Asta 2

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I just finished watching 'Dead End' on TNT. Once again I'm struck by the fact that Lindsey's departure from LA in no way gels with his return three years later. So, announcing he was tired of all the crap and warning Angel not to play W&H's game was just the first step in his evil plan? Not to mention, I see nothing that indicates he had to be killed....which I'd really be pissed off about if Lindsey was actually dead, which he's not. He's not. Shut up.

All this reminds me of a remark Gail made on my previous post in reference to Joss:

He seems to come up with an idea without thinking through its repercussions. It's a dubious process at best and can work only if he's completely involved day in and day out, and he wasn't.

Yep. I'm sensing that. I think he had this great idea to bring Lindsey back (as he did with bringing Spike back), but, once he set the wheels in motion, had no clue what to do with him (Christian has pretty much confirmed this in interviews). It's too bad. I enjoyed season 5 of Angel quite a bit, but I'm left to wonder how great it might have been with a little more forethought.

Um, not sure if there was much of a point here other than it's part of my ongoing process of trying to deduce what they were doing with my tiny Texan. ;)
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I'm serving you an eviction notice to get out of my head. :P I just posted the same reaction to "Dead End" and Lindsey's reappearance in S5. Angel and Lindsey really seemed to have come to a truce at the end of "Dead End," and by giving Angel advice on how to get to W&H, Lindsey seemed to be telling him that was what he wanted him to do. It doesn't fit at all well with the way he returned in S5.

Previously, I'd been inclined to blame a lot of the choppiness of what there was of an arc in S5 on the WB, which apparently had mandated an episodic format as a condition for renewal. But the seat of the pants theory is the only explanation for the mess they made of Lindsey's alleged plan for whatever the hell it was he wanted to do to Angel and/or W&H.
I'm serving you an eviction notice to get out of my head. :P

Hee! I just jumped over to your LJ and followed up on your train of thought. What I really need to do is rewatch season 5 and see if I can fanwank any of this. But, looking back at the old eps, that seems like it will be very hard to do.

But the seat of the pants theory is the only explanation for the mess they made of Lindsey's alleged plan for whatever the hell it was he wanted to do to Angel and/or W&H.

Yes. There is no other explanation. Christian admits he created his own backstory for why Lindsey returned when he received no direction from Joss or any of the other writers. (In his mind, losing Darla to Angel continued to fester and he came back for revenge - a more plausable reason than what we ended up getting.)

Joss wanted Christian to come back - that's great and it provided a nice nod to the series history - but he never contemplated why he should be there. As much as it would be great to blame the network, season 1 & 2 were more episodic and I feel some of the series best work.
Christian admits he created his own backstory for why Lindsey returned when he received no direction from Joss or any of the other writers.

I didn't know that, but it explains so much. ::weeps in frustration::

There was some really elaborate fanwank at TWoP after the end of the season that sort of made sense of Lindsey's plan, if you followed the breadcrumbs through miles of forest, but I've always been on the school of the thought that if it requires a wank that takes longer to read than the entire season takes to watch, the storytelling has failed.

Joss wanted Christian to come back - that's great and it provided a nice nod to the series history - but he never contemplated why he should be there.

As I watch old Buffy episodes that Joss wrote, I'm starting to wonder if this isn't a problem that's developed over time. I'm trying to figure out how he got from "Lie to Me," which had both incredibly rich thematic content and a plot that hung together beautifully, to "Once More With Feeling," which had incredibly rich thematic content and great character moments but was built around an incredibly flimsy plot element--Xander, the Scoobie who doesn't know anything about magic, is terrible at research, and hates demons, summoning Sweet on a whim. It seems like at a certain point Joss lost interest in the mechanics of how characters arrive at whatever "big moment" he envisions.
I honestly think I could fanwank what became of Lindsey in season 5. Maybe if I fine some time, I'll just watch the epiodes he appeared in and see what I come up with. But, yeah, I'n not plowing through pages of posts to get the seeds of an idea.

"Once More With Feeling," which had incredibly rich thematic content and great character moments but was built around an incredibly flimsy plot element--Xander, the Scoobie who doesn't know anything about magic, is terrible at research, and hates demons, summoning Sweet on a whim. It seems like at a certain point Joss lost interest in the mechanics of how characters arrive at whatever "big moment" he envisions.

