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Vampires and Demons -- What's up with them, anyway?


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#181

uptoolate1966

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Posted Nov 1, 2008 @ 10:34 PM

A soul makes them able to understand and feel remose. It doesn't guarantee that they will. Angel and Spike respond differently to the feelings that the soul causes. Angel seeks redemption. After a little while (I assume the period of adjustment is way speeded up in Spike's case because we don't have years to watch him wander around all screwed up and incoherent), Spike prefers to just blow it all off. As your examples point out, plenty of humans, soul and all, are evil and horrible. (All the mass murderers in the real world had souls, after all.)

As for the ex post facto example, if murder wasn't illegal when you committed it, you wouldn't be guilty (criminally liable, that is, as opposed to moral guilt) after the law was passed. Statute of limitations is something else entirely. There's a law, you break it, you don't get caught for a certain amount of time, you're off the hook. Nothing to do with this situation at all.

Edited by uptoolate1966, Nov 1, 2008 @ 10:35 PM.


#182

There There

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Posted Nov 2, 2008 @ 10:21 PM

Well, sure, except for the part where that's not true, because even with a soul, Spike still turned out to be the same callous douchenozzle who wanted credit for not feeding off of bleeding disaster victims. If the soul makes him something 'new' why does he show no sign at all of being aware that killing is wrong?


Actually, Spike wanted credit for not feeding off the bleeding disaster victims in "Triangle," meaning he was in love with Buffy but not yet ensouled.

Following Spike's ensoulment, we see a vampire who is capable of both: (1) feeling remorseful and disgusted after he stabs Ronnie the worm guy in "Beneath You", and (2) not feeling sorry in the slightest for having killed Robin Wood's mother. Personally, I find that ensouled Spike is more unwilling and unable to commit new acts of evil than he is completely tormented by the acts of evil he committed when he had no soul. He leaves the unbearable guilt and obsession with repentence to Angel, choosing to focus more on being "good" in the here and now.

YMMV, and all that.

#183

KColl

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Posted Dec 19, 2008 @ 8:30 AM

[qoute]
He does. He doesn't kill the Principal that just tried to do so to him, and old Spike definitely would have in that situation. He let the guy know that he was not going to put up with this behaviour and then dropped the issue.

For the first time Spike manages to make it through a season without any deliberate evil.[/qoute]

Gloating about murdering that man's mom and telling him his mother didn't really love him seemed kinda evil to me.

#184

David Tomlin

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Posted Jun 21, 2011 @ 11:29 PM

The effectiveness of 'modern weaponry' against vampires and demons has come up on the S.3 thread. The issue isn't season-specific, so this seems a better place to discuss it.

Wooden bullets are an interesting idea that I would love to see tested on Mythbusters. A variant that I'm fairly sure would work would be loading shotguns with wooden pellets.

Tracer bullets made with white phosphorus might be a better idea. They would burn up the vampires from the inside, without needing to hit the heart.

Ascending the scale, modern militaries have a variety of incendiary weapons - grenades, flamethrowers, artillery shells (also fired by the main guns of armored vehicles), gravity bombs (dropped from aircraft). Riley Finn uses an incendiary grenade to destroy a vampire nest in Fool for Love.

Armored vehicles - tanks and personnel carriers - typically have at least two machine guns. I picture one of them loaded with tracer rounds and the other replaced by a flame thrower.

Most military rifles can be fitted with grenade launchers.

Assuming a modern military whose leadership believes in vampires and knows their vulnerabilities, I see them being quite effective. For example, an urban neighborhood that has been overrun by a vampire gang could easily be secured by a platoon of mechanised infantry, supplied with tracer bullets and incendiary grenades, with personnel carriers modified as described and supplied with incendiary rounds for the main guns.

In Chosen, asking the military to bomb the Hellmouth with napalm or fuel/air explosives would be a much better plan than relying on a mysterious and dubiously sourced piece of jewelry.

Regarding demons other than vampires, explosives work quite well against some of them, like the Judge in Innocence.

Edited by David Tomlin, Jun 21, 2011 @ 11:32 PM.


#185

TimeMonkey

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Posted Jun 22, 2011 @ 6:31 AM

Bombing the Hellmouth would be pointles unless it was open and the demons/vampires were outside of it. Otherwise the First could just get it's minions to dig down to it and now they don''t have a convenient living space right next to it.

Edited by TimeMonkey, Jun 23, 2011 @ 6:18 PM.


#186

BDArizona

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Posted Jun 23, 2011 @ 4:18 PM

Ascending the scale, modern militaries have a variety of incendiary weapons - grenades, flamethrowers, artillery shells (also fired by the main guns of armored vehicles), gravity bombs (dropped from aircraft). Riley Finn uses an incendiary grenade to destroy a vampire nest in Fool for Love.

Armored vehicles - tanks and personnel carriers - typically have at least two machine guns. I picture one of them loaded with tracer rounds and the other replaced by a flame thrower.

Most military rifles can be fitted with grenade launchers.

Assuming a modern military whose leadership believes in vampires and knows their vulnerabilities, I see them being quite effective. For example, an urban neighborhood that has been overrun by a vampire gang could easily be secured by a platoon of mechanised infantry, supplied with tracer bullets and incendiary grenades, with personnel carriers modified as described and supplied with incendiary rounds for the main guns.

My response to this is that it sounds like a hell of an opportunity for "collateral damage." Or, in terms that people with actual hearts and senses of conscience would recognize, a lot of dead innocents who got caught in the crossfire. (I hate the term "collateral damage." It's grossly dehumanizing.) This is actually the big problem I had with Buffy committing arson to destroy the vampire brothel after she caught Riley with his vamp-whore. While the building was empty at the time, we don't know what surrounds it. Real human firefighters are going to be called out to fight the fire and protect any people or property in the vicinity. So, her petty need for vengeance was going to have the very real-life consequence of putting humans at unnecessary risk.

