Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Season 3



Dead Man's Party

Faith, Hope & Trick

Beauty and the Beasts
 Homecoming Band Candy



The Metaphysics of "Anne"

Warning: this page contains info about episodes up through season 4 BtVS/season 4 AtS. If you're in danger of being spoiled, proceed with caution.

Ken and his cronies are demons who inhabit one of the many demon dimensions. They have ravaged-looking skin and no hair on their heads. While entirely evil, the demons do not seem exceptionally flexible, and this is their flaw. Ken has come to expect humans not to fight back, and so he is easily vanquished by Buffy and Lily when they do.

The demon dimensions: A homeless girl, Lily, falls through the thin membrane (a small rectangular pool filled with a black liquid that resembles tar) that separates our world from Ken's dimension. When Buffy attacks Ken, she falls in with him as well. This membrane is easily passed through, no doubt made that way (somehow) by the demons themselves. Why does the portal close up after the teens leave? Perhaps the demons below were cutting their losses, at least for the moment.

Accelerating the aging process: Ken's victims actually age in the normal way--time passes, they get old. But because time moves faster in Ken's demon dimension than on Earth, several decades can pass in the demon dimension while only a day has passed on Earth. Hence, you can be 17 years old on Tuesday morning, September 29, 1998 when you fall through the portal, pass seventy years in the demon dimension, and reemerge back on Earth at the age of 87 on Tuesday evening, September 29, 1998 (Ken states specifically that the difference for his realm is 100 demon dimension years/to 1 Earth day.)

Psychic dream? It is unclear that Buffy's dream of Angel on the beach indicates anything except Buffy missing the souled vamp she sent to hell three months before, with one exception. In the dream, Angel says, "Forever. That's the whole point." Later, in the diner, Rickie says to Lily, "Yeah, forever. I mean, that's the whole point."

Good and Evil in "Anne"

Ken is masquerading on the earthly plane as the operator of a local homeless shelter, The Family Home. Teens with no other place to go are enticed into the shelter with promises of love and belonging. Once there, he kidnaps them and puts them to work in a factory that is part of his dimension. This factory is a classic nineteenth or twentieth century vision of hell--endless physical labor amidst the heat and noise of a factory whose purpose is totally unknown to you. Ken hides his demon identity while on Earth by gluing on a mask and wig. His evil is illustrated most poignantly by the speech he gives Buffy when they first run into each other, apparently sympathetic, but full of double meaning:

This is not a good place for a kid to be. You get old fast here. The thing that drains the life out of them is despair. I mean, kids come here, and they got nothing to go home to, and... this ends up being the last stop for a lot of them. Shouldn't have to be that way.

Similarly chilly is his line to Lily when he meets her for the first time: "But hope is a real thing, just like despair. And hope can fill up a part of you that's missing." Ken knows the hideous psychology of what he is doing.

Ken's demon dimension is a good example of evil-as-order. Humans are forced into the highly disciplined life of factory slaves, stripped of their humanity and individuality. After they are released from hell, the now-elderly victims have no memory of their previous lives on Earth. For example, the homeless man who rudely pushes his way between Lily and Buffy was, in fact, Rickie, Lily's lover, but he shows no recognition of her. Ken's victims are also completely devoid of self-worth (evidenced by their repeated, "I'm no one."). The older Rickie seems instead intent on suicide, first throwing himself in front of a car (Buffy pushes him out of the way), then swallowing a bottle of drain cleaner.

When the blood bank nurse screens the donor blood, she notes which teens are healthy and passes this information on to Ken. The morality of the nurse's actions does not depend on how much she knows about what Ken's purposes are; she seems to not want to know a lot about it--as if she suspects he is up to no good. Nevertheless, she continues to help him. We are not told if there is any compensation to her, in which case her sin might be greed. She may likely fear Ken, in which case she is putting her own survival ahead of the teens (selfishness).

Poetic justice

"I'm Buffy. The Vampire Slayer. And you are?" Buffy used her identity as the slayer to foil Ken and his cohorts, whose modus operandi was to strip their victims of their identity.