I wonder if it was losing interest or, at such a loss for time (he was working on three shows at that point) that he was looking for shorcuts. One of the things that always bothered me in OMWF was Xander's role in it. I never understood why he would look to magic for answers (plus, keep in mind, he was questioning Willow's use of it prior to this). And he claims he just wanted reassurance that he and Anya would be happy. Since the spell reveals hidden truths and on the exterior they seemed happy, did he feel she may be lying to him or that he was lying to himself? I won't even get in to the fact he didn't reveal his part in all of this as soon as he heard people were dying. :(

When I think about it, it would have made more sense for Willow, if she had actually been concerned over Buffy's reluctance to talk about where she, how she was feeling, or her increasing isolation from the group, to seek a way to discover the truth and have it blow up in her face.

Hmmm, everyone loves OMWF, maybe we should do a post on all it's flaws - LJ presents Behind the Music: Once More with Feeling. :p
It is possible Joss was just swamped by that point. I think "Chosen" had some of the same problems, though less extreme, and there Joss was not distracted by other projects--but he was having to wrap up a season's worth of badly followed-through loose ends in one episode, so that's probably a factor as well.

I totally love "OMWF," which is funny because I generally loathe musicals, but the major plot points definitely don't make a lot of sense. I agree that Willow would have been a more likely candidate for summoning Sweet--or perhaps Dawn, through some combination of pique, naivete, and curiosity. Then there's the whole issue of why Buffy automatically assumed she couldn't kill Sweet with no supporting evidence whatsoever... Yeah, a Behind the Music might be in order. :)
"Then there's the whole issue of why Buffy automatically assumed she couldn't kill Sweet with no supporting evidence whatsoever... Yeah, a Behind the Music might be in order. :)"

I figured that was due to her depression. She was very unsure of herself and her place. Also, it was fairly rare for her to go after a Big Bad entirely by herself. I think the last time she fought entirely alone was Angelus. The senior class was involved with the fight with the Mayor, and although she was the prime fighter, she had her friends with her for both Adam and Glory.
(Apologies to Asta for hijacking her LJ!)

The depression could certainly be a factor, especially with Giles basically tossing her out on her ear to deal with Sweet by herself. Still, it never quite sat well with me that she said, "Since I can't kill you" as if this were some well-known, established fact.

Granted, the Mayor and Adam were pre-depression, but she had good reason in both cases for not taking them on by herself. The Mayor was a well-protected public figure; also, she saw Giles (I believe?) put a sword through him with to affect, so she had reason to believe that she actually couldn't kill the Mayor without significant help. It's been a while since I saw S4, but I believe she couldn't even find Adam at first, and when she ran into him she got her ass handed to her on a plate, so she knew she needed extra resources to take him on. For that matter, she also had firsthand knowledge that she couldn't deal with Glory because Glory clobbered her repeatedly when they fought. She didn't know anything about Sweet, and she hadn't so much as lobbed a stake at him, so I never quite got why she just knew she couldn't kill him.
(Apologies to Asta for hijacking her LJ!)

None necessary! I love having discussions such as these and they are so much easier to follow in my own LJ. ;)

I have to agree, I never understood why Sweet was viewed as such a threat by Buffy. I can understand her fear of facing him on her own though. Suffering from depression, she perhaps knew she was not at her best. And, subconciously, with life being as painful as it was for her, did she worry she wouldn't try her hardest?

As for Giles forcing her to face Sweet alone, I never got his rational. Sure, he wants her to stand on her own two feet and not rely on him or the others so much, but do you do that by having her face a demon she knows nothing about on her own? How's that suppose to help her? Again, it just seems as if Joss didn't really think about the logic of the situation - he just needed to get Buffy from point A to point B.
In Joss's defense (whoa! Imagine that!) I do think that Giles's actions in this episode, while they didn't make much sense to me either, provided as much set up as was possible for his departure in "Tabula Rasa." Not that Giles's departure in general really made much sense to me, but since ASH was leaving, they had to rationalize his absense somehow.
the seat of the pants theory is the only explanation for the mess they made

I know you're talking about Lindsey specifically, but I've had a "seat of the pants" impression of AtS from the get-go. I haven't rewatched S1&2, and I know they're fan faves, but as much as I liked some eps, I never felt they were building toward something. Not in the way Buffy seasons and Buffy overall did. (I should say I like AtS very much, but don't lurve it).

