Perri's Review | Lizbet's Review | SunSpeak | Ritual Transciption

Perri's Review

Ow. That's all I really have to say. < sniff > Just when you think Joss can't make a more painful episode.... This really bites. I'm still having problems completing sentences.

Abby volunteered to do it, bless her heart. It'll show up eventually. Or maybe not. I'm still not doing it.

Jenny's dead. How's that for continuity? No, we're not bitter...

A vampire's invitation into a place lasts until it is ritually cancelled. And vampires can come and go in the school because of an inscription over the doors, inviting in anyone who seeks knowledge.

Spike and Angelus are really starting to hate each other. Angelus's reign of terror against Buffy is escalating. Buffy's mom knows about her and Angel - all details except the vampire part.

Although Angelus destroyed the computer and the hard copy, a ritual that can be used to restore Angel's soul is on a computer disk; it was lost between the cracks of Jenny Calendar's desk after she located and translated it.

Willow seems to have forgiven Xander for the events of BBB; everyone is getting along just fine in the Slayerettes. And Xander was dancing with Buffy, but left with his arm around Cordelia, so it would appear some of the pangs of jealousy have been quieted. Hope Cordy keeps riding him, though.

Giles and Jenny were well on their way to making up when... well. Enough said.

Easy ones first.

I haven't wanted to strangle Xander this badly since 'Angel', when he was all for killing Angel as soon as they knew he was a vampire. Saying he always hated Angel and was therefore right all along is total and complete bull! But Valerie's somewhat more objective analysis is right on -- he's in heavy denial; he'd finally started getting over his resentment of Angel and regarding him as a friend, then that tentative trust was totally betrayed, leaving Xander to have to deal with the emotional wreckage Angelus is leaving in his wake. So, he's trying to convince himself that he never did like or trust Angel, figuring if he can fool himself, he can his own emotional wreckage and be able to help the girls and Giles. It's also, I think, one hell of a lot easier for him just to be blindly furious than to deal with losing the only real guy friend he's had since Jesse died - by being turned into a vampire. Not a good sitch for Xander. But if he's going to vent, he doesn't need to be doing it with "I told you so"s in front of Buffy when she's already killing herself with guilt.

Willow is keeping it together, as always. She's wigged by Angelus killing her fish, but she gets out, gets to Buffy's, and takes steps to protect her house. She grieves over Jenny's death - when she'd gotten over her anger towards Jenny much faster than the others - but it right there ready to help save Giles from himself. And we ever thought this girl was fragile? So far, she's proven to be the most resilient of the lot.

Joyce's relationship with Buffy continues to deteriorate. She'd known before, on an instinctive level, that she had no real idea what was going on in her daughter's life, but now she has concrete proof. To find out that your daughter has slept with a man when said man goes psycho and tells you - it's a hell of a shock, especially when you didn't even know your daughter was dating anyone. She dealt okay - although she was a little harsher with Buffy then Buffy really needed at that point. I would have liked to see more sympathy, fewer accusations. But she came through with telling Buffy how much she loves her, no matter what, and she was right there to comfort the girls after Giles' phone call. At this point, though, I almost think it would be easier if Buffy told her the truth. At least she'd know. And if Angel gets his soul back and he and Buffy somehow make things between them right, they're going to have a helluva time explaining their relationship to Joyce without telling the truth.

The conflict between the three vampires is getting scarier and scarier. Spike is right, Angelus really isn't playing with a full deck. I mean, we knew he was psychotic, but he's turning out to be actively insane. He's antagonizing the one person who could kill him, driving her to the point of having no other choice - and going out of his way to piss off one of his only two allies. No acts of a sane person. Spike has shown remarkable restraint in not killing Angelus yet, but I wouldn't count on that to hold. And Drusilla is having way too much fun watching Angelus score off Spike. Really hate her. Ever think Spike would become one of the more sympathetic characters on the show? Too weird.

Okay, I've stalled long enough. The hard ones....

Jenny went a long way to redeeming herself, not that she had all that much to redeem. Instead of curling up feeling sorry for herself when the Slayerettes shut her out, she went to work on her own, found the ritual for revoking the invitation, and found a way to restore Angel's soul, overcoming some major obstacles in the process. She went way above and beyond the call of duty to make up for witholding information, and she did not deserve to die for it, dammit! She and Giles were so good for each other, and never really got a fair chance together. Dammit. < sigh > Rest in peace, Jenny. You earned it, and then some. We're going to miss you like hell.

