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05 June 2006 @ 07:46 am
2.4: Inca Mummy Girl  
Xander: Buffy? Where are your priorities? Tracking down a mummifying killer or making time for some Latin lover whose stock in trade is the breakage of hearts?

Prompts and questions are there to spark discussion. If they're useful or interesting to you, go ahead and respond to any aspect of them. But please feel free to bring up anything else that interests you, as long as it somehow relates to the episode under discussion.

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Inca Mummy Girl
Writer: Matt Kiene + Joe Reinkemeyer
Director: Ellen S. Pressman
Airdate: October 6, 1997



1. Dangerous Smoochies
Xander: Well, yeah, I'm gonna take Willow, but I'm not gonna *take* Willow. In the sense of "take me. See, with you we're three and everybody's safe. Without you, we're two.
Buffy: Ah, and we enter dateville. Romance, flowers...
Xander: Lips.

There's definitely the sense in this episode that romantic relationships and the physical contact that come along with them introduce dangers. What sorts of dangers might be included in the warnings about going from three to two, in introducing romance, flowers, and lips, and in entering dateville? Does this merely illuminate dynamics that already exist among the characters? Or does it make concrete dynamics that have been a bit free-form up until now? Can we relate this to other relationships in the episode? In the course of the season?


2. Meet the Band
Devon: Let me guess: not your type? What does a girl have to do to impress you?
Oz: Well, it involves a feathered boa and a theme to "A Summer Place". I can't discuss it here.

What kind of possibilities does the introduction of not just Oz but also Devon represent for the character groupings? For the storyline? For other types of appeal for the show? How effective or interesting is the segue to meeting Devon and Oz (Cordy's brief relationship with Devon)? In what ways to Devon and Oz's interactions together give us some key themes for the women of season 2? How much does Oz's original characterization remain as he continues to appear on the show?


3. Xander's Relationships with Women
Xander: Okay, I have something to tell you. And it's kind of a secret, and it's, um, a little bit scary. I like you. A lot. And I want you to go to with me the dance.
Ampata: Why was that so scary?
Xander: Well, because you never know if a girl's gonna say "yes", or if... she's going to laugh in your face and pull out your still beating heart and crush it into the ground with her heel.

What kind of material does this episode provide regarding Xander's relationships with women? Are there new developments with Xander's connection to Willow? Buffy? If Buffy wants to be a normal girl, in what ways does Xander want to be a normal guy? How do the different female characters contribute to the building up of (or breaking down of) Xander's confidence? Do the events impact the way that he interacts with girls that he likes in future episodes in this season?


4. Sympathetic Monsters
Ampata: Thank you. You are always thinking of others before yourself. You remind me of someone from very long ago: the Inca Princess.
Buffy: Cool! A princess.
Ampata: They told her that she was the only one. That only she could defend her people from the nether world. Out of all the girls in her generation... ...she was the only one...
Buffy: ...chosen.
Ampata: Do you know the story?
Buffy: It's fairly familiar.

What do we think of Ampata's version of the Inca Princess's story? How effective are the parallels between the Princess and Buffy? In what ways does the episode create sympathy for the princess by comparing her to Buffy? Or in what ways does it create sympathy for Buffy by comparing her to the princess? Taking this from another direction, how about the dangers that Ampata presents? Are there dangers that we see Buffy present as well? Could we draw parallels to the way that Buffy & Ampata are forced into circumstances, and also imagine some not so pleasant potential outcomes of that?


Other Potential Topics: Xander's enthusiasm for Twinkies; the introduction of Jonathan; adding more and more sites to Sunnydale; the mummy storyline and horror cliches; the use of music in episodes
 
 
 
JG: Geekjgracio on June 5th, 2006 03:35 pm (UTC)
Not really Kendra. He talks to her one time, she goes all shy and not empowered, and he loses interest.

Nope, for Xander a woman needs to be able to kick his butt or at the very least give as good as she gets. Buffy is Buffy, and IMO he loses some interest in her after he sees she's not as powerful as he thinks she is, with her whole "not standing up to her boyfriend thing" (Angelus). Cordy is the one character that can verbally spar with him. Faith is Faith. Anya is more terrifying than Angelus, and also very hot. The more he starts to see her as a fragile woman though, one who won't fight back, the harder it gets for the marriage.

And now that I think about it, Willow should be a part of Xander's post S6 wet dreams, ya can't beat Darth Willow as far as power goes, although the veins are a turn off. :)

So, I see Xander as really liking powerful gals. But then again, I've seen people accusing Xander of being a woman hater, pretty much.
Third Mouse: Anya (huh!)thirdblindmouse on June 5th, 2006 08:29 pm (UTC)
The more he starts to see her as a fragile woman though, one who won't fight back, the harder it gets for the marriage.

Interesting point. He starts to see her fragility in season 5, though, before the proposal, so I've assumed that it's her otherness (he's never been able to escape fear of dorkdom) that really drives him away, and that his proposal in "The Gift" is exactly what Anya analyzes it to be at the time, despite his suave assurance that it's something else.

Most people underestimate Xander as a speaker. Sure, when he's flustered he'll say things like, "Can I have you," but when he gives speeches, they're the best any of the scoobies give. It's his real talent.
aychebaycheb on June 6th, 2006 02:18 pm (UTC)
I agree about the proposal although I don't think Xander knew it at the time. I'm not sure though that the failure to go through with the wedding had to do with how he saw Anya as much as how he saw himself. I think he was being both honest and insightful when he told her that at the end of Hell's Bells
your royal pie-ness: XanderEntre (xmirax)entrenous88 on June 6th, 2006 02:20 pm (UTC)
Agreed. I think Xander's hard choice to leave Anya at that point had everything to do with him.
JG: BX by dothestarswyoujgracio on June 6th, 2006 05:59 pm (UTC)
I kinda don't agree, simply because the way he sees himself is influenced by how he sees Anya.

He thinks that if given the "chance" he'll go the way of his father. Except Demon!Anya, wouldn't give him that chance. He'd probably never love her as much as he does Human!Anya, but she wouldn't allow him to become an abusive husband. First time he tried, end of story for Xander.

He can see himself being abusive towards Human!Anya though, so, yes, it's how he sees himself, but it's also how he sees Anya.

The marriage proposal, I also kinda think it's what Anya thinks it is, even if he isn't aware of it. OTOH, much like Chosen, where I see the ending as them being all friendly with each other because they were gonna die, Joss has said they really were friendly, so maybe the marriage proposal was "honest". It's open to interpretation really.

Third Mouse: Anya (axe)thirdblindmouse on June 7th, 2006 08:24 am (UTC)
I see Chosen as a different boat. They both really changed a lot since Hell's Bells and Grave, and I can imagine them just enjoying each other's presence (something we see them do for the first time in season 7).
JG: Geekjgracio on June 7th, 2006 08:51 am (UTC)
Sorry, I didn't make myself clear.

When spoking of Chosen, I meant for the most part the Scoobie Gang, not the Anya and Xander relationship. I'm one of those that think "Xanya" were friendly at that point, and maybe things could have worked between them. Maybe.

It's the Scoobie Gang that I'm unsure of. Lots of resentment going on, and unlike S4 resentment that could be "explained" away as "Spike tricked us! We're dumb!" Chosen's resentment was real, since most people had "reasons" to be angry with each other because of something.
Third Mousethirdblindmouse on June 8th, 2006 02:17 am (UTC)
Oh, I agree. I don't see them being close after closing the Hellmouth. All that really connected them since The Gift was the Hellmouth and their shared past, and once the Hellmouth was closed, I don't think memories are going to pull them together harder than the other memories are going to push them apart.