Asta 2

It's been said many times, many ways....



Thanks to dtissagirl who got me to thinking about a few things today. I may have more to say later, but this is what immediately comes to mind...

Um, yeah, so, that opening scene, interesting. I've never believed Angel and Spike had a sexual relationship. Up until tonight there was nothing to give credence to it other than the imaginations of fans. So, ME, as they have in the past, decided to play with the audience. But the joke makes subtext text. Hey, if it makes people happy to believe it, so be it. Me? I'm choosing to simply see it as a joke and not make it canon.

Spike to Angel: "Try staking your mother while she's coming on to you"
Harmony: "Well, that explains a lot"

OMG, Harmony just made an excellent observation! Another sign of the apocalypse perhaps? ;)

Spike having sex with Harmony? Ok, it happened, I admit it. Though, I have to say, it's physically impossible for anyone - even a vampire - to zip and buckle that fast. Of course, it's also obvious there was an edit in that scene so maybe that's when he got himself collected. ;) Doesn't really matter. And the fact that they had sex doesn't really bother me. I found the scene leading up to the coupling both cute and funny. Others have taken issue with his actions, but Harm (Mercedes looked quite lovely may I add) was all for it. Sure he was pushy and presumptuous, but she was more than happy (can we say thrilled?) to cave into his advances. The sex itself was...icky. In the sense that it was completely without passion and mechanical. It didn't seem to me that either was enjoying it. At least it gives credence to the fact that Spike's actions were just an immediate reaction to having his body and all it's senses restored. It also goes to show without passion a real relationship has nil chance of forming. Thank. God.

For me, the funniest part of the episode had to be Toner Guy. How many of us have wanted to do exactly what he did? Writing "TONER" on the wall in blood....priceless. :)

Hey, Lorne was in this episode! I was beginning to wonder since no one seems to have mentioned him in their posts. And wasn't his scene pivotal to the plot? Nooooooo. Obviously Eve (for better or worse) will have an increasing role on the show. I'm sure we haven't seen the last of Lindsey either. Sorry Andy, it's time to go. There's no time for frivilous scenes with Lorne.

Poof, flash of light, Spike's corporeal. It's treated as a non-event. Honestly, I have no problem with this. Does it really matter how he regains his corporeality? Do we need to drag it out through a series of experiments that fail? No. He just needed to be whole again.

Interestingly, as many secrets and questions that there were in this episode there was a Hell of a lot of openness and honesty. It's just no one seemed to realize it as a game of cat and mouse was being played. Angel and Fred were very open in there distrust of Eve. They also began to wonder if the amulet and box originated from the same individual(s), Eve's bosses, the Senior Partners. It would seem, that if Eve does work for them she's double crossing them just as she is Angel. But does she work for them? Did Angel ever bother to confirm her story?

Another character I'm really beginning to wonder about is Gunn, his connection to W&H, and that it is perhaps he that is going to be playing a major role in whatever is going down this season. When Eve revealed the universe was in chaos, Gunn's first instinct was to check on the White Room, only to return in a panic to find the leopard and the room missing - his connection to W&H. And under the influence of whatever it was that infected some, yet not all, Gunn attacks Eve with not only his hands, but the truth as well - "I know you are responsible". Does he know subconsciously? Is this another ability W&H bestowed upon him?

Another reason I wonder that Gunn may be more important than I had thought - The Look. In his office, after he asks her not to touch the robots :), and walks away Eve gives him a look. One, in my opinion, of concern, as if he may be a problem.

What if it all has nothing to do with Spike and Angel? What if the Shanshu Prophecy is obfuscating the truth? Obviously the events in 'Destiny' were meant as a diversion. Whether to simply occupy their time, remove Angel and Spike from the premises, create further chaos and self-doubt, or all of those things, I'm not sure. But Eve and Lindsey hardly seemed concerned with destiny and prophecies. Both were a means to some sort of end (or beginning?).

It's clear that Eve and Lindsey have their own agenda. Is it 'evil', I'm not so sure. Lindsey has personal grievances with both W&H and Angel. He could be killing two birds with one stone. Or he could have just been out to take down W&H, found Angel to be in charge and, if his intentions were to do good, perceived Angel as having gotten in bed with the enemy. After all, the last thing he did when he left LA was to warn Angel to not play their game and what exactly is Angel doing now?