It'll be a while before Buffy finds any peace. There's no way she can not blame herself for Jenny's death; her actions brought back Angelus, and she didn't stake him when she had the chance. In killing Jenny, Angelus hit the Slayer with an even stronger blow than I think he expected; where Buffy might have survived an attack upon herself, seeing Giles hurt so badly - and losing someone she'd come to care about herself, no matter how angry she was - is going to cripple her. It's also going to make her, as Spike so elegantly phrased it, throughly brassed off. It's real now; someone close to her has died at Angelus's hands, and she damn near lost Giles, who has become the only real parent she has, as well. If she gets another chance to kill him, she will. And I don't know if she will survive that.

Giles. Damn. He spent his entire life shut up in books, teaching himself not to care about anything but his duty as a Watcher. Then Buffy and the kids pulled him out into the real world and taught him how to feel again, then Jenny came along and taught him how to love again. And now he's lost her. His guilt is going to be up there with Buffy's - he let Angel become a Slayerette, he didn't stop Buffy and Angel's relationship. He distanced himself from Jenny and will never get a chance to mend that. He will never get the chance to tell her he loved her. And Angelus' setup with Jenny's body, carefully calculated to inflict maximum damage, succeeded completely. From hope and love to grief and loss, in one heartbeat.... I'm amazed Giles retained enough coherent thought to call Buffy; I would have gone postal much sooner. His attack on Angelus, coldly, violently, obliviously furious, was even scarier than watching him pummel Ethan; Giles was out of control, and I don't think there's anything more frightening in the universe. He'll be a long time recovering from this, if he ever does; hopefully the kids, and Buffy in particular, will be able to keep him from retreating back into his books and away from the world again. Poor Giles.

Best Moments:
There was no good here. Well, no, that's not fair; it's just that none of the good parts were particularly fun to watch. But...

The four Slayerettes leaving the Bronze together. Such a nice, happy scene, until we see the rat bastard lurking behind them.

Angelus kneeling on Buffy's bed in the dark. Absolutely chilling. David gives good evil menace.

Jenny telling Giles she loves him. His face, as all of the betrayal and hurt sort of washes away, and her face as she realizes what she's said... < sniff >

Jenny buying the Orb. The entire conversation between her and the shop keeper was hilarious (speaking as one of the 'New Agers' that put his kid through college); also loved the creepy shot of the various spell stuff, followed by the price tags, and the Orb itself was a great effect all the way through the ep. Nice, subtle and spooky. And Jenny's determined face as she got ready for the spell was wonderful. Damn, I'm going to miss Robia.

Willow finding her fish. I knew Angelus was going to use that particular invitation, I just knew it. Nice shocked delivery from Alyson, and the quick cut to her sleeping over at Buffy's was one of the few laughs in the episode.

Angelus doing the stalking thing to Buffy's mother. Joyce was so excellent, brushing him off and protecting Buffy; then the oh-so-well-aimed revelation about Angel and Buffy sleeping together... I wanted to kill him!

The expression on Angelus's face as he tried to go into Buffy's house - and she and Willow come down the stairs finishing the ritual. Wahoo! Finally, score one for our side!

Joyce and Buffy having 'The Talk'. Joyce was overly harsh, in my opinion, but she'd had a rather bad shock. Things between her and Buffy just keep getting worse, though.

Giles wanting to talk to Buffy's mother for her, and realizing he could do nothing but get really embarrassed. The amused look on Willow's face when she held the door for him to leave was priceless.

Jenny's flight from and fight against Angelus. Some impressive stuntwork and choreography, and great performances by both Robia and David. Outstanding enough performances, in fact, that I never want to watch this sequence again. Ever.

Nor do I want to watch Giles finding Jenny's body. A truly chilling set-up, and Giles's face when he finds Jenny... I was in tears.

A beautiful job directing the phone call. Being able to hear only the music and Angelus's damn voice-over - and the one disbelieving cry from Willow - made the entire scene that much more heartwrenching. Buffy's collapse, Willow's tears, Joyce hurrying to comfort both girls and Angelus watches and smiles... In that moment, I really, truly hated Angelus.

Giles attacking Angelus. I was scared to death of Giles - fantastic acting from Tony. And Spike's "No going into the ring until you've been tagged", with Angelus's "Whatever happened to stakes?" were grimly hilarious, adding just the right note of surreal hysteria to the scene.

Buffy and Giles collapsing together outside the factory. I'm mad that the shot was cut off so quickly, but what we saw was just beautiful. Both of them in tears, Buffy ready to fall apart, holding it together only because Giles has already lost it, desperately afraid she's going to lose him, too. Wow.