Undefeated evil: The dimensional portal closed up after Buffy and the others escaped. That was the demon's doing. But

What happened to those individuals/slaves who did not escape with Buffy.... Are they doomed to work in that alternate world until they die? (Cleio, Mar 14 21:50 1999)

Moral Ambiguity in "Anne"

Lily: Chanterelle, one of the gullible members of the vampire wanna-be cult, ran away to the city and changed her name to "Lily". Lily is just as weak as she ever was. We are meant to simultaneously feel sorry for her and to not feel sorry for her. She has learned dependence as a way of life and it is a hard habit to break. But like Buffy, we rapidly lose patience with it, asking her to stand on her own. Lily takes a step towards this when she throws Ken off the scaffolding. To even conceive of taking advantage of the situation (being alone behind Ken on the scaffolding) requires thinking of ones' self as independent. No doubt having Buffy put her in charge of the others was empowering, but she takes that power at that moment. Later she cements this change by taking over Buffy's alias, Anne.

Ethical Quandaries in "Anne"

Was it right for Giles and Buffy to have kept Buffy's slayer identity from her mother?

Joyce blames Giles for Buffy leaving town, accusing him of influencing and guiding her (i.e., playing a parental role) behind her back. Giles' only defense is that he is doing his duty as a watcher, guiding the slayer, who happens to be Buffy.

Joyce shouldn't know

The main argument for keeping Joyce in the dark comes out in WttH and Passion--if Buffy's identity as a slayer is revealed, it could put those around her in danger. Joyce in particular is a target because she is the only member of the slayer's family living in Sunnydale. And, in fact, Joyce has been in danger a few times: e.g., when Angelus approached her in Passion, trying to get in the Summers' house.

The problem with this argument is that it is really an argument for why other people besides Joyce should not know Buffy is the slayer. If others know, they might put Joyce in danger. It has never been a good argument for why Joyce shouldn't know that Buffy is the slayer.

The best argument against Joyce knowing is Joyce's reaction itself. As long as she doesn't know Buffy is the slayer, she can give her daughter the close-to-normal home life a teen-aged girl needs. Once Joyce found out, however, she had to deal with her daughter being in constant danger and the good odds of her daughter's early death.

The dark forces Buffy fights never seem to have any trouble identifying her or her friends and family and have often used them to get to her. If those who are close to her are unaware of the danger they face, as Joyce was in Passion, they will be more likely to fall foul to the demon's plots and harm Buffy and be harmed as a result. ...Having said that... I believe it was Buffy's prerogative to tell Joyce or to keep her ignorant. She's a girl under incredible pressure, if she wishes to preserve some semblance of normalcy in her life by trying to have a non-supernatural home life then she should have that right. But ...she should also bear the consequences of her decision to lie (Vox, Nov 3, 1999). Full text of this argument on Vox's Website

Joyce should know

Parents are responsible for their children. Prior to "Helpless", Buffy was underage. Her mother was therefore legally responsible for her, but she lacked important information. From Joyce's point of view, Buffy was simply a teen-aged girl with unusually violent tendencies (although Joyce often chose to ignore this fact). It can be argued that Joyce had a right to know (as a loving parent) about the constant danger Buffy is in and the (very legitimate) reasons for her violent behavior.

Philosophies Represented in "Anne"

   Marxist subtext:

    The dark satanic mill is ruled over by demonic managers who use religion to enslave young people, suppressing their identities and using them up until it spits them out, old and broken down. The revolution is led by one who asserts her identity (class consciousness, anyone?), wielding a hammer and sickle. Slayers of the world, unite! (Jim L. Baird, 02:44 pm Jun 15, 1999).

    The hammer and sickle were not intentional, but I too noticed the imagery when I saw them and was most pleased (joss, Oct 3 23:25 1998).

Is Buffy an existential character?


Dead Man's Party 

The Metaphysics of "Dead Man's Party"

Zombies: In the Buffyverse, zombies are the animated corpses of dead animals or humans that do not appear to have any will of their own. These zombies simply seek out the mask of Ovu Mobani, killing anyone who gets in their way. They aren't easily disabled, since they are already dead.

Ovu Mobani ("Evil Eye") is a demon who inhabits a Nigerian mask. The wooden mask has long, pointed teeth and no jaw. From inside the mask, Ovu Mobani sends out some sort of mystic signal which raises the zombies. The first zombie to reach the mask puts it on. The mask integrates itself into the zombie's face, allowing the demon to possess the body. As Giles explains, the power of the demon lies in its eyes. It is able to paralyze a living person who is looking directly at it with a flashing light that emanates from its stare, immobilizing them until it can kill them.