I guess I'm an arc slut.

Then of course they give us Connor-determined arcs in S3/4 that are ill-conceived (pun intended).

I guess I never got past thinking that all Joss' most whole, coherent thinking went into Buffy, and Angel spun off in more ways than one.

I always thought the S2 Darla arc, while it was interrupted by a few standalones, hung together pretty well as an arc. The season has a really strange momentum, though, because the Darla arc happens in the middle and then the season ends with Pylea, which is terribly anticlimactic.

I'm not sure Joss ever had a very good grip on Angel, despite having created the show and its universe. I always felt he wrote the more adult characters and situations on the show really poorly; whereas his episodes are generally some of the best on Buffy, they're some of the most poorly characterized on Angel IMO. I adored the late S3/S4 arc (and, even if you hate it, as I know asta77 does, I think we can all agree that it certainly was an arc), but once again I wonder how much Jeff Bell had to do with its coherence. That was the point where Joss was most detached from both shows while he dealt with Firefly, and over on Buffy, Marti was (IMO) floundering at the same time.
I'm glad you reminded me of the Darla arc in S2. I did love that.

And I didn't hate S4 the way Asta did. In fact I didn't hate it period. And I loved it to a 9 until Cordy took Connor to bed. Plus I liked the Jasmine story a lot. My S4 problems were relegated to Concord. Most of their scenes together were written, acted, directed execrably.

I liked S3 also. Wish they had made more of Holst. Holtz? (I suck on names). Again, had Connor not been there, I would have been happier. I think a head-on Season of Holxx vs. Angel would have been fascinating. The characters both have so many things to revile and alternately to admire. They could have found other ways to slit Wesley's neck had they wanted. :D

So I haven't hated any Angel season. Have pretty much liked all of them. Mine is a quibble. But it's a serious quibble. I think each S had the potential for greatness and fell shy.
I always felt he wrote the more adult characters and situations on the show really poorly

It's interesting that while Joss seemed to excel at writing characters transitioning from the teenage years to adulthood and all the struggles within, he had difficulty writing for characters who were adults. While I think we can all be immature at times, I was often shocked to see how immature Angel could appear. And don't even get me started on Fred, I still have 'pancake kisses' nightmares. :(
I agree, Angel never had arcs planned out as they did on BtVS (well, at least through the first six seasons - I now question how thought out the final season was.).

I see the reason for this as two-fold. First, the only reason Angel came to be is because of the success of BtVS and the popularity of the character, Angel. ME was simply focused on creating a new product, one which could have failed, so I don't fault them for not contemplating long term developments.

Secondly, Joss and others have stated that, with Angel, they were attempting to get away from the arc type story lines that helped to define BtVS. But, I believe it was the resurrection of Darla that led them back to developing season, even series, long plots.
Sally Bradstreet and I decided Lindsey was bipolar due to all that Unresolved Sexual Tension between him and Angel :D It makes as much sense as anything else.

I remember that interview, with CK asking "Why am I mad at Angel again?" and not getting an answer.

Of course Lindsey isn't dead. Neither is Wesley.
Of course Lindsey isn't dead. Neither is Wesley.

Wes seemed to have some of his own bipolar issues. I say after being left for dead, Wes and Lindsey bumped into each other and are now in seclusion as they come up with their master plan to kick every square inch of Angel's ass. :)
Oh, Wes is interestingly unstable all right. I wrote a long post a while back on what I thought the problem was...basucally that due to his childhood, he never got the confidence to make his own decisions, so fixates on someone to tell/show him what to do, rather like Spike taking his definition from the woman he's with. If the person Wesley is following is ok, then he's ok.

I do like that master plan. I feel and exciting spin-off coming on. Can Lilah resurrect too?
If the person Wesley is following is ok, then he's ok.

