Join us in this episode for discussions about hyena anatomy, the efficacy of using a Catholic witch hunting manual for African possession rituals, and how we’re not superstitious, but we are a little stitious.
Thanks for joining us for Season 1, Episode 6- The Pack
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Music for this episode is “Digging a Grave,” by Shadows from the Underground, and is used under license from Magnatune.
2 thoughts on “Episode 7: The Pack”
I love your discussion of Giles’ dismissiveness re: Xander’s behavior as that of a typical teenage boy, and the comparison to Oz’s transformations later in the series. It makes me think of what I see as a pretty prevalent theme in both BtVS and Angel: the question of whether or not men are in some way inherently beasts. Now, I certainly don’t think they are, but I think between The Pack, the circumstances in which Oz leaves the show (feeling as if he can’t control what’s inside of him), the episode in season 3 with the Jekyll/Hyde abuse metaphor and feral Angel, Spike’s actions in ‘Seeing Red’ and episodes of Angel like ‘Billy,’ have some troubling implications re: male characters and their ability to control themselves/their anger. I don’t know how much of this was coming from Joss or other writers, but I think there’s a fine line in media between acknowledging the seriousness of topics such as domestic abuse and violent men and really focusing on depicting that violence/abuse to the point where it seems to be a preoccupation. Almost as if they saw the potential for this particular type of abuse or violence as an inevitability or somehow inherent to masculinity. These are just thoughts I’ve had about it though, and I really look forward to hearing both your perspectives as you get further into the series.
I love your discussion of superstition and understanding vs. overstanding. The latter has actually been particularly difficult for me over the years to incorporate into my own practice, because I have OCD, which really messes with my ability to understand patterns in my everyday life and attach significance to things in a healthy way. It’s a challenge but I still think it’s a really worthwhile way of looking at things.
I forgot to include:
Great observation about Buffy’s wardrobe at the end of the episode being protective, and Xander trying to kind of leaving it up to her to decide whether or not to discuss it. Also, the point of not really seeing Buffy process what happened to her – I think the same happens post-Seeing Red as well. It’s a way of portraying sexual assault that seems to be more about showing the act/attempt and less about seeing the consequences (from the woman’s pov, anyway). I think TV has moved away from this, in recent years, and I’m glad for it. There’s a crime drama set in Scotland called Shetland that actually handled an assault in the plot really well – we see none of it actually happen. But we are with the female character after for all of the decisions she makes and how she deals with it.
The Principal Flutie scene is still hard for me to watch, honestly. It’s just really dark.
The whole ‘man/beast’ thing is also interesting with the way they use the concept of vampirism throughout the show. In a way, they often treated it like they did witchcraft- as a metaphor for what they needed in the plot. At the beginning the demon had taken over the human body, and that was it. You both mentioned in the previous episode that that was already being changed within the first season – some traits seemed to carry over from human to vampire. The difficulty with turning more to the gray area, especially in the early seasons, is Angel. How much, if any, is he responsible for his actions as Angelus? The show seemed to draw a pretty firm line there, saying that he was completely different without his soul, but later moves away from that. It’s an interesting direction to take, and I’m not against it, but I feel like it led to some character inconsistencies over the years.
Thanks for letting me post all these long comments. 🙂 I’m currently injured and staying at home on the couch and catching up on all these, and they’re great.