Willow's emerging witchhood

Evil in "Dead Man's Party"

Ovu Mobani's raison d'être seems to be to cause mayhem. Its power creates a whole army of killer zombies, and once Pat dons the mask, her only goal is more random killing which doesn't seem to serve any practical function for the demon.

Ethical Quandaries in "Dead Man's Party"

Was Buffy wrong to leave Sunnydale?

Buffy has been gone all summer without telling her friends and mother where she went. The Scooby Gang has had to take over her slayer duties. They know she was wanted for Kendra's murder (and isn't anymore), they know she was kicked out of school (and still is), they know she saved the world from Acathla and Angelus, but they do not know that Angel got his soul back before Buffy sent him to hell.

Most of the argument that ensues is emotional and doesn't get anywhere. The central point that Joyce, Willow, and Xander each convey is the emotional turmoil that Buffy put them through:

  • Joyce was worried sick not knowing where Buffy was.
  • Willow was angry at Buffy for not having someone to talk to about the changes that took place in her own life over the summer: her increasing closeness to Oz, her witchcraft studies, and the necessity of slaying vampires.
  • Xander's reaction was disappointment that the slayer he admires could be selfish, abandoning her duties over personal issues.

Buffy's response should have been to tell them what happened during her confrontation with Angel(us), but she was not ready to talk about it. Instead, she makes vague references to "what she was going through" and how they "have no idea" what she was feeling.

Xander points out that her feelings, whatever they were, did not justify her leaving; she could have talked to someone, and he may be right. Although Buffy would probably not have garnered sympathy from Xander or Giles, Willow may have empathized with her having to send her boyfriend to hell. Cordelia, of course, had her own special way of chiming in.

Everyone's got a valid perspective and a real block about seeing other people's. Such is life. Nobody's totally right (joss, Oct 6 21:54 1998).

...I hope you all benefitted from the message: VIOLENCE SOLVES WHAT TALKING WON'T. That's something we can all learn from, dontchya think? (joss, Oct 6 21:45 1998).


Faith, Hope, & Trick 

The Metaphysics of "Faith, Hope, and Trick"

Buffy's psychic dream is primarily an expression of her guilt over sending Angel to hell, since Angel's angry reaction to her deed in the dream does not foretell his actual reaction after he returns. However, when Buffy tries to take his hand and the claddagh ring falls off her finger to the floor, it does foreshadow two subsequent events in the episode:

  1. when Buffy receives a claddagh ring as a gift from Scott, she reacts strongly to it and drops the box it is in. The ring falls free and hits the floor with a clinking sound that resembles the sound her ring made in her dream.
  2. later in the episode, Buffy goes to the spot in the Garden Mansion where Acathla sucked Angel into hell on her sword. She sets her own claddagh ring (a gift from Angel in Surprise) on the floor at that spot.

What force caused Angel to return from Hell? Three possibilities present themselves:

  1. Buffy's claddagh ring. Buffy's visit to the Garden Mansion is definitely a psychological ritual--the first step in letting go of a loved one so that she can move on in life. Its significance as a mystic ritual remains an open question. A moment after she leaves the Mansion, a bright beam of light illuminates the ring on the floor, and grows more intense. The ring begins to vibrate against the marble. With a flash, a dimensional portal opens above the ring and Angel falls through onto the floor, naked and disoriented.
  2. the only mystical force which has taken credit is the First Evil in Amends.
  3. The Powers That Be: In Blind Date, a prophecy implies that Angel has a duty to the Forces of Good, even a destiny. The PTB's therefore have an interest in and the power to bring Angel back.

Giles on life in the demon dimensions

Vampires and age: Although vampires are immortal, they do change as they get older.

Why didn't this effect Angel's looks after all those years in hell? He was not in hell long enough:

As for demon dimensions, the one Buffy was in was NOT the one angel was in, time moves differently in each (joss, Nov 18 22:30 1998).

So why did the Master's skeleton get left behind, while Kakistos' wasn't? Unknown.