So, you're saying Angel is unstable? Whatever gave you that idea? ;)

I do like that master plan. I feel and exciting spin-off coming on. Can Lilah resurrect too?

Ohhhhh, now I'm feeling a spin-off with some exciting (and hot) three-wy action. :D
We must pitch this idea, preferably to HBO so we can get some skin on screen.

As for Angel, he was ok in season 1 and 2, and Wes was ok as well because he had a semi-stable place to be and could function. Even when Angel went wonky over Darla, Cordie and Gunn were enough to ground him.

Then Fred showed up, and she and Gunn fell in love, making Wes feel betrayed (wrongly, though it was) on 2 fronts, plus he got the prophecy that Angel was going to kill his son, Cordelia wasn't there to smack some sense into him, Lorne had already ceased to be of use, and Wes fell apart in spectacular fashion, which continued all the way until the mind-wipe.
I agree, the episodic format was not to blame, it was the execution of the story, or lack of, by Joss and the writers. Seasons one and two are still my favorites, because to me they were better written, and more coherently plotted.

And I also agree that Lindsey and Wesley are somewhere, plotting ;)
I thought Lindsey and Angel were going to end the series on somewhat 'friendly' terms, until, ya know, he had him gunned down. :p

The level of animosity is confusing as is Angel's decision to eliminate Lindsey. Granted, I never envisioned them being best buds - too much resentment on Lindsey's part, too much distrust on Angel's - but Angel feeling he had to murder him was out of the blue for me. And, I believe it was on jems LJ, that there was a discussion as to how Angel could give Faith a second chance, believe in her ability to change, yet couldn't or wouldn't extend that courtesy to Lindaey.
I always felt that Angel was an incredible sexist. If Lindsay had been a woman, back when he came to ask for help in stopping W&H from killing those children, Angel would never have let go of the idea of trying to redeem him. Because he likes to save women. Because they need saving. He holds men to a higher standard and therefore feels they should be able to help themselves. Probably a holdover from his days as a human. Unlike Spike, he never really did change his views to fit the modern world.

And again, gotta agree with everything people are saying about Joss. It really shows that he put all of his best into Firefly and then sort of left it there.
Hee! You're brilliant...because you touched on a point I made last week. ;-) Since I'm lazy, I'm just going to repost what I said over at Jems LJ (the part in italics are her thoughts):

One thing that really bugs me about the last few episodes is how Angel makes every effort to help Faith, but makes Lindsey's path to redemption harder for him. Sure, I get that maybe he shouldn't trust Lindsey completely, but the indifference there when he just told Buffy that it's not their job to choose whose soul to save (or whatever he said). Hypocrit, much?

Well, yeah. ;) But, I wonder if Angel cut Faith some slack because a) she was a Slayer and he had seen the good in her and b)Mr White Knight saw an opportunity to save Faith(and didn't it seem it was always more about saving the gals than the guys?). I wonder if it also crossed his mind that he had abandoned one person (Buffy) who had relied on him and he was trying to atone for being such a heel by helping Faith.
I've now rewatched all the Lindsey episodes of Angel before season 5, and I just don't get it. Season 5 Lindsey isn't Lindsey at all. I'd go with him being the First if it wasn't for the fact that Angel hit him (Eve touching him I could still fanwank, after all, she's not exactly bound by human laws).

I think you're right, Joss probably had the fabulous idea, but failed to realize that no one on the team was up to actually making it work.
I'd go with him being the First if it wasn't for the fact that Angel hit him

Ya know, that would have been really ineresting to explore. Except, it would mean Lindsey was dead and he's not. ;) With Spike's reappearance - supposedly Lindsey's doing though never really explained - it could have been a nice tie in to the events in 'Chosen' since the First simply disappeared rather than being destroyed.
And the theories go on and on. I think why Lindsey came back and why Angel had him killed makes sense.

Lindsey did try to quit Wolfram and Hart once in season one only to go back. So I think Angel thought he couldn't trust Lindsey due to Lindsey being able to change his heart on a whim. I think Lindsey may have some humanity in him, but Wolfram and Hart made Lindsey a little cold hearted whether he was with the firm or not. I think Angel felt that Lindsey could have been a threat again (sooner or later) if he was kept alive.