I really think the hand-to-hand thing is the best option. To use warfare as a metaphor, when wars moved from trenches to airstrikes, the numbers of dead civilians skyrocketed. Using the same kinds of tools to fight vampires--which are always going to be where the people are--would have similar or worse results. I'm not sure I buy the idea that killing people to save them from dying at the hands of vampires is the best course of action.

Edited by BDArizona, Jun 23, 2011 @ 4:18 PM.


#187

SueB

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Posted Jun 23, 2011 @ 10:09 PM

I totally buy the theory that because Buffy never came to Sunnydale, the Master lived and some level of apocalypse broke out. Buffy's scar on her lip, her icy-hard attitude towards life, the fact that getting her to come to Sunnydale was hard because she was busy... all these things suggest that the Master's success in Harvest triggered a different universe in not only Sunnydale but beyond.

This is one of those questions that I think can't definitively be answered. If Buffy involved the government/military, what would have happened with Glory and the key? IMO there were too many apocalyptic interventions that it's difficult to say they all would have been averted had the world known.

I think the show made a definitive statement that mysticism triumph military with their Initiative plot. It was clearly a cliche but the notion was that the government would try to use the HST's, not just protect the people from them. After S4, IMO the government knows, it's not on Buffy's shoulder's to try and convince the world to carry a stake. I don't think it would have been all that successful either.

#188

David Tomlin

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Posted Jun 23, 2011 @ 10:10 PM

Considering how many people one vampire can kill in, say, a year, eliminating vampires is worth a lot more collateral damage than would be likely to happen.

There is zero collateral damage to humans when Riley uses an incendiary grenade in Fool for Love.

#189

Perfect Xero

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Posted Jun 24, 2011 @ 5:35 AM

I'm not sure I buy the idea that killing people to save them from dying at the hands of vampires is the best course of action.


Considering that vampires have been known to go up in smoke from a Zippo lighter, and that a normal teenage girl is able to dust one with a #2 Pencil, I'd actually surmise that any police/military action against vampires would probably be less dangerous to the public that any sort of similar action against human criminals.

And it's not like people don't get killed in the crossfire anyway, just look at Faith in Season 3.

#190

TimeMonkey

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Posted Jun 24, 2011 @ 6:20 AM

Normal? Wasn't he dusted by Willow using telekinesis?

#191

David Tomlin

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Posted Jun 24, 2011 @ 7:54 AM

SueB:

I totally buy the theory that because Buffy never came to Sunnydale, the Master lived and some level of apocalypse broke out.


Why does Giles say 'Sunnydale is on a hellmouth' instead of 'Sunnydale is on the hellmouth that caused the apocalypse'?

#192

Perfect Xero

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Posted Jun 24, 2011 @ 8:29 AM

Normal? Wasn't he dusted by Willow using telekinesis?


I was talking about Dawn and her vamp boyfriend in Season 6's All The Way.

#193

Dev F

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Posted Jun 24, 2011 @ 9:42 AM

I totally buy the theory that because Buffy never came to Sunnydale, the Master lived and some level of apocalypse broke out.

Why does Giles say 'Sunnydale is on a hellmouth' instead of 'Sunnydale is on the hellmouth that caused the apocalypse'?

And how could it be that a single helldemon half-emerging from the Hellmouth for five minutes trashed the library pretty severely in "Prophecy Girl," but after all the helldemons returned, the library and the surrounding town were still fine? Wishverse Sunnydale looked like a town overrun by vampires and that's it, not ground zero in a world overrun by giant Lovecraftian horrors from before the dawn of time.

Buffy's scar on her lip, her icy-hard attitude towards life, the fact that getting her to come to Sunnydale was hard because she was busy... all these things suggest that the Master's success in Harvest triggered a different universe in not only Sunnydale but beyond.

But the whole point of the episode is that this is what's become of Buffy without the help and support of her friends. Throw in a world-spanning apocalypse to explain Buffy's new 'tude, and that theme gets rather buried.

Edited by Dev F, Jun 24, 2011 @ 9:44 AM.


#194

David Tomlin

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Posted Jun 25, 2011 @ 6:54 AM

Dev F:

And how could it be that a single helldemon half-emerging from the Hellmouth for five minutes trashed the library pretty severely in "Prophecy Girl," but after all the helldemons returned, the library and the surrounding town were still fine? Wishverse Sunnydale looked like a town overrun by vampires and that's it . . .

Fanwanked here.

I suspect the meta reason for the absence of non-vampire demons is budgetary.

But the whole point of the episode is that this is what's become of Buffy without the help and support of her friends.

It's the point of Wishverse!Buffy's characterization anyway.

Throw in a world-spanning apocalypse to explain Buffy's new 'tude, and that theme gets rather buried.

Excellent point.

ETA: Buffy's transformation may carry the main theme of the episode. It would be a switch on the 'Wonderful Life' homage. The audience already believes that Sunnydale without Buffy would be bad. The real aim is to show Buffy without Sunnydale.

This is supported by some dialogue in the first scene of the teaser.

About Faith:

Xander: I detect worry.
Buffy: A little bit. Slaying's a rough gig. Too much alone time isn't
healthy. Stuff gets pent up.

The last lines of the scene:

Xander: 'So tell us, Wise One, how do you deal?'
Buffy: 'I have you guys.'

The switch required going back on 'the Master opening the Hellmouth ends the world', for the reason Dev F explained.

I appreciate the subtlety of the switch, but it doesn't make me like the episode any better.

Edited by David Tomlin, Jun 25, 2011 @ 11:22 PM.