Can't You Just Stake Me?

4.20. Sacrifice, Airdate: 04/23/03 (WB, 8/9c).

"What's in a name? A rose by any other name smells as sweet."

What is is with words and names that their mystic potential always had such strong influence on our imagination and religion? According to Christian belief, God created the earth by words.

"And God said, let there be light, and there was light." (Genesis 3, translation: King James Bible).

But the magic of words isn't limited to world creation. Later, when Moses asked how he's supposed to call God, the answer was, call me by those four letters: YHWH.

Well, the problem is, probably God didn't say those four letters, even if we suppose he exists (spoken to the non-believers;-)), but the older part of the Bible (the Old Testament) was written in Hebrew, and since Hebrew just like Arabic doesn't put vowels into writing, they wrote only the consonants, and later generations settled for "Yahweh", the word Jews up to now use to name God. Well, they don't exactly name him, I know, because the sense of the whole Yahweh tradition is to not name God, but to somehow hide God's true name. (Some thinkers say, it means "I am who I am" and shouldn't be over-mystified, and that brings us back to: Why are human beings so keen on mystifying names?)

Even though, most Christian cults don't have that, there are some groups imbued with mysticism, who don't name God or speculate about what God's true name could be. Even in Islam, there are some groups maintaining, God has 100 names, 99 of which are known to man, but one who is known to no man.

We could go on and on, and talk about pagan cults all over the world, about the tradition of oral magic and the origins of blood magic, but hey - we're not scientists here, are we? ;-) And we certainly won't figure out here why names always had a strong position in mankind's beliefs.

It's the magic of her true name that can break Jasmine's power. It's a bit of a surprise, isn't it? And the way it came about: hiiiiilarious. Those spideresque creatures, weren't they just adorable? A bit too much in for flesh magic, if you ask me, but all of us have a weakness.

So, Jasmine once was the queen of spiders. That leads to a couple of questions. If the creatures still love her, how come she left them? What happened back then, and why did Jasmine choose to come to our dimension, and didn't go back to their's first, getting her old army of big spiders? What is Jasmine's name? Will Connor still be on her side when the spell is gone?

Jasmine's power increased. Now, she's even able to convert people who didn't see her. When Matthew was out, he may have seen her, we don't know that, but when Matthew spoke, the others were turned. Jasmine can talk through her followers now, even with her own voice. Slowly, all of the followers seem to become bodily extensions of her.

Fred and Gunn started coping with the murder they committed a couple of eps ago (Fred's professor), but apart from talking about it and admitting they both still have problems dealing with it, there wasn't much to talk about here.

Angel hit Connor rather violently, and though he doesn't seem to care we saw he does. Perhaps this is some foreshadowing at Angel having to kill Connor? Could be, since Connor really doesn't seem to be willing to break Jasmine's spell. His need to belong to somebody, to be happy, is too strong. He wasn't completely Jasmine's minion, as we learned now, since he kept his pain for himself. He gave that up now, and when Jasmine spoke through him, it's fair to assume, he's now completely hers.

Speaking of "completely hers", he didn't care about Jasmine digesting another bunch of people. Cordy, even more, now is hers. Where did she go? Did Jasmine sent her to another dimension? Did she eat her? I refuse to believe, Cordy's dead, so I won't make a big deal out of it here. That was too quick to have been real.;-)

It's now Angel's task to retrieve Jasmine's true name. Perhaps he'll manage to return before the fang gang will be murdered completely, perhaps not. Perhaps time's helping him, and since we know that travelling through dimensions brings about time issues, he may return even before he left. I think, Jasmine wants to kill the gang - why should she try to turn them again? There's no need. It's a life-and-death-fight - with the gang winning. Will someone die? You tell me!;-) What do you think? Write!

This week's "Sacrifice" was a good meal, rather fast paced in the beginning, then a bit unfocussed and randomly and getting better again after Wesley started to make friends with spiderman.

Shortcuts: AtS 4.20. Sacrifice

What happened?
The fang gang climbed down to the sewers and ran into a group of demon hunters who still thought the sun was gone (and thus didn't meet Jasmine yet). They tried to fight a demon, the gang helped and it turned out, the demon came to our dimension via some sort of portal (can you say glowing "bally" portal opener?). It once was a priest of Jasmine, and seemed a bit angry about all those human followers ("We loved her first!"). Though those demons think word magic is for kids, there's one word having magic: the true name of a being. Angel and Wesley chopped the demon, and then Wesley opened a portal into the dimension the priest came from. Because of the fumes, only Angel could go - and encountered a whole bunch of deadly spidermen. Meanwhile the gang's fighting soldiers under Jasmine's spell and headed by Connor.

Topics addressed?
The show mainly focussed on what Jasmine's secret is and on how her spell can be broken. They shortly addressed Angel's relationship with Connor, and Gunn's with Fred, but he didn't tell Fred of Gwenn.

Any strange things?
Gwenn's still not to be seen; meeting Jasmine's ex-priest in the sewers was a rather random acquaintance, don't you think?

Was it good or not?
Yes, it was. Four stakes out of five.

What do you hope for?
For Gwenn.

Feedback (updated frequently)

Jasmine: Carl admits, he's been wrong last week. Jasmine's a bad girl, he finally agrees. He says all that travelling into another dimension to find out how the goddess is called is another fantasy cliche, and a bit stargate-ish. Well, yeah, perhaps. But AtS, though occassionally very bad, is one of the best TV shows. And if we believe what the rumours say, Angel will have a fifth season to fight evil, and then not only Joss will be back, but some of Buffy's greatest writers as well.

Can Jasmine be killed? Laura writes, whatever happened, Jasmine was banned, and that implies, some spiders didn't like her and pronounced her name to break her power - but if the spiders didn't kill her, just ban her into some sort of dimension she needed all that Connor stuff to flee from, then it's perhaps not possible to kill Jasmine at all. That's an interesting thought, since human beings can't easily be exstinguished completely, too, within the Buffyverse: the soul normally goes someplace else (heaven?), and may return - even if in ghostly circumstances.

Religion: Trinidad says, they shouldn't mock religions: first christianity, now judaism. Well, I don't think they do. There was much fuss about Buffy last week, since some religious groups said, Caleb was mocking christian belief - but, well, if you know both shows as long as most fans do, and that's for seven years now, then you know, that's crazy talk. Caleb is a fallen priest. And it's fun he is. That doesn't have anything to do with mocking christianity. Priests going for little kids in real life are much worse in terms of how organized religion is seen by the people than some TV character that happened to be a priest before he turned evil.

Of course, what Joss says, is: life isn't always happy, and it is never easy. Though it may be against what some religious groups say (who believe earth can be made a place for overall joy and happiness), it's not against what the Bible says: that only the paradise is a paradise.;-)

Tom Ahrendt


Thanks to: Brachnu for offering free web space, for listing my review.

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