Questions and Comments:
And why the hell didn't they revoke all of these invitations about a month ago? That should have been the first thing Giles figured out how to do, especially since any time Angel wasn't in the Bronze or the library, he was in Buffy's room! Grrr....

As Amy pointed out on SunS, Willow-as-sub is extremely illegal; a real teacher has to be present in the classroom, even if they just draft the librarian.

I wanted Oz.

Why has Spike still in the wheelchair? Can nervous system injuries not be healed, even by vampires?

Why Jennifer Calendar on the gravestone? It wasn't her real name. Did Giles bury her, or did her clan show up? And I would have liked a shot of the funeral.

When was Angel invited into Giles' house? I don't disbelieve it, those two were thick as thieves for a while, I just wish we'd seen it, since continuity was so excellent on the other invitations.

The voiceover was cool, this time around, but I seriously hope it doesn't become a habit. By the end, I was doing a fairly good McCoy imitation: "I'd give good money if he'd just shut up!"

Rating: Oh, dear. Five stars out of five, I guess. I want to rank it lower because I did not enjoy myself; it was almost unrelentingly grim, scary and sad. But the writing, the acting, the directing - there was nothing about the episode that wasn't done incredibly well.

I respect the hell out of Joss for doing something as painful as killing a character the fans -- and I'm sure, he -- liked, for the sake of making the story right. And damn, it does make the story work right. But it doesn't mean I have to be happy about it, and I still don't want to watch it again.

Lizbet's Review

Let's get this said and out of the way. Passion was brilliantly written. It took all the characters to their logical extentions -- even if that development was not noble or honorable. The voice over let us into Angelus' head long enough to get a grasp on who he really is and what he's doing and what he wants, which was something that was needed so that the character was not just a cartoon villian.

That said, I'm not sure that this is a place the show should have gone. There's a point where ripping the skin from one's body in little strips becomes less than pleasant. As true to all the characters as it was, was "Passion" a place we really wanted to go?

Angelus. I'm running out of words to scream at him. Let's put it this way: "I want to go home and reread Dawn's Let Me Count The Ways right now." -- me last night. He's an evil demon. It's that simple. He gets joy out of hurting others.

What he gets out of hurting Buffy... that's a little more complex. From the opening voiceover, you get the idea that he doesn't *want* this... connection with Buffy. He has a passion for her, and it's too close to what he felt before he lost his soul. Before, Angel was demon and human mixed. And it's a little naive to assume that it was just the human part that loved her.

But you'll notice that he wasn't lurking in the shadows of Giles' house when Giles got home. That whole set up, the elaborate set decoration, was only important in how it hurt Buffy.

There has been some speculation on whether Angel will EVER get his soul back. I think he will, for the sole reason that they've got that little disk they need to find. Restoring Angel's soul will make Jenny's death mean something. And Angel will likely take one look at the people around him and bolt for the hills. Only to show up in next season's opener because he's found out about something Buffy needs to know, and lurks in the shadows, unable to get any closer to her, and unable to leave.... OK, I'm going to stop plotting next season now, OK?

Not touching Jenny and Giles, nope, nope, except to say that Tony is *outstanding*. Everything Giles felt was right there in his face. He didn't need a word to convey love, anticipation -- and horror. And the scene in the alleyway after Buffy has hauled him out of the warehouse... slugging him < g >, and then holding onto him for dear life... Sarah didn't need any words either to say, "I can't lose you too."

This episode registers as a 9 1/2 on Lizbet's Meter O'Pain. The only reason that it's not a 10 is that I'm anticipating major owies for the season closer.


"Jack's commentary during the pan thru apt. & up stairs: "He really went all out...he has *no* life, does he?"" -- Valerie

"So now he thinks he's the Nightcrawler...? -- Valerie

"Valerie points out that Kiki is perfectly allowed to be peeved w/ Ty and Joss. Joss is in charge, Ty accepted the point-man position... They knew the risks when they signed on. " -- Valerie

"I want to do an auto-da-fe with Joss as the main course." -- Chris

"Okay, so, it's not a death of a friend. Or of a person who was in my Real Life. But it's the death of someone I liked and respected, who I talked to in my head quite often. I can mourn if I want to." -- Chris

"As one of my co-viewers said, "Did you ever think you'd been on *Spike's* side for anything?"" -- Lizbet

"Leslie and Celli and I shall be evicerating Joss on the 4th. Wish you were here." -- Lizbet