The invitation to vampires

The meaning of "five by five"

The "Five by Five" comes from military radio operators who used the phrase to tell the person they were talking to how well they were coming in. There was a five point scale in two categories, strength of signal and clarity of transmission. A strong, clear signal was coming in "Five by Five", lesser signals would be judged with lesser numbers. Radio operators and other servicemen picked up the phrase to represent generally good circumstances. So when Faith says everything is "Five by Five", things must be, by her standards at least, going great (Hugin, Feb 24 12:11 2000).

The "spell" to bind the mouth of Acathla was a ruse by Giles to get Buffy to own up about sending the souled Angel to hell. It was not a real spell.

Multiple slayers

Evil in "Faith, Hope, and Trick"

Kakistos seems primarily interested in bloody revenge on Faith for a wound she gave him. There is little point in this except his own emotional satisfaction. Killing a slayer will only produce another one.

Mr. Trick's predatory evil

Moral Ambiguity in "Faith, Hope, and Trick"

A new slayer in town: Faith's talk is full of bravado, sexual innuendo, and tall tales. She comes on to Giles and enjoys killing vampires a little too much. After she beats on a vampire while Buffy is pinned down, Buffy remarks to Giles, "The girl needs help." What is known about Faith:

More on the morally ambiguous Faith
Buffy vs. Faith


Beauty and the Beasts 

The Metaphysics of "Beauty and the Beasts"

Human monsters: Pete is a high school boy with some knowledge of biochemistry. It is not clear he knows anything about the black arts; he could have simply put together a mixture of hormones, steroids, or other drugs that induce violence, and the Hellmouth completed his transformation. At the time we meet Pete, however, not even the chemicals are necessary anymore; Pete's own violent nature and a little bit o' Hellmouth turn him into the "Hyde" persona spontaneously, whenever his anger makes the extra strength and aggressiveness it provides him tempting. The skin on his face and neck begin to thicken, and his veins bulge out. In this state, Pete has mas macho super-strength than even Ozwolf has. He is able to pull the door off the cage in the library, for example (VampWillow and hyena'd Xander couldn't do this either, although Eyghon could).

Angel's return

"Call of the Wild" ...the choice of story was far from incidental. ...it's about a dog who is brought up living a pampered life of luxury at an estate in California until, one day, he is kidnapped by an unscrupulous servant, shipped to the Yukon, and sold as a sled dog. He has to learn very quickly that everything he's learned up to that point about honour, chivalry, and regular feedings have to be abandoned in favour of pure survival. ...he's torn overnight from a fool's paradise and forced to grow up or die, in the real world, where a single mistake means death (aardwolfe (Nov 23 15:19 1998).

In the Garden Mansion, Buffy finds a silhouette of scorch marks on the floor shaped like a man and deduces that this is the place where Angel was returned to the Earthly plane. When she questions Giles about the "possibility" of Angel returning, he tells her that there is no record of anyone returning from a demon dimension once the portal was closed. This implies that whatever brought Angel back was no ordinary mechanism of dimensional travel.

Giles tells Buffy that the demon dimensions are a world of brutal torment for those with human souls, in which time moves at a different rate than on the Earthly plane. In other words, Angel has suffered one hundred years of torture (in Deep Down, Angel explicitly states it was one hundred years). Psychological studies of prisoners of war and abused children have revealed that many people do not ever recover from such trauma--they remain withdrawn and animalistic, without a sense of self, rational thought, or a normal range of human emotions. And at first, Angel goes between growling at Buffy and cowering like a trapped animal before her.

Evil and Moral Ambiguity in "Beauty and the Beasts"

There was Oz - a nice guy who's capable of violence, knows it, and so takes special precautions to prevent it from happening. Angel, a monster who, in Giles' words, "wants to be redeemed". And there's Pete, who, even when he regains his senses, still blames his actions on his victim (aardwolfe, Nov 10 13:54 1998).

The feminist message in B&tB isn't Faith's anti-male "all men are beasts, Buffy." It's a powerful message about the contrasting attitudes of three particular men towards their own beastliness. We see Oz struggle with the possibility that he may have killed a human being, even though if he had (he didn't), it would have been in a non-rational werewolf state he couldn't control. However, when changing into Oz-wolf gives Oz the ability to do things that he as a human finds morally acceptable--such as fighting Pete (or saving Willow from Veruca)--Oz's attitude changes. The Oz vs. Oz-wolf ambiguity is also played on when Willow refers to her boyfriend  as "cold-blooded".

