-)

lumenara

2004-02-26 02:36 pm (UTC) (Link)

What is this about him coming back? I didn't think they'd left the hole yet, within the episode. He chose to save her, like you said, "Screw the world" seems pretty damn clear on that.

I had a similar-- though less practical-- solution to the whole people-in-between thing: I thought they were going to put her on the other end of the hole...

mpoetess

2004-02-26 02:42 pm (UTC) (Link)

I think the "coming back" is that he's turned away from Spike,a nd when he turns back, he says "Spike" and while Spike's giving his "hole in the world" speech, we get Angel making Tragedy Face. But again, Fred dying, bad things happening, I don't know if I'm supposed to be interpreting Tragedy Face as "I changed my mind" or "I'm sad that I'm going to cause a bunch of deaths" or "I;m scared that this isn't going to work"

I won't be surprised if next ep, we find out that he did change his mind -- I'm just sort of betwiddlet over whether I'm supposed to believe that we were shown him doing so in this ep, because I sure as hell didn't pick it up, at least not as an unambiguous statement.

mpoetess

2004-02-26 02:48 pm (UTC) (Link)

Hmm. Okay, he says "Hell with the world" and takes off after Drogan. Cut to Wes and Fred. Cut back to Angel and Spike, and we see Angel's *back*, and then him turning around. So I guess that could imply that he didn't go after Drogan after all, since if he did and the spell had been started, he'd have been coming back facing forward. OTOH, it could mean he went after Drogan, told him to go ahead, came back, and his back's to us because they're doing the pretty "stare off in opposite directions while we brood" thing. If so... then this scene was *way* too damn subtle, or ambiguous, or something.

kita0610

2004-02-26 02:45 pm (UTC) (Link)

I got: He said screw the world, and was gonna do it. Then chickened out. Hence the tears in his eyes when he went back to get Spike. He didn't NEED Spike. They only needed one champion. Angel coulda done it himself. I got he went back to tell Spike he couldn't do it. And that Spike got that without Angel having to say it, and then made his speech about a hole in the world. Which I wish would have been more meaningful to me, but it sounded so damn clunky, like much of the dialogue in this ep. I was disappointed. Specially being a Joss ep.

mpoetess

2004-02-26 02:54 pm (UTC) (Link)

I can read the scene like that (see above) totally. Problem is I can also read the hole in the world speech as Spike trying to deal with the idea (or comfort Angel who's trying to deal with the idea) of killing a bunch of innocent people for Fred -- because that would be a literal big hole punched through the world too.

I really really really really really hate scenes where my interpretation, which I thought was straightforward, ain't. Pah.

(And I'm not sure why I'm so disturbed over it, because when the spoilers were saying "Angel chooses to let Fred die in order not to cause a bunch of deaths" I was totally fine with that.)

On the other hand, I loved the speech, didn't think it was clunky at all, and god knows clunky dialogue has been one of my big nitpicks about this season of Angel and the last 2 seasons of Buffy, so... maybe my perceptions are totally skewed these days!

ninjamidget

2004-02-26 03:42 pm (UTC) (Link)

I did a whole big rambly essay comparing Angel's choice to Buffy's in "The Gift"...but if your interpretation is right, it's totally off in la-la land. :)
I can see both interpretations, now that I think about it. Either motivation for the speech would be in character for Spike (and how weird is THAT...), and I can see both motivations in Angel as well. Ambiguity, I thought that was supposed to be gone from modern TV.
[Found your post through a friendsfriends, by the way...not a stalker. :)]

mpoetess

2004-02-26 05:17 pm (UTC) (Link)

Yeah, I can see both ways as well, so I'm mostly either annoyed with myself for picking the wrong one, or annoyed with ME for the ambiguity. Don't get me wrong, I *like* ambiguity, but it bugs me when it's at a level of "I saw X on the screen" -- "You saw *what*???"

I won't be at all bothered if the next ep confirms one way or the other, though I suspect I'll be annoyed with myself if it confirms in some way that it *wasn't* supposed to be ambiguous, and I was just on crack. *g*

zortified

2004-02-26 06:15 pm (UTC) (Link)

The only thing I remember about Forever Knight (other than the blooper with the box o' oatmeal) is Nick going into a church and getting antsy about it.

It's no oatmeal!

mpoetess

2004-02-27 05:55 am (UTC) (Link)

OMG, I've spoiled you for the whole series then! *sobs*

(Deleted comment)

mpoetess

2004-02-27 05:54 am (UTC) (Link)

Plus, Nick is approximately 38602 times more likely to make the silly emotional choice of revamping Janette than the nastier revenge choice of killing mortals, especially by draining them.


Ha! Yes, that's pretty much the way I saw it too -- that he was much more the sucker for doing what would not break his heart, even at the expense of somebody else's personal choice, than he was likely to go off after the bad guys to kill them more or less cold-bloodedly.

Plus I think I interpreted his *not* vamping Tracey in the finale, as Nick having realized how wrong (on his personal scale) vamping Janette was. Otherwise they've essentially given him the same choice twice, and the second time would have less of an impact, I would think, if he'd already made the "correct" decision once, and quite recently.