"By the way, Spike didn't kill Angel". Was that why Spike was brought back? Perhaps. Or perhaps just to undermine Angel, his belief in himself, and this destiny thing. And I can understand Lindsey, even if he's not evil in the strictest sense of the word, wanting Angel dead. Either because of the reasons I mentioned above or because he thinks Angel could ruin his plans for W&H.

As for 'Destiny', I've read a lot of other people's thoughts on the subject and I don't know what I could add at this point. I do have kind of a wacky theory about it in regards to the Shanshu. I'm going to go out on a limb and say it's Angel's. Right now I see Angel's life (or unlife) more a result of destiny than Spike's. Spike's life (And unlife) has been one made up of choice. He chose to be turned by Dru because he wanted away from the life he was living. He chose to become Spike - he created a persona, displeased with himself as he was. He chose to try to be good when he admitted his love for Buffy to himself. And, as he threw in Angel's face - he chose to get his soul. None of Spike's life sounds predestined to me.

On a final note, I don't see Spike's defeat of Angel as a sign he wanted it more. A punch here or there and things may have been different. But, if Angel believes it to be true, he's guilty of defeating himself.
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You got it - Spike's the free-will poster child. But now he's on Angel's show, and in Angel's milieu destiny seems to take a more active role (witness all the involvement by supernatural forces, as opposed to the infrequent miracle snow and what-all on BtVS.)

Choice vs destiny was so important in Angel Season 4 (and how much of what Skip had to say in Inside Out was true?). After Jasmine, Connor, and all that, though, it does seem that Angel is questioning his destiny all this season. If he stops believing it, will it stop being true? How much does perception affect reality?
(witness all the involvement by supernatural forces, as opposed to the infrequent miracle snow and what-all on BtVS.)

In 'Lineage' it really through me to hear Wes' 'Father' speak of the PTB. My first reaction was, when did the Watchers council start acknowledging that?! You are correct, Angel has always been more about Divine intervention. Maybe they need the extra help being in LA. ;)

After Jasmine, Connor, and all that, though, it does seem that Angel is questioning his destiny all this season. If he stops believing it, will it stop being true? How much does perception affect reality?

Excellent questions. If Angel stops believeing he has a destiny does that mean what is supposed to happen won't or, no matter what he does, is it inevitable? I think the fact that we have witnessed Angel full of doubt this season has to mean something. But will it alter the final outcome or just how he gets there?



Gunn's first instinct was to check on the White Room, only to return in a panic to find the leopard and the room missing - his connection to W&H.

Really interesting insight.

I was intrigued when Angelus told Spike that being a vampire meant that there was no belonging. For Spike, his "destiny" of belonging with Dru, and of being accepted by Angelus as one of them, was central to his happiness, his identity. Angelus did more than pierce William's bubble about Dru; he shattered William's assumptions about the very essence of his existence. Appropriate that Angelus tells him to rename himself.

In much of AtS, and Jossverse in general, who you are - your identity - is partly limned by the company you keep. Who are they? How do you relate to them? What are you without them?

Ya ... very interesting observation about Gunn, who he turns to when the apocalypse hits the fan, and how he begins to disintegrate when his new sense of identity isn't shored up.
I was intrigued when Angelus told Spike that being a vampire meant that there was no belonging. For Spike, his "destiny" of belonging with Dru, and of being accepted by Angelus as one of them, was central to his happiness, his identity. Angelus did more than pierce William's bubble about Dru; he shattered William's assumptions about the very essence of his existence. Appropriate that Angelus tells him to rename himself.

In essence vampires don't belong - they don't fit in in either the demon world or human world because they are a bastardization of both. They, by there very nature, are not accepted. Yet, William allowed himself to be turned because he was seeking acceptance. He didn't fit in Victorian society and when Dru told him all the things he longed to hear, she became his passion, his 'destiny', and in her acceptance of him he saw himself fitting into a world finally.

Course he quickly learned that it's every vamp for themselves. Yet, as we have seen, VampWilliam retained much of William's humanity. Hence his devotion to Dru and his continual desire to be loved and accepted. He really was caught in a catch 22 - an outcast in society, he turns to a group of 'free spirits' to find a place to belong only to discover once there that his sensibilities make him the odd man out.
Interesting points about Gunn. I think you may well be onto something there.