The moral ambiguity inherent in using the name "Angel" when discussing the deeds of the demon Angelus are played up in Buffy's conversation with the school psychologist, Mr. Platt. Buffy has to talk to the psychologist to be let back in school; but when he asks her about the events that led to her running away, Buffy can't tell him the truth about her vampire boyfriend. As a result, she talks about Angel and Angelus as if they were the same person--a good man she loved who "changed" and "got mean" but that she didn't stop loving. The problem with this is that while Buffy found it hard to kill the demon with her boyfriend's face, she didn't love Angelus.

Pete's misguided decision to use chemicals to turn himself into a more "macho" man reflects the classic human sin of pride. Debbie no doubt found strong, assertive men attractive. But she didn't want what she got, a jealous, insecure abuser who hit her and demeaned her. Debbie is depicted as (1) co-dependent--she "enables" Pete's violence by accepting it, covering for it, and making excuses for it, and (2) weak--willing to accept such evil in exchange for security and freedom from choice. Debbie lives for the moments when Pete is doting, non-violent, and charming; but she can never win.

Fan thoughts on BtVS's depiction of domestic violence

Ethical Quandaries in "Beauty and the Beasts"

Who is morally responsible for the "beast's" behavior?

In my experience, there are two types of monster. The first can be redeemed, or more importantly, wants  to be redeemed. The second is void of humanity, cannot respond to reason... or love. -- Giles

The story line of B&tB begs a comparison between three couples--Pete and Debbie, Angel and Buffy, and Oz and Willow. Nevertheless, the situations are not analogous in the following sense: Angel could not control the brutal deeds done by Angelus when his soul was not even in the body, and Oz cannot control Ozwolf because human Oz is not even consciously aware during the period he is transformed.

Pete, however, is still Pete, whether he is normal or transformed--he is fully conscious from one moment to the next during his transformation. The fact that he no longer needs the green fluid means he is allowing his anger to trigger the effect in him. Before that, his conscious decision to drink the fluid was a choice to trigger the effect. Pete is morally responsible for the deaths he caused. If Oz-wolf had killed Jeff Orkin after taking every precaution in his human state to prevent Oz-wolf's escape, human Oz himself could not have been held morally responsible for Oz-wolf's deeds.

This does not mean that we are not justified in locking Oz up or even killing him to prevent Oz-wolf's deeds, all it means is that this incarceration or death could not be construed as "punishing" human Oz for his "actions." A similar conclusion is drawn for souled Angel in Revelations.



The Metaphysics of "Homecoming"

Kulak of the Miquot Clan is a yellow-skinned demon with spiny ridges on top of his head and long, serrated, green darts in his forearms. He meets his end from the Gruenstahlers' grenade.

Evil in "Homecoming"

The Mayor has many of the vampires in town in his hip pocket. When he finds out Mr. Trick is in town, he pulls him in without a warrant, delights in his "enterprising" idea to kill the slayers, and drafts him to serve his own purposes.

Mr. Trick's downfall

Frederick and Hans Gruenstahler are human terrorists from Germany wanted for murder and the bombing of a passenger jet. The Gruenstahlers' boss is an wheelchair-bound computer expert who tracks Buffy and Cordelia's movements for his hit men using the girl's corsages. Jungle Bob is a frontiersman also out to take the slayer's lives. Each of these human baddies is somewhat two dimensional, so we can only speculate about their motives (see also Earshot).

Moral Ambiguity in "Homecoming"

When Buffy's new boyfriend sends her a dump-o-gram, her favorite teacher doesn't remember her, and Cordelia fails to tell her about yearbook pictures, Buffy begins to feel like the invisible girl. She lets her "quality rage" get the most of her and decides to reclaim her past glories at Hemery High when she was a normal, popular girl and not a slayer. Buffy gets in a name-calling cat fight with Cordelia and guilt-trips Willow with the number of times that she's saved her life. Even though it's the ultimate favor you can do someone, Buffy never saved Willow expecting pay-back, and she shouldn't ask for it now. The Buffy-Cordy showdown was female competition reduced to the nastiest form of cat-fighting. In the end, Trick's trick forced them to cooperate. Which is just as well. The evil-fighting activities of both Buffy and Cordelia took them off the popularity list a long time ago.