"I'm not letting Joss play with my toys anymore, 'cuz he can't be trusted not to break them. :-p" - Dianne

"...if we hate *Angel* because of what *Angelus* is doing now, then that's when the demon wins...he takes away everything that Angel built by having his soul restored. I can't accept that." -- Gina

"Methinks somebody gave her Universal Translator technology, and Angel got overzealous in enforcing the Prime Directive..." -- Val

"Another in Gina's Manifold List of Reasons Why Angel Should (Eventually, and with Much Angst to Follow, Of Course) Get His Soul Back: Otherwise, Jenny died for nothing. She drew their attention to her because she was trying to restore his soul, not because she was the gypsy or the Watcher's girlfriend or any of that. They might have gotten to her eventually, but the reason Angelus showed up *that night* and killed her *then* was because she was the one who could bring his soul back. If she fails...permanently...her death is really meaningless. If Joss had to kill her, I want her to at least have been able to accomplish what she was trying to do when it got her killed." -- Gina

"I want him dead. Angel/Angelus, I don't care anymore. I want him dead-dead-dead camel's dancing on the dust in the Sahara *dead*. :-p"
"I don't. No way in hell. I want Angel to come back and live for a thousand years, because then I could be content in knowing that somewhere behind those eyes, Angelus was suffering more than any death could encompass. Death would be as nothing, compared to that." -- Dianne and Cath

"If we know anything, we know that Joss doesn't pull his punches. If Angelus is evil and his motivation is to hurt Buffy as much as possible, then he's *going to do just that*. Angelus is not happy cuddly safe evil that glowers and schemes and doesn't actually do any harm, because that's not realistic. This is why I like Joss - he has an ultimate respect for his characters, and he stands by them. He doesn't set up characters to be cool, then yank them around if the character goes one way and he wants to go another. He takes things to their conclusion, because if he didn't, the characters would become little plastic dolls that did whatever was expedient and the show would lose whatever soul it may have." -- Cath

"I do bow down to their computer guru. Did you notice the computer was an ibm clone and the screen display was classic Macintosh? Yes, I notice these things... I need a life." -- Abby

"Wouldn't have anything to do with the Thessalonians in the Bible, would it?"
"My guess? Joss or Ty always thought it was a cool word since Sunday school and was just waiting for a handy time to use it." -- Sheryl and Abby

Willow: Although it is worth while to see him do the Snoopy dance.
"Did anyone else wonder which of the two possible antecedents "him" referred to? I still haven't decided if Willow means Snoopy or Xander. I'm suspecting Xander." -- Amy

"On an emotional plane, there's all kinds of stuff that I want for Buffy and for Angel. Not necessarily more romance, although I wish they could've been happy together, but happy together does not good drama make--more like, more *stuff*. I want to *see* what Angel's reaction is to all this. I want to know if he was *there* or not when the demon did those things. I want Buffy to be able to hear, at some point, from her first lover that making love to her was the most wonderful thing he ever did. (I want those awful words the demon said to *somehow* be taken away by the truth from the real guy who owns the soul.)" -- Gina

"I liked Jenny. I liked her *lots*... I liked that she made Giles skip and blush. I liked that she tried to drag him kicking and screaming into the 20th century. I liked that as sure of herself as she was... she still made mistakes... big ones... but could still face them with dignity." -- Mary Beth

Ritual Transcription

Here, for your amusement, amazement, or whatever, is the complete text of the spell that Jenny translated. I had difficulty with one word... Beth and I came up with a decent guess, but if anyone else has put their VCR through the same hell I have and has a better suggestion, let me know. It's the word in brackets. I figured there had to be someone else out there who would appreciate this....

The Ritual of the Undead

As the orb is round in nature,
as the earth is round in nature,
as the heavens are round in nature,
so is the soul. Return from whence
you were banished using this orb
as your guide--preserve every essence
of the flesh, every essence of the
body, every essence of the heart.
Make what lays before you more than
the empty vessel that is animal,
that is beast--make it [even] as
God created when He separated
the firmament of the Heavens
from the Earth. Come forth now,
return, return, as the
orb beckons, let life burn.

*note: "lays" is how it reads. Jenny's universal translator needs a grammatik.

Funny story... I couldn't read the words on pause so I had to play, rewind, play, rewind, etc. (yes, pathetic, but I'm avoiding life stuff okay?). Doing this meant it took me several tries to figure out words and I had some interesting first guesses.

My favorite was with the first word of the last line: "Come".... My first guess? "Cocoa" Beth's response: "I knew chocolate had to be involved."

-- Mary Beth

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