For me, the funniest part of the episode had to be Toner Guy. How many of us have wanted to do exactly what he did? Writing "TONER" on the wall in blood....priceless. :)

YES! That had me in (inappropriately lengthy) fits of laughter for the duration of the scene. I was just sad there wasn't a good closeup of it, because I wanted it for an icon. There's just something beautifully absurd about the idea.
If you manage to come across someone who can manage to turn it into an icon, please let me know. :)

And thanks for finding my Gunn points interesting. Hopefully as the season progresses, I'll have a more solid theory.
Check wisteria's LJ. I believe she has a screencap of the toner scene and can probably be persuaded to turn it into an icon.

Good thoughts on Gunn. There may well be slight of hand going on there. Our eyes are on Angel and Spike, while Gunn is in the background doing...something.

And yeah, much as I love Lorne, it's time for him to leave.
For me, the funniest part of the episode had to be Toner Guy. How many of us have wanted to do exactly what he did? Writing "TONER" on the wall in blood....priceless. :)

Yup. That just about summed up modern office life – especially in law firms ;-)

Poof, flash of light, Spike's corporeal. It's treated as a non-event.

True. But the Pandora’s Box images was laid on with a trowel.

. But does she work for them? Did Angel ever bother to confirm her story?

I’m wondering if the runes are there to hide Eve from the scrutiny of the Senior partners – or, more accurately, to hide Lindsey. Eve’s “I’m not the bad guy” actually sounded incredibly honest, so I’m wondering if maybe she thinks it’s Angel for isn’t. Or maybe she’s just evil.

Fabulous thoughts on Gunn!

And I agree: Spike’s all about free will and sticking it to destiny. But it’s always the spanner in the works that screws up the best laid plans. I’m not gonna write of Spike’s chances, although I doubt that either is getting that shanshu any time soon.
Yup. That just about summed up modern office life – especially in law firms ;-)

Ya know, we had to have our printers and toner color coded because people couldn't be bothered to look at the written toner information on the printer and toner boxes. :(

True. But the Pandora’s Box images was laid on with a trowel.

Good point. That's all I have to say. :)

I’m wondering if the runes are there to hide Eve from the scrutiny of the Senior partners – or, more accurately, to hide Lindsey. Eve’s “I’m not the bad guy” actually sounded incredibly honest, so I’m wondering if maybe she thinks it’s Angel for isn’t. Or maybe she’s just evil.

The runes have to be there for some reason - sounds like a good one to me. And how else do the Senior Partners not know what she is up to?

I agree about her being honest when she says she's not the bad guy (hey, maybe it's Lindsey! ;). There is nothing to indicate she's evil in the traditional sense. And how is wanting to take down W&H a bad thing? I think Angel may just be in there way.

Fabulous thoughts on Gunn!

And thank you!


Addressing your last two paragraphs, I think Angel is right about Spike wanting it more. That's really just typical of and true to both their characters. Angel always has a limit to how much he can take or stand to go through before he decides it's not worth it anymore. I don't necessarily think that he's a quitter or that he sees it as giving up -- I just think he hits a point where he believes he's done all that he can do. Spike, on the other hand, has no such limit. He sets his mind on a goal, and he never stops trying to achieve it, even if he has to break the laws of the universe to get it. Angel knows this. It was the first thing that Angel ever said about Spike in "School Hard." And now that he knows that Spike has set his sights on the Shanshu, Angel has good reason to be worried. Even if Spike is *not* The One that the prophecy was originally about, knowing Spike, and knowing his track record, he could very well find a way to *make* it about him before it's all said and done. You're right in that it's Choice vs. Destiny, but Choice could very well defeat Destiny this round.

(I was waiting for you to copy your post to RJP so I could respond there, but I'm getting busy with school stuff and I'll probably forget about everything by the time you get over there.)
Even if Spike is *not* The One that the prophecy was originally about, knowing Spike, and knowing his track record, he could very well find a way to *make* it about him before it's all said and done. You're right in that it's Choice vs. Destiny, but Choice could very well defeat Destiny this round.

You make a good point. If Spike wants something bad enough, he won't stop persuing it. ::cough:: Buffy ::cough::

And I wonder if the people coming up with these prophecies could have forseen a vampire actively seeking to reclaim his soul? Maybe Spike's decision is really mucking up the universe in that sense.

Oh, and going over to RJP to repost. Been busy myself and completetly forgot.