Buffy's human body count: When Buffy determines that the corsages are wired to the Germans' computer system, she comes up with a plan to get the two humans to kill each other. She uses wet toilet paper to attach the tracers to one of the brothers. When his twin shoots at him, he shoots back, and they are goners.

Ethical Quandaries in "Homecoming"

Were Willow and Xander wrong to give into the "clothes fluke"?

Band Candy 

The Metaphysics of "Band Candy"

Lurconis, which means "glutton", is a snake-like demon who lives in the sewers. No doubt the Mayor promised to give this demon his "tribute" (ritual feedings, much like Machida in Reptile Boy) in exchange for power. Every thirty years, Lurconis emerges and is given human babies to feed on.

The ritual feeding of Lurconis: Four vampires dressed in red robes chant in Latin, standing amidst torches and candles by a small concrete pool in the sewer. One of them steps down with a bowl of water from the pool and anoints four babies stolen from the hospital maternity ward. The ritual is never finished, because Buffy slays the demon before he has a chance to feed.

Cursed candy? The only evidence we have that the Milkbars are cursed is Buffy's say-so. She comes to this conclusion after linking the candy to the adult's irresponsible behavior. The gang in the library never come up with anything concrete about the candy before they begin to investigate Lurconis. But let's assume the candy has been cursed. The most likely suspect for the performing the spell would be Ethan Rayne, who is in charge of the distribution operation. The candy bars cause those who eat them to behave like irresponsible adolescents and seem to be addictive, although whether this is from an additional ingredient or the "young feeling" they provide isn't clear.

Another thing which isn't clear is whether the adults are simply acting like irresponsible adolescents in general, or whether each is showing his or her own teen-aged persona at its worst. Since we do not know much about the teen-aged years of any of the adult characters on the show, this is hard to judge. Giles said in The Dark Age that he went through a period of rebellion from his calling as a watcher at the age of 21, and we know from the same episode that he was in a band. In B2, Principal Snyder admitted to having no dates in high school, which is consistent with the geeky hanger-on personality he displays. However, the drug also takes away their sense of responsibility. While irresponsibility is part of the teen-aged persona, as Willow points out, it is not typical of all teenagers. But it is necessary here in order to make sure that the adults don't feel any obligation to protect their homes and their children.

Evil in "Band Candy"

The Mayor has been covering up the weird events of the town for many, many years, so that people wouldn't move out. No wonder he sicced (sic?) Snyder on Buffy. Not only was Buffy taking out demons, her activities at the high school were calling attention to the strange events of the town. A big bad for the Mayor and his plan (Mircalla, Mar 18 22:16 1999).

Evil as chaos: Once again, Ethan Rayne is in Sunnydale spreading mayhem.

Lurconis seems mainly interested in feeding. He would have ate the babies, and did eat one of the vampires before Buffy sent him to a flamey death with an exposed gas pipe that has started to burn.

Moral Ambiguity in "Band Candy"

When Giles' personality reverts back to the age of 16, we find a juvenile delinquent who uses rock 'n' roll, crime (breaking into a clothing store), sex (doing it with Buffy's mother, on the hood of a police car, twice), and violence (beating up a police man, almost shooting Ethan with his stolen gun) to get his kicks.

Snyder (one word, like "Barbarino") eagerly tags along with the gang--whom he has no respect for in his normal state--as they fight evil. Although he is under the influence, his behavior implies that he is rather clueless about the depth of evil he is part of; he helps Buffy fight the Mayor's plan in his own ineffectual way. Still, there is a lot Snyder does seem to know. When he talks about how the candy got distributed, he says, "It came through the school board. If you knew that crowd..." He obviously does not know she's the force for good in town, although this should have made him a bit wiser about her (it doesn't).

He was the kid that everybody was constantly trying to ditch. He was the nerd who was eager to be friends with everybody and was constantly snubbed. And that made it clear how he became the child-hating martinet that we had so much fun with (Joss Whedon March 15, 2000).

The moral ambiguity of the Mayor


The Metaphysics of "Revelations"

, a warrior demon who keeps a battle-ax on his back, arrives in Sunnydale looking for the Glove of Myhnegon.

