I need to develop a couple of scenes showing how dangerous and potentially unstable my antagonist is without everyone around him going, "Okay, he's off the deep end" and dragging him to an insane asylum AND not coming off as extraneous.
Okay, I don't get all the whining I'm hearing about this week's "Angel." "In Harm's Way" was the first time this season I felt like my favorite show was finally BACK, and they were settling in to the new digs and everything. Sure, we didn't focus much on Our Heroes, but it felt like an episode of AtS, the show I love. I wish the WB hadn't leaned quite so heavily on them to "make changes," because while it's nice that the tone is lighter, having everyone just forget what happened last year is, I'll admit, making it hard to connect to the characters. What do they remember? What don't they remember? But I believe that'll be addressed eventually. In the meantime, even with the W&H surroundings, and working for the enemy, this ep had everyone behaving the way I expect them to behave, and there wasn't any pointless exposition (except for poor Gunn and the expanding Brain of Power-- I think that's a scene where they could have, if they'd wanted, used Spike effectively. He's been known to speak several demon languages. And what about Wes, the former expert?).
Spike's explanation for why he's not off finding Buffy? The last thing he remembers her saying to him was "I love you." Anything else is bound to be a let-down, unless she drops everything she's doing and runs into his arms, and while I am one of the people who believed her when she said it, I can't quite wrap my mind around her doing that. The Buffy we were shown in the last two seasons of BtVS was just too wishy-washy, and she changed her mind more often than she changed her stylish clothes. So I could very easily see Spike thinking, "Nah. I'd rather remember her like that" and letting her go. As for someone telling Buffy he's alive -- well, Angel should have done that. Or Fred could email Willow. But since Spike really doesn't even have the first clue WHERE Buffy is ("In Europe, last I heard" is all he knows. Europe isn't exactly small), I can't see how he's the one to blame for keeping her in the dark.
Of course, the more immediate explanation is James Marsters is contracted to be a regular on the show and Sarah Michelle Gellar isn't. While that's always annoyed me in television shows (why is it when actors leave, the character is forgotten?), it's terribly difficult to keep up a love affair with someone who never appears on screen (unless it's played for laughs, like Maris Crane). Besides, as far as I'm concerned, Buffy left AtS long ago when she showed up and she and Angel yelled at each other for five minutes and she stomped off after throwing Riley in his face. AtS has mentioned Buffy only a few times since then, and it's never been with any depth of feeling or emotion on Angel's part, even when he ran off to Tibet or returned. Angel stopped loving Buffy long ago, and it's only because Spike showed up that she's getting any mention now. Spike (and Angel) are both better off without her. While the shows have always been interconnected, I maintain they are very different, and the Angelverse is much darker and greyer than the B&W Buffyverse ever was.
On another somewhat related topic, last week I read an interview where James Marsters was quoted as saying about playing with his band, "In the beginning, I played rhythm guitar, too, but to play and front a band is hard. Because the frontman has to connect with an audience. You have to give them permission to release and exalt, even though they're standing in the middle of a crowd of sweaty strangers."
He can't play guitar and front the band at the same time?! Can this boy walk and chew gum at the same time? I know a couple dozen hot LEAD guitarists who front their bands AND connect with the audience while ripping chords on an axe like nobody's business. Dwight Yoakam's never seen without his rhythm guitar, and boy howdy does he connect. Geez, James. Maybe you need to take in a couple honky-tonk night spots. Check out Jesse Dayton some time... ;)
Bold = Visited
Underline = Lived
Italics = driven through, purchased shot glasses there or had a layover there.
1) Alabama, 2) Alaska, 3) Arizona, 4) Arkansas, 5) California, 6) Colorado, 7) Connecticut, 8) Delaware, 9) Florida, 10) Georgia, 11) Hawaii, 12) Idaho, 13) Illinois, 14) Indiana, 15) Iowa, 16) Kansas, 17) Kentucky, 18) Louisiana, 19) Maine, 20) Maryland, 21) Massachusetts, 22) Michigan, 23) Minnesota, 24) Mississippi, 25) Missouri, 26) Montana, 27) Nebraska, 28) Nevada, 29) New Hampshire, 30) New Jersey, 31) New Mexico, 32) New York, 33) North Carolina, 34) North Dakota, 35) Ohio, 36) Oklahoma, 37) Oregon, 38) Pennsylvania, 39) Rhode Island, 40) South Carolina, 41) South Dakota, 42) Tennessee, 43) Texas, 44) Utah, 45) Vermont, 46) Virginia, 47) Washington, 48) West Virginia, 49) Wisconsin, 50) Wyoming, and 51) Washington, DC.
I went ahead and counted Montana and South Dakota, although I was very young and don't remember them well. And some of them might qualify as "drive through," but if we actually stopped and did something fun and interesting, I went with "visited." :)