NICOLO MACHIAVELLI. BtVS Intertext/Allusion.

In "Bad Eggs" the Scoobies talk of the looming threat of the Gorch brothers and their biology assignment (to hatch an egg):


GILES: How did the, um... hunt go last night, Buffy?

BUFFY: No go.

GILES: Uh, 'no', 'no' you didn't go, or, or, or you were unsuccessful?

BUFFY: No Gorches.

XANDER: Apparently Buffy has decided the problem with the English language is all those pesky words. You... Angel... big... smoochies?

BUFFY: Shut... up.

GILES: I-it's true, Buffy, you and Willow do seem a little sluggish. Are you quite sure everything's alright?

WILLOW: Maybe something we ate.

XANDER: Or perhaps it's the burden of parenthood. Notice how seriously you two have taken this egg thing. While I, in turn, have, uh, well, chosen a more balanced approach. (starts tossing it around)

WILLOW: Xander, maybe you shouldn't...

XANDER: (interrupts) That's exactly what I'm talking about. (tosses) You can't stress over every little thing! (tosses) A child picks up on that. Which is a one-way ticket (tosses) to neurotic city. (drops the egg, it doesn't break)

WILLOW: It didn't break! How come it didn't break?

XANDER: Which is another secret to conscientious egg care: pot of scalding water and about eight minutes.

WILLOW: You boiled your young?

XANDER: Yeah! I know it sounds cruel, but sometimes you gotta be cruel to be kind! I mean, you can bet that little Xander here is thick skinned now.

GILES: Technically that would be cheating, yes?

XANDER: No! It's like a short cut. You know, when you run a race?

BUFFY: That would also be cheating.

WILLOW: You should be ashamed.

GILES: I suppose there is a sort of... Machiavellian ingenuity to your transgression.

XANDER: I resent that! Or possibly thank you.

Giles' incomprehensible-to-Xander reference is to Niccolo Machiavelli (1469-1527) an Italian writer, statesman, and political theorist, author of The Prince, a book written to ingratiate its author to Florence's ruling Medici family. The Prince, according to The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, argues "that princes should retain absolute control of their territories, and [. . .] should use any means of expediency to accomplish this end, including deceit."


--David Lavery