The Glove of Myhnegon is a ghoulish clawed hand of metal and leather with steel clamps that pierce the forearm of whoever wears it. Presumably of Gaelic origin, once someone puts it on, it can never be removed. The glove acts something like a laser pistol. It gathers energy from lightening, stores it, then sends it out in a bolt towards its target. Gwendolyn Post extends her gloved arm above her toward the skylight in the Garden Mansion and recites the Gaelic incantation that will invoke the power of the glove:

Tauo huogan maqachte milegaing!
Translation: Be mine, the power of Myhnegon!

Up in the sky above the mansion, lightning and thunder begin. Gwendolyn calls power from the glove:

Tauo freim!
Translation: Be free!

A bolt of lightning smashes through the skylight and strikes the glove. Now the glove has the power of the lightening within it, and Mrs. Post uses it to strike out at Willow, Buffy, and Faith: "Tauo freim!"

The power of the glove is controlled by the person as long as they are wearing it. When Buffy severs Gwendolyn's arm, removing the glove from her body, she is no longer in control of the lightening which has been "fueling" the glove. The lightening strikes her in the eyes and chest, vaporizing her.

The Spell to Destroy the Glove of Myhnegon: To "immolate" means to burn in sacrifice, much like ancient cultures would offer up an animal or human for sacrifice. The glove is burnt with a "Living Flame"--a fire that has been fed by various powders (the "catalyst"). We see the spell being performed by Angel. He prepares the catalyst and tosses it into the flames, saying:

Exorere, Flamma Vitae. Prodi ex loco tuo elementorum, in hunc mundum vivorum.
Translation: Arise, Flame of Life. Come forth from your place of the elements, into this world of the living.

Good, Evil, and Moral Ambiguity in "Revelations"

Gwendolyn Post (Mrs.)
comes to Sunnydale claiming to be Faith's new watcher and a representative of the Watcher's council sent to report back on the situation in Sunnydale. In reality, she was kicked off the Council two years earlier for misuses of dark power and is now after the power of the Glove of Myhnegon. To get it before Logos does, she intimidates Giles and later assaults him; she captures the trust of an initially hostile Faith and at the key moment, convinces Faith to continue to fight Buffy instead of listening to what Buffy has to say about Angel. This distracts both slayers long enough for Gwen to don the glove. Her evil is a greed for power obtained by deception. In the end, evil Gwendolyn Post is struck by the very lightening she used to give her deadly power.

Angel may be on the good guy's side while Mrs. Post isn't, but what's with him batting her around like a rag doll after her unsuccessful attempt to kill him to get the Glove of Myhnegon? Willow is ready to accept him again after he saves her from Mrs. Post's attack, but he is going to have to earn back the trust of the others.

The morally ambiguous Faith

Buffy vs. Faith

Ethical Quandaries in "Revelations"

Was Buffy wrong to keep Angel's return a secret?

After his return from hell, Buffy hides Angel in the Garden Mansion and keeps Angel's return a secret from her friends. She lies to Willow and Giles about "putting in mom time" and to her mother about slaying and studying with Giles, then goes to see Angel. Although Buffy lets Angel think that she is dating Scott, there is definite hormonal angst between them, and they finally give in to a kiss. Unfortunately for them, Xander witnesses it. This leads the gang to stage an "intervention" with Buffy:

Buffy believes she was justified in keeping her secret. Angel's soul has been restored, and they know better than to start up their romantic relationship again. She is not entirely certain that Angel is no longer a threat since she does not know what power brought him back, but she is willing to give him the benefit of the doubt until she figures it out. She did not believe the gang would feel the same way after what Angelus did to them, however, and believed that they would not easily separate Angel and Angelus. So, to protect Angel, she chose not to tell them he was alive.

Xander is less interested in Buffy lying (although he does display disappointment in Buffy's actions) than in the issue of what should be done about Angel now that they know he's alive. He gives a utilitarian argument for the necessity of Angel's death, a view Faith later gives as well. For Faith the equation is simple. Angel is a vampire, she is a slayer--Angel deserves death.

Giles is much more interested in Buffy's lie itself. While he understands the reasoning that led Buffy to lie, he can't accept fact that she lied. He believes the lie "jeopardized the lives of all that you hold dear." Buffy has therefore betrayed her duty as the slayer.

Pictures are copyright © 1998 The WB Television Network
Screen shot credits
Translations are by Alexander Thompson
This page last modified 